By Ruth Blatt, Forbes, November 30, 2013.
“Mr. President,” said former roadie and production manager for The Police Charlie Hernandez in April 2011, taking a pen out of his pocket, “I can get this pen anywhere on Earth in 72 hours.” He was talking to Bill Clinton after an awards dinner for Clinton’s Global Initiative featuring Sting and Trudie Styler. “Wow,” Clinton answered in his Southern drawl, “Can I borrow your pen?”
Hernandez, who has received the Parnelli Lifetime Achievement Award, the rock concert industry’s highest honor, is a Long Island native who gave up medical school to go on the road with bands. He is a proud father with a warm smile and striking silver-white hair. Although he can handle technical problems, he really shines as a coordinator and problem solver. During the infamous 1992 Guns N’ Roses South America tour, for example, he dealt with gear getting caught up in a military coup in Venezuela, a Bogota rainstorm collapsing a stage roof, and threats from organized crime. Read full article>>
MORE THAN 375 LIVE EVENT PROFESSIONALS TURN OUT FOR INDUSTRY-FIRST WEBINAR ON LIVE EVENT SAFETY
Unprecedented turnout sets the stage for a series of subject-specific event safety Webinars in 2014.
SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA, November 14, 2013 — A record-setting 377 live event professionals turned to their computer screens yesterday afternoon to participate in the industry’s first Webinar focused on promoting Live Event Safety. Sponsored by Take1 Insurance, in conjunction with the Event Safety Alliance, the event was hosted by New Bay Media’s Rental & Staging News. The Webinar is now available for all to access at this web site.
“We are thrilled with the turnout for this critically important first step in making event safety a first priority for producers of live events, the owner/operators of venues where live events are held, and the municipalities that host them, along with all live event service firms who work these shows every day” explained Scott Carroll, Executive Vice President & Program Director of Take1 Insurance. “More than 820 professionals registered for the Webinar and 377 of these pre-registrants actually participated in the event. These are great numbers for a free Webinar and the questions posted afterward revealed significant interest in this topic.”
According to Carroll, the timing of the Webinar comes as the Event Safety Alliance prepares to introduce the industry’s first comprehensive Event Safety Guide. “The availability of this Guide is going to have a permanent impact on the way the insurance industry approaches coverage in the future. Insurance providers, like Take1 Insurance, are going to ask if clients know about the Event Safety Alliance, are aware of the Event Safety Guide, and use the Event Safety Guide to prepare an Event Safety Plan,” Carroll asserted. He advised everyone involved in producing live events to ‘underwrite the underwriter.’ “All carriers in the live event space are not alike. If your carrier doesn’t value what you do in terms of safety precautions, then maybe you should consider finding a carrier who does.”
According to Jim Digby, Executive Director of the Event Safety Alliance, “We’re all in this together — event producers, venue owner/operators, municipalities, promoters, and first responders. We all have a legal as well as a moral obligation to make live event safety our very first priority when it comes to producing and staging a live event. The Event Safety Alliance was formed to make this goal a reality so that we no longer have to witness the tragedies that have occurred over the last number of years in Toronto, Rhode Island, Indiana, and Brazil. Together, we can make the production of live events infinitely safer for everyone involved.”
According to Digby, the ESA Event Safety Guide will soon be available for purchase on Apple iTunes, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble as well as directly from the Event Safety Alliance website.
According to Carroll, Take1 Insurance, together with the Event Safety Alliance, will be hosting a series of follow up, subject-specific Live Event Safety Webinars in 2014.
The Event Safety Alliance was founded in 2011 by Jim Digby, a 30+ year veteran of the entertainment industry. He is the founder of Collaborative Endeavour Group (CEG), providing international touring strategies and complete production solutions for the live entertainment industry. He currently serves as Director of Touring and Production for the multi-million selling artists Linkin Park, and has previously worked with artists as diverse as The Backstreet Boys, Bon Jovi and Marilyn Manson. A long-time advocate for event safety and ethical touring models, he is a three-time recipient of Tourlink’s “Production Manager of the year” award, as well as the Parnelli’s “Production Manager of the Year” award for 2012.
