Business News

Manchester United Scores with TannoyManchester United Scores with Tannoy
Thursday, 1 March 2001

With 18,000sq.ft of floor space, the new Manchester United Megastore is currently the largest Football Club merchandise store in the world and sells over 2,000 branded product lines including replica kits, sportswear, magazines, videos, books and other memorabilia. Situated within the new East Stand development of Old Trafford, the Megastore uses Tannoy speakers throughout to provide both background music and audio to accompany video screen presentations. Installed by Preston based ADI, six Tannoy i5 AW ICT speakers flank the entrance ramp and provide an effective audio introduction to the store. In addition, two Tannoy i8 Dual Concentric speakers complement a large rear projection video screen located at the rear of the store.Tannoy CMS 65 ICT ceiling monitor systems are also used throughout the store for background music, particularly in the café and MUFC Sport areas. The Tannoy speakers are fed through Biamp SPM522AMX PC based mixers and powered by three R300 and a single PA9 InterM amplifiers.

Gearhouse Group in Receivership
Thursday, 1 March 2001

The Gearhouse Group plc and a large number of its subsidiary operations have been placed in administrative receivership. A legal notice posted on the company’s website states that AR Bloom & AJR Wollaston (Ernst & Young) were appointed joint administrative receivers on 23rd February 2001. Over recent years, the Group, a supplier of professional presentation and event production equipment, for both rental and sale, to the corporate presentation, TV, film and live entertainment industries worldwide, had followed an ambitious programme of growth, acquiring a number of complementary companies and rebranding them under the Group banner. It appears from the notice that most of the companies within the Group are now in receivership - these include all the Gearhouse subsidiaries across the UK, Gearhouse LED Screens, Gearhouse Lighting, Gearhouse Special Projects, Gearhouse Structures, Gearhouse XTC, Impact Rentals, PPL Event Services, Presentation Services, Proquip Gearhouse, Sceneset and Set 'N' Stage.

Crossroads Brought Back into the Light
Thursday, 1 March 2001

An institution is coming home, when Crossroads returns to our TV screens in the spring. The soap is planned to fill the gap following the departure of Home and Away. Filmed in Carlton TV’s studio in Nottingham, Crossroads will be the new centrepiece in ITV’s daytime schedule. Second time around, Crossroads has moved up-market, from the original motel to a modern hotel with a beauty salon, bar and restaurant and this time will be lit by a range of . To ensure the perfect lighting, Carlton bought 144 channels of ETC Sensor dimming, supplied by AC Lighting. The returning stars from the Crossroads hall of fame are Jane Rossington (no relation to L&SI’s editor sadly) as Jill Harvey, Kathy Staff, who hangs up the wrinkled stockings of Last of the Summer Wine's Nora Batty and dons the uniform of much-loved laundress Doris Luke and waiting in the wings for a return later in the series is Tony Adams as Adam Chance, Jill Harvey's ex-husband.

Fourth Phase Illuminates Smart ChurchFourth Phase Illuminates Smart Church
Thursday, 1 March 2001

PRG company Fourth Phase supplied equipment, design engineering, project management and installation supervision for the entertainment lighting system in the newly constructed Potter’s House worship center, home of one of the fastest growing churches in the United States. This 26,000 member nondenominational church in Dallas, TX, led by Pentecostalist minister, author and entrepreneur T.D. Jakes, set out to build the country’s most technologically innovative church facility yet, dubbed a ‘Smart Church’. The new $32 million, 300 feet x 300 feet, 8,200 seat sanctuary creates a footprint larger than two football fields. Power and data terminals installed at 200 seats allow attendees to download sermon notes and power point presentations onto laptop computers. Altar attendants are equipped with handheld PDAs to allow immediate input of new member data and ‘prayer needs’. An associated language translation center features translation rooms with the capacity to simultaneously input and output up to six language translations. Dallas-based consultants Acoustic Dimensions designed state-of-the-art sound, lighting and MATV systems, whilst PRG company SPL installed the audio and video systems. The $600,000 entertainment lighting package is based around ETC Sensor and Unison dimming, an Expression 3 control console and a range of ETC, Altman, DeSisti and Lycian lighting fixtures.

TC and Munro Associates Expand Alliance
Wednesday, 28 February 2001

The Strategic alliance between Dynaudio, Munro Associates and TC Electronic in June 1999 has been expanded, widening TC Electronic's responsibility for worldwide distribution and marketing of Dynaudio Acoustics to include all larger systems developed by Munro Associates. These include the ultra high-end MA1 Mastering Monitor, the well-known M4 main-monitor systems and the THX approved M3F system. As a result of the alliance, several joint development projects are already in consideration.

