Thursday, May 10, 2012

PLASA Rigging Conference 2012

PLASA Rigging Conference 2012, Monday and Tuesday, September 10-11, at Earls Court, London, England.  This will occur in conjunction with the 2012 PLASA event running concurrently Sunday through Wednesday September 9 through 12.

The conference is unique in being the only annual meeting of its size dedicated solely to the rigging community. It brings together practitioners, managers, engineers, safety professionals and policy makers to exchange information and inspire new research, curriculum building and professional development. Over 200 delegates from 30 countries are expected to take part this year so there is no better place to come together with your peers from the global rigging community.

The key-note speaker this year is Roy Bickel.  He was the first rigger in the United States to undertake large arena tours. He started performing and rigging in an amateur circus in Florida in the late 1950's. He worked as a professional circus performer for several years as Roy Zacchini 'The Human Cannonball', and as a trapeze flyer and catcher, trampoline artiste and rigger.

Roy was the first 'Disney Rigger' for a new tour called 'Disney on Parade' in 1969. The 'Disney Riggers' were a small group of riggers with a huge reputation who were responsible for advancing what was at the time the largest touring arena show attempted.

From there he spent a few years working on Broadway shows and in 1975 started touring large scale rock and roll tours and was also the production rigger for the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid.

Many of the practices used in entertainment rigging today were introduced by Roy, the idea of using color-coded fixed length rigging steels was one such advance from the traditional rolling hitch methods of the past.

Now, 50 years later, Roy is still rigging conventions, tours and corporate events. Roy will open the conference, sharing experiences of the challenges of rigging in arenas in the 60's and 70's and his continuing work in early concert touring. Roy will give us insights into the reasons behind many of the techniques that riggers starting out in the industry today take for granted, including the inverted hoist, the basket technique and other familiar methods of rigging.

Riggers' Forum

The Riggers' Forum will take place once again on the afternoon of Sunday, September 9th, and is aimed at riggers who may not be able to attend the full 2-day conference but would still like the opportunity to get together with their peers to discuss issues affecting their daily working lives.

The afternoon will begin with a main presentation, followed by an open-floor discussion with a panel of experts, centering on the issues you wish to discuss. Questions can be emailed in advance or asked on the day.

 The 2-day international event creates an annual opportunity for the global rigging community to discuss ideas, for the appraisal of new developments and to review progress of initiatives and projects. In 2011, the combined muscle of industry heavyweights, manufacturers, engineers and safety professionals challenged accepted thinking and dispelled several industry myths. This year will again provide an occasion to debate issues and continue the process of developing this still relatively new industry sector.

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