Council Strategy - Arts Council England has unveiled the strategy that will guide its work over the next decade, aiming to address what it says are “momentous” sector-wide challenges that include inequality of opportunity and a widespread lack of diversity. There is particular emphasis on communities and young people in the document, published this week, which lists the Arts Council’s priorities for its work and the organisations it will fund between now and 2030.
Entitled Let’s Create, its contents are broadly similar to the draft document published by the Arts Council last year. It is based around a vision that by 2030, England will be a country “transformed by its culture” and “in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish”.
No Show - Madonna pulled out of the first London show of her Madame X tour, sparking calls for the singer to cancel the entire run. The 61-year-old was due to perform the first of 15 shows on Monday at the London Palladium but said she "must always listen to my body and put my health first". In an Instagram post, she wrote: "I am deeply sorry that I have to cancel my concert scheduled for Monday in London. Under doctors guidance I have been told to rest for a few days.” Last week, the singer cancelled a show in Lisbon, Portugal. The next show is due to go ahead at the London Palladium on 29 January.
Kobe Tribute - The 2020 Grammys ceremony opened with a tribute to basketball player Kobe Bryant, who died on Sunday. "Tonight is for you Kobe," declared Liz
UK -There is limited time to secure your place at a free industry event dedicated to the changes to the off-payroll working rules (known as IR35).
Co-hosted by PLASA and the MIA, Get your business ready for IR35 is taking place this Thursday, 30 January, at the Victory Services Club in London.
The event is relevant to large business owners and freelancers / contractors alike and will see HR expert Nicky Gleadow (MD, The HR Point) explain how the changes to the IR35 legislation will impact employers and off-payroll workers. There will also be complimentary food alongside plenty of networking time with fellow professionals, says PLASA.
IR35 is a piece of UK government legislation that aims to determine whether a worker is an employee or an off-payroll contractor, ensuring that the person carrying out the work is paid and protected in the proper manner and pays the relevant tax. The changes to IR35, which are enforced on 6 April, mean that all medium and large companies will be responsible for deciding the employment status of their workers.
To register to attend Get your business ready for IR35, please visit www.plasa.org/ir35.
UK - Sound Technology, the distributor of Martin by Harman in the UK, is holding a Martin ERA Performance showcase event at the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden on 17 February.
The event will run from 11am to 4pm and will see the complete ERA Performance range on demo.
Sound Technology has also announced the immediate shipping of the Martin ERA 400 Performance CLD. The ERA 400 is the first of the ERA Performance series, announced at LDI in November, to become available, with the remainder of range which consists of the warm white version of the ERA 400, the ERA 600 Performance and ERA 800 Performance - the brightest moving profile fixture in Martin's history - arriving in February.
The 10,000lm ERA 400 Performance CLD features a 300W 6,500K LED light engine, and in common with the entire ERA Performance range, has crisp optics with a flat field, CMY colour mixing, a full curtain framing system, fixed and rotating gobo wheels loaded with user-favourite gobos from the renowned MAC range, iris, prism and frost filter. Weighing just 20kg, the ERA 400 Performance is lightweight, compact and easy to rig.
Whether being used for small and mid-sized concert and touring, live TV productions, corporate shows, cruise line or houses of worship, the Martin ERA 400 Performance CLD is suitable for a long list of scenarios, requiring a versatile LED profile.
South Africa - DWR will host Hippotizer training and workshop on 17 and 18 March in Johannesburg.
Hosted by Dylan Jones, the course will cover a range of topics including Hippolauncher, Output Manager, Media Manager, Visualizer, Pinbridge, Multi-Controller, DMX control, Timeline, Videomapper, Pixelmapper and Shape.
Attendees are requested to bring a Green Hippo Server or Play Software on PC, Server Accessories and a valid ID.
The course will be held at DWR, C1, Kimbult Industrial Park, 9 Zeiss Road, Laserpark, Honeydew. The cost is R1,800 and includes a light lunch and refreshments. To book, please visit this website.
USA - The Long Reach Long Riders and Behind the Scenes will host their annual fundraising raffle at the USITT Conference 2-4 April in Houston.
