UK - Chauvet Europe is going blue to help fight a disorder that affects an estimated 52m people throughout the world, and the company, along with PLSN editor and noted LD Nook Schoenfeld, is hoping that other lighting industry members join in this effort. On 30 March, the company lit its facilities in the United Kingdom and Belgium, as well as its US headquarters a bright royal blue to kick off the week leading up to World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April.

A longtime advocate of autism research and care, Schoenfeld was influential in getting the upper floors of the Empire State Building illuminated blue a few years ago as part of the Light It Up Blue campaign to draw attention to the disorder on Autism Awareness Day. "The organization Autisms Speaks came up with the idea of lighting landmark buildings blue on Autism Awareness Day to raise awareness of the disorder,&qu

Uruguay - The Sodre National Auditorium (Auditorio Nacional del Sodre) in Uruguay has chosen a self-powered Meyer Sound Mina line array loudspeaker system as the first permanent reinforcement system in the 1,900-capacity venue. The upgrade has ushered in a new era for the vibrant local arts community, which now has a performance space that shares high-quality reinforcement with Mina-equipped halls such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Festhalle in Germany.

In addition to the system's adaptability to the venue's diverse programming of rock, jazz, and pop artists, Mina was chosen for its compact size, which preserves the auditorium's classic architecture. The installation was directed by Cesar Lamschtein, senior audio engineer at the auditorium, who worked with Pablo Janssen, director at Montevideo-based Digital Audio Video.

"Our main goal was to design a system wi

USA - Lighting designer Andrew Cass chose Ayrton MagicPanel 602 and MagicBlade-R LED fixtures for his dynamic lighting of The String Cheese Incident, which toured the US from late summer 2014 to early 2015.

The String Cheese Incident is a Colorado band with an eclectic style that encompasses elements of bluegrass, rock, electronica, calypso, country, funk, jazz and more. Cass put together a vibrant and colourful lighting design which reflected the variety and dynamism of the band's diverse style. "Colours are my signature - I'm an over-saturated guy - and the band give me free rein to do whatever I want," says Cass. "The artists like my saturated colour and it is appropriate for their music. There are not many moments during their set when non-saturated colours fit."

To help achieve this level of intensity and variety, Cass turned to the ever-versatile Ayrt

Hong Kong - The Year of the Goat has already proved that it brings prosperity for Pacific Lighting (HK) Ltd with Robert Juliat sales. "We have received several orders for Robert Juliat products over the past weeks, most of which have been totally unexpected," says Pacific Lighting (HK) Ltd director, Hugh Chinnick.

The Tai Po Civic Centre, managed by the Leisure & Cultural Service Department of the Government, began the good fortune by purchasing 30 Robert Juliat Lutin Fresnels. "Their requirements for the new fixtures were that they should deliver a good light output, be light weight, and have an absence of engineered plastic components," explains Chinnick. "The Department reported they had experienced degradation of plastic parts on a number of Fresnels in their existing inventory, so a fixture without this material was preferred. The venue flying syste

UK - Last week Sky News held a live debate between Prime Minister David Cameron and Ed Miliband as part of the Battle for Number 10. The show was hosted by Jeremy Paxman.

Richard Martin Lighting (RML) provided the lights to LD Richard Bowles. Outside in the main atrium there was a huge array of lights which could be seen for miles, including 24 SGM P5 and six recently upgraded Super-Novas. There were also Chroma Flood TC, City Colours and 12 Clay Paky Mythos.

Inside the main studio, the look of the show was strong, sharp and sensible, just what you would expect which such a high profile event. However, as sophisticated as it was, there were actually quite a lot of lights: Richard chose 20 Vari-Lite VL1000TS, 40 Martin MAC Auras, 22 GLP Impressions and 12 Clay Paky Sharpy Wash 330.

(Jim Evans)

Theatre Matters - UK Theatre has drawn up an arts policy wish list for the incoming government. In a new advocacy document - Theatre Matters - published ahead of the general election in May, the membership body said the arts should receive the same additional investment and focus as the so-called STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering and maths. It also calls for a safeguarded funding system whereby the Treasury would increase arts subsidy if National Lottery sales were to fall.

