showfloor-5PLASA 2018 'busiest' in years
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

UK - PLASA has said the 2018 edition of the PLASA Show has been ‘the busiest and most vibrant’ show since it moved to London Olympia in 2016.
PLASA 2018, which took place on 16-18 September, saw a 4% increase in visitors with a palpable atmosphere that was reminiscent of its popular Earls Court days. The show welcomed a stream of exhibitors and attendees from around the world, primed to explore the leading edge of live entertainment technology.
The expo also confirmed its importance for networking and trade, with 63% of visitors being final decision makers or specifiers, and a quarter being business owners, managers and directors.
Jonathan Walters, UK sales and purchasing director from A.C Entertainment Technologies comments: “This third year back in West London has really confirmed PLASA’s decision to relocate to Olympia, each show here has worked consistently well, but this year has been one of the best shows of PLASA’s history. Sunday was busy for us, but Monday surpassed all expectations. There have been many discussions over the past four years that trade shows do not generate hard sales success: Monday’s result proved that is a misnomer.”
Leisuretec’s marketing manager Charlie Hendon, adds: “The atmosphere’s been lively and exciting with plenty of opportunities to establish new business relationships and socialise with existing clients.”
Meanwhile, platinum sponsor Robe revealed the first of a trilogy of stand designs, its PLASA stand incorporating its latest lighting fixtures used to light its show-stopping

audiotechnica-2Audio-Technica to distribute Martin Audio in Germany
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Europe - Audio-Technica has agreed to distribute Martin Audio in Germany, effective 1 October.
The audio brand’s official distributor will be Audio Technica Germany, which also distributes Allen & Heath and Clear-Com. The new distributor will be responsible for sales in both the installation and rental staging channels. It has appointed Tobi Franzgrothe, who has long experience with Martin Audio after working with the manufacturer’s previous distributor, as brand manager.
Matthias ‘Mex’ Exner, general manager of Audio-Technica Germany, comments: “It’s a case of two great brands joining forces to create an outstanding offering in both these sectors. Martin Audio comfortably bridges the gap between our great mics and wireless systems, through the A&H consoles, to the audience’s ears.”
Bradley Watson, Martin Audio EMEA sales manager, adds: “We are delighted to be partnering with Audio-Technica Germany. The team has a proven track record in both rental and install and the company is perfectly placed to take advantage of the many opportunities offered by a premium speaker brand such as ours.”
Tom Mikus, Audio-Technica’s sales & marketing director (professional audio), says: The addition of Martin Audio to our distribution portfolio is an exciting development as this turns it into a one-stop-solution: from the microphone to the loudspeaker and matching peripherals like intercom, we now have a well-rounded portfolio for the various vertical markets. Here at Audio-Technica there is always the right product for every

 
 
robert-juliat-wins-plasa-2018-award-for-innovation-for-its-unique-spotme-followspot-tracking-system-smlRobert Juliat SpotMe wins Award for Innovation
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

UK - Robert Juliat was awarded a prestigious PLASA Award for Innovation for its SpotMe, a creative tracking system that works in association with followspots. The Innovation Awards took place at the PLASA Show (16-18 October) amid huge competition, with 47 entries and only eight Awards at stake.
SpotMe is Robert Juliat’s bespoke, 3D tracking system for followspots and the only performer tracking system to be driven via a real followspot. The SpotMe system communicates the X, Y, Z positions and the beam size parameters to the console. All parameters are then used by the console to control any automated or static lights, and coordinate stage lighting to follow performers, without the need for on-stage/performer sensors or cameras. It is a unique bolt-on system that can be added to existing followspots without the need to invest in complete new systems.
The judges considered SpotMe worthy of an Innovation Award because of 'the approach Robert Juliat has taken to followspot tracking using an open protocol to provide position data to, not just lighting, but also audio or video systems,’ and also that it was notable for ‘being a bolt-on unit rather than a replacement device'.
“We are delighted to have been given this Award by a panel of judges who are peers of the industry,” says Robert Juliat product manager, Ludwig Lepage. “It is an acknowledgement that, amid the high level of expertise that exists within our industry, Robert Juliat is still recognised as the leader in followspot development for almost 100 years.”
“To have SpotMe a

 
yamahaplasa1809Yamaha and Nexo bring flower power to Olympia
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

