Bankier Sloan warns #eventprofs of business rate Revaluation scams

Bankier Sloan, the Oxfordshire-based chartered surveyor, which has provided professional assistance to festival organisers on the issue of business rates, is warning events professionals to be aware that there is to be a revaluation of all commercial premises next April.
Ian Sloan,  principle of Bankier Sloan, warned: "April 2023 will see a new revaluation of all business premises and sadly a further chance for 'scammers' to approach event sector businesses. The new Valuation List will not be published until late 2022 and it will not be possible to appeal your new rateable value until after April 1, 2023.
"We expect many companies to re-emerge promoting their services to businesses across the UK in the coming months, informing owners that they can obtain discounts on their business rates. A discount may be possible, but we believe, as in the past, 98 per cent of valuations will be correct."
He continued: "We know of businesses that are still paying an annual fee to ‘Rating Advisers’ who requested they sign contracts covering not only the 2017 revaluation but also 'the next revaluation'. Please be warned."
Image: Krists Luhaers/Unsplash

Seeing red and turning green: Event experts talk power

Event power experts discuss the current state of the marketplace, new products, contract wins, and best practices...

In June, Festival Republic – the organiser of Download and Latitude – unveiled details of a research project with Music Declares Emergency. The research will look at the logistics of connecting more UK festivals to the national power grid, reducing the need to run generators on event and festival sites.

Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic, called the project a “game changer for outdoor live events”, reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and enabling promoters to produce more sustainable events.

Festival Republic hopes that the research project will provide some answers so it can run fully renewably powered, grid-connected stages at three events in 2023. Plus, it wants to share the findings and help other organisers to follow suit.

Grid power is a growing trend. Promoter Cuffe and Taylor is looking at grid power solutions and Agrekko is working with the organising committee of Birmingham 2022 to adopt a “mains first” approach. Where temporary energy is needed, Aggreko is providing 117 Stage V generators from 30kVA up to 600kVa running on hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO).

Renewable power

Festival Republic has confirmed that this year’s Reading and Leeds will be powered by 100 per cent HVO biofuel – a renewable form of fuel that has 90 per cent less carbon equivalent emissions than regular diesel. All Points East will run on HVO too.

Since the events industry was banned from using red diesel and rebated biofuels on April 1, organisers have been shocked by the impact that increasing fuel prices have had on their production costs. Therefore, more organisers are turning to alternative power sources.

For example, the contractor compound at The 150th Open was powered by a solar farm and this year’s HebCelt was powered by locally produced green hydrogen.

The Islands Stage in the main arena area used zero-emissions energy for three days and nights, powering 12 different acts. It was the first festival in Scotland to run a full stage consecutively for the duration of an event on green hydrogen, which was produced from surplus electricity produced by local onshore wind renewable power.

PlusZero, a Harris-based clean power start-up, was the festival’s power provider and the evolution of the festival’s green power options was made possible through EventScotland’s National Events Programme.

“HebCelt has always been committed to finding ways to lessen our carbon emissions and to have an environmentally sensitive event,” explained Caroline Maclennan, HebCelt’s festival director. “To be able to make this significant step, which saw truly green energy used for one of our stages throughout the festival, was very welcome. The fact that we can source the power from a local provider who in turn is using renewable energy in the production process made this development even more attractive.”

ISE Systems power

Seeing a shift

This year, Glastonbury’s Pyramid, Other, Park and West Holts stages were powered by HVO, electric vehicles transported artists between stages and the festival’s office and some production areas were powered by a 1,500 square metre solar PV array and an anaerobic digester. It was not the only festival to adopt new moves. We Love Green used a mix of solar panels, green hydrogen generators, and biofuel generators to power the three-day event.

Bradley Ireland, group sales director, at MHM Group, said that there is a desire within the events industry to become more eco-friendly. Bhavisha Fatania, marketing manager at IDE Systems, agreed.

Fatania said: “The red diesel ban has led to increased fuel costs for event companies. The increased cost has refocussed events on reducing fuel consumption, which has led to enquiries on how Erica, our power monitoring and control tool, can assist events in reducing fuel consumption.

“Event organisers are very focused on ensuring their event is sustainable. Electric vehicle chargers are amongst the many requests we receive. Event organisers have seen the shift to electric vehicles and wish to cater to this market.”

Pearce Hire power

New tech and reduce usage

MHM Group has recently launched a 10kva Ultra-Silent Event Ready generator, which consumes less fuel. The Ultra-Silent range is available with Stage V engines in sizes from 10kva to 500kva and the company has also increased its Solar Hybrid Battery Diesel Generator range, which is now available with Stage V engines from 3.5kva all the way up to 100kva and have the option of additional solar panel kits.

Jim Brown, general manager of Pearce Hire, concurred that the deployment of battery systems is playing a bigger role this year, reducing generator run time via hybrid set ups. The temporary power provider is trying to find ways to help clients reduce pressure on budgets, but market conditions are tough. Brown explained: “With fuel having roughly doubled in cost, we have had to ask our clients for fuel deposits. In the past, when the cost was at a lower level, we could tolerate waiting to be paid but we can’t expose ourselves to that risk anymore.

“Our clients are understandably looking to us to reduce usage as much as possible to try and reduce fuel costs for them. The upside with this is that the environmental improvements in generator provision, new and more sustainable technologies (and other aspects) which didn’t necessarily make economic sense to our clients a year or so ago, do make sense now. These reduce fuel use, and therefore emissions, and hopefully make fuel costs more manageable. Having said that it is disappointing, and frustrating for us, that there is no attempt to incentivise HVO usage. We know that this is the quickest way of improving an existing diesel generator fleet’s environmental performance until new technology arrives.”

Drive radical change

When the red diesel ban was introduced in April, Pearce Hire expected to see a push from organisers to reduce their fuel usage to try and minimise the increase in fuel costs, but no one could have foreseen how the market conditions have changed since then. The ban on red diesel and staggeringly high white diesel costs will drive radical change.

“The ban couldn’t have come at a worse time for the events industry,” said Alex Macan, technical and operations director
at Progen Power. “COVID all but decimated many events and required many companies to dip into their financial reserves to ensure their survival. To enforce a ban on red diesel that doubled the fuel bill of all events just

at the time when these companies were just getting back on their feet wasn’t a welcome move. Fortunately, many of the clients we work alongside had been anticipating this for a while, and adequate planning had been made to enable us to work with them to roll out full HVO across their sites.”

Pearce Hire will be providing power services to All Points East, Deer Shed, and Cambridge Folk Festival this summer, and is currently on tour with Michael Buble. Progen, which provided power to Download Festival in June, is now prepping for MotoGP at Silverstone.

Macan said: “Progen Power began operating properly in February this year. We didn’t want to go too wild in our first year. We began with a little-known festival in Leicestershire called Download! The team then moved on to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and in a few weeks’ time, we’re heading back to Silverstone to help power the MotoGP.

“When we started out on this journey, we had no idea that we would end up being the main provider of temporary power solutions for some of the UK’s major events. We had weddings and parties in mind but the support from our clients has been fantastic.”

Progen Power

Challenging market

In April, Festival Republic approached Progen Power to work on Download, having found itself without a power supplier. Historically, power at the festival has been provided by one supplier but given the timescale, it was not possible

to find one supplier which had enough kit or crew to deliver the project in its entirety. Progen Power worked alongside Sunbelt Rentals to ensure the site was fully covered. Sunbelt took the stages and arena infrastructure and Progen Power powered the bars, concessions, and campsites.

Macan continued: “We have added some exciting products to our inventory over the last few months. We have a
fleet of the very latest Stage V 18kVa generators, which can be linked together and used to provide a load on demand system. We have also added more than 70 new custom distribution boards, which allow great flexibility to our customers in terms of socket outlets, and we continue to be well supported by JCB. We currently have some of their new Stage V products on test.”

But what advice would Macan give to organisers that are struggling with power this year? “My main advice having seen the number of event organisers being let down is to do your due diligence. Ensure suppliers actually have the equipment they have promised. So many of the middlemen are being let down by their ‘trusted’ suppliers currently and it’s hugely important for the solvency of your business that you can ensure the availability of the equipment and the crew to undertake your project.

