Italy - With his glowing bow that evokes a Jedi lightsabre, electric violinist Andrea Casta is known as the ‘Jedi Violinist’. Casta performs over 200 concerts a year that reach more than 2m live spectators. The artist has taken his music to over 30 countries and boasts a social fanbase of nearly half a million followers.
His recent tour, The Space Violin - Visual Concert, sold out in major Italian cities. He was awarded Best Performer at the Dance Music Awards in 2018 and 2022. Many of Casta’s performances are smaller, boutique events. For those, the artist has chosen a TT+ Audio System that satisfies his desire to bring the highest possible sound quality and musical clarity to his audiences while being highly versatile, portable and aesthetically discreet.
“My smaller performances were a real challenge,” said Casta. "I needed a compact and easily transport

Canada - Powersoft has announced the appointment of AVL Media Group, a division of Intellimix Corp, as its new distributor and service centre for Canada.
Established more than 25 years ago, AVL Media Group is an award-winning distribution company with a mission of developing long-term, mutually beneficial, business relationships through professional products backed by excellent sales, service and technical support.
“We are excited to be represent Powersoft in Canada and we are looking forward to informing Canadian customers about Powersoft’s offerings with particular emphasis on Mezzo, the new Unica amplifier platform, and the recently announced Verso cloud gateway,” says Andrew Hope, managing director of AVL Media Group.
AVL Media Group will focus on promoting Powersoft’s products and technologies, making its customers and potential partners aware of

Size Matters - The UK's largest indoor arena will open its doors for the first time with a headline act performed by Peter Kay. The Bolton comedian will perform at the opening night of the new 23,500-seater Co-op Live venue in Manchester on 23 April. Liam Gallagher, Take That, Pearl Jam and Olivia Rodrigo are also set to separately perform at the £350m arena.
Co-op general manager Gary Roden said Kay was the "perfect" opening act who "embodies what this city is about". The new venue, set to open opposite Manchester City's Etihad stadium, features a "unique bowl design" that would bring fans "closer to the artist than at other arenas of equivalent size", a spokesman for the Co-op said. The arena is set to surpass the Manchester Arena and O2 Arena in size to become the UK's largest indoor arena.
Get Back - Sir Paul McCartney has been reunited with the bass

UK - In its 11th year, the Association of Motion Picture Sound (AMPS) winner’s presentation for Excellence in Sound for a Feature Film 2024 took place at The Rosewood Hotel, with The Zone of Interest receiving the award.
Johnnie Burn AMPS, Tarn Willers AMPS, Mateusz Stasiak and Simon Carroll were present to receive their AMPS trophies from AMPS chair Andrew Wilson, in the company of AMPS members including award group leader and three-time Academy Award nominee Graham Hartstone. James Ogden was unable to attend but will be sent his award.
AMPS’ annual awards recognise multiple facets of the sound industry; alongside supervising crew members, AMPS honours key 1st assistant sound/boom operators and supervising dialogue/ADR editors. AMPS recognises the assistants in the team as well as the HoDs, with Mateusz, Simon and James receiving trophies and being named

USA - The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) approved a change in its regulation that now permits operation of Wireless Multichannel Audio Systems (WMAS) in the United States.
WMAS is an advanced wireless microphone technology designed to meet the challenges of highly demanding live performance and studio applications. Compared to conventional wireless microphone systems, WMAS offers higher spectral efficiency – the ability to transmit more audio channels within a limited block of radio frequency (RF) spectrum – as well as greater interference protection to other wireless services that share the same spectrum.
In her statement during the Open Commission Meeting, chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel pointed out, “Unless you’re in video and audio production, the odds are you haven’t thought much about wireless microphones. But they’re everywhere. […] So when

UK - Bluesound Professional has appointed Sound Technology, a Midwich Group company, to grow the brand’s reach in the UK and Ireland. The appointment takes effect immediately.
“We are very proud to represent Bluesound Professional as its unique endpoint streaming solutions are cutting edge for this industry,” says Alison Charters, business manager, Sound Technology. “The versatility of the solutions it offers will help our network of integrators grow their businesses by creating new revenue streams while also cutting costs.”
“Sound Technology have such deep roots in the commercial A/V sector with an excellent network of experienced integrators,” adds Graeme Harrison, vice-president and general manager of Bluesound Professional. “We look forward to seeing the kinds of interesting and novel installations that our products will be used in.”