UK - In mid-September a small piece of Japan appeared in West London for three days - and it proved a real talking point as Yamaha and Nexo exhibited at PLASA 2018.
This year’s stand was the brainchild of Chris Irvine, Yamaha Commercial Audio (UK and RoI) marketing manager, and Gareth Collyer, Nexo sales manager (UK and RoI). PLASA London tends to attract a high number of students and, with a shrewd eye to making the most of any free publicity generated by the ‘Instagram generation’, they created a stand themed as a Japanese garden.
Yamaha highlighted the long-term success of the company’s digital mixing consoles by showcasing the latest Rivage PM7 system next to a PM5D, one of its most famous products. Loaned for the show by Britannia Row Productions, it featured along an information panel about the number of high profile artists that particular console has worked with, the PM5D was a major talking point.
“The PM5D really drew people in. It was notable how many professional engineers walked on to the stand and greeted it like a long-lost friend,” says Chris. “We then guided them to the adjacent Rivage PM7 and showed them how much more advanced our latest console is.”
Nexo, meanwhile, showcased a number of its latest products, including the ID Series, GEOM6, GEOM10, STM series, NXAMP4x2 MK2 amplifiers and DTD Controller. STM and GEOM10 loudspeakers were recently entrusted with relaying the Pope’s words and a dazzling array of entertainment to a sold-out audience at Dublin’s Croke Park stadium.
“We knew we were taki

 
 
datastrategyplasa2018-iainrocheonstandData Strategy enjoys a busy PLASA 2018
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

UK - Data Strategy says its stand was ‘buzzing with activity’ as it exhibited at PLASA 2018.
The company’s new VeriCal, which verifies that the Out Board PAT-4 testers are within their operational specifications, received particular attention. VeriCal is the latest Data Strategy product to combine hardware with intelligent software. The new product ensures the appliance test units within the QC-Check Workstation produce verified and accurate results.
Data Strategy MD, Iain Roche, comments: “We had a very busy show, seeing a combination of existing customers, contacts who have shown protracted interest and brand-new prospects. VeriCal attracted much interest especially from potential oversees customers who perceived its purpose, which is to ensure the Pat-4 remains in its operational specifications.
“Power-Check, the QC-Check distro test module, also attracted interest. Combined with the Out Board PAT-4, the RCD test solution automates an otherwise tedious, time-consuming manual task.”
Data Strategy’s QC-Check system provides fast and accurate safety inspections and the robustly packaged PAT-4 tester provides the perfect solution for Portable Appliance Testing (PAT), cable (continuity and insulation resistance) inspection and testing of equipment protected by RCDs (distro).
(Jim Evans)

 
morten-bakke-of-bary-as-and-jerad-garza-of-ayrton-smlAyrton appoints Bary AS as distributor for Norway
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Norway - Ayrton has appointed Bary AS as its exclusive distributor for Norway.
Bary AS is one of Norway’s largest suppliers of technical solutions and equipment for concerts, festivals, events and other productions with many years of experience and expertise.
Jerad Garza, Ayrton international sales manager, comments: “Bary is made up of passionate professionals whose ambition for excellence appear in their every undertaking. We embrace their values and love their energy, which make Bary and Ayrton a great fit. We’re excited to have Bary AS join the Ayrton family.”
Morten Bakke, business development manager for Bary AS, adds: “We are delighted to start our journey as Norwegian distributor of Ayrton. This is the result of three months of intense effort from our development, sales and lighting departments during which time we thoroughly researched the lighting market and the competition within this segment of the business. The list of suppliers got very long, but after our evaluation process there was no doubt - one of the suppliers really stood out and captured our full attention.
“We didn't waste any time before settling on Ayrton. From our years of experience in the rental business, we know what to look for in a product and can easily spot the difference in build quality and durability, which our customers have come to rely on. Ayrton has released products that are in direct competition with the best fixtures on the market - at competitive conditions. They are also known for making really cool and creative effect lighting.”

