General News


Scott Rooney-Ashby joins Hawthorn

Friday, 21 April 2017

UK - Event professional Scott Rooney-Ashby has joined Hawthorn as account director to support the development of new and existing business for the company’s live event technical production service.
Formerly head of account management at mclcreate, Scott’s 20-year career has taken him through various roles from a technical project manager through to his current role as account director at Hawthorn. Clients he has worked with include: Royal Mail, JTI (Japan Tobacco International), RBS, Network Rail and the Olympic Delivery Authority.
Scott said: “I’m thrilled to have joined the Hawthorn team at such an exciting time for the company, which has seen eye-catching growth over recent years. It’s clear over the short time I’ve been with the business that I’ll be working with a team of talented, experienced and dedicated technical event professionals and I’m very much looking forward to working with them to deliver incredible events for existing and new clients.”
Simon Wood, group director of projects at Hawthorn added: “We’re delighted to welcome Scott to the team. With his in-depth experience of working across delivery, project and creative teams, Scott knows how to create truly memorable experiences for his clients and shares Hawthorn’s commitment to working collaboratively every step of the way to deliver amazing results.”


Crowds roll up to J&C Joel’s circus stand

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Germany - J&C Joel demonstrated they were the ringleader of fabrics when they showcased their big top circus tent stand at Prolight + Sound Frankfurt.
The tradeshow stand was inspired by the Madagascar themed circus tent the company created at Motiongate Dubai, a theme park within Dubai Parks and Resorts.
As visitors rolled up to the stand they were transported to a circus complete with a red and blue Deko Molton big top, sand effect digitally printed Joelmat flooring, an 8m by 4m seamless canvas digitally printed with a big top tent and popcorn for everyone to enjoy.
People were also able to view an impressive black and silver Reefer String drape, a seamless projection screen with video content about the company’s recent work and a variety of tracks.
The company also continued their successful partnership with Backstage Academy which saw their students design the lighting and projection arrangement for the stand to create the perfect atmosphere.
During the event, the company announced their new sales team structure which sees sales manager Oliver Marns move into a new role heading up Creative Sales. This marks a strategic approach to further the develop the company’s creative manufacturing and bespoke solutions for the events industry. Whilst continuing to produce the traditional flame retardant drapery and stage engineering soluti


Broadsword cuts it at Royal Museums Greenwich

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

UK - The Broadsword Production Group has been awarded a contract by Royal Museums Greenwich as a production supplier. Based in the heart of Greenwich, the sites are suitable for large gala dinners and awards ceremonies, inspiring daytime conferencing, epic product launches and intimate private dining.
The five historic venues include the National Maritime Museum, the Queen’s House, the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the Peter Harrison Planetarium and Cutty Sark.
Broadsword has a flair for the theatrical and are thrilled that their crew are about to learn the ropes and produce live event experiences with “such versatile and luxurious backdrops”. They have an innovative Set Building Department and are excited about how they can put a new slant on event branding within the different spaces, with stage sets, custom theming, props and bespoke items.
The in-house design team has already begun work on 3D visualisations of the space, which will help illustrate the lay of the land and how ideas will work for the live and virtual audience.
(Jim Evans)


Rodgers to head DWR Install department

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

South Africa - Andrew Rodgers has joined South African based DWR Distribution. With his considerable experience in project management, technical skill and maintenance contracts, Andi will head the DWR Installation Department.
Born and raised in Liverpool, Andi did various maintenance and repair contracts at recording studios such as the Ezee Studio and prior to that the Pink Studio in the UK before moving to South Africa in 1990 where he was offered a maintenance positioned at Sun City’s Superbowl.
His colourful career has seen him working at Prosound in electronics design and maintenance, and he also did a stint or two as a freelancer in South East Asia where he worked on various projects including the project management for an audio recording studio for Taffix Solutions of Brunei.
“Andi has been a wonderful friend for close to 20 years now, where we often worked on the same projects,” said Duncan Riley of DWR Distribution. “He is respected for his great workmanship and importantly for his humanity. This has been a calculated decision as the installation department has been laden with installs for now and for the future. We feel that if the correct people are in place, we will have a successful installation at the end of the project, and a happy client. It’s a privilege to welcome Andi to the family.”
(Jim Evans)


