Business News Headlines
The owners behind Visions acquire Dobson Sound Productions
UK – The Creative Production Group who are the owners behind Visions based in Reading and Manchester, has announced the purchase of the London-based sound reinforcement company, Dobson Sound Productions.
Dobson Sound Productions work with a wide range of artists and venues on events from small, intimate dinners through to large festivals delivering high-end systems into a wide variety of live environments.
Chris Norman, CEO said: “We have always looked at opportunities to expand our service to our clients and have been keen to have a base in London. We intend to keep Dobson Sound Productions at its historic location in Deer Park Road, Wimbledon where David Lewis, Bill Woods and key members of the team will be on hand to look after customers. The acquisition allows the group to significantly expand its stock holding of sound equipment with a specialist audio provider, it also allows expanded services to Dobson clients.
Paul Dobson adds: “It is great news that Dobson Sound can continue to look after its clients. Becoming part of the larger family with the services Visions provides, creates exciting new opportunities.”
24th September 2020
Award winning SME Pearce Hire joins industry roll call demanding urgent Government action
UK – The beginning of 2020 could not have got off to a better start for Peterborough-based Pearce Hire. Securing three final shortlistings across various industry award ceremonies, the team was thrilled to win the Favourite Power Supply company at the TPi Awards at the end of February – an accolade they had worked tirelessly towards securing for several years. Things were looking bright, and business was thriving.
Then the pandemic took hold and the industry was the first to be locked down by the government.
Almost six months on and Shaun Pearce, MD of Pearce Hire is actively lobbying the government, as are many throughout the sector. He is asking for urgent government intervention. Specifically the continuation of SEISS (self-employment income support scheme) for those individuals working in the industry, continuing furlough support for employees and extending rates relief to event hire businesses (most of which are SMEs and owner operated like Pearce Hire). Campaigning at the very least, for low interest, long-term repayment loans for those business needing a lifeline to survive until social distancing is a thing of the past and the live events industry can get back up and running.
Shaun established Pearce Hire over 30 years ago and since then has worked tirelessly to build a hugely successful business providing technical production services and dry hire solutions to over 2,000 events annually across the UK. That was annually: until 2020. Shaun and his management team had planned months in advance for another record year, recruiting another four permanent members of staff with typically, over 70 seasonal freelance technicians being employed every year as well. Pearce Hire was on the cusp of rolling out its busiest summer season ever when the government shut down the economy and everything came to a grinding halt.
“The impact was immediate and disastrous for us,” grimaces Shaun.
As an event production company, with an expertise in temporary power and production services for outdoor events and greenfield site events, May to October are Pearce Hire’s busiest months. With an all too familiar and gloomy story, Shaun explains what happened next. “Even before lockdown was officially announced we had started to get cancellations from early March onwards. From then on it was a downward spiral and within six weeks we had lost over 85 per cent of our annual business because of circumstances entirely out of our, or anybody else’s control.”
As the severity and seriousness of the pandemic became apparent, Shaun saw his company’s packed summer diary disappear. Late Autumn and Christmas work is also now being cancelled as fears of a second spike loom. “We have an extremely loyal customer base and many of the events we supply are on rolling long-term contracts, so planning and collaboration with our clients begins months in advance and we work closely with them as close-knit teams. But we couldn’t do anything about the situation and nor could they, social distancing and a ban on mass gatherings basically wipes out our core business activities.”
Shaun had to make some immediate, and very difficult decisions. From the end of March all his team went onto furlough. Since then he has lost 40% of the Pearce Hire workforce through redundancy. “We hope that will be as far as we have to go, and we are currently working very hard to try and ensure it does not get any worse for our loyal, experienced and highly skilled team.”
Shaun has diligently petitioned local government to help them understand the unique issues the industry faces and to seek additional support as it became increasingly apparent that: “We were the first industry to be shut down and will be the last to re-open.” A mild mannered and softly spoken man, he firmly believes that: “Now is the time we really need the government to step in and provide some additional support to prevent the whole industry, the SMEs and freelancers who are the backbone of our industry being decimated.” He has spent hours writing letters, emails and making telephone calls to local MPs, councillors on the Peterborough City Council, the Mayor of Cambridgeshire, and the Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire County Council, all to no avail. “We pay tens of thousands a year in business rates and we have not even been given any rates relief! I actually don’t think the local authorities have been given the scope by Government to get the grants to where they are needed most. Other small businesses, which the government seems to understand better, are getting all sorts of rebates and support while Pearce Hire, with an 85 per cent loss of business, a strong local workforce (both full time and freelance), an extensive staff training and welfare policy, large annual tax bill, work experience and training engagement with the local college and schools gets nothing! It’s just unbelievable and I know we aren’t alone in this nightmare.
“Yes, we may well be a young and relatively small industry sector in comparison with others, but we are a world leading, highly skilled and resourceful industry. Our sector makes an enormous contribution to the UK economy, possibly punching above our weight in this respect. The camaraderie amongst our crews, our freelancers and even between our company and our competitors is really unique. We are an industry based on individual skills and made up predominantly of freelancers and gig workers. But all this is at risk.”
Shaun and his team have also been supporting the industry’s key initiatives #LetTheMusicPlay, #WeMakeEvents and #LightItInRed. At the recent ‘Red Alert #WeMakeEvents” call to action, Shaun and most of his team headed down to London to join over 3,500 other industry colleagues and friends. Whilst others in the team travelled up north to support the demonstrations there. “Our industry works in the background, literally backstage, the spotlight is never on us, but we need to step out of the wings and demand the support we need. It’s not a comfortable place for any of us to be – upfront and on the stage, but at the moment we need to be. Festivals don’t just happen. Tours don’t just appear in a city one day, and another city another day. TV, corporate events, product launches … these events all rely on a skilled workforce coming in and doing what they do best to produce the best events possible and match or exceed their client’s expectations.”
Shaun is forever an optimist, he is positive, determined and considered in his approach. He is also passionate about the industry: “How often as an industry have we been told ‘you’ll never do that’ and then we have gone ahead and made it happen! It is this approach that makes us a strong industry!”
Shaun believes that the industry profile is becoming a little more front and centre as he watches the rolling news every day. This is helping to raise the awareness, but he still feels it’s not enough for the Government to take note, and, more specifically take action. “I really wish it was. I am sorry to be a pessimist, it’s not in my nature, but without any Government intervention the situation is going to get a whole lot worse before we see even the slightest signs of improvement. We need grants (not loans), business rates relief and an immediate extension to the furlough scheme for our sector. An industry catastrophe is just around the corner coupled with a harsh winter for all the staff and crew of this industry and it breaks my heart.”