 
 
tomorrowlandTomorrowland gets hyperreal with L-ISA
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Belgium - Tomorrowland, the Belgium electronic dance music festival, this year revealed the Atmosphere Stage, a new futuristic tent where L-Acoustics’ L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound delivered deeply vibrant beats as festival goers bathed in stunning visuals for a unprecedented musical experience.
L-Acoustics has collaborated with the festival alongside Noizboyz, designers of Tomorrowland audio systems, since 2011. This year was no different, with over 600 L-Acoustics cabinets supplied by Phlippo Productions deployed on six stages, including the massive 115m wide Story of Planaxis Main Stage, across the vast festival site.
With the Atmosphere Stage, We Are One World set out to elevate the concert experience with a festival tent stage like no other. Recognising the impact of L-ISA in creating powerful shared connections between artists and audiences, Tomorrowland worked with L-Acoustics and Noizboyz to make it a reality.
“When discussions began about creating an L-ISA area at The festival,” says Noizboyz Pieter Doms, “we were instantly excited to explore this cutting-edge technology with them, to learn new techniques and new ways of experiencing music.”
Atmosphere was housed in a huge, 32m high tent suspended from a gigantic, custom-built crane. With an all-star line-up, a ceiling glittering with thousands of lights, a 2km long video net containing 120,000 LEDs stretched around its circumference, and a mammoth 20.1 L-ISA design, Tomorrowland was about to deliver a full-on, mind-blowing, 360-degree dance experienc

 
ralph-jorg-wezorke-presents-10000-donation-to-john-simpson-chairman-of-backup-the-technical-entertainment-charity-smlLightpower Collection supports Backup at PLASA 2018
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

UK - For the past four years, the Lightpower Collection has toured worldwide with In the Eye of the Rock ’n’ Roll Hurricane, an exhibition which shows the body of work from acclaimed rock ‘n’ roll photographer, Neal Preston. In it are more than 70 of his iconic pictures: legendary album covers, views behind the scenes, moments that made history - the essence of rock ’n’ roll and concert touring that has dominated out industry since the late '60s.
Neal Preston’s fine art prints are highly sought after by collectors worldwide, and Lightpower Collection donates all proceeds from the sale of prints and merchandise to Behind the Scenes and Backup - two technical entertainment charities that provide relief for event technicians in need.
At PLASA 2018, the Lightpower Collection was proud to be able to donate another £10,000 to Backup. The donation was presented to Backup chairman, John Simpson, by Lightpower Collection owner, Ralph-Jörg Wezorke, bringing the total raised for both charities to over $110,000 since the Lightpower Collection tour began in 2014.
“This would not be possible without the help of friends who lend their support,” says Ralph-Jörg Wezorke. “In this case a special thank you goes to Ambersphere Solutions which not only supports the Lightpower Collection, but also donates a considerable sum to the charity and help us spread the word out there.”
In addition to Lightpower’s own exhibition stand, more of Preston’s photographs were exhibited on the Ambersphere Solutions stand a

 
 
soulfest3Events United supplies complete rig for Soulfest
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

