UK - Neumann has announced An Evening's Conversation Around Spatial Audio, hosted in partnership with Dolby at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA). Taking place on Monday, 3 June, this event promises an engaging exploration into the future of sound, bringing together top industry professionals for a night of insights and networking.

Guests will hear from leading experts in the field, including Mike Hillier, Dolby Atmos & mastering engineer at Metropolis Studios, Kurt Martinez, head Dolby Atmos mix engineer at Dean St Studios, and Myles Clarke, senior music engineer at Dolby Laboratories. Their interactive sessions will help you understand how spatial audio is evolving and keep you at the forefront of the technology.

Attendees will have the opportunity to delve deeper into the world of spatial audio through interactive Q&

Denmark - Motor Stage Automation (MSA), has made a substantial investment – over 100 pieces – in equipment from industry leading brand Moveket, comprising 125 Kg and 500 Kg Moveket VMK-S C1 variable speed silent hoists, 125 Kilo Moveket VMW-S high speed winches, Moveket I-Motion Expert-T III and I-Motion Basic control consoles, together with Moveket V-Motion Drives – both E40 and E75 units.

This was supplied to MSA via Danish distributor Matrix Sales and has been added to MSA’s rental stock to help meet current trends and demands in the busy and wonderful world of performance automation.

“Moveket is a premium name in automation, their products are known for their quality and versatility, and as MSA is a truly independent business dedicated to delivering the very best and most innovative solutions for our clients, it is important to have thi

UK - LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment), which represents 16 live music industry organisations has launched a comprehensive survey of freelance professionals working in the UK live music sector.

Produced in partnership with Handle Freelance Solutions, The Back Lounge and UK LIVE Event Freelancers Forum, Powered by Freelancers - The Live Music Edition 2024 was commissioned to help understand and identify the changes required to improve the experience of the freelancers who are crucial to the success of the live music industry.

Over 1,280 live music freelancers contributed to this survey with 87% of respondents stating that “freelance work provides my primary income”.

The UK’s live music industry generated £5.2bn in 2022 and the summer of 2023 showcased a post-pandemic resurgence for much of the sector, despit

UK - It is 10 years since Backup headed to Daytona Sandown Park for the first ever KartFest, and every year it got bigger and better. Last year the event was re-named and re-imagined as the Backup Village Fete. Fun and games for everyone abounded and a record amount of money was raised for Backup to continue its good work.

This year’s village Fete takes place on 11 July at Daytona and is proving very popular with more and more companies getting involved and joining the biggest industry day out there is. With the focus on the fete, there are many options for companies and individuals attending. You can buy single day passes through to fete stall pitches or, for the ultimate in turn up and go, a VIP ‘Manor house’ package with everything already built including a VIP bar, DJ and located right in the middle of the action. 

The Backup Parish Counci

UK - Distortion Studios, specialists in virtual production, recently opened the doors of its new Bristol-based studio, backed by an in-house team of immersive digital arts specialists. The space, home to a cutting-edge studio stage complete with the latest and most trusted virtual production technology, can be utilised by anyone looking to shoot virtual production content, as well as serving as a training and community hub.

 “At Distortion Studios, we want to play a part in upskilling the next generation of industry professionals locally,” remarks Nick Diacre, technical director at Distortion Studios. “So, we’re looking to invite technical people in and run training in the space, alongside the usual studio hire. Remaining technologically agnostic was therefore important to us.”  

Diacre first encountered SP by Stage Precision in the soft

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 especially this year. The quality of visitor was again noticeably higher and we expect to see another re

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

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.”

UK - The first day of the ABTT Theatre Show at Alexandra Palace on 5 June will be open from 10am until 5.30pm but activities will not stop then.

For 2024, the ABTT Award Presentations will be kicking off from 5.30pm with drinks served outside the Londesborough Room as visitors and exhibitors join together to take their seat to celebrate the recipients of the awards for products and people making advances in our world.

The Products Awards include Sound Product, Lighting Product, Engineering Product and Widget of the Year plus Stand of the Year for 2024. The People Awards include Technician of the Year, Emerging Excellence, Environmental Sustainability, Costume plus the Award for WHAM Design.

Following these celebrations, will be a new innovation for 2024, the ABTT Social on the Terrace.

Attendees and exhibitors are invited to continue

UK - Cardiff-based Magnum PA and SR Productions enjoy an ongoing strategic partnership, with Martin Audio’s Wavefront Precision series line array at the heart of it. While Magnum PA carries the flagship WPL in its inventory, SR supports the versatile WPC in its hire fleet - so that between the two companies, the Martin Audio box count exceeds 150.