UK - PLASA is running an industry-wide survey on sustainability. The association aims to understand how and if companies across the entertainment technology sector are tackling the important issue of sustainability and carbon reduction.
The survey was launched during the Member Business Forum on Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, which took place in London on 18 January 2024. However, the survey is now open to the wider industry until 29 March, in partnership with #WeMakeEvents, LSi, LIVE and PEARLE.
Even though there are no current legal requirements in the UK to implement such plans, PLASA recognises the importance of sustainability across the industry and the need for support. Therefore, the association is now conducting research to understand the current position of the industry. The data will help to inform the activities of the association, as well as future in

Australia - The ASP4816-HE compact console has been chosen for JMC Academy in Melbourne, the final of the three antipodean JMC education facilities to upgrade to the Audient mixing desk.
Studio/facilities manager, Marcus Hernan explains the setup: “We have five studios on campus as well as numerous smaller production suites and edit labs. Each studio follows the curriculum from small bedroom style production suites with all-in-one interfaces in trimester one, to the ASP4816-HE in tri two, control surface in tri three and a larger format console in tri four onwards.”
Originally a studio lecturer at JMC Academy, Marcus has worked with them for over a decade. He continues: “Our Audient is housed in the trimester two studio as the formal introduction to analogue studio workflow. It is the centrepiece of a studio comprising a ProTools rig with an assortment of outboa

USA - Just before Christmas, Two Cities Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina moved into a new worship centre where modern production equipment enhances the in-person and broadcast experience for a congregation of some 2,500 people who attend three Sunday services.
SES Integration in Mocksville, North Carolina consulted on the design of the new building and, with the support of its SES Production division, suggested a complement of Ayrton Levante, Diablo and Zonda 9 wash lights for the rig. ACT Entertainment is the exclusive distributor of Ayrton lighting in North America.
Seven-year-old Two Cities Church has undergone rapid growth, quickly expanding beyond the capacity of its previous locations. The move to a purpose-built worship centre on 13 acres in downtown Winston-Salem afforded the opportunity to create an all-new production environment to engage congregants

USA - Eastern Lighting Design has completed the lighting design and installation for the new Chicago-based studio of the sports podcast Numbers on the Board, hosted by Kenny Beecham and produced by Omaha Productions.
The project involved 11 Prolights ArcShine M18FC fixtures, transforming a standard office space into a dynamic, visually engaging broadcast studio. Numbers on the Board combines in-depth NBA analysis with lively discussions, creating an accessible and engaging atmosphere for its audience. The design aim was to cultivate a studio environment that supports high-quality broadcast requirements while ensuring the space is optimally lit for video production.
The Eastern Lighting Design team addressed this challenge by integrating Prolights ArcShine M18FC fixtures, renowned for their versatility and high-quality output. "The ArcShine M18FCs enable

USA - Although a procession of major stars like Fall Out Boy, 30 Seconds To Mars, The Last Dinner Party, Bush, The 1975, and Sum41 graced the Honda Centre stage, the lighting rig for this year’s iHeartRadio ALTer EGO concert, which is traditionally held at the Kia Forum in LA, was smaller than it was in recent years.
The size of the rig, notwithstanding, the design team was given the mission of making the overall production for the nationally televised event, look bigger than previous shows.
“We wanted to make the show seem larger this year,” said Dierson of The Activity. “Yet, there’s no bravado when I tell you that this was literally the smallest lighting rig that I’ve been a part of in the past 20 or so years.”
Describing this challenge as “a blessed reality”, Dierson explained how it sharpened his creative visions. “It’s good to be forc

France - The newly inaugurated LDLC Arena in Lyon, boasting a 16,000 capacity, is a prominent addition to France's event venues as the largest indoor arena outside Paris. In a city already known for its vibrant fusion of history, culture, and innovation, this new, Populous-designed venue symbolises the ambitious objective of the local government to offer a versatile space that can host large crowds for electrifying sports events and major concerts.
LDLC Arena will serve as home to Lyon-Villeurbanne’s ASVEL basketball team while accommodating large-scale tournaments, exhibitions, and national and international tours. The venue opened in November with a concert from Lyon-born celebrity and comedian Florence Foresti, and it has already hosted concerts from the likes of The Arctic Monkeys.
Given the stated mission of offering diverse events under one spectacular roof, t

