Standards News

Production Park pledges £20,000 to fund university places on Backstage Academy degree courses

Production Park pledges £20,000 to fund university places on Backstage Academy degree courses

UK - Production Park, a unique cluster of live event based companies in Wakefield, has announced that it will fund university places at its industry leading training centre, Backstage Academy, making an initial pledge of £20,000 per academic year.

The Backstage Academy Bursary Fund will provide a fully funded three-year place on one of the Academy's BA courses to an outstanding candidate for whom university would not otherwise have been an option. Funds will also be available for part-funded places and support for accommodation costs.

In addition, a percentage of the fund will be allocated to provide assisted places on Backstage Academy's outreach programmes, delivered in local communities to educate and inspire those currently disengaged with traditional education, or in need of rehabilitation into a workplace environment.

Production Park says the investment is just the beginning of its long-term social mobility strategy designed to support disadvantaged people with education and help them to pursue a career in the live events industry.

Alongside study, successful Bursary applicants will take part in a work placement and mentoring scheme, incorporating all Production Park's companies: Brilliant Stages, Litestructures, Perry Scenic, LS-Live and Cato Music. Students will gain essential skills in set design and build, scenic décor, sound, lighting and visuals, alongside an array of industry recognised accreditations.

Production Park co-founder Lee Brooks said: "We feel a collective responsibility to reach underprivileged people in society who may not otherwise consider higher education. We want to provide them with the inspiration and financial support they need to pursue a career in our industry.

"Working towards the shared goal of delivering a live event is great for building teamwork, resilience and problem-solving, all essential life-skills that could enable many young people to have brighter futures across the variety of careers on offer."

Glen Rowe, MD of Backstage Academy, commented: "We are thrilled to receive the backing of Production Park to fund degree course places and are excited about the prospect of making a real difference to the lives of young people who perhaps wouldn't have considered higher education."

He adds, "We offer a very supportive environment at Backstage Academy and recognise people's differing abilities and needs."

Production Park says it aims to set a precedent with its commitment and invites other industry businesses to get involved in supporting the next generation. Companies can contact Sara Gleadhall to discuss financial investment, mentoring, work placements or other ways of getting involved: / 01977 659880.

19th June 2018

Double dose of MILOS training in Czech and China

Double dose of MILOS training in Czech and China

Czech Republic & ChinaMILOS was busy in April and May this year holding its annual Product Academy at both Milos s.r.o. (Headquarters and factory) in Roudnice nad Labem, Czech Republic, and Milos (Guangzhou) Ltd. (factory) in Guangzhou, China.

The Product Academy has been designed to provide attendees with the knowledge and skills they require for working safer and more professionally while carrying out rigging duties and constructing support structures.

Attendees in the Czech Republic were not only from locally based companies, but also from Slovakia, Germany, England, Scotland and Australia. The Product Academy in China included participants from China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, as well as from Australia, New Zealand and Kenya.

The two-day academy at each location was a team effort by professionals from both inside and outside of MILOS. Eric Porter, certifiedrigging consultant and internationally renowned rigging professional, gave rigging presentations and provided rigging consultations. Norbert Tripp, Area Four Industries technical director and structural engineer, held presentations that covered the ins and outs of static calculation theory. Both took questions from participants, going into deeper group and one-on-one discussions to provide answers and give practical advice on rigging procedures and working safely with various structures.

MILOS sales co-ordinator, Michal Zykan, coveredtruss design, while brand manager Marek Zubor took workshop participants on tours of each factory. Key personnel from both factories provided attendees with a complete overview of products and carried out dedicated product demonstrations.

On each evening, attendees were treated to a fun and exciting night of entertainment – in Prague for the Academy held in the Czech Republic, and in Panyu (a nearby district of Guangzhou) for the Academy held in China.

At the conclusion of each academy, attendees received a Certificate of Completion that now serves as confirmation of the increased knowledge and skills they had gained during the two-day programme.

Men at Work’s (India)Mankaran Singh, who attended the workshop in China, summed up the general feeling of all attendees when saying: “Thank you for the wonderful workshop at your Guangzhou factory. It was a pleasure having met some new faces and discussed important rigging concepts at length. Your technical support and hospitality remains unmatched. I look forward to attending more workshops in the future and enhancing my knowledge.”

MILOS is already gearing up for its next Product Academies that will be held in the same period next year at Milos s.r.o. in the Czech Republic and at Milos (Guangzhou) Ltd. in China.

MILOS Product Academy is free to attend.

