UK - Northern Stage Services Ltd, the specialist lighting, sound and stage solutions provider, has completed the acquisition of the business of Lancelyn Lighting and Lancelyn Theatre Supplies.

Northern Stage Services Ltd, whose client list includes the RIBA award-winning Liverpool Everyman Theatre, Brio Leisure and Manchester Communications Academy, acquired the business on 16 February 2015, enhancing its overall offering to be UK-wide spanning the theatrical, architectural and construction sectors.

Northern Stage Services Ltd managing director, Patrick Colin, comments: "Lancelyn has a long history in both Oxford and The Wirral and its customers very much value the service given by its skilled design, manufacturing and installation teams.

"Similarly, Northern Stage Services has built up a solid reputation within the industry through our ability to work on larger, m

UK - Robe was again a major sponsor of the TPi awards, supplying their latest moving light technology including 38 x BMFL Spots, 46 x Pointes, 32 x LEDBeam 100s, 21 x CycFX 8s and 70 x PARfect 100s plus an MDG theONE hazer in a design by Jack Sayer from Hawthorn, lighting rental partner for the 2015 event. Jack worked closely with Hawthorn project manager Tom Ring.

The annual jamboree - produced by TPi Magazine, part of Mondiale Publishing Ltd - honours the technical and creative achievements of the live production / event industry over the preceding 12 months - seriously upped the ante this year, moving to a new venue, Battersea Evolution in London, which offered more space for both guests and the production.

Over 1,100 leading industry professionals and personalities enjoyed an evening of entertainment, networking and fun, hosted by comedian and actor Russell Kane who presen

France - Airstar, lighting balloon technology specvialist for the event and staging industry, has been at the centre of the Val d'Isère Airstar Night Light since 2012. Every Thursday evening, between December and March, the manufacturer showcases various lighting technologies, and all its savoir-faire, to illuminate the French ski resort.

This year, over 30 Airstar lighting balloons of various shapes, sizes and colours were deployed: The Tourism Office square boasted a magnificent Star shaped balloon as well as four hanging Crystals of various sizes (130cm to 160cm), covered by a printed << planet >> cover, while the main road hosted six Crystal Diamond 130, three air inflated Stars 160 on a pole and 12x DMX controllable standalone Towair Evo Flame. A further four red Airstar Towairs (four metres high) lit up a live show.

During the ski holiday season, the Airstar Night Light

World - Ed Sheeran is currently on a major worldwide tour, with lighting and production designer Mark Cunniffe using super powerful Clay Paky A.leda B-EYE K20 and Sharpys to hold their own against his video-heavy theme.

Cunniffe's design is beautifully multi-layered and sees the Clay Paky fixtures, supplied by NEG Earth, working with the video to give variation to the solo artist's stage set up.

"As Ed's show is one guy with an acoustic guitar on a 60ft wide stage, it ends up looking pretty bare, so we made the show very much video-based," explains Cunniffe. "The B-EYEs and Sharpys perfectly supplement this as they deliver a plethora of varying looks. I put 30 Sharpys upstage behind a broken screen arrangement of video, where they stab through the gaps unexpectedly to add another dimension that no one will have seen before. I use them to 'paint' rather than as a

UK - Large format projection artist Ross Ashton was commissioned to create a new projection artwork for the 2015 e-Luminate Festival in Cambridge, UK, which lit the front fascias of two of the city's magnificent historical buildings - Old School and Senate House - which are part of the University of Cambridge.

Ross and his team from the Projection Studio received technical support sponsorship from locally based live event and technical production company Hawthorn for the five day festival, and the four PT-DZ21k projectors were supplied by Panasonic.

It was the third time that Ross has created bespoke light works for these buildings.

This was also the third, largest and most successful year of the e-Luminate festival to date. The concept showcases the city 'in a different light' through a series of innovative installations and interactive events highlighting how light and lig

UK - Welsh four-piece Catfish and the Bottlemen, winners at the inaugural BBC Music Awards in December 2014, have chosen Shure microphones for use live and in the studio. The band are now using Shure PSM1000 wireless in-ear monitoring, and an extensive complement of frontline and backline mics, including a KSM9 vocal mic for lead singer Van McCann, and KSM313 ribbons on guitars.

The new Shure equipment arrived in time for a single warm-up concert before the band played at the BBC Music Awards, where they walked away with the 'Introducing...' award for best newcomers.

