USA - BSR E1.57, Recommendations to prevent falls on or off movable parade floats, movable stages, and similar moving platforms, has been published for public review at http://tsp.plasa.org/tsp/documents/public_review_docs.php.

It offers recommendations for steps to be taken to prevent falls by anyone (e.g., performers, technicians, politicians) on parade floats, movable stages, and similar moving platforms. Fall protection is needed, but this protection needs to be provided in a way that preserves the artistic intent of the moving float or platform. This document is being written to provide guidance on how to accomplish these two aims.

The draft standard is available now through 1 February 2016. On 2 February the review is over, and the links to the draft standard will disappear from the website.

(Jim Evans)

USA - Automated Processes, Inc. (API) has announced the appointment of industry veteran Davwinder Sheena as the new regional director of sales, APAC. Sheena joins API with a wealth of experience including studio management and technical operations, as well as directing sales for several top professional audio manufacturers.

"API is committed to growing our presence throughout the Asia Pacific region. With large format consoles in Japan's largest scoring stages, along with our popular 1608 consoles in use from Jakarta to Seoul and on to Mumbai, Davwinder's experience will give us a bold head start in strengthening our distribution network and establishing new relationships throughout the region," says Dan Zimbelman, API's director of sales.

Sheena explains, "I've made a full circle in my career, from running world-class recording studios to working with some of

UK - Stage Technologies has provided the automation for London's newest hit musical Elf. The cleverly engineered stage show and heart - warming winter tale, is currently sprinkling a huge helping of festive cheer over the West End and features extensive automation throughout.

Stage Technologies has supplied winches for four automated floor tracks which are used throughout the show to track on and off, a huge variety of trucks, furniture and props for every scene in the show.

The production also incorporates the 200m2 steel show deck and track system designed and built by Delstar Engineering for the initial run in 2014-2015. For the show's run at the Dominion Theatre, Stage Technologies were tasked with creating a much more complex series of automation effects than had been used previously at the Theatre Royal Plymouth & Bord Gais Theatre in Dublin.

Ted Moore the director

UAE - The Spendlove Group has announced the launch of Force Logistics, a UAE based company specialising in event logistics and freight forwarding.

The business will offer a complete suite of flexible freight forwarding services including airfreight, sea freight, land transport, removals and project cargo for fairs and events. The newly launched company has already secured contracts with theme parks, set construction companies and global brands.

The new business will be spearheaded by Anthony Miles, who brings more than 17 years' of event logistical experience to his role as managing director of the start-up. He has lead onsite logistic management services for international fairs and events worldwide including the 2012 London Olympic Games, Arabian Travel Market, CEBIT and Paperworld.

Commenting on the launch, Ian Spendlove, chief executive and founder of the Spendlove Gro

UK - The new Trailblazer Live Event Rigger apprenticeship made a leap towards a 2016 summer launch following Assessment Plan approval by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

After the government approval of 59 group standards for Trailblazer apprenticeships earlier this year, the 'Live Event Rigger' working group lead the way in further developing the initiative to help more youngsters embark on careers in the live events industry. Employers who have supported the standard of the Live Event Rigger have been designing the apprenticeship over the past year.

The National Rigging Advisory Group's (NRAG) working subgroup, comprised of key industry representatives including PLASA and Blackout, helped design the assessment process to meet relevant business needs in terms of knowledge, skills and behaviours. NRAG agreed the range of assessment methods, grading a

USA - Known simply as Pod # 2, the second phase of the Rock Lititz campus development in Lititz,PA, is a multi-tenant facility designed to attract businesses that serve the live entertainment industry. The 250,000sq.ft building will be located on 10.08 acres of the 96-acre campus. Construction of Pod # 2 at Rock Lititz is underway and aiming for a December 2016 completion.

As of groundbreaking, the facility is at 75% occupancy with nine companies committed as tenants, two of which are relocating their headquarters to Lititz.

"Joining the Rock Lititz Campus is a natural move for us. Atomic has enjoyed a 20-year relationship with industry giants Clair Global and TAIT in our hometown of Lititz. Now we'll have the opportunity to collaborate in more ways, while starting new relationships with entertainment companies moving into the area." said Daniel McPhillips, Preside

UK - Doughty Engineering is set to celebrate its first truly green Christmas this year, following the installation of 200sq.m of solar panels on the roof of its Ringwood headquarters.

