UK - A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) has supplied a Sixty82 custom truss solution for the Tower Theatre Company, one of the busiest amateur theatre groups in Inner London.
A major presence in the Capital’s non-professional theatre scene for 87 years, with acting alumni including Tom Courtenay and Michael Gambon among others, through 2019 the Tower Theatre will present up to 20 full-scale productions to a broad public audience at its permanent new home in Stoke Newington.
Featuring a domed roof and interesting hexagonal shape, the theatre company’s new building offers it a level of flexibility that previous performance spaces have lacked. As part of ongoing renovations to make the former leisure centre suitable for the performers, staff and audiences’ requirements, a new studio space has been created in addition to the main auditorium to be used for rehearsals, readings & smaller performances.
Having provided support with various elements of the main theatre fit-out, the Theatre team approached production specialists, Light Fantastic Production Services to provide a flexible rigging solution for the studio space. Limited ceiling height, unusual angles and a lack of any rigging capacity in the ceiling meant that a custom-designed truss structure was needed to meet the only available anchor points on structural piers around the perimeter of the space.
Light Fantastic contacted Matthew Millward, sales manager for AC-ET’s rigging sales division, to supply a solution to meet the brief. AC-ET then worked closely with Sixty82 to c
South Africa - In response to popular demand, lighting designer Michael Taylor Broderick will once again present a two-day theatre lighting workshop on 19 and 20 June at DWR Distribution, Johannesburg.
Michael instils a sense of passion to those working in a theatre environment and topics include stage lighting, controllable properties of light, lighting positions and angles, light and colour, elements of design and lighting instruments.
The workshop will be held at DWR, Block C, Unit 1, Kimbult Industrial Office Park, 9 Zeiss Street, Laserpark, Honeydew. The cost is R1 700 for both days and includes lunch and refreshments. Kindly let us know if you have any dietary requirements.
Bookings can be made online.
Australia - TMB has announced that Firefly Lighting has been appointed as TMB’s regional distribution partner for Australia. Offering signature TMB brands, including Solaris, ProPlex, IMS, and more, Firefly will provide sales, support, service, and stocking inventory to the Australian professional market.
“Local commerce is beneficial for all. Australian customers will now enjoy all the benefits of having a distributor close at hand with the full confidence of TMB,” says TMB sales manager, Tim Obermann. “We are confident that the benefits of an intermediate distribution channel with local associations and personal relationships will become immediately apparent. We couldn’t ask for a better partner than Firefly.”
“Our association with TMB goes back many years,” explains Firefly manager James Whittall, “and we’re very pleased to be exclusive distributor for TMB in Australia. TMB’s wide range of professional touring and installation fixtures, cables, data distribution, and other tools perfectly complement our Firefly products. Access to such high-value and dependable gear, plus Firefly’s full stocking facility, will certainly benefit Australian customers.”
Firefly’s director, Heath Williamson, adds, “TMB is my home away from home, my headquarters when in the US and Europe. They are truly like family, and I’m extremely excited to be taking our longstanding relationship to the next level.”
UK - Highlite UK hosted its first open day event Wednesday 29 May. At their headquarters in Wiltshire the Highlite team introduced the visitors to the newly built Infinity Chimp training facility and welcomed them to the demo-showroom.
The Infinity Chimp training facility with the 100.G2 and 300.G2 light controllers was received very well. Product specialist Jack Kelly presented the Chimp light controllers and further Chimp training is planned for 19 June. The Chimp units are fully featured light controllers, equipped with Wireless DMX, versatile and well suited for various applications.
There was a lot of interest shown in the moving heads from the Showtec Polar Series, a range of IP-65 rated fixtures, built around strong LED engines. The Infinity Furion moving heads also received a lot of attention.
Another point of interest for the Open day visitors was the Showtec Helix M1000. This fully wireless IP-65 rated compact washlight impressed because of its strong output and 15 hours battery-life which makes it very well suited for outdoor purposes where space is an issue.
The first edition of Highlite UK’s open day event brought the attendees an informative and diverse day of events and presentations. Highlite UK’s sales manager David Faulkes reports, “It was great to be able to meet everybody in our demo-showroom and training facility. Here we had the opportunity to present our various entertainment solutions directly and inform our customers accordingly. We are already looking forward to the next edition.”
