Business News

The Future of Music
Tuesday, 15 August 2000

The New Technology Group of the Music Industry Forum has released a new report (backed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport), which examines the impact of new technologies on the music industry. Entitled 'Consumers Call the Tune', the report makes a number of key recommendations namely that the Government creates an open competitive environment for on-line delivery by creating a common regulatory framework as well as a secure legislative framework for trading copyright on-line in the UK, Europe and beyond. It also highlights the need for ongoing research into consumer behaviour on-line and market statistics about e-commerce.

Beyer's MCW on Dhow Boat Conference Centre
Tuesday, 15 August 2000

As one of the more bizarre applications for a conference system, it could be argued that the Kuwait SAS hotel has got to feature centre stage! The SAS hotel wanted to provide conference facilities with a difference and decided that a traditional Dow boat would be in keeping with both the Kuwait shoreline and the sailing traditions of the local Marafie family to whom the boat is dedicated. It is the largest Dow boat that has ever been built and has been entered into the Guinness book of records to mark the achievement. Distributor AVC won the competitive tender which was valued in excess of £100,000 to supply the AV and conference facilities with the major part of the contract being the new MCW Wireless Conference System from beyerdynamic.

Coloram IIs for Costa Atlantica
Tuesday, 15 August 2000

When Kvaerner Masa-Yards, builders of the Costa Atlantica for Costa Cruises, were specifying equipment for both the ship's 1,170-seat main theatre and the 320-seat show lounge, they sourced the entire requirement of colour-changers from Wybron, supplied by Foki Oy of Helsinki. The main Caruso Theatre has Wybron Coloram IIs fitted on to 74 ETC Source Fours and 43 Source Four Par and Wildfire UV fixtures, while the Salone delle Feste Corallo, the smaller show lounge, has another 16 Coloram IIs. The Coloram II offers lighting designers up to 32 colours, which on the 7.5" model will scroll end to end in 2.5 seconds. The Costa Atlantica, which is now the flagship of the Costa line, will initially cruise the Mediterranean, operating weekly cruises from Venice to Greece and Turkey. In November she will transfer to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to begin seven-day cruises in the Caribbean.

dnp Provides Casino AV Solution
Tuesday, 15 August 2000

South Africa's Carnival City Casino, Johannesburg, is a multi-entertainment venue on a grand scale. The complex includes a casino with 1,750 slot machines, six cinemas, three bars, five restaurants, two coffee shops, six boutiques, a children's entertainments area, several business suites, two hotels and an arena with a capacity of 5,000 people for major events. As well as all this, the casino boasts one of the most impressive AV display solutions ever installed in this type of venue. Throughout the casino, large rear-projection screens show sports events, betting information plus output from a video jukebox. In the Salon Prive, guests can relax while watching video or a major sports event on the large rear projection screens. In the SuperSport Action Bar, four of dnp's new 120" wide angle screens above the bar are capable of showing multiple sporting events simultaneously. A fifth screen displays betting information and racing events. Additional screens are installed in the Casino's Main Area, Superbet, Boutique and Studio venues. The installation includes a total of 12 dnp Black Stripe and New Wide Angle Screens powered by BARCO projectors. The AV solution is installed by dnp's South African distributor, Questek.

ESTA Standards Announcements
Monday, 14 August 2000

ESTA, the US-based Entertainment Services and Technology Association, has announced the formation of a new Floors Working Group, which has been set up in order to address about the slipperiness and rigidity of stage floors and platforms - attributes which affect the safety of performing on these surfaces. The first meeting will take place prior to LDI 2000 on Wednesday 18 October at Harrah's, Las Vegas. Tim Hansen of Oasis Stage Werks is the working group chairman, and all interested parties are urged to attend.ESTA has also announced the start of work by its Electrical Power Working Group on a new American National Standard - BSR E1.16, Configuration Standard for Metal-Halide Ballast Power Cables, to help ensure compatibility between the detachable power cords used on various brands of discharge ballasts for studio luminaires. Interested parties are invited to join the Electrical Power Working Group or to comment on the draft document when it is offered for public review.

