Latest News Headlines

New format PLASA Rigging Conference gains momentum

UK – This year, the PLASA Rigging Conference will move away from its traditional format of a series of presentations to a new structure that encourages conversation, allowing opinions to be voiced and the most current of topics to be discussed.

Following the opening speech from the legendary Morris Lyda – who has worked with artists ranging from Traffic, David Bowie, Genesis, Pink Floyd, The 3 Tenors, and Phil Collins and on special events such as the Barcelona and Sydney Olympics, specialising in building and motivating people to produce extraordinary outcomes – Alan Jacobi, LVO, Unusual Rigging (Platinum Sponsor) will chair the morning panel session, with Mark Surtees, MD, Outback (Gold Sponsor) chairing the afternoon session.

“We want to make the Rigging Conference an event that’s highly topical and relevant to the wider industry, to reach an audience who are not necessarily riggers,” says Chris Higgs, content curator. “By opening the floor to questions right from the off, rather than having a set of topics already set out, delegates can come along with issues they would like to raise and, hopefully, get them answered there and then.”

The rigging and production communities have already put forward some subjects for discussion, including:

  • No tour rigger syndrome – how promoters assume the house will look after production rigging requirements? Or are they just oblivious to the need for a tour rigger?
  • Should there be legislation requiring use of load cells?
  • How will developing technologies shape the industry over the next decade and what should we spend our money on?
  • How do we encourage theatres to commit to the use of NRC riggers in the same way as other venues?
  • With ever increasing use of rigging and hoists in theatre applications how do we bring venues, tours and expectation to a common standard?
  • Why has rigging remained excluded from tertiary education? What can be done to create or invest in a rigging curriculum to equal those in sound, lighting or set design?
  • Thinking about accessing trusses at height, who should have the final word safety on site, legally and morally? The lighting company who owns the truss and hoists, the production manager, or the rigging company who installed the system?

“The rigging conference is an important and perhaps unique event,” says Robin Elias, technical director of Unusual Rigging, opening speaker in 2013 and presenter of several sessions in other years. “It provides the opportunity for those with an interest and involved in the rigging industry from around the globe to share their expertise and views.”

The Riggers’ Forum also runs alongside PLASA 2017 on Sunday 17th September from 3pm to 5pm and is aimed at working riggers who rarely have an opportunity to discuss their opinions outside the workplace. In keeping with the tried and tested programme, a short topical presentation will be followed by an open forum for riggers to discuss the issues of the day.

This year, the Forum is presented by Nick Barnfield, a regular contributor to the PLASA Rigging Conference, who this year is stepping across to the Riggers’ Forum to present the session and invite discussion. Nick is a tertiary qualified structural engineer with 40 years’ experience working in the live event and film industries in New Zealand and internationally; a career that has varied from truss welder and rigger to rigging consultant.

Nick’s session will discuss that despite advances in technology, updated codes of practice and establishing rigging qualifications, there can remain a weakness between the rigging and the load being lifted – the truss. It can be a mechanical weakness and, if the engineering in this session is understood, it will help you to become more confident in the use of trusses to lift and support equipment.

Places for the Rigging Conference are still available at £120 + VAT for the full day rate or £65 + VAT for a half day rate. The full day rate includes lunch and networking drinks at the end of the day.

Registration strongly advised. Please visit

The Riggers’ Forum is free to attend. To register please visit

8th September 2017

© 1999 - 2023 ET Press Ltd News Stories