"The KSM9 lends a beautifully natural sense of air and sparkle to Van's vocal, getting him to sit crystal clear on top of the mix without it sounding too forced or piercing," explains Catfish's front-of-house sound engineer Mike Woodhouse, "and the KSM313 ribbons naturally capture all the low and hi

USA / Europe - Media Networking Alliance, Bothell, Washington, USA. The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), Swedish Radio (Sveriges Radio AB), Focusrite, Genelec, Riedel Audio & Acoustics and Shure Incorporated, are among the latest organizations to join ALC NetworX, Archwave Technologies, Attero Tech, Bosch Security Systems, Directout, Lawo, QSC, The Telos Alliance and Yamaha, in signing up to membership of the Media Networking Alliance.

The fast growing pace of membership follows the alliance's inaugural membership meeting at last October's AES Convention, and the recent AES plugfest which proved AES67 interoperability between equipment from 10 different manufacturers. Both the BBC and Swedish Radio were present during the plugfest in an observer capacity. Membership applications from several more AV manufacturers are currently being accepted.

Speaking for Shure, among t

USA - The Audio Engineering Society hosts its 57th International Conference, the Future of Audio Entertainment Technology: Cinema, Television, and the Internet, on Friday 6 March through Sunday 8 March 2015, in Hollywood, California, at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres.

The conference will feature the AES's first-ever Immersive Audio Day (Sunday), an entire conference day packed with panels, papers, workshops and demonstrations focusing on one of the most active new areas of audio technology: immersive sound. Starting with the day's presentation by Francis Rumsey entitled Immersive Audio: Status and Challenges, the day will delve into issues pertaining to mixing, asset management and processing for these massive multichannel formats.

Immersive Audio Day will bring together both pioneers and up-and-comers in the field to discuss immersive audio formats and how they cont

Israel / The Netherlands - Kramer Electronics has announced its exclusive global distribution agreement with cyber-security manufacturer HighSecLabs (HSL). The migration to secure switching solutions in areas such as healthcare, finance, government, and command and control was a key theme for Kramer at ISE 2015.

The agreement lets Kramer incorporate HSL's secure signal-extending products in combination with Kramer's extensive AV switching product line. All products are backed by Kramer's seven-year warranty.

"Security is fast becoming a requirement for our global customers," said Aviv Ron, vice president of business development and strategy at Kramer. "With the HSL agreement, Kramer raises the bar in switching solutions, providing the ultimate in security, accuracy and reliability. This exclusive global distribution agreement with a fantastic innovator like HSL

USA - Life Church of Rock Run is a Pentecostal church in Joliet, Illinois with an unabashed flair for engaging, contemporary services. Outfit with drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, and plenty of spirit, Life Church rocks its message every Sunday. Knowledgeable in technical matters, the church had acquired a high-performance Danley Sound Labs sound reinforcement system but for budgetary reasons had omitted low-end from the system.

Understandably, the church was keen to shore up that omission, and it timed subwoofer installation to correspond with the addition of new seating that would require additional system coverage. The church hired Chicago-based Advanced Systems & Technologies (AST) to design and install the additional coverage and to overhaul the existing system. To Life Church's existing Danley SH-60 and SH-DFA, AST added two Danley SH-mini loudspeakers for fill, four Danley

UK - Shure microphones including Beta series drum mics, KSM9 vocal mics and a UHF-R wireless system are being used extensively on the UK and international dates for Holy Holy's live presentation of David Bowie's album The Man Who Sold The World, featuring original drummer Woody Woodmansey and producer Tony Visconti on bass.

After selling out several UK venues including the Shepherds Bush Empire and the O2 Academies in Glasgow and Sheffield in Autumn 2014, the live show is returning for more dates in June 2015, and will tour Europe, the USA, Japan, and Australia later in the year.

The Man Who Sold The World (released in 1971 in the USA, and 1972 in the UK) was never toured live, as David Bowie had already put together his Ziggy Stardust stage persona and album by the time of his next live tour. In 2014, with Bowie's blessing, the album's original drummer Woody Woo

UK - Professional loudspeaker manufacturer Void Acoustics has launched a new website (// With a modern, responsive design, the new website is optimised for desktop PCs, tablets and mobile devices and across Mac OS and Android platforms. It is designed to offer a more engaging visitor experience, offering in-depth product information logically grouped together, a news section with current news releases, upcoming events and embedded social media feeds from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The Dorset-based maker of the Incubus system, a mainstay of many of the most popular nightclubs around the world, provides detailed product information and technical resources on its new easy-to-navigate website product pages - from full specifications and high resolution images to EASE data, 3D cabinet drawings, user manuals and crossover settings.

