Rigging and Staging News

photo-by-cdc-on-unsplashWhite Light MD issues call to save live events industry
Monday, 18 May 2020

UK - White Light managing director Bryan Raven has written an open letter asking for support for the supply chain to the live events industry. The London-based supplier, in conjunction with a number of industry colleagues, has outlined a 10 point plan for help needed from the UK Government.
“The live events industry - which includes music, theatre, corporate events, festivals and live broadcasts - was amongst the first to be closed down by the COVID-19 pandemic and will be the last to return to normality,” writes Raven. “This is global issue and I would ask you to take the time to watch this video from the Live Events Coalition in the US which graphically represents the issue for the whole world.”
He continues: “Both the producers of live events but also the suppliers to live events need help. It is critical to consider the entire ecology of the live events supply chain when designing business support mechanisms.”
The key points listed by Raven in the letter are:
“1. Live events are pretty much impossible until the 2m Social Distancing rule is either unnecessary or relaxed - 2m distance needs to be advisory in conjunction with face covering and hygiene (in combination with testing) NOT compulsory. Until the 2m distancing requirement is reduced or, eventually, removed, many live events will not be financially viable.
2. Need to recognise the supply chain to industries/sectors that are still closed – and therefore offer support especially in those sectors that use theatres and live music venues which will be closed until th

zoombackupBackup to hold charity Zoom quiz this Friday night
Thursday, 14 May 2020

UK - Technical entertainment charity Backup will be holding a virtual pub quiz on Friday 15 May to raise money for the charity.
Backup provides financial support to industry technical professionals working in live events, theatre, TV and film who have fallen ill, been injured or are suffering from mental health problems. The charity provides a range of services including financial support, advice and re-training, and the organisation is working harder than ever to support those in need during the COVID-19 crisis.
Tom Wilkes of Collaborative Creations will be hosting the quiz at 8pm on Friday 15 May, which will be taking place via Zoom, and all industry members, friends and family are welcome to take part and compete for some fantastic prizes.
Backup Trustee Lee Dennison said: “Unfortunately due to the coronavirus outbreak our annual fundraising extravaganza Kartfest can’t take place in July, so this quiz and other similar events in the coming months will make a huge difference to the charity.
“Those who know me will testify to the fact that I take all forms of fun extremely seriously, and I’m sure Tom will treat this quiz with the same level of respect and maturity that we have all come to expect.”
Tom added: “We understand this is a hard time for everyone, so entry fees and donations are encouraged but at your discretion, there’s no pressure to donate if you’re not in a position to. Having said that, if we raise enough money I will have to shave my head.”
White Light Systems Manager Jamie Wells will be runnin

 
 
tom-harper-webTom Harper appointed as Unusual Rigging MD
Monday, 11 May 2020

UK - Following the death of Alan Jacobi in April, Unusual Rigging has announced that Jacobi’s son Tom Harper will take on the role of managing director, with Jacobi’s wife Peta appointed as chairwoman. Beyond this change, the Board will continue to lead the Unusual team, directing the overall strategy of the business and assessing how best to respond to all future opportunities and challenges.
“The consequences of losing AJ are great,” says Harper, “and his absence will be felt, both by his family, colleagues, and the industry as a whole for many years to come. As a business, there are obvious implications that need to be addressed which in turn, honour AJ’s wishes regarding succession. AJ shared with Peta and myself that after he was gone, Peta would become the company Chairman, and I would become the MD”.
This strategy was recently reviewed and approved by the Board, which was formed in 2018 when Unusual was faced with exponential growth, and was enhanced by further directors – Simon Stone, Steve Porter, Simon Tiernan and Tom Harper, who each took on specific leadership roles within the organisation.
Jacobi said at the time: “We needed to regenerate the thread of continuity as we move forward and continue to grow, and the Board needs to reflect this intention in the management and governance of the company. We needed a solid and secure base to guide us into the future where responsibilities are growing ever more demanding”.
“And now”, says Harper, “our industry is facing challenges never before contemplated. Yet d

