Business News

Matrix Online
Wednesday, 28 June 2000

Matrix Audio Distribution is now accessible online via two new websites. One site details the full range of Matrix amplification allowing customers to view the entire range, alongside product manuals and troubleshooting tips, whilst the second site covers the company's recent news and project work.

Clay Paky - Convention 2000
Wednesday, 28 June 2000

Over 70 people from 51 countries joined members of the Clay Paky and Pulsar teams in Bergamo in mid-May for a conference outlining the long term goals of both companies. In his opening speech, President Pasquale Quadri welcomed delegates and highlighted the continuing growth in sales, ongoing research into ISO 9001 certification and the company's plans for expansion, which include a move to new headquarters. Other members of the Clay Paky and Pulsar teams then took to the floor to cover recent technical and marketing developments, before paving the way for a number of distributors from across the world to outline numerous projects where Clay Paky and Pulsar equipment had been part of the project specification.

 
 
ETC - a Design for Life
Wednesday, 28 June 2000

The Danish Design Centre, in the heart of Copenhagen, opened its doors to the public in January of this year. The centre aims to be a hothouse for ideas and development in Danish industry, as well as providing, amongst other things, an international exhibition venue for industrial design, public exhibition areas, a shop and café, conference rooms and office space. For the Conference Hall, which will play host to a number of different types of events and will hold up to 200 people, lighting and AV consultants 1001 Watt.dk specified ETC Source Four Jr Zooms which were supplied by ETC's local distributor, Bico Professionel. In addition, 24 ETC Irideon AR6, launched at PLASA last year, were supplied by SFL of Sweden.

 
Reproduced Sound 16
Wednesday, 28 June 2000

Sound Reinforcement is the theme of the sixteenth Reproduced Sound Conference, organised by the Institute of Acoustics and to be held in Stratford-on-Avon over the weekend of Nov 17-19, 2000. Presentations will be given by sound designers, tour sound managers, manufacturers and equipment and systems designers. Subjects tackled include the new loudspeaker array technologies, aspects of digital sound processing, control and distribution, designing auditoria for reinforced sound and environmental issues relating to stadium sound.

 
 
Studio Beam PC Wins Best of Lightfair Award
Tuesday, 27 June 2000

High End Systems' new automated luminaire, the Studio Beam PC, has won the award of Best of Lightfair 2000 from Design Journal magazine. Products were judged during the recent Lightfair 2000 trade show in New York City and were chosen based on their form, functionality and design. Studio Beam PC uses a pebble convex lens to produce a unique quality of light unlike the wash or spot fixture. Extremely high-output color mixing coupled with a large zoom range and intense beam shaping give the Studio Beam PC a unique niche in lighting design.

 
Dome Staff Paid to Stay
Tuesday, 27 June 2000

Despite the well-publicised financial crises at the Dome, managers and staff are to receive loyalty bonuses totalling up to £3 million. The payments are intended to reverse the exodus of Dome personnel in recent months - over 400 of the 2,000-strong team have already left - and reward staff who see out their contracts. The bonuses seem to go against the grain of recent cost-cutting measures and include payments to four board directors, with former chief executive Jennie Page, also in the line-up for a hand-out. £2 million will be shared between the Dome's 300 managers, while a further £1 million will be split between the 900 hosts who show visitors around.

 
 
Candover Concentrates on Club Sector
Monday, 26 June 2000

Just months after buying the chain from First Leisure, Candover has sold its 14 Brannigans bars, along with six other pubs, for £67 million. The new owner is Mustard Entertainment Restaurants, a recently-established venture backed by investment company Phildrew Ventures. Candover secured the Brannigans bars last November, as part of its £210.5 million acquisition of First Leisure's 40 nightclubs and 25 bars. It intends to keep the remaining bars and has also signalled its intention to expand its portfolio of nightclubs.

 
Lastminute Links to SFX
Monday, 26 June 2000

lastminute.com has joined forces with promoter SFX to offer the latter's products to lastminute.com's subscribers. Both companies have been much in the news lately, lastminute for its share issue and SFX for its expanding empire - the company operates and manages 79 venues in the UK, including several major West End theatres. Under the terms of the deal, SFX will market any unsold tickets from its own distribution network on lastminute.com's website. If the new arrangement is successful, the companies plan to extend the agreement into other European countries.

 
 
Second Fatality at Earls Court
Monday, 26 June 2000

PLASA Publishing has learnt that there has been a second fatal accident at Earls Court. The venue owners have confirmed that the accident occurred at 7.10pm on Friday 23 June and that the individual involved was working for Unusual Rigging, who are contracted to the venue. EC management and the relevant authorities have launched an investigation into the incident. The news comes six months after the death in December last year of a rigger working on a backstage event for the Spice Girls, who fell 80 feet whilst breaking down the after-show party. An investigation into that incident is still ongoing.

 
Geldof Outlines Plans for 2001 Party
Friday, 23 June 2000

Bob Geldof is planning a major New Year's Eve event in London. Through his company, 10 Alps, he has won the contract to stage a spectacular show in the capital which promises to build on last year's River of Light New Year's Eve celebrations. To help him on his way, he has managed to secure £1.5m of Lottery Funding and is now looking for sponsors to weigh in with their contributions. No details have emerged yet of what's been planned, but we will keep you up to date as we learn more.

