UK - PLASA has announced that registration for NRC (National Rigging Certificate) and enrolment for NELT (National Event Lifting Training) have re-opened following a short period of closure due to the pandemic. All NRC Assessment Centres and NELT Training Centres will re-open from September and will be completely COVID-compliant.
“This positive move will enable candidates who registered for the NRC before the COVID-19 lockdown to resume their pathway to certification,” says PLASA. “Furthermore, these NRC candidates have been given an extra 12 months to complete their assessment.”
NELT, which launched in May 2019, provides training for professionals who select and use lifting equipment commonly found throughout the events and entertainment industries. NRC is a recognised qualification for anyone actively working as a rigger in the industry.
Assessment dates and locations for NRC assessments and NELT are now available online.
USA - Inspired by efforts in the UK, mainland Europe and South Africa, the US live events industry is set to host its own #WeMakeEvents ‘Red Alert’ day of action on 1 September.
Using the hashtags #WeMakeEvents #RedAlertRESTART and #ExtendPUA to gain momentum, the move represents a major call to action on Tuesday, 1 September, imploring the US Congress to pass the RESTART Act (S.3814) as quickly as possible, offering economic relief to America’s live events industry, which has been shuttered since March, 2020, putting millions of people out of work. Additionally, the movement is to support ExtendPUA.org in their efforts towards continuation and extension of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to provide relief to those without work due to COVID-19.
#WeMakeEvents North American director, Brad Nelms comments: "The group has managed to gather incredible support for this important movement, signing on more than 30 regional directors to lead the initiative in markets nationally. This team have been so fired up and already have commitments from hundreds of incredible venues and iconic locations nationally who will show support."
On 1 September buildings, structures, and residences across the US will be lit in red from 9pm-12am (local time in each market) as the event rolls across North America. The goal to raise public awareness that the live events industry is on ‘Red Alert’ for its very survival, and to create congressional pressure to act now.
#BeAnArtsHero, a grassroots coalition of arts and cultural workers, reports: "The Arts &
UK - A webinar designed to unite the live production industry in developing new working practices for a more sustainable approach has shown a “clear willingness” for change, according to The Sustainability in Production Alliance (SiPA).
The panel discussion, broadcast live on social media channels as well as via a Zoom video meeting, brought together many of the leading companies and individuals who are committed to a more sustainable future for live event production.
The webinar was a collaboration between SiPA, the Association of British Technicians (ABTT) and The United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT). Top of the agenda was how the industry can use the current hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to create a more sustainable approach to its work.
SiPA’s Carol Scott, principal advocate for sustainability at TAIT and SiPA, was joined by a host of live production industry and environment leaders, including: Jon Bausor - multi-award-winning international stage designer and creative director; Spike Brant - production designer, CEO of Nimblist and advocator of sustainability; Ian Garrett - USITT Memmber and designer with Toasterlab; Huntly Christie - CEO of Christie Lites and Dr Chris Jones, research fellow at University of Manchester who is currently examining the key impact areas of the music industry on the environment.
“The webinar was a great success - the audience engagement was fantastic, with the live stream figures going into the thousands,” says Carol Scott. “There is a clear willingness in our industry to
The Netherlands - The UK’s #WeMakeEvents campaign received support in the Netherlands, where local companies took part in a nationwide Red Alert action under the banner of #WijMakenEvents.
More than 250 buildings across the country were lit in red on the evening of 11 August. The original campaign is a PLASA initiative that was adopted by the VTTE (the Association of Technical Event Suppliers) in the Netherlands.
Trussing, staging and hoist supplier Prolyte participated in the protest action on the night. The event industry and sectors have been at a complete standstill since the very beginning of the coronavirus crisis earlier this year. It has been more than five months, which means there are all costs but no turnover. Despite the government’s support during this period, companies are now on the verge of collapsing.
In order to draw attention to this crisis-like-situation in a peaceful and public-friendly manner, the Prolyte building was illuminated in red at 9pm local time and pulled the plug out exactly at five to 12 (11:55pm). “Together, we hope to get the support packages for the event industries extended and a clearer prospect is outlined until we can go back to work normally without the 1.5m restrictions. Without this commitment, a large number of companies will end up going bankrupt and employees will end up on the street,” says Prolyte.
“Politicians need to wake up and understand that if nothing happens, the entire event sector is in danger of disappearing.”
