Italy - Harman Professional Solutions has announced Exhibo as the distributor for Martin by Harman in Italy.
“Exhibo is a world-class company with a strong legacy and deep understanding of the market needs in Italy,” said Michael Grandon Clouet, senior regional sales director at Harman Professional Solutions, EMEA. “It is for this reason, appointing Exhibo as our lighting distributor allows Harman to increase Martin’s presence while improving customer service in the region. We couldn’t be happier with this new partnership and the excellence that the Exhibo team will bring representing our products to customers.”
“For more than 30 years, Martin lighting has been innovating the way people visually experience live performances, landmarks and enterprises with selection of high-quality fixtures used the world over,” says Alessandro Fantin, pro & broadcast manager at Exhibo. “Teaming with Harman to distribute this legendary brand in the market is a perfect fit for Exhibo as we look forward to introducing Martin’s fixtures to new customers.”
UK - SSE Audio Group and its parent company Solotech have announced a new unified UK organisational structure aligned with Solotech’s global structure. As of 1 January 2020, SSE Audio, Wigwam, Capital Sound and BCS Audio will be collectively known as Solotech UK, under the new joint leadership of managing directors Alex Penn and Spencer Beard.
Alex Penn, SSE Audio’s former sales director, will lead the sales and systems integration (sales and installations) operations of Solotech UK. Spencer Beard, formerly managing director of Manchester-based Wigwam, will lead the live productions (hire) operations of the UK group. The move will see both Penn and Beard integrated into Solotech’s global senior management team.
Meanwhile, SSE Audio founder John Penn remains within the new Solotech UK structure as strategic advisor.
John Penn comments: “After all these years steering the SSE ship, the time has come for me to reduce my day to day role in the active management of the business. With this new role I can help the group to take the next steps in its development and I’m really pleased that Spencer and Alex are taking on the leadership of our ever-expanding Solotech UK group.”
A number of additional appointments have been made to strengthen the leadership team on a national basis, including a UK group sales manager, a UK group integration manager, a UK group operations manager and a business development manager.
“All of the new appointments have been made internally from the existing management of SSE Audio, Wigwam, Capital Sound an
Record Breaker - At the American Music Awards, Taylor Swift was presented with the Artist of the Decade award by singer-songwriter Carole King who commended Swift for the strength of her lyrics, and the relatability of her music, predicting: "The best is yet to come." In turn, Swift acknowledged the impact King's music had had on her parents and her family, saying it was every musician's goal "to create something that will last".
The career-spanning honour wasn't Swift's only award at the ceremony - she picked up another five competitive awards, including artist of the year. That brings her total tally of AMA trophies to 29 - breaking a record held by Michael Jackson, who received 24 American Music Awards.
Secondary Ticketing - Andrew Lloyd Webber is joining forces with ticket resellers Twickets in a bid to beat touts. The theatrical grandee, whose LW playhouses include The London Palladium and the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, hopes the move will bring consumer-friendly ticket resale to the West End.
The new system means unwanted tickets bought at the box office can be resold for no more than the original price. Twickets will also add a fee of 10% to 13% of the face value. Rebecca Kane Burton, CEO at LW Theatres said: "We continue to strive to not only offer our customers an incredible experience, but also help them when things don't go to plan. Providing a safe, secure and easy way to resell tickets is best practice and yet another step LW Theatres is taking to innovate and improve theatre-going."
Twickets launched in 2015 as a more ethi
Mexico - Atlona, a Panduit company, has appointed Grupo ABSA as its commercial AV distribution partner across a broad swath of Mexico, covering 14 major metropolitan regions including Chihuahua, Guadalajara, Juarez, Mexico City, Monterrey and Tijuana.
Grupo ABSA will focus on growing Atlona’s brand recognition and market share with a large community of IT and networking consultants and integrators that increasingly require networked AV solutions for end user projects.
“There is a unification of many different platforms on IP networks that is taking shape, and Atlona will play a fundamental role in how our customers transition AV operations to the network,” says Carlos Garcia Ramirez, commercial director for Grupo ABSA. “With solutions like OmniStream for audio and video distribution and Velocity for networked control, Atlona brings in the systems intelligence and high quality that enterprise businesses require for AV and IT convergence. This is especially important when working with large institutions, such as corporations or hotels, where we are addressing a variety of different AV needs for varied spaces.”