UK - Avolites is spearheading an alliance between major lighting console and media server manufacturers to combat the growing threat of counterfeiting.
“We have a unique opportunity to join forces with our genuine rivals to form a united front against forgers who are reverse engineering our products and stealing our IP,” says Avolites’ sales director, Koy Neminathan. “We relish competition from other innovative, authentic manufacturers, as this drives forward new features and products - it’s great that we can team up in this way to stamp out those who are threatening not only our individual businesses but our entire industry.
“However, we do not welcome competition from fake companies who produce substandard copies of our kit. When these fraudulent products make their way into the supply chain it’s not just the originating manufacturer that suffers, but also the distributor, the rental operation, the end user and potentially even the artist, the performance and the audience.”
Counterfeiting is an increasing problem. It’s estimated that as of 2019, there are more fake Avolites consoles running cracked Avolites software on the global market than genuine ones. People who purchase these low-grade machines have no after sales support and if the purchaser knowingly uses it as a counterfeit product, there is even the possibility that it could compromise the user's public liability insurance.
Avolites has invested time and money into developing a hardware USB licence protection option, known as the AvoKey. It’s a simply plug-and-pl
Visa Summit - The Scottish government has announced its intention to hold a summit exploring concerns around the visa difficulties faced by foreign artists performing at cultural events including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The announcement of an “international festivals visa summit” came from cabinet secretary Fiona Hyslop during a debate at Holyrood on the impact of the UK government’s hard-line visa controls on Edinburgh’s festivals. Hyslop has responsibility for both culture and external affairs, including immigration. She said: “The current visa application processes for visitors coming to Scotland for international events is lengthy, complex and costly, with attendees sometimes spending thousands of pounds on visas and associated costs for a visit that might only last a few days.”
The debate was led by MSP Gordon MacDonald, who earlier this week warned that a “hostile immigration policy” in the UK was putting festivals such as the fringe at risk by forcing artists to cancel appearances if they could not obtain visas.
During the debate, several instances were given of the difficulties artists face in attempting to secure visas, despite Edinburgh’s festivals having so-called “permit-free” status, meaning individuals do not need to apply for a work permit to perform.
Noting the forthcoming government white paper on immigration, Hyslop said: “A better solution for visiting artists, performers and others must be integral to any future immigration system. That is particularly important if freedom of movement is to en
Belgium - ADC is a full technical production rental company based in Zaventem near Brussels airport in Belgium, and is a recent investor in Robe LED moving lights with the purchase of 20 x Spiiders, 24 Spikies and eight DL7S Profiles which were delivered by Benelux distributor Controllux.
ADC was founded 27 years ago by Daniel van Ruyssevelt, specialising in large format projection back in the days of scrolling projectors. When this discipline went digital, they upgraded all the technology and became strong in corporate and special events, conferences, and outdoor spectaculars and performances.
As the business developed, ADC found an increasing demand for providing lighting as part of a more comprehensive ‘visuals’ package, and then sound was also added to the production packages.
The initial lights purchased were generics, followed by the first generation of RGB LED moving wash lights when these came to the market around 10 years ago.
There’s been a lot of changes in 10 years, and in the last 12 months, the opportunity arose to put these original LED wash lights - not Robe - into a fixed installation, so ADC was ready for a fresh investment and a more contemporary LED moving light solution.
This time they looked to Robe. Much of this was to do with the influence of lighting designer Jon Aasen from Desk Black Out who designs lighting for all of ADC’s large shows and also handles all their lighting investments.
Jon had been using Robe for some time in his work, especially industry standards like the LEDWash 600 and the firs
The Netherlands - Elation Europe will be holding a training day dedicated to Obsidian Control Systems’ Onyx lighting control platform on 3 July at the company’s European headquarters in Kerkrade.
The Onyx foundation training, running from 9:00am to 5:00pm, will take users from console start-up through software layout to patching and running a basic show, with the objective to gain confidence in patching and running a show from scratch while acquiring a basic understanding of features. Features to be covered include software layout and philosophy, patching, creating, changing and deleting groups, changing and deleting pre-sets, cue lists and chases. The cost is €150.00 (excluding VAT if applicable) and includes a NX-DMX interface for every participant. Participants should bring a laptop to run with the supplied Capture Visualiser file.
