Sweden - Lighting company Aura Light has acquired Zobra, a Swedish lighting company that develops and manufactures luminaires for public areas. This acquisition is an important step for the company to become a complete supplier of energy efficient lighting solutions.

Zobra develops, manufactures and markets luminaires for public areas. The company offers a wide range of luminaires and focuses on innovative product design. Zobra's head office is situated in Vimmerby in Sweden where they also have their production. The company has been growing rapidly the recent years and has received external acknowledgement for their performance.

"This acquisition is an important part of Aura Light's growth strategy and we have seen an increased demand of complete lighting solutions amongst our customers. This is important for us in being a complete lighting supplier, offering light sourc

China - The 135 year old Shanghai Symphony Orchestra now has a new home in the Shanghai Symphony Hall, which celebrated its long awaited grand opening in September. The Hall has a full complement of ETC equipment, including a Sensor 3 Power Control system with ThruPower modules, Source Four PAR fixtures, and an Eos family lighting control system.

The venue contains two separate performance spaces: the Main Hall with 1,200 seats, which serves as a performance and rehearsal space, and the 400-seat Chamber Hall, which is used for recording and broadcasting.

ETC Sensor3 power control racks dim both halls' stage lighting. "You can always expect a smooth and natural dimming curve from ETC dimmer racks," says Xingxing Dou, the lighting director at the Shanghai Symphony Hall. "They deliver maximum reliability with a minimal failure rate compared to most brands on the ma

UK - XL Video renewed its long-term touring relationship with Bryan Adams, who celebrates the remarkable 30th anniversary of his seminal Reckless album, one of a string of ground-breaking projects that has made him the bestselling Canadian rock artist of all time.

The production design for this tour was created by Willie Williams. XL's Paul 'Macca' McCauley has managed the account for the last three years, although XL's association with Bryan Adams' live work goes back several more years.

Macca worked closely with Adams' own video director Marc Ledoux and Encore operator Sebastien De Bellefeuille in co-ordinating and setting up the tour, together with production manager Andy Proudfoot.

Macca commented, "It was great to be working with Bryan Adams and his team again - there were many familiar faces. Visuals are a vital element to the stage presentation and he's an

USA - Masked rockers Slipknot are making headlines with a fifth album release, the addition of new band members, their Knotfest concert series and the launch of the Prepare for Hell tour - and Clay Paky Stormys are along for the wild ride.

The band just marked the debut of their fifth studio album, .5: The Gray Chapter which was quickly followed by performances 25 and 26 October at their own Knotfest in San Bernardino, California. They began headlining the Prepare for Hell North American tour afterwards.

Trevor Ahlstrand, lighting designer/production designer for Slipknot, is using a package of 30 Stormys CC, obtained from Christie Lights, on the shows. The new Stormy uses the latest LED technology while retaining all the charm of the classic strobe. He has positioned a few on each piece truss and several in a row on the floor.

"The show is very asymmetrical with

Sweden - Rhapsody in Rock is an annual series of live shows which combines classical and rock music, performed by a symphony orchestra alongside its founder - Swedish pianist Robert Wells - a contemporary band and vocalists. In March the production heads out on the second leg of its 25th anniversary tour, where three Yamaha CL5 digital mixing consoles will again provide their own Rock solid performance.

A former child prodigy, the classically-trained Wells founded Rhapsody in Rock in 1989. Performing everything from Liszt to AC/DC. It has played to nearly two million people in the USA, Russia, China, the UK, Scandinavia and Germany.

The 25th anniversary tour is playing multiple dates throughout Scandinavia and features a fully redundant Dante network with three Yamaha CL5 consoles, one providing the main front of house mix, manned by Thomas Malbeck, one submixing the orchestra

UK - Sheffield metalcore rockers Bring Me The Horizon played a one-off show at London's Wembley Arena closing a phenomenal year, celebrating the conclusion of their 18 month global Sempiternal album cycle ... and their 10th anniversary.

The band's lighting designer Ben Inskip chose 70 x Robe moving lights as the backbone of the show - because he knows the products and knew they would deliver the results he wanted. He needed multi-purpose lights that could perform several tasks and that all balanced well together as an integrated package.

