There are many places in the world where climate, lack of infrastructure or the absence of a suitable venue have made large-scale events impossible - and there are many such places in Africa. But now Gearhouse South Africa has announced that the Tensile 1 system has arrived on the continent.
Listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest movable venue in the world, the system travels in 10 40ft containers and will be stored in Gearhouse South Africa’s warehouse in Johannesburg. Tensile 1 is a modular system that can be configured in eight basic formats, varying in size to suit requirements: 75m wide and up to 150m long in its largest configuration, the structure can accommodate 8,769 people in theatre layout, seat 12,600 people for a concert or banquet, or provide a dance area big enough for 22,500 people.
"We believe that Tensile 1 will provide exciting opportunities to South Africa’s event makers," says Russell Stephens, national manager with Gearhouse South Africa. "The African continent offers some spectacular venues for functions which have previously been inaccessible." Since landing in South Africa in September, the Tensile 1 has already been used for a product launch by Daimler Chrysler, a dance party in Johannesburg and a luncheon function for government departments.
Continuing its training for excellence programme, Pulsar has announced its seminar schedule for 2001. The Masterpiece training has been expanded to two one-day seminars: the Masterpiece Intensive Seminar will cover basic programming of the desk, whilst the Masterpiece Advanced Seminar will encompass advanced programming techniques. Three different one-day seminars will be available for the Clay Paky range of products: the well-established Service Seminar will now incorporate the Stage Line, in addition to the moving head luminaires; the Display Line Seminar will give delegates practical advice on how to provide lighting solutions using this versatile line of projectors; finally, the Clay Paky Products Seminar will give delegates a good understanding of the entire product range.In addition, Pulsar tell us that tailor-made open days can be arranged to cater for colleges, installation companies, corporate users, etc.
13th Century St. Aldates, one of the oldest buildings in the City of Oxford, has completed phase one of a major reordering project that has resulted in one of the most advanced audio-visual installations in a church in the UK. Lighting Technology was appointed to manage the correlation of the design between the lighting, electrical, audio and video disciplines. The audio and video systems were designed by Brian Chapman of Chapman Communications and installed by Delta Sound whilst LTP's Simon Cooper worked closely with both teams to co-ordinate all the wiring facilities and with the Church's project director Claire McInnes to produce the front end to the system. This is based on an AMX touch-screen and an ETC Unison control with 48 ways of dimming.
Game shows just aren’t what they used to be and Denmark’s ‘Den Store Mission’ (The Big Mission) just may take the prize for, well . . . best prize.
The Big Mission is already generating a lot of interest in Scandinavia with the winner of the competition earning a trip into space aboard the first commercial spacecraft. The Big Mission went on air in October, billed as a competition whose lucky winner will be crowned "First Dane in Space".
The show consists of several ‘levels,’ each presenting a unique challenge in skills relevant to astronaut training - knowledge, physical skills, teamwork and mental strength. Contestants are eliminated over the course of several half-hour shows until The Finals in which 10 contestants remain. Much in the same style as the popular Survivor show, contestants will be eliminated one by one until a final winner remains. The elimination process will include a trip to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center in the USA, as well as authentic tests previously used to train astronauts.
Martin’s local distributor, Martin Danmark, supplied MAC moving heads including MiniMACs, MX and PAL scanners and a TrackPod followspot system to TV2 studios in Copenhagen. The luminaires were spread across a host of stages and incorporated into the lighting scheme at all levels of the show. Par cans were also used in the lighting scheme. Lighting designer for The Big Mission is Torben Lendorph, with lighting programming completed by Thomas Brockmann.