Those wishing to attend need to register by 26 June.
UK/USA - TAIT has announced that motion control systems specialist Kinesys has joined the TAIT group of companies.
The two companies will continue to operate as separate brands with all the existing contact details and staff remaining in place.
TAIT and Kinesys will be working to link their automation technologies in order to allow Kinesys products to be integrated in TAIT shows and installations, whilst Kinesys will make TAIT technology, including automation and show control platform, TAIT Navigator, available through its global sales and distributor network.
Dave Weatherhead, CEO of Kinesys, comments: “I have long admired the amazing work that the team at TAIT have delivered over the years. From ground-breaking touring shows to epic installations they really have earned their reputation for quality and innovation. Being able to bring that magic to our Kinesys family of customers and rental partners is exciting. This will take the choice of automation available to every tour, production, and venue to a whole new level. By sharing our respective experiences and expertise we can bring extraordinary solutions to an expanded customer base in integrated and affordable packages.”
Adam Davis, chief creative officer at TAIT, adds: “Kinesys’ success in show control and automation products is unparalleled. We believe that offering the power of both Kinesys and TAIT to our customers creates a market leading platform. Together TAIT and Kinesys will continue to develop cutting edge automation technology, to focus on our core client bases, and to
Europe - The Audio Engineering Society (AES) has announced that AES Vienna 2020, the 148th AES international pro audio convention, will be held on 25-28 May at the Austria Centre Vienna.
Convention co-chairs are Piotr Majdak (senior researcher in acoustics at the Austrian Academy of Sciences’ Acoustics Research Institute) and Nadja Wallaszkovits (chief audio engineer for the Phonogrammarchiv sound archives of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and 2019 AES President), who will oversee the convention’s technical programme, exhibition and society functions, in conjunction with an assembled team of industry professionals, students and event partners and sponsors.
For end users, researchers, educators and students, AES Vienna will be the place to commemorate the International Year of Sound and explore A World of Audio with audio professionals and peers from around the globe, say the organisers.
Spanning the breadth of audio research and the application of audio technology, convention programme topics will include studio recording, live sound, networked audio, broadcast & streaming, music production, post-production, game audio, spatial sound, audio for AR/VR/XR, product development and more.
UK - PLASA has released the Lightning Guidance for Outdoor Events, a handbook that provides practical advice on managing lightning risk, crowd safety and the protection of temporary structures, electrical equipment and power systems.
The guidance aims to assist those involved in the production and management of outdoor events in making informed decisions when faced with threats from lightning strikes.
“The dangers of lightning are widely understood, however the level of threat at outdoor events where large crowds gather is often overlooked,” says PLASA in a statement. “This has been a growing concern due to the increase of outdoor events and number of people exposed.”
To create the guidance, PLASA worked alongside The Event Safety Shop, Star Events Ltd, IMG, Omega Red Group, Aggreko, Ken Law Safety Ltd, BBC Safety, the Emergency Planning College, Howard Eaton Lighting, Anderson Bradshaw Ltd, the National Outdoor Events Association, the University of Reading and Lee Valley Leisure Trust; as well as respected industry consultants, James Eade and Tom Goode.
Nicky Greet, PLASA’s director of membership, skills and technical, comments: “PLASA is proud to issue this guidance, helping to raise health & safety awareness across the live entertainment industry. And, we are grateful to all the organisations and individuals who contributed to this crucial document, which should become an essential part of planning as the festival and event sectors continue to grow.”
The Lightning Guidance for Outdoor Events is available to
UK - JHS has launched its latest UK Pro Audio trade catalogue and price list.
The catalogue, designed to help dealers with selecting and ordering lines from the company’s vast brand portfolio, will be available as a spiral-bound copy as well as in electronic format via the trade area of the JHS website.
JHS offers a wide range of speakers and monitors, microphones and wireless systems and amplifiers from brands including HK Audio, Lab.gruppen, CAD Audio, Kam, Floyd Rose, Xvive, Kinsman, On-Stage and iDance.
UK - Brompton Technology reports that it has been ranked in the fifth annual Sunday Times World First SME Export Track 100 league table.