Terminal Turns to Turbo Monitoring
Wednesday, 28 February 2001

Terminal Studios, based in London Bridge, has made a significant investment in Turbosound stock with the purchase of 24 TFM-330 floor monitors, supplied by Marquee Audio. The TFM-330 incorporates a custom designed 4" voice coil, 15" low frequency driver and a high power 2" high frequency compression driver on a custom waveguide in a compact vented enclosure. The studio bought its first Turbosound loudspeakers in 1985 in the form of a pair of TMS-4s and has continually added to and upgraded the stock since that time. The studioshave worked with a host of pop icons since their establishment in 1979 such as David Bowie, Duran Duran and more recently Take That, Robbie Williams and The Chemical Brothers, the quality and sound of the monitors was the prime consideration in the choice, for managing director Charlie Barrett.

Pulsar Wins ‘Training in Excellence’ Award
Monday, 26 February 2001

Pulsar picked up the ‘Excellence in Training’ award at this year’s LIVE! Awards. The award is recognition of their comprehensive range of both Clay Paky and Pulsar technical seminars hosted at their Cambridge HQ, the joint organisation with DI of both the UK and World Light Jockey Contests, and their latest collaboration with PLASA introducing the Student Lighting Designer Award aimed at colleges.

East Anglia to get its own Superclub
Monday, 26 February 2001

The recently-established Crystal Leisure is all set to launch its first major project. The company will unveil plans for a new multi-million pound superclub within the next few months. Summit, as the club will be known, will hold approximately 1500 clubbers and will be situated on Nene Parade in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. The company is currently working with leading sound, lighting and design companies to create the look and feel of the club.

Support for Birmingham Fringe
Sunday, 25 February 2001

Cause & Effect, the organisers of the 2001 Birmingham Fringe theatre festival, are looking for companies within our industry to collaborate on a range of projects during the 2001 festival.

The idea is to demonstrate the contribution made by our industry to technical theatre. Project director Derrick G Knight told L&SI: "My motivation is to enhance Birmingham as a host city for performing arts. This will be achieved through the development of a network of performance venues in partnership with the performers, venue owners and production companies associated with performing arts."

The initial idea is to include a sound and lighting exhibition alongside the festival, which takes place in July and August, and Derrick Knight is exploring the availability of no-cost exhibition space at a number of venues near the performance spaces. If you are interested in participating call +44 (0)121 622 1771.

DHA Design Winner
Saturday, 24 February 2001

Gobo specialist DHA Lighting organised a gobo design competition for members of the ALD at its Waterloo base recently.

The winner, Robin Carter (pictured with DHA MD Diane Grant), is a freelance lighting designer based in Brighton, East Sussex, and his winning design, called ‘Smoke Screen’ (inset) was one he created for a production of The Glass Menagerie at The Northcott Theatre, Exeter. Carter, who began his lighting career in New Zealand where he grew up, came to the UK four years ago, and has been designing for regional theatre productions ever since.

The winning design will now be published in the DHA gobo catalogue, and instead of receiving royalties for his design, Carter has opted to donate these to the Light Relief fund, set up last year to provide help and assistance to freelance lighting designers in times of personal crisis.

Belgium’s Saint Lambert Lit
Friday, 23 February 2001

The Saint Lambert Cathedral was destroyed during the French Revolution 200 years ago, but in its day was one of the biggest Gothic buildings of its kind in the world, even bigger than Notre Dame in Paris. The city of Liège decided to honor its lost treasure by creating a replica of the church’s ‘heart’. This small piece of what was once an enormous construction is situated in exactly the same location as it was centuries ago. The temporary construction is 30 metres wide, 20 metres deep and 42 metres high. Belgian company Sonoflash was given the task of lighting the cathedral and worked with EVDV (Martin’s Belgian distributor) to spec 10 Martin Exterior 600s with control coming from the Martin ProScenium.

New Academy
Friday, 23 February 2001

A cutting-edge club sound and lighting system have been detailed and installed by Marquee Audio into the new 2,300-capacity concert and dance venue, The Academy, in Birmingham. Opened in Dale End by the McKenzie Group - owners of the Brixton Academy and Shepherds Bush Empire - some £600,000 has been spent on converting the former Rank-owned Hummingbird, which had been closed for six years before being sold to the London-based entertainment company, into a premier mid-sized concert venues. The brief was to deliver a quality club system into both the major auditorium and 400-capacity auxiliary room. As a result, Marquee spec’d a computer-controlled Turbosound sound system, driven by a combination of 15 MC2 MC-1259 and three MC-750 amplifiers, and digitally distributed through a pair of BSS 9088LL audio matrix devices, with a Soundweb 9010 ‘Jellyfish’ remote providing local access.

