UK - Unusual Rigging has dealt with a fair few strange and, well, unusual, requests over the years. So when Gary Beestone was brought on board as technical director for Netflix and Sonia Friedman Productions’ Stranger Things: The First Shadow, Unusual was chosen for the production’s complex rigging.
“Bringing Stranger Things to the stage is incredibly ambitious and challenging,” explained Gary. “The Unusual team and I are old friends, having worked on some pretty major events and productions over the years. I knew they were really the only sensible choice for this show and so engaged them to design, engineer, fabricate and install all rigging including specialist custom rigging for the production.”
With the original story by the Duffer Brothers, Jack Thorne & Kate Trefry, this new production, based on the Netflix Series, takes audiences b

Norway - Absen, has partnered with Czech sports software company, Goal Sport, to provide high-performance screens at the home of professional Norwegian ice hockey team, Stavanger Oilers.
The Stavanger Oilers, a team in Norway's top ice hockey division, the Fjordkraftligaen, sought to upgrade the outdated centre cube display at the DNM Arena, its home stadium and training ground in Stavanger. The arena, with a capacity of 4,500 spectators for ice hockey matches, and 6,000 for other events, needed a modern, visually appealing display to enhance the fan experience.
Goal Sport, an international AV integrator with expertise in LED screen technology, was tasked with delivering a turnkey installation for the new central visual display. The company chose LED manufacturer Absen to supply the screens for the project. The Absen K3 Plus was specified for its lightweight and flat

USA - Broadcast live from Los Angeles’ Crypto.com Arena for the second consecutive year, the 66th Grammy Awards were delivered by an expert production team who trust Shure wireless technology to ensure extraordinary audio.
“Shure’s Axient Digital wireless technology delivers the high-quality sound and reliability that our team depends on for the Grammy Awards,” shared Michael Abbott, audio producer for the 66th Grammy Awards show. “Their wireless, along with the wide variety of Shure mic capsules, ensures the artists sound their best for the live broadcast.”
To flawlessly broadcast the audio of the event worldwide to 16.9m viewers, a stalwart group of industry veterans, including Michael, relied on 28 channels of the Emmy Award-winning Shure Axient Digital Wireless Microphone System and eight channels of Axient Analog. Artists trusted Shure PSM 1000 in-ear

India - Ragam Pro AVL has become the first rental company in India to have a DiGiCo Quantum 225 in its inventory.
From humble beginnings 50 years ago, Kodaly, Kerala-based Ragam Pro AVL has created a reputation for delivering first class events.
“Recently we have planned to upgrade our audio inventory to meet the growing demands of clients,” says Biju KV, Ragam Pro AVL owner. “Our first thought was to purchase one from DiGiCo’s SD series. But then they introduced the Quantum 338 and 225 to the Indian market via their distributor, Hi-Tech Audio & Image. Azhar Meem from AVL Marketing, Kerala, the dealer partner of Hi-Tech Audio & Image, told us about the powerful Quantum 225 that incorporates all the new design features of the Quantum 338 but in a compact, robust work surface and we knew it would be perfect for us.”
Rajan Gupta, CEO/founder of H

Portugal - Ayrton has announced the appointment of NAN Audiovisuais as a distributor for Portugal, with immediate effect.
Founded in 1995, NAN Audiovisuais has established itself as a leading distributor of professional lighting, sound and video equipment in the Portuguese market. NAN's commercial structure, back office and technical support teams work every day alongside lighting designers, rental companies, and technical teams from theatres, cultural spaces and multipurpose spaces, organising demo and training sessions, and providing the best technical support for a wide range of prestigious brands and manufacturers.
"We are excited to become a new Ayrton distributor for Portugal,” says Correia Neves, CEO of NAN Audiovisuais. “In recent years Ayrton is the moving lighting brand that has grown the most on a global level.
“We have been absolutely amazed by

UK - Tring Park School for the Performing Arts is an independent, co-educational day and boarding school in Hertfordshire, UK. As a specialist provider of vocational training in the performing arts, the school offers courses that include dance, acting, commercial music and musical theatre, as well a full academic syllabus from Preparatory to A-Level.
It is one of only 21 schools selected to allocate government-funded Dance and Drama Awards, a scholarship scheme designed to subsidise the cost of professional dance and drama training for the most talented students at leading institutions. Since 1945, the school has been located in Tring Park Mansion, originally designed by Sir Christopher Wren and formerly occupied by the Rothschild family.
Audio technology plays a vital role in many areas of the school’s curriculum, particularly where its vocational courses are conce

