Business News

Broadway Masterclasses Cancelled
Wednesday, 10 October 2001

Entertainment Design magazine has announced that the 2001 Broadway Lighting and Sound Masterclasses, scheduled for 5-9 December in New York City, have been cancelled. In a statement issued on the magazine’s website, the organizers said: "Due to a variety of circumstances, not the least of which is the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, publisher Jacqueline Tien, editorial director David Barbour, and editor David Johnson have decided that the classes could not be presented with the kind of quality the industry has come to expect from this annual event."

Jacqueline Tien further commented: "This was a difficult decision for us to make, but we feel it is the right decision." She added: "We will now re-channel our energies toward celebrating and supporting our industry and friends at this year's EDDY Awards, in Entertainment Design and Lighting Dimensions magazines and at our LDI show, this November in Orlando."

Lighting designer Jules Fisher, one of the founders of the BLMC, commented: "It saddens me not to be able to present this year’s exciting program to so many eager students and practitioners. I am undaunted . . . we will just make next year’s that much better."

The annual Entertainment Design EDDY Awards, originally scheduled for Friday, December 7 at John Jay Theatre, will continue as planned.

Tannoy Reinforces Presence in AV
Wednesday, 10 October 2001

Tannoy Professional has appointed a new distributor to represent its products to the AV market. York-based Source 1 now has access to the Tannoy range of sound reinforcement loudspeakers, amplifiers and microphones and will be responsible for increasing Tannoy's exposure in the AV industry. "The audio-visual market is one that we want to expand our core business, and although Tannoy already has excellent relationships with larger installers, the wider AV market is too large to handle on our own effectively," explained Alan Lochhead, Tannoy UK sales manager. He continued: "Consequently we have been searching for a partner with a range of complementary products and the contacts to improve our exposure. Source 1 personnel can offer us nine years’ experience of AV distribution and we are anticipating a successful, long-term relationship."

Source 1’s managing director Tony Leedham commented: "Access to Tannoy's range of high quality sound reinforcement products, together with our range of Vortex acoustic echo cancellers, will enable us to offer complete audio conferencing solutions for improved corporate communications. We are confident that the quality and performance of Tannoy's products will be seen as a welcome benefit to the AV market."

ISCE Hosts Successful AGM
Tuesday, 9 October 2001

The first Institute Day for several years for the ISCE (Institute of Sound & Communications Engineers) was successfully held at the Watford Moat House Hotel on Friday 5 October. An informative seminar led by Colin Bowman of JFMG on 'VHF/UHF Radio Microphone Technology' preceded the AGM and Council elections. In the evening, a lively dinner brought together many industry friends in a convivial atmosphere, and amongst several presentations was the first ISCE 'Lifetime Achievement Award' presented to Carl Heinlein.

Middle Atlantic Products' Major Expansion
Tuesday, 9 October 2001

In a move that more than doubles the amount of space available to house its Canadian distribution and operations centre, Middle Atlantic Products has opened its new Ottawa-based headquarters facility. In making the move to the new location, the company increased its available space from 22,000 to 50,000sq.ft, allowing it to maintain more stock on site andaffording more room for its operations staff to better serve their customers.

"The increased storage capacity allows us to ship substantially more product from available stock to our customers throughout Eastern and Central Canada," explains Neil Andison, president of Middle Atlantic Products Canada. "This will significantly cut down the lead time involved in fulfilling an order." The company has not only expanded floor space but height as well, moving from a building with 16ft ceilings to one with 28ft ceilings, further increasing storage capacity. The new facility also features a product showroom in which current and potential customers can view and work firsthand with Middle Atlantic's line of rack enclosure systems and furniture solutions. Middle Atlantic Products Canada is now located at 113 Iber Road, Ottawa, Ontario, K2S 1E7, Canada. Telephone +1 888 766-9770.

