Stephen Lakin, chairman of newly formed Production Technology, has acquired Vari-Lite Production Services, Dubai. The acquistion of Vari-Lite's entire Dubai operation gives Lakin access to the largest array of automated lighting in the region. He confirmed that this was the first in a series of regional acquisitions and stated an intended policy of expansion into full service facilities.Industry veterans James Rock, Adrian Bell and Nick Chapman head up Lakin's new management team.
Stage Electrics has just become the largest stockist of Martin Professional lighting equipment for hire within the UK. The £17m turnover company, with branches in Bristol, Birmingham, Exeter and Plymouth, has just completed a purchase from Martin UK that swells its stock of MAC 600, 500, 300 and 250 moving heads to an impressive 500 units.
PSL Power Amplification has had to move to larger premises to accommodate the growing demand for the ever popular KA range of professional power amplification. PSL sales can be contacted from the following address: Unit15, Kingswood House, South Road, Kingswood, Bristol, BS15 8JF.
The first AV Business and Technology Awards were held at the Cafe Royal in London in September. Around 300 of the UK's AV industry attended the event, which was organised by AV magazine. Dartford-based Electrosonic picked up two awards, the first for Systems Company of the Year and the second for Excellence in use of Videowall.
As part of a programme to increase awareness of its range of products for the professional and aspiring DJ, Pioneer takes to the road with its new DJ Trailer for its first UK Roadshow.The trailer brings the complete range of Pioneer mixing equipment to its target audiences, giving professional and aspiring DJs the opportunity to test the equipment at first hand. Pioneer is also planning a series of promotional nights at leading venues.
Marks & Spencer is set to unveil its latest range in what will be the biggest ever touring retail show in Europe. The event, designed and produced by CJ Spencer Associates, will take place at four shopping centres across the country and to accommodate the show, a state-of-the-art building measuring a staggering 50x30m has been specially created, which will house two 400 seater theatres together with a reception area and smart cloakrooms. Martin Mac 600s Vari-Lite VL5s, Clay Paky StageScans and three Wholehog desks are just part of the impressive lighting spec, whilst a range of d&b speakers, amplifiers and controllers, together with Yamaha and Soundcraft desks, Denon and XTA processing and Shure microphones provide the audio element.
Earlier this year, Lighting Technology Group won the tender to supply London's re-built Royal Opera House with its main stage lighting equipment. The order, consisting of some 1,700 pieces of equipment, with a value in excess of £470,000, covers equipment from a wide range of manufacturers including Strand Lighting, Robert Juliat, ETC, James Thomas, CCT Lighting, ADB, Rainbow, Smoke Factory, Doughty, Rope Assemblies, SES and lamps from all the major. The order is one of the biggest single orders ever received by LTG for luminaires and associated equipment and probably the biggest single order of its kind ever placed within the UK.
Vertigo Rigging has completed the rigging of an intricate and complex art installation in the newly opened Challenge of Materials Exhibition at The Science Museum in South Kensington.Sculptor and designer Tom Heatherwick was commissioned to produce 'Materials House' a large exhibit measuring 6 x 3 metres and weighing 4.3 tonnes. The huge structure required raising and suspending from the ceiling of the exhibition. Ground support towers were built over the sculpture; the front of the sculpture was lifted first, whilst the back tracked along a rail, using base jacking wheels, specially fabricated by Vertigo. At this point the back of the piece needed to slot into a specially welded base plate in the floor, a millimetre-perfect manoeuvre achieved by jacking the wheels down at the correct point and time, thus lowering the sculpture into its grooves.