France - Broadcasting 24/7, the international news channel France 24 reaches an audience of almost 500m households around the world in French, Arabic, Spanish and English. However, as is the case all over Paris, space is quite limited, so France 24 has to make the best of its available capacities, with its largest studios being just under 100sq.m with a grille height of 3.5m.
Given the varied programming broadcast by France 24, cameras on this set are arranged very differently, depending on the show. Indeed, sometimes camera axes are reversed by 180-degrees. Also, since various news and editorial teams require their own looks during broadcasts, the studios have not one, but five different sets, all of which are rolled on wheels.
Working within this set of circumstances, Jean-Louis Rousseaux, director of photography for France 24, was seeking a compact and very versatil

France - Elation and French distributor Best Audio & Lighting provided lighting for the final of this year’s CQLP (C'est Qui Le Patron) lighting design competition in France. A demanding competition that showcases lighting designer talent, this was the first time the competition was held outdoors, this year at the Collégiale Notre-Dame de Mantes-la-Jolie outside of Paris.
Using the grandeur of the medieval church’ s architecture as a centrepiece, lighting design teams produced light shows that combined quality, creativity and technique. Following an elimination tournament round of 16, quarter-finals and semi-finals, two teams advanced to the grand finale 20 January. There, the two teams had 40 Proteus Maximus LED profile moving heads, 24 Proteus Excalibur sky beam moving heads, and 40 Paladin Panel floodlights at their disposal to awe judges as well as an enthusiast

Australia - Hosted at The Hordern Pavilion in the heart of Sydney, last year’s B&T Awards revolved around the theme ‘Embrace the Extra-Ordinary’, with 40 categories presented during the night. Collaborating with their client, The Misfits Media Co., for whom Audio Visual Events (AVE) has been the preferred production partner for five years, a sophisticated LED structure powered by Brompton Technology’s Tessera LED processors was orchestrated.
“Before the B&T Awards, we assisted The Misfits team with their internal B&T & Travel Weekly programmes and agency event work,” explains Paul Keating, director at AVE. “The brief for this year’s event, encompassing the client's mood board, event styling, and content, featured dark backgrounds and vibrant colours. This was a perfect fit for utilising LED, allowing for deep, dark colours and contrasting vibr

UK - Located in the heart of Chelsea, Cadogan Hall is an historic 950-seater concert hall, presenting a wide range of events and performances, from classical music to jazz to musical theatre. Its acoustics and luxurious surroundings make it the first choice for some of the UK’s top orchestras, including the Hall’s resident orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, as well as a favourite London destination for international touring orchestras.
It recently decided to upgrade its lighting set-up, in order to become more energy efficient as well as offer performances more options and flexibility. As such, they approached White Light (WL), a d&b solutions company, who oversaw this significant investment.
The upgrade of the existing rig was driven by the venue’s head of production, James Tapping. He explains: “Previously we had a ‘concert rig’ of ETC Source Four Pa

USA - InfoComm 2024, the largest trade show focused on pro AV in North America, set for 8-14 June at the Las Vegas Convention Centre has officially opened registration.
“InfoComm 2024 is the destination to bring together the pro AV industry - from manufacturers to integrators, dealers to end-users - to connect with each other, learn about the latest trends, and explore the newest technology,” said David Labuskes, chief executive officer of AVIXA, producer of InfoComm. “In a continuously evolving industry in a forever-evolving world, it’s critical for industry professionals to keep learning and challenging the status quo to bring forth solutions that make a difference.”
“We are excited to open registration for InfoComm 2024 and eagerly await the return to Las Vegas, a city that epitomises the heartbeat of the pro AV industry, pulsating with technology innova

UK - Reading & Leeds Festival is to debut a new outdoor stage, The Chevron, at this year’s events. The festival attracts 240,000 visitors combined across both sites over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Reading & Leeds will now feature an additional 40,000-capacity open-air venue, including the world’s first floating video canopy made up of hundreds of thousands of programmable LED lights that appear to be hovering in the air. The mesh is 90% transparent so festival-goers can dance under the open sky into the night.
“The bespoke structure, exclusive to Reading & Leeds, promises an immersive atmosphere and incredible programming, raising the bar for dance music and hip-hop fans and artists alike, raising the bar for dance music and hip-hop fans and artists alike,” said a statement.
Positioned in the main arena of both festival sites, The Chevro

UK - As lighting controls specialist Pharos Architectural Controls moves into its 20th year in 2024, the manufacturer is launching a campaign in recognition of key people and projects that have played a significant part on its journey.
The 20 Years of Pharos campaign will spotlight 10 lighting professionals and 10 projects that have shaped the success of the company over the two decades since its establishment.
Pharos Architectural Controls was founded in 2004 as part of the Carallon group, as an independently owned specialist in dynamic lighting control systems.
All Pharos products are designed and manufactured in-house, including each product’s industrial design, the electronics, and the final assembly. By keeping control of the entire design and manufacturing process, Pharos prides itself on maintaining the highest possible standards in quality assurance.

