Mexico - Flightcase, speaker cabinet and 19 inch racking solutions specialist Penn-Elcom has announced the opening of a new fully operational manufacturing facility in Tijuana, Mexico.

It is part of the company's planned expansion following robust trading worldwide in recent years, and the strategic location in Mexico's bustling Baja financial and industrial centre will benefit both Penn's Latin American and US markets with even quicker and more efficient delivery times and product options.

Penn Elcom Mexico will be headed up by MD Javier Haro with Frank McCourt heading up the sales effort. Javier has a manufacturing background owning businesses both in Tijuana and in San Diego, California. Frank's career with Penn Elcom stretches back an impressive 32 years, working for Penn both in the UK and in the USA. He has very close links with all Penn's OEM clients. They will be assis

UK - Liverpool based technical production, lighting, sound and AV specialist Adlib has announced the opening of a new Scottish office that will be based at the very heart of Scotland's buzzing entertainment industry ... in Glasgow city centre.

This is a direct response to the steady general overall increase in Adlib's work in Scotland in recent years, and also specifically to service and support several important new contracts won by the company's Installations & Sales division.

The new office will be headed up by Graham Cochrane, a well-known tour and production manager in Scotland and internationally. His regular work includes production managing at the high profile T In The Park festival, and he was also involved as a PM for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Adlib MD Andy Dockerty's personal working friendship with Graham stretches back many years.

Andy comments, "

Italy - Avolites has announced that its range of lighting and Ai video and multimedia control technologies will be distributed in Italy by Music & Lights.

"We are confident that the appointment Music & Lights as our distributor is our most effective step to ensure our continued growth in the Italian market," says Avolites managing director, Steve Warren. "We are extremely impressed with the potential of Music & Lights and CEO Fabio Sorabella's highly effective team are enthusiastic, dynamic and focused on growth."

Warren's words are echoed by Avolites sales director, Koy Neminathan. "Music & Lights have proved that they are capable of providing excellent service training and support, both pre and post-sale. Avolites have invested in the development of new and unique features for both lighting and video control and it is of the upmost importance that we

Archive Campaign - The British Library has launched a campaign to raise £40m to digitise the country's sound archive of more than six million recordings. The library said around two million of these are fragile and rare recordings. These are at risk of being lost due to physical degradation and the disappearance of the technology to play them, the library said. The archive, which includes the voice of Florence Nightingale, is held on more than 40 formats. These include wax cylinders, lacquer discs, cassette players, reel-to-reel tapes and minidiscs.

The UK Sound Archive includes recordings of local accents and dialects used to monitor the evolution of the English language and sounds of rare or extinct wildlife. It also includes full recordings of theatre productions going back 40 years, including the opening night of Hamlet in the Old Vic, starring Peter O'Toole and

USA - When the fourth biennial Stand Up to Cancer special aired in the US and Canada, it raised more than $109m for its groundbreaking collaborative research efforts. Some 60 Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures were deployed for the event.

More than three dozen broadcast and cable networks in the US and Canada telecast Stand Up to Cancer. The show, staged at LA's Dolby Theatre, featured celebrity guests, music by Lupe Fiasco, Jennifer Hudson and Common, The Who, the Dave Matthews Band, and Ariana Grande, and inspiring stories about patients who have benefited from the research supported by the organization. Atomic Lighting of Lititz, Pennsylvania provided the Clay Paky fixtures.

"This show really means a lot to me," says Brad Hafer, vice president of account management, at Atomic Lighting. "Stand Up to Cancer is about something real - it's not just do

UK - Lighting director Howard Harrison has used ETC's Source Four LED Series 2 Lustr fixtures for the City of Angels musical at The Donmar Warehouse, in London's Covent Garden.

The musical depicts a 1940s Hollywood writer working on a film noir thriller; the play switches between gritty, black and white film scenes, and the real writer and his friends, shown in bright, vivid full colour.

"This is the first time the show has been revived," says Harrison, "and one of the biggest challenges was performing it in the 250-capacity space - we needed flexibility of colour without using too many fixtures. I'd heard about Source Four LED Series 2, but had never used them, and despite not having the time or resources to do any kind of tests or shootouts, I was keen to give them a try. They turned out to be exactly the right thing."

The colour changing abiliti

France - Czech Republic based lighting manufacturer Robe Lighting s.r.o. has announced the launch of a new wholly-owned subsidiary, Robe Lighting France S.A.S, which will be headquartered in Paris.

