Germany - The Hannover State Opera selected Prolights Astra Hybrid330 to light up the 2024 Opera Ball, held under the theme Let the Sunshine In. The event drew over 3,330 guests and showcased a range of musical performances, from classical to modern, necessitating a flexible and adaptable lighting system.

The Astra Hybrid330 proved to be up to the challenge with their hybrid design, which includes both beam and spot capabilities, a wide zoom range, and CMY colour mixing, enabling seamless transitions between different styles of performance.

Positioned 12m above the main stage, these spotlights provided an exceptional performance under the direction of lighting designer Fabian Grohmann who shared his enthusiasm for the Astra Hybrid330: "I was t

Australia - Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius at The Lume Melbourne, located in the Melbourne Convention Centre, is an immersive exhibition created and produced by Grande Experiences with Biblioteca Ambrosiana, the custodians of Leonardo’s original manuscripts, the Codex Atlanticus, housed in Milan. The gateway to Leonardo's life and legacy is a colossal 3,000 sqm/ four-story high multisensory gallery that envelops visitors in an immersive journey, engaging all the senses with sights, sounds, scents, touch and taste that recreate the ambiance of the Renaissance.

Craig Smith, Grande Experiences' head of production, operations & technology comments, “Several years ago, when looking for a spatial audio solution for The Lume Melbourne, aFX Global and Encircled were among the first companies we spoke to. IOSONO quickly became the

UK - Cornwall-based audio design firm, Union Audio, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, and to mark the occasion, a limited edition of 10 gold versions of its flagship rotary mixer, the orbit.6, will be available.

Union founder Andy Rigby-Jones began his audio career on the assembly line of pro audio manufacturer, Allen & Heath. With a passion for DJing, and a keen practical knowledge of engineering, it was not long before Andy had devised the beginnings of Allen & Heath’s first DJ mixer, and the Xone, was born.

Launching his own business dedicated to bespoke analogue audio design, Andy formed Union Audio in 2014, collaborating with leading names in the DJ and sound reproduction field, including Richie Hawtin’s Play differently, MasterSounds Audio and TPI.

In 2022, the company reached a major milestone with the release

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ETC Ministar

ETC introduces the High End Systems Ministar, a game-changer in our automated lighting product line. Ministar brings exceptional versatility and performance at an affordable price point; with a compact footprint, punchy output, and a professional feature set, Ministar fits the spec and budget for small to medium-sized venues.

UK - The Power of Events is releasing results to date of its Schools Engagement Programme pilot in the East of England. Launched in January 2024, the pilot aims to refine the process of inspiring the next generation of event professionals, by introducing pupils aged 13-18 to the dynamic range of opportunities within the events industry.

In the Spring term, the programme has so far engaged over 3,000 pupils from 17 schools, significantly enhancing their understanding of the events industry as a viable career path. The engagement numbers rose to a promising 65% average in pupils' awareness of the sector and career consideration post-presentation, up from an initial 2% pre-presentation.

Following this initial success, The Power of Events is set to expand the programme across additional regions in the UK, starting in the Autumn term in September 2024. Th

USA - Rat Sound Systems continues its tradition of delivering quality audio experiences at Coachella and Stagecoach festivals. With the Outline Newton FPGA-based processing platform powering the festival’s audio systems for another successful year, Rat Sound Systems reaffirms its commitment maintaining standards in live sound reinforcement.

Since its debut at Coachella in 2019, the Outline Newton processor has been a cornerstone of Rat Sound Systems’ audio setup. Dave Rat, sound system designer, sound engineer and president of Rat Sound Systems, highlights the critical role of the Newton processor in their audio distribution: “We use Newton in our master distribution racks. I do believe all of our stages have it as we use the Newton to tie into the event security override system with the GPIO.

“The racks they’re in are our master drive rack

Italy – The Laugh-Out-Loud funny LOL Talent Show returned this spring with audiences entertained by comedians who performed in theatres in Milan, Naples, and Rome. On stage, an eight-metre-high backdrop displayed pixel dot imagery, with LED strip ‘LOL’ lettering all driven by a Green Hippo Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2 V4 from tvONE.