Canada - Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) recently announced its $350m renovation for the Scotiabank Arena, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) and Toronto Raptors (NBA).
This multi-phase renovation will see improvements to almost every part of the venue to greatly enhance the fan experience. The work began on the Mastercard Executive Suites level along with state-of-the-art technology upgrades, which was the start of the proof of concept with the upgraded audio system.
The initial audio design came from WJHW, a global design and consultant firm, who reached out to 1 Sound to specify 1 Sound’s Cannon C4i’s in the design for the Mastercard Executive Suites, Theatre Suites, and Mastercard Lounge. The goal of the design prompted by MLSE was for the audio system to fit in with the high-end finishes and feel of the room and have an enhanced audio experie

South Korea - Soyoun Lee’s is currently working for Lite Factory in Korea, designing and programming shows for several high-profile K-Pop music artists in Singapore and Korea. One of these is Korean record producer and singer-songwriter, Crush, who recently played several Wonderego concerts - in support of his i third album - at Seoul’s Jamsil Arena, for which Soyoun designed, programmed and operated the lighting.
For the first time, she chose to run the lighting control on a full grandMA3 system. Soyoun had used the grandMA3 console / hardware many times already (running in mode 2) and felt that this was a great time to ‘make the switch’, for which she prepared herself via online training videos and in-person training arranged via MA Lighting’s Asia Pacific base in Singapore.
Through the training, her grandMA3 knowledge increased exponentially and she reali

Argentina - Rock and pop musician Fito Páez continued his El amor 30 años después del amor tour last year with a 16 December concert at the Estadio UNO - Estadio Jorge Luis Hirschi in Buenos Aires where 54 Claypaky Sharpy Plus fixtures enhanced the energy on stage.
The tour marked the 30th anniversary of Páez’s breakout album, El amor despues del amor, the pinnacle of his commercial success. In 1992 the artist sold more than 750,000 copies of the album and played sold-out concert dates. Thirty years later he drew sell-out crowds to a commemorative tour from Gonna Go! Producciones that began in 2022. In the tour’s first year Páez played shows in South America and the US; last year he expanded the tour to include additional South American countries as well as Canada and Europe.
Lighting designer Gaspar Potocnik selected a large complement of Claypaky Sha

UK - Following on from the successful Performance Audio Showcase event at Troxy in January, Sound Technology - distributor of Harman Professional audio brands in the UK & Ireland - has announced JBL VTX A6 open house sessions at its demo facility in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire on 5-7 March.
The A6 is JBL’s smallest VTX loudspeaker product to date, bringing flagship VTX A Series performance to a subcompact form factor. The fully passive, two-way line array is a versatile solution for small to mid-size rental houses, corporate events, theatres, clubs, houses of worship ‘or anyone who demands superior sound reinforcement’.
Hosted by Sound Technology's professional audio application team, the open house events will feature a flown stereo VTX A6 array with the accompanying VTX B15 subwoofer. Alongside listening sessions, the application team will dive

USA - When officials at the Von Braun Centre, located in the heart of historic downtown Huntsville, Alabama, approved a transformative renovation project at the multi-purpose facility, the task of installing a new audio system was awarded to Verta Technologies, a pioneering force in audiovisual solutions.
Spearheaded by Christian Tuttle, principal and CEO of Verta Technologies, the company selected an ADAPTive audio system from EAW.
The Von Braun Centre has undergone extensive renovations over the past two years and sought a comprehensive update for its aging audio system at the 10,000-seat Propst Arena, home to the Southern Professional Hockey League’s Huntsville Havoc. This is in addition to EAW ADAPTive being deployed in the 1,300-capacity Mars Music Hall and the 2,000-seat Mark C. Smith Concert Hall. While Propst Arena is primarily used for hockey, all three of t

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