UK - PLASA Focus Leeds returned to its home at the Royal Armouries on 14 and 15 May, with two packed show halls, a bigger-than-ever seminar programme, and record-breaking attendance figures.

This year’s PLASA Focus Leeds saw a 19% increase in attendance, with a strong visitor profile on par with previous shows. 1/5 were company directors, owners or chairs, equally representing audio, AV, lighting and staging tech. This year saw 1/5 students too, over double last year’s figures, signalling a strong future for the industry.

Matt Wiseman from MDG Fog UK says: “As a company, we’re now 10 years into the journey with PLASA Focus Leeds being a key date in our UK diary. Each year we have experienced more footfall to our stand and espe

UK - Duncan Bell (formerly of Autograph) has just completed a fundraising trip for industry charity Backup, cycling off road from Appleby, Cumbria to Middleton, Derbyshire and covering 185 miles of the Pennines, Yorkshire Dales and Peak District.

Friday brought the last 37 miles from Hayfield to Middleton Top, nr Matlock. “This final stage marks not only the end of this week’s endeavours, but also the end of the Great North Trail, an 800-mile route that started in Cape Wrath, NW Scotland that we started in 2021 and completed in three stages,” says Duncan.

“I’d like to raise anything we can for Backup Tech to helps those in the entertainment world who need help at any difficulty stage in their lives, career or family. We have a modest goal of £2k that I’m sure we can exceed. Please give what you can.”

Donations can be made

Brazil - Ayrton has announced Newart Iluminação Ltda as its exclusive distributor for Brazil. The appointment takes place with immediate effect.

“We chose to become an Ayrton distributor because of the brand’s industry-wide reputation for innovation, quality and reliability, and because Ayrton products are highly recognized for their performance, versatility and design,” says Newart Iluminacao owner and managing director, Francisco Pinheiro. “We are excited to become part of the Ayrton network and look forward to contributing to the brand's success by providing a high level of service to our customers.”

Established in 2001, Newart Iluminacao is an established lighting distribution company with more than two decades of experience in the industry. It specialises in the distribution of high-quality professional lighting to rental companies

South Africa - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) recently returned to the stage on a Greatest Hits Live World Tour, which saw the return of the band to South Africa for the first time in 12 years. The first performance took place at Cape Town’s Greenpoint A-Track, with another following event in Johannesburg two nights later.

The South African tour, organised by Breakout Events with the Cape Town leg managed by Rogue Entertainment, required a sound system that would do justice to the band’s electronic anthems. Ultra Events were responsible for supplying and implementing the technical solutions for this much-anticipated show, including a V-Series sound system from d&b audiotechnik.

“The A-Track comes with challenges that need to be navigated with care when setting up a concert system,” explains Patrick Dudgeon, audio HOD at Ultra Eve

USA - UK audio design firm Union Audio, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this month, has announced the appointment of Sweetwater to manage distribution of its audio products across the Americas.

Effective immediately, Sweetwater will manage the sales and distribution of the orbit and elara mixers and accessories, as well as any future product releases, to customers in the USA, Canada and South America.

"The Union Audio brand is about bespoke analogue audio products, meticulously engineered and hand built. We're thrilled to be able to partner with the leading retailer in such a major territory,” says Union founder Andy Rigby-Jones. “The new partnership will enable us to bring this excellence to a wider customer base, whilst maintaining our manufacturing quality and values.”

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