“This is why we are positioning ourselves to rely on rehires as little as possible. It wouldn’t be good business practise to
own absolutely everything, but equally it’s not good business practise to own barely anything and advertise yourself as a temporary power provider.

“My second piece of advice is to be understanding that everyone is suffering the same shortages of equipment and personnel, lead times on new equipment are huge and many good people have moved into other jobs and industries. Everyone is doing their best under difficult circumstances, so be nice.”

Brown concurred: “If you talk to us early and give us information early (even if it is only a starting point) we can design systems to ensure they are fit- for-purpose and as efficient as possible. This includes finding out what the actual power requirements are; making system recommendations to minimise demand and once we’ve done all that to correctly size our generators solutions to fit.

“We will do everything we can to help clients reduce fuel bills. Reducing engine sizes and running times is key to this, sometimes the biggest win on a site can be a mains supply which either no-one has thought of using before, or which needs a relatively simple upgrade to meet some of the power requirements for the event.”

Brown concluded: “At the end of the day, our clients expect us to turn up; ensure power is on at the right places and is safe; make sure the power stays on during the gig; and get it out of there without damaging anything. We’re not re-inventing the wheel – just trying to make it roll along a bit better every time we do it.”

Evolution Dome develops sustainable battery solution to inflate structures

Evolution Dome, the Cambridgeshire-based inflatable structures specialist, has developed a battery solution that can keep its structures inflated during an event.

While, traditionally, an Evolution Dome structure requires a generator running 24/7, to install it and keep it inflated for the duration of an event, the battery pack’s 20 KVA system can support a structure for 14 hours and can fully recharge in as little as 90 minutes, requiring just one eighth of the diesel draw.

If the sun is shining, that 87.5 per cent energy saving becomes 100 per cent.

Ash Austin, director of Evolution Dome, said: “The only downside to an inflatable is its constant power requirement and we think, with the battery unit, we have come up with a fool proof sustainable solution.”

Designed and built to match the specific needs of its structures, Evolution Dome’s bespoke battery units can be charged either via solar power or by traditional generator, making them completely reliable in any conditions, with considerable energy saving either way.

“Our structures are very efficient anyway, the air cavity in the walls makes controlling the heat much easier, much cheaper, and they pack down very small, which means transport costs are cheaper than the traditional equivalent.

“This battery power initiative is a next step,” Austin continued. “We used the 24 months or so lost to the pandemic to fund and develop a system much more in tune with the 21st century market than other solar driven ideas over the last 10 plus years.”

Evolution Dome battery packs are tailored to the structure they are being used for. The powers source fits in a flight case, making for much easier, much more efficient, transport to site.

Each unit is guaranteed for 6,000 cycles. For now, Evolution Dome has committed to three units because it is conscious that tech doesn’t stand still and there are likely to be products on the market in the next 18 months that will make the system even more efficient.

“The world is at a tipping point,” Austin concluded. “We have to do the right thing as a company and I’m equally pleased and proud to add another sustainable solution to our list of options for clients.”


ExCeL London certified carbon neutral on pathway to net zero

ExCeL London has taken a significant step on its journey to net zero by becoming carbon neutral certified.

The venue is committed to being a sustainability leader within the events industry and has now been awarded certification to PAS 2060, the only internationally recognised standard for carbon neutrality.

The achievement signifies a key milestone in the venue’s wider sustainability goals, in-line with those of its owners Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). ExCeL has already signed up to the Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge, committing the venue to a 50 per cent emissions reduction by 2030, and to become fully net zero by 2050.

Amongst ExCeL’s benchmark sustainability practices include using 100 per cent renewable electricity, offsetting any remaining emissions for gas, fuel, waste, water and employee commuting, and the installation of water fountains that save 200,000 plastic bottles every year. It has also operated a zero waste-to-landfill policy for more than a decade, houses the UK's largest commercial wormery to create compost from food waste, and has recently earned the Triple Crown of Sustainability award. Last month, ExCeL also offset all travel emissions from those attending The Meetings Show.

The announcement was made live on stage during ‘Change Accelerated Live’ part of Formula E – the all-electric net zero motorsport series – which ExCeL hosts.

Jeremy Rees, CEO of ExCeL, said: “Sustainability is at the top of our agenda and minimising our carbon footprint is pivotal to that success. It is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but a ‘right to play’ across all businesses, not just the events sector, and the reason we’ve chosen to act now not later. We’re very proud to be able to call ourselves a carbon neutral venue, but it’s only the beginning on our journey to becoming net zero – a roadmap and ESG Strategy we’ll be sharing in the coming months.”

He added: “As well as our sector leading work around sustainability, our various community and charity initiatives, right here at our Royal Docks home, are becoming ever more important to us. We also have a unique opportunity to use our platform - and the four million people who visit our venue every year - to inform and inspire others to play their part in all aspects of making a cleaner, fairer and more equitable world.”

ExCeL London received its carbon neutral accreditation from sustainability organisation Carbon Saver, which mandates any emissions reductions via credible high-quality off-sets.

Cheltenham Borough Council: Ice rink delivery

Budget: £300,000

Deadline: 12pm on August 12

Contact: Lauren Gardiner

Info: Cheltenham Borough Council is looking for companies interested in providing an ice rink attraction in Imperial Gardens for the Christmas season 2022. The ice rink attraction must be in keeping with the “Christmas in Cheltenham” theme.

For more details, click here.

Event Buyers Live

Event Buyers Live 2022: DEI strategy plans and registration details

Events professionals will soon be able to register for Event Buyers Live. Discover when and how this year’s event aims to be the most inclusive yet...

For eight years, StandOut Multimedia, organiser of Event Buyers Live, has worked hard to deliver the best industry event it possibly can. This year is no exception. Having listened to delegate feedback, Event Buyers Live has recruited several ambassadors, who will not only champion the event but also act as an extension of the organising team.

Clare Goodchild, director of Organise Chaos, Tiffany Gaskell, event director of Victorious Festival, Andrew Smith, operations director at London Marathon Events, Gill Tee, festival director of Black Deer Festival, and James Fitzgerald, head of events and partnerships at GLA/Mayor of London are the first five ambassadors to be announced. Joining them will be Ben Whur, director of Proud Events, who will advise Event Buyers Live on diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI).

Whur commented: “Event Buyers Live has built a great reputation for being a productive and thought-provoking industry event that brings event organisers and suppliers together for pre-qualified business meetings and some amazing networking. I have attended the event and have seen the event grow, and I am pleased to report that the organising team always have listened to feedback and advice.

“They recognise that DEI is a huge topic and like many other event organisers, want their event to be more diverse and inclusive.”

DEI strategy

In 2014, Whur launched Proud Events; an event and festival production agency – its ethos as a business has been to embrace diversity, challenge exclusion, and to try and foster a culture of inclusion.

Whur added: “I’m honoured and excited to be joining the Event Buyers Live team this year. I’m proud to have also been asked to assist the team in developing a diversity and inclusion strategy. EBL is a great event. With the support of industry colleagues and the team, we want to make it a diverse and inclusive place to do business.”

Registration open

Following the successful introduction of event ambassadors at Event Buyers Live 2021, the 2022 event’s ambassadors will support everyone attending EBL – both organisers and suppliers – so that they can get the best experience from their time on site.

Goodchild said: “I am honoured to have been asked to be an ambassador at Event Buyers Live. Last year, I had my first experience of the event and loved every minute. It’s been great to hear about some of the plans that the organising team have planned for 2022. DEI is a massively important topic and so I am pleased that EBL is trying to make the event more inclusive and that I will be playing an important role in that.”

Goodchild continued: “We all know how hard everyone has been working this summer and the challenges that organisers have faced in terms of staff and supply chain. EBL not only allowed me to access some of the industry's top suppliers, but it gave me a chance to network as an event organiser and discuss relevant and interesting topics through roundtables and panels. It was a great opportunity to build some strong partnerships for my business and the events I work on, so I recommend that people sign up for Event Buyers Live 2022.”

Registration for the 2022 edition of Event Buyers Live [November 28-30] opens on August 1; it will be the event’s eighth outing and will welcome only 100 of the live event industry’s most respected organisers. Accompanying the 100 will be just 45 event suppliers and venues for networking and pre-qualified face-to-face meetings.

