UK - ShowTex, a worldwide leader in inventing, manufacturing, selling, and installing flame retardant curtain fabrics, tracks, and motion control systems is the newest Behind the Scenes Pledge-a-Product Partner. ShowTex has pledged a percentage of the profits from sales of the GiantMirror to support the charity.

GiantMirror is an innovative product that provides an easy to use, excellent quality, and versatile alternative to glass mirrors. The oversized lightweight mirrors with virtually invisible joints offer near perfect clarity and reflection. Use transparent GiantMirror to create hologram special effects and make objects appear and disappear.

Raf Peeters, project manager at ShowTex stated, "ShowTex believes our industry exists by the grace of a lot of hard working and passionate entertainment technology professionals. Without them our business would not be the same, s

UK - The Animation degrees at Staffordshire University are regarded as some of the most prestigious courses in the UK - in fact it is the only UK university to offer a degree in Stop Motion Animation & Puppet Making.

With facilities that are second to none and with close industry ties including the famous puppet makers Mackinnon & Saunders and Aardman Animation, the Stop Motion Animation degree course is extremely popular with students wishing to pursue a career in stop motion animation.

But while the department boasts first class facilities and equipment which enable students to get real hands on experience, Manoubi Ben Lamri, the university's specialist technical instructor for animation, had one issue he wanted to solve - how to de-clutter the small studio spaces and enable the students to move more freely around their sets.

Following a chance meeting with Doughty Enginee

UK - The current Take That Live 2015 tour, promoting the band's seventh studio album, III, is the sixth major tour for which Brilliant Stages has constructed bespoke staging for the eternal boy band since the company first built a stage set for the band in 1994.

The main elements of Brilliant Stages' construction comprise a main stage with apron and artistic performer staircases, a multi-level band stage backed by a series of nine box lifts, an upper stage with an integral service lift, and a forestage with piano lift, all of which connect to a runway which loops out into the arena to a B-stage.

As usual, Take That are delivering a full-on production, this time with a high degree of theatricality and a large number of performers in support of the main artists. The consequence is a set which demands as much activity below stage as on-stage - a major feature which Brillia

UK - Star Events continues its campaign to make stage construction safer with the introduction of a tool-free handrail for the downstage edge of festival/event performance platforms.

Developed with an industry specialist and trialled during 2014, Star Events' handrail has had an immediate impact at sites this summer, clipping in and out of adapted sockets on performance stages, simply and quickly.

Rookie Manning, Health & Safety advisor to SJM Concerts at Summer in the City, Manchester, comments, "Star Events' system provides an excellent solution during build and strike phases of a production and I cannot see any reason why it shouldn't be used at all future events.

"The handrail can be erected or removed by two crew in a matter of minutes and having seen a number of people fall from stages over the last 16 years, I will have no hesitation in recommending it to cl

North America - UK instrumentation specialist Mantracourt Electronics has announced the appointment of Paradigm Rigging as technical partner for the supply of its BroadWeigh wireless load monitoring equipment to the Canadian and United States entertainment sector.

The BroadWeigh portable wireless system offers real-time, simple, effective and accurate load monitoring for rigging professionals, safety officials and site managers, enabling them to monitor and log the precise loads on any given rigging point.

Central to the design of the BroadWeigh system are wireless shackles equipped with a high accuracy load pin that reports data remotely to a computer or a handheld display. The system is able to monitor multiple load cells and can trigger an alarm should a load exceed a pre-set parameter.

"We are very pleased to be appointed as a distributor for the BroadWeigh equipmen

UK - The UK's entertainment technology industry is mourning the tragic loss of Dave Cartwright, who passed away in July after suffering a stroke in late June. He was just 46 years old.

Dave's employer, Stuart Gibbons of Le Mark, issued the following statement on behalf of the company:

"It is with the greatest of sadness that Le Mark announce the death of a respected colleague and friend. Not only within the company but also the UK entertainment industry. David Cartwright passed away on Sunday 12 July 2015 at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge. Dave suffered a severe stroke on the evening of Thursday 25 June, having spent a 'usual day' with friends and colleagues at the ABTT trade show. He had returned home that evening to his partner Kirsty Fisher, in St Ives, Cambridgeshire where he was taken ill. To say that Dave will be sorely missed by many would be an understatement.

