Business News Headlines
Hard hitting new campaign launched by #WeMakeEvents, as survey shows live event supply chain on verge of collapse
Manufacturing: Canford expands reputation as the supplier of choice for connector panels and custom metalwork
Electrosonic Group Launches New Group Company Website
UK – Electrosonic, a leading international Audiovisual and Technology Services Company, invites its customers and partners to explore its new website.
The new electrosonic.com provides an engaging user experience with simplified navigation and enhanced visual design, showcasing the rich experiential technology solutions it creates. Developed with a focus on experiential technology in mind, the site includes many new elements to help customers and partners quickly and easily navigate the site to experience what’s possible.
Some of the new features include:
Look-ahead navigation optimised to reduce the numbers of user clicks to navigate the website
Embedded audiovisual elements enable customers and prospects to quickly narrow down the core elements of the experiential technology solution
Simplified sales and technical support to expedite response time and enhance customer/partner satisfaction
Responsive design allowing the site to be compatible with all browsers and mobile devices experiences
Easier to find customercentric marketing collateral, project profiles and videos
“I am thrilled about the new website, which marks our journey to help customers and partners to identify innovative technology solutions that augment their day-to-day experiences where people live, work, and play. The new electrosonic.com portrays the art of engineering, which is our unfair advantage in any complex and experiential solutions which bring innovation, technology and talent at the core of all the activities we do to help customers to solve their critical business issues,” commented Maurizio Capuzzo, chief marketing officer at the Electronic Group.
Customers and partners visiting the new website can stay informed with the latest Electrosonic industry and innovations news through its online blog and podcast electrosonic.com/blog.
“Electrosonic brings technology experiences to life for our customers across the globe, and the new electrosonic.com enables them to immerse themselves in the art of engineering, bringing innovation to life within their organisations. Whether it’s a corporate enterprise, location-based entertainment facility, or essential business operation, users will find inspiration at electrosonic.com,” said electronic digital marketing manager Alex Westerh.
Jon Hancock, CEO of the ES Group, further commented: “The new website brings to life how we push the boundaries of technology to unleash the power of human experience to enhance life where people live, work and play. It represents a new step forward in our journey to deliver technology services that create value for our customers and partners.”
15th April 2021
Solid State Logic adds ALGAM to distribution network
For over 30 years Solid State Logic has provided sales and support services via its own subsidiary, SSL France, under the leadership of, Philippe Guerinet. SSL France has been responsible for the growth of SSL Live, System T broadcast and large-format studio consoles in the region and in recent years, the increasing range of ‘ACP’ audio creation products, including USB recording interfaces, high-performance small-scale mixers and hybrid production tools, Fusion and UF8.
Regarding the appointment Philippe Guerinet, director of international sales comments: “We were looking for a new structure capable of supporting further growth in ACP whilst continuing the success of SSL’s large-format consoles. We had to find a solution where new and existing customers would get the best support possible, for all our verticals. Partnering with ALGAM, who have both their AUDIA and ALGAM Entreprises arms of the business is a fantastic opportunity.”
ALGAM Entreprises, headed by Didier Perez, offer extensive experience in supporting professional audio products, and under the new agreement will present customers with integrated solutions utilising SSL’s AoIP technologies and unique interoperability between live and broadcast platforms. Didier Perez, Director Commercial, ALGAM Entreprises adds: “We are delighted to take SSL on board. This fits ideally with our strategy to further establish ALGAM Entreprises into the sale and support of complex projects in broadcast, live and installs, as much as providing high end solutions for Music studios. SSL’s network solutions based around DANTE, AES67 and ST2110 offer innovative solutions which address the new challenges in broadcast and live sound.”
ALGAM’s level of commitment is clear from already enhancing SSL’s demonstration and support functions. Nigel Beaumont, managing director of Solid State Logic comments: “As discussions with ALGAM progressed, it became clear they offer the knowledge and resources required to support both the pro audio and the ACP sectors of SSL’s business. Their initial focus on demonstrating solutions and providing exemplary support functions already shows this. We look forward to a rewarding partnership that benefits everyone, but most importantly our end users.”
13th April 2021
Collaborative Creations provide sales team partnership for AED Audio
UK – Collaborative Creations (CC), the industry’s dedicated business ‘plug-in’ support and development service, has announced its sales team partnership with AED Audio in the UK. AED Audio’s product range is uniquely positioned as the latest in professional multi-purpose audio, built around a single cabinet type designed for use on a variety of applications.
CC founder and director, West End associate sound designer, Sam Vincent (pictured), confirms: “AED Audio has come up with a brilliant product offering in the FLEX and SOLID Series speakers. Incredibly versatile, they suit a wide range of applications and the 15" front loaded SOLID15 sub has an impressive low range for a sub of its size.
“It’s the accessories for the range, however, that represent the biggest step forward I have seen in a long time. As a system it’s very user friendly at every level, whether for a single install or for multi-application use, for example, in a multi-purpose or multi-format venue, or for a hire company.”
As a division of the AED group, a resource trusted by production hire companies across Europe, the AED Audio product range is inspired directly by the needs of AV production hire companies with which it works so closely on an everyday basis.
AED Audio’s all-in-one range has been developed with the experience and knowledge of audio professionals. Comprising the FLEX Series of full range cabinets and the SOLID Series of sub bass units, the system is designed for efficiency. Multi-purpose and scaleable, the FLEX and SOLID Series combine as a point source system, can be arranged as a compact line array flown with up to 16 boxes, and even used as a column array.
Within the single full range FLEX6 cabinet of the FLEX Series, lies the versatility of the system. FLEX6 incorporates a tool-free rotatable horn. Transposable through 100 degrees on one axis and 15 degrees on the other, the FLEX6 can be positioned with ease to serve either a vertical or horizontal plane. With no need for tools, the FLEX6 horn can be simply and securely transitioned by hand.
The SOLID Series features the SOLID15 15-inch powered subwoofer, which can be used stand-alone, flown or ground-stacked, and the SOLID28, a double 18-inch band pass powered subwoofer for ground stacking only, with a 3000W RMS robust amplifier module for a frequency response of 25Hz to 150Hz.
The FLEX and SOLID Series are so versatile that with five optional rigging accessories, no less than 23 different loudspeaker configurations can be accessed. The all-in-one Series’ feature on-board power and processing. For connectivity the system is Dante compatible and also takes line/mic inputs, so is ready to go out-of-the-box.
AED Audio is a strong nod to the very roots of the AED group. The Europe-wide AV equipment bank for lighting and sound solutions, established itself back in the 80s as a dry hire only company with its own speaker range designed using the components of several brands. Then as now, few anticipated its customer needs like AED.
Experience the versatility of AED Audio’s FLEX and SOLID Series audio solution, by appointment only, at Collaborative Creations’ London-based demonstration studio, located near Waterloo Station.
13th April 2021
Interlite AB Appointed Exclusive ChamSys Distributor in Sweden
Sweden – Key to the success of a lighting console, besides the quality of the product itself, are customer service, support and training, according to the corporate philosophy of ChamSys.
This belief is wholeheartedly shared by Interlite AB, which is a big reason why the company is proud to become the exclusive Swedish distributor of ChamSys products, including the award-winning MagicQ and QuickQ series.
