USA - Custom safety netting specialist InCord recently made their annual donation to Behind the Scenes reflecting a percentage of profits from sales of its Theatrical Safety Netting Systems.
Joe Menhart, InCord’s theatre division sales manager, comments: “We are delighted to provide this support to BTS especially when so many more are in need due to the ongoing global pandemic. Our hearts go out to all those who benefit from the grants and resources provided by BTS.”
Rick Rudolph, the Chair of Behind the Scenes, says: “InCord’s obvious commitment to safety through their netting systems, is further demonstrated by their desire to provide a financial safety net for their colleagues who are ill or injured. We thank them for their ongoing commitment and, in particular, for honoring that commitment during this difficult time for so many in our industry.”

UK - Apparel and tech brand STNDBY has launched its flagship range of sustainable clothes and accessories, designed for crew and creatives.
STNDBY (www.STNDBYworld.com) was conceived by lighting and production designer Tom Campbell and host, producer and entrepreneur James Murden to offer clothing and accessories that are ‘as functional as they are fashionable’. With partnerships in place with companies such as Avolites and Dirty Rigger and offering customisation, gifting options and tour swag, STNDBY’s products are designed ‘to work and built to last’.
“We’ve spent almost two years researching the problems crew face finding work gear and developing these products to solve those problems,” said Campbell. "We’re so proud of the incredible feedback we’ve had throughout our testing phase and can’t wait to s

UK - In celebration of their upcoming new album For Those That Wish To Exist, Architects performed an exclusive livestream show at The Royal Albert Hall on 21 November.
PRG supplied all lighting, rigging, media server (D3) and LED for the live performance which was streamed globally via the streaming service Veeps.
Production designer Paul McAdams utilised the space, creating a high energy design to showcase the venue and ensure viewers watching the stream could experience that same live energy from behind their screens.
“The team at PRG were extremely professional and supportive as always, constantly coming up with creative and effective solutions to any issue that arose on this show,” explained McAdams. “It was great to call on all members of the team’s vast wealth of knowledge to help deliver the design as intended. The shoot went off without a

UK - IPS has announced the appointment of experienced staging specialist Phil Addyman as a project manager.
The company has added "some exciting new outdoor structures" and following extensive infrastructure investment in this area, Addyman will be helping to lead the deployment of Outdoor Roof Systems and Staging projects across the broad IPS customer base.
He has extensive experience, having spent many years working for Star Live (known previously as Star Events) and been involved with many different projects all over the UK and further afield. IPS has completed a range of Staging & Structure projects over the last few months, and IPS MD James Mason is excited to welcome the new recruit to the team, saying "the structures side of our business has helped keep everything running through what has been a very tricky 2020, and with our product range expandi

UK - Carallon Limited, an R&D company responsible for creating innovative control products, has announced it has become an employee owned business.
Carallon was founded in 2004 by seven colleagues who enjoyed working together creating new control products for the entertainment industry. All seven of those original founders still work for Carallon today, including Nick Archdale, Chris Hunt and Richard Mead who remain its board of directors.
Over 16 years, it has gone from strength to strength, growing substantially from seven to over 70 employees, and spawning spin-off companies Pharos Architectural Controls, Brompton Technology, and new start-up SixEye. Pharos and Brompton have both been regular winners of high-profile awards for their innovative products, with Brompton Technology recently winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2020: International Trade.

South Africa - MJ Event Gear has created an outdoor music concert environment at The Local Bar and Kitchen in Kyalami, no. 66 on the R55 Main Road, for those who want to enjoy good music in a space that strictly complies to the COVID-19 safety regulations. MJ has also set up a venue incorporating sound and lighting at the Bryanston Country Club.
The Local has JOC approval and has been given the green light by the SAPS and the fire marshal. The venue has various seating options available and includes paramedics on-site in case of an emergency, while all tables and chairs are sprayed and sanitized by Gary Love and the Viral Shield team. Patrons entering the venue will walk through a humidifier tunnel (not spray) and endure the usual hand sanitization and a temperature check, while face masks are sold on site.
Mike Jones, the owner of Johannesburg technical supply company

