Business News

PLASA Completes First Phase of Industry Research
Friday, 8 June 2001

PLASA has completed the first phase of its major industry research project, which will provide PLASA members with an invaluable insight into their industry. As well as being able to estimate the global market size for professional lighting, sound, staging and AV products and services, the research also gives a very detailed picture of the market in the UK. For the first time, PLASA has information about the value of the product sectors, how fast they are growing and the size and growth of the various vertical sectors into which its members sell. The findings enable the Association to say some very precise things about its members collectively and the nature of the industry as a whole.

PLASA plans to repeat the exercise every 12 months, enabling it to build up ever-more accurate trend information. A quick flick through the 119-page report reveals that it estimates the respective size by revenue of PLASA’s four main product sectors: light, sound, AV and staging; gives growth figures for this year and next across the four product sectors; breaks the sectors down into sales and rental; includes information on revenue from the provision of services such as installation, design and servicing; sizes the target market sectors and indicates which are the healthiest and the fastest growing; includes information on average company size by staff, investment in training, R&D and marketing.

Members who took part in the survey will shortly receive a free 22-page copy of the overview, together with the opportunity to buy the detailed sections. Members who didn’t take part w

Bishop to Bishop with Apple Sound
Friday, 8 June 2001

The Bishop of Matabeleland, The Rt. Revd. Wilson Sitshebo in Zimbabwe, took part in a special service at St Asaph Cathedral in Wales, via a live telephone link provided by Apple Sound. The service on 20 May was led by the Bishop of St Asaph, The Rt. Revd. John Stewart Davies, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of The United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The Revd. Bethan Scotford, USPG Mission Adviser for the Church in Wales said: "Apple Sound understood our requirements and the precise timing within the celebratory service. As a total technophobe, my dream of having a live link with Africa was well and truly in the hands of Apple Sound. The end result delighted everybody in the Cathedral . . . It created a unique and unforgettable event for us in our celebrations of a World-wide agency. We are very grateful to Apple Sound for their sterling work in this instance and we look forward to future collaboration with them."

The live linkup was made possible using Gentner Audio Perfect teleconferencing equipment, which was integrated into the existing Cathedral sound system by Apple Sound.

ESS Superstructure at Syon Park
Friday, 8 June 2001

ESS Superstructure has secured a major contract to build a vast 2,500sq.m superstructure building for a high profile, blue chip corporate event. The contract is the first for ESS Superstructure following the recent formation of a joint venture between ESS Ltd and The Pure Group. An ESS Superstructure building will be used initially by HP:ICM, one of Europe's leading live communication companies, for a client event involving a global brand. Two thousand delegates are expected to attend a one-day management conference, which will be followed by an elaborate gala dinner to be hosted in the superstructure building. The huge aluminium transparent structure, which is 100m long by 25m wide and 11m high, is based in the grounds of Syon Park in west London. Managed by The Pure Group, the Superstructure will be available for hire as a conference and corporate hospitality venue, in conjunction with a second structure, also commissioned for the site. ESS Superstructure and The Pure Group are in discussion with other sites in London to provide fully-serviced building structures ranging from 900 to 3,000sq.m for conference and corporate hospitality events. Both businesses have been approached about numerous event activities during 2001, particularly between September and December. Tim Norman, director of ESS Superstructure Ltd, said: "This contract win underlines our capability to handle major events. London is suffering from a dearth of large-scale venues. ESS Superstructure is well placed to meet this current demand by providing high quality, fully serviced, custom built venues. T