 
Two ANSI Standards in public review
Monday, 4 May 2020

USA - ESTA reports that two standards have been revised, and are being offered for public review.
BSR E1.6 - 1 - 202x, Powered Rigging Systems has been revised to correct errata in section 6.6, which addresses design factors for certain system elements. The public review only covers the revisions made in that section, and no comments regarding other sections are being solicited at this time.
BSR E1.39 - 202x, Entertainment Technology - Selection and Use of Personal Fall Arrest Systems on Portable Structures Used in the Entertainment Industry, is a revision of ANSI E1.39-2015, which is being updated for consistency with current industry practice and technologies. This standard establishes minimum requirements for the selection and use of personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) on portable structures in the entertainment industry. In addition, the standard establishes minimum requirements for products and portable structures used in the service of PFAS.
The public review period for both draft standards runs through 28 June 2020. The draft revisions, review instructions, and pubic review forms for each document are now available for download at https://tsp.esta.org/tsp/documents/public_review_docs.php.

 
 
rada-flower-drop-02Electro Kabuki adds drama for RADA students
Thursday, 30 April 2020

UK - Acting & Theatre Production students at London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) rigged a dynamic scene change using an Electro Kabuki drop in a recent performance of Oscar’s Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.
The play calls for a scene change between Act 1, based in the Piccadilly rooms of character Algernon Moncrief and Act 2, set in the garden of the Manor House in Woolton belonging to character Jack Worthing (aka. Earnest). In this lively and engaging production, the creative team came up with a novel idea to mark the transition.
With Electro Kabuki dropper modules rigged to the grid high above the production in a cargo net configuration, several hundred flower heads were dropped to the stage, bang on cue with accompanying sound effects, as the actor playing Miss Prism took her seat at the garden table. Marked by appreciative gasps, the audience was left in no doubt that the setting of the play had shifted.
Cargo net applications are just one of many Electro Kabuki configurations that can be deployed for staged drops and theatrical reveals, and are often used for balloons, artificial snowflakes or poppy petals. Members of the Electro Kabuki team were invited to the RADA performance as VIP guests. They have huge experience of all sorts of kabuki drops and concluded that this was the first known instance of dropping full flower heads.
The entire production of The Importance of Being Earnest was a resounding success, with the only disappointment being that its run in RADA’s Jerwood Vanbrug

 
leeafullmemberlogocolourBroadweigh celebrates full LEEA membership
Tuesday, 28 April 2020

UK - Load cell company Broadweigh has passed its final audit to be granted full membership of the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association.
LEEA is a representative body for all those involved in the lifting industry worldwide. It has taken three years to achieve full LEEA membership which is only available to companies that are ‘engaged for profit in the verification of lifting equipment’, and which, in the opinion of the LEEA directors, is competent and can give adequate service.
Tom Lilly, application engineer at Broadweigh comments: “Three years ago, Broadweigh joined LEEA as an associate member because we strive to be the best – not only in the quality of product we offer but also in the role that we take within the entertainment industry. We then decided last year that we should be including a thorough examination in our recalibration and refurbishment service. We control the manufacture of almost every part of the Broadweigh load shackle which means that we are best placed to perform these checks.
“This last year has been busy, with production engineer Alex Maruschat and I going through a series of training and development courses. We now both hold our LEEA Team cards showing that we have passed our exams following the training. This then placed us well to have our full membership audit which is now fully signed off.”
Kelly Voysey, marketing manager explains: “These aren’t just ‘turn up and pass’ types of courses. A lot of work goes into getting the qualifications and we are extremely proud of the efforts of Tom and

 
 
pasmaPASMA launches resource library
Monday, 27 April 2020

UK - PASMA’s new Safety Practitioner Zone and its partnerships with the Association for Project Safety, British Safety Council, IIRSM and RoSPA aim to help workers stay safe on scaffold towers.
From 1 May 2020, members of these associations get access to a library of PASMA resources for updating their tower knowledge and sharing good practice. The library includes toolbox talks, tower reference guides, bitesize safety videos and details of upcoming changes to EN 1004, the design standard for mobile access towers.
In the lead-up to launch, PASMA is celebrating by releasing a series of Toolbox Talks on social media, freely available to anyone who wants them. These one-page documents contain the content needed to deliver a safety briefing on five tower-related topics, reinforcing key messages that are taught on PASMA training courses: Monday: Never stand on an unprotected platform; Tuesday: Using scaffold towers in windy conditions; Wednesday: How to safely move a mobile access tower; Thursday: No instruction manual means no scaffold tower, and Friday: Inspecting scaffold towers.
A new Toolbox Talk will be released at 11am each day this week (on PASMA’s Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages. Each one will be available for only 24 hours. After the time is up, the series, along other material, will be available in the Safety Practitioner Zone.
Jason Carlton, head of strategic engagement at PASMA, states, "We’re delighted to have partnered with leading safety associations on this initiative becau