Electrosonic Opens Fourth US Office
Friday, 11 August 2000

Electrosonic has opened a new office serving the New York, Philadelphia and Washington area of the USA. Over the past few years, Electrosonic Systems Inc has achieved significant growth in the US audio-visual market, and the new office provides engineering design and support services to the company's corporate, design and consultant customers in the area. Although the unit is self-sufficient, it is able to draw on the resources of Electrosonic's existing USA offices (Minneapolis MN, Burbank CA, and Orlando FL). Conveniently located near Princeton, NJ, the office is managed by Andrew Kidd. Apart from a two year sabbatical, during which he acquired an MBA degree, Andrew has worked for Electrosonic for 22 years in engineering and project management positions around the world. The team at the New York Area office includes expert staff recruited locally, and experienced Electrosonic hands re-located from other Electrosonic offices.The new Electrosonic office is located at: 11H Princess Road, Lawrenceville, New Jersey 08648, USA. Tel: +1.609 219 9494 Fax: +1 609 219 1538

Summit Moves Mountains
Friday, 11 August 2000

On July 1st, Summit Steel left town and relocated from London to new premises near Maidstone, Kent. Company director Jon Bray explained that as a result of the expanding business and the need for a larger distribution centre it was the only sensible option. "The increase in our company activity over the past couple of years led to the need for more storage space for the range of truss and rigging equipment we supply to the industry." However, although the company has chosen to move 'out of town', it will continue to provide a 'London-based' service for its dry hire customers. The new Kent warehouse will be used to supply all Summit's equipment, and is the dispatch point for major productions. The new warehouse capacity is four times greater than the London base, which facilitates faster servicing and turn around of gear.

Seelite Technical Courses
Friday, 11 August 2000

Seelite has organised a series of workshops. The first covers the fundamentals of the software programme WYSIWYG. Lars Nissen and Leif Hellberg will introduce participants to WYSIWYG demonstrating how it was used on earlier projects such as the Danish Eurovision Song Contest 2000 and the Danish Grammys 2000. The briefings will take place in Aarhus on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 October and in Copenhagen on Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 October. The company is also organising a rigging course, led by Martin Svane and Martin Corneliussen. Participants will become acquainted with subjects such as suspension of equipment, personal safety, choice and use of gear, and, finally, use of truss systems. The course is mainly theoretical, but includes a few practical features. This takes place on Copenhagen on Wenesday 1 November and Aarhus on Monday 2 November.

Total Puts Roof Over Masayoshi's Head
Thursday, 10 August 2000

US-based Total Structures recently delivered and commissioned a 135ft (40m) x 60ft (18m) stage roof and sound wing structure to Kanai Scene Shop, its Japanese distributor. The roof, which has a trim height of 60ft (18m) and a load capacity of 70000lbs (32000kg), was immediately used for a seven-date sell-out tour for the renowned Japanese artist Yamazaki Masayoshi, with each show attracting audiences of around 30000. The purchase of the roof represents the latest step in Kanai's huge commitment to the modern show and theatre market. Kanai has over 100 years of experience in set design and manufacture for the national Kabuki.

Frank Matcham Conference: Isle of Man
Wednesday, 9 August 2000

A one-day conference will take place on Saturday 2nd September to celebrate the life and work of theatre architect Frank Matcham and the centenary of his beautifully-restored Gaiety Theatre and Opera House on the Isle of Man. The conference, to be held at the Manx Museum in Douglas, will focus upon the restoration of the Gaiety Theatre and the wider work of Matcham, who, during his amazing career, designed and rebuilt over 160 theatres in the British Isles -London's Palladium, Coliseum and Victoria Palace theatres, the Theatre Royal, Newcastle and the Olympia Liverpool amongst them. Speakers from the world of theatre history and architectural conservation will come together to discuss Matcham's influence. Delegates will also have an opportunity to see a performance of The Corsican Brothers on the Saturday evening, followed by a tour of the Gaiety Theatre on Sunday 3 September.

VLPS Madrid Management Buy-Out
Wednesday, 9 August 2000

Vari-Lite International has sold its operations in Madrid to an investment group led by Pablo Galindo Aragon and Sonia Martin, the managers of VLPS Madrid. Terms of the transaction are being kept under wraps, but we understand it includes the sale of Vari-Lite Production Services SL, the company's wholly-owned subsidiary in Madrid, and all the Vari-Lite automated equipment located in Spain and Portugal. Additionally, VLPS Madrid has been appointed a dealer for Vari-Lite International in Spain, Portugal and Northern Africa.

Gearhouse Expands to South Coast
Wednesday, 9 August 2000

Gearhouse has underlined its expansion by setting up a new base in Bournemouth. The move will enable the company to service both the hotel trade in the seaside town, following the contract it signed recently with De Vere Hotels, in addition to events in mainland Europe. Heading up the new operation is the experienced Chris Eveleigh, whose background includes hotel management, a stint with British Airways and work for the AV and conferencing industries for AVA Europe. Gearhouse project manager Alex Quarterman, who will relocate from the company's Birmingham office, joins him in the new venture.

Lumenyte Emerges from Chapter 11
Tuesday, 8 August 2000

California-based Lumenyte International Corporation, a specialist in the development and manufacture of plastic fibre optic lighting systems, has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings with the confirmation on 3 August of its Plan of Reorganization. The case was filed after LIC's secured lender, Imperial Bank, declared a default claiming that LIC tangible net worth did not increase at the rate called for under Imperial's loan documents. Imperial subsequently moved for the appointment of a state court receiver which compelled LIC to institute the bankruptcy proceeding. The Board of Directors of LIC decided to institute the proceeding to allow LIC to restructure financial affairs through a plan of reorganization. LIC had approximately $1 million of general unsecured debt, as of the bankruptcy petition date, which was all current within agreed upon terms with LIC's vendors. LIC has been financially stable this fiscal year as the result of an internal financial restructuring which began around January and has paid the loan to Imperial in full.

Ayia Napa Grooves With Nexo
Tuesday, 8 August 2000

Ehitiki of Cyprus recently provided a Nexo sound system for the BBC Radio One Roadshow live broadcast from The Square in Ayia Napa, Cyprus. The system consisted of six Alpha EMs and B1-18s per side together with two S2s, all controlled by a single NX241 Digital TDController. The broadcast, presented by DJ Dave Pearce featured performances by Dreem Teem, Mikee B, Timmi Magic & Spoony. The collaboration between Ehitiki and the BBC was described as a complete success and future work together for this type of event is looking very likely.

Mackie Buys Digital Systems Specialist
Monday, 7 August 2000

Mackie Designs Inc has completed the purchase of Canadian company Acuma Labs Ltd - a developer of real-time embedded systems for professional audio applications. Acuma specializes in digital signal processors, microprocessors, digital audio effects, analogue and digital software, real-time operating systems, interfaces, and hardware design. "Acuma provides focused digital technology resources to Mackie's engineering group," said Peter Watts, Mackie's executive vice-president of engineering, "enhancing our development of increasingly sophisticated professional audio products".Jamie Engen, Mackie's COO, added: "While not material from a financial standpoint, Acuma's world-class digital software and hardware engineering team does materially strengthen our engineering group. Acuma will help Mackie provide unique and powerful solutions to the professional audio community."

Event Services Company Opens UK Office
Monday, 7 August 2000

Generale Location has augmented its worldwide presence by establishing a London office. With its head office in Lyon and further offices in Paris, throughout France, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia and the Middle East, the company has expanded its impressive product range of temporary structures, exhibition stands, lighting, sound and audio-visual services to include daylight LED display systems with the purchase of 72sq.m of Megascreen, engineered and built by Unitek Displays Ltd. With the system's debut at the 'Bollywood' Film Awards held recently at the Millennium Dome, GL then flew the system to Singapore for the country's National Day Parade Celebrations. The company's UK's sales manager is Anita Tate (née Page), formerly of Screenco and Unitek. This expansion of Generale Location's network of offices takes place simultaneously with one of the company's biggest contracts to date, namely official supplier of all temporary structures and seating to the Sydney Olympic Games in September.

High End Hosts LDI 2000 Golf Tourney
Monday, 7 August 2000

Registration and sponsorships are now being accepted for High End Systems' Third Annual Gary Whittington Memorial Golf Tournament, in conjunction with LDI 2000 in Las Vegas. The shotgun/scramble event tees off at 8am on Thursday 19 October at the Las Vegas Paiute Resort at Snow Mountain, 10325 Nu-Wav Kaiv Blvd. Team prizes will be given, with individual prizes for longest drive men's and longest drive women's, closest to the pin and hole-in-one. If you would like to participate, the cost is $179 per player and deadline for registration is 1 October.

Clarion Retains Cricket Trophy ( . . . by default)
Friday, 4 August 2000

On Wednesday August 2nd, at the idyllic setting of Littlewick Green Cricket Club, Berkshire, Clarion Events (organiser of the PLASA Show) managed to retain the Hayden Laboratories Annual Pro Sound and Lighting Cricket Trophy. This shock result was thanks largely to poor weather and the unbounded generosity of opposition team captains and gentlemen, Simon Curtis (Hayden Laboratories) and Paul DeVille (Lighting Technology), not to mention Clarion's inclusion of some extremely talented individuals who, James Brooks-Ward assured us, do work for Clarion, honestly.This was the second annual competition for the Hayden Laboratories trophy, which Clarion (then P&O Events) won last year. Interest in the event had grown significantly since 1999, so that three teams took part this year - Clarion, Lighting and Sound. Taking the rather damp field were representatives of Hayden Labs, Lighting Technology, Avolites, DHA Lighting, Stage Electrics, Barco, PLASA, L&SI, Le Maitre, LMC Audio and Celestion, with scoring by Mondiale - many thanks to all involved. Next year, the Lighting and Sound teams plan to get even - weather permitting.