Robe Lighting France S.A.S. will be headed up by two senior managers. Managing director Bruno Garros, a familiar face in the world of the French professional entertainment lighting market takes the helm of the French operation alongside Elie Battah, who as business development manager for France, will spearhead the parent company's business plan.

The new subsidiary is part of Robe Lighting s.r.o.'s planned medium-term expansion strategy, and follows robust trading worldwide in recent years.

Robe Lighting France joins four other highly successful fully Robe-owned operations worldwide - in the UK, USA, UAE and Singapore.

Also responsible for Robe Lighting France will be Ingo Dombr

The Netherlands - For the fifth consecutive year, Dante's AV Networking World series of informative presentations and hands-on workshops will be held Monday, 9 February 2015 at the Amsterdam Holiday Inn near the RAI Convention Centre.

The free all-day event will feature presentations, training workshops and interactive panel discussions led by industry design consultants, AV installation contractors and IT networking experts. The event will also feature a major interoperability networking demonstration of Dante-enabled products and systems, several of which are debuting at ISE from the industry's leading audio manufacturers.

Twenty-five leading audio equipment manufacturers are co-sponsoring this year's conference including Ashly, AtteroTech, audio-technica, Bosch, Bose, BSS, Crest Audio, Delec, Focusrite/RedNet, Harman Professional, Lab.gruppen, Lake, Nexo, NTP, Peavey Commer

USA - The Newport Performing Arts Centre (PAC) in Oregon has recently installed a Meyer Sound Constellation acoustic system in its 398-seat Alice Silverman Theatre. With the upgrade, the venue joins the likes of Moscow's Svetlanov Hall, The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Centre, and more than 50 other prestigious venues that rely on the variable acoustics of Constellation to deliver an extraordinary live experience.

"The result of Constellation is subtly but fundamentally transformative for both audience and performer," says David Ogden Stiers, resident conductor for the Newport Symphony Orchestra (NSO), who has more than 20 years of experience at the PAC. "We have gone from an okay performance space to an actual, audible concert hall. Frankly, I was sceptical about the system at first - but am now totally won over."

The proposal of the Constellation solutio

Singapore - Taking inspiration from a swarm of butterflies in mid-flight, a group of students from Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) developed the Flights of Fancy display for the 2014 Singapore Night Festival.

The installation, which was the culmination of the University's 10-week Urban Lighting course, used the Singapore National Design Centre's expansive space to bring a true on-of-a-kind experience to life with help from Martin Professional Exterior 400 LED lighting fixtures.

Throughout the University's Urban Lighting course, students learned about the effects of both natural and artificial light on space as well as fundamental design concepts. The students then had the opportunity to develop an installation for the Singapore Night Festival as part of their final course project and according to the SUTD student team leader, Kenickie Cher Jia Jun,

UAE - Abacus is an equipment rental and technical production company based in Dubai which is active on the live events scene. Founded five years ago initially as an AV supplier by Vimal Kumar, Abacus is headquartered in the Al Qoz 1 business district of Dubai.

Its lighting division was started two years ago with an immediate investment in Robe moving lights with the purchase of 16 x MMX Spots and 16 x LEDWash 1200s

Director of sales, Nidheesh Hari explains that Abacus provides full production for conferences, exhibitions, product launches - large and small - award ceremonies, and small to medium music concerts, offering including lighting, audio and video. They can offer design services or work with the client's own design team and concepts - depending on the set up.

They assessed all the options carefully before choosing Robe, and also sought advice from other industry prof

UK - Sussex-based architectural, commercial and industrial LED lighting manufacturer CLD Distribution has joined Recolight to help encourage customers to dispose responsibly their outgoing incandescent bulbs, tungsten halogen lamps, T8 fluorescent and other discharge lightsources ... as they are being replaced by new, more energy efficient and cost saving LED and other lighting schemes.

"We want to make the recycling of old lighting fixtures as straightforward and cost-effective as possible, especially for those who are investing in our Comus range of LED lighting," explains CLD chair Nigel Howes.

Recolight was set up by and for the commercial lighting industry to maximize the recycling of all lighting kit relevant to the 2006 WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronics Equipment) regulations.

It provides a comprehensive recycling infrastructure across the UK for the di

UK - The Dear GIRL Tour is the ongoing debut concert tour by American singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams. Williams kicked off the tour in Manchester, England, with a full Adamson sound reinforcement system.

