UK - Four events sector businesses have been merged into a new full-service company called Star Live.
Live events equipment supplier Star Events, event management agency Mobile Promotions, brand partnership agency BluePeg and staffing business Beautiful Minds - all owned by entrepreneur David Walley - will adopt the new name and brand identity with immediate effect, while founders of the four companies will form part of Star Live’s senior management team.
The merger was preceded by the recent acquisition of Star Events in July. All four businesses have been acquired by Walley within the last 18 months.
“This is a logical and exciting step for us,” comments Walley, Star Live CEO. “We have brought together four market-leading companies with a clear vision - to be the full-service live event and brand experience partner for all our clients. Our new brand identity reflects our heritage combined with a contemporary mindset, fully-focused on creating world-class experiences for our clients and their audiences.”
Star Live will offer a range of services, including stages and grandstands, trailers and roadshows, brand ambassadors and crewing alongside design and creative, sponsorship management and partnerships, event production and brand activation. The combined business will also benefit from teams based in multiple locations across the UK and internationally in Shanghai.
Key members of the newly-formed team include former CEO of Arena G
South Africa - Johannesburg rental company MGG supplied the full technical production package for the Africa Play Conference.
Hosted at The Maslow Time Square hotel in Pretoria earlier this year, the conference is a partnership between the Lego Foundation, the Department of Basic Education of the Republic of South Africa, UNICEF South Africa and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA).
Four hundred delegates from around the globe, including educators, policy-makers and researchers, joined together to share insights and come up with ideas to help equip children in Africa to become creative and life-long learners. The emphasis was to explore learning through play and how this could improve the quality of early childhood development and become an integral part of the education system.
“To add an element of fun, MGG was asked to include Lego pieces in the set design,” explains Denzil Smith of MGG. “We soon realised that the Lego factory in Denmark was willing to manufacture actual Lego blocks, 500cm wide by 250cm high and 250cm deep, which were then shipped to South Africa. There was great excitement as the containers arrived at the MGG premises, and even more so when it came to the actual load-in. It was like watching children build a big Lego set.”
MGG project manager Günther Müller was on-site to head the project. The Lego built stage included three high-resolution Absen 2.9mm LED screens designed into the white set, which were the main source for content and information. The middle screen was able to switch
Australia - After months of anticipation and secrecy, Halo - the light and sound experience designed specifically for Townsville, a coastal city in north eastern Queensland - has opened.
Created and produced by Sydney-based AGB Events, Halo transforms Castle Hill, the natural ‘halo’ that hovers above Townsville. Presented by the Townsville City Council, Halo runs in conjunction with the inaugural North Australian Festival of Arts, and has been made possible through the support of the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.
“Townsville City Council wanted to create something highly memorable that would truly mesmerise and captivate the public’s imagination,” says Anthony Bastic, CEO and creative director of AGB Events. “We were thrilled and honoured to be asked to undertake such a prestigious and challenging project. We’re delighted with the results.”
Halo which runs from 19 July - 4 August between 6:00pm and 10:00pm - is the latest in a series of large scale multimedia shows produced by AGB Events. These have included Vivid Sydney Light Walk, Australia’s largest annual event; Parrtijma, a light festival in Alice Springs that took its inspiration from indigenous stories and culture, lighting up two kilometres of the MacDonnell Ranges, and the Lights of Christmas in Sydney and Brisbane.
“Halo is a new event experience that showcases creativity in one of the most aesthetically compelling new art forms; light art,” continues Bastic. “Over the past decade, th
UK - Technical production company Maestra Group has launched a scenic division. Based at Maestra’s London HQ, Maestra Scenic will offer services including CNC, carpentry and joinery, fabrication and engineering, painting and finishing as well as integration of other technical detailing - such as lighting, video or audio - into scenic fabrication projects.
The new division will employ a team of 20 full-time staff, who will be led by director of production Mark Davies, former director of technical operations at the National Theatre and sales director at Stage One Creative Services.
Davies comments: “The goals for good scenic companies are about meeting and then exceeding client expectations in all aspects - quality and build, finishing, being on-budget and ease of installation. It is essential to have the right people and processes all working harmoniously and with a full understanding of each project’s individual requirements. At Maestra, we strive to achieve this every time.”
Joining Maestra Scenic as head of its construction department is Paul Evans, former NT head of construction. Another key appointment is Jon Chute as head of production. Chute was previously an account director for Stage One Creative Services and a senior production manager for Imagination.
