France - PlugFest, the technical event for entertainment lighting interoperability, returns to Lille in France from 29-31 March 2022 following a two-year hiatus. Organised by PLASA, the popular event welcomes manufacturers, developers and technicians from across Europe to test their products and learn about the latest protocols.
PlugFest is an opportunity for participants to collectively test and demonstrate device and system interoperability with the aim of improving reliability, resolving compatibility issues and ultimately improving connectivity between all entertainment lighting and related technologies.
The event’s expert hosts, Hamish Dumbreck (JESE Ltd), Peter Willis (Howard Eaton Lighting) and Wayne Howell (Artistic Licence) will host a series of workshops and technical break-out sessions and will also provide individual support and guidance. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about a wide array of protocols and technical standards, including the ESTA TSC developments.
The 2020 edition of the event sold out well in advance, with leading manufacturers such as GLP, Luminex, Highlite International, Robert Juliat, TMB, Claypaky, ChamSys, ETC, Chauvet and Eaton. Those interested in attending in 2022 are encouraged to book early to avoid disappointment.
PlugFest takes place in the city of Lille, France which is directly connected to London with the Eurostar and all major European cities via a mainline train station. Furthermore, attendees can take advantage of specially discounted rooms in the hotel that PlugFest takes place in
UK - The leader of Dudley Council was “bowled over” with the life-changing opportunities being given to students at Resonance during a recent visit. Councillor Patrick Harley stopped by the higher education facility based within the DY5 Enterprise Zone at the Waterfront in Brierley Hill to find out how students will be working alongside global company Sports Technology (ST) at next year’s Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Game
ST is the specialist major multi-sports division of Creative Technology (CT) and has been appointed official provider of large video screens and audio services. Alongside LED and PA systems in the majority of the venues, ST will provide a broad range of audio-visual services including a flexible signal distribution network in every venue, providing a fully integrated IP based solution for all non-broadcast audio, video and data distribution.
As part of its bid to provide services, the company had to demonstrate how it would give something back to the community and support a local organisation, in this case Resonance.
During his visit to Resonance, the leader met with some of the team from Creative Technology and Sports Technology who were delivering their first training and educational session to students.
Students were briefed on how the company will support and train them and given details on an ambitious work placement and internship programme, which could see them gain real life experience working within the technology disciplines at the Games.
Rick Benton, chief executive at Resonance observes, “Engaging
Europe - Back in June, Elation Coffee Break hosts Alistair Smyth and Frederik Afif discussed lighting livestreams and other broadcast environments like a pro using the full-spectrum KL Panel LED softlight. But can a softlight do more? A new XL version of Elation’s broadcast-quality luminaire can, the KL Panel XL, and the next Elation Coffee Break is an opportunity to get a closer look.
The KL Panel XL offers the same precise colour temperature control, full-spectrum colour rendering, high CRI and even wash coverage of the original but extends the size, emits nearly twice the power (44,000 field lumens) and offers multi-zone control for dynamic effects. Tune in to the Elation Coffee Break on Thursday, 28 October 11:00 a.m. CEST to find out more. No registration is required.
The Elation Coffee Break is an online presentation series from Elation’s European office in Kerkrade, the Netherlands that takes an up-close look at some of the company’s most popular product series.
USA - Xytech is hosting a four-day webinar series from 26-29 October showcasing the upgrades to its resource and asset management solution MediaPulse 10.
“Until we can once again meet in person, these webinar series are essential communication tools to the community. This begins a conversation where we inform customers of the advances of the product and help us to understand where our platform needs to be in the future,” comments Greg Dolan, Xytech’s CCO.
“With the version 10 update, MediaPulse provides every user with exactly the functionality they need, when they need it, on the device of their choosing, creating a reliable solution able to operate anywhere. Something the pandemic has made crucial.”
To register for any of the MediaPulse 10 Webinar Series, visit: xytechsystems.com/webinar.