A consortium of Stage Electrics, VxLAN and Sound Dept have been working on the first phase sound reinforcement design at the new Welsh National Stadium in Cardiff, with the supply and installation of the public address system.Stage Electrics has been working as the principal installer of the PA system with Sound Dept sub-contracted to supply equipment only. Community speakers provide the backbone of the system with the front-end touch-screen control via a VxLAN digital fibre-optic network, fed to the outstations and then out to the AES-EBU inputs on the modular Crest CK Series amplifiers
The Lawn Tennis Association at the All England Tennis Club, Wimbledon, has recently completed a major upgrade of its facilities. RG Jones, who has already carried out public address installations at the courts themselves, won a competitive tender, meeting the criteria and specification set down by consultants, Building Design Partnership. A total of some 530 loudspeakers - around 400 of the new TOA 6W enclosed back CM-76 ceiling speaker - will be run in a 100V line reinforcement system, powered by a combination of 52 TOA VP-1060, VP-1120B and VP-1240B amplifiers, with YA-1000A 20kHz fault detection circuit modules
Federal Signal Ltd has won a £750,000 contract to design and systemise a combined PA and alarm management system for use on four drilling rigs. The company has based the system largely around its respected industry brands which include Akusta Aucams public address, the Akusta Audiocom digital intercom, the GL3 high specification explosion proof loudspeakers and the Extek range of specialist EX telephones purpose designed for use in hazardous environments.
The 1999 Auditorium Acoustics Conference, organised by the Building Acoustics Group, will take place on October 22-24 in Manchester. The conference will review the changes in auditorium design over the century, consider current design and look forward to the future.
UK champion Chris Shead has won the final of the World Light Jockey Contest - sponsored by Clay Paky and Pulsar - which was staged at the Hippodrome in London during the recent PLASA Show. Runners-up were French champion Benjamin Prot and Dutch champion Amir Barbel.
All corporate functions within Michigan-based EVI Audio will be relocated to Telex Communications headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota next year. Telex is planning a move to larger offices to provide space for the Speakers and Microphones Group, Electronics Group and Multimedia/Audio Communications of the Telex/EVI Audio corporate umbrella.
At the Martin Group's Annual General Meeting in mid September, the Board of Directors announced expectations for both a positive turnover and profit for the current financial year. The Board also suggested changing the financial year to follow the calendar year with May 1st - December 31st 1999 as a transitional period. This eight month transitional period is expected to show a turnover of approximately $60 million compared to $47 million for the same period last year, with a pre-tax profit around $3.5 million compared to a loss of $3.7 million last year. The result for the period also allows for a $430,000 expense related to the pending lawsuit with Vari-Lite in the US.
The Royal Court Theatre in London's Sloane Square is in the final stages of a massive rebuild programme, costing in the region of nearly £26m. Bristol-based Stage Electrics won the competitive tender to supply and fit the production lighting, sound and communications systems worth around £1million, to a specification originated by the Royal Court and their consultants, Theatre Projects.
In a return to the origins of the company, Lamba has set up KAM Accessories - a joint venture with Penn Fabrications - to market cables, rack accessories and connectors. It has already produced a cost-conscious price list, which includes widgets, as well as other mail-order-type items, not only from the Penn Fabrications range, but other established names such as Neutrik and Bulgin.
Dare Professional Audio has recently appointed Litton Lane Contracts as its distributor in Ireland. Litton Lane kicked off the distribution deal with an installation of Eclipse at Dublin's trendy Zanzibar. Further high profile contracts are pencilled in for Dare in Ireland.
After 12 years of planning, the Dream Factory finally opened its doors officially for the first time last month. The permanent Warwickshire home of the Playbox Theatre, the Dream Factory is the first purpose-built young peoples' theatre in the UK. Sceno Plus, the design arm of Cirque du Soleil, was responsible for the theatre design, the technical aspects of which were put into practice by Northern Light. Lighting is Strand throughout, whilst the sound is simple but effective, with a variety of Crown-powered Martin Audio cabinets, a 24-channel Soundcraft K1, with FOH and backstage paging amps from TOA, and a Baldwin Boxall induction loop system.
GAE Sales UK will no longer distribute GAE Loudspeakers in the UK. MD Peter Barnard was informed by Opal Audio Vertrieb, the holding company for GAE in Germany, that they had taken the decision as a result of a "conflict of interest." As a consequence, Barnard is in the process of changing the trading name of his company and, from November 1st, it will be known as EAG UK (European Audio Group UK). The new distribution arrangements for GAE in the UK are yet to be announced.
Britannia Row Productions has further consolidated its long-standing relationship with Turbosound, with the announcement of the purchase of 48 stacks of Flashlight at this year's PLASA Show. Brit Row took delivery of the Flashlight system at the end of September to help service their busy Autumn season and millennium projects, commencing with the Jamiroquai tour and MOBO Awards.