UK - When London’s Adelphi Theatre re-opens later this year, it will do so with a new flying system. The refurbishment – stage one of three has involved a complete replacement of the fly tower hemp sets and a new front loading 42 set double purchase counterweight system.
With all theatres across the country having spent the last 12 months in the dark, LW Theatres and Nederlander who jointly own the Adelphi, has taken the unprecedented circumstances as an opportunity to carry out a programme of work across several of its venues. And with no shows or audiences, this has allowed for refurbishment to take place uninterrupted so that once theatres can open their doors, they can do so freely and start recouping lost revenue immediately.
Martin Skelton, technical and building services manager at The Adelphi said: “Phase one has seen the Unusual team come in to initially

Ireland - MTN Shop, an E-commerce platform offering workwear, safety products, and rigging & lifting equipment is following in the steps of some of the world’s largest companies by accepting cryptocurrency as an online payment method. Through Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange, customers will now be able to purchase products from MTN Shop with the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.
Speaking on the company’s decision to accept payment via cryptocurrency, Ron Rose, MD, stated, “Creating a crypto friendly shopping experience is just another step forward in catering to the unique needs of our global customer base. At MTN, we pride ourselves on being a first mover and are keen to support the continual progress of the industries we serve as we help bring them into the digital age.
“MTN understands that cryptocurrency is still a relatively unknown method

UK - Bill Harkin, designer of Glastonbury Festival’s iconic Pyramid Stage, passed away on Sunday 7th March. He was 83. 
Harkin grew up in Liverpool, attending secondary school in Sefton Park before embarking on painting and 3D construction studies, “with the occasional lunch time Beatles gig for 1 shilling at the Cavern.” Soon, Harkin was showing his work at The Liverpool Academy’s shows at the Walker Art Gallery as well as in art and architecture exhibitions for Liverpool University and The John Moores Painting Prize. “Then, somewhat briefly, I started a course in architecture,” he revealed in memoirs on the Pyramid Stage Glastonbury Festival website. “The tedium of course work was more than I could take, I was much more excited by the theatre and the new fabric structures of Frei Ott

Europe - Chroma-Q has launched the Hang Force, a new accessory designed for use with the Color Force II and Studio Force II (48” and 72” models).
Restrictions with where you can hang the fixture on the truss due to the crossbar-section is now a thing of the past, thanks to the Hang Force bracket which allows fixtures to be hung from trusses where the position of clamps might not align with the original fixture clamp position, says the company. A series of slots allow the clamps to be re-positioned to fit anywhere on the truss pipe.
For added flexibility and speedy mounting, the Hang Force uses rapid ¼ turn locks so it can quickly be installed and removed from the fixture. A centred carrying handle also means it can be moved easily.
The bracket also enables all the fixture sizes in the range (12”, 48” and 72”) to hang equally side-by-side when rigged on

UK - Unusual Rigging has welcomed the outcome of yesterday’s Budget and what it means for theatres and other arts venues. The chancellor’s pledge to give an extra £410m to the arts is intended to help the sector recover as lockdown eases.
The funds are earmarked for theatres, museums, galleries and live music venues. But, says Tom Harper, managing director at Unusual, for the funds to be used most effectively, the industry should be regarded as an ecosystem, echoing the National Theatre’s Rufus Norris’ idea that the funds should be pumped into productions and not venues.
“The Chancellor has acknowledged that the culture sector will be a ‘significant driver’ in the UK’s pandemic recovery. While theatres are aiming to open from 17 May with social distancing in place, and with full capacity performances to be allowed from 21 June, there are still months a

UK - SensorSpace is a new cloud-based platform designed to ‘revolutionise’ the way riggers can access and manage data from Broadweigh's wireless sensors. Launched this month, SensorSpace can be used to remotely monitor the status of any Broadweigh sensor - load or wind speed -and help site managers and rigging managers make decisions or take action before, and during a show.
Elliot Van Laere, product specialist at Broadweigh, explains: “SensorSpace is a game-changer. It not only provides a way to visualise load cell or wind speed data in the cloud, so anyone with access can log in on a desktop or mobile device, but can easily be set up to automatically send SMS, email or app-based alerts in the event of unexpected change. A whole team can stay connected to a dashboard keeping them on the ball and informed wherever they are located.”
SensorSpace is fully custom

