South Africa - Faith Broadcasting Network has consolidated a vast following of approximately 264m viewers worldwide since its inception two decades ago, with satellite, terrestrial and digital broadcasts reaching worshippers all around the world. With headquarters in South Africa, and studios in the USA and the UK, MyFaithTV is the largest religious broadcaster on the African continent.
To accommodate such growth, the Faith Dome - the ministry’s base in East London, South Africa - has been undergoing renovations for many years. Parts of the premises have been refurbished to house different aspects of the ministry’s work: including a number of television studios, humanitarian aid warehouses, activity spaces as well as their main broadcasting studio.
In 2015, work commenced on the ceiling to replace it with the dome we see today. Stage Audio Works were called upon t

USA - The 2022 New World Rigging Symposium, produced by ESTA and USITT, will take place online 5-7 April 2022 whilst the USITT Conference and Stage Expo will take place in person early March. “We’ve heard from presenters and attendees alike that continuing the NWRS conversation virtually is the best choice,” say the organisers.
“The 2022 virtual symposium will allow the widest range of entertainment technicians to further their rigging knowledge, hear about challenging projects, get up to speed on new technologies, discuss current industry challenges, and get their questions answered by a host of subject matter experts.”
The three-day symposium will also include breakout rooms where attendees can get in-depth information from sponsors as well as virtual networking opportunities with attendees and presenters. The symposium will carry ETCP education renewal cr

UK - The new fly tower at Theatre Royal Drury Lane has been dedicated to Unusual Rigging founder, Alan Jacobi, LVO (read Rob Halliday's report on the theatre's two-year refurbishment in LSi November 2021). Jacobi passed away in April 2020 and due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, a funeral was restricted to immediate family only.
But last Monday, in the company of 500 friends, family, colleagues and industry peers, Jacobi’s life was celebrated on the stage of the restored Theatre Royal with tributes from those who knew him during his early years, through to royalty and his closest friends and family members who were with him in his final days.
The plaque, unveiled by Jacobi’s wife, Peta, duri

Romania - A Kinesys Apex automation system with new Kinesys Vector control console was used to create kinetic effects created with six 7m diameter motion-controlled trussing circles each rigged with 10 moving lights above the audience of the Galaxy Stage at the 2021 Untold Festival staged in the BT Arena venue at Cluj-Napoca.
The Kinesys system and services were supplied by Denmark-based automation specialist Motor Stage Automation to ABT Motion Rigs, with the system design and specification developed by Adrian Visenoiu, rigging manager for six of the seven stages at this years’ event, and Motor Stage Automation’s Blake McNally.
The Galaxy Stage presented a strong line-up of techno talent - Charlotte de Witte, Paul Kalkbrenner, Nina Kravitz, Amelie Lens, Tale of Us, Seth Troxler, and many, more over the three days.
The initial Galaxy stage design with a big

UK - HireHop, the company behind the cloud equipment rental software of the same name, has opened agent offices in Australia and South Africa.
Due to the ever-increasing number of HireHop users in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, it was felt as a necessity for HireHop to better serve their users by opening local offices to provide support, implementation and training, says the company.
Since its release, HireHop has grown in popularity, with not just large rental companies moving to HireHop, but also smaller ones, as HireHop also offers a free for life version, designed for small start-ups to help them grow their business.
HireHop was originally launched in 2016 in the UK to offer “future proof, powerful and affordable equipment rental software to hire companies all over the world”, and in that short space of time, it has attracted numerous large and

UK - Entourage Pro is an initiative in production industry crew resources. This free-to-join global networking platform “bridges the gap between artists and the production world and is set to revolutionise how production personnel are sourced, accredited and availed to the wider production and music industries”. The scheme has the backing of industry names including Avolites, d&b audiotechnik, ChainMaster, MDG, Neutrik, Robe and Yamaha.
Entourage Pro draws on director Joel Perry’s 20 year-plus association with live music production, as well as its partnership with Showcase Music, which has 52 years of industry heritage to add to the platform’s offering.
“With the global events sector starting to re-emerge, we knew the time was right to launch a service that has real relevance for the live music industry,” says Perry. “It’s an idea that has been in t

