Entertainment Rigging Workshop

Image result for stage rigging

The job of the entertainment rigger has become more and more complicated as the live event industry has grown exponentially over the last three decades. As the loads have become larger, the margin of error has become smaller. Experience alone cannot prepare today’s riggers for the ever expanding challenges faced in the theatres, arenas, studios, festivals, and ballrooms used to produce live entertainment events. Through Entertainment Rigging Sessions you can obtain that necessary education to partner with YOUR experience, allowing you to pursue increased work volume and safer rigging practices.

In this two-day course, you will be taught topics ranging from the basics to advanced practices of entertainment rigging. From proper hardware selection and inspection to load calculations and proper workplace safety, the session will help you learn how to work safer, faster and better.

This course counts toward 14 renewal credits for ETCP Certified Electricians and ETCP Certified Riggers.

Preparing to take either ETCP rigging exam? Our sessions cover topics that are listed in the content outlines for the ETCP Rigger–Arena and Rigger–Theatre certification exams and may be helpful when studying for a certification examination.

Note: There is an 8 person minimum to conduct this course. Should this number not be met, your registration fee will be refunded in full.

About the Instructor

Ethan Gilson, a graduate of Emerson College (1998, BFA, Design Technology – Lighting), has 25+ years of experience working in the entertainment rigging and lighting industry.  He began his career as an equipment specialist/technician, and, upon completing his degree, took on the role of lighting designer at Advanced Lighting and Production Services, Inc. (ALPS).  As his career developed, Gilson distinguished himself as a rigging specialist—designing rigging systems for portable and permanent installations.  Today, he is the ETCP (Entertainment Technicians Certification Program) Rigging Specialist for 4Wall Entertainment. Gilson has worked in venues of diverse size and function including, but not limited to: hotel ballrooms, Las Vegas convention centers and arenas, New York theatres, and outdoor festivals.

Gilson has been inspecting theatres and arenas of all sizes throughout the United States since 2006.  In 2005, he received one of the first certificates granted by the ETCP in Arena and Theatre Rigging  (Cert. # 0048).  Gilson has established himself as an authority in the field, and since 2014, has served as an ETCP Rigging Certification Subject Matter Expert, a position which includes designing questions for certification exams.  Gilson’s national reputation has lead him to serve as chair to several ESTA (Entertainment Services and Technology Association) task groups, whose goals are to establish ANSI standards for safety in the industry in the areas of fall arrest and suspended rigging. Gilson is OSHA 10 certified (Cert. # 002371128). He continues his own education through trainings such as: ETC factory trained installation/technician of Prodigy Hoists, Tomcat U, Mountain Productions Hoist School. 

In 2012, Gilson became an ETCP Recognized Trainer and launched Entertainment Rigging Sessions to prepare today’s riggers for the industry’s explosive growth and to promote safety standards throughout it. These sessions are recognized by the ETCP as qualifying instruction for certification/re-certification. Gilson is a member of the Event Safety Alliance and its Safety Summit Core Development Committee, whose goal is to coordinate with the ETCP to promote safety, training, and certification throughout the industry.  Gilson has partnered with manufacturers such as Total Structures, the annual LDI trade show, the Event Safety Alliance, various colleges/universities, unions, and local manufacturers to provide educational rigging sessions, tailoring sessions to meet the needs of each class.  Gilson continues to stay abreast of the latest technology and advances in the industry, sharing this knowledge with his students. Recently, Vectorworks has requested Gilson’s services to speak, as a user, with distributors about their new Braceworks software.


ESA Members – $450
Non-Members – $475

Note: While ESA is hosting this training as part of our Event Safety Summit programing, this is not an ESA training and is therefore not eligible for education credit redemption.



Rock Lititz
November 26-27, 2018
100 Rock Lititz Blvd
Lititz, PA 17543

Course will run from 9AM – 5PM both days.


Hotel Rock Lititz is the preferred hotel of the Event Safety Summit and Crowd Safety Symposium. Click here for details and booking information.