To further strengthen the offering, both companies frequently partner with Bristol-based SWG Events, offering a formidable collective inventory. Long-standing SR Productions client Orchard Media and Events Group recently required a solution to cover delegates for Admiral Group’s annual staff general meeting at Utilita Arena Cardiff.

A main hang of 12 WPL per side was supported by an out-fill of eight WPC per side, while centre-fill duties were carried out by four TORUS T820 and monitors by four LE200s.

Damage Limitation - The UK risks "self-inflicted economic and diplomatic damage" if it does not take action to strengthen its creative industries, a new report has warned. To combat this, the report has made a series of recommendations, including the creation of a ‘soft-power council’ representing "the diversity of British talent" in government and "making requisite changes across the visa system to ensure it is fit for purpose for the creative industries".

The report has been produced by University of the Arts London and Erskine Analysis and is designed to "examine the critical role of the creative industries as a source of economic growth".

Entitled Keeping the UK’s Creative Industries Globally Competitive: a Playbook to Protect Our Future Prosperity and Security, the report calls the creative industries "both a huge strength and in

Sweden - Standard Audio Systems AB has been appointed Renkus-Heinz distributor for Sweden.

Karl Kahlau, CEO of Standard Audio Systems AB, comments, "We are honoured to be appointed as Renkus-Heinz's exclusive distributor in Sweden. The brand’s reputation for excellence aligns perfectly with our mission to provide our customers with cutting-edge audio solutions. With the ICONYX Series among the other exceptional product ranges from Renkus-Heinz, we are confident in our ability to meet the diverse audio needs of our clients."    

Standard Audio Systems AB distributes a portfolio of professional audio products across Sweden, offering technical support and services where necessary. This new partnership with Renkus-Heinz expands Standard Audio Systems’ portfolio with a selection of innovative products, including the renowned ICONYX Series.   

Poland - Void Acoustics has announced a partnership with Phono Media as its distributor in Poland, the latest addition to Void’s rapidly expanding network of professional AV dealers.

Founded in 2010, Phono Media delivers visual and sound solutions across a wide range of commercial sectors, including hotels, restaurants and multipurpose venues. Void chose Phono Media as its regional distributor to help grow its business opportunities in the emerging Eastern European market and raise Void’s profile in the wider hospitality market in the region.

Phono Media has already begun installing Void’s products in venues in Poland. As Void’s Polish distributor, the company’s showrooms are equipped with Void Acoustics’ speaker range, enabling prospective buyers to experience the products up close.

Jacek Stanisławski, CEO at Phono Media, said:

UK - Vision: 2025 has launched a crowdfunder to create the third edition of the Show Must Go On report and ‘shape a new climate strategy and practices towards 2030’. Research and authoring by an inclusive industry-wide collaboration is underway to collate a comprehensive free-to-access resource.

The initiative supported by Festival Republic, The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), Arts Council England, Earth Percent, aims to raise £50,000 from organisations working in the festival and outdoor events space to be matched with grant funds.

This collaborative project is being hosted by Julie’s Bicycle, chaired by Jon Collins, (LIVE) and convenes a working group of organisations and specialists from across the sector.

The Show Must Go On state of the industry reports (edition #1 & #2) provided early benchmarks and a 10-

India - Smato Technologies has been appointed 1 Sound distributor for India. Smato Technologies, an AV distribution company with full engineering and technology design services, is based in Kolkata, West Bengal.

“We're thrilled to bring 1 Sound to India. This partnership goes beyond brand expansion; it's about broadening horizons,” says Shreyans Chowdhary, director and CEO of Smato Technologies. “It means offering our dealers and customers an exceptional experience, not just through outstanding professional audio products, but also through superior pre-sales design and post-sales service support.

“With premium materials, customisable options, and cutting-edge technology, 1 Sound offers a compelling package tailored for the Indian market. We're eager to embark on this journey of lasting success together.”

Smato Technologies recently

New Zealand - Audio Progress is an audio, lighting and staging company based in Palmerston North, about 150km from capital city Wellington.

The enterprise is run by Malcolm McKinnon, who founded it back in the 1980s, originally as an audio specialist, and since then, he and the team have built a solid reputation for delivering quality productions for all types of shows and events, concerts, and festivals.

A recent investment in 16 x Robe LEDBeam 350s sees the first Robe moving lights to join the Audio Progress inventory.