This year’s raffle will celebrate the 17th edition of the Long Reach Long Riders annual charity motorcycle ride. The Riders, who have raised over half a million dollars for charity in their years of touring, will be riding 20-27 June on the A River Runs Through It tour through four states around the upper Midwest with route highlights in and around the area known as the Driftless.
The Behind the Scenes Boutique will also be open for business during the show featuring an assortment of Behind the Scenes swag and Long Reach Long Rider T-shirts and kazoos.
Tickets for the raffle are $5 each or five for $20 and can be purchased at the Behind the Scenes stand #222 throughout the show. Winning tickets for nine regular prizes and one grand prize will be drawn at 1pm on Saturday, the final day of Stage Expo.
The prizes, provided by our generous donors, are: Grand Prize, Spotlight with Renderworks from Vectorworks; Ghostlight from Altman Rentals; SpotFX unit with battery pack and gobos from Apollo Design, American Express Gift Card from Barbizon; Event Safety Summit 2020 Registration from the Event Safety Alliance; Nespresso CitiZ Espresso Machine with Aeroccino Milk Frother from IA Stage; $250 Gift Certificate to musson.com from Musson Theatrical; $250 gift certificate from Sapsis Rigging; ProPlus Rope Access Harness from Showtech Australia; and a USITT 2021 Full Conference Registration from USITT.
USA - Winners of the ESTA’s Members Choice Awards 2020 were announced on 19 January at the Design Studio stand during the NAMM Show.
The annual awards see ESTA member exhibitors nominate new products and ESTA member attendees voting via an electronic ballot to determine the winners across two categories - Gadget and Equipment.
The winner for the Gadget category is The Light Source for The Mega-Coupler Grounder. In The Equipment category, there was a four-way tie. The winners are: ACT Lighting for the Ayrton Diablo, Applied Electronics for Video Wall Truss, The Light Source for The Gym Light Cage, and TMB for the ProPlex FOH Friend.
Australia - The Australasian Lighting Industry Association (ALIA) has abandoned plans to celebrate its 20th anniversary, opting instead to raise money for the Australian people and wildlife affected by the recent bushfires.
ALIA has set up the ALIA FireAid Auction, an online auction where gear donated by lighting solutions manufacturers from across the globe will be auctioned online. All money raised will benefit the Australian Red Cross and the RSPCA’s National Bushfire Appeal. Bidding is only open to Australian residents due to shipping costs.
“A big thanks must also go to the Australian distributors who are tasked with getting the gear to the buyer. It couldn’t have been done without them,” says ALIA.
The association is still accepting equipment donations to add to the auction - manufacturers who wish to contribute should contact ALIA directly.
Companies who have donated so far include ACME, ADJ, ArKaos, Artistic Licence, Avolites, Capture, Chauvet DJ, Clearlight Shows, Creative Lighting, Design Quintessence, Elation Professional, Event Lighting, FireFly Lighting, GLP, Griven, High End Systems, LightShark, LSC Lighting, LumenRadio, Martin, Phantos, Pharos, Robe, Show Technology, Smoke Factory, Theatre Safe Australia, TMB, Touring Industries, Wireless Solutions and Zero 88.
UK - AV solutions distributor Tukans has been acquired by CUK Audio, a specialist solutions distributor serving the AV, installation, live and MI markets.
Tukans will continue to operate as an independent company from its base in York, whilst logistics, accounting and IT for the group will be consolidated at CUK Audio’s East Kilbride headquarters. The operational change will enable the best use of resources throughout the group and enable both teams to better support their client base.
Stuart Thomson, managing director, CUK Audio, comments: “A few years ago, as CUK Audio started its transition into supplying video products, I realised that Tukans would be a great fit with us, and I’m are delighted that Yvonne [Womersley] and Andrew [Popely] shared my vision and could see how this acquisition would benefit both companies.
“The acquisition substantially enhances the group’s expertise and expands the solutions both companies can offer their clients. It also reinforces CUK Audio’s commitment to those customers looking for innovative video products, following the recent addition of video specialist, Andrew Smith, to the role of director of business development.”
