Europe - As of 1 July 2023, QSC will take over direct distribution for all QSC Pro Audio portfolio in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. This approach will give QSC Pro Audio customers “unrivalled access and support” from the recently opened European Service Centre in the QSC Netherlands office, says the company.
Algam will remain responsible for the distribution of QSC Pro Audio in France and the Nordics. “We would like to thank Algam for their support in distributing the QSC Pro Audio portfolio in Benelux and look forward to our continued partnership in France (including Maghreb) and the Nordics,” says Perry Celia, vice president, global sales and service, QSC Pro Audio.
Canada - AVL Media Groupand Wharfedale Pro have extended their distribution agreement to now include Canada. The change is with immediate effect.
The agreement, which was previously exclusive to the USA, now makes AVL Media Group the authorised distributor for Wharfedale Pro products throughout North America. As a result of this expansion, customers in Canada will now benefit from improved technical support, training, and product availability.
The AVL and Wharfedale Pro teams will showcase their latest offerings at the upcoming InfoComm Show in Orlando, Florida from 14-16 June.
UK - Through a mix of live performances and puppetry, The Peter Rabbit Easter Adventure is an immersive theatrical experience that brings to life the stories and characters of Beatrix Potter.
Taking place at London’s Covent Garden, audiences are transported back in time as they help Beatrix herself rescue Jemima Paddle-Duck from the clutches of Mr McGregor, with the help of Benjamin Bunny and Peter Rabbit. The show features a lighting design by Sean Gleason who approached White Light (WL) to supply his lighting equipment.
When it came to lighting the show, Sean comments: “My role on The Peter Rabbit Easter Adventure was mainly to bring found and adapted spaces to life, help set the scene, as well as bring focus to certain moments. The play has a mix of actors interacting with puppets and puppeteers so light needed to play a large role in not only creating magical settings but also helping to distract and hide what we didn’t want the audience to see.”
As this show was set in Covent Garden as opposed to a more traditional theatre space, did this change Sean’s approach to the project? He explains: “My creative approach was pretty much the same. The play had previously been set at Blenheim Palace so the framework to the design was already in place, but the location and settings on this occasion were completely different and this obviously influenced my process.
“For this latest version, the full creative team, including our writer Callum Finlay, were all back in the room, which resulted in the piece continuously evolvin
UK - This year, Black Skull Creative, in collaboration with its sister company Black Skull Studio and Marvin Dietmann, was entrusted with the task of creating nine distinct country performances for this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool.
From content design and choreography to production design and stage direction, Black Skull Creative covered all aspects of creative direction and production from ideation to completion.
"As the co-creative director of nine Eurovision countries, overseeing such a massive task was undeniably challenging,” says Ross Nicholson of Black Skull Creative. “However, it was also an immensely rewarding experience. Eurovision provided a platform for untapped creativity and we, at Black Skull Creative, seized that opportunity to infuse our creatives with a sense of boundless imagination and fun.
“The Eurovision stage became a canvas on which we could push artistic boundaries, connect with our audiences across the globe and celebrate the sheer power of music and performance.”
In addition to this, Dan Shipton - one of the co-founders of Black Skull Creative - undertook the enormous role of creatively directing the main show of Eurovision Song Contest 2023. Shipton was tasked with creating a rich and authentic blend of British and Ukrainian culture.
"I was truly honoured to be appointed as lead creative director for Eurovision 2023 by BBC Studios," said Shipton. "Our aim was to create a show that celebrates the rich heritage of both British and Ukrainian cultures. Through a seamless marriage of artis
ALC NetworX, developer of the Ravenna Audio-over-IP technology has welcomed Peavey to the Ravenna community. Under its Commercial Audio brand, Peavey offers an entire range of products from the microphone to the loudspeaker, and every link in the signal chain in between.
Under the Ravenna partnership, Peavey has developed sNET - a single IP-based network infrastructure technology which will work at the core of their future MediaMatrix products. sNET is based on Ravenna, the broadcast industry’s de facto AoIP standard, featuring low latency, fully synchronised signal transparency and highest reliability - all while ensuring broad interoperability through its compatibility with AES67 and SMPTE ST 2110 standards.