14th June 2018


Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance Launch 3.5 Million Pound Centre for Digital Creation and Production

Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance Launch 3.5 Million Pound Centre for Digital Creation and Production

UK – Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance is to develop a new £3.5 million centre for digital creation and production with investment and support from industry partners, including leading companies such as Autodesk, Cast Ltd., Disguise (formerly d3 Technologies), ETC (Electronic Theatre Controls) Ltd., Philips Lighting, Robe and White Light.

The £940k funding for the project was also provided by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), through its Catalyst Fund. The investment will continue to be monitored by HEFCE’s successor, the Office for Students.

The centre will build on the College’s existing technical production expertise in lighting and sound design, and extend this to include digital and immersive technologies, video design and engineering, content creation and visualisation; leading and influencing the development of advanced technological production and performance training.

In addition to new facilities and the creation of new undergraduate, postgraduate and short courses in a range of digital technology areas, the centre will also be a bridge between industry and higher education, with an industry advisory group whose role will be to identify sector skills gaps and steer the development and technical direction of the centre.

This development will place the work of the College at the forefront of contemporary practice in the live music, broadcast, corporate & live events, theatre and festival industries and support the demand for skilled practitioners in these growth sectors.

Nick Hunt, head of school of design, management and technical arts explains: “With investment from the college, our partners we will be able to develop new and existing production facilities with advanced technical capabilities, to create a professional and industry-led learning environment.

“This will not only drive the curriculum development for the next generation of industry practitioners, it will also enable established professionals to upskill in these rapidly evolving and dynamic specialist fields.”

In addition to the capital benefits of the grant, students will receive training by staff from the industry partners to work with and test the latest technology before they embark on their careers.

Lee Dennison, head of business development at White Light, believes the new centre for digital production is a much-needed addition to the technical teaching and education system for the live events industry: “Rose Bruford College offers a leading example to other educational establishments, with regard to its teaching, engagement and willingness to change, move forward and challenge the conventional structure.

“Our working environment is constantly changing with technical advances, client’s awareness and audience need for more and we welcome Rose Bruford College as a teaching establishment that embraces all of this.”

Final year BA (Hons) Creative Lighting Control student Ruben Plaza Garcia, who was recently the video designer for the Royal Gala Performance of Flight at the Royal Academy of Music, believes the close relationship with industry is bound to create network opportunities and help the career progression for current and prospective students: "The new centre is a fantastic opportunity for students to work with the latest equipment from the leading companies and product developers. It will help them to build a skill set and knowledge base of real value to the professional environment, which will be more attractive to employers after they graduate."

Clarie Middleton, Rose Bruford College’s principal, believes the project to develop the Centre will help close the skills gap in the sector and create progression routes for the future workforce: “Our sector is changing rapidly with new technologies and an increasing cross-over between theatre, live events and film, broadcast and recorded media. We know from our existing industry relationships that there is demand for the right kind of training in this area. The project also feeds into national, regional and local skills strategies as well as supporting the future growth and development of the College.

“We are also keen to work with further education providers, through the centre for digital production, to create progression routes into higher education and ultimately employment.”

The centre will launch in Autumn 2018 with the curriculum and facilities developing over a four-year period.

The college is interested in increasing the number of industry partners involved in the project. Interested parties who would like to discuss opportunities further are invited to e-mail

18th May 2018

UK – A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd (AC-ET) has announced its major support for Backstage Academy, the home of Live Events education.

UK – A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd (AC-ET) has announced its major support for Backstage Academy, the home of Live Events education.

A.C. Entertainment Technologies Supports Backstage Academy

UK - As part of a long-term strategy to ensure that students of one of the industry's leading vocational course providers receive the most up-to-date real-world practical experience, AC-ET is providing the Backstage Academy with the latest cutting edge technologies it supplies to major clients in Live Events.

Jonathan Walters, AC-ET's UK sales director, comments: "We are delighted to be able to support up and coming generations of backstage technicians and creative people. The future of the industry is all about fostering the talent of tomorrow and letting them use the technologies behind today's Live Events productions. The partnership will give the Backstage Academy's students access to the latest LED lighting from popular brands such as Chroma-Q and ProLights, industry-leading video control from Green Hippo, specialist networking solutions from Luminex, plus industry-standard rigging chain hoists from CM Lodestar and innovative load monitoring from BroadWeigh."

AC-ET will also run training courses and masterclasses at the Backstage Academy in collaboration with the brands that it provides – which have been selected due to their use by the wider industry at large – and will be able to give real-world work and project experience to the students.

