Business News

Crowd Safety Meeting at Lowlands Festival
Monday, 18 September 2000

Key players within the European festival community met at this year's Lowlands Festival in the Netherlands to discuss the issue of crowd management and risk assessments in the wake of the tragic death of nine people at the Roskilde Festival earlier this summer. Attending the meeting were Gunnar Lagerman - promoter of Hultsfred and chairman of Yourope, The European Festival Organisers Association, Anders Hagstrom - production manager Motor SE, Leon Ramakers - promoter at Lowlands, Bert van Horck - chairman, The International Crowd Management & Security Group, Mick Upton - IMCS European Risk Consultant and invited members of the trade press. Discussions centred on internal policing of event management procedures and appropriate risk management policies. All agreed that this would make festival environments safer for crowds, and give festival organisers benchmarks from which to work.

PLASA 2000 Stand Award Winners!
Friday, 15 September 2000

Winner of the Best Shell Scheme award was UV Light Technology on stand P20. Judges were impressed by the effect of such a wide array of UV products in a very small space - even including the stand's signage - maximising the impact of the stand.In the Best Space Only Stand (up to 50sq.m) category, the winner was Mad Lighting for stand F48, built by LiteStructures. The judges were impressed by the creative combination of small space and product on display. Judges also made a commendation to Tomcat for its spectacular rotating stand feature.Winner of the Best Space Only Stand (over 50sq.m) category was Martin Professional on stand E54/E56. Judges were impressed by the impact of the 'wall' of products, and by the simple but stylish separation of the different parts of the organisation. Commendations were also made in this category to ETC for its cool, calm haven of a stand with sumptuous and kind-on-the-feet carpet and to Pioneer for its innovative and stylish Surgery area with comfortable bean bag seating.In the Best Overall Use of Product on the Stand category, the winner was Pulsar & Clay Paky on stand G46 for its excellent light show with Ministry of Sound bar, formidable structure and interactive demonstration area for visitors. Commendations were made to Unusual Rigging Ltd for its creative use of a circus magician act in a trade show environment and to Tomcat for its gyroscopic truss feature feature.

C Audio Expands Distribution Network
Friday, 15 September 2000

C Audio has embarked upon a new worldwide distribution initiative, resulting in them making several strategic changes in key territories. In Canada, newly-appointed Erikson Pro Audio placed an immediate order for Pulse and GB series products. The company supplies equipment to all major music and PA stores, production companies and installers across Canada. Erikson's first sizeable order for C Audio was from Montreal-based Audio Services. In Sweden, Septon Electronic AB has taken over the distribution, forefronting C Audio with exclusive representation. The company's primary markets cover touring sound, cinema, MI, recording and broadcasting, installation as well as consumer. Septon's initial commitment to the Hertfordshire company comprises both GB series and Pulse amplification. The most southerly on the C Audio global map is FZ Audio, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The company, which supplies to contractors and PA hire companies, have already sold the majority of their first shipment - which consisted mainly of Pulse 2 x 1100W amplifiers - to a Sao Paulo PA rental company, with the remainder destined for a nightclub in Rio. Finally, C Audio have also made changes in Greece, where they have appointed Lyric Audio to handle their range.

Winner of Pulsar LD Competition
Friday, 15 September 2000

During the PLASA Awards for Product Excellence on Wednesday 13 September, a presentation was made to Matthew Randle, a BTEC student of Technical Theatre from Melton Mowbray College, who was the winner of the Pulsar Student Lighting Designer Competition. The competition seeks to find the next generation of professional performance lighting designers, putting their lighting design skills to the test. Following a tough series of heats, judges were looking for a lighting design and show with creative flare, originality and atmosphere. Matthew was presented with a cheque for £2,000 towards the purchase of any Pulsar equipment by Paul Duval, Technical Director at Melton Mowbray College in Leicestershire where this year's competition was held.PLASA Managing Director Matthew Griffiths took the opportunity to announce that in recognition of the important role the Student Lighting Designer Competition plays in seeking the lighting design talent of the future, PLASA will be taking over the reigns of the competition for 2001, widening its scope to lighting students from educational establishments throughout the UK and providing full editorial support in Lighting & Sound International.

Martin Audio's C516s Taken to TASC
Thursday, 14 September 2000

Audio installer TASC Ltd has completed the latest in a line of Parisa Café Bars using Martin Audio's Contractor Series ceiling speakers. The development of the Newcastle Quayside venue for Nader Haghighi's Warrington-based Parisa Group follows an audio conception and design instigated by Arron Smith's company 14 venues earlier. "In the majority we have used Martin C516s, fed by our GAGA hard-drive music system," Arron explained. The design brief was for the sound source to be invisible, and so once again Arron opted for 38 of the flush-mount C516 ceiling speakers, arranged in a five zone system (across four separate feature areas), using two Cloud CX133s to route the sound, powered by Crown and QSC amplifiers. The highest profile area in the ground-floor venue is around the bar and dining area, where the low-end is reinforced with three of Martin compact CS265 twin 6.5" subs (each clustered by four C516s), also recessed back into the ceiling and painted cream to match the decor. Elsewhere in the Café Bar, the ceiling speakers operate full-range.