USA - Over 60 worship bands took to the stage at Soulfest in early August in Gilford NH. Not all of them were as famous as the festival’s headliners (a group that included for King & Country, Skillet, and Toby Mac.), but each was supported by a lightshow worthy of a star, thanks to a main stage rig that featured over 75 Chauvet Professional fixtures.
“We designed this rig to be complete so it could provide big looks for the opening acts, while also complementing the floor packages brought in by the headliners,” said Tim Messina of Events United, which also supplied a “world class sound system” for the event. “As Soulfest has continued to grow over the years, Events United’s role has grown with it - from first providing production for a few smaller stages, to this year providing full production (audio, video, lighting, and backline) for the large stages of the festival.”
It was Events United’s goal to create striking, yet simple symmetry and basic fixture profile modes for the downstage, mid-stage and upstage trusses of the Revival Stage (A stage) rig. The Events United team provided this straightforward and impactful set-up to allow easy cloning for touring LDs, all of whom carried their own floor packages to complement EU’s flown system.
The A Stage rig featured an impressive ensemble of: 12 Maverick MK2 Washes, 12 Maverick MK1 Hybrids, four Maverick MK2 Spots, 32 COLORado 2 Solos, four Ovation E-260WW IP elipsoidals, eight Xeno 2500 strobes, six STRIKE 1 units and six STRIKE 4 fixtures. Each side of the stage

 
ips-great-north-star-wide-shotIPS production for The Great North Star
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

UK - The Great North Star performance in Newcastle was the culmination to the Great Exhibition of the North. Televised on the BBC, this ambitious outdoor performance celebrated pioneering woman through sporting history. The event took place outside The Sage Gateshead, with the Tyne and cityscape providing the backdrop to the night time performance.
IPS provided all the lighting and sound production, along with the production structures for a long-standing client, with Andy Marshall heading up the IPS onsite team, working with production manager Nigel Mousley and director Bradley Hemmings.
Over 400 lighting fixtures were used on the production, almost all of them from the IP-rated range of the IPS hire inventory. A 100m running track provided the performance area for the event, with scenic specialist Stage One suppling the stage structure and impressive set pieces (including working crane), with IPS working alongside to integrate show lighting within the set. Electric Foundry supplied LED practicals built into the set - including the illuminated text on the I-Beam lifted by the crane as part of the performance.
IPS delivered a full d&b audiotechnik solution, with 24 cabinets of V-Series line array, reinforced with 12 V-SUBS and 2 J-INFRA subs. Y10P cabinets and M4 wedges provided monitoring and infill, and the system was driven by a combination of D80 and D20 amplifiers.
Sound coverage was complicated by the site layout, with audience areas split over different sections at varying heights up a sloped quayside. Sound was designed by Jon Seal

 
 
digicoBeyoncé and Jay-Z On The Run with DiGiCo
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

USA - On The Run II. marks the first world tour together in four years for Beyoncé and Jay-Z. In that time, the music has become more complex and so has the stage show. The two stars are backed by a sizable combination of their individual bands, including an entire horn section, as well as backup vocalists and dancers, all of whom wear in-ear monitors, as well as wireless microphones for every vocalist.
All of these elements are connected via an Optocore HMA fibre loop between two DiGiCo SD7 consoles for the FOH mix (one primary console and a second for use by supporting acts on the tour) feeding a d&b audiotechnik J-Series PA system, while four more SD7 desks are assigned to the monitor mixes.
In addition, another SD7 is on the tour to mix full-band rehearsals as set lists change and new songs or new arrangements are added (the duo’s hit album, Everything Is Love, dropped in the middle of the tour), and to mix and record writing sessions as inspiration strikes during this 48-city, four-month-long tour. A DiGiCo SD12 console is also on hand to mix vocal rehearsals in dressing rooms. The five primary consoles on the tour use five DiGiCo SD-Racks, with a sixth used as a support rack.
“The DiGiCos are the only consoles that can do this show,” observes Jason Kirschnick, international operations officer and global project manager at Eighth Day Sound, the sound-reinforcement provider for On The Run II. “The wireless and in-ear counts are enormous. Stephen [Curtin, FOH engineer] uses a lot of subgroups to keep and manage a

 
mdg2MDG weathers the storms at PLASA 2018
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