UAE - The long-awaited Ain Dubai will be a world first, when it begins spinning as the world’s tallest observation wheel, at more than 200m high. Unusual Rigging and Engineering LLC was brought on board to install each of the 48 capsules that will give passengers spectacular 360° views of Dubai's landmarks.
Hyundai Engineering and Construction awarded the contract for the engineering, procurement, construction and installation of the capsules to POMA who in turn called on the expertise and knowledge of Unusual Rigging & Engineering LLC to set up a winch system and install the capsules onto the wheel.
Unusual project manager Alex Taylor explained: "We began the project back in August with the installation of the first pod. Ahead of this however we spent time installing the lifting frames and winches and carrying out load tests. Working together with POMA, we devi

UK - Britannia Row Productions Training (BRPT) has been awarded £152,000 as part of the UK government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) announced by the Culture Secretary to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future.
Britannia Row Productions Training is one of 2,049 cultural and creative organisations across the country to have been awarded £409m of urgently needed support (up to 24 October 2020). The Culture Recovery Fund grants programme is being administered by the Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.
BRPT was founded in 2012 to provide holistic trainin

UK - Arts Council England has opened its £18m Developing your Creative Practice (DYCP) fund to a wider pool of creative practitioners in light of the COVID-19 effects on the workforce.
Able to apply for a grant this year will be DJs, performer/creators, arts and cultural educators, community practitioners/engagement specialists, movement directors, cultural conservators, creative enablers and creative technicians.
“We know that COVID-19 has had a significant impact for individuals, and many will need to develop themselves and their work to respond to the new environment,” says the Arts Council. “We want to support as many people as possible to reshape and redefine their work and continue to make a positive impact on creativity and culture.”
The grants, ranging from for £2,000 to £10,000, will be awarded for development activities from practitioners worki

Japan - Established in 1995, All Creation is a professional construction team that provides stage setup, LED assembly, lighting installation, TV, movie set assembly, and other event services.
The collaboration between All Creation and Prolyte dates back to 15 years ago. At that time, bolts were the mainstream for connecting truss flange surfaces, and work would not progress without an impact driver. “However, Prolyte truss is easy to be connected by a hammer, and I was surprised and interested in the overwhelmingly fast assembly speed without worrying about forgetting to tighten the bolts,” says Koichi Okajima, CEO of All Creation.
Back in the day, there was a concern about the lack of experienced engineers in Japan. Safety issues and personnel training were the most discussed topics in All Creation. More importantly, they are the present and future subjects to be

UK - A new, Generation 3 shackle from Broadweigh is set to be released this week. It will incorporate a Smart Sleep mode, which protects battery life and bandwidth by only kicking into fast transmission when it detects an anomaly.
Tom Lilly, applications engineer at Broadweigh says: "With the new Smart Sleep, you can optimise your battery life and still monitor the load. If the load is stable, there is often no reason to monitor at a fast rate. You only really need to know when something changes. Smart Sleep monitors at a slow rate and compares the current reading with the last. If the difference is greater than the level set, then it will switch into fast mode until the load stabilises again.
“However, if you want to monitor at the fast rate you can still wake the modules using LOG100 or a handheld. This allows you to monitor at the fast rate when you know that som

Europe - Registration is now open for Prolyte’s first free webinar. Taking placer next Wednesday 21 October (11:00 CEST), Eric Laanstra outlines the strengths of Prolyte trusses with the focus on multipurpose series.
Eric will also cover in his 60 minutes webinar topics about truss in all its aspects; from strength in connection methods, forces, design methods and interpretation of numbers.
Says Prolyte, “To achieve the number one customer satisfaction is always part of our philosophy. Save your seat and invite your friends and partners for the first Prolyte webinar. We will provide you the first-class education in the field of trussing and rigging.”

