USA - The former university of Michelle Obama, New Jersey’s Ivy League Princeton University is one of the top schools in the United States. At the centre of its religious and ceremonial endeavours sits Princeton University Chapel, an elegant house of worship that gives nod to the architectural style of the English Gothic Cathedrals of the 14th century.

Constructed in 1928 after a fire destroyed the previous worship site, the cruciform chapel cost over $2m to construct and was the largest university chapel in the US. For years, the venue has been relied on to carry congregations, host events and offer an oasis in the centre of the university campus for people of all faiths. Complete with seating for almost 2000 worshippers, the nave features sandstone walls w

UK - Prolight Concepts (UK) has announced a distribution partnership with Konligo in the UK. Konligo creates temporary structures and coverings which ‘unfold exceptional designs for event organizers and their visitors whilst fascinating the world with beauty, strength, and the convenience of deployable structures’. “This collaboration once again further bolsters our product offering and expands our portfolio of brands,” says Prolights.

Scissor structures are pre-constructed and instantly deployable, thereby significantly reducing transport, assembly time and installation costs. Their products are multi-functional and have aesthetic appeal meaning they can be used as tents, stage coverings, entrance arches, screens, brand activation and so much more.

South Africa – Hit TV series The Masked Singer kicked off its second season in South Africa in April with 16 celebrities battling it out in flamboyant costumes to hide their identities. The production team ramped up the staging, lighting, and visuals for the 2024 contest using tvONE’s Green Hippo brand of Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2 Media Servers alongside a grandMA3 console to create epic projections and LED screen animations.

On stage, a 11m x 4m 2.9 pixel pitch Absen LED main wall backed each performer, displaying custom-made content designed in collaboration with The Masked Singer South Africa creative director Barry Pretorius, and set designer Michael Gill. In addition, there were two 2m x 4m LED walls for Unreal Engine 3D effects rigged behind two stage left and right mask-shaped surfaces, which were projection mapped using the Boreal+ MK2 via

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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 Backlot Cinema in Blackpool aims to ‘offer a cinematic wonderland, blending local stories with global narratives offering a diverse selection of films’.

The Backlot is also a community hub, committed to bringing people together through the power of entertainment media. Beyond the big screen, The Backlot actively engages with the Blackpool community through local partnerships, community events, and educational outreach programs.

Lancashire based AV integrator, AV2events was appointed to design and install the audio system for this venue.

Lee Wilson, managing director of AV2events, remarks, "With its complex structure and multiple zones, we needed equipment that was not only reliable but also capable of mass flexibility, to meet the customer’s needs. We turned to Audiologic for their guidance, support, and in-depth knowledge, to

South Africa - Stage Audio Works was recently enlisted to reinvent the video infrastructure inside South Africa’s Moreleta Church. Known for housing one of the largest auditoriums in the country – with over 7,000 seats for the congregation - Moreleta welcomes both in-person and online worshippers every weekend.  

“We had been talking to the client for several months about upgrading their current video system,” says Stage Audio Works’ Lee Thomson. “They were considering an overall video upgrade for centre, left and right screens, so the first phase of the project included two new side screens, two cameras and a new video-switching solution.”  

Moreleta Church opens its doors twice every Sunday – at 9am and at 5pm. Additionally, the church also hosts dozens of external events across the calendar year, so having a video system that w

Europe - Ayrton has announced the official launch of Kyalami, its first IP65-rated laser source luminaire in its Creative Solution series.

Kyalami is inspired by the multiple award-winning MagicDot. First released in 2015, MagicDot sold by the thousands within months, and still inspires creativity. Nine years later it has given birth to Kyalami.

Devised for architectural graphic effects, Kyalami is an ultra-compact luminaire with great creative potential. Its essential performance capability is based on its design, extreme miniaturisation, and a minimalist cylindrical footprint that allows multiple luminaires to be installed only a few centimetres apart.

A sphere of just 265mm incorporates Kyalami’s 100W laser module, cooling system and optics, while its 126mm front lens positioned in the continuity of the sphere provides Kyalami with a uni

Opening Time - The new Co-op Live arena is set to open this evening after three weeks of delays, false starts, and chaos behind the scenes. Elbow will open the £365m Manchester venue later, after an inspection gave the venue the all-clear.

Comedian Peter Kay had been due to open the 23,500-seater venue on 23 April,

The eleventh-hour postponement of A Boogie With Da Hoodie's gig on 1 May saw other shows moved to the nearby AO Arena. Kay's shows were twice postponed over issues including power supply and emergency communications, while a Boogie Wit Da Hoodie's show was pulled over a problem with the ventilation system.

Bosses said they were "thrilled" to be opening the venue after being "disappointed to have delayed our introduction and frustrated so many in the process". "We now look forward to welcoming fans to Elbow's opening performance on

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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!

USA - The Coachella Festival’s Do LaB electronic music stage beat stronger than ever this year, thanks to a new open-air stage design featuring a Meyer Sound Panther large-format linear line array loudspeaker system.