Nick Powell Launches Ideas
Friday, 8 June 2001

This month sees the launch of a new promotions company specialising in the UK audio industry, simply titled ‘Ideas Marketing’. The new company, which will offer a wide range of marketing services, including public relations, graphic design, corporate hospitality, presentations, media liaison and exhibition co-ordination, is the brainchild of Nick Powell, known to many in the industry from his previous role as marketing manager for Audio-Technica. Powell brings a wealth of pro audio and music industry contacts to Ideas, and is experienced in promoting audio products to both end-user and business clients alike. He is joined in the new company by his wife Stacey, who has a more general marketing background, having gained experience of working with national media through her role as PR Officer for the Environment Agency. Of the new venture, Nick said "Our understanding of the marketplace is just one benefit of Ideas - knowing that promoting the client's product or brand does not stop at PR is another. Ideas will actively seek promotional opportunities for its clients, and will identify and deliver customers to their sales team." Ideas is seeking a small, but complementary portfolio of clients, and would be delighted to hear from companies who would like to learn more about the marketing services on offer.

Coe-tech's Public Auction
Thursday, 7 June 2001

Coe-tech Ltd has appointed FPD Savills to hold a two-day public auction/stock clearance sale to make way for the latest range of new Coe-tech products. The auction will take place at Coe-tech’s premises in Northampton on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 July 2001. It will feature over 3000 lots of all types of professional sound, lighting, AV and special effects equipment. Viewing day is Tuesday 24 July 2001 from between 9am to 4pm. The diverse array of equipment for sale will include intelligent lighting; moving head luminaires; discothèque lighting; architectural colour changers; theatre lighting including followspots, profiles and fresnels; trussing; video equipment - cameras, switchers and video walls; sound processing equipment; loudspeakers; power distribution and cables. For Further Information and catalogues, please contact: FPD Savills, 4 St. Peter’s Gate, Nottingham, NG1 2JG, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 115 934 8100 Fax: +44 (0) 115 934 8003.

Eden Project Voice Alarm
Thursday, 7 June 2001

As part of an extensive fire alarm and evacuation system for the Eden Project in Cornwall, a Baldwin Boxall decentralised Vigil voice alarm system has been installed within the entire site, which includes the Central Control House and Biomes. This first phase voice alarm system which is installed in the Visitor Centre, now the Central Control House, contains over 600W of amplification and provides all aspects of a voice alarm system - as well as creating a cost-effective public address system. The 21U high rack contains the BVR20 ‘Microdrive’ routing mixer, which also links up all the other racks (phase two) within the 14 hectare site by a data highway. The phase two VA system was installed prior to the whole site being opened to the public in Spring 2001 and comprises two 47U racks, which contain over 6,500W of amplification and a BVR20 routing mixer. The system provides all aspects associated with VA, paging and background sound effects. Now fully commissioned both phases will work in conjunction with each other and control over 14 zones including all biomes, Central Control House and the link between biomes.

Tyco Acquires Spector Lumenex
Thursday, 7 June 2001

Spector Lumenex Ltd, a privately-owned safety communications company, has been acquired by Tyco and will be integrated into its Fire & Security’s Engineering Services Group of its Wormald Ansul (UK) division. Spector Lumenex, with reported revenues of £6 million in 2000, is a leader in voice alarm, public address and intercom systems. The company specialises in the field of hazardous area products, particularly for clients in the oil and gas, petrochemical and marine industries. "The customers of Spector Lumenex are identical to those served by Tyco Fire & Security and their products very complementary to the ‘Avalon’ name, a well-known brand already in our portfolio," said Mark Clegg, director and general Manager of the Tyco Fire & Security’s Engineering Services group. "Spector Lumenex not only brings additional UK coverage, but will allow us to increase the scope of products and services we can supply to our customers."

Tyco International Ltd is the world's largest manufacturer and installer of fire and safety systems and the largest provider of electronic security services in North America and the UK. The company operates in more than 100 countries and employs over 200,000 people. Wormald Ansul (UK) has annual revenues in excess of £200 million and employs 2,190 people around the UK and is owned by Tyco International Ltd.