About Take1 Insurance
U.S. Risk‘s Take1 division has been servicing the insurance needs of the film and television production industry and has expanded significantly to meet the needs of audio-video and communications industry clients as well. The company’s experience includes underwriting film and television production companies, DICE (documentary, infomercial, commercial, educational) producers, touring entertainers, concert/playhouse venues, concert promoters, video game developers, and specialty rental operations focused on audio, visual, lighting, sound, grip, and production. For additional information, visit www.take1insurance.com.
Griffin Integrated Communications
(212) 481-3456 x16
By Jacob Worek, Live Design, October 7, 2013
2011 was poised to be a memorable year for the concert industry. Ticket sales were on a rebound following a precipitous drop in 2010, and acts were once again feeling confident about taking big, production-heavy tours out on the road. Unfortunately, the year became memorable not for its successes, but its tragedies. The summer of 2011 saw no less than three weather-related staging accidents in one month’s time. The most significant of these occurred in Indianapolis prior to a Sugarland concert, where a stage collapse brought on by severe weather killed seven and injured dozens of others. In the weeks following the incident, it became apparent that, beyond the weather, a number of technical, planning, and communication failures likely contributed to the accident or impeded the response to it. As the outdoor event season drew to a somber close, many in the industry felt it was time to step back and examine the issue of life safety at events and seek ways in which to prevent such accidents from occurring again. Read full article>>
Heart gets “Storm Ready”
The current tour by 2013 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees Heart has been officially deemed “Storm Ready” by the National Weather Service. StormReady designation is awarded to organizations that promote the principles and guidelines of the National Weather Service’s StormReady program, and demonstrate superior communication and safety skills before, during, and after severe weather. According to the NWS, the designation illustrates the tour’s proactive approach to weather preparedness.
“We’re very proud to have received this recognition from the NWS” states Heart Tour Director Bill Cracknell. “Weather safety has always been a priority to us, and I’m hopeful that initiatives such as this will only prove to further raise awareness of the continuing need to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to preparedness.”
The Event Safety Alliance congratulates the Heart organization for their achievement, and hope their example will encourage other tours and venues to make weather readiness a major component of their event planning efforts.
To learn more about the National Weather Service’s StormReady program, visit http://www.stormready.noaa.gov/
By Jill Glavan, Fox 59, August 13, 2013
Tuesday marked two years since the Indiana State Fair stage collapse, during which many changes have been put in place to keep you and your family safe. Inside the Fairgrounds Coliseum, renovations are underway and fairgoers are getting a sneak peek inside. “This is something that I was very interested in seeing,” fairgoer Faith Worl said. For Worl, the changes hit home. She was at the fair, not far from the grandstand, when the stage collapsed in 2011 before the Sugarland concert. “We didn’t know what was going on at first but obviously figured it out pretty quickly,” Worl said. Seven people died and 58 others were hurt. In the two years since, safety has remained priority number one. It’s a priority that extends beyond Indiana, too. Read full article>>
A stage collapsed at the Cleveland County fairgrounds in Shelby, N.C., Aug. 10, but no one was hurt. The collapse occurred hours before a Christian music concert featuring Mercy Me. A gust of wind collapsed the stage during a 4 p.m. soundcheck, according to the Charlotte Observer. Apparently part of the light rigging collapsed, and organizers canceled the show because there was too much damage to clean up before showtime. The attendance would have been approximately 10,000. The concert was part of the American Legion’s World Series and led up to the tournament. The stage was designed by L&N Productions, according to the series’ Eddie Holbrook, who defended the stage company and attributed the collapse to the weather.
“We knew we were going to get what looked like scattered showers and nothing real bad,” Holbrook told the Observer. “Then all of a sudden, within a five-minute span, the winds shifted and immediately there was a severe weather storm alert.”
Holbrook added that none of the 350-plus event workers were harmed. “When the weather shifted, our folks ran to (the) stage to get people off the stage,” he said. “Within 15 seconds of the last artist getting off the stage, the stage just went boom.”