Pearce Hire has partnered with some companies to provide technical and production support in the weeks since March as, and where it has been able. The team has by no means replaced its usual packed summer calendar, but it has provided some technical resources to the Nightingale field hospitals around the country and the Covid testing stations. It has also supplied power equipment requirements for Amazon’s large warehouse facilities to provide Covid-safe areas for staff access and egress to the warehouses. In recent weeks, as one of the preferred suppliers at the East of England Arena and Events Centre and Showground (EEAEC), Pearce Hire has also supplied power and on-site PA systems for one of their regular clients Warner’s Exhibitions who were able to stage a socially distanced Outdoor Motorhome Camper Show. This was one of the first outdoor events permitted since lockdown eased and followed the strict All Secure Covid guidance to produce a safe environment for all exhibitors and attendees.
The team is also now working with James Eade Training to provide socially distanced BS7909 courses (covering temporary electrical systems for entertainment and related purposes) from Pearce Hire HQ, the next of which is running from Monday 28th - Wednesday 30th September. “We are pleased to be able to support training like this to help individuals feel ‘match ready’ once the industry opens up again,” says Shaun with a rare smile crossing his face.
“We can’t wait to get back to what we do best: providing award winning services to this brilliant and resourceful industry of ours and helping everyone get out there and celebrate life through festivals, gigs, running events and all manner of other outdoor and indoor events. Until then, we’re backing the #WeMakeEvents campaign which is now planning a global day of creative action on 30th September and we will do all we can to support that. We are an industry in crisis but there is a huge amount of camaraderie and positivity out there. We will play our part where we can. That’s what this industry does, when faced with a challenge we meet it head on and make things happen no matter what the barriers are! Why should the Covid crisis be any different?”
23rd September 2020
Creative Technology Launches a New Website
Since joining the NEP group three years ago the CT business world-wide has expanded significantly through a combination of organic growth, acquisition and re-branding of regional businesses and is now operates from 24 inventoried locations across 15 countries.
The new website built over a 12-month period, provides a consistent look, feel and messaging while allowing a high degree of local customisation for CT’s evolving global structure.
At launch there are dedicated new sites for US, UK, Middle East and Spain, including multiple language options on the Spanish site.
In the coming weeks Asia Pacific, Northern Europe, Ireland, Germany and Holland will be added each with dedicated sites focusing on relevant local service offerings and market sector activities and significant additional language functionality.
The development process has been led by Kris Jonson, director of marketing for CT in North America who commented: “With this new website we have more flexibility with SEO, and our graphics have been updated with a more modern look and feel which is crucial to keeping the brand fresh.”
Dave Crump, CEO for CT’s EME division added: “We were determined to develop a new web platform which clearly communicates our core values and global service proposition , whilst allowing a high degree of regional flexibility, a clear focus on our local delivery capability and reflects the widely varying customer culture in different geographic markets. Kris has been hugely supported through this process by our world-wide marketing leads and Factor 1, a Phoenix based web studio chosen to support the project.”
23rd September 2020
#WeMakeEvents campaign continues to build momentum
UK – The #WeMakeEvents campaign aims to raise awareness around the current plight of the live entertainments sector and its urgent need for financial support if it is to support the Covid-19 crisis. Last month, it was announced that it would be steered by a collective of industry trade bodies, businesses and freelancers, all working in collaboration with each other. Over the past few weeks, the team has continued to build momentum around the campaign, working endlessly to rally the government for much needed support.
Following last month’s Day of Action which saw buildings across the UK lit up in red as a show of support, the #WeMakeEvents team has been busy capitalising on the extensive media coverage and attention this received. One of those involved is White Light’s managing director Bryan Raven, who comments: “The Day of Action was vitally important for our cause as it finally got people talking. There were a few government figures who weren’t particularly listening to our concerns prior to this and didn’t fully appreciate the scale of the crisis we are in. That certainly seems to have changed now and, whilst it may appear that the campaign has been slightly quieter for the past few weeks, this is only due to us putting all of our energies into the various meetings and surveys we’ve had to conduct to ensure the campaign continues to gain momentum.”
Activities over the last few weeks include meetings with political advisors, who are helping to formulate precise action points of the campaign’s next steps, as well as collating a Briefing Information document which is being used to rally MPs and other people of influence. There have also been several surveys conducted, such as the Freelancer Survey, which will allow the campaign to present the government with facts and figures which show how vital this industry is to the economy. A letter featuring prominent industry heads was printed in The Times newspaper to rally further mainstream support of our plight. The campaign team has also been working hard to determine just who will be able to receive any existing government funding, after receiving confirmation from the DCMS that the Culture Recovery Fund will not apply to event companies.
In addition to raising the profile of this emergency, #WeMakeEvents is implementing its plans to raise funds for those most affected, the first step is the merchandise store, now available on the new WeMakeEvents.com site, https://www.wemakeeventsstore.com/, and contributions to our chosen industry charities starting with Backup – The Technical Entertainment Charity.
There have also been plans made for a Creative Action Protest to be held in Parliament Square on 29th September to continue pressuring the government for support. For this event in particular, the #WeMakeEvents team would encourage as many individuals as possible to attend in order to emphasise the importance of this campaign as well as how the industry is edging ever closer to collapse. Reinforcing the professionalism of our sector, all events observe Covid safety protocols including masks and social distancing, of course. You can register here. This will be followed by the Global Action Day on the 30th, more information on which will be issued shortly.
Bryan concludes: “It’s safe to say that it’s been an incredibly busy few weeks for all of us at #WeMakeEvents. Unfortunately, we have to be honest and say there is no instant fix available to solve the issues we all face, so instead, our time and energy need to go into well-thought out strategies and ensure we use our resources as effectively as possible. With Furlough ending next month, this is a battle that still needs fighting and we will be at the forefront of that. We will continue our hard work over the next few weeks and hope that our efforts will see the breakthrough we so desperately need.”
For more information about the campaign and how you can get involved, visit www.wemakeevents.com
21st September 2020
K-array sound is an Urben legend
UK – AV industry innovator, Urben, will open its newly transformed in-house demonstration facility this month, showcasing the company’s UK-manufactured range of digital collaboration solutions which include integrated ultra-compact K-array loudspeaker systems.
St Albans-headquartered Urben delivers unique all-in-one meeting room solutions all around the world, with units designed for corporate communications ranging from small huddle rooms and large boardrooms, to control room installations and digital signage. The permanent on site demonstration suite will showcase solutions for safely returning to the office during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as featuring innovative solutions for lobby spaces and immersive collaboration requirements.
K-array takes pride of place amongst the top technology providers deployed in Urben systems as one of a select group of brands capable of delivering top quality audio performance from a very small form factor. All of the Urben range of products are slimline and floor-standing, requiring only power and data in the floor and avoiding the restrictions associated with wall mounting, and occupy an extremely minimal footprint. The Urben Trio, which houses as a standard configuration a pair of Vyper-KV25 ultra-flat aluminium 25-cm line arrays and two Truffle-KTR24 compact subwoofers, measures only 4cm in depth, a feature clearly illustrated by Urben’s head of business development, Andrew Giles: “If you want a small speaker to fit in a small space, then K-array is what it’s going to be.
