Namibia - The National Theatre of Namibia has taken delivery of an ETC Ion control desk, thanks to ETC's South African dealer Prosound.

Prosound's general manager Ian Blair says:, "We recently did an extensive upgrade for the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation, and on one of our follow up visits, we called in at the National Theatre of Namibia, where we met technical and IT manager Jack Francis Jnr and head of lighting Asser Kauazunda.

"Asser and Jack advised that their current old theatre console had reached the end of its life - but, with the upcoming Independence Theatre Festival, they really needed a new desk, and fast."

Blair recommended the ETC Ion control desk, plus fader wings for additional hands-on control.

"We couldn't offer an Ion straight away, because all our demo desks were out at theatres in South Africa - but we were able to get an ETC G

UK - Paolo Nutini recently played a concert at Millennium Square in Leeds, UK, right in the city centre, for which the production (flown) lighting rig of Robe BMFLs, Pointes and LEDWash 600s was supplied by locally based Zig Zag Lighting for event promoter Futuresound Events.

Paolo's lighting designer Jason Hyne brought his touring specials package in 'underneath' this, and combined the two lighting rigs to create another stunning and dramatic show that thrilled the 7000 enthusiastic fans at the sold out show.

Zig Zag works regularly with the promoter and is familiar with the 14m square and 10m high stage / roof system which is owned by the council. It has only limited weight loading, and Nutini's production with its strong video elements required the accommodation of their large touring LED screen. So by the time this was installed, the weight left for lighting fixtures was t

UK - Blackout's sewing department manufactured a bespoke drape for Take That's 2015 tour, used as the projection surface for a magical shadow puppetry scene, April 2015 - October 2015.

Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald are making their way across Europe on a 51 date tour; their first as a three-piece band. Renowned for their impressive production - think Progress Tour's OM Robot - the 2015 tour is no different, with a myriad of standout moments to make the crowd go 'wow'.

One of these is the moment when the 'under-the-sea' scene is revealed to the audience, complete with psychedelic jellyfish.

Looking for a way to keep the scene change hidden from the audience, Take That's production team - led by Chris Vaughan - contacted Blackout. The company's in-house fabrications department manufactured two 38m wide by 17m drop white poly-lined drapes.

On a curved truss, the dr

Weather Report - The final day of Lollapalooza music festival ended early after a second severe storm threatened Chicago. Florence & the Machine finished their set with Dog Days before running off stage on the final day. Earlier tens of thousands of festival-goers had to leave the city's Grant Park as lightning threatened the area. Fans were told to evacuate and go to one of three underground parking garages designated as emergency evacuation shelters.

Windy City - Edinburgh Fringe's first dedicated circus venue has been forced to delay the opening of its larger auditorium due to bad weather. Underbelly's Circus Hub on the Meadows has announced that shows running in the 750-seat Lafayette tent will no longer open on Friday 7 August after strong winds prevented organisers from putting the cover over the tent's structure. Shows will now begin on Monday 10 August. Six

UK - UK - Jands Vista v2 has been specified to provide control for all lighting aspects of Lego Friends to the Rescue, an all-new live show spectacular which recently opened at the Legoland Windsor Resort.

Lego Friends to the Rescue is set in the resort's new land, Heartlake City, which recreates the fun and colourful world of the popular Lego Friends toy range.

During the show, guests join Heartlake City's five female characters on an action packed adventure which is full of music, dance and special effects. Dominating the effects is the harbour's lighthouse, which is pixel mapped with over 700 RGB LED emitters using a Traxon Dot media string wrapped around the structure.

Lighting contractor, A.C. Special Projects Ltd. (ACSP) specified the Jands Vista S1 console to control the lighthouse LEDs in addition to the stage lighting. ACSP Director, Lance Bromhead, co

Italy - At the beginning of the summer, Rome's San Giovanni (St John Lateran) Square hosted a reported crowd of a million people of all ages from all over Italy, gathered in support of the family, in favour of children's rights to have a mother and a father, and making an apolitical and non-denominational protest against the introduction of "gender ideology" in schools.

The company with the task of ensuring that such a large crowd managed to follow every word of the speakers alternating on stage was Cipiesse (Centro di Programmazione Spettacoli) Srl, founded in 1979 and headquartered in Rezzato (Brescia).