UK Theatre president Rachel Tackley said: "These are challenging times for theatre around the UK, but we have an incredibly positive story to tell about an industry that is universally acknowledged as the world leader. UK Theatre is talking to politicians with a national brief for the arts and culture, but we also need more theatres and theatre companies up and down the country to be

Germany - Impressive acrobatic performances and the play of light and shadows are the ingredients for the tour of Shadowland - a performance piece from the Connecticut-based dance company Piobolus. With their bodies, the performers create shadow silhouettes including those of elephants, faces, buildings and cars. Assisting with this shadow play are several ETC Source Four incandescent fixtures, as well as Gio and Ion lighting control systems.

In Germany, the spectacular show became famous through appearances on popular television shows such as the long-running German-language programme Wetten, dass . . . ?, and have been selling out performances across the country ever since. Shadowland production manager Jorge Delgadillo and his team have trusted ETC equipment for a long time. For four years, they have been touring the world with their own Gio console.

UK - Ant and Dec's award winning Saturday Night Takeaway has returned to TV screens for its 12th series, kicking off with a new stunt for the Ant v Dec challenge.

With a track record for pulling off some amazing stunts in the previous series, ITV Studios brought Unusual Rigging back on board to ensure the latest challenge, watched by more than six million viewers, was even more spectacular.

Unusual's Robin Elias said: "Having pulled out all the stops in series 11 with the Men on a Ledge and Lift Shaft challenges, the production guys at ITV Studios wanted us to come up with something that appeared even more daring and impressive. ITV Studios came up with the basic concept. Then it was up to the Unusual team to make that idea a reality and so we designed The Turbine."

Following numerous meetings between the ITV Studios production team and Unusual, Robin design

Cyprus - LumenRadio continues the expansion of its global distribution network with the appointment of ArchiLX as exclusive distributor in Cyprus. With immediate effect, the CRMX product lines will be the only wireless offering to ArchiLX's impressive customer list.

Based in Limassol, ArchiLX serves clients across the island with dynamic lighting schemes ranging from large-scale installations and shows to interior fixtures and fittings. Their extensive portfolio of products represents a broad range of solutions across lighting, audio and show technologies.

Ben M Rogers, design director at ArchiLX comments: "We have followed the LumenRadio journey with great interest and admiration over the years. I have personally known some of the team members for a long time and I have much respect for LumenRadio's highly innovative products. As a specialist in advanced production techn

Germany - Host Thomas Gottschalk, takes celebrities back to their school days in the second season of Back to School, RTL Network's popular quiz game show, and Elation Professional's award-winning Sniper is along for the nostalgia, providing flexible special effect lighting looks.

Lighting designer Thomas Gerdon of gerdon Mediasign has mounted 24 Snipers along with LED wash lights on movable truss towers so they can be moved back and forth between the set's two stages for special musical performances. "There are two musical performances per show and because the show towers are on wheels we can easily move them and use the Sniper effects on both stages," explains Thomas, who is lighting the show for the first time. "We have them located at new positions each time so it gives us great flexibility. Coupled with the different effects you can get out of the Snip

France - The newly opened Philharmonie de Paris, a state-of-the-art building complex designed to host international symphonic ensembles, including the Orchestre de Paris, features Amadeus speakers throughout each of the many musical venue spaces; from the large rehearsal space with public seating, to practice rooms, to the Grande Auditorium and the Music Exhibition and conference rooms, plus the two on-site recording studios. Amadeus speakers used in the project include various sizes of its DIVA, PMX, ML, and MINITRI Series, with over 50 Amadeus speakers installed in the landmark building complex.

Amadeus worked closely over several years with Ateliers Jean Nouvel, the internationally based architecture company founded by French architecture star Jean Nouvel, along with theatre consultants at dUCKS Scéno to create, develop and optimize the most efficient speaker systems f

UK - Blackburn-based lighting and visuals rental company HSL supplied lighting and rigging equipment to the latest tour by Katherine Jenkins. The Home Sweet Home tour culminated in a large homecoming show in the Welsh capital city and cultural hub of Cardiff.

A stylish and elegant lighting rig to match Jenkins' dynamic performance was designed by Tim Routledge and directed on the road by his associate, Tom Young. HSL was also renewing its long term working relationships with the tour's production manager, Neil MacDonald.

Tim's overall creative objective was to create a classy look that could be varied and coloured to suit the myriad of moods embraced by Jenkins in her set, in which she was backed by the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) and also introduced some special guests.

No haze used whilst Jenkins is onstage is a major challenge for lighting, so any beamy looks are ou

UK - A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) has announced their continued sponsorship of fast-rising UK racing driver, Jack Goff, who after garnering much praise for a podium and top-10 finishes in his first two seasons, is joining reigning constructor / manufacturer champions, MG Triple Eight Racing for his drive in the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) season.