“Atlona continues to raise its visibility through Latin America will key appointments to our partner network, and ABSA’s knowledge of the Mexican market and AV/IT trends makes them the ideal fit for our long-term regional strategy,” says Esteban Perez, director of business development - Latin America, Atlona. “We look forward to a strong collaborative relationship over many years.”
UK - PLASA has launched an audio mixing competition, with pro audio prizes at stake.
The contest, which runs until 13 January 2020, is open to sound mixing enthusiasts and professionals alike. It is a continuation of the Stage to Studio initiative held at the PLASA Show 2019 that saw emerging artist VC Pines perform live while being recorded by sound engineer Jamie McEvoy.
There are two categories - Best Original Mix and Best Alternative Mix - with the winners set to receive prizes provided by Genelec and Shure.
To obtain the original multi-track files, participants need to complete a short form on the PLASA Show website and email their final mix to email@example.com. Each entry will be judged by representatives from Headliner and Sound on Sound magazines, Genelec, Shure, Miloco Studios, PLASA and VC Pines himself.
To find out more about the competition and how to enter, visit www.plasashow.com/stage-to-studio-competition.
The Netherlandds - For over 25 years, Story Event Engineering has been a reliable reference point for event and location organisers in the Netherlands, with a portfolio ranging from large outdoor festivals through corporate events, to theatre tours and intimate classical concerts.
The company recently invested in Outline’s Newton multi-source audio processor which combines ‘WFIR’ filtering technology, multi-format audio signal routing, simultaneous multiple standard conversion and digital signal synchronisation in a single 1RU chassis.
Martin van Kouwen, sales specialist at Ampco Flashlight Sales, Outline Newton distributor for Benelux, comments: "Outline’s recently-developed Newton is a ground-breaking product for advanced audio processing, which, due to its characteristics and quality, is ideally suited to audio professionals who place great importance in quality."
"With the WFIR filters, the control can be optimally and perfectly personalized," says Michael Story. "I can therefore now create any sound, and that makes Newton a perfect professional tool."
South Africa - AV and Beyond, a full-service technical events supplier, has recently invested in an L-Acoustics Kara professional sound system, purchased from DWR Distribution.
Over the past six years, the AV and Beyond team has successfully serviced a wide range of corporate and entertainment events for an impressive list of high-profile clients, establishing a reputation for excellence, customer service and creative brilliance in the process.
Company founder and MD, Warren Freidin, explains that AV and Beyond aims to provide clients with comprehensive turn-key technical solutions for their events. The company has built its service offering around the client’s needs and has all of the skills and resources at hand so that clientele can use a single service provider for a seamless eventing experience.
“AV and Beyond is a rapidly growing company and, having come from a smaller ecosystem, we have found in the past that we could leverage our service offering by bringing in additional gear as needed for our events. However, we have reached a point in the company’s growth path where it is increasingly clear that it would be in our interests to invest in more of our own gear to ensure that we are in the best position possible to deliver on projects moving forward,” Warren reports.
Duncan Riley, director of DWR Distribution, adds: “Coming from a production background, Warren and his team bring a refreshing level of creativity to the table and are uniquely positioned to deliver on both the technical and creative side of events for their clie
USA - At last week’s LDI 2019 tradeshow in Las Vegas, Prolights unveiled a new logo, brand design, and website.
The rebrand marks the beginning of a new era for the Italian lighting manufacturer, which exhibited on a dedicated booth at LDI for the first time.
Prolights’ logo features a prism design and ‘has been reduced to its essential elements, adding the yellow touch which represents the colour of the light’. A dedicated website (prolights.it) was also launched, offering a modern look and intuitive browsing on any platform.
“The new brand design marks the start of the new era for Prolights,” comments Fabio Sorabella, managing director. “By formulating new content and with new products, the brand is undergoing an essential transformation towards a future with higher technological contents and the internalization of our company. Now is the right time to make the new attitude of our brand visible to the outside world.”