UK - MDG enjoyed a successful PLASA London where it presented its latest products. These included the new IP55-rated Me2 WPE fog and ATMe WPE haze generators, a standard Me2 fog generator, theFAN digital fan, and the ICE FOG Compack HP low fog generator alongside two award-winning products theONE dual mode haze and fog generator, winner of the LDI Best Debut product in 2010, and the RFP (Round Floor Pocket) which won the ABTT Engineering Product of the Year 2018 in June.
Alongside its regular stand, MDG had two of its new ATMe WPE weatherproof hazer generators and an ICE FOG Compack HP involved in the spectacular dance and light show on the adjacent Robe booth.
Inspired by Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider movies, the show environment emulated tropical forests, caves and volcanoes. Here the ATMe WPE machines showed their true mettle as they stood for three days under torrential ‘tropical rain’, adding to the drama of the adventure unfolding on stage as they produced constant fine haze to showcase the lighting, even amid the downpours!
“People were very surprised to see a haze generator able to perform successfully in such harsh ‘outdoor’ conditions,” says MDG CEO Martin Michaud. “But seeing is believing, and we are proud to say our ATMe WPE units drew much admiration at the quality of the haze they produced, and the sheer volume of water they could tolerate being thrown at them! There is no doubt they are very capable of the job they were designed to do, that is provide powerful haze generation for permanent installation in theme parks, ou

 
 
sslwarondrugsSSL Live joins The War on Drugs
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

World - American indie rock band The War on Drugs is currently on a world tour following the release of the band's Grammy-winning fourth studio album A Deeper Understanding. The six-piece band is known for a comprehensive on-stage presence, with lots of instruments and backline to keep the sound engineers busy.
To cope with over 80 inputs, often complex and dynamic material, and a tendency to take tracks to unexpected places, monitor engineer Laurence Eaves (Beirut, Local Natives) and Front of House engineer Bob Strakele (Avenged Sevenfold, Papa Roach, James) both chose Solid State Logic L500 Plus consoles, supplied by touring and systems integration company LMG.
From the inception of the tour, the intention was always to go big and make sure the band's full potential was realised. "For this tour, we decided to shoot for the stars and go with what we really wanted," says Eaves. "As soon as we'd heard and messed around with a couple of SSLs, we were never going to look back. It went from smashing a nail in with a brick, to surgical precision in with a laser-sighted nail gun!
"It has enabled me to do live what I loved doing in the studio, which is to craft something that is technically great, sounds amazing, and has lots of energy."
Eaves creates 12 in-ear mixes for each show - six for the band plus another four tech mixes. He also has a range of reinforcement around the stage, though nothing like the truck load of wedges that used to compete for level. "There are some side fills and wedges dotted around, because we still want movement on

 
ald-newtechshowcase-sponsoredstudentschemeFree ALD student membership open to applicants
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

UK - The Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) has now announced its Sponsored Student Scheme for 2019 is open for applications.
The scheme offers students who have not previously been members of the ALD to enjoy free ALD membership until the end of March 2020.
Student members benefit from the increased opportunity to network with lighting and video production professionals at insightful events organised by the ALD, such as their monthly members’ socials and visits to shows and theatres.
Member benefits for students also include complimentary copies of the ALD magazine, Focus, as well as full access to the ALD web site and the members’ own micro-site. Members also receive a 25% discount on the monthly or annual premium subscription fee for Mandy.com.
Rory Beaton, of the ALD student and awards sub-committees, comments: “The ALD’s sponsored student scheme gives people who are in their early career a chance to find out a bit more about the ALD and what we can offer. It’s a fantastic way to open doors to networking events, a range of wide-reaching discounts, contact details and of course, the possibility of future work.
“By allowing students up to 18 months of free membership, we hope to help those considering a career in lighting and video, who maybe aren’t 100% certain just yet, to see the benefits of membership and offer a helpful route into the industry with no future commitment, should it turn out to not be the career for them!”
To qualify for sponsored student membership, applicants must not have previously b

 
 
nekfeuLightLab debuts Smarty Hybrid on Nekfeu tour
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

