UK - HSL supplied lighting equipment and crew to the current UK tour by X-Factor winner Sam Bailey, who followed up her 2013 win and subsequent Christmas number one with her chart topping Power of Love debut album in spring last year.

This was her first headline tour and it visited a selection of venues including theatres and concert halls, with an eye-catching lighting and set design by Andy Hurst.

Andy's aesthetic for the stage was based on classical theatrical / cabaret club looks with a contemporary twist.

A sumptuous red Austrian drape upstage was paired with matching truss borders and riser skirts, which provided a great setting for Bailey's lively stage presentation which blends pop, soul, cabaret and a bit of rock in an entertaining set full of crowd pleasers for her fans.

The lighting rig needed to be flexible and adaptable to fit into the variety of differ

USA / UK - Ashly Audio has announced the appointment of Sound Directions as its exclusive distributor in the United Kingdom. The Chessington, Surrey-based company will distribute Ashly's entire line of products, including Ashly's networked multi-channel amplifiers, Protea DSP-equipped amplifiers, and customizable user interfaces, such as Ashly's iPad app.

Stanislas Boivin-Champeaux founded Sound Directions in 1998. "From the very start, we've worked closely with our customers to demystify the vast array of technologies that are available in the installed A/V market," he said. "When it benefits our clients, we happily design and programme systems that work flawlessly under the pressures and challenges of the real world. We've seen countless systems designed by others that left end-users with a system that they did not understand and could not operate. We go the ext

Argentina - BALS - Buenos Aires Live Show - one of the best known rental and production companies in Argentina, specializing in sound and lighting for large shows, concerts, festivals and tours, recently purchased their first Robe Pointes.

The company was founded in 1992 and occupies a large warehouse space in the Caseros area of Buenos Aires city, with around 17 full time employees and around 40 regular freelance technicians and engineers.

BALS also works in other parts of Latin America, most notably Paraguay and Uruguay, and they service the technical requirements worldwide for acclaimed live art / performance troupe Fuerza Bruta. They supply around 200 shows / tours / projects a year and also look after some high profile installations including the busy Teatro Coliseo in Buenos Aires.

The fixtures were delivered by Robe's Argentinian distributor, TSD Group. The fact that

The Netherlands - Shure Distribution UK (SDUK) used ISE 2015 to focus on awareness of the importance of RF spectrum availability for all users of wireless microphones. Under the slogan 'Losing Your Voice', SDUK are aiming at the growing market of professional and semi-professional users of RF technology, from the conference audio and systems integrators at ISE to live performers and organisers of commercial and non-commercial events.

The goal is to better inform this wide range of users about the growing challenges to the unhindered use of wireless microphone systems as a result of continued UHF spectrum allocation to the mobile communications and data industries.

"Over the past few years, the user base for wireless microphone technology has expanded far beyond the professional touring, broadcast and theatrical industries, the programme making and special events sector, o

Hungary - The end of January saw Chromasound, DiGiCo's Hungarian distributor, invited to demonstrate the advantages of DiGiCo consoles at the MPRT - the Hungarian Professional Technical Event Company.

Founded at the beginning of 2014 and based in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, the MPRT was set up to help train and educate those working in the theatre, cinema, television, radio and concert touring industries.

Chromasound was invited to introduce DiGiCo consoles to its members during an eight week series of events, where it worked alongside eight different brands.

"We were delighted to accept the invitation," says Chromasound managing director Imre Makkay. "We took three DiGiCo consoles - an SD8, SD9 and SD11 - to the Fono Budai Zenehaz, a cultural centre in the heart of Budapest."

Imre, along with three of Chromasound's sound engineers, Barna Hidasi,

France - New Year's Eve 2014 saw the city of Paris put on a spectacle at the midnight countdown for the first time. Lighting designer Jeff Freeman employed Clay Paky SuperSharpys to illuminate the Arc de Triomphe for the festivities, as hundreds of thousands of revellers congregated in front of it or watched at home on television.

The Comité des Champs-Elysées commissioned the project as, according to culture official Bruno Juillard, the city's authorities are aware it doesn't usually join in with the likes of London's fireworks or New York's ball drop in Times Square. The display saw the monument spectacularly video-mapped, with Freeman using 18 of the super powerful Clay Paky fixtures, supplied by rental company Magnum, to complement the visuals.

"Our creative brief was clear - we had to support the video projection," explains Freeman. "The head

USA - Artistic Licence has confirmed TMB as its exclusive distributor in the USA for nanoScope, the pocket-sized tester for DMX512 and RDM.