Burke appointed MD of CT Asia Pacific

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

China - Creative Technology (CT) has announced that with immediate effect Chris Burke will take on the role of managing director of Creative Technology in Shanghai. Chris will also continue as managing director of CT in Hong Kong and Singapore. This appointment now puts all of CT’s Asia Pacific Business under his control.
Chris has been with Creative Technology since 2009 and in that time, he has developed the necessary skills to effect the changes that will be needed to further develop the China business and expand CT’s operation in this region.
Chris replaces Simon Tibble who passed away suddenly at his home in Shanghai just over a week ago. Simon was a key part of the China business and a true industry veteran whose skills helped develop the business into what it is today. He will be missed by all.
Graham Andrews, president of Creative Technology North America and Asia Pacific said, “I am delighted that Chris is taking on this additional responsibility and hope you will join me in congratulating him on his appointment.”
(Jim Evans)


Green Hippo adds international distributors

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

UK - Green Hippo has confirmed three new international distributors. These new members of the Green Hippo family, respectively covering Italy, New Zealand, and South Africa, extend the influence of Green Hippo’s video playback technology, including its award-winning Hippotizer range of media servers.
In Italy, Spotlight, the Milan-based distributor, will use its 50 years of design and production experience, to help see the Green Hippo gear at work in Italy’s celebrated collection of opera houses and theatres, as well as auditoriums, conference rooms, and TV studios.
Nicolo Oliva, partner and CEO of Spotlight, said, “It’s a short time since Spotlight have started the distribution of Green Hippo, and we’re already very fond of the brand. These media-servers are really powerful and easy to configure, and the new software interface of Hippotizer V4 is a step forward in live video management. We are looking forward to a bright future.”
DWR Distribution, a leading player in the installation sector, takes on responsibility for giving Green Hippo a run out in South Africa. Building on 11 highly successful years since launch, DWR Distribution operates out of bespoke premises in the sweetly named area of Honeydew, just outside Johannesburg.
“We are looking forward to a great future with the product, and will be committed to supporting c


The Week in Light & Sound

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Creative Strategy - Creative companies are becoming increasingly important to the UK's future economic success and should be at the heart of the government's new industrial strategy, a trade body says. The Creative Industries Federation says film-making, music, advertising and video games are all big export earners but are often overlooked by ministers. It says enterprise zones, tax breaks and access to finance could help firms.
The role of the UK's creative industries, which also includes theatre, architecture, broadcasting, fashion, museums, and galleries was recognised when the government unveiled its industrial strategy Green Paper in January for boosting the post-Brexit economy. The Creative Industries Federation says ministers need to "overhaul" their approach. The federation has unveiled a blueprint of policy recommendations for the creative industries which it says is "the fastest growing sector of the UK economy".
It said the creative economy supports 2.9m jobs, a rise of 5.1% between 2014 and 2015. Brexit means it is now "even more crucial" for the sector "to deliver more jobs, trade and exports", it adds. The federation's chief executive, John Kampfner, said: "There has been a tendency to dismiss the creative industries as something lightweight while claiming the glory of billions of pounds in trade that comes from hits such as War Horse, Sh


CEG moves to Cambridge

Thursday, 13 April 2017

UK - East Anglia-based CEG Hire & Productions has recently moved to new premises, as well as relocating their rental operation from Norfolk to Cambridge. From 1 March, CEG started operating from their new base – allowing them to push forward with their long-term growth strategy.
CEG's director, Ben Bowles explains, “Since starting the business, we have continually looked to improve the service that we offer and one big way we can do that is by being situated conveniently for all of our customers.
“Our new location is five minutes from the M11 and 10 minutes from the A14. This will provide fantastic access to both London and the South, as well as the Midlands and the North. We will now be within 45 minutes of the North Circular and 90 minutes of Park Royal. Beyond the improved journey times, our new premises will have better access, facilities and, most importantly, better truck loading.”
Ben concludes, “for all of our existing customers in the East Anglia area, you will find that our new location will allow us to serve you even better than we did before.”
As well as moving premises, CEG has also been busy renewing and reinvesting in their growing inventory – with many additions from leading brands including Robe, Martin Professional, MA Lighting, ETC & Luminex.
(Jim Evans)


