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Ethan Gilson to Lead Rigging Safety Symposium at the 2019 Event Safety Summit

FOH Staff • News • September 9, 2019

Ethan Gilson

LITITZ, PA – Entertainment rigging services director Ethan Gilson, who played a key role in helping to establish live event production ANSI standards for safety, will cover basic and advanced practices of entertainment rigging.

More details from the Event Safety Alliance ( and Take1 Insurance (

Adding to its schedule of optional paid workshops, Take1 Insurance and the Event Safety Alliance today announced that Entertainment Rigging Services Director Ethan Gilson will lead a two-day Entertainment Rigging Workshop at the 2019 Event Safety Summit.

Hosted in conjunction with Columbus McKinnon Entertainment Technology, the workshop will delve into basic and advanced practices of entertainment rigging in order to increase attendees’ value within the professional rigging marketplace, ultimately helping them to work safer and more efficiently.

According to Event Safety Alliance Chairman and President Jim Digby, the job of the entertainment rigger has become progressively more intricate as the live event industry has grown exponentially over the last three decades. “As the loads have become larger, the margin of error has become smaller,” he said. “This course aims to prepare today’s riggers for the ever-expanding challenges faced in the theatres, arenas, studios, festivals, and ballrooms used to produce live entertainment events.”

Over his 25 years in the industry, Ethan Gilson has distinguished himself as a rigging specialist—designing rigging systems for portable and permanent installations. His work encompasses venues of diverse size and function, with projects in hotel ballrooms, Las Vegas convention centers and arenas, New York theatres, and outdoor festivals — just to name a few.

While serving as chair to several ESTA (Entertainment Services and Technology Association) task groups, Gilson helped establish ANSI standards for safety in the industry in the areas of fall arrest and suspended rigging throughout the United States.

In 2012, Gilson became an ETCP Recognized Trainer and launched Entertainment Rigging Sessions to prepare today’s riggers for the industry’s explosive growth and to promote safety standards throughout it. Gilson has partnered with manufacturers such as Total Structures, the annual LDI trade show, the Event Safety Alliance, various colleges/universities, unions, and local manufacturers to provide educational rigging sessions, tailoring sessions to meet the needs of each class.

Today, he is the owner of Entertainment Rigging Services LLC, a company that specializes in entertainment rigging inspections, training, & design.

“It is a privilege to have Ethan Gilson take part in this year’s summit,” Digby said. “His 25-year career in the entertainment rigging and lighting industry is going to provide attendees with a broader real-world understanding of what they need to navigate an increasingly complicated live event industry. He is keen to ensure that attendees obtain the necessary education to partner with their experience, allowing them to pursue increased work volume and safer rigging practices.”

Registration for this paid workshop is $450 for ESA members/$475 for non-members. Capacity for each training is extremely limited to ensure an optimal learning experience, so interested persons are encouraged to register early.

The 2019 three-day event, presented by Take1 Insurance, will take place November 20-22, 2019 at Rock Lititz in Lititz, PA, with pre-summit training courses also being offered on November 18-19 for those interested in delving deeper into specific subject areas.

The cost to attend the Event Safety Summit is $950 for ESA members, $1150 for non-members, and $900 for ESAT credential holders. The Event Safety Alliance and Bigger Hammer Production Services are offering a 50% discount for students currently enrolled in college, university, or trade programs. Specially priced hotel rooms are available at the Hotel Rock Lititz.

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