UK - PLASA London has announced a number of exclusive and exciting additions to its 2015 seminar sessions, including two new audio panel sessions chaired by industry journalist Phil Ward, three sessions from audio production power house Britannia Row, a further session from the Institute of Professional Sound (IPS), three demo sessions from Adobe and a keynote presentation from Pixar Animation Studios.

PLASA London is delighted to have secured some of the most informative and interesting speakers it has ever had for this year's show. Particular highlights include Britannia Row's sessions, which take a close look at education and industry in this fast maturing sector and the keynote presentation from Pixar Director of Photography Danielle Feinberg and Adobe's Niels Stevens showing off the very latest developments in their Creative Cloud content creation tools and services.

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UK - Acorn has a well-established history of providing temporary structures to prestigious motor racing events and, in June 2015, the company serviced two major sporting events . . .

First, Formula E chose Acorn to supply a range of temporary infrastructure at the inaugural London E Prix, which took place in Battersea Park. The layout of the London park, and in particular the tree-lined avenues that made up the circuit, led the organiser to choose tiered viewing platforms instead of traditional grandstand seating. Acorn provided 50 viewing platforms, totaling over 4,000m2 and providing enhanced viewing positions for 12,000 spectators.

To allow spectators across the track and into the infield, Acorn supplied six pedestrian bridges at strategic points around the circuit. Utilising the Layher Bridging System, each bridge had a unique configuration, the largest of which spanned ov

South Africa - Nelspruit-based rental company, AVS Hire, are thankful for a newly purchased Ra'alloy Ramp, which has made loading so much less painful. The lightweight Ra'alloy aluminum touring ramp that requires no maintenance was purchased from DWR Distribution.

"To be honest I can't work without it," said Kyle Nel, owner of AVS Hire. "The flight cases are getting bigger and heavier, I guess that's just the aim of the game."

AVS Hire chose the foldable ramp for ease of storage and manageability. This is particularly useful when a crew member is alone at the office at irregular hours for load in or strike.

"My ramp serves a second purpose," explains Kyle. "When required, it can be used as a wheelchair ramp for 400 - 600mm high stages, albeit a bit steep on the higher stages. Guests in wheelchairs and their assistances love it because it's

UK - Blackout's sewing department manufactured a bespoke drape for Take That's 2015 tour, used as the projection surface for a magical shadow puppetry scene, April 2015 - October 2015.

Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald are making their way across Europe on a 51 date tour; their first as a three-piece band. Renowned for their impressive production - think Progress Tour's OM Robot - the 2015 tour is no different, with a myriad of standout moments to make the crowd go 'wow'.

One of these is the moment when the 'under-the-sea' scene is revealed to the audience, complete with psychedelic jellyfish.

Looking for a way to keep the scene change hidden from the audience, Take That's production team - led by Chris Vaughan - contacted Blackout. The company's in-house fabrications department manufactured two 38m wide by 17m drop white poly-lined drapes.

On a curved truss, the dr

UK - Driven by a global social media campaign, female riggers from around the world recently took part in an open discussion to design and brand a new range of Dirty Rigger gloves which would be created from the ground up for women.

"Asking 'What do women want?' was key to the success," said Dirty Rigger designer Jess Morris. "It had been apparent for a while that the colour pink was by many deemed as stereotypical or even sexist, especially in such a male dominated industry. Another common issue of the traditionally bright ladies rigger gloves was their indiscreet nature, often standing out when working backstage where the idea is, of course, to be as unseen as possible during a performance. These issues meant many women were resorting to wearing men's gloves, often too long and too wide in the finger even in smaller sizes. These areas were all something we neede

UK - A state of the art welding machine is set to help Doughty Engineering keep up with increasing customer demand for its Modular Rigging System. Since the launch of the product range at the end of 2014, welders on the shop floor have been pushed to capacity to ensure orders are manufactured and shipped to schedule.

Mark Chorley said, "Little did we know when we launched the Modular Rigging System last autumn, just how popular it was going to be. We thought orders may decrease as time went by but on the contrary our workers have never been busier as word spreads and lighting designers realise just how innovative these drop arms and h frames allow them to be."