The upstage screen in designer Francesco Mari’s colourful set was created entirely from RGB programmable light chains - pixel dots - with a 20cm pitch, which was customized by E-Kube Srl with help of Modena-based real-time LED expert DigiLight. This created a ‘curtain’ that acted as a background ‘matrix’ screen. The three wooden LOL letters were rigged with Philips iColorFlex LEDs, covered with opal plastic cabochons. The outline of the letters was illuminated by a programmable RGBW LED strip, while the letter

USA - Light Action of Wilmington, Delaware, acknowledges that they have one of the best gigs in the industry. Each year for more than a decade, they’ve provided full-service production for a string of legacy acts on Rock Legends Cruise, a floating rock festival with a cause that sails the Caribbean every February. For years they have relied on Elation lighting to illuminate multiple stages and this year turned to newly acquired Proteus Lucius LED profile fixtures to raise the production even further.

“Gigs don’t get much better than this one,” stated Brian Market, COO at Light Action. “We have a great client in the Native American Heritage Association, it’s a great cause, and there is literally a boatload of rock talent on board. People love it so much they come year after year, and we help keep it exciting for them with top level production on t

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Strictly FX Highlights

Strictly FX was founded in 1996 by industry veterans Mark Grega and Ted Maccabee. Our expertise and knowledge of the world’s leading pyrotechnic, laser, and flame manufacturers allows us to curate astonishing live events. With over 500+ shows performed a year, there’s good chance you’ve seen some of our work!

Poland - Robe supported the 2024 Scena Jutra (Stage of Tomorrow) two-day symposium in Warsaw, which this year changed up to a new venue inside the city’s Palace of Culture & Science in downtown, one of Europe’s tallest buildings.

The sixth edition of this growing two-day event featured over 120 speakers, both international and from across Poland, who gave a series of presentations or joined lively panel discussions. These embraced an eclectic variety of topics all related to production design, visual and sonic art also embracing architecture and built spaces, plus several more esoteric but related subjects.

While the designated exhibition area provided a backdrop for Robe to showcase some of its latest tech, the vibe was more about stimulating ideas and exploring the adventure of possibilities that might be achieved now and in the future thro

UK - Midas Consoles has announced the launch of the V2.0.0 Firmware update for the flagship HD96-24 console, which is now available to download for free via MIDAS mCloud. V2.0.0 offers a range of enhancements designed ‘to ensure a smooth and efficient workflow for audio professional and streamline the creative process’.

Among these features is the introduction of Macros, which allows users to automate repetitive tasks and create custom sequences of commands effortlessly. V2 also now allows users to seamlessly integrate with external hardware like Sennheiser EM6000. While the new Update Scenes function allows making absolute or relative changes to send levels in many scenes at once (quickly and simply). The addition of ‘Two Way Flip’ also allows the user to select an input channel and control its contribution level to all output channels via the displ

Saudi Arabia - Powersoft is participating in the upcoming Saudi Light and Sound (SLS) and Saudi Entertainment and Amusement (SEA) Expos, taking place this week (7-9 May) at the Riyadh Front Exhibition & Conference Centre.

At the SLS Expo, Saudi Arabia’s first dedicated pro-AVL trade show, Powersoft will be represented by its local distributors, aDawliah Electronic Appliances and PRO LAB. On both stands, visitors can experience firsthand the capabilities of the Unica amplifier platform and the complementary MyUniverso cloud platform, with demonstrations provided by the Powersoft team.

At the sister SEA Expo, Ferco Seating Systems will demonstrate the power of Powersoft's haptic transducer, Mover. On the Ferco stand, Mover will be seamlessly integrated into one of Ferco's cinema chairs, giving attendees the chance to sample the technology in a im

Rio Beach Party - Madonna put on a free concert in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday night with throngs of fans flocking to see the pop idol on Brazil's Copacabana beach. "Rio, here we are in the most beautiful place in the world," she declared, as the performance got under way. The show was the final stop on the 65-year-old's Celebration Tour, celebrating her 40 years in music.