Installation of the panels, which are estimated to produce 4000kW hours of energy a month, began earlier this year with an initial 98.5sq.m of panelling. Work has recently been completed to install the final 100sq.m.

Julian Chiverton, sales director at Doughty explained: "It's vital that manufacturers like us are doing everything within our power to become more eco-aware and eco-friendly. With initiatives like SiPA being set up to help businesses achieve their environmental goals and with support from the government, companies are running out of excuses for not doing their bit."

The move is an economical one as well as environmental - production at Doughty's factory is thriving and

UK - The first pilot assessment of the new National Event Lifting Certificate has taken place at Unusual Rigging's headquarters in Bugbrooke, Northampton.

The certification has been designed by the The National Rigging Advisory Group (NRAG), with contributions from NRAG members including Harry Box from UK Rigging, Mark Armstrong from RTM Rigging, Paul Riddiford, PLASA's NRC manager and Unusual Rigging's Robin Elias. It is being offered to those working in the entertainment industry - in lighting, sound, video and scenery - who are often called upon to undertake rigging work, and to carry out lifting operations, without possessing the relevant qualification.

Robin explained, "The one-day assessment consists of; practical exercises in marking out, a practical assessment of a rigging related task leading up to and including carrying out a lifting operation, an hour long ex

USA - Motion control systems manufacturer Kinesys is opening the doors and welcoming guests to its dedicated training facility in Atlanta, Georgia, in an event that will run from 25-28 January 2016, offering both product awareness and free operator training for those who want to know more about automated rigging for the entertainment industry.

This event has been designed to cover the operation and implementation of Kinesys equipment and will showcase a broad range of products that will appeal to individuals and companies involved in the increasingly popular discipline of automation / motion control.

The invitation is open to lighting and show designers, automation operators, rental suppliers and rigging service providers - anyone with an interest in this dynamic element of modern show production.

The training workshop will provide structured learning in the theory, progr

UK - James Kempf has joined Brilliant Stages as head of systems design. Kempf joins the UK staging company, now based at Production Park Wakefield after three years as the Director of Design for Tait Rigging Group creating world tours for clients including U2, Taylor Swift, Rolling Stones, Beyonce, Katy Perry, and Cirque du Soleil.

Prior to Tait, Kempf spent fifteen years as the Director of Design and Senior Engineer for PRG Scenic Technologies, developing hundreds of corporate and Broadway projects including Lion King, Wicked, Spiderman, and Book of Mormon. Kempf spent six years as an IATSE stagehand and studio mechanic working in feature films including Silence of the Lambs and Shawshank Redemption. Kempf has been awarded 20 US patents, built two Olympics, and also ran away with the circus. He holds degrees in Scenic Design and Entertainment Engineering from Carnegie Mellon a

USA - ETCP has announced an extremely high renewal rate for its original certificants. A decade ago, over 200 riggers from North America gained their ETCP certifications at LDI in Orlando, FL. Last November, 90% of the inaugural class of 2005 decided to renew their certifications as the term of their second five-year renewal was due to expire. The majority of those who chose not to renew their certifications have retired from the industry.

"I am very happy to see that, after 10 years, over 90% of the original certified technicians have chosen to renew again. This shows a huge commitment to the industry, and confidence in the programme." said Tim Hansen, ETCP council chair.

ETCP currently has a total of 2,141 certified technicians, with 29 people who hold all three certifications: Rigger - Arena, Rigger - Theatre and Entertainment Electrician

ETCP would like to c

UK - When the European premiere of the hugely anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens came to London, Utopium were on hand to illuminate the red carpet royalty and Nelson's Column.

Thousands of dedicated fans flocked to London to celebrate the latest instalment in the Star Wars franchise, where Stormtroopers and Jedi knights joined the cast and celebrities for the biggest premiere of the year.

Utopium illuminated Nelson's Column, transforming it into a giant light sabre. Utopium provided 24 Clay Paky Mythos, three MDG One atmosphere machines, four Studio Due City-Color LEDs and two Studio Due City-Beams to create the spectacle.

