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

UK - The programme for PLASA Show 2021 has been unveiled, bringing a rich line-up of seminars and training sessions to the trade event that takes place on 5-7 September at Olympia London.
Sponsored by Vectorworks, the programme is set to deliver in-depth content on the future of live production, immersive product experiences and plenty of practical training, bringing skills and knowledge to the forefront of the show experience.
All sessions are free for pre-registered attendees (you can get your free entry pass by 31 August - find out more here), with details of the schedule available on the show website. More content will be added over the coming weeks, say the or

UK - Following its recent re-location to a larger premises, Stevenage based film, television and event rigging specialists Rigging Team has expanded its footprint, not only to accommodate a growing inventory, but to also provide space for a much needed, industry specific, training centre.
Rigging Team managing director, Adam Searle explains, “Training is something that we have been passionate about for many years – although there is no substitute for real-world experience, everyone can benefit from gaining additional knowledge or skills. The courses are designed specifically to suit our industry - whether it’s a specific discipline, or a bespoke combination of courses,”.
The new 2,600sq.ft Rigging Team Training Centre, located just 20 minutes from London by train, features a generous classroom and presentation space, along with a practical training area where

Denmark - Copenhagen’s Østre Gasværk Theatre is staging a revival of the 2017 Danish production of Green Day’s iconic American Idiot sung-through drama directed and choreographed by Tim Zimmerman, which is proving to be every bit as popular as the original show.
Once again, the technical discipline of automation is crucial to Benjamin la Cour’s dramatic, stark scenography and production design, and a Kinesys Apex automation system - a combination of 1,250kg and 500kg Apex motors with Vector control - is at the heart of delivering the elegant millimetre-perfect movement control, advanced safety requirements plus other cool features like silent braking that are essential for the delivery of this captivating show. The hoists are moving three large scenery pieces making up a concrete-look scenic floor, which also transforms into separate ceiling pieces that work t

UK - The live events sector is set to get a boost with a government-backed insurance scheme worth over £750m, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced yesterday (5 August).
The news comes after many months of campaigning by the events sector and the wider music industry for the introduction of such a scheme. However, it comes too late for many, with over fifty per cent of scheduled festivals – both large and small – cancelled or postponed.
The government has partnered with Lloyd’s to deliver the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme as part of the Plan for Jobs. The scheme will see the government act as a ‘reinsurer’ – stepping in with a guarantee to make sure insurers can offer the products events companies need.
This scheme will support live events across the UK that are open to the general public - such as music festivals and business events. It will cover

UK - Doughty Engineering and PSI have teamed up to deliver the design and installation of specialist infrastructure at the Grand Opera House in Belfast.
PSI were contracted by Tracey Brothers to facilitate the design and installation on the project which included a complete rewire of the production lighting and control, dimmers, audio, comms, stage management desks, show relay, foyer paging as well as providing a new house lighting system and additional elements to the in-house stage engineering system. All packages were specified by Charcoalblue.
PSI, who are dealers for Doughty in both Northern Ireland and Ireland, brought Doughty on board very early on in the project. David Mckeown, project manager explained: “Work commenced on site in January 2020 and then the pandemic hit in March. Initially the programme was ten months to hand over at the end of October 2020, b

Spain - Fira de Barcelona and N&M have signed a collaboration agreement forming a service partnership in the fields of wire suspension systems and rigging. N&M technicians will provide their services to customers through a newly established branch office in Catalonia's regional capital.
In recent years, Fira de Barcelona has developed into one of leadingt trade fair locations. Events such as the Mobile World Congress, the MICE sector's ibtm World or the Sónar festival for electronic music attract professionals from all over the world to Catalonia's capital in the north-east of Spain. In June 2021, having switched from Amsterdam to Barcelona, Integrated System Europe (ISE) made its premiere as a hybrid event due to the corona pandemic while also making its debut in Spain's strongest economic region.
In order to provide fair organisers and their customers with

Austria - Pan Acoustics has announced a partnership with ATEC Pro for distribution in Austria. ATEC Pro takes over local sales, design and support for all Pan Acoustics products in the region.
“I'm pleased, that with ATEC we have found a solid company to take care for our customers and projects in Austria. I’m sure that ATEC, with their competent team and friendly cooperation with clients is an excellent choice and will perfectly transport our key values - reliability, honesty, fairness and quality - throughout the market,” says Johannes Kampert, head of global sales at Pan Acoustics.
“Pan Acoustics fills a gap in our portfolio, which allows us to approach projects even more holistic. After first tests we were instantly convinced of the active beam steered systems (Pan Beam) but also of the quality of the passive speakers. We can now offer our clients best p

Canada - British Colombia-based Riggit is the latest company to join Broadweigh’s growing global network of product partners. For more than 25 years, Riggit has been providing rigging, lighting and labour solutions to the entertainment and events sector across Canada.
Rick Smith, Riggit president, comments: “We are delighted to partner with Broadweigh and to bring the entire product range to market. We believe Broadweigh products will add a higher level of assurance to the venues and clients we work with to ensure we continue to build on our reputation as a leading company in safety, innovation and reliability. The ability to provide real time load monitoring to our clients is another step towards assuring safety in our venues.”
Riggit is the exclusive rigging supplier to the Vancouver Convention Centre, exclusive production labour provider at Rogers Arena and ex

UK - Hairspray the Musical officially opened its doors last week. The show had been delayed by more than a year following the COVID outbreak. Unusual Rigging was part of the team that helped bring the all-singing all-dancing production to the stage.
Production manager Rich Blacksell reports: “I cannot begin to explain how delighted we are to finally be raising the curtain on Hairspray. We were just four days into week one of rehearsals and about to start fitting up when COVID-19 shut down all live events. We’d brought Unusual on board to handle a rather complex job because we’d planned to rehearse and tech at the English National Ballet’s new home on City Island. We intended to replicate the Coliseum at ENB, install some Kinesys systems and then move at the speed of light into the theatre for the show’s opening.”
As is the case for almost all

USA - Several respected industry figures have joined forces to form Apex Technologies, a new company that will “distribute exclusive worldwide entertainment technology solutions” to the North American market.
The founders Bill Morris, Anders Karlsson, Tarmo Krimm and Ola Melzig have run some of the biggest companies and productions in the industry. Their mission is to seamlessly deliver lighting, AV, staging and power supply products that are not currently represented in the US market. Most product lines Apex will represent are well-established on stages and venues in other parts of the world, says the company.
CEO Bill Morris explains: “Apex Technologies is the brainchild of a few of us that saw an open niche in the marketplace to bring exciting products to the North American market. All four of us have either lived in or travelled the world extensively and can

Latest Issue. . .