USA - Brentwood Baptist Church was officially constituted on Easter Sunday 1969 in the Nashville suburb of Brentwood, Tennessee. In the past half a century, it has grown to nine campuses around the region and has consistently averaged over 5,000 worshipers in weekly on-campus attendance, along with an estimated 4,000 additional online viewers.
The current main campus’ church was built in 2002 and had a few updates along the way, but last May it completed a complete refresh of the sanctuary’s audio, video, and lighting systems, in concert with leading AVL systems integrator Diversified. And the finishing touch on the updated audio infrastructure is a new KLANG:konductor, the most powerful and versatile immersive in-ear mixing processor ever.
“We had a few periodic updates to the systems over the years, such as going from analogue to digital audio and upgrading ou

UK - Ed Warren’s lighting design for The Lottery Winners’ recent homecoming show at the 02 Apollo Manchester featured a strong floral element.
Warren had two rows of daisy set pieces arranged across the stage. Each had at its centre a Chauvet Professional Strike 1, single source 230W warm white LED blinder, ready to rock the house and transform the stage with intense strobes, audience lighting and immersive washes.
“The concept of the flowers came about from a creative meeting with the band,” said Warren. “They mentioned their logo/branding is daisies, so I had the idea of having some daisy set pieces built. The plan was that we would mount lights in the centre disc of the flowers. The Strike 1s seemed like the perfect solution since they provided natural looking light and a killer strobe. The daisy set pieces were custom made to suit a Strike 1 fixture. The

Finland - The celebrated LUX Helsinki light festival took place at venues across the Finnish capital during January, with a highlight being the specially created projection mapped visual display onto the intricate façade of the National Gallery Ateneum.
The looping, five-hour graphic animations formed a large, 8,000px-wide canvas and were projected by six Barco UDX 4K32 projectors and driven by Green Hippo Hippotizer Montane+ RTX and Karst+ Media Servers.
The festival was staged by Events Helsinki, which brought in Capital AV to deliver technical production and visual consultancy for the Ateneum projections. In temperatures plummeting to minus 20 Celsius, the Capital AV team set up a warm trailer next to FOH position and the three projector towers. The animation work was designed by Katri Tikkanen and commissioned to celebrate the 60th anniversary of famous Finnish c

Italy - Prolights Mosaico series illuminated the main facade of the Naval Academy of Livorno with the colours of the Italian flag. Spazi Sonori Live, the company responsible for implementing the project, faced numerous technical challenges to complete this emblematic initiative, showcasing the versatility and effectiveness of Prolights products.
The request was to permanently illuminate a 25x25m facade with LED lights in the green, white, and red colours of the Italian flag while adhering to strict technical and environmental constraints, including resistance to marine conditions and the need for angular projections without compromising uniform coverage.
After careful evaluation, Spazi Sonori Live chose the Prolights Mosaico series. They used two Mosaico L projectors for the green and white colours and one Mosaico XL projector for the red colour, harnessing their pre

USA - Fan experience innovator PixMob returned to the Super Bowl for a fifth consecutive year. The entertainment lighting tech experts delivered a crowd-captivating immersive experience during the much-anticipated halftime show.
This year’s PixMob activation set out to elevate the halftime show to ‘unparalleled heights’, enhancing the performance of Usher by outfitting performers on stage with their X4 Wristbands. PixMob’s signature sustainably-sourced LED wearables lit up the field with synchronised visual effects to match the performance.
In the crowd, 60,000 spectators were equipped with PixMob’s LED badges, transforming the audience into a dazzling canvas of light and immersive effects.
"PixMob is honoured to mark our fifth consecutive year partnering with the Super Bowl, a testament to our commitment to pushing the boundaries of immersive lighting

UK - Audio consultancy RH Consulting (RHC) has been counting networked audio products and licensees since 2013 to chart the adoption and evolution of audio networking in the pro audio, AV and broadcast markets.
The 2024 edition of this report on Networked Audio Products, which has meanwhile extended to cover audio, video and control products, is available now and confirms the growing strength of AES67, Ravenna and ST 2110 and the dominance of Dante and NDI standards.
In the dynamic landscape of networked AV, the 12th instalment of the report reveals a significant surge in overall adoption, with a total of 6,013 products from 602 brands. This comprehensive analysis, building on 12 years of audio research and three years of video data, sheds light on emerging trends and market dynamics.
“A milestone has been reached with over 6000 networked AV products on the