UK - The UK events industry proudly came together in a show of solidarity under the #WeMakeEvents campaign banner yesterday (11 August) to ask the government to ‘throw us a line’ in the form of on-going and increased financial support.
As part of the movement, over 715 buildings across the UK lit up in red to symbolise the imminent danger over one million people in the live events industry face unless the government provides additional financial support.
20 of the UK’s biggest cities hosted events to raise awareness of the struggling supply chain that facilitates events across the country. From the Minnack Theatre Cornwall to The Queen’s Hall Edinburgh, Principality Stadium Cardiff and the Millennium Forum Northern Ireland, the message was spread far and wide – the situation is urgent. In Manchester, 200 technicians pushed redundant flightcases through the city centre as part of their protest, observing COVID-19 safety protocols at all times.
The capital’s finale began aboard a boat at 20:30, which made its way down the Thames - passing iconic buildings including the Royal Festival Hall, the London Eye, the National Theatre and the Tate all illuminated in emergency red. Some 4000 socially distanced supporters dressed in red lined the banks of the Thames and bridges including the Millennium Bridge and Jubilee Bridge to further drive the message home.
Level 42 frontman Mark King and folk singer Frank Turner performed on the boat, both expressing the importance of their skilled crews. The call to action focused on raising awareness
Canada - Broadweigh is once again the load monitoring system of choice for City Folk Festival 2020. The event is currently scheduled to take place on The Great Lawn at Landsdowne Park in Ottawa between the 17-20 September, but the situation is being evaluated in line with the continuing COVID-19 crisis.
This multi-day celebration of music, dance and community, features an eclectic mix of musical performances on various stages. Over the years, the event has played host to the likes of Robert Plant, Hozier, David Byrne, Jack Johnson, Van Morrison and Lorde and also features an offshoot event called Marvest – free concerts featuring emerging talent, held in local businesses.
Paradigm Rigging has worked on the event since 2018 and Michael Sorowka, MD of Paradigm explains: “I was brought on board by Scott Pollard, technical director with City Folk Festival. We’ve worked together on various projects since 2012. For City Folk we’ve been contracted to provide load monitoring on all hung points within the festival, between the Stageline main stage as well as a B Stage inside Aberdeen Pavilion (a historical exposition hall adjacent to the main stage). Windspeed monitoring has also been requested on the outdoor main stage to allow continuous read outs inside the production office located directly behind the main stage.”
Sorowka continues: “Outdoor stages always pose a heightened risk towards high winds. The biggest challenge is that, as with any outdoor festival, there are many moving parts to co-ordinate, including making sure weights hung within
UK - On 11 August (Tuesday), the live events industry across the UK will come together in solidarity to host a series of protests to help save the live events and entertainment sector, which is on the verge of collapsing without financial support from the government.
Encouraged by the #WeMakeEvents and #LightItInRed campaigns, hundreds of venues are expected to light up red, along with other creative activities being staged in over 20 cities across the UK to symbolise the industry going into red alert, and a final call to action titled ‘throw us a line’ will be taking centre stage on London’s South Bank.
The capital’s finale will begin on a boat at 20:20, as it makes it way down the Thames - passing Royal Festival Hall, the National Theatre and the Tate, and more all illuminated in emergency red. As the boat reaches key locations, such as Westminster Bridge and Jubilee Bridge, hundreds of volunteers will symbolise the ‘throw us a line’ theme creatively.
The call to action hopes to raise awareness for over a million professionals at risk of losing their jobs, 600,000 of whom deliver outdoor events. With around 70% of the workforce being freelance, the imminent closure of the self-employed income support scheme at the end of the month threatens their livelihood.
Unlike other industries, events, festivals, and performances have been unable to safely reopen due to social distancing guidance and may not reopen until early 2021 – and opening times keep being pushed back. With no government support on the horizon for the event supply ch
Germany - HOF has designed and developed the XHD Box Corner specifically for big exhibition booths and large stage constructions / stage roofs.
Thanks to its cross bracing on six sides and the significantly stronger main tubes, the XHD Box Corner has up to 40% more load capacity than the standard box corner. As a result, the box corner is not any longer the weak point in the overall construction.
Compared to the standard box corner, the new XHD Box Corner has one more important feature, says the company. Instead of a classic aluminium thread, the new XHD Box Corner comes with a steel thread. Compared to an aluminium thread, the steel thread has a significantly longer life and is more reliable. The XHD Box Corner fits on many 30cm box trusses and can be powder coated in any RAL colour.