Backstage Academy's business development director, Sara Gleadhall comments: "Today’s live events productions are becoming ever more technically ambitious as the constant advances in technology create fresh possibilities within lighting and video. It's great for Backstage Academy to receive this kind of support. We'll benefit because AC-ET, as a major provider of technologies to all areas of Live Events production, can ensure that we provide students with the most up-to-date practical training, so they are qualified for the jobs that exist, thus helping address our industry's skills shortage."

In picture: Chroma-Q Lighting masterclass at Backstage Academy, run by A.C. Entertainment Technologies in collaboration with Chroma-Q Global brand manager, Paul Pelletier.

10th May 2018

AC Entertainment Technologies

Free Certified dLive Console Training in May Hosted by A.C. Entertainment Technologies

Free Certified dLive Console Training in May Hosted by A.C. Entertainment Technologies

UK – dLive specialist reseller, A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd. (AC-ET) is providing free certified training in May on Allen & Heath's premier digital mixing consoles range.

To be held on Wednesday 23rd May 2018 at AC-ET's High Wycombe UK headquarters just outside of London, attendees will learn how to harness the full power of the dLive range from qualified engineers assisted by AC-ET's dedicated audio sales division, and will end the day with certified dLive engineer status.

Owing to the dLive's very intuitive user interface and world class audio quality, the training session will provide an ideal hands-on introduction to the full range for audio professionals working in touring, broadcast, prestige installations, theatres and corporate events.

The event begins at 9:30am with tea/coffee, gets underway at 10:00am, and finishes at approximately 3:00pm. A buffet lunch will be provided, plus a tour of AC-ET's facilities.

Register now to guarantee your place at this FREE event, by visiting or

4th May 2018

AC Entertainment Technologies

Meyer Sound Training Sessions Lay Groundwork for Unprecedented Roskilde Festival Partnership

Meyer Sound Training Sessions Lay Groundwork for Unprecedented Roskilde Festival Partnership
Meyer Sound Training Sessions Lay Groundwork for Unprecedented Roskilde Festival Partnership

Denmark – Meyer Sound recently concluded a special two-day training session for technical crew members who this year will be working directly for the Roskilde Festival, northern Europe’s largest continuing musical and cultural summer event. For the first time in 2018, all festival stages will be equipped with Meyer Sound systems and, as part of an unprecedented partnership, Meyer Sound is fully engaged in training the festival’s own technical crew to assist in system deployment, operations and monitoring.

The sessions were held at Copenhagen’s Rhythmic Music Conservatory (RMC) under the auspices of Roskilde Festival Technical Training, a continuing initiative that provides high-level technical education in conjunction with the festival and throughout the year. The training operates under the direction of Morten Büchert, principal audio consultant to the festival as well as a faculty member of both the RMC and the Royal Academy of Music. The Meyer Sound trainings were the second in a series of three two-day sessions scheduled across March, April and May.

The Meyer Sound sessions, held in April with about 40 in attendance, incorporated a review of the essentials of physics and acoustics along with specifics of design, deployment and tuning of Meyer Sound Leo Family systems to be used for the festival. Instructors from Meyer Sound were director of system optimisation Bob McCarthy and two members of the company‘s European technical support team, Michael Pohl and Dennis Tholema.

According to Büchert, the goal of the overall six-day programme is to provide a fresh approach to preparing a technical staff to support artistic endeavours. ''We wish to develop a new mindset with all the people involved. Everybody needs to be challenged, and everybody participates co-operatively to realise the artistic vision.''

For Bob McCarthy, the unique partnership with Roskilde Festival connects directly with Meyer Sound’s long-standing approach to end-user education. ''The approach of Meyer Sound historically has been enabling users to have ultimate creative control. We want them to be as informed as possible not just about the specifics of the products, but also about the physics involved and the challenges that come with large festival sound.''

McCarthy points out that, although the festival’s own technical staff will play a key operational and support role, initially the system design and tuning will be handled by Meyer Sound. Nevertheless, he adds: ''showing [festival tech crews] how we design the systems invites them to be part of the process. Even though they are not making the decisions, they are watching over our shoulders, learning what we are doing and why. This enables them to be more involved collaboratively as we move into the future of this project.''

The goal, says McCarthy, is to prepare for full involvement during the festival run. ''I want them to take away a feeling of not only being a better educated engineer, but also knowing that they were part of a team that delivered something powerful and creative.''

For Büchert the goal of Roskilde Festival Technical Training education reaches out to encompass the experience of the audience as well. “Ultimately, this is all about bringing people together, about closing the gap between the performer and the audience. The Meyer Sound products certainly help with that, but our people are the other key to making sure the festival becomes a complete artistic and emotional experience.”

