UK - The popular PLASA Focus Leeds exhibition will return from 9 to 10 May to the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds. Free registration is now open for the show, which offers an unparalleled opportunity to discover the very latest technology for live events, installation, broadcast and AV, including the first UK opportunity to preview products from recent international launches.
Over 175 of the industry’s leading international brands will showcase their state of the art technology at the show, from lighting products from show sponsor Chauvet (stand P-20), to audio solutions from d&b audiotechnik (stand N-A24), Nexo (stand N-B02) and Sennheiser (stand R-B18), to rigging services from UK Rigging (stand R-C19), there promises to be something for everyone.
For those interested in developing their professional development, PLASA’s industry leading seminar programme will return to Leeds, with sessions focussed on topics affecting the audio, lighting, video and rigging sectors. The two-day programme will include a mixture of presentations, technical demonstrations and panel discussions, designed to help build industry knowledge and develop practical skills.
PLASA Focus Leeds is the only show in the North of England which delivers this combination of world-class brands and expert-led seminar sessions, coupled with the opportunity to develop business conne
USA - Rain, cold and hail weren’t what anyone had in mind when the 2017 edition of Total Structures’ Truss, Hoist, Rigging and Outdoor Structures workshop announced its January dates, but that is what everyone got. The school’s 26 attendees, representing 14 companies, did not let the weather get in the way of a great week of learning during the five-day programme.
Held at the company’s California headquarters from 23-27 January, this year’s workshop would cover five days of instruction and discussion covering topics ranging from the fundamentals of truss design and inspection to advanced rigging math calculations for rigging supervisors. In between, the course provided training on outdoor structure design, discussion of American National Standards developed for the entertainment industry, and hands on training with the full range of Pointman Electric Chain Hoists. As an ETCP recognised training course, attendees were able to obtain their maximum 30 educational credits towards their certificate renewals.
“In 2012 we held our first training programme focusing on outdoor structures and how truss and rigging design work within those systems. At the time, we thought we would do the school a few times over the next couple of years, and then change direction to cover other areas due to covering the subject. We really didn’t expect that we would conti
Europe - The SD9 is one of DiGiCo’s most compact, lightweight consoles, but with 96 channels and a full range of features, it is the perfect choice for Scott Humphries, Front of House engineer and production manager, and Rory Mulligan, monitor engineer, for British folk rock band Bear’s Den.
Supplied by SSE Audio, the two SD9s have spent five weeks touring with the band around Europe, starting in Scandinavia and taking in Germany, France, the UK, The Netherlands and finishing in Belgium. The choice of console was Scott’s, and both he and Rory couldn’t be more pleased with them.
“Scott suggested a complete DiGiCo system from the outset,” Rory explains. “I was all for that. I hadn’t worked with DiGiCo consoles for any meaningful length of time before, so I saw it as a good opportunity to learn. I knew they sounded great, which would be a big plus for our IEMs, and I love a good tactile surface, having started my career on analogue consoles.”
“I was very eager to switch over to a DiGiCo system as soon as touring consoles at both FOH and Monitors were viable,” adds Scott. “I wanted to put together a package that was small and trailer worthy, but could also manage a large amount of I/O as the channel list grew which, with Bear’s Den, is more often than not. Having SD9s with Stealth Core 2 was a perfect choice for this and the sheer
How does someone get started with their event designs? What software and what tools are available to help you create fabulous designs?
LSi has teamed up with Exertis Unlimited, the exclusive distributor of the Vectorworks software in the UK to run an informative morning where we will show how to make the most of event and exhibition designs.
USA - In a world where churches are popping up in spaces that once served as anything from a bank to a department store, First Baptist Church of Los Angeles is a throwback to an earlier time when houses of worship were built to be just that. Until recently, the audio system there was a throwback as well, until the congregation turned to CCI Solutions to design and install a new system centred on Kiva and X Series enclosures from L-Acoustics.
Built in 1927 and modelled on the Palace of Ducal in Italy, the historical landmark is reminiscent of a European cathedral - deep and narrow with soaring 60ft ceilings. And, in addition to services for a number of congregations, it regularly serves as a shooting location for films and TV shows. All of this created a unique audio challenge.
“It’s a cavernous space and really multi-use for a church,” says CCI Solutions’ Duke DeJong.” It is almost like a convention centre that the church owns and meets in. The main congregation doesn’t fill the auditorium, but they rent the space out to other larger congregations. So. when we took on the job, there were multiple sound systems cobbled together to cover the range of uses. The goal was to have one good, clean system that could handle anything they threw at it. And given the movie and TV uses, it had to be low profile. L-Acoustics’ Kiva fit the bill perfectly.