South Africa - DWR Distribution will present Basic Rigging Training in Cape Town, a two-day workshop presented by Robert Izzett which covers basic rigging hardware and calculations according to SANS 10366. The course, limited to 20 delegates, will be held at the on 15 & 16 March 2021 at the Cape Audio College in Observatory.
With a focus on safety, delegates can look forward to gaining a better understanding of the rigging laws applied in South Africa, and on a practical level, the handling and use of rigging hardware, shackles, steel wire ropes, trussing, endless rounds and chains.
“The main emphasis of the course is for technicians to familiarise themselves with the technicalities of hardware,” said Robert Izzett. “Not every shackle is a shackle and not knowing the difference can have serious consequences. There is also a misconception that there ar

USA - Registration is now open for the New World Rigging Symposium (NWRS), produced by ESTA and USITT, which will take place online 6-8 April, 2021. The NWRS provides a virtual opportunity for riggers and those interested in the entertainment rigging industry to network, discuss current issues and new technologies, and help shape the future of the industry. The cost has been reduced to $99 and the symposium carries up to nine ETCP education renewal credits for re-certification.
Participants will be given a range of opportunities to further their technical knowledge in sessions on video wall rigging, automation and motorization, performer flying and rescue, and types of ropes. They’ll have a chance to learn about how the installation of a tension grid is working in a major facility, to get their questions answered by a panel of the industry’s most knowledgeable structural

USA - Roy Bickel will receive the ESTA Lifetime Technical Achievement Award on 6 April, 2021, at the virtual New World Rigging Symposium.
The ESTA Board of Directors and Technical Standards Council created this award in 2017 to recognise individuals whose technical contributions have had a significant impact on our industry. The criteria include significant and sustained technical contributions for at least 25 years. The 2021 award will be presented by Rocky Paulson and Chris Schmidt, who have made the following statements about this year’s winner:
Rocky Paulson writes of Roy’s storied career, “Roy was a circus rigger and performer prior to being hired as the head rigger for the first Disney on Parade show in 1969. He continued until 1974 when he left for Broadway to work for Pete Feller. After a time there, he went on to do the Rolling Stones tour in 197

UK - PLASA, the association for the live entertainment technology industry, and the ABTT (Association of British Theatre Technicians) are pleased to announce a collaboration that will bring the 2021 editions of both the PLASA Show and the ABTT Theatre Show under one roof from 5-7 September at Olympia London.
For 2021 only, this partnership between the two established associations aims to reduce pressure on the exhibition calendar as the industry’s eco-system recovers from the impacts of the pandemic and will bring the broad sector together for one landmark event.
As previously planned for 2020, PLASA Show 2021 - for this year with the ABTT Theatre Show - will debut at Olympia’s largest hall, the Grand. The ABTT Theatre Show will run in its own defined space, retaining its unique identity, and celebrating the ABTT’s 60th anniversary. The spacious Grand hall will

UK - PLASA, the lead association for the entertainment technology industry, is running a free webinar on Wednesday 24 February to help attendees better understand the basics of the new UKCA marking which is now required for certain products being placed on the market in Great Britain.
Following on from a series of webinars covering business, trade and HR, this session will explore terms and definitions that relate to the new UKCA and CE UKNI markings. PLASA will be joined by expert host Rob Hine, head of commercial partnerships at BSI (an approved body for UKCA), who will break down what these terms mean in the context of UKCA and what this means for those placing products on the market. Rob will also take the time to answer any questions.
This webinar will prove essential for both UK and international businesses who sell products in the UK. Following the session, att

UK - To mark the centenary of Stephen Joseph’s birth and the 60th anniversary of the founding of ABTT, the ABTT Stephen Joseph Committee has announced an award to commemorate the life and work of the influential theatre practitioner and pioneer of theatre in-the-round.
A statement from the ABTT says: “Stephen Joseph was one of the most influential theatre practitioners of the last century. He was one of the founders of the ABTT and the Society of Theatre Consultants, now the Institute of Theatre Consultants. He promoted new writing, architectural standards and technical excellence, and was an inspiring university teacher. His pioneering work has given rise to the use of myriad forms of theatre and open staging in current practice. At the heart of his philosophy was the close and fundamental relationship between performer and audience. Above all, he established theatre-i