The 2018 Roskilde Festival runs from 30th June to 7th July and will offer 175 musical acts, spectacular visual arts and special events. About 130,000 visitors are expected to attend.

3rd May 2018

Royal Albert Hall helps fill UK technical production skills gap

Royal Albert Hall helps fill UK technical production skills gap

UK – New research released by the Royal Albert Hall has revealed that less than a third (29 per cent) of schools in the UK offer lessons in technical production. This is despite one in five (21 per cent) students identifying it as an area that they would be interested in pursuing as a career.

The gap in supply and demand is particularly stark in London. More than a quarter of students (27 per cent) in the capital chose technical production as a subject they would like to follow beyond school, but only 32 per cent of schools offer lessons in the trade.

To help address the issue, the Royal Albert Hall has partnered with the Croydon-based BRIT School to offer budding technicians the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on work experience.

The famous South London performing arts school is well-known for churning out superstars of stage and screen such as Adele, Jessie J, Amy Winehouse and Rizzle Kicks, but many choose work behind the mixing desk to land careers in lighting and sound production.

The Hall has a diverse programme of work to nurture talent from all backgrounds, and the coveted two-week placement – now in its third year – is open to students on the BRIT School’s Technical Theatre Arts course, providing a route into the industry for those seeking an off-stage career in the arts.

Head of production and technical at the Hall, Ollie Jeffery, emphasised the importance of access to hands-on experience within the arts industry: “This placement is but one of the opportunities that exists at the Hall for those looking to pursue a technical career in the arts. Our apprenticeship scheme, which launched in 2016, gives those 16 and older hands-on training in a variety of important technical skills, including lighting, sound and rigging and is preparation for future work.”

This partnership and the Apprenticeship Scheme provide opportunities for students to secure full time work at the Hall. Jed Brook completed the placement in 2017 and is now a lighting technician, while another BRIT School student, Josh Slade, is now the Hall’s first ever rigging apprentice.

“The placement has been invaluable and was the perfect route into the industry – I’m delighted to have landed my dream job as a lighting technician,” said Jed Brook. “I’ve been able to make some great contacts, meeting some of the best artists and designers in the business, and am building the skills I’ll need for the rest of my career.”

The placement isn’t for the faint-hearted, as the students use their knowledge and skills to bring a range of events to life. This year they worked on some of the Hall’s biggest productions – including the Olivier Awards and the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts – as well as a host of events across smaller spaces, such as the venue’s Elgar Room.

“We at the BRIT School are incredibly grateful to the Royal Albert Hall for their continued support and dedication to the education of the next generation of technical theatre professionals. We are excited to move forward together, ensuring that we are at the forefront of entry level technical theatre education in the UK” said Olivia Chew, director of technical theatre and production at the BRIT School.

The Royal Albert Hall Apprenticeship Scheme is generously supported by the David Brownlow Charitable Foundation.

27th April 2018

High End Systems Launches 'Hedgeucation' Season One

High End Systems Launches \'Hedgeucation\' Season One

High End Systems has launched Season One of ‘Hedgeucation’, a new online video series that demonstrates how easy it is to learn and use the Hog 4 platform. All episodes can be found on a new landing page on the HES website,

The first season of many, Season One gets viewers up and rocking quickly, focusing on use of the compact HedgeHog 4 console to patch, program and operate a live show. High End Systems’ Joe Haller hosts the series, offering practical Hog tips and tricks along with a true Texan sense of humour (‘Who doesn’t like mirror balls, Joe?’) A nail biting season finale shot at the Majestic Theatre in Madison, WI shows programmers how to use what they’ve learned to light a live performance. Extras including Hog 4 show files and additional course material can be downloaded from the website.

Senior product manager Sarah Clausen commented: “The Hedgeucation series of videos is designed to take beginning users through the basics of using the HedgeHog 4 consoles. The great thing about this is that you can use this information on any Hog 4 console because they all use the same software. The Hog family is known first and foremost for being easy to use, getting you from patch to show time in short order. These videos help you through those first easy steps.”

Season One Episodes:

Episode 1.1 – Hardware and Patching

Episode 1.2 – Basic Programming

Episode 1.3 – Using Groups and Palettes

Episode 1.4 – Recording and Playing Back

Episode 1.5 – Simple Effects

Episode 1.6 – Updating and Busking

High End Systems also supports the designers of tomorrow with Hog Factor Collegiate Programming Competitions across the globe. For more information on Hog Factor, visit

3rd April 2018

Four Degrees West – Yamaha Training Visits Plymouth

Four Degrees West – Yamaha Training Visits Plymouth
Four Degrees West – Yamaha Training Visits Plymouth

UK – Yamaha Commercial Audio UK has a key commitment to training the sound engineers of the future. One of the ways that the company achieves this is through taking training ‘on the road’ to education facilities around the UK. BA (Hons) Live Sound degree students at the Plymouth campus of dBs Music have been the latest to benefit from a session, provided by Yamaha’s Tom Rundle and Chris Irvine.

