UK - Tenor Alfie Boe's career has only gained strong momentum ever since he was famously discovered polishing cars at Blackpool's TVR Factory at age 17. He recently undertook a major UK tour, where Martin Professional's newest MAC Quantum Profile fixtures proved that they are perfectly at home in live arena-sized productions.

Running from 29 November 29 to 13 December, 2014, the 11-show tour stopped at most of the UK's major arenas. Lite Alternative supplied lighting, with the rig including five Martin Professional MAC Quantum profiles and 15 Mac Vipers.

"We were trying to create a 1930s club scene," said John Ginley, Lite Alternative Project Manager and Alfie's Lighting Designer. "Alfie wanted to keep it Art Deco, with lots of shadows and shapes in the light. We decided to use the MAC Quantum Profiles and MAC Vipers together because they are both very efficient

Europe - When American R&B/Hip-Hop star Usher set out on his 50-date The UR Experience US and European tour to promote his latest album UR, his touring LD Eric Wade (of FOHShow) was carrying an inventory that included no fewer than 216 of GLP's compact and highly flexible X4 S LED spots.

They form a focal part of the design conceived by production designers Baz Halpin and Chris Nyfield (Silent House) and Wade himself. Coincidentally, all had been early adopters of the X4 S platform.

On the UR Experience Tour, these are mainly deployed on the upstage wall of the automated ladders. Wade confirmed, "I wanted a wall of light from the very beginning and Baz and Chris made the space. The lighting system is a combination of asymmetrical and symmetrical. However, the GLP ladders are symmetrical and run on automation up/down/stage left/stage right and we could get ma

UK - Well-known for its work in the concert touring and corporate events markets, sound rental company BCS Audio is a long-term advocate of L-Acoustics sound systems. The company's recent investment in a K2 variable curvature WST line source system underlines its commitment to high quality audio solutions and adds an extra dimension to its offering.

"Our inventory already included V-DOSC, DV-DOSC, Kara, and Kiva systems, in fact, pretty much the whole range of L-Acoustics products, so investing in K2 seemed like the next logical step," says BCS managing director David Shepherd. "We went out to L-Acoustics' Paris facility with its UK sales manager Stuart Down to hear the K2 system and pretty much said that we wanted it there and then.

"Having K2 gives us an extra competitive edge, enabling us to work easily in venues where there are limited weight loadings t

Denmark - XL Video supplied projection, video, lighting and audio design, plus equipment and crew to the annual AIR 2014 conference, staged at the Hotel Scandic in Copenhagen over two days.

XL Video collaborated with full-service international Event Management Company Ashfield Meetings & Events and global healthcare communications agency QXV Communications, an Ashfield Healthcare company, who were working for end client InterMune, a leading Swiss biotechnology company focused on the research, development and commercialization of innovative therapies in pulmonology and orphan fibrotic diseases.

The conference was attended by 340 delegates from around the globe including leading respiratory physicians and specialists.

XL's project manager was Andy Mayneord. The job always starts - as with AIR conferences in the past - with site visits several months in advance to assess the ve

UK - Pro audio provider The Warehouse Sound Services has reported a surge in interest in d&b audiotechnik's Y Series point source and line array loudspeakers following a presentation at their Glasgow premises this week.

The presentation follows positive feedback about the Y-Series at this year's inaugural PLASA Focus at the SECC.

The Warehouse Sound Services has 25 years of experience as a leading d&b audiotechnik UK Sales Partner and is one of only two UK sales partners in d&b's newly restructured sales network.

The event was the first time customers in the North were given the opportunity to see and hear the new d&b Y series of loudspeakers up close and personal. Over 40 industry representatives from across the UK attended and the event generated unprecedented demand.

Janet Murray, sales manager of The Warehouse commented, "The response to the d&b Y Series range has

South Africa - Johannesburg based rental and production company Lucidity has just invested in its first Robe moving lights - with the purchase of six Pointes and six LEDWash 300s from Robe's Robin series. These were delivered by Robe's South African distributor DWR.

Lucidity - founded in 2000 by Paul Newman - also has a presence in Cape Town and Durban, and has built up a reputation for servicing a portfolio of high end corporate clients plus a selection of other premium live events.

Initially Lucidity's focus was on audio and AV, also acquiring rigging and trussing along the way. Although this was Paul's first major lighting purchase, his 25 years of experience which includes international touring and working in some of the country's busiest venues, he appreciates the value of buying quality.