Meanwhile, the Maestra Scenic facility is made up of a 9,000sq.ft fabrication area which will include CNC equipment for carpentry and metalwork, and a mezzanine area that will be utilised for CNC poly carving and other 3D modelling. An external spray booth will deal with all fi
USA - The Empire State Building has gifted the Audio Engineering Society with one of the 32 elements from its Alford antenna array, which overlooked Manhattan from high above for more than half a century. This piece of FM broadcast history will be on display at AES New York 2019, the 147th Audio Engineering Society International Pro Audio Convention at the Jacob K. Javits Centre in October.
“The Alford Antenna is an important part of what made broadcasting as we know it today possible, and the Empire State Building is excited to share this special piece of history with the Audio Engineering Society,” says Anthony E. Malkin, chairman and CEO of Empire State Realty Trust.
Since its opening in 1931, the Empire State Building has been on the cusp of innovation. When the Alford master FM antenna was installed around the 102nd-floor observation deck of the Empire State Building in 1965, it was a revolutionary development in broadcast technology. Instead of operating at lower power from various rooftops and hilltops around the city, for the first time multiple FM stations could operate at full power from a single shared antenna system atop what was then the tallest building in the US, carrying the signals of more than a dozen top New York radio stations to tens of millions of listeners in the tri-state area.
“The Alford Antenna played a critical role in the delivery of spoken word and music to millions for decades,” notes Nadja Wallaszkovits, AES president. “The AES is proud to present this slice of New York’s rich broadcasting legacy to the
UK - Event industry entrepreneur David Walley has acquired Star Events, provider of stages, support structures, rigging and design services.
Star Events has been supplying equipment and services to the events industry for 40 years, working on high-profile events such as British Summer Time Hyde Park, Download Festival, and the visit of Pope Benedict XVI. The company has also worked for artists including Adele, Spice Girls and the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
Walley’s portfolio of event businesses includes event management agency Mobile Promotions, brand partnership agency BluePeg and staffing business Beautiful Minds. He was also managing director of De Boer and has led the Freeman Company in the UK. He comments: “Star is one of the great names of the UK events industry. They have an inspiring legacy and are both trusted and innovative. We are looking forward to integrating them into the business and adding value to all of our clients.”
Star Events’ Roger Barrett, adds: “I’ve known and worked alongside David on some major projects for more than 20 years. The whole Star team is excited about this move, which will significantly increase the services we can offer to our clients.”
UK - Harlequin Floors' Liberty panels were used for the set of the eagerly-awaited film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, the manufacturer has revealed.
Filmed at Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire, the upcoming musical drama features a star-studded cast, including actors Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift and James Corden, as well as Royal Ballet principal dancers Francesca Hayward and Steve McRae.
Over 550sq.m of Harlequin Liberty panels were hired for the film set, to provide the cast a safe sprung floor on which to practice their lifts and jumps. The sprung dance floor panels were then covered in Harlequin Reversible Pro performance vinyl, which helps to prevent slips and falls. Ballet barres and 15 mirrors were also bought from the Tunbridge Wells-based manufacturer to complete the professional dance environment in which the cast could train.
Jamie Stirling, technical development manager at Harlequin, visited the set and oversaw the installation. "Working on projects of this scale and prestige, which are often technically challenging, is a real privilege, especially one such as this that combines film and performing arts,” he comments.
Cats is released on 20 December by Universal Pictures. The film is the second musical adaptation directed by Les Misérables director, Tom Hooper and is choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler, with Steven Spielberg as executive producer.
UK - Five years on from the original 14 teams and £7,000 raised, Kartfest 2019, the charity fundraiser organised by Backup, raised £28,300 with 34 teams taking part in the event.
With a diverse mix of manufactures, rental companies, agencies and end-clients arriving at Daytona at Surrey’s Sandown Park each year, Kartfest has become a must attend annual event for the entertainment technology industry.
The 2019 headline sponsor was Chauvet, with further support from Autograph, Creative Technology, The Technical Department, IPS, JPP bars and Heli-Teli as production partners.
“We have really established this day as a date for all of the industry to come together and meet up, race and raise an amazing amount of money for Backup and subsequently the industry,” says Kartfest organiser and Backup trustee Lee Dennison. “And the support from our sponsor and production partners was, as always, incredible.”
“It’s was not only a brilliant day of reflection and fundraising for our industry family, but also one of the best industry social events of the year,” confirms Scott Arnold, group managing director of Autograph Sound Recording.
Falling on 4 July, the theme dictated itself and a celebration of our cousins on the other side of the Atlantic elicited some interesting costumes and the spirit of the day was embraced by one and all.
A full day of racing, pit stop challenges, BBQ food, beers, comedy from Danny Posthill - one of the comedians who appeared at last year’s Comfest and who is set to re-appear at this year’s sho
South Africa - Stage Audio Works is putting hands-on experiences at the forefront of its presence at Mediatech 2019.