UK - Specialist architectural lighting and dynamic control solutions provider Studiotech is participating in this year’s Design Crawl Manchester. Created as a collaboration between a group of interior experts, Design Crawl is a showroom-led design event, specially developed to ‘inspire and excite the design community’.
Taking place over three days, between 19 and 21 October, Design Crawl brings together a number of brands, who will welcome guests to their showrooms to see their latest products, host learning sessions and networking events, and run workshops. Design Crawl also features a Basecamp; a central location where several events will take place over the course of the three days.
Studiotech will be primarily showcasing the controls systems it offers through its product portfolio. As well as demonstrating the capabilities of the solutions, Studiotech will focus on the benefits that lighting controls offer to the end-user and designer. In collaboration with Design Crawl's theme of wellness and sustainability, Studiotech will be sharing its expertise on innovations and design trends that can support these increasingly important elements of lighting.
As part of their Design Crawl events, Studiotech will be running three one-hour workshops with guest host Luke Artingstall from Artin Light. Entitled A Pixel Perspective: Activate the Senses, the workshop will be held at the Design Crawl Basecamp at Doubletree by Hilton, Piccadilly, Manchester. As well as an overview of control solutions, Studiotech and Artin Light will discuss their c
UK - The recruitment network for creatives and freelancers Curtain Call has re-launched an improved membership platform to help link up freelancers with employers - and PLASA members benefit from reduced subscription fees.
The network, which is free to join by freelancers, has a search and match algorithm that makes it easy for employers to find skilled available freelance technicians and creatives for project-based or long-term positions.
Businesses looking to recruit need to subscribe to search the database, with PLASA members able to get 15% off for 12 months by signing up through the Pioneers programme. For every PLASA member company that signs up, Curtain Call will donate £15 to #WeMakeEvents, and for every month of membership, the network will plant a tree. Early adopters include the Ambassador Theatre Group, Donmar Warehouse, Sonia Friedman Productions and White Light.
Peter Heath, managing director of PLASA, comments: “Curtain Call is a fantastic platform which brings employers together with skilled workers while also creating accessible pathways for newcomers into our industry. We couldn’t be more pleased to bring this service to our members, particularly after the prolonged period of industry closure and loss of personnel to other sectors. This partnership will certainly help to connect up and regenerate our sector’s workforce.”
Matt Humphrey, founder of Curtain Call, adds: “We are thrilled to partner with PLASA and lau
UK - With 4,500 miles clocked up on the rental van and 350 engineers, end users, customers and rental companies seen in 29 days across 27 locations, the 2021 DiGiCo and KLANG roadshow has completed its run.
The DiGiCo team toured the UK with a DiGiCo Quantum 338, Quantum 225, SD12 and a KLANG Immersive Personal Monitor package, as well as showcasing the KLANG:vokal immersive processor and the new KLANG:kontroller. Stopping at various rental companies, venues and customers along the way, the team provided two three-hour sessions a day offering a closer look at the new consoles and refreshers on the SD-Range with the company’s experts.
“When our world slowly started to come back, we began to get an increasing number of requests from engineers to pop into our HQ in Surrey for some refresher training, so we thought ‘why don’t we come to them instead?’, which is how the idea of a Roadshow around the UK came about,” says Tim Shaxson, technical sales manager at DiGiCo. “In addition to answering any questions engineers may have had on the SD-Range, it was also the perfect opportunity for us to show them the new Quantum consoles and to demonstrate and explain the benefits of the KLANG Immersive IEM system.”
Strictly adhering to Covid policies, each session was limited to a maximum of 12 people, who all had to register in advance via a dedicated section on the DiGiCo website. Each informal event consisted of 45-minute ‘show and tell’ training on Quantum 338/225 and KLANG followed by a two-hour refresher on the SD-Range.
Europe - The debate over what LED system produces the best white is a difficult one to resolve. Is crisp brightness and power most important? Or the ability to create a variety of shades and deeper colours? In the end, it all depends on your needs.