Claypaky Scenius Spot on Skunk Anansie's tour

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Europe - The Claypaky Scenius Spot is being championed for its output, colour and optical quality by lighting designer Dan Williams who is using the fixture as the main lighting workhorse on British rockers Skunk Anansie's current European tour, Anarchytecture.
Lighting supplier for the tour, Buckinghamshire- based lighting design and rental outfit Siyan, recommended Dan the spot fixtures to work alongside the production's dominant LED video package, that includes both floor and flown LED screens.
"The main issue with working with such a strong video element is getting a fixture that is bright enough to stand out against the LED screens," says Dan. "The Scenius Spot has absolutely no problem with this."
To create the show's saturated colour pallets and punchy back and beam light Dan is utilising the fixtures advanced CMY and linear CTO colour systems.
"Even when the entire video wall is displaying full camera content, the Scenius Spot still provides great colour tone," says Dan. "As well as their colour output optically the fixtures look great. They have a fantastic bright, sharp beam with an impressive zoom range (8°-48°). The gobos are strong and the light output remains punchy even when the fixture is zoomed completely out."
In addition to the Scenius Spots, Dan is using one strategically placed A.leda B-EYE K20, Claypaky's pioneering


New sales structure for J&C Joel

Thursday, 13 April 2017

UK - J&C Joel, has announced a new sales structure. The changes come as the company looks to position itself for future growth.
Oliver Marns, previously the UK, Europe and Russia sales manager, has now been appointed to the newly created role of sales manager to head up creative sales and focus on key accounts within the business.
Marns has worked for the company for more than five years, and during this time has been involved in delivering several of the key creative projects the company has provided. His new role is designed to enhance J&C Joel’s existing offering to new and existing customers by giving them a dedicated person to deal with and ensure the firm offers innovative solutions whilst continuing to deliver on specification, budget and on time.
Marns said: “I am delighted to take on the new role and I am genuinely excited to work even closer with our amazing clients to deliver more world class projects. In carrying out this role, I also get to work alongside our fantastic Creative Manufacturing team to ensure they can focus on what they do best; making the impossible, possible.”
Roland Rizk will take over responsibilities for Europe and Russia and will now report directly into the sales director, Stuart Coomber. His support team includes UK based Joshua Trueman, the business development executive for the region and Abbie Wa


Le Mark movie makes gaffer tape the star

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

UK - How do you make Gaffer Tape a rock star? You take a breaking rock band called Star from Ivy plus a great range of Gaffer tape and link the two together and you get
The video was produced, filmed and edited by the St Ives Cambridgeshire based Le Mark team, in time to be showcased by Le Mark at the world largest trade show for music and entertainment products, ProLight + Sound held at the famous Music Messer Frankfurt.
Le Mark has combined a Brexit beating innovative marketing ‘first’, take an everyday consumable product and project it as ‘the’ No 1 rock & roll accessory. Magtape - the professional’s gaffer tape, has a backing track that is fully downloadable and is being played around both central & eastern Europe and Scandinavia. Promoting the product range and a new British band.
Marketing & managing director Stuart Gibbons says, “As a multi-award winning company, Le Mark like all British exporting companies must become even more innovative to survive the difficulties of Brexit. Not only must you have excellent products, we must be able to catch the eye of potential new world markets. Creative video content with an amazing back track that clients can now can buy and download are working incredibly well for us.”
(Jim Evans)


