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Skills

NRAG Members

Representing

Organisation

Representative(s)

Rigging Companies

Blackout

Kevin Monks

Outback Rigging

Mark Surtees

PRG

Chris Walker

Production Services Ireland

Sean Pagel

UK Rigging

Harry Box

Unusual Rigging

Robin Elias

Staging Companies

Stageco

Dirk de Decker

Star Events Group

Roger Barrett

Venues

Association of Event Venues

 

National Arenas Association

Paul Rowlands

Film

JIGS

Valerie Smith

TV

BBC

Stephen Gregory

ITV

Karen Wardle

Freelancers

Mark Armstrong
Pete Kalopsidiotis
Oz Marsh

Freelancers

Production Services Association

Eric Porter

Theatre

ABTT

Chris Higgs
Steve Colley

   

PLASA

PLASA EU Regional Board

Martin Hawthorn
Lori Rubinstein

Advisory

Health & Safety Executive

Melvin Sandell

Further Information


Star Events Ltd

Star Events offers a unique mixture of stages, production structures, rigging services and grandstands, with and without roofs. A founder member of the National Rigging Certificate, the company has long believed in and relied on the quality of its staff, leading to the company being an NRC Supporter since its inception.

The company has always been at the forefront of Health & Safety initiatives and for many years has made its extensive suite of H&S documentation freely available to everyone via the company website. The company holds OHSAS 18001 certification for temporary structure erection and is an accredited member of CHAS (Contractors H&S Assessment Scheme).

An obvious spin-off of having the largest range of outdoor stages in the UK is the substantial stock of specialist rigging equipment available for hire. This is often deployed in ground breaking events, including the 300 ton show move for the Opening Ceremony of the Meydan Grandstand in Dubai to the 180 ton lift of the Park Live ground support in the river in the Olympic Park.

The in-house design and engineering teams enable Star Events Group to deal with all those difficult rigging projects that go outside normal equipment suspension and require advanced structural engineering abilities. This mixture has led directly to the company's world-wide reputation for venue Mothergrid design.

Association of Event Venues
Association of Event Venues (AEV)
Association of Event Organisers (AEO)
Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA)

The Association of Event Venues, Association of Event Organisers, and Event Supplier and Services Association are three sister trade associations representing members from the exhibition and trade fair part of the events industry. Whilst most members provide services that extend beyond this definition, the core business focus of most members will typically be consumer events such as Grand Designs Live, ideal Home, BBC Good Food and trade fairs such as DSEI, IPEX, Farnborough Air Show and so on.

The three associations are committed to taking a "seat at the table" in forums where members' interests are discussed and the secretariat is always enthusiastic to assist in initiatives developed to raise standards in the industry or move the industry forward on the global stage.

AEV, AEO and ESSA provide a wide range of membership benefits including a proactive technical / safety support service and a wide range of working groups that bring together members from the three communities to solve challenges collaboratively within a structured framework.

National Arenas Association
National Arenas Association (NAA)

Established in 2001 the National Arenas Association has 17 member venues which bring together the knowledge and expertise of all levels around the UK Arena circuit via the Management Meetings, Event Managers Symposium and Sales and Marketing Symposium. The Association also creates and delivers bespoke training programmes for venue staff. The criteria for venues to apply to be a member is an indoor venue with a minimum seated capacity of 5,000.

The NAA provides a forum for employees of indoor seated arenas to meet and share best practice and discuss common issues and has forged strong links with other industry groups including the Concert Promoters Association, Attitude is Everything and STAR to work on industry wide issues such as ticket touting and accessibility.

Each year the NAA commissions the NAA Stats report which compiles detailed information on ticket sales and event attendance across the UK Arenas compared by genre and on a year on year basis to provide a picture of how the market is growing and changing. For further info on the NAA contact Nancy Skipper - nancy@nancyskipper.co.uk

Production Services Association
Production Services Association (PSA)

The Production Services Association is the largest UK association focussed solely on those that provide technical services to live events. With over 1100 members, many engaged in the fight against gravity in the name of live production, it is crucial that we hang with the best and represent their interests within this group.

Chris WalkerChris Walker

Chris began work as a freelance rigger in 1984, working on a wide range of projects across concert touring, corporate events, theatre, film and television. He joined Jon Bray as a Project Manager at Summit Steel in 2001, subsequently becoming a director of the company. During this time, Chris was closely involved with establishing the safe rigging systems for London's O2 Arena and amongst many other projects took responsibility for the annual installation of Cirque du Soleil shows into the Grade 1 Listed Royal Albert Hall, a role in which he continues to this day.

Since PRG's acquisition of Summit Steel in 2008, Chris has been a senior member of PRG UK's account management team, overseeing many of the company's major rigging projects. As well as holding a Level 3 National Rigging Certificate, Chris was a founder member of PLASA's original National Rigging Advisory Group and has been involved with establishment of the NRC since its inception.