Soundweb Networks Major Korean Church ComplexSoundweb Networks Major Korean Church Complex
Tuesday, 9 October 2001

A major new-build house of worship in Korea has had its audio communication through the various auditoria, networked via a number of 9088 Soundweb digital devices. The main 5,000-seat sanctuary at the Soo Young Ro Presbyterian Church is joined by an 1800-seat and several 800-900-seat satellite chapels, all within a single complex. The audio, powered by Crown amplification, is sent to 15 JBL VS 3215 Venue series loudspeakers, used for the primary and choir foldback system, as well as 25 Soundpower SP2121s for the balcony system and 87 MS26 under-balcony speakers, as well as four JBL 4897 subs.

The design is based around 18 Soundwebs and other BSS processing hardware. These take a live mix from the choir and floating mics used by the clergy, via a Soundcraft Series 5 console and also routes the audio from the recording studio, based on the site. There is also a video editing room, and the audio tracks are also processed through Soundweb.

Soo Young Ro is situated in Pusan, Korea’s second largest city, on the southern tip of the country. With christianity the fastest growing religion in Korea, audio distributors, Daiyoung Corporation won the contract to supply and fit. Explained David Kwon, marketing manager of the Seoul-based company: "This was a long tendering process which took about three years in all. We competed with six other companies for the US $300,000 audio contract, which formed part of the total US $1.5million spend."

Enlightenment Provide ADB Dimming to RSC
Monday, 8 October 2001

Enlightenment, the UK's specialist dealer for ADB - Siemens stage lighting equipment, has provided 48-ways of ADB Microrack all-digital dimmers to the RSC Fringe Festival for the third year running. Since its inception in 1997, Enlightenment has invested heavily in its ADB rental stock. The RSC Fringe Festival was held at the Other Place Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, which is due to close shortly as part the ongoing restructuring of the RSC. The festival incorporated 20 pieces of predominantly new work from writers all over the world, allowing the RCS's company of actors to get their teeth into something different to the usual RSC repertoire.

Screenco in the Piazza
Monday, 8 October 2001

Screenco provided a 25sq.m JTS17 Jumboscreen for the live relay of David MacVicar’s production of Rigoletto from the Royal Opera House to Covent Garden’s Piazza recently.Commissioned by event management company Aquarius Productions - who have worked with the Royal Opera House for 12 years - this is the ninth such event in the last three years where Screenco have been involved. Live footage was augmented with pre-recorded programming, such as rehearsal footage, both filmed and produced by the BBC. Established in 1985 by Susanna Little, Aquarius Productions has a unique niche in utilizing public spaces in central London to produce live events through direct broadcast or retransmission.

Blackout Triple E in An Audience with Kylie Minogue
Monday, 8 October 2001

Kylie Minogue recently celebrated beating Victoria Beckham to the top of the charts by performing her hit single in front of a celebrity audience. She performed her sixth number one - Can't Get You out of my Head - at the recording of An Audience with Kylie Minogue at the London Television Centre on Sunday 23 September 2001.

Blackout Triple E was commissioned by London Weekend Television to provide a double kabuki drop with burgundy festoon drape. The kabuki was hung from Blackout Triple E truss and motors with a separate motor lowering a mirror ball. Stars including Coronation Street actress Tracy Shaw, Julian Clary, Cat Deely and Kylie's sister Dannii watched the 33 year-old Australian perform for the Audience show, which was screened this weekend.

Bytecraft Collects Beijing Contract
Sunday, 7 October 2001

Australian company Bytecraft has won the contract to supply the Beijing Grand National Theatre with its control system and electrics. The state-funded Opera is scheduled for completion in December 2004 and the Bytecraft contract - which covers both the control system featuring 400 axis of control and electrics and is worth $32million - will see the creation of one of the biggest control systems in the world. Bytecraft expects to go on site in early 2002 and remain there until the venue opens.