The European tour was spearheaded by Sound Image out of Escondido, California, with UK-based Wigwam providing the Adamson PA.

Kyle Hamilton, FOH engineer for Williams, specifically chose the Adamson Energia line arrays to support performances at major arenas throughout Europe.

"They asked me what PA I preferred when we were preparing for the tour and I immediately chose Adamson - it's the system I always wanted to tour with," explains Hamilton. "I couldn't let that type of opportunity go by, it was definitely Adamson."

The main PA consists of left-right line arrays each made up of 15 E15 and three E12 enclosures. Out-fill is provided by two more lin

UK - Last year, international auctioneer Phillips moved from their Victoria premises to a new purpose-designed headquarters in London's prestigious Berkeley Square. The move represents another important step in the evolution and growth of the business.

As part of the move they commissioned two new high-spec gallery spaces. Following a comprehensive study of other manufacturers' products they turned to Dedo Weigert Film GmbH, Munich to supply state-of-the-art lighting fittings.

The innovative lighting system was specified in-house by Phillips gallery manager Ian Bell, working closely with Ossie Jung of Prolight Direct. The fittings were customised by Dedo and delivered and installed on time and on budget.

Thirty years as a gaffer in TV and film meant Ossie knew all about the unparalleled engineering, flexibility and quality offered by Dedo film and TV products. "It was a

UK - Dance music magazine DJ Mag yesterday announced the results of its Best of Britain Awards, with first place in the Best Small Club category going to Audio in Brighton, beating venues such as Stealth in Nottingham and Corsica Studios in London to the prize.

Over the course of the summer of 2014 several promoters hired in Traction rigs for events where they required a superior sound to what was already installed, and the manager Robbie Whishaw and then owner John Holland were won over by the high clarity, big bass and high SPLs achieved from very few boxes. Discussions began to have new systems installed on both floors ready for Audio's 10th Anniversary celebrations on 12 September.

Before it was Audio, the venue was called The Escape and ruled Brighton's nightlife for 20 years. It's basement saw names such as The Stone Roses, Carl Cox, Fatboy Slim and Daft Punk grac

USA - Ward Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Northville, Michigan, has a long history in the Detroit metro area and now a recent lighting upgrade to Elation Professional LED fixtures is heightening the worship experience.

In 2013, in an on-going effort to reach out to more people and at different levels, Ward began to offer four different worship styles in three different venues, all on the same campus. When a contemporary service was launched, Bryan Guelzo was brought in as part of a full A/V renovation.

"When the current building was built about 15 years ago, no one had dreamed that Ward would be holding a contemporary service, let alone shoot HD video, Imag and stream services online," stated Bryan, who has worked as Ward's full-time AVL engineer since July of 2014, working alongside Austin Germain (director of production for worship), Billy Petty (director of wo

UK - Central Presentations Ltd (CPL) and Bright Productions collaborated to deliver an elaborate, innovative and fun 'airport' themed festive party environment for 1200 guests in full fancy dress for a leading technology brand.

Hangar B2 at Cotswold Airfield in Kemble, Gloucestershire, UK, a vast space built as a World War II RAF station which also served as a base to the Red Arrows aerobatics team until 1983, it's been largely utilized for storage since then ... was transformed into a gleaming modern airport fantasy world for the event.

Bright developed the design concept and CPL helped realize this by providing the full technical production - rigging, staging, power, video, sound and lighting.

CPL's project manager Lee Gruszeckyj led their crew of 10, working closely with Bright's production manager Andy Oswin.

While the building structure is well engineered and has a de

USA - Masked rockers Slipknot are making headlines with a fifth album release, the addition of new band members, their Knotfest concert series and the launch of the Prepare for Hell tour - and a grandMA2 console is along for the wild ride.

The band just marked the debut of their fifth studio album, .5: The Gray Chapter which was quickly followed by performances at their own Knotfest in San Bernardino, California. They began headlining the Prepare for Hell tour afterwards.

Trevor Ahlstrand, lighting designer/production designer for Slipknot, is using a grandMA2 full-size and amongst others 30 Clay Paky Stormy, obtained from Christie Lights, on the shows. Ahlstrand chose the grandMA2 for the show for "its reliability and worldwide availability".