Alistair Smyth and Frederik Afif on the 9 September Elation Coffee Break will scrutinize the Fuze Spot and Fuze Profile with framing, versatile LED moving heads with RGBMA colour mixing systems that can mix any shade of white a designer desires, or just as easily mix deep saturates or soft-field pastels.
The Fuze Spot and Fuze Profile’s carefully tuned RGBMA LEDs and high CRI (92) ensure accurate color mixing and color rendering while delivering a powerful white output of over 10,000 lumens. Shades can be fine-tuned to match the environment in a variety of ways - virtual colour wheel, virtual color temperature, magenta/green adjustment or CMY emulation. Complete FX packages, including dual gobo wheels, make them ideal high-performance luminaires for use on any stage or studio.
The Elation Coffee Break on the Fuze Spot and Fuze Profile luminaires will air live on Thursday, 9 September at 11:00 a.m. CEST at facebook.com/ELATION.Pro.Europe/live. No registration is required.
The Elation Coffee Break is an online presentation series from Elation’s European office in Kerkrade, the Netherlands that takes an up-close look at some of the company’s most popular product series.
UK - Backup recognises the need to positively communicate with colleagues and to be aware of how they might be feeling and to ensure that they are not suffering alone, so this year’s PLASA Show sees the charity launching a free Mental Health First Aider course sponsored by Unusual Rigging in memory of Alan Jacobi who was a long-serving and valued Backup Trustee.
“Alan was always concerned about the welfare of his colleagues, and it is wonderful that Unusual Rigging has sponsored this course in his memory,” says Backup chair, John Simpson. “We are not good at asking for help or asking others if they need help. We want to change that.”
In general, the role of a mental health first aider is to be a point of contact for anyone who is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. This interaction can range from having an initial conversation through to supporting the person to get appropriate help.
“Backup’s remit is to support the welfare of our technical community and is here to help if colleagues are in a dark place whether because of mental health issues, hardship, injury or illness,” John continues. “One of Backup’s missions is to ensure that there will always be one trained mental health first aider crew member for every 20 crew, no matter what the event is or the size of the whole crew. We trust that venues, promoters and production companies will engage with this is and it becomes part of crew contracts.”
Backup is partnering with fellow industry charity, Music Support which, as an MHFA England Instructor M
UK - The Lighting Programme, an opportunity for graduate lighting designers and technicians, has announced the participants of its 2021/22 edition.
The programme is run by SLX, a lighting and production company based in Bristol. It aims to foster young, upcoming talent within the industry - especially important in the post-Covid era, where many are struggling to recruit.
This year, five students were selected instead of the initial offer of four places, due to the exceptionally high standard of applications.
The five students all graduate next year, and will gain experience working a number of jobs at venues around the UK, the first of which is a fit-up inside the London Palladium. They will also be introduced by SLX to key industry figures at events such as PLASA/ABTT London, as well as having access to equipment for use on their course projects.
The five students selected this year are Alexander Hannah - Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, Jessica Brigham - Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, Oliver McNally - The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Guy Knox-Holmes - Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Ciaran Lillis - Guildford School of Acting.
SLX CEO Alastair Currie commented: “The Lighting Programme is an excellent initiative for us to engage with students from a diverse range of backgrounds and colleges. I am delighted that we are in a position to offer this support to aspiring young people as they start their journey in our wonderful and creative industry. I very much look forward to meeting the students over the coming mont
UK - PLASA Show 2021 will reopen its doors this weekend to reunite industry professionals at Olympia London after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic - and time is running out for visitors to secure their free entry passes.
Taking place from 5-7 September, the show will welcome back leading brands from pro audio, AV, lighting and stage technologies, who will take up residence in Olympia’s Grand Hall alongside the ABTT Theatre Show which is relocating for one year only.
“In light of the monumental shifts felt by the live events and entertainment sector over the past 18 months, PLASA Show 2021 will be people-centred, with inclusive networking spaces, support resources and learning opportunities,” say the organisers.