Europe - Prolyte has appointed Sound light and system (SLS), a sales partner for the company since 2014, as its new distributor in Portugal.
Established in 2014, SLS provides complete solutions for the professional audio and lighting market in Portugal.
“With the development of the market during these uncertain times, it is reassuring to have a strong trustable partner to further deliver high-end quality products and structural solutions that are in increasing demand in Portugal,” says Prolyte manager William Voskuil.
Rui Nunes, SLS CEO, comments: "We’ve worked with Prolyte for years now and we firmly believe that Prolyte is in fact the best truss solution for the Portuguese market. Being a well-recognised and known brand, Prolyte is ahead of its game in the market, as it is not only used and trusted by everyone but also recognized for its potential to lea

UK - British manufacturer Le Mark has focused its resources on developing products that can help studios and cultural institutions adhere to social distancing guidelines through the use of clear protective screens.
The company released in the summer a vinyl screen that is suitable for enclosed spaces and provides protection against sneeze and cough droplets. Known now as the GIG-Screen, it has found use in rehearsal spaces and with the reopening of universities, demand for the product has only increased.
Stuart Gibbons, MD of Le Mark, explains: “Like many others, we had to turn our hands to the development of many new and unexpected products, to both sustain and keep employed as many of our ‘stitchers and sewing’ team as we could. We started to produce a simple self-assembly use and demount clear screen, now known as the GIG-Screen. From a small amount leaving Le

South Africa - Rokunda Netshiluvhi of DirectorRo has managed to ride the COVID-19 wave and come out tops, using this time to learn, establish himself as a lighting designer and set up a virtual platform at Vision View Productions based in Cosmo Business Park, Johannesburg.
Rokunda resigned from full-time employment at rental company Murangi Productions and started his own company as a freelancer in November 2019. “I decided to register myself as a business so that I could be accountable in everything I do,” he explains. “If freelancers pay attention, they can do what I’m doing. It starts off by thinking of yourself as a business instead of living hand-to-mouth.
“Many freelancers rely on receiving a phone call and being booked for an event. They think that to get work, someone has to call, instead of thinking let me try and make something myself, let me pitch

World - In a collective show of solidarity, live events professionals from all corners of the world held peaceful demonstrations to once again raise awareness of the dire effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector and its workforce.
The #WeMakeEvents #StandAsOne Global Day of Action held yesterday, 30 September, was the single largest coordinated global event to take place since the campaign launched in the summer.
Just as with the regional events that preceded it, the demo saw thousands of cultural buildings being lit up in red, whilst the #WeMakeEvents and #LightItInRed hashtags trended on social media.
Campaigners have continued to push for state support for an industry that’s been unable to resume sustainably due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings. After more than six months of uncertainty, the future of a once-thriving sector and its workforce has

World - The #WeMakeEvents campaign has been ramping up activity in order to highlight how the global live events industry urgently needs to get back to work. Over 30 million people in 25 countries would usually work in the events industry, but with social distancing measures in place, there is no possibility of a financially viable return for the foreseeable future.
Over the past weeks, events have happened around the world - including in the US, Canada, Sweden, France, Germany, Spain and the UK - to raise awareness of those impacted in the event supply chain, from manufacturers, production companies, catering, transport, security and others, to the huge freelance community that works within the industry.
The majority of the industry has had no income since the beginning of the crisis in March, and with a global second wave of COVID-19 imminent, a date to return to w

UK - PLASA's National Rigging Certificate assessments have resumed following a postponement caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Assessments have already been delivered successfully earlier this month at Unusual Rigging's HQ in Bugbrooke with stringent COVID measures in place. These measures are under constant review and will reflect the current government guidelines moving forward.
Robin Elias, NRC Centre manager at Unusual Rigging, comments: "We are pleased to be able to resume our NRC assessments once again and to report back that those which have run to date have been extremely successful with feedback from candidates extremely positive."
He adds: "Our main priority right now is to reschedule dates for all those who had their assessments postponed due to the pandemic and to ensure they get the opportunity to complete their assessments. However, we know that the NRC cer