Riverdance Rises from the AshesRiverdance Rises from the Ashes
Friday, 5 October 2001

Following a disastrous fire on 28 June which virtually wiped out an entire production of Riverdance, the company is now back on tour across Europe with a brand new audio system supplied almost exclusively by Telex EVI, in particular Shuttlesound and the Klark Teknik Group. Mick O'Gorman, sound designer for Riverdance, remembers the day: "The show was due to open at the Palacido De La Comunidad in Madrid . . . somehow a fire started in the roof of the theatre and before anyone could react the whole of the roof caved in. Luckily there were no casualties, but it destroyed all of the rigging, the set, the lights, the stage, the instruments and of course the entire sound system including the desks. The only things to survive were the office and the costumes. It was heartbreaking."

The production that had arrived in Madrid in 14 trucks limped back to London in just one and a half, and set about rebuilding for shows due to start at the end of August. Ken Binley, technical manager, decided that in order to rebuild the sound system efficiently, everything had to be under one roof, so the crew went into Wembley Arena to set about reconstituting 20 tons of sound equipment in just two weeks.

On the whole, the system has been replaced like for like, says O'Gorman. "We're still using an EV system based on X-Array and some Xi cabinets because it's a damned good system. The Left and Right hangs of 12 X-Array cabs per side plus a central cluster of a further eight XCNs plus a delay system of Xi 1152s haven't changed, but in the wake of the fire, Mikam North decided to mak

Orchard Theatre reaps fruit of Nexo sound
Friday, 5 October 2001

Theatre specialist Stagetec UK Ltd has recently completed the installation of a brand new Nexo sound system at the Orchard theatre in Dartford, complete with Crown amplification and signal processing from Sabine, all supplied by UK distributor Fuzion plc. Stagetec’s managing director Andy Stone explained that the Orchard approached them with a basic specification around which Stagetec could suggest some options. As a result, Stagetec proposed three different systems, which were modelled on the acoustical modelling package EASE to provide an indication of sound pressure levels and coverage, of which two were demo'd on site. After hearing the results of the shoot-out, Orchard's project manager, Bob Clutterham, chief electrician Andy Coleman, and stage manager Lee Edmundson decided to go with the Nexo system.

Stone said: "Apart from the obvious audio quality of the Nexo, one of the factors that swayed the decision was built-in protection that the system offers. The Orchard is a big regional theatre with a huge variety of acts passing through from rock concerts to touring plays and musicals to opera and ballet, and even conferences. With the usual mix of professional and amateur companies, the Orchard staff specifically wanted a system that was very difficult to blow up! As well as delivering high quality audio and being extremely compact, that's exactly what the Nexo offers."

The system comprises eight Nexo PS-15s, two of which are flown to form a central cluster and a further pair are situated either side of the proscenium arch. The remaining pair offers a

Finnish National Opera Scores with PM1DFinnish National Opera Scores with PM1D
Friday, 5 October 2001

F-Audio/F-Musiikki Oy has delivered the first Yamaha PM1D Digital Audio Mixing System in Finland to the main auditorium of Finnish National Opera. The system contains one CS1D Control Surface, 96 channel version of DSP1D DSP Unit, 224 mic inputs, 32 line inputs, 96 analogue outputs and 64 AES/EBU in/outs. "This is one of the biggest PM1D systems delivered so far," says Petri Mäntysalo of F-Audio. He continues: "The Finnish National Opera has been using a digital mixer at FOH from the early 90s, so when they started looking for a replacement to the old console, digital was their only option. This Yamaha PM1D is their 10th Yamaha Digital Mixer so far, as they already have seven 01Vs, one 03D and one DME32 in use."

F-Audio/F-Musiikki Oy will be displaying PM1D and other Yamaha Pro Audio-products at the AV2001 exhibition in Helsinki, Finland, from 24-26 October.

grandMA's Passport to Macy'sgrandMA's Passport to Macy's
Friday, 5 October 2001

Macy's 'Passport 01' is an AIDS benefit, fashion show and live music event all rolled into one. The show, staged in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, starred such notables as Magic Johnson, Elizabeth Taylor, Macy Gray and the Jeff Rollie Band. Lighting designer Tim Becker, along with moving light programmer Tom Thompson and conventionals programmer Jinx Kidd, put together a large rig which included 18 VL7s, 42 VL6Cs, 13 VL2402s and eight Studio Color 575s all run from a MA Lighting grandMA console, rented from Towards 2000 in Los Angeles.