UK - BroadWeigh’s SensorSpace Remote Monitoring from Mantracourt has been awarded the Best Innovation Runner Up in the 2021 Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) Awards. SensorSpace, was selected as one of eight finalists for the industry awards’ Innovation category and on Saturday 5 November at a gala event at the Grosvenor Hotel in London, was recognised as ‘a product that is truly innovative, providing a unique value proposition and tangible benefits to the lifting equipment industry’.
The awards are open to LEEA members who have done the most to raise standards, allowing them to be recognised as among the best companies in the industry by their peers and their customers. The entries were judged by a panel of industry experts, with the 2021 Best Innovation Award entries needing to demonstrate how they address a need, solve a problem, seize an opportunity

Germany - Prolight + Sound Frankfurt is set to return from 26 to 29 April 2022, with emphasis on sustainability.
With the Green Event Day on 27 April, the fair is offering for the first time a theme day all about the responsible use of natural resources. Companies and associations will present their green initiatives and underline that commitment to sustainability can also pay off economically.
Among the players who have already declared their participation in PL+S 2022 are ADJ, Area Four Industries, Ayrton, B. & C. Speakers, Bosch Rexroth, Bütec, Cast, Chainmaster, Chauvet, Clay Paky, ComputerWorks, dBTechnologies, DTS, Elation, ETC, Eurotruss, FBT Elettronica, GLP, Highlite International, HOF Alutec, InEar, JB-Lighting, Kling & Freitag, König & Meyer, KS Audio, Kvant, L-Acoustics, Lawo, Layher, LEDitgo, Lightpower, Link, MA Lighting, Meyer Sound, Moveca

UK - PLASA and #WeMakeEvents have launched a survey to investigate how the live events sector is recovering with the easing of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey aims to draw a detailed picture of the events, entertainment and installations industries following 18 months of disruption. The results are hoped to provide an insight into the challenges still facing the industry and will be used as an evidence base to better inform lobbying.
The surve contains questions about the supply of components and finished goods, the availability of skilled workers, and the year-on-year changes in terms of revenue and income.
Once all the data is collated and analysed, a full report will be published on both the PLASA and #WeMakeEvents websites.
From freelancers and sole traders to manufacturing companies and venues, all types of industry professionals are invited to ta

USA/Europe - An open comment period on the International Code of Practice for Entertainment Rigging has launched.
The International Code of Practice for Entertainment Rigging (ICOPER) was drafted by industry professionals from around the globe to promote awareness and safety worldwide by providing a model code of practice with a focus on arena rigging but applicable to all event production rigging disciplines.
The practices described in ICOPER are intended to provide a universal foundation for those engaged in planning, managing and executing entertainment rigging. ICOPER also provides guidelines for those who wish to develop policy, design training content or help establish certification criteria.
ICOPER was published in 2017 and has been downloaded by over 1100 people located in 59 different countries. It has been translated into Traditional Chinese and Polish,

Denmark - Motor Stage Automation is a new automation specialist based in Denmark with a strategy to deliver custom and off-the-shelf solutions for entertainment industry clients wanting safe and innovative ways in which to move any element of their shows.
The new start-up launched with an investment of Kinesys Apex 500kg and 1250kg hoists, Kinesys Vector consoles, Mentor controllers and all associated infrastructure, and is a joint venture between Christian Vigsø of Vejen-based rental and dry-hire company, Vigsø, and Blake McNally, who has been involved with numerous creative automation projects, together with Kasper Sønberg who is the venture’s commercial manager.
The two met - initially via LinkedIn - during the lockdown, when both were keen to use the extra time and headspace that this challenging period offered, to enact some positive and productive results

UK - Industry charity Backup's Pumpkin Challenge is back for 2021. The competition aims to help raise awareness of the charity in a fun and creative way, encouraging interested parties to carve the most creative pumpkin.
“To enter, all that’s need is a pumpkin, your design and any props or tech you want to incorporate to bring your design to life. If you want to use the opportunity to fundraise too (though not a requirement) that would be welcome,” says Backup.
Competition categories are: Best overall design (judged by panel); Best use of tech (judged by panel); Most money raised (via Backup Pumpkin Challenge Fundraising Page); and Most overall likes (on Instagram, using the hashtag: #BackupPumpkinChallenge).
For 2021 long-time Backup supporter Lightpower Collection has generously donated a prize of one of their photographic books to the winner of the best