Ben has worked with the band since 2009. He has a great rapport with them and they trust him implicitly to come up with interesting design concepts for their live work, which in this case also included upstage video projection. Being a one-off, possibly the most important parameter was that the design was practical and quick to load-in

UK - Britannia Row Productions Training is now offering a new range of courses. From complete beginner, to professional wanting to progress their career, Brit Row is opening up more opportunities than ever to learn about live sound from a company with 40 years experience in the industry. Training is now based at Britannia Row Productions head office in Twickenham. Courses for 2015 include:

A Talk on Live Sound Industry - one day - An overview and insight into what the Live Sound Industry is all about and how it works.

Live Sound Basic two-day PA Course - Learn how to jump onto a small P.A. This two-day course is suitable for anyone who needs or wants to do this and is not entirely sure how to go about it - from the person working with their friend's band, to the teacher who needs to get the PA system out of the cupboard a couple of times a year and make it work for the school

USA - When designers are faced with the biggest lighting challenges they turn to the industry's brightest lights. This is just what Dall Brown Lighting, with the support of Chroma Designs, did when given the task to light the exterior of the University of Phoenix Stadium for this year's Super Bowl. Dall Brown and Troy Eckerman teamed up to tackle the job of bathing the aluminium skin of the stadium in colour for the NFL's annual week-long celebration and season finale.

As has often been the case Syncrolite LLC was the company relied upon to meet the huge task at hand. This year, for Super Bowl XLIX, Syncrolite supplied 19 XL 8K xenon moving lights with their patented OmnicolorTM system that allows for true additive or subtractive colour mixing and incorporates VFL lightshaping diffuser film lenses that provided the beam spread and control elements necessary to pull-off this supe

USA - Katy Perry's glittering halftime show at Super Bowl XLIX in the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona was an eye catcher. Lighting designer Bob Barnhart of LA-based Full Flood chose a large array of amongst others Clay Paky Sharpy, Mythos and A.leda B-EYE K20 fixtures for the 12-minute show. Jason Rudolph, the lighting director in charge of the video system, used a grandMA2 light console to control the projection and inflatable, illuminated orbs.

Super Bowl XLIX marked Barnhart's seventeenth big game and his fifth as the primary or sole lighting designer. He served as lighting designer on last year's Bruno Mars halftime show at Met Life Stadium in Rutherford, New Jersey.

Even before the halftime talent is selected, the venue sets the scene for the production and lighting design. "It all depends on what creative options the stadium offers," says Bar

The Netherlands - After proving the OCA control architecture in the field on global tours and major music festivals, the OCA Alliance is promoting the OCA message to the wider market.

At and around ISE 2015, several of the large number of OCA member companies exhibiting at the show participated in various activities to promote OCA. These included a presentation to members of the press, to carry the OCA vision of a common remote control standard to the AV industry, as well as presentations to AV consultants and system integrators. Meetings with numerous manufacturers also helped move forward the process of making the OCA vision reality.

OCA Alliance member companies Yamaha Commercal Audio, TC Group and Salzbrenner Stagetec, joined d&b audiotechnik in presenting the current status and future vision of Open Control Architecture, as these relate to the AV Installation and Systems

UK - Manchester's Royal Exchange theatre has reinvested in TiMax technology via its recent purchase of a TiMax 2 SoundHub via Autograph Sales. TiMax will provide the audio system management and spatialisation resource for the theatre and the many varied productions which grace its boards each year.

The natural endpoint of the original TiMax Classic Rack system, after 16 years in constant use, coincided with a time of flux in the theatre's sound department. Within a year, the department had turned around so as to be entirely new and justifiably an immediate decision to replace was put on hold.

Head of sound, Sorcha Williams, explains, "We viewed the situation as an opportunity to really explore our options. As sound designers came in with their productions we invited them to choose what they wanted to use, so we had a Galileo and a Yamaha DME, and then a sound designer cam

UK - PRS for Music, the organisation that represents over 100,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers, has chosen PMC loudspeakers for the listening room in its new offices in Kings Cross, London.

PRS for Music relocated to Two Pancras Square at the end of 2014. Moving to this prestigious new building gave the organisation the opportunity to create a working environment that was ideally suited to its needs. Part of that process involved installing a dedicated listening room that could be used for any critical listening tasks, including judging entries for the annual Ivor Novello Awards, which celebrate the best British music writing.

