USA - There are many good reasons why women's soccer has become one of the fastest growing sports in the US: it's colourful, intense and it makes a great visual presentation. The same can be said of the Nexus LED panels from Chauvet Professional, which have also become exceedingly popular lately. It's only fitting then that these two stars crossed paths recently at the Women's World Cup Kickoff Celebration on Fox Sports 1 and Timer Warner Cable.

Lighting designer James Schipper of Kinetic Lighting used 40 Nexus 4x4 panels to create a dynamic stage backdrop for the celebration's main entertainment event: a concert by the hip hop rapper Flo Rida backed up by DJ Blaze. The Nexus panels on stage not only matched the Grammy nominated People's Choice-winning star's performance; they also reflected the upbeat mood of the televised celebration.

Schipper arranged the Nexus panels 20 un

Europe - Global production company Stage Entertainment's Holiday On Ice has an illustrious 70-year history and is, to date, the most visited ice show in the world. This ever-evolving visual spectacular took to the road in November for a three-month tour of Europe.

Focus Advanced Event Technology, part of the Netherlands' Rent-All Group, is providing a full technical package for the tour, including a substantial L-Acoustics ARCS Wide and ARCS Focus loudspeaker system.

Designed by Jeroen ten Brinke - arguably Dutch theatre's best-known sound designer, having been involved in large-scale theatre productions including Soldier of Orange and Anne, and European partner for international sound design group ADI - the L-Acoustics solution was chosen for its audio quality and flexibility.

"The position of the lighting rig changes from time to time and, as a result, the posi

USA - PLASA Focus: Orlando 2015 opens in one week, taking place on 17-18 February at the Rosen Plaza Hotel.

The two-day event kicks off Tuesday at 9:00am with Richard Pilbrow's educational seminar titled Light and Theatre? 50 Years of Change. Additional seminars follow and the exhibition hall opens at 10:00am-5:00pm with over 60 regional and national companies exhibiting the latest in entertainment technology. On Wednesday, the exhibition hall and seminar programme runs from 10:00am-4:00pm.

"We are thrilled with the incredibly high pre-registration numbers that we've seen so far, and can't wait for an extremely successful PLASA Focus event," said Laura Hoepker, PLASA Events sales executive. "Between the show floor and educational seminars, we are providing access to the best in the industry to everyone who attends."

Free registration to both the sh

Italy - There was a strong turnout at the convention organized by Clay Paky for their international distributors. No less than 130 representatives from 53 countries around the world met in Bergamo on 3 and 4 February 2015 for an update on the future strategies of the company, which has recently become part of the OSRAM group.

The convention was held in Bergamo, in the splendid setting of the Teatro Sociale, Città Alta. There was a striking contrast between the wooden structures of this ancient theatre and Clay Paky's futuristic computerized equipment.

The Convention's motto was Today Tomorrow which clearly expresses Clay Paky's strategic aim of always looking to the future, ready to accept new exciting challenges. Clay Paky CEO Pio Nahum however, pointed out that future development is founded on past success and that the corporate mission remains permanent innovation a

UK - A stylish and harmonious combination of intelligence and impact was the lighting vibe for the latest UK tour by rising stars Swedish folk rock duo First Aid Kit, of which the final section featured their largest toured production to date. Matt Waterfield is their LD and the lighting equipment was supplied by west London based Colour Sound Experiment.

Matt has worked with the band since 2013, and this itinerary of UK theatres was the latest section in their Stay Gold album campaign which started in May 2014.

As with most tours, the design has developed over the course of time, and earlier on Colour Sound had supplied a floor package, so when it came to upping the production they again offered an excellent deal that ensured Matt had the tools he needed to make the show rock!

The stage design started with a large semi-transparent gold Joel Flex backdrop upstage, sup

UK - Musician, music producer and DJ Bonobo finished his marathon North Borders world tour with a mix of classical and electro beats - complete with 18 piece orchestra - at London's Alexandra Palace, featuring lightshow designed by Will Thomas. This utilized over 100 Robe moving lights - all supplied by Southampton-based GLS.

The design process for the end-of-tour extravaganza began whilst Will was out in the US lighting Bonobo's DJ set, and he became struck with the difference that good lighting out in the room could make to the whole vibe of the show by involving the audience. So to make this show particularly memorable, he evolved a plan to pull the audience into the show as much as everyone onstage.