“We are big believers in product training and demonstrations,” said Tobias Johansson (pictured), a 20-year industry veteran and brand manager of ChamSys for Interlite AB. “The commitment ChamSys has to service fits perfectly with our own philosophy.”
Beyond this compatibility, Interlite AB is most excited about the ChamSys line of products. “ChamSys products excel from the mid to the top range of the console market,” said Johansson. “Their powerful and user-friendly features have earned them a great reputation.”
For its part, ChamSys enthusiastically welcomes Interlite AB to its distribution network. “Interest in our MagicQ and QuickQ consoles has been expanding rapidly in Sweden,” said Aziz Adilkhodjaev, international sales and business development manager for ChamSys. “Having a company with the core values of Interlite AB represent us in that market will ensure that we are able to maintain the highest standards of service in Sweden as our business there grows. Great possibilities lay ahead in Sweden and we’re all very excited.”
12th April 2021
Yamaha Appoints Specialist UK Distribution Partners For ADECIA
UK – Yamaha Unified Communications (UC) has recently appointed three specialist UK distribution partners for its new ADECIA intelligent conferencing solution, designed to deliver efficient, streamlined collaboration and boosting productivity.
ADECIA applies automated room tuning and dynamic voice tracking to the challenges of conference environments, providing a complete, customisable audio solution for remote conferencing and collaboration. Based on the dedicated RM-CR conference processor, VXL1-16P line array speakers and optimised SWR2311P-10G PoE+ switch, ADECIA systems are easy to set up and can be used in a wide variety of locations and situations. Yamaha will be developing the range, offering ADECIA solutions which provide a comfortable and effortless remote conferencing experience in all kinds of spaces.
For UK resellers and their customers to get the most from ADECIA and other UC systems, Yamaha has appointed Audiologic, Habitech and Tempura Communications as distribution partners.
“Specialist distributors have the knowledge needed for entire networked audio and video systems, with active post-sales support and ongoing advice as end user requirements change,” says Reece Stead, UK business development manager for Yamaha Unified Communications.
“We are very pleased to work with Audiologic, Habitech and Tempura to bring ADECIA to UK resellers, which we believe will enhance the audio conferencing experience for a wide range of users. This is particularly important, as demand for remote and more flexible conferencing solutions has grown quickly over the past year.”
Ben Spurgeon, Audiologic senior application engineer says: “We pride ourselves on being a technically focused distributor. We assist clients throughout their project lifespan, whether it be designing, programming or commissioning their solution. The addition of ADECIA to our portfolio introduces a straightforward solution for professional conferencing spaces.
“With unique features such as dereverberation, automatic speaker tuning and routing, the installation and commissioning process is easier than ever before. Importantly, as a fully networked and PoE solution, these rooms can be rapidly rolled out across our customers’ projects.”
Sophie Graham, marketing and communications manager at Habitech adds: “Habitech and Yamaha have enjoyed great success with installations for hospitality, retail and corporate applications. As we strengthen our offering in the professional market, Yamaha’s new ADECIA solution is a powerful addition to our portfolio.
“ADECIA shares many of the benefits and positive experiences with Yamaha’s other professional audio products and features Dante audio networking, which has become a core requirement for many of our customers’ projects. Yamaha meets the high expectations of our installation partners, providing quality, performance and reliability, which fits perfectly with our philosophy.”
Matthew Light of Tempura Communications notes: “We have experience with Yamaha products and wanted to add a company to our portfolio that has pedigree for audio solutions covering microphones, control systems and speakers. ADECIA is a great fit for our resellers and their customers.
“We are all about quality product and service. This includes value, supply, pre/post-sales support and innovation. ADECIA ticks all the boxes and, as a new product designed for the changing landscape of the conference room and PC-based codecs, it is perfect for us.”
In picture: Ben Spurgeon - Audiologic (photo: Matt Boland), Matthew Light - Tempura (photo: Matthew Light) and Sophie Graham - Habitech (photo: Sophie Graham).
9th April 2021
#WeMakeEvents amplifies support for post-Brexit touring productions in open letter to Grant Shapps
UK – Industry collective #WeMakeEvents is joined by over 150 industry players to call for crucial government support for the specialist transport vehicles: carrying artists, crew and equipment involved in touring productions, which have been rendered inoperable.
An essential component to music, film and TV tours, passenger transportation relies on operating freely in the EU. Under the current post-Brexit EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) hauliers are restricted, stopping the 30 companies in the sector from returning and UK artists from being able to tour. This is instead opening up opportunities for trucking companies to be set up in the EU and sacrificing specialist jobs. The industry is now writing to the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, urging the government to negotiate exemptions or waivers to the TCA and/or provide short term work-arounds.
Without freedom of movement to work across the EU, the demise of sleeper bus and splitter van businesses will threaten the UK’s entire creative export ecosystem and position as a recognised global leader in live events. Unless the TCA is negotiated to provide an exception to the cabotage hauliers, the industry faces another competitive disadvantage against EU-based competitors.
To raise awareness, over 50 musicians have co-signed the letter including Frank Turner, Two Door Cinema Club, Maximo Park, Blossoms, Ghostpoet, Public Service Broadcasting, Melanie C and Jamiroquai. Also supporting are the producers and crew involved in music, film, and TV productions that rely on the customised vehicles operated by these live events businesses.
With all but no live events being able to take place in the EU for over a year, the letter follows a recent #WeMakeEvents’ survey further highlighting the complexities of Brexit:
Almost a third of respondents generated 30% or more of their revenues from Europe in 2019
62% see the new EU relationship as a problem for business and income
36% are expecting increased EU competition
Duncan Bell, steering committee member of #WeMakeEvents said: “The UK is geared up to hold around 85 per cent of Europe’s touring capacity in terms of the live event supply chain and without solutions to the EU Touring obstacles we face, these businesses and individuals are in jeopardy. Over one year down the line since tours were taken from under our feet, we are witnessing an imminent destruction of the UK’s position as a supplier of skills and technology to touring. Without urgent intervention, we may well see the invisible army of touring staff have to permanently sacrifice their beloved careers and choose more stable jobs.”
Tarrant Anderson, the founder and a director of Vans For Bands Ltd, said: “What we need the government to recognise is the irreparable damage that will be imposed upon touring production unless counteractive support to new EU laws is made accessible. The Brexit deal means the only work companies like ours can now do in the EU is make one delivery stop, one interior move in that location, then one more movement within the EU before being forced to return to the UK. The pandemic has exacerbated this in taking away all touring work before the law was imposed. In normal circumstances Vans For Bands services over 100 tours per month and transports around 10,000 musicians and crew every year; not being able to do what we do best, even when lockdown restrictions ease, will be devastating.”
Frank Turner, British singer and songwriter, said: “The restrictions which have become apparent in the wake of the Brexit deal are completely restrictive, to the point of negation, of the touring world I know and have worked in for the last two decades. If these restrictions had been in place for the last 20 years, I simply would not have been able to tour, establish my audience, and grow my career on the continent, to the point where I now (in usual times) headline arena shows and festivals across Europe. I have proudly employed many skilled UK crew members and musicians and generated revenue and tax from my business in Europe as much as any other overseas territory. Facing its removal from my touring schedule is unconscionable.”
