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

UK - A Cornish event production company has completed its busiest ever period, working simultaneously on seven separate events over the G7 Summit week.
Liskeard-based JHAV was appointed to help deliver multiple events associated with the G7 Summit for clients including Spaceport Cornwall, Virgin Orbit, the University of Exeter, and surfing brand Finisterre.
The team also created a press conference suite to be used by US president Joe Biden in the Spaceport Cornwall hangar at Cornwall Airport Newquay.
JHAV managing director Jamie Hedges explains: “We’ve been involved in all kinds of events since starting JHAV, but working on all of these projects revolving around something as high profile as the G7 Summit has to be one of our biggest accomplishments to date.
“The top-secret nature has meant we have been under embargo since the event, and I am so proud

UK - The ABTT has announced the Virtual Ideas Platform. Set up in collaboration with Guildhall School of Music & Drama, the platform will serve as an informal introduction service between independent creative innovators and commercial developers behind the sectors’ leading brands, products and services.
The platform is open “to anyone and everyone with an idea” and aims to recognise and help realise new ways of making theatre work.
The ABTT says: “We know when backstage people are faced with a technical challenge, they get inventive and creative, cook up ideas and find solutions. The Platform is here to recognise, salute and honour those innovators in our midst.
“By its very nature, theatre is a dynamic working environment in which to invent and develop new and better ways of doing things - in special effects, costume and wardrobe, wigs, make-up and

UK - Unusual Rigging has completed a major refurbishment of the grid at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End ahead of the much-anticipated reopening of Phantom of the Opera next month.
When the Covid-19 pandemic forced the production to close its doors in March 2020, it opened a bitter-sweet opportunity to get some essential work done on the magnificent old theatre’s roof space, ensuring it could continue to stage the elaborate aspects of Phantom that audiences across the world know and love, including the famous hanging chandelier.
Jeremy Featherstone, Unusual Rigging explained: “Her Majesty’s Theatre is a wonderful building, but as with all old theatres, they need maintenance and continuous improvements to their structure in order to preserve them and allow them to continue hosting productions.
“Phantom is a heavy show and the gr

UK - The widely respected PLASA Awards for Innovation return to the PLASA Show for 2021, in association with LSi magazine. All PLASA Show 2021 exhibitors are invited to enter their new products by Friday 6 August to be in with a chance of winning one of the coveted awards.
The awards celebrate products from across live entertainment technology which demonstrate a new style of thinking, improve technical practice or safety, introduce new materials or techniques, or offer a new commercial advantage.
Each entered product will be judged by an independent panel of industry experts who have the authority to present up to eight awards of equal standing, plus a potential Gold Award for an outstanding new product.
Furthermore, an Award for Sustainability is reserved for a product that can demonstrate a significant reduction of power, utilises renewable energy, or has a po

UK - Registration is now open for PLASA Show 2021. The London-based trade event for entertainment technology is returning to Olympia London on 5-7 September - and for one year only, the ABTT Theatre Show will be co-locating with PLASA Show, bringing two popular industry event under one roof.
This year, PLASA Show is moving to Olympia’s largest space, the Grand Hall, which will allow for a more awe-inspiring show experience, wider aisles and larger social areas to ensure the safety of visitors and exhibitors.
Visitors will be able to connect with leading brands from the pro audio, AV, lighting, rigging and staging sectors, whilst the free seminar programme - details of which will be revealed in the coming weeks - will offer business advice, unpack technical topics, and present the latest creative achievements. There will also be various interactive offerings includi

UK - The National Theatre, London, has recently invested in a Kinesys load measuring system to help monitor their loads more carefully and add an additional level of safety.
Since its opening in 1963, the National Theatre has produced well over 800 plays, staging a broad range of productions in London as well as touring extensively across the UK and internationally. Their wide-spread nationwide learning and participation programme supports creative education for young people through performance and writing programmes. In addition, their programme of talks, events and workshops opens up theatre to people of all ages.
Mike Rungen, the National Theatre’s stage resources manager commented; “After looking at a number of systems, we decided the Kinesys LibraCELL was the product for us. Having had experience of working with Kinesys products on a variety of projects previ