Free registration ends at midnight tonight, 31 August – those wishing to claim a free entry pass should head over to www.plasashow.com.
Exhibitor highlights include the show’s headline sponsor Robe, who will showcase their latest luminaires including the Forte, T2 Profile, iSeries, LED Beam and Esprite in regular show-stopping presentations. Also exhibiting will be Chauvet Professional, ETC, GLP, Avolites, Artistic Licence and SGM.
For pro audio enthusiasts, in attendance will be L-Acoustics, Shure, Sennheiser and Yamaha among many others. The stage is also set for bespoke staging from Race Furniture and Drapemakers; heavy-duty gear from Area Four Industries and NSP Cases; web-based services from trackingThis and Current RMS, and the
UK - ETC will be returning to the PLASA Show at the Olympia London this year for its joint ‘come-back’ industry event with the ABTT. ETC will be attending the trade show to connect and network with old and new faces, present in-depth product seminars and showcase newly launched fixtures on stand B29.
Sales Manager for ETC Ltd, Darren Beckley comments: “After a long and challenging period for our industry, we are really looking forward to returning to PLASA and catching up with our customers in-person. Throughout the past 18 months, ETC has continued to innovate and develop its product offering and we are excited to share some of those products with visitors to the show.”
Attendees will be able to join a series of seminars hosted by ETC product specialists during the three-day show. The available sessions will explore Comparing Moving Lights, Multi-emitter LEDs and Incorporating Augment3d into your workflow.
ETC’s stand B29 will also feature some of the latest fixtures that the company has launched including Lonestar, Source Four LED Series 3, Desire Fresnel, ColorSource Spot jr and more. For anyone who can’t attend the show, ETC’s online demo studio has product experts available to give tailored one-to-one demonstrations on these and any other ETC products, suited to your needs. Slots can be booked via etcconnect.com.
UK - The Royal College of Music (RCM) in South Kensington is home to various studio facilities, available for private hire in the heart of London. Services and facilities offered include music recording, video production, web streaming, audio-visual research and development.
The original studio was founded in 1967 and was the first electronic studio at any UK academic institution. Today, the studio complex is housed directly underneath the RCM Concert Hall. The Belle Shenkman Studio, a spacious live room, contains its own Steinway Model D grand piano, three control rooms linked to performance spaces around the campus, and three rooms dedicated to composition, production and editing. In addition to the core work within the College, RCM Studios offers a commercial service to clients including major broadcasters, record companies and leading international soloists.
Sam Glenister-Batey, head of events and venue hire at the Royal College of Music, says: “Our studio complex is truly a one-off location for musical endeavours, broadcasters and event organisers. RCM Studios are always in high demand from commercial clients, and we expect to see a significant increase in demand from corporate clients as hybrid events come to the fore.
“As a charity and place of education, all private hire of our studios helps to support the development of the next generation of talented musicians, as well as maintaining and developing the facilities. It is our ambition at RCM that no student should be denied an RCM education due to lack of funds, so part of the money rais
Europe - The Sennheiser Sound Academy is inviting everyone interested in wireless audio to a mini-series of two live seminars that will explain the new Evolution Wireless Digital system (for an in-depth technical review, read the September 2021 issue of LSi).
Seminar 1 takes place on 31 August at 12:30 p.m. CEST and gets you started on benefits, features and operation. Seminar 2 takes place on 14 September, again at 12:30pm CEST, takes things further by taking a more in-depth look at the system. The hosts will be answering any questions that participants need to address. To register, visit this link.
Sennheiser experts Jonas Naesby, Vincent Tilgenkamp and Volker Schmitt will meet seminar participants remotely in the two EW-D courses.
“Evolution Wireless will bring simplicity to your performance, show, service or talk while operating in the professional UHF spectrum,” said Volker Schmitt, technical application engineering manager, pro audio. “In our live seminars we will introduce the system to you and show you how easy it has become to set up wireless microphones.”