Adding the audience trusses, effectively made the cavernous, stark venue feel more like an intimate and atmospheric club. The space became intimate and personal, and a far more

UK - Lighting designer Nick Gray of Renegade Design has created an exhilarating and slick show for Kasbian's major UK arena tour. Bringing power, reliability and vibrant colour to the design, Gray uses an array of Clay Paky Sharpys and Sharpy Wash 330 fixtures, which he says never fail to feature in his rig.

The tour has so far visited major venues including Manchester Arena, Belfast Odyssey Arena and London's O2 Brixton Academy. Supplied by Neg Earth, the Sharpys and the Sharpy Wash 330 fixtures are positioned high in the overhead rig to flood the stage with intense colours and provide dynamic, audience embracing aerial effects.

"Both the Sharpys and the Sharpy Wash 330's range of saturated colour is fantastic," says Gray. "They're also really reliable. Important considering we were going into big arenas and we didn't have a huge budget. We had to choose our fi

The Netherlands - Integrated Systems Events, the company that produces the ISE exhibition, has entered into a joint venture agreement with invidis consulting to take a majority share in respect to its Digital Signage Conference, an annual event that takes place in Munich, Germany.

The Digital Signage Conference, run in cooperation with trade association OVAB Europe, is taking place this year on 14-15 September at the Hilton Airport Hotel, Munich. It will feature a mix of presentations and workshops on digital signage and DooH technology and business topics.

Invidis is a research, and communications business specialising in digital signage and Digital-out of-Home (DooH). It launched the Digital Signage Conference in 2007. Invidis has been a regular ISE partner in recent years and has run several successful digital signage programmes and installation tours around the exhibition.

South Africa - MJ Event Gear has made a bold step as the first South African investor of 24 Robe BMFL Spots. They celebrated by inviting some of country's top LDs to view the impressive lighting tool.

"It's a big winner," said Mike Jones, owner of the Johannesburg based rental company, MJ Event Gear. "With a bit of time and as more people use it, I believe it will be the number one specified light on riders."

Before making the final purchase Jones did his homework and also contacted a few designers for their respected opinion. "Everyone was very enthusiastic about the product and no one had anything negative to say," he said. "It is the brightest light in the world and there is a lot of hype. I think it will do very well."

Jones saw the Robe BMFLs for the first time when demonstrated by DWR Distribution, the South African Robe distribu

UK - Bristol-based lighting, visuals and rigging specialist Fineline supplied lighting and rigging equipment and expertise in a series of creative solutions for the world premiere of Walking The Chains, an ambitious circus / theatre production staged in the historic Passenger Shed at Bristol Temple Meads station.

Celebrating 150 Years of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Clifton suspension bridge, its spirit and impact as a landmark of Victorian engineering from conception to completion, the narrative also recalled how the bridge integrated into the community and industrial history of the region. The show was a collaboration between Bristol's Show of Strength Theatre Company and circus / physical theatre performance company, Circomedia.

The show's designer James Helps contacted Fineline on the recommendation of several others - to provide the solutions needed to stage the show

UK - The challenge of environmental sustainability is prompting creative and collaborative responses. Increasingly, people are coming together through networks and associations to pool knowledge, expertise and resources, and enable a faster transition to low carbon and sustainable ways of living and working.

Inspired by Manchester City Council's A Certain Future strategy, cultural organisations from across the city have been working together under the banner of the Manchester Art Sustainability Team (MAST) since 2011, and have collectively achieved great strides towards the city's target to reduce emissions by 41% by 2020.

Making Creative Places Sustainable, set for 25 March, will discuss and showcase how MAST and other cultural networks from Newcastle, London and Wales, are addressing sustainability in inspirational ways, and contributing to greener, future-proof citie

Australia - UK based Mantracourt is celebrating the sales of its BroadWeigh wireless load monitoring systems into the Australian stage and entertainment sector.

With the technical and sales support of Botany based The Rigging Shop, Mantracourt have sold a number of BroadWeigh systems that are now being used for concert halls, touring companies and stage shows. The BroadWeigh system provides essential measurements of force and thereby helps operatives avoid overload of design parameters.

The Rigging Shop sells many products aimed at the entertainment rigging industry and also supplies similar equipment to other industrial and commercial industries. The Rigging Shop was appointed as BroadWeigh's Australian technical partner early in 2014 and has experienced a lot of interest in this product range.