The annual Entertainment Design magazine awards (EDDYs) will be awarded in a ceremony in New York on 8 December. The Awards are given for outstanding contributions in the field of entertainment design and technology, and will this year be awarded to: the design team for Blue Man Group Live at Luxor (Las Vegas); costume designer Ann Roth, whose credits include films such as The Talented Mr Ripley and The English Patient; the design team for Anne Bogart’s SITI company, including lighting designer Mimi Jordan Sherin and sound designer Darron L West; and Tait Towers, builders of sets for concert tours, whose clients include The Rolling Stones, Tina Turner and U2.In the product categories, Sound Products of the Year are the Digidesign ProTools 5.1 software; JBL’s EVO loudspeaker system; Level Control Systems’ CueConsole; Metric Halo Labs Mobile I/O Firewire; the Neutrik MiniLyzer ML1; and the Soundfield Mark 5 microphone system.The EDDY Awards’ Lighting Products of the Year are the Common Sense interface from Artistic Licence; the Hot Shot Distro Panel from George & Goldberg; the Figment DMX from Interactive Technologies; the IPS Capio dimmer series from Rosco/ET; the Strand SLD dimmer series; and the Vari*Lite VL2402 wash luminaire.
Lighting Technology Group has opened a central London office at the Business Design Centre in Islington. The office will represent all areas of Lighting Technology Group activity but focus on attracting designers, specifiers and potential end-users. "The new office will be an appealing space for architects and designers to come into," said Lighting Technology Projects’ Bruce Kirk. "It will be permanently manned, and there is sufficient space for five staff and the appropriate meeting facilities. Our product and project managers will work between our HQ at Park Royal and the BDC to suit our clients' requirements. Our ultimate aim is to serve and support designers and provide an attractive and welcoming environment in which to discuss and progress their concepts." The showroom's display area will contain a constantly changing animated lighting presentation showing interesting 'old and new' solutions to lighting problems and provide visual demonstrations of new techniques.
GWR Group, the UK commercial radio group, has signed a deal with the Oxford Sound Company, in a contract worth £1m, to carry out the technical fit-out of a new Bristol Digital Broadcasting Centre. In one of the biggest radio contracts in the UK this year, the Oxford Sound Company will fit out 23 on-air production studios and other technical areas for the GWR Group. The deal represents a major investment by GWR Group for GWR-FM and Classic Gold in Bristol, GWR's nationwide programme production unit and GWR Digital, which originates the Digital Radio stations Core and Planet Rock in Bristol.GWR Head of Engineering Tim Donaldson said: The Oxford Sound Company has a proven track record as one of the best system integrators in the country, and I am delighted to have such a professional team on board for this exciting development in the future of the GWR Group.
The multi-screen movie complex craze which swept across North America some years ago, has arrived in Italy with an added element of attention getting effect, namely Martin intelligent lighting. The Medusa multi-screen theater in Bologna is a 31,000 square foot theater complex featuring nine separate theatres. Outside the complex two Exterior 600 wash lights bathe the building in a colorful mix of yellows and blues while two PAL 1200 scanners add gobo and logo projection.Inside, in the large foyer, eight MAC 600 wash lights provide the colour wash with eight MAC 250 profile spots adding pattern and logo possibilities. All lighting is controlled from a Martin ProScenium, a DMX lighting control package for multi-media and architectural applications. Audio is provided by eight Mach Installation series M68 in-fill speakers, four Mach M208 subwoofers and four Mach M62 two way, near-field speakers.
City Theatrical and its founder and president, Gary Fails, recently received a Crain’s Small Business Award from Crain’s New York Business. The Award, which recognises companies that contribute to New York both economically and by reaching out to the community, joins the long list of accolades City Theatrical has already received since its founding in 1986. Located in the South Bronx, the company actively recruits and trains employees from the surrounding neighbourhoods. Earlier this year it was named to Inc. Magazine’s Inner City 100, a list of the top companies nationwide operating primarily in inner cities. More recently it has picked up its third ESTA Dealer’s Choice Award in the last four years. The company will be profiled in the December issue of L&SI.