 
sosSOS support for Feed our Crew initiative
Monday, 27 April 2020

South Africa - The SOS Charity Fund was established in December 2016, and from the start was met with generous support from the entertainment industry. The charity is now pleased to donate R50,000 to Feed our Crew, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that is providing temporary support through food vouchers to the technical and casual event crews during the Covid-19 lockdown period.
While DWR Distribution established, administer and are a contributor to the SOS Charity Fund, the entertainment industry has fully participated in fundraising events. “Although DWR Distribution is also going through a tough time, the money we’ve raised for the SOS belongs to the people and not to us,” said Duncan Riley of DWR. “The SOS was established to help people in times like these, this is what it’s all about.”
When all events were abruptly shut down due to Covid-19, Tamsyn Strydom, co-founder of Feed our Crew, was active on a couple of groups and forums aimed at technicians.
“The message that kept coming through was that people needed help,” Tamsyn recalls. “Initially, I started communicating with Kagiso Moima Wa Masimini, and together our aim was to put together an appeal to the President of South Africa.” Tamsyn and KG asked people in the industry to make videos to be sent to the presidency in order to illustrate the struggle that the entertainment world is facing.
Marcia Alves , a seasoned technical manager, also reached out to Tamsyn regarding the video appeal and as the videos came in, Tamsyn, KG and Marcia knew they had to do mor

 
 
PSI enables ETCP certification testing
Tuesday, 21 April 2020

USA - Eligible candidates who have received a notification of acceptance from one of the four examinations offered by the Entertainment Technician Certification Programme (ETCP) may begin scheduling appointments at PSI’s owned and operated testing centres.
ETCP is also still accepting applications from eligible riggers, entertainment electricians and portable power distribution technicians. The ‘rush fee’ has been waived and those who are accepted will be processed as quickly as possible.
PSI has recognised the impact that ETCP’ Certified Technicians are making by dedicating their equipment and knowledge to this critical initiative. The ETCP Programme has been added to the list of credentialing programmes that certify essential personnel. as they will be allowed to work alongside healthcare workers, law enforcement, and first responders charged with building field hospitals to aid in the fight against COVID-19. Currently, PSI’s testing centres are available to only those deemed as essential personnel. Interested candidates will be provided with testing centre locations.
“PSI was honoured to serve ETCP and their stakeholders, by ensuring that testing for professional technicians was made possible in this difficult time,” says Rory McCorkle, senior vice president, certification and education services, PSI. “We’re confident that the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience required of certificants confirms their deep desire to provide for the health and safety of the public. Every day, ETCP certificants prove that they’re the

 
blackbookProlyte publishes Blackbook 2020 edition
Friday, 17 April 2020

The Netherlands - Prolyte has published a new edition of its Blackbook, featuring technical information about trusses and complementary products.
The new edition includes: Compositions and design of aluminium trusses, Different types of connections, Forces within trusses and the different types of loading, Stages, roof systems, hoisting of truss, lifting people, truss maintenance, and more.
Available as a free download, the Blackbook has gained a reputation of an “on the road and beyond” reference guide, offering extensive theoretical background knowledge, as well as practical tips.
You can request a free copy from Prolyte's website.