Australia - Slovakian stage controllers production company SRS Group has appointed its new exclusive distributor for Australia and New Zealand - Showtools International.
Being an established player on Australian market, Showtools is already distributing a number of top industry brands. The two companies have collaborated on the design of touring and installation distros customised for Australasian market, which will help strengthen the presence of Slovakian firm in the region. Showtools will be representing SRS Power and Lighting sections.

Europe - Prolight Concepts is the first distributor to receive stock of the new all black H-Connect from PCE Austria. Working closely with the manufacturer, Prolight have been able to secure bulk stock of the splitters ready for the busy period of events as customers begin to rig light trails, Halloween specials and soon, onwards events for the festive period.
This H-Connect splitter provides one power inlet and three power outputs simplifying power distribution. The narrow design allows the splitter to sit within the width of standard 290mm type truss, and also features a receiver slot for a cable tie or Velcro strap allowing the splitter to be secured to truss, lighting bars or scaffold.
Manufactured from Polyamide 6, the splitters chassis offers excellent impact and abrasion resistance, IP44 rating and receiver slot for a cable tie or Velcro strap.

Australia - To set the scene for the QLD Junior State Gymnastics Championships, Theatre Safe Australia (TSA) supplied over 2000sq.m of wool drapes across the complex, which became a striking backdrop for the sporting event. In addition, TSA supplied 13 EXE chain hoists (250kg) with 250m of hoisting chain, 780m of control cables, 99m of Tri-Truss, Admiral Strong Boy dollys and an Atlas System Controller.
Audio visual & technology officer, Nat Thornton comments: “TSA has provided top quality products over the years, including truss, chain hoists and drapes. I know by choosing TSA as a supplier we receive our products on schedule and quality is second to none.”
TSA has supplied 36 drapes, 3.5m wide with a 11.5m drop, over a two-year period for use in the Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre. The drapes were manufactured in Australia by TSA utilising high quality f

Australia - Theatre Safe Australia (TSA) created the set for the University of Adelaide’s production of Mamma Mia!. It was the major production for the graduating 2021 music theatre students, performed in the university’s own Scott Theatre.
Head of music theatre at the university, George Torbay, was pleased to have the TSA Workshop on board to help create this performance. With other productions throughout the year, Torbay wanted this one to showcase the graduating students and provide them with a stage brimming with scenery to recreate the theatrical experience of the romantic comedy.
Torbay says: “The TSA Workshop undoubtedly helped create a complete theatre experience for the 2021 graduate students. The buildings, painted platforms and flooring bought the musical to life, allowing the students to immerse themselves in professional theatre surroundings.

Germany - A HOF moving light truss has won the Innovation Award for Crafts of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The prize was awarded on the 4 October in a ceremony at the K21 Ständehaus in Düsseldorf by NRW Minister of Economic Affairs Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart.
The MLT² Pre Rig Truss from HOF was awarded the prize because it enables shorter set-up and dismantling times and, thanks to the dolly with its telescopic legs, requires less manpower than its predecessor, the MLT. Likewise, the rotatable steel fork connectors allow vertical and horizontal circles to be created, offering new possibilities for stage design and light shows.
The dolly is foldable and can be stacked, which in turn saves an enormous amount of space at the event storage location. In addition to this, compared to its predecessor, the MLT² has received further features such as a forkl

UK - Based in South Kirby on Production Park, XPLOR is a £9m research, development and innovation centre that aims to support SMEs across the creative industries from music, film and TV to sports, theatre, corporate events and the arts. The scheme secured grant funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Circlesphere is Tschida’s first exhibition in Europe and is being hosted at Neon Workshops Project Space: 7A and The Art House in Wakefield from 29 September – 28 November.
Fred Tschida, retired Professor at Alfred University, New York, was one of the first generation of artists and professors to explore and teach neon for nearly 40 years, since the 1970’s, and - until now - his artworks have not been exhibited in Europe.
The exhibition was the brainchild of artist Richard Wi

