In an exciting and unprecedented three-way collaboration, PLASA, LDI, and the World Entertainment Technology Federation (WorldETF) have joined forces to produce Backstage London(TM), a two-day exploration of entertainment design and technology in that city. Backstage London will be held September 9-11, immediately following the 1998 PLASA trade show.

Backstage London will be the first overseas event of its kind for LDI, which has had great success with similar events in Orlando and Las Vegas. With international attendees from as many as a dozen countries, these events offer industry professionals the chance to deepen their knowledge of entertainment design and technology. By taking these participants backstage in theatres and at themed venues, they will have the opportunity to see cutting-edge technology at work and meet the producers, design teams, and technicians that make it all happen.

"We are extremely pleased to be joining forces with PLASA and the WorldETF on the planning of Backstage London," says Jacqueline Tien, publisher of Lighting Dimensions and TCI magazines, sponsors of LDI. "This is a great opportunity to work toward creating a truly global showcase for entertainment design and technology. I hope this will be the first of many joint ventures with a strong international flavor."

PLASA chairman Paul Adams also welcomes this new initiative. "This is another exciting opportunity to provide unrivaled access to viewing PLASA members' products in full operation," he says. "This unique event is proof of the positive benefits achieved by collaborating with our international colleagues at LDI, ESTA, and VPLT, and further evidence that London is a worldwide showcase for entertainment technology."

Backstage London is open to a group of 100 participants who will embark on a whirlwind techno-tour, starting with dinner on Wednesday, September 9, and concluding with a farewell luncheon on Friday, September 11. This tour will include tickets to three productions, from West End musicals and the Royal National Theatre to opera, plus visits to several themed attractions and a late-night club. Meals will feature industry leaders as guest speakers. Manufacturers and dealers who are WorldETF members and have equipment on shows in London will be invited to meet the group and discuss their various projects.

The program for Backstage London has been developed by Ellen Lampert-Greaux, LDI conference producer, with David Barbour, editorial director of Lighting Dimensions and TCI, and Matthew Griffiths, PLASA's managing director. Decisions as to which shows will be included will be made based on innovations in technology, such as the cast of animatronic animals used in the new West End musical Doctor Doolittle.

The fee for Backstage London is 595 pounds (approx. $959US), of which a percentage will be donated to the WorldETF for its industry efforts. Hotel accommodations and airfare are not included. Participants will meet in a central location on Thursday and Friday mornings, with all meals, theatre tickets, and bus transportation provided to each different venue. For additional information call Ellen Lampert-Greaux at 212/229-2965x830, or Sheila Bartholomew, PLASA production coordinator, at 44/1323/642-639.