“We chose K-array because it's the optimal combination of size and audio quality to fit within Urben's ultra-thin frames. It's the best sound on the market from such a compact unit; we're delighted with how it sounds in Zoom's offices."
Urben’s bundled audio-visual solutions currently lead the field in terms of modular design, ease of installation and use, and audio performance. Combining industry-leading hardware and software Urben systems have already achieved widespread adoption by the two major digital collaboration platforms aiding businesses to communicate effectively during the restrictions imposed during the pandemic.
Urben is an official Zoom partner, having kitted out several of the communications technology firm’s office suites in San Jose, CA, and London because they wanted a complete solution with top end audio, and also works closely with Zoom in deploying instant meeting room facilities to support Zoom Rooms licenses. Underpinning its vendor-agnostic design concept, Urben equally accommodates the Microsoft Teams platform (amongst others), allowing users to benefit from all available data collaboration options.
“If you want a small speaker to fit in a small space, then K-array is what it’s going to be,” stated Giles.
The Urben concept resonates strongly with the way the world is transforming right now, with the way that businesses are communicating, sharing data and acting on it at a pace that would have been unimaginable a few months ago. Urben provides an answer for companies that are looking to redeploy and make better use of expensive real estate.
“We’re seeing a growing trend for firms to divide up large boardrooms which are rarely used into smaller huddle spaces equipped with our slimline Urben solutions,” explained Giles. “So the Urben systems are a low cost but high-quality solution for people who want to quickly pop up a very simple meeting room; it’s very affordable even for small businesses and start-ups. And it’s all about ease of deployment and speed of installation, we can install a complete Zoom Room or Microsoft Teams Room in a fraction of the time it used to take because the systems are modular and pre-bundled, ready to plug and play. A client can order an Urben Lite or Nano solution before midday in the UK and have it delivered and be up and running within minutes on the next day.
“Our first experience of using K-array was in a British Formula One Team’s control room, which sounded amazing,” continued Giles. “Then we went on to equip a global energy services company’s headquarters with a large scale system using Vyper line arrays and Rumble subwoofers integrated into a 6m by 3m Barco display.”
Urben solutions are distributed worldwide, since many clients are multi-nationals with offices around the globe - a process made even easier due to K-array’s legacy and widespread acceptance as a high-end and ultimately stylish loudspeaker brand. Giles expounded: “the small footprint, crystal clear sound quality and ability to accommodate compact subwoofers in the larger triple screen Urben systems make K-array a perfect match. The form factor gives us a lot of flexibility in the way we design our systems to maintain their slim profile. You may not be able to see them, but when you fire them up they sound amazing.”
In addition to helping people adapt to a radically different working environment and getting back to the office, Urben also offers a smart way forward for distance learning. Again, the modular solutions can be easily customised and deployed, and as a result, secondary learning institutions, higher education facilities and universities are taking advantage of the multiple video and data feeds that are possible, allowing the teachers to see all the students, interact with them and keep track of the lesson’s content in one view.
“We chose K-array because it's the optimal combination of size and audio quality to fit within Urben's ultra-thin frames,” said Giles. “It's the best sound on the market from such a compact unit; we're delighted with how it sounds in Zoom's offices.
“We’re using the launch of our new demo suite to show off AV solutions in a real environment because the technology is evolving so rapidly. People want to see the total solution and hear what it can do for them,” he concluded. “We look forward to welcoming visitors to the K-array experience at the Urben Demo Suite.”
17th September 2020
ALD Launches Sponsored Student Scheme
UK – The ALD, for people in performance lighting, has announced that applications for its perennially popular Sponsored Student Scheme for the year 2021 are open, and that also running alongside the scheme, for the month of September only, is a promotion targeted at the other individual membership categories, for discounted subscription rates for the rest of the membership year to March 2021.
The Sponsored Student Scheme is funded by ALD Corporate Members and is targeted towards students who have not previously been members, offering the opportunity of free ALD membership until the end of March 2022.
Membership within any category provides vital interaction opportunities and connection between established figures in professional lighting and video design, and the next generation of talented designers, programmers and technicians. Members also enjoy complimentary copies of the Association’s magazine Focus, as well as full access to the ALD website (and student micro-site for students) which provides a range of documents and resources designed to inform your contract negotiations, assist your working conditions and highlight issues affecting our members.
Jack Wills, of the ALD student working group explains why students should apply: "ALD student membership gives an excellent introduction to those entering or considering a career in the lighting and video areas of the live performance arts. It allows you to plug directly into a network, and through the experiences and literature offered by the Association, exposes the breadth of jobs and career paths available within the in the UK and around the world.”
Applications for the Sponsored Student Scheme can be submitted straight away via www.ald.org.uk/join, but must be received before Christmas 2020. Students will not have previously been a member of the association and will be studying full time on a UK course or recognised industry apprenticeship scheme and have an interest in the process of live performance lighting and/or video and projection.
For other individuals who have not been a member previously, or for at least three years, the fees to March 2021 are discounted from the pro-rata level for the remaining membership year, with further savings to be made if signing up to pay by monthly direct debit. In addition, those applications supported by a current member ALD Sponsor will also attract a discount on their fees as well. Full details of the schemes and applicable rates can be found at www.ald.org.uk/blog
The last six months have shown that the industry is stronger when it is unified and supporting its practitioners through advice, networking and information sharing. Joining the relevant association now will help the process to build that voice, and contribute to creating stronger representation for those working in the industry as it starts to open up again.
16th September 2020
Entrepreneur, Nigel Wray invests in television lighting experts Version 2
UK – Version 2 Lights Limited ("Version 2"), the UK's foremost lighting rental specialists for the television, broadcast and entertainment media production industries, has announced the completion of an equity investment deal with Nigel Wray and his team.
This significant investment represents a milestone step in Version 2’s strategic plan to grow its position within the UK production community through an expanded equipment inventory and enhanced company infrastructure.
"We are delighted that Nigel has chosen to join us at this important stage in the evolution of our company,” says Nick Edwards, managing director of Version 2. “Nigel has an incredibly strong commercial background working with high profile names such as Domino’s and Saracens. His considerable business acumen which, importantly for us, includes a solid understanding of our industry, makes him an ideal partner. His involvement will allow us the scope both to build our equipment offering and to further develop our range of client support services.”
Nigel Wray comments: "Small entrepreneurially led businesses are the true lifeblood of this country. Without those little acorns where will the next mighty oaks come from. We’ve been impressed with Nick Edwards and his team and we’re delighted to join them on the journey to hopefully building a long-term success story."
Working alongside some of the industry’s most prominent lighting directors, Version 2 services a broad range of productions, including Strictly Come Dancing, I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! and The Jonathan Ross Show.