France - Lighting design studio, LightLab, headed by lighting designer and art director Alexandre LeBrun, created a flexible and impactful lighting and stage design for French rapper Nekfeu’s summer tour based around mobile walls of light and used Elation Professional’s new multi-functional Smarty Hybrid CMY colour mixing moving head, supplied by Dushow, to realise the stunning look.
Nekfeu toured across France this past summer, playing a dozen concerts including festivals such as Lollapalooza, Solidays, and Marsatac. LightLab, who also worked with Nekfeu and his S-Crew on last year’s Zenith tour, developed what LeBrun calls a “very simple yet radical” design for the 2018 summer tour.
“I wanted to create a panoramic light design, horizontal and low,” he explains, “so I designed walls of light with the idea of only using it on the stage. The idea was to forget about light coming from the top, and also have a very quick, reliable set up. So we had to find a lighting fixture powerful enough, not too big and heavy, with enough features to cover an up tempo one-hour show.”
LeBrun’s initial idea was to use a multi-chip LED moving head wash but most of Dushow’s inventory was out and there were not enough fixtures available in the quantity he needed. “Dushow then proposed and presented to me the Smarty Hybrid,” he says. “We immediately thought it was the right fixture for the project. It allowed many more possibilities than a wash, they were powerful, small, light, and had never been used before! So it was really interest

 
audio-fleet-sterling-sennheiserSterling invests in Sennheiser
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

UK - Manchester-based technical production supplier Sterling Event Group has invested in Sennheiser’s Digital 6000 series to enhance its audio offering.
The investment, including EM 6000 digital 2-channel receivers, SKM 6000 handheld transmitters with MD 9235 capsules, SK 6000 beltpacks and L 6000 charging stations, will allow Sterling to “future-proof its inventory and offer clients a digital solution”. Sterling has also added additional Sennheiser 2000 Series IEMs to its stock.
Ben Marshall, head of audio at Sterling, comments: “With increased restrictions on available spectrum for radio microphones and in ear monitors we needed a solution to give us the channels we require even in the most challenging RF environments. By utilising Sennheiser Digital 6000 which is intermodulation free we can place frequencies in an equidistant frequency grid to maximise channel counts without issue. We have also found the 6000 series to be both rider and sub-hire friendly satisfying our live production and dry hire clients.”
Mark Haigh, channel sales manager for Sennheiser UK’s pro audio solutions division, adds: “Sterling have fully embraced Digital 6000. It’s great to see them onboarding staff with training sessions and using the product. It will undoubtedly give them more flexibility in our ever-changing RF landscape, and ultimately help broaden their customer-base.”
Sterling MD Richard Bowden, says: “With our involvement in a number of party conferences and other events involving sensitive client information we have had a requirement

 
 
stage1Optocore leads Timberlake out of the woods
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

USA - Justin Timberlake’s The Man of the Woods tour, which is scheduled to run through to early 2019, is arguably his most expansive yet from an audio perspective.
Taking place over two legs of North America whilst also visiting Europe, the in-the-round production boasts winding walkways thrusted out from main stage to two satellite stages. FOH engineer Andy Meyer, who has been working with Timberlake since 2005, chose an Optocore fibre network solution to handle the complex D/A conversion necessitated by this.
The sound engineer had earlier spent considerable time exploring different platforms, along with system tech Justin Lenards and fellow engineer Ozzy Giron. But having had previous experience with the Optocore environment via DiGiCo consoles, he wasted little time in venturing down this path for his signal transport. “The solution was obvious to me right from the start,” he says after arranging comparative testing at ESI Audio & Lighting in Tampa. “The shootout confirmed this, and immediately determined that for the environment we would be working with Optocore would be by far the best solution.”
The audio signal path duly mushroomed into a multi-network transport solution using Optocore ‘R’ series converters, with the design and implementation supported by Brandon Coons, from Optocore North America.
These units can be controlled by any DiGiCo SD Series console and live on the same network, just as if it were an SD Rack or other DiGiCo product.
Andy Meyer based his FOH universe around a DiGiCo SD7 and two S

 
stage-electricsStage Electrics installs lighting grid for BBC
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