Miss Moneypenny’s at Bonds in Birmingham, reputed to have one of the toughest door policies of any club in the country in terms of client exclusivity, has gone digital with a £60,000 audio system refit. Birmingham-based Dare Professional Audio was responsible for the design and specification of the new system, which was installed by Stagecraft Systems from Cannock. DARE specified a custom-built system loaded exclusively with ElectroVoice components and powered by EV P Series amplifiers supplied by EV’s UK distributor, Shuttlesound. The main system comprised four DARE NX12 mid/high packs; eight DARE TC15 sub-bass cabinets delivering an impressive 1200W each, plus one DARE Bass Quake 4 sub-bass enclosure loaded with four EVX180s. Each driver prodcues a massive 1000W - delivering a total of 4kW from one box. Two DARE Micro 12v2 DJ monitors and eight DARE E18s for the bar areas, controlled by a DARE NX Digital Speaker System Controller, completed the system.
Futurist has won the entire contract for production lighting and entertainment lighting packages for Leeds City Council’s new Millennium Square project in Leeds, West Yorkshire, which has been supported by the Millennium Commission. The contract includes the supply of Avolites control and dimming systems, together with Martin MAC 500 and 600 automated fixtures and an entire rig of theatrical lighting and special effects. The highlight of the contract is the supply and installation of eight laser systems, designed and manufactured by UK-based Laser Electronics Ltd, which use brand new 2.5W DPSS diode technology, developed in-house by the company. The lasers are also the first of their kind to offer full digital blanking capabilities. The systems do not require three-phase power supplies or water cooling, and simply plug in to a 13 amp domestic supply. The systems are currently under manufacture and will be installed ready for the New Year’s Eve celebrations, which will also serve as the Council’s official opening of the project.
The Effects Company was chosen to supply some unique effects equipment to the Casino Estoril in Portugal. The Casino recently carried out a major refurbishment of its 1,500-seat theatre. Lighting designer Andrew Gardener was commissioned to update the facilities, allied to a new production titled Tempo and specified a four-head CO2 jet system, four Cirrus Lowsmoke systems, a Turbo 3000 smoke machine with fan projection, CO2 monitoring system and control systems. The Lowsmokes were installed in four separate stage positions with permanent condensate draining systems and DMX control. During the course of the project, members of The Effects Company team visited the casino several times to ensure that the whole system was installed and working correctly, advising the local technical crew on the correct high pressure CO2 system and electronics/control system.
Bedford-based staging company Star Hire was commissioned by the Tussauds group to work on a series of ambitious firework displays at two leading theme parks. Star Hire provided the structures and stage for Alton Towers as it has for at least 10 years - and for Thorpe Park’s first major public display. The Alton Towers event set a world record for the most rockets fired in one display. A 3.5 tonne floating platform was also constructed in the centre of Alton Tower’s main lake to house the pumps for a massive water screen (supplied by Tim Fothergill of Creative Media Technology). The water screen was used for laser projection to animate the Legend of the Chained Tree spectacular, which also incorporated the sound, lights and LED images to accompany the fireworks. Star Hire also designed and constructed two 15m high towers which housed Gearhouse LED screens and a Wigwam PA - each structure contained six tonnes of water ballast.
Martin Professional equipment played had a large presence at the Hannover Expo this year; it is estimated that around 60% of all moving lights at the Expo were Martin products. Much of the equipment was supplied by Procon as the general contractor, but also by Martin distributors in the various national pavilions. Martin gear made its presence felt from the very outset. All entrances were lined with Pro 918 scanners along with MAC 500 profiles and MAC 600 washlights, which greeted guests with gobo and color wash projection. And Martin lighting could be found on many of the stages throughout the grounds including the EXPO Plaza (approximately 100 MAC 500s and 600s) and the Belvedere Stage (MAC 500s).Some 175 countries were represented across the huge 160-hectare site in Hannover. Among those utilising Martin equipment as part of their Pavilion presentations were Canada, Monaco, Lithuania (pictured), Britain, Australia, Romania and Belgium. In addition, one of the most popular attractions, the ‘Planet of Visions’ exhibit in Hall 9, which was lit by MAC 500s and PAL 1200 scanners, while PALs were also used to project text in the form of inspirational quotes at the entrance. Lighting designer for Planet of Visions was Harry Gladow.