 
 
Tramp Gets an RCF System
Friday, 23 June 2000

One of London's best-known nightclubs - Tramp - has recently received a new sound system as part of a major refurbishment. Watford-based Stage Two designed the system, based around RCF's ART Series, in conjunction with RCF UK's Andy Austin-Brown. Stage Two's Terry Douris explained that the brief presented difficulties in terms of the small size of the building and the high power required from the system. Four ART 300 cabinets are used, with two situated over the dancefloor and two on the perimeter of the room. In addition, two MSW 8 sub-woofers provide the heavy bass required on the dance floor. The system is controlled by an XTA DP200 digital sound processor, with amplification from InterM M1000 and M700 amps. Meanwhile, four RCF Monitor 5s and four Monitor 4Ts cover the restaurant and reception areas respectively.

 
Industry Recognised in Birthday Honours
Friday, 23 June 2000

The Queens Birthday Honours list paid tribute to a number of those working on the creative and technical sides of the arts and entertainment industry. Theatre director, and more latterly Oscar-winning film director, Sam Mendes was rewarded with a CBE for his services to drama. Two of the principal talents behind the Dome were also honoured; Timothy Gardom, responsible for the content of the body and faith zones, becomes an MBE, while Mark Fisher receives an OBE for his work as creative director of the Millennium Show staged in the Dome's central arena. Vivien Duffield, a director of the Royal Opera House for 14 years who is credited with raising £100m for the recent £214m refurbishment, was awarded a DBE, whilst Neil Bartlett, artistic director of the Lyric Hammersmith, and Derek Deane, artistic director of the English National Ballet both received OBEs.

 
 
PSL Becomes Preferred AV Supplier to ExCel
Thursday, 22 June 2000

PSL has announced the signing of a seven-year contract with ExCel, the new London International Exhibition Centre, which makes the company the preferred onsite AV and presentation equipment supplier. PSL will acquire approximately 20,000sq.ft of office and warehouse space onsite, within one of the existing warehouses on the ExCel site for the storage of their AV and presentation hire equipment. In addition, the company has negotiated two additional storage areas - within the Northern and Southern breakout/seminar rooms - allowing them to be the only AV company to service these areas. PSL estimates that it will hold around £1million of state-of-the-art equipment onsite.

 
Marquee Launches Install Arm
Thursday, 22 June 2000

Marquee Audio has announced the formation of a new division, which will operate under the supervision of co-director Mark Brown. Marquee Installations aims to respond to increasing retail sector requirements. Brown's roster of licensed-trade contractor clients, which included many of the UK's leading breweries, restaurants and independents, had previously been homogenised into Marquee's general work portfolio, but he now believes he can give greater focus to expanding the business. Marquee Installations will offer a complete turnkey service, combining audio, lighting and visual display integration.

 
 
PSL Invests in New Audio Division
Thursday, 22 June 2000

PSL has set up a new audio division, and pledged a multi-million pound investment in a new hire fleet. The bulk of the equipment will be purchased through Marquee Audio, while other suppliers will include LMC, SES, Total Audio Solutions, VDC, Kelsey Acoustics, d&b audiotechnic and Shuttlesound. Gil Rabinowitz (pictured) was brought in to configure an inventory which the company believes will make them competitive in their own right, at the same time offering a resource that will enable the remainder of the Gearhouse Group to quote turnkey packages to conference and exhibition clients.

 
Vari-Lite Welcomes New Dealer
Wednesday, 21 June 2000

Vari-Lite inc has recently signed a dealer agreement which bolsters the company's presence in the Florida market. Miami-based Stage Equipment & Lighting, with offices in Orlando and Tampa, will now offer the new Vari*Lite Series 2000 line of automated luminaires in Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. Rick Rudolph, Stage Equipment & Lighting's vice-president, told L&SI: "This relationship with Vari-Lite will broaden the tool base that we can present to lighting designers who work in this area. It's a wonderfull opportunity for both ourselves and the lighting designers we work with."

 
 
Unusual Joins the Safety Elite
Wednesday, 21 June 2000

Julie Meadows, health and safety officer of Unusual Rigging in Bugbrooke, has received the prestigious British Safety Council Diploma in Safety Management in an awards ceremony in London. Meadows was among 19 safety professional who were presented with their awards.Sir Neville Purvis, Director General of the British Safety council commented: "Good safety is good business and can save firms hundreds of thousands of pounds. In achieving the Diploma in Safety Management, Julie Meadows has shown a commitment to improving health and safety in the workplace. Proper training for people at all levels of a company is vital, as accidents and illnesses at work cost this country up to £18 billion every year."