BBC Choose Star HireBBC Choose Star Hire
Thursday, 7 June 2001

Star Hire (Event Services) Ltd supplied its SS 15 12 mobile stage to the BBC for the Russell Watson at BBC Music Live concert, with highlights shown on BBC1 on Bank Holiday Monday to 3.7 million viewers. A sell-out audience of over 2,000 fans enjoyed the concert. The event took place in Leeds’ Millennium Square on Friday 25 May, and was the first seated concert to be hosted there. Leeds Council has invested in the region of £13million in the city centre event site, with facilities that include artists’ dressing rooms and hospitality area located beneath the stage area of the square.

The SS 15 12 stage supplied is the largest of Star Hire’s mobile fleet of stages, with over 175sq.m floor area, standing 12m high; it was flanked by its own PA wings, which supported a Wigwam PA system on this show. The time-frame for the event saw Star Hire’s staff, under newly appointed SS 15 12 crew boss Graham Drew, install the stage on the Thursday in just six hours, and more impressively, have it down and clear of the Millennium Square a mere 12 hours after the end of the show.

Soundsense Gets Election Vote
Thursday, 7 June 2001

Telford-based broadcast sound equipment supplier Soundsense received the vote of UK broadcasters covering the General Election. The firm's rental department supplied over 30 ISDN outside broadcast kits to radio stations around the country, including BBC Radio 5 Live who were supplied with over 20 units for their election night coverage. Soundsense supplied a combination of AEQ and Glensound codecs; the AEQ units being flown in from the factory in Madrid especially for use on the election campaign. "We're deeply indebted to our colleagues at AEQ who moved heaven and earth to ensure we had adequate units in the right place at the right time," said Soundsense spokesman Derek Tallent. "It allowed us to prove to our customers that once again Soundsense is a key supplier to the broadcast industry."

In addition to supplying units directly to broadcasters, Soundsense is also establishing a trade hire department to accommodate the growing number of requests it is receiving from other hire companies for its ISDN Codecs and Telephone Hybrids. "With the growing number of requests we were getting, it made sense to try and accommodate the requirements of our colleagues in the hire industry," said Tallent.

Nexo and Crown Project Praise
Wednesday, 6 June 2001

The Covenant Life Church in Glasgow is about to embark on phase two of a significant Crown-driven Nexo installation. The 800-capacity venue, which has sister churches across Scotland and as far afield as southern Germany, has been in residence at this site for over a year and is delighted with the new audio installation, which has so far has been completed by Sound Control in Glasgow with equipment supplied by Fuzion plc. Currently it comprises a pair of Nexo PS-15s and an LS-1200 at the front of the church with a pair of PS-10 delays driven by a Crown MA-2402 and an MA3600VZ. Phase two, which is due to start shortly plans for up to four PS-15s to be sunk into the stage behind grilles so that they do not disturb sight-lines for TV cameras or indeed the congregation, a PS-15 to act as a monitor for the drummer and keyboard player, and up to four PS-8s to be flown either side of the stage area as infills for the singers. A further four PS-8s are destined for the balcony area which is under construction at the back of the church.

The Church's head of sound Barry Nicholson, explained: "We've been hankering after a Nexo system ever since we first heard one with friends down in a church in Wales, so as soon as we moved into our new building, we set the wheels in motion. Despite hearing demos from other manufacturers, we found that nothing came close to the Nexo. The power and clarity produced from such compact boxes, especially the PS-8, is truly amazing. And I must say the team at Sound Control and Mick Butler from Fuzion have both been marvellous throughout, always ready

AC Lighting Forms Alliance with Reggiani
Wednesday, 6 June 2001

To meet the increasing demand on the Special Projects Division of AC Lighting to design, supply and install complete lighting schemes, the company has formed a new alliance with Reggiani Lighting, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reggiani Spa (Milan, Italy). Reggiani, formed 40 years ago, is a family-driven business with a strong philosophy for ideas, innovation and quality. Today, Reggiani is a renowned market leader in the field of architectural lighting and manufactures a wide range of luminaires for interior and exterior applications. The Company has subsidiary operations in France and the UK and 47 distributors around the world. Commenting on the new partnership, Peter Keiderling, special projects manager at AC Lighting, stated: "Our projects-driven business continues to expand and diversify and it became vital for us to have access to a broad range of architectural fittings. We are delighted to be working with such a respected name and believe a combination of Reggiani and AC Lighting will be a powerful alliance."