Neil Fagg, co-founder of Event Buyers Live, said: “We are taking active steps to ensure Event Buyers Live is more inclusive. That means asking the right questions and finding out who our delegates represent; taking a snapshot of who is in the room but still delivering on our main goals.

“The events industry is wonderfully welcoming, but I acknowledge that more can be done to increase diversity, and make people feel represented and included. EBL was created to give events professionals the chance to sit down with each other and discuss project and procurement requirements. But it also provides events professionals with an opportunity to network and a platform for knowledge sharing in a professional and relaxed environment that encourages honesty and transparency.”

Fagg continued: “I’m really excited for Event Buyers Live 2022. Having listened to audience feedback, we have some amazing new additions to the event that we will announce in the coming months.

“For now, we encourage all events professionals with procurement needs for 2023 and beyond to register for the industry event of the year.”

Registration for Event Buyers Live 2022 opens on August 1. For more details, visit or call 01795 509113.






Chicago Town kicks off festival experiential campaign

Chicago Town has launched an experiential campaign across the festival scene this summer. For the first time, the frozen pizza brand will be taking Chicago-inspired Deep Dish to four different festivals across the UK, the first of which was Tramlines Festival in Sheffield.

Chicago Town showcased its Deep Dish range at Kendal Calling, and will now head to Boardmasters and Victorious.

As part of the campaign, there will be 75,000 samples of Chicago Town’s Deep Dish pizza given out to pizza and music lovers alike, across 15 days. Festivalgoers will be able to choose from four different flavours – Four Cheese, Pepperoni, Cheezeburger (vegan), and a special, festival exclusive flavour, and Sausage and Blueberry, inspired by the brand’s trips out to Chicago.

Along with the Deep Dish pizza samples, Chicago Town will issue free pizza vouchers to festival attendees.

Rachel Bradshaw, marketing manager from Chicago Town, said: “Festivals are such a big attraction during the summer months, with millions of the British public attending a range of different festivals every year.

“Whilst they enjoy the music and everything else that comes with the festival experience, we really wanted to introduce festival goers to the great taste of Deep Dish and a chance to offer them an exciting festival exclusive flavour, sausage and blueberry, alongside the favourites we know our customers love. With each Deep Dish pizza fully loaded with toppings and lashings of our signature tomato sauce, we know festival-goers are going to love tucking in.”

Grounded Events launches Seasonal Series 10k events

Grounded Events, organiser of Brighton Marathon Weekend and Brighton Trail Weekend, has launched Seasonal Series, a trail running event that will take place within the grounds of Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens in East Sussex.

Following the success of the inaugural Brighton Trail Weekend in June 2022, Grounded Events inviting people to register their interest for the pilot of its new trail event, Seasonal Series. Set to take place on September 18, it will offer people an exclusive opportunity to run or walk a 10km trail route.

As part of their experience, participants will also be able to explore the venue after crossing their finish line, with free access to the gardens and discounted access for their friends and family.

Adam Streeter, general manager of Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens, said: “We are delighted to welcome the trail runners to Leonardslee for a unique running experience in beautiful grounds. It will be challenging and offer wonderful views of the lakes and ancient woodlands. There are tea rooms and shops on the estate and runners can visit our website to see the full range of facilities.”

With seven beautiful lakes, as well as flora & fauna that change dramatically through the seasons, Leonardslee is the perfect backdrop for the planned Seasonal Series of four x 10km events, which will take place across the year. Groudned Events hopes to launch the series in its entirety following feedback from the pilot event, which will help to develop the format and ensure the best experience for participants and their supporters.

Tom Naylor, managing director of Grounded Events, said: “Following a difficult few years for events and a decline in people attending live events, it is overwhelming to receive such a positive response to the pilot of Seasonal Series. As someone who has run all my life, this venue offers a running experience like no other and I can’t wait for runners and walkers to join us this September. This pilot will be an exciting opportunity for runners and walkers to help us shape the event and offer more beautiful trails throughout spring, summer, autumn, and winter at Leonardslee in 2023.”


ASM Global improves venue security with weapons detection screening

ASM Global has partnered with Evolv Technology, a leader in weapons detection security screening. Evolv Technology's solutions will be deployed at ASM Global venues to enhance venue safety and security, as well as improve the customer experience by reducing queues and offering a "seamless and swift arrival" to the venue.

AO Arena, Manchester, operated by ASM Global, is the first arena in Europe to use Evolv’s cutting edge technology as part of ASM Global’s £50m investment into the Manchester venue. The venue has been using AI-based threat detection screening system, Evolv Express®, to screen guests as they arrive at the arena for events, without the need to stop or remove items from their pockets or policy-compliant bags. So far, the system has been used for eight shows and welcomed more than 54,000 guests with a full roll-out planned for September.

As part of this forward-thinking new partnership, ASM Global has been working closely with Evolv to ensure the technology has been tested to Government standards in both the UK and US, as well as collaborating on further improvements and continuous development.

Evolv Express® uses sensor technology with proven artificial intelligence (AI) to provide safer, more accurate threat detection at unprecedented volumes and speed of entry. Venue ingress data provided by Evolv’s analytics also helps venues to transform the way in which they plan their security staff and wider operations. In an industry first, security professionals can use historical and real-time screening data to gain insights and to make predictions about throughput, with the goal of improving the guest experience while making the space more secure.

Peter George, CEO of Evolv Technology, said: “We are thrilled to partner with ASM Global to provide an enhanced security posture for AO Arena while making sure the guest experience is truly enhanced. With this partnership, AO Arena joins other iconic venues secured by Evolv, including Lincoln Center and Gillette Stadium in the US. As we continue to expand globally, we look forward to working with ASM to help bring safer venues and better experiences to more people.”

Gary Simpson, director of safety security and risk for ASM Global, said: “We have been working with Evolv for over two years supporting the testing and development of the Evolv Express system.  The detection technology has been used for some time in America but this is the first such deployment at an arena in Europe. Given the positive experience at the AO Arena, Manchester we are planning a further roll out to other venues in Europe as part of our VenueShield programme.”


LimeLight commits to carbon neutral events by 2023

LimeLight Sports Group (LSG) is to make all its sports events carbon neutral by 2023.

The group will measure, analyse, and develop important partnerships with the aim of reducing its events' climate impact on the environment.

Results from a survey conducted with LSG members in May 2022 show that:

  • 80 per cent think about their personal impact on the environment
  • 71 per cent are interested in tracking their carbon footprint

In response to these findings, LSG has taken action, by making a promise to be carbon neutral at all LimeLight Sports Club-owned events by 2023.

As a result, LSG has partnered with Carbon Char Store in an industry-first collaboration. This partnership will neutralise the LSG carbon footprint through measured and verified carbon removal at Etape Caledonia, Hackney Moves, Blenheim Palace Triathlon, ASICS London 10K, London Triathlon, London Duathlon, and Oxford Half.

The carbon capture process is achieved by turning non-recyclable waste into clean, renewable, and sustainable energy resources. This creates a co-product called char, which is up to 95 per cent pure carbon. Char is stable and won’t return to CO2 quickly, so it’s bound into building materials – like concrete and asphalt – to keep carbon out of the atmosphere for hundreds of years.

Gemma Marks, LimeLight Sports Group sustainability lead, said: “As part of our continued commitment to being leaders in sustainable sports operations, we’re beyond excited to partner with Carbon Char Store in an industry-first collaboration that will see the LSC events become carbon-neutral. We believe in the power of sport to influence behaviours, inspire change and impact social communities - we’re proud to commit to these targets and pave the way for measurable environmental impact.”

Creamfields reveals details of new Runway stage

Creamfields North is all set to return for another 70,000 capacity sell-out this August Bank Holiday weekend, with a new 20,000-capacity stage. Cream HQ unleashed plans for the stage, which is called Runway and presented by SHEIN.

Creamfields has consistently raised the bar in terms of festival production. For example, in 2016, Creamfields introduced Steel Yard, which has now become a permanent fixture. 2022 sees the organiser continuing to push the boundaries, joining forces with Lucid Creates, whose challenge was to create a "mind-blowing structure and 360 immersive experience" for the festival’s 25th anniversary.

Runway is an imposing large-scale industrial structure dominated by a huge overhead video screen. Enveloping fans by day, the structure then fades into the darkness as night falls, leaving the suspended visual spectacular to take over.