UK - UK-based international entertainment industry engineering design and safety specialists and consultants Blumano is expanding and restructuring its operation. The move brings the service of systems control in-house, with software and hardware expert Lluis Diaz-Guerra and his company Copinya into the Blumano organisation. It also coincides with a general Blumano rebranding and the launch of a streamlined new interactive website, www.blumano.com.
Blumano Ltd was founded in 2014 by production industry professionals Cristiano Giavedoni and Amedeo Guizzi to provide a range of specialist services, expertise and consultancy related to lifting, moving and load-bearing equipment for stages, set and scenic elements and other objects and areas of entertainment industry production. The diverse scope of their work reaches into all sectors, from concert touring to corporate and industrial events, encompassing theatre and television productions, festivals, large sporting fixtures and other special events.
The company has performed “phenomenally well” in its first two-and-a-half year period, working on a wide variety of projects across Europe, the US and Asia, with the turnover for ‘services’ alone exceeding all expectations. Blumano’s team explains that this prompted them to look to the future and see how to consolidate and move forward.
Blumano was alre
UK - Each year, the very best in television is recognised at the National Television Awards. Taking place in late January, the awards, which are voted for by the British public, honour television shows, actors and presenters in a range of categories. Producers Indigo TV bring together a variety of technical suppliers to support both the glamorous red carpet arrival space and the awards at The O2 in London, which are broadcast live on ITV.
Continuing a long-running relationship, PRG XL Video supplied both video and lighting technology for this year’s event. Video account manager Paul Wood has worked with Indigo TV’s Andy Bates for a number of years, and this year supplied the production team with the main LED backdrop made up of ROE Visual 7mm LED. The screen is used for all the main title logos, category information and video clips in the hall.
Playback footage was driven by two of PRG XL’s Catalyst media servers, with a PPU forming the link between the live camera footage and the four large IMAG screens located around the O2. These screens used 30k and 14k Barco projectors, and ensured the audience in the arena got a close-up view of the presenters and performers reactions as the awards were announced.
Paul Wood commented, “It’s great to work on the NTAs once again. Andy and the whole Indigo TV team put together a fantastic looking show each
Germany - Since the introduction of Allen & Heath’s dLive mixing systems, many of Germany’s top artists, including Nena, Xavier Naidoo, Joris, Brings and Van Canto have taken S Class systems on national and international tours.
"The launch of dLive S Class has been a complete success and we are supporting a lot of satisfied customers and users,” comments Markus Sinsel, Allen & Heath’s German brand manager. “The unique design of the user interface, the FX processing, and the easy integration with Waves and Dante are especially appealing to users.”
Singer songwriter, Joris, has toured with a dLive S5000 Surface and DM48 MixRack with Waves V2, and plans to use dLive on his 2017 tour. FOH engineer, Daniel Lauer, says, "I use the integrated audio matrix switcher. This feature, and the possibility to integrate Dante, Waves and MADI, is perfect for Joris. Also, recording, the broadcast connections and the communication with the OB-vans all run through dLive."
Cologne band, Brings, toured with dLive including a final stadium gig before 50,000 spectators. For this gig, two S7000 Surfaces with DM64 MixRacks and DX32 Expander were used. There was a monitor split via Dante to a GLD-80 mixer, and a feed to the OB van was supplied via MADI.
"dLive sounds stunning, and the design of the surface is perfect and easy to use. I always have the
USA - NBC’s World of Dance is currently in production for a 10-episode rollout this spring. Tasked with painting the stage for The Biggest Dance Competition in the World, lighting designer Oscar Dominguez of Darkfire Lighting Design brought his signature kinetic energy and a palette that included 24 Solaris Flare Q+ LR linear fixtures.
“I’m in love with these new Flare LRs,” says Oscar, “they’re a versatile, violent, shootable weapon! Brighter than the original Flare (which says a lot!), we put a few fixtures in the aisles and the rest in the air. They’re the ultimate in accent lighting, as a wash, strobe, or blinder, and pixel-mapped for special effects.
“The technology of these Solaris fixtures never ceases to amaze me: they keep outdoing themselves, improving on perfection. They’re very nicely designed and of the highest quality. They will always be a part of my arsenal.”
The new Flare Q+ LR was first seen on Dominguez’s hit show, The Voice and his special, New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly.
World of Dance is produced for NBC by Universal Television Alternative Studios and Jennifer Lopez's Nuyorican Productions.