Thompson specified the grandMA console in particular so that he could make use of the new version 3 software: "The console was powerful before version 3," he said, "but now I have features and programming tools that are radically effecting the way and the amount of time that I spend programming."

He continued: "The configurability has always been a strength of the grandMA. With version 3, however, I can swap fixture types and not lose any programming, undo any mistakes and recall complex commands. The grandMA is much like a time machine - you can re-execute a series of keystrokes by ‘turning back time’ in the command window. If the keystrokes are something I use often, I save them as a macro to be accessed by the press of a single button."

His final comment? "I couldn't give higher marks to a lighting console."

iLight 'Double'
Thursday, 4 October 2001

Leading lighting control specialist, iLight Ltd, has achieved a ‘double whammy’ by significantly increasing both its factory output and number of staff in just six months. Output at the purpose-built facility in Cwmbran has almost doubled since the company’s launch in March 2001. All products for the iLight Group plc - iLight Ltd and Zero 88 Ltd - are designed and manufactured at the UK factory. General manager, David Rosen told L&SI: "The sales forecasts are increasing all the time and we are expanding quickly to accommodate the growth of the business. It’s looking very positive and we have been able to invest in further equipment and personnel."

The factory team has also doubled with the appointment of 14 new operators and three test engineers to handle the increased workload. At iLight Ltd’s head office in Kent, eight new staff have been appointed, including three field sales and one internal sales support, and project engineers to service new and existing customers throughout the retail, commercial, leisure and smart-home markets.

Zero 88’s Dealer Awards
Thursday, 4 October 2001

Zero 88 presented three companies with Dealer Awards during the PLASA Show. Zero’s Graham Eales presented the UK Dealer of the Year award to Glyn O’Donoghue of AC Lighting, and the Overseas Dealer of the Year Award to Bob Gordon and Mike Falconer of LA-based AC Lighting Inc. The Award for UK Independent Dealer of the Year, however, went to a less well known company - Stagecraft. The award was presented to Stagecraft's managing director David Goodrich, senior sales executive Grant Bales-Smith and project manager Martin Palmer.

Zero 88 equipment has been used by Stagecraft in a number of the company's recent projects. For example the Frog control desk has been used by Stagecraft at St Laurence School, Testbourne Community School and Shrewsbury College. Senior sales executive, Grant Bales-Smith said: "We have recently invested in new Zero 88 products for our hire department and we're pleased that our commitment to supporting Zero 88 has been recognized in this way. We work for a number of schools, colleges and theatres, all of which have varying budgets for developing their lighting, so using the Zero 88 range we know that we can provide them with excellent products which will suit their individual needs."

New Faces, New Ideas
Thursday, 4 October 2001

A group of lighting technicians, riggers and designers have joined together to form 4Effect, a new company specializing in décor, effects lighting and special event packages. Led by a former Students Union entertainment’s manager and décor designer, Malcolm Cameron, 4Effect will work across the corporate, students union, trade show, nightclub and events markets.

Lights & Lasers End Swansea Bay FestivalLights & Lasers End Swansea Bay Festival
Thursday, 4 October 2001

PA Installations, in conjunction with Laser Studios and Swansea City Council, held a demonstration of effects lighting and laser projection on the cliffs of Knab Rock, Mumbles, as part of the closing event for the Swansea Bay Festival.

The event created a major impact in the area, with over 2,000 people being drawn to the site as the effects were seen right across Swansea Bay as far as Port Talbot. Some visitors saw the demonstration from the M4 and followed the trail to the end of the Mumbles Esplanade. The demonstration comprised two laser installations, one covering the cliff face and the other shining out over Swansea Bay. This display was supported by effects lighting - Studio Due and Griven exterior colour change floodlights - illuminating the Knab Rock itself, providing a palette against which the laser show could work to maximum effect.

