Stage One Creative Services has become the first scenic construction company to achieve the Investors in People standard. It seals a period of expansion for the Yorkshire-based firm, which was also the first in the scenic construction sector to achieve ISO 9002 accreditation. The company, which provides the scenic solutions for events ranging from international product launches to corporate conferences and television stage sets, has doubled its turnover to £5 million in the past two years alone. And since a merger with Hangar Staging in 1996, its staff has grown from around 20 to over 60. Staff at Stage One are in the final stages of preparation for their biggest project so far this year - providing extensive staging and scenic elements for the Royal Military Tattoo 2000 in June, which will be broadcast live across the country.
The Production Services Association (PSA) Council announced on June 14th that some significant changes are to be made in the day-to-day running of the Association. Keith Ferguson is now to concentrate fully on the Training and Qualifications initiatives. He will also move forward with his role as a trustee of the Welfare & Benevolent Fund, which recently achieved full charitable status. Consequently, a search for a new general manager is to start shortly, with a view to securing an appointment by the end of the year.
Total Fabrications has upgraded its website. The site pages include access to news releases, product and training details, shows and special project information with a link to some of TFL's major client sites. The menu items refer to their associated content pages, which load clearly and are simple to navigate.
French company Digisoft Music, which distributes music software, will join Arbiter Group from the 1st of July 2000. Laurent Akriche and his team, who will be part of the Arbiter France division, will be in charge of Music Technology products sales. Laurent and wife Patricia are joined by sales assistant, Annie Gauthier, who will manage sales on Music Technology products and Michel Vachal, who is in charge of technical support, software development and French web sites. Anne Sophie Ogee joins as sales assistant to Regis Monnerie, who will continue to manage sales on drums, pro sound instruments, Arbiter Karaoke and the newly acquired AKG consumer line (which begins in France on the the 1st of July). Regis Monnerie will continue to manage marketing, and relations with suppliers.
Paris-based PA manufacturer L-Acoustics is expanding the representation of its V-dosc system in the UK. As a result, four diverse companies have been integrated into the V-dosc UK Network: these are Autograph Sound Recording, working mainly in the theatre and installation market; Delta Sound , representing the corporate, event and television markets; Electrotec Productions, specializing in the international and UK touring and festival market; and Wigwam Hire, operating in the broad national rental market.Christian Heil, the founder of L-Acoustics, said: "The new UK members already benefit from the many unique advantages that the Wavefront Sculpture Technology brings, and L-Acoustics UK also places a complementary turnkey V-dosc system at the disposal of the UK Members."
QSC recently expanded the territory of the Swee Lee Company, its export distributor in Malaysia and India, to include Singapore and Indonesia. "Swee Lee has a well-trained staff and ample resources to maintain and strengthen QSC's presence throughout southeast Asia," said Peter Kalmen, QSC's director of sales and marketing. "Their experience and knowledge of that region will especially help us make inroads in the contracting and installed sound market."Swee Lee Company has been QSC's export distributor in Malaysia and India since 1994. Swee Lee Company can be contacted at: 150 Sims Drive, Swee Lee Building, Singapore 387381. Tel: 65 846 3678. Fax: 65 748 7036.
beyerdynamic has announced a distribution agreement with dB Technologies of Italy, in a special announcement to press on the London Eye. The dB product line includes a wide portfolio of pro audio products including speakers, power amplifiers and mixers, but it is with the company's wireless product range where the synergy between dB and beyer lies: the company's radio microphones now being constructed using beyerdynamic's transducer elements, coupled to the highly-sophisticated PLL wireless circuitry of dB Technologies.beyerdynamic's John Midgley is enthusiastic about the union. He told us: "This is a very, very impressive range of equipment and we are well-placed in the UK to promote dB alongside our existing range of products. It's a perfect fit and balances what we can offer our large customer base well".
The Klark Teknik Group has appointed a new distributor for Klark Teknik products in Denmark. Ascon Trading a/s, who also distributes Midas and DDA, as well as the full range of product lines from the Telex/EVI corporation, has taken on the Klark Teknik brand. Ascon's product manager in charge of PA products, Ib Sigismund, commented: "KT was the missing link in our product portfolio, not just in terms of the fact that we now carry the full Telex/EVI/KTG range, but also in terms of the quality of the package we were able to put together. We now have all the tools to specify the very highest quality systems using products exclusively from our own stable."
PLASA Exclusive: The company responsible for trucking the Spice Girls' tour kit have landed in hot water following the arrest of two of their number charged with smuggling Ecstasy, worth £3.5million, into Britain. Roxsett's MD David Wilson and general manager John Lewis have both been arrested following a swoop by customs men at Dover who stopped the Roxsett truck when it arrived back in the UK from The Netherlands. Sniffer dogs found the Ecstasy stashed between audio and lighting equipment. Both men appeared at Dover Magistrates Court last week and pleaded not guilty. Bail has been refused and the two now face a Crown Court trial.