According to Peavey Commercial Audio general manager, Shayne Thomas, joining the Ravenna community was a natural move. “Adopting Ravenna is part of our vision and roadmap to remain on the cutting edge of real-time network audio streaming ensuring the highest level of lossless audio quality within MediaMatrix and Crest Audio products,” he remarks. “With a proven track record of near on 30 years and industry-wide recognition as a pioneer in the development of cutting-edge digital signal processing technologies it is only fitting that we integrate Ravenna as part of the supported audio protocols in conjunction with MediaMatrix sNET - AES67 audio streaming, control and monitoring over Ethernet.”
Andreas Hildebrand, Ravenna evangelist at ALC NetworX, comments: “Peavey, with its Commercial Audio branch, is a world-leading manufacturer of netw
USA - Lynn Ahrens-Stephen Flaherty’s musical comedy Seussical, based on the works of the famed Dr. Seuss, is filled with an abundance of exuberant characters, from Yertle the Turtle and Gertrude McFuzz, to Sour Kangaroo and the Wickersham Brothers, The Cat in the Hat, and The Grinch.
Lighting such colourful characters is fun! Ask Christopher Robin, who used layered effects and a variety of light angles to bring them and their imaginative costumes to life at a recent West Hempfield High School production of the play.
“This was just a really enjoyable experience,” said Robin. “The costumes were magnificent, and the set was beautifully painted. Within the set itself, the whole spectrum of colour was used. The giant story book on stage gave me free reign to use any colour to capture the palette on the pages of Dr. Seuss’s many children books.”
Helping Robin create this colour-scape was a collection of Chauvet Professional fixtures that included 10 COLORado 72 Battens and four Maverick Storm 1 Wash units.
Robin originally wanted to place his RGBWA strip lights near the Cyc, but limited pipes and positions for rear projections, which created by Jesse Madden, made it necessary for him to locate the fixtures on a pipe about five-feet downstage from the Cyc.
“This wasn’t ideal, and I was nervous of how they were going to play, but I was pleasantly surprised,” said Robbins. “I actually was able to use the COLORados as face lights and lighting the Cyc, which was actually Dr. Seuss’s Story Book painted upstage. The behav
USA - Las Vegas-based Show & Design Group (SDG) has made its first investment in Ayrton lighting fixtures with the purchase of 24 Diablo S units. ACT Entertainment is the exclusive distributor of Ayrton products in North America.
SDG offers live event production and lighting rentals; a complete trucking division, SDG Logistics, Inc., is targeted at expedited entertainment logistics.
“The purchase of 24 Diablo S fixtures is our introduction to Ayrton, although we have been aware of the brand since they launched MagicPanels,” says project manager, Lew Aronoff. “Our core business is trade shows and corporate theatre, and we’ve seen Diablos become very prevalent in the cross-rental market. Our B2B partners run short of 20K lumen fixtures on a regular basis, so we decided to invest in Diablos since we needed more fixtures of that size. Their size and weight-to-output ratio really attracted us to the unit.”
Ayrton Diablo is a compact, versatile and feature-rich 300W profile luminaire. Featuring an output of 19,000 lumens, framing shutters, rotating gobos and an iris, the Diablo is remarkably lightweight at just 48 pounds.
“We expect our acquisition of Diablos will open us up to more live entertainment work, as well,” says Aronoff. “The current plan is to add about 100 Diablos to our inventory within the year. As we get into more markets that specify the use of particular fixtures we’re also considering adding Ayrton Perseo Beams, Huracans and the new laser-source Cobras.”
Aronoff expects SDG’s Diablos to make their d
Germany - Robe will be exhibiting at the two and a half-day 2023 Showtech entertainment expo next week, staged in Halls 1 and 3 at Station in Berlin, at the heart of the German capital adjacent to the Potsdamer Platz.
Robe has participated in the predecessors of this event and was delighted when the DTHG (German Theatre Technical Society) decided to stage it again, this time as an independent organiser. The company’s German subsidiary immediately secured a premium spot with stand 1.19. A selection of the latest technologies will be showcased, focussing on the T Series products, like the recent TX1 PosiProfile and T11 series, plus the popular T and T2 series’ and manual and remote follow spot systems, together with others suited to stage and performance applications.
