Heading to #EDX2015 in Bel Air, MD, Tra La Laa

Who’s going to the Entertainment Design Expo event at Harford Community College tomorrow?  Barbizon is doing a cool free-attendance event (<cough> free <hack> FREE <pneumothorax> ATTENDANCE IS FREE) at the APG Federal Credit Union Arena on the Harford College campus Thursday, June 25, 2015, and Avolites will be there!

Pre-register for the event here — still free and you can walk in, but pre-registration gets you on the prizes list…

I’ll be showing off the coolest lighting-rig-spaceship-driving-controls that there ever was, the Sapphire Touch!

Sapphire Touch at the Mayweather/Maidana fight!

Sapphire Touch at the Mayweather/Maidana fight!

Here’s how to get to the show:

APG-arena

See you tomorrow at #EDX2015!!

Knight of Illumination Awards IS A BLAST! You Going?

I saw this yesterday from awesome lady of lighting media Sarah Rushton-Read, about the upcoming Knights of Illumination Awards at the PLASA Show in October 2015 — seriously, if you’re going to PLASA and haven’t done a KoI, you’re missing out.  It is some seriously fun stuff, hands down!

I really really REALLY hope I get to PLASA this year…  it might be ruby slipper clicking time because I haven’t been able to see my UK peeps in so long.

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The Knight of Illumination Awards 2015 has lift off 

UK – The 2015 Knight of Illumination Awards (KOI) has launched and submissions are already coming in for Television and Concert Touring and Events.

This year marks the 8th KOI Awards, which celebrates the creative talents of international lighting and digital content designers working in the UK in the sectors of TV, Theatre and Concert Touring and Events.

With a new award category in Concert Touring and Events for smaller club venues this year’s KOI will widen its reach to celebrate LDs from all stages and scales of touring. Concert Touring and Events is also welcoming a new member of the judging panel in the form of respected Total Production International Magazine editor, Kelly Murray,

Submissions are open for the Television and Concert Touring and Events categories and shows performed or broadcast between 1st August 2014 and 31st July 2015 in the UK are eligible. As with previous years the Theatre section can only be nominated by the judging panel.

Crucially, KOI continues to run as a pan industry event supported by the generous sponsorship of businesses operating across the industry. Award winning lighting designer and coordinator of the KOI awards Durham Marenghi explains: “In eight years KOI has established itself as a much coveted lighting and video industry award, respected for truly celebrating the art and creativity of lighting, video and show design. In fact so successful has the event been that last year it was referred to by the Guardian newspaper, in an article that detailed the creative value a lighting designer can bring to the overall production process.”

The KOI Awards was conceived and is organised by lighting manufacturer, Clay Paky, along with the STLD (Society of Television Lighting Designers), the ALD (Association of Lighting Designers) and Durham and Jennie Marenghi.

This year’s awards event will be produced and managed by The Fifth Estate Ltd, which also handles KOI’s marketing and PR. As in previous years the Awards will be generously sponsored by a broad spectrum of manufacturing and service businesses connected to the lighting industry and kindly supported by important industry organisations and the press.

Today, the KOI Awards continues to forge ever-closer ties between lighting and video designers – at all stages of their careers – and the lighting and digital content design industry as a whole.

A panel of industry experts assesses each sector of the awards and submissions can be made for TV and Concert Touring by visiting the KOI Website. The shortlists will be announced in early September.

In addition The Enrico Caironi Lifetime Recognition Award will be presented to an individual who’s passion for the industry has gone above and beyond the call of duty, in turn benefiting their colleagues, the industry and the wider world.

Last year’s winners included: Paul Keogan, Joachim Klein, Andy Purves, Adam Silverman, Ethan Wang for Theatre; David Higgs, Chris Rigby, Hugh French, Ben Cracknell, and Luke Halls for Television; Will Potts, Andy Hurst, Matt Button and Paul ‘Pablo’ Beckett, Blue Leach and Cate Carter for Concert Touring and Events. The winner for Lifetime Achievement was Brian Croft.

To find out more about the sectors and subcategories or information on how you can submit an entry for television, theatre or concert touring and event lighting and visual content please visit:

www.knight-of-illumination. com/categories

For more information and to make a submission for Concert Touring and Events or Television please visit the KOI website and social media sites at:

Website: www.knight-of-illumination.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ knight.of.illumination
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ KOIAwards

About KOI:

The Knight of Illumination Awards provides public recognition for outstanding achievements in Lighting Design by Lighting Designers working on productions in the UK.
The Awards for “The Knight of the Illumination” are nominated and judged by a panel of professional reviewers working in the specific categories and the ceremony takes place annually in the autumn in London.