As for lighting, Marquee supplied eight Optikinetics Solar 250 projectors, four Deathstar strobes, four Martin MAC 500, eight Martin Destroyer X250 multi-rotating beam effects, 12 Martin PRO 918s and two MAC 250s on the rig - working with a four-head Martin Techno Haze smoke machine - all run from an Avolites Azure 2000 desk. In the secondary room a further four Opti Solar 250s, eight Martin Destroyer X250s and four Martin MX4 intelligent light projectors form the rig, controlled from from a Light Processor QCommander.

PLASA Supports Restructured AETTI
Friday, 23 February 2001

Following the re-structuring of the AETTI (Arts & Entertainment Technical Training Initiative) on January 31st 2001, Matthew Griffiths, managing director of PLASA, has been elected as AETTI chairman for 2001. He joins Joe Aveline (secretary) and Henrietta Branwell (treasurer) on the AETTI’s panel of officers. The AETTI was first formed in 1987 at a fringe meeting of ABTT North, and has existed since as an informal body led by a steering committee. The AETTI last year helped to develop the first BTEC qualifications for stage technicians, in association with Loughborough College and with the assistance of funding from the European Social Fund. On 31st January this year, the existing steering committee of the AETTI wound itself up, and a new constitution was adopted. As part of the restructuring, Matthew Griffiths, Joe Aveline and Henrietta Branwell were chosen as the organisation’s new officers.

Furthermore, the newly-restructured body has signed a formal agreement with Loughborough College for a three-year continuation of the development and delivery of BTEC qualifications, subject to annual reviews. In addition, the possibility of running a theatre technician foundation course during the PLASA Show in September 2001 is currently being investigated by the organisation. In order to publicise the new developments within the organisation, and to provide the opportunity for discussion on training issues with the theatre industry and the BTEC Award scheme, the AETTI will be exhibiting at the forthcoming ABTT Theatre Show in London (4-5 April 2001).

TiLE is Official European Show of the TEA
Thursday, 22 February 2001

TiLE will be the official European Show of The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). TiLE is aimed at those who have an interest in the future of location-based leisure attractions, whilst TEA is an international alliance of the world's most talented and experienced professionals in the themed attractions industry. The decision coincides perfectly with the 10th anniversaries of both TiLE and TEA and recognises the close relationship that has built up between the two; the European Chapter of TEA (now TEA Europe) was launched at TiLE 1998 in Strasbourg, France, and has become one of the fastest growing chapters of TEA.

Marquee Becomes Sony Dealer
Thursday, 22 February 2001

Marquee Audio has joined a select band of companies entrusted with marketing Sony professional products with its appointment as approved pro audio dealer for the brand. The portfolio of Sony sound reinforcement products handled by Marquee will range from the popular radio mic series to more esoteric items such as feedback exterminators, and will include the DMX R-100 digital desk. The appointment was confirmed by Sony’s recently-recruited pro audio sales and marketing manager, Alan Johnson.

Launch of
Wednesday, 21 February 2001

Pro Audio Systems have launched their new web site, It includes lots of useful industry links, an on line pro audio store and a members' area. Membership allows access to special deals and free used equipment ads. The site is a good information centre, provides a service to existing and new customers as well as being a comprehensive on line store for a full range of pro audio equipment.

DPA Mics Link With Big Bear
Wednesday, 21 February 2001

DPA Microphones has appointed its first distributor in Ireland, Big Bear Sound of Dublin. Founded seven years ago by Julian Douglas, Big Bear has become one of Ireland's leading pro audio equipment resellers, representing DigiDesign, Apple and HHB, as well as supplying top-end brands such as Focusrite, TC Electronic and Tube Tech. Strengthened by products like Pro Tools, Big Bear takes most of its business from the recording sector, and the company also designs and builds studios. According to sales director Michael Browne: "We have a substantial client base in recording, including a lot of clients doing classical work, and DPA Microphones has a world-class selection of mics which we can recommend to them . . . The DPA range fits in extremely well with our portfolio profile at the high end of professional audio. I'm particularly confident about the compact and miniature mics, and I can see these taking over the market within a year or two."

EST Shows Motoring Logistics
Wednesday, 21 February 2001

Once again, those masters of logistics, Edwin Shirley Trucking (EST) have co-ordinated 30 truck movements to ensure that the Ford Motor exhibit at the Amsterdam Motor Show went together seamlessly. Design house Imagination contracted EST to ensure that the right parts for the Ford stage set - stands, turntables and all the other myriad pieces of the display - arrived at the show on time and in sequence. As if that wasn't enough, EST will be repeated the entire exercise in mid-February on a larger scale when they shipped the Ford stand for the Geneva Motor Show.21 Feb 2001

PSA Announces New Benefits for Members
Wednesday, 21 February 2001

Following the announcement of the new administration and management set-up of the PSA, a substantial package of new benefits for members has been unveiled. A new membership pack has been produced which includes a personal membership identity card, pre-paid subscriptions to appropriate magazines, training information and course dates, training booking forms, a diary section, book list and contacts, plus a new, truly interactive web site which is updated daily. Birmingham-based Business Media Services Ltd (BMS) recently took over the role of administrative and membership operations of the PSA office. Bob Fox, the head of BSM, told PLASA Media: "It is our aim to ensure that members of the PSA get the maximum possible from their association with us. We have put together this new package to increase the benefits that membership brings."

