Business News

elation-hourElation Hour looks at service & support
Monday, 11 May 2020

USA - On the 13 May edition of the Elation Hour (10:00am Pacific Standard Time), Elation service manager Gines Gines explores a critical topic for any lighting professional, Service & Support, and also take a closer look at Elation’s new atmospherics brand, Magmatic, with Magmatic product manager Anthony Velasquez.
Gines has served as Elation’s top service specialist for over a decade and on this episode will cover service/support topics like RMA’s, service centres, updates, warranties and more. Anthony will share insight into Elation’s new Magmatic brand of on-the-road tough atmospheric effects while reviewing the first innovations in the new product line.
The Elation Hour is a weekly virtual presentation that delves into the more personal side of product development and includes discussions with industry designers who share their experience across the broad scope of entertainment lighting. Topics covered over coming weeks include Festivals/Outdoor Events, Broadway/Theatre, Trade Shows/Corporate/Special Events and Concerts/Live Events. The Elation Hour series will also include virtual product launches.

girlsincGirls Inc auction goes online with Mavericks
Monday, 11 May 2020

USA - For 45 years, Girls Inc. has dedicated itself to “equipping girls to overcome barriers”. This April, the Manchester, New Hampshire based organisation provided young women with a first-hand example of doing just that. When its usual, and very critical, spring auction at the local Marriott ballroom was pre-empted by the Covid-19 lockdown, the non-profit responded without missing a beat by moving its fundraiser online with the help of the Events United at Studio Lab.
Raising $175,000 from its “first annual virtual auction” Girls Inc. did more than acquire much-needed funds; it also provided an important lesson for anyone, of any age, in the value of persevering in the face of adversity.
Like all inspiring stories, however, the one behind this successful auction involved more than determination - it also required a lot of careful planning. For the Events United team, this meant ensuring that the one-hour event livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube had an engaging background. This element was created with the help of 60 Chauvet Professional F2 LED panels.
Every successful auction is part theatre and part social gathering. Being an online event, the Girls Inc. livestream would have less of the former and none of the latter. “We knew that this production wouldn’t benefit from the buzz and excitement of a live auction,” said Tim Messina, owner of Events United. “So, we would have to help create this atmosphere with the backdrop that viewers saw during the auction and the associated music acts.”
Providing this backdrop was a F2

danteAudinate extends Dante online training
Monday, 11 May 2020

USA - To meet popular demand, Audinate has extended its online Dante webinar series.
This is an opportunity to officially obtain new Dante certifications, learn about Dante Domain Manager and ‘join interesting discussions on case studies and Dante design principles’ says Audinate.
Audinate is offering over 25 free online learning opportunities this month – some available in a variety of languages.
Webinar topics include: Dante Design and Case Studies, Dante Domain Manager, Dante Certification Programme plus previous webinar recordings. Visit:

robe-db-audio-namibiadB Audio keeps staff safe in lockdown
Monday, 11 May 2020

Namibia - With more than a third of the world’s population on lockdown as countries implement measures to slow the spread of Covid-19, priorities are being thrown into sharp focus.
In Windhoek, Namibia, technical production and rental company dB Audio’s first concern was to ensure that its staff would be safe and well during the lockdown period which started on 27 March and was extended to 4 May by President Hage Geingob.
dB Audio is normally involved in a wide range of live events – from corporates to dance and music shows, experientials and awards presentations through to commercials. Namibia’s abundant and beautifully desolate desert locations and unspoiled coastline have long been a favourite for location scouts. Over the years, the company has been a steady investor in Robe moving lights.
But all live events stopped on 16 March when public gatherings were banned.
Now, together with others, dB Audio Namibia’s management are talking to officials and bureaucrats and fighting to get the industry recognised, together with for example tourism, as a “most affected” sector - and be eligible for financial assistance from the government.
Luckily at this stage, although temporarily ceasing operations, dB Audio Namibia has managed to keep nearly all staff in place. Those who can work from home are doing so – at negotiated reduced wages and hours – but at least enough to survive.
“Communication has been key in getting ourselves organised for lockdown,” explained dB Audio Namibia’s Ernst Steynberg.
First prior