Lightweight and battery powered with a translucent plastic casing, nanoScope features a built-in 5-pin XLR connector that enables it to be attached directly to the DMX512 cable. The device lights up in different colours to indicate its findings - this provides rapid, intuitive feedback that is hands-free and visible at a distance (handy for awkward positions such as plenum spaces or hanging off a truss).

Two modes of operation exist, selected by a recessed slide switch that also controls power on/off.

In Pixel Mode, nanoScope displays the first three DMX512 channels as an RGB mix, to provide confidence that the expected data is on the cable. This is particularly useful for commissioning DMX installations, as it can be used to track down

USA - Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG) one of the world's leading providers of entertainment and event technology solutions, has announced that it is combining several business units to create the PRG Music Group. This new division will be under the leadership of Mickey Curbishley, CEO PRG Music, and will focus on providing integrated video and lighting solutions for tours, festivals, and concert events around the world.

"We are bringing together leading industry veterans, technology experts, and the operational know-how of PRG Concert Touring, PRG Nocturne, and Chaos Visual Productions into a single integrated organisation," says Curbishley. "The PRG Music Group is and will be the 'go-to' production resource for our clients. The goal is simple-we want to make it as easy as possible to do business with PRG."

In addition to integrating the three teams, P

USA - One hundred and eight of Solaris LED's new Mozart lighting fixtures are featured in the spectacular show designed by Eric Wade of FOHShow LLC for the 2014-15 Usher UR Experience World Tour.

Commenting on the diminutive RGB fixtures' versatility and impressive intensity for their size, Wade says, "Mozarts absolutely rock. We're using them for internal set lighting, behind panels on ladders and straight forward open as an effect type instrument. They're extremely versatile, giving many different types of looks, and they're extremely cost effective. I can have several hundred of these on a tour for the price of a handful of movers, so I really don't sacrifice much to get a large amount of them into my show. It's the only light I spec by the hundreds. It's the perfect light."

Mozart fixtures, weighing just over one pound, are suitable for use as direct eye candy or

UK - Battery powered wireless LED manufacturer Core Lighting has recently seen the power and versatility of its FLOOD30 products applied in a slightly different arena - the highly popular world of equine sport / leisure.

Two recent sales have resulted in the provision of practical solutions for two different equestrians, Andrea Brown based in Liphook, who runs the Hampshire Young Riders riding school, and Lindsey Nash, a Devon based horsewoman who is currently training up her young dapple grey purebred Arab, HS Casimir, for the world of endurance riding.

Andrea needed a bright, robust and user friendly floodlighting system that would allow her to offer longer and more flexible hours for instruction in her outdoor manège throughout the winter.

With many of her clients being young, it is essential for her boutique styled business to have after-school options all year round, a

Singapore - Illumi Run is the first event of its kind in Asia. Taking place in Singapore, participants are splashed with Illumi glow water as they set out on their race route, passing through different colourful glowing zones before ending up at the finish line. An after-party dance area then features a massive assembly of DJs.

For the recently held second consecutive run, event production house Showmakers Pte. Ltd. supplied P-5 wash lights from SGM, adding brightness and intensity to the party zone. Technical director from Showmakers, Louis Wong informs, "These lightweight, versatile and waterproof luminaires make working in the outdoors a breeze."

The P-5 wash lights were placed all around the main stage in the crowded dance area, which accommodated 18,000 people over the two nights, and Louis Wong reported positive feedback from an exhilarating outdoor party exper

USA - Known for its professional productions throughout Northwest Missouri, the Robidoux Resident Theatre recently produced the musical comedy Spamalot. Brought on by the director of the show, Jeff Stover, assistant professor/technical director at Missouri Western State University, was asked to create a lighting design that could match and enhance the whimsical satire of the show itself. To accomplish this, he wanted to be able to take the design to an extraordinary level, so he brought on the additional support of VL440 Spot Luminaires from Philips Vari-Lite.

"With Spamalot being so over-the-top in style, it gave me opportunities to take the lighting over-the-top as well," began Stover. "This was definitely one of the shows where you could do the bump and flash with colour mixing and have it fit perfect with the story. The Vari-Lite colour mixing sy

Indonesia - No fewer than 40 units of SGM P-5 TW (tunable white wash lights) and 40 units of Q-7 W (white flood, blind and strobe), fitted with eight-way Barndoors and Accessory Holders, were recently acquired as part of the light inventory for the Indonesian D'Six Studio, which is owned and operated by PT. Prima Global Indomedia.