UK - #WeMakeEvents has launched a supporter scheme to bring more useful resources and services to campaign backers.
Members of #WeMakeEvents Supporters get free access to webinars hosted by the campaign and PLASA in the past - including on topics such a Brexit, HR, IP, and various technical sessions – as well as credit checks for UK-based companies. Other benefits include free entry passes to the PLASA Show and PLASA Focus Leeds and an invite to #WeMakeEvents’ Zoom calls.
“Launched at PLASA Show 2021 in London last month, #WeMakeEvents Supporters has already seen a large uptake, demonstrating the ongoing high level of engagement to protect and promote live events and entertainment,” says the campaign in a statement. “Supporters can opt in to be listed on the webpage to add strength to the global movement which continues to amplify the voice of the industry a

UK - The recruitment network for creatives and freelancers Curtain Call has re-launched an improved membership platform to help link up freelancers with employers - and PLASA members benefit from reduced subscription fees.
The network, which is free to join by freelancers, has a search and match algorithm that makes it easy for employers to find skilled available freelance technicians and creatives for project-based or long-term positions.
Businesses looking to recruit need to subscribe to search the database, with PLASA members able to get 15% off for 12 months by signing up through the Pioneers programme. For every PLASA member company that signs up, Curtain Call will donate £15 to #WeMakeEvents, and for every month of membership, the network will plant a tree. Ea

UK - Following three years of project management and two years of site attendance, Unusual Rigging is delighted to unveil its role on the multi-million-pound refurbishment of Theatre Royal Drury Lane. The beautiful Grade 1 listed Georgian venue has been reimagined as an all-day stylish destination with one of London’s greatest auditoriums at its heart. Unusual Rigging was brought on board by LW Theatres and contracted for the ‘Behind the Iron’ works.
Mike Goodwin, senior project manager at Unusual Rigging explains: “This was a major project for Unusual, which we knew from the outset would require the considerable focus of a dedicated team: from design concepts through approvals with the LW Theatres Project Design Team, decanting 42ndStreet; transitioning The Lane from venue to construction site, co-ordination with the Principal Contractors (Gardner & Theobalds Lt

UK - The PLASA Show returned to Olympia London from 5-7 September, receiving high acclaim and marking a return to normality following the 18-month closure of the live events sector.
As the first entertainment technology tradeshow in two years, the PLASA Show 2021 co-located with the ABTT Theatre Show and succeeded in reuniting the industry for three high-spirited and productive days in Olympia’s Grand Hall.
Even though the number of attendees was reduced this year, they remained top quality and similar to previous years: 2/10 were company owners or directors and half were specifiers or final decision-makers. Theatre and touring were most prominent with one third of those attending working in production or venues.
Anticipation was high as the doors opened, with a steady stream of visitors keen to check out the next generation of products and catch up with colle

South Korea - Blumano, entertainment industry consultants in safety and machinery design, is expanding into the Asian market with the announcement of Blumano East Asia. The new operation will work closely with Blumano's network of offices in Ireland, the UK, Italy, and the Netherlands.
Laurent Ste-Marie joins this organisation and brings with him 25-years’ experience and vast knowledge of the acrobatic rigging world
''Seeing how the entertainment industry is bouncing back from an unfortunate dip, the timing seemed right to take on a new and exciting challenge by joining yet another industry leader,” says Laurent. “Through our exchanges we realised that our passion for the industry, vision, and dedication for the promotion of a safe work environment would make a partnership between us a perfect fit.”

UK - Industry charity Backup has long recognised the technical entertainment industry as an exciting, but challenging place to work and is committed to helping those who face the pressure and stress involved by providing further help and support.
Now, the charity has launched a free helpline that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide a centralised access point for both urgent and non-urgent well-being support.
The helpline offers a number of options, from a dedicated Backup counsellor, to direct transfer to other industry charities, including the Music Support Helpline, Theatre Helpline and the Samaritans. Upon selecting one of the above options, you will be transferred directly to the support you require.
The Backup Counsellor option is a free, independent and confidential phone service with a certified counsellor who has a broad experience

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