rg-jonesRG Jones remembers VE Day celebrations
Monday, 11 May 2020

UK - VE Day was an event of particular significance for RG Jones, the oldest continuously trading independent sound company in the UK and one of the oldest three in the world. It is 75 years since founder, Reginald Jones, provided public address systems for the VE Day celebrations in London.
Reginald’s son Robin Jones took over the company after his father passed away in 1987. Robin, who was a long-standing and active committee member of the APRS, has been instrumental at curating the company history archives and has also been transcribing records from the sought after Oak Records; a highly collectable record collection created by RG Jones Studios.
Robin recently transcribed audio for a client from a 78rpm disc of the Loafers Dance Band, recorded by RGJ in March 1945 at a victory celebration dance at the old Epsom Baths (they boarded over the baths to turn it into a dance hall). Robin added “My father also provided sound reinforcement for C.O.L Military Band Lunch Hour Concerts held on steps of St Pauls’ Cathedral during war to raise morale. The concerts were so popular they continued every Thursday many years after the war ended; into the late 1990’s.”
Fifty years later, in 1995, RG Jones' crew returned to continue the company's legacy providing audio for the performance in front of Buckingham Palace – the massed bands were on the forecourt, the stage was built in the central gate and featured Dame Vera, Harry Secombe and Cliff Richard. FOH was on the Victoria Memorial in the middle of the roundabout, clearly visible in the video.

nexoNexo restarts manufacturing operations
Monday, 11 May 2020

France - From today, 11 May, Nexo will gradually begin restarting its manufacturing operations in Plailly and Saint-Pierre-de-Côle. The return to normal service, in accordance with the guidelines of the French authorities, will involve adjusted working hours to meet health and safety protocols, and the current demand. Most of the company’s key suppliers have now resumed their own activity.
For several months, the Nexo team has been continuously adapting itself, staying proactive and agile in the face of the unprecedented challenges caused by the coronavirus. Jean Mullor, company CEO, states, “Our first goal remains the health of our employees, guaranteeing them a safe working environment and working practices that align with government guidelines and common-sense good behaviour rules.”
Nexo R&D, sales, engineering support, and administration teams will continue normal operations in the “unlockdown period”, principally working from home. Despite the difficult economic environment, Nexo has still managed to recruit new people into key positions in its sales and R&D departments.
“We are keeping our operations running as smoothly as possible during the current situation,” continues Jean Mullor. “Our teams are reaching out to partners across the world to provide support during these tough times, and we are looking to find ways for Nexo to make a difference during this crisis. Unfortunately, it will be some time before customers will be allowed to visit Nexo sites but our engineering support and sales teams have done a great job s

alcons-audio-press-release-alcons-audio-opens-pro-ribbon-webinars-to-the-publicAlcons opens webinars to wider audience
Thursday, 7 May 2020

The Netherlands - Alcons Audio is to present a new series of online educational sessions, featuring industry names and special guests, beginning 12 May. Whether specialising in touring/production, installation, or cinema, this series will “delve into the latest technology, spark innovative dialogue, and expand the sound designer’s toolbox”.
Alcons’ online Go-To presentations have always been an essential part of the company’s USA communications for supporting engineers and consultants, training new dealers and providing information to potential customers. With the increased demand for online information, Alcons is now making these presentations available to a much wider audience.
Presented by David Rahn of Alcons Audio USA, with guest input from several renowned audio engineers, each webinar will be 30-60 minutes in length. The webinars will provide a detailed insight into Alcons’ products and applications, and will explore the technology behind the company’s multiple-patented pro-ribbon audio solutions and the benefits they bring to the pro audio industry.
Every session will start with an introduction to Alcons Audio, with key information about the company, and will finish with a short Q&A session. Participants will be invited to discuss the different topics and to exchange views on current market standards and the future of Pro Audio.
“Our multiple-patented pro-ribbon transducer technology has always been surrounded by misconceptions about overall usability in professional sound reinforcement. With the webinars we aim t

carolyn-steyn-feed-our-crewCarolyn Steyn helps Feed our Crew
Thursday, 7 May 2020