 
 
iq-with-slogan-black-on-white-1TAIT offers free iQ Powered by Navigator training
Friday, 17 April 2020

USA - TAIT is now offering free online training courses for iQ Powered by Navigator to the live event community. By providing these courses, everyone interested in participating is given an opportunity to learn, engage and prepare for future automation experiences, says the company.
Whether a first-time learner or an experienced show operator, the iQ Training Video Series is tailored to all levels of entertainment automation. After watching the series, viewers will know how to operate machines using a variety of methods, add windows to workspaces, create time saving pre-sets, program a show using various cue lines and organizational helpers, as well as stop and restart cues.
“iQ is designed to make the power of our Navigator platform accessible to all users of entertainment automation,” shared Scott Chalfant, director of product management for TAIT Navigator.
“If you’re new to automation, these courses will help you quickly understand how to use iQ to programme and move axes in a show. If you're a more experienced user, these videos will introduce you to new ways to do more with less of your time. We welcome you to visit our courses online and see for yourself,”
In addition to the launch of TAIT’s online training, Scott Chalfant co-hosted USITT’s News @ Noon webinar on Thursday, 16 April dedicated to iQ Powered by Navigator.
The training videos will be offered at no charge until 15 May. New releases may be made avai

 
dwrRuud de Deugd backs Mercy Ships
Wednesday, 15 April 2020

South Africa - Just before touching down in South Africa to host DWR Distribution’s annual Rigging Training Course, Ruud de Deugd, an internationally renowned rigger and training presenter, had a role to play in building the largest chocolate bar - by area - and setting an official Guinness World Record, with all profits going to Mercy Ships.
“Mercy Ships is a floating hospital that gives surgeries to some of the poorest people in the world,” said Ruud. “The organisation is coming up with a new ship for the East Coast of Africa, which is how I got involved as a sponsor for their chocolate project. If you speak to the people who work on the ships, you realise how difficult the situation is.” The good news is that the team provides medical procedures to people who would ordinarily not be helped. “They can fix the eyes of a vision impaired child in fifteen minutes and then for the rest of his life he will see. Without the ship, the chances of him ever seeing would be unlikely.”
The floating hospitals efficiently bring safe, sterile operating rooms and hospital beds directly to people in need so that the volunteer medical staff can provide free surgeries. Mercy Ship also builds medical capacity in every port they reach, training doctors, providing equipment and opening medical facilities so that improved healthcare continues in their wake.
To bring awareness to Mercy Ships, chocolatier Frits van Noppen broke the Guinness World Record by creating the largest chocolate bar measuring 383.24sq.m and weighing thirteen tonnes! Ruud in turn spons

 
 
graham-thomas-and-chris-cronin-1982James ‘Graham’ Thomas remembered
Tuesday, 14 April 2020

USA/Europe - James ‘Graham’ Thomas, founding partner of James Thomas Engineering, has died. The industry has been paying tribute to Graham who retired from the business in 2014 when JTE became part of Area Four Industries.
“All of us at JTE were saddened to hear that Graham ‘James’ Thomas, original founding partner of James Thomas Engineering passed away overnight,” says JTE’s website. “Graham and his partner, John Walters, started JTE in Worcestershire, England in 1977 and their designs became synonymous with the growth and look of rock ‘n’ roll productions throughout the 80s & 90s, in the U.K., in the United States and across the world.
“Graham Thomas and John Walters pioneered the Thomas Spun Aluminum PAR Can and Thomas Pre Rigged Truss, making both widely available for the entire industry globally. The name Thomas is synonymous with trussing and lighting fixtures.
“Graham truly was one of the founding fathers of the truss and rigging entertainment technology industry that we know today. All of us at JTE and Area Four Industries would like to pass on our condolences to Graham’s friends and family.”
John and Graham were both in other industries and began making spun aluminium Par cans on the side, at a time when the steel Altman was the industry standard. Other UK firms were engaged and involved in the early days, but once John and Graham began mass producing PARs, James Thomas Engineering took off.
Dizzy Gosnell (then of Meteorlites) and Ronan Wilson worked with John and Graham to come up with the origi

 
prolyteProlyte restructures in North America
Tuesday, 14 April 2020

USA - Prolyte Group has announced details of its future operation in North America.
Prolyte will now be part of the Area Four Industries Direct America offices in Knoxville and Thousand Oaks, allowing both inventory and offices to be closer to customers on both coasts. Area Four Industries Direct America East and West are now distribution outlets for Prolyte products in North America, and will be supporting existing Prolyte customers and distributors from those locations.
Prolyte’s management structure has also changed, with Prolyte’s former general sales manager Keith Bohn joining the Area Four Industries Direct America team to serve as business development director for the Prolyte brand. Bohn will be working closely with Area Four Industries America vice-president Adrian Forbes-Black, who will also handle sales of Prolyte products.
The Prolyte product range will be manufactured in the Czech Republic and Italy.
“Prolyte has been a long time leading provider of aluminium truss and structure for the event industry in other parts of the world,” says Area Four. “It is looking forward to building its presence in North America from coast to coast, and will constantly strive to build on its reputation of manufacturing products built to the best and most enduring standards.”
(Jim Evans)