Two Door Cinema Club, Northern Irish rock band, said: “When we were starting out, cutting our teeth in clubs and broom closets around Europe we struggled to make ends meet. Everything we had, we put into pursuing our dream. We crammed into a van and off we went. After a show in Paris got critics talking, we were asked to join a European tour with a weeks’ notice and the rest is history. Now 12 years and thousands of tickets sold later, we play at European festivals every summer where every single one has talented and brilliant artists from this country. If these restrictions were in place when we were starting out, pursuing our dream, I have no doubt that we wouldn’t be where we are today. This country exports incredible stories, art and pure jubilation, we must protect that otherwise we risk never having the next Adele, Artic Monkeys or Stormzy.”
7th April 2021
Renkus-Heinz Launches New Website Focused on Streamlined Support and Technical Documentation
Renkus-Heinz has launched a new website focused on providing partners with increased support options, expansive product details and multiple installation examples across key verticals. Additional technical documentation, including Bim/Revit data is also available. The site is live at www.renkus-heinz.com.
“Over the past few years, Renkus-Heinz has made a point of helping our partners put sound where they want it most,” said Jim Mobley, vice president of operations at Renkus-Heinz. “The redesign of the Renkus-Heinz website continues that mission by offering tools that help professional sound experts place sound with precision on an audience.”
The site now offers additional documentation and data for nearly 250 different Renkus-Heinz products, including beam steerable solutions, point source loudspeakers, line arrays, floor monitors, subs, amps, software offerings and most legacy products.
An improved loudspeaker recommendation form is also available, which accepts document upload and provides systems designers with EASE modelling, system drawings, floor plans, long and cross sections and other system recommendations.
Renkus-Heinz is also soliciting submissions for completed projects that will be featured on the new website.
6th April 2021
Optocore appoints RMS Proaudio for Spanish distribution
Spain – Optocore has appointed RMS Proaudio as its new Spanish distributor, with effect from March 2021.
Expressing his delight, Miguel Ángel Jiménez (pictured), CEO of the Seville-based company, said: “We have known Optocore particularly from the relationship with DiGiCo, which we have distributed for more than 15 years, and we consider their technology to be excellent.
“For that reason we approached them, and it is an honour to now be able to provide solutions based around their advanced technology in our Spanish market. We know their products to be extremely reliable, and offer flexible audio communication solutions.”
Optocore sales distribution manager, Dawid Somló, was equally upbeat: “It is gratifying that such a serious and experienced company as RMS Proaudio has entered into this co-operation with us, and an honour for us to be an important part of their high level portfolio.
“With Optocore solutions in such good hands Spanish sound engineers and technical directors will soon have exposure to the true value of our advanced solutions. I am confident of significant growth in brand recognition in Spain, especially in the installation segment.”
However, RMS Proaudio, which also has a 20-year-plus distribution agreement with Meyer Sound, has been facing the same COVID-enforced difficulties in the live sector as everyone else constrained by the pandemic. “For this reason, we believe that this is the perfect time to prepare and strengthen for the future. The touring and installation sectors will soon return, and our clients will need the best, and most profitable solutions.
“For example, Optocore provides many advantages for installations, and products such as Festival Box are excellent for big touring companies.” He added that the partnership with DiGiCo will create further synergies, as it will with SONY DWX wireless systems.
RMS Proaudio is already set up with an Optocore demo system, and the company also plans to conduct roadshows and other marketing activities. “However, for us training is the most important because it is vital that sound engineers and consultants know how to use the equipment. We will conduct rigorous training in conjunction with DiGiCo and Meyer Sound.”
In closing, Mr. Jiménez believes that with Optocore on board they will be looking ahead to an exciting post-COVID future. “It will enable us to provide better solutions to our existing markets, and both the Installations and major touring companies will be eager to adopt the type of fiber-based audio communications offered by Optocore.”
30th March 2021
Outline’s Newton Awarded Patent
Outline s.r.l., leading European manufacturer of professional loudspeaker systems and associated technologies, has announced that its groundbreaking FPGA-based Newton processor has been awarded an Italian Patent, N° 102018000004143. The company has also filed the appropriate application for an international patent.
Newton was introduced to the global pro-audio industry at Frankfurt MusikMesse in 2017 to immediate acclaim. It has subsequently been adopted by a number of the world’s leading audio hire operations and system engineers, delivering a unique feature set in a robust and user-friendly package.
Innovation is woven into Outline’s DNA, with many of its products already protected under international patents. The company is justly proud of this latest acknowledgement and comments: “It’s well-known that our company has been making a name for itself since the 1970s as a manufacturer of innovative audio electronics including modular mixers, parametric equalisers, encoders, tuners, crossovers, limiters, amplifiers and more. Latterly we have developed DSP and digital matrices, as well as futuristic embedded solutions connected with signal processing, including the outstanding ‘iMode’ technology that won a PLASA Award For Innovation at London show in 2010.
“This decades-long process continues and the resulting hyper-specialised know-how within Outline’s engineering team led naturally to Newton, currently the pinnacle of our proprietary technology and the leading edge of audio processor design globally. The Newton is currently the only FPGA-based device built into a single 1RU networkable chassis which can simultaneously provide multiple audio signal processing / distribution functions plus clock signal management along with a choice of interfaces for users and system integrators, all with the added safety of extensive backup facilities. Further, the whole feature set is easily and quickly accessible to any user.
“According to the unanimous opinion of the experts from different areas of the world Newton has revolutionised the Modus Operandi, redefining the current ‘state-of-the-art’ in audio signal management and advanced processing regardless of the size or complexity of the application. Newton is equally at home in live sound with festivals and concerts as it is in fixed installations, broadcast and studio applications. Newton manages to combine the most useful features of several different devices, a combination which delivers unique operational capabilities that were previously impossible. Numerous system engineers and audio technicians working with Newton have reported a dramatically improved work flow and operating efficiency alongside a significant saving on cabling and transport costs and all delivered with unprecedented, pure audio performance; their real-world experiences validating the measurement test results of various authoritative publications.”
Another Outline patent lies at the heart of Newton’s unique sonic capabilities, namely the exclusive WFIR ‘warped’ filters (link) which provide ten times more resolution on mid-low frequencies than traditional FIR filters. The unit’s reliability and road-worthiness is also well-proven with very extensive real-world use under the most severe operating and climatic conditions.
Outline also announces that Newton and its ‘Dashboard’ control software will shortly undergo an important firmware/software upgrade, which will extend Newton’s lead even further in terms of providing the most advanced functionality currently available in the audio processing field. Details will be announced in an upcoming press release.
29th March 2021
Rigging Team Hits Ten
Rigging Team is celebrating its ten year anniversary in the delivery of specialist rigging and technical training services to the entertainment production industry.
Over the past decade, the company has enjoyed steady growth to become recognised as one of the industry’s most respected providers of rigging equipment and support services. Working across the full spectrum of entertainment production, including theatre, TV, film and live events, Rigging Team has built an enviable reputation for creating safe, bespoke solutions to projects which others may consider impossible.