South Africa - Carolyn Steyn, South African philanthropist, actress, founder of 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day and Classic FM1027 radio host personality, has donated R100,000 (around £4,400) to the Feed Our Crew initiative established to help theatre and entertainment crew and freelancers who most need assistance.
As an accomplished actress, Carolyn was concerned about the welfare of the theatre crew, especially after the lock-down in South Africa was extended. The entertainment business has been one of the hardest hit industries in the country. When Carolyn saw a Facebook post by one of her friends, Debra Batzofin, theatre practitioner in the industry for the past 46 years, it ultimately enabled her to pay it forward.
“Carolyn immediately assisted me, and we were able to feed 50 people,” explains Debra Batzofin. “But when she wanted to donate additional funds, I suggested we approached Duncan Riley of DWR Distribution and the SOS Charity fund to help come up with the best solution.”
Riley advised the monies would make an enormous difference to the Feed our Crew campaign. “Everyone is fighting a financial battle right now, but there are those who are unable to feed their families, and this is where Feed our Crew comes in,” comments Riley. “I was humbled by this act of generosity and believe that if there were more people like Carolyn and Debbie, the world’s problems would be so much less. Thank you so much for this contribution.”
Feed O

house-partyADJ House Party contest offers prizes
Thursday, 7 May 2020

World - As much of the world remains on lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, ADJ is aiming to inject a little fun into social distancing through its ADJ House Party Contest.
The company is encouraging lighting users to get creative for the opportunity to win ADJ prizes, including a pair of Focus Spot 2X moving heads.
The contest is open to anyone, anywhere in the world, who owns at least one ADJ lighting fixture. To enter, all you have to do is put your ADJ lighting equipment to use at home and post the photos or video on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter along with the hashtag #ADJHouseParty.
“What you do with them is entirely up to you,” says ADJ. “If you’re a lighting designer, you could set up a rig in your garage and program a timecoded lightshow. If you’re a DJ, you could use your fixtures to light up your next live-streamed set from your living room. If you want to show support for healthcare workers, you could use your lights to illuminate the outside of your house blue.
ADJ will select the winners based on how good the photos/videos look as well as the creative use of equipment. The contest will run from now until the end of May. Entrants can make multiple submissions.
Once the contest has closed at the end of May, the ADJ team will comb social media for every post that uses the #ADJHouseParty hashtag and choose three winners based on the imaginative use of ADJ fixtures and the aesthetic appeal of the photos/video. The winners will then be exclusively announced in a Facebook Live broadcast on Wednesday, 3 June.

bandit-sales-3Bandit Lites streamlines sales and installation
Thursday, 7 May 2020

USA - After announcing an expansion of its Nashville site, lighting specialist Bandit Lites has completed an overhaul of its Knoxville world headquarters.
The premises have been revamped as a sales facility, with a renovated conference room, updated warehouse, and dedicated testing and demo areas.
Following a collaborative process of zeroing in how to make the intake, testing, and output most efficient, Bandit’s team devised a system that streamlined the process, with the entire front of the warehouse scoured, painted and sealed with painted lines to designate spaces for check in, prep’ and testing, and shipping.
The changes will accommodate the growth in sales and installations projects.
Knoxville facilities manager, Brad Hylton, comments: “These changes have allowed us to work more efficiently, keep track of project status, and streamline the whole process.”
Roth Edwards, director of operations, adds: “Every item that arrives is checked in and then sorted into an incoming area, all branded and labelled based on what site, venue or job they’re slated for. Then everything is prepped, tested and labelled to the Bandit Standard before they’re moved to the outgoing area, shrink wrapped and palletised.”
“We run a test show through every fixture before it ever leaves the warehouse to make sure the end user has no issues,” says Alex Becker, Bandit’s sales and production assistant. “Once the fixtures have pas