Test Evacuation for West End Theatres
Wednesday, 3 October 2001

An emergency exercise involving the mass evacuation of several London theatres will take place this month as part of a campaign to mark European Week for Safety and Health. The Ambassador Theatre Group, which owns nine West End theatres, is planning to ask patrons and employees to carry out timed evacuations after each performance during the week, which begins on October 15.

The Group is one of thousands of organizations throughout the UK set to take part in this annual event which this year focuses on the prevention of workplace accidents. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the main organizers of the event in the UK, has received a record-breaking 100,000 requests for action packs - almost double last year’s figure. Provisional statistics for the year 2000/01 indicate an increase of 34% in fatalities among Britain’s workers, with 295 deaths compared to 220 in 1999/2000. In terms of types of fatality, 73 deaths were caused by falls from heights, 64 from moving vehicles, 52 from falling and moving objects and 37 by objects collapsing or overturning. However, non-fatal major injuries to workers have fallen by 4.7 per cent to 27,935. Packs, which consists of a newsletter, posters, leaflets and fact sheets, are still available via the action pack hotline on 0845 7181819.

LSD Harvest Festival
Wednesday, 3 October 2001

After an amazing summer rush of corporate work that saw LSD/Fourth Phase service no less than 20 fashion shows, exhibitions and conferences, the company now returns to its traditional roots for the Autumn season with a full mix of music tours. Not that it’s turning it’s back on these healthy pastures, the spectacular opening of Millennium Point this past weekend is just one of the special events that LSD service between now and Christmas.

If you’re into eighties music, then a line up that includes T’pau, Go West and Kim Wilde will be right up your street. The ‘Here and Now’ tour is lit by Simon Tutchener and is very much in the style of the era featuring a front and back truss with a large V truss between sports over 120 Pars, plus Mac 500s and Studio Colors.

Status Quo go out with Pat Marks at the helm of a suitably long-haired and be’denimed lighting rig. A variety of truss shapes (depending on venue type) support a 100+ Pars and dozen each of Martin Mac 500s and High End Studio Colors. UB40 have a new designer in the frame, fresh from a lengthy stint with Moby. Dan Hardiman has produced both set and lighting concepts for the band’s latest outing. Using the stone ‘heads’ of Easter Island as his main motif, Hardiman has produced a set of many surprises. Lighting is mainly High End X.Spots and Studio Colors, with Coemar 2.4kW Super Cycs, but there are some Martin Mac 2000s in there for a very special use on custom-built mirror-balls.

Destiny’s Child kick-off their European tour in just over week: light

Flying Squad Rigs for Oil
Wednesday, 3 October 2001

Central London-based Flying Squad, experts in rigging and aerial flying for special events and live productions worldwide, were recently contracted by Vari-Lite to supply full rigging design and installation services for Cooper Cameron’s striking 140sq.m stand at Offshore Europe 2001. Designed by US design agency Excalibur Exhibits and with contract management of the truss and lighting installation in the UK by DB Systems, the stand fused the use of intelligent lighting, truss and staging to its creative limit.

Offshore Europe 2001 - a biennial oil and gas exhibition and conference - opened its doors on 4th September in Aberdeen to over 20,000 pre-registered visitors, from 87 countries. This is a massive trade event, where over 1,500 exhibitors cover a total of 40,000sq.m. Flying Squad's Bryan Wilson was invited to specifically oversee the construction of the enormous Eurotruss supplied by Excalibur. Working within a tight three-day build-up, the truss formed the striking structure to suspend a plethora of intelligent lighting effects and provided the framework to display Cooper Cameron's 'SpoolTree'. With over 24 years of experience, Bryan skilfully overcame the many implicit challenges of this project, including the massive logistical scale where the main feature - the SpoolTree - itself weighed in excess of 37 tons!

As Vari-Lite's Jon Cadbury explained: "We asked Flying Squad Aerial Rigging to help us with the lighting and truss installation for this exhibition because we have had a long working relationship with Bryan Wilson. We know that Flying Squad emp

DLC Launches LSI
Wednesday, 3 October 2001

Lighting and sound hire company, DLC in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has announced the opening of a new associate company, Lighting Supply International (LSI). The company will concentrate on the design and supply of architectural lighting fittings for specialist lighting projects throughout the Gulf States. The operation will be headed by well-known industry veteran, Andy Pivec from LTV, who has over 15 years’ experience in the lighting industry.