"We are delighted with the sales and support effort provided by the team at

The Netherlands - Crowd safety barrier specialists Mojo Barriers will feature on Discovery Channel's flagship How do they do it? documentary, this Friday, 13 February.

The documentary explains how Mojo Barriers' patented stage barrier system is made, and the important role it plays at some of the world's largest and most well known events.

Jasper Caldenhoven Mojo Barriers' project manager supported the filming production process with WAG TV, ensuring that the film crew captured the exclusive content, from the manufacturing of barriers, to their installation and use at the Netherlands' oldest festival Pinkpop.

Jasper comments, "The documentary gives a great insight into our world: it follows every step of Mojo Barriers' procedures including the manufacturing process, which saw us filming at four different factories. We then filmed the rigorous testing systems back

UK - If you find yourself in the London area next week, do drop-in to Ambersphere Solutions. Their newly refurbished showroom features all the latest products from Ayrton, Clay Paky, MA Lighting and Robert Juliat. The showroom is open from 16-20 February with snacks and refreshments available throughout.

Highlights include Robert Juliat's latest follow spots, the Merlin and Roxie which are coming straight from ISE in Amsterdam, along with the R range from Ayrton, the latest offerings from Clay Paky in the form of the Mythos, Super Sharpy and Stormys and the full line-up of MA2 Lighting consoles.

The days will be based around a relaxed format, with guests welcome to drop-in anytime between 11am and 5pm on Monday and 11am to 7pm Tuesday through Friday. The technical sales team will be on hand all week to discuss the products and offer help with any specific projects or challenge

France - Lyon's municipal council chose to set the opening of the magnificent Schuman bridge on the river Saone to music and lights, and asked the event agency Tetro to deal with the artistic direction.

The lighting designer Yves Caizergues and musician Christophe Goutes produced an astounding show with a lighting system consisting of 30 Clay Paky SuperSharpys provided by Magnum and expertly managed by the lighting designer himself.

The aim was to let all the citizens of Lyon know in no uncertain terms that there was a new bridge and strongly enhance the construction's image.

Yves Caizergues and his SuperSharpys were therefore there to "glorify the bridge by enhancing its architectural qualities and make sure the event was seen by the entire city." He worked together with sound manager Christophe Goutes to make the most of the lights. Caizergues integrated the surr

Czech Republic - Robe has announced that it is a sponsor of team Czech Republic in the 2015 Fed Cup tennis - the premier international women's tennis team championship.

Continuing its theme of 'Working With Winners' - first embraced with the Olympic spirit of 2012 - Robe is one of five major sponsors to the Czech team who are the defending champions, and have been hugely successful in the tournament, winning the Championship an impressive eight times.

Currently some of the Czech Republic's women's tennis players are ranked among the best in the world, and the quarter finals of the 2015 Fed Cup saw a robust performance by the team in Quebec City, Canada at the weekend, defeating the hosts without dropping a single set.

Robe's CEO and general manager Josef Valchar was there and commented, "We are extremely proud to be supporting our world class women's tennis team. I witn

USA - The Lightconverse and High End Lighting Challenge continues until 31 March 2015.

The organisers comment: "We truly believe that the most creative and advanced lighting specialists deserve to be recognized and awarded for their hard work. In order to do so, we have created the Premier Challenge contest in which you can submit a video of your work created in Lightconverse.

There is no particular theme for the Premier Challenge except that the design must be original.

First prize is a High End HedgeHog4 N console and Lightconverse Unlimited; second prize is Lightconverse Trace, with Lightconverse Media packages for third place and Popular Choice winners.

The Contest Winner will be announced at Prolight + Sound, held from 15-18 April in Frankfurt, Germany.

(Jim Evans)

USA - There were plenty of good reasons for the people at NBC to feel good about Super Bowl XLIX: the ratings were astronomical, advertising sales were record breaking and the company's onsite party directly across the street from the University of Phoenix Stadium was nothing short of spectacular, thanks to some inspired event planning by Angel City Designs and a stylish lighting rig by James Schipper of Kinetic Lighting.

Schipper called on a plethora of LED fixtures from Chauvet Professional to strike a visually pleasing sense of casual sophistication at the NBC pre-game party tent. With 800 VIP guests, including a good representation of on-air talent, this was definitely not your typical Sunday tailgating party. Yet, Schipper's design conveyed a relaxed retro atmosphere while still emphatically stating that this was indeed a very special event.

