UK - Almost a decade in the making, containing stories never before told and pictures never before seen, and written with the insight of someone who was at the very heart of it, A Sense of Theatre, a remarkable new book providing a unique, eye-witness account of the birth and subsequent triumph of Britain’s National Theatre, launches to the public on 1 May 2024.

The book is the final work of the pioneering lighting designer, theatre consultant and author Richard Pilbrow, who, with his work on the book complete, sadly passed away at the end of last year.

This is history he was uniquely placed to record: in 1963 he was chosen by the National’s first director, Sir Laurence Olivier, to light the opening shows of the new National Theatre compan

UK –Floridian ska punk outfit Less Than Jake are touring with video at the heart of their performance for the first time, with live feed footage and pre-made content displayed on three large LED screens driven by tvONE's Green Hippo brand of Hippotizer Media Servers.

Longtime Less Than Jake Lighting designer Nikki Dickinson, owner of Rig Lite Design Limited, teamed up with the band and Pete McCrea of Production AV to specify a kit list of five Marshall CV255 and CV366 cameras to capture the antics of the five band members, live feeds from which were fed into a Hippotizer Amba Media Server. A host of content taking in home-shot footage, old TV clips, song-related imagery and stock effects from various effect sources and from within Hippotizer were handled by the Amba and driven to the three 8' x 6' Desay M6 LED screens.

Ayrton Magic Blade R moving F

USA - Phoenix Lights 2024 featured EDM performances and light and video show created by Luis Torres on a massive 100ft-wide and 48ft-tall rig. Taking place on the Pheonix Raceway at the end of March, the festival featured performances by the likes of Kaskade, Deorro, b2b, Valentino Khan, Dr. Oliver Tree, Apashe, Alleycvt, Levity and Mamba. Torres channelled their musical energy into stunning visuals with help from 40 Chauvet Professional Color Strike M and 30 Maverick MK3 Wash fixtures supplied by Hardwired Productions.

Like the rest of the lighting fixtures in his rig, the Color Strike and Maverick units were spread throughout the truss structures. Torres did this to create unexpected visual moments and convey the kind of uncertain spontaneity that was in keeping with the festival’s supernova theme.

“I wanted the rig to have different moments an

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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.

South Africa - The recent hosting of the international AV Alliance's annual three-day AGM in Cape Town set the stage for a convergence of global talent, innovation, and collaboration. Industry leaders, sponsors and technical experts from around the world gathered at the Westin Hotel to exchange ideas, showcase expertise, and chart the course for the future of the event solutions industry.

Hosting this pivotal event for the second time was Gearhouse Group, technical supplier and AVA's local member. At the heart of this year's AGM was the unveiling of AVA's educational initiatives and the establishment of its Education and Outreach Committee (EAOC). Charged with collating educational materials and crafting a user-friendly Learning Management System, the EAOC aims to equip AVA members with the tools needed to address current industry challenges, cultivate talen

Australia - Fordtronic AV, a dry hire company in the AV solutions industry for corporate events, has expanded its inventory with the Astra Hybrid330 and the EclProfile CT+ from Prolights.

Jonathon Ford, general manager and chief AV technician at Fordtronic, relied on Show Technology, Prolights distributor in Australia, to purchase new moving head fixtures. “We weren't sure what we wanted,” admits Ford. “We'd been sub-hiring from other suppliers in town but knew it was time to purchase our own fixtures. Gareth [at Show Technology] thought that these hybrids were well suited to the corporate work that we do -and he was right!”

The Astra Hybrid330 has already been used in various contexts, enhancing event atmospheres and accentuating venue architecture with targeted lighting.

“We got a custom-made gobo made with a company's logo so the

USA - ESTA’s Technical Standard Programme has announced seven documents now in public review. These documents, along with their respective public review forms and instructions, are available from the TSP’s Public Review Documents download page, found at https://tsp.esta.org/publicreview. Return the public review form, and any comments you may have, before the deadline shown.

BSR E1.31, Lightweight streaming protocol for transport of DMX using ACN

This draft is a revision of ANSI E1.31 – 2018, which describes a mechanism to transfer DMX512A packets over a TCP/IP network using a subset of the ACN protocol suite. It covers data format, data protocol, data addressing, and network management, including support for both IPv4 and IPv6. It also outlines a synchronization method to help ensure that multiple sinks can process this data concurren

Sweden - The stage design for the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest has been unveiled ahead of the grand final in Malmö, Sweden, on 11 May. Lighting and screen content designer Fredrik Stormby from Green Wall Designs and production designer Florian Wieder are the creative team helping to create, design, and deliver a large-scale and spectacular show to a global audience of over 160m. 

The stage and lighting design for the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 will focus on the audience more than ever. With the stage placed in the centre of the arena, viewers will experience a visually revolutionary concept. The 360-degree experience surrounds the audience and viewers in the Malmö Arena. The stage is placed in the middle of the audience and shaped like a cross. Movable LED cubes, LED floors, light, video, and stage technology will be able to create gre

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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!