More than 1.6m fans were estimated to have attended the show. Crowds of fans were seen dancing along to Madonna's songs played from speakers on the stage, hours before the American superstar arrived. In what many have called a "historic" show, Madonna impressed the audience with multiple set and costume changes and light displays. The signer performed some of her greatest hits, including Nothing Really Matters, Like a Prayer and Vogue, and was joined on stage at o

Europe - Renkus-Heinz continues to reinforce its presence in southern Europe with the appointment of SeeSound as its exclusive distributor for Spain and Portugal.

Based in Barcelona, SeeSound has been providing professional audio solutions for the AV market in Spain and Portugal since 2004. With a team of over 30 professionals boasting extensive experience and knowledge of the latest generation products in their portfolio, SeeSound provides comprehensive guidance tailored to real project needs, integrating products, processes, and professionals.

In addition to the regular training sessions and open days hosted by the company, SeeSound has invested in a 1500sq.m Experience Centre to offer demos and allow customers to see products in context to help facilitate the decision-making process.  

SeeSound audio product manager, Carles Ribó, commen

USA - The promoters of the 27th Arizona Bike week billed their event as a ‘five-day celebration of motorcycles and music’. Half a million visitors attended the event at Westworld of Scottsdale in early April.

John Garberson and his team at Creative Backstage designed the stage using fixtures from their own inventory as well as gear supplied by LIT Lighting. The production team’s effort provided a vast and supportive canvas for LDs from Godsmack, Yelawolf, Brantley Gilber, Everclear, and George Thorogood & The Destroyers.

As part of their plan to create a larger impression during the festival, Arizona Bike Week organisers asked Garberson to have larger IMAG Side screens. At the same time the bands had their own requests. As Garberson recalls it: “Our client wanted to beef up the side screens from last year, while the production teams from

Denmark - Østre Gasværk is a theatrical venue in Copenhagen. It opened in 1979 on the site of a redundant gas works and the theatre is housed within the old gas tank. Its giant cylindrical shape makes it a dramatic place to stage the musicals and theatrical events that Østre Gasværk is known for.

The addition of a new DiGiCo Quantum 7T has revolutionized the programming and rehearsal process. Morten Frank, head of sound and board operator for its latest musical, UrineTown, explains what it means to have the DiGiCo Quantum 7T at the front-of-house position.

“Having the Theatre software for our Quantum 7T has really helped,” he says. “It gives us a great overview of the cues in the show, and quickly being able to change members of Control Groups during rehearsals has been a massive improvement to our workflow.”

The DiGiCo Theatre so

The Netherlands - On 23 March 2024, the Grand Hotel Amrâth Kurhaus in Scheveningen, echoed with the beats of music and the excitement of the crowd as the sold-out Must x Kurhaus took centre stage. The event not only showcased an impressive line-up of artists, but also underlined the rich history and allure of the venue.

The Grand Hotel Amrâth Kurhaus stands as a monument to elegance and grandeur, with roots dating back to 1818. Over the centuries it has served as a beacon of luxury and sophistication, hosting dignitaries, celebrities and now events like Must x Kurhaus.

Headlining the event was internationally acclaimed Spanish DJ David Penn. Joining him were Mr Belt & Wezol, DJ Roog, Divine and MC Roga, each contributing to an electrifying atmosphere that captivated attendees from start to finish.

Enhancing the sensory experience was th

Italy - On 3 March, pop-rock band The Kolors played the Forum d'Assago in Milan before announcing their new international tour which, in addition to Italy, will visit Switzerland, Poland, Germany, Lithuania, Slovenia, and Belgium.

The lighting for the concert was designed by lighting designer Francesco De Cave who chose 120 Ayrton Cobra laser-sourced fixtures for the event, supplied by Italian service company, Agorà.

Cobra features a native contrast never before achieved by a digital light source, 0.6° beam angle, and extreme focus range that allows the shape of the beam to be adjusted to suit operation at any distance XT -Focus.