UK - The Alan Turing Imaginarium is a flexible event space in the BBC’s Dock House at Media City, Salford. It is used for conferences, meetings and as a presentation and studio space from which to broadcast coverage on events such as the recent Winter Olympics and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Stage Electrics was contracted to install a lighting grid that would be able to meet the needs of such a multipurpose space.
“The grid and all its elements were carefully considered to make sure they were both aesthetically pleasing and in keeping with the room,” explains Stage Electrics project manager, Matthew Addison. “For the times when the room is not being used as a studio, a simple infrastructure of distributed production lighting power and DMX was installed to support event and mood lighting.”
The design had to take into account the shape of the room, which is not square, and the low ceiling height. As the space needed to be installed over the Christmas period, ahead of the Winter Olympics, Stage Electrics had to work under a tight timescale.
“We only had two weeks on site to complete the installation,” adds Matthew. “But we were able to complete the project in time for the first broadcast.”
Stage Electrics designed a bespoke aluminium grid designed to follow the shape of the room, which is set inside a bulkhead. Its lines follow the outline of the room and use a Box Truss, with ladder beams, which provided a host of lighting positions. A power control distribution unit and Swisson 5R-5R DMX distribution amplifiers are enclos

 
 
john-steele-blitz-a-ges-companyJohn Steele joins Blitz as technical director
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

UK - Technical manager and vision engineer John Steele has joined Blitz, a GES company, as technical director.
Prior to joining Blitz, Steele specialised in providing engineering support, planning and technical solutions for large-scale, multi-camera mobile broadcasts.
Steele has engineered and managed in most areas of the video industry, including corporate presentations, concert tours and international sports coverage.
Steele is responsible for running the Blitz technical teams, including video, sound, lighting and set and staging, as well as the project management team. In this role, Steele is part of the Blitz senior leadership team and reports to Blitz managing director Mike Phillipson.
Phillipson commented, “As Blitz grows, we need to bring in the very best talent and John Steele certainly fits that bill. His wide-ranging technical experience and personable approach will ensure we continue to deliver a world-class technical production service to all our customers.”
(Jim Evans)

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Take That Back - Take That have announced a greatest hits tour to mark their 30th anniversary next year. Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen will kick off their UK arena tour in April with two shows at Sheffield's FlyDSA Arena. They will go on to play in Glasgow, their home city of Manchester, and six dates at London's O2 Arena. The tour will also see them perform in Dublin, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Southampton, Bristol City, Norwich, Middlesbrough and Huddersfield.
A new Take That album, Odyssey, is also being released on 23 November. It will feature 27 tracks spanning three decades of the band's history, as well as three new songs.
Training Opportunities - Lighting designer Paule Constable has called on theatres to provide more training opportunities for emerging designers. Constable was speaking at The Stage Debut Awards 2018, where she presented the best designer award to Khadija Raza.
Constable said: “There should be more opportunities for designers to work on a body of work and more bursaries. At the moment it’s very informal – it’s designers who take on young designers as assistants – but actually buildings need to take on young designers and give them opportunities to work all over the industry and also give us environments where we can take risks. She added: “That’s what we all desperately need, to be able to take risks. There’s nowhere near enough of that for set and costume designers, lighting designers or sound designers.”
Cry Wolf - Wolf Alice won the 2018 Hyundai Mercury Prize

 
 
robe-kensington-amsterdam-arenaRobe in control for Kensington
Monday, 24 September 2018