Image: Creamfields/Jack Kimber


Private Drama Events to produce One Young World Summit opening ceremony

Private Drama Events is to produce the Opening Ceremony at the annual One Young World Summit on September 5, welcoming the world to Manchester and showcasing the city’s wealth of creative talent.

The annual One Young World Summit is a major global event that gives more than 2,000 young leaders from every country and every sector the chance to come together to confront the biggest challenges facing humanity.

At the 2022 summit, attendees will discuss and explore solutions to an array of topics, including conflict prevention, ethical leadership, safeguarding our oceans, gender equality, and ensuring health equity for all.

Adam Blackwood, founder and creative director of Private Drama Events, said: "Private Drama Events is absolutely honoured to be producing another Opening Ceremony for One Young World in Manchester, drawing on the energy and vibrancy of local, home-grown talent.

"One Young World’s Opening Ceremony will be Manchester's biggest international event ever. Private Drama is bringing One Young World’s story to life and connecting Manchester’s performers to a global audience.

"Manchester's rich cultural tapestry and progressive DIY attitude rightly puts Manchester on the map as a creative powerhouse, and the UK's hub of innovation. From landmarks such as the legendary Haçienda club, to the city's stellar roster of past and present artists, performers and social change-makers, Manchester continues to inspire and galvanise communities throughout the world. Private Drama is honoured to bring this great city's stories and spirit to life."

One Young World is the global community for young leaders. It identifies, promotes, and connects the most impactful young leaders to create a fair and sustainable future for all. Since launching in 2009, One Young World has built a network of more than 13,500 ambassadors – young leaders whose work has directly impacted more than 35.8 million people globally. In 2021 for every $1 invested, One Young World Ambassadors deliver $16 of social value.

Manchester will also welcome high-profile leaders who work with the young ambassadors and delegates, sharing their experiences of making a positive social impact. In previous years, this group of political, business and humanitarian leaders have included Nobel Peace laureates, heads of state, campaigners, and activists, such as Professor Muhammad Yunus, the Duchess of Sussex, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the late Kofi Annan, and Emma Watson.

Confirmed participants for the 2022 summit include:

⦁ Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland
⦁ Ban Ki-moon, eighth secretary-general of the United Nations
⦁ Robert Spano, president of the European Court of Human Rights
⦁ Maria Juliana Ruiz, First Lady of Colombia
⦁ Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu, director general of World Health Organisation
⦁ Leigh-Anne Pinnock, campaigner and Little Mix singer
⦁ Mark Tewksbury, Olympic swimmer and chair of Special Olympics Canada

Ella Robertson McKay, managing director, One Young World, said: “We’re excited to start the countdown to this year’s One Young World Summit. Manchester has a history of championing equality and justice, and we’re proud to be putting together an opening ceremony that celebrates and spotlights the range of young talent the city has to offer. We are also pleased to be offering the Leading Manchester scholarship, and we’re currently encouraging any young leaders based in Greater Manchester who can demonstrate a commitment to building a positive impact on their communities to apply.

“This year’s Summit takes place at a critical juncture of political and social uncertainty, with the ongoing war in Ukraine, an international food crisis and the growing threat of a global recession. Businesses and leaders are increasingly expected to help provide solutions to pressing global issues, and the Summit will bring together the world’s greatest young minds to seek out answers, and tangible next steps.”

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “I’m thrilled to be taking part in the countdown to the One Young World Summit that is taking place in Manchester in September. As the country recovers from the impact of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever for young leaders from across the world to come together in the spirit of cooperation and help shape our future. It is fantastic that young leaders from Manchester will also be able to get involved with One Young World offering 30 local scholarships to attend the summit.

“There is no better place than Manchester – for exceptional young leaders, heads of state, activists, and business leaders to come together to find solutions to some of the most important issues facing our world. I look forward to welcoming all the One Young World delegates to Manchester, with the counsellors and speakers announced to date bringing impressive experience to the table to inspire the delegates attending.”

Work of art: Behind the scenes at Masterpiece

Visitors to Masterpiece, the luxury art fair, were greeted by a refreshed layout. 20-20 Events’ Steve Cunningham, head of operations, walked StandOut through the new designs and event developments...

It’s a boiling hot summer’s day when StandOut heads to Royal Hospital Chelsea to check out the build of Masterpiece London, the luxury art and collectibles fair. If StandOut had visited just two days earlier, we would have been greeted by Steve Cunningham, director of 20-20 Events, with his feet in a makeshift paddling pool – just one of the welfare measures deployed to make life during the build a little more comfortable as temperatures reached 32C.

The pool, constructed from scaffolding boards and tarpaulin, made a huge difference to the crews working hard to deliver a “refreshed” Masterpiece. “We knew that we had to come back bigger and better with a fresh design and fresh thinking,” Cunningham explained, taking shelter in crew catering.

Essentially, Masterpiece is housed within two huge Neptunus structures that previously ran east to west across the site. They now run north to south, and a huge fabric wrap helps the structures to blend in with the Christopher Wren building that sits proudly in the grounds.

Cunningham has worked hard with the organiser of Masterpiece, Neptunus, the temporary structure provider, and Stabilo, the Dutch-based interior fit-out specialist, to come up with a complete re-design that would excite visitors after the show’s two-year hiatus.

“What we’ve ended up with is amazing,” Cunningham continued. “We have a 65m-wide Evo and an extra 55m-wide Evo, built around an obelisk. We’ve got rid of the old Portico entrance and have a new entrance design.

“We have one entrance in and a different exit to give a nicer flow through the space, but by moving the structures from east to west to north to south, we’ve got room to expand the space by another five metres, which would enable another dozen galleries to exhibit.”

Masterpiece paddling pool

Licence and logistics

The new design has meant Cunningham and his team have had to carefully plan where to “hide” essential infrastructure, such as toilets and kitchens, and there’s the small issue of five soundproofed generator and HVAC compounds. The soundproofing is a condition of the event’s new planning permission/licence, which has specified noise limits. Hence, each compound is blanketed by an acoustic compound, created by Contract Scaffolding and Echo Barrier. In fact, there are 675 Echo Barriers on site. But it’s not the only change.

Cunningham, assisted by Julia Wickham, event operations manager, Kelia Brooks, event administrator, Dan Barlow and Magdalena Dworczynska, both working on pass administration, David Watkins, health and safety manager, and Steve Bennett, health and safety officer, have implemented a new site induction system [contractors scan a QR code], sourced new suppliers, and have searched London for land to be used as exhibitor holding areas.

Cunningham continued: “We have a high security period where the art and exhibitors load in. There are hundreds
of trucks, and we schedule them all. Previously, we’ve been able to hire land nearby to use as a holding area so that we don’t block roads or have carnage on site. We used to use land at Nine Elms but it is being redeveloped and so we have spent months searching for a new area. We managed to secure New Covent Garden Flower Market for the install, but we must use Battersea Park for the derig. Two locations are not ideal, and we’ll probably have members of staff at the market, directing people to Battersea Park, when it comes to the derig but it’s what we’ve had to do.”

Looking ahead

In terms of supply chain, Brexit has caused a few issues and so Cunningham has had to source new furniture, carpet, and power suppliers. “We’ve changed a few contracts because of Brexit and without looking at the spreadsheet, our costs are up by 20 to 25 per cent,” said Cunningham, who explained that his team is also undertaking a full sustainability audit of the show. Lots of things are being measured with a view to implementing operational changes in 2023.

But what is Cunningham looking forward to the most? “I love it when the doors open,” he concluded. “That’s when our role changes. The big stress is getting the build done on time and to the right standard. Everyone is struggling with experience, so we’ve had a few moments where we have had to change our priorities, but things are going well, and it looks amazing.”

Suppliers list

Temporary structures – Neptunus

Plumbing – Show Site Services

Traffic management – ETMS

Security – Skylark Security

Power – Tritan Power
Graphics – Fresh Graphics
Event medical cover – First Aid Cover

Radios – AudioLink
Portable buildings – Wernick Events

Buggies – OBH
Trackway – Sunbelt Rentals
HVAC – Watkins Hire
Fencing – Entertee and Fence Hire Southern
Carpets – Beechwood
Plant – Ace Plant
Toilets – AndyLoos
Waste – Haslehurst Waste Management


One in four admit to falling asleep during virtual event, says EventsX research

One in four (24 per cent) people have admitted to falling asleep during a video call or virtual event, according to recent research from EventsX, virtual events software provider.