Commenting on the milestone, Rigging Team managing director Adam Searle says: “We are immensely proud of our achievements over the last ten years. From humble beginnings, we have created a significant resource which supports productions of all size and genre, all around the world.”
Formed in December 2010 as Adam Searle Ltd, operating from what Adam describes as “a 35sqft ‘cupboard’,” the company rebranded as Rigging Team in 2013 and has since grown to a ten strong full-time workforce, occupying a 15,000 sqft custom warehouse facility.
Having relocated to a new premises during 2020, Rigging Team is currently busy modifying the space to incorporate a 2,500 sqft dedicated training facility complete with classrooms and a multi-level structure for practical courses in rigging, work at height/rescue and rope access.
Along with the delivery of creative, safe, reliable rigging and automation solutions the company maintains a particular focus on safety and the provision of industry specific training. Senior staff members also sit on committees for NRAG (National Rigging Advisory Group) and LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineers Asociation) representing the company, clients, colleagues and competitors at a national level for the advancement of the wider industry.
Adam continues: “We are always keen to help maintain and develop new standards and working practices, particularly in what can be a challenging environment. To be able to use our experience to advise, assist and give something back to our industry is immensely rewarding.”
As part of the anniversary celebrations Rigging Team has undertaken a recent brand refresh. This has included an update of the company logo using ‘real’ crew in the design.
Adam comments: “The inclusion of ‘real people’ in our logo is a direct nod to the support of the wonderful crews we have worked with over the years. To create our logo, we photographed members of our freelance team and silhouetted them, and we have a few more silhouettes to add in the coming months, see if you can guess who they are!”
Not a company to rest on its laurels, Rigging Team is already looking to the next phase in the evolution of the company, with more investment planned throughout the business and continued support for the wider industry.
Adam concludes: “We are all extremely proud to have achieved this anniversary. Although Rigging Team has changed in size and stature, our business ethos remains the same: we have always strived to be the best, not the biggest, and that that still stands! I would like to thank all those friends, colleagues and clients who have supported us and helped make Rigging Team what it is today. We have some exciting plans for the future and are looking forward to the next ten years!”
25th March 2021
Griven Appoints 3LR Lighting
UK – 3LR Lighting Ltd, representative for leading international manufacturers of architectural, film, entertainment and broadcast lighting and control, has confirmed that it is now the sole UK manufacturer’s representative for Griven. The Italian manufacturer, founded in 1990, produces a range of exterior architectural lighting that is held in the highest esteem all over the world. 3LR will work closely with Allison Rose, Griven’s UK business development manager, to increase brand awareness and drive new specifications across the region. Particularly renowned for its coloured light solutions, Griven’s range perfectly complements 3LRs existing brand portfolio, dovetailing neatly with its interior lighting and control products from ETC and Rosco.
Matthew Lloyd, managing director of 3LR comments: “We were attracted to Griven by its reputation for fixture quality, exceptional optics, and the highest level of colour consistency and uniformity over time. The products are designed and manufactured in the company’s factory in Italy, and exhibit the innovation, flair and emotional link to lighting that we value highly at 3LR. Griven share our determination to deliver exceptional customer service and are able to offer customisation across and beyond their product range. We look forward to working closely with Allison to enhance the brand’s visibility in the UK.”
Griven CEO, Luca M. Meinardi asserts: “We are very happy with this agreement and are confident that the development of this partnership, with such a renowned and professional company, relying upon the close presence and direct support of Allison Rose, will allow us to further consolidate our business in the UK.”
25th March 2021
DiGiGrid Sales Stay Strong with Sonus
Lithuania – Sonus Exsertus, based in Vilnius, Lithuania, is a specialist in stage technologies with a 20-year history of providing turnkey solutions for a wide range of venues, from theatres and houses of worship to cinemas, arts centres and retail settings. The company also acts as a distributor for many leading brands across Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and Georgia, offering comprehensive sales and servicing. For the last five years, Sonus has been distributing DiGiGrid products in the region, and has overseen a steadily upward trajectory in sales during that time.
Whilst recent world events have seen turbulent times across the industry, Sonus has adapted to circumstances and continued to perform well. Its sales of DiGiGrid units continued to grow strongly throughout last year, something that head of sales Ramunas Alenskas attributes to a combination of factors: “As far as our overall business is concerned, when the pandemic struck, we were working on a number of projects that we’d already designed. Our government had invested funds into the infrastructure of the culture sector, so it was a case of right place, right time in that respect. We actually expanded our team during the pandemic, employing designers, project managers and integrators. We worked in shifts to minimise contact.
“More specifically in relation to DiGiGrid I feel that we benefited from a lot of groundwork that we had done in previous years to acquaint customers with the brand and its strengths. We put a great deal of effort into public and private demonstrations, sometimes allowing engineers to explore demo products for longer periods that usual, maybe two to three months, and of course the high quality of the products then spoke for themselves.”
According to Alenskas, a wide range of customers have tapped into the DiGiGrid brand in the region, including small and medium sized studios, live sound engineers and a growing number of installers. Dan Page, sales and brand Manager at DiGiGrid comments: “Whilst the pandemic saw the suspension of much activity in the events and entertainment sectors, it also drove the creative industries to seek solutions that would enable them to continue working, albeit in a temporarily (hopefully) very different environment. Many appear to have used the time to streamline and future-proof their systems, and it’s probably also fair to say that many elements of this rather ‘different’ experience will remain part of whatever ‘new normal’ is to follow. The work Sonus has put in on educating its customers about DiGiGrid is clearly paying dividends, even during very challenging times.”
Ramunas Alenksas concludes: “DiGiGrid products are of the highest quality, they’re affordable and very user-friendly. That makes them easy to introduce to our clients. We’re very pleased with how the brand is progressing in our territory and look forward to even better times to come.”
25th March 2021
Stars Show Their Support for the Collapsing Live Events Supply Chain
UK – Industry collective #WeMakeEvents has announced a powerful new video campaign to highlight the ongoing hardship and struggles of the live events supply chain.
Supported by some of the biggest stars in music, comedy and theatre, the campaign aims to raise awareness of 700,000 people in the supply chain, almost all of whom haven’t been able to work for 12 months. The campaign also launches TEXTING TEXTING ONETWO, an appeal to raise funds for these highly skilled people through industry charity Backup.
Providing their video messages of support, with an introduction by Simon Callow, artists include: Sir Mick Jagger, Katherine Jenkins, Midge Ure, James Bay, Biffy Clyro, Enter Shikari, Griff Rhys Jones, Christopher Eccleston, Paul Whitehouse, Angus Deayton, Lucy Porter, Stephen K Amos, Deborah Frances-White, Kevin Day, The Kooks, Sam Fender, Feeder plus the launch of a new music video by Frank Turner, all of whom explain how, without expert technicians, transporters, logistics experts, caterers, riggers and production staff, live events cannot return.
These are the people behind the scenes that ensure that the show must go on and work across festivals, corporate events, theatre, sporting ceremonies and many other cultural events. This is a £70 billion UK market, and without support, 40 per cent of businesses risk folding as one third of employees also reveal they have left the sector according to the latest #WeMakeEvents survey. It’s under severe threat of collapse which will prevent any return of live events in the short-term.