In Leicester Square, the cast and crew were joined by celebrity guests as the area was transformed into a space-themed venue. Utopium installed 120 tonnes of ballast to stabilise the 26 masts supporting 175m of 52cm ST header truss, from wh

UK - Olympia's London International Horse Show attracted equestrian fans from across the globe, blending show-jumping competitions, horsemanship displays and festive shopping stalls - 15-21 December 2015.

Arena Seating installed 7,586 tiered temporary seats at Olympia - 5,191 were public Tip-up seats and the remaining 2,405 were upholstered Instyle VIP seats.

Within the venue, Arena Seating also installed press and competitor interview platforms home to the world's sports journalists for the week, follow spot platforms facilitating illuminations throughout equine performances, judge platforms offering a clear view of the indoor arena and hospitality platform supports.

Indoor arena entrance doors, jump stores, presentation areas, video screen supports, a bridged logo platform and ménage surface retaining walls were also supplied by Arena.

Arena Seating project ma

UK - Blackout added ITV's The Sound of Music Live! to their extensive list of television production projects after supplying truss and rigging to the live musical show, aired 20 December 2015.

Chris Brain, Blackout's project director oversaw a pre-rig before the set at London's Three Mills Studios was built, then worked closely with HG Event Production's Harry Guthrie and the lighting team installing the TV lighting over a three-week period.

The Blackout team were called upon to install 90 CM Lodestar motors, 600m of truss and 150m of pipe, and black wool serge drapes to mask the dressing room.

Chris explained, "The show was the first of its type, being shot live from numerous stages in the studio. This was such a special project to work on and we are proud to have been contracted to provide the truss, rigging and drapes on such a world-renowned live musical p

UK - At Olympia's London International Horse Show, Blackout were entrusted for the 17th year running to supply all the drapes for the week-long festive equine extravaganza. The team used 3,000sq.m of black drapes to enclose the rear of the all the seating blocks in the Grand Hall, as well as all the entrance tunnels to the seating blocks.

For the sixth year running, Blackout helped maximise the presence of sponsoring brand H & M through the installation of advertising drapes near the main entrance of the venue.

Chris Brain, installations director at Blackout, commented, "It is a privilege to return to such a fantastic sporting event year on year. Despite the tight time schedules, the whole draping project was completed in just four days, which only serves testament to the wonderful work our team delivers."

(Jim Evans)

UK - Following a year of changes, PLASA is looking forward to a fresh new approach for 2016. With the de-merger from PLASA North America enabling the Association to re-focus its resources and push forward with plans to re-engage with its members, PLASA is now set to introduce a series of initiatives based on the constructive feedback gained from the industry.

Despite its difficulties, 2015 saw many positives for PLASA. At PLASA Media, Lighting&Sound International celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2015, having been confirmed by research completed by Fusion Insight & Strategy as the market leading magazine and by far the number one choice of readers in the marketplace. LSi also welcomed a new media sales team: commercial manager Andrew Organ and business development manager Greg Morley have quickly settled into their roles, and 2016 is shaping up to be LSi's most successf

USA - Columbus McKinnon Corporation (CMCO), one of the world's leading manufacturers of electric chain hoist and rigging products, has pledged its support for ESTA's Technical Standards Program by becoming a visionary level 'Investor in Innovation'. By making a five-year pledge of $10,000 per year, Columbus McKinnon is helping to ensure the survival of a program that they have long championed.

On announcing the sponsorship Ken Tilson, vertical market specialist - entertainment, stated, "Columbus McKinnon is excited about the opportunity to support ESTA's TSP which is vitally important for the Entertainment Industry. The TSP members are entertainment subject matter experts who develop and create industry specific technical standards and recommended best practices. CMCO specifically participates in the Rigging Working Group and has actively done so for many years. We are com

UK - Rigging specialist DLM Events supplied various Kinesys automation and flying elements in their role as production riggers for the last series of the BBC's massively popular Strictly Come Dancing, recorded on the George Lucas 2 Stage at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire.

Strictly, broadcast live on BBC 1's Saturday night prime time, is one of the nation's favourite programmes, and the 2015 series' weekly audiences regular topped 10m viewers.

"There was some serious pressure" explained DLM's automation director Erlend 'Spider' Webb who co-ordinated this project, "and that's why we work with Kinesys equipment, because it's absolutely rock solid."