By John Gammon, Pollstar, July 24, 2013
Atoms For Peace pulled its show at Poland’s Malta Festival July 20 because the act was worried about the event’s safety. Thom Yorke of Radiohead who formed Atoms For Peace with Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, tweeted that the show in Poznan had been ditched for “technical reasons.” Polish newspapers speculated that there were problems with the stage, which in turn could lead to a legal spat between the festival and one or more of its production suppliers. Read full article>>
Mountain Productions has been recognized as a StormReady Supporter by the NOAA’s National Weather Service as well as the Eastern Pennsylvania StormReady Advisory Board. By utilizing WeatherOps’ forecast monitoring solutions, Mountain Productions is able to stay ahead of the weather and be prepared for any emergency situation that may arise. Mountain is proud to support and promote a safe work site at every job. In the past several months, Mountain has trained and worked closely with WeatherOps (Weather Decision Technologies) in order to gain a better understanding and awareness of forecasting and weather monitoring services. By monitoring each job site through WeatherOps, Mountain is alerted immediately of any approaching inclement weather, which provides valuable time to act. Mountain Production’s supervisors have already seen the benefit of this service, and continue their diligence toward safety at every job, no matter the size. It’s essential to take the necessary precautions as well as maintain a solid action plan in order to be prepared for emergencies. Mountain Productions will continue its pledge as a StormReady Supporter, and Mountain’s staff, engineers and supervisors are continuously researching the latest technologies to promote safety at their events. More information on the Mountain Productions’ involvement with the WeatherOps system here.
By Steven A Adelman, NFPA Journal, July 1, 2013
For NFPA members who are immersed in safety training every day, the concept of “life safety first” is so fundamental that it hardly needs to be articulated. Yet, despite advances in every aspect of safety technology and training, the list of catastrophes associated with live events around the world continues to grow, from outdoor stage roof collapses to nightclub fires to crowd-crush incidents. Clearly, important parts of the message are being lost between existing regulations, codes, and guidelines and the boots on the ground. Read full article>>
Temporary Performance/Event Structures Safety Guideline for the Live Performance Industry in Ontario
The Occupational Health and Safety Act sets out the duties for all workplace parties including owners, constructors, employers, supervisors and workers. In recognition that constructors, employers and supervisors have some of the main responsibilities to ensure the health and safety of all workers, the OHSA imposes general and specific duties on them and provides for other duties to be prescribed by regulation. This guideline has been prepared by the Health and Safety Advisory Committee for Live Performance to help workplace parties understand some of their obligations under the OHSA and its regulations related to the design, erection, use, dismantling and maintenance of temporary performance/event structures. Read full article>>
By Carys Mills, News reporter, June 07, 2013
The investigation into the fatal stage collapse at a Radiohead concert last summer has ended in 13 charges against Live Nation, a staging company and an engineer. The Ministry of Labour announced the charges Friday, just shy of the one-year anniversary of the collapse at Downsview Park. Scott Johnson, a 33-year-old drum technician, was killed and three others were injured at the sold-out show. Read full article >>
by Dr. Donald C. Cooper and Jim Digby, Light and Sound America, Spring 2013
Shortly after the widely reported and unfortunate staging tragedies in 2011, a small, ad-hoc group of live event professionals began a dialog that quickly evolved from a single phone call between two passionate individuals into a biweekly conference call of more than 20 professionals representing a broad cross-section of the live event industry. It was immediately apparent that many in the industry shared the same passion and concern. Read full article >>
by Light and Sound America, May 9, 2013
Municipalities hosting large-scale indoor and outdoor live events have often required event organizers to prepare comprehensive Event Safety Plans that include specific engineering drawings that address the riggings of stages and roof structures, high wind action plans, and comprehensive insurance policies. Those plans may now also be required by insurance providers before approving coverage, according to a prediction made at Event Live Expo 2013 by Scott Carroll, executive vice president and program director of Take1 Entertainment Insurance. Read full article >>
Advisen FPN: Digest Edition – Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Hennes & Mauritz AB (HM-B.SK), Inditex and C&A, some of the world’s biggest clothing companies, on Monday committed to implement safety standards in Bangladesh’s garment factories, a sign that Western retailers could play a key role in policing the country’s main industry nearly three weeks after a factory collapse killed more than 1,100 people. Read full article >>