Seminar 1 will look at how to operate EW-D and get it set up with the help of the app, touching on all features and benefits that the system offers. Seminar No. 2 takes a detailed look at
USA - The Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative has announced a key addition to its Toolbox Talks programme: One-Sheets on a range of topics designed to delve deeper into common issues currently impacting entertainment industry workers as they navigate fluctuating work situations and frequently changing Covid protocols.
As the industry continues to transition and re-open, industry leadership and supervisors are observing significant anxiety in the workplace and are requesting tools to help their crews better navigate and manage the return to work. One-Sheets briefly describe general mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression and substance use, and offer basic information and resources around these prevalent issues within the industry
We must continue raising awareness and normalizing the conversation around mental health and emotional wellness in the workplace and these flyers are designed to be posted in break rooms or be handed out with schedules or during toolbox talks. The goal is to convey the message that psychological safety is as important as physical safety, says BTS.
The Toolbox Talks programme was created to assist with language around mental health and wellness in order to facilitate respect in the workplace. Sample language is provided to incorporate mental health into daily safety briefings, and Toolbox Talks can be tailored to fit specific individual and group needs.
The Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative, and programmes such as Toolbox Talks and One-Sheets, are committed to crea
UK - The programme for PLASA Show 2021 has been unveiled, bringing a rich line-up of seminars and training sessions to the trade event that takes place on 5-7 September at Olympia London.
Sponsored by Vectorworks, the programme is set to deliver in-depth content on the future of live production, immersive product experiences and plenty of practical training, bringing skills and knowledge to the forefront of the show experience.
All sessions are free for pre-registered attendees (you can get your free entry pass by 31 August - find out more here), with details of the schedule available on the show website. More content will be added over the coming weeks, say the organisers.
Vectorworks are delivering two technical sessions based on their software products, firstly looking at Concert Design and Pre-Visualisation with Vectorworks Spotlight and MVR Export, which follows a complete concert design workflow, from creating detailed drawings and rigging plots to exporting a fully functioning pre-visualisation model. Their second session, Schematic and Rack Layout Design in Vectorworks ConnectCAD, details the complete schematic workflow from creation of signal flow diagrams to designing rack layouts with ConnectCAD.
In addition to the Theatre Show Hub, the ABTT will be running a session on their Technical Standards for Places of Entertainment, whi
UK - The Sustainability in Production Alliance (SiPA) is joining forces with four greener touring, live entertainment and events organisations at this year’s PLASA Show for an open panel discussion to explore how we can transform, together, to create a better future.
Entitled Becoming a Sustainable Industry - because this is a not a rehearsal, the event will take place at the PLASA Show Seminar Theatre at Olympia London at 15:30 on 6 September. It will bring together key sustainability experts from SiPA, TAIT, LIVE Green, the Tour Production Group, the Theatre Green Book and isla, who will share ways in which the industry can reduce emissions and become net zero by 2050.
The hour-long, deep-dive discussion will be moderated by Carol Scott, principal sustainability advocate at TAIT and SiPA, with panellists Evie Redfern, a third-year Theatre Production student at Guildford School of Acting; Paddy Dillon, Theatre Green Book co-ordinator; Anna Abdelnoor, co-founder, isla; Sarah Rushton-Read, creative director at The Fifth Estate and principal advocate, SiPA; and John Langford, COO AEG Europe and chairman of LIVE Green.
“Throughout the enforced hiatus of lockdown individuals and organisations, from all sectors of the live entertainment industry, have joined forces to build back more sustainably,” says Carol Scott. “With COP26 looming, there has never been a more pressing time to go green. Everyone who can effect change, no matter how small, must play their part in protecting the planet. The PLASA Show will provide the ideal forum for us t
UK - Following its recent re-location to a larger premises, Stevenage based film, television and event rigging specialists Rigging Team has expanded its footprint, not only to accommodate a growing inventory, but to also provide space for a much needed, industry specific, training centre.