According to Void's sales and

South Africa - Durban based rental company, Black Coffee, has purchased 12 new Clay Paky Mythos fixtures which will go onto the 14th Metro FM Music Awards for lighting designer François van der Merwe and Dream Sets, the official technical suppliers . The awards will be hosted at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Conference Centre (ICC) in Durban on 28 February and will be broadcast live on SABC1. Black Coffee will also be receiving six Stormy Colors.

Brandon Bunyan, owner of Black Coffee, was introduced to the projectors comprising of The Mythos, The Stormy and The SuperSharpy on the South African leg of the Clay Paky Roadshow held at the end of last year. Once Massimo Bolandrina and Giovanni Zucchinali had completed an indoor demo, they took the fixtures outside to do an informal outdoor demo. "I was late for beers at the demo," remembers Bunyan. "It was night time and

UK - Stage Electrics has updated its inventory of audio equipment with the recent addition of an L-Acoustics ARCS Wide and Focus system. The investment follows the appointment of Rob Collett to audio hire manager and his remit to ensure the standard of equipment within the hire department is in line with needs and the expectations of its customers.

One of my first roles was to evaluate the audio equipment we offered and identify opportunities to invest in new technology says Rob. "Stage Electrics' aim is always to be at the forefront of the industry and our policy is to ensure that our hire stock reflects that."

With Stage Electrics servicing high-end corporate clients, as well as West End and touring theatre productions, Rob needed a system that delivered great intelligibility, combined with a compact size and economic price point. L-Acoustics ARCS Wide and Focus wa

Japan - Ayrton's IntelliPix-R LED panels played a prominent role in the spectacular lighting design at the annual Japanese music show, Best Hits Kayousai 2014. The show, which recognises some of Japan's most popular artists of the year, took place in November at the Festival Hall, Osaka and was broadcast live on the NNN network. Over 18 acts, including Exile Tribe and May J, performed during the two-hour show.

Ayrton's Japanese distributor, First Engineering Japan, supplied 120 IntelliPix-R panels to their client, Heart-S, who used the static panels to surround the stage and performers with beams of intense light.

IntelliPix-R is a modular beam projection panel of 25 independently controllable 4.5° LED emitters arranged in a 5 x 5 array which project graphics and media far into the air. Panels can be connected together to form a semi-transparent wall, screen or ceiling or

Columbia - Foo Fighters, recently visited Colombia on the South American leg of their Sonic Highways World Tour. At the Estadio Nemesio Camacho, commonly known as 'El Campín', in Bogotá, they were greeted by a crowd of 40,000 fans for what was to be an amazing concert.

Prior to the concert, event production company Iluminación Jaime Dussan had been contacted to supply the roof structure as well as LED screens. Dedicated to providing technical services for large scale events such as this, they had the inventory to fulfill the requirements - including big screen reinforcement. "The client required an outdoor screen with a 6mm pitch from a European manufacturer," informs the company spokesperson, Ms. Andrea Dussán.

The SGM LS-6.67 is IP65 rated and suitable for the job, with its pixel pitch of 6.67mm and a brightness of 5,000 nits per sq.m. It comes in a robust but

Fighting Talk - Foo Fighters have revealed they will be the headline act on the first day of Glastonbury Festival. The US rockers announced the news after they were named best international band at the NME Awards. In a recorded video message, frontman Dave Grohl told music fans at Brixton Academy, south London, they were returning to the UK to play Glastonbury. They are the first major act announced for this year's event. Foo Fighters will headline the Pyramid Stage on Friday, Glastonbury's website confirmed, making their first appearance at the Somerset festival since 1998. Lionel Richie was the first 2015 performer to be announced in November. He will make his debut in the Sunday teatime slot on the Pyramid stage.

Festival Move - T in the Park will be on a new site this year and the headliners will be Kasabian. Avicii will make his debut at the festival when he closes t

South Africa - For the fourth year, MJ Event Gear provided the full technical for Product of the Year 2015 held on 5 February 2015 in Johannesburg. Product of the Year is claimed to be the world's largest consumer-voted award for product innovation and currently operates in 40 countries with the purpose of guiding consumers to the best products in their market and to reward manufacturers for quality and innovation.

The South African Awards were hosted at Summer Place, a graceful venue in the heart of Hyde Park, Gauteng. Working closely with their client, Edith Venter of Edith Unlimited, MJ were given full creativity rights to provide lighting for the outdoor area comprising of an exquisite garden, swimming pool, and Bedouin tent, and more importantly, for the prestigious awards ceremony.

