NEWS

PRESS RELEASE: ABTT LAUNCHES NEW TECHNICAL STANDARDS

6/06/2013 10:06 HRS

The ASSOCIATION OF BRITISH THEATRE TECHNICIANS will take the opportunity of its annual Theatre Show next week, to launch the first edition for five years of the seminal publication, TECHNICAL STANDARDS FOR PLACES OF ENTERTAINMENT, known throughout the industry as the ‘Yellow Book’.

First published April 2001, this edition which includes a new Section N ‘The Production’ – covering issues previously contained in the Model National Standard Conditions for Places of Entertainment – has been developed by a Standing Committee chaired by Rob Weaver and drawn from members of the industry and responsible authorities, namely, the Association of British Theatre Technicians, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health,
the District Surveyors Association and the Institute of Licensing together with representatives from other organisations.

Edited by David Adams, the ABTT’s Safety Advisor, this major update of Technical Standards aims to provide simple guidance in an easy format, setting out the physical standards for buildings, their equipment and the good management of the premises, so as to provide for the safety of the performers, staff and the public in premises used for entertainment.

Its intention is to help licensees, technical managers and enforcers to understand the requirements and needs of places of entertainment and although primarily intended to apply to indoor venues, much of the advice will also apply to outdoor events, as all locations used for entertainment can present special hazards.

The book aims to cover all areas and, where there might seem to be a conflict of interpretation between different legal requirements or between guidance in support of legislation, to offer a good practice solution. This guidance applies to existing premises, as well as to new, in both the amateur and professional industries.

Technical Standards is not intended as a detailed analysis of the law. However, its recommended Conditions and Recommendations may be enforced by various authorities under specific legislation or, in some cases, as a result of conditions laid down in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003.

David T. Staples, Principal, Theatre Projects Consultants, who will launch the book as part of the ABTT Theatre Show 2013 (12-13 June) at London’s Old Truman Brewery, commented, “The Yellow Book is invaluable when working overseas in countries where their own regulations for theatre buildings are either underdeveloped or obsolete – a frequent occurrence. I have met in several countries with fire officers or building control teams and have used the Technical Standards to convince them the building will be safe.”

He continued, “The new Technical Standards will be longer than any previous regulations (which is not good) and will need some time to assimilate but will hopefully be a force for good!”

Ambassador Theatre Group Head of Technical Services, John Young, who will also be present at the launch, remarked, “The ABTT’s Technical Standards should be the ‘go-to’ bible for venue owners and operators. My remit involves capital projects, refurbishments and technical aspects of new builds along with safety, fire and production audits of ATG’s estate – 40 venues and 4 offices. The essential information is readily accessible and largely theatre-specific – exactly what I need for quick reference on a venue audit.”

“For a body of work like this – updates are essential and inevitable to accommodate changes in legislation – and are most welcome. The publication already lends itself to the development of best practice rather than getting bogged down in legislation – a refreshing safety culture. The new ‘Section N’ will be invaluable in developing our cohort of responsible persons – the venue managers.”

Copies of Technical Standards for Places of Entertainment will be available to purchase on Wednesday 12 June & Thursday 13 June, during the ABTT Theatre Show, at a discounted rate to all registered visitors to the show: www.abtttheatreshow.org.uk

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