AC-ET are one of four key partners supporting Jack Goff Racing in the 2015 BTCC season. The company has watched his progression competing in the Clio Cup for three seasons - which saw him clinch the Clio Cup UK Crown in his final season (2012) - and his first two BTCC seasons to date.

AC-ET's UK sales director, Jonathan 'Jono' Walters, who looks after the company's sponsorship of Jack Goff Racing, states, "We are hugely proud of what Jack has achieved in only his first two BTCC seasons. We a

Germany - Atlantis Audio has become one of the first rental companies to invest in the latest addition to the Philips Vari-Lite product line the VL4000 Spot, purchasing 12 units from major Philips distributor Lightpower.

Founded in 1995, Atlantis Audio has since established itself as a creative full service technology partner for events of every size. The company therefore decided to invest in Philips' award-winning luminaire to further boost its technological offering.

"After seeing the power of the VL4000 Spot in action, we knew it would be a wise idea to invest," says owner of Atlantis Audio Volkmar Kusch. "Compared with spotlights of this level by other manufacturers, the VL4000 Spot wins by a mile. In terms of brightness and image quality, there isn't a device that can beat it in my opinion.

"As the feature-rich VL4000 Spot can be employed in a wide

China - Barco was once again engaged as stage lighting supplier for the recent Spring Festival Gala hosted by state-run broadcast channel China Central Television (CCTV). On 19 February, the eve of the Chinese Lunar Year of the Sheep, Barco helped to put the show in the spotlight with a spectacular visual feast.

As an integral part of China's Lunar New Year celebrations, the Spring Festival Gala is broadcast annually on the eve of the Chinese New Year, when millions of Chinese viewers tune in for festive programmes set against remarkable backdrops.

Mr. Sha Xiaolan, a renowned lighting design director in China, was in charge of the show's visualization component. He previously directed the lighting design for a number of celebrated events, such as the Beijing Olympic Games 2008 and Nanjing Youth Olympic Games 2014, and his work on the gala was equally stunning.

Adhering to th

Canada - Sennheiser lit up the Juno Awards of 2015 with pristine and reliable audio, held at the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton earlier this month. The Juno Awards, which have existed since 1970 and represent the pinnacle of Canadian recognition for technical and artistic achievement in music, were broadcast on CTV Television Network and hosted by Jacob Hoggard, lead singer of pop-rock group Hedley. Hedley are regular users of Sennheiser products, and were honoured with three nominations including Album of the Year for Wild Life.

The broadcast reached 1.6m viewers in Canada and presented a staggering array of talent, featuring live performances and awards in a broad range of genres. Sennheiser was well represented both onstage and off, with Hoggard relying on a Sennheiser SKM 2000 handheld transmitter and MMD 935 capsule for the duration of the ceremony - including for his live

USA - Ask a Rider University student how the school's football team is doing, and you're likely to get the response, "We haven't lost a game since 1951!" Of course this small liberal arts university in the shadows of New York City hasn't fielded a team on the gridiron since 1951 either -- but such is the free flowing sense of humour that characterizes life at Rider. This wry spirit was very much on display recently at Rider's annual pre-spring break party, which this year featured a flamboyant cast of characters on stilts, some popular New York DJs and an eye-popping lighting design by LD Jason Ayala of ProSho Inc. (Staten Island, NY).

Ayala created staggered video walls using 48 PVP S5 LED panels from Chauvet Professional and inter spliced them with Chauvet's Q-Wash 419Z-LED RGBW moving washes. "This is a big annual event that draws a lot of people and some local

UK - The physical traces of Jersey's wartime occupation remain like battle scars on the island's landscape; concrete defences, bunkers, fortifications and a kilometre of underground tunnels. What is less visible is the story of how they came to be built. Until now. Jersey firms The Observatory and Delta have just completed an immersive installation within Jersey War Tunnels to communicate the important historical significance of this story in an innovative way.