PRS for Music director and Music Producers Guild Chairman Steve Levine was responsible for the listening room project and for the choice of PMC monitors. As a multi-platinum music producer, Levine has crafted hits for artists such as The B

UK - The award-winning staging, structures and seating specialist will unveil a new name, simplified to Star Events Ltd, a new logo and a new website at the Event Production Show, as it takes formal responsibility for parent company Altrad Beaver 84's events division.

The amalgamation adds crowd control barriers, fencing, mobile grandstand seating and ground protection to Star Events' product range. Existing Beaver 84 contracts, with the BBC, Festival Republic and V Festivals among them, transfer too, along with Beaver's events team.

Steve Tysoe, managing director at Beaver 84 and Star Events, comments: "It makes perfect sense to put the portfolio together. It's a more focused approach for the client, with Star capable of providing the core equipment for any type of outdoor event."

(Jim Evans)

UK - To mark the end of 2014's F1 season Sky Sports created a film called The Ballad of the Duelling Drivers that told the story of the intense battle between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. To enhance this special project, lighting director Richard Bowles chose Clay Paky Mythos and Alpha Beam 700 fixtures to deliver stunning effects and sharp beams of light throughout.

Bowles specified three Mythos and eight Alpha Beam 700 fixtures from Richard Martin Lighting for the film, which was created and directed by Sky Sports F1's Alex Rodger, performed by talented composer and pianist Tokio Myers and narrated by actor Peter Guinness.

"My original brief was to recreate the look I'd previously come up with for a live music show earlier in the year, with a mixture of strong beams of light and large format tungsten lights against a strong black background" explains Bow

France - The World Heritage Centre, UNESCO's headquarters in Paris, was bathed in light from SGM for the two nights of the opening ceremony of the International Year of Light.

Finnish lighting artist and designer Kari Kola prepared a full concept design including light, video and music for a spectacular display at the iconic Fontenoy building during the ceremony. This launched an initiative intended to raise global awareness about the importance of light for the future and for the development of society. 1500 people attended this ceremony including leading diplomats, scientific societies and technology platforms from around the world for a number of lectures.

For Kola's installation, titled Light Is Here, no fewer than 130 SGM P-5 wash lights and 14 G-Spot moving heads were deployed together with another 70 LED based fixtures and 12 video projectors. "I wanted to r

Finland - For this year's three-day Finnish Cross-Country Ski Championship in Jämi, the organisers were looking for a special starting gate for the sprint day, to provide a rivetting visual appearance for the TV transmission.

Opo's Sound delivered a truss gate and used SGM LED luminaires for perfect winter illumination during the dark hours. Thus, four SP-6 SixPack blinders and two P-5 wash lights were placed at the starting gate, while additional P-5s were used to illuminate Audi's Promotion Arc.

Selected for their powerful output, the SixPack contains six 40W RGBA LEDs while the P-5 boasts 44 high power 10W RGBW LEDs; the SGM luminaires also provided that one special feature required for this outdoor winter event - an IP rating of 65.

More than 3,000 daily visitors could enjoy the excitement of the ski race in the beautiful cold Finnish winter further brightened in the ea

UAE - Martin Audio reports that a further production company has this month signed up to its growing worldwide network of MLA users.

Helping to expand the profile of the Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array platform across the Middle East is Access All Areas; the company confirms that it has added a 24-enclosure MLA Compact rig to its inventory, purchased from Martin Audio's Dubai-based distributor, VTi.

Set up by British ex-pat Martin Gravestock and Grant Collins in 2003, Access All Areas specialises in providing turnkey production solutions for the conference and concert sectors. This is the company's first Martin Audio acquisition.

"With the market changes post 2008, we adapted our plan, and sold off a lot of older outdated equipment," Gravestock explains. "For a while it was better to sub-contract the equipment we needed, but with a longer term view to re-inve

Japan - The Nippon Budokan arena in central Tokyo played host to the Fumiya Fujii 30th Best Special Countdown Live on New Year's Eve 2014. The show was the spectacular culmination of a two-year tour by popular Japanese music artist Fumiya Fujii, in celebration of his 'double anniversary' which marked 30 years since the recording of his debut album and his 20th year as a solo artist.

Pivotal to Keisuke Nishi's design for the evening was a bank of 90 Ayrton IntelliPix-R LED panels supplied by Ayrton's Japanese distributor, First Engineering Japan.