SBES 2000
Thursday, 14 September 2000

The Sound Broadcasting Equipment Show takes place on 8-9 November at the Birmingham NEC. Show organiser Point Promotions is offering visitors special deals on hotels through Expotel Expotel can also offer budget B&B accommodation within the NEC area. If you are planning to use the train, visit, which offers reduced rates on pre-booked tickets. The Seminar sessions this year will cover topics including the future of webcasting, automation and transmission, among a wide range of items.

John Lethbridge Launches On-Line Auction Service
Thursday, 14 September 2000

John Lethbridge, founder and ex-managing director of Cerebrum Lighting and a former vice-chairman of PLASA, has launched a brand new on-line Internet auction site through his new company, Cereco International Ltd. will specialise in offering new and ex-demonstration audio, lighting, AV and effects equipment - all of which carries a 12-month guarantee.The auctions are free to enter for buyers and sellers and unusually, for an e-commerce operation, buyers do not have to give any credit card details. All sellers will be carefully vetted as Cereco will provide a money back guarantee to any dissatisfied buyers. Instructions on how to take part are available on-line in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Chinese and Japanese and products are offered in six different currencies. New auctions will start every Thursday evening and run for 10 days, finishing on a Sunday evening (UK time).

PLASA 2000 Award Winners!
Thursday, 14 September 2000

The PLASA 2000 Awards for Product Excellence were presented at the Show yesterday. Seven exhibitors were presented with awards specially designed by DHA Lighting, for Design Excellence and Technical Innovation in four categories: Lighting, Stage Engineering, Audio-Visual and Sound. And the winners were . . .LIGHTINGMartin Professional for the MAC 2000 (Design Excellence)Pani for the BP4CT Large Format Projector (Technical Innovation)SOUNDAcoustic Solutions for the Homemix entry-level DJM+D Design for the SID Event System Monitor STAGE ENGINEERINGTotal Fabrications for the T2 trussing system (Design Excellence)Stage Technologies for the Pathway 3D Flying System (Technical Innovation)AUDIO-VISUALM+D Design for The Podules (for both Design Excellence and Technical Innovation)

In recognition of the product that claimed the greatest Environmental Impact, a short demonstration captured the judges' attention immediately - the Airoamer from Nu-Light Systems which delivers scents and smells into the atmosphere without the use of heat or even liquids. One again, all Awards entry fees were donated to a number of nominated entertainment technology industry charities. This year these include the newly-launched Light Relief fund (a new created to support freelance lighting professionals who find themselves in difficult circumstances); the Production Services Association Welfare and Benevolent Fund; the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy UK Trust, and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.

Open Days and Doors at The M Corporation
Thursday, 14 September 2000

Pro audio retailer The M Corporation has kicked off an autumn season of seminars and workshops on 8 September with a day dedicated to the launch of Steinberg's new version 5 Cubase software. The well-attended event gave everyone the opportunity to see what the new software was capable of, and was quickly followed by a day dedicated to the Lexicon range of processing, including the 960L and Core 2 system at the M Corp's Nottingham office.Open days still to come will offer visitors the chance to see and use the new Roland VM7100 and 7200 digital mixing desks (27 Sept, Nottingham); a couple of evenings looking at the principles of good monitoring led by Dynaudio's UK suppliers Unity Audio (2 Oct, Ringwood & 4 Oct, Nottingham), and a series of workshops which will look at the finer details of Digidesign's Pro Tools (19 Sept & 6 Nov Ringwood, 12 Oct & 14 Dec Nottingham). Attendance at any of these events must be booked in advance. Tel: +44 (0)1425 470007.

New Sales Partner for Batalpha
Friday, 8 September 2000

Tomcat USA has become the exclusive distributor of Batalpha Bobach's Modular Control System in the US. The move follows a meeting between Tomcat CEO John James and Batalpha MD Lars Bobach which will see Tomcat handling the company's range of theatre automation systems.

FAL Italy Announces New UK Distributor
Friday, 8 September 2000

FAL has appointed MilTec (UK) Ltd as its sole distributor for the UK and Ireland. The company, which only started trading on September 1 2000, is headed by David Faulkes, previously sales director with Martin Professional PLC. David Faulkes told PLASA Publishing: "MilTec (UK) Ltd has been formed with the single aim of providing the industry with a service and range of products second to none. We are excited to be taking on this range of products and are looking forward to working with FAL.