USA - ETC continued its commitment to caring for entertainment technology professionals in need by presenting a cheque to Behind the Scenes during LDI for $23,628.98. This represented the most recent proceeds from the company’s iRFR and aRFR (Radio Focus Remote) applications. Since the launch of the iRFR in 2009, ETC’s mobile app sales have now generated over $390,000 in donations.
The iRFR and aRFR mobile apps enable convenient, touchscreen-based remote control for Eos family consoles and controllers. You can learn more about the apps from the ETC website and download them from the iTunes or Google Play stores.
“We never imagined that this app would provide such continuous support to Behind the Scenes. ETC is grateful to all the people who have supported the Eos platform and purchased this app over the years,” comments Wendy Orfan, marketing communications manager at ETC. “ETC is proud to continue supporting the efforts of Behind the Scenes.”
Behind the Scenes will soon be hitting the major milestone of having provided $1,000,000 in grants,” commented Rick Rudolph, chair of BTS. “Fred’s early support was quickly taken up by the entire ETC organisation which has played such a major role in our ability to help so many of our colleagues in need. The heartfelt thanks and tears of gratitude we receive every day belong to ETC and all our contributors who make these moments possible.”
The Behind the Scenes charity provides entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured with grants that may be used for b
USA - The winners of the second annual Knight of Illumination Awards USA (KOI-USA) ceremony have been announced.
The event, which took place at The Joint in The Hard Rock Hotel on Friday, 22 November, saw almost 400 industry professionals celebrate the creative talents of lighting and video designers.
Following an indoor drone display courtesy of Verity Studios, 26 designers were "knighted" for their work on productions in the Theatre, Live for Broadcast and Concert Touring & Events categories. These awards were followed by the presentation of the Paky Lifetime Recognition Award created by co-headline sponsor Claypaky.
The 2019 KOI-USA winners are as follows:
The Notch Award for Projection Design: Roma Flowers for A Bon Coeur
The ETC Award for Dance: Brandon Stirling Baker for Reflections
The Altman Lighting Award for Plays (Small Venue): Reza Behjat for Nina Simone: Four Women
The Altman Lighting Award for Plays (Large Venue): Natasha Katz for Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune
The ACT Lighting Award for Opera: Josh Epstein for Ellen West
The Rosco Award for Musicals (Small Venue): Christina Watanabe for The Wild Party
The PRG Award for Musicals (Large Venue): Bradley King for Hadestown
Live for Broadcast
The Vari-Lite Award for Award Shows: Jon Kusner for Billboard Music Awards 2019
The Green Hippo Award for Digital Content: Drew Findley for Breakthrough Prize Awards 2018<
UK - Lighting control manufacturer Zero 88 has launched a new website, www.zero88.com, complete with a modern design and a host of relevant product, project and general information that’s quick and easy to navigate.
The site is optimised for smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops, with embedded product overviews and training videos organised in a user-friendly layout. Finding and downloading the latest software versions is now more straightforward, and users can also download the back catalogue of software releases - a useful resource to aid showfile compatibility.
Zero 88 product manager Jon Hole, who is part of the team driving the development of the new portal, comments: “The website has been designed to meet the needs of today’s end-users, including lighting creatives and specifiers who are regularly accessing the internet on the move using mobile hand-held devices.”
Ireland - Stage Electrics has won a £2m contract for the Grangegorman campus East Quad at TU Dublin, Ireland’s first Technological University.
The new campus, part of a wider development at TU Dublin, will provide learning and teaching facilities as well as dedicated space for research technology. The East Quad buildings include the schools of art, design and printing, conservatory of music and drama, and media.
Stage Electrics is supplying full lighting, sound communication and audio-visual systems to a 400-seat rehearsal hall, a recital hall, a performance hall, a black box theatre, TV studios, and post-production studios throughout the building. Work will commence on site shortly and is expected to be completed by late spring 2020.
USA - disguise has announced a partnership with Evolve Media Group as the latest rental and sales partner in the US.
Evolve is a technology-focused company that provides its suite of services exclusively to the live event industry. The US-based company offers three key services comprised of rental, sales and education through their Academy.