He says the grandMA2's "speed and precision with individual parameter timing and effects are grea

Belgium - Maverick Belgian superstars Clouseau rocked the first two (of four) spectacular Clouseau Central shows at the Antwerp Sportpalais, complete with stage, set, lighting and visuals designed - to match the profile of the occasion - by Luc Peumans from creative design practice, Painting With Light.

The band last played the Sportpalais four years ago, in a series of landmark multi-date end-of-year shows that had become an annual end of year concert experience. Back in 2014 in some style with a six-month tour, they wanted to end the year with a performance phenomenon that was high-impact and memorable and different.

The initial concept discussions between Luc and lead singer Koen Wauters started nine months in advance. Of all the shows that the band have performed in Belgium's favourite arena ... they enjoyed 2003's in the round presentation the most.

Clouseau have

USA - Featuring competition in 36 different sporting events, the 22nd Central American and Caribbean Games were recently held at the Estadio Luis 'Pirata' Fuente in Veracruz, Mexico. To oversee the lighting design for the opening and closing ceremonies, lighting designer David Grill was brought on board and he brought with him a high-powered rig filled with 126 VL4000 Spot, 150 VL3500 Wash, and 50 VL3500 Wash FX luminaires from Philips Vari-Lite, supplied by Solotech.

"When setting up this type of lighting design you really have to be aware of your position and fixture choices," began Grill. "While the physical set-up of the stadium and the realities of lighting an outdoor event will dictate these choices to some extent, you really have to make sure you choose the right manufacturer's fixture for each position and purpose. I have worked with Vari-Lite luminaires f

USA - The Eli Young Band has hit the road on its North American tour and recently hosted its 2nd Annual Eli Young Band House Party featuring Clay Paky Sharpy and A.leda B-EYE K-20 fixtures playing supporting roles.

An American country music band from Texas, The Eli Young Band released its 10,000 Towns album earlier this year. During its career the band has had three singles reach number one on the Billboard country charts. The band is currently on a North American concert tour and just finished hosting its popular yearly House Party concerts on back-to-back weekends at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas and Minute Maid Park in Houston.

"The overall design of the tour is high-impact versatility," says lighting designer David Carr. "We deliver a lot of speed with fast moving lights and design."

Carr uses eight Clay Paky Sharpys as floor lights for t

USA - American jam band moe. ended 2014 in style with a sold out concert at The Palace Theatre in Albany, NY, where their LD Preston Hoffman once again made Robe Pointe moving lights the centrepiece of his rig.

The lighting for this special one-off - which also celebrated the start of moe.'s 25th year - was designed as a larger version of their recent touring system which had featured 12 x Pointes hung on a custom structure and used to create most of the signature looks.

For the New Year's Eve show, the Pointe count was upped to 24 ... plus a few wash lights and strobes. The additional 12 Pointes were flown on the venue's house bars and helped fill in the spaces with additional lighting.

Preston loves the almost endless variations on the beam offered by the Pointes.

"There's so much scope that I can keep a whole show fresh throughout just by using Pointes as the hard-

Ireland - Co-founder and composer for The Cranberries, Noel Hogan described the addition of Audient's 8 Channel Mic Pre & ADC ASP880, and USB Interface iD22 to his mobile and home studio set up, as "perfect for me".

Despite having painstakingly kitted out his studio with a lot of coveted vintage outboard gear, his work involved so much travelling that it was often left unused. "Finding a set up that I can take with me is what I've been working on more recently," he explains. "I wanted it to be clean, reliable and mobile so I went straight for the ASP880 combined with the iD22. The clean sound and separation I get from the units is amazing; that combined with the quick ease of use is perfect for any project studio."

Hogan has always found himself drawn to production - even in the early days. He confesses, "Most of my time in the studio (when n

Germany / Belgium - Belgian-based engineering and automation specialists WIcreations designed the 4m square six-faceted video cube which is the visual centrepiece of the current Record tour by German hip-hop superstars Die Fantastischen Vier.

The striking video feature - which moves on all axes and rotates throughout the show - is at the hub of the spectacular and inventive set, lighting and visuals show created by Gunther Hecker.

In addition to displaying conventional playback video, its different fascias are used as alternative lightsources. In the second half of the show, three large sections of gold mirror surface rise up from ground level around three sides of the stage, and the video takes on yet another dimension with these used to bounce and reflect its ambient light back onto the stage.

The Wicreations team led by project manager Yves Vervloet, was approached by Ste

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