Technical & operations director of D'Six Studios, Lemmy Ibrahim says, "I carried out intensive research online and I discovered SGM's LED products." He then contacted SGM's Indonesian distributor Goshen Electronics, and SGM's area sales manager Hanslee Lim from SGM A/S conducted a demo with the P-5 TW at Goshen's office. "I was very impressed by the small size, along with the bright light output of the P-5 TW during the demo,"Ibrahim states. He immediately arranged for another demo at the TRANS TV studio, who had requested the use o

USA - While there were talks of a winter storm brewing for Nashville, the city was all about bikinis and great music as Sports Illustrated chose Music City to launch the 2015 Swimsuit Edition.

The Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau hosted the event where lighting designer John Lucksinger and production manager Chris Lisle worked with Bandit Lites to provide lighting for the A-List event dubbed as Swimville.

Swimville was held on Broadway with six bands performing a free show each day on Wednesday and Thursday. More than 15,000 people came out on the first day alone to see performances by Will Hogue, The Weeks, and Chris Young, and also to meet this year's SI models who were available to sign autographs and take photos.

Bandit provided gear for the grand entrance along with a lighting package for the performances. Later, the red carpet was rolled out in front of

Canada - Two nearly identical venues have become the first theatres in Canada to be equipped with the Meyer Sound Lyon linear sound reinforcement systems: Edmonton's Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium (NAJA) and Calgary's Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium (SAJA).

Both long-time Meyer Sound users since 1983, the 2,538-seat auditoriums selected Lyon as they looked to upgrade from their trusty M2D line array loudspeakers, a decision made jointly by Mark Belkie and Paul Schmitz, technical coordinators for audio at SAJA and NAJA, respectively.

"In our extensive listening and assessment process, Lyon set the benchmark that all other competing loudspeakers had to meet or exceed, and none could do so," reports Belkie. "We've found that Lyon is a significant step forward in terms of clean and effortless SPL, giving us systems that can easily handle the requirements of

Poland - Entertainment engineering expert Triple E has designed and supplied 12 of its Chaintrack systems for the newly opened world-class concert hall in Katowice, Poland - a new venue for the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR).

The new building is billed as a concert hall with 'perfectly-designed acoustics'. In addition to smaller spaces and an atrium, at the heart of the building is the 1800-seat Great Concert Hall, which is shaped in a hybrid form mixing classic 'shoe-box' and more recent 'vineyard' designs.

The 12 Chaintrack systems, which were supplied with Spiral storage areas, are installed on the three balcony levels within the Great Concert Hall, with four systems on each level.There are two systems on each balcony side, which share a common stacking area, and the tracks layouts are mirrored on each level and on each side. The installation required over

USA - At the 57th Annual Grammy Awards held at Los Angeles' Staples Centre, audio manufacturer Sennheiser once again delivered reliable and detailed wireless audio to a host of world-class recording artists including Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Beyoncé, Madonna, Tony Bennett, Annie Lennox, Miranda Lambert and many others.

Sennheiser user Sam Smith scooped up four awards, including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Album; Ed Sheeran performed a guitar-centric, stripped down version of his blockbuster Thinking Out Loud, singing through a Sennheiser SKM 2000/MD 9235 combination, and Beyoncé delivered the performance of a lifetime through the Sennheiser Digital 9000 wireless system.

During a ceremony that featured no less than 23 live performances, Beyoncé's powerful rendition of Thomas A. Dorsey's Take My Hand, Prec

Germany - Michael Althaus, the former managing director of MA Lighting, has launched a new distribution company in Germany, called Visionstage. The company begins with two exclusive brands in its distribution portfolio - Ayrton and Oxo, while "a few more exciting brands will follow soon," says Michael.

Michael says he is convinced that there is "a huge demand for innovative and sustainable solutions and disruptive technologies - paired with high sales quality, years-long experience and outstanding customer service."

Visionstage will have two fully equipped showrooms, centrally located in Germany. The flagship showroom is in Frankfurt, the second at the headquarters in Detmold, which is midway between Dortmund and Hanover. Michael and the Visionstage team will be on the Ayrton stand at ProLight+Sound in Frankfurt in April.

(Lee Baldock)

UK - Northern Stage Services Ltd, the specialist lighting, sound and stage solutions provider, has completed the acquisition of the business of Lancelyn Lighting and Lancelyn Theatre Supplies.