Stage Audio Works will once again be supporting the biennial event with its characteristic large stand, highlighting some of the latest products from major international brands, as well as its own locally-manufactured technology.
On top of this, Stage Audio Works also has a presence at the outdoor live sound demonstration area. Daily demonstrations of the VIO L208 from dBTechnologies is set to be a highlight of this popular feature of Mediatech.
“The real benefit of any trade show is getting technology into the hands of end-users and discussing how it can help them,” says Shaun Xavier, marketing manager at Stage Audio Works. “We have seen how Mediatech has enabled us to do this in the past and we are looking forward to highlighting how our technology can benefit projects of all shapes and sizes right across Africa.”
South Africa - Green Hippo will join its African distributor DWR Distribution at Mediatech Africa, taking place 17-19 July in Johannesburg.
Green Hippo and DWR will be highlighting how technology is changing the face of creative design and human experiences, and showcasing the Hippotizer Media Server range of solutions for real-time media playback and 3D mapping.
Visitors are invited to stand C20 to witness the creative possibilities that the powerful new features of the latest Hippotizer software, V4.5. The team will be demonstrating the most recent software features developed in response to end-user feedback, including Object to Output, a new output mapping workflow.
Created as an invaluable live events tool, Object to Output ensures users can directly map content to outputs inside Hippotizer’s 3D workspace, ingeniously simplifying the management of large numbers of displays. It also allows users to seamlessly integrate multiple moving set elements, map a single video across numerous displays or dynamically adjust the perspective of the content.
Another feature designed to augment the creative user’s artistic expression is Hippotizer’s BeatBridge feature, which allows Hippotizer parameters to respond, in real time, to an audio input, via MIDI or DMX, be it the beat of the music or the intensity of a crowd.
In addition, on 17 July at Zone 3, stand C30, Green Hippo’s product specialist Suzy Stenning will present an introduction to Media Servers for Live Production. Visitors will be able to learn about real-time output conf
France - Domaine des Étangs is the largest five-star hotel/resort in France. Located in Massignac, it spans a thousand acres, including forests, pastures, and ponds. The Domaine des Étangs (Pond Domain) hosts an 11th century castle, fully renovated and decorated with contemporary works of art, detailed landscaping, Gallo-Roman baths, two swimming pools, a floating tennis court, and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Built of stone and wood, La Laiterie is a new gallery space within the Domaine des Étangs complex that is dedicated to exhibitions about the 'Meeting of Art and Nature'.
"As we collaborated in advance of the sound system installation with Amadeus experts, we were able to get rid of the speakers' common aesthetic nuisances and at the same time ensure a sound quality at a level rivaling the most famous concert halls," explains Manuel Gomez, architect and music lover, who was in charge of the renovation work for La Laiterie at the Domaine des Étangs.
Designed in a circular layout to get the best envelopment for visitors and to adapt to the geometric, technical, and aesthetic constraints in the Laiterie galley, the sound system comprises 44 speakers made by Amadeus and the Holophonix spatial sound processor.
"The specification was very complex. Mrs. Garance Primat, the owner of the Domaine des Étangs, is a great music lover and a contemporary art collector; she wished to turn this former 18th-century barn into a place where past, present, and future art would meet to serve culture and presentation," says Gaëtan Byk, marketing manag
UK - Harlequin Floors has launched Reversible Red/Black, a new colour in its Reversible range of double-sided dance, event and stage floor vinyl. The product is available now from the Harlequin global offices.
Harlequin Reversible is a lightweight calendered vinyl that rolls out quickly, lays flat and stays flat, says the company. It is hard-wearing and slip-resistant and offers versatility as it can be used on both sides. Harlequin Reversible also conforms to fire rating Bfl-s1 (EN 13501-1) and is easy to handle and transport, making it particularly suitable for touring and events.
Other colours in the Reversible range include Black/White (001), Dark Grey/Light Grey (003), Fog/Tan (890) and Hazelnut/Beige (310).
For TV and film production, Harlequin has developed Black/Projection Grey (005), a vinyl surface that is ideal for projecting onto it thanks to its ability to absorb ambient light. Harlequin also offers Chroma Key Green/Chroma Key Blue, designed specifically for digital compositing, providing a practical solution for filmmakers and television producers as both a floor and backdrop.
Norway - Prostage, the Oslo-based distributors of Prolights, invited lighting designer Fredrik Jönsson to lead a two-day workshop hosted in Oslo’s Riksteatret. The designer discussed various design techniques, stories and lessons learned throughout his career in the entertainment industry.
