UK - Llanelli-based PAI Group/Vaughan Sound has completed the design and installation of a new Nexo sound system at Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Home to Welsh rugby, the 74,500-seat venue is one of just two European sports stadiums with a fully retractable roof and joins a growing number of national stadiums standardising on Nexo sound that already includes the Stade de France in Paris and Croke Park in Dublin.
“We’ve been involved in maintaining and upgrading the original system at the stadium for many years, and welcomed the opportunity to propose a new system which would both enhance the match day experience for fans and keep them safe with the clear intelligibility and uniform coverage of every seat necessary for effective public address and voice alarm functions,” comments PAI project manager Stuart Williams.
Designed in conjunction with the Nexo enginee

Budget Cuts - Birmingham City Council will make cuts to all funding for culture projects and local-arts development, with Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Birmingham Royal Ballet facing a 100% reduction to their support in the next financial year. Europe’s largest local authority has taken drastic measures to tackle a £300m budget shortfall over the next two years, including ending its £350,000 funding to Birmingham International Dance Festival.
Grants to organisations in receipt of regular funding will be hit with 50% cuts this year and 100% from the 2025/26 financial year, with those impacted including Birmingham Opera Company, dance development organisation FABRIC and B:Music - home to the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and operator of Symphony Hall.
Planning News - A film studio plans to invest millions of pounds in local infrastructure in a bid to receiv

USA - The first Super Bowl played in Las Vegas attracted the largest audience ever to watch the game on a Spanish language television network.
Over two and a quarter million viewers tuned in to Univision’s Super Bowl broadcast to watch the Chiefs top the San Francisco 49ers. To mark the occasion, the popular Spanish language network staged a lively pre-game celebration at Caesars Palace at the centre of the festivities was a performance by the multi-award-winning Puerto Rican rapper and singer Myke Towers, which was broadcast on Televisa, Univision’s sports special for the Super Bowl.
Pumping up the energy level around the performance for the live audience and TV viewers was a production design by Rene Garcia of Absolute Lighting Designs that featured over 75 Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by 4Wall Entertainment.
Working with programmer Chris F

USA - Production sound and re-recording Mixer Thomas Cassetta has always loved live theatre and events, so when presented with the opportunity to work on comedy specials back in 2014, he jumped at the chance. Cassetta has worked on projects around the globe for platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, Tubi, Peacock, HBO and ShowTime. He also helps generate laughs with comedians such as Andrew Schulz, Jim Jefferies and Hasan Minhaj. Cassetta’s most recent stand-up production work includes recording and mixing comedian Akaash Singh’s first hour-long comedy special, as well as Pete Davidson’s new Netflix special entitled Pete Davidson: Turbo Fonzarelli.
Working on so many streamed comedy specials, Cassetta knows he needs to recreate the experience of being at a live show, while also ensuring the comedians feel connected to their audience. For Cassetta, the best way to ac

USA - Located in Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts District, Essex is a new music venue poised to be one of the city's premier destinations for live concerts, recently booking bands like Joywave and Danielle Ponder. In a district that has very few music venues, the music hall is a glowing addition to the area, bringing night life to mixed city residential and old industrial complexes. Essex will allow for more national acts when touring through Western New York to choose Rochester, as opposed to neighbouring cities, like Syracuse or Buffalo.
“The main focus of the venue is to showcase national touring artists that might otherwise drive right past Rochester,” says Dave Drago, talent buyer and one of four co-owners of Essex. Drago was tapped by SCN Hospitality, a Rochester-based restaurant group, to oversee the design of the venue's systems on every level of the conce

The Netherlands - Created in 2013 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of dance in The Netherlands, the Amsterdam Music Festival is the biggest electronic dance music event of Amsterdam Dance Event which takes over the city annually each October. AMF’s popularity in its first year saw it move from the RAI Amsterdam to the 40,000 capacity Amsterdam ArenA (now the Johan Cruiiff ArenA) where its top EDM line up attracts the most international visitors of any dance event in the city.
Lighting designer, and owner of The Art of Light, André Beekmans chose a wealth of Ayrton Cobra, Huracán Profile and Ghibli fixtures to light the 2023 edition, the line up of which consisted of EDM royalty Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, Charlotte de Witte, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Headhunterz, James Hype, Purple Disco Machine and Vini Vici.
The show’s lighting and rigging were supplied b