Yvonne Womersley, general manager at Tukans, adds: “For Andrew Popely and I, the last 14 years have been great fun, and we are both proud of what we have created. However, we are delighted to be joining CUK Audio for the next phase of our journey. Gaining access to a much larger sales and technical resource will certainly benefit Tukans customers and suppliers. There is a we
USA - Illumination Dynamics (ID) has announced the transition of its Los Angeles headquarter from San Fernando to a new location in Santa Clarita. The new, 67,639sq.ft facility is located at 21335 Needham Ranch Parkway, within sight of the 14 Freeway and just a few miles from Interstates 5, 405, and 210. As such, it allows easier access to the film industry in the Santa Clarita Valley, while still remaining just a short distance from Hollywood.
The new facility is the first building to be completed in a new industrial park, surrounded by extensive landscaping, walking trails, and bike paths. Key features of the building include 30ft ceilings, a large demo room, centralized loading docks, ample staff and customer parking, a large canopied work area, and an exclusive private parking lot for trucks and generators.
“We are excited about moving to our new facility in Santa Clarita; it is a beautiful building, custom-designed to meet our specific needs and offering a clean new environment for our clients and employees,” says Carly Barber, president and CEO of Illumination Dynamics. “This move is energising all of us, motivating us to reinvent our operations and better positioning ID for the future trends of our business. The city continues to embrace our industry and we look forward to future opportunities within the local entertainment community, while still actively servicing our customers in the Los Angeles area.”
UK – AV equipment hire company Expression Events has made a major investment in Luxibel’s B PAR180RGBW fixtures for its range of projects, including festivals, corporate and architectural.
The team, headed up by Lewis Richardson, arranged a shootout to source a bright, IP-rated, multifunctional PAR fixture for its expanding outdoor architectural and entertainment portfolio.
“We trialled most of the other brand fixtures during the shootout and Luxibel came out on top for each element we were looking at: build quality, brightness, size, weight, functionality and of course price point,” says Richardson. “It was an easy choice.”
The B PAR180RGBW is made up of 12x 15W LEDs in a 25° angle, offering high saturated colours and smooth dimming. It is one of the most powerful RGBW LED pars on the AV market.
“Our clients can rely on the fact they will be getting what we consider to be the best IP-rated par fixture available, with brilliant colours,” Richardson continues. “Being backed up by AED Rent, we can get large numbers to support any size of project.”
Over the winter months, Expression Events has seen the new fixtures go out on three different ice rink seasonal installations, with 50 of the units going out at once. “The B PAR180RGBW were key for continuing with our contracts with these attractions in the run up to Christmas,” he says. “We are also doing much more architectural jobs alongside our live music clients.”
The entire Luxibel range, including the B PAR180RGBW, is available from AED.
Canada - APG Media Group has announced the opening of a new 15,000sq.ft Canadian corporate headquarters just outside Toronto.
Comprised of executive offices, training and testing centre, full line product experience centre, quality control lab and a massive warehouse, the new headquarters will provide the growing videowall rental and distribution company with the space it needs to accommodate projected growth, according to APG Media Group president David Weatherhead. The company is also in the process of expanding its inventory and service offerings at its U.S. headquarters in Orlando, Florida.
“Our rental and distribution businesses are growing in both Canada and the United States,” Weatherhead said. “The investments we are making in both headquarters facilities represents a tremendous opportunity for APG Media Group to bring to market the many new and exciting technologies that our customers are demanding.”
Weatherhead attributed the company’s success in both rental and distribution to APG’s ability to offer customers the very latest in LED videowall technologies and solutions backed by the industry’s most knowledgeable subject matter experts, training staff, and installation consultants. “The opening of this new Canadian headquarters, together with the expansion of our U.S. headquarters, will enable us to further enhance the quality and range of solutions and services we offer our customers.”
Singapore - AV Stumpfl has announced the Singapore based company Total Solution Marketing as its new Pixera media server distributor for Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, ahead of this year's ISE exhibition in Amsterdam.
The products and services provided by Total Solution are used for entertainment events and performing arts venues such as concert halls, theatres, large scale ceremonies, corporate events, product launches, schools, convention centres, galleries, public spaces, house of worship applications and museums.
Total Solution Marketing deputy sales director Terence Yee comments: "With so many different media server systems available on the market, we were very curious in 2019 to find out more about this multi award winning system called Pexera. Our engineers quickly identified the great potential of this new and exciting platform. One particularly impressive aspect is the unique GUI (general user interface) approach in addition to the sheer power of Pixera's 64-bit render engine. We are confident that this multi award winning system will soon become very popular in our region."