ve-dayRoyal Albert Hall to host unique VE Day performance
Thursday, 7 May 2020

UK - For the first time in its 150-year history, the Royal Albert Hall will play host to a special concert behind closed doors. For the event, which will mark the VE Day 75th anniversary on Bank Holiday, Friday 8 May, international Mezzo Soprano Katherine Jenkins OBE will perform on the Royal Albert Hall stage to an empty auditorium. The half-hour concert will be streamed to audiences around the world via YouTube at 6pm BST and is the first performance of the #RoyalAlbertHome series to come from the Hall itself. It follows on from the singer’s successful at home lockdown concerts which have amassed over 2 million streams to-date.
This unique concert is made possible by funding from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, as part of #LondonTogether, and will be introduced with a video message from the Mayor. #LondonTogether invites Londoners to highlight great examples of positive community action and gives much deserved appreciation for the work of our health and care staff, emergency services, key workers and volunteers.
The event is in support of the Royal Albert Hall’s fundraising appeal and SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity’s Emergency Response Fund.
Katherine Jenkins comments: “In London on VE Day 1945, over a million people celebrated Victory in Europe and the end of nearly six years of war. Crowds gathered en masse in Trafalgar Square and up the Mall to Buckingham Palace and whilst we may not be able to celebrate this year as we once did, it’s only right that we don’t allow the 75th anniversary of this historic day to be overshadowed. Havi

tim-mccallTim McCall embarks on fundraising ride
Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Europe - On 27 April, L-Acoustics sales manager Tim McCall set out on a journey to ride 2000km from L-Acoustics headquarters in Marcoussis, France, to each of the companies in the group. He will return to Marcoussis on 11 May, in time for when the French Government is due to lift some of the current lockdown restrictions.
“The live production business has been hit hard by COVID-19, and individuals in this industry even harder. So to help our global crew family, I will be riding my bike on a trainer (so as not to break strict French lockdown laws),” says McCall. “My virtual route will start at L-Acoustics HQ in Marcoussis before going on to Keskatel and then Wenden, Germany and on to the L-ISA HQ in Highgate, London before heading south and back to Amboise, France before heading home to Marcoussis - a trip of around 2,000km and around 8,000m of climbing.”
McCall is attempting this feat, riding each day in addition to working his normal daily hours, on behalf of crews around the world, and the money raised will go to the PSA Welfare & Benevolent fund in the UK, Support Act in Australia and SOS and Feed Our Crew in South Africa.
He will be on Zwift and post daily reports on mileage, etc and invites you to ride with him via Zwift meet-ups. He is expecting to ride both in the morning and early evening Paris Time. Email him at for details of how to ride with him on Zwift.
McCall’s initiative is for the industry as a whole, not just for the L-Acoustics family, and wants to encourage other companies to suppo

atlonacommboothAtlona to host virtual tradeshow
Wednesday, 6 May 2020

USA - Atlona will launch AtlonaComm 20, a month-long virtual tradeshow experience beginning 1 June on Atlona’s website. The online event will offer a schedule of product offerings, training and education experiences, and personalised meeting opportunities for customers, partners and other visitors.
AtlonaComm 20 represents Atlona’s proactive response to COVID-19-related event disruption, including the cancellation of InfoComm 2020, as well as general business travel and in-person sales visits. Atlona hatched its plans for an online event back in early March as the magnitude of the rapidly-evolving health crisis unfurled.
“We wanted to provide guests with a tradeshow experience that closely resembles the experience of being there,” says Ilya Khayn, CEO of Atlona. “We took a proactive approach in creating a virtual, interactive event to share our latest innovations, deliver webinars, and meet one-on-one with customers, partners and peers. This is about thinking outside the booth, and finding alternative lanes to drive meaningful engagement.”
The AtlonaComm 20 schedule will offer flexibility across time zones so that industry professionals are well-served worldwide. This includes providing regional Atlona resources from APAC, EMEA and the Americas across specific time periods each day, and scheduling webinars in alignment with regional interest and availability.
Atlona will announce specific plans around AtlonaComm 20 product introductions, trainings, and meetings closer to the event, with instructions for booking webinar seats and sc

sign-pen-business-documentPLASA urges joint industry effort to secure state support
Tuesday, 5 May 2020

UK - PLASA is calling for UK-based entertainment industry professionals from all sectors to write to their local MP highlighting the challenges the industry has faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The action forms part of the #EventsForTheFuture initiative, launched by the ABTT, PSA, PLASA, SOLT and UK Theatre, which aims to increase the visibility of the events and entertainment industries and campaign for further support.
To make it simple to contact their local representative, the organisations have created four letter templates suitable for businesses, employees, freelancers, and one-person limited companies. The templates are freely available to download on each association’s websites – head over to to download the PLASA templates.
PLASA says the #EventsForTheFuture campaign has received “a fantastic response” since launching last week, with the Association reporting 1,900 letter downloads. PLASA has thanked those who have already sent their letter. “Your response will help make the industry’s voice heard at government level,” says the Association.
In addition to the letter templates, the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is currently welcoming feedback from the creative and cultural sectors. PLASA has already submitted written evidence arguing for additional industry-specific support and urges you to do the same.
The DCMS enquiry, which is open