UK - PLASA, the lead association for the events and entertainment technology industry, has announced PLASA Online 2020, a programme of free online content running from 12 to 16 October. Designed to provide industry professionals with the knowledge and confidence needed to navigate the COVID-crisis and prepare for what’s next in live events and entertainment, the week-long online event will consist of a curated selection of keynote talks, panel discussions, product presentations and technical sessions. Thought-leaders and business experts will address the most pertinent issues such as the COVID crisis, Brexit, technological innovations, and safety regulations.
Additionally, leading brands from audio, lighting and AV will present their latest products and solutions, including: Adam Hall, DiGiCo, ETC, Highlite, Signify, Sound Technology and Vectorworks. “These sessio

UK - Unusual Rigging's work as designers and installers at English National Ballet's new HQ on London's City Island has been recognised as the building, delivered by Glenn Howells Architects has won the prestigious AJ100 Building of the Year award 2020.
The building was chosen ahead of eight other finalists and recognises the finest building completed by an AJ100-listed practice in the last 12 months. In choosing the ENB, the judges said three key aspects made the £36m project stand out from the impressive shortlist with one judge commenting on the range of functions accommodated by the building, which Glenn Howells has managed to pack on to relatively tight site 'with an almost Rubik's Cube-like stack of dance spaces slotted within'.
These include a suite of rehearsal studios and a full sized theatre space with stage and fly tower to accommodate full dress rehearsals

UK - The #WeMakeEvents campaign aims to raise awareness around the current plight of the live entertainments sector and its urgent need for financial support if it is to support the COVID-19 crisis.
Last month, it was announced that it would be steered by a collective of industry trade bodies, businesses and freelancers; all working in collaboration with each other. Over the past few weeks, the team has continued to build momentum around the campaign, working endlessly to rally the government for much needed support.
Following last month’s Day of Action which saw buildings across the UK lit up in red as a show of support, the #WeMakeEvents team has been busy capitalising on the extensive media coverage and attention this received. One of those involved is White Light’s managing director Bryan Raven, who comments: “The Day of Action was vitally important for our

UK - Unusual Rigging has shared the sad news that electrical and design engineer Paul Taylor - known affectionately as PT - lost his battle with cancer on 17th August 2020. He was 64.
A statement from Robin Elias on the company’s blog reads: “PT started his ‘Unusual years’ in March 1988. He joined the company because he felt that as he was now a family man, he should have a quiet 9-5 job! It did not quite turn out like that. He soon became one of the foundation stones of the company. PT was a pioneer in the field of automation and quickly established his position as our Electrics & Automation Guru.”
Elias continues: “He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of Theatre and Automation and was happy to pass on his knowledge and expertise. In an atmosphere of impossible deadlines and challenging problems, none of us can remember PT ever raising his voice. He reta

UK - Initially launched by PLASA in response to calls from its membership, the #WeMakeEvents campaign aims to raise awareness around the current plight of the live events sector and how it urgently needs financial support in order to survive the COVID-19 crisis. The initial response resulted in a collective Day of Action on 11 August, with creative expressions across the country, including over 700 buildings lit up in red and other activities that culminated with 4,000 socially distanced event professionals lining bridges and the bankside of the Thames, expressing their need for support with the red alert theme. (Read extensive coverage of the Red Alert day of action in LSi September – out now!)
‎‎In order to r

UK - Taking place on a purpose-built site on the beach next to Brighton’s Palace Pier, The Warren Outdoor Season opened earlier this month, offering a range of live comedy, theatre, cabaret and family shows. Having supported the Brighton Fringe at The Warren for over five years, White Light was called upon to supply the lighting, rigging and power equipment for this new season, which is one of the first to open following the outbreak of COVID-19.
The Warren is a pop-up, multi-purpose site which consists of four venue spaces and four bar areas. Annually, it hosts Brighton Fringe festival events. As with so many other live performances, the outbreak of COVID-19 saw the cancellation of this year’s festival. As such, Otherplace Productions, the team who run The Warren, decided to look for an alternative, safe way to put on live entertainment.
Joshua Carr, technical d

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