European PlugFest celebrates France debut
Tuesday, 9 April 2019
plug-festPlugFest 2019 brought together the European community of lighting professionals
France - PlugFest 2019, the event for lighting connectivity, was recently held in Lille, France for the first time. The event, which sold out well in advance, was celebrated by attendees and organisers alike for its productive programme and thriving atmosphere.
The annual event aims to improve the connectivity of lighting products and provides a unique opportunity for manufacturers to test the interoperability of their products. The move to mainland Europe enabled even more professionals from across the continent to convene and collaborate.
“We’ve been coming to PlugFest for many years” says Jon Hole from Eaton, “as it allows us to discuss protocols that are still in development and test our software with newly developed protocols before we release them to our customers.”
38 representatives from 16 leading manufacturers, hailing from 10 different countries were in attendance including GLP, Swisson, Robert Juliat, TMB, Claypaky, Eaton, ChamSys, ETC and Chauvet, as well as the National Theatre and Central School of Speech and Drama (CSSD).
Fraser Connolly from CSSD comments, “PlugFest gives us the information to make sure we are teaching cutting-edge technology, to test our own developments and to strengthen ties with manufacturers.”
PlugFest offered a programme of seminars which detailed the most widely used protocols including DMX512, RDM, DALI, sACN, Art-Net, RDMnet and LLRP. Making the most of these technical sessions, Christian Van Maurik from EldoLED says, “PlugFest offers the opportunity to connect with control devices and check out the new RDM and DALI features. We found things to improve on both sides.”
Furthermore, there were presentations on the ESTA Entertainment Industry control protocol standards, new ESTA/ANSI standards, and updates on Ecodesign lighting proposals. The event even saw on online conference with one of the ESTA Control Protocols Working Group (CPWG) Task groups, strengthening the link between Europe and North America.
“I come to PlugFest to get updates on current and future network technology,” says Christian Allabuer from Volksoper Wien. “I’m pleased to meet with experts and appreciate the work done here to ensure a bright and high-quality future for our audience.”
PlugFest is co-hosted by PLASA, the lead association for entertainment technology, along with Hamish Dumbreck (JESE Ltd), Wayne Howell (Artistic Licence) and Peter Willis (Howard Eaton Lighting).
Peter Willis comments, “PlugFest has evolved into a serious and well supported annual event and has once again demonstrated the efficiency of manufacturers working together to educate and improve the user experience, delivering better interoperability of entertainment lighting products.”
Hamish Dumbreck adds, “PlugFest is equally valuable for networking as it offers the chance to work with industry peers for mutual benefit and the greater good of the industry.”
“Many participants were product software engineers, so bugs were fixed within hours of discovery explains Wayne Howell. “Look out for a flurry of product firmware updates over the coming days.”
Nicky Greet, PLASA’s director for membership, skills and technical concludes, “PlugFest 2019 brought together the European community of lighting professionals for three inspiring and informative days. PLASA is pleased to continue supporting this specialised part of our industry.”
To be the first to hear about next year’s event please visit: https://www.plasa.org/plugfest/
(Jim Evans)

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