“With the focus on theatre and performance lighting and production, we expect a very high quality of attendees from all over Europe,” commented Robe Germany’s marketing manager Julian von den Stemmen. “This also allows us to tailor our booth to the interests of the visitors, not only in showing products, but offering an on-site live workshop experience with international theatre lighting designer Andy Webb, who presents his perspective on using Robe Lighting’s numerous solutions.”
USA - Fulcrum Acoustic has announced the appointment of Val Gilbert as director of business development for export. The strategic appointment comes as the company focuses on expanding its global market share. In this newly created role, Gilbert will strengthen Fulcrum Acoustic's export business and establish new distribution and dealer relationships worldwide.
Gilbert brings considerable industry experience to Fulcrum Acoustic. Previously, he served on Allen & Heath's technical sales and marketing team and in engineering support at Nexo.
Todd Foster, vice president of sales at Fulcrum Acoustic, comments: "We are excited to welcome Val to Fulcrum Acoustic. His technical experience in the audio industry makes him a good fit to lead our international expansion efforts. With Val on board, we anticipate exciting growth opportunities as he develops new partnerships globally."
Gilbert adds, "This is an exciting time for the company as it expands its international sales and market presence. I’m eager to support Fulcrum Acoustic's growth and drive the brand's global success. I look forward to creating new partnerships and strengthening existing relationships."
Val Gilbert will be on-site at Fulcrum Acoustic booth 5160 and demo room W224D during InfoComm 2023 in Orlando.
UK - 3LR Design has announced the addition of consultant Ziggy Jacobs to the team.
"No challenge is too large for Ziggy," says Josh Allen, global director of design for 3LR. "Designer, trainer, programmer, lecturer - Ziggy does it all. Her extensive experience on a global scale, along with her keen eye for detail and unwavering commitment to excellence, make Ziggy a perfect fit for our team.”
“Her CV includes technical systems in hundreds of installations around the world, and she has been an ETC certified and trained programmer and commissioning technician since 2008.”
Based in London, Ziggy will be instrumental in developing systems designs and bespoke training programmes, ensuring that systems programming requirements which 3LR has specified are met during the construction administration and commissioning phase to close out successful projects. Her credits include a broad range of work - programming West End productions, The British National Opera, The English National Ballet, BT Sport, Royal Albert Hall, Formula One racing, Theatre Royal Bath, Netherlands Opera, British Fashion Awards, Cairo Opera, lighting and programming for the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and much more.
Columbia - Martin Audio has announced the appointment of Avcom Colombia as its new distributor for that territory. Negotiations with CEO, Camilo Aranguren, first began with Martin Audio - along with sister company Optimal Audio -at the ISE Show in Barcelona at the beginning of this year.
“We were already a partner of [Martin Audio parent company] Focusrite in Colombia, and know the technical advances Martin Audio has made,” stated Mr. Aranguren. “We have a strong position in the entertainment technology industry and knew the brand would be a perfect addition to our distribution portfolio."
The Avcom CEO comments: “Martin Audio is a ‘green field’ as far as Colombia is concerned. The brand is known but the opportunity to develop it is huge. The business model is beneficial for both parties.”
In particular, he predicts Wavefront Precision optimised line arrays, as well as the Torus family, will be subject to most interest and sees immediate synergies with other brands the company represents, particularly Avid, Robe, MDG and Luminex.
In terms of priorities, the rental and installation sectors will assume equal focus. “Rental has great potential over the next 12 months, and the Martin Audio offering is strong. For the installation market houses of worship, live venues and theatres will be our primary targets.” Ancillary marketing into the corporate and education markets will be handled by Avcom Colombia’s Enterprise team.
The organisation is already in the process of certification training for its techs and sound engineer
UAE - Expanding its reach into the Middle East, Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) has announced GSL Professional as its newest distributor in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region as well as Egypt.