Since its inception in 2016, the UK owned company has enjoyed a carefully managed growth and has recently completed a move to a state-of-the-art facility in Reading. The new partnership, along with the availability of fresh funding, will allow the company to reinforce its market leadership position and maintain the ongoing policy of investment across all areas of its business.
Nick adds: “We have some exciting plans for the future. We are committed to strengthening both our team and our equipment inventory as we continue to support the growing number of productions we service. Having Nigel on board as a long term partner is a fantastic addition. I am confident that our clients will immediately see the benefits that this investment will deliver.”
16th September 2020
Absen among China’s Best Managed Companies 2020
China – LED display specialist, Absen, has once again been recognised as one of China’s Best Managed Companies in Deloitte’s Best Managed Companies (BMC) programme.
The BMC programme is a global initiative that identifies and recognises private companies with advanced management ideas and excellent business performance. Key factors in the evaluation of a company’s management ability include Strategy, Capabilities, Commitment and Financial Strength. This year, the selection criteria also considered Resiliency towards the Covid-19 pandemic. Absen was deemed to have shown extraordinary competency in all areas, allowing the company to weather these difficult times.
With a reputation for providing high quality LED displays, Absen once again achieved the number one global export position for the 11th consecutive year and will next year celebrate its 20th anniversary. Absen has a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility with an annual production capacity of 300,000sqm and places great emphasis on R&D and innovation. The company has built a strong customer service network with 15 domestic and overseas subsidiaries in order to support its customers worldwide.
Throughout 2020, Absen has continued to make improvements to its management systems, IT systems and end-to-end processes with the goal of becoming a fully ‘customer-centric’ organisation and while being underpinned and guided by a strong corporate culture and sound financial management. The company has also invested in talent development and corporate social responsibility practices.
Zhao Jian, BMC managing partner, says resilience creates sustainable value for enterprises. Long-lasting businesses and first-class enterprises have experienced several economic cycles, and will have more comprehensive and sophisticated strategies. The greater an enterprise's long-term mission, the greater its vitality. "Highly resilient enterprises" have developed strong immunity.
Alex Couzins, Absen Europe’s head of brand and marketing, said: “We are delighted to receive this award again this year, as we know that BMC Awards examines every component of a company, and this is confirmation that we are heading in the right direction. Getting this business accolade will further boost our confidence in continuing to improve our business management as well as our products and services.”
11th September 2020
Backstage Academy Takes Centre Stage with Covid Best Practice
UK – Backstage Academy has affirmed its commitment to safeguarding students entering the live events industry after it was selected by the QAA to take part in a series of best-practice Covid case studies. The institution was recognised by the assurance agency for the measures put in place following the outbreak of the pandemic.
Located at the world-renowned Production Park in South Kirby, Yorkshire, the higher education institution was included in a case study report, acknowledged by the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education) for its ability to adapt to the pandemic.
The Academy, which offers degrees, short courses and bespoke training for the live events industry, believes the special measures put in place for the next cohort of students in September will ensure “the long term survival of the industry, worth a vital £30bn to the UK’s economy.”
The QAA’s report focused on providers who overcame difficulties due to size, resource and specialisms, and recognised Backstage's fast response to the pandemic’s onset in March, its scenario planning for current students and detailed contingency plans for new students in October.
In addition to the QAA recognition, the results of which can be found here, Backstage Academy has also recently been accepted as a member into the Independent HE group, which recognises training and regulatory compliance, institutional practice, and the professional development of staff.
Rachel Nicholson, head of Backstage Academy, comments: “At the onset of the pandemic, we gathered together our leadership team to analyse the risk it posed. We modelled a number of scenarios to correctly respond to the challenges faced, and to ensure our student’s safety, which has remained our number one priority.
“We took the difficult decision to close the campus for students, but when we realised the pandemic would continue, we made sure we quickly transferred all of our teaching online to minimise the disruption to students.”
Since May, the Academy has been planning and implementing measures to ensure the return to campus in a few weeks is safe and enjoyable for new students.
Rachel continues: “Following student feedback, the reinstating of the practical elements of their courses was one of our biggest priorities. We’re addressing this by developing a blended approach for next year, which will include socially distanced hands-on learning as well as the online delivery of some teaching, to build on the experience we gained during lockdown.
“Lectures will be delivered online, enabling our large teaching spaces to be repurposed as specialist computer rooms, kitted out to conform with the government’s guidance on distancing.
“The use of these spaces, with students kept in ‘bubbles’, will further render safe the learning environment on campus. It will also ensure the courses continue to provide the excellent hands-on learning students love, the experiences of which are so vital for entering the industry.”
Simon Bullock, quality and standards specialist at QAA, said Backstage Academy was assessed to see how it: “Adjusted their teaching and learning, assessment and physical facilities to continue to provide high-quality education while keeping students and staff safe.
“We found that often the smaller size of the institution can be a real plus, enabling a more agile and tailored approach to group work, studio space, and assessment timetabling, for example.
“The resulting case studies, we hope, can guide smaller providers through the next few months, and give them a measure of comfort that what they have done is broadly in line with similar higher education providers.”
The QAA also recognised the institution for its communication with students, providing FAQs, staff forums and blogs for mental health concerns. Students who remained in accommodation were offered fortnightly one-to-one well-being checks from support staff.
Students looking to join the institution in October this year have been able to access virtual open days and participate in online chats with current students, academic and admissions staff.
Any current or new students who would like to hear more about the measures put in place, or for further information, please visit www.backstage-academy.co.uk.
9th September 2020
Brompton Technology makes Sunday Times Sage Tech Track 100
UK – For the third year running, Brompton Technology has been ranked in the Sunday Times Sage Tech Track 100.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 league table ranks Britain's 100 private tech (TMT) companies with the fastest-growing sales over the last three years. This year’s special Covid-19 edition highlights the important contribution that technology companies have made to the UK during the pandemic, from supporting the NHS to enabling remote working.
The current situation has had far reaching effects on the entertainment and corporate events industry, but Brompton has continued to work closely with its customers, supporting them in the development of new initiatives, such as the use of LED screens to provide virtual backdrops for TV and film production in studio rather than on location.
“The company’s priorities for its products have always been reliability, ease-of-use, powerful features and excellent technical support, which all contributed to the significant growth we have experienced in the last years,” says Brompton’s managing director, Richard Mead. “Our rankings in both the Sunday Times SME Export Track 100 and Tech Track 100 league table are testament to the strength and continuous dedication of our entire team. At the moment, we are fully focused on keeping everyone safe and supporting our industry partners through these challenging times, but we look forward to a bright and exciting future for all of us on the other side of the pandemic.”