Since 2005, Do LaB, created by brothers Dede, Jesse, and Josh Flemming, has brought elements of underground culture, spontaneity, and community-driven experiences to Coachella, drawing on its founders’ roots in Southern California’s festival and art scene to provide a prime destination for festivalgoers and headlining artists alike.

At this year’s festival, which took over Indio, CA’s Empire Polo Club on the weekends of 11-13 and 19–21April, Do LaB hosted nonstop performances from the likes of Chase & Status, Alesso, Anna Lunoe, and DJ Tennis, plus surprise appearances including back-to-back sets by Kaskade and Alison Won

UK – Technical production specialist Blue Elephant has become the first UK AV supplier to invest in the latest generation of xVision Nomad 2.6 LED screen from Theatrixx Technologies.

Offering high-end production services and custom solutions for events of all types, Blue Elephant has purchased over 100sq.m (320 panels – with another 100 to follow) of the new high-resolution Nomad screen package from Theatrixx, including processing from Brompton Technology.

xVision Nomad 2.6 indoor screen offers many major advantages to AV production suppliers. Not only is its visual performance of the very highest standard, but it includes a robust and extremely durable die-cast aluminium panel design, with no-GOB (glue on board) module construction. For further durability, Theatrixx’s proprietary TPEP (Titanium/Polymer Edge Protection) technology significantly

The Netherlands - Tilburg University campus which specialises in artificial intelligence, social and behavioural sciences, recently upgraded its DAF Technology Lab to revolutionise the way its students learn and collaborate.

Expanding the possibilities of immersive education and innovative research, two CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) systems with VR opportunities and 360º sound from Genelec now call Tilburg home. In a project that aims to positively impact education and training, Genelec’s Smart IP series of networked loudspeakers brought real-life audio to a notably complex installation. 

Max Louwerse, professor of cognitive psychology and artificial intelligence at Tilburg University – and founder and scientific director of the DAF Technology Lab – has been a big advocate of this new type of immersive learning. In several publica

USA - Bandit Lites has added adds Claypaky Sharpy X Frames to its touring arsenal and is the first company in the world to send the Sharpy X Frames on the road.

“I am very excited to have these in our inventory to offer our clients,” said Jake Tickle, Bandit Lites vice president of business and innovation. “Claypaky somehow found a way to create what may be the most complete Hybrid Beam fixture in its category. From smooth, even output to intense beams, the Sharpy X Frame really does it all.”

Bandit wasted no time in getting the Sharpy X Frames out on tour with American blues guitarist and singer Gary Clark, Jr. (lighting design by John Adamo and Robert Fuller), The Used (lighting design by Dillon Pajunas and Joe Nicoletti) and Hardy’s set at Patriot Fest (lighting design by Trevor Drawdy). Other tours are in the planning phase now.

USA - Working with lighting designer Roger Gant, Montreal-based visual design company Lüz studio oversaw the lighting design, creative design and video content for Billy Strings’ ongoing US tour and festival dates, which feature Ayrton fixtures, grandMA3 consoles and MDG theONE atmospheric generators provided by Bandit Lites in Nashville.  ACT Entertainment exclusively distributes all three product brands in North America.

The singer, songwriter and bluegrass star’s current tour commenced in Asheville, North Carolina in February. Dates are booked nationwide through April and May, there’s a break in June and July for a trio of festival performances, then the tour resumes for a summer leg that wraps at LA’s Kia Forum. Billy Strings’ 2024 tour is in support of his Grammy-nominated collaborative album with his father, ME/AND/DAD.

Canada - For Winnipeg’s large French-speaking community, the Franco-Manitobain Cultural Centre (CCFM) serves as an important cultural gathering spot for events and celebrations. CCFM recently marked its 50th Anniversary in grand fashion with a dazzling show featuring a production design by Red Rover Entertainment and illuminated by Elation lighting.

With two large-scale shows as well as several smaller events on the schedule, the venue’s year-long anniversary celebration commemorates the rich cultural heritage of Winnipeg’s francophone community across five decades. For a special anniversary show that took place 19 April, several francophone artists who have graced the CCFM stage over the past 50 years, old and young talent alike, were invited to perform backed by a house band.

Jon Stanners, who has operated Red Rover Entertainment in Winnipeg

UK - Union Audio has launched an EQ/crossfader unit designed to accompany and expand the mixing possibilities of the company’s flagship orbit.6 analogue rotary mixer. The eq.xfader is a 1U rackmount unit featuring a dual four-band isolator design with an Innofader crossfader, adding another dimension to the capabilities of the orbit.6, and opening up an array of expansion options to innovate customer set ups and promote dynamic mixing.

Designed with a six-channel architecture to mirror the orbit mixer, the dual crossfader transitions between audio sources connected to either side of the crossfader, placing channels 1-3 and channels 4-6 on opposing sides of the crossfader. A Mix/Cut switch alters the crossfader's functionality from a carefully designed curve to create gradual transitions in Mix mode, to full volume in Cut mode when the crossfader is moved t

USA - JLGroup has announced a strategic investment by JLL USA LLC into Vital Show Solutions (VSS), a pivotal move set to bolster both companies' growth trajectories. JLL USA LLC is investing over $1m into VSS, affirming its commitment to ensuring expansive equipment upgrades and continued team development. JLL USA Team will operate out of VSS’s shop located in Carrollton, Dallas, Texas.