From Frank Turner: “The problem extends across the whole live events sector, with many in the events supply chain having been completely overlooked for financial support. The fact that anticipated events in August and July are sold out is testament to the Nation’s need to enjoy live events again but we need those highly-skilled people in order to deliver these events. Right now, many of them need financial support to get them through to a time where they can do that for us and earn again.”
Griff Rhys Jones says: "They have worked for us, now it's time we worked for them,"
Simon Callow, patron and ambassador for charity Backup adds: “It has been humbling to receive the thanks from some of the families where the financial support made a difference to them paying the bills that month. The situation for many is financially devastating and heart-breaking. Thank you to anyone who donates – just whatever you can afford – if everyone who loves live events texts ONETWO* and donate whatever you can, it really adds up and helps so many people.”
*To make a one-off donation, text the word ONETWO followed by the amount you want to donate to 70085 for example, to donate £5 text ONETWO5 to 70085.
15th March 2021
Chauvet to Provide Direct Support to Swiss Market Through French and German Subsidiaries
Europe – Chauvet continues to expand its presence in Europe. The company has just announced that it will begin providing direct sales and service support for its products in the Swiss market through its French and German offices.
Chauvet France will be responsible for the western section of Switzerland, and Chauvet Germany will look after the rest of the country. Renens, Switzerland-based Radio Matériel will continue to be a reseller and service support centre for Chauvet in the region. The new programme applies to Chauvet Professional, Chauvet DJ and Iluminarc products.
Martin Fournier, Chauvet’s European sales director will lead the expansion effort, while Aland Mahieu of Chauvet France and Alexander Rexforth of Chauvet Germany will oversee their respective regional markets within Switzerland.
“This is an exciting development for us,” said Stéphane Gressier, Chauvet’s international sales director. “Interest in our latest products, such as the Maverick Force and Maverick Silens is extraordinarily high. Now we’ll be able to back up these groundbreaking products with an enhanced level of support, aided by Martin’s vast experience in the Swiss market and the dedicated efforts of our entire team. We’re ready to move forward in Switzerland.”
In picture: Martin Fournier and Stéphane Gressier
8th March 2021
Brompton Technology listed in FT Top 1000 Growth Companies
UK – Leading LED processing manufacturer, Brompton Technology, has announced that it has been included in this year’s fifth annual Financial Times 1000 list of Europe’s fastest-growing companies. The FT 1000, compiled with research company Statista, shows 1,000 European companies that achieved the highest compound annual growth rate in revenue between 2016 and 2019.
Brompton was chosen among millions of existing European enterprises in what was a complex process of extensive research, public calls for participation, in-depth database research and the direct contact of tens of thousands of companies. The full report, published on 22 March, stands as an acknowledgement by the Financial Times and Statista of Brompton’s rapid and sustained growth.
This years’ edition highlights some of Europe’s most promising growth businesses, with data taken just before the pandemic took hold. The past 12 months have been challenging for so many businesses, Brompton included, but the company has shown resilience and determination and has continued serving its customers with industry-leading LED processing solutions.
“We are delighted to be recognised by the Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business news and information organisations, and see Brompton included in the latest FT 1000 list alongside other brilliant companies, such as our friends at disguise,” says Brompton’s CEO, Richard Mead. “We would like to thank all our staff and partners across the globe for their part in this achievement and their continued support.”
5th March 2021
Unusual Rigging welcomes Chancellor’s Budget amid fears of future skills shortage
UK – Unusual Rigging welcomes the outcome of the Budget and what it means for theatres and other art venues. The Chancellor’s pledge to give an extra £410 million to the arts is intended to help the sector recover as lockdown eases. The funds are earmarked for theatres, museums, galleries and live music venues. But, says Tom Harper (pictured), managing director at Unusual, for the funds to be used most effectively, the industry should be regarded as an ecosystem, echoing the National Theatre’s Rufus Norris’s idea that the funds should be pumped into productions and not venues.
“The Chancellor has acknowledged that the culture sector will be a ‘significant driver’ in the UK’s pandemic recovery. While theatres are aiming to open from 17 May with social distancing in place, and with full capacity performances to be allowed from 21 June, there are still months ahead as we prepare for this big relaunch. Unlike other sectors theatre cannot simply fling wide its doors and resume trading at a sustainable level in the same way as other businesses might be able to. Ringfencing the money for productions will go further in supporting the entire supply chain, especially freelancers, an alarming number of whom have not been eligible for any financial support.
Tom continued: “We cannot just support the cultural infrastructure and ignore the individual and teams who make the venues come to life. The artists, entertainers and all those working behind the scenes are really what makes the industry tick. If used wisely, these funds could go a long way to giving confidence to producers and venues to get productions back up and running. In turn, the support filters all the way through to the thousands of people who make up the theatre's freelance community; people who have had zero support throughout the entire pandemic. There is a very real risk that if the Culture Recovery Fund doesn’t reach them, we will lose a whole generation of talent. We will undoubtedly see people with a unique skillset leave the industry; no-one can afford to wait around indefinitely waiting for their sector to restart. I am under no illusion that when normality does return to theatre and live events, we will experience a real skills shortage that cannot be immediately filled. In rigging especially, the people we work with have huge quantities of experience under their belts. All the courses in the world will not equate to the knowledge and know how gained over the course of a career. We will be starting from scratch in many ways. It’s an industry whereby the younger ones at the start of their careers learn invaluable skills from the veterans. To lose a generation would have repercussions for years to come, not just in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic.”
The Budget follows a relentless period of lobbying from the theatre sector. The #wemakeevents campaign has petitioned hard for the government to implement several support measures to ensure it is protected as lockdown is lifted. Tom added: “It is encouraging to see that the chancellor intends to extend the furlough and self-employed income support scheme, and this will go a long way to prevent a repeat of the redundancies that we witnessed last year. We are hopeful that many of those previously excluded from the SEISS scheme will now be eligible to claim support until such time that the route out of lockdown and a return to full capacity performance can proceed.”
4th March 2021
Void Acoustics and Aura Visual System join forces in Thailand
Thailand – Void Acoustics has announced a new partnership with brand new company Aura Visual System based in Bangkok, Thailand. This bold appointment reflects the long-term plans Void Acoustics has to focus on the development and expansion of the brand in the region. Aura Visual System is headed up by Pankom Klaykum (pictured) who has an extensive career in AV product distribution across the region as well as a strong knowledge of Void products.
“We share a similar drive for the provision of excellent audio to our customers, and my team and I are excited to be aligning with Void Acoustics as their exclusive distributor for Thailand,” comments Pankom.
Void Acoustics is keen to develop the market in Thailand as part of a pro-active expansion plan in the APAC region. “Whilst we have done some business in Thailand in the past, there is a huge amount of potential for Void with the country being an important tourist destination and with Bangkok being a major entertainment hub in South-East Asia,” explains Sean Iskhandar, APAC sales manager for Void Acoustics from his base in Singapore.
Pankom explains further: “The club sector is a prominent part of our business plan with Void going forward. And our experience has taught us that the club market and the DJs playing in these clubs have exacting needs and often request Void systems. We recognise the performance products the brand offers and so Void Acoustics is a very welcome addition to our portfolio.”