Northern Stage Services Ltd, whose client list includes the RIBA award-winning Liverpool Everyman Theatre, Brio Leisure and Manchester Communications Academy, acquired the business on 16 February 2015, enhancing its overall offering to be UK-wide spanning the theatrical, architectural and construction sectors.

Northern Stage Services Ltd managing director, Patrick Colin, comments: "Lancelyn has a long history in both Oxford and The Wirral and its customers very much value the service given by its skilled design, manufacturing and installation teams.

"Similarly, Northern Stage Services has built up a solid reputation within the industry through our ability to work on larger, m

UK - Robe was again a major sponsor of the TPi awards, supplying their latest moving light technology including 38 x BMFL Spots, 46 x Pointes, 32 x LEDBeam 100s, 21 x CycFX 8s and 70 x PARfect 100s plus an MDG theONE hazer in a design by Jack Sayer from Hawthorn, lighting rental partner for the 2015 event. Jack worked closely with Hawthorn project manager Tom Ring.

The annual jamboree - produced by TPi Magazine, part of Mondiale Publishing Ltd - honours the technical and creative achievements of the live production / event industry over the preceding 12 months - seriously upped the ante this year, moving to a new venue, Battersea Evolution in London, which offered more space for both guests and the production.

Over 1,100 leading industry professionals and personalities enjoyed an evening of entertainment, networking and fun, hosted by comedian and actor Russell Kane who presen

France - Airstar, lighting balloon technology specvialist for the event and staging industry, has been at the centre of the Val d'Isère Airstar Night Light since 2012. Every Thursday evening, between December and March, the manufacturer showcases various lighting technologies, and all its savoir-faire, to illuminate the French ski resort.

This year, over 30 Airstar lighting balloons of various shapes, sizes and colours were deployed: The Tourism Office square boasted a magnificent Star shaped balloon as well as four hanging Crystals of various sizes (130cm to 160cm), covered by a printed << planet >> cover, while the main road hosted six Crystal Diamond 130, three air inflated Stars 160 on a pole and 12x DMX controllable standalone Towair Evo Flame. A further four red Airstar Towairs (four metres high) lit up a live show.

During the ski holiday season, the Airstar Night Light

World - Ed Sheeran is currently on a major worldwide tour, with lighting and production designer Mark Cunniffe using super powerful Clay Paky A.leda B-EYE K20 and Sharpys to hold their own against his video-heavy theme.

Cunniffe's design is beautifully multi-layered and sees the Clay Paky fixtures, supplied by NEG Earth, working with the video to give variation to the solo artist's stage set up.

"As Ed's show is one guy with an acoustic guitar on a 60ft wide stage, it ends up looking pretty bare, so we made the show very much video-based," explains Cunniffe. "The B-EYEs and Sharpys perfectly supplement this as they deliver a plethora of varying looks. I put 30 Sharpys upstage behind a broken screen arrangement of video, where they stab through the gaps unexpectedly to add another dimension that no one will have seen before. I use them to 'paint' rather than as a

UK - Large format projection artist Ross Ashton was commissioned to create a new projection artwork for the 2015 e-Luminate Festival in Cambridge, UK, which lit the front fascias of two of the city's magnificent historical buildings - Old School and Senate House - which are part of the University of Cambridge.

Ross and his team from the Projection Studio received technical support sponsorship from locally based live event and technical production company Hawthorn for the five day festival, and the four PT-DZ21k projectors were supplied by Panasonic.

It was the third time that Ross has created bespoke light works for these buildings.

This was also the third, largest and most successful year of the e-Luminate festival to date. The concept showcases the city 'in a different light' through a series of innovative installations and interactive events highlighting how light and lig

UK - Welsh four-piece Catfish and the Bottlemen, winners at the inaugural BBC Music Awards in December 2014, have chosen Shure microphones for use live and in the studio. The band are now using Shure PSM1000 wireless in-ear monitoring, and an extensive complement of frontline and backline mics, including a KSM9 vocal mic for lead singer Van McCann, and KSM313 ribbons on guitars.

The new Shure equipment arrived in time for a single warm-up concert before the band played at the BBC Music Awards, where they walked away with the 'Introducing...' award for best newcomers.

"The KSM9 lends a beautifully natural sense of air and sparkle to Van's vocal, getting him to sit crystal clear on top of the mix without it sounding too forced or piercing," explains Catfish's front-of-house sound engineer Mike Woodhouse, "and the KSM313 ribbons naturally capture all the low and hi

Latest Issue. . .