“We are thrilled about our partnership with EAW,” says Fouad Fowzi, CEO of GSL Professional. “EAW's combination of innovative design, strong customer relationships, ongoing product development and commitment to quality and performance will be key to its success in this highly competitive market. Together, we will continue to deliver exceptional sound solutions to our clients in the GCC region and Egypt.”
Further investing in EAW’s regional customers, GSL offers a dedicated service centre located in Dubai to support clients and ensure a satisfactory after-sales experience. The centre handles a variety of maintenance, repair and support services. Additional support can be found through GSL’s product specialists, who offer on-site assistance that stems from a thorough knowledge of EAW and extensive industry experience.
“Welcoming GSL Professional as our newest distributor is an exciting venture for EAW,” says T.J. Smith, president of EAW. “GSL provides only the highest level of technical, marketing, service and sales support, for both consultants and integrators, as well as venue operators, engineers, end-users and more. We look forward to creating a strong and enduring partnership that will bring more opportunity to our GCC-region customers.”
UK - SLX has announced that applications are now open for its 2023/24 Lighting Programme. SLX’s Lighting Programme exists to nurture creativity, drive collaboration, build connections and break down the barriers that prevent new talent from entering into the industry.
Built upon SLX’s Student Bursary scheme, this programme provides hands-on training, exclusive workshops delivered by leading manufacturers and exposure to on-site client projects with industry professionals. Now in its fourth year, the Lighting Programme provides students with an even deeper understanding of the technical aspects around event lighting, production and operations.
As part of the programme, students also gain access to a like-minded community of professionals comprising this year's cohorts, and also established specialists from within the industry. With networking set as a key pillar of the programme, students will be able to take full advantage of SLX's extensive industry connections, opening doors to potential placements and freelance opportunities; thus, providing students with an even richer learning experience whilst setting the stage for long-term professional success and growth.
Led under the guidance of SLX business development manager, Ruari Cormack, and dry hire manager, Katy Lowe, students will have the opportunity to work alongside SLX's experienced and knowledgeable team of professionals, who will provide guidance and support throughout the programme and into the start of their careers.
“We are extremely delighted to announce that our 2023 Light
Australia - Located in Chippendale’s Central Park Mall, Fortress Sydney is a gamer’s haven. The expansive new site now holds the title of largest esports complex in the Southern Hemisphere, drawing crowds as a modern entertainment mecca. Housing a slew of colourful arcades, streaming booths, a themed tavern, sci-fi inspired bar, PC LAN lounge and a colossal custom-designed esports arena, Fortress Sydney has been designed from the ground up as the unparalleled capitol of the city’s gaming community.
Sponsored by high-end PC gaming titan Alienware, Fortress is by nature, a hub for the tech-savvy. Packed with a myriad of elite gaming PCs, peripherals and addressable lighting, the word ‘performance’ was on the lips of every supplier involved in the project. Faced with providing a loudspeaker solution befitting of such a technological pedigree, The Avit Group selected Nexo’s P15 point source system for the Alienware Arena.
The Avit Group’s operations manager, Adrian Davis, outlines Avit’s role in realising the venue’s grand vision: “For the Fortress esports project, we were given the brief to create a dynamic, immersive, and technologically advanced AV system, which sits somewhere between an entertainment venue and a broadcast studio.
“The vision was to set a new benchmark for esports venues not only in Australia but across the globe. It was essential to provide seamless and high-quality audio experiences that would engage audiences, whether they were on-site or connecting digitally. Our goal was to ensure that the AV infrastructure
Italy - Following his success in the United States and Europe, Diodato, winner of the Sanremo Festival 2020, returns to Italy for a tour that will take him around Italian clubs for the whole of summer 2023. The singer-songwriter has already performed in famous clubs in Turin, Milan, Padua and Bologna, where his new single If You Want Me, the soundtrack to Diabolik - Ginko all'attack! was hugely successful.
The performances were illuminated by lighting designer Andrea ‘Bobo’ Amadei, who opted for 10 Ayrton Diablo S fixtures, six of which were positioned on vertical trusses as backlight and four positioned on the musicians' platforms.
“After a very interesting meeting in Molpass I was struck by Diablo’s optics and its internal effects and I decided to use them for the first time,” says Amadei.