Numark Completes Purchase of Alesis
Tuesday, 5 June 2001

Jack O’Donnell, president and owner of Numark Industries, has announced that he has received final court approval to acquire all assets of Alesis Studio Electronics and its affiliates. Alesis, the well-known manufacturer of ground-breaking products such as the ADAT, had been in the process of reorganization over the past several months, and had begun talking with outside interested parties this spring. While the two companies will function as separate business units, O’Donnell and a newly-appointed transition team headed by Paul Antrop, CEO of Numark, will begin immediately looking for areas where the two companies can benefit from each other’s strengths. O’Donnell commented: "I recognized a few years ago that in order to stay in front of this fast-paced market, Numark needed to bolster its engineering and product development efforts. While we’ve seen the fruits of these efforts in recent years with the introduction of numerous new products with break-through technology, I’m looking forward to the kinds of products and technologies we’ll be able to provide the market with Alesis’ stellar engineering team."

Screenco Debuts at Monaco Grand Prix
Tuesday, 5 June 2001

Screenco, well experienced at fielding their giant daylight displays on Formula 1’s Grand Prix circuit, made its first appearance at the famous Monaco Grand Prix recently. Monaco-based Action International rigged two Screenco set-ups - supplied by Screenco Holland BV - in different locations. These include, for the first time, a 4x4 15mm LED display, sited at the end of the first straight in front of the Hermès boutique on the Avenue de Monte Carlo. Here, 1000 VIP guests observed the race from a terrace owned by the Société des Bains de Mer, part of the famous Hotel de Paris. "Although this is a major terrace, until this year guests have not really been able to see the race," said Action’s project manager, Vincent Alloing. Further round the track a 28sq.m Jumbotron JTS-17 midi-mobile will again fulfil a specific need, according to Alloing. The truck-mounted Jumbotron will replace the traditional fixed screen in front of the Mirabeau Hotel - on both the qualifying and race days. The portable set-up is essential, says Alloing, due to the necessity for derigging after the Saturday practice session. "Because the screen is located in front of the hotel, on a road open to the public, the truck has to be parked overnight in a tunnel 800m away. At 6am on the Sunday morning it will move back into position in time for the first race at 9am."

Screenco MD, Dave Crump said: "Monaco has long eluded us as the jewel in the Formula 1 crown and we were naturally very pleased to have finally supplied equipment to every one of the European Grand Prixs

Martin on the Menu at Indi Tapas
Tuesday, 5 June 2001

The new 270-cover Indi Tapas Bar in Birmingham Chinatown’s trendy Arcadian Centre has been opened by Eastern Leisure. With a late licence, the venue - which will specialise in a fusion of Asian/Spanish cuisine - wanted a high-octane sound system in its minimalist surroundings that could be pumped up by its DJs during the later stages of the evening. Seeking the optimum solution they turned to Martin Audio, which resulted in Middlesex Sound & Light - whose experience of specifying Martin Audio systems includes the Spearmint Rhino table dancing chain - winning the contract on the basis of their projected loudspeaker design and ease of control. For the delivery, they selected white-finish versions of the EM architectural range.

Situated on a single floor, Middlesex’s Lance Bromhead designed the Indi Tapas Bar into three separate zones, using a Cloud Z4 zoner to route source material generated from a Denon twin CD player or a pair of Technics decks. This included a raised food area around the periphery, an area for casual dining and a sunken floor area. In the inner field of sound four EM26s are flown, with the sound ramped up by a Wavefront WS2A (2 x 15) sub. Deployed in the second zone is a further pair of EM26s, reinforced by an EM150 subwoofer, while the raised area is serviced by a pair of tiny EM15s.