 
 
radisson-8-1Broadweigh solution for Radisun Blu
Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Sweden - The Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel in Gothenburg recently commissioned a new 'design lighting' solution over the hotel's common area. Sweden based Priebe-ScanRig AB (PSRIG) was appointed to deliver and fit two large truss constructions with associated suspension. The truss would constitute as a carrier for the newly commissioned solution – with one of the constructions to be motorised while the other, permanently installed, would hang from steel wires.
Aart Gigengack, sales manager and co-owner of PSRIG explained: "During the installation of the lighting solution, the truss grids needed to be raised and lowered. With the installation being performed over an extended period of time, the installers needed a fast and simple way to see the loads being applied on each suspension point."
Aart specified the use of Broadweigh load cells and Handheld Advanced to the project – both vital to making sure that there were no overloads on the lifting points of the truss structure. The BW-HA advanced wireless handheld brings an additional level of portability to the Broadweigh system by expanding its standalone monitoring capabilities.
This device allows users to perform advanced operations with load shackle readings without the need for a PC and a base station. It can be configured into three operational modes; Roaming inputs – working straight out of the box and showing the nearest shackles with the same radio settings. This is ideal for walking between different areas with the Handheld Advanced and picking up readings from all shackles independent

 
plasa-tn2PLASA publishes results of Covid-19 member survey
Tuesday, 7 April 2020

UK - A survey carried out by PLASA has revealed the financial struggles faced by businesses in the entertainment technology industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conducted from 18 March and completed by 145 PLASA members, the study shows the early impact that various restrictions triggered by the pandemic have had on the industry, with PLASA currently conducting a follow-up survey to gain insight into the ongoing challenges that the sector is facing.
From those surveyed, half said that they’ve lost at least 50% of the business for the year, with a fifth saying they’ve lost between 80% to 100% of all their business.
PLASA is currently pushing for the government to include the events supply chain in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business category in order to qualify for much needed Business Rates cash grants which are already available to shops, pubs, restaurants, theatres and music venues. Alongside asking the government to insist that landlords of rented business premises support business tenants through the coronavirus crisis.
PLASA says it is also concerned about "the number of freelancers who operate as limited companies who are not receiving a fair amount of support in comparison to their sole-trader colleagues. Many were forced to operate as a limited company to comply with off-payroll tax rules, are now unable to claim for dividends meaning they lose out on fair government support."
PLASA has a dedicated web page to support businesses and individuals during the pandemic, as well as closed groups on Facebook and L

 
 
prolyte-lsu-led-screen-bareProlyte LSU screen support system ready for hire
Monday, 6 April 2020


UK - Prolyte's LSU modular LED screen support system is now available for hire from Impact Production Services (IPS).
The Prolyte LSU system can be used to create freestanding LED screen support systems in a range of sizes. Designed to be used indoors for almost any LED screen system that has modules in 500mm wide multiple, it can also built to almost any size required. The kits from IPS contain a selection of components, and by combining different numbers of kits all kinds of screen support sizes can be constructed. If the screen needs to start higher, then IPS can supply a LiteDeck platform to boost the structure to the height required.
The system has already been deployed on a range of events, including on a corporate event in Paris for Showstyle where an 18m wide by 3m high LED screen was the centrepiece of a large room design. The LSU system was chosen particularly as it provides a clean finish to the front of the screen, with nothing sticking forward into the stage area. IPS project manager Tom Warden said: "Getting 18m of 2.9mm LED screen to line up seamlessly was one of my big concerns going into this project, and the Prolyte LSU system was brilliant onsite," adding that "the LED techs onsite all were very complimentary of the system, and how easy it was to set up".
The LSU system has adjustable feet on each base to make sure that the bottom horizontal connecting bar is level, and then vertical ladder truss sections attach to support the height of the screen. Arms then clamp onto the ladder sections and attach to the rear of the scree

 
peoplepoweredEntertainment industry mobilizes to support NHS
Friday, 3 April 2020