Fountain auction brings worldwide interest

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

UK - An online auction of production and broadcast equipment which brought the curtain down at Fountain Studios raised over £670,000.
The sale, organised by auctioneers Charterfields on behalf of Fountain Television, attracted worldwide interest with more than 450 bidders registering from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, USA, Italy and the Netherlands as well as the UK.
Among the range of sound, lighting and camera equipment, the Calrec Apollo 72 fader digital audio console item led to the highest winning bid in excess of £85,000.
Fountain Studios closed in December and is described as ‘the birthplace of TV talent shows’ after being home to some of the UK’s most popular programmes since the launch of ITV in 1955. They include TV classics such as On The Buses, Upstairs Downstairs and Opportunity Knocks to modern family favourites such as Britain’s Got Talent, Pop Idol, The Cube, The Voice, All Star Mr & Mrs and The Last Leg.
Ian Maycock, director of Charterfields, said, “We had more than 100 bidders attend the two viewing days as this was seen as a unique opportunity to acquire the highest specification technical equipment. There was also strong interest in the catering equipment and furniture from the numerous hospitality rooms which brought to a close the long


White Light reaches Echo’s End in Salisbury

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

UK - Currently playing at the Salisbury Playhouse, Echo’s End tells the story of a young couple in 1915 Wilshire who find themselves caught up in the turmoil of troubled times. It is written by award-winning playwright and novelist Barney Norris, directed by Alice Hamilton and features a lighting design by Howard Hudson. White Light was called upon to provide the equipment.
Echo’s End marks Howard’s fifth production at the Salisbury Playhouse. He comments, “Salisbury is a great venue and this is a brilliant new play that tells a story about that part of the world. The entire play is set outside on the Salisbury Plain, so one of the main requirements was to achieve a sense of natural light and the epic undulating scale of that area at different times of day.”
As with most of his designs, Howard had to work closely alongside the set design, which in this case reflected outdoor Wiltshire. He adds, “A major element of Tom Rogers’ design was a 14-metre-wide printed cloud cyc at the back of the stage which allowed us to create a wide variety of different looks for the eight scenes, ranging from dull, clement overcast grey days, to strong, deep saturated sunsets. This was also useful for the transitions between scenes as it provided a really great and varied backdrop for the company to be silhouetted against.”
Prior to the produc


PL+S: Adamson confirms major expansion

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Germany - Adamson Systems Engineering is now officially operating out of its recently expanded, 40,000 sq. ft. Canadian headquarters in Port Perry, ON. Full details were outlined at a press conference at ProLight+Sound in Frankfurt.
Driven by three years of rapid growth, the new expansion will allow Adamson to meet the increased demand of its growing sales network. While the new addition has been dedicated entirely to production and R&D, the original facility has also been revamped to shape the future of research, product development, and education.
Along with the architectural improvements, Adamson has also invested heavily in machinery and manufacturing technologies to guarantee efficient production of performance loudspeaker systems in Canada. These include new CNC routers, milling machines, and semi-automated production lines, all aimed at maintaining Adamson’s status as an industry-leading innovator.
"This significant investment in infrastructure positions Adamson to continue manufacturing all components and key technologies in Canada,” says president and CEO Brock Adamson. “Vertical onsite integration, from raw iron to finished loudspeakers, allows our engineering teams to prototype real world products faster and deliver products that are not limited in performance through priorities set by third party suppliers. The elimination of outso


Lee Baldock joins The Fifth Estate

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

UK - The Fifth Estate Ltd has announced the growth of the company, with the arrival of well-known entertainment technology editor and journalist, Lee Baldock, who joins the group of experienced marketing content producers and strategists. Baldock, who left Light & Sound International (LSi) magazine this spring, joins The Fifth Estate as senior account director.
Based in Sussex, Lee will work from the company's seaside office near Brighton. Working closely with creative director Sarah Rushton-Read, his focus will be on business development, alongside helping existing clients craft their brand stories for the variety of audiences and platforms that today's marketing communications need to reach.
Baldock's long career has seen him spend 22 years representing the entertainment technology industry working on leading B2B publication LSi, gaining experience under the editorships of both John Offord and Ruth Rossington, before becoming editor and head of PLASA Media, a position he has held successfully for the past 13 years.
"I'm excited to be joining the team at The Fifth Estate," says Baldock. "I've known the company since its inception, and have always been impressed by its output and its role in helping connect some really innovative technology producers to the creative people who use that technology out in the marketplace.”
Sarah Rushton