AV Stumpfl CEO Fabian Stumpfl adds, "The Total Solution team has an excellent reputation and more than a decade of experience when it comes to dealing with professional media server applications and projects. They are uniquely qualified to help us grow our media server market share in the SEA region. We could not have hoped for a better distributor and are looking forward to a highly successful partnership."
UK - Featuring some of the leading names in the industry, Stage Electrics is welcoming over 20 manufactures, to the SS Great Britain, Bristol on Wednesday 29 January, to demonstrate their latest products.
This event offers an opportunity to speak directly to manufacturers, discover the latest products, and network with others in the industry. The three educational seminars are now fully booked but additional spaces may become available on the day on a first-come-first-served basis.
With free entry, this event will run from 2:00pm until 7:00pm with drinks being served from 5:30 pm.
USA - High End Systems has announced that the 2020 Hog Factor USA competition is open, with teams now able to register to participate in Phase One. First held in 2015, High End Systems’ Hog Factor Collegiate Lighting Programming Competition has become a premier lighting programming contest in the United States and across the globe.
Hog Factor USA Phase One is an open competition and consists of each team providing a performance lighting piece, programmed on a Hog or on Hog 4 PC, which can be downloaded free of charge with a special demo version of Capture visualization. Once performance piece submission closes on 15 June, 2020, the top three teams will be selected by 15 July, and Phase Two will see these teams in programming a performance lighting piece based on High End Systems’ 2020 LDI booth design. These teams will then be invited to perform their shows live at LDI on the High End Systems booth, where the winners will be judged.
Senior product manager Sarah Clausen comments, “We are looking forward to this year’s Hog Factor Competition. Just like our parent company, High End Systems is committed to supporting students and cultivating the next generation of Hog Programmers. The popularity of this competition has grown exponentially each year, and the quality of work is constantly improving. I cannot wait to see what the students achieve this year.”
For more information on the Hog Factor competition and to register your team, visit www.highend.com/hogfactor.
South Africa - Rental company MGG, one of the earliest Clear-Com FreeSpeak users in South Africa, has invested in an additional six FreeSpeak II Digital Wireless Beltpacks from DWR Distribution to cater for the technical communication at last year’s Afrikaans is Groot, a large-scale music production hosted at Time Square’s Sun Arena in Pretoria. MGG also upgraded its Clear-Com licence and is now able to run 25 comms on a single base station.
Mark Gaylard, owner of MGG, recalls buying his first comms system some 15 years ago. “We bought six Prosound Commpac beltpacks and they are still working and doing gigs,” he states.
Gaylard started investing in Clear-Com six years ago. “The gear is reliable, robust and a game changer. The greatest advantage is the wireless system which enables everyone to move around freely and talk to each other as often as needed, no cables and no buzzing. Clear-Com also allows you to record the whole event for reference after an event. You can link it to a sound console for further routing and stream the sound on the internet.”
The brand is now supported by DWR Distribution. “This means we can repair gear locally with Derek Kruger at DWR, whereas before equipment would have to be sent to Germany which makes repairs really expensive.”
Chris Pugh from DWR looks after the Clear-Com brand and delivered the new equipment to MGG. Pugh says: “We are very excited to be taking on Clear-Com as a brand. It’s great, offers good quality and is hardy. MGG was our first Clear-Com sale. For the calibre of shows th
USA - Sound Decision Productions (SDP) Event has recently added a Coda Audio AiRAY system to its inventory. The Muskego-based company has taken delivery of 20 AiRAY boxes and 12 SCP subs, reports Coda Audio USA.
SDP Event has been in business for more than 25 years, servicing regional clients in Milwaukee, Illinois and Michigan, as well as undertaking national tours in support of a wide variety of artists. Mark Hartzell, CEO and head of systems engineering, first experienced Coda when he trialled a HOPS8 system on a handful shows in October. He then witnessed AiRAY for the first time at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago on the Fantasia tour in November.
