HEADS UP – Lufthansa Pilots are Going On Strike April 2-4, 2014

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Heads up, ladies and gentlemen of the aluminum tube frequent flier variety.  Lufthansa pilots are going on strike starting tomorrow.  Check it out — they’ve now cancelled 3,800 flights due to the three-day walkout.  From the Lufthansa website:

Announced strike of the pilots union from April, 2nd – 4th, 2014

As a result of strike actions, which the German pilots union “Vereinigung Cockpit” (VC) has announced at Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings from Wednesday, April 2nd 2014, to Friday, April 4th 2014, Lufthansa will reduce its schedule significantly.

Flights of the Lufthansa Group Airlines Eurowings, Lufthansa CityLine, Air Dolomiti, Swiss, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines are excepted from the strikes and schedule adjustments.

Check currently cancelled flights under Cancelled flights.

Passengers flying with Germanwings (4U) will find all relevant information here: Latest news

Booking status / alternative travel options

Affected passengers please check the status of their booking prior to departure at My bookings.

Passengers travelling within Germany whose flights have been cancelled due to the strike may alternatively travel by train with Deutsche Bahn. To do this, please exchange your etix for a train ticket online or mobile at My bookings or at a Lufthansa check in machine.

Passengers, whose flights have been cancelled and their tickets have been purchased on LH.com, at a Lufthansa ticket counter or via phone at the Lufthansa Service Center may also refund their ticket via this e-mail form.

If your flight has been cancelled and you cannot use the self-service please contact one of ourService Centers toll-free

Germany +49 800 850 60 70
Great Britain +44 800 358 0538
France +33 805 98 0097
Spain +34 900 901 465
Italy +39 800 089 775
Russia +7 88003334265

or one of our local phone numbers.

Currently we are experiencing an exceptionally high volume of calls. In connection with that, a technical problem with the phone system of our Service Center occurred. This results in an increase in waiting times as well as individual terminations of calls through the system. We are doing all possible to work on a solution and apologise for the inconvenience.

Exception: All Germanwings flights operated by Eurowings are not affected by the strike.

Passengers holding a Lufthansa/SWISS/Austrian Airlines or Brussels Airlines ticket for flights on April 2nd – April 4th, 2014 from/to/via Germany, and whose flights are not cancelled, are also permitted torebook their flight once free of charge, provided that:

– the ticket was issued on/before March 28th, 2014
– the new travel date is on/before September 30th, 2014
– the original ticket class remains
– all other fare conditions are adhered to
Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions regarding flight disruptions can be found here.

Thanks to Peter Kirkup for this heads-up.

STUMP Tour Time-Lapse – Umphrey’s McGee and STS9’s Joint Tour! #UM #STS9

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This is excellent, and we’re keeping with the whole stop motion theme today.  This is a video uploaded by the UMVideo account on YouTube — the music you’re rocking out to during the video is Umphrey’s McGee’s Wizard Burial Ground.

Enjoy!

Here’s a bonus bit of rock and roll for you on this fine Thursday… Women, Wine, and Song at Alpharetta, GA! Why? Well, WHY THE HELL NOT?!

The International Space Station’s Touring Roadcase Toolbox

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Packing your touring toolkit is always a bit of a challenge — you almost have to have future vision to decide what is going to be needed, what little trinkets and wrenches will be most useful, and what not to pack.  Frankly, I love the job!

But…  can you imagine having to put together the roadcase of tools for use aboard the International Space Station?  Now THAT is a task suited for a rocket scientist!  (Or if you’re my old buddy Kirby Roberts, a rocket surgeon!)  The ultimate tour must have the most ultimate tool box…  right?

Check out these photos posted by UK astronaut Tim Peake posted these photos of the ISS’ road case toolbox for all of us to enjoy — or as happens in our industry, critique to the point of madness.  Come on, you know exactly what I’m talking about, I can even hear the snark from here — “He doesn’t have a single Crescent in there, this guy must be an amateur.”

Check it out!  I guess my first question would be which of the nut drivers they turned into a one hitter?

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I’m guessing that the pry bars are for when the aliens can’t get the truss to line up correctly.  Remember NASA, make your “M”s and “W”s!  I mean, there’s a truss hammer in there, after all!

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Thanks to Tim Peake for posting these on his personal Flickr account!

A Grim Reminder of the Latest Deaths in Our Beloved Industry Before Summer Work Kicks Off

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HEY!  YOU! 

You there, with the rigging bag.

You there, with the crescent wrench and fearless attitude.

You there, sporting the “supervisor” face but looking at your cell phone when motors are moving.

You there, new guy and new girl, who are googly-eyed at the awesomeness but should be watching their own backs and paying attention to the work.

