UK - XL Video supported Teenage Cancer Trust's annual run of live shows at London's Royal Albert Hall for the third consecutive year. For this 15th anniversary, XL Video supplied LED screens, live cameras and HD recordings for the seven shows in late March 2015.

The week-long run included a comedy night hosted by Kevin Bridges, plus live music shows headlined by Stereophonics, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Paul Weller, The Who, Van Morrison, and Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls.

All the shows featured a central flown screen, 36.6sq.m in total, formed from XL Video's Barco NX6 6mm LED. This screen displayed a mixture of the artists' own playback content and logos, live IMAG footage and pre-recorded films about the Trust's work. Playback content was served from one of XL's Catalyst media servers.

In addition, a wide LED banner screen formed from XL's ROE Visual MC-18T

USA - Seattle's Parlor Live comedy club is bringing national headliners like Kevin Hart, Rob Schneider and Loni Love to the city. At the same time, it's also cultivating up-and-coming regional comics by giving them the chance to perform on a spacious stage illuminated by a collection of Ovation and COLORado fixtures from Chauvet Professional.

In keeping with the creative streak that characterizes Seattle (this is the city that gave us grunge, Windows and Amazon), Parlor Live is no ordinary comedy club. Aside from its 200-seat comedy club, this two-story venue also houses a sports bar, cocktail lounge/restaurant and meeting facility.

"From a lighting standpoint, this was really three or four different projects in one," said designer Stephen Weeks of Morgan Sound and Audiovisual who was responsible for creating a design that met the diverse demands of this venue, while

South Africa - The Ghoema Awards, described as South Africa's own Afrikaans Grammy Awards, took place at the magical State Theatre, Pretoria on 24 March 2015. The spectacular event, the initiative of Barry Pretorius, was filled to capacity and lit by Mauritz Jacobs of Dream Sets with the full technical supply awarded to EPH Productions.

This was the second year Mauritz was commissioned to design and operate the show and he worked on the State Theatre's grandMA2 Light, having some 80 Robe fixtures and a further 30 Clay Paky Sharpys, at his disposal.

"Being in the theatre took me back quite a few years," said Mauritz, recalling his student days at Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria. "It was very nice to be in this theatrical environment again."

Mauritz was chuffed with his compliment of lighting, some of which belonged to the theatre. The total comp

Germany - LSC Lighting Systems has announced a strategic partnership with German based company EL4EN (Elements for Entertainment), for the training and support of its Clarity based products across Europe.

EL4EN is a recently formed company of industry veterans with vast experience of lighting control and operation. EL4EN will take on the responsibility of supporting the LSC Clarity range of products including the LX range of consoles, VX wings as well as the software product from a technical perspective as well as offering training courses for all levels.

Pete Floyd, international sales manager for LSC commented, "We are having more and more success with Clarity and the appointment of EL4EN is a great addition allowing us to provide better and more responsive support for the products across Europe."

EL4EN will be on the LSC booth at this year's Frankfurt Pro Light

UK - Kings Place is a buzzing hub for music, art, dialogue, social and cultural interaction, events and food and drink in the heart of central London's vibrant Kings Cross area. The multi-purpose venue is ensconced in the contemporary elegance of a large mixed space building designed by architects Dixon Jones backing onto the Regent Canal.

Recently, Robe's DL Series LED fixtures have been installed in its two auditoriums as part of a lighting refit and upgrade.

As well as a leading creative live art and performance forum presenting around 600 arts events a year, Kings Place is a world class, award-winning conference and events venue, hosting leading brands across 10 event rooms and spaces. In the past 12 months, Kings Place has managed around 350 corporate events from small meetings to multi-day conferences for over 1000 delegates.

The latest lighting installation continues

USA - Boston USA based lighting designer Jeff Maker relished the chance to use 135 Robe moving lights including 18 x BMFL Spots for a super high profile and very special one off / DVD shoot show at Wembley Arenafor lively US punk rock band, All Time Low.

The gig - their biggest ever to date in the UK - sold out in just a few days and was preceded by a short seven-date jaunt around Europe. It also came just a month after All Time Low finished a double headline UK arena tour with You Me At Six, so, with the proximity of this still in fans' minds, Jeff designed a completely new overhead lighting scheme for the Wembley event ... and retained the core high-impact floor package from the co-headline tour, adding some new elements so he could create an eye-popping new visual extravaganza that would feel great live and look awesome on camera!