DLM has been involved in specialist rigging aspects of Strictly for the last five years. When the prime-time series moved out of the BBC TV Centre in Wood Lane to the larger space at Elst

UK - LSi magazine has teamed up with Production Park, Nitelites and RCF to give readers exclusive access to a tour of the largest facility of its kind in the UK. This brand new, £2.5m Phase One development is a cluster of live event production resources spanning over 300,00sq.ft and incorporating five LS-Live rehearsal studios, three of which are mega-sized spaces, each over 17,000sq.ft.

The park is also home to a variety of other industry brands including: Brilliant Stages, Perry Scenic Creative, Litestructures, LS-Live, The Music Consortium, Knight Rigging Services, Tek LED, J&C Joel - and, of course, the renowned live events university centre, Backstage Academy.

Across the three open days, from 1-3 March, you can also meet the Nitelites team, who (using LS-Live's 17,500sq.ft Studio 001) will demo their new turnkey arena touring package from the specialist Italian lo

Germany - Since the start of this year, Think Abele has been trading under a new name - Movecat. "The development is not altogether surprising, as the products and solutions of the Movecat brand are nowadays better known than their manufacturer - Think Abele," says the company.

Andrew and Thomas Abele launched their own business in 1986, initially distributing events equipment which they also supplied for tours and installation projects. Later they began developing and manufacturing powerful equipment and functional solutions in the field of stage technology. For these, the brand Movecat was created and it is upon these that the company has for some years now been concentrating and for which it has built up a worldwide distribution network.

With the change of name has come a strengthening of the senior management team and a reassignment of responsibilities, with CF

UAE - Unusual Rigging and Engineering LLC, has appointed Denis Bramhall as its new managing partner. Denis, who has been with Unusual Rigging for 15 years, will be taking over from Alan Thomson, who is retiring after nearly eight years in the region. The appointment will become effective early in the second quarter of 2016.

Denis joined Unusual in 2000 from Tomcat, as operations manager, taking on the role of general manager in 2014. Based at the company's Northamptonshire headquarters in the UK, he has overseen the company's expansion, including the opening of a new 1200sqm facility in Autumn 2015.

Denis said, "The decision to take the job in Dubai was not an easy one; the work Unusual Rigging does in the UK is inspiring and it's been my pleasure to work for a company that is held in such high regard across the industry. From production managers to museum curators, eve

UK - A Chippenham-based company that helps facilitate major public occasions has invested in a range of new energy efficient tower lights to be used at high profile events, such as London's New Year's Eve celebrations.

Power Logistics specialises in providing temporary power, heating and lighting for the event and entertainment sector.

It has now bought a further 20 state of the art, energy-efficient lights thanks to asset finance facility provided by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. The lights will be used this year in functions across the UK.

The investment is part of the business' ambitious plan to double in size in the next five years.

Mike Whitehouse, managing director of Power Logistics, said, "We have ambitious plans for growth and the new facility from Lloyds Bank means we can look ahead with confidence as we aim to increase the size of the business.

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The Netherlands - During its yearly PIE event (Prolyte immersion event), which was held in Amsterdam from 10-12 January, Prolyte honoured its distributing network by handing out awards for highest turnover levels, non-turnover related achievements and awards for special contribution.

Starting on Sunday with a special dinner and party to celebrate its 25th anniversary year, the event started on a high note.

With over 110 persons attending, both key personnel and distributor representatives from all four corners of the globe, the atmosphere was lively and animated. Mixing dinner with award ceremonies, the night started professionally and progressed to a perfect networking event.

Over the course of the next two days the network was informed on product updates, marketing and sales strategies and the new Prolyte factory.

Feedback sessions on several topics gave all particip

UK - A new production of Harvey Granville Barker's play Waste is currently showing at The National's Lyttelton Theatre with smooth 'swipe' curtain movements utilising Triple E's Chaintrack, Unitrack and Unibeam systems.

The controversial play, which was famously banned by the censors when it was first written, tells the story of the ambitious independent politician Henry Trebell and his plans for a bill to disestablish the Church of England.

The National Theatre's deputy production manager Clíona Ní Mhocháin approached Triple E's managing director David Edelstein to assist with the track solutions.

"We needed a smooth, silent and reliable system to achieve a swipe motion to go from an empty stage to actors' preset," explains Ní Mhocháin. "We also wanted to create an aperture to suggest the outside world further upstage that could change size and

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