A Behringer mixer, a QSC amp rack and Seleco projection complete the array of technology. Bromhead commented: "This operates as a thoroughbred club, and the combination of loudspeakers works very well and sounds good. We have used Martin Audio’s de

Hayden Hosts Rane Seminar
Monday, 4 June 2001

Hayden Laboratories, exclusive UK dealers for US audio manufacturer the Rane Corporation, recently hosted a product conference and seminar that highlighted the many advantages of the Rane’s Audio Conferencing Equipment & CobraNET Network Audio units. The day-long seminar was held in High Wycombe. Speakers included Steve Macatee, Rane’s director of new product development and training, and Dean Standing, director of sales for Rane. The seminar was designed for those involved in selling, specifying and designing audio & video conferencing systems and network audio. It was attended by a selection of interested parties from different areas of the professional audio industry consultants, sound designers themed entertainment, venues and broadcast plus business to business integrators. All keen to know more about this innovative range of products.

The seminar offered a general overview of the products and their capabilities and Q&A sessions for both ECS and CobraNET. This was the first such event organised by Hayden, but the good response is expected to herald more. Hayden’s Ian Downs commented, "It’s great to see so much enthusiasm for both the Rane CobraNET and ECS products."

Universal Becomes High End Reseller
Monday, 4 June 2001

Universal Lighting & Audio Pty Ltd., with offices in Queensland and Melbourne, Australia, is now the exclusive Authorized Reseller of High End Systems automated lighting products as well as the Flying Pig Systems Wholehog II console in Australia. Bytecraft, a Melbourne-based production house, will continue as a Special Projects Production Partner for High End Systems. Both Bytecraft and Universal will provide technical and spare parts support of High End Systems equipment in the marketplace. High End Systems' John Wiseman, vice-president of worldwide sales, says: "With Bytecraft's worldwide influence and strength as a production house and Universal Lighting as an exclusive reseller, we're looking forward to seeing more of our products being bought and specified on projects Down Under."

X10 Roadies Break Records at Homelands
Monday, 4 June 2001

Two mighty projectors and the largest projection screens ever seen inside a marquee gave VJ management and live video production company, The Picture Works Ltd, all the scope they needed to produce some mind-altering images in the 6,000-capacity Radio 1 Presents Essential Twilo tent at the recent Homelands Festival in Winchester. Specialists in dance event visuals, The Picture Works have been contracted to provide the video content and reinforcement since the inception of Homelands and this year delivered the visual support in five of the six dance arenas. This time around they dry-hired a pair of Christie Digital X10 Roadies from trading partner AT communications in Sutton Coldfield, one of which was making its debut. As a result, said Robin Wealleans, director of The Picture Works, from early in the afternoon they were able to throw sharply defined images over the 20m distance onto the two giant 50ft x 20ft displays. "The fact that they are so incredibly bright is exactly what you need at a daytime festival," he said. "It means we can start the projection at any time."

By way of a 1.9kW Ushio Xenon short-arc illumination system and Christie Digital's long-established expertise with 3-chip DLP technology, the Roadie X10 - the world's first purpose-built projector for the rental staging community, delivers a staggering 10,000 ANSI lumens. Utilising 3-chip DLP technology, the Roadie X10 delivers brilliant XGA images with picture-perfect colour reproduction. Christie's ‘Intelligent Lens System’ (ILS) allows the projector to automatically reca

Martin & Trantec Close Curtain on Empire
Monday, 4 June 2001

A raucous farewell to the Hackney Empire, as it closed for a total refit, was provided during a two-week production of The Wiz - based on the ‘70s funk version of The Wizard of Oz. Paul Gavin’s company Purple Sheep Lighting, who service a number of events at Hackney Empire, ensured that the giant ensemble were heard loud and clear - in front of a band positioned high up on enormous risers - by specifying Martin Audio enclosures throughout. These included a front-of-house system comprising four flown Blackline H2s and a pair of H3s, reinforcing the house system - run in conjunction with the proprietary DX1 management system - with F12s and F15s operating in stage monitor mode. The entire system was powered by Martin Audio’s new amplification series, consisting of MA4.2s and MA2.8s. Paul Gavin commented: "We opted for the F12 and F15 floor monitors because they were predominantly lightweight, while for the main auditorium sound reinforcement we needed a powerful directional system, because the cast were singing on head mics. I needed something that could cut - and the Blacklines really cut through. This is a loud show, and because we were delivering such a loud monitor sound we also needed a system that was bright, with lots of energy."

