The papers have been full of the trials and tribulations of Sheffield's National Centre for Popular Music. The £15 million pound project has run up debts of over £1million since it first opened in March this year (see L&SI March 99). Things didn't look too good for the Centre recently, but following a creditors meeting this week, its future has been safeguarded by the 200 creditors agreeing to a package offering just a tenth of what they are owed. The Centre has failed to attract the visitors levels anticipated and has also suffered staff cutbacks.
Adlib Audio has taken delivery of a new 48-channel Soundcraft FIVE Monitor desk in time for the new UK tour by long-term clients Texas. Ordered at the PLASA show in September, the FIVE Monitor console was specially requested by Marc Peers, Texas' monitor engineer. The spec also features a Soundcraft Series FIVE front-of-house desk, operated by Adlib principal Andy Dockerty, a Martin Audio PA and a quantity of the latest BSS processing equipment. October is a busy month for Adlib as they also are providing PA for The Longpigs and Gomez tours. Playing their first major tour of the UK since winning the 1998 Mercury Prize, Gomez is using Adlib's proprietary DF2 PA system, supported by dozens of new Crown amps. Again, it is a console double for Soundcraft: Chris Leckie is using a Series FIVE on front-of-house, while 'Brains' is using a Soundcraft SM24 in monitor world.
A new night club has recently been added to the London club scene which boasts a highly sophisticated lighting and sound system. Supplied and installed by Audio Tek of Dublin, the audio system is based around JBL Venue Series speakers MPX amplifiers. The largest dance floor has the most impressive system with almost 30,000W of amplification and a calculated maximum SPL in excess of 148dB. A major crowd-pleaser, and a first for the UK, is the installation of a 'body-sonic' dance floor where bass drivers mounted in a cavity below the dance floor make it vibrate with low frequency sound.
Freelance sound recordist Chris Corner has been using a Yamaha 01V digital mixing console for live sound recording on the set of a new film being made by Illumination Television for the BBC, based on Gloriana, the opera composed by Benjamin Britten for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Corner chose the 01V after finding other options either too expensive or lacking in facilities. A live performance of the opera was recorded using over 50 radio microphones, via the 01V onto a 48-track digital recorder. The 110-minute film is scheduled to broadcast on BBC2 at the end of the year.
Pulsar have announced that the range of training seminars on offer for the year 2000 has been extended, in a continuation of their Training for Excellence programme. The training will encompass all aspects of Masterpiece operating and programming and technical services for the Clay Paky product range. Pulsar will also offer a series of open days which can be tailor made to suit the requirements of colleges, installation companies and corporate users.
John Henry Enterprises' new sales facility opened its doors last month with rock legend Jimmy Page as guest of honour. The Attic, taking its name from the top-floor showroom devoted to instrument and backline sales, is to be managed by Martin Gravestock. The Attic will stock backline equipment from Marshall, Trace Elliot, Hughes & Ketner, Mesa Boogie, Hammond, Pearl, Sonar and Yamaha, as well as Roland digital mixers and Sony's Freedom series wireless microphones.
Rainmaker, the Sussex-based corporate, industrial, special event and theatrical lighting design specialist, has enjoyed a busy Autumn, producing ideas, equipment and crew for a raft of high profile clients. In Greece, the company worked on a job for production company Purchasepoint with Novartis Pharmaceuticals at the Astir Palace Resort, Athens. Closer to home, it also provided lighting and production for a prestigious one-off charity evening with the English National Ballet at The Mansion House, the Lord Mayor's London residence. Finally, the company's Jim Hepplewhite presented an eye-catching creative lighting scheme for a recent conference in Hall 1 of the ICC, Birmingham for supermarket giants Tesco.
The three original venues of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) in Brisbane, have undergone an extensive lighting overhaul. The 2,000-seat Lyric Theatre, the 2000-seat Concert Hall and the 320-seat Cremorne Theatre opened in 1985 and, together with the 850-seat Optus Playhouse, now form the largest installation of ETC lighting and control systems in Australia. The Cremorne uses one of two Express 250 consoles purchased for QPAC's two new rehearsal studios, but will inherit an Obsession II from the Lyric when it is replaced by an Obsession II 1500. The Concert Hall uses two Express 72/144 desks, while the 850-seat Optus Playhouse boasts an Obsession II 1500 channel desk with full tracking back-up, as well as the largest installation of ETC Source Fours in Australia, with 457 Source Fours and 20 Source Four Pars.