UK - In a repeat of their successful deployment at OVO Arena Wembley for the 25th MOBO Awards, SWG Events this time headed north with their flagship Martin Audio WPL Line Array to the Utilita Arena, Sheffield for this year’s event.
They had to overcome the challenges of providing balanced sound reinforcement for the live audience inside the 12,500-cap arena, while preserving the integrity of the set and striking a balance between the presenters’ mics and the live showcases, in a fast-paced show.
These live performances ranged from UK rap to Afrobeats, Dancehall to Pop/R&B and Garage, with back-to-back performances from Soul II Soul, Ghetts, Sugababes, Cristale, Byron Messia, King Promise and Camidoh, plus a Garage set from DJ Spoony. The event was hosted by Babtunde Aleshe, Indiyah Polack and Zeze Mills.
It required SWG Events to increase the WPL box coun

UK - Playing at London’s Old Vic Theatre, Just For One Day is a new musical which tells the story of Live Aid and those who came together to create this event. Penned by John O’Farrell (Mrs Doubtfire), it features the songs of Bob Dylan, David Bowie, U2, Queen, Elton John and Paul McCartney among others. The show also features a lighting design by Olivier Award-nominated Howard Hudson, who approached White Light (WL), a d&b solutions company, to supply his lighting rig.
Just For One Day is an insight into the origins of the history-making concert held at Wembley Stadium on 13 July 1985; one which was attended by 72,000 and watched by a staggering 1.9bn worldwide. Discussing the show, Howard comments: “Live Aid was such a ground-breaking event and one which has a vast amount of now iconic imagery associated with it.
“Our show tells the

Europe - Light and Sound Design (LSD) Serbia is now officially an exclusive SRS Group distributor for Serbia, Kosovo, and the Balkan region.
“Immediately after LSD reached out to us, we quickly understood that they are a very well-established company, that anyone would like to collaborate with,” says Samuel Sloboda, CEO of SRS Group. “For over 20 years, Milan (the CEO of LSD) and his team have been doing a great job evolving the entertainment industry in the Balkan region from the heart of Serbia - Belgrade. With the extensive time investment LSD put into the construction of its new futuristic building, we are thrilled to see the Balkan market expand and prosper, as we are sure LSD is future-proof and absolutely ready for it.”
LSD covers all areas of the industry - rental companies, theatres, television and movie production companies, hotels, bars and clubs,

UK - Neg Earth Lights has invested in the Apex complete solution to high end chain hoist control applications.
Rick Williamson, motors & automation manager shares: “These are exciting times for Neg Earth with the investment in Apex. Not only does this system meet the current legislative safety standards but it allows us to fulfil higher demands when it comes to our customers’ requirements during shows.”
The Neg Earth team visited Kinesys to learn more about the Apex system in preparation for their first tour. “Thanks, Jon Winn, for such an informative day,” adds Williamson.

USA - LightenUp Inc. (LUI), a Los Angeles-based professional lighting company, has added 48 Ayrton Rivale Profiles to its extensive inventory of Ayrton fixtures and quickly put them to work on a cross-country Paramount+ project. ACT Entertainment is the exclusive distributor of Ayrton lighting products in North America.
Owned and operated by skilled and experienced technicians, LUI supplies a full range of lighting equipment and power distribution to all types of events. It also offers lighting rentals. The Rivale Profiles join a roster of Ayrton fixtures that includes Diablo, Perseo, Zonda 9 FX and Zonda 3 FX units.
Rivale Profile is the most versatile fixture Ayrton has created to date. Rivale is a 450W 6500K LED IP65-rated moving head profile with 4-52º zoom developed for mixed use indoors and outdoors, in all conditions. Surprisingly lightweight, it offers contin

UK - The Art-Deco Grade II listed Queens Hotel has been a majestic presence on Leeds’ City Square since its construction in 1937. Designed by W.H. Hamlyn and faced with white Portland Stone, it is a striking landmark which over the years has hosted many notable guests. Princess Grace of Monaco, Cary Grant, Nelson Mandela and Laurel and Hardy, all chose the comforts of the Queens. During the recent festive season,
The Queens was the focus of a spectacular art installation which saw LeedsBID (Leeds Business Improvement District) collaborate with Barcelona-based creative studio Onionlab on Magical Night at The Queens, a visual spectacular which used the elegant architecture of the Hotel as a canvas for multiple projections.
The ambitious and innovative project required the highest level of technical and logistical expertise. LeedsBID engaged Bradford-based Pro