EventsX commissioned a poll of more than 500 eventgoers and business decision makers, via independent polling agency Censuswide, to understand how people have adapted to "dialling-in" to their meetings and events.

In total, 24 per cent of event attendees had admitted they have fallen asleep during an online event, a figure which rose substantially to 34 per cent of 18-34-year-olds.

Additionally, a quarter (25 per cent) confessed they that had consumed alcohol on a video call when they were not supposed to. This rose to almost a third (30 per cent) of 18-34-year-olds but dropped to 10 per cent of those individuals over 55.

Furthermore, 36 per cent said they have previously played games on their computer during a work call or virtual event that they found boring, a figure which rose dramatically, to almost a half (49 per cent) of 18-24-year-olds.

Individuals highlighted further distractions, with almost half (49 per cent) saying they have answered the door to a delivery driver during a video call or virtual event. A staggering 57 per cent of 25-34-year-olds admitted to doing this.

As well as answering the door while on a call, 57 per cent have muted a call to speak to someone in their household, or even to take a phone call, whilst being at an online event or on an online video call.

Shoaib Aslam, founder of EventsX, commented: “While falling asleep and consuming alcohol may have a humorous side, online events do present many benefits in our work from anywhere world. It is far easier for online event attendees to leave, or multi-task, than it is for those who attend in person, highlighting why creating an interesting and interactive online event is so important.

“Whether someone is highly involved or just a background participant, events should be conducted in an engaging way to allow attendees to take away key information and knowledge.

“Hosting an online event is not necessarily an easy task but by utilising the correct technology, hosts will be able to capitalise on the benefits that online events offer."

Image: Chris Montgomery/Unsplash

Cornwall Council: Event management services

Budget: £50,000 – £60,000

Deadline: 10am on August 15


Info: Cornwall Council has issued a tender for event management services. It requires a suitable company to manage, produce, and promote a two-day public electric vehicle (EV) event in collaboration with the Drive E2 team, a project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund to deploy electric vehicle charge points and influence behaviour to facilitate the transition to electric vehicles.

For more details, click here.

Biffa CEO: How Birmingham 2022 could inspire event sustainability

Michael Topham, CEO of Biffa, discusses how Birmingham 2022 could inspire your next sustainable large-scale event...

Having been an avid fan of the Commonwealth Games all my life, I am looking forward to Birmingham 2022 (July 28 - August 8). The games is an impressive feat – and years of planning go into such an activation. The challenge, however, is the environmental impact of large-scale events – and in fact, any operation of any size – if not considered fully.

Birmingham will see a massive influx of people and an economic boost. Spectators, athletes and staff will commute, stay in the area, attend events, and enjoy the hospitality over a two-week period. This significantly increases the production and use of materials, packaging and food – and so, inevitably, increases the amount of waste.

At Biffa, we are proud to be the selected Official Waste Management and Recycling Provider for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games; chosen because we are helping Birmingham 2022 become the most sustainable games yet, by recycling and recovering more, not exporting any plastic waste, and ensuring zero waste goes to landfill.

While not every organisation has the huge task of putting on an event like Birmingham 2022, there are some fundamental principles that all business leaders and decision makers can adopt when hosting or running any size of event to cement their place in the circular economy.

Plan ahead – and get the right people around a table early

Sustainability should be the seam that runs through every touchpoint of your event. Getting the right people around the table as early as possible is essential to lessening the environmental impact of your event. Diversity in expertise and experience nurtures creative thinking. Different backgrounds and perspectives help shift the focus from what needs to be done, to what is possible.

 For example, most people associate waste with cleaning-up after something has happened. Involving waste management professionals in the early planning stages means being able to map waste streams, identify problem materials, and even prevent and reduce waste.

Sustainability is farther reaching than just managing waste. However, managing waste sustainably can contribute significantly to reducing carbon emissions and, therefore, the overall environmental impact of an event. 

Consider (and harness) how your event affects the area 

 Where events take place, crowds follow along with environmental and social ramifications. Look beyond the walls of your venue. Identify opportunities to connect with vital community groups, such as charities or local public services, to collaborate for the citys benefit and leave a shared legacy. We’re proud to give back to Birmingham and its surrounding area.

Over 12 days we are expecting to collect, sort and process 400 tonnes of mixed recycling at our transfer stations in the West Midlands. It doesnt stop there though; we also anticipate sending 230 tonnes of food waste to anaerobic digestion, which will save more than 140 tonnes of CO2e when compared to landfill – the equivalent of 17 million smartphone charges. One hundred tonnes of glass and 20 tonnes of metal will all be recycled. Plus, 600 tonnes of non-recyclable waste will be processed to create energy from waste, helping to power homes and businesses in the West Midlands.

Engage and enthuse your wider workforce 

 Not all businesses have dedicated sustainability specialists on the payroll. One solution to help drive your environmental agenda forward is empowering your people to be "champions". The younger generation particularly is passionate about protecting the planet (Deloitte reported that Gen Z is adopting more sustainable behaviours than any other group) so harness that. Encourage them to investigate how your business can do better and keep on top of emerging trends. If theyre willing, it may feel more like a passion project, instilling a sense of ownership that boosts their confidence – and overall performance – benefitting your bottom line.

Bringing your wider team into the sustainability journey could extend to involving them in the event itself. For example, 100 Biffa volunteers – from all areas of the business, many of whom live in or close to Birmingham at the Games. Were delighted so many people jumped at the opportunity to experience the atmosphere and be part of a historic event for Birmingham – as the games’ recycling ambassadors.

Identify your impact and inform the public 

Our volunteersrole will be advising attendees on which bins to use (to avoid contaminating recycling) and distributing a handy Visitors’ Guide as part of a wider education mission on the circular economy. Birmingham 2022 is committed to leaving a carbon neutral legacy; our aligned drive for sustainability enables us to inspire people to think and act differently. Our mission at Biffa is to change the way people think about waste. Our priority is influencing behaviour for good – not just emptying the bins and processing the waste.

Use your event – and the communications surrounding it – as a vehicle to raise awareness of your sustainability pledge and wider values. Consider also how your partners can amplify this message.

My personal motivation

What makes me proudest as CEO is the reaction of the Biffa team. Their passion and drive to participate in a historic event, spread joy and educate is impressive. Birmingham 2022 – or any large-scale ceremony – poses a unique opportunity to set a precedent for sustainable events going forward.

 Mick Wright, executive director workforce and games services at Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, shares my sentiment. He said: "We want Birmingham 2022 to have a positive impact that lasts long after the final medal has been awarded and our environmental responsibility is at the heart of this, including a commitment to creating a carbon-neutral legacy.

"Our aim is for the games to not only be hugely positive for the West Midlands, but to also set a benchmark for sustainability that all future Commonwealth Games and major sporting events can aspire to. We are delighted to work with Biffa towards achieving this aim."

Birmingham 2022 is proof that an event that benefits all parties and the planet is well within reach. We cant make the sun shine, but we can ensure that all the waste from this years games avoids landfill and contributes to a brighter future in a circular economy.

Easol launches technology toolkit to power festival industry revival

Easol, the leading experience commerce technology company, has launched an all-in-one festival toolkit that will transform the ability of festival organisers to run profitable festivals and deliver a gold-standard customer experience.

Easol will be bringing together festival organisers from around the world at its online showcase event to dive into the challenges facing the industry today and how the new toolkit can help to tackle these and create new opportunities to future proof their festival business.

Challenges facing festival organisers: Festival organisers are facing a perfect storm this season, with increasing costs within the supply chain, loss of labour due to the pandemic, a saturated market due to two years of covid postponements, low consumer confidence, and a cost of living crisis affecting new sales. This extremely challenging environment is compounded for festival organisers which have been forced until now to use multiple websites and systems to manage their customer booking journey and payments leading to increased fees, loss of data, and a loss of control over the customer experience.