The decision was prompted by increasingly paying for lighting cross rentals for va

USA / Europe - Throughout his career, Lenny Kravitz has always insisted on accuracy in his guitar tone. "He works hard on getting everything just right, especially his guitar," says Alex Alvarez, Lenny's guitar tech of 23 years. "He's just insistent on his sound, which is why he never went wireless. Every time we would demo something, it would never meet his expectations."

But all that changed during production rehearsals for Kravitz's European tour in support of his latest album, Strut. After a demo of multiple high-end wireless systems arranged by Tour Supply, Lenny, Alex, and guitarist Craig Ross agreed that Shure Axient Wireless Management Network was the one system that could deliver his sonic requirements on stage.

"It started as a conversation with Lenny," Alex relates. "The subject of wireless guitar came up, and I told him there was

UK - Star Events supplied the infrastructure for creative communications agency krow's spectacular Fiat 500x illusion at the Copper Box Arena in East London, which saw superstar magician Dynamo turn a 3D blueprint of the new car into the physical vehicle with the "Power of X".

The Star Events team worked to a brief from production company Lodestar. It required a complex rigging element throughout the venue and over 1,100sq.m of multi-level terracing, ramps and stairways to form the stage, an auditorium for 1,000 people, VIP and technical areas.

The whole set up was constructed on a sub-floor, laid not only to protect the Olympic standard sports surface, but to spread the significant loads generated by the event production, which included a small crane, squeezed into the venue to assist with the build.

Gavin Scott, Star Events' project manager, said, "Establish

Croatia - The Arcus Cafè and Night Bar have a long and enviable reputation as one of Čakovec's premier hot spots for entertainment. Situated in northern Croatia, the town and its surrounding area serve a population of nearly 45,000. The club itself has been open since 1998 and has recently undergone a thorough refit. The owner, Mr Ivan Steficar, knew he wanted a top quality sound system to maintain and grow the level of customer satisfaction; so he turned to Davor Files from ELTEL, the sales partner for d&b audiotechnik's Croatian distributor, Sunflower.

Files explains the rationale behind the choice of loudspeaker, "The Arcus Cafè is quite an intimate space; in total no more than 90sq.m. The performance space for the DJ is in the centre of the room so we opted to incorporate the subs into the plinth itself. The choice there was for 18S-SUBs from the d&b xS-Series. T

France - Founded in 1368, the Bibliothèque nationale de France (National Library of France, or BnF) is one of the country's highest profile institutions, holding copies of virtually everything published in France. Nowadays one of largest and most modern libraries in the world, a Yamaha QL5 digital mixing console has been entrusted with supporting the BnF's programme of cultural events.

The library currently holds around 14m books and printed documents, manuscripts, prints, photographs, maps, plans, scores and many other artefacts. As well as acting as a hub for researchers, it also hosts exhibitions and cultural events in various spaces. A compact, easy to move mixing console was needed for these events, but the Yamaha QL5 also delivered much more.

Installed by Coulommiers-based MDS Audio, besides its size and portability, another key factor in choosing the QL5 was its combin

USA - American rock favourite Phish recently played a string of dates at Miami's American Airlines Arena to ring in the New Year. The prolific band wanted to make a statement for the shows that tied in with their iconic imagery.

Enter DMDS7UDIOS, brought in to projection map the building's huge curved exterior with custom content using Ai and its new headline feature, Autoblend. The feature has been lauded by DMD principal Scott Chmielewski as "unbelievable" for its speed and accuracy in making a perfect blend on a difficult surface that looked to threaten the success of the project.

DMD are the first company to have been allowed to projection map on the AA Arena, and as Scott Chmielewski explains, "The arena is a complex building with very unusual throw distances and angles."

In order to accomplish the task, DMD used eight 40k Barco projectors to create

South Africa - Lighting designer Francois van der Merwe will present Vectorworks Training during March at DWR Distribution, Johannesburg. There are four different courses to choose from, all of which will include training notes and lunch.

A Basic One Day Training course takes place on 9 March. Subjects include Basic Fundamentals, Layouts, Pallets, Basic Tools, Classts & Layers.

The Intermediate Two Day Training will be hosted on 10-11 March. Topics include Preferences, Workspace, Basic Spotlight, Basic Renderworks and Intermediate Tools. The cost is R1 500.00 incl. VAT.

The Advanced Two Day Training will be held on 12-13 March. Subjects include Working Planes, Advanced Modelling and Advanced Renderworks.