Australia - Every January, when the sun is at its hottest, thousands of country music-loving people make the pilgrimage to the country town of Tamworth for the Toyota Country Music Festival which runs over 10 days.
The heat of over 40°C and the flies are no deterrent as the festival, presented by Tamworth Regional Council, is now in its 52nd year and is recognised as the second biggest country music festival in the world, after the CMA Music Festival in Nashville USA. The town comes alive with ticketed and free shows alike, and buskers that line the main streets.
The festival culminates in the televised Golden Guitar Awards which celebrates Australian country music and is fortunately held at the air-conditioned Tamworth Regional Entertainment & Events Centre.
Sydney-based Live Event Services has been providing production for the past 10 Golden Guitar Award

USA - Meyer Sound collaborated with staff and researchers at the University of California San Diego’s Department of Music to beta test NADIA, the next generation processor of Meyer Sound’s Constellation acoustic system. Spatial sound and variable-acoustics technology upgrades were installed in the department’s Experimental Theatre, which enabled real-time development with faculty and students while offering the opportunity to gain skills, learn in interactive ways, and accelerate experimental music research.
UC San Diego is the first educational institution to integrate Meyer Sound's NADIA hardware platform in its facilities. The installation highlights Meyer Sound’s commitment to audio education and illustrates the potential to apply the company’s technologies in diverse learning environments.
“With the emergence of spatial headphones, immersive art instal

USA - Christ Wesleyan Church (CWC) celebrated its centennial last year, a 100-year-old church community that has maintained its beliefs and traditions even as it grew into one of the largest megachurches in the Milton, Pennsylvania area.
But there’s an entire other side to this church, one that’s as familiar with Broadway as with ‘The Way’. Each summer and fall season, CWC puts on sophisticated theatrical plays and musicals - last year saw The Sound of Music performed in its 1,100-seat auditorium, where Titanic The Musical and The Diary of Anne Frank were performed the year before, and where the church’s affiliated high school also puts on some rather technically sophisticated productions of its own.
“These are not your typical church productions,” agrees CWC communication creative director Brent Mestach. “But it’s why we needed

The Netherlands - After suffering fire damage last year, Bowlo Bowling & Lounge in Kerkrade has shifted gears and taken its customer experience to a new level. In a major renovation they have transformed the bowling alley and surrounding facilities into a modern leisure area with ‘a breathtaking level of style and ambience’, using products from Showtec, Infinity, DAP and Showgear.
The recent makeover by Parkstad Support has fashioned a chic and modern atmosphere, inviting guests to indulge in a game of bowling or pool, or simply to enjoy a drink and a chat.
To enhance the ambience of the bowling lanes, 14 colourful Showtec LED Light Bar 12 Pixel are mounted in the ceiling, all controlled by an Infinity Chimp 100.G2 Tourpack DMX console, a Chimp Dongle for OnPC and three Showtec TR-512 Pocket DMX Triggers/Recorders. Various accessories such as DAP DMX and power

UK - Production Futures recently staged another successful On Tour event at Fly By Nite Studios in Redditch. Young people from across the Midlands were able to connect with representatives of Production Futures’ brand partners to explore paid work opportunities and free training across the sector.
A feature of the event was the presence of a team of apprentices from global production specialists, PRG.
Having been engaged by Production Futures to build and equip the event’s TALKS Stage with audio, lighting and video provision, PRG, which places a strong emphasis on in-house education and training, suggested using the occasion as an opportunity to provide its apprentices with valuable real-world, hands-on experience. Dovetailing with Production Futures’ vision, PRG’s apprentices, who divide their two-year apprenticeship between in-service training and studying w

France - The 3,723-seat Grand Amphitheatre at Paris Convention Centre, a multi-space venue staging a diverse range of national and international events and entertainment, has recently converted its auditorium lighting to Anolis LED with the installation of nearly 400 x Anolis Ambiane range lighting fixtures.
These are dramatically improving its energy efficiency and reducing power consumption for the lighting by 300%.
The previous PAR 56 500W halogen lighting fixtures had been in residence since the venue’s inauguration in 1974, and this new installation is part of a renovation process initially launched in 2020. It has been co-ordinated by venue operator Viparis in conjunction with French lighting design agency, Lyum.
Installed by Eiffage Énergie Systèmes, the electricity saving in the Grand Amphitheatre is very much welcomed, as the house lighting often ru