Giving full ownership to organisers: Following Easol’s successful funding round of $25m in 2021, Easol is launching its new all-in-one toolkit to tackle all of these issues, delivering a new type of "Experience Commerce" for festival organisers. The new toolkit enables festivals organisers to manage everything they need for their business including:

  • Keep 100 per cent of their booking fees – On Easol, festival organisers have the ability to manage and keep 100 per cent of their booking fees allowing them to make more revenue. Organisers can decide whether or not to charge a booking fee at all, and they can have full control over the amount that is charged as opposed to traditional ticketing vendors controlling this and the fees going directly to the vendor.
  • Build their brand - Easol delivers fully customisable website design tools which means that the look and feel of the festival website and booking journey can be tailored to be exactly as the festival organisers want it to be. It enables organisers to customise the way they sell everything on their own website from tickets, accommodations, packages, upgrades and more.
  • Own their data to track customers – The Easol platform integrates booking and payment options directly onto a festival’s website – so customers are able to book and pay all on their own domain – they do not get redirected to an external ticketing platform to complete their booking. This means that not only is the booking experience highly streamlined for the customer, all the data associated with each booking remains with the festival organiser (not the third-party ticketing vendor) allowing them to track and retarget their customers more effectively.
  • Get paid instantly – Cashflow is a real challenge for festival organisers, as ticketing vendors hold on to the cash from sales with prohibitive payout terms. Festival organisers that work with Easol receive weekly payouts, so they can access their capital on a more frequent basis, which has always been a huge challenge with traditional ticketing platforms

Ben Simpson, co-founder and CEO of Easol, said: “It is amazing to see festivals up and running again but as festival organisers ourselves, we know that they are facing an uphill battle by using outdated technology that erodes the control they have over their business. A quick glance at the pages of poor customer reviews of ticketing platforms provides a perfect example of how things can go wrong when you are forced to rely on a traditional ticketing platform to manage your booking and payments journey as well as the inability to track your customers and data - critical for festival promoters selling tickets. Festival organisers need full ownership of their data, brand experience and their customers to avoid this.

"Access to capital is also a critical area that needs addressing in the festival industry. With Easol we feel passionately that festival organisers should have a simpler and fairer way to access funding when they need it. This is an area we are excited to continue to develop – watch this space for more to come on this next year!”

Benjamin Sasse, co-founder of Meadows in the Mountains commented: “Prior to Easol, the processes were so fragmented, and we had little control over our brand and customer journey. It was amazing to able to bring Meadows back this year after two years of postponements and we wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of Easol.

"The costs to run a festival have pretty much doubled since the pandemic so it is more important than ever that we have a partner such as Easol to help us increase revenue so we can tackle these challenges. From the support, the website building experience – just everything – the team are incredible and we trust that they are working with us as a partner to truly help us grow. We have sold more tickets, accommodation options and extra experiences, and as a result achieved significantly more revenue with Easol than any other platform in the 10 year history of our festival.”

The Easol Showcase – Festivals edition event will be taking place at 5pm UTC on September 22 and will be an opportunity for festival organisers, creators, and promoters to come together and explore the new way to sell festivals. For more information on the toolkit or to demo ahead of the launch please get in touch here.

Image: Envision Festival

Birmingham 2022 selects Iventis as official technology supplier

Following a competitive tender process, Iventis has been selected as the official technology supplier to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Iventis’ event planning tool will be used by everyone involved in planning the event. The organising and operational teams will use it to bring together maps, CAD plans and other datasets so they can easily create and share their plans with key stakeholders, facilitating better, faster communication and expediting decision making.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games involves more than 5,050 athletes competing in 72 teams from 54 Commonwealth of Nations countries and 18 territories. The logistics of an event of this scale require clear, concise and collaborative mapping.

Laurence Smith, head of venue technology for Birmingham 2022, said: “Birmingham 2022 is the largest event to be held in the UK since London 2012. That means it is an incredibly complex operation for us to manage. Iventis allows us to knit all of those requirements together in a single platform.

“It’s absolutely fantastic and so useful across the supply chain for everybody to have access across all of the different venues. It’s been fantastic from an efficiency and commercial value perspective.”

Joe Cusdin, CEO and founder of Iventis, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as the official technology supplier for such a prestigious event within our local region. The Commonwealth Games has shown a commitment to innovation in technology to improve how the event is planned and delivered.

“This complex, multi-sport event is exactly what Iventis was designed for and by using Iventis’ event planning tools, the whole team including stakeholders and suppliers are able to plan every aspect of the event in a truly integrated way - moving away from plans being managed in disparate formats.

“The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games joins the growing list of major events that have chosen Iventis to transform their planning process. Our team of experts will be seconded to Birmingham for the games in a variety of functions from sponsor services to technology operations and results QA and we look forward to working with the team ahead of and during the fantastic event."

Iventis’ relationship with the Commonwealth Games Federation Partnership will continue for future editions of the event.



Behind the scenes: Love Supreme chats about festival developments

Neapolitan Music’s Love Supreme increased capacity from 20,000 to 25,000, resulting in an expansion of the festival site...

Love Supreme festival has grown in stature since it bounced onto the festival market in 2013. It has a loyal following; a discerning and returning audience of “real music fans” that value quality and have a certain level of expectation in terms of production.

That’s why Mandy Johnson, U-Live’s head of operations, and Love Supreme’s head of production, has spent hours cherry picking kit that will work with the festival’s branding and colour palette. She is trying to raise the bar and come back with a bang, following the festival’s two-year hiatus.

Johnson is talking to StandOut just days before gates open on the three-day jazz, funk, and soul festival. She’s “in the thick of it”. It’s raining but she is hard at work, perfecting the new site, which has an increased footprint (35 per cent larger) to accommodate an extra 5,000 guests and a huge glamping requirement.

“Love Supreme is an intimate show,” Johnson says. “People like it. We attract experienced festivalgoers. Some other festivals sell themselves on the idea of exploration and that’s part of the festival experience and is critical to those kinds of events. Our customers like the intimacy and accessibility of the site and that’s been a huge success factor for us.”

Johnson has had to bear this in mind as the festival site has been developed to accommodate the increase in capacity. Love Supreme – owned by Neapolitan Music – has had to consider this point as it has grown.

“We’ve done a land grab,” Johnson continues. “The shape of the arena is the same but if you look at the GPS points, the stages and bars are not exactly in the same place but to our customers, it will feel familiar.”

Love Supreme

Achieving a balance

Love Supreme 2022 benefits from a second Supremium glamping area – South Supremium now complements North Supremium. It houses 500 extra glamping tents, and the new area has direct access to Love Supreme’s main arena and South Downs stage.

“I’m excited to see this work,” explains Johnson. “It’s been good to see demand for glamping go up so that we can introduce it. Plus, we’ve also been able to introduce more early morning wellbeing content. Before, we had yoga but now we have more of a programme."

Johnson is mindful of the balance that Love Supreme must strike. It’s a camping festival that also sells lots of day tickets. However, what a camping customer and a day ticket customer want are different. Day ticket holders want buzz and to discover the entire festival in one day. Campers want space to breathe and have three days to explore the site. Therefore, important considerations have had to be given to the increased footprint and where key content is positioned.

“Caburn Meadow is new for 2022,” Johnson continues. “It’s an area where campers can go for a walk and look at the amazing view that we have on the South Downs, especially for campers that might have had a late night and want to relax.

“Also, we have created a quiet campsite and placed it in a new field but to do that we have had to do some extensive groundworks to create two new access tracks; we put in some hard core and a load bearing culvert and we’ve used these tracks for the build.”

Production v's creativity

Johnson is joined on-site by Heather McMillan, site manager, Charlotte Hammand, site coordinator, Emily Muirhead, technical production manager, Lizzie Lock, creative producer, and MC Hunter, event manager. The all-female operations team is working hard to deliver the festival, which has seen production costs increase by 40 per cent. Instead of finding cheaper deals, the Love Supreme team has accepted the increased costs. No one requires the added pressure of finding new suppliers when there’s the added pressure of a redesigned and larger site.

“We have given a lot of thought to the foundations of our festival, the things that make things easier for people; plenty
of furniture to sit on, loos that are well- serviced, we have a strong food and retail offer, and good bar metreage,” Johnson concludes. “There must be attention to detail so that our customers can focus on the joy of being here. We’re very much a music festival and that’s why Love Supreme is well produced rather than overly creative and I can’t wait to see how guests react to the new changes.”