"I wanted to establish multiple layers

On The Campaign Trail - Labour has confirmed its commitment to the arts in the party's manifesto ahead of the general election, declaring they should "belong to all and be open to all to take part in". Earlier this year Labour leader Ed Miliband vowed to place arts and culture "at the heart of the government" if the party came to power in May. In its newly published election manifesto, the party promises to work with public bodies to tackle the regional imbalance of arts funding. Labour also pledges to strengthen creative education in schools and after school clubs, and ensure that publicly funded venues "open up their doors" to young people.

As well as increasing the number of apprenticeships in the creative industries, the party has reaffirmed its commitment to creating a 'prime minister's committee' on the arts, culture and creative industries -

Belgium - Chauvet has opened a full-service subsidiary in Ghent, Belgium. The facility, which follows in the steps of a Chauvet branch in the United Kingdom, acts as the Chauvet distributor in the Benelux area serving dealers of Chauvet Professional and Chauvet DJ brands in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, while supporting Chauvet distributors and strategic partners elsewhere in Europe.

"Given the success of our operations in the UK, it made sense to expand to an inland facility so we can better serve customers not only in the Benelux area but also throughout the continent," said Chauvet President Albert Chauvet. "With high profile products like our Chauvet Professional Nexus and ÉPIX being seen worldwide, and the widespread following of Chauvet DJ in multiple countries, we've established globally recognized brands. This facility will help bring the

UK - As Capital Sound Hire enters the build-up phase to their busy summer season ahead they discuss plans for continued investment in their professional sound equipment hire stock.

Following the purchase of their Martin Audio MLA loudspeaker system in 2012-14, comprising MLA, MLA Compact and MLA Mini, the London-based professional live sound equipment hire company have recently undertaken a new investment programme to focus on their infrastructure, maintaining and upgrading all elements of their professional sound equipment hire stock to ensure that it meets clients' needs in terms of commerciality, functionality and cutting-edge technology.

"Whilst we're known as the 'go-to' rock-and-roll touring sound hire company in London, Capital Sound Hire caters for a broad range of live sound market sectors including corporate and conference work, festivals, theatre and comedy&quo

USA - Audinate and NewTek have announced an expansion of the partnership to enable Dante support in the TriCaster product line. As part of the new TriCaster Advanced Edition, customers will have the ability to install Dante Virtual Soundcard to enable seamless audio connectivity to other Dante-enabled products.

TriCaster has changed the way producers cover and distribute live events. TriCaster set a new industry standard as an innovative, easy-to-use appliance for portable live production and streaming, it has become the choice for video producers worldwide. TriCaster customers will now be able to download and install Dante Virtual Soundcard on the TriCaster platform. This transforms the production system into an end-to-end digital audio workflow seamlessly integrating TriCaster with Dante audio devices on the network.

"The partnership between Audinate and NewTek to enabl

UK - Clocking up a landmark quarter of a century of business in the industry, lighting, rigging and visuals rental company Fineline celebrates its 25th year in 2015, with a schedule that is already action packed with a wide range of work from music tours and festivals to corporate events.

The Bristol based operation was founded by Darren Wring in 1990 as a lighting rental and touring company and expanded in 2004 to include a manufacturing facility for bespoke staging and scenic elements.

Current MD Rob Sangwell joined in 2002 and managed the production lighting and rigging aspects of Fineline until 2011 when he purchased the company with a view to focusing more on the rigging and lighting production, leaving Darren to concentrate on the more esoteric design and manufacturing projects.

Rob enjoyed the vibe and the challenge of running Fineline enormously in his initial nine y

South Africa - When Johannesburg based Emperors Palace upgraded their control desk, they decided on a new grandMA2 Lite system. This forms part of an entire revamp as Emperors Palace Theatre of Marcellus has been transformed from a multi-purpose venue to become a complete state of the art, permanent 1,008-seater theatre.

"Basically we redeveloped the theatre from a multi-functional venue to a permanent theatre capable of handling large scale, long running quality theatre productions," said JP de Vernon, entertainment technical manager at Emperors.

After consulting with Dream Sets and Effective Events, a decision was made by Emperors Palace to build a stage out of stage decks that would fit into the venue perfectly and come within a reasonable budget.