8th September 2020
Prism Sound Appoints Trimac Products As Its Indian Distributor
India – India’s pro audio community can now access Prism Sound’s high quality range of converters and audio interfaces through Trimac Products Private Limited, a leading audio company with offices in Dehli, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
With over 400 channel partners and representation for more than 20 pro audio brands, Trimac is ideally placed to bring the benefits of Prism Sound technology to the Indian market.
Pankaj Kumar (pictured), Trimac’s chief operating officer, says: “Prism Sound’s products complement the products we already distribute and are a valuable and marketable addition to our roster. We are delighted to be able to offer this high end solution to our customers, many of whom are professional studios and hobbyist musicians. We also have customers in the education sector and we look forward to introducing them to the Prism Sound range.”
Alongside its sales business Trimac, in association with its channel partners, is also involved in studio design and installation. The company has a strong reputation for customer service and support and prides itself on providing efficient and reliable marketing services to the local dealers it works with.
“As a brand, Prism Sound is well known in among Indian pro audio professionals, but we feel there is still plenty of support we can give the brand, particularly in terms of bringing its products to the attention of the younger generation of producers, which is an area where we have good contacts,” Kumar says.
Mark Evans, Prism Sound’s sales director, adds: “We are very pleased to welcome Trimac as our new partner in India and we look forward to working with them in the future. Trimac’s excellent reputation across a number of market sectors can only be of benefit to the Prism Sound brand.”
28th August 2020
Point Source Audio Partners with Studio Connections Australia
Australia – Studio Connections will be the new home for Point Source Audio’s unique range of award-winning microphones and headsets in Australia. The move is a result of Point Source Audio looking to build on its already strong reputation in the country with the appointment of a new distributor dedicated to the market.
Point Source Audio microphones and headsets have been available in Australia for a number of years. Various products have featured on a number of international touring productions over the years, creating an ever-increasing demand and the need for a new partner that was dedicated to this territory. Following an extensive search, Point Source Audio has decided that Studio Connections Australia is the perfect partner to meet this brief.
“Studio Connections Australia is proud to have been appointed as the Australian distributor for Point Source Audio,” says Deborah Sloss, managing director at Studio Connections Australia. “Point Source Audio is the perfect addition to our stable, providing us with exciting new opportunities. We look forward to working with the Point Source Audio team in growing this unique, innovative and performance-based brand here in Australia.”
“We have been making good progress in the Australian market and we can see the potential for growth we have here,” adds James Lamb, president of Point Source Audio. “Appointing Studio Connections is a big step for us along this path. They are a well-known and respected player in Australia and will provide us with a trusted presence in the local market. We know that Deb and her team will play a powerful role in expanding our market share in the country and deliver the levels of service our customers around the world expect. We couldn’t be happier with our choice of distributor and we feel this will be the start of a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”
The distribution agreement is effective immediately, and Studio Connections Australia will now represent Point Source Audio across the country.
27th August 2020
Ayrton Appoints LSystemsPro LLC as its exclusive distributor for Armenia
Armenia – Ayrton has welcomed LSystemsPro LLC as its new exclusive distributor for Armenia. The new appointment takes place with immediate effect.
Based in the Armenian capital of Yerevan, LSystemsPro is the country’s leading company for sales, design and installation of many major brands of professional lighting and audio equipment.
“We work with many big event companies and large-scale venues, where we both sell and install the products we represent,” explains LSystemsPro founder and CEO, George Hakobyan. “We have been following the development of Ayrton closely and see there is great potential in the brand. We love the design and functionality of Ayrton products and believe there is great scope for the full range of their fixtures in this market.”
LSystemsPro’s views were compounded by feedback received from other sales and rental companies and designers who have experience of using Ayrton products, including their Russian partners: “Ayrton fixtures have an in-built flexibility which makes them ideal for the variety of uses that our small market demands. We are using this time of quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic to prepare our showrooms for when we can open up again and start to demonstrate the new Ayrton equipment directly to our customers. We are expecting busy times ahead!”
“Parallel to our existing distributor network and direct customer contacts, the new collaboration with LSystemsPro represents a great opportunity for Ayrton to enter emergent markets such as the CIS territories,” says Ayrton’s Kseniia Igoshkina. “LSystemsPro’s expertise and sustainable solutions open up new opportunities for both existing and new customers to understand the full potential of the technology Ayrton offers. We are looking forward and very excited to be working with Georgi and his professional team.”
In picture: LsystemsPro's Ani Grigoryan, Gevorg Harutyunyan, George Hakobyan (founder and CEO), Norayr Sahakyan and Sofya Khachatryan.
24th August 2020
Astera Announces Four New Nordic Distributors
Europe – Leading wireless LED lighting manufacturer, Astera, has announced four new exclusive distributors for Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden reflecting the dynamics, diversity, and potential of these four key Nordic nations.
In Denmark, Astera will be represented by Light Partner, Finland it is Oy Lafoy, in Norway Prostage takes up the Astera portfolio and in Sweden, Bellalite takes on the distribution.
The move enables customers in each country to deal directly with a trusted and well respected local distributor, all of which have been chosen for their reach into both live show and events plus film and TV markets, in addition to their stellar after-sales service and support infrastructures.
“Astera sales to Scandinavia started to take off in 2011,” explained the brand’s sales director Sebastian Bückle. With the volume of business at that time, it made sense to treat the different countries as one region, however, this has consistently expanded, and to encourage further growth, this move “reflects the increase in activity and the value of local market knowledge and connections.”
Sweden has been a robust market for Astera for some time; wireless technology is very widely adopted, and the two most prominent wireless DMX systems are also from Sweden.
Bellalite is a leading professional lighting and stage equipment supplier, established in 1979 and currently employing 25 people across three regional branches in Gothenburg, Stockholm and their Vaxjo HQ.
They see Astera as a “market leader” for high quality battery powered LED lights “that fits perfectly into our product range,” commented CEO Joakim Lundgren, adding: “We love to work with the best products and Astera has been our first choice for many years, so we’re happy and excited to become their Swedish distributor!”
The Danish market has also been consistent in recent years. Herning-based Light Partner has distributed premium audio-visual equipment for entertainment, install and the broadcast sectors for almost 30 years and has a great reputation.
“We’ve watched Astera’s development for a few years and have been increasingly impressed by their product quality and innovative thinking,” states Light Partner CEO Stig Meyer.
Now even more familiar with the company, he is confident that the versatile product ranges, high level of professional support and Astera’s general passion for the industry is “very inspiring.”
“Light Partner aims to deliver first-class service and support, and for that, we need a first-class organisation like Astera backing us up.”
Prostage is based in the lively capital city of Oslo, and sales manager Carl August Tidemann says, “We’ve wanted to work with Astera for some time, as there has been a huge demand in our market for high-quality battery-operated LED fixtures the last few years.”
He thinks Astera is a unique high-tech brand offering quality technical solutions that are “second to none” that “perfectly” suits their product portfolio which embraces multiple markets. He believes Astera is a true “market leader” in the TV / film studio world.