Robin EliasRobin Elias

Robin was educated at Sir William Borlase Grammar School in Marlow. He has 3 A-Levels, 8 O-Levels and a qualification in Engineering. Robin started his career in rigging in 1975 and eventually toured, as Head Rigger, with rock and roll bands for 15 years including Rod Stewart, Queen, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Fleetwood Mac, Lynyard Skynyrd, Bob Seger & Pink Floyd.

Robin formed Zenavail Rigging Ltd in 1982 and subsequently sold out to Unusual Rigging in 1990.where he has been Technical Director, in charge of Special Projects ever since. Robin specialises in providing and delivering solutions to any rigging project. He was a founder member of Acre Jean in 1984 and sold his share a few years later.

Robin has managed countless projects for Unusual Rigging such as Royal Tournaments, RAF Hendon, and RAF Cosford, rigging for the Golden Jubilee, The Spider, etc.

Robin was instrumental in the formation of the National Rigging Certificate and holds a Level 3 NRC Card. He is an NRC Assessor and Internal Verifier, and manages Unusual Rigging's NRC Assessment Centre.

Roger BarrettRoger Barrett

Roger has worked in the events industry for over 45 years and is the founder of what is now Star Events Ltd where he is the Special Projects Director. He is a Technician Member of both the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) and the UK Engineering Council. He is also a member of the Institute of Directors.

Roger sits on several national event safety bodies, including the HSE's Joint Advisory Committee on Entertainment and has invented some of the key items of outdoor event equipment, ranging from the SteelShield fencing system to the world's first modern mobile stages. Roger also led the team that developed the latest generation of computer controlled light-weight steel mother-grids used to suspend concert equipment in arena size venues. Various examples are installed in the UK as well at the Mastercard Center in Beijing.

Working for many of the world's major promoters and event managers, he has been responsible for the technical infrastructure at several international events in the "it'll never happen" category. His touring stage work has ranged from air-freighting 110 tons of equipment around 12 South American countries in the world's biggest freight plane to designing the stage and rigging system for the Great Oak stage in Hyde Park that in 2014 supported over 100 tons of production.

Paul RowlandsPaul Rowlands

Paul joined the theatre industry in the early 80's and became a flyman where he rose to head flyman at Birmingham Rep then moved over to the NIA when arena rigging was in its infancy in the UK. It wasn't until he attended a three day rigging and slinging course in the mid 80's that he realized that he could do things far better and indeed safer, there is often little or no room to learn from your mistakes in the rigging business, venues need to embrace and work together with the events industry in order to share knowledge and ideas. Paul believes that PLASA is the perfect channel to do this.

Paul has spent over twenty years designing, developing and managing one of the largest mother grids in the busiest venues in the UK. His in-house rigging team provide rigging services to two arenas, a conference centre and two classical concert halls in Birmingham. Working for NEC group, he has been fortunate enough to have built relationships and worked on venue projects in other parts of the world with his passion lying in the development of young people wishing to enter the rigging sector of our industry. Paul believes that those that are already established in the industry hold a responsibility for developing the next generation of riggers and actively develops and trains trainee riggers in-house.

Paul is extremely active with both the National Arenas Association and the European Arenas Association.

Martin SpenceMartin Spence

Martin Spence has worked in the film/TV industry for 30 years: 12 years in the independent production sector with a small production company and then as a freelance; and 18 years as a full time official with the industry's trade union BECTU. Since 2001 he has been Assistant General Secretary with overall responsibility for the union's membership, negotiations and activities in film and independent television production.

Stephen GregoryStephen Gregory

Steve is Head of Health Safety & Environment at the BBC. Steve served for six years as the Secretary of the Joint Industry Grading Scheme and is one of the founders of the Production Safety Passport scheme which benchmarks core H&S training and makes it transferrable between employers.

Prior to working for the BBC Steve worked as an Environmental Health Officer and consultant. Steve's team currently support the BBC's programme makers, newsgatherers and event organisers working in the UK and overseas whether they are working in studios, arenas or on location.

Mark ArmstrongMark Armstrong

Mark started learning about rigging in 1984 and is still in the process. He rigged around Europe and UK before being taken around the world with McCartney, U2 and others. Many theatre, exhibition hall and venue roofs benefitted by being dusted by Mark but he did remember to hang a chain or two as he passed.

Mark was part of Star Rigging which became Star Events Group. During this time, he co-owned Safe Working Ltd, a rigging training company, and was instrumental in helping develop the National Rigging Certificate. He is now working as a freelance rigger.

Mark was a member of the original National Rigging Advisory Group and is proud to be in the present group. Although his beam dusting days are over, Mark's logistical and management skills are used to the fullest on arena floors and the golf course.

Pete Kalopsidiotis

Pete has been a roadie since 1979. There was a distinct lack of specialisation of skills in those days. A roadie did everything, including driving the truck. He got into rigging through lighting as someone on the crew had to rig the points, as specialised riggers were non existent on a theatre, sports hall tour.