New Zealand-based luminaire manufacturer Selecon has released the latest CD-ROM version of its product catalogue. The CD-ROM includes full details of the company's architectural and entertainment fixtures, as a well as a virtual test lab which allows the user to try the fixtures, a lux calculator, DXF files to download, cut sheets ready to print out and details of the company's distribution network.
Coe-tech Ltd. has supplied no less than 53 Studio Due Mini City and 24 Coemar Panorama Cyc 1800s to Light & Sound Design in Birmingham for immediate general hire and for use on LSD's own major architectural projects. The first of these will be for the Rugby World Cup Semi-Finals at Twickenham followed by the Final itself at the new Cardiff Millennium Stadium.
Lighting and sound rental company, CAV, has purchased a Flying Pig Systems Whole Hog II lighting console to add to its stock of lighting equipment. According to CAV proprietor, Hans Beier, the purchase was made following repeated client requests for the Hog. CAV will be offering the console for hire with the option of twin LCD flat panel monitors in a single pre-configured flightcase. The company's inventory also includes Avolites Diamond 3, Pearl 2000 and Jands Hog 600 consoles, plus a wide range of intelligent lighting units including Studio Colors, Cyberlights, Technobeams and Mac 500s and 600s. The company will soon be purchasing additional Mac 250+ and 300s, and High End Systems' Studio Spots.
The Klark Teknik Group is introducing Midas service centres into six key areas in the United States with the promise of more to be opened up in the near future.Until now, Midas field service has been handled directly from the US headquarters in Buchanan, Michigan. The new and still-building network of regional service centres will provide faster responses to emergency requirements and for maintenance. So far, the service centres are located in the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, Nashville and New Jersey.
The Leisure Industry Week exhibition (LIW) took place at the NEC in Birmingham from 28-30 September, attracting a record 24,622 visitors to its halls. The show featured a Leisure Hospitality area covering catering and food service, entertainments, and leisure facilities management. Special features included the Star Wars Bar, the working nightclub Club Chameleon (created by Creative Technical Systems and designers Prolyte) and LIW's Cyber Cafe.
SIEL 2000 looks set to welcome around 300 exhibitors to Hall 3 at the Paris Expo-Porte de Versailles from 6-9 February 2000. For the first time, the event will be divided into two distinct shows, with SIEL Entertainment covering theatre, pro audio and events, and SIEL Night & Show catering for the nightlife industry in Hall 3.1. The Country of Honour for 2000 will be Great Britain, and PLASA, together with the DTI, are responsible for organising the British Pavilion that will group together around 20 British companies.
Lightfactor has supplied leading Irish rental company, Just Lites, with a large order of High End equipment including 14 Studio Spot 575s, which will join the company's existing stock of Studio Color 575s, purchased from Lightfactor last year. Just Lites carry out a wide range of lighting and design projects, particularly in the areas of live music, fashion and presentation. The new Studio Spots went straight out on a show for Mary Black, the day after the deal was signed, and her LD, Liam McCarthy, will be taking them on her UK and European tour this autumn.
Dutch loudspeaker manufacturer Stage Accompany has supplied Screen Series cinema sound systems to all 14 auditoria at the Liffey valley multiplex cinema in Dublin, run by operator Star Century.The largest systems, for theatres one, two and five, each feature five S26 front cabinets (which includes the company's Ribbon Compact Driver), five SL30 bass cabinets, two S30 subwoofers and 18 S7 surround cabinets, powered by 10 ES20 amplifiers and ES10 amplifier. The three-way front system is flown behind the screen, requiring just 10" of space. Screen one, christened 'The Big Fella' by Irish actor Liam Neeson, is the largest screen in the UK and Ireland. Star Century has already started construction work on new multiplexes in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, all of which will also feature Stage Accompany sound systems.