Fredrik Jönsson designed the lighting for the international Eurovision final in Malmö in 2013 and in Stockholm in 2016 and was awarded an LLB Award for best Lighting Design for his work on the 2013 Eurovision final. In 2019, he designed the lighting for Melodifestivalen (the national Swedish Eurovision finals), bringing his grand total of live performances for Melodifestivalen to 103.
Jönsson drew from his vast experience of designing global concert tours, international events and broadcast and concocted the two-day interactive seminar program covering topics such as basic lighting principles, WYSIWYG, CAD Visualisations and methodologies in practice.
During the CTO and CRI discussions, the LD tested the RA series fixtures independently and commented on how impressed he was with the high standard of light quality, the 6000+K and the impressive measured open white values of over 92 produced by the RA2000 and the RA3000.
For the duration of the workshop a full Prolights rig was on display for visitors to get ‘up close and personal’ with the fixtures and ask the Prostage team any fixture related questions. The workshop was well attended and encouraged participation, discussion and debate.
Prostage sales manager Carl August Tidmann comme
UK - From the Pyramid Stage, where Tim Routledge used the COLORado Solo Batten on headliner Stormzy, to the Flying Bus Stage, the Greenpeace Field and the Acoustic Stage, Chauvet Professional proliferated at the 36th edition of the Glastonbury Festival.
On the Pyramid Stage, a large collection of COLORado Solo Batten fixtures helped outline the architecture of the set and provided immersive colour washes from multiple directions.
At the Unfairgrounds, the GLX Productions team led by managing director and lighting designer Glenn Gridley, used an extensive array of Maverick fixtures to create transformative moments. This was most notable on the Flying Bus Stage, where GLX conjured up an engaging effect with help from 12 Maverick MK Pyxis, 12 Maverick MK1 Spot and three Maverick MK1 Hybrid units.
Maverick fixtures also had a transformative effect on the festival’s Greenpeace Field, where the Bailes+Light team relied on the IP65-rated Maverick Storm 1 Wash to create a forest of light. Adding to the outdoor panorama were COLORado Solo Batten, ÉPIX Strip IP, COLORado Panel Q40, STRIKE 1 and STRIKE P38 fixtures, along with F4IP video panels.
Rob Sangwell and Simon Johnson of Fineline Lighting added a powerful punch to the Acoustic Stage for artists like the Mavericks and Keane with a festival rig that featured 16 Maverick MK3 Spot and 18 Maverick MK3 Wash fixtures.
Spain - London and Dubai-based event design, technical and scenic production company Maestra Group is opening an office in Barcelona this September.
The new base is being launched in response to Maestra’s increased involvement in live events across Europe, particularly in key areas of Spain, the South of France and the Italian Riviera. Maestra Barcelona will be located 20 minutes from the city centre and 10 minutes from El Prat International Airport.
Company directors Tom Clements and Justin Hammond will oversee the launch. Clements comments: “Strategically, it’s a great base for servicing events across the whole of Europe and ensuring that we stay competitive and dynamic in a fast-moving world of product launches, conferences and events.”
A multilingual team of seven experienced live events professionals will work across all departments at the Barcelona office, which will also have equipment from brands including d&b audiotechnik, Robe Lighting, Analog Way, Sennheiser and Yamaha.
As well as being able to supply design services and technical production for international clients more efficiently throughout Europe, Maestra Group will also be expanding its general European business from the Barcelona office.
Germany - ETC and High End Systems presented live demonstrations alongside their latest line-up of products to large crowds at Stage|Set|Scenery 2019. Visitors arrived in their thousands to Messe Berlin, with many gathering at ETC’s stands to watch the Prodigy P2 hoist installations and Augment3d demo.
During the three-day tradeshow, ETC held live demonstrations installing the innovative Prodigy P2 hoist. The speedy installation of the full upper stage machinery system including luminaires was completed by just two staff members in under half an hour every time.
Crowds gathered as the quickest time recorded during the show to install the P2 powerhead, hang the ColorSource Raceway, fit a double purchased swag-style cable management system and rig and connect some ColorSource luminaires was under 18 minutes. ETC’s Prodigy P2 is compact in size and has advanced features that make installations a swift and easy process, saving costs and time, and with variants available from European stock entire projects can be delivered at short notice.
Visitors to the lighting hall of the international trade fair and conference were able to see in-depth presentations of ETC’s first integrated 3D programming environment, Augment3d. The Eos v3.0 tool was shown on Eos Ti and Gio @5 consoles, demonstrating how users can design and control in a three dimensional space as well as interacting with their fixtures through augmented reality.