Thousands of clubbers are preparing for the New Year’s Eve party of a life-time at Gatecrasher NYE in Ireland’s new £93 million, state-of the art millennium arena The Odyssey in Belfast. The NYE event, which will be broadcast live on Radio 1, is the first in a series of Gatecrasher events planned for Northern and Southern Ireland in 2001. As with all Gatecrasher events, clubbers attending can expect light and laser shows, video imagery and state of the art sound. Kicking off proceedings is Radio 1's Judge Jules who will be joined by Kiss FM's Tall Paul.
At the end of October, Elizabeth Hurley brought the ‘Millennium Breast Cancer Awareness Month’ to a dramatic close by switching on the lights that turned the British Airways London Eye. Park Avenue, who designed and realised the Millennium launch of the BA London Eye, created and ran this final event. Led by Producer Ajay Parekh, the internationally renowned team included creative director Andy Bass, lighting designer Paul Cook, Vari-Lite Production Services, SMAC Associates and Set and Stage. The lighting consisted of 64 VL5Arc wash luminaires and four Sky-Art Searchlights powered from two silent generators from Ariba Resources which were sited in a barge moored along side the Millennium Pier in front of the London Eye. The entire system was rigged and tested on the Monday night with Ian Reith, the operator, making only a few minor alterations to the WYSIWYG pre-programmed show, before going live at 8pm on Tuesday 31 October.
Just a quick update to our news item last week (Weds Nov 8) concerning a large quantity of truss stolen from Essex-based lighting and production company Knight International. The 7.5 tonne Iveco Truck, which contained an entire ground support system and two covered PA wings, has now been found, minus all the truss! Phil Knight believes that the truss may have been stolen to order or may be sold back into the industry.Anybody with any information should contact Knight International on +44 1245 362133.
No sooner had Sussex-based Multiform Technology Group announced success at the PLASA Show and set out the showroom to include the newest lighting effects from Meteor and Sagitter, than it began to rain!
Multiform’s factory, in close proximity to the swollen River Uck - one of the worst flooded in the South East - was also built two feet below the eventual high water mark of Uckfield town, and therefore suffered a great deal of water damage on and after October 12th 2000.
Help came from all quarters. Once the water had receded enough for the factory doors to be opened, the Multiform team with the help of visitor John Lethbridge, rolled up their sleeves and took up hose pipes, brooms and buckets to clear the invading mud and water. Managing director, Iain Price-Smith told us: "Multiform would like to assure customers that business will return to normal as soon as possible. A large amount of stock has been destroyed, and production will be disrupted for several weeks, but thanks to the dedication of the staff, our office is now fully operational again and open to business."
London-based sound and lighting production company, Wise Productions, has just invested in eight Nexo PS-8 loudspeakers, complete with PS-8 controller, supplied by ShowCom of Birmingham, with a view to purchasing a further eight cabinets plus controller in December. The first job for the system is this weekend at the recently-opened Wellcome wing of the Science Museum, for the Sterling Prize 2000 presentation of the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Building of the Year. Some 800 people will be attending the event, which is to be filmed by Channel 4. Paul Gaskell, technical manager for Wise Productions said: “We invariably end up working in places where the acoustics are difficult . . . and we have the burden of a huge weight of health and safety restrictions to adhere to, so top quality, reliable and easy to set-up equipment is of paramount importance."As well as several events coming up in the capital’s three main museums, the system also has a seven-week run booked in December and January for Cirque du Soleil’s production in a giant temporary structure at Battersea Power Station.
Sennheiser RF systems have been used on the recent Channel 5 prison breakout gameshow ‘Jailbreak’. SK50 radio beltpacks and clip mics were used to provide audio for the programme, but also as a means of tracking the 10 contestants as they tried to evade state-of-the-art scanners and infra-red beams in escaping from the purpose-built high-security facility. Technical sound supervisor Steve Williams, whose Sound Moves digital production trailer provided digital recording facilities, specified the RF systems from Cine Video Audio Hire. He explained that the environment was a difficult one for RF operation: The prison was constructed out of galvanised corrugated steel, with the compound’s buildings surrounded by a six-metre-high steel fence. We used Cine Video’s own Triax remote antennae system, which enables the RF aerials to cover a vast area, and between that and the usual Sennheiser reliability, the quality of the RF was excellent.