“The concept of the tour was an imaginary garden with seven LED panels on stage carrying images of flowers. The Ayrton Diablo S had the ability, thanks to the internal effects and the great brightness, to make everything magical. Being positioned essentially against the light, they managed to create a great contrast to the LED panels, while two Diablo delivered light and effects to the artist in his central position.
“The moment of greatest effect was that of the acoustic solo, in which I envisaged the use of all the Diablos against the light with the aid of gobos and a prism with slow rotations. Thanks to the optics and the CMY system I was able to create colours that I’ve been unable to obtain in the past and I will certainl
Australia - Taking place from mid-February to early March, WorldPride is a global LGBTQIA+ festival that has been staged since 2000, with cities vying to be chosen as the host. Licensed by InterPride, this year's WorldPride took place in Sydney, making it the first-ever host city in the Southern Hemisphere.
The event showcased more than 200 celebrations of queerness and diversity on the world stage, which included the popular Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) events. A range of other festival events were also on offer including arts, sports, theatre, concerts, parties, and First Nations programming.
Notable performers such as Kylie Minogue, Kelly Rowland, MUNA, and Charli XCX graced the stage. Novatech Creative Event Technology, one of Australia's leading audio-visual production companies, supported the festival by providing an LED screen setup that was powered by Brompton LED processing.
“We were elated to receive an invitation from SUBVRT to be involved with the production of three of WorldPride's major events in Sydney,” says Novatech’s tech lead, Nik Carr. “Given the worldwide recognition of WorldPride as one of the largest LGBTQIA+ festivals, this was an extraordinary opportunity for us. Furthermore, the festival's first-ever southern hemisphere iteration added to our excitement, making it an honour to support such significant event on our home turf.”
The Novatech team played a pivotal role in three flagship events held at the Domain in Sydney: the Sydney WorldPride Opening Concert; the Domain Dance Party; and the Closi
UK - Tim Routledge, lighting designer for Eurovision Song Contest 2023, utilised a large complement of 194 x Claypaky Sharpy-X-Frames, 126 x Scenius Unicos, 40 x Hy B-EYE K25s, 12 x Sharpy Plus Aqua and 12 x ReflectXions to illuminate the set, whose embracing design had special significance this year.
The ESC took place in Liverpool after Ukraine, the winner of the 2022 contest, was unable to meet the demands of hosting the 2023 event. The three live shows, two semi-finals and the grand finale, were presented by British and Ukrainian hosts and featured 37 participating countries.
The stage design by New York set designer Julio Himede was based on “the principles of togetherness, celebration and community”, a sentiment with poignancy considering international solidarity with Ukraine. The stage was 450 sq.m and featured 220sq.m of independently rotating LED screens and more than 700 LED floor tiles.
"The X-Frames were used in the main architectural look of the show - the huge scenic arms designed by Julio Himede that extended out into the audience as a ‘hug’ to the world,” explains Tim Routledge. “This was one of my most important lighting positions to give the show dynamic and mind-bending architectures of light and extend the look of the show right down the arena in a volume of light beams. From tight beam curved architectures to the most stunning rainbow look for a major part of the show, the X Frames gave us a bold and colorful punch."
A completely hybrid, multi-function fixture, the Sharpy-X-Frame delivers beam effects and act
USA - The ESTA Control Protocols Plugfest, the event where manufacturers and developers test their lighting products for interoperability, is scheduled to take place from 5-8 October 2023 at the Marriott Dallas/Fort Worth in Westlake, Texas. This is the 19th instance of this informal testing laboratory. Attendance is free for both ESTA members and non-members.
In response to feedback from last year’s event, the Control Protocols Working Group (CPWG) and Plugfest organisers have announced that Plugfest 2023 will expand from three days to four days. The CPWG’s task group meeting schedule now provides additional time for evening Plugfest activities.
ESTA’s Plugfest is an opportunity to connect your lighting products with those of other manufacturers to test and resolve compatibility challenges. Attendees from around the world bring controllers, intelligent lights, control protocol analysers, and other network-connected components to improve their product experiences.