UK - A team of entertainment technology professionals have joined forces to form People Powered UK in a bid to help relieve the pressures of the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative was started by LDs Katharine Williams and Jono Kenyon and has so far amassed 915 members and counting from across the entertainment and live event industries. Williams previously worked on Crew for Calais, a project that saw event professionals build shelters for refugees, whilst Kenyon has first-hand insight into the pressures of the UK’s health service thanks to his partner, an ITU worker.
A statement from People Powered UK says: “People who usually work at venues such as the London Roundhouse and provide production services to festivals are working together across the entire UK. They’re using skills and ingenuity honed building festival infrastructure to provide structures quickly and effectively, and sourcing equipment from outside the NHS’s usual supply chain to provide solutions to challenges hospitals are currently experiencing. Production people already work with emergency services and local authorities at SAGs, on health and safety, and at planning meetings, so already speak the same language.”
Sam Oldham, commercial and operations director of Camden arts venue the Roundhouse comments: "Our industry is full of highly skilled workers, many of whom are currently out of work or have been furloughed. They have essential skills which can be used to support the NHS and we're so proud to see the Roundhouse technical and production team joining for

 
 
john-schnobrichEvents industry urged to submit evidence on COVID-19 crisis
Friday, 3 April 2020

UK - PLASA, the Professional Lighting And Sound Association, has urged businesses and individuals to get in touch with more evidence on how the ongoing COVID-19 crisis is affecting their operations.
The information is sought by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and will help the Treasury to better understand the devastating impact the situation is having on the events industry.
To gather the evidence, The Events Industry Forum - of which PLASA is a member - has created a survey, which can be completed here until 5pm on Tuesday, 7 April.
"We are working hard alongside other industry associations and organisations to ensure the voice of our industry is heard," says PLASA in a statement. "We hope that through this work we can secure measures already gifted to leisure and hospitality to be extended to events and the events supply chain."
(LSi Online)

 
commandosEric Laanstra joins Rigging Commandos
Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Europe - Area Four Industries has announced that Eric Laanstra is the latest expert to join the Rigging Commandos, a group of specialists who present the latest developments happening in the industry.
Laanstra has been product manager at Prolyte for the past 10 years. He states: “I hope I can continue as Prolyte product manager for many years and have lots of fun with my new colleagues at Area Four Industries.”
Rigging Commandos is a group of respected experts who take an in-depth view of topics exciting interest within the industry. They identify closely with riggers and technicians and are constantly looking at ways to increase safety and efficiency at work by offering an extensive range of educative and informative videos that can be watched via A4I.tv on PCs, laptops, and mobile phones anywhere, anytime.

 
 
unusualUnusual Rigging goes Back to the Future
Tuesday, 31 March 2020

UK - Back to the Future The Musical arrived in 2020 at the Manchester Opera House on 20 February. The 1985 movie and pop culture phenomenon has been transported to the stage by the film's original creative team of Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis. Sending audiences on a ride through time with a hit music score, and featuring the famous DeLorean, production manager Simon Marlow, brought Unusual Rigging on board to handle the complex rigging requirements of the show.
Unusual Rigging was contracted to supply all the rigging - both for the load in and the run of the show. Marlow explains: “Unusual's Emily Egleton has been at the helm; we have a great relationship, having worked closely on a number of shows together including Bat out of Hell the Musical and And Juliet. She was tasked with designing all the diversions and the hanging plot for Back to the Future and yet again squeezed more than would seem possible into an extremely tight space.”
The show relies on some complex auditorium rigging as well as a challenging onstage rig as Egleton explains: “Front of house, we've created an environment around the audience in the form of giant circuit boards that extend into the auditorium. To do this, the proscenium was extended so that the audience is almost enclosed by the circuits. This in itself was quite a challenge because the capacity of the roof in Manchester is pretty good – but hidden within the circuit boards is a significant amount of equipment – LED lighting, speakers etc. In the venue, the capacity changes across the roof so

