Business News

PSA Fund Awarded Charitable Status
Monday, 15 May 2000

The Production Services Association (PSA) has announced that Her Majesty's Commission for Charity for England and Wales confirmed full charitable status for the PSA Welfare & Benevolent Fund on May 8th. The Fund is the only one in the UK live event production industry set up specifically for people working in the industry and their families, and this news means the Association's efforts to establish the Fund have been officially recognised by the Commissioners.Another excellent piece of news for the Fund is the confirmation of two new Patrons - legendary bassist Herbie Flowers and the equally legendary broadcaster John Peel. They join Founding Patron Sir Cliff Richard and his fellow Patrons Sir Sydney Samuelson CBE, Willie Robertson and Neil Warnock.

Tate Modern Launched
Friday, 12 May 2000

Imagination provided a remarkable lighting display to launch Tate Modern. From dusk on the evening of May 11th, state of the art lamp and laser technology began to pick out architectural features on the north facade. A gradual building of light and lasers culminated in a light show at 10.30pm. Full report June L&SI.

CAV Supply Nexo for . . . Something
Friday, 12 May 2000

Sound and lighting company CAV has supplied the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, (DERA), with a Crown-powered Nexo Alpha speaker system which was used to run a series of acoustic propagation tests for the Ministry of Defence. CAV supplied four Alpha S2 subs, eight M3 mid-high packs and eight B1 bass bins which were arrayed eight wide and three deep around a specially-constructed drum, which was laid on its back to fire up into the air. The system was powered by two digitally-controlled racks, each with a Nexo NX241 digital controller, two Crown Ma-3600 VZ and two MA-5000 VZ amplifiers. A number of sensitive B&K 4188 microphones were suspended over the array to record and plot the results for analysis. DERA project scientist Tim Williams explained in more detail. "We set the system up on the runway at Pershore airfield in the Malverns, which is now an official DERA test site, to use the PA as a sound source in order to find out how far sound propagates down the runway. We then put that information into a computer model for propagation, so that when we come to perform tests on the real thing (which I can't discuss for obvious reasons) we¹ll have an accurate model as to how far the sound will travel."

CIE Sponsor Alaskan Trek
Friday, 12 May 2000

Commercial amplifier manufacturer Inter-M and its UK distributor, CIE Audio, are sponsoring a charity bid by Sandra Lee to trek across Alaska. The seven-day trek aims to raise money for SENSE - the national deafblind charity. CIE's Chris Edwards said: "The aim of Sandra's challenge is to benefit some of the UK's 23,000 deafblind people and their families and carers.

Windmill Lights Up With Martin Exteriors
Thursday, 11 May 2000

Martin Professional's Exterior 600 luminaires are being used to provide colourful illumination on one of England's finest windmills - the Cranbrook Union Windmill in Kent. Built in 1814, the windmill is now owned by Kent County Council. Following the award of a National Lottery grant for refurbishment of the windmill, the Council chose the Exterior 600s after a successful trial in April.

Luminar to Acquire Northern Leisure
Thursday, 11 May 2000

After many months of merger talks, the Boards of Luminar and Northern Leisure have made a recommended offer of one new Luminar share for every four Northern Leisure shares, it was announced yesterday. The acquisition of Northern Leisure will make Luminar the leading operator in the theme bar, restaurant and discotheque markets, with 237 venues serving around 600,000 customers each week. Luminar is the owner of the world-famous Camden Palace and London Hippodrome nightclubs, as well as the Chicago Rock Cafe, Rhythm Room, Liquid and Jumpin' Jaks brands. The group will be valued at £585m.Five Northern Leisure executive directors will be appointed to the Luminar Board. Luminar chairman Michael Arnold commented: "There is an excellent strategic fit between the two businesses, and I am convinced that the Luminar management team, strengthened by our new colleagues, will ensure the success of this exciting opportunity to enhance shareholder value."

Tele Denmark Buys Converters from Digital Audio
Wednesday, 10 May 2000

Tele Denmark Satellite & Broadcast (owned by Ameritec) has purchased 30 ADDA 2402 audio converters from Digital Audio Denmark. The Digital Audio Denmark ADDA 2402, 24-bit 96kHz A/D, D/A, D/D converter, has been selected by Tele Denmark in a project for getting the second national Danish TV channel DR2 distributed via the Terrestrial TV network. A total of 30 ADDA 2402s are used on different transmitter sites to convert the digital audio signal from the satellite receiver, and for feeding the analogue audio signal to the UHF transmitter system.