The new fixtures – delivered by distributor Jands New Zealand – are being used effectively and efficiently to light an increasing array of televised and streamed events serviced by Audio Progress.

Malcolm was aware of Robe as a brand already and had hired some LEDWash 600s for a Kapa Haka festival from Grouse Ligh

UK - LED display brand Absen has announced the opening of its first UK showroom, in Theale, Berkshire, serving as a hub for Absen’s European operations.

The new showroom boasts Absen’s comprehensive range of solutions which cater to an array of markets, including rental & staging, virtual production, commercial, conference, DOOH, and data visualisation as well as providing essential office space for its team. The European hub also presents a display experience through its collaborations with ecosystem partners, including:

Designer and manufacturer of AV solutions, Peerless-AV providing essential bracket solutions specifically designed for the Clear Cobalt (CL) Series, which redefines LED capabilities for data visualisation. The showroom features groundbreaking collaborative displays like the CL0.9 v2 and NX 1.8 proAV solutions.


Italy – This year, Claypaky once again played host to the students enrolled in the Master in Lighting Design and LED Technology, organised by the Polytechnic University of Milan. This course has long been devoted to nurturing the talents of aspiring young lighting professionals.

The course aims to equip them with the skills they need for diverse applications such as entertainment venues, interior architecture, urban landscapes, museum exhibitions and temporary installations and residential spaces. The curriculum focuses on the analysis and synthesis of lighting design methods, covering conception, organisation, and rigging.

Among the esteemed instructors who teach on the course is Giovanni Pinna, a renowned lighting designer in Italy, known for his work with artists like Vasco Rossi. Pinna runs the Lighting Design for Entertainment module,

Germany - HOF is known for offering and supplying everything from design to production from a single source and now has its own powder coating facility. This gives HOF greater speed and flexibility in the coating of trusses.

The powder coating system consists of fully and semi-automated coating lines, which are used depending on the component in order to achieve the best possible result.

At the heart of the new powder coating system are the 2.7m wide, 3m high and 10m long ovens, which are one of the most advanced and largest in the region. In total, components weighing over two tons can be moved and coated.

A special highlight is the new heavy-duty coating specially developed by HOF, which provides the trusses with a robust and resistant HD coating. HOF offers the HD coating in black, but also in all other RAL colours.

HOF can now coa

Poland - AV Light the exclusive distributor of German Lights Products (GLP) in Poland, has confirmed the successful delivery of the first GLP JDC2 fixtures to Transcolor, one of Poland's largest and best-known lighting companies. This milestone marks a significant moment in the partnership between AV Light and GLP, showcasing their commitment to innovation and excellence in the lighting industry.

Jan Bakiewicz, chief sales officer at AV Light, played a pivotal role in introducing the GLP JDC2 fixtures to the Polish market. Working closely with Stefan Wagner from GLP, Bakiewicz spearheaded efforts to showcase the capabilities of the JDC2 to clients in Poland, highlighting its innovative features and superior performance.

"We are thrilled to partner with Transcolor to bring the GLP JDC2 fixtures to Poland," said Jan Bakiewicz. "These fixtures represent

UK - GLS Lighting, the Southampton based lighting hire company, has been awarded the ESG Mark, an industry benchmark for companies committed to a sustainable future.

GLS Lighting was founded in 1995, to provide lighting equipment to the concert and theatre industry, working on concert tours and events in the UK and worldwide. Over the past 20 years they have progressively introduced initiatives synonymous with the ESG Mark principles. Through the rigorous assessment process, GLS Lighting demonstrated a high level of performance against environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles and an ongoing commitment to positive change.

Additionally, GLS Lighting has joined over 14,000 businesses in the UK by becoming an accredited Real Living Wage employer. The company aims to guarantee that staff are paid a wage rate that meets the cost of living. The

The Netherlands - The first time Stairway Productions’ Menno Smit heard a full-bore Martin Audio concert system was at Grace Jones’ Lowlands Festival appearance in Holland, back in 2009. “I was just blown away by this wall of sound. In fact, I was so impressed by the throw of the Wavefront [W8L] Longbow speakers that I decided to pursue a career in live audio,” he said.

This was after a background first as a singer before switching to technical production, attending including Codarts University for the Arts in Rotterdam and learning about music production and creative producing. He then set out in the studio world, working with bands like the now popular Chef'Special, before transitioning to live sound.

Parallel to his academic work he had also set up Stairway Productions as far back as 2007 to service small gigs from his base in Delft, locat

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.

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