The Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) presents its members with a lively programme of events and insight tours throughout the year. Each event, a which is a valued benefit of membership, provides a unique opportunity to get behind the lighting and technical aspects of a West End show or UK venue. Members meet lighting designers or programmers who impart their observations and knowledge, in a relaxed environment conducive to free-flowing conversation.
The latest event took place at the Arts Theatre, courtesy of CHAUVET and White Light, suppliers of the event’s lighting. ALD Members were invited to see cult rock musical The Toxic Avenger and to hear from the show's Lighting Designer, Nic Farman, and Programmer / Production Electrician, Clancy Flynn.
Over the summer, events have included an evening with Ambersphere at London’s National Theatre, alongside insight tours to the West End’s latest rock musical, Bat Out of Hell, Olivier Award-winning Jesus Christ Superstar at London’s Regent’s Park Open Air theatre, and to 42nd Street at the Drury Lane theatre.
Matt Cowles, Ambersphere’s technical sales manager, stresses the importance of meeting ALD members in this environment. “For us at Ambersphere, the chance to chat with technicians and lighting designers is invaluable in getting our products seen and fully understood.”
Chauvet’s Tom Wilkes, UK South territory manager, stresses, “It helps ALD members to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of new kit. During the event we can have open conversation with like-minded industry professionals as to how to use the kit to its full advantage and hear each other’s own success stories.”
The ALD organises and promotes insight events as a means of propagating excellence and shared information within the profession. “The events are an investment into the future of lighting design,” maintains ALD meetings sub-committee member, Alex Allan. “The ALD member events are unlike any other backstage tour that the public can attend. The detail to which lighting aspects are discussed is far enhanced and the spontaneity of the conversation topics are natural yet surprising.
“The visiting group may be onstage to talk about a certain scene using specific lighting fixtures, but walking past another element of set or lighting kit prompts the LD to open up to another aspect of the show that they've just remembered; or even a member attending noticing a lighting unit used differently from the norm, so therefore they have the opportunity to basically ask "why" with genuine interest and not be out-of-place in doing so.”
Alongside other regular member events such as the monthly member socials, ALD membership also includes Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Combined Insurance, an ALD website listing, regular jobs bulletins and specific Professional member email bulletins, as well as a 25% discount on the monthly or annual fee for Mandy.com's premium subscription (formerly Stage Jobs Pro) and the highly touted monthly magazine, Focus. Written and compiled for members by members, it is the only lighting design magazine available where the articles reflect and discuss the art more than the technical details of the tool.