Vertigo Rigging's Winning Formula
Wednesday, 10 May 2000

Vertigo Rigging was called in to rig three cars to set the scene for a recent Formula One gala dinner at the Dorchester Hotel in London. The event celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Formula One World Drivers Championship. The idea was to create a roller coaster effect with the vehicles at varying angles. With rigging time very tight, Vertigo used as much stock equipment as possible. The framework was made from Vertigo's stock of truss, with the addition of some specially-made header plates to create the pitch of the cars, which were then lifted onto Vertigo's adjustable car cradle, placed in position and anchored to the truss. The operation was overseen by Vertigo's Tim Roberts. The three cars were a red 1950s Maserati Formula One car (worth over £1m) from the private collection of Pink Floyd's Nick Mason, last year's World Championship McLaren, driven to victory by Mika Hakkinen, and a new Jaguar XKR production model, auctioned during the dinner for upwards of £75,000. The event organiser was Fisher Productions and the display designer was Terry Brown.

ETC's Largest Korean Installation
Tuesday, 9 May 2000

South Korea's LG Corporation recently built a state-of-the-art performing arts centre to enhance its corporate headquarters in Seoul, based around ETC lighting, dimming and control equipment. The Centre is run by the non-profit arm of the $73b LG Business Group, which makes and sells almost everything, from electronics to fashions and financial services. Inside the high rise glass walls of the Centre is a 1,100-seat auditorium, a large rehearsal space and three exhibition halls, as well as dressing rooms and office space. LG Arts installed an Obsession II 1500 Double Processor console, 10 Sensor dimmer racks with a total of 831 dimmers, a custom Unison architectural lighting system and over 400 Source Four and Source Four Zoom spotlights.

New Features for PLASA 2000
Tuesday, 9 May 2000

The 2000 PLASA Show (10-13 September, Earls Court, London) will include a number of new features this year. As a direct result of the Exhibitor's Forum working group which was set up following PLASA 99, the show hours are this year being extended to run from 10am - 6pm on the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and 10am - 5pm on the Wednesday. Another new feature for 2000 is the Technology Gallery, in which visitors will be able to view the latest new product developments prior to the PLASA Awards on the Wednesday morning. The TILE Zone seminar will offer specifiers in the amusements and attractions market a platform for up to the minute discussion and debate.PLASA's MD Matthew Griffiths commented: "With 13,254 ABC-audited visitors at the show last year - 3,224 of which came from overseas - our prime objective for 2000 is to continue the show's development and growth. One of our key aims for 2000 is to build the show's appeal to new markets - the architectural and building services, corporate presentations and the amusements and attractions markets - while continuing to develop the show's strength in core markets."

Strand & Futurist Product Showcase
Tuesday, 9 May 2000

Strand Lighting and Futurist are holding an exclusive VIP product showcase on Tuesday 13 June at the Bradford Alhambra Studio Theatre, intended to bring stage, studio and architectural lighting personnel up to date with the latest Strand products. The main feature of the show will be the new Strand 300 series of consoles. Invitations can be obtained by contacting Futurist on +44 1924 468183 or

Midnight Movers
Tuesday, 9 May 2000

Midnight Design has recently opened a new design and sales office next to Euston Station in London. The office, now home to 15 members of the Midnight team, the permanent lighting design and Logistics crew, plus the entire sales and senior management contingent, features a substantial presentation suite and state-of-the-art CAD facilities. It will also meet the needs of Midnight's ever-increasing number of projects, both in the UK and internationally. "Every office desk is permanently linked via high-speed Intranet to our warehouse in Croydon," explains business development manager Damian Dowling. "From there we can access the wider resources and international equipment inventory of our parent company PRG."

IALD Awards Scholarships from Trust Fund
Tuesday, 9 May 2000

The International Association of lighting Designers (IALD) will tomorrow award six aspiring architectural lighting design students from around the world with a total of $10,000 in scholarships and cash at the 17th annual Lighting Design Awards, held in New York. The lucky six are Tuuli Somma from Helsinki, Finland; Emily Emerson from Easton, Kansas; Swapna Sundaram from New Delhi, India; Brad Koerner from Boston, Massachusetts; Sandra Loren Park from Glendale, California and Paul Wraa of Pleasant Hill, California. The money is raised by the IALD Education Trust Fund Grant and Scholarship Committee.

Major German Order for BSS Audio
Monday, 8 May 2000

One of the largest pro audio sales confirmed at the recent Frankfurt Musikmesse was a major equipment upgrade from Neumann & Mueller, who will distribute their newly-acquired BSS Audio stock throughout their 11 rental depots in major German cities. The sale was confirmed by Mex Exner, from BSS Audio's exclusive German distributors Audio-Vertrieb Peter Strueven GmbH, shortly after writing out an order headed by 12 of the classic FCS-960 2 x 30-band graphic equalisers. Also included in the purchase were six FCS-920 Varicurve slaves, five TCS-804 2-in/4-out digital delay lines, six DPR-402 two-channel compressor/limiters/de-essers, four DPR-404 four-channel compressor limiters and seven DPR-504 four-channel noise gates.