Rigging Team managing director, Adam Searle explains, “Training is something that we have been passionate about for many years – although there is no substitute for real-world experience, everyone can benefit from gaining additional knowledge or skills. The courses are designed specifically to suit our industry - whether it’s a specific discipline, or a bespoke combination of courses,”.
The new 2,600sq.ft Rigging Team Training Centre, located just 20 minutes from London by train, features a generous classroom and presentation space, along with a practical training area where trainees get ‘hands-on’ with equipment. A custom built, multi-level structure has been installed with flexibility in mind, enabling safe practice in rigging and work at height.
Adam continues, “Our trainees benefit greatly from the scope of this purpose-built facility, where multiple scenarios can be encountered in a safe environment under the watchful eye of experienced trainers. The versatility of the set-up allows us to create an almost infinite combination of situations, which, in turn, encourages candidates to think away from their ‘standard’ solutions.”
The initial phase of the development is open for business, with the first release of courses already receivin
USA - The Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative has posted the Autumn schedule for online Mental Health First Aid training for entertainment industry workers in the US at btshelp.org/mhfa.
The Delta variant has now clouded the road map for the return to work and created additional stress and anxiety for those scheduled to resume work over the next few months, as well as those currently employed who are trying to cope with constantly changing safety protocols. Reports from around the industry show a rising level of concern for the mental wellbeing of industry workers, and individuals who have responsibility for others working with or under them are increasingly asking for training in how to provide support to those workers.
Mental Health First Aid takes the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems by teaching you how to recognize the signs and symptoms that suggest a potential mental health challenge, how to listen non-judgmentally and give reassurance to someone who may be experiencing a mental health challenge, and how to refer a person to appropriate professional support and services.
Whether you are in a supervisory position or simply want to be able to assist co-workers, this training will provide you with the skills you need. Post class evaluations continue to be extremely high with over 97% of respondents rating the class value as very high or high value and over 96% stating the training covered issues they have previously seen arise in their workplaces.
UK - TV lighting specialist Version 2 has launched a new Lighting for Radio podcast series that offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of some of the UK's leading TV & film lighting professionals.
Each episode will talk to some of the industry's leading lighting experts as they share first-hand experiences and lessons on how they reached the top of their profession.
Nick Edwards, managing director of Version 2 explains the concept of the podcast. "Born out of a lockdown idea, this behind the scenes podcast series will give listeners and I hope In particular students’ ideas for their future career paths,” he says.
Hosting every conversation is broadcaster Nia Visser, whose career credits include work as a radio presenter with the BBC and currently Jazz FM.
The first episode, which is available now on all popular podcast apps, talks to Nick Edwards himself about his 25 years of dedicated television lighting experience, having held technical, commercial and management positions at some of the industry's biggest and well-known companies PRG, Panalux and Aurora, after his training at the flagship training facility in BBC Wood Norton, all before founding Version 2 back in 2016.
Nick talks through the whole journey, starting from where it began at St Clement Danes School and why Nick has subsequently gone back to be a governor of the school. To working as a technician across the UK, Europe, and the Middle East with show credits including The X-Factor, The Brit Awards, Live Earth, The Royal Variety Performance, MTV Europe Awards, Th
UK - Responding to post-pandemic staffing demands and a need for improved entry level training for crew, a collective of industry professionals established Event Crew Training and has released its first course - Event Crew Essentials.
Identifying that post-pandemic there would be a need to recruit a large volume of new and inexperienced crew and sharing a view that the existing training was not fit for purpose, the collective saw the period of stagnation created by COVID-19 as an opportunity to create an online portal that not only provides the required training but gives trainees knowledge that will enable them to feel comfortable in their new working environment.
The Event Crew Training portal is designed to be a benchmark for entry level crew and technicians looking to start a career in the events industry. Its initial offering covers a range of topics, including understanding stages, live event jargon, departmental load in and load outs, health and safety and manual handling, providing participants with the practical knowledge they require. This new-found awareness ensures essential elements are addressed, thus elevating the standard of health and safety in the workplace and enabling crew companies to meet legal compliance.