Portugal – Europalco recently transformed Lisbon's MEO Arena into ‘a realm of sensory delight’ for the Generali Tranquilidade (one of the largest non-life insurers in the Portuguese market) annual meeting event. Europalco deployed the L-ISA system from L Acoustics for the first time in Portugal to create an immersive sound experience.

The event was organised by agency Desafio Global and marked an important milestone in the rebranding of the Tranquilidade brand under Generali Tranquilidade. Europalco implemented an impressive range of audio-visual technologies, scenography and furniture, turning the MEO Arena into an immersive sanctuary for the 3,000 attendees, including employees and business partners from across the country. In collaboration with Desafio Global, the aim was to create an event where sound played a key role in captivating the audience.<

UK - For more than 35 years, the Sensible Music Group has provided recording, rehearsal and production services to the music industry at its London studios. Mixing, mastering and streaming services also feature at this multi-space complex, whose past and present client list reads like a who’s who of international popular music. From global megastars Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd to London ‘locals’ Amy Winehouse and Madness, Sensible Music has seen a galaxy of household names pass through its doors.

A recent decision to upgrade some of its tech saw Sensible’s chief engineer/producer Jon Moon contact amplifier manufacturer MC², initially to discuss amplification for Clair monitor wedges in the studio’s rehearsal rooms.

A discussion followed between Jon and Richard Fleming of MC² who made some suggestions and subsequently visited the studio

Italy - Hip-hop duo Coez & Frah Quintale released an album, Lovebars, which they supported with a national tour, selling out arenas throughout the country. Embracing the latest in technology, the duo adopted immersive audio for their live shows via L-ISA spatial audio technology and did so by pairing for the very first time with L Series line array technology.

Compact, lightweight, and using up to 60% less material to build, the L Series is designed to occupy 30% less space than other products capable of the same output, minimising trucks on the road, and lightening the carbon footprint of the tour. Using immersive audio to create a small venue atmosphere in an arena For Coez & Frah Quintale, the opportunity to offer an immersive experience to their fans enabled them to create an intimate environment in what was a significant step up for the

Vietnam - Powersoft’s energy efficient T Series amplifiers are powering a new sound system at Hanoi’s Goethe-Institut. Nestled in the capital city, Goethe-Institut is a provider of German cultural and educational programmes worldwide, promoting the German language and fostering international relationships.

The cultural institute needed a new sound system in its multipurpose room, capable of accommodating a variety of activities including teaching sessions, presentations, art exhibitions and musical performances. Goethe-Institut tasked local integrator PROSound Vietnam with the challenge.

“The multipurpose room had to follow our client’s high standards and have a clear, lively and detailed sound for teaching, for presenting arts, and playing classical, pop and folk music,” says Mr. Nguyen Viet Trung, CEO of PROSound Vietnam.

To achie

Belgium - Dave Gahan and Martin Gore were never known for their skills on the basketball court, though their group, Depeche Mode did contribute to the soundtrack of the NBA 2K15 video game. However, the English electronic musicians did cause something of a full court press at the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying match between Belgian and the USA.

That contest took place at a sold-out Antwerp’s Sportpaleis on 9 February, just three days after Depeche Mode rocked the arena with their music. This left little time for Bart Aelbrecht and his team at AB Sound to build their lighting system for the pre-game festivities and the courtside broadcast. Still, like any good team, they were more than up to the challenge, thanks to some hard work and careful planning.

“The Depeche Mode show was a day before our build-up, so we were given a short time,” said

Australia - Bruce Johnston mixed bands including Hoodoo Gurus, Divinyls, Boom Crash Opera, Crowded House and Midnight Oil in his native Australia, then for a 12-year stint took care of front-of-house sound for Oasis and, later, for building one of the world’s most respected sound companies.

It was in his early days with the Gallagher brothers that Bruce first came across Nexo.

“Oasis needed serious volume. At the time, line arrays had just started but they weren’t giving me what I needed” says Bruce. “We mixed on a Nexo Alpha system, and it was just – wow – right in your face. And it never said no.”

Alpha quickly became Bruce’s PA of choice for Oasis. Then, in 2002, came Nexo’s innovative Geo T line array. “We took Geo T on plenty of big stadium tours – big hangs of 24 at 100,000-people events. That PA was very good.

China - Duke Kunshan University has a team of faculty members located all over the world and has requirements for blended smart education. Duke Kunshan University has installed 116 Sennheiser TCC 2 Ceiling Array Microphones in 50 classrooms and various other spaces across its campus, providing students and faculty with an immersive blended learning experience that is easy to operate.

Located in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, Duke Kunshan University (DKU) is a 1,200-acre campus dedicated to creating a world-class educational and research university characterized by liberal arts education, offering a range of high-quality, innovative academic programs and a diverse, inclusive culture to students from around the globe in order to cultivate well-educated and enthusiastic future global leaders.

This audio-video project is part of the university's second phase

Europe - K-array’s KGEAR line has introduced the latest addition to its GH series of loudspeakers in the form of the GH8, which will premiere to an international market at InfoComm in Las Vegas in June.