 
Federal Appeals Court Affirms Injunction Against Martin
Wednesday, 21 June 2000

The long-running stand-off between Vari-Lite International and Martin Professional has come to something of a temporary conclusion following the affirmation by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit of an injunction issued by the United States District Court on September 2, 1999 against Martin Gruppen A/S and Martin Professional A/S. As we've reported previously, the injunction prohibits Martin from manufacturing, selling or hiring the Martin MAC 600s, MAC 500s and MAC 300s, and also extends to the Case series controller when sold in conjunction with any of the MAC units. Martin had already appealed against the decision in a separate hearing when it filed a motion asking the District Court to lift the injunction in July 2000, the date when Martin claimed the patent would expire. The Court rejected Martin's claim and ruled that the patent held by Vari-Lite did not expire until March 2001.

 
 
Canine ConundrumsCanine Conundrums
Wednesday, 21 June 2000

Stage Light Design once again produced a spectacular lighting design for the Pedigree Petfoods Stand at Crufts. The rescheduled show, originally postponed from its March slot at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham due to the Foot-and-Mouth Crises, proved a great success for all things canine.

The double decker Pedigree stand was defined by large ‘sails’ and was designed collectively by Terence Conran and designers CDL. The lighting design was handled by Stage Light Design’s redoubtable Alastair Crooks. SLD also supplied all the effects and theatrical lighting equipment used on the stand. The stand’s lower deck featured various graphics pods topped with dogs heads, point-of-sale merchandise and other products, which were lit with a combination of silver PAR 56 and 64 lanterns. The upper deck was lit with an impressive moving light rig including 12 Studio Due City Colors, 12 Clay Paky Stage Zoom 1200s, six Stage Color 300s and 16 pinspots. Above this, stretching high into the roof of the hall, were the sails. They were an inverse conical shape, lit with blazes of colour to match the various dogfood brand colours, overlaid with projected title and strap lines from the yummy range of ‘Puppy’, ‘Adult’ and ‘Senior’ varieties. The rig was controlled by an Avolites Pearl console, programmed by Ewan Cameron. http://www.

 
Total Structures in Central Park
Tuesday, 20 June 2000

Total Structures Inc has recently produced a unique tensioned fabric structure for general contractor Fabric Structures, based on an original concept by architects FTL Happold. What made this different from the many other rooftops produced by the company this year was its shape and proportions. As our picture shows, it is a ridged, contoured ellipse, supported on only two towers and measuring 70ft wide and 63ft deep. It was engineered to carry 7,000lbs of sound equipment and 1,000lbs of lights for the Summerstage series in New York's Central Park.

 
 
PLASA 2000 AGM and Industry Dinner
Tuesday, 20 June 2000

PLASA's annual AGM took place at The Belfry Hotel near Birmingham on June 15th, attended by around 60 representatives of member companies. PLASA Chairman Mick Hannaford reported on a successful year for the Association which had seen key advances in the range of services and initiatives offered to members. He also covered the Association's review of its Code of Ethics, outlining the way in which a Code of Business Ethics and an Appeals Procedure might be implemented. It is a move the Association has been wishing to make for some time and will give PLASA more direct powers to act in the interests of all the members by dealing with companies who fail to meet certain standards. Afterwards, the Members voted in favour of adopting the Code.PLASA Treasurer Sammy de Havilland then outlined the financial position of the Association noting that it had reached its reserve targets and was now in a strong position to drive new initiatives forward. Following the AGM, PLASA MD Matthew Griffiths gave a brief presentation on the future of the Association. He talked first about the PLASA Show and how successful the Exhibitor Forum had been in influencing its shape and format. He also highlighted the introduction of a number of new features for the Show this year, including a new technology showcase. Matthew then referred to one of the key projects PLASA is pursuing this year – that of qualitative and quantitative Industry Research on which subject he handed the floor over to facilitator Phil Pratt who explained to members the rationale behind the Industry Research programme. During th

 
Medusa Rears Its Head
Tuesday, 20 June 2000

The first worldwide public outing of the PRG/LSD Medusa (Icon M) takes place this weekend (the 24/25th June) at the Skyscapes building adjacent to the Millennium Dome. The light, which has been undergoing some fine-tuning since its launch last year, will make its debut at the Bollywoods - the Indian Film Awards.

 
 
Stage Electrics Opens Virtual Lighting Studio
Tuesday, 20 June 2000

Stage Electrics has confirmed the opening date of its new London Branch as 7 August, but to ensure that its new WYSIWYG facility and Virtual Lighting Studio is operational in the meantime, the company has taken temporary accommodation at 81 Oxford Street. David Stewart, formerly with Lightfusion, has joined Stage Electrics as studio manager and will operate from the London branch. During the last six years, he has been involved with designing and operating at such venues as Frankfurt Music Messe, Montreaux Jazz Festival and the Filmfare awards in Bombay. London branch: 07836 231868

 
ARX Museum Order
Tuesday, 20 June 2000

ARX has been awarded the contract to supply the power amplifier requirements for the new Museum Victoria Project in Melbourne, Australia. The first stage of the installation is the delivery of 15 of the new ZA 600 six-channel power amplifiers, a total of 90 amplifier channels, providing over 11kW of output for the various themed areas and soundscapes. Further stages of the development are also based on ZA 600 power amplifiers.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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