Hartzell then took the opportunity to trial six AiRAY enclosures and four SCV subs, as he describes: “We were hopeful that what we were going to hear lived up to the science that appeared so impressive on paper. It made sense and after hearing the products in action, we were believers! After doing some in-depth analysis and comparisons to our current brand’s models, we were even more amazed. At the Fantasia show we were really just focused on the AiRAY tops - budget restrictions meant that we had not intended to buy any subs on the initial purchase - but after hearing how tight and defined the sub information was, we realised that we had to get a complete system.”
SDP Event had been looking for a turn-key, rider friendly, high quality system that could cover everything from smaller corporate events to arena shows. Upon discovering that AiRAY matched the weight of their small line array box but ha
USA - Harman Professional Solutions will present two masterclasses at The REACH campus at the John F. Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts in Washington DC on 12 February. The programme is sponsored by JBL Professional and Soundcraft in cooperation with the Kennedy Centre.
FOH engineer Brad ‘fixintogetmixin’ Divens will speak at both events. In addition to currently working as FOH engineer for Enrique Iglesias, he has also engineered for Linkin Park, Garbage, Cyndi Lauper, HIM, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Mötley Crüe, Jane's Addiction and more.
During his Building the Mix masterclass, Divens will discuss and demonstrate his approach to putting together a live mix, including technical topics such as the basics of input gain, EQ, compression, plugins and routing, as well as creative concepts regarding the audience and the artist. He will deconstruct live mixes from three different artists and discuss his approach to achieving a polished final mix.
Both events will take place in Studio K at The REACH inside the Kennedy Centre and will be hosted by Soundcraft’s live sound product specialist Tom Der. Studio K is multi-purpose performance space equipped with a JBL VTX A8 rig.
To sign up for the events, register at pro.harman.com/lp/fixintogetmixin.
USA - Audio, video, lighting, staging and broadcast company Panavid Inc. has recently invested in Brompton Technology Tessera SX40 LED processors and XD Data Distribution Units to work in conjunction with its new 1.5mm ROE Visual Sapphire LED display.
Located in New Jersey, New York City, and Dallas, Panavid has more than 40 years of experience of providing first class integration and production services to both domestic and international clients. The company has recognised the ever-increasing demand for increased pixel density and higher resolution in LED screens for live events and art installations, as well as an increasing level of interactivity. It is the first production house in the world to invest in the latest, ultra-fine, ROE Sapphire, along with two Brompton Tessera SX40s and four Tessera XD Units.
“Our mission is to provide our clients with the most quality, high-end audio-visual service in the market and Brompton is dominating the market in image processing for LED displays,” says Panavid’s CEO Rob Loehr. “The SX40 is the perfect match for our recent purchase of ROE Visual’s Sapphire LED platform. We loved that the SX40 is extremely user friendly and allows for full 4k resolution. The Tessera feature set provides a level of image quality that is unmatched in the industry.
“We recently used our SX40s and XDs at an event in New York City called Altitude, hosted by Fastly, a cloud computing services provider,” continues Loehr. “We used the SX40s and XD units in conjunction with two Sapphire displays, each measuring 9 ft.1.
Family Tradition - Emily Eavis has been named a Godlike Genius by the NME, in recognition of her "outstanding contribution" to the Glastonbury festival. She will receive the title at next month's NME Awards, 24 years after her father Michael won the same prize. "I remember being at the NME Awards when I was 16 and being so proud to see my dad named Godlike Genius," said Eavis in a statement. "It's a huge honour to be given the same award all these years later."
The award comes as Glastonbury gears up to celebrate its 50th anniversary this summer. Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift have already been named as headliners, while Diana Ross will play the Sunday afternoon legend slot, but the rest of the line-up is still under wraps.
Foundation Grants - The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has awarded 16 grants totalling more than £225,000 to organisations including Bristol Old Vic, Southwark Playhouse and Chichester Festival Theatre.
Bristol Old Vic was awarded £20,000 to support its ensemble of young performers from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, while Southwark Playhouse and Chichester Festival Theatre also received funding towards their programmes for young people. Other projects to receive grants included an assistant director programme at the Gate Theatre in London, Graeae Theatre Company’s Ensemble training programme for young D/deaf and disabled people and the National Student Drama Festival.
The charity Arts Insight’s ‘Production Week’, which offers performing arts experiences in secondary schools, was awarded
South Africa - Fogtech, a Johannesburg-based rental and technical supply company, has purchased 140 Absen PL3.9 Lite LED panels from DWR Distribution.