The Week in light & Sound
Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Missouri Breaks - Missouri is the first US state to resume live events. The latest measure was included in Gov. Mike Parson’s Show Me Strong recovery plan, which also outlines how the state’s economy will begin reopening this week, Billboard reports. Large events and gatherings are no longer forbidden; residents will be able to attend concerts and go to movie theatres and stadiums, where “seating shall be spaced out according to social distancing requirements”.
A Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services rep explained that concerts don’t have to follow the same capacity guidance as retail businesses. Still, concertgoers must remain at least six feet from each other. “There are currently no limitations on social gatherings as long as necessary precautions are taken and six feet of distance can be maintained between individuals and/or families,” the Show Me Strong recovery plan states.
These new measures don’t apply to the state’s bigger cities, St. Louis, Springfield, and Kansas City, where lockdown orders are still ongoing. “We will continue to be guided by data, not dates,” St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson tweeted on Friday.
Venues in smaller cities, like The Blue Note in Columbia, will also not reopen on Monday. The venue has chosen to continue livestreaming its Social Distraction concert series through May 15.
“We are currently assessing the details of the announcement and the latest information from health experts,” Matt Gerding of FPC Live, which manages The Blue Note, told Bill

rawaespressimageGenelec to help AES fundraising initiative
Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Finland - Genelec is to donate a percentage of every sale of its new RAW loudspeaker range to the Audio Engineering Society (AES), for the remainder of this year. Additionally, Genelec will be funding 10 one-year AES memberships for those individuals whose lives have been impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.
Genelec managing director Siamak Naghian comments: “To us, the AES represents the only serious forum for the development of audio, and the work it does for our industry is invaluable. In its pursuit of excellence and dedication to raising the bar in the industry, it is without equal, and our approaches have much in common. We will do everything we can to help the Society through the ongoing crisis, and this donation is just one way of showing our support and appreciation for this much-loved institution.”
Genelec will donate a percentage of each global RAW sale to the AES, and is also inviting professional or student members of the audio community who have been affected by the Covid 19 crisis to apply for a 12 month AES membership. Genelec will then select 10 worthy recipients, and fund the membership for each of them.
“Genelec has been a steadfast partner to the AES for decades, contributing resources and expertise that play a major role in the quality of our Convention technical programmes,” shares AES President Agnieszka Roginska. “The AES greatly appreciates Genelec’s pledge of yet further support, helping sustain the Society’s essential contributions to the audio industry.”

obsidian-control-systemsonyxObsidian presents Onyx live webinar series
Tuesday, 5 May 2020

USA - Obsidian Control Systems is presenting a two-part live webinar series, Onyx on Set, to show how Obsidian’s Onyx lighting control platform is utilised in motion picture and television settings.
Hosted by Obsidian Control Systems product manager Matthias Hinrichs, the series airs 7 and 14 May and will include in-depth discussion and expert advice from professional film and TV programmers Chris Chalk and Phil Shearer, both of IATSE Local 728 in Los Angeles, along with programming specialist Tommy Sullivan of North Carolina.
Part 1 will take place on 7 May, 10:00-11:30am PT and comprise a round table discussion exploring how lighting programmers on motion picture and television sets utilise ONYX on a daily basis and how the lighting platform supports them in this fast-paced work environment.
Part 2, scheduled for 14 May 14, 10:00am-1:00pm PT is a dedicated training covering the use of ONYX in motion pictures and television. The discussion will focus on setup, programming and managing fixture types commonly employed in film and broadcast environments using the ONYX platform.

bill-chesley-henryboy-webAudient helps NY sound designer work at home
Tuesday, 5 May 2020