"We have proper comfortable theatre/cinema seating, the theatre is warm and inviting and the team itself is ver

UK - Live event and installation audio-visual facilities company SFL Group are supplying Shure wireless microphone and in-ear monitoring systems to the HTB family of churches based at Holy Trinity Brompton, South-west London, as part of a rolling programme of upgrades to the wireless microphone and in-ear systems at the churches.

Holy Trinity Brompton Road is the home of Alpha, a worldwide course which allows people to explore the big questions of life, and also the Worship Central movement founded by Tim Hughes, which places great emphasis on music in its endeavours. Holy Trinity Brompton Road has been using wireless microphone systems since a large-scale refurbishment in 2006, and the systems have gradually spread to the other churches in the group.

Four churches, including St Jude's in Courtfield Gardens, South Kensington, now the seat of the St Mellitus religious training

Germany - Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is celebrating five years of Platinum lamps. The range's razor-sharp light beams have revolutionized the entertainment industry in a relatively short amount of time. To commemorate the anniversary, Philips will be exhibiting the range at Prolight+Sound 2015 in Frankfurt.

The first innovative Platinum lamp, the MSD Platinum 5 R, was launched in 2010. Today, in 2015, Philips offers a broad range including the 2 R, 14 R, 15 R, 16 R, 17 RA and 20 R. Platinum lamps have been used at many major events, worldwide. Platinum lamps were designed to cope with the demanding on-stage conditions in modern entertainment.

LED walls are increasingly being integrated into stage lighting design, creating a sea of homogeneous light. A new generation of lamps with powerful beams is needed to cut through in these situations and provide addition

UK - The Olivier Award winning play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time took to the road on in December 2014 for a one year UK tour.

Having wowed UK audiences since it opened at the National's Cottesloe Theatre in August 2012, the production transferred to the Apollo Theatre in March 2013 and is currently playing at the Gielgud Theatre. Keen to ensure the tour is equally successful, Damian Partington, production manager, National Theatre Productions, brought Unusual Rigging on board to help ensure a flawless move between venues and supply a range of rigging equipment.

Damian explained, "The Curious Incident tells the story of a 15-year-old boy as he aims to solve the mystery of who murdered his neighbour's dog and it's a show that Unusual Rigging is very familiar with since they worked with us on the version that's currently on at the Gielgud

Europe - Steven Wilson, four-time Grammy nominee, celebrates the launch of his new album Hand. Cannot. Erase with a UK and European tour in March and April 2015. The tour and album follow his runaway success of his third solo album The Raven That Refused to Sing and his sell out shows at London's Royal Albert Hall in 2013. The UK gigs kicked off at Cambridge Corn Exchange and continue on throughout his 10-country European tour until heading off to the USA and Canada.

Steven Wilson wanted to create "a show that I hope will raise the bar both musically and visually from my previous tours, with a set list based around the new album, as well as casting the net further back into my song writing past for a few surprises".

Steven Wilson's lighting designer, Matthew Jensen, came to Mick Freer of Hawthorn with an idea of creating a strong visual impact for the s

UK - Following the positive feedback from last year's show, PLASA 2015 is set to move forwards with the introduction of a number of new propositions, as well as the return of a popular feature from previous years.

Part of the new programme is PLASA's sector specific seminar offering, which will see an increase from two to five theatres. Additionally, existing demo spaces are being built on; key networking spaces, such as the show bar and zones in the sector hubs, are being reintroduced; and the show will open late on its second day.

"PLASA 2015 has a progressive new approach, as we focus on five major sectors of the live entertainment technology world: Lighting, Audio, Stage, AV and Live Broadcast," explains Christopher Toulmin, director of events division at PLASA. "Each sector is individually supported by manufacturer led content, as well as PLASA's own indust

UK - Fisher Hires has invested in new lighting and AV stock following a major investment programme to the tune of £500,000. Fisher Hires is sister company to the prestigious event productions agency Fisher Productions, which this year celebrates its 30th birthday.

Fisher Hires supplies lighting, AV and technical expertise for all Fisher Productions events, and was launched as a separate company last year with the aim to widen the business and offer a full dry hire service.

Responding to client demand, Fisher has purchased a number of products from Clay Paky, MA Lighting, Avolites, Prolights and ETC and have significantly increased its stock of wireless uplights to include the Core Colourpoint.