The SME Export Track 100 ranks Britain’s 100 small and medium-sized (SME) companies that have achieved the fastest-growing international sales over the last two years. Compiled by Fast Track it was published in The Sunday Times on 26 May and will be celebrated at an awards dinner in September.
Brompton has achieved considerable growth over the past two years, with sales of its Tessera SX40 4K LED processor and XD Data Distribution units playing a significant part in its international success, with both products seeing impressive uptake from production companies in the US, Australia and across Europe.
“From the outset, Brompton has worked with partners all round the world and it is particularly pleasing to receive recognition for our success in international sales,” says Brompton’s managing director Richard Mead. “Last September we also appeared in the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 league table, which recognises Britain’s private technology companies with the fastest sales growth over the past three years, and these are both achievements of which everyone in the company should be incredibly proud.”
Europe - Martin Audio has appointed Audio-Technica Iberia as its distributor in Spain, effective 1 June.
The partnership had been put in place at ISE in February and confirmed at Prolight+Sound in April. It follows the appointment of Audio-Technica Germany as Martin Audio’s German distributor in September 2018.
Audio-Technica Iberia MD, Sylvain Hochart, comments: “We were looking for a premium loudspeaker brand with pedigree and high value. Martin Audio was our number one choice - particularly after the new arrangement had started so positively in Germany.”
Bradley Watson, Martin Audio international sales director, adds: “A pan-European deal was always part of the plan, with the advantage of a single point ordering process. Audio-Technica Iberia has a very good network of territory specialists and collectively they bring a lot of experience. We look forward to working with Sylvain and his team.”
A-T Iberia began discussions with Watson and Martin Audio MD Dom Harter after being introduced by Audio-Technica Germany general manager Matthias Exner. “Both Audio-Technica and Martin Audio are passionate brands, with strong values and principles as well as a rich heritage,” says Hochart. “Therefore it was an obvious discussion to have, and it means we can now offer a complete end to end solution.”
With bases in Madrid and Barcelona, A-T Iberia has product managers dedicated to the live and installation sectors, overseen by professional audio product manager Gabriel Albornoz. The company says it already has an experienced Marti
China/Czech Republic - The Milos Product Academy has recently carried out two successful workshops in the Czech Republic and China.
The Czech Product Academy, held on 2-3 May at the Milos HQ and factory in Roudnice nad Labem, focused strictly on Milos products. More than 30 participants were in attendance from European countries that included the Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Sweden and Denmark.
The Academy’s programme included presentations of new Milos products; presentations about truss; truss loading demonstrations; a tour of the factory, and a robust Q&A session at the end of the second day. A fun evening with Czech food and beverages was also enjoyed between the two days of the workshop, the company reports.
A week later, the Product Academy moved to the Milos office and factory in Guangzhou, China. Unlike the Czech Academy, this workshop focused on both Milos and EXE Technology products, its programme including a tour of the factory, new Milos product displays and presentations, and informative truss presentations.
For the EXE Technology part of the Academy, hands-on assembly and disassembly of EXE chain hoists were covered, as well as information provided about their inspection and certification. The EXE range was also presented.
At the end of the two days, a wide-ranging Q&A session was held. Halfway through the Academy programme, attendees from China, India, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong and Macau were treated to a dinner.
USA - Yamaha Commercial Audio will host two sessions as part of the AVIXA seminar programme at InfoComm 2019.
Yamaha: Network Boot Camp for AV Professionals and Audio Insights in Hospitality and Retail will address key technical and business aspects of audio networking and installed audio systems.
Addressing the technical aspects of networking and the decisions which need to be taken for installed audio systems in hospitality, retail and other public-facing environments, these sessions will be presented by senior product specialists Andy Cooper and Karl Christmas, both well-known faces from Yamaha’s Audioversity training programme.
The seminars will be open to all InfoComm seminar and workshop package holders on a first-come, first -served basis, so advance registration is essential.
“An important part of Yamaha’s training initiative is to connect with audio professionals, to understand them, the challenges they face and be able to better respond to their expectations,” says Glenn Booth, director of marketing at Yamaha Corporation of America. “We want to share our knowledge and experience with industry professionals through tradeshow seminars, webinars and other training sessions. We hope the seminars at InfoComm 2019 will help participants to improve their understanding of best practice, to benefit both them and their customers.”
