Dirty Rigger gets hands-on with TOMCAT rigging training

Attendees and TOMCAT staff at the entertainment rigging training course. Photo: Shawn Tanowitz, Pivotal Video Productions.

The Dirty Rigger brand of workwear played a popular role in the latest TOMCAT University (‘TOMCAT U’) five-day entertainment rigging training course, hosted recently at the company’s custom-designed training facility in Thousand Oaks, California. 

Hosted by TOMCAT USA, a part of Area Four Industries, the annual event provides ETCP (Entertainment Technician Certification Programme) renewal credits for those working in production rigging. This year’s event attracted a diverse mix of 45 attendees from across the USA and Canada, from students to seasoned touring riggers, business owners, stadium production managers and everything in between.

The course includes truss training, taught by TOMCAT’s Adrian Forbes-Black and Keith Bohn, a one-day engineering focus led by Jeff Reder of Ohio-based Clark-Reder Engineering, and three days of rigging skills taught by industry legend, Bill Sapsis. What’s more, the TOMCAT USA training facility includes its own indoor ground support system for attendees to practise on.

Each day, the TOMCAT U attendees were presented with a swag gift on arrival at the facility: these included anything from t-shirts and hoodies made for the event, to custom hats and water bottles. The highlight, however, was Thursday’s ‘Dirty Rigger day’, when they were gifted with Dirty Rigger gloves, bag and a keychain, from the UK’s Le Mark Group. As Thursday was the day spent working on TOMCAT’s ground support system, the gloves were immediately put to good use.

Although TOMCAT USA does not sell the Dirty Rigger brand itself, Le Mark Group, the maker of the well-known production wear brand, worked closely with TOMCAT to make the products available for the high-profile event. TOMCAT says that Dirty Rigger is a well-known and respected name in the rigging world, synonymous with high quality, hard-wearing goods, and was appreciated by everyone at the event.

Commenting on the support from Dirty Rigger, Adrian Forbes-Black, TOMCAT & Area Four Industries America’s VP of Sales and Marketing, said: “Having been personal friends with the Dirty Rigger and Le Mark Group owners and staff for over 25 years, I know them to be a strong brand, with exceptional customer service and quality. That they have such a strong hold on the market, and their brand and products have stood the test of time, is a testament to them.”

He added: “TOMCAT has been honoured to partner with Dirty Rigger over many years in our TOMCAT University education program, and we hope to continue this relationship for the foreseeable future.”