Grand Ole Opry House Replaces Lighting System
Friday, 8 September 2000

It's probably the world's most famous radio studio and visitors from around the world flock to the Grand Ole Opry House every weekend to get a glimpse of their favorite country music stars. The facility also frequently houses general meeting sessions and multimedia shows, as well as concerts, business conference, and nationally televised awards shows (such as the Country Music Association's annual awards). The 45,000sq.ft building features pew-style seating for 4,400 people, and a 110ft-wide by 68ft deep stage, floored with beechwood imported from Denmark, save a circle in the centre of the stage lifted from the stage of the Opry's original home at the Ryman Auditorium. Lucas W. Hendrickson Management wanted a replacement for the dimming system and looked to Bandit Lites to provide handle the installation. Jeff Goetsch (regional sales manager at Bandit Lites), worked out the system spec, which was based around ETC Obsession consoles and dimming equipment.

Leisure Online
Friday, 8 September 2000

The International Leisure Industry Week exhibition and online trading community have launched a new online virtual trade show. The site will give leisure industry suppliers high profile stands on a virtual show floor, available to visitors to the site all year round. The new service will start life with links to two of the leisure industry's key sites - the LIW show site and LeisureHub - the leisure industry's online B2B trading community. A major year-round programme will include e-mail newsletters, special online conferences and events, a banner ad campaign and leveraging the LIW exhibition and its databases.

LDI 2000 in Las Vegas
Friday, 8 September 2000

Las Vegas, the city famous for creating spectacular illusions will host Lighting Dimensions International 2000 on October 20-22. The show has assembled a major programme of exhibits, conferences and technical training, covering the entire spectrum of entertainment technology. This year's LDI capitalises on its Las Vegas location by offering Backstage Las Vegas - a four-day event for those who want to see behind the scenes of the city's major entertainment venues.

HSE Sends Message to Explosives Firms on Manufacturing Safety
Thursday, 7 September 2000

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has sent a message to the fireworks and explosives industry to ensure proper precautions during manufacturing operations. The reminder follows HSE's prosecution of a fireworks manufacturer, following an incident in which two workers were injured. The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £13,240. Andrew Train, Principal Explosives Inspector with HSE's Hazardous Installations Directorate, told PLASA Publishing: "The case highlights serious issues, employers must ensure they keep to a minimum the quantity of explosives present in any workroom and, wherever possible, keep explosives in sealed containers; provide adequate training to all employees and others (such as agency staff) working with explosives; and ensure proper maintenance of equipment."

New Waves of Controversy Wash Dome
Wednesday, 6 September 2000

In a story that's becoming all too familiar, The Dome was battening down its hatches yesterday following the news that the Government has agreed to a further grant of £47million in order to see it through to the end of the year. Despite a major publicity campaign, the attraction is still failing to meet visitor targets and its financial problems have generated more headlines than its exhibits. The latest hand-out is just one of many. The Millennium Commission agreed a £60 million grant at the start of the year, which was followed by £29 million in May and then £43 million last month. Nomura, the company which only recently won the bid to buy the Dome at the end of the year, has announced that it will now review its position.

High End Expands in New York and Europe
Wednesday, 6 September 2000

High End Systems is now making its presence felt in the Big Apple. Located just off Times Square, the company's new office has a fully-equipped demo facility and dedicated WYSIWYG room, as well as a training and seminar area and a customer meeting room. Sales, marketing and technical service representatives will be based at the office, which is headed up by director of special projects, Paul Sonnleitner. The company has also expanded its presence in London by refurbishing the original offices of its partner, Flying Pig Systems. The new office in West London offers visitors a fully equipped demo facility with a training and seminar area, technical workshops and a customer meeting room.

Soundcraft in Spain
Tuesday, 5 September 2000

Soundcraft live sound consoles are busy in the Spanish PA rental market this summer, notably through sales of the Series FIVE front-of-house and FIVE Monitor desks. Lexon has provided 40-channel Series FIVE consoles to BTM Sound of Gerona in northern Spain and Rafa Sonido in Las Palmas, which has used the desk for live shows by Lucrezia, Hamlet and the Philharmonic of Gran Canaria. A 44-channel FIVE Monitor has been bought by Tecnosound Lanzarote, and a new 52-channel FIVE Monitor at Madrid-based rental company Espiral Sociedad Cooperativa has been used for flamenco star Rocio Jurado, and Monica Naranjo, a pop performer well-known in Spanish-speaking countries.