USA - The Entertainment Services and Technology Association's (ESTA's) Technical Standards Programme (TSP) has announced the 2020 recipients of the annual Above & Beyond Awards.
The TSP exists because hundreds of individuals from across the industry volunteer their expertise and significant amounts of time to write and improve standards that increase safety, provide interoperability between different manufacturers, solve problems, and make life easier. The awards are a chance for volunteers to celebrate those of their peers whom they feel have made a significant contribution to the advancement of the programme.
The 2020 Above & Beyond Awards were presented to:
Ethan Gilson, Entertainment Rigging Services, LLC (Rigging Working Group). Ethan was praised for his expert knowledge of rigging and his unique approach to both analysing rigging challenges and com

UK - MTN Shop EMEA, an E-commerce platform offering workwear, safety products, and rigging & lifting equipment, has proved popular across Europe since entering the international market in 2017. Building on this success, MTN has recently launched its exclusive UK website, shopmtn.co.uk, to provide their UK customers with a Brexit-proof shopping experience.
UK visitors will now experience seamless navigation across multiple collections, with over 5,000 products from over 20 industry-leading brands available from a one stop shop for businesses and consumers alike, says the company.
“Over the past five years in the EMEA market, MTN Shop has adapted based on our customers’ needs. Launching a UK based site with a Brexit friendly purchasing process for our UK friends and colleagues is an e

China - The team at French seating manufacturer Quinette Gallay was a contributor to a major project in China recently – the Shangyin Opera House in Shanghai.
The Opera House is part of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music – an institution which has been at the forefront of musical education in China since 1927. It has strong links to musicians and musical institutions worldwide.
In 2019, the Conservatory began work fitting out the new opera house, intended as an unmatched resource for both students and teachers. The venue would provide a place to practise and perform opera which would match the quality of a world-class opera house, with the very best interior, equipment and acoustics.
Embracing the concept of an opera house as a musical instrument, architect Christian de Portzamparc worked together with acoustician Albert Xu on this stunning space. The desig

UK - Artists including Sir Elton John and Radiohead are putting pressure on the government to resolve the problems around post-Brexit EU touring. UK artists will face red tape and fees for visas to play in some EU countries.
Sir Elton John told The Guardian: "Either the Brexit negotiators didn't care about musicians, or didn't think about them, or weren't prepared."
But Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage said the government had "pushed" for a solution and the door was still "open". She told MPs on Monday that the government had put forward a "very straightforward" plan to allow musicians to travel without work permits, drafted "in consultation with experts from the UK to creative sectors". She added: "Quite simply the EU rejected this proposal."
Brussels has previously argued the opposite, saying it was in fact the UK that turned down its offer.
Mean

UK - Mad Dogs Television is a facilities house supplying camera equipment and crew for TV productions. When it was asked by its client Round World Studios to build a new kitchen studio for their regular cookery shows, Martin Huntley,founder of Mad Dogs TV turned to Doughty Engineering to supply some of the key equipment.
Martin explained: “Round World Studios regularly hires kitchen studios in London but had the desire to have their own studio. Through a pre-existing relationship, the company linked up with the Carbis Bay Hotel and Estate near St Ives in Cornwall, which has just been announced as the location for this year’s G7 Summit, to create a permanent television production space available for hire by television producers and other content creators.”
The studio, which is located in a shop front on the beach promenade, has been built as a box within a box con

USA - The Behind the Scenes (BTS) Mental Health Initiative wants language about mental health and respectful workplaces “to become a part of every toolbox talk or safety briefing because psychological safety is as important as physical safety.”
BTS says: “It’s not always an easy subject to talk about, so to make it easier for those delivering these talks we are suggesting topics and providing sample language that can be used as is or tailored to fit individual needs.
“It is important to acknowledge the mental and physical stressors and challenges faced by all of us in the entertainment industry and offer your team tools to help them better manage and respond to these challenges. We know that the last months in particular have been very stressful and returning to work is bringing a new set of concerns for everyone. Many people are struggling with anxiety, gri