USA - Sound designer Bill Chesley just got himself an EVO 4 audio interface for his new home studio space, where he continues to work on commercials for Walmart, Fedex, Nike and Guinness.
He decided to organise things ahead of the stay-at-home order announcement in New York State. “I’m in pretty close proximity to my actual studio, but thought I’d get a home set-up going in these unpredictable times,” he explains.
He co-runs the award-winning sound design collective, Henryboy with his wife, Kate Gibson where he uses an Audient iD22 audio interface. When considering a studio in their Brooklyn apartment, he was mindful of how much space he had to play with. “I gravitated towards EVO 4 because of its small footprint - it packs a lot of punch in a small space.” Which is exactly what he has to do now, with their multi-million dollar clients relying on them to continue to meet deadlines.
Describing his setup, he says: “I’m running ProTools ultimate on a MacBook Pro with loads of plugins and I’m running everything through EVO 4 to a pair of Genelecs. My go-to mics are a Neuman shotgun, an AudioTechnica 4025 and an AKG 414. I also use Sony handhelds quite often, and contact and EMF mics from LOM when I feel the need. I spend a lot of time recording my own sounds. I like a library, but you don’t always get the desired effect.”
He’s certainly pleased with his EVO 4. “I’ve always enjoyed the mic pres in the iD22, and what I’ve recorded with the EVO 4 so far is sounding great. Finding a monitor/preamp box like this for around

tsl-products-logoTSL shifts focus to remote requirements
Tuesday, 5 May 2020

USA - As many broadcast stations are operating in a work-from-home environment amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, TSL Products has altered its R&D roadmap for the short term to meet the current needs of the industry.
Since TSL’s acquisition of DNF Controls in April 2019, the US team based out of Northridge, CA, has remained focused on the developing and supporting the Flex Control Network and range of Universal Control Panels.
“We have many customers across the United States who use our Flex Control Network for critical production and playout in news-based Hub and Spoke systems that connect network stations. Due to heightened demands in remote broadcasts, we recently altered our R&D to service our Flex customers and assist them in response to the pandemic,” says Fred Scott, regional sales manager U.S. at TSL and former sales director for DNF Controls.
“With many customers working remotely, rather than in-studio, we added a feature called ‘Web Keys’ that, when connected to any DNF powered Universal Switch Panel within the Flex network, allows users to control devices situated in major hub and spoke installations across the US from home.”
TSL has been able to re-prioritise very quickly in order to support its customers in their remote workflows, but above all, the company holds its staff to the highest regard. “Our number one priority is our staff, says Mark Davies, director of products and technology at TSL Products.
“TSL has offices in the United Kingdom and Los Angeles so we’ve been keeping up with the latest Cali

robe-feed-our-crewFeed Our Crew initiative gains momentum
Tuesday, 5 May 2020

South Africa - Feed Our Crew, the South African fundraising initiative for freelance live event technicians, has received hundreds of applications as well as generous support from companies and individuals in the two weeks since it was launched.
Feed Our Crew, working in collaboration with People4Purpose, offers financial support to out-of-work crew through donations and was launched in response to slow state emergency funding payments.
Donations are converted into 1000.00 ZAR vouchers (around £50), which are distributed to qualifying recipients via their mobile phones. This is calculated to provide enough funding to support a family’s fundamental needs for a month.
The vouchers are redeemable at the major retailers ShopRite / Checkers and can be used to buy groceries, medication plus other essential utilities.
DWR Distribution has been one of the key sponsors of the campaign, together with equipment rental production companies including MGG and Blackmotion and many individuals.
Feed Our Crew volunteers work every day to collate and process all the applications and manage the database, while the voucher distribution is coordinated by the People4Purpose team. The first 160 vouchers have just been dispatched.
The story
Feed Our Crew is an NGO initiative co-founded by Johannesburg-based Tamsyn Strydom (project manager from production and rental company MGG), Kagiso ‘KG’ Moima Wa Masimini, who owns Blackmotion Production, and Marcia Alves from We Are Boundless.
Feed Our Crew’s Daria Higgins, who runs events

hpuelearningharmanlandingbanner1140x400Harman announces mid-May workshops
Tuesday, 5 May 2020