UK - The 2023 ABTT Virtual Ideas Platform winner was revealed on Thursday 1 February in a ceremony at the annual ALPD and White Light New Technology Showcase in the Embassy Theatre at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
This annual industry event features the latest in lighting technology and felt like an appropriate opportunity to speak on the Virtual Ideas Platform and its winner, whose innovative idea is now being developed by Triple E.
Presented by ABTT co-chair Mig Burgess and introduced by platform developer Charles Haines, David Ripley was awarded the ABTT Hook Clamp Award and Certificate for his winning idea, The Counterweight Caddy.
The Counterweight Caddy is a method of storing weights and addressing the manual handling issues associated with work on the loading gallery.
Speaking of his award win, Central’s Head of Technical and Pr

UAE - DirectOut has entered into a strategic partnership with 7Hertz, distributor of professional and home audio products.
John Parkhouse, senior live audio consultant at 7Hertz, expressed his enthusiasm, saying: "We are very happy to welcome DirectOut to our portfolio at 7Hertz. The alignment of our core philosophies has seamlessly paved the way for a straightforward and exciting partnership." Founded in 2009, 7Hertz has become a pioneer in professional and home audio products across the GCC region.
Lorenzo Sassi, business development manager at DirectOut comments on the partnership: "DirectOut is delighted to join forces with 7Hertz to bring our innovative audio technology solutions to the Middle East market. We believe that 7Hertz's commitment to excellence and deep passion for sound harmonises perfectly with our values, making this partnership a natural fit. Togeth

UK - LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment) has partnered with Handle Freelance Solutions, The Back Lounge and UK LIVE Event Freelancers Forum to launch a survey, The Hidden Side of Freelancing 2024, to understand and identify the changes required to improve the experience of freelancers who are crucial to the success of the live music industry.
The new survey will explore pay transparency and the personal experiences of freelancers at live music events. It aims to help freelancers understand their true value and benchmark their own experience whilst also celebrating what makes live music a great industry for freelancers. The results will then be assessed, culminating in a publicly available report that will be published in April 2024.
Industry organisations such as Entourage Pro, Production Futures, NOWIE, Rego, and Power of Events are all key sup

UK - US loudspeaker manufacturer 1 Sound has joined forces with AV distributor CUK Group to bring 1 Sound to the UK and Ireland.
CUK is part of the CUK group along with another two AV distribution companies across the UK and Ireland – Tukans (York), and CUK Video and Audio (Dublin).
CUK provides customers with value-added services via a team of channel managers and support staff. Their team has expertise encompassing all aspects of the audio industry – commercial audio visual, leisure, live music, voice alarm and security, conferencing, recording, broadcast, and residential AV. They provide support services for their clients such as system design and electro-acoustic modelling, to site visits, and dealer and end-user training.
For 1 Sound, it is significant for their distributors to align on company values, and for CUK Group they also believe in maintaining

Korea - The need for a lightning fast, reliable and infinitely flexible digital network were the key requirements when Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) set out its requirements for a ‘black box’ theatre in Seoul. The Multi Content Testbed was conceived as a test ground where all types of cultural and artistic content would merge with innovative cutting-edge technology.
Optocore originally received the inquiry from installation company, SiDiS, as far back as October 2021 when the search began for a robust network.
The equipment needed to be compatible with any incoming production mixer, as well as the in-house Midas M32, feeding the L-Acoustics PA. It was based around an M8 MADI switch at FOH, which would share the inputs and outputs of four stage boxes. These, in turn, are catered for by a variety of X6R-FX and X6R-TP devices, and BroaMan Repeat 48, which conv

UK - Singer-songwriter Callum Beattie captivated sellout crowds on his recent winter tour of his homeland, Scotland. Supporting him with some fiercely bold visuals was a power-packed light show by Steve Mccraken of Mac-Events, who programmed the show and ran it throughout the tour on his ChamSys MagicQ MQ500M Stadium Console.
Working with a kit supplied by Limelight Event Services, Mccracken busked some manual flashes, strobes, and other looks, but most of his show was cue stacked. “We kept the looks consistent from show to show to create the experience that fans expected,” he said. “Although we had to make some changes to accommodate some venues, we remained consistent overall.”
The looks that Mccracken designed seemed to be tailor-made for his client’s genuine up-from- the-streets stage presence. For example, Mccraken created some interesting effects mixing