It’s currently a tricky time in Thailand with another wave of the pandemic underway and so currently entertainment is pretty much on hold again for the next couple of months but Aura Visual System also provides installations for the high-end residential sector, something which aligns perfectly with Void’s extensive product range.
“Alongside the club sector, we know that Void has a strong foothold in the high-end domestic market for residential audio installations and so this is another area where we can specify the beautifully crafted (both visually and sonically) portfolio of Void products,” expands Pankom.
Sean is delighted. “We are looking forward to working with Pankom Klaykum and his team to expand market awareness of Void systems throughout notable clubs and hospitality projects across Thailand, from Bangkok to Pattaya, and on the islands of Phuket and the Koh islands archipelago,” he says. “With Aura Visual System’s technical expertise, extensive network and strong after-sales support I sure they will do well to support the market and represent our brand extremely well.”
Pankom concludes: “Whilst our appointment may have been delayed a little by the pandemic, at Aura Visual System we believe that if a good opportunity comes along, you must take it. And Void Acoustics is just one of those brands you cannot let pass you by!”
23rd February 2021
Powersoft Extends Free Warranty to Five Years on all Rack Amplifiers
Italian audio manufacturer Powersoft has announced a further 12-month warranty on their renowned rack amplifiers for all customers who register their product for free to MyPowersoft, Powersoft’s online portal. This free extension brings the total warranty length, including the four years standard warranty, to five years.
As of the Monday 22nd February 2021, all customers buying Powersoft amplifiers on or after this date will need to register their product on MyPowersoft within 30 days of purchase to benefit from the extended extra year warranty.
All customers who have previously purchased a rack amplifier prior to this date, that is still covered by the standard four years warranty, can extend their warranty by a year by registering their product into MyPowersoft by the 23rd April 2021.
Iacopo Vannucchi, Powersoft’s customer care and service centre manager, commented: “In the last year, we’ve all seen and experienced unprecedented struggle within our industry. This is our way of offering a helping hand during these trying times.”
MyPowersoft is Powersoft’s online portal, in which users create profiles which enable them to take full advantage of their products and the exclusive benefits that come with the account.
By registering a product to MyPowersoft, users can check their product’s history and current warranty status. Users also benefit from direct technical and commercial support from the team, as they can request and track their product repairs. Other benefits include access to the Power-Sharing and Comparison tools, examples of Powersoft designs, and webinar session access with Powersoft’s audio experts.
“We want to provide our customers peace of mind that we have their products covered for years from the first day of purchase, and we’re going to continue to do so long term,” Vannucchi said. “This extra year brings our product warranty for our rack amplifiers to half a decade, free of charge. This warranty is a testament to the reliability of our amplifiers and the trust we place in them.”
23rd February 2021
Hard hitting new campaign launched by #WeMakeEvents, as survey shows live event supply chain on verge of collapse
UK – #WeMakeEvents has launched a hard-hitting campaign, rallying the UK Government to provide urgent relief to a struggling live events sector. The Government Can’t See Us, Can You? shows the devastation the pandemic has wrought on the live event supply chain, told through the stories of the highly-skilled professionals whose livelihoods have been seriously damaged.
#WeMakeEvents is calling on the Government – in an open letter to Rishi Sunak – to halt the destruction of the sector by recognising the impact of the pandemic on the live event supply chain, to support individuals and businesses to survive while they cannot work, and to engage with the sector to develop a plan for reopening, including Government-backed COVID-19 cancellation insurance.
The campaign is also asking the public to contribute their voices and opinions through social media and by writing to their MP urging the Government to address this crippling situation now.
Until Government social distancing restrictions came into effect in March 2020, the UK live events industry brought in over £70 billion a year and supported over 700,000 jobs. The live event supply chain worked across all types of live event including theatre, music, corporate events, festivals and almost any form of organised gatherings.
However, with all but no live events being able to take place for almost a year, the sector is on its knees, as shown by #WeMakeEvents’ recent survey of over 2,800 businesses and individuals in the live event supply chain:
93% of individuals and businesses in the live event supply chain have seen their income fall dramatically as a result of the pandemic, 65% have seen a fall of over 50%, and 30% a fall of over 90%
Yet, 34% of individuals and businesses have received no Government support either through loans, furlough, or local or national grants. Many of those that have received support, report it is inadequate
As a result, 50% of individuals have had to take work outside of live events to supplement their income. A third have been forced to leave, or are considering leaving the sector
On top of that, 43% of live event supply chain businesses say they don’t have the resources to last until the summer
Peter Heath, #WeMakeEvents steering committee member and MD of PLASA (Professional Lighting and Sound Association), said: “The live event supply chain has been all but unable to work for almost a year, we have been one of the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic. Yet, we have received no targeted assistance and been excluded from much of the support said to be for businesses that are unable to open. As a result, the live event supply chain is on the brink of collapse.
“This can be stopped if the Government sees the human and economic devastation being inflicted on the live events supply chain, extends the whole sector the lifelines we need to survive until it is safe for live events to reopen, and works with us to build a practical roadmap for reopening. We hope this campaign moves the Government to take these vital steps.”
Julian Knight MP, chair of the digital, culture, media and sport select committee, said: “It’s hugely disappointing that almost a year since stages went dark, the skilled professionals making up our world leading creative sector are still falling through the cracks of Government support.
“The DCMS Committee continues to hear evidence on the severe impact the pandemic has had on those in live event supply chains, in our inquiry into the support needed to save the 2021 season of festivals.
“I hope this serves as a catalyst to the Government taking the steps it so urgently needs to, including backing COVID-19 cancellation insurance.”
Neil Hunt, founder of ZigZag Lighting, said: “Our industry came to an abrupt halt in March last year. We were mid-way through a tour and it had to be cancelled. Trying to survive without work has put immense pressure on us as a business and on me personally.
“Initially, there was some optimism as we thought we could return to work last year. That didn’t happen, and now it has been almost a year without work. We really need support from the Government to help us keep our heads above water. Otherwise, there won’t be an industry for us to go back to.”
For more information visit www.wemakeevents.com
19th February 2021
ESTA Announces the Technical Standards Program's Above & Beyond Award Recipients
USA - The Entertainment Services and Technology Association's (ESTA's) Technical Standards Program (TSP) has announced the 2020 recipients of the annual Above & Beyond Awards.
The TSP exists because hundreds of individuals from across the industry volunteer their expertise and significant amounts of time to write and improve standards that increase safety, provide interoperability between different manufacturers, solve problems, and make life easier. The awards are a chance for volunteers to celebrate those of their peers whom they feel have made a significant contribution to the advancement of the programme.
The 2020 Above & Beyond Awards were presented to:
Ethan Gilson, Entertainment Rigging Services, LLC (Rigging Working Group). Ethan was praised for his expert knowledge of rigging and his unique approach to both analysing rigging challenges and coming up with their answers. His method of evaluating the relevance of a subject and converting it into an ANSI accredited rigging standard is extraordinary. Ethan's enthusiasm about the TSP has also inspired many people to volunteer, which has helped the programme flourish.
