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Roy Bickel to Receive 2021 ESTA Lifetime Technical Achievement Award

Roy Bickel

Thompson Roy Bickel will receive the ESTA Lifetime Technical Achievement Award on April 6, 2021, at the virtual New World Rigging Symposium. The ESTA Board of Directors and Technical Standards Council created this award in 2017 to recognize individuals whose technical contributions have had a significant impact on our industry. The criteria include significant and sustained technical contributions for at least 25 years. The 2021 award will be presented by Rocky Paulson and Chris Schmidt, who have made the following statements about this year's winner:

Paulson writes of Bickel's storied career, "Roy was a circus rigger and performer prior to being hired as the head rigger for the first 'Disney on Parade' show in 1969. He continued until 1974 when he left for Broadway to work for Pete Feller. After a time there, he went on to do the Rolling Stones tour in 1975. That was the beginning of a long career as a rock & roll' rigger. Roy currently lives in Las Vegas where he has been a fixture in the trade show world for over two decades.

As the first head rigger on the Disney on Parade shows he trained people like me in climbing techniques, rigging procedures, and physical fitness regimens to keep us in great shape. Though my direct experience of working for him was limited to a year in the seventies, I know his techniques were taught to many of the first-generation entertainment riggers. This training very much helped the rapid expansion of the industry during the rock & roll explosion. More recently in his career he was on the ETCP Arena Rigging Certification development team.

Roy was and is a true innovator. Perhaps the two most notable contributions that changed the rigging world to what it looks like today was the introduction of slings with screw pin anchor shackles around 50 years ago. Along with the sling development, he specified the orientation and sizes of shackles used with the slings; these methods are still in use today."

Schmidt says Bickel well deserves the award "for his tremendous contributions and innovations to the early days of the arena rigging industry. Many of Roy's contributions developed in the early 70's are techniques that are now standard practices in an industry that makes a living using some of the oldest tools known to humankind. He's mentored countless arena riggers as well as many experts in the arena rigging field."

For more information on this award please visit esta.org/LTAA . For information on the New World Rigging Symposium, please visit esta.org/nwrs.

ESTA, the Entertainment Services and Technology Association, is a non-profit trade association based in North America with members around the world. ESTA's members are responsible for creating some of the most important programs in our industry including the Technical Standards Program, Entertainment Technician Certification Program, and Rental Guard.


(18 February 2021)

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