USA - Two more ESTA draft standards are now available for public review until 21 September 2020.
BSR ES1.7 - 202x, Event Safety - Weather Preparedness addresses the considerations, development, and use of event planning strategies that mitigate weather-related risks associated with live events, and with the temporary structures used for these events.
BSR E1.4-2, Entertainment Technology - Statically Suspended Rigging Systems establishes minimum performance requirements, recommendations, and guidelines that can be used for installation, use, maintenance and inspection of statically suspended rigging systems, permanently installed in venues used for entertainment purposes.
Both of these draft standards, along with their respective public review forms and instructions, can be downloaded at https://tsp.esta.org/tsp/documents/public_review_docs.php.
On 6 July, ANSI's Board of Standards Review approved another ESTA standard: ANSI ES1.9 - 2020, Crowd Management. This standard - the second to be published in a series of event safety guidance standards currently in development - helps the user understand the basic principles of crowd management theory and vocabulary, so they can be appropriately applied to certain reasonably foreseeable risks that arise during live events. It is available for free download from the TSP website at tsp.esta.org/freestandards. It is also available for sale from ANSI and IHS.
UK - The #WeMakeEvents campaign has progressed into the ‘Red Alert’ phase, with planned activities set to take place across London and other major cities in the UK on the evening of 11 August.
The initiative will raise the alarm for the live events and entertainment sector, which has been badly-hit by the pandemic, resulting in countless event cancellations.
The campaign reports that the disruption of the summer season alone has affected over 600,000+ jobs in outdoor events. Meanwhile, a campaign survey revealed that redundancies in the sector are already happening, with 15% of businesses stating that they plan to make redundancies during August and 70% reporting that they could be forced to do so by the end of 2020.
The campaign warns that the termination of the government’s furlough scheme and the self-employment income support scheme in October would leave up to one million industry professionals with no financial security. “The complete lack of work in the sector combined with the withdrawal of government support will force industry professionals, including the 72% of freelancers, to seek work in other sectors,” says a statement.
Live events may not be able to return until March 2021 due to social distancing rules and the long-term planning now has the collaborative support of 17 trade bodies and several more production companies and manufacturers required for many arena tours, festivals, and stadium events.
USA - Area Four Industries Direct America has recently received new stock of Prolyte products for immediate availability. This initial stock includes truss and accessories for the 30/40 series trusses, an array of hardware and accessories, and the popular LSU Ground Stack LED wall support system.
The Verto truss and other Prolyte products will be arriving in the coming weeks as Area Four Industries Direct America continues to ramp up efforts to expand the presence of Prolyte in North America.
“In spite of the obvious challenges this year, we have continued to receive multiple requests for products and we are excited that we are now able to fulfil those requests,” said Prolyte business development director, Keith Bohn. “With stock available near both coasts, we are able to more efficiently manage the demand throughout the country.”
Prolyte products are in stock in Knoxville, Tennessee and Thousand Oaks, California as well as Prolyte’s long time distribution partner A.C. Lighting in Toronto, Canada.
France - After two years of technological design and an alignment of production with market requirements, Verlinde has announced the widening of its range of Stagemaker electric chain hoists dedicated to the entertainment industry.
The new Stagemaker SL5 and SL10 models with their load capacity of 500 kg to 1000 kg (1 fall) and 2000 kg (2 falls) integrate Verlinde's latest technological developments: innovative design, toughness and enhanced power ensuring faultless reliability while complying with international standards, says the company.
From the first model with its reverse-purchase block system launched in 1975 Verlinde's Stagemaker range has enjoyed popularity worldwide in the entertainment industry and show business.
Boasting an entirely ergonomic design, Stagemaker hoists are fitted as standard with double brakes, retractable handgrips and protective rubber pads. The new SL5 and SL10 models will further ensure IP66 protection, a rating currently being certified for the motor as a whole.
The hoist shell is protected by a 70μm black epoxy powder coating enabling resistance to extreme environments (-10C° to +40 C°). Two versions of the SL 5 and SL 10 models are available: (A) with forward voltage and (B) with low voltage. These 2 new lifting units are upgrades on the previous SR5 and SR10 versions and so complete the current range of models alongside the SR1 and SR25.