Prostage was established in 2008 and now employs 12 talented and enthusiastic staff with a vast aggregate experience and a customer base all over Norway, including AV integrators, contractors, event and rental companies, TV and film studios, houses of worship, theatre and cultural venues.
In Finland, currently enjoying huge critical acclaim for its slick, stunningly complex and beautifully cinematic versions of the ‘Nordic Noir’ film / TV series genre, Astera is sure to be a winner!
Lafoy was established in 2004 and has always worked in film, studio, stage, and entertainment markets, mainly supplying an array of lighting and rigging products and accessories.
Oy Lafoy’s Hans Karlsson sees Astera as a “state-of-the-art” brand with great potential for film and TV, but also but also for architectural and architainment projects, especially in the north of the country where new markets and projects are opening due to increased tourism that are demanding good quality IP rated fixtures.
Sebastian concludes: “We have selected all of these partner companies very carefully based on success, shared visions and goals, and I look forward to four extremely positive working relationships across Scandinavia that will bring great results.”
21st August 2020
SiPA reports ‘clear drive’ for sustainability after webinar success
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 respected 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 member and designer with Toasterlab, Huntly Christie – CEO of Christie Lites based in the USA, Canada and the UK 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 embrace change and to come back better. SiPA is now fully engaged in developing the tools we all need to make sustainability a part of our industry’s DNA.”
Many of the panel members noted the devastating impact COVID-19 has had – and continues to have – on the live production industry, but recognised the downtime as a chance to amend approaches when live events are able to return.
USITT’s executive director, David Grindle, commented: “The pandemic has had a disastrous effect on our industry worldwide. It is exciting to see us take this challenging time and work together to envision a more sustainable theatre when we reopen.”
Huntly Christie, a leader in the stage lighting industry for 35 years said: “We were an early adopter of renewable energy and sustainable business practices. Over time we have implemented an array of more sustainable practices at Christie Lites including the use of renewable power in our Canadian operations and the installation of a large solar array, which supplies electricity to our Orlando warehouse.”
SiPA is now working on a new website, which will be a hub for much-needed information and resources, including case studies of the successful implementation of sustainability best practices and ‘how-to’ guides for each sector in the live production industry.
“As an industry, we know it is imperative that we become more sustainable,” Scott continues. “The current hiatus is giving us all time to evaluate how we can holistically transform the way we work. Collectively, we can become an industry that creates a legacy that humanity can be proud of.”
SiPA is inviting individuals and companies working in live production to like or follow its social media channels for updates and news – search for the handle @sipa.global on Facebook and Twitter, or join The Sustainability in Production Alliance LinkedIn group.
In picture: Industry leaders united to shape a plan for real change, photo: SiPA
18th August 2020
Hi-Tech Media Partners with Renkus-Heinz to Bring Premium Loudspeakers to Russia
Russia – Renkus-Heinz, manufacturer of professional loudspeakers, is partnering with Hi-Tech Media to bring premium sound offerings to Russia. The move puts Renkus-Heinz solutions in the hands of more integrators and end users, allowing for quality sound to be placed precisely where it's needed the most: on the audience.
“Renkus-Heinz has a mission to empower our customers with perfectly positioned audio across the globe,” said Michal Poplawski, European technical sales manager at Renkus-Heinz. “By partnering with Hi-Tech Media, we are further enabling that mission while also working with one of the most knowledgeable and committed teams in the region. That includes Russia, as well as Belarus and Kazakhstan where Hi-Tech Media has its satellite operations.”
Hi-Tech Media, headquartered in Moscow, is a market leader in added-value AV distribution. The firm offers all stages of support and installation – from consultation to long-term service – for complete AV systems. Hi-Tech Media’s expertise also aligns with Renkus-Heinz’ key markets, and includes work in education, governmental, corporate, performing arts and sports facilities.
Renkus-Heinz has provided premium loudspeakers for more than 40 years, and for more than a decade has worked to perfect digital beam steering technology. These steerable solutions allow for audio to be positioned in any room, keeping the focus off any architectural peculiarities or reverberant surfaces and instead, placing it precisely where it's wanted: on the audience. With supporting tools from robust software suites to elegant Android and iOS applications, the integrator and end user is put in total control of their loudspeaker systems.
“Renkus-Heinz is a recognised leader in high-tech solutions and their systems are renowned for working in challenging spaces, both acoustically and aesthetically,” said Pavel Shemyakin, brand manager for Audio Systems at Hi-Tech Media. “The provided systems are trusted by global corporations, governments, large hotel chains, sports arenas, world-renowned theatres, and religious institutions. With Renkus-Heinz technologies, we can now offer loudspeaker systems to those areas where it is really needed, minimising spurious reflections and dramatically improving audio performance and visual aspects.”
“We’re thrilled to be working with the Hi-Tech Media team,” said Matt Czyzewski, president of Renkus-Heinz. “This is a partnership that couples world class products and solutions with a world class AV team. We look forward to the outcomes of adding high quality sound to more locations across Russia.”
14th August 2020
Chauvet Expands US Operations with New Las Vegas Facility
USA – Chauvet has doubled its capacity to serve customers in the west region of the US by opening a 35,000 square foot satellite facility in Las Vegas. The new office, warehouse and service centre complex is twice the size of the company’s West Coast Burbank, CA satellite facility that it will be replacing on 10 Aug.
“Our investment in a new, larger and more technologically advanced facility reflects our commitment to this industry and our belief in its future,” said Albert Chauvet, CEO of Chauvet. “Being in Vegas will enhance the level of service we’re able to offer our customers.”
Combined with the company’s Global Headquarters in Florida, the new Vegas operation gives Chauvet the capacity to ship to any point in the 48 contiguous United States within three days, maximum.
The Las Vegas facility will stock Chauvet Professional, Iluminarc, Chauvet DJ and ChamSys products. Modelled closely after the company’s East Coast operations, the satellite facility is actively recruiting and will host technical support, sales, demo/training programmes, quality control and shipping operations.
Although the Chauvet Las Vegas facility is new, it will be staffed by many familiar faces. General site manager Todd Bearden has made the move from California to Nevada, as have warehouse lead Mark Guzman, sales support specialist Elizabeth-Aye-Darko and repair specialist Brandon Cooks. They will be joined by a professional local service, support and warehouse staff.
“The strength of any company begins with its people, so I am proud and gratified that there are key team members that are joining us in Las Vegas,” said Chauvet. “We’re looking forward to building a great future together there and will be ready to serve our US customers as the pandemic passes and business grows.”
11th August 2020
Powersoft Pledges Percentage of Profits to Crew Nation Fund
Live music inspires millions around the world, but while artists have been able to embrace the new possibilities afforded by social media and streaming sites in the wake of Covid-19, the talented men and women who so often stand behind them have not been so lucky.