Thetford-based Centre Stage Engineering Ltd has only been trading 18 months, but already they have an impressive range of projects appearing on the company CV. They have now added to this with their most prestigious project to date. This is to design, supply and install the complete stage machinery package for the new Durham City Millennium Hall. This includes 39 single purchase counterweight-flying sets, orchestra pit elevator, safety curtain and 28 seating wagons on air castors. Carillion Building are the main contractors and installation is scheduled to start in October this year with a finish date of April 2001.
AMEK has gone online with a new website dedicated to its Pure Path Series of outboard products, designed by Rupert Neve. The new site is exclusively Pure Path in content, with comprehensive operational and technical information on the range, as well as downloadable documents and notes from the designer himself. Pure Path Online is platform, browser and resolution independent. Its design makes use of vector graphics, enabling a large amount of pictorial information to be transferred in very small bandwidth.
Leading names in the world of sound and lighting are supporting the next generation of broadcasters by sponsoring the students of Ravensbourne College of Design and communication, South London, in their Ravensbourne on Air showcase, on Wednesday 14 June. Strand, Pearsons, Yamaha, Avolites and Primarc are just a few of the companies which have thrown their weight behind the event by lending equipment to or directly funding the students at the National Centre of Excellence for Broadcasting to facilitate the programming of the six-hour schedule. The day is an opportunity for representatives from the broadcast industry to see for themselves the direct relevance of Ravensbourne's courses to their particular area of the industry.
A Midas Heritage 3000, an XL250 and racks upon racks of Klark Teknik processing have recently been delivered to LT Sound in Venezuela as part of a complete EV X-Array system sale put together by Steve Mendez of Sam Ash music retailers in New York and Josh Radin of Metro North Marketing. The sale is the biggest of its kind for Sam Ash who is internationally recognised for its music retail operations across the US. LT Sound is a full service production company dealing with some of the most high profile tours passing through its territory. The decision to purchase a major PA system was taken because the company is planning an international Latin American tour with some of the bands signed to its record label, LT Music. Special guest star, Ricky Martin, kicks off the tour on 18th June in the 28,000 capacity El Poliedro arena in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, to be followed the next night by a free concert outside the same arena at which over 100,000 people are expected to attend.
To celebrate the launch of the new Strand 300-series lighting desk, and to introduce it to the London theatrical community, White Light and Strand Lighting collaborated on a successful open day at the Soho Theatre in London at the end of May. The star attraction of the event was Strand's new 'baby' lighting console, the 300-series. Based around the same GeniusPro operating system as the popular 500-series lighting consoles, the 300 console is of an attractive, compact, versatile design that allows a system to be built to suit the particular needs of smaller venues. The 300 was demonstrated in action by Strand's Bill Richards, using the Soho Theatre's White Light supplied and recently installed new rig of conventional lanterns driven from Strand LD90 dimmers and automated lanterns including Strand Pirouette PCs and City Theatrical AutoYokes. Soho will become one of the first venues in the world to install a 300-series, the console perfectly suiting both its scale of production and the compact size of its control room!
An old laundry in South West London is now a 'hard hat' zone as work gets underway on the construction of Sphere Studios - the most ambitious music recording complex to be built in the capital for many years. The new studio is set to rival London's finest and will operate as a fully commercial venture incorporating three main control rooms dedicated to tracklaying, stereo mixing and 5.1 surround mixing. The main partners behind Sphere are musician and producer Francesco Cameli and Malcolm Atkin, formerly general manager of Sir George Martin's Air Lyndhurst facility. During the construction of Air Lyndhurst Atkin was involved in all aspects of its design and later took responsibility for its commercial operation.
Recognising the importance of this region as being the largest entertainment community in the world, Martin has opened an office in Las Vegas. As the first manufacturer of intelligent lighting with an office in the city, Martin intend to offer technical and sales support, technical design and project support for the designers, dealers and customers in the region. The company has appointed Tim Brennan as the sales manager of the new office. Brennan, a well-known figure in the theatrical and entertainment Lighting community, will work with support from Martin's West Coast office team to develop a stronger presence for Martin in the Las Vegas market.
Star Hire (Event Services) Ltd enjoyed its busiest weekend ever with its fleet of mobile stages over the BBC Music Live weekend. The company could have hired their own stages out two or three times and in the end had to sub contract three stages in to deal with the increased levels of demand. The Star Hire team supplied a range of stages to events all over the country from Kings Lynn to Newcastle and even north of the border to Leith. The company was also involved in the Somerset House concert, where a CS 15–12 was the first ever stage to be erected for a concert in this historic building, the stage being installed the day after it was opened to the public by the Queen Mother.