“We are thrilled to welcome Evolve to the disguise global partner network as our newest rental and sales partner in the US. We are looking forward to working with them as they offer training in their Orlando and Las Vegas locations and help their existing customers to better understand how the disguise workflow can streamline their content management needs,” says Grif Palmer, VP sales and general manager for disguise Americas.
Evolve CEO Tyler Mayne adds: “disguise media servers are not just requested but required by many of the top designers in the industry. disguise provides the visual power for the most demanding live events all over the world and are instrumental in getting clients’ creative visions from conception to reality. We are very proud of this new partnership and welcome disguise to the Evolve family."
Evolve invested in disguise gx 2 and vx 4 media servers for their rental inventory and brought disguise on as a full Evolve Trifecta Partner by providing disguise training workshops, which began last summer.
Evolve has already deployed disguise on projects and seen the benefits the solutions bring to a project when faced with issues such as venue scheduling and time limitations fo
Ukraine - Lighting manufacturer Prolights has appointed Light Converse as distributor for Ukraine. Founded in Kiev in 1997, Light Converse has developed strong relationships throughout the show lighting worlds, particularly in the world of stage, theatre, architectural and TV.
Aleksandr Berenok, owner of Light Converse, comments: "Prolights has rapidly become an important landmark in this industry. Their can-do attitude and thirst for innovation are among the reasons why we decided to work alongside them. We have seen Prolights continually put exceptional customer support, personal customer relationships and high-quality products at the forefront and this completely aligns with how we operate. We look forward to a long and successful relationship as their distributor."
Paolo Albani, international sales manager for Prolights, adds: "We are really proud to start working with Light Converse and its well-connected and knowledgeable team. Their passion and dedication is well-known in the industry and we are sure that they are the right partner for Prolights in Ukraine."
World - Live event staging company All Access has refreshed its visual identity - complete with a new logo and website - to better reflect the products and services it delivers.
The rebrand includes a new logo with 'All Access' in red and black and the company's classic strapline 'All the time' placed underneath.
"Many consider the original logo to be an icon in the industry and symbolic of quality," says the company in a statement. "However, just as the entertainment industry as a whole has evolved, All Access has evolved. The cleaner, more modern lines of their new logo are a better reflection of the brand today while paying homage to their past."
The new website, allaccessinc.com, highlights All Access' five main markets - concert touring, festival staging, special events, sports and activations, and broadcast - and features a redesigned database for its equipment as well as user-friendly product pages.
Founded in 1991, All Access provides custom sets and staging to events across the globe from its hubs in Los Angeles, New York, and London. The company has been involved in events such as the Super Bowl halftime show, the Grammys, and tours for Jennifer Lopez, Childish Gambino, and Garth Brooks.
Get Back - One of the live industry’s worst-kept secrets has been confirmed: Sir Paul McCartney will headline Glastonbury in 2020. The former Beatle will top the bill on the Pyramid Stage on Saturday 27 June, a week after his 78th birthday. He last played the Somerset event in 2004, and organisers have long been keen to get him back for an encore. Next year will be Glastonbury's golden jubilee and co-organiser Emily Eavis says: “There really was no one that we wanted more for the 50th anniversary.”
Together Again - Mötley Crüe are to reform for a stadium tour of the US - less than five years after they played what they said would be their final ever show. Def Leppard and Poison will join them, but dates and venues are yet to be announced. Before their supposed farewell tour in 2014-2015, the band had signed what they said was a "cessation of touring agreement" at a press conference. But on Monday, they posted a video of that contract being blown up. The band said in a statement: "The contract is off the table because a whole new generation of Crüeheads are relentlessly demanding for the band to come back together."
Street Music - A screening of 42nd Street The Musical took £1.1m in its first week. Distributor More2Screen has confirmed the film achieved the best ever first week box office sales for an event cinema screening. It was screened at more than 600 venues.
CEO and founder of More2Screen Christine Costello said: “This tremendous box office result demonstrates the huge enthusiasm for watching West End musicals
UK - Following a successful trial, NEC Group Arenas (Arena Birmingham and Resorts World Arena) has committed to rolling out mental health First Aid support across a number of their shows.