Alternatively, delegates may prefer attending all of the above-mentioned dates for Full Vectorworks Training Week held from 9-13 March.

(Jim Evans)

USA - GLP could hardly have picked a more auspicious event than the Halftime Show at Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Arizona for its new X4 Bar 20 LED batten to make a spectacular North American debut.

For the duration of the 12-minute segment, at which Katy Perry headlined, experienced LD Bob Barnhart (of Full Flood) used 12 of the new X4 Bar 20, as well as 16 of another recently introduced fixture, GLP's large format impression X4 XL.

For Barnhart, who has used various generations of the impression at other high profile events over the years, this was his 17th outing at the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

GLP US's president Mark Ravenhill recalls his early conversations with the LD when he introduced the new X4 Bar 20, GLP's new zooming and tilting batten unit. "Bob was looking for something new for the upstage portion of one of the stages - a low profile fixture that would ad

South Africa - Avolites Titan One Training will be hosted at DWR Distribution, Johannesburg, on 24 February 2015. Gareth Chambers will present the course.

The Titan One has proved to be a cost effective solution for lighting applications. It offers fast and intuitive control of intelligent lighting, dimmers and LED effects from one on screen console.

"The Titan One is a small but powerful lighting solution," commented Nick Britz from DWR. "Gareth Chambers hosts regular training sessions which are well received by the industry. He has a great knowledge on lighting and control, having formally worked in the rental market. He is also very passionate about sharing this knowledge."

"Once delegates have a better understaind of how the software works, it helps build confidence when running shows," added Britz.

Delegates are requested to provide lapto

World - Engineering and automation specialists Wicreations is supplying flying and rigging solutions to the Ice Age Live - A Mammoth Adventuretour produced by Stage Entertainment Touring Productions, which continues to enthral audiences worldwide now on its latest third leg of an extensive touring schedule that started in 2012 and is currently scheduled until 2017.

The show, directed by Guy Caron and Michael Curry, combines ice skating, aerial arts, puppetry and film, offering a new story based on the first Ice Age film.

WIcreations has a long standing working relationship with Amsterdam based Stage Entertainment, and has been involved with various specialist rigging aspects of the Ice Age Live project from the start.

For this phase of the tour, the WIcreations team - project managed by Hans Willems - redesigned a ground support and 42m tracking system for the large upstage

UK - Philips Entertainment has been announced as the main sponsor of The Fresnel Lecture - a special free event organised by the Society of Light and Lighting (SLL) that will take place on Tuesday 10 March at the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

The talk is to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Augustine Fresnel's Wave Theory of Light, which also coincides with UNESCO's International Year of Light 2015. Fresnel's findings are the basis for the lecture, which will discuss: '200 years of Fresnel: Why everything we light and look at today depends on what he said' and will be presented by Peter Phillipson.

"I am delighted that the Society of Light and Lighting Fresnel Lecture is being sponsored by Philips, alongside the International Association of Lighting Designers," says Phillipson. "Thanks to their support it means that 200 years of Fresnel's wave theory wi

The Netherlands - The Royal Concertgebouw is expanding its Meyer Sound inventory by adding two Meyer Sound CAL 96 column array loudspeakers in the Main Hall (Grote Zaal). Amsterdam's architecturally resplendent and acoustically magnificent concert venue, The Concertgebouw now joins two other world-renowned orchestral venues, Vienna's Musikverein and Konzerthaus Berlin, both of which have installed Meyer Sound CAL systems within the last year.

"Here at The Concertgebouw we have been planning for some time to install a state-of-the-art permanent system for speech reinforcement," states Wouter van Poppel, head of technical services at the venue. "After listening to CAL demonstrations here on site and at the Musikverein in Vienna, we were extremely impressed with the system's clarity, speech intelligibility, and configuration flexibility."

The new Meyer Sound s

UK - Collecting together his experiences working with technology as a programmer, writing about old technology in his Classic Gear column for LSi, and trying to save some of that technology with the Backstage Heritage Collection, Rob Halliday will be talking about the history of computers in entertainment lighting at the National Museum of Computing in Bletchley, near Milton Keynes on Thursday 12 March. Bletchley Park is perhaps most famous for hosting the World War 2 code-breakers. The National Museum of Computing houses a collection of historic computing equipment; perhaps in time it might provide a home to some of the Backstage Heritage Collection's historic memory lighting controls! Rob's talk is one of the museum's regular series that covers everything from the history of visual effects at the BBC to ultra-high resolution digital photography. He'll be focussing mainly on the

USA - Following its successful run on Broadway, Rodgers+Hammerstein's Cinderella has also taken to the road, launching a new production that is now touring the USA.