High End Systems distributor, Preworks GmbH showcased a range of the newest products at the tradeshow. A selection of automat
UK - The PLASA Awards for Innovation 2019 are now open for entries from PLASA Show exhibitors. Products from all sectors of the entertainment technology industry are invited to be entered for the awards by 16 August.
Judged independently by a panel of industry experts, the Awards for Innovation are respected throughout the industry for recognising innovative new product design. All successful nominees will feature in the Innovation Gallery during PLASA Show from 15-17 September at London Olympia, culminating in a ceremony at the show on 16 September where the winner will be announced.
Product entries must demonstrate a new style of thinking, improve technical practice and safety, introduce new technology, materials or techniques, or offer new commercial advantages. Furthermore, an Award for Sustainability is reserved for products which achieve a significant reduction of power, utilise renewable energy or have a positive impact on the environment.
Awards set to be presented at PLASA Show not only celebrate innovative products - they also recognise the people who have led the way. Each year, the prestigious Gottelier Award, named after industry innovator Tony Gottelier, is presented to a pioneering product developer, with the winner voted for by PLASA members and registered PLASA Show visitors.
The 2018 recipient of the Gottelier Award was Unusual Rigging’s Alan Jacobi, with past winners including Wayne Howell, Anne Valentino, David Cunningham, Pasquale Quadri, Jim Bornhorst, John Meyer, Terry Clarke, Fred Foster, Alex Cooper, John Stadius
South Africa - DWR Distribution will have a major presence at Mediatech Africa, the largest media and entertainment technology trade show in Africa, to be hosted from 17-19 July at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg.
With a list of international guests attending, the exhibition will see some of the world’s leading equipment manufacturers, distributed by DWR, hosting stands at this year’s exhibition, including Robe, Claypaky, Absen, Prolyte, Visual Productions and Quest.
“We wanted to make DWR a central hub for people to unwind, meet up with our team and catch up with our international suppliers,” says Robert Izzett from DWR.
On the DWR stand, visitors will be able to have a drink or enjoy a cup of coffee. Then, a few steps away, they will have the opportunity to see the latest products being demonstrated. “Our suppliers have jumped on board with great enthusiasm, and we know their passion will contribute to creating a fantastic vibe at Mediatech Africa,” says Robert.
Mediatech Africa plans to host three presentation zones, where discussions and training sessions will be held. “This is a great initiative by Mediatech, and DWR along with our suppliers, are glad to contribute to the conversation,” he ends.
UK - Chroma-Q has celebrated 15 years of LED innovation with summer BBQs and open day events.
The events, held in the Northern and Southern offices of its UK dealer, A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET), provided an opportunity for Chroma-Q users, including lighting designers, specifiers, rental production companies and venues, to get hands-on with the latest fixtures.
The full Chroma-Q range was on display, including its film and broadcast portfolio, featuring the Space Force and Space Force onebytwo soft lights, the Studio Force II studio light, and the Brute Force quarter Wendy alternative.
In addition, the multi award-winning Color Force II cyc light and the Inspire range of colour changing LED house lights were also on show. The Vista 3 by Chroma-Q lighting and media control range of software and hardware solutions featured at the event as well.
The British summer weather held out and allowed guests to indulge themselves with a selection of specialty gin and tonics from the Just the Tonic bar and enjoy an assortment of BBQ food in the sun.
The events were supported by Luminex, who had on show the latest range of LumiNode converters, as well its GigaCore Switches, and AC-ET’s in-house cabling manufacturer, Tourflex Cabling was also a supporter, providing guests the opportunity to discover their new services, including laser engraving and overmoulding.
Jonathan Walters, UK sales & purchasing director for AC-ET, comments: “These events have gone down really well with our customers. Not only was it a great chance to net
UK - Creative Technology Group (CT) has acquired Ion Solutions, a provider of professional audio visual and broadcast technology systems in Ireland.
Dublin-based Ion Solutions will become part of the CT Europe & Middle East group and will be rebranded as Creative Technology (CT) Ireland after a transition period. The existing management team of Ion Solutions will continue to run the day-to-day business.
Dave Crump, president and CEO of CT Europe & Middle East, comments: “The addition of Ion Solutions strengthens the CT organisation, increasing our full range of services and rentals we can provide to our clients, especially in an increasingly significant business hub like Dublin.”
Ion Solutions was founded in 1967 as a technology engineering specialist and has since added broadcast and AV systems integration, AV rental, facilities management and content creation capabilities to its portfolio of services. The business also offers a range of managed audio-visual services, ranging from maintenance contracts to on-site AV technician services.
John Roche, CEO of Ion Solutions, adds: “From our earliest beginnings in 1967, Ion Solutions has