Mojo Supplies Gorillaz new album launch

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

UK - To mark the launch of their highly anticipated new album Humanz, Gorillaz performed a secret one-off show at Printworks, London, and Mojo Barriers showed it’s not all about big tours and festivals by supplying its world-class stage barriers to this prestigious event, 24 March 2017.
The world’s most successful virtual band celebrated the release of their new studio album with a very special performance which saw Gorillaz play Humanz live for the first time in a ‘’triumphant comeback gig’’ (NME) supported by Telekom Electronic Beats.
As the Gorillaz live band took to the stage, Mojo Barriers ensured artist and audience safety, highlighting that a big artist launch in a small venue still needs detailed attention. Held at new London venue, Printworks, the show saw Gorillaz joined on stage by a stellar rollcall of talent including Del La Soul, Pusha T and Noel Gallagher.
Mojo Barriers ensured the safety of the audience and the band by providing a complete barrier and cable cover set, which included straight barrier sections, flex corners and snakegates. Mojo worked closely with the production team to install a barrier configuration that matched the contour of the stage and front-of-house area, and offered optimum safety.
Stanley Jilesen, Mojo Barriers project manager commented, “We’ve worked with Gorillaz productio


The Week in Light & Sound

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Sgt. Pepper Promotion - The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50 years ago this week – and it remains widely regarded as the best rock and roll album concept of all time. To mark the anniversary, the city of Liverpool is to host a huge cultural celebration, called Sgt. Pepper at 50: Heading for Home from Thursday 25 May to Friday 16 June. The council has invested £750,000 of National Lottery funding through its Ambition for Excellence scheme to fund the celebration. The events include:
When I’m 64 - A mass sing-along - broadcast live on radio - of 64 choirs from across the city and of all ages. With an inter-generational theme, the event will focus on what age really means to anyone who is between 14 and 64.
Lucy in The Sky with Diamonds - A light festival on an Olympic scale, with music and fireworks, in the beautiful surroundings of Camp Hill.
With a Little Help From My Friends - Two public art commissions that examine the nature of friendship and self-sacrifice.
Commenting on the festival, Alison Clark, the Arts Council’s national director for combined arts and director north, said, "Our Ambition for Excellence fund uses National Lottery investment to support the creation of work for major national moments. The events to celebrate Sgt. Pepper at 50 on the scale and of the


The Week in Light & Sound

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Diversity Programme - Improving diversity and protecting local authority funding are at the forefront of UK Theatre’s business plan for the next four years. The plan from the membership organisation, which sets out its objectives for 2017-2021, describes its aim to improve the diversity of theatre and the performing arts as “a significant priority”. The organisation commits to working with Tonic Theatre, Equity and other stakeholders to publish a planning tool for the casting process in order to improve diversity on stage.
It will also establish a ‘board bank’ of professionals from black, Asian and minority ethnic, disabled and low socio-economic backgrounds to assist organisations in addressing the diversity of their boards. Another focus in the business plan is addressing the increase in live-to-digital theatre. The industry body promises to negotiate a standard agreement for digital rights, pay scales and royalty fees, in collaboration with Equity.
Roll Over Beethoven - Tributes have poured in from all quarters for Chuck Berry and his contribution to rock music. Mick Jagger, The Jacksons and Bruce Springsteen were among those to mark the Johnny B. Goode singer's passing.
Sir Mick Jagger: "I am so sad to hear of Chuck Berry's passing. I want to thank him for all the inspirational music he gave to us. He lit up our teenage years