Suppliers list

Staging and temporary structures – Dynamic Stretch Tents, Brighton Marquees, Acorn Structures, and A&J Big Top
Power – Project Power
Radios – NRB

Noise control – Electric Star

Wi-Fi – Noba
Water – MTD
Trackway and fencing – Davis Trackhire, Entertee, Sunbelt Rentals and EPS
Waste – Greenbox
Health and safety – Complivent
Furniture – Furniture Hire UK and Eco Furniture Hire
Fire – Event Fire Services
Toilets – Site Equip
Portable buildings – Wernick Events
Buggies – OBH
Security – PES

Bars – One Circle
Crew – Delta Crew and Rock City

Hunt is on to find UK host city for Eurovision 2023

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the BBC have confirmed that the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted in the UK on behalf of this year’s winning broadcaster, Ukraine’s UA:PBC.

Following the decision that, regrettably, next year’s event could not be held in Ukraine for safety and security reasons the EBU explored a number of options with the winning broadcaster.

As a result of discussions, the BBC, as runner up in the 2022 contest, was invited by the EBU to act as host broadcaster for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest.

“We’re exceptionally grateful that the BBC has accepted to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK in 2023,” said Martin Österdahl, the Eurovision Song Contest’s executive supervisor. “The BBC has taken on hosting duties for other winning countries on four previous occasions. Continuing in this tradition of solidarity, we know that next year’s contest will showcase the creativity and skill of one of Europe’s most experienced public broadcasters whilst ensuring this year’s winners, Ukraine, are celebrated and represented throughout the event.”

Representatives from UA: PBC will work with the BBC to develop and implement the Ukrainian elements of next year’s shows. Ukraine, as the winning country of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, will also automatically qualify to the Grand Final of the upcoming contest.

The two Semi-Finals and Grand Final will be produced by BBC Studios, which was previously commissioned to produce Eurovision 2023 coverage before there were any discussions about the Song Contest coming to the UK. The BBC will also be seeking additional programming and content from producers across the market, with further details to follow.

The BBC will now begin the process to find a city and venue to the host the event. Any cities wanting to receive an information pack should email

The BBC has staged the Eurovision Song Contest more times than any other broadcaster, hosting in London in 1960, 1963, 1968 and 1977, Edinburgh in 1972, Brighton in 1974, Harrogate in 1982 and Birmingham in 1998.

Next year’s host city will be chosen in the coming months following a bidding process to be launched this week.

Bidding is expected to be competitive, with several mayors, councillors and MPs already informally expressing an intention to bid, including representatives from: Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wolverhampton.

Last year, the EBU’s host city criteria was based on providing a venue able to accommodate at least 10,000 spectators (as well as a press centre), that should be within easy reach of an international airport and with ample hotel accommodation.

The Eurovision Song Contest is the world’s largest live music event, organised annually since 1956 by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which represents public service media in 56 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

The 2022 competition reached more than 180 million viewers on TV and digital platforms.

Putting Halifax on the map: Live at The Piece Hall

Cuffe and Taylor and The Piece Hall discuss Live at The Piece Hall, a new concert series that will put Halifax on the map...

When a local authority waxes lyrical about a promoter and urges you to have a conversation with them it’s wise to take their advice, right? Well, last summer, Nicky Chance-Thompson, CEO of The Piece Hall, visited Scarborough Open Air Theatre (SOAT) and did just that. Following a conversation with Scarborough Borough Council, Chance- Thompson called Peter Taylor, co-founder of Cuffe and Taylor, which produces live events at SOAT. That meeting was last August, and now Cuffe and Taylor has entered into a five-year agreement with The Piece Hall to programme a series of live events that will put the heritage venue on the map.

The first of eleven live shows took place on June 19 with the last one wowing audiences on July 10. What started out as a desire to create a series of concerts across four weekends soon grew, as high-profile artists confirmed mid-week availability. The opportunity to host Noel Gallagher and Duran Duran at The Piece Hall was too good to miss.

“We got a call from Nicky in August last year,” explained Taylor, from the comfort of crew catering. “The venue wanted to do more gigs, had seen the work that we had done in Scarborough, and how did we feel about working together.

“I hopped in the car and drove to Halifax, and we did a deal the next day. We had to get on with it, it was August [2021]. I’d already booked most of my line up for 2022 and we had to hit the ground running.”

Cuffe and Taylor waited until February to officially announce that it had secured an exclusive five-year deal to co-promote headline shows at The Piece Hall, a former Georgian cloth hall – which isn’t so much of a “hall” but a stunning Grade
I listed courtyard flanked by independent shops and cafés. “We shared a vision,” said Chance-Thompson. “Cuffe and Taylor understood the space and understood that we’re a heritage venue with a strong tenant community. Gigs impact our tenants, but we had a meeting of minds.”

Daniel Cuffe Joe Robinson Peter Taylor


Just one week after the first meeting, Live at The Piece Hall’s first concert went on sale to the public. It was demonstrative of the trust that both parties had in each other.

“There was no rhyme or reason, no planning, just a leap of faith,” continued Taylor. “They had trust that we were going to deliver.”

But it wasn’t financially viable to do one gig. Cuffe and Taylor programmed eleven concerts. There was an aspiration to create a series. Live at The Piece Hall was created.

Joe Robinson, director of operations at Cuffe and Taylor, said: “We knew that we wanted to create and build a summer series. The Piece Hall didn’t want to have mid-week gigs. They wanted shows from Thursday to Sunday but when Noel Gallagher was available but only on a Tuesday, they said: ‘OK, we’ll do a Tuesday’. When Duran Duran was available but only on a Tuesday, they said: ‘OK, we’ll do a Tuesday’. No shows on a Monday to Wednesday went out of the window; the calibre of artists was a no brainer.”


StandOut is sitting with Robinson, Taylor, and Daniel Cuffe, co-founder of Cuffe and Taylor, as Paul Weller prepares to wow crowds. It’s show seven and 5,500 people are entering the historic venue. It’s an intriguing site.

“There are so many stakeholders in the building, we have to be sensitive to the fact that they have businesses to run,” Cuffe commented. “We had to get timings right – load-in times and sound checks – and because we had done that it enabled the trust to have proper conversations with stakeholders about the mid-week shows. Partnerships like this only work if everybody wins.”

The Piece Hall stays open to the public every day until 4.30pm and the site is managed by a team that includes Martin Clarke, production manager, and Ken Rankin, safety manager. Most of the infrastructure on site is permanent, so it’s one of the easiest to operate in terms of operations, and the lack of physical infrastructure that is required for this series means it is one of Cuffe and Taylor’s “greenest” shows.

So, as the series hits show number seven, what lessons have been learned? “It’s seeing what the opportunities
are rather than what lessons are to be learned,” commented Robinson. “Yes, there are always going to be things that come up that you navigate through, but we have lots of opportunity here. It’s more of a question of how we make the building shine more during the event.”


According to Robinson, people love The Piece Hall and like coming to concerts because they are at The Piece Hall. And you can sort of tell that from the surrounding car parks. When the car parks are empty it means that everyone enjoying the gig is local. Only when the artist playing is more left field have the car parks been full, which demonstrates that people are willing to travel to this 5,500-capacity gig in Halifax.

Cuffe continued: “We’ve not made it easy for ourselves. We’ve got to take things up a level in 2023 and there is always going to be that expectation to deliver more. We may look at front of house designs for 2023 and leave the stage as it is, and in 2024, we may look at something else. We do know there are opportunities for hospitality, and we could offer pre and post-show packages.”

Taylor added: “This year, we wanted to deliver a quality show for an audience, with a good line up and we now know we have a base, the audience will come, and we know the show works. The venue has been hands-on and have been great at event managing the shows, so we’ve been here in more of a promoter role.”

Robinson said that The Piece Hall has a great event management structure and production manager in the shape of Clarke, which has allowed Cuffe and Taylor to be more “dynamic”.

“We need to make it sound more dramatic,” Taylor laughs, as he ponders whether Live at The Piece Hall is one of the “easiest” shows it has produced. “Working on this event has been a huge contrast to everywhere else we’ve gone. This summer there have been some massive challenges in terms of supply chain. We came to some shows here last summer and had a great experience, so why change suppliers?”