Founded in 1998, dBs Music provides a range of professional sound courses, aimed at students who want to be a DJ, composer, performer, producer, a live or studio engineer. The Live Sound degree course started in September 2017, with the emphasis very much on practical experience.

dBs has invested in a Yamaha CL5 digital console, plus Rio3224-D and Rio1608-D I/O units, for the course. To give the Live Sound degree students a more comprehensive rundown on Yamaha’s digital mixing systems, Tom and Chris travelled to Plymouth with QL5, TF5 and TF3 consoles, a second CL5, plus DXR10 loudspeakers and headphones.

“An important part of our Live Sound degree is guest lectures and technical presentations to enhance the curriculum, allowing students to see the latest technologies and to network with audio professionals and subject experts,” says course leader Jim Parsons.

“We have a long relationship with Yamaha Commercial Audio and it was an excellent next step to get an expert like Tom to explain the more complex aspects of our CL5, as well as demonstrating other consoles in Yamaha’s digital range.”

Tom led the day with a series of practical exercises, as well as answering questions from the students throughout the sessions.

“It was important to give the students plenty of opportunity for hands-on experience, as well as working on a range of Yamaha desks, which can be found on everything from small corporate presentations and club gigs to festivals and tours by global acts,” he says.

“Everything ran seamlessly, thanks in part to the Dante networking of the console range. Students really enjoyed the experience, especially the hands-on time and the informal networking with Tom and Chris,” Jim concludes.

16th March 2018

Green Hippo SHAPE: 3D Projection Mapping Masterclass Draws an International Crowd

Green Hippo SHAPE: 3D Projection Mapping Masterclass Draws an International Crowd
Green Hippo SHAPE: 3D Projection Mapping Masterclass Draws an International Crowd

UK – This month saw Green Hippo hold its 3D projection mapping masterclass at Down Hall Hotel and Spa in Essex. The masterclass training course offered a deep dive into all things SHAPE and 3D projection mapping, and attracted participants from Dubai, Greece, Hungary, and Switzerland, as well as from all over the United Kingdom.

The 3D projection mapping masterclass event involved ten members of Green Hippo, plus two representatives from A.C. Entertainment Technologies, Green Hippo’s UK distributor and two trainers from Notch, the game-changing real-time visual creation tool that keeps up with users' ideas.

A unique aspect of this course was the opportunity for attendees to get ‘hands on’ 3D projection mapping experience. At the conclusion of day, once classroom sessions, delegates headed outdoors to pre-prepared projection mapping stations, equipped with Green Hippo kit, and eight HD Panasonic projectors, provided by VER.

The beginners’ area (at the beginning of the course, the masterclass was divided into two groups based on knowledge of SHAPE) counted four stations, all equipped with Hippotizer Taiga media servers or Hippotizer Taiga+, and each powering a projector. The advanced section was set up with a Hippotizer Montane+ outputting into a single 4K feed, splitting into four HD outputs via an Fx4 SDI. With practical input from the training team, the first group lined up the four projectors to produce a singular output, which was projected on to the building. The Montane+ system controlled four projectors each covering a section of a different building.

Day one ended with dinner and drinks in the hotel and day two opened with further presentations, closing with a question and answer session. Continuing the ‘real world’ theme, the training rooms were extensively equipped with the latest kit, including Green Hippo tech, as well as staging and cabling provided by NKN Productions. During the masterclass training, topics covered included alignment, blending/masking, content workflows, model creation, network manager, object manipulation, output manager, texture manager, vertex editing and warping, as well as case study tips and tools.

James Roth, head of sales and marketing at Green Hippo, commented: “This really was more than ‘just’ a training course. The classroom sessions are, of course, key, but the addition of hands-on sessions takes the learning experience on to a whole new level. Feedback from the delegates was wholly positive, and the training team reported that progress made by all attendees was exceptional. A big thanks to all concerned, including all of those behind the scenes involved in setting up this unique event.”
To check dates and details upcoming Green Hippo training courses please email

Green Hippo SHAPE: 3D Projection Mapping Masterclass Draws an International CrowdGreen Hippo SHAPE: 3D Projection Mapping Masterclass Draws an International Crowd

14th March 2018