PLASA Presents Light and Sound Shanghai has opened for the third year. Emerging from the Intex exhibition centre to the sound of a brass band, a group of distinguished guests from China and the UK spoke briefly to a large crowd and opened the show. Guests from the UK included Warren Townend, British Consul General in Shanghai, Sammy DeHavilland, PLASA Treasurer; Andrew Morris of Earls Court and Jonathan Gould of Clarion Events. This year's show includes a record number of exhibitors in the international section and expands the show onto the second level of the Intex centre for the first time. The show runs until Friday 9 June.
Showlight 2001 - the conference for lighting professionals - takes place in Edinburgh in May next year and offers delegates opportunities not to be missed. An afternoon at the Strand factory in Kirkcaldy will give visitors an inside look at one of the lighting industry's leading companies with other visits ranging from the technical to theatre to distilleries - taking in some of the most notable landmarks in and around Edinburgh. These include Edinburgh Castle, famous for the Edinburgh Tattoo, St Andrew's Castle and Cathedral and Glenturret Distillery. Another definite date for the diary is the Showlight Dinner, this year sponsored by Strand Lighting, which takes place at the magnificent Hopetoun House. Inclusive in the registration fee, this is a chance for you to wine and dine alongside some of the biggest names in the lighting industry. We are currently looking for innovative speakers to fill the last couple of available spaces. So, if you would like the opportunity to speak at Showlight 2001, telephone +44 (0) 1323 642 639.
Millennium Multi Media.com, a new internet-oriented digital and traditional entertainment, technology and communications company, is to build the Millennium Entertainment Center, a $20 million, 60,000 square feet, two-level dome housing a revolutionary entertainment venue situated on five and a half acres of Las Vegas' famed strip. The MEC, will accommodate 2,000 customers, and unlike other Vegas venues will have no gaming elements. The main elements of the venue will be a range of conference facilities and a nightclub - the key attraction of which will be a computerised light and laser projection show featuring interior fireworks, falling snow, lightning, twisters, and a host of other computer graphic and holographic effects. World-renowned supper club impresario, Mark Fleischman, former owner of Studio 54 and creator of the well-known Tatou dinner clubs, will head the project.
The 54th Annual Tony Awards took place at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City yesterday. The success of Contact, which features a prerecorded track with no original music and which picked up a Tony Award for Best New Musical, will no doubt further fuel the debate about what constitutes a musical. Michael Frayn's Copenhagen collected the prize for Best New Play, whilst a revival of Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate collected five Tonys, including Best Musical Revival. Austalian director Michael Blakemore, who now lives in Britain, became the first person to win both Best Director of a Play (Copenhagen) and Best Director of a Musical (Kiss me Kate) in the same year. Elton John and Tim Rice won the Tony for best Score for Aida which also earned Bob Crowley a Tony for best Scenic Design and Natasha Katz the award for Best Lighting Design. The prize for Best Revival went to Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, whilst the award for Best Book of a Musical went to Richard Nelson for James Joyce's The Dead. The Tonys are still remarkably poor at recognising technical excellence – apart from the awards for scenic design and lighting (both of which went to Aida) there is scant recognition of the part played by our industry and particularly notable by its absence is any recognition for the sound designer.
Cambridgeshire-based Ambient Lighting has set up a new pro audio division - Outline UK - primarily to distribute the Italian-manufactured Outline range of loudspeaker, amplification and audio processing equipment. Outline's latest product, the Kangaroo, is an active two- or three-way system featuring a 500W 18" bass cabinet and a 250W pole-mount mid/high satellite. A unique feature of the system is that the mid/high section fits snugly inside the bass cabinet for compact, easy transportation. Outline UK say the system produces excellent sound quality and is suitable for a wide range of applications. The new division will be headed by Dave Finlay, formerly of Celestion International, who brings eight years of experience in the music industry to the role.
Meanwhile, just up the road in Winchester, the staff of Whitwams Sound & Vision have moved 12m across the High Street to temporary accommodation, while they wait to move the business into its new, customised premises. The company has been based at 70 High Street, Winchester since 1909 - so they are understandably reluctant to move too far in one go.
Stage Electrics is to install a new sound and lighting system at Winchester's Theatre Royal. The installation is part of a major remodelling of the theatre and will involve completely removing the roof of the building so the lighting bridge can be installed. The company has also designed enhanced FOH lighting positions in the auditorium and, in conjunction with MRP, a new counterweight flying system. The theatre is owned by The Winchester Theatre Fund, a charitable trust and funding for the project, which is due for completion in early 2001, has been raised by the charity and a grant from the Arts Council of Great Britain.