Avolites Enjoy a Gem of a Show
Wednesday, 3 October 2001

Avolites enjoyed a hugely successful PLASA 2001, with the launch of three new products, spearheaded by the Diamond 4 console, a packed press reception, a busy distributors’ evening and 17 confirmed orders for the new console by the end of the show. The first Diamond 4 was sold two hours after the show opened on Sunday 9 September to top lighting designer Dave Bryant. His recent projects included lighting the BBC’s Proms In The Park in Hyde Park and he has always been a keen Avolites user.

On the Monday of the show, Avolites staged a champagne press reception to mark the launch of the Diamond 4, which attracted a massive turnout of UK and international press - a real coup with so much competition for hospitality and new products at the show. Avolites sales director Steve Warren reveals that they had been very open about the Diamond 4, it's features, functions and facilities in the run up to PLASA, and so were confident of getting a good reaction. However, no-one was prepared for the intensity of interest and the throngs of visitors clamouring for demos. "We were completely overwhelmed - particularly with the response of other exhibitors," said Warren.

This Diamond 4 is designed for large-scale shows, festivals, concerts, events and multi-purpose venues, addressing the needs of exacting environments needing fast, accurate and powerful control of numerous intelligent lights, wide arrays of conventional fixtures and other DMX devices. At PLASA, Diamond 4 orders were confirmed by many different people and companies from all over the world including Chin

ETC in Woyzeck World Tour
Tuesday, 2 October 2001

Stage director and visual designer Robert Wilson and poet and musician Tom Waits have teamed up with the Betty Nansen Teatret in Copenhagen to create a performance which has stirred up far-reaching and unconditional enthusiasm throughout Denmark and Europe. The production is the classic Woyzeck, by Georg Büchner, based on the story of a young soldier and his reaction to a warped society, culminating in the murder of his girlfriend. In the hands of Wilson and Waits, the play is given a strikingly modern look. Lighting designer A J Weissbard draws inspiration from traditional methods of creating environment and atmosphere, using specialized lighting effects to give the set a feeling of simplicity, whilst at the same time empowering the unfolding tragedy.

This first all-Danish performance of the 164-year-old tragedy was given at the Betty Nansen Teatret late last year, and the production has now embarked on a spectacular European tour. The theatre, which has a reputation of being one of the most interesting and successful theatres in Denmark, is recognized primarily for promoting modern theatre through strikingly contemporary interpretations. Weissbard chose leading Danish lighting rental company Stagelight to supply the European tour of Woyzeck with equipment for the lighting rig. Stagelite approached Bico Professional, ETC's Danish dealer, to provide them with 100 ETC Source Four luminaires. "I have used ETC products throughout my career," explains Weissbard, "as they are reliable and consistently good quality." For both the Danish produc

EST Still Trucking
Tuesday, 2 October 2001

Summer may be over but the boys from EST are still busy rolling around Europe. Four trucks, laden with props for Welsh crooner Tom Jones’ Eastern Bloc tour, have just left Russia. In addition, EST is providing logistical support to the R Kelly tour of Europe, and to French star Garou as he embarks on the second leg of his mammoth tour of France which he started back in March. EST’s purple and yellow trucks can also be seen with Orbital as they perform a series of one-off shows around Europe.

Meanwhile, in the corporate arena, two trucks, laden with almost a mile of trussing have just left Frankfurt where Summit Steel rigged a special event for PCI Live Events, a launch party that heralded Ford’s new Fiesta before an invited press audience on the evening before the Frankfurt Motor Show opened.Following this event, EST scheduled in over 70 trailer movements for the return of equipment used by Imagination to build Ford’s main stand at the show.

On a slightly sad note to end the month, Gerry 'The Captain' Baxter has retired from driving for EST after a staggering 38 years on the road.


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