Cipiesse partner Marco Riva, responsible for meeting the event's demanding requirements as far as sonic quality and intelligibility were concerned, explains, "As well as the event's sound reinforcement, our company also supplied the stage and backdrop, support

France - Over 16,000 people attended the 40th anniversary concert of the Orchestre Nationale de Lille (ONL) in July. It was the first time the orchestra had performed in the impressive Pierre-Mauroy stadium just outside Lille, usually reserved for premiership football matches. However, the stadium's extraordinary design in which the northern half of the pitch lifts up and slides over the southern half to reveal a 'showcase' arena for concerts and indoor sporting competitions complete with terraced seating below pitch level, provided the perfect venue for this momentous occasion. Indeed, the event ticked off a number of 'firsts'; the first time for the ONL in the venue which is the first of its kind in Europe, and the first time that a full RAVENNA digital network has been deployed on a live event of this scale.

"It was an impressive setup," recalled digital audio speci

USA - Revolution Hall in southeast Portland, Oregon is the reincarnation of the auditorium of former George Washington High School. The high school closed in 1981 due to low enrolment, and the 113,500sq.ft brick building has been unoccupied since that time.

Investors purchased the former school in 2013 and quickly began remodelling it as a mixed-use space. Old classrooms are now inspired offices, the roof is now a deck suitable for weddings and other events, and the old auditorium at the heart of the building is now Revolution Hall, capable of accommodating 800-plus music fans. Rose City Sound, a local audio rental, engineering, and installation firm, designed and installed Revolution Hall's sound reinforcement system using a Meyer Sound FOH rig and an Ashly/Fulcrum monitoring system, both of which are tied together by a FOH Midas console.

"They've got 12 Fulcrum loudspea

Azerbaijan - The first ever European Games took place in Baku, Azerbaijan 12-28 June. During 17 days of sporting and organizational excellence, more than 6000 participants from the 50 European countries competed in 20 sports in 18 venues, winning more than 800 medals.

The Opening Ceremony for the games was held in the newly built Olympic Stadium on 12 June. During a two-hour spectacular event, produced by Dimitris Papaioannou, the Olympic Stadium was transformed into a magical stage of artistry and performance, enchanting the audience, as well as viewers around the world with Azerbaijani's history and culture. There were highlights from poems by Poet Nizami, pomegranate symbolism, traditional mugham chant and rotating and emerging sceneries featured by 300 performers.

Green Hippo played a part in this historic event. At the beginning of the opening ceremony, showing the dry cr

USA - The Ranch Concert Hall and Saloon is Fort Myers' newest and largest event centre and live concert venue featuring many of the country's leading performers. In recent months, the venue - more commonly known as The Ranch - was host to country music artists Josh Turner, Joe Nichols, and Tanya Tucker. The venue is a leading attraction in the area and, to ensure both the performers and the customers are happy, management wanted a sound system that was best in class. This is why they selected components drawn from the Aero Series 2 catalogue of Valencia, Spain-based D.A.S. Audio.

Ft. Meyers, FL-based Tech-Tronics Sound, Lighting, and Staging was contracted to provide sound for The Ranch. In addition to being a design / build firm for the AV installation market, Tech-Tronics is also a full service production company that provides turnkey concert and events solutions including sou

UK - In 1995, British electronic musician Goldie released the album Timeless, which made an impact on the UK bass music scene. The Heritage Orchestra and Goldie were commissioned for the James Lavelle Meltdown Season to recreate the album in full as part of a live performance at the Royal Festival Hall, London. Both Goldie and the Heritage Orchestra have since expanded and reworked the album for a full orchestra, band, choir electronics and guest vocals.

On 22-23 July, they returned to the Royal Festival Hall to once again perform the album for its twentieth anniversary. Lighting designer Richard Godin was tasked with devising an impressive spectacle that would help celebrate such an album. Following his long working relationship with White Light, which included the Glastonbury Festival earlier this year, he once again approached the complete production solution specialis

USA - The stars were out in Harlem this summer as the legendary Apollo Theatre celebrated its 10th annual Spring Gala. Hosted by A. J. Calloway, the former 106 & Park co-host, the A-list benefit featured electrifying performances by the likes of Nile Rodgers and his band Chic, Ne-Yo, Luke James and Kimberly Nichole. Adding to the get-on-your feet excitement was a dazzling lightshow created by KM Productions that featured 20 Legend 330SR Spots from Chauvet Professional.

"We positioned the Legend fixtures throughout the venue for maximum coverage with their textured gobos," said designer Kevin Mignone, president of KM Productions. "The fixtures' rotating and continuous scroll gobo wheels gave us a lot of opportunities to create some great looks to reflect different moods at this important event and warm up different areas. Plus its output ensured that we'd cover a l

UK - Seven years after the grandeur of Harrogate's iconic Royal Hall was restored following an £8m grant-assisted investment, the theatre has installed a digitally steerable RCF column PA system.