With this in mind, charitable fund Crew Nation has been created to extend a helping hand to the touring and venue crews who depend on a constant run of shows to make a living.
The fund – powered and administered by charitable 501c3 organisation, Music Forward Foundation – has been kick-started in inspiring style by Live Nation, which has contributed an initial $5 million and committed to match the next $5 million given by artists, fans and employees. So far superstars such as Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Metallica, John Mayer, and many more have shown their support and donated.
Having become aware of the initiative, Italian innovator Powersoft has pledged to donate 5% of the proceeds from all of the touring amplifier platforms sold between 27th July and 15th of October, to Crew Nation. The Powersoft campaign that will follow is based on the key concept that ‘behind every show stands a great live music crew’, to underline the importance of the people behind the scenes of the shows that are so important to so many.
The campaign will be spread over several different media such as web banners, banner newsletters, social channels, and in print in the international trade media.
Powersoft’s brand, communication and trade marketing manager, Francesco Fanicchi, said: "As with every person involved in the industry, we know how difficult the last months have been for professionals in the live event industry, in particular the touring and venue crew who are completely dependent on live shows to survive. “We spent time in doing research to find the right organisation to partner with, and eventually we came to realise that Crew Nation would be the perfect channel. Although It is difficult to make any assumptions on sales levels during this period, we will use our marketing capabilities to promote this operation to industry professionals in the hope that we will raise a significant contribution to Crew Nation.”
“We greatly appreciate Powersoft extending a helping hand to the touring and venue crews who depend on shows to make a living. Their pledge will go a long way to assist Crew Nation in its mission to support and provide grants for these backstage staff who are struggling the most during these difficult times,” said Nurit Smith, executive director of the Music Forward Foundation. “Together with partners like Powersoft, Crew Nation can ensure that the live community has the support it needs.”
Fabrizio Romano Bolzoni, sales manager, rack amps, added: “As an Italian company, we feel at the forefront of this unprecedented situation. We want to make ourselves engines and promoters of commendable initiatives to support the people in our sector, and we asked our worldwide sales networks to promote this initiative as much as they can, in order to raise awareness for something that is really impacting the live music industry.”
Please visit livenation.com/crewnation to donate.
5th August 2020
#LightItInRed Supports #WeMakeEvents Red Alert Campaign
UK – Grassroots campaign initiative #LightItInRed is part of the 11th August ‘Red Alert’ day of action being organised and coordinated by #WeMakeEvents and PLASA (the Professional Lighting & Sound Association).
Red Alert is also being supported by numerous companies, professionals, organisations and other individuals and practitioners working in the entertainment technology industry and performing arts sector.
The Red Alert campaign’s goal is to get the live entertainment and technical production sector in front of politicians, specifically those in the exchequer and at the DCMS (Department of Culture Media & Sport), the latter as the industry’s representatives at parliamentary level.
The reason is to demand urgent financial help for the sector and its substantial support infrastructure until mass gatherings can return.
The industry is on the brink of collapse following no work or cash flow for five months, and no timetable for a re-start.
This is further exacerbated by recent changes to the coronavirus jobs retention scheme (JRS) meaning that already cash-strapped companies will be under further pressure to make redundancies.
On 6th July, #LightItInRed initiated a lighting action that saw nearly 700 buildings, monuments, landmarks, and spaces all over the UK lit in ‘emergency red’ to raise awareness of this dire situation.
#WeMakeEvents Red Alert is the next step.
“The call is even more urgent now, so we are again asking everyone if they can get actively involved and light something red for the 11th August,” says #LightItInRed co-founder Steven Haynes.
Phillip Berryman, the other co-founder of the movement, states: “We are hearing daily about the mental health impact of this crisis on individuals, and ask everyone in our industry to not only show their support for each other, but join together with one united voice and take part in the #WeMakeEvents Red Alert campaign.”
To register a building / place / space to be lit in red on 11th August, please visit: www.lightitinred.com
Information about other activations being planned on 11th August can be found at www.plasa.org/wemakeevents
The UK’s live entertainment and technical and creative production industry remains vastly undervalued and underappreciated whilst facilitating a massive contribution to the UK’s GDP and exchequer through live events, performance, concert tours, festivals, etc.
It was the country’s fastest growing sector in 2018 and offers a diverse array of employment and careers.
The DCMS has secured £1.57bn for the sector – announced the day before the #LightItInRed event in July – which is fantastic, but it appears that this £1.57bn is predominately for the theatres, venues, institutions and the heritage sector with only a small amount to assist the numerous small venues around the country.
#LightItInRed has also not yet heard of anyone successfully accessing these funds.
Except for the small venues, the sector generally has some form of annual arts funding and at best constitutes around 50% of the live events and technical production industry.
This 50% of the industry that has been missed out is the part with no existing arts funding. It is normally completely commercially viable, self-sufficient and pays taxes.
The companies and individuals working in it are not only hugely dynamic, talented and resourceful, they take substantial personal risks borrowing billions for equipment capital purchases, buildings, mortgages and staff. This sector (live entertainment, festivals, music, comedy, touring, corporate and industrial events, promoters and manufacturers etc.), is enormous and represents at least half of the overall sector represented through the DCMS.
Despite all the recent positive statements by the government, right now the live events and technical production industry cannot work.
4th August 2020
ISCE rebrands to ISCVE – Institute of Sound, Communications and Visual Engineers
ISCE has renamed and rebranded to ISCVE LtdL The Institute of Sound, Communications and Visual Engineers.
Recognising the diversity of its members and the markets they operate in, along with the convergence of technologies, the Institute has undertaken this identity and name change to embrace the wider scope, skills and sectors of its members and supporting members.
ISCVE president, Helen Goddard FInstSCVE states: “We recognise that audio without visual, in today’s markets, is a little like tea without biscuits, you rarely see one without the other.
“So whilst it is important for us to continue to embrace members and market sectors of our origins, we also welcome with open arms, members who are working within additional disciplines, skill sets and technologies and our brand identity has been changed to reflect that’.
‘Training programs offered by ISCVE already include acoustics, assistive hearing, PA & sound reinforcement systems, voice alarm and audio-visual technologies, so this is a very natural progression, and of course, ISCVE training programs continue to be fully CPD accredited.
“CPD accreditation is important for our members, particularly in the UK, as it continues to be the most recognised standard of training by government and public and private sector bodies for our markets.”
ISCVE training courses include programmes presented by the industry’s leading consultants, engineers and practitioners and are open to members and non-members. A full schedule of courses can be found on the recently rebranded and relaunched ISCVE website.
Further important membership benefits and new activities are planned over the coming months.
4th August 2020
New Prolyte Stock In North America
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 award winning 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.