The Mental Health First Aiders, who are both employees of NEC Group and CBRE, will provide practical mental health reassurance and support on show nights for both audiences and fellow employees. Their help can range from providing a non-judgemental listening ear, to offering a space to relax or signposting to further support.
So far, support has been offered at Ariana Grande at Arena Birmingham and Little Mix at Resorts World Arena, receiving a wealth of positive customer feedback. The NEC Group currently has 20 employees trained as MHFAs, with plans to roll out the initiative further across a number of upcoming shows.
One customer who used the mental health service at Ariana Grande says: “We came to the Ariana concert last night, our first concert since the Manchester attack and just wanted to thank everyone involved for making the experience so positive and restoring our children’s happy memories. It wasn’t without a few panic attacks and tears, but the mental health support in place was brilliant. This visit was made so much easier by the reassurance of visible security, police presence and the mental health support on offer.”
Ellie Coombes, senior event manager at Arena Birmingham, says: “Mental wellbeing is hugely important to us at the NEC Group. Over recent months we’ve put a real emphasis on making sure our employees’ mental health is lo
UK - The aptly-named GreenHouse at Manchester’s MediaCityUK was the chosen setting for a Green-GO training workshop presented by audio, video and broadcast solutions specialist Canford. As the UK and Ireland’s distributor for the scalable, digital comms system since 2016, Canford has seen demand rise sharply in festivals, live events and broadcast applications.
“The Canford team regularly delivers bespoke, on-site product demonstrations, both for new clients taking their first look at Green-GO, and for those who are already regular users but want to further explore the system’s more advanced possibilities,” explains Erika Dobie, BDM and Green-GO commercial manager at Canford. “Now, with Green-GO experiencing record-breaking demand, the time was right to host the very first UK Workshop event.”
Held on 5 November, the packed workshop session attracted rental partners, consultants, system designers and operators to share their Green-GO experiences and ideas. It also gave them the opportunity to discuss solutions with product experts from Canford, and from Green-GO itself, whose Silvio Cibien and Henk-Jan Blok were on hand to support the event.
As well as giving new clients an overview of the Green-GO system’s basic advantages, the workshop also allowed regular users to take a deeper look at its more advanced features.
“The event has proven to be extremely successful, attracting visitors from far and wide and giving them really valuable insights into the benefits of the Green-GO system,” says Erika Dobie. “I am already being
Europe - Sixty82 has appointed European Tour Productions (ETP) as its exclusive distributor in Denmark.
ETP's main competencies are project management, rental equipment and engineering for the experience industry. Since 1994, the company has carried out projects for organisations and firms in Denmark and abroad and has an extensive experience with cultural events of all sizes.
"We chose to partner with ETP as they represent the strongest importing distributor in its territory, with a historical strength in the trussing and staging marketplace," says Sixty82 CEO Fokko Smeding. “This agreement further iterates both the company's enthusiasm to drive growth and extend relationships with its customers. With their extensive experience in the industry, we believe that the team at ETP is highly equipped to fulfil our customers' every need.”
Date Jonkman, executive account manager of Sixty82, continues: “We fully understand how incredibly important it is to serve our customers' needs for fast delivery times of high-quality products. And for the technical support from experienced people that comes with that. Only the right team of people can cater for these high standards. We therefore chose ETP carefully to be our new exclusive partner because we believe that they strive to meet the same principles.”
Flemming Pedersen, CEO of ETP, adds: “We were seeking a truss and staging manufacturer that could fulfil not only our day-to day needs, but especially help us with the many special requests we receive from our customers. When we learned about
UK - On 5 November, Bristol-based specialist installer Stage Electrics marked 40 years in business with a staff party held at Bristol Zoo.
The company was formed in 1979 by a group of theatre lighting and sound equipment enthusiasts and has since grown from three staff to over 120 whilst amassing an impressive portfolio of sales and installations.
Offering a range of services, including installation, product sales and testing, inspection and maintenance services, Stage Electrics has a sales team of over 20, including a field sales team. Its export business has also seen significant growth in recent years.
“We tailored our service to suit our customers, who all have differing needs,” explains sales director, Anna Western. “Some clients like to see their contact person on a regular basis, while others like to have someone available on the end of the phone. We also offer a huge range of products from special effects, trussing, staging and sound, to lighting and control. We hold around £1.2m of sales stock, so we can guarantee next day delivery, which is vitally important.”