The summer season of outdoor music and theatre has started, and no matter if you’re doing corporate shows, theatre, music, or art production, this post needs to serve as a reminder.  Along with orgs like PLASA and the Event Safety Alliance, JimOnLight.com is doing everything they can to NOT have a summer like the last few we’ve had – and what I can do is provide a reminder of the hell that we as an industry have seen, not to mention the families of those killed in these accidents and disasters lately.  If I might reiterate, what we do is entertainment; it may pay the bills, but if you see something less than safe happening or took place in putting something together that you might not feel 100% about once it was finished, SPEAK UP NOW!

YOUR DUTY:  It is your duty to the safety of others and your own personal safety to keep your head in the game once you are onsite.  This includes WEATHER concerns, Safety concerns,

To address an email I got from a guy out there who prefers to remain anonymous out there, who asked me what would happen if a person got fired for refusing to do something unsafe.  My response was something along the lines of:

  1. You are probably working for a company that is a time bomb of fail waiting to happen — don’t be the fuse, and don’t feel bad about not wanting to die at work.
  2. Regardless of Fact #1, you should probably consult an attorney before you go thermonuclear.  Most attorneys do so for free.
  3. Call people like OSHA, PLASA, USITT, anyone you can think of if something shady is going on.  So you lose your job – don’t for a second think that the industry won’t be behind you for saving lives.
  4. You can file unemployment in a case like that – a company doing shady safety work will sooner than later be discovered, it would not be in their interest to fight your claim.  But, your mileage may vary, and frankly, some people have better luck than others in life at these things.
  5. Feel good that you aren’t in that situation anymore, and get right back out there and find another gig if you lose yours.  Do the right thing.  Having deaths on your conscience is good for no human, no matter how little of a part you played in the process.

That’s my opinion, anyway.  That’s what I’d do.  An industry that won’t take care of people who keep it safe is not an industry anyone should participate in, regardless of the possible profits.  Money is less valuable than lives.

Here’s a reminder of sacrifices have been made to further the standardization of safety in our business – please forgive me if I overlooked one close to you, all you have to do is email me and I will append this post.

APRIL 5, 2013: 
RIGGERS, TAKE HEED:  Houston Dean Williams slipped and fell to the stage floor while moving around a beam in San Antonio at the AT&T Center.

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MAY 6, 2013:
A man was killed when a PA stack fell on him
at a protest rally in Moscow.

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APRIL 17, 2013:
Boston Marathon Bombings claim the lives of three marathongoers, wounding several dozens.  Let’s not forget, this was at an entertainment function.

Boston Marathon Explosions TOPIX

March 15, 2013:
A video wall came apart and fell on stage hands
in Miami for Ultra Music Festival.  No one killed, fortunately, but several people were hurt.

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June 16, 2012:
1 dead, 3 wounded at a Radiohead concert in Toronto, Ontario
.

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December 15, 2011:
1 person was killed and 8 people injured when truss collapsed
in Trieste, Italy at a Jovanotti concert.

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August 19, 2011:
5 people killed and 70+ injured when a storm blew over a stage
at the Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium.

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Perhaps the worst of them all lately…  August 15, 2011:
At the Sugarland show at the Indiana State Fair, a storm blew over an outdoor stage loaded with audio and lighting truss, killing 7 people and injuring 58.

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May 13, 2010:
A young lighting tech in West Palm Beach fell to his death from a catwalk while working on a show.

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July 27, 2009:
A Pepsi Battle of the Bands in Guangzhou, China experiences a huge, sudden storm that tips over LED screens and injures several dozen.  Reports of people killed were removed from the web, so I think it’s fair that we can assume several people died in this accident.

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July 16, 2009:
At a Marseilles, France tour stop for Madonna’s Sticky and Sweet tour, a stage roof collapsed, killing 2 stage hands involved in the load-in.

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Let’s also never forget the Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake truss collapse in August 2003:

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Just don’t forget.  Also, don’t forget that you are responsible for yourself out there, and when you’re putting equipment together, keep in mind that your diligence will mean the difference between you and others going home on the bus and going home in the ambulance – or even worse, getting a ride home with the coroner.

Be safe out there, Road Warriors!

 

My Random Traveling Life Lately

I just sorted through eleven thousand photos from the last few months.  I’m finally getting time to plow through the enormous backlog of content I have to share with you!

I noticed that I had so many photos of traveling — nothing really terribly focused, but just so much traveling.

SO.  MUCH.  TRAVELING.

I was going to try and put some rhyme or reason to this collection, but I think you’ll enjoy it if you don’t travel — and you’ll commiserate if you travel like me or more.  Some people travel about ten times what I do…

and then there’s the road warriors…

Check out the whole gallery!  There are 112 photos from random locations…  see if you recognize them!

(Click on a photo icon and you’ll open the JimOnLight Photo Gallery!)