Rainmaker & Vertigo at BMW Plant Launch
Tuesday, 20 February 2001

Corporate and industrial event lighting specialists Rainmaker injected drama into the launch of the new BMW engine plant at Hams Hall in Birmingham. Rainmaker’s Paul O’Brien produced a dazzling lighting design for a stage set based on the new BMW engine block. The pistons formed four platforms at different levels, the stage right of which was also a revolve which revealed the new engine. The whole on the interior of the high-tech plant’s parts storage area was also lit by Rainmaker, with electric blue MBI and HQI architectural luminaires. Natural building features like ducting, electricity supplies, pipework, air vents and columns were spectacularly highlighted with ETC Source Four profiles. For stage lighting, O’Brien utilised Studio Spot 250s and a variety of MAC automated lights, Source Four PARs, Source Four 26 degree profiles and cyc floods. The show was programmed and operated by John Harris using an Avolites Pearl 2000 console.

Vertigo Rigging provided 12 motors and a Thomas 30.5 cm box truss to accommodate the lighting equipment and Delta Sound’s audio equipment, as well as building scaffolding platforms for Creative Technology’s projection apparatus. A cross spur from the truss provided rigging points for the house lighting. Vertigo also supplied two cherry pickers used as access for rigging and focussing, and the project was managed and crew-chiefed for them by Paddy Burnside. The production company was ACT Live and the show was production managed by Gary Wilson.

Two More Arrests in Dome Fraud Investigation
Tuesday, 20 February 2001

Police have arrested two more people in connection with allegations of fraud at the Millennium Dome. A man and a woman in their 30s were detained in Liverpool, bringing to six the number of arrests over suspected fraud at the Dome. Property was also seized from two homes and a business in the city's Wavertree area in a joint operation between Merseyside Police and Scotland Yard. The two people were later released on bail, and ordered to return in June. It is believed that the latest arrests are linked to the arrest of four people in autumn last year, related to the investigation of alleged fraud involving a lighting contract at the Millennium Dome. They included a man and a woman, also from Wavertree, a woman in her 60s from West Yorkshire and a man in his 30s from south-east London. There are now four separate enquiries being conducted by the fraud squad involving into Millennium Dome contracts totalling tens of millions of pounds.

Unique Flame Light Co in Liquidation
Monday, 19 February 2001

The Unique Flame Light Co, original manufacturer of silk flame effect units, has gone into liquidation. The company, formed in 1997, had won Awards for its flame effects, notably at The Lighting Show at the NEC in Birmingham, and at Entech 2000 in Sydney, and counted among its clients MTV, BBC, Ministry of Sound, Royal Opera House, New York Metropolitan Opera, the Cannes Film Festival and Celebrity Cruises. Crawley-based Baker Tilly is the appointed liquidator.

Universal Audio Launched
Monday, 19 February 2001

A new company has been formed that will continue to manufacture the Reflekta and Spektra brands, previously manufactured by Acoustic Sound Systems. Universal Audio will add its own range of cinema speakers, whilst also offering an OEM facility to other manufacturers. A brand new touring system is going through development at the moment and should be in production by mid-summer.

Spanish Stars
Sunday, 18 February 2001

James Thomas Engineering has supplied its Spanish distributors, Madrid-based Bofil & Asociados, with a unique stage set/tower system for production company Snake.

The system was custom-designed and built by James Thomas in the UK for an extensive domestic tour by top Spanish music artists Miguel Bose and Ana Torroja. This is the first time the two have performed on a twin-headlining bill, and the tour completely sold out within hours of being announced.

The incredible aesthetics of this set were created by James Thomas’ project manager Paul Young, collaborating with stage designer Ignace D’Haese and JTE’s structural engineers The Broadhurst Partnership. It’s based on three 14m high stand-alone towers, complete with self-climbing cross beams - connected via custom sleeve blocks that interface with 20cm trussing to make up a T-shape. The cross beams contain lights and glide up and down throughout the performance. The towers themselves are constructed from 52cm SuperTower - a product specially conceived by JTE for this project.

Another key feature of the towers is that they have no guy wires. They utilise 4m outriggers and ballast weights - four points of 1250kg, and are built to withstand high winds at outdoor shows. The biggest challenge was making the towers free standing, whilst ensuring their bases were unobtrusive. It was possible to dispense with the guy wires because of a combination of the strength of the SuperTrussing itself, and the carefully calculated ballasting. The footprints of the towers are concealed below the stage, the radius


Latest Issue. . .