Paul Kinsey, deputy director of operations at First Leisure has led a management buy-out of the Group's nightclub and bars division. The £210.5million asking price was reached with a little help from investment company Candover, also recently involved in the acquisition of Earls Court Exhibition Centre. The division includes just over 60 clubs and themed venues.
FX rentals recently helped producer Tristin Norwell (producer of Talvin Singh's Mercury Award-winning album 'OK') when he wanted to convert a Gloucestershire manor house into an impromptu recording facility. The company provided a rental package based around a Studer A827 analogue two-inch 24-track tape machine running with Dolby A, 32-channel and 24-channel Mackie mixing desks, Munro MA1 monitors and an extensive range of mixing equipment. The facility was used for the recording of Embrace's new album.
Early December will see the Clothes Show Live, in association with the British Heart Foundation, at the NEC in Birmingham. Lighting a whole host of the latest fashions from the world's top British and International fashion designers will be numerous Martin Macs (controlled by a WholeHog system) supplied and installed by Stage Electrics. The show has been organised by Barker Brown Ltd on behalf of the BBC Haymarket Exhibitions Ltd.
A tri-amped Martin Audio THX system has been specified for the feature cinema at the three-screen York City Screen cinema. Arranged in L-C-R configuration, the three-way system includes three Screen 5s and a pair of Screen Sub 2s, with 16 Effect 5s for the surround sound. Amplification is from QSC. The system is accompanied by the new THX-SG01 digital crossover, which is tailored to the speaker type as well as to the positions of the speakers in the auditorium. The system was installed by South London-based cinema specialist, Future Projections.
Clever Group, the WPP Group's facilities and events company, has announced that David Pacy is returning to the company as chairman and chief executive officer with immediate effect. Pacy takes over from Stuart Appleton who will be leaving the company to pursue other interests. Pacy founded the original Clever Group (then called Metro Video) in 1980.The Clever Group includes Metro Broadcast, Metro Tyrell, Metro Staging, Metro East, Metro Ecosse and Clever Technology. From January 2000, the group will assume the Metro name once more. The creative production arm of the group, Clever Media, will be combined with Enterprise IG, WPP's global branding and identity company.
Stagetec has just completed the supply and installation of a complete new sound and lighting system for Sir Thomas Picton School, Haverfordwest. The sound system is to be used for everything from school assemblies to rock concerts and consists of two pairs of Martin Audio EM186 speakers for the main seating area and a pair of Martin Audio EM76 speakers for the balcony. Foldback was provided by a pair of Renkus-Heinz Qube 12s whilst the sound system is processed utilising a BSS Soundweb enabling the system to be fully commissioned and then left to run with no user controls. A complete new lighting installation was carried out including new lighting bars, socket outlet boxes and a cord patch unit incorporating six Light Processor Paradime dimmer packs controlled from a Compulite Photon lighting desk with riggers control. The existing luminaire stock was refurbished and additional units were supplied consisting of Selecon Pacific profile spots, CCT Freedom fresnels and ADB floods.
Blitz Vision and TP Sound Services, two divisions of the Blitz Communications Group, recently provided visual and audio support for the Marks & Spencer AGM at The Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, for production company HP:ICM. Two main screens with 9200 Reality Projectors and a four camera portable production unit. Full two-way audio links, along with back-up audio and communications links via telephone lines, were taken into three separate overflow areas to accommodate the 2,700 shareholders attending the event.
Vari-Lite has announced that it has sold off its stock of automated lighting equipment located in Australia to local distributor Jands Electronics, which will now become the exclusive distributor of Vari-Lite products for sale in Australia and New Zealand. Rusty Brutsche, chairman and CEO of Vari-Lite, called the move "a natural progression of our relationship with Jands."