USA - Harman Professional Solutions has announced the addition of 14 free live workshops available for registration through the Learning Sessions programme in conjunction with Harman Professional University.
Available workshops scheduled for the first two weeks in May feature lighting or audio experts who have extensive industry knowledge and experience working with various touring acts.
Topics include Loudspeaker Design for Airports, Festival Lighting Control and The Art of Making Productions Look Larger.
More than a dozen Live Workshops conducted and recorded in April are now available at Harman Professional University’s YouTube channel. Workshops include AV Challenges in Esports, Microphone Applications for Stage and Studio and Lighting for Churches. Many more sessions are in production for release in the coming months. Registration is via

astera-factory-face-mask-production-image1Astera assists with face mask production
Tuesday, 5 May 2020

China - LED lighting manufacturer Astera has repurposed its 10,000sq.m factory in Shenzhen to assist with the delivery of essential personal protective equipment (PPE) .
According to Astera’s CEO Norbert Ernst, the manufacturer was set to temporarily scale back operations in the factory as a result of lower demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, when he was approached by a contact asking if Astera would be willing to assist with the production and distribution of face masks.
“Naturally, I jumped at the chance,” says Ernst. “It offered a path to keeping many staff employed full-time which is great, and also helps contribute positively to the ongoing global demand for face masks which are vital to help meet the unique challenges of containing COVID-19.”
Ernst feels that having the factory working in this capacity will assist a rapid return to full LED lighting manufacture when conventional business starts to resume.
Two types of masks are being packed at the factory - standard disposable face masks and KN95 respirator masks. The masks are first enclosed in sanitised plastic bags which are sealed, then packed into an inner carton, and finally into outer boxes which are secured and palletized ready for shipping and transporting around the world.
During normal peak times, over 250 people work at the Astera factory across all departments. Currently, around 100 Astera staff (primarily from production, quality control and the warehouse) are dedicated to this project. Astera’s management team in Shenzhen are considering hiring another

ald-awardsALD Awards for Excellence 2020 to start imminently
Tuesday, 5 May 2020

UK - The Association of Lighting Design (ALD) Awards for Excellence 2020 will launch imminently, “to offer an exciting, additional focus for students”, says the organisation.
The awards enable young designers to showcase their talents, bringing their work to the attention of experienced production professionals and the industry as a whole. Awards are presented to those who demonstrate strong lighting or video designs or skills in production electrics.
Categories include The Michael Northen Award for lighting design, The Fred Foster Award for Production Electrics (sponsored by ETC) and the Blue-I Media Award for Video design.
Johanna Town, chair of the ALD, comments: “The ALD Awards for Excellence provides an important platform for students on which they can hone their abilities to communicate their chosen medium. To be able to sell ideas and passions for a design or methodology to other industry leaders is an important skill. For this reason, the ALD’s Awards for Excellence are so important to a designer’s future.”
Rory Beaton, head of the ALD’s working group for awards, adds: “We’d like to encourage UK students and recent graduates to use this time to collate photos and notes for your entry. Also, to check our social media pages and the Awards section of the ALD website where those with a real interest in entering and winning the awards can find extra information and tips."
Follow this link for the latest informat

bespoke-ent-solutions-logo-01Ayrton appoints Bespoke distributor for South Africa
Tuesday, 5 May 2020

South Africa - Ayrton has announced Bespoke Entertainment Solutions as its new exclusive distributor for South Africa with immediate effect.
Based in Randburg, Johannesburg, Bespoke will distribute the full range of Ayrton products across the installation and rental markets, with a core focus on key products that best suit the South African market.
“Having recently taken on several installations and new technical personnel on a full-time basis, the door was opened to us for other opportunities, including becoming the distributor for Ayrton in South Africa,” comments Bespoke Entertainment Solutions’ technical director, Suren Lutchman. “With my experience mainly in sales, support and design of intelligent lighting solutions for the entertainment industry, I have always wanted to offer this service as well. Because the market within South Africa is very competitive and most of the major brands are represented, we didn’t focus too heavily on this area at first. However, after a meeting with Ayrton’s Jonas Stenvinkel, the opportunity arose for us to consider the Ayrton range of products.”
Lutchman continues: “We believe Ayrton is ‘ahead of the game’ with its range of LED light-source fixtures. With the world in need of finding better, more efficient energy saving products - and not only in the entertainment industry - I believe Ayrton offers the best return on investment in our industry.
“Ayrton products are very well designed, compact within their specific classes and offer a great return on investment. The LED engines are


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