UK – Triple E, the exclusive European distributor of the ‘universal construction system’ ModTruss, is showcasing the award-winning product at this year’s Event Production Show in London. The company will exhibit the lightweight aluminium truss system, which offers practically limitless configurations and applications, on Stand F58E at London’s Olympia on 1-2 March.
Often described as 'full-size Meccano' by its users, ModTruss won Engineering Product of the Year at the ABTT Theatre Awards in 2015. It has been gaining prominence in the UK and European markets after being exclusively distributed by Triple E.
ModTruss was once again utilised at the SuperBowl, this time at the SuperBowl LI in Houston in February, where it was used to build 12 structures throughout the SuperBowl City, Practice Facility and inside the NRG Stadium.
In Europe, it has already been the choice product in many prestigious locations, most notably at the Royal Opera House in London and Deutsche Oper in Berlin.
“ModTruss is gaining momentum in the event world and our ability to build pop-up theatres and structures makes our presence at the Event Production Show essential,” says Triple E’s managing director, David Edelstein. "The industry has become increasingly excited about the possibilities of ModTruss. Its power to truly change the way we approach set building
Singapore - Over 400 Robe moving lights boosted the magic and spectacle of the 45th Singapore Chingay Parade to celebrate Chinese New Year – The Year of the Rooster.
Javier Tan’s colourful high-impact lighting design matched the glamour, glitz and exuberance of the high profile public event, featuring an ebullient cast of 8000, creatively directed by Fan Dong Kai and staged at the F1 Pit Building in the city centre.
The glittering show was organized by the People’s Association (PA). It celebrated the diversity and multi-cultural nature of the nation’s population and was watched live by President, Dr. Tony Tan, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, plus assorted political, dignitaries and VIPs together with approximately 200,000 excited members of the public over two nights. It was also recorded for broadcast.
Javier is one of the region’s top lighting designers and a big Robe advocate. He has lit Chingay before on the same site in 2013, so he knew in the early planning stages that the most powerful lightsources available were needed, so he chose Robe’s BMFLs.
To help wash the parade route and the six massive grandstands which accommodated 30,000 spectators, he specified 216 x BMFL Blades, 56 x BMFL WashBeams and 112 x Robe ColorStrobes.
Additional wash lighting was provided by 56 x Robe LEDWash 600s, with all the event’s lighting and
UK - Britannia Row Productions Training is running its core 12-week Live Sound Technology Course (LSTC) from early April. The 2017 course will be primarily delivered from South Thames College in Wandsworth, with some sessions being held at Britannia Row’s main headquarters in Twickenham and others on-site at Britannia Row shows. The tutors delivering the course will, as usual, be Britannia Row staff and freelance engineers and technicians.
Britannia Row Productions Training’s managing director Mike Lowe said: ‘We have missed running the popular LSTC. Last year we ran six 16-week part-time courses, held on Saturdays and Sundays at Twickenham, as well as bespoke courses tailored to the specific needs of companies in the industry who send their employees to us for training but just did not have the physical space to run the LSTC. Unfortunately, we were unable to run the 12-week full-time Live Sound Technology Course in 2016 due to lack of appropriate accommodation.
“We have come to an arrangement with South Thames College, our partners for our 3-year BSc Hons Degree Course in Live Sound Production, to predominantly use their Wandsworth Campus to run LSTC this spring. The facilities at Wandsworth Campus include a dedicated training room for the course, lecture theatres, a theatre, a sports hall and several recording studios and rehearsal spaces. The col
Poland - Alcons has appointed Aplauz Sp. Ltd as its distributor for general products in Poland. Located in Łomianki, near Warsaw, Aplauz was established in 2003 and has grown to become one of Poland’s most renowned suppliers of professional audio solutions.
“We became aware of Alcons five or six years ago,” says Aplauz president and managing director Grzegorz Fotek. “We have watched as they have risen to the top of the industry, as people recognise that their pro-ribbon technology delivers the very best possible sound. Alcons is now one of the world’s leading audio manufacturers and everyone we speak to who listens to their technology is always very impressed.”
Last year, Aplauz and Alcons collaborated on a project that included a shoot-out between a large number of the leading loudspeaker brands, which really put Alcons on the map in the Polish market. This was followed by an event in Łódź which was the first official presentation of Alcons in Poland. It included a presentation by Alcons co-founder Tom Back on the background to the company’s pro-ribbon technology, with demonstrations of a nine cabinet per side LR18 system with BQ211 subs. The company’s VR series point source systems and QR series line-source solutions were also demonstrated.