Wayne Howell, Artistic Licence (Control Protocols Working Group). A long-time consistent contributor to the CPWG, Wayne was lauded for being a task group leader on the E1.20 Remote Device Management (RDM) revision project. Working late hours across international time zones, Wayne has demonstrated exceptional leadership in guiding the task group and has exhibited an admirable determination to make certain that every voice is heard without bias with the goal of consensus in mind.
Reid Neslage, H&H Specialties (Rigging Working Group) Reid was commended for the vast knowledge and wealth of experience he brought to the TSP. Further, he was applauded for being one of the "true gentlemen" in our industry because his immense dedication to the programme was borne purely from passion, without agenda.
ESTA's Technical Standards Program is the only ANSI-accredited standards program dedicated to the needs of the entertainment technology industry. The standards created under the TSP are used directly or indirectly every day by almost every manufacturer, dealer, installer, production company, and end user. These standards prevent accidents, protect lives and property, save time and money, solve problems, inform the industry, and enhance creativity.
The TSP is comprised of over 350 volunteer experts who devote time and knowledge to drafting American National Standards for the benefit of the whole entertainment technology industry. The TSP is always interested in any new member who wishes to join the group (information at http://tsp.esta.org/getinvolved). Organisers are particularly interested in recruiting new members from dealer/rental companies and the lighting design community.
15th February 2021
From Two Men in a Garage to 30 Years of the Biggest Movie Soundtracks and Albums in the World
UK – PMC is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, marking three decades of ‘Best of British’ loudspeaker design and manufacture for both the international professional music production and audiophile markets.
Peter Thomas, PMC founder and owner (pictured), says: “When I started the company with my friend and colleague, Adrian Loader, I had no idea that our audio knowledge and passion for music would one day end up with our small company designing and building universally respected loudspeakers for audiophiles and for some of the biggest artists, producers and audio facilities in the world.”
PMC was established in 1991 by Peter, then a BBC engineer, and FWO Bauch engineer Adrian, in response to requirements from the BBC for a monitor speaker that could handle the high sound levels required for pop and rock monitoring, but with ultra-high resolution. The pair created their first loudspeaker, the ‘Big Box’, in Peter’s garage and accompanying electronics in Adrian’s garage. Once refined and renamed the BB5, it was installed into BBC Maida Vale Studios and so started the journey of discovery and invention to perfect the art of loudspeaker design that continues today.
Shortly after the introduction of the BB5 and formation of PMC, Peter and Adrian launched their first domestic loudspeaker, the LB1. The company now has an enviable reputation in the home audio and custom installation sectors, with products that bring studio quality audio reproduction into the home. It is this bringing together of the professional and domestic audio worlds that makes PMC the speaker of choice of discerning professionals, audiophiles and music lovers.
Peter Thomas explains why this dual market approach is such an advantage for PMC: “In terms of music reproduction, there shouldn’t be a distinction between a loudspeaker designed for studio use and one for domestic use, the speaker is either reproducing the music correctly or it isn’t.
“The guiding principle for our R&D team is that the same ultra-high-resolution loudspeaker can be used throughout the entire recording and playback process, from studio to home. The work we do developing new studio speakers directly benefits our hi-fi product development and conversely, some of the discoveries we make when creating a new range of hi-fi loudspeakers find their way into our pro models. This means that domestic users can experience their music sounding the same as it did in the studio and exactly as the artist intended.”
PMC’s core technologies, shared between pro and domestic, include the Advanced Transmission Line, or ATL, bass loading, the aerodynamically designed Laminair vent, dome midrange drivers and tweeter dispersion grilles.
These innovations are to be found in the stunning products that bear the PMC name and which have been the recipients of countless awards and accolades. These include the powerful QB1 monitors that have pride of place in studios like Capitol in LA and 301 in Sydney and the recently launched fact fenestria and twenty5i series hi-fi speakers, and the high-performance Ci Series that are ideal for so many markets including studios and home theatres.
In recent years, PMC has been leading the field in the burgeoning immersive audio market by partnering with Dolby. This has resulted in its loudspeakers being installed in Dolby Atmos music mixing rooms around the world and becoming the reference for Atmos music mixing. In addition, PMC has also engineered Atmos mixes for artists such as Miles Davis and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band and built its own Atmos enabled mix facilities in Nashville, New York and Los Angeles. Its speakers were also chosen by the Rolling Stones for the Atmos presentation at the band’s ‘Unzipped’ exhibition.
In the 30 years since the company was founded, its workforce has gone from just two to 60 around the world. With its head office in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire and satellite offices in Los Angeles, Nashville and New York and two manufacturing plants in the UK, PMC can service its global customer base with efficiency and ease.
Peter Thomas sums up his feelings about the last 30 years: “Celebrating a 30th anniversary is a major milestone for any company, and we know that we couldn’t have done any of this without the help of our staff and customers. Their support and dedication have enabled us to build a highly respected global brand. For that we are extremely grateful and would like to say a massive and heartfelt thank you as we look forward to the next chapter in the PMC story.”
11th February 2021
CT Supports Performing Arts Students
UAE – Creative Technology Middle East (CTME) supports Sharjah Performing Arts Academy (SPAA) in its mission to train undergraduate students in performing arts sectors, with a particular focus on supporting students in the Production Arts.
CTME has partnered with SPAA to deliver technical information and guidance to students to further their knowledge and passion for entering the world of production. CTME’s industry professionals have already provided several engaging classes, sharing their years of experience and expertise around video elements within the live events industry.
The partnership has progressed extremely well over the past six months, and CTME is now providing additional support by supplying various video equipment for the students to train on.
CTME is very keen to engage with the academic sector and with SPAA in particular as this will help increase the number of skilled technicians within the region. CTME is proud to be part of this initiative and intends to collaborate further with the Academy and students over the period of EXPO 2020.
“We are very pleased to be able to offer support to this worthwhile Academic initiative and we look forward to working with the staff and students in developing the production arts skillsets within the region,” said Lee Forde, Creative Technology UAE general manager.
Professor Peter Barlow, SPAA executive director, said: “A massive thank you to our creative industry friends, Creative Technology ME, for this excellent donation of projectors for our students to work with. It is my sincere hope that SPAA graduates will soon be working with them, having acquired the necessary skills, because of Creative Technology’s generosity.”
Jacqui George, programme leader (production arts) explained: “We are excited for our collaboration with Creative Technology Middle East. With these projectors, our students will be able to enhance their learning and easily access equipment for them to be industry-ready; we look forward to our future partnerships.”
“Our initiative is to inspire and support local students in the UAE and help them on their journey into the events world. The Middle East hosts some fantastic large-scale and innovative events each year. We want to encourage talented local students who are passionate about events to have an active role in the industry by giving them the knowledge and practical experience. We are excited to see what comes from this partnership, and we look forward to many more positive collaborations throughout the year,” stated Andy Reardon, Creative Technology Middle East managing director.
10th February 2021
Stagehand Covid-19 Crew Relief Fund Reaches Over £1M
UK – The Stagehand Covid-19 Crew Relief Fund, launched in September 2020, achieved its target of raising £1m by the end of 2020 and now looks to building on the £1.17 million raised in order to continue supporting live events industry workers experiencing hardship in 2021.