UK - Triple E has announced the launch of a new division of the organisation, EEE Build, headquartered in Biggin Hill and appointed two new senior staff members.
The last few months have seen two significant appointments – namely Darren Green joining the growing team of project managers, and Rowan Coupe as installations manager as he heads up the newly created EEE Build division of Triple E.
Both Darren and Rowan join the company with solid industry experience, and both have a considerable knowledge of working alongside Triple E in their previous roles.
Darren has a background in theatre product design, engineering and project management working at notable companies including Theatre Projects, Harkness Screens, Hall Stage and Centre Stage Engineering. Darren has worked alongside the Triple E team on many projects in the past such as Fairfield Halls in Croydon

UK - Independent providers of specialist rigging services, Rigging Team, have been working with students at Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance, helping deliver a live event staged at the college.
Created as an opportunity to study working as part of a live production crew, the show allowed students to gain valuable experience, experimenting with a range of professional, industry equipment.
Rigging Team managing director, Adam Searle comments, “Rigging Team are proud to have donated equipment in support of the project at Rose Bruford. Along with the regular training and tuition we provide, we’re always keen to help deliver experiences such as this to students looking to become part of our industry.”
The company provided a number of their EXE-Rise Hoists with Out Board Electronics controllers, plus cabling to the event. The hoists were of parti

UK - Founders of the global #WeMakeEvents movement feature in the fourth episode of The Meister Series, Jägermeister’s project celebrating “the mavericks and innovators in the music and events industry.”
In April 2020, #WeMakeEvents was launched by PLASA in response to the impact of the pandemic on the live events ecosystem. What started as a single UK campaign soon grew into a global movement now spanning 40 countries. Since then, through fundraising, mental health support and campaigning, the organisation has worked tirelessly to keep the music industry alive and support those impacted by the crisis.
In this fourth episode, founders and board members of #WeMakeEvents - Nicky Greet and Peter Heath from PLASA, Koy Neminathan from Avolites and James Gordon from Audiotonix - join Jägermeister in a passiona

UK - Collaborative Creations (CC) has announced that its centrally located, London studio space is open and available to companies and individual members of the events and event technology industries. With restrictions now coming to an end, booking is no longer essential though for specific product viewings is advisable.
Less than a minute’s walk from London Waterloo the CC Studio is a multipurpose environment available for use by the events and event technology industries.
Newly refurbished, the CC Studio can welcome up to 60 people standing, up to 30 in a theatre-style configuration or 12 in a training room seating arrangement. Operational as a boardroom style meeting room, the studio can seat up to 14 and features an engaging 70-inch interactive touchscreen for presentations.
The space is equipment ready with Chamsys controlled Martin Professional lighting

UK - Following an extensive £3m refurbishment, the grade II listed Crewe Market Hall is set to reopen to the public this week (19 May). The space, which has been completely transformed as part of Cheshire East Council’s town centre regeneration programme, is set to be home to a variety of independent local businesses, will feature a new seating area with bespoke tables and chairs as well as a stage which will be used as part of the Market Hall’s exciting calendar of events.
When White Light (WL) was approached by East Cheshire Council to supply a temporary stage for the venue, it turned to Doughty Engineering to deliver the solution.
Paul McLean, project manager at WL, explains: “We were asked to supply the stage for live events that will take place in the Market Hall which could typically be configured as 6m x 6m but with the flexibility to be able to form a nu

UK - To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, Unusual Rigging has announced the creation of an on-site allotment at its Bugbrooke HQ. The initiative aims to promote mental wellbeing amongst the company’s staff who will be encouraged to take time out from the nine-to-five to tend to the plot.
The company has also recently undertaken an employee survey to gauge levels of satisfaction in the workplace and has launched the Unusual Hub - a new employee access only communication platform that has been developed by Unusual’s IT team and a source of shared information and news.
Unusual’s facilities and resource manager Lizzie Richmond explains: “As a company, it is vital we look after our staff and in an industry where the culture can involve long, unsociable hours and periods of time working away from home, we recognise that this can impact on people’s mental health.