 
dwr-lockdownDWR maintains online learning opportunities
Monday, 30 March 2020

South Africa - With the country in lockdown due to coronavirus, DWR Distribution’s staff remain available during office hours, while the company is offering a range of online learning opportunities.
“We have entered into completely uncharted territory as individuals as a country and as citizens of a global community,” says the latest update from DWR.
“The South African government has taken up the call to become a part the most ambitious and courageous global effort to stop the spread of the novel Coronavirus that is causing Covid-19, placing the lives of its citizens before commerce and profit. We at DWR Distribution stand behind our government and our world leaders and pledge our support to stem the threat posed Covid-19 by staying at home.
“However, staying in our homes does not mean that we have closed our doors. We have simply installed a virtual door to our offices in the homes of the DWR team for the next 21 days. Our sales staff are available during regular office hours should you have any questions, ideas or would simply like to chat.
“We have a bumper-packed range of online learning opportunities available through our various suppliers. We hope that you make use of this opportunity to explore new skills or brush up on some old ones. Please visit our Facebook page or email Jannie at Jannie@dwrdistribution.co.za to find out more.
“It is a time of terrible uncertainty and fear for everyone. We are afraid for our lives, for the lives of our loved ones, and for our livelihoods. While this lockdown is a terrifying pro

 
 
Rigger: Rigger: "Hard to understand" why they can't pay the self-employed
Monday, 23 March 2020

UK - Glyn Owen, a self-employed rigger at the ACC Liverpool, expressed his bewilderment at why the UK government has not offered comparable financial backing to the self-employed.
Last week, the chancellor Rishi Sunak opened up access to the Universal Credit system to workers including freelancers and zero-hour contractors. However, claiming from the welfare system would only secure £94.25 per week for a self-employed worker, whilst the government promised to cover 80% of the salaries of employees.
On Sunday, the communities secretary Robert Jenrick recognised “this isn’t perfect”, adding: “It isn't easy, it's not as simple as supporting those who are in employment. The purpose of our employment mechanism is to help continue the connection between employees and their business so once this is over - and it will be over - those individuals can return to their usual work and that link isn't broken.
"It is operationally very difficult to create a scheme akin to that for the self-employed but we are reviewing this. If there are further steps we need to do, we will take them."
Speaking on the Jeremy Vine show this afternoon, Owen said: "What I can't understand is, they all say it's not easy to assess a self-employed person. But we all fill our tax returns every year - they know exactly how much we've earned over the years. So I can't understand why we are being penalised for being self-employed when [salaried] employees are being offered 80%."
At a suggestion from Vine that the government could use previous tax returns to c

 
celine-dion-tour-engineers-denis-seb-martinThree SSLs for the road for Céline Dion
Monday, 23 March 2020

USA - Céline Dion recently brought the curtain down on her residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas after more than 1,100 sold-out performances and embarked on a 12-month tour in support of her Courage album.
Solotech has provided sound, lighting, video and rigging - everything except the stage - for the Courage World Tour, including multiple Solid State Logic Live L550 digital mixing consoles, one at front-of-house and two at monitors.
Denis Savage, who has been Dion’s tour manager and FOH engineer for several decades, began using SSL’s Live series desk at Caesars Palace in 2013. But this tour has provided the opportunity to implement some changes that have further enhanced the performance of all three consoles on the production, he says. “Just before Christmas we switched everything to 96 kHz and the difference was incredible. Everything got lighter and smoother and brighter.”
The production also switched band monitor engineer Martin Paré and Jean-Sébastien Boucher, Dion’s engineer, to L550 consoles at the end of last year. “Everybody in the band was very happy about it,” reports Savage. Boucher has been using an early version of L550 software that enables him to control an analogue SSL Sigma Delta summing mixer to eliminate latency in Dion’s in-ear monitor signal chain. That control functionality is now standard in the recent SSL Live V4.10 release.
Francois ‘Frankie’ Desjardins, systems engineer for Savage and Dion for the past 27 years, is also VP of R&D and technological solutions for S

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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