Denmark - Load monitoring company Eilon Engineering has announced that Matrix Sales will begin to distribute Eilon products in Denmark. Under terms of the agreement, Matrix Sales will provide full sales and support for the complete range of Eilon Ron StageMaster load monitoring solutions used to protect audiences and performers from dangerous overloads.
Matrix Sales has extensive experience in distributing professional audio, lighting, AV and stage equipment to the Danish market, serving both rental and installation customers across a wide spectrum of applications.
“Matrix Sales is always looking for the best solution for its customers and therefore the choice of Eilon is quite natural,” says Urs Friis-Alstrup, sales manager light/staging at Matrix Sales. “Load safety is an ever greater concern and we believe that Eilon provides the most professional tools for our customers and their needs.”
Ron StageMaster load cells are safety devices for load control and overload prevention that monitors hanging points and load balance while providing a detailed report for statistical analysis.
“We are excited about the new distribution cooperation with Matrix and are delighted to add this excellent and unique company to our international network of distributors,” comments Noga Eilon Bahar, VP business development at Eilon Engineering.
“By adding our Ron StageMaster systems to their inventory, Matrix has strengthened their position as a comprehensive solution provider while confirming safety as an important value of the company. I am c
UK - PLASA will deliver two professional development training sessions dedicated to voice alarm systems and loudspeaker installation.
Basic audio system design is taking place on 3 July (Wednesday) at White Light’s Jubilee Way HQ in London. It will be hosted by audio consultants Roland Hemming and Richard Northwood and will focus on how to calculate loudspeaker spacing, how to select suitable amplification and signal processing options, and how to document design correctly. Delegates will be able to deepen their understanding of audio theory, product types, system architecture, audio coverage and basic modelling software.
The event is ideal for live events engineers who wish to branch into the installations sector, as well as in-house AV and audio managers looking to expand their knowledge of upgrades and refurbishments.
The second workshop, A deep dive into EN54 and voice alarm will be hosted solely by Roland Hemming on 1 October at the White Light base. Attendees will learn how to select and use correct standards and will learn how to stay compliant with the Construction Projects Regulation and the relevant codes of practice. The session is recommended for audio consultants and integrators who install voice alarm systems; M&E firms who commission voice alarm work,
UK - Security and enforcement specialist Interforce (formerly TSG) has been chosen to provide uniformed patrols to ensure public safety and the prevention of crime and disorder at Henley Festival this summer.
Production manager John Harris met Interforce at Event Buyers Live and brought the company into Henley Festival’s restructured security model; designed to maintain its acclaimed customer service provision.
John Harris comments: “We hope that Interforce, which is trained to a higher level than SIA, with a police style approach, will respond to our audience and ensure we continue to meet the high standards Henley Festival is renowned for.”
The Interforce rebrand distinguishes the company’s events/venues/public spaces remit from the police’s Tactical/Territorial Support Group arm, which is also abbreviated to TSG.
At Henley, Interforce officers will deliver a practiced, profile level of reassurance while ensuring the event’s zero tolerance on drugs and underage drinking.
Interforce Managing Director, David Boswell, says: “We’re busier than ever, which is a product of business development manager, Duncan Cullen, explaining the rebrand to clients/potential clients, highlighting Interforce’s weight of unique selling points and detailing our experience across the event model.”
Three audio hardware and software solutions providers have joined forces under a new umbrella organisation, Audio Squadron.
Tracktion Corporation, the makers of music production software Waveform, and audio product developer 2JW Design have combined with Prism Sound and Sadie in a bid to increase investment and produce “a unique shared creative environment”.
The companies say in a statement: “The resulting pro audio powerhouse brings together all the diverse, highly-skilled workforces and technical expertise of these renowned global brands enabling them to accelerate innovation, development and the cross fertilization of ideas.”
Prism Media Products retains the test and measurement equipment business and will continue to supply leading manufacturers worldwide.
“We are excited by the multitude of opportunities offered by this collaboration,” comments James Woodburn, Traction co-founder and CEO. “It is the best of both worlds for Tracktion, 2JW Design, Prism Sound and SADiE. Whilst we remain independent, we can more easily work together to bring renewed focus to delivery of the highest quality audio products.”