The new SL models are D8+ compliant as standard with SPQ2 (code of practice): the positioning of the clutch in the gear box ensures load holding by the brake whatev
UK - Leading trade bodies and businesses are joining forces to issue a Red Alert and highlight the severe challenges faced by the live events industry and its entire supply chain due to the pandemic.
Planned for 11 August, the action will include social media and video drives as well as legal outdoor events, with other specific activities occurring on the day.
The initiative is part of the #WeMakeEvents campaign that aims to raise awareness of the sector’s struggles and to secure further support from the government.
“The live events industry supply chain that contributes to every single event in the UK is set to completely collapse,” comments Peter Heath, MD of PLASA. “Social distancing prohibits mass events, and even if this stopped now, long-term planning for events won’t enable a return until around March 2021. Now, the whole industry is coming together to initiate a Red Alert. We have been campaigning for financial support from the government using #WeMakeEvents because the sector is on its last legs.”
According to campaign research conducted last week, redundancies across the sector have already started. Of the companies surveyed, 10% said they plan to issue notices by the end of July whilst 15% intend to do so in August.
But 70% of those polled admitted they would make redundancies by end of the year, with a fifth expecting to lose 70% of staff.
Earlier this month, the UK government announced a £1.57bn rescue
South Africa - In a live stream filmed at MGG Productions in Sandton, and hosted on SACIA's YouTube channel, the technical production and live events industry announced the launch the national campaign #LightSAred, to be held on 5 August 2020.
Sharif Baker, chair of the TPSA, announced that the technical production and live events industry will be spearheading a symbolic resistance campaign that will see buildings across the country lit up in red on 05 August.
"The colour red is the international colour of emergency," Baker explains. "We are following the example set by our colleagues in Germany and the UK in lighting our national monuments red to highlight the desperate plight of our industry under current lockdown policies and regulations." Baker went on to emphasise that the #LightSAred campaign is not affiliated with any political body or ideology. "We are simply an events industry in dire straits that is currently being ignored."
Joining Baker during the live launch was Kevan Jones, executive director of SACIA. "As a recognised industry association for the communications industry in Southern Africa, we have been trying to engage the Government and the Department of Arts and Culture for five months. We were the first industry to be shut down under the lockdown restrictions, and we will likely be the last to be allowed to return to full capacity. Despite this, we have not received any acknowledgement from Government to date.”
Projeni Pather, who is the chair of AAXO added to the debate, stating, “The events industry in South Africa has
UK - As a manufacturer and supplier of engineering solutions to the entertainment and creative arts sector, Triple E’s factory output has been mostly stalled as a result of the pandemic.
However, the management team have been making use of the time, ensuring the business is match-ready for when the wheels of the industry start to turn again. This has included finalising the development of a new website which has launched along with a new domain name - www.triplee.ltd.
Listening to feedback from clients about what they needed from the company website has been central to the new look site. www.triplee.ltd features a customer friendly interface and clearer layout making it easy to navigate and inform the customer as they seek the products best suited to their project requirements.
“Engineering solutions are complex by their nature, and so with the launch of our new website we believe it will allow everyone to better understand the finer details of our product range and how Triple E products can expand the scope and scale of new, and on-going projects,” explains Lucy Edelstein, deputy director.
The team are confident that their new style website provides an excellent online platform for existing and new customers to explore the extensive range of engineering solutions that Triple E have been offering the industry for well over 30 years.
“During this difficult time we wanted to ensure that as things return to a new ‘normal’ we have the sales tools to ensure our dedicated team have every opportunity to resume production to pre-C
UK Load-cell company BroadWeigh is introducing a series of new products into its range this week plus the addition of software improvements to their toolkit.
The company, which has undergone a complete rebranding exercise over the past year, culminating with the launch of its new website, believes the time is right to bring the new developments to the market. The design changes have developed as a result of feedback from users, with the current COVID-19 pandemic creating an unprecedented time for pure engineering focus.
From 13 July, two new modules have been added to the 2.4GHz product line as well as a new release of the BroadWeigh toolkit software. Commenting on the design development and improvements, Robert Wilmington-Badcock, managing director said: "We have a clear ethos to continuously improve our products, to specifically develop for the entertainment industry and listen carefully to users' feedback.
“We have to understand exactly what tools are needed to do the job on a tour or in a venue". He continued: "In short, we are committed to continually improving the features and tools within our systems and because we design and manufacture the entire system, we can do this like no one else. The demands in rigging are very challenging and BroadWeigh can do the job."