Building on more than 25 years of history and tradition, the Prolyte brand continues to be one of the most recognised worldwide names in aluminium truss and structures for the event industry. Now utilising the vast distribution strength of Area Four Industries Direct America, Prolyte products are more readily available for event production, installation and leisure markets 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. He continues: “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.
3rd August 2020
Updates to ETC and High End Systems Warranty Statements
In order to ensure customers are supported with the highest level of service across the globe, ETC and High End Systems are modifying their warranty statements by requiring an ETC or High End Systems international warranty provision to be obtained, in advance, for products that are purchased by a dealer in North and South America and subsequently forwarded outside of the Americas. Failure to do this will void the product’s warranty.
When reselling products outside North and South America, customers must purchase this provision prior to the product’s initial shipment from ETC or High End Systems. To receive a quote for an ETC or High End Systems Warranty Provision, please reach out to a regional sales team.
ETC and HES appreciate assistance in improving their co-ordination of these global transactions.
For convenience, here are copies of the updated statement in ETC’s and HES’s warranty, terms and conditions:
For dealers located in North and South America: ETC manufactured products forwarded outside of North and South America will immediately void this warranty unless the dealer has obtained an additional ETC international warranty provision for the specific product prior to the product’s initial shipment from ETC. ETC is not obligated to provide an ETC international warranty provision. Please contact ETC to inquire and purchase an ETC international warranty provision.
For dealers located in North and South America: High End Systems manufactured products forwarded outside of North and South America will immediately void this warranty unless the dealer has obtained an additional Hight End international warranty provision for the specific product prior to the product’s initial shipment from High End Systems. High End Systems is not obligated to provide a High End international warranty provision. Please contact High End Systems to inquire and purchase a High End international warranty provision.
31st July 2020
Latest Theatre Updates from White Light
UK – A statement from Bryan Raven:
Well here we are. Another month has gone by and we still found ourselves in a similar situation to when we sent out our last newsletter. That said, there has obviously been a few changes. We all let out a huge cheer on that Sunday evening when we discovered that the government had finally decided to give the arts and culture sector the financial support it desperately needs. This is a result of everyone's rallying and campaigning so a huge thank you if you were one of the thousands behind this. We are now slowly discovering how this money will be distributed (at long last) and we really hope it's enough to save the incredible venues and organisations we work with across the UK.
In terms of getting shows 'back on the road', there's been a huge effort over the past few weeks in seeing how theatre can exist with social distancing in place. I personally don't think it can and this seems to be the conclusion made by Andrew Lloyd Webber after his test event at the London Palladium last week. That said, I think the resilience being shown sums up both the passion of those working in this industry and the fact that there clearly is still a demand for theatre and shared experiences. I think the immediate future will be focused on outdoor performances and we are seeing a lot of venues announce seasons outside. At WL, we are delighted to be providing the lights for the upcoming Jesus Christ Superstar: The Concert at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre next month. Similarly, we are also excited to be supplying Blindness at the Donmar Warehouse, which is a socially distanced sound installation (now there's a concept that didn't exist this time last year...). What both of these productions, and the many others announced, show is that the audience hunger still remains; something which will hopefully pay in dividends when we return back to 'normal'.
As always, we've included below a list of updates, useful links and resources for you to look through. In the meantime, please do keep in touch and let us know how you're doing. We are starting to bring back our team so if you have any enquiries or just want to touch base, then please make sure you do so.
Managing director, White Light
31st July 2020
L-Acoustics expands presence in Nordics with addition of JLE as Certified Partner
Sweden – Since 2003 when it purchased its first ARCS constant curvature system, Swedish rental company JLE Audio has grown its inventory with a range of L-Acoustics products that count Kiva and Kara II line arrays, followed by the recent addition of the new A Series. JLE provides quality equipment and service to live events and installations across Sweden, and its appointment as an official L-Acoustics certified provider rental (CPr) and certified provider install (CPi) allows them to offer extended service and expertise to its client base.
Over the years, JLE has fulfilled a growing number of projects, and as a result, its rental stock of L-Acoustics cabinets has grown correspondingly to almost 200 cabinets. “It makes perfect sense for us to solidify our relationship with L-Acoustics by becoming a member of the partner network,” explains JLE’s Johannes Jonsson. “It gives us increased expertise and ready access to support from the global family of L-Acoustics partners, which means that we can assure an elevated level of service and expertise to our clients.”
Most recently, JLE has increased its presence in the strategic installation market, completing projects including Gnosjö Missionskyrka and Pentecostal churches in Mullsjö and Jönköping and performing arts centres such as the Skövde Stadsteater.
“Johannes and his team have identified key areas of growth in Sweden, and have helped us nurture strong relationships with end-users,” says Han Dohmen, regional sales manager at L-Acoustics. “We’re excited to welcome them into the partner network and look forward to working together to help them create engaging experiences for audiences across a wide variety of events and venues in Sweden.”
“We’ve always had a positive experience working with the L-Acoustics team,” concludes Jonsson. “They understand the Swedish market, and their ability to help us create sound solutions that are perfectly tailored to our clients’ needs is a strong advantage for us. We look forward to building the future of sound in Sweden together.”
30th July 2020
Live events industry moves #WeMakeEvents campaign into ‘Red Alert’ to save UK events
UK – Many of the leading live events trade bodies and businesses across the UK have joined together to bring attention to the dire straits the live events industry and its entire supply chain is facing; the sector includes manufacturers, audio, lighting and video specialists, logistics, transportation, rigging and many more.
The industry is now issuing a ‘Red Alert’ with many organisations, businesses and live events staff coming together on the 11th of August to shed light on an industry set to collapse, unless the government provides the right support.
Redundancies have started with research conducted last week indicating 10% of companies planning to issue notices by the end of July, with an additional 15% in August, and 70% plan to make redundancies by end of 2020 with a fifth expecting to lose 70% of staff.
The UK is regarded as a global leader in delivering large, complex events and without financial support from the government, the UK’s art and culture sector is at risk of closing for good and potentially losing over £100 billion contribution to the UK GDP to European and US production companies, some of whom are receiving government support. Over a million estimated members of staff, freelancers and businesses will experience unachievable loan repayments, loss of furlough payments, and bailout funding will go directly to venues instead of the staff.
Peter Heath, MD of leading trade body PLASA, comments: “The live events industry supply chain that contributes to every single event in the UK is set to completely collapse, 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.”
James Gordon, CEO of Audiotonix, the UK’s largest Pro Audio manufacturer and a key supplier to the events industry, adds: “As the first industry to stop working back in early March, we will also be the last to get our businesses working again, with ongoing social distancing making it impossible to open up live event venues to allow capacities that are commercially viable for all. Without an ongoing sector specific furlough scheme which other European countries have introduced, and other financial measures that will help our freelance workers who make up 72% of this sectors workforce, we cannot secure the long term future of the UK’s leading, internationally respected and commercially contributing events industry.”