To warm the system up on the vocals, Gavin also utilised a TLA-5050 valve channel. He says the show required 63 channels at front-of-house and provided 16 monitor mixes. Eleven channels were dedicated to Trantec wireless mics. "Because it was such an incredibly physical show," he continued, "we us

Strand’s Film & TV Breakthrough
Monday, 4 June 2001

Strand Lighting has made a major breakthrough into the world of film and location lighting by announcing large orders for their QuartzColor lighting range from leading London rental houses. The company’s exclusive location lighting distributors, LCA, confirm that the two largest specialist companies - Lee Lighting and AFM Film & TV - have placed significant orders with the Greenford company for QC luminaires, resulting in the former adding 400 tungsten heads and the latter 200 to their respective rental stocks. The Lee order is made up mostly of 10K, 1K and 650W luminaires while AFM have purchased a complement of 1K, 2K and 5Ks. LCA director Graham Kerr believes the pledge of faith has much to do with Strand’s improved support infrastructure. "We have put the spares situation in order, giving companies of the calibre of Lee and AFM the confidence to switch to Strand," he said. "Selling 100 1Ks in a single order is a major commitment, whichever way you look at it."

He added that rental companies generally prefer to standardise on single-company products to ensure compatibility between accessories and attachments. One of the customers, Lee Lighting managing director, Tony Lucas, said the time was right to renew their relationship with Strand Lighting’s products on a grand scale. "Strand Lighting have done much to update their equipment and can now supply from stock - which means I can get what I want next day. There was also a time when every job we quoted for was specifying an alternative brand - but all that has now changed. We a

Light Relief: We need your help to raise money . . .
Sunday, 3 June 2001

At the recent Showlight 2001 conference in Edinburgh, a new logo for the Light Relief benevolent fund was unveiled by Tony Gottelier and Rick Fisher.

Light Relief is the industry-sponsored fund, supported by PLASA and the ALD, to assist people in the industry when they are affected by catastrophic personal events. "The lot of the freelancer is not always a happy one, just look at the state of Rick!" joked Gottelier, pointing at ALD chairman and lighting designer, Rick Fisher. The duo were attending the Showlight reception, sponsored by Fourth Phase, on the serious matter of launching the newly-designed Light Relief logo and its attendant leaflet, and to raise the profile of the industry’s benevolent fund.

The pair appealed to the manufacturing and service companies to come forward with offers of help. "We need you to come up with creative initiatives to raise cash," Gottelier said. By the end of Showlight, something in the order of £20,000 had been added to Light Relief’s coffers, due to the generosity of those attending. In one particularly impressive stunt, Fred Foster, President of ETC, agreed to wear a kilt the following day, provided £2,000 could be raised for the cause. The money was duly promised and consequently Fred attended the conference resplendent in highland regalia. Not only that, but Foster also attended the tour of his competitor, Strand Lighting’s, factory in the tartan. "This is just the kind of stunt we are asking people to come up with to raise Light Relief’s profile and to enhance the value of the

Pavarotti & Friends
Saturday, 2 June 2001

Luciano Pavarotti recently returned to his home town of Modena, to host the annual open-air Pavarotti & Friends charity concert, with funds this year going to alleviate the plight of Afghan children.