IntelliPix-R is a modular beam projection panel of 25 independently controllable 4.5° LED emitters arranged in a 5 x 5 array which project graphics and media far into the air. Panels can be connected together to form a semi-transparent wall, screen or ceiling or be placed under specially designed glass using its dedicated floor ins

France - Sono 64 Événements, the NEXT-proaudio's distributor in France, recently designed the sound system for Discotheque Les Vôutes, located in Paris.

The sound system was needed to achieve high sound pressure levels, high quality sound to join the concept of Les Vôutes, an intimate club inspired on the ancestral and historical cellars with exposed stone walls.

The club has a long dancefloor atmosphere, several rooms under the arches welcoming conformable booths and tables. The Sono 64 Événements team designed the system using the X-Line, MA series, LMS Series and DP Series from NEXT-proaudio, comprising four X15, 10 X10, four X8, six XH18, and two Xs15. The whole system is powered by MA3200 and MA3800. The whole system is controlled by four NEXT DP240 and fourLMS-242.

(Jim Evans)

USA - Electrosonic provided video, audio and control equipment and integration for the new Carol J. and Barney Barnett Learning Centre at The Florida Aquarium in Tampa. The new facility builds on Electrosonic's strong relationship with the aquarium, which includes earlier extensive refurbishing of a portion of the aquarium.

The Learning Centre features a circular main hub area with the lab room, toddlers' room, ocean room, coastal room and green room, branching off of it. The Hub Scenic, part of an introductory experience and presentation for visiting students, is at the core of the hub area. This scenic element, along with architectural detailing, special lighting and other embellishments, create the immersive experience of an ocean laboratory.

"A narrative about finding a missing turtle sets the stage for the story of the ocean lab," says Electrosonic project manag

UK - School Stage, the performing arts installation company offering exclusive provision to schools, colleges and universities, recently completed a project using Chauvet Professional fixtures to add colour and 'wow' factor to a multi-functional assembly hall in the newly built Lees Brook Community School in Derby.

The new school building was commissioned by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) because the school buildings were in poor shape, but no provision had been included for sound and lighting systems. Sensing this was a real opportunity to create the hall as a spectacular performance space, the school's former head teacher came out of retirement to project-manage the rebuild for the school.

Having sourced quotations and designs from other companies, the school governors awarded the contract to School Stage, who scrutinised the proposals and made sweeping changes to the bu

USA - The 57th GRAMMY Awards, broadcast on CBS the evening of 8 February from the Staples Centre in downtown Los Angeles, featured an unprecedented 23 live musical performances. With so many artists performing in an RF-intensive urban location, the production team was faced with the daunting task of ensuring flawless audio from everyone's wireless microphones and in-ear monitors.

From the hard-rocking opener by AC/DC to the poignant closing performance of Glory by John Legend and Common, Shure wireless microphone systems, wired mics, and in-ear monitoring systems were a near-constant presence. As always, musicians were permitted to use their preferred microphones for their performances.

Although artists brought their own custom earphones, all but one of the in-ear monitoring systems used were Shure PSM1000, with 24 channels split between two stages.

Both Shure Axient

WhatsOn Winners - Miss Saigon has dominated this year's WhatsOnStage awards, winning nine trophies including best West End show. The record haul follows the musical's return to the West End last year, 25 years after it premiered in London. Former Doctor Who co-stars David Tennant and Billie Piper won best actor and best actress in a play. Tennant for Richard II and Piper for Great Britain. The awards, focusing predominantly on London theatre, are voted for entirely by members of the public.

The new production of Miss Saigon won nine of its 12 nominations, including best actor and actress in a musical, best direction, best choreography and best musical revival. The musical, set during the Vietnam War and based on the opera Madame Butterfly, opened in London at the Prince Edward Theatre last May.

Lee Hall's adaptation of the 1998 film

Turkey - When Konya was under consideration as one of the host cities for a future European Championships to be held in Turkey, construction of a brand new UEFA-compliant stadium was proposed.

While original plans set a capacity of around 33,000 seats, this was later upgraded to 42,276 seats - divided over two tiers, with an additional 50 VIP boxes - and the new facility, based in Selçuklu, will now provide the club Konyaspor KR with a state-of-the-art stadium for home matches.

Asimetrik, the Turkish-based distributors and AV system integrators, were awarded the contract to provide a network-based professional grandstand PA system, as well as broadcast infrastructure system, not only compatible with UEFA requirements (but also FIFA and IAFF). They also designed and supplied a PA/VA emergency evacuation system, C.I.S. infrastructure as well as full conference and visual presen

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