With its spectacular décor, the Grade II*-listed 1000 seat multipurpose theatre not only forms part of the large Harrogate International Conference Centre (HIC) but significantly is one of the few surviving Frank Matcham designed theatres from the Edwardian era. Among its many technological breakthroughs, it remains the last surviving Kursaal, a genre which was particularly popular in spa towns, offering a 360° ambulatory for visitors.

Originally designed 115 years ago, the venue is focused on a wide range of performance, from the three-week International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival to a myriad of community activities. Therefore, the new sound system needed to be vers

USA - At North Carolina's Elon University, a steerable Meyer Sound CAL column array loudspeaker system provides clear speech and music in the Great Hall, a large common room with acoustically reflective architectural elements typically found in centuries-old European institutions.

"The plan was to use the room for everything from video game tournaments and movies to graduation-related ceremonies, and CAL has proven ideal on all counts," says Joe Davis, assistant director of campus technology support and solutions architect for Elon University. "The vast expanse of windows on three sides, plus one largely flat, sheetrock wall create a highly reverberant space that could be over-excited by amplified sound. And any permanent system had to be practically invisible while still providing high-level, full bandwidth sound. The CALs disappear into the décor and real

Germany - Astera has partnered with Kaiser Showtechnik GmbH as a stocking dealer for Astera's wireless event lights in Germany. Kaiser is based in Augsburg, Bavaria, but will operate nationally. From September 2015, Kaiser will keep stock of Astera's core product line of Lightdrop (AX3) units, and SpotLite (AX7) /SpotMax (AX10) fixtures for its rental and sales stock (including accessories).

Commenting on the partnership, Sebastian Bückle, sales and marketing Director at Astera, said: "We look forward to the opportunity to partner with Kaiser Showtechnik, which provides a high-end platform for customers to appreciate our products. We are very pleased to have Kaiser as the third wholesaler of Astera products in Germany. Our wireless event fixtures are already available from Art Evolution, based in Frankfurt, and direct from Astera, based in Munich."

(Lee Baldock)

UK - Stage Audio Service is a long established L-Acoustics user, having taken delivery of its first system some 20 years ago. Its most recent acquisition is an L-Acoustics K2 system, purchased via SSE Sales, which is proving as successful as its existing 300 plus cabinets.

Investing in the L-Acoustics brand has, says owner Kevin Mobberley, been very good for the company. "We were the first company in the country to buy L-Acoustics. We were very small back then and it was a good decision. It's a product that people want, we were lucky to get on board early and we've done well from it. Now we have pretty much every cabinet they've ever made, plus 50 or 60 of their new LA8 amps," he says.

"We bought the K2 system because it's a natural progression from V-DOSC and DV-DOSC, and we wanted to be at the forefront of the new technology. It's a great 'polite' sounding sys

Germany - The German Broadcast Archive (Deutsches Rundfunkarchiv, DRA) has carried out extensive technical upgrades to three copy and production facilities at its Potsdam-Babelsberg location using Lawo technology. Integration of the Lawo equipment into the company's production environment was carried out by Swiss systems integrator, SLG Broadcast.

Now completed, the centrepiece of each copy suite is a 12-fader Lawo sapphire console, comprising one central unit and three fader modules. All audio sources (inputs and outputs) are connected to a DALLIS mainframe fitted with a GPIO board that allows control of tape decks, CD players and DAT machines from the sapphire console surface.

Technically, the Potsdam Broadcast Archive comprises three copy and production suites with sapphire consoles - two of the suites were built in 2014, also by SLG Broadcast - which are connected to a Law

UK - Rob Baldock, owner of Re:live Recordings zips around the UK recording live performances and interviews by acts such as One Direction, Foo Fighters, Kasabian and Labrinth for video production company, LiveFi. He has been perfecting his gear set-up, and is currently testing out six ASP880s, the eight channel mic pre from Audient.

He describes his recording kit: "It's based around two RME FireFace UFX and a MacBook Pro running Reaper for recording. The Audients fit in great - D-SUB out of the first one to analogue in on the FireFace and then ADAT out for the other two - repeat for the second rack/FireFace.