The event was held, as always, in front of a packed crowd and transmitted live by Italian state broadcaster RAI’s channel 1. Daniele Tramontani is in charge of sound for the star-studded show. "Initially, it seemed a live recording wasn’t going to be done, but the organizers decided to put together a well appointed studio in a container backstage, so as well as supervising the FOH system, I was also responsible for the realization of the recording and broadcast mixing set-up - in short, everything apart from monitors!"

Sound engineer Stefano De Maio mixed FOH, with a 72-channel Cadac M-type master desk, a Midas XL3 for the orchestra, and a Heritage 1000 for guest musicians. The audio contractor for the event was Agorà of L’Aquila, and FOH comprised 16 + 16 V-Dosc plus 16 + 16 Meyer Sound 650 subs, plus three delay towers and UPA/MSL4 systems on front-fill - Tramontani once again swore by his trusty SIM II,, which is "indispensable for setting the rig’s components." Monitor engineer Stefano Martinovic helmed two DDA QII, two Innovason Sentury and an A&H 5000 to mix the orchestra’s bug mikes.

Backstage, Mackie’s Sandro Chinellato watched over nine of the firm’s HDR 24/96 hard disk recording units, brought in to immortalize this unique event, at which ‘friends’ duetting with Pavarotti included Deep Pu

Music Live Joins JHS Golf Day
Friday, 1 June 2001

Music Live, organised by Mammoth Events, has become the joint sponsor of the JHS Corporate Golf Day. This annual event has been held for over 20 years at Garforth Golf Club, Leeds, in early June, and playing guests from the distribution, manufacturing and retail sectors of the music trade make up the major attendees. Music Live is the largest consumer show of musical instruments and allied equipment, and is open to the public at the NEC Birmingham, 2nd-4th November, 2001.

Any industry trade person with an official golf handicap, wishing to be considered for inclusion on next year's invitation list, is asked to contact Anne Thornton at John Hornby Skewes & Co on + 44 (0)113 286 5381.

Performance 2001
Friday, 1 June 2001

Performance Exhibitions Ltd has announced the launch of Performance 2001 - an exhibition including conferences, seminars and workshops aimed at the live performance industry. To be staged at the Newcastle Telewest Arena on 17-18 November 2001, the exhibition will bring together manufacturers, venues, producers and promoters, plus a complete range of associated services. Colin Rowell, director of ShowBlokes, whose vast portfolio includes production stage manager of The Tube, stage director for the MTV Awards and stage manager for the Brit Awards, recently returned to the North East, and is involved in live events in the area. He says: "I feel that this exhibition will offer companies a platform for exhibiting to a large audience. It will put the North East on the exhibition circuit where it belongs for this important segment of the industry." Over 1500sq.m of exhibition space will house exhibitors displaying the latest in lighting and sound equipment, staging, studio technology, special effects, transport, catering and support services.

Walk the Plank: Hot Footing
Friday, 1 June 2001

This month, pyrotechnics specialist, Walk The Plank, are going from one extreme to the other. On 10th June they will bring the 600-year old Newark Castle to life as part of the Newark on Water Festival, and then hot-foot it to Singapore for their first international commission - three performances of the spectacular Tower of Light show as part of the Singapore Arts Festival, 22-24 June. The two shows are typical examples of the breadth of Walk The Plank's work. After their successful participation at the Newark on Water Festival last year, they have been asked to animate Newark Castle's impressive facade. This year, they will be using powerful Xenon projection equipment (the biggest in the country) and huge 25m fabric drops, as well as fireworks, lighting and music.

Singapore’s Tower of Light is a set-piece using performers, lighting, music, fireworks and special effects, based around a 15m steel ‘lighthouse’. The show has been seen at Arts Festivals across the country, but this is the first time Walk The Plank's talents have been taken aboard. A team of 10 will be leaving Manchester on 16th June. Most of the materials, including 14 tons of steel and all hazardous substances, have been shipped over. As well as three public shows, Walk The Plank will run a full dress rehearsal in front of the Singapore Army and Police Force.


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