Hong Kong's Largest Club Chooses Nexo
Tuesday, 5 September 2000

The largest nightclub ever to open in Hong Kong will feature a powerful Nexo sound system. The 348 Discotheque opens in Kowloon at the end of August, complete with a Nexo Alpha E rig and the first Nexo PS8 compact cabinets to be installed in the territory. Built in the former Tai Wah movie house, the 3000-capacity club has the advantage of a theatre's high ceilings. Much of the million-dollar audio budget has been spent on the Alpha E speakers, with 10 Alpha E-F cabinets used around the dancefloor; four of the full-range boxes flown left and right of the DJ console, and another two boxes mounted facing the club entrance to provide maximum impact as people walk in. A total of 14 Alpha B1-18 folded horn high-power bass enclosures are being installed.Sound designer Benny Cheng of Creative Engineering Company is the first installer in China to buy NEXO's E Series: "I hadn't even heard these boxes, but I was so impressed by the NEXO Alpha touring system that I ordered them anyway! Including the PS Series, I have now installed NEXO in 10 clubs in mainland China and Hong Kong, and they are a company that we trust, with products that are always reliable." Cheng has also installed an Alpha E system at Taiping's most successful nightclub, Sing Ho.

Christie Lites Signs Deal with Martin Pro
Tuesday, 5 September 2000

Christie Lites has signed a three-year multi-million dollar deal to exclusively support the Martin line of moving lights. In a unique move for a rental company, Christie Lites will only purchase Martin automated lights for the duration of this contract. Troels Volver, CEO of Martin Professional Inc. comments, "We are very pleased that Christie Lites has chosen Martin as its vendor for automated lighting. With our extreme dedication to customer care and technical support and our professional partners in Canada and throughout the world, we are able to support a company like Christie Lites and their global business practices. The benefit to customers in the USA and abroad will be the increase of various MAC series rental units for larger productions including touring, television and corporate events. Their shops are second to none when it comes to providing quality equipment and service. We can count on them to represent our products properly and professionally. With their commitment to us, we in turn have pledged our 100% support, especially with new product development such as the recently released MAC600NT and the new MAC2000 series" Christie Lites has offices in Calgary, Dallas, Orlando, Toronto and Vancouver.

Getting a Life in AV
Monday, 4 September 2000

Creative Technical Services has installed a dnp-fronted AV environment, supplied by exclusive UK distributor, Paradigm AV Ltd, into Cardiff's Life nightclub - the latest in a string of Luminar Leisure ventures. The installation by CTS is part of an ongoing commitment by Luminar Leisure to embrace leading edge technology and develop an AV policy throughout its establishments. The installation featured four 6ft x 4ft dnp wide-angle rear projection screens, in conjunction with Sony S900projectors.

Marine Hall Fleetwood
Monday, 4 September 2000

A major sound installation has just been completed at the Marine Hall in Fleetwood, Lancashire. The Hall was first opened in 1935 and provides a range of arts and entertainment for locals and visitors to the area from live music to dance and drama, comedy workshops, festivals and pantomimes. After extensive system evaluation, technical manager Tony Mitchell chose a Turbosound system supplied and installed by Stagetec consisting of a pair of TQ440 mid/high speakers flown either side of the stage, a pair of TQ440s as delay fills and four THL818.2 single 18" sub-bass speakers ground stacked either side of the stage.

Conference Cast - Casting the Net Wider
Monday, 4 September 2000

Presentation Services, the specialist AV and staging division of the Gearhouse Group, has announced a new alliance with computer networking specialists, Madge.web. The two have launched ConferenceCast,, which will specialise in the broadcast of corporate and live video and audio events over the internet. A high-profile launch on Wednesday 23 August, at the Whitbread Brewery in London, featured a full conference set and live streaming media demonstrations. For both Madge.web and PSL, ConferenceCast is a logical extension to their existing areas of specialisation. Madge.web is one of a few companies worldwide to offer an integrated service of managed networking, VPNs, streaming media and web and application hosting. The company has recently opened a new Network Broadcast Centre in Wokingham. PSL, meanwhile, is perfectly situated to provide the dedicated web-encoded front-end AV Hardware, having at its disposal one of the largest stocks of presentation technology.

New Distribution Channel for WYSIWYG
Friday, 1 September 2000

CAST Lighting of Toronto, Canada, has announced that it has signed a letter of intent with Electronic Theatre Controls that allows ETC exclusive territorial distribution rights for CAST's lighting design and visualisation software. This announcement comes on the back of an earlier announcement that ETC and CAST have formed an OEM alliance that would allow CAST's software to be integrated with ETC's range of advanced lighting control products. R. Bruce Freeman, CEO of CAST comments: "It made absolute sense to us, once we started discussions with ETC about the OEM relationship, to pursue the idea of having ETC distribute our mainstream software product." While the distribution agreement is effective from August 21, 2000, both companies will officially launch the alliance at PLASA.


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