The Netherlands - Dutch National Touring Opera, also known as Nederlandse Reisopera, has upgraded its lighting equipment with 30 Source Four LED Series 3 fixtures ahead of its latest production Powder Her Face.
The venue, which is based in Enschede, Netherlands is known as the largest travelling opera company in the country with an ambitious programme that spreads throughout the region. Powder Her Face explores the real-life scandal and much-publicised divorce that disgraced the Scottish Duchess of Argyll in 1963.
American lighting designer Thomas Hase lit the production. He says: “Artistically the fixtures are amazing, I had used the Source Four LED Series 2 fixtures before, but this was my first time using the Source Four LED Series 3 fixtures. The colours are excellent, and the fixtures are brighter than anything else out there. The full spectrum ar

Germany - This year, Prolight + Sound Frankfurt will feature a "comprehensively expanded pro audio offering", according to its organisers. Among other things, visitors can look forward to a 3000sq.m Performance + Production Hub, new attractions, an extended programme of specialist lectures and "the return of well-known exhibitors".
The focus will be on live and concert sound reinforcement as well as innovative studio and broadcast solutions. Renowned companies will be demonstrating sound reinforcement systems under realistic conditions on the outdoor exhibition area. There will also be an extensive supporting programme covering a wide range of current and future-oriented topics.
The newly created Immersive Audio Dome in Hall 11 is being realised in cooperation with Quickspace and United Brands. The latter will present product innovations from Adamson in the impressive

USA - History is often made at the annual Grammy Awards ceremony and this year was no exception, with legendary 80-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell performing on the live broadcast for the first time in her decades-long career.
The historic performance, also featuring Brandi Carlile, Jacob Collier, Blake Mills, Allison Russell, Lucius and SistaStrings, was captured with a variety of Sennheiser microphones, including Carlile and Mitchell’s own custom gold SKM 6000 handheld transmitters with Neumann KK 205 condenser capsules.
Also on the awards show, which was broadcast live from the Arena in Los Angeles on 4 February, rapper Travis Scott performed a medley of songs from his latest, Grammy-nominated album using an SKM 6000 with a Sennheiser MD 9235 cardioid dynamic capsule, a combination that his monitor engineer, Justin Hoffmann, calls “

USA - Bandit Lites is lighting platinum selling hitmaker Cody Johnson. With his recent sold-out appearance at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, Cody broke records as the most tickets sold by a male country artist in their Bridgestone debut. Johnson performed a nearly two-hour set before a crowd that never sat. One of the most poignant statements from the superstar during the night: “God put me on this earth to make country music country music again.”
“Richard ‘Wookie’ Whitley designed The Leather Tour floor package and the full 360 rig used in Bridgestone,” said Bandit Lites client representative Allen Deneau. “Both are dynamic in their capabilities, but easy to transport and deploy. Project manager Don Lockridge was extremely instrumental in helping Wookie and Clint shape the rig into what we used for the show. Months of discussions, drawing updates, gear discu

UK - As part of a major £2m refurbishment which has seen a complete renovation of the 200-year-old Grade II-listed former Post Office building, Leeds Bar & Grill has substantially boosted its in-house sound reinforcement.
By augmenting the existing PA with a potent RCF solution, Audio Visual One (AV One) has ensured that the atmosphere is now in keeping with the operation’s new hybrid bar/restaurant trading policy.
AV One was appointed after having previously carried out work for operators, Individual Restaurants, in other units.
Company owner, Stephen Bailey turned to RCF’s Compact M series when supercharging the interior, selecting four white M 12 multipurpose two-way full-range speakers for the newly defined bar area, along with a low-profile S8015LP 15in bandpass subwoofer, designed specifically for discreet under-seat placement. These are powered by

Belgium - The rides in Circus Bumba never leave the ground, at least not literally. But when seen through the eyes of a child, they soar high, up to the rarified, faraway space where colour meets imagination.
Based on the popular Flemish television show of the same name, the recently opened 3,000m2 themed attraction captivates guests with its bright, cheerful panoramas complete with whimsical characters and fairytale-like scenery.
Enhancing the magical effect of this transformative venue is a collection of over 300 Chauvet Professional fixtures. These units are positioned throughout the main ride, Op Reis met Bumba (Dark Ride), as well as other rides and the park’s theatre.
Drawing on the colour-rendering capabilities of these fixtures, Pieter Dewaegeneere, technical investment manager, and rest of the Circus Bumba team have created a wide array of enchanting l

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