Germany - Prolight+Sound, along with a number of other trade fairs planned for April and May in Frankfurt this spring, has been postponed until April 2022.
A statement from the organisers says: “Back in September 2020, a decision was reached by Messe Frankfurt and the industries involved to forgo any physical events at our home base in the first quarter of 2021. Now, following close consultation with customers, it has become necessary to postpone the international physical trade fairs planned for April and May – Prolight+Sound, the International Consumer Goods Show, Heimtextil, Techtextil and Texprocess – as a result of the regulations and travel restrictions that have been imposed.
“There is currently no end to the pandemic in sight. Events are effectively banned in Germany, and ongoing international travel restrictions mean that it is impossible to make any t

UK - PLASA is hosting two free webinars this week on how to apply for the second round of grants from the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF).
Taking place on Wednesday 13 January from 10am-12pm and Friday 15 January from 2pm-4pm, these webinars will be hosted by Caroline Taylor, an independent expert with a proven track record in successfully applying for £15m in Arts Council England funding, including the first round of the CRF and the ACE Emergency Fund.
During each webinar you will explore the main application questions in detail which will help you submit a strong application. You will also learn about Grantium, the new Arts Council application portal which you are encouraged to register for prior to the webinar. Additionally, each webinar will have a dedicated Q&A section to answer any specific questions you may have regarding the application process. Following the

UK - Stuart Gibbons, managing director at Le Mark Group Ltd, was awarded with an OBE for services to International Trade in the Queens New Year’s Honours List 2021.
Since Le Mark’s founding in 1982, Gibbons has always had a passion for exporting and expanding the company into international markets. The company has a reputation within the arts and entertainment industry for product excellence and award-winning British design and innovation. Now, in the additional role of a Department for International Trade Export Champion, Gibbons continues to encourage and advise British regional companies to embark on the path of exporting.
Gibbons’ voluntary career has encompassed the position of vice-chairman of the Global Trade Network; founding chairman of the Huntingdonshire Manufacturing Association and the GCGP Business Advisory Panel; and he is currently chairman of the

Greece - Prolyte has confirmed PA Solutions as an authorised dealer in Greece. PA Solutions is led by Kostas Tsaganos and Yiannis Benetas, who both carry more than 25 years of experience in the entertainment industry.
“We are thrilled to have PA Solutions join Prolyte’s family. We look forward to working side by side with Kostas, John and his team in Athens, and to seeing more Prolyte exposure in the South East region of Europe,” says Prolyte sales director William Voskuil.
PA Solutions CEO Kostas adds, “I was one of the first technical experts to install Prolyte products in Greece in the early 2000s. And now almost 20 years later, I’ve made my way to work side by side with Prolyte.
“I have great respect for Prolyte products. Adding Prolyte to our Portfolio, I know that I have the best trussing system and I feel very confident about providing the b

UK - PLASA is hosting two sessions on Brexit during December to help PLASA members prepare for the new trading rules which will come into play from Friday 1 January 2021.
The first session on Friday 11 December at 2pm is a 30-minute introductory Q&A which will allow members to ask questions on the new rules and how they should prepare. This session is free, but numbers are limited to 20 to allow everyone to ask their questions. Pre-registration is required via the link below.
The next session will take place on Thursday 17 December and will run from 2pm to 4:30pm, allowing for a detailed look at exporting and importing post-Brexit. This workshop will help you prepare for the new rules of moving goods between the UK and Europe and will consider the process and cost obligations of navigating through new borders and the implications of procedures for both seller and

UK - Technical entertainment charity Backup has announced Round 2 of applications for its Hardship Fund is now open.
The fund was launched in October with the aim to provide limited financial assistance to production crew and those working in the technical supply chain across the UK entertainment sector. Set up just ahead of the then-concluding Self-Employment Income Support and Job Retention schemes, it originally targeted those in the community who had been unable to receive any state or charitable assistance.
But Round 2 will be open to workers who have been awarded up to £5,000 in funding between 1 April and 30 November.
“The application uptake for Round 1 of the Hardship Fund reaffirmed to us how dire it is financially and that this help could not come soon enough for many or our colleagues,” comments Backup chairman John Simpson. “It has been heart

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