At the recent LDI Show in Orlando, the awards ceremony held on the morning of the last day of the show recognised the achievements of individuals and companies within this industry.Two industry veterans stepped up to collect awards for their long-time contributions to the industry. The Wally Russell Award went to Don Stern, whilst the Light in Life Award was awarded to Sonny Sonnenfield. On the lighting design front, the work of three lighting designers was recognised. In the architectural category, Pat Gallegos' picked up the award; in the entertainment category this went to Don Holder, whose many recent credits include the design for Disney's Lion King and in the themed project category, Anne Militello was honoured for her lighting designs for theme parks, notably the recently opened Spiderman ride at Universal's new Islands of Adventure. Just one award was offered on the sound designer front and this went to John Micelli of Soundelux Showorks.On the product front, the awards were as follows:Sound Product: VRAS (Variable Room Acoustics System) from Level Control Systems.Software Product: Horizon and WYSIWYGScenic Effect: 180 Degree Lens from Hardware XenonRigging and Hardware: The LinkLift from ProtecProduct of the Year/Architecture: Mini Mac Profile/ Wash from Martin professionalProduct of the Year/Entertainment: Cyrano from Robert JuliatPlus there was a special award for product development given to LSD/PRG for its Icon M.Laserlite FX collected an award for the Laser Show of the Year.As part of the LDI Awards, ESTA also presented their own range of awards. The Extendabl
Mike Lowe has confirmed that he is closing down Teatro srl after 12 years in the business. He has contacted all the company's distributors and is currently engaged in the process of selling off the company's stock at near cost price.The company was established in February 1987 when Bruno Dedoro of club lighting effects manufacturer Coemar was looking to develop a new range of products aimed specifically at theatre. Mike Lowe had recently resigned as managing director of Strand Lighting and so the two formed a partnership with Teatro taking up residence next door to the main Coemar HQ in Castel Goffredo. Over the years the company developed a complete range of professional theatre lighting, which began with the 1k Tratto and 2k Acuto and grew to embrace a full range of profiles, PCs, fresnels, floods, cyclorama, followspots, parlights, colour changers and accessories.
Boston-based digital lighting manufacturer Color Kinetics has served a cease and desist writ on UK company Artistic Licence. The order relates to Artistic's Colour-Fill LED technology which Color Kinetics believes is trade-dressed to look like its own line of digital colour-changing lights. The order, which is not related to patent infringement, was served on the first day of the LDI Show in Orlando.
At the start of the final day of LDI '99 in Orlando, Florida, attendance had reached 11,800 - a substantial increase over last year's final attendance figures, making Orlando '99 the best-attended LDI Show in history. Over 180 companies took to the show floor in Orlando to launch a range of new products and services. A full show report will appear in the December issue of Lighting & Sound International.
Martin Professional luminaires have been making a big impact on the UK touring scene recently. Currently in the middle of a busy UK tour, Welsh band the Super Furry Animals are touring with a rig supplied by Prism Lighting. LD Nick Jevons spec'd 12 MAC 500s for the whole of the tour, along with six newly-acquired MAC 300 moving head luminaires for the closing dates, all controlled by an Avolites' Pearl desk.Rental company Eurolites supplied eight Martin MAC 500s for the recent UK tour by The Stranglers, and eight MAC 500s for Elkie Brooks, who tours through to April 2000 with lighting design by Ian Bintlift. Control for both the Stranglers and Elkie Brooks is again from an Avo' Pearl.
London-based rental company, Entec Sound & Light has invested in several pieces of equipment from Klark Teknik to complete the inventory for the last leg of a European tour by British band Skunk Anansie. The equipment includes a complete Klark Teknik DN3600 programmable graphic EQ system supplied by Shuttlesound, and Midas XL-4 and Heritage 3000 mixing desks courtesy of LMC Audio.
Busch Creative Services designed and produced the main exhibit displays at the 50,000sq.ft Spirit of Ford Tour Center, which opened in Dearborn, Missouri, earlier this year. One of the requirements was to create a large-scale animated display for the centre atrium of the building, which would be effective in high ambient light. The company opted for a 53ft by 8ft Electrosonic videowall, fed by DVD players, and consisting of 80 40-inch projection cubes. The Electrosonic videowall was chosen for its bright output and flexible programming options.
The recent AES Convention in New York saw the first Stateside sales of the new BSS FDS-366 Omnidrive Compact Plus, with the first six units being sold to On Stage Audio of Chicago, through Mike Flynn of Sound Marketing.Thomas Nicks of On Stage Audio commented on the purchase: "We have worked with BSS products for the last few years, and when Mike Flynn and Paul Freudenberg (of BSS USA) showed us the specification for the new FDS-366 earlier this year we instantly decided to place an order. The huge advantages of the system are the 96kHz sampling rate, the addition of a third auxiliary input and the ability to use the unit with the BSS Soundbench PC control software."Several further sales announced at the AES Convention included the sale of four units to the Hit Factory in Florida.