"I did a live EP with The Shires at The Green Note in Camden, this was the first time I decided to go out with just the Audients and the RME," he continues. "The brilliant thing for me was that it ended up being such a portable rack that I could take th

USA - Currently touring the US with a Martin Audio MLA loudspeaker system provided by SES (Special Event Services) of Winston Salem, NC and Nashville, TN, the Avett Brothers recently sold out three nights at the challenging Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado.

An eclectic mix of bluegrass, country, punk, pop melodies, folk, rock, honky-tonk and ragtime, the Avett Brothers are generally defined as 'Americana', their music encompassing an unusually wide dynamic range.

As SES system engineer Andrew Steelman points out, "They're not a highly compressed band that lives in a pocket during the show. They go from very loud, aggressive, in your face rock, to acoustic guitars, banjos, a cello, violin and small high fidelity stringed ensembles. In terms of dynamics, it's a constant rise and a fall."

Because MLA has smaller format compression drivers, the system offer

USA - Elation Professional's new EPT6IP high-resolution LED display panels played a key role at NY CityFest with Luis Palau, a free outdoor concert held 11 July on the Great Lawn in New York's Central Park. Boston-based rental and production company Audio Spectrum Inc. provided all of the LED video screens and staging for the event, some 280 EPT6IP panels in all, some of which were sub-rented from Elation dealer Gemini Light, Sound & Video. Lighting design for the event was by Gordon Painter and Kevin Shaw.

The Elation EPT6IP panels were used for large stage wing portrait walls on each side of the stage, as well as on delay towers, to show live video and graphics throughout the show. Each wing was eight panels wide and 14 panels tall (16' wide x 30' high) with each delay tower seven panels wide and four panels tall (15' wide x 9' high).

"There were approximately 60,000 at

UK - White Light provided the production support on the Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of An Icon evening held at the National Portrait Gallery in Central London.

Taking place on 21 July, the evening allowed invited guests an exclusive viewing of the popular summer exhibition Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of An Icon. With support from the Audrey Hepburn Estate, this fascinating series of photos illustrates the life of actress and fashion icon Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993). Prior to the showing, there was an innovative drinks and canapé menu held by Table Talks; with the evening also allowing the gallery to both utilise and showcase their unique spaces.

Madolyn Grove, senior events manager at the National Portrait Gallery, comments, "This was a fantastic evening for the gallery. Not only did it allow us to invite key contacts to privately view the exhibition, but

USA - A popular choice for conventions and exhibitions with nearly 190,000sq.ft of space, Wisconsin Centre in Milwaukee remains one of the state's most popular destinations for large-scale business gatherings. But times and technologies change, and in recent years there had been a growing recognition that the original audio processing infrastructure was approaching the end of its natural lifespan.

The need to prevent potentially costly downtime due to equipment failure was the final prompt for venue owner and operator Wisconsin CentreDistrict (WCD) to enlist locally-based Metro Sound & Video to specify and install a replacement for the existing DSP and paging set-up, as well as some ageing amplifiers and mixers. "Both WCD and we felt that it would be best to replace the entire system head-end now as opposed to when disaster strikes," says Metro Sound & Video director o

USA - More than 150,000 people turned out for what the city of Nashville hailed as the largest Fourth of July firework show in the country. Bandit Lites provided the lighting for Music City July 4th: Let Freedom Sing! where Martina McBride, Missy Ekko and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra performed.

Since the design process began long before the headliners were announced, lighting designer Chris Lisle knew to keep the look 'fixture neutral' while still keeping in mind the needs of the orchestra. "I try to lay out the rig in a way where the headliner will be able to come in and make something happen with a mixture of spot, wash, and beam fixtures," said Lisle.

The design this year consisted of six 'fingers' running upstage to downstage with alternating spot and wash fixtures on each of them. Additionally, several VersaTube frames had Sharpys above them to give h

UK - Bristol-based lighting and video rental specialist Fineline enjoyed another Sessions season at the Eden Project in Cornwall, providing production lighting, LED screen, trussing and rigging for the 2015 Eden Sessions - seven high profile concerts with a diverse line up including Elton John (two shows), Paolo Nutini, Paloma Faith, Motorhead, The Stranglers, Spandau Ballet and Ben Howard.

The Fineline team led by Rob Sangwell, were delighted to be back at this very special location for the third consecutive year, and once again worked closely with the Sessions events' production manager Andy Cotton and his team from TAO Productions.

Using the Eden Project's eye-catching crescent shaped tensile structure as a roof for the stage, Fineline made some additional modifications to the ingenious hybrid part-flown-part-ground-supported system they have developed to facilitate the 17m

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