Event Crew Essentials takes approximately 90 minutes to complete and costs crewing companies £20 per access token. One token provides training for one member of crew.
The Event Crew Training team believes this training will establish ‘an important foundation for the live events industry and hope th
India - Boutique audio enterprise, Audio Academy in Bangalore added the compact Audient ASP4816 mixing desk to its setup last year. The facility offers professional audio education programmes as well as providing commercial recording, music production, sound design and Foley services, and the compact mixing desk has settled in very well.
“We were looking for a console that would serve as both a teaching tool as well as a highly functioning mixer for professional studio bookings,” explains studio manager Gautham Pattani. Part of a hybrid setup in the studio, the analogue desk’s array of connectivity options means it can work easily with the outboard gear and send audio straight to their Pro Tools DAW.
“Our multi-monitor setup helps reveal every detail in the recording and mixing process. Dedicated hardware controllers, industry standard converters, high quality mic pres and a selection of microphones help us meet the demands of any project,” he says, referring to the independent musicians, producers and sound artists he works with, as well as his students.
“The console serves as our main monitor controller for all aspects of production. A summing desk while mixing and a preamplification stage while multi-track recording.” Aside from the fully-featured monitor control offered by the British desk, Gautham also enjoys the parametric EQs, bus compressor and its flexible routing capabilities.
The recording studio and adjacent spacious live room allow music production students to work on their commercial assignments. Each student is re
UK - Final year students at Wakefield’s Backstage Academy, the versatile skillset learnt studying over the pandemic has strengthened their resilience and eagerness to reinvigorate the sector. The experience of adapting through adversity has set them up for the best chance of success upon entering the industry; driven to cater to the UK’s pent-up demand for live events post-pandemic, says the academy.
Offering degrees, short courses and bespoke training in live events, the South-Kirby-based institution held an end of year showcase of student talent last week. The campus’ Final Major Project Series saw the culmination of third year students honing their skillsets and the coming together of the craft they learnt over the pandemic and three years of study.
For Backstage Academy’s Live Events Production course leader, Johnny Goodwin, this year’s projects are significant - not just because they serve as a capstone contribution to the students’ third year final grade - but because the 2021 themes address the feasibility of the industry’s survival post-COVID. The showcase is a demonstration of the skills the industry’s newest tranche of practitioners will need upon entering the industry (such as live streaming) in hastening its bounce-back to pre-pandemic levels.
Johnny said: “You could say there is something primal in the coming together of people to enjoy culture through a shared experience – whether that’s at gigs or in theatres. These final year projects from our Backstage students have really brought that to the fore, demonstratin
UK - In the summer of 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a live music training initiative was launched, designed to provide a broad set of technical skills to black women who wanted to break into the industry.
The 3T (Tour Tech Training) course was founded by singer-songwriters Nao and Mura Masa who wanted to provide visibility and confidence for black women.
The initiative had three key principles: It had to be free to participants (it was funded by Native Management, Sony Music UK and supported by donations from several other private individuals and companies within the industry); It was to take place over 12 weekends (24 days in total) and It had to cover the fundamentals of touring to be useful to attendees (such as loading/ unloading trucks, cable making, changing strings on guitars, building LED walls, tuning RF kit, audio patching, reskinning drums, looming etc.)
The programme attracted almost 600 entries in three days and 10 individuals subsequently were chosen to participate in the sessions. Successful applicants were selected on their personality and transferable skills.
A number of organisations in the industry were approached to help support the initiative in terms of time or donations of equipment. VDC was one of these. It provided free audio, video and data cables to enable the course attendees to learn how to solder and make cables, a vital skill on the UK touring scene.
AJ Sutherland, course director and freelance production manager, said: “We are very proud of the difference that this initiative will make to under-r