JimOnLight at #USITT 2015, in Photos

USITT 2015:  back from the show, glad to have gone!  Lots of friendly familiarity and new friends, libations of all sorts, and I finally had some time to see some folks I haven’t seen in a long time.

After this show particularly, I always feel pretty full of heart.  I’m going to hopefully be spending more time with everyone at trade shows since I’m no longer designing trade show booths at work…  which reminds me, anyone need an LD?  I’m in the South Florida area, interested in picking up a jam band of some kind!  I’m interested in doing something totally off-the-frigging-wall different with a band, something completely insane with light.

Here are a crap ton of photos from the 2015 USITT Conference and Stage Expo in Cincinnati, Ohio — click on any image for the JimOnLight Lightbox!

How was YOUR #USITT?  Did you see everything you wanted?  Did you meet new people and make new contacts?  Leave us a message on the post!

Meh Footage of LDI 2014

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I take photos and video all over the damned place, especially at trade shows.  It’s not really difficult to imagine, there is so much flashy flashy that it’s like putting a kid on sugar in the middle of a rave.  Sometimes I get good photos and video, sometimes I don’t!  I always hate deleting videos, it seems like such a waste.  I was way too preoccupied with my LDI design and dealing with some other bullshit to really even walk the show floor properly, but I got lots of photos and only a handful of real usable video.

In case you’d rather see the photos, here’s the LDI 204 JimOnLight photos post, and the Obligatory LDI 2014 Selfies post!

Are ya ready for some blah video?!

The People Make the LDI Experience for Me

LDI reminds me that there are so many things I love and hate about this industry we call our home.  I hate the hours; I love the payoff.  I hate the exhaustion; I love the camaraderie that occurs between people that don’t normally play well with others.  The one thing that I love more than any of it is the people of this business.  The people make LDI for me, every single time we trek our rear ends to the desert for our industry’s prom.

I walked around taking as many “obligatory LDI selfies” as I could.  I took a bunch near our booth, and yes Jaybles, some of these aren’t selfies.  😀

I missed seeing hundreds of people.  This is the standard for LDI.  Next year I’ll miss more hundreds of people.  You have to make these shows focus on who you DO get to see!  You’ll always see who you missed next year!

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Eric Mueller, Matt Suarez, Thomas Fonseca, the bald one, and Corey SIlverman!

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TEAM AVOLITES AWESOMESAUCE!!!!!!!!! Holy awesome, Batman!

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Flash and Trash Works Inc – Executive Team! Cat West and Joe Cabrera, two of the world’s greatest programmers.

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What’s Danilo looking at? Danilo, DeAnna, Mikey, and Gilbert!

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Tobin Neis of Barbizon and Sharon Gross from Bandit Lites!

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Hi Brad! Brad Schiller, ladies and gentlemen!

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It’s Simon Newton! Great to meet YOU, dude!

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Steve Shelley, who always has a giggle for me!! You’re awesome.

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Sharon, so great to meet you finally! World, Sharon runs PR for Bandit Lites. Say hi to her on Facebook and Twitter! GO! DO IT!

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Feelin’ CONGO with Susan Rose!

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Look at that big beautiful smile! Richard Belliveau and I resting the dogs at the Elation Professional booth.

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Randy Wade! What’s up man?!

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What’s that weird Stepford Wives face we’re making?! Me, Justin Lang, Mike Graham, and Danilo Oliveira.

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Danilo, Peter Kirkup of Peter Kirkup, and Mikey all talking shop.

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LOOK at this f*cking guy!! Did he get sexified or WHAT?! Peter Kirkup looking great at LDI 2014!

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Avolites’ Koy and a lovely chap that I did not get a name from, EMAIL ME!

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Rosco Matt! Awesome chatting with you mandingo.

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The brainchild of Legend, Rogue, and many more, Michael Graham!

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Nick Airiess (NICKY!) and Dan Goldsmith of X-Laser

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F*CK YEAH! Kevin Loretto, JOL, Thierry Pouliot!!!! Great to see you both!!!

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The enchanting Miss Katherine Walmsley from our UK office and CARRRRRRLOS! Carlos makes photoshop and e-blasts his bitch.

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Hi Justin!

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Jeremy Kumin of ENTTEC! I thought Enttec had the coolest booth at LDI, totally Steampunk.