This investment strengthens the collaboration between VSS's 19-member team and JLL USA, enabling JLL USA to tap into the expertise of VSS's entire team, including the head of video, head of sound, project managers, and enhanced transport capabilities. This positions both companies to efficiently manage and execute a substantial combined $12m order book for the year.

"JLL USA's investment in VSS represents not only a strategic alignment of our businesses but also our

UK - Penn Elcom, the manufacturer of flightcase hardware, racking, speaker component, cabling, LED lighting and other related elements, is celebrating 50 years in business. Founded in 1974 by Roger Willems, initially focusing on metals and anodising, the company has expanded and diversified over the five decades and is now producing and supplying an array of vital entertainment industry related infrastructural elements, which are fabricated from bases in the UK, US, Germany and China in a tightly co-ordinated operation involving over 600 full-time employees.

“So many fantastic people have contributed to making Penn Elcom what it is today,” says Roger. “Their collective personalities, foresight and diligence have helped shape the strong brand identity that sees us achieve this landmark anniversary. I want to say a huge and sincere thankyou to each and e

UK - Pro-audio service provider 22Live has completed its d&b SL-Series offering by adding GSL to its hire inventory.

Having now completed its first full year of operation 22live continues to assert itself in the pro-audio rental market as a major force for the future. 22live was appointed as a d&b audiotechnik rental partner in early 2023 after making initial investments into XSL and KSL line array packages.

The company achieved successes in 2023 with these d&b systems being deployed to tours - Tori Amos Ocean to Ocean, Madness C’est La Vie, and events such as Lionel Richie & George Ezra at Chepstow Racecourse. In 2024 the drive for large scale touring utilising d&b has continued with the Pendulum arena tour, and now with d&b GSL in stock, 22live is well positioned to continue its growth, offering services

USA - Don’s Seafood is an institution around Ascension Parish, famous for its Zydeco Shrimp, Fried Allegator, and other Cajun delicacies. But it’s been a long time since Don’s did the kind of business it did on 5-6 April. According to its owner, the 90-year-old restaurant saw more than $20,000 in additional sales that weekend.

The story at Don’s was repeated throughout Gonzales, a Louisiana town of roughly 13,000 people, as every place from the local hotel to the service station and cowboy boots store did more business. That’s exactly just what the folks at 46 Entertainment and Peach Tree Entertainment were hoping for when they put together Rock The Country, a series of two-day festivals intended to give an economic boost to seven hard-hit small towns across the South.

Appearing at the series inaugural event, which took place just a few mil

UK - Studiomaster has widened its FOH loudspeaker portfolio coming out of Q1, with a line-up of new and uprated replacement series and new product type designs, including several revealed during the NAMM and ISE shows at the beginning of the year.

Four completely new active loudspeaker series offer compact columns, two-way point-source cabs, and vertical and horizontal compact line arrays, with designs offering significantly improved feature sets, utility and price to performance advantages, increasing the brand’s competitive edge in key market segments.

The Direct MX series column array is a highly versatile, 127 dB / 2000 W column array design, available in two system configurations; with the 6x 3” mid frequency / 1x high frequency 1” precision compression unit armed column array, respectively (and literally) coupled with a compact 10” and

Italy - After participating in Sanremo 2024, Roman singer-songwriter Gazzelle, exponent of Italian indie pop, left for the Inside X always tour, with a total of 12 dates throughout Italy.

Lighting designer Andrea Arlotti chose to use the innovative and powerful Ayrton Rivale Profile, the most versatile fixture in the Ayrton range, equipped with continuous rotation of the pan and tilt movement.

“I chose Ayrton because it is top of the range equipment, and supplied by Mister X,” he says. “I positioned the Rivale Profile in the hanging trusses and use them mainly for effect lighting during the songs. They have high definition and excellent beam brightness.

“The concept echoes that of Rome’s 2023 Olympic stadium repurposed as a sports hall. A simple but very direct concept, with large screens and linear trusses, to directly convey the e

UK - ETC dealer Stage Electrics has supplied ColorSource Spot Jr fixtures to upgrade the lighting in London’s Park Theatre.

Park Theatre is a local venue in north London which houses two performance and rehearsal spaces that showcase a diverse mix of new and emerging productions. The team at the theatre were looking to upgrade the existing lighting rig to LED as part of an initiative to reduce tungsten and also make a more sustainable investment for the future. ETC’s affordable ColorSource Spot Jr was the preferred choice – with 14 of the fixtures being selected for the theatre.

The compact yet powerful nature of ColorSource Spot Jr was just one of the reasons that made it a good solution for the venue as the theatre space features a thrust stage whereby many of the fixtures hang in close proximity to the audience. The fixture’s built-in zoom

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