Graham Beswick CEO of the Fisher Productions Group said, "Our upgrade of lighting and AV equipment comprises of over 110 product lines and thousands of pieces of kit, allowi

South Africa - The Ultimate X festival was staged for the first time this year at the Grand Arena in Cape Town, South Africa's GrandWest Casino, two days of adrenaline-fuelled, gravity-challenging, hi-energy stunts encompassing three breath-taking xtreme sport disciplines - FMX (freestyle motocross), BMX (bicycle motocross) and skateboarding - featuring the best athletes from around the globe.

The event, produced by Old School Productions, was staged in the round and lit by Sean Caie, the venue's head of lighting, using an all Robe moving light rig including BMFL Spots.

It was the first time that organisers had moved the event indoors and the first time it was extended to two days due to massive public demand.

The floor layout comprised a complete skate / BMX Park, with vert ramps and all the death-defying obstacles you'd expect in this raw and uncompromising environment.

UK - XL Video's UK operation has expanded the warehousing and distribution for its LED department, with the opening of a new 20,000sq.ft warehouse near to the company's existing Hemel Hempstead location.

The 50% increase in total warehouse space enables XL Video to create a dedicated space for preparation and dispatch of the company's wide and varied range of indoor and outdoor rental LED screens, and other creative LED products.

This expansion into the new LED facility also creates additional much-needed space in the main XL Video warehouse to allow for the growth in inventory of XL's projection and media server/control departments, both of which announced major technology investments earlier this year with the likes of d3, Barco, and Lightware.

XL Video's UK director of operations, John Hooker commented, "We are pleased to be able to expand our operations into this ne

UK - Bookings have opened for The Theatres Trust's annual Conference, taking place this year on Tuesday 23 June 2015 at Milton Court Theatre in London, part of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

What value do theatres bring to regeneration, commercial development and mixed use schemes?

Conference 15: Valuing Theatres considers ways in which we can work with the property sector to achieve shared cultural, social and economic returns and create new partnerships with developers to build and protect the theatres of the future.

How do we engage with developers who are playing an increasingly important role as theatre builders and capital investors?

Valuing Theatres is chaired by Jim Beirne MBE, chief executive of Live Theatre who is leading Live Works, a new £10m capital scheme in Newcastle to purchase and develop Quayside frontage and land and buildings adjacent to t

USA - In six weeks, the highly regarded PLASA Focus events series will open at the Kansas City Convention Centre, 20-21 May. Once again, over two days, PLASA Focus will offer hands-on, up close views of products and services from over 35 leading manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and industry leaders and offer over 15 top seminars, including hands-on training, all completely free to attend.

Says PLASA Events show manager Laura Hoepker, "As a trade organization by the industry and for the industry, PLASA looks forward to another successful Focus show in Kansas City and providing another targeted business and networking opportunity to both PLASA members and to regional buyers. Between the show floor and educational seminars, we are providing access to the best in the industry to everyone who attends."

New additions to the top-notch seminar line up, include:


Belgium - The most recent tour by Belgian girlband K3 featured a lighting and video design by Painting With Light's Luc Peumans which was based on the bold, bright, poppy and positive vibe that has characterised the band's remarkable 16 year career.

K3's impressive longevity - achieved without airplay on MTV and other standard music channels - was led by proactive direct marketing through youth and children's TV channels.

Luc has been involved with K3's live performance visuals for 12 years. His team from Painting With Light on this tour included programmer and lighting operator on the road Paco Mispelters and media server programmer and operator Katleen Selleslagh, and the design's starting point came from the band's hit TV show K3 Can Do It which is based on helping children achieve their dreams. The idea was to align the live show with the whole current K3 brand conc

UK - Aurora Lighting is supporting lighting director Oli Richards on the new ITV Saturday sporting comedy panel show Play to the Whistle.

Played out in front of a studio audience at Fountain Studios, Play to the Whistle features host Holly Whillouby presiding over team captains, Bradley Walsh and Frank Lampard.

Produced by Hungry Bear Media for ITV, the show pits two celebrity teams against each other with the aim of working out who sports the best knowledge of all things sporting. Helping to keep order, comedian Sean Walsh also joins the show in the guise of comic umpire for the series.

To assist in creating the show's polished, sporty look, Aurora supplied LD Oli with razor sharp Clay Paky Sharpys, which have been integrated into the set to create 'bars' of light that tower above the guests.

Elsewhere, Oli specified the innovative Doughty H Bar ladder syste

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