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THE GOGGLES!!!

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AWWWW! It was so great to see Jax.

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Jacob Coakley is the third funniest man I have ever met. Read what he has to say about what we do, his words drive our businesses in a strongly creative direction.

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One of Entertainment’s favorite ladies! Heather Marie Short rocks!!

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SEE?! She’s commanding you with her eyes!!!

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Ladies and gentlemen, the most popular man on the block! Look at that tongue!!!

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David makes the JimOnLight world go ’round. David is our technojesus

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Dr. DMX!

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Debi Moen — this lady writes the lighting industry’s soul. Fact.

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I call this one “nefarious smiles”

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Danilo having an eyebrow moment

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Jeremy, JOL, Crystal LEE!

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Berenice Chauvet – Lighting’s Marketing SAMURAI!!!!

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BAHAA!!! YOU GUYS!@!@!

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CHAD FOR PRESIDENT!!!!! ROSCO CHAD! ROSCO CHAD!

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Oh my god this was the best photo ever. Chris Conti, my salty head, and Michael Eddy at load-out.

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STEALTH selfie! Berenice, meself, Jackie. I caught Jackie Tien on camera!!! She ninja’d the other way for the next shot I took, you fast devil you!

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Andre!!! Cool to meet you, duder!

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This guy. A very awesome chap. He introduced himself to me and I did not record his name. What’s your name again, my man?! Amy Walker, what’s his name?!?!

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Me, Susan Rose, Berenice Chauvet, and Joe Fucini! Awesome!

 

It's Allan Reiss programming his awesome booth!

It’s Allan Reiss programming his awesome booth!

 

 

Load-in week dinner for those of us who stayed late.  We were the few.  As in you see who stayed late!

Load-in week dinner for those of us who stayed late. We were the few. As in you see who stayed late!

Y'all COME BACK NOW!

Y’all COME BACK NOW!

The Official Post-LDI-2014 Post

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LDI 2014 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada took place this year, as it does every year.  Lots of lights, lasers, video wall, consoles, and people!  Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we’re all doing the last month hop to finish up everything before Christmas break.  Well, I mean “break” as in the 25th and 26th probably, most of us will be working during that time anyway.

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A little Vegas sun shining through the LDI haze

This was a bittersweet LDI for me.  Some drama, lots of friends, a little more drama, SO much light, more friends, and hopefully lots of great stuff on the horizon.  One thing I noticed this year was the massive amount of moving heads that break the mold of a “professional” moving head — lots of stuff with split heads, heads that rotate and tilt on their own, heads that have multiple light sources on them, all that kind of stuff.  It’s interesting to see how the industry innovates itself…  or rather how the industry *thinks* it’s going to innovate itself.

Lots of stuff to see, lots of booths to visit, and tons of beautiful photos!  Check them, out, I’ve tried to break them into company names.  None of this is in any particular order, and I didn’t have much time to roam so I didn’t see lots of stuff.  I never got to the EDM arena, for example, which looked pretty awesome!  I also never got to D3 to see BlackTrax’ progress, I’ve been really looking forward to that.

What I’ve learned over the years at trade shows is that you have to measure your experience by what you did see and who you did hug; if you spend your time counting the things you didn’t get to see and the people you missed, your experience will be less rich.

Here’s the list of companies I was able to shoot a few photos of, not in order:

PRG, High End Systems/BARCOAesonEpsilonSGMChristieNewstarElation ProfessionalAmerican DJX-LaserDuratrussTMBPhilipsTheatrixxDTSGLPAyrtonVERLEXFroggy’s FogAbsen, CHAUVET Professional (obviously, haha), ETCCooluxMartin LightingBarbizonModTrussAOTOAirStar, Applied Technologies, AvolitesCity TheatricalClay PakyDazianICDRobert Juliat, and MA Lighting.


 PRG’s Booth at LDI 2014

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High End Systems/BARCO

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Aeson’s Booth

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Epsilon’s Booth

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SGM

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Christie’s Booth

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Newstar’s Booth

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Elation Professional’s Booth

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American DJ’s Booth

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X-Laser’s Booth

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Duratruss’ Booth

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TMB’s Booth

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Philips’ Booths

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Theatrixx’s Booth

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DTS’s Booth

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GLP’s Booth

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Ayrton’s Booth

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VER’s Booth

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LEX Products’ Booth

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Froggy’s Fog

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Absen’s Booth

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ETC’s Booth

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Coolux’s Booth

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Martin Lighting’s Booth

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Barbizon’s Booth

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ModTruss’ Booth

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AOTO’s Booth

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AirStar’s Booth

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Applied Technologies’ Booth

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Avolites/Group One’s Booth

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City Theatrical’s Booth

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Clay Paky’s Booth

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Dazian’s Booth

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Inner Circle Distribution’s Booth

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Robert Juliat’s Booth

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MA Lighting’s Booth

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LDI 2014 – some general shots

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Wanna check out the 2013 LDI Show photos?  Click here!