The BW-WM1 Warning Module is a fully configurable three light warning indicator that can be used in a simple LOG100 mode, responding in the same way as LOG100. A green light extinguishes if there is a loss of signal from any transmitters, an amber light illuminates if any LOG
UK - PLASA has responded to the UK government’s pledge of £1.57bn funding for the arts with the following statement from its MD, Peter Heath: “While PLASA is pleased to see the government deliver a generous rescue package to arts institutions across the UK, they have only addressed the tip of the iceberg. We hope that the government will announce further support for all the manufacturers, suppliers and freelancers who help make the UK a global leader in events.
“Theatres and venues are absolutely essential to the cultural fabric of the UK, however, they only represent the public face of a vast industry. Each arena concert, musical show, arts installation, or corporate event relies on a complex supply chain, often involving hundreds of professionals. To put on a single arena show requires an average of 443 people working at all levels from planning and manufacturing to logistics and live production.
“PLASA stands by its initial plea which is for the government to provide the entire event industry supply chain with grants as well as extensions to both the Furlough Scheme and the Self-employed Support Scheme. From the start, government grants were not explicitly made available to the event supply chain, with only one out of six PLASA members surveyed successfully receiving grants. And although the Furlough Scheme was a great relief, the tapering off by Autumn does not bode well for companies who do not expect to see any business until next year. The situation has been just as
UK - Artists including Sir Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, The Cure, Radiohead, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Annie Lennox, PJ Harvey, The 1975 and Blur are among the names demanding immediate action to save live music in the UK by signing an open letter to the UK government's Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden. The move is a bid to “show the vital importance of the UK’s live music industry, ensure the Government cannot ignore live music and make noise to get the public and financial support the industry needs to survive”.
The full letter reads as follows:
“Dear Secretary of State,
“UK live music has been one of the UK’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade. From world-famous festivals to ground-breaking concerts, the live music industry showcases, supports, and develops some of the best talent in the world – on and off-stage.
“As important as it is, our national and regional contribution isn’t purely cultural. Our economic impact is also significant, with live music adding £4.5billion to the British economy and supporting 210,000 jobs across the country in 2019.
“Like every part of the entertainment industry, live music has been proud to play our part in the national effort to reduce the spread of Coronavirus and keep people safe. But, with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.
UK - Music Support continues to hold weekly online support group meetings to allow the music industry’s 12 Step recovery community to continue to connect during these challenging times, with numbers of attendees growing weekly. Meetings take place every Monday 18:00-19:00 GMT throughout the summer, providing a confidential and non-judgemental space for people to share and encourage one another on the journey of recovery.
“We’re pioneering a change of culture within the industry that suggests another lifestyle is possible within it and as beacons of that, we host a weekly online support group meeting for those in our business who are members of any 12 step fellowship,” says the team behind Music Support.
“We acknowledge that although each fellowship uses different words, they speak the same language of hope – and that’s why now more than ever, it is imperative for people who work a program of recovery to come together to share their experience, strength and hope with others. This is not a 12-step meeting. Meetings are for support and encouragement, medical/psychological advice will not be given. “
To receive personalised login instructions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘12 Step Support Group Meetings’. All data remains confidential.
Find out more HERE.
Europe - In his latest selection of Back-To-Basics videos, Area Four Industries’ rigging advisor (and commando), Eric Porter, reviews the crucial subject of Shackles, Slings, and Cables. As Eric points out, no matter how long you have worked in the event industry there will always be ‘blind spots’ in any rigger’s expertise. These four short videos go a long way in ensuring that safety always remains uppermost in the mind of any rigger.
In the first video, Eric takes a look at the two main types of shackle: the D shackle and the bow shackle (also known as the omega or anchor shackle).
Eric demonstrates that the D shackle should only ever join two components - one on the ‘D’ and the other on the Pin, while the bow shackle is allowed to take two items on the bow and one on the pin. As Eric warns, far too often there is wrong usage leading to potential safety issues at work.
Another serious consideration to be aware of is that all shackles must have a loading limit clearly marked, a manufacturers ID, and its batch number. If any or all of these designations is missing - Do Not Use!.
In his second video, Eric reviews roundslings, acknowledging that polyester roundslings have long proved to be a versatile and useful piece of equipment in the rigger’s armoury.
However, there are a few forbidden options that no rigger should ever use. Taking us through ‘no-go’ areas such as never knotting on the load, choking two slings t
USA - MT Cases has announced the CK Case Series which incorporates UV-C light technology to disinfect air and surfaces.