The TIG welding lathe is used to TIG Weld 'round components' made from aluminium. At Doughty specifically, the machine welds all items within the Modular Rigging range as well as the company's boom arms. Elimin

UK - A UK hydraulics firm pulled off a stellar performance to arrange manufacture and delivery of a range of hydraulic cylinder components in a short space of time, for the opening night of a new performance at The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

MGR Fluid Power ensured that the RSC's performance of Othello went off without any last minute glitches after it sourced 14 custom-designed hydraulic cylinders for the main stage, in a matter of days before opening night. The company was called in at the last minute to ensure that the stage hydraulics were capable of moving the stage in the way that the performance dictated.

Far from being a simple task, the brief for MGR Fluid Power was to source and supply cylinder components to exact specifications, and to ensure the hydraulics operated smoothly. The rams for the cylinders were flanged with stainless rods, operating under v

UK - A dozen Straightpoint wireless load shackles have been installed by Rigging Services in the Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop, where scenic artists and craftspeople create the sets and scenery for the world-famous Royal Opera House in London. The Production Workshop is located at High House Production Park, a centre of excellence for the creative industries in Purfleet, Essex.

The Rigging Services-branded load shackles are 3.25t capacity and feature bespoke multiple wireless load cell controller (SW-MWLC) software. They are installed on 12 overhead cranes, which travel on gantries and I-beams that cover the entire floorspace.

The load shackle installation represents a landmark project for both Rigging Services and Straightpoint. The Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop is a state-of-the-art, purpose-built facility and home to scenic painters, carpenters a

UK - Mojo Barriers has continued to expand its work with independent festivals by securing a new contract win for this year's BoomTown Fair (13-16 August). BoomTown Fair has called upon Mojo Barriers to design and deliver its stage barriers for this year's festival, which takes place at Matterley Estate in Hampshire. Mojo has been contracted to supply 450m of stage barrier, 200m of bar barrier and 13 line-up gates across the whole festival site.

Set in its own fantasy festival town, Boomtown boasts nine different districts with winding streets and a host of bespoke entertainment venues, including a casino, hotel, hairdressers and roller disco. BoomTown Fair is now in its seventh year and this year will witness performances from Mungos Hi-fi, John Butler Trio, Dreadzone and a host of other artists across 22 main stages.

Kevin Thorborn, Mojo Barriers' UK manager commented: "

UK - Touring England and Scotland with over 40 performances, Le Mark's Harmony floor provided Blood Wedding with a stunning high gloss floor. Performance after performance, Harmony Gloss remained resilient and easily portable between venues.

A co-production of Dundee Rep, Graeae Theatre Company and Derby Theatre, the production toured at the beginning of the year. Renowned for the ability to lay flat almost instantly from the roll and just as easy to roll up for storage, Harmony Gloss made an ideal touring performance floor.

"We were very pleasantly surprised how well the floor stood up to the heavy use as we expected a high gloss floor like that to start showing signs of wear and tear much more," says Nils Den Hertog, head of production, Dundee Rep Theatre. "As it was, with regular cleaning, it lasted right through till the end of the run."

(Jim E

UK -Triple E reports that its design engineer, Alex Kusztelan, has successfully been awarded his Engineering PhD research degree. Alex is part of Triple E's team working alongside founder and managing director, David Edelstein.

"I joined Triple E at a very exciting time," says Alex. "Last year, the company celebrated three decades of innovation in design and things are far from slowing down. In fact we are working on a wealth of new products and upgrades to existing track and motor designs, as well as ModTruss, which is now ready for action in the UK. We're looking firmly to the future."

David Edelstein comments: "We're thrilled to have Alex on board. He brings an enormous amount of knowledge and passion for design to Triple E, which is already proving invaluable. Together with Alex, we look forward to bringing more of the innovative track and motor so

UK - Friends and colleagues of Dave Cartwright, who tragically passed away in July aged just 46, are organising a gathering in London this Friday to remember Dave and celebrate his life. The get together will take place this Friday, 21 August, in The White Hart, on Drury Lane, from 6pm. All those who knew Dave are welcome to attend.

Dave, a 20+ year veteran of the industry, passed away in July after suffering a massive stroke in late June. His employer, Stuart Gibbons of Le Mark, said: "To say that Dave will be sorely missed by many would be an understatement.

"His career in the entertainment industry had encompassed many skills and experiences from his early days with Stage Electrics through to his time at Lighting Technology, before joining Le Mark in 2010.