“It generated a lot of positive comments,” says Tom. “All of the attendees were unani
UK - Using ground-breaking LED technology from SGM, an interactive light commission entitled IN LIGHT: Illuminating Capability Brown’s Landscape, was created by light artist Laurent Louyer from Creatmosphere.
In November 2016, various celebratory events took place in 120 different parks and sites all across the UK. This was to mark the 300th anniversary of renowned British Landscape Architect, Capability Brown, an historically important figure known as “England’s greatest gardener”. Many of his more than 170 park designs still exist today. Amongst these is Compton Verney, which also houses an independent national art gallery.
Compton Verney celebrated Capability’s legacy and brought it to life through a light ‘spectacular’. Compton Verney’s curator, Penelope Sexton, had the idea to create an event outside on the grounds using light as a medium. She got in touch with Laurent Louyer and asked him to carry out the job. Louyer said about the assignment:
“I had the simple brief to ‘respond to the Capability Brown’s landscape’. So basically, I had creative carte blanche - which is a dream come true as an artist. I found the trees, water and architectural elements to be the crucial cornerstones of the garden, so I put them in focus. My aim was to get people to play and engage, but also to educate them about the lan
UK - The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle has delighted generations of readers since it was first published in 1969, selling more than 43m copies worldwide. Now, the timeless classic is making its way off the page and onto the stage in a critically-acclaimed production which brings together Carle’s legendary stories through the use of puppetry. Currently embarking on a tour across the UK, White Light has been called upon to provide the lighting equipment.
Produced by MEI Theatrical Ltd, The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been adapted by Jonathan Rockefeller and consists of four classic Carle stories: The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Mister Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Ros Spiers-King, dream manager at MEI, comments, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a brilliant show that manages to encapsulate the magic of Carle’s novels and bring this alive from the page. Many of our young audience have heard the books being read but have never seen what these would like look animated; which is exactly what the show provides.”
The books are re-imagined through the use of more than 75 puppets and a hard-working cast of four. Ros adds, “As this is a children’s show, it is extremely busy with lots happening at a very rapid rate. Alongside the cast and props, we rely heav
USA -. Austin, Texas duo Tritonal can lay down thundering dance tracks with the best of them, but then with the figurative snap of the fingers, they can just as easily slide into more melodic, feathery and peaceful piano-driven songs. Keeping pace with Tritonal’s winding musical journey at a stop on the group’s aptly named Painting With Dreams Tour is a multi-faceted lightshow created by Brett Angstadt of Round Peg Productions that features a collection of LED fixtures from Chauvet Professional.
Tritonal’s lighting designer Aaron Kovelman of The Hauss Collective brought Angstadt on board to handle lighting for the tour. When the tour stopped at the legendary Echo Stage, the largest dedicated concert venue in Washington DC, Angstadt used Nexus panels to fill out the look of the stage.
“Our standard floor package had video fronts on the truss towers, but at Echo Stage they had these big house video towers,” he said. “So instead of leaving our truss towers blank, I added the Nexus panels to them, which allowed me to create some very cool pixel mapped looks. Pixel mapping was important to this show, because it added a level of variety and depth that the music deserved,” said Angstadt. “I used the pixel mapping functions on my Avolites console for the Nexus panels and for dimmer effects on the STRKE 4s.”
He used six truss towers, each of wh
USA - Sensaphonics has presented Toni Sheree of Los Angeles with a new 3D-U AARO in-ear monitor system valued at $1500. As a purchaser of Musicians Earplugs during the NAMM show, she was entered in the end-of-show drawing, and her entry came up as the winner.
Sheree is vocalist for the LA-based electro-funk duo, Toni & Ash, and can’t wait to get her hands on the new 3D-U AARO. “I was so excited to hear from Sensaphonics that I won,” she exclaimed. “We just released a record, OK Cool, and I can't wait to use my new in-ears in our show. Ambient sound in an in-ear is going to be amazing! Thank you, Sensaphonics.”
The 3D-U AARO is billed as the world’s first universal-fit Active Ambient IEM system. Sensaphonics performed a constant stream of live demos during the NAMM show, showing how 3D AARO provides full access to ambient sound on stage through it embedded binaural microphone system – with both earphones securely in place.
“Sensaphonics had a fantastic NAMM Show, with lots of interest and orders for the new 3D-U AARO,” said Sensaphonics president, Dr. Michael Santucci. “We’re thrilled that our end-of-show giveaway went to a performing artist like Toni Sheree, who will reap the benefits of Active Ambient technology both on stage and in the studio.”