USA - Broadweigh was the wireless load monitoring system of choice for California based Cassidyrig at a recent Miley Cyrus gig at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The performer was the musical guest at the NCAA’s Final Four basketball tournament on 3 April. In a Tribute to Frontline Heroes, Cyrus performed for an audience of first responders during the Capital One Tournament central show, airing on CBS between the first and second national semi-final games.
Dan Cassidy, MD of Cassidyrig explained: “We were delighted to be approached by Warner Broadcasting to handle the rigging for this fairly elaborate project. This halftime concert is one of the highlights of a season called March Madness so it’s a pretty big deal. As most people know, Miley Cyrus is anything but a conservative performer, so we realised that we’d be working on something fairly large sc

The Bahamas - Doughty Engineering has supplied a range of custom kit for the MSC Ocean Cay Lighthouse project in the Bahamas. When White Light was approached to supply kit, crew and project management for the lighting aspects of the project, Simon Needle, WL special projects director, realised that a bespoke solution would be required for mounting the moving lights to the handrail of the lighthouse.
He explained: “We were approached by John Coman of Woodroffe Bassett Design (WBD), who we have previously worked with on several projects (including Secret Cinema, Rolling stones’ EXHIBITIONISM, Dinosaurs in the Wild to work on the MSC Ocean Cay Lighthouse.
“Our remit was to supply kit (in particular the moving light), project management, crew and associated levels of support in respect of lighting the lighthouse, including ‘local’ console hire for programming wit

UK - Scheduled to open in Summer 2021, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella features a new score by Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Oscar-nominated David Zippel, with a script from Killing Eve’s Emerald Fennell, recently multi-Oscar nominated for Promising Young Woman.
But before Cinderella can go to the ball, the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London’s West End needs to be transformed to host the spectacular production. And, with Cinderella’s fairy godmother currently shielding due to COVID restrictions, Unusual Rigging was called upon to work its magic instead.
Jeremy Featherstone, design engineer, Unusual Rigging explained: “Unusual was brought on board by production manager Paul Hennessy to provide all the rigging for the new show. This involved modifying the flying system that’s already there, adding an additional 60 drop pulleys onto the grid in order to

USA - Registration is still open for the New World Rigging Symposium (NWRS), produced by ESTA and USITT, which takes place online 6-8 April. The cost is $99 and the symposium carries up to nine ETCP education renewal credits for re-certification.
The event brings together a wide group of industry experts for a series of panel discussions and live Q&As on video wall rigging, automation and motorisation, performer flying and rescue, and types of ropes.
In addition, a case study will look into how the installation of a tension grid is working in a major facility, a group of structural engineers will answer your questions, rigging pros from the world of motion pictures will talk about some of their toughest challenges, and mental health professionals and advocates will discuss how to be

Saudi Arabia - Noor Riyadh is a citywide annual festival of light and art that showcases individual artists and talent and promotes creativity. The event produced by Balich Worldwide Shows (BWS) brings together artists from all over the world.
Star in Motion by renowned lighting designer Koert Vermeulen, is a powerful focal point in the middle of the city of Riyadh - a shining star, suspended from the top of the famous Kingdom Tower more than 300m in the air. Balich Worldwide Shows has worked with Unusual Rigging on other events in the past, and as such they were the natural choice when it came to rigging this spectacular installation.
Steve Porter, director at Unusual, explains: “Having worked with BWS on several projects in the past, when they approached us to hang the centrepiece for the festival, it was a pleasure to collaborate with them again. We were approach

UK - With a plan for continued business growth across North America and Europe, Ultratec Special Effects has announced two additions to its sales team. Young-Hoo (Aaron) Dengra Ju has joined as the European sales lead for both special effects and pyrotechnics, while Kevin Allinder comes onboard as the newest sales representative serving the North American market, dedicated to special effects.
Dengra Ju is a seasoned event specialist with 15 years of experience in the industry, not only in sales and project management, but also from a strategic operations and process planning perspective. He has managed and executed an impressive list of events of all sizes within Europe and internationally, including Asia and the Middle East, spanning from major sporting events to local festivals. His ability to speak multiple languages fluently, including German, English, French, and Spani

UK - Rigging Team is celebrating its 10th anniversary in the delivery of specialist rigging and technical training services to the entertainment production industry.
Over the past decade, the company has enjoyed steady growth to become recognised a respected provider of rigging equipment and support services. Working across the full spectrum of entertainment production, including theatre, TV, film and live events, Rigging Team has built a reputation for creating “safe, bespoke solutions to projects which others may consider impossible”.
Commenting on the milestone, Rigging Team managing director Adam Searle comments: “We are immensely proud of our achievements over the last ten years. From humble beginnings, we have created a significant resource which supports productions of all size and genre, all around the world.”
Formed in December 2010 as Adam Sear

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