"Dave had enjoyed many successes during his career. To become a part of the London 2012 Olympics Openi

UK - This year's PLASA Rigging Conference will be held alongside the PLASA Show 2015 at ExCeL, London, in the North Hall Gallery Rooms on Monday 5 October. This perennially popular feature of the show comprises topical sessions led by leading industry figures and offers a unique opportunity for the rigging community to share industry knowledge and network.

Unusual Rigging is confirmed as the conference's Platinum sponsor for the third consecutive year, while Outback Rigging makes a welcome return as Gold sponsor.

"Rigging is an essential aspect of almost every event but, as productions increase in scale, size and complexity, so do the consequences of getting it wrong," says Alan Jacobi, managing director at Unusual Rigging. "Unusual Rigging wholeheartedly supports conferences such as this. It's imperative that we, as an industry, keep the debate fresh in order t

USA - Eight PLASA draft standards are in public review. The draft documents, review forms, and instructions for submitting comments may be downloaded from the Technical Standards Programme website at http://tsp.plasa.org/tsp/documents/public_review_docs.php. Anyone with a material interest is invited to submit comments through the end of the day 28 September 2015. Listed in order by working group, they are:

Control Protocols Working Group

BSR E1.31 - 20xx, Entertainment Technology - Lightweight streaming protocol for transport of DMX512 using ACN

This standard describes a mechanism to transfer DMX512-A packets over a TCP/IP network using a subset of the ACN protocol suite. It covers data format, data protocol, data addressing, and network management It also outlines a synchronization method to help ensure that multiple sinks can process this data concurrently w

UK - A new company specialising in the supply of construction (design and management) services for the event sector is reporting strong demand for their services following the changes to the CDM regulations that came into force on 6 April.

HFL:CDM was established in July 2015 as a direct response to customer demand for CDM consultancy for event and festival projects but has already been selected to provide these for major events sectors such as steam rally events and corporate parties.

HFL:CDM's director, Barry Hird, commented, "Following the changes to the CDM regulations in 2015, and the resultant increasing demand for CDM advice and services within the event sector, HFL-CDM was set up not only for general construction and process engineering clients but also for those organising medium and large scale events - a niche field requiring construction, engineering, H&S, exp

UK - J&C Joel is expanding its work with sports venues following the successful completion of a number of projects across the UK.

While the majority of J&C Joel's clients can be found in the world of entertainment - from West End productions to TV shows, right through to school productions - the company can also turn its hand to projects in community spaces such as sports halls and conference centres, installing drapes and tracks for varied uses.

Most recently J&C Joel's expertise has been applied to Serco Leisure's Lilleshall National Sports and Conferencing Centre (Lilleshall NSC) in Shropshire and Queens Sports Club in Halifax.

Lilleshall NSC is a residential training centre often used by the Great British Gymnastics team. The centre, which offers a range of sporting facilities for hire, is used by both professionals and the general public.

To enable the main sports hal

UK - Matthew Griffiths is to step down as PLASA CEO. A statement from PLASA reads: Over the past few months it has become clear to the boards and executive management of PLASA that a fundamental redesign of our business model and structures are necessary due to the increasingly difficult trading conditions currently being experienced. For the organisation to remain of service & benefit to the membership we represent, it is imperative that our expenditure can be funded by an affordable and sustainable income. To that end, the PLASA Governing Body has decided that there needs to be complete review of its businesses.

In light of the above and after 17 years as PLASA's chief executive officer, Matthew Griffiths has decided that now is the right time to step aside which would help kick start and facilitate a fresh set of ideas and approaches needed for the next chapter in PLASA's dev

Italy - The 58,000 capacity Stadio San Nicola in Bari recently played host to a much anticipated Vasco Rossi rock concert, organised by Live Nation Italy.

To ensure everything possible was done to guarantee the safety of the structure, Colin Luke,senior project manager at Oswestry-based Load Cell Rental, was asked to supply a way of monitoring the stage weights during the build.

Following conversations with the event organisers, Load Cell Rental supplied a 20 cell BroadWeigh system. Colin said, "Following a spate of high profile events where temporary stages have collapsed, it was vital to leave no stone unturned in order to ensure the concert made the headlines for only the right reasons. No respectable concert organiser can afford to ignore the loadings on temporary structures and the BroadWeigh system is the perfect tool for the job."

The BroadWeigh load monitor

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