Canada - The Hershey Centre is a multi-purpose sports and entertainment complex located in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Home to the Ontario Hockey League's Mississauga Steelheads and the NBA Development League's Raptors 905, the facility also hosts a wide variety of events, ranging from live music and internationally-televised figure skating championships to boxing and indoor rodeos.
In response to guest feedback on its nearly two-decade old distributed sound system and concerns that it might fail during an event, an extensive upgrade brought "major-league" sound to the Hershey Centre.
Design specialist Dave Clark crafted a sound system based on Fulcrum Acoustic CX1265 12 inch coaxial speaker clusters. Sixteen double CX1265 clusters hang above the playing surface perimeter to cover the arena's upper and lower bowl, with additional clusters deployed into each of the low-roofed end zones to avoid obstructing scoreboard sightlines.
Two "blue line" clusters of four stacked Fulcrum Sub115 15 inch subwoofers ringed with four CX1265s provide steered low frequency support and playing surface coverage. Four compact GX1226 12 inch coaxial speakers can also be raised into the hallow scoreboard for world-class figure skating competitions in which musical timing and imaging are crucial, as well as for other centre stage events such as concerts and boxing.
USA - Japanese alt-rock back One OK Rock recently wrapped a January run in North America promoting their new album Ambitions with a lighting package provided by Bandit Lites and designed by Jesse Henke.
The band, comprised of Takahiro Moriuchi, Toru Yamashita, Ryota Kohama and Tomoya Kanki are known for their stellar vocals, energetic performances and diehard fans who turn out in incredible numbers.
With a blank slate to design with (except for direction regarding incorporating logo scrims) Henke created a dynamic floor package with six towers across the stage with six T pipe down riggers flown from existing house trusses.
“I wanted the relatively small amount of gear to look big, so I spread it out evenly across the stage vertically and horizontally,” explained Henke. “I went with horizontal lines of fixtures at multiple levels.”
Bandit Lites supplied Martin MAC Auras, used for key light and general wash, Elation ACL 360 Bars, utilized for effects and movements, along with ShowLine Nitros for punch, in addition to accenting certain hits, strobe effects and to augment the stage wash.
Henke shared the only challenge was arranging the 50+ fixtures into half a trailer each evening, saying, “The load in and everything about the show was fairly straightforward. I did pre-viz at home, programmed a lot of the show beforehand, and
UK - Since opening its doors in 1980, Nottingham’s 2,500-capacity Rock City has showcased some of biggest names in alternative music. Last year, the iconic club won its 10th consecutive Kerrang! Award as Venue of the Year. Coincidentally, the club decided to upgrade its lighting system. To accomplish this, its lighting technician Mark Merry specified an array of Chauvet Professional fixtures, including 24 PVP S5 LED panels, 12 Rogue RH1 Hybrid moving heads, and eight COLORdash Batten-Quad 6 LED strips.
“The decision to install the selection of Chauvet fixtures was an extremely pragmatic one,” explained Merry. “As we required a completely new visual package for both live performances for touring bands and regular weekly club nights, we needed a versatile selection of high performing fixtures which could adapt to a whole manner of different musical environments. The fixtures we selected fit the bill for both functions.”
Forming a central focal point for live performances and club nights, the array of PVP S5 panels fixed to standing upright truss provide visiting bands and LDs with the opportunity to stream graphics or video feed behind the bands. “The PVP panels have incredibly sharp resolution,” commented Merry. “Even for the dedicated fans at the front of the stage, visuals are pin sharp, thanks to the low pixel pitch.”
UK - The National Rigging Advisory Group (NRAG), the pan industry body concerned with promoting rigging safety in events, has announced its endorsement of the cross-association campaign to raise awareness of the risks involved when working at height, and promote safe practice.
Mark Surtees, managing director of Outback Rigging and chair of NRAG, explained the group’s decision to support the initiative, “Our members, representing almost every sector of the British events industry, are keenly aware of the risks when working at height and wholeheartedly support the aims of the Stop the Drop campaign.
“We recognise that a greater understanding of the issues surrounding working at height, amongst all stakeholders within the fast-paced events industry, will help to strengthen and deepen the safety culture already in evidence and improve safety through direct behaviour change and raised awareness.”
Launched in 2016 by the Association of Event Venues (AEV), the Association of Event Organisers (AEO) and the Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA), the Stop the Drop campaign is aimed at all stakeholders involved in the events industry, including the many riggers that work on exhibitions and events.