VDC Trading streamlines team structure

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

UK - VDC Trading has made a number of new appointments and implemented a re-structure of its London-based team. Designed to offer more streamlined services to clients in the UK and overseas, the new approach centres on customer experience.
Cain Cookson has been appointed to the role of senior relationship development manager, heading up the UK pro-active sales team. With over five years’ B2B sales experience, Cain combines commercial expertise with technical capability, having achieved a first--class honours degree in Audio and Music Technology from the University of the West of England.
Herpreet Kaur Sing has taken on the role of customer service manager, with responsibility for delivering the highest level of customer service to VDC Trading’s growing international client base. With more than three years’ experience in pro-audio sales, Herpreet is also a qualified commercial solicitor and is pursuing a masters’ degree in engineering focusing on electrical and audio technology.
Adam Jafrabadi takes on the role of export / technical consultant. With over 17 years’ experience working within VDC Trading in a variety of roles, most recently as technical manager, Adam will drive VDC Trading’s continued international expansion and extend VDC Trading’s distributor network globally.
Commenting on the appointments, Niall Holden, CEO of


Blitz|GES promotes senior players

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

UK - Blitz|GES has promoted two of its senior team - Carol Gibbs and Mark Watson - to newly created roles as the business plans for growth in 2017. The new structure underlines Blitz|GES’ key strengths and supports a robust pipeline for the year ahead.
Carol Gibbs takes on responsibility for the company’s growing venue portfolio in the newly created role of director of venues. Mark Watson is promoted to creative director with a brief to expand Blitz|GES’ strong reputation for high-quality design.
Blitz|GES is the preferred technical production partner to many of the UK’s major venues and recently won official status for the new Hall 1 at Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre – due to open in 2018.
Gibbs will be working closely with the Blitz|GES teams at the venues to identify and capitalise on new business opportunities in the rapidly growing corporate live events sector.
Watson’s elevation to creative director is an extension of his current role and reinforces a crucial differentiator for the business - combining cutting edge technical knowledge with high-quality creative – all from a single account team. With clients increasingly requesting digital content and creative execution, Watson will lead this exciting area of the business.
Both Gibbs and Watson will report directly into Blitz|GES managing d


Backup charity raises awareness at special event

Friday, 17 March 2017

UK – Supporters and trustees of Backup - The Technical Entertainment Charity - gathered in London on Monday evening to help raise the profile of the charity’s new name and logo in entertainment industry. Around 80 guests attended the event, which included live entertainment from Jay Johnson.
Backup exists to provide financial support to technical professionals working in live events, theatre, TV and film, helping them to get back on their feet when their lives are disrupted by illness or injury to themselves or to family members. Previously known as Behind The Scenes UK, the charity changed its name to Backup in 2016.
Backup’s chairman, John Simpson, welcomed guests to The Hospital Club in London’s Covent Garden, which generously sponsored the event. He reiterated the purpose of the charity by highlighting some of its achievements to date. “We have helped a number of technicians and their families when they have suffered falls from sets and studio rigging, been involved in horrific vehicle accidents, suffered rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, mental breakdowns and other circumstances that have prevented them from earning a living for a period of time.”
Among those being helped by the charity is Mark Pritchard, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma while touring with Level 42, and has just undergone a fourth round of c


Long Reach Long Riders raise funds at USITT

Thursday, 16 March 2017

USA - The Long Reach Long Riders (LRLR) celebrated their upcoming ride through Southern California with a raffle and live auction to benefit Behind the Scenes during the USITT Conference in St. Louis last week.
Sales of raffle tickets, some key donations, and sales of BTS and LRLR-branded swag raised over $15,000 for the charity. The LRLR 2017 ride, dubbed the Avocado Adventure, starts on 16 June in Escondido, CA. The riders cover all their own expenses so everything they raise goes to the charity. Sponsor a rider today at
Festivities led off with the traditional kazoo parade led by Bill Sapsis and USITT executive director David Grindle and many of the LRLR. Following the parade, BTS Pledge-a-Product partners InCord (Orchestra Pit Safety Netting Systems) and ETC (irFR and aRFR application for iOS and Android devices) presented cheques from the sales of their products pledged to BTS.
Live auction items included a custom pen/screwdriver and a seam ripper created by Shan and Trish Ayers and two special ghostlight desk lamps created by Bob Scales.
Just a few minutes before the raffle started Bill Sapsis announced he would donate up to $1,000 to match the amount raised in last minute ticket sales. There was a flurry of activity as the crowd stepped up and made Bill pay out the full amount. Reid Neslage from H&H


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