To refine the lighting rig to the practicalities of touring, budgets and equipment availability, lighting designer Kenneth Posner and associate lighting designer John Viesta made some changes to the New York design for the road, switching the side ladder moving lights from Martin MAC 2000s to Vari-Lite VL3500s and replacing the overhead VL2500 Wash lights with LED par cans.

As ever with changes like this, the lighting data in the console show file no longer produced the correct lighting on stage, since each fixture type responds differently to the same DMX data. In this situation what is needed is clear, precise, accurate information about what the lights did in each preset focus and in each cue in the origi

Saudi Arabia - An array of Showline's LED luminaires have lit the launch of a national Saudi employment initiative following Riyadh-based event producer Maestro's investment in Showline stock.

The award winning company purchased Showline SL BAND 300 RGBW, SL STRIP 400 (both RGBW and Tunable White) SL BAR 520 and SL BAR 620 luminaires. The units were employed to deliver stunning lighting for the function, which was attended by members of the ministry, members of the Shoura Council and top executives from the companies involved in the scheme.

"We came across the Showline products at Prolight and Sound last year, and were extremely impressed," says project manager Nawal El Masri. "We decided to purchase them as the quality was so high - the standard we offer our clients."

Maestro has an impressive portfolio, with experience managing a broad range of events f

Australia - Video services and expertise from TDC (Technical Direction Company) wowed audiences across the world in Visions of Vienna - a multi-media artistic collaboration between the Vienna Tourist Board and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra live in concert was combined with visuals celebrating the artistic and musical heritage of Vienna from Ample Projects and projected onto the roof or "sails" of the Sydney Opera House and broadcast to music lovers across the world in a live web-stream. The event took place on Wednesday, 4 February 2015.

"Having worked with Michael Hassett and his expert projection design team already back in the 90's we knew we could turn to TDC again for another unforgettable visual spectacular. TDC are a dream-team to work with," enthused Astrid Mulholland-Licht, director of the Austrian National Tou

USA - Furniture building isn't the only demanding aspect of Ellen's Design Challenge, a four-week-long HGTV reality show produced by Ellen DeGeneres, which began airing in the USA in January. In addition to the six competitors who are trying to make it to the end - using saws, drills and welders, among other noisy tools, to complete the weekly tasks - the audio team faced the daunting task of providing clear, crisp audio that is not interrupted by the hum of the machines. The solution was found with DPA d:screet 4061 Omnidirectional Miniature Microphones.

Selected by the show's sound supervisor, Daniel McCoy, CAS, a long-time DPA supporter, the d:screet 4061s are used by the entire 16-member cast, which includes a host and three judges as well as six designers and the carpenters with whom they are partnered. "I've had a lot of experience doing build shows," he e

World - Kylie Minogue recently completed the first leg of her Kiss Me Once tour, which included stops throughout Europe. The second leg of the tour begins in March 2015 with five shows in Kylie's native Australia. Following the successful tour of Europe, lighting designer Rob Sinclair and lighting director Louisa Smurthwaite provided insight into the creative processes behind the tour's extensive lighting design, which prominently featured fixtures from Martin Professional

Very early in the process, even before the new music was available, Sinclair had a meeting with Creative Director William Baker and Set Designer Alan Macdonald, during which it was decided that 'precise geometry' and 'Bauhaus aesthetics' were to be the key themes for the set design, inspired by the lines of the set and the early costume ideas. Baker then created a very detailed and instructive style gui

Venezuela - Operating in the Latin American market, Venezuela-based PROmontaje, a leading provider of technical resources for events in Venezuela, needed a solution to host large outdoor events and concerts. The company owns a large event site, just outside Caracas, which they plan to use for a range of outdoor concerts and sports events.

Jean Paul Gaspard of Audio Concept, Prolyte distributor in Latin America, put PROmontaje in contact with Prolyte. "I knew Prolyte was the only truss manufacturer I could trust to deliver a structure of the size and capacity my customer was looking for," comments Jean Paul Gaspard, "PROmontaje already owns an ARC roof and barriers from Prolyte, and they are very happy with the quality of those products and the ease of use".

The structure PROmontaje was looking for needed to have enough loading capacity, paired with a large

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