Stage Electrics also manufactures a range of cables, IWBs, panels and racks, custom-building for its own projects, as well as selling one-offs to its customers.
“It’s all about getting our customers what they want, when they want it,” Western continues. “To facilitate that, we don’t operate on an exclusive basis with any manufacturer - we want to be completely unbiased in our recommendations and make sure we always provide the right product from rig
Canada - Coda Audio has announced the appointment of SC Media Canada as its exclusive distributor in the territory. An influential presence in the Canadian market for 35 years, SC Media represents industry-leading manufacturers and has built its success on a combination of close customer relationships and the expertise of its strong technical support team.
Paul Ward, director of global business development for Coda Audio International, comments: "We're delighted to be partnering with SC Media in what is a large and very important market. The rapidly increasing global demand for our products reflects the growing awareness of the very real advantages they bring to the live and installed sectors. Our distribution partners play a vital part in communicating this message and SC Media’s strong core values and obvious passion for audio gives us great confidence in their ability to grow the brand in the Canadian market.”
Jean Daoust, president of SC Media Canada adds: “We are very proud to be associated with a company of CODA’s standing. We are excited to partner with another supplier that is forward thinking and puts great investment in technology.”
South Africa - DWR Distribution is co-hosting the Robe Roadshow South Africa. Present at the event will be Josef Valchar, CEO of Robe Lighting, and Harry von den Stemmen, international sales director, who will be introducing the new Esprite and Tetra this December.
The roadshow kicks off in Cape Town at the Roxy Revue Bar at the Grand West Casino on 2 December. Those living in Durban are welcome to pop in at the Grace Family Church in Umhlanga on 4 December. The last stop will be at DWR Distribution Johannesburg on 6 December. Demonstrations will be held on the hour from 10am to 4pm each day.
While the event is free of charge, attendees are asked to RSVP at the DWR Distribution website.
UK - Edinburgh-based production services and dry hire company, Blue Parrot, has taken delivery of Scotland’s first Ayrton Perseo-S IP65-rated LED fixtures. The occasion also marks Blue Parrot’s first investment in Ayrton fixtures which are destined for a very busy life in hire stock.
“We've just received our shipment of 14 Ayrton Perseo IP65 units and we're very excited,” says Blue Parrot managing director, Jonnie Clough. “We’ve been searching for a solid solution for an IP fixture of this kind for ages.”
Perseo is Ayrton’s first multi-function, compact, powerful, IP65-rated fixture developed for intensive outdoor use. Perseo produces 27,000lm from its 500W LED source, and sports a fully weather-proof housing with a new water-resistant menu navigation system to handle “whatever the weather can throw at it”.
Clough was first introduced to Perseo, along with the full range of Ayrton LED fixtures, on a visit to the Ayrton headquarters in Paris in the company of Ayrton’s UK distributor, Ambersphere Solutions. “To be honest, I wasn’t specifically looking for an IP-rated fixture at the time, but when I saw Perseo, I was immediately intrigued. They instantly caught my attention, firstly because they were LED, and secondly because they were much brighter than our existing discharge stock, which was a great surprise.
“But the main factor to clinch Perseo above anything else is because it is a really good light that just happens to be water-proof. They are small and light with fantastic output and packed full of features. Yo
USA - Behind the Scenes reports that its recent Survey to Assist in the Development of a Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative in the Entertainment Industry received “an incredible response from the industry” with over 3,300 people completing the survey.
An initial look at the survey results confirmed that the long hours, pressures of deadlines, lack of resources, and uncertainty of employment have taken a very hard toll on our industry. These affect not only mental health, but physical health as well, and impact relationships with family and friends. Unsurprisingly, over 90% of respondents have experienced anxiety while over 80% have suffered from depression.
What is also apparent from the responses, and very encouraging, is that many individuals want to step up and help colleagues they feel are struggling but simply don’t know how and are very concerned about making things worse. BTS’ goal is to provide information and resources that will give industry members the confidence to act.
If you did not participate in the survey but would like to be kept informed of the initiative’s progress or participate in future surveys, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.