The Netherlands - Dutch rockers Kensington brought their double platinum Control album cycle to a close with a show-stopping performance for around 50,000 fans at Amsterdam Arena.
Belgian based lighting designer Michiel Milbou of Never Fear Shadows was asked by technical and show production co-ordinators Bush Cherroud and Albert Deltour from Nexxt Technology to come onboard and create a light show; he spec’d over 200 Robe Spiiders and BMFL Spot moving lights to be at the core of an epic visual extravaganza.
Milbou worked closely with Jop Kuipers, the band’s lighting operator, set designer Ronald van den Bersselaar from BEEO and graphic designer Mo Assem from Mr Beam, and together they devised the look and aesthetic of the show.
It was the first time that Milbou - well known for his flair and imagination in the television and live music sectors - has worked with the band. He was asked to take on the LD role, and was “delighted to be working alongside such a talented and innovative production team for one of The Netherlands’ best-known bands”.
Milbou suggested assorted lighting proposals after acquainting himself with the music and set list. He wanted to keep it simple.
The band wanted a substantial upstage video screen, so he designed lighting with that in mind first and foremost. The video wall ended up being an impressive main 56-metre-wide section with two narrower strips of video running top and bottom at staggered depths.
Lighting supplier Phlippo had four custom manually operated follow spots made for the b

 
timax-stand-at-plasa2018TiMax demos StageSpace at PLASA 2018
Monday, 24 September 2018

UK - At this year’s PLASA Show, UK immersive audio and showcontrol specialists Out Board demonstrated the new StageSpace object-based spatial environment auto-rendering tool within the new TiMax 500S software.
The stand featured a miniature booth-sized demo of TiMax’s ‘orchestral hugeness experience’, which has been trialled on some arena-scale and festival-sized stages across Europe this summer.
Out Board co-owner Dave Haydon comments: “Even under the slightly challenging conditions of a busy tradeshow floor, people were overwhelmed by the realistic spatial enhancement that StageSpace added to multitrack classical and jazz music playback. Of particular note was the adaptive nature of the StageSpace rendering that allows quick delivery of full immersion for audience members while using relatively minimal and flexible speaker system topologies.”
Haydon also contributed to the audio panel that led the discussion on System Design and the Future with Immersive Sound, held in the Audio & AV seminar Theatre.
He adds: “It was a pleasure to contribute to a healthy discourse on this very current theme. All in all, we had a highly productive and rewarding PLASA Show.”
(Jim Evans)

 
 
holoplotHoloplot ORION wins PLASA Award for Innovation
Monday, 24 September 2018

UK - Holoplot’s ORION sound system was awarded a PLASA Award for Innovation. The judges were convinced by the technology and the product, which allows a radical new approach to sound reinforcement and provides audio engineers with a versatile tool for their work.
On the first two days of the PLASA Show, the judges visited the 47 nominated companies to learn more about the innovative products. Demonstrations were given, use cases were discussed, and functionality for rigging, maintenance, and installation was explained.
The Holoplot stand attracted many of the jury members a second or third time. In their eyes, “a system with such precise beam steering capabilities and flexibility in how audio can be projected, demonstrates a paradigm shift in the industry”.
Roman Sick, Holoplot’s CEO, comments: “The conventional speaker technologies are very established in the industry. It’s not easy for a young company to change the mindset. This award shows us, that the value of our product is recognized by the industry. This award is a great accomplishment for all the effort our team has put into the development of this amazing product.”
(Jim Evans)

 
danryanStage Electrics appoints commercial manager
Monday, 24 September 2018

UK - Dan Ryan has been promoted to commercial manager for Stage Electrics’ and Northern Lights’ testing and inspection division.
Previously the company’s electrical compliance and quality manager, Ryan is now responsible for ensuring the provision of compliance and maintenance services enabling customers across the UK to enjoy peace of mind about the condition and safety of their technical performance systems.
Dan Aldridge, commercial director at Stage Electrics, comments: “After a demanding 12 months with levels of business continuing to grow significantly, we have appointed a commercial manager to focus on leading the commercial, engineering and quality aspects of our testing and inspection offering. Dan has recently achieved professional recognition as an incorporated engineer from the Institution of Engineering and Technology. It’s great to be able to offer Dan this promotion and I look forward to supporting him in his new role.”
(Jim Evans)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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