At LDI in Las Vegas last month, for the second year running, Artistic Licence received a Cease and Desist order from Color Kinetics Inc (CKI), relating to Artistic’s LED lighting systems.
CKI holds a patent in the USA for the control of colour-changing LED lighting systems, and claims that Artistic’s LED-based Digital Lighting Product range infringes their intellectual property rights. CKI’s Kathy Pattison told L&SI: "We very much respect what Artistic has done in the DMX community, but where LED systems are concerned, we will defend our intellectual property rights."
Artistic’s Wayne Howell told L&SI: "They turned up with their solicitor at the busiest time of the show, when the booth was full of customers. It really amounts to little more than a childish attempt at harassment." Howell continued: "We have made a number of approaches to this company to try to find out what it is they are upset about. To date we have not received any coherent repsonse. With regard to their claims, there is simply no substance . . . I find it rather insulting to be accused of copying another company’s design. We’re proud of our reputation for innovation."
Pattison, however, told us that CKI has held "multiple discussions, both internally and through counsel" with Artistic Licence.
Community Professional Loudspeakers, based in Chester, Pennsylvania, has announced the appointment of two new dealers. SK MacDonald, headed by Perry D’Angelo, handles the Middle Atlantic states, with offices in Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia. V-Com, headed by Vinnie Macri will cover the New York metro area and northern New Jersey. Doug Wilkens, Community’s sales and marketing director, said of the appointment: Both firms have a track-record of integrity and targeted sales efforts, backed by a high level of expertise, all of which definitley benefit both our customers and Community.
A major sound, lighting and video installation has just been completed at the new Toxic8 club in Cambridge. With interior design by Steve Howie of Howie Designs, the club’s visual inspiration drew on the imagery of Fritz Lang’s 1927 masterpiece movie Metropolis. But Toxic8 is anything but silent!
CP Sound won the technical design and installation contract amidst stiff competition: audio throughout was designed by CP’s Colin Pattenden with lighting by CP’s Russ Evans.
A ground-floor bar acts as a feeder area for the 500-capacity club, and features music and visuals controlled from behind the bar via a six-way switch and volume control installed by CP Sound, together with three Sony K5 televisions and six JBL Control 28 speakers. Additionally, a mobile DJ set-up is available for special events. This consists of a Denon 2000 Mk 3 twin CD player and a Citronic 10/4 mixer and mic. The first and second floors have been fused into one area: the audio spec here includes another Citronic 10/4 mixer and Denon CD player, two Technics 1210 decks in the DJ box and a customised CP 10/1050 DJ monitor. Dancefloor speakers are two twin 15" 1200W JBL i-746 cabinets, and for the mid-range, JBL 300W MS112 tops, hung in the corners of the void area.
Dancefloor lighting includes three Solar 250 projectors with red infused oil wheels and eight MADScan 411 APs in the void, pointing up and down. Control is from a Pulsar Masterpiece 216. On the second floor, fixtures include two 1500W Anytronics Megastrobes, four additional MADScans, two ITM 250 MADScans and four
Between 7.30pm on Monday 6th November and 8.00am on Tuesday 7th November, Essex-based lighting and production company Knight International had one of their 7.5 tonne Iveco Trucks stolen, containing an entire ground support system and two covered PA wings. Amongst other things, the truck contained eight pieces of Penn Fabrications 2.4m pre rig loaded with Par 64, three pieces unloaded, 10 pieces of heavy duty ladder box truss at 3m, four at 2m, ninety degree bends, four rolling cages, four winches, six pieces of triangle truss at 3 and 4m and four three-way triangular bends. The 7.5 tonne truck was an S plate with Knight International written on the front, the doors and with the company logo on the driver’s side.If anyone has any information on this crime, or is offered large amounts of truss for very little money, please contact Knight International on 01245 362133.