The rapidly-expanding Fiddlers Pub Company has recently installed Xtra Music satellite systems into six of its premises in North London. Fiddlers' John Tann said: "We are a very cosmopolitan chain, and the music we play in our venues needs to match that feel. Having 80 channels of uninterrupted digital music allows us to change the mood of our outlets quickly and seamlessly, and offers incredible value for money when compared to alternative systems."Xtra Music's system provides 80 channels of continuous CD quality stereo music, with the benefits of no commercials, no DJs, no interruptions, no moving parts and no playback media.
Gearhouse Australia, will be supplying turnkey operational facilities for major German broadcaster ARD/ZDF at the Sydney Olympics next year. Stephen Chadwick, general manager of the company's Broadcast division, said of the project: "Each day, the Gearhouse facilities will produce more than 30 hours of programmes that will be screened in Germany through two free-to-air stations and one paid service. We are obviously delighted to be supporting one of the world's lading broadcasters." This latest deal brings the total value of Gearhouse Australia's Olympics contracts to more than $10m.
C Audio amplification has been installed at Fantasy Island, Europe's biggest indoor amusement park, situated in Ingoldmells near Skegness. The units are used to power the loudspeaker system within the live entertainment area from late afternoon and throughout the evening. The need for powerful sound reinforcement is clear, as the stage itself is housed within the huge glass pyramid structure of the park, together with the background noise associated with a myriad of fairground rides.Fantasy Island's Tufty Gordon turned to Rob Walker of Blacklight International, whose experience of this type of installation was already known to him. He specified four JBL 300W full-range cabinets with two 600W sub-bass units, to be powered by two C Audio GB 602 amplifiers, all purchased through Arbiter Group plc.
Clay Paky and Pulsar co-sponsored the first ever Ministry Magazine Anual Awards, hosted at the Brixton Academy in London in early November. Presented by Richard Blackwood, along with Boy George, Melanie Sykes, Tim Vincent and special guests, the event attracted 2,500 clubbers and music fans. Lighitng naturally played its part, with 12 Clay Paky Stage Scans at the front of the rig providing most of the action – colour washes and gobo effects - during the ceremony, as well as for live performances by ATB and Hybrid. The show was programmed by LD Tony Fagin, and the equipment was supplied by The Spot Co.
Canford Audio has launched a new sourcing service alongside their new-look year 2000 catalogue. The new service, called Canford Plus, will run in conjunction with the existing service now to be called Canford Express. The new service aims to provide a 'one stop shop' solution, whereby customers can order almost any product, whether or not it is in the Canford catalogue.The Plus service team will include sales, technical and customer service personnel, and will be dedicated to sourcing their customers' requirements. Canford believe customers will benefit for a number of reasons, including the simplified payments and shortened waiting times.
Blitz Communications' sound division, TP Sound, has been contracted to take the touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar on the continental leg of its European tour in January 2000. Front-of-house control for the production is from a 56-channel Amek recall console, running Showtime automation software. A Yamaha ProMix 01 is used as an effects submixer, while effects playback is sourced from a pair of Denon DN990R MiniDisc players. 38 channels of Sennheiser EM 1046 UHF receivers are used, visually linked to the FOH position by the company's remote monitoring system. Cast members are fitted with Sennheiser's MKE2 and DPA Microphones' 4060 head-worn mics, with SK50 beltpack transmitters.EAW's KF300 full-range cabinets provide the reinforcement, along with a pair of KF850s and four SB625 subs, with amplification from Yamaha and Crown. JBL Control 1s are used for effects and delays.
Celtus, who have been support band on the recent UK tour by Deacon Blue, have been using two Spirit Digital 328s mixing consoles supplied by EFX as a major part of their front-of-house set-up. For FOH engineer Mat Miller, the opening show of the tour was the first time he had used the 328. He spoke very highly of its on-board dynamics and Lexicon effects, as well as other useful features such as the recall facilities. As a first-time user, he commented: "It can only be testament to how easy the board was to use that my only worries as doors opened were to do with how far away catering was."
The first Soundcraft FIVE Monitor console has been ordered by Finland's largest sound rental company, Eastway. The Helsinki-based company operates a mainly EAW-based rental stock, which is used primarily in Finland's busy summer festival season. The Series FIVE Monitor was chosen for its versatility, as it can be used for front-of-house and monitoring, and is also well-suited to in-ear monitoring – a popular choice among Finnish musicians.