Prism Sound founder and director, Graham Boswell, adds: “The shared vision of this venture will greatly enhance our ability to accelerate creativity in the design and development of the industry leading audio tools our customers have come to rely on. We’re eager to start working on this exciting new chapter of Prism Sound and SADiE’s life.”
Egypt - Ayrton has appointed Q-Light Egypt to its international distributors network. Q-Light will distribute the full portfolio of Ayrton’s LED profile, wash, spot and effects luminaires in Egypt.
The distribution company was founded by CEO Walid Bahnasy and partners. Bahnasy has over 10 years of experience with international production companies and TV channels, including as lighting designer, director of photography and cameraman, and has worked on productions such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Deal or No Deal and the Doha Debates.
He is a former supervisor and team leader of the lighting departments in the region’s biggest TV networks - MBC, Qatar Foundation, BBC, Aljazeera media network and BeIn Group.
Chris Ferrante, Ayrton CEO, comments: “We are very happy to welcome Q-Light into the Ayrton family. Knowing that Walid, an accomplished lighting professional with many years of experience in the region, is leading Q-Light confirms that they are the perfect fit. We are looking forward to being able to, for the first time in Egypt, give this influential territory the focus it deserves.”
Bahnasy adds: “We are extremely excited to be appointed Ayrton’s exclusive distributor in Egypt. Egypt is witnessing a significant sustainable development in various fields, especially in economics, architecture, culture and arts. This development has revolutionised the entertainment and leisure industry in the Egyptian market, as a result of which Q-Light has been able to add huge value to the region with Ayrton’s produ
Plastic Ban - The world's largest concert promoter, Live Nation, says it will eliminate single-use plastics at its venues and festivals by 2021. In the UK, that means events like Reading and Leeds, Wireless, Latitude and Download will go plastic free. It's part of a push to achieve zero waste at Live Nation's clubs, concert halls and venues by 2030.
The pledge comes after independent British festivals like Glastonbury and Bestival vowed to cut plastic waste. Glastonbury has announced it will not sell single-use plastic water bottles this year, owing to concerns about their impact on the environment. While Bestival, Boardmasters and Kendal Calling were among 61 festivals who signed up to the Drastic on Plastic initiative last year, pledging to rid their sites of single-use plastic by 2021.
They have also called on retailers such as Argos and Tesco to stop marketing and selling tents as single-use items, saying abandoned tents account for 875 tonnes of plastic waste every summer.
Restoration Fund - Six endangered theatres across England have been awarded a share of £90,000 from a new fund created to support venues in need of restoration. They are the first recipients of the Theatres Trust’s theatres at risk capacity building programme, which has allocated money for works including survey, structural inspection, governance training and viability studies.
Among those given funding include the Burnley Empire, which will receive £10,000 to fund necessary survey works, and Morecambe Winter Gardens, which will carry out new governanc
India - Waves Audio will be presenting the eMotion LV1 digital mixing solution at the upcoming PALM Sound & Light Summit. The presentation will take place between 15.30-16.30 on 30 May (Thursday) at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Goregaon.
The eMotion LV1 Live Mixer is modular and can be adjusted according to the user’s mixing and business requirements.
Involved in the presentation will be Ravisankar Nadiyam (Waves regional sales manager), Pravin Muralidhar (FOH for Neha Kakkar and Jonita Gandhi) and Supratik Subramanian (FOH for MADBOY/MINK and The Fanculos).
Australia - Rental company Creative Productions has recently added 50 Robe MegaPointes to its stock of moving lights.
The purchase follows the company’s move into a new a 3,000sq.m HQ, warehouse and office space in Molendinar on Australia’s Gold Coast
Creative Productions had first invested Robe lights around three and a half years ago. The inventory now includes BMFL Spots, Blades and WashBeams, Spiider LED wash beams and Spikies, soon to be joined by the MegaPointes in time for the winter season.
The latest units - most of the BMFLs, all the Spiiders and Spikies and now the MegaPointes - have been delivered by Jands, Robe’s Australian distributor.
The new MegaPointes will be for stock as well as some imminent festivals like Splendour in the Grass 2019, a music and arts festival set in the picturesque North Byron Parklands for which Creative provides lighting and video production for all stages together with floor packages for around 70% of the artists.