Lichfield firm’s tech helps safeguard audiences as international venue returns to live performances

Specialist smartphones from Lichfield firm Ascom UK have been hailed as ‘important’ tools in safeguarding musicians, audiences and staff at an international venue as it returns to live concerts in the aftermath of Covid-19.

Paul Lawrence
Paul Lawrence

The phones from global solutions provider Ascom have enabled the North Music Trust to safely reopen Sage Gateshead as music-hungry audiences flock to concerts for the first time in over a year. The phones use digital enhanced cordless telecommunications, a robust technology that uses dedicated frequencies to ensure that communications are free of interference.

Lindsay Tuck, chief operations officer at Sage Gateshead said: “Sage Gateshead is a fantastic structure of concrete, metal and glass and it would be difficult to imagine full coverage of the building without this technology. Ascom DECT provides reliable communication for everyone, from security to first aid to stage and audience management across the site. For us, it is an important piece of technology in running the show successfully, and we rely on it to ensure audiences can return safely to events.”

A pool of 30 Ascom handsets has enabled staff to safely:

Coordinate audience zoning, moving hundreds of people safely in and out of live performances every evening.

Connect musicians in rehearsal with security, and stage management staff.

Enable artists to liaise with Sage Gateshead’s IT, building services, duty manager and first aid teams.

Summon help via the handset’s ‘man down’ functionality

Sage Gateshead relies on ticket sales for 60 per cent of its income and it lost a substantial amount of money overnight when the pandemic struck. It was forced to launch a £3 million fundraiser to get back on track financially, and this year, Ascom UK waived its service fee as a contribution.

Paul Lawrence, managing director of Ascom UK, said: “Sage Gateshead is a much-valued customer and a brilliant arts initiative. We were not only pleased to waive our fee as a small contribution to support its recovery, but delighted to know that our technology is playing a vital role in helping it return to business as usual.”

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