White Light' sales department celebrated the post-PLASA show period with confirmation of two large orders. The first was from London's Royal Court Theatre, currently being re-constructed with funding from the National Lottery and due to re-open early in the year 2000. The Royal Court's order, worth approximately £27,000, includes the supply of the City Theatrical AutoYoke moving light, as already supplied by White Light to the Royal Opera House. The order also includes other lighting equipment and smoke machines from The Smoke Factory.
P&O Events, organiser of the PLASA Show, has changed its name to Clarion Events. The name change, which becomes effective on November 1st, follows the acquisition from P&O of the Earls Court and Olympia Group by the Morris Family and Candover Investments. The company's portfolio of shows includes famous names such as The London Motor Show, The Olympia Fine Art and Antiques Fairs, Top Drawer, Home & Gift (Harrogate), The Royal Smithfield Show and The Olympia International Show Jumping Championships. Designers are currently working on the company's new brand image which will be unveiled before the end of November.
Over the next year, DHA will be issuing a range of new gobo designs for collectors, to be available for a limited period only. The collectors' series begins with the Y2K Collection and features five metal and one glass design all celebrating the move into the next century.
Following research carried out by international brokers Goldman Sachs, which forecasts that the value of business conducted via the Internet in the next four years will amount to £1trillion, the publishers of Internet Business magazine are staging the UK's first two-day conference aimed at managers who want to take advantage of business opportunities offered by the Internet. The event, being held in Brighton from 7-8 December 1999, will include a conference, a dedicated Internet exhibition and a workshop programme. The conference will feature panel sessions, Q&A sessions and interactive technology to answer delegates' questions.
If you're interested in how the second year of the 'Best Band on the Net' contest is progressing, then visit the site dedicated to finding the best unsigned band. Originally organised by Kaman Music, makers of Ovation Guitars, bands have been submitting material since August and during November and December, listeners can hook in and vote on-line, thus determining the top 10 bands. The panel of judges will then select a winner with the best band being announced at NAMM 2000. The winning group will receive a record deal with digital music label NewTech Music.
Miss Saigon closes at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on October 30th following a record-breaking run of more than 10 years. White Light have been with the show from the very beginning, supplying David Hersey's complex and ambitious rig and then supporting and updating it through the years. The original rig included one of the earliest uses of the now-ubiquitous Rainbow scrollers along with 110 CCT Silhouettes, 80 Par cans, 12 R&V beamlights and over 110 Coda floods of various types, as well as classic lanterns such as Patt 264s and Patt 23s used to dress the club scenes. Control for the rig was from the theatre's Galaxy 2 console for the length of the run. Miss Saigon also saw the first use of a colour-changing version of the motorised light curtain earlier used on Les Misérables - an effect achieved using a then-newly developed Rainbow light curtain scroller.
Billed as the biggest and most technically ambitious show ever, Net Aid recently took place simultaneously across three venues in London, New York and Geneva, and was broadcast live across the world via television, radio and, of course, via the Internet.The biggest of the three live shows took place at London's Wembley Stadium, where a capacity crowd enjoyed live sets from a prestigious line-up including Robbie Williams, George Michael, David Bowie and Bryan Adams. The rental company tasked with supplying the audio system for the event was Canegreen, who provided a self-powered Meyer system for the main PA with Midas XL-4 and Heritage 3000 control.The control set-up provided by Canegreen was almost exclusively Midas. Two XL-4s at the FOH position, overseen by Max Bisgrove and Snake Newton, whilst on monitors, Chris Peters and Seamus Fenton conducted operations via two Midas Heritage 3000s. EQ for both FOH came via Klark Teknik processing with the classic DN360s. Other vital components of the signal processing rack from the KT stable included DN5000 dual compressors, DN8000 digital system controllers and DN6000 audio analysers. And there was more Midas involvement, as David Bowie brought in his own Heritage 3000 for his in-ear set-up.
Las Vegas-based GES Exposition Services has announced the formation of a new company, GES Lighting, to cater for clients requiring a turnkey package for exhibition requirements. The new company has been formed in partnership with Production Resource Group (PRG). GES is the official show services provider to more than 3,000 conventions, trade shows and events each year. With sister company Exhibitgroup/Giltspur, it is the largest full service provider of convention and exhibition services in the world, with combined annual revenues of nearly $1billion.