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Entertainment Rigging Workshop 2019

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The job of the entertainment rigger has become increasingly complicated 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. Experience alone cannot prepare today’s riggers for the ever expanding challenges faced in the theatres, arenas, studios, festivals, and ballrooms used to produce live entertainment events. Through Entertainment Rigging Sessions you can obtain that necessary education to partner with YOUR experience, allowing you to pursue increased work volume and safer rigging practices.

Delivered by Entertainment Rigging Services’ Ethan Gilson and supported by Columbus McKinnon Entertainment Technology, this two-day course will cover topics ranging from the basics to advanced practices of entertainment rigging. From proper hardware selection and inspection to load calculations and proper workplace safety, the session aims to increase your value within the professional rigging marketplace by helping you to work safer and more efficiently.

This course counts toward 16 renewal credits for ETCP Certified Electricians and ETCP Certified Riggers.

Preparing to take either ETCP rigging exam? Our sessions cover topics that are listed in the content outlines for the ETCP Rigger–Arena and Rigger–Theatre certification exams and may be helpful when studying for a certification examination.

Note: There is an 8 person minimum to conduct this course. Should this number not be met, your registration fee will be refunded in full.


ESA Members – $450
Non-Members – $475

Lunch will be provided both days.

Note: While ESA is hosting this training as part of our Event Safety Summit programing, this is not an ESA training and is therefore not eligible for education credit redemption.

About the Instructor — Ethan Gilson


Ethan Gilson, a graduate of Emerson College (1998, BFA, Design Technology – Lighting), has 25+ years of experience working in the entertainment rigging and lighting industry.  He began his career as an equipment specialist/technician, and, upon completing his degree, took on the role of lighting designer at Advanced Lighting and Production Services, Inc. (ALPS).  As his career developed, Gilson distinguished himself as a rigging specialist—designing rigging systems for portable and permanent installations.  Today, he is the owner of Entertainment Rigging Services LLC, a company that specializes in entertainment rigging inspections, training, & design. Gilson has worked in venues of diverse size and function including, but not limited to: hotel ballrooms, Las Vegas convention centers and arenas, New York theatres, and outdoor festivals.

Gilson has been inspecting theaters and arenas of all sizes throughout the United States since 2006.  In 2005, he received one of the first certificates granted by the ETCP in Arena and Theatre Rigging  (Cert. # 0048).  Gilson has established himself as an authority in the field, and since 2014, has served as an ETCP Rigging Certification Subject Matter Expert, a position which includes designing questions for certification exams.  Gilson’s national reputation has lead him to serve as chair to several ESTA (Entertainment Services and Technology Association) task groups, whose goals are to establish ANSI standards for safety in the industry in the areas of fall arrest and suspended rigging. Gilson is OSHA 10 certified (Cert. # 002371128). He continues his own education through trainings such as: ETC factory trained installation/technician of Prodigy Hoists, Tomcat U, Mountain Productions Hoist School. 

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. These sessions are recognized by the ETCP as qualifying instruction for certification/re-certification. Gilson is a member of the Event Safety Alliance and its Safety Summit Core Development Committee, whose goal is to coordinate with the ETCP to promote safety, training, and certification throughout the industry.  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.  Gilson continues to stay abreast of the latest technology and advances in the industry, sharing this knowledge with his students. Recently, Vectorworks has requested Gilson’s services to speak, as a user, with distributors about their new Braceworks software.


Hotel Rock Lititz is the preferred hotel of the Event Safety Summit program. Click here for details and booking information.

Earlier Event: November 18
Crowd Safety Symposium 2019 --Lititz, PA
Later Event: November 18
Entertainment Electrics Workshop 2019