Nicky Chance-Thompson Live at The Piece Hall


NoNonsense Group, Digitall Comms, The Needs Group, HPSS, Controlled Spaces, and Blue Yonder Events have provided
kit and services to the event, which is fully cashless. Clarke told StandOut that he only works with “nice people” because who you contract reflects on the final product. A successful event starts with that first introduction and that first conversation.

“If you want to give your audience a good time, it starts with the artist. One level back from the artist, you have us and the welcome we give them. That’s also the people and contractors we fill this building with to deliver the shows.”

Taylor has already booked eight of the artists for next year’s Live at The Piece Hall and discussions have started about the “opportunities” that could be pursued.

Chance-Thompson concluded: “The Piece Hall is loved by the community, and it is owned by the community. I wanted
to give them bands they wanted to see and not artists that promoters wanted to showcase. I think we have done that.

“We’re all a bit tired by what we’ve produced but we’re energised by the reaction of our audience. This year will be hard to beat but we’ve set the bar high, and we’ll continue to deliver world-class artists in a world-class venue.”

Behind the scenes: American Express presents BST Hyde Park

Record audiences attended a new-look American Express presents BST Hyde Park. Read on, as the event's organising team reveal all about exciting event developments on-site...

Over nine spectacular shows and three weekends, American Express presents BST Hyde Park demonstrated the power of live music as the event became the biggest BST Hyde Park event ever, selling 530,000 tickets across all the shows. Music fans flocked to Hyde Park to see some of the biggest artists on the planet headline; Adele, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Eagles, Pearl Jam, and Duran Duran were joined by an incredible line up of support artists, including Pixies, Stereophonics, Johnny Marr, and Nile Rodgers and Chic.

“It felt amazing to be back after a three-year hiatus,” explained LS Events’ Steve Reynolds, BST Hyde Park’s event director. “Hyde Park is a really special place to put on an event and it felt good to be back and with a lot of familiar faces. American Express presents BST Hyde Park has a wonderfully inclusive, family feel to it and our team were delighted to return to doing what we do best.”

LS Events works alongside AEG Presents and provides operational project management, site management, and event management to the event. Reynolds continued: “LS Events has been fortunate to work on every show, an incredible 51 in total. We came back to this prestigious site with a mission to deliver this event to a level of excellence that has never been experienced by our audience and artists before. I believe we achieved that.”

Better experience

2022 was the first year that the event extended its run from two weekends to three weekends (from six shows to nine); this combined with the world-class artists that AEG Presents secured meant that the site-wide production was more sophisticated than ever before.

Everything was bigger and better. The biggest change for the event was the introduction of a new Great Oak stage – Star Live’s Titan stage – and new a larger hospitality offer.

Laura Armstrong, senior project manager at LS Events, said: “We’ve worked closely with AEG Presents to uplift the hugely ambitious creative elements at the show.

“This year saw a new creative design across the whole of the site in line with the new creative vision for the next few years. One of the most iconic areas at BST Hyde Park is the Great Oak Stage and utilising Star Live’s new Titan stage, Mark Ward and the Proper Productions Team worked to develop the next generation of this focal point of the event.”

Armstrong continued: “The Grandstand Structure was another redesign, which provided additional premium viewing capacity and suites. The redesigned front of house towers reduced the size which improved the general admission view, whilst giving a better experience for technical production crews.”

BSt Hyde Park Ben Baker in the bag

Significant investment

Star Live has a long history of introducing new products at major shows in Hyde Park. The origins of the Titan can be traced back to the staging Star Live designed for Adele’s tour in 2017, which introduced the Ultra towers with their 100-ton capacity.

Simon Broyd, chief commercial officer at Star Live, commented: “AEG Presents has a new contract in place with Royal Parks through to 2027, and Star Live has a new contract in place with AEG Presents for the same period. This long-term commitment from all parties allowed for significant investment into the event, the site, and the production.

“The Ultra towers were incorporated into a concept design to support AEG Presents’ bid for the current Hyde Park contract. This design underwent multiple refinements during lockdown, based around a set of core requirements. It had to deal with the production requirements of all known potential festival headliners, provide best-in-class sightlines, provide a rigging loft with easy and safe access, built in catwalks and spreader trusses, and critically, 100 tons of rigging capacity in the main stage area. To achieve all the above, we developed from scratch a new folding (and/or flatpack) horizontal truss system, which at 2.1 metres high and weighing more than eight tons for a 30m span, seemed to suit being called Titan.”

For BST Hyde Park, Titan was customised. The roof was able to support 74 tons of screens, plus the house audio and lighting rigs, and all the artist packages without any issues. But it was not the only change. The event’s hospitality offer was also vastly increased.

Broyd added: “The hospitality grandstand – known as the Accor Live Limitless Grandstand – had a significantly increased capacity this year. It was both wider and deeper than previous years but still had the same amazing views of the Great Oak stage. The key upgrade to the structure was using Star Live’s Viewbox units as the VIP hospitality suites.”

Also new for 2022 were two high-performance front-of-house positions that Star Live created with its Viewbox units. Not only did this provide a perfect working space for engineers, but it also doubled as a viewing platform using the rooftop terrace.

BST Hyde Park Nathan Cox in the bag

Good to be back

Star Live was just one supplier contracted to BST Hyde Park, reporting into LS Events. Instant Marquees, Peppermint Bars, PTL, and Capital Sound, a Solotech company, provided event infrastructure and services to the large-scale event also.

Solotech provided video and audio equipment across the entire site. The video screen measured almost 1,500 square metres and a total of 182 Martin Audio line array cabinets and 44 subs were used too. Capital Sound increased the number of cabinets it put in, putting in an additional four cabinets to each of the main hangs, and the cabinets on the rear six delays were upgraded too. According to Martin Connelly, senior project manager at Capital Sound, the addition of the extra cabinets provided more control of the sound on-site.

Connolly said: “What stood out for me on this project was the co-operation between all departments to get the show happening from two years of nothing.”

Broyd agreed and concluded: “Titan was prominently designed with one thing in mind: to be the ultimate touring solution or festival focal point as well as the most advanced production facility for the world's biggest artists. As BST Hyde Park attracts the biggest artists on the planet, the Titan stage couldn’t have had a better baptism than this event. The feedback received from everyone involved in the stage – from artists, management, designers, and riggers, through to technicians and engineers – was overwhelmingly fantastic.”

Suppliers list

Sound and video – Solotech
Marshalling and security – Total Event Solutions and G4S
Plant – Charles Wilson
Portable buildings – Wernick Events

Bars – Peppermint Bars

Stage – Star Live
Temporary structures – Instant Marquees, Key Structures and GL events UK
Tower lights – Illumin8
Fencing – Entertee
Toilets – PTL

Images: Nathan J Cox/Ben Baker/

Torbay Council: Event services

Budget: £200,000 - £300,000

Deadline: August 10


Info: Torbay Council – working with the English Riviera Business Improvement District (ERBID) Company – would like to stage a food festival at Torre Abbey or Torre Abbey Meadows in spring 2023.

The ambition will be to expand the event to other areas of Torbay in future years as the event grows.

For full details, click here.

Bruntwood partners with bluedot Festival 2022

Bruntwood, a commercial property company, has partnered with bluedot for the third year to support the multi-award winning festival’s fifth installment at Cheshire’s iconic Jodrell Bank Observatory.

The partnership will see Bruntwood create a bespoke VIP area at the festival, including a co-working space featuring free hot drinks, ultrafast Wi-Fi, charging points, work stations and a chillout area with street food vendors, a bar and the ultimate festival luxury – premium toilets.

Nicola McGee, marketing director at Bruntwood, said: “This partnership with bluedot is extremely important to us, because by nurturing a cultural scene that encourages curious minds, it aligns with our purpose of supporting communities and helping our regions and cities to thrive.

“Together with bluedot, we hope to help make an impact and inspire change for all of its attendees across the weekend and beyond. Bruntwood has a long-standing connection with and love of science, arts and music and so we’re delighted to be partnering with bluedot again this year. We believe that the most thriving cities and communities are those which have a vibrant cultural scene, bringing people together within a safe and positive environment. Bluedot does just this, collaborating with amazing artists, creators, individuals and organisations to add to the richness of our region.”