How about a 2012 LDI Walkthrough?  Click here!

Breaking the Surface – Kinetic Architectural Awesomesauce

ctrl+NScandinavian Design Group, Kontur, Abida, and Intek, and Lundin Norway all got together and made this amazing kinetic, interactive being called Breaking the Surface, or otherwise known as the booth design for Lundin Norway’s ONS 2014 conference presence.  Lundin Norway does oil and gas exploration, so of course they would have the tons of bread that goes into making something this amazing!  Wouldn’t it be amazing if we ALL had this kind of design budget?  Holy crap!

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Project Leader:
Scandinavian Design Group

Interior Architect:
ctrl+N

Architect:
Kontur

Robotic and Programming Engineer:

Abida

Installation and Fabrication Engineer:

Intek

Client:

Lundin Norway

Breaking the Surface – Lundin visit at Raufoss from SDG Oslo on Vimeo.

Breaking the Surface – filmed by Bjorn Gunnar Staal from Ctrl+N on Vimeo.

InfoComm 2014 – The JimOnLight Tour!

I just combed through photos from the last six months, and I found a ton of photos from InfoComm 2014 as I walked the floor.  Check these out, we had a lot of fun at that show!  Well, except for the heat exhaustion/upper GI thing during that trip, but I guess that’s just the way she goes, as Ray would say.

Check out the virtual JimOnLight InfoComm 2014 photo tour below!
Click on any individual photo below to get the full-size David Fox badass lightbox!

TSA Detained Chewbacca Because They Thought His Light Saber Cane was Dangerous

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As Peter Mayhew put it, the guy who made Chewbacca all that he is in its hairy presence, “Giant man need giant cane.. small cane snap like toothpick…. besides.. my light saber cane is just cool.. I would miss it.

Star Wars actor Peter Mayhew was detained at Denver International Airport on June 3 because TSA thought his light saber cane was dangerous.  So, his oversized acrylic light saber cane was dangerous.  You guys at the TSA do know that light sabers don’t quite exist yet, right?  You have several of my 8″ crescent wrenches, and definitely a handful of Gerber tools you’ve taken from me over the years.  I still will never understand why you tell me I can have a 7″ crescent wrench but not an 8″ crescent wrench every single time you take one from me.  If I had a 7″ crescent would you tell me I could only have a 6″ crescent?

From an article at CNET:

Mayhew’s explanation for this cane possession was very simple: “Giant man need giant cane.. small cane snap like toothpick…. besides.. my light saber cane is just cool.. I would miss it.”

Who could possibly argue with that? Well, the TSA folks wanted to.

However, quite extraordinarily, American Airlines intervened. Mayhew is an extremely frequent flyer and it seems that someone from the airline may have whispered to the TSA: “Do you really think a famous actor is going to hijack a plane with a lightsaber cane?”

Or words with that same ultimate meaning.

This was not before some of Mayhew’s Twitter followers made merry with this terrestrial nonsense.

One, Shane Moore, offered: “@TheWookieeRoars Chewie hijacks plane with light saber… takes passengers to Kashyyyk. Story tonight at 10!”

Mr. Mayhew, who goes by TheWookieeRoars on Twitter, took to Twitter to let the world know what was up.  Chewbacca was just flying home from the Denver Comi-con, and TSA decided to snag his cane because it “looked dangerous.”  After a little bit, some magic happened — TSA released a statement because Mayhew sent out a tweet to 20,000+ followers.  As you’ll notice in the picture above, it took three TSA agents to detain Mr. Mayhew, and I’m sure an entire communications department to decide what they should do that someone called them out on being ridiculous.  Oh, I love paying tax money for these people.  I have no job, and they have eleventy jobs.

Ah, bureaucracy.

Here’s a better shot of that awesome cane:

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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.

trieste-jovanotti-collapse

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

pukkelpop-collapse-5

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.

indiana-state-fair-collapse-falling

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.

pepsi-battle-of-the-bands-accident

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.

madonna-stage-collapse1.jpg

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!