The tunnel's unique environment disorients the senses and allows visitors to be fully immersed in the storytelling and sound design. The bespoke soundscape has been composed to amplify the effect, reinforcing the impact of the storytelling with frequencies used to evoke fear, anticipation and heighten engagement. Ben Hickingbotham, Creative Director of The Observatory said: 'It certainly captures people's minds as they wa

France - With the new Kipstadium, Kipsta, a brand owned by Decathlon, has inaugurated a new way of playing a team sport. More than just a sports complex, Kipstadium was designed by Kipsta as a "user's observation centre", a place where amateur and professional athletes can interact with Kipsta staff, both to receive technical advice and to share exercise habits and needs. Everyone can participate in the creation and optimization of Kipsta products, while the renowned sports brand can improve the quality of its creations adapting them to the real needs of the end users according to their feedback.

Spanning over 45,000 m² equipped with 20 indoor and outdoor courts and pitches and a 900 m2 Kipsta store, Kipstadium allows sports lovers of every age and ability to practice in more than 30 different activities seven days a week.

Located in the district of the Union, at th

USA - To expand its touring rental business, DBS Audio Systems, Inc. of Coatesville, Penn. has invested in a Meyer Sound Lyon linear sound reinforcement system in advance of a busy summer concert season.

"Lyon has won accolades from major artists and respected engineers and will give us an excellent position in the touring market," says Dave Brotman, DBS president. "The time is right for the upgrade, and we're excited to be the first rental company in the tri-state area to offer the most advanced loudspeaker technology available."

The system comprises 16 Lyon-M main and eight Lyon-W wide-coverage line array loudspeakers, in addition to six 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements. A Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system with Galileo Callisto 616 array processors provides system drive and alignment.

In the next few months, the system is already sla

Italy - For EXPO 2015, hosted by Milan in Italy from 1 May until 31 October 2015, ACT lighting design was commissioned by Balich Worldwide Shows to create and develop the visual & lighting design of an iconic installationTree of Life / Albero della Vita.

The project was designed by Marco Balich and studio Gioforma, artistic director of the Italian Pavilion of Expo 2015. Balich was inspired by the drawing Michelangelo Buonarroti created for the piazza del Campidoglio in Rome. The structure was built by Orgoglio Brescia. Koert Vermeulen joined the creative team as Lighting Designer & Director of Mise-en-Scene.

The tree with its vertical, symbolic gesture is both an Italian and international icon representing nature as a source of life, but also symbolizing the many roots and metaphorical branches of the Italian excellence. This iconic structure symbolically offers its se

Singapore - K-Pop singer and songwriter Taeyang recently played a show in Singapore with a lighting rig containing 30 x Robe BMFL Spots moving lights, supplied by leading rental company Showtec.

The Lighting designer, Mr. Juhyun Kim of Lite Factory in Korea, used them to replace another product for the show which was staged at the 6000 capacity Singapore Expo.

It was the first time Juhyun had used BMFL Spots and the lights were positioned above the stage and on side podiums, and used to flood the stage in white - incorporating the artists and his dancers - and also used for tight-spotting of Taeyang, as well as for beaming out into the audience and filling the space with aerial 'bursts' and other effects.

A full sized grandMA2 lighting console was used to run the show's lighting.

Taeyang's Singapore show followed another highly successful performance in Kuala Lumpur Malays

Canada - When Canadian alt-rock heroes The Tragically Hip put together a 2015 North American tour supporting the deluxe reissue of their 1992 studio classic, Fully Completely, the band's longtime audio provider, Solotech, made the decision to carry an audio system based entirely on L-Acoustics' K2 line array system.

"The Hip," as they are known to their legion of north-of-the-border fans, are touring behind the re-release of one of their biggest records, and the trek has been a "big deal" with staging that includes projection screens extending into areas normally reserved for the main PA hangs. This added to weight considerations that made the system design an even greater challenge than usual.

Jamie Howieson, well known for his work with Mumford & Sons among others, has been the Solotech systems engineer on the tour and discusses his thinking in put

France - The world-renowned flagship exhibit of Paris' National Museum of Natural History (MNHN), The Grand Gallery of Evolution, celebrated its 20-year anniversary by updating its lighting system that was originally implemented in 1994. The Gallery's centrepiece, which recreates the natural environment of the African Savanna with a caravan of animals, uses a sound and light show to recreate day/night cycles of the Savanna.

With outdated technology, high power consumption and the show playing twice a day for the past 15 years, the old system was in desperate need of an upgrade. To help revitalize the visitor experience, the MNHN brought in Martin Professional and over 200 Martin Tripix fixtures were installed throughout the gallery.

The MNHN wanted the lighting and sound to help create a sense of movement to the animals and Martin then developed a solution for the three main a

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