“I have already used Ayrton fixtures for many tours and programmes: Eurus, Domino, Perseo, Cobra,” states lighting designer, De Cave. “This time I chose Cobra as the special feature in the lighting design pre

South Korea - With 4,000 seats, Noksan Church in Gangbuk, Seoul is one of the largest worship spaces in the country. It’s also the first to install an immersive sound system, placing the congregation at the centre of the celebration made through words, music and praise.

With cooperation from Nexo distributor A-Works and using Yamaha AFC for ambience control and object-based mixing, the system was designed and installed by CTO Kim Do-seok and the team at immersive media technology specialists Sound Korea ENG.

Five arrays of nine Nexo Geo M10 are hung above and across the stage at the front of the chapel, with two lines of six Nexo MSUB 18 hung centrally. Amplification and processing are provided by Dante-networked Nexo NXAMP4X2Mk2 Powered TD Controllers.

“The installation at Noksan Church is the latest immersive sound project by Sound Kore

USA – Pop band LANY recently wrapped up the North American leg of its 2024 tour, A Beautiful Blur, named after their fifth album released in 2023. Bandit Lites provided the lighting for duo Paul Klein and Jake Goss who named their act in honour of Los Angeles and New York.

Lighting designer Ben Gilbert sought to streamline the design with LED fixtures, offering both a cohesive design and easier time programming. He drew inspiration from the cylindrical halo video element and curved the lighting trusses around it.

Bandit Lites supplied Ayrton Khamsin S, Chauvet Strike Array 4, Chauvet Color Strike M, Chauvet COLORado PXL Bar 16 and Bar 8, VL 3600 and ROBE Pointes as well as two grandMA 3 Full consoles and a Follow Me System.

“The Khamsin is the workhorse of this design and is a fantastic LED fixture,” said Gilbert. “With its f

Belgium - The Flanders Technology and Innovation Festival (FTI) is a six-day celebration of technology and innovation hosted across different cities in Belgium. The entertainment event takes place at the Buda Island in Kortrijk and is organised by Hangar K. Split into five distinct areas, the festival aims to bring people together to experiment, strengthen bonds, innovate and tackle the technological challenges of the future.

Leyard Europe’s LN Series LED screens delivered for the Unwrap Arena at FTI. The space celebrates new technology with an educational bias. During the festival children, educators and interested adults are invited to test out new equipment and immerse themselves in gaming to find out more about this booming Flemish industry.

Chief catalyst, Vincent Vanderbeck, is the power behind Hangar K. The company has a passionate ambition

UK – beyerdynamic has appointed Duncan Booth as sales manager, UK and Ireland for its consumer audio division. Booth has wide-ranging experience across retail, distribution and manufacturing within the technology and consumer electronics sector, having worked for Sennheiser, Griffin Technologies, Brightstar and Strax.

A major part of his new role will be to work closely with Polar, beyerdynamic’s exclusive distributor for the UK and Ireland, to develop the market for the brand’s new range of retail and consumer electronics.

“I’m excited to be starting this new chapter in my career,” says Booth. “It’s always fantastic to be involved with bringing new products to market, especially those from such a well-established and highly-respected company as beyerdynamic. I’m very much looking forward to working very closely with the Polar team,

USA/Canada - Solotech has announced a strategic collaboration with ROE Visual, with the purchase of over 5,000sq.m of LED tiles, including 4,500sq.m of identical Carbon LED tiles, which is the largest single-batch of LED tiles ever recorded.

“CB5 has become the industry standard for global touring over the last five years or so. With the addition of such a large quantity of ROE CB5 Mark II LED display to our already substantial offering, the team at Solotech will continue to deliver the most spectacular projects on the global stage”, states Mickey Curbishley, Solotech president, live productions division, USA, UK.

Grace Kuo, global sales director at ROE Visual, adds: "We've enjoyed working closely together with Solotech, a company that shares our passion for innovation and commitment to client satisfaction. This is a testament to our mission of p

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