As a result, a third round of grant applications will be open until 12pm on 12 February. The grants of £500 help crew facing financial crisis and experiencing food poverty.
Stagehand, the only UK charity that specifically helps music stage and road crew, has issued over 900 grants, but there are many more live events industry workers who are in urgent need of support, with thousands facing serious hardship. The problem is intensified by the nature of the industry: over 60% of its workforce are freelancers and over 20% of all crew do not qualify for any Government support, meaning many skilled professionals have been forgotten during the pandemic.
The response to this fundraising effort has been immense. Generous donations from the wider music industry and the public, the Prints for Music campaign, initiatives from peers, musicians and the #ILoveLive prize draw have not only made a practical difference to helping road and festival crews cope with huge challenges, but also offer a timely reminder that this plight is important to music fans throughout the world, reinforcing that this community is missed and appreciated.
Comments left on the charity’s Donate platform and JustGiving page demonstrate the strength of public feeling: “Live music is the lifeblood of entertainment; without all those behind the scenes it just wouldn't happen! Thank you for everything that you do and a very Happy New Year to all!”
“Some of the best nights of my life have been facilitated by these guys. This is just a small thank you during bad times.”
Donations to the Covid-19 Crew Relief Fund have been gratefully received from PPL, BPI / BRIT Awards, Universal Music Group, Sony Music, The Co-Op, SJM Concerts, artists, artist managers and many individuals including some by anonymous donors.
Prints for Music, the photography sale created by Ed Robinson who, together with 39 other photographers, donated images depicting musical heroes throughout the ages. The campaign saw significant funds go towards the target.
Grass roots fundraising activity was also very important and included initiatives such as: The Biggest Loser, headed up by Stagehand trustee David Lawrence with supportive tour managers and production managers based in the UK, Europe and North America. The team trained for fitness and dropped the pounds, creating virtual and focused routine during lockdown.
Crew Gear clothing which brandishes t-shirt slogans such as ‘Unviable’ was started by two members of tour supply company Adlib, splitting 20% of profit between Stagehand and Music Support.
The Jam Night Before Christmas, a live session by the Subfrantic team, pulled in funds on 19 December 2020, and artists like Newton Faulkner and Kim Wilde also asked fans to donate during their own live streamed gigs.
The #ILoveLive prize draw campaign gave music fans the chance to give something back to the people who make life-affirming live events happen and to win money-can’t-buy prizes from their favourite artists. #ILoveLive was held in partnership with Crowdfunder UK, which waived its platform fees. The winners have been notified and prizes shipped.
A second #ILoveLive Crowdfunder Prize Draw Campaign will launch on 17 February and is already attracting some significant artists. Acts including The 1975, Foo Fighters and Jack Garratt will donate unique prizes.
The #ILoveLive campaign was spearheaded by artist manager and promoter David Stopps with Andy Lenthall and Mike Lowe at Stagehand.
Mike Lowe, the chair of Stagehand’s board of trustees, commented: “We know that when live shows can take place again in financially viable ways, the industry will be extremely busy. Artists, festivals and venues just want to get back to work and the public are hungry to see live entertainment again. No live show of any kind can happen without the skills and expertise of the army of live events workers. I am sure that the live events industry workers who we can help, will join me and my fellow trustees in expressing our massive appreciation for making all of this happen in the most difficult and unprecedented of times.”
9th February 2021
Manufacturing: Canford expands reputation as the supplier of choice for connector panels and custom metalwork
UK – Despite the difficulties brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic, the team at Canford has remained steadfast in its commitment to supporting customers, new and old.
Everyone at Canford is working hard to minimise any possible disruption to the company’s usual high service levels. There have been no temporary closures and all departments remain fully open for business.
Already well known for its high-quality UK manufacturing, Canford has enhanced its reputation as the supplier of choice for custom metalwork solutions with an enviable list of high-profile projects completed during lockdown.
Canford is uniquely positioned to support customers in need of custom fibre and metalwork for Broadcast and Pro AV.
The team offers up an unrivalled level of knowledge and experience. Canford’s technical, design and manufacturing departments work collaboratively with customers to achieve exceptionally high-quality custom solutions. The result of accessing this very specific pool of knowledge often leads to technically superior product, and more cost-effective outcomes.
Keeping all three of its production facilities open throughout the crisis has accelerated Canford’s growth. Existing customers have ever-growing confidence in Canford to deliver, and the Washington, Tyne & Wear headquartered manufacturer is seeing more new customers switching their custom metalwork and fibre termination business when other suppliers have been unable to fulfil demand.
“Thank you again for your help with our metalwork over the past year. We have been delighted with how you have seamlessly been able to produce the metalwork we had produced elsewhere in the past,” said James Bate, TTL Video.
“Our relationship with Canford is invaluable. They are more than just another supplier. There is no room for error with our projects and the team at Canford have contributed an enormous amount towards the design and development of so many custom solutions," stated Pete Dinnes, Gravity Media installation director.
Having had a huge amount of experience with Canford, we knew their pedigree, resources and 'can-do' attitude would mean they were the people to help us and, true to form, Corina Cliff supplied an extremely competitive quote by return. John's fibre team then stepped up to the challenge and manufactured the cable in record time, meaning that just four days later the installation was complete. Unsurprisingly, the client was extremely impressed,” exclaimed Peter Knowles, StvdioExpert broadcast consultant.
9th February 2021
Prism Sound Appoints SSL Asia as its Distributor
South East Asia – Audio conversion specialist, Prism Sound, has appointed SSL Asia Pte Ltd as its new distributor for Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar, with responsibility for its entire product range including the recently launched ADA-128 modular audio conversion system and its award-winning range of audio interfaces such as Lyra, Titan and Atlas.
Covering the South East Asia region, SSL Asia was originally established to represent console manufacturer SSL but now handles distribution for many other well know pro audio brands including Quested Speakers, Warm Audio, JoeCo, Antelope Audio, Konig&Meyer, AEA Ribbon Microphones and Chandler Limited. Its client base covers all section of the audio industry, from recording and broadcast through to live sound and the home studio market.
The company’s headquarters in Singapore has a fully equipped demo facility where customers can try out various products. Alongside sales and distribution, it also handles turn-key projects ranging from simple studio installations to complex solutions, such as an entire nine-room post-production suite with an AuroMax-ready Immersive mixing theatre that it recently designed and built for a client.
“The collective experience of our team is immense,” says SSL Asia’s general manager Malcolm Chan (pictured). “We believe in letting the products we represent speak for themselves in terms of sonic quality and in Prism Sound’s case the brand has an established international reputation that goes hand-in-hand with the other brands that we represent, so it’s a very naturally partnership,”
Mark Evans, Prism Sound’s sales director, adds: “We are delighted that a company with the pedigree of SSL Asia is now representing our product range. Their contacts, particularly with the next generation of audio professionals, will allow us to reach new audiences and expand our market share in the South East Asian region.”
SSL Asia is already having success with the brand and has made a number of Lyra and Atlas audio interface sales.
“Hearing customers say things like ‘you now have the complete top quality solution from console to interface’ is a testament to us and the Prism Sound brand,” Chan adds. “We look forward to growing together and providing the best products and services to our customers.”