USA - Rock band Lord Huron burst onto the charts with The Night We Met, a viral hit that caught the attention of billions. Capturing the intricate and delicate nature of their music while recording is crucial for the band, and they put just as much emphasis on recreating that listening experience for live audiences.
To ensure the band delivers a sound on stage that is consistent to their studio sessions, Front of house sound engineer Justin Chechile selected the band’s favoured DPA Microphones vocal and instrument mics, including the DPA d:facto 4018VL Vocal and 2011 Twin Diaphragm Microphones. For recorded and live applications, the band also deploys the DPA DDK4000 Drum Microphone Kit, comprised of the 2012 Cardioid and 4055 Kick Drum mics, along with a stereo pair of the 2015 Wide Cardioids and three 4099 Instrument Microphones.
“Lord Huron first started

The Netherlands - Attracting acts from across the world, Kerstcircus Ahoy recently completed its 51st season in Rotterdam. Supporting the performers and adding to the excitement of the circus was a colourful, and sometimes dramatic, lighting design by Ricky Bouckenhove of Live Systems that featured 70 Chauvet Professional fixtures.
Bouckenhove, who has been lighting the renowned circus for 24 years, relied on a mainly blue and white colour palette to highlight its 12 different acts, which featured performers from 16 different nations.
At the circus’ centre ring, he hung 24 Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures on the 19m circular truss. Drawing on the 440W light cannon’s 16-bit dimming, he was able to have smooth fades at the conclusion of acts. Moreover, the fixture’s tight zoom allowed him to focus light where he wanted it without spill over.
Bouckenhove also arran

USA - In a harmonious blend of cultural reverence, sustainability and modern entertainment, the Lāna‘i Ocean Theatre has emerged as a spectacular amphitheatre on the southeast coast of Lāna‘i, the sixth-largest island in the Hawaiian Archipelago.
This visionary project stands proudly within the lush grounds of the Four Seasons Resort Lāna‘i, overlooking the serene Hulopo'e Bay, and employs IP-rated Proteus Lucius and Arena Zoom Q7IP luminaires from Elation.
An entertainment space that organically conforms to its natural surroundings, the Lāna‘i Ocean Theatre is a Greek-style amphitheatre that pays homage to the historical roots of theatre. The project, initiated in September 2021, transforms a section of the hillside overlooking the bay, creating a venue that seamlessly integrates with the natural landscape and botanical garden setting.
Land and res

Belgium - Nexo rental partner VDB-PA deployed its STM system at the annual New Year’s party in Leuven, with a change in format for this year’s event presenting some interesting new challenges.
Last year the DJ tower was located in the centre of the Oude Market, presenting two separate crowd areas of 30m wide x 60m deep. This year, the tower was located centrally along the long side of the space, making an audience area of 120m wide and just 30m deep.
“The challenge was to create a club vibe with a stereo sound stage for as many people as possible, regardless of where they were located,” reports system designer and tech Lennert Van de Velde.
“We achieved this by flying left and right hags of six Nexo STM M48 main and B112 bass extension elements firing into the square at right angles to each other, with additional pairs of hangs of six STM M28 modules al

Europe - This year’s ISE (Integrated Systems Europe) show was a special one for Truss Aluminium Factory (TAF). On 30 January, the first day of the exhibition, the company revealed its new TAF logo.
The new image was also featured in a special logo reveal video released that same day on TAF’s social media channels and website, as well as in the TAF newsletter and on industry media websites. Going hand-in-hand with the redesigned logo was news of TAF’s new strategic direction as ‘The Factory’.
The teaser campaign highlighted ‘a truss brand you know’ and a factory that’s ‘behind much of the well-regarded truss on the market’.
“The redesigned logo not only serves as the new face of the brand, but also as a symbol of its evolution as a leading truss manufacturer and new strategic direction as The Factory,” says the Czechia-based company that

Iceland - Harpa, the concert hall and conference centre, located in capital city Reykjavik - has invested in 48 x new Robe Forte moving lights which will be utilised in their 1600-capacity Grand Hall, home of the Icelandic Opera and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.
The striking Harpa building was designed by the Hanning Larsen Architects from Denmark in conjunction with Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson - well known for creating sculptured and large-scale installation art using elements like light, water, and air temperature - and opened in 2011. The structure comprises a steel framework clad with different coloured and shaped geometric glass panels inspired by Iceland’s beautiful and mineral-rich basaltic rock landscape.
Harpa stages numerous high visibility world-class productions and events as well as hosting meetings and high-rolling summits. Karl Sigurðsso

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