"I enjoyed this project a

Australia - Sydney's Luna Park has a new ride that raises you 50mabove sea level for a bird's eye view of the magical city before unceremoniously dropping you over 80 km's an hour back to earth via an edge of your seat, white knuckle experience. Appropriately called the Hair Raiser, the ride has been lit in spectacular style acting as a beacon in the night sky.

Luna Park approached Show Technology for some ideas to light the ride in an innovative and creative manner, rather than just flood lighting the structure.

"They were also interested in the possibility of integrating the control of the lighting into the ride's control system," commented Mike Gearin, Show Technology's NSW technical sales manager. "We produced a few renders for them and they loved our concept."

It was decided that there was no better product than the Martin VC-Dot 4 lightweight string

UK - d&b audiotechnik GB has announced the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (RCSSD) will be hosting two Y-Series product presentations at the Embassy Theatre in Swiss Cottage, London on Wednesday, 25 March. This is an opportunity to listen to the system up close and personal and learn more about this new series of loudspeakers.

"We'll start by taking a look at how d&b arrived at the Y-Series, which comprises both point source and line array loudspeakers," explains Steve Jones of d&b GB Education and Application Support." We'll then focus on the Y7P and Y10P point sources and what makes them so special; we'll also be listening to them with the B6-SUB, a single 18" bass-reflex design with a frequency response down to 37 Hz. Then we'll delve into the line source line up, have a listen, add the cardioid Y-SUB ... then turn it up.

"Y should you come

Europe - Belgium-based engineering and automation specialists WIcreations is supplying several custom moving elements for the current European tour by French rock singer and multi-instrumentalist Calogero.

The tour is produced by TS3, also responsible for the acclaimed Mylène Farmer Timeless tour, for which WI designed and supplied bespoke automation. Based on this success, they returned to WI to deliver more imaginative, reliable and tourable engineering solutions.

Calogero's avant-garde lighting scheme designed by Dimitri Vassiliu is based less around traditional lighting instruments and is more about using the direct and ambient light - and darkness - created by LED screens with content flowing through them. For this ambitious idea to work, they required a series of six LED panels to move around the performance space, so they can act as light sources.

The six screens nee

Russia - London-based creative technology expert Realtime Environment Systems Ltd (RES) has provided the know-how for a spectacular visual event to mark one year since the Sochi Winter Olympics.

The ambitious event at Sochi's beautiful Ice Palace featured a dramatic ice show and was staged by Russian TV company Channel One.

RES co-founder and project manager Mark Calvert and established freelance Ai technician Martin Harvey used two S6 Ai Media servers to bring pixel mapping, video playback and realtime generative patches for LED screen media, with one DVI output controlling 70848 Pixels @ 328 X 216 to control the 41 LED stems suspended above the rink. The show ran from an S6 Ai Media Server, with master slave hot backup S6.

"RES was challenged with providing the technical know-how, creativity, and server technology to realise the stunning celebration, which is exactly

USA - Viewers of the Super Bowl Halftime Show have come to expect dazzling entertainment, but Katy Perry's turn at Super Bowl XLIX packed more fun and amazing eye candy into 12 minutes than they might have thought possible. Behind the scenes at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, lighting director Jason Rudolph used eight d3 4x4pro media servers from d3 Technologies to map the football field around the stage with content from 80 Barco projectors. The d3 servers also sent 4 feeds to control the LED stage, magically transforming the floor from a perspective-bending chessboard to a tropical island paradise and a dynamic graphic platform for an airborne finale. VER provided the d3 media servers, grandMA2 control consoles, and all projection and LED gear.

The size and scope of the Super Bowl Halftime Show might seem daunting for some media servers. But last year d

USA - The University of Iowa Hawkeyes football team plays all of its home games in the 70,500-seat Kinnick Stadium, which is located on the west side of campus. It is adjacent to residences on one side and to campus buildings on the other side, one of which is the University Hospital.

Although it's fair to say that almost all Iowans stand behind the Hawkeyes (there is no pro team in the state) it's also true that Iowans who are recovering in the hospital deserve peace and quiet, even on game day. When school officials became disenchanted with the lo-fi sound and poor coverage of Kinnick Stadium's old sound reinforcement system, they worried that elevating it to modern standards would only increase game day complaints from the hospital.

Those worries have been allayed. Kinnick Stadium's new high-powered Danley Sound Labs system - the first in the world to use the massive Caleb

Latest Issue. . .