General manager Tom Heslin shares: “We are solutions manufacturers. MT is known for our durable road cases, of which we have a patent on our corner construction. While our cases are useful in every industry imaginable, most of our clients are in the entertainment and touring world. With the coronavirus pandemic placing a hold on the industry, we started dabbling in ways to help ease the transition back into a semi-normal life.”
Each CK case will include STER-L-RAY germicidal lamps. These shortwave, low pressure mercury tubes emit ultraviolet wavelengths in the region proven to be most lethal to viruses, bacteria, mould and fungi. The first case in the series, the WB2724 utilises a 30W preheat fixture and features a highly reflective interior, an adjustable timer, and an exterior recessed electrical outlet for easy powering on the road. For protective measures, the workbox has a safety cut-off switch which is triggered when the door opens. The workbox can be ordered with fixed, adjustable, and/or removable steel wire shelving.
Heslin continues: “As part of the CK Case Series, we are building several case models in different sizes and configurations, including both road cases and Pelican cases. The smaller Pelican cases will be great for touring artists. After sanitisation, they can take their in-ear monitors, microphones, and any other accessories directly out of the case [without anyone else touching it] and head on stage.
UK - PLASA has launched #WeMakeEvents, a new campaign with the aim of amplifying the industry’s voice and gaining meaningful Government support. Central to the campaign is a video highlighting the vital role of supply chain companies along with the freelance community and the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic upon the live events sector.
PLASA is calling for people from across the industry to share the video across social media to give much needed exposure to the supply chain to events including production and rental companies, manufacturers and freelancers, to raise awareness of the need for longer term financial support.
In addition to sharing the video, PLASA has published two infographics illustrating the complexity of the live events supply chain and the typical arena show – which requires an average of 443 professionals spanning design, planning, preparation, warehousing, and venue staff. The graphics also show how valuable the sector is, collectively delivering £100 billion to the UK economy.
PLASA also encourages everyone to add their name to the campaign, and to send a letter to their local MP using the customisable letter samples which were created by a collective of PLASA, ABTT, PSA, SOLT and UK Theatre – details of which can be found here.
PLASA’s managing director Peter Heath comments: “We all know that the events industry has been devastated due to Covid-19, and we expect that the road to recovery will be a
UK - PLASA is gearing up to launch a new video highlighting the vital role that the supply chain and backstage crew play in the production of concert touring, theatre, and live events. It is hoped that the video will shine a light on product manufacturers, production & rental companies, crew, designers, programmers and more – all in vital need of on-going Government support and often overlooked in mainstream media coverage of the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the entertainment industry.
Earlier this month, PLASA released two infographics illustrating how the live events supply chain will be impacted without further government support. The graphics reflect the number of people it takes to deliver just one performance - on average 443 professionals, spanning planning, design, preparation, warehouse and venue staff. Additionally, the graphics show how valuable the sector is, delivering £100 billion to the UK economy - with the freelance community making up around 72% of the workforce.
Set to launch tomorrow (24 June) across PLASA’s website and social media platforms, the video features big industry names keen to help highlight the importance of the supply chain and the need for financial support. Watch this space!
USA - Glenn Becker, the Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA)’s first president, passed away on 19 June aged 70.
“Glenn’s vision was about bringing the industry together to make it a better industry”, says ESTA. “He thought that competitors could come together and share ideas and solutions to make business easier and more successful for everyone. Because of that vision and Glenn’s hard work, the Theatrical Dealers Association (TDA) was born.”
Becker organised its founding meeting in 1987 and served as the first president from 1987 to 1991. In 1994, when the decision was made to form ESTA, the TDA board turned to Becker to chair the committee that rewrote the bylaws and set up the new organisational structure. The board would continue to turn to him over the years to take on special projects.
He became involved in theatre in high school. In 1968, Becker took a job delivering newspapers for the Chicago Sun Times and on his first day he read the paper and saw an ad for a job at Grand Stage Company which had been founded by Paul Tyler in 1947. Becker was hired and one of his first jobs was to assist in the company’s move to its new building on Lake Street - in the midst of the infamous Democratic National Convention. Becker started off coiling cable and helping in the rental department and within a year had worked his way up to become general manager. He also worked as a theatre electrician and stage manager across Chicago area theatres.
In 1977, Becker and his wife Janel took over the full running of the comp