 

PHISH at BLOSSOM – June 4, 2011

After a marathon week, I am back in the saddle at the Light Associated Media Headquarters in Oklahoma City!  A 15 hour drive from Columbus, OH to OKC happened a few days ago, and after sleeping off the remnants of that, I have my buddy Greg in town, hanging out and restoring some peace.  After the crazy schedule of working through the semester and trying to figure out how to do all that needs to be done, it’s time for a switching UP in gears.

You know how I spell relief after a hell schedule?  P-H-I-S-H.  Greg and I went to Blossom Music Center in Cleveland to see one of the shows on the summer tour – I had plans to interview Chris Kuroda again, but Phish’s media people never got back to me regarding the interview.  Sorry folks.  I know a lot of you had requested a second set of interviews with Chris, but I guess they’re too busy to accomodate me.  Regardless, the show was amazing, the band was fantastic, and the tour seems to be going very, very well.  Kuroda’s driving a pretty fun rig, and he seems to be having a lot of fun with it!

The rig, post show for detail:

aaaaaaaaaaand while being driven:

I’m not gonna run my mouth here much about the show, I think the few shots I got from my point-and-shoot (damned camera thieves) speak volumes.  There is some video coming, stay tuned!

A gallery view is below – click on a shot, and a gallery opens up!  Enjoy!  Also, did you go to the show? Drop a comment below, tell the world what you thought of the lighting!

 

A Day in The Life of Jeff Waful, LD of Umphrey’s McGee

Talking to fellow lighting designers and seeing how they do things is one of my favorite parts of writing JimOnLight.com – just recently I had the absolute pleasure of having a nice long chat with Jeff Waful of Umprey’s McGee, and this morning I awoke to an email from Jeff about a two-part video he’s posted on his day.  From the bunk to the coffee, to the venue, to the focus, to the dinner, to the show – and then the out.  We end at the bunk again, as we always do on tourdays.

This is a great look into the life of a rock and roll lighting designer.  It’s well worth the watch.

Jeff, I will be buying you and Wade some drinks at some point soon.  Stay tuned.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Thanks, Jeff!

(and for all of you people out there who thought it would be awesome to assume his last name was not pronounced like that wonderful flat thing that goes with syrup and sausage, it’s actually pronounced “waffle.”  I’d like to see a waffle light UM like this Waful does, though.)

The JimOnLight.com Podcast – Episode 4: An Interview with Jeff Waful of Umphrey’s McGee

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Another episode of the JimOnLight.com podcast hits the airwaves!

I was fortunate enough to interview Jeff Waful – a lighting designer who’s been out with moe. and is currently lighting the excellent jam band, Umphrey’s McGee.  I got to talk to Jeff right before New Years’ Eve 2010 as he was programming Umphrey’s New Years run in Chicago.  We talked about his switch from moe. to Umphrey’s, the grandMA, the Mac III, what young lighting designers should know, and a lot more.

Check it out below – I’ve also included a link for download, and it should be hitting the RSS feed right away!

Bad Boy, Chris Conti, and PRG at LDI 2009

I had the pleasure of meeting and getting a Bad Boy demo from Chris Conti, product manager at PRG this year at LDI 2009.  Chris gave us the rundown on all of the features of Bad Boy – from optics and color to servos and touchscreens.  I am working on another interview with Chris for some more in-depth information on the fixture.

Have I mentioned I really like this hoss of a moving light?  That thing is designed all the way down to the smell!

I broke the demo video up into three parts, and I have embedded them below.  You can also check out the JimOnLight.com Youtube Channel, where all three are listed.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Thanks to Justin from iSquint for the second camera view!  I added this earlier, but it needed adding again.

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Phish and Red Rocks: An Excellent Way to Spend the Evening

It’s no secret that I am a Phish fan.  I love the innovative and creative grooves that “the boys” lay down every night, and as a lighting designer, I am always a huge fan of what Chris Kuroda is doing behind the lighting desk.  I was at the Hampton Run and interviewed Phish lighting designer Chris Kuroda, but I’ve missed everything else.  When I’m at LDI, they’ll be playing in Cincinnati.  Foiled again!

I read this blog called Hidden Track, from Glide Magazine – a Youtube user named gdoucette78 has uploaded some amazing multicamera videos of the Red Rocks run from Phish at the end of July.  I love having videos of live shows because of the ability to see how certain songs were treated with respect to light and orchestration of the cues – it’s like having the ability to research that moment in lighting time!

I have attached a video below from gdoucette78’s list – he has a ton of videos from that weekend.  If you enjoy the music and want to see some cool lighting, check out the rest of his videos.  Thanks for posting these!

(this video is of the song “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” or 2001.  This might be one of my favorite “lighting songs” of all time)