Established in 2007, Fogtech initially specialised in Fogscreens alone. By 2010, the company expanded to include AV and video to their service offering and, soon after, started to deliver turnkey technical solutions for events, including lighting, audio and AV. The company has a reputation for being a friendly yet professional team, who deliver well-maintained gear to events and for cross rental purposes.
A practical and hands-on owner, Garth O’Kelly of Fogtech, comments: “LED is an amazing product and has revolutionised our industry, but it can be finicky. We looked at different brands and felt that Absen had refined their product to accommodate our working style. One of the biggest decision-makers was the after-sales support, and we’ve had such a great experience with DWR in the past that we knew that we could trust them to support us moving forward.”
At the end of August 2019, Fogtech took delivery of the panels and O’Kelly has been working alongside his team at most events to ensure set-up is carried out correctly.
“We are very happy with the quality of Absen,” he says. “It has been an easy process and we haven’t experienced any challenges to date. We recently did an event in Botswana where we had 288 panels running seamlessly. We set it up, switched it on, and had no issues at all. Our clients have also been extremely pleased. Worth mentioning is how effortlessly other t
South Africa - Nexo has provided P12s, LS18s and a NXAMP4X4 MK2 sound system to the South African Roadies Association (SARA). The gear will be used to bolster the technical production skills training of South African youth.
“The sound system equipment received will greatly enhance SARA’s training programmes and equipment; sustain training, skills development and SARA’s on-the-Job training programme in the event, technical and production skills sector for years to come, and also have an indelible impact on the lives, careers ambitions and dreams of young South Africans,” explains SARA’s president Freddie Nyathela. “SARA extends its profound appreciation and gratitude for the support and vision of Nexo.”
South Africa - DWR Distribution is inviting companies and individuals based in Johannesburg to attend an L-Acoustics demo to be held at Pirates Club in Greenside on 5 February.
This will be an open day, and visitors are welcome to visit any time between 11:00 and 15:00, where demonstrations will be held on the hour, every hour. The focus will be on the L-Acoustics Kiva II.
USA - German audio technology and solution company d&b audiotechnik has opened a new office and training centre in Signal Hill, California.
The facility is the second in the country for d&b, which is headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina. With the two bases, the company can address both coasts with dedicated teams and resources.
“Accessibility to our growing base of customers and partners in the US is critical,” comments Amnon Harman, CEO of d&b audiotechnik. “In the audio business relationships are paramount and this new facility demonstrates our desire to build strong, long-term partnerships with both the audio technology and broader entertainment community.”
The facility’s training centre enables the d&b US team to deliver comprehensive Soundscape demonstrations and education seminars and will be available for existing and potential new customers to experience the capabilities and possibilities of d&b systems.
“Designing excellent sound experiences is at the core of d&b’s mission to accurately transfer passions. With our new Signal Hill facility and the investments we have made in customer services, d&b is well positioned to serve this mission and, together with our partners and customers, work to continue creating some of the world’s most inspiring sound experiences,” concludes Harman.
USA - At NAMM 2020, Adamson Systems Engineering announced a suite of training and education initiatives to take place throughout 2020.
These include a US roadshow; increased delivery of the company’s Applied and Advanced Certification training programmes; and the Winding Roads education series, designed to introduce secondary- and post-secondary school students to the potential career opportunities in pro AV and live production.
The Winding Roads Education Event Series, in partnership with the AVIXA Foundation, will provide students in Toronto, Canada, and the surrounding area with insight into live production, performance, and the music industry. Through the initiative, hundreds of individuals will have the opportunity to see professional AV installations and touring systems, get hands-on with state-of-the-art equipment donated by industry leaders like Adamson, DiGiCo, Lab.gruppen, and others, and learn about career opportunities in the industry from the AVIXA Foundation.
“We want to show students there’s more to AV and live production than they may realise, with plenty of potential for exciting and rewarding careers, and believe the entire industry stands to benefit from these efforts,” comments Adamson CEO Marc Bertrand. “We also have other programming that will help our current and future Adamson Network partners to be more successful throughout 2020 and beyond.”
“We’re thrilled by Adamson’s commitment to bringing education and awareness for professional AV careers,” adds AVIXA Foundation programme direct