Building upon its predecessor, the GH4, the GH8 includes a dual-cone, eight-inch full-range woofer that is designed to produce rich sound quality in a convenient form factor.

"The GH8 represents a significant leap forward in our commitment to delivering cutting-edge audio solutions,” says Lorenzo De Poi, brand manager at KGEAR. “With its combination of Pure Array Technology (PAT) and Slim Array Technology (SAT), the GH8 strikes a perfect balance between sleek design and powerful performance."

One of the key features of the GH8 is its integration of cardioid technology, which aims to allow for precise sound directionality, minimising unwa

Europe - CAST Group of Companies has announced HUB (formerly KulTechDesign) as the exclusive distributor of BlackTrax in Hungary.

“What initially attracted us to BlackTrax was its ability to create tightly integrated designs and experiences, where the technology blends seamlessly into the background, facilitating a fully immersive and responsive environment where the audience and performers' focus remains in the creative realm. Its outside-in tracking and simple integration with lighting consoles added another level of excellence, which is incredible to witness,” says Peter Perjési, co-founder of HUB.

“BlackTrax is readily available for clients, and since hosting demos at our facility, the technology has already been used in two concerts, opening new perspectives for attendees and birthing fresh creative ideas for clients.”

HUB has f

UK - The multi-award-winning musical Hamilton has selected ETC fixtures and control for its UK and Ireland tour. The hit musical – which has already been a huge success around the world – is composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and tells the story of America’s founding father Alexander Hamilton.

ETC dealer Encore supplied the equipment for the tour which included High End Systems Halcyon Titanium and Halcyon Platinum automated fixtures, Source Four LED Series 2 Lustr entertainment luminaires, and Eos Apex 10, Gio @5, Ion Xe and Ion XE RPU for lighting control.

The Hamilton productions around the world utilise lighting equipment which was released over a decade ago and the team working on the UK and Ireland tour were ready for a change. They wanted lighting solutions that would make this tour more sustainable in terms of power consum

Taiwan - The Taipei Performing Arts Centre (TPAC), which contains three performance spaces – The Grand Theatre, the Globe Playhouse, and the Blue Box, has recently invested in 40 x Robe Spiider LED wash beam luminaires, which will help light an array different of productions staged at the venue.

Production values are high on the agenda at TPAC which has around 150 full time employees, a third of whom are designated to work across assorted technical disciplines, including TPAC senior technical officer Yi-Ming Liu (AKA Birdie), who explained that Robe’s Spiider was the “most powerful and efficient solution with the best range of authentic colour temperature whites and optimal energy savings for all types of production design”. He was instrumental in picking the Spiiders, together with TPAC’s head of lighting, Pang-Yan Lin Ling, and others from the li

USA – Artis—Naples is a leading destination for the visual and performing arts in Southwest Florida. The Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson Cultural Campus in Naples includes two performance halls: the Frances Pew Hayes Hall and the Myra J. Daniels Pavilion, as well as The Baker Museum and the Stabile Education building.

Most recently, the 283-seat Daniels Pavilion, whose diverse range of programmes includes music, film, dance, comedy, lectures, and exhibitions featuring international artists, received an upgrade in the form of a new DiGiCo Quantum225 console, used for both front-of-house and monitor mixing duties, and sourced through Fort Lauderdale-based Carlton Audio Services.

“The Daniels Pavilion hosts a really wide range of performances, from lectures to chamber music to rock bands, so our console has to be as versatile as the venue

UK - After playing a stretch of intimate in-store shows at independent record shops across the nation to announce their debut album I Wonder If The World Knows, The K's arrived at one of their local concert venues, the 1000-cap, Grade II-listed Parr Hall in Warrington on 10 April.

To ensure an optimum audio experience for their fans, Martin Audio rental partner, dBS Solutions were brought in to provide their flagship WPS (Wavefront Precision) scalable line array. This was set in a ground-stacked configuration, as due to weight limitation flying the PA wasn’t an option.

The WPS was mounted, six-a-side, on a single SXCF118 cardioid sub, while a further six WS218X subs were arranged in a broadside array in the pit, for maximum LF grunt. Providing front-fill coverage were four Martin Audio WPM, in two-box stacks.

Meanwhile, in the balc

Europe - Elation has launched a new range of high-impact beam lights with the Proteus Radius, a compact, high intensity IP66 Beam FX fixture powered by a Solid-State Phosphor-Converted (SSPC) light engine. Elation garnered industry acclaim in 2017 as the first company to incorporate Phosphor source technology into a moving head and now the company has ‘brought the technology to the next level’.

The Proteus Radius delivers a realm of creative possibilities, projecting narrow and intensely powerful beams that reach astounding distances. Its efficient 100W SSPC light engine delivers an ultra-intense 0.9˚ beam. Designed for both indoor and outdoor applications, the powerful beams combine with a full complement of design features that allow designers to compose an array of aerial effects with ease.

The SSPC engine produces a dense beam similar to a l

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