An informal kick-off presentation will be given each morning at 9am. First-time attendees are especially encouraged to attend this orientation event. Event Information is available at http://tsp.esta.org/tsp/news/plugfest.html
USA - Last fall, Darkroom Creative enlisted Elation Smarty Hybrid moving heads on Walker Hayes' Glad You’re Here Tour as a multifunctional workhorse on the country star’s first headlining arena tour. Currently out on his follow-up Duck Buck Tour, the design firm has again turned to the compact moving head as the only hard-edged fixture in the rig.
“It met all the needs and continues to carry far more of a workload than you think a fixture of that size could accomplish,” stated Seth Jackson, partner at Darkroom Creative, of the CMY colour-mixing hybrid moving head. Darkroom Creative is again handling lighting design, set design, video production and content for the 2023 outing with lighting supply by Bandit Lites.
Limited in both crew and truck space on last fall’s tour, the set and lighting rig for Glad You’re Here was understandably restricted. Now, however, it was “time to do a show”. Following consultation with management, Seth says it was clear that they didn’t want to limit themselves to a single environment. “This time it had to keep evolving.”
Duck Buck includes much more production, including multiple screen surfaces and an upgraded lighting approach that brings the audience completely into the show. Nate Alves, Seth’s partner at Darkroom Creative, was tasked with creating a different 3D visual environment for each song, including moment-to-moment changes to I-Mag, “to keep things moving and present a much larger stage picture than was actually there.”
Seth and Nate enhanced the rig to add impactful effec
Europe - Shure has announced the launch of the Microflex Advance MXA902 Integrated Conferencing Ceiling Array - billed as the world’s first conferencing ceiling array microphone with integrated loudspeaker and IntelliMix DSP for small and medium-size meeting rooms.
Since 2016, Shure’s Microflex Advance ceiling, wall and table array microphones have been chosen for AV conferencing applications. Following the launch of the MXA920 Ceiling Array Microphone in 2022, Shure is extending its Microflex Ecosystem portfolio with a new audio solution for meeting rooms that delivers microphone, loudspeaker, and DSP technology in one device.
The MXA902 is a complete ceiling-mounted audio solution for AV conferencing, designed for delivering premium audio capture and reproduction with minimal setup required. Onboard IntelliMix DSP applies automatic mixing, echo cancellation, noise reduction, and automatic gain control for a pristine audio mix.
“Most conference rooms and meeting spaces no longer address the needs of modern-day professionals,” said Evan Groom, conferencing product Manager, at Shure. “Employees are more discerning than ever - opting to meet in spaces that best support hybrid collaboration with in-office technology that is both flexible and effective. We’ve recognised the depth of our customers’ needs with the MXA902 as a solution that delivers the best audio capture and reproduction technology for all users in the room.
“With the microphone, loudspeaker, and DSP all in one device, the MXA902 helps improve the overall room desig
Argentina - AV equipment supplier Macaio Argentina provided rental company Buenos Aires Live Show (BALS) with 42 Claypaky Scenius Unico and 48 Claypaky Sharpy Plus, which were deployed at the Masters of Rock 2023 heavy metal music festival held at Parque Roca in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 28 April.
Masters of Rock was headlined by KISS, Deep Purple, Scorpions and Helloween, with local act Horcas opening. As Masters of Rock is an international festival, the local adaptation was in the charge of LD Gaspar Potocnik, who was hired by the local production company Ake Music. The technical structure was provided by BALS.
“For this festival the lighting proposals were adapted by unifying the ceiling and stage while adapting to each act,” says Marco Alejandro Fressone from communications and marketing at Macaio. “KISS as the closing main band added their own ceiling pods with some extra lighting and scenery.”
The Sharpy Plus fixtures were chosen for their colours and effects. “Their colour wheel with multiple dichroic filters create different hues and shades while their high-intensity narrow beam was a key factor for an application of this size,” notes BALS business manager Hugo Mossi. “On the other hand, the optics and versatility of Scenius Unico made the fixture a perfect match for this kind of show. We’ve been using them for a while with outstanding results.”
According to Mossi, “Claypaky lights always deliver exceptional light output, precise beam control and impressive colour mixing capabilities. The combination of high-qual