Pete started specialising in rigging in 1983 and toured extensively until 2005 going around the world in circles. A lot of the 1980's was spent touring with the Eurythmics, who went from clubs to stadiums in a matter of years. A lot of the 90's was spent touring with U2 where he rose up the ranks to become Head Rigger for the Zoo TV and Pop Mart tours. U2 pioneered the 'big look' stadium shows and Pete used to spend time with designers and engineers making sure their concepts could work in a touring environment.

Pete spent the best part of a year on a tall ship learning more traditional rigging skills. He came home to London and currently runs a small business rigging mainly the medium size concert venues. His firm does virtually all the rigging in the Hammersmith Apollo, Brixton Academy, and the Troxy. They also spend a lot of time in the Roundhouse, Royal Albert Hall and LH2 rehearsal rooms. Pete is currently and has been for several years, the head rigger for the following festivals: Download, Hard Rock Calling, Wireless, I Tunes. He also has experience with cranes and TV/Film rigging.

Pete has been involved with the National Rigging Certificate since the start of the scheme and holds a level 3 qualification. He is also an Assessor. He has received training in rope access, lifting gear inspection and has recently started to deliver training for various aspects of training. Pete is happy to see our industry upskilling and being recognised as serious and professional and feels the NRC has greatly aided this.

Oz MarshOz Marsh

After leaving school qualified as Deck Officer in the Merchant Navy before entering the entertainment industry in 1977, Oz soon gravitated to the fledgling UK rigging sector working with Robin Elias, Alan Jacoby et all. He toured extensively with numerous international acts as Head Rigger.

Oz started the training company Safe Working Ltd with Mark Armstrong and Ollie Saunders after experiencing a dearth of skilled riggers when touring globally with Paul McCartney. He realised the need for greater organisation to advance qualifications and welcomed the PLASA commitment to move the qualification agenda through to completion and as such was actively involved in the whole process of the National Rigging Certificate. Oz is a Qualified Assessor for the NRC and active in assessments. He is part of the successful team expanding the NRC to the Nordic countries.

Oz is the owner of a rigging rental business Global Rigging Ltd. based in London. He is still working daily as Company Director/Head Rigger within the UK/European area, working on diverse projects from TV shows, including Eurovision and the MTV awards, to many commercial/promotional leisure events, adding great variety to his extensive rigging knowledge.

Eric PorterEric Porter

As an amateur musician who never earned enough, Eric chose to work for those who earned very well indeed, and started as stage carpenter for the likes of Queen, Elton John and Eric Clapton etc.

Noticing that riggers' opinions were generally respected, that they were relatively well paid and did not normally work late into the afternoon, he took an interest and learned from an excellent mentor, Mike Wiesman from Alabama and others.

Eric started perhaps the first UK rigging company in 1981, a one-man-band called Beamrange Ltd. The arrival of LOLER meant he'd have to expand to be compliant so he wound up the company in 1999 2000.

Having been involved in creating a Rigging BTec qualification with Loughborough College in the '90s, and beginning as a trainer with Safe Working Ltd and then Total Fabrications, he was part of the original gang of three who assembled the rigging community and made the first approaches to PLASA to oversee the introduction of the National Rigging Certificate. Eric remain intimately involved with NRC as an Assessor.

Eric also delivers rigging training individually, and via a number of clients for their end-users and distributors, and he also writes and delivers courses for the Backstage Academy.

Chris HiggsChris Higgs

Chris started work in the industry in 1973 and was one of the founders of rigging training for the entertainment industry in the UK from 1995. Total Training (part of the Total Solutions Group) has offered training in rigging, work at height, rescue and associated subjects such as inspection of lifting equipment and of PPE used for work at height since 1998. Chris takes consultancy work in a private capacity.

Chris sits on the ABTT Safety Committee, SAGE, JACE, British Standards MHE3/13 and two HSE Advisory Committees. He is a technical consultant to the National Theatre and RSC.

Chris is a fellow of the ABTT, and won the TPI 'Art of Rigging' award in 2003 and jointly the 'John Peel Unsung Hero' award the year following.

Chris has delivered training and seminars all over the world and has written two books on entertainment rigging. He contributes regularly to trade journals and magazines. Chris also conceived and produces the content for the PLASA Rigging Conference.

Chris holds the NRC at Level 3, is an NRC Assessor and the Internal Verifier/Manager of the Birmingham National Rigging Certificate Assessment Centre.

Martin HawthornMartin Hawthorn

Martin is currently serving his second term as Treasurer of the PLASA European Regional Board and member of the PLASA Governing Body. Martin has a lifelong interest in the technical side of theatre. Choosing the sensible option, he took an apprenticeship in telecommunications, however theatre kept calling and he moved into technical theatre design. Finding himself redundant in the recession of the late 70's, he moved into sales and building work but, by 1983, was back in the industry selling lanterns. The entrepreneurial bug and fate combined in 1987 when he started his own small installation business from home and grew Hawthorn's from 3 staff to approaching 100 full time staff at two, shortly to be three, locations totaling nearly 140,000ft. Hawthorns is a multi-disciplined, full service operation covering rental and full production along with sales and installation of lighting, sound, video, rigging, drapes and more.