Lighting designer Olebogeng Boinamo from MJ created an upbeat show on an Avolites Tiger To

UK - Northern Light Stage & Technical Services has announced the successful management buyout of its hire department with the formation of NL Productions Ltd.

Intended to capitalise on the growing order book of the last two years and under the leadership of managing director Phil O'Halloran, the new business will operate as a unique alliance with the hire department of Northern Lights' sister company Stage Electrics.

Phil O'Halloran commented: "Our local knowledge and capabilities within our specific market area coupled with the backing of an alliance relationship with Stage Electrics provides an ideal combination to drive continued growth and deliver value for customers that will be a benefit to all parties."

Providing technical expertise, design and equipment NL Productions offers lighting, sound, AV, staging, rigging and power distribution to events across Scotl

UK - The sixth School Theatre Support Group (STSG) conference took place in February 2015 at the Bacon Theatre, Dean Close School, Cheltenham. The event was attended by technicians, managers and teachers from school theatres and drama departments around the country.

Workshop sessions on a range of relevant technical topics were provided by AC Entertainment Technologies, Stage Electrics and White Light, alongside displays from GDS and iStudio Projects. Charcoalblue Theatre Consultants also provided sponsorship.

This year's conference marked the tenth year of STSG as an organisation, having grown from an informal group of like-minded individuals, to now being affiliated with the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT). This important link gives wider recognition to theatre work within schools, as well as encouraging the development of the next generation of theatre pro

Switzerland - A new website marks the official launch of the Schertler Group of companies, as its members formalise a corporate re-branding that has been in progress for several months. The group comprises Schertler SA, Swiss manufacturer of high quality contact microphones and compact acoustic and electric amplification systems, SR Technology, the Italian loudspeaker systems manufacturer (wholly owned by Schertler since 2012) and Velvet Strings SA (developed and owned by Schertler).

The group's new website offers pro audio customers, hi-fi enthusiasts and performing musicians an extensive range of products from amplifiers, preamps and contact microphones, through to compact active and passive loudspeaker systems for live performance, home listening and installation, as well as high quality string sets for 'cello and bass, which are soon also to be available for violin, viola an

UK - Star Events rounded off a successful re-brand launch event at the Event Production Show by signing a service partner contract with sports specialist Footwise UK, under its Brazilian Minds in Fusion banner.

The deal provides Star Events with high-level representation and experience in Brazil and gives Minds in Fusion access to Star's lauded logistical and technical abiolities, and equipment, ahead of the Rio Olympics in 2016.Minds in Fusion produced the official Promotional Plan for the 2014 World Cup on behalf of the Brazilian Government. Football legend Cafu, Brazil's most capped player, is the company's global ambassador and Minds has worked with his foundation in Sao Paulo since 1999.

Roger Barrett, Star Events' special projects director, and Dominic Barrett-Evans, founding partner at Minds in Fusion, negotiated heads of terms on a UKTI trade mission to Rio at the end

Poland - Located in the provincial capital city of Lublin in eastern Poland, Arena Lublin is a new 15,500 seat capacity football stadium. Built on the land of a former sugar factory, the stadium's surrounding area has been fully landscaped and is bordered by trees, with lawns to the adjacent river. Home ground to the football club Motor Lublin, the city is proud of its new landmark venue.

With unequalled experience in stadium audio in Poland, Tommex ?ebrowscy Sp. J. was commissioned to design and install the sound for the new venue. "We designed the system based on Dynacord electronics with Dante protocol networks and Community R Series loudspeakers," said Marcin Zimny, sales director of Tommex. "It's a combination that gives us outstanding audio quality and proven reliability."

The control centre of the sound system is sited in the commentary room with a D

UK - When the annual TPi Awards switched from the Hammersmith Novotel to Battersea Evolution in 2015, turnkey event technology specialists VME were delighted.

Moving across the river to the large, wide open 5,500 sq.m Evolution temporary structure in Battersea Park was almost familiar territory, and the restricted sightlines and low balconies that had challenged them at the Novotel became a thing of the past. "We have worked in similar venues at Aintree and Tatton Park and are entirely comfortable in this marquee type of venue," he said. And of course he knew that the offsite sound restrictions imposed would pose no problem for MLA, with its advanced multi-cellular control software.

The Manchester-based company fielded its MLA Compact and MLA Mini systems to stunning effect - and leading the praise afterwards was the compere himself, stand up comedian Russell Kane.

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