PLASA Becomes BSI Distributor
Friday, 5 May 2000

PLASA (the Professional Lighting and Sound Association) has become an official distributor of products of the British Standards Institution (BSI). This position allows PLASA to offer BSI products to its UK membership at a discount of 25% off BSI list prices. A complete list of British Standards is available on the BSI website at This lists non-member prices, which are subject to the agreed 25% discount for PLASA's UK membership. Once Standards have been ordered via PLASA, the BSI aims to dispatch 95% of orders received by noon on the same day. PLASA's Standards Officer, Tim Cox, said: "This arrangement provides a valuable service for PLASA's UK members, at very reasonable prices. The cost of BSI standards can range from around £20 up to more than £150, depending upon the size and complexity of the document, so this is another way by which PLASA members can gain a real material advantage for their membership fee." Arrives
Thursday, 4 May 2000, a new company dedicated to the delivery of applications and services, has been launched to service the family of Stardraw products (Stardraw 2D, Stardraw Professional, Stardraw Audio and Stardraw Audio Lite). The new company has purchased the intellectual property, assets, goodwill and distribution rights for the Stardraw product range. Meanwhile it continues to have a strong relationship with Starlite Systems Technology Ltd and, in the first of the new company's board meetings, confirmed Starlite Systems Technology as exclusive UK distributor for Stardraw products. David Snipp, former director of Starlite Systems Technology and managing director of told PLASA: "We kept getting asked 'Is Starlite a software company that does lighting, or a lighting company that does software?'. The fact is that for years there have been two very distinct companies operating under the Starlite banner, so has been set up to make things clearer both for the marketplace and for the separate operations."

New Design Studio and Projects Office for PAI
Thursday, 4 May 2000

Specialist sound, light and visual graphics installers, PA Installations, has recently created a new Design Studio at its head office in Llanelli, South Wales. The studio has been designed to incorporate state-of-the-art media and multimedia design software with 2D and 3D graphics. As well as being a centre for R&D in entertainment and related technologies, the studio will handle the conception and realisation of exterior lighting design, signage system display formats and internet kiosk applications.

Latin Lights from SGM
Wednesday, 3 May 2000

The 41st annual Festival Internacional de la Canción de Viña del Mar was held in Quinta Vergara, Chile from February 16 - 21. Held in an open-air arena, this world-famous Latin music festival attracts crowds of up to 18,000 people every night and is transmitted via satellite to no less than 16 nations, with a total audience of 500 million viewers. Since 1994, this festival's lighting rig has been supplied entirely by Pat Henry Iluminación of Mexico City, SGM's official distributor in Mexico, who also handle design and installation. Pat Henry, a well-known LD throughout Latin America, achieved a spectacular visual impact for both the live audience and television viewers. The complete list of SGM hardware included the following fixtures: 36 Giotto Spot 1200s, 24 Giotto Wash 1200s, 40 Galileo IV Live 1200s and 40 Colour Dynamic 100s.

TSC Music Wins Investors in People Award
Wednesday, 3 May 2000

TSC Music Systems has won an Investors in People Award. The Crawley-based supplier of sound and communication systems to the retail and business sectors, specialises in providing tailored music solutions and over the years has devised a structured training programme for staff. Neil Abdool, managing director, told PLASA Publishing: "We are very proud to have won this award as it reinforces our commitment to our employees, and in turn our clients."

Sennheiser Opens New US Plant
Tuesday, 2 May 2000

German audio specialist Sennheiser has opened its first manufacturing plant in the Western Hemisphere, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, following recent growth in the company's US sales. The 4,500 sq.m facility produces printed circuit boards for electronic assemblies, digital RF mics and headphones for the US market. This is the company's fourth plant, complementing two in Germany and one in Ireland.

ESTA Review of Draft Photometric Standard
Friday, 28 April 2000

BSR E1.9, Entertainment - Presentation of Photometric Performance Data is now available for public review. The draft standard specifies a way of presenting the photometric performance data of stage and studio luminaires and copies of the document may be obtained from the ESTA website. Final date for comment is July 18, 2000.

New Premises for Futurist
Friday, 28 April 2000

Work has now started on site to construct Futurist's new warehouse and office complex in the heart of Wakefield's town centre in West Yorkshire. The new complex which is being designed and built by Parkin International, will be ready for the company to occupy in late August 2000. Once complete, the company intends to open a further operation in Manchester.

MPs First to use Digital Congress Network
Friday, 28 April 2000

As part of a £24million restoration programme to improve parliamentary procedures, the Houses of Parliament at Westminster have been equipped with the latest digital conference technology from Philips Communication, Security & Imaging. In use three days a week, MPs in the new chamber use the world's first entirely digital congress system which consists of 35 table-top Delegate Discussion Units using Philips Digital Congress Network. The system was installed by Westminster Sound Systems.

Strand Appoints LCA as Major TV Lighting Stockist
Thursday, 27 April 2000

Strand's remodelled Quartzcolor range of HMI and studio fresnels will be piloted into the film location and cinematographic markets by the recently-launched LCA (Lights Camera Action), based in Greenford. Started by directors Nick Shapley, Graham Kerr and Richard Maskell last June, LCA has grown quickly, necessitating a move into the 10,500sq.ft warehouse and office space in the Vari-Lite building, formerly occupied by Brilliant Stages.


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