Confirming its position as the world's leading entertainment and leisure technology exhibition, this year's PLASA show had 13,574 visitors (subject to ABC audit). Of this total, nearly a quarter were from overseas. Exhibitors at the show were in a buoyant mood, noting an increase in actual sales during the four-day event with an improved power to buy among visitors. The PLASA show saw the highest ever number of exhibitors bringing the latest innovative products to be launched by the industry.New innovations included feature areas highlighting the expanding market for architectural lighting in a like for like comparison and a new style of display equipment area (sponsored by AV Magazine) which allowed the visitor to compare product in a realistic environment.Also new was the introduction of training workshops, and an expanded seminar and conference programme, which were all a great success and well attended. Seminar topics ranged from Lighting the Millennium Dome to Technology on the High Seas. The PLASA Show was also home to the NSCA (National Systems Contractors Association from North America) and AV Magazine conference programmes which ran alongside the exhibition and were both a success.
Leisuretec, distributor of professional sound, lighting and special effects, has published its latest brochure - the listings 2000. The publication includes its unique product/brand cross reference pages along with pricing on the massive product range that it distributes to dealers and installers in the UK worldwide. For a copy call 01525 850085.
PA Company, System Sound & Light specified eight Midas consoles for this summer's BBC Proms in the Park. This was probably the largest ever gathering of Midas consoles for one event, which recently returned to London's Hyde Park for a fourth year. An exclusive open-air live concert, hosted by Terry Wogan, was followed by the live relay of the BBC's spectacular Last Night of the Proms finale from the Royal Albert Hall beamed direct to giant screens in the park. FOH three Midas Heritage 3000 consoles and one Midas XL200 were used, whilst backstage, a Midas XL4, two Midas Heritage 3000s and one Midas XL3 were used in the monitor position. BSS Soundweb and V-DOSC loudspeakers complemented the consoles.
Earlier this year, PLASA was involved with the making of a BBC Radio 4 documentary series, covering the development of theatre technology from the earliest days to the present. PLASA's managing director, Matthew Griffiths, took part in interviews with the research team, excerpts from which are used in the series. The first episode was broadcast on Tuesday 21st September from 11.30am - 12.00pm, and the eight-part series will continue at the same time each week.
B&H Production Services Ltd is making new waves by expanding its operation and splitting the rental/show division and sales/installations into two separate companies - Sound by Design and Audiocom Southern. The company, a major Meyer user which has two qualified SIM II engineers on its staff, has just completed a four-week Arena Tour with Raymond Gubbay's production of Swan Lake.
Selecon has parted company with former distributors AJS and ELX and set up Selecon UK Ltd. The operation is headed by Graham Eales, Selecon's international sales and marketing manager, assisted by Andy Trevett as sales manager. The essential logistics support, customer help line and stock holdings will be managed by Zero 88 Lighting Ltd from their South Wales base.
The recently-completed Planet Hollywood in Dubai boasts the full Dare Eclipse Loudspeaker System, installed by Prestige Systems of Dubai. Other recent installs for Dare's loudspeaker products include Birmingham's new So Bar, the latest development in the city's fashionable Arcadian complex and three ice rinks for operator Planet Ice.
Maltbury's Special Projects team has recently completed a major project for the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, where it supplied and fitted a bespoke, demountable seating tier system, comprising 64 special Metrodeck frames, to the 1,000 seat auditorium in the art deco, Grade 1 listed building, situated on the town's seafront. The £800,000 refurbishment and restoration of the auditorium is part of a wider refurbishment programme of the Pavilion and was completed within the five-week 'window' in August and September.
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.
Blitz Communications has launched a new web site. The site provides a wealth of information about the group's three divisions - Blitz Vision, Blitz Interactive and TP Sound Services. Easily navigated, stylish and informative, the site provides a comprehensive guide to the range of services provided by each division.
ETC dealer LT projects has been awarded the major dimming contract for the Millennium Dome. In what is believed to be the largest single installation of the system in Europe, LT projects is installing 3,000 channels of high density ETC Sensor dimmers.
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.