Numbers Change at PLASA Publishing
Friday, 4 August 2000

Our telephone numbers at PLASA Publishing have changed. The old number - 01323 642639- has now been replaced by a new number - 01323 418400. Callers to the old number will, for the time being, be redirected to the new one automatically. The PLASA office number remains 01323 410335, although each member of staff at head office will now also have a direct line. The fax number for the entire office - 01323 646905 - remains unchanged.

DHA and Rosco Redefine Exclusive Marketing Agreement
Friday, 4 August 2000

PLASA Exclusive: In a move which aligns DHA's international marketing strategy with its UK business practice, DHA and Rosco have redefined their long-standing marketing agreement. Effective from September 10 - the opening day of PLASA 2000 - the new agreement will enable DHA to market direct its catalogue of 900 plus metal gobo designs and its range of moving effects products, in all countries except North and South America, Canada and Australia, where Rosco maintains its exclusivity. The decision to redefine the partnership, which gave Rosco exclusive worldwide (except UK) marketing rights for DHA gobo designs and moving effects, and DHA the right to market the Rosco images, recognises that design and international business practices have changed dramatically in the 16 years that the two companies have worked together. The gobo design of DHA's business will also continue to develop and the design team are currently working on 30 new architectural designs which will be launched at PLASA, together with six new glass gobo designs.

HES Highlights Republican Fest
Friday, 4 August 2000

The high-profile circus of the Republican National Convention 2000 in Philadelphia, which ended yesterday with George W Bush's nomination as the Republican Presidential candidate, featured an extensive entertainment lighting system, composed mainly of High End Systems fixtures. Lighting designer Bill Klages specified 44 Cyberlight Turbo units, 40 Studio Color 575s, 30 Studio Spots and 40 Dataflash AF-1000 xenon strobes, supplied by the Production Resource Group (PRG), to enhance the stages, seats, ceilings and spectators in what is literally a political arena. Performers during the four-day event have included Jimmie Vaughan and his Tilt-a-Whirl Band, Harold Melvin's Blue Notes, The Delfonics, Jon Secada and Lee Greenwood.

Q-Max Ends Distributorship of Opal
Thursday, 3 August 2000

Sheffield-based Q-Max Professional Audio has decided to discontinue distribution of Opal Audio's range of products. Opal, the company behind the GAE audio range, was surprised by the move, the company's Steve Smith commenting: "The Q-Max decision has come as a shock, particularly in view of the upcoming PLASA exhibition. We had extremely high expectations for a prosperous show in the wake of recent GAE installation successes including, most famously, Volkswagen's multi-million pound Autostadt project in Wolfsburg, Germany." Glyn Baxter, principal of Q-Max Professional Audio, has assured Opal that the decision was based entirely on personal issues, and does not reflect the business relationship between the two companies. As a result, Opal is currently in negotiations to find a new distributor.

Celestions Double Expresso
Wednesday, 2 August 2000

Celestion loudspeakers have been specified by two competing chains of café bars in Greece; both companies have chosen the same sound design and the same Celestion cabinets. Autocafé and Olé Olé are both embarking on nationwide roll-outs of new cafés across Greece. The Autocafé café chain has begun the programme with a 600-capacity café-bar in Athens and has specified Celestion KR2 and SR cabinets - 14 x SR1 speakers for the interior, 18 x KR2 speakers for the gardens and terrace areas. In contrast, a more conventional design utilising Celestion's club installation products has recently been completed on the island of Kalinos near Rhodes. The brand new 1000-capacity club called Freesound, features ten Celestion CX 1520 and ten CX 1220 cabinets which utilise Celestion's own high power cast chassis drive units and CDX-1 compression drivers.

JMC Lighting - New Company Formed
Wednesday, 2 August 2000

Geoff Jones of Laser Studio and Illuminatum, has teamed with Dublin-based Kevin McCarthy (AVL) to form a new company, JMC Lighting. The new enterprise will be dedicated to providing an exclusive UK and Irish dealership for the full range of Coef intelligent lighting products and will operate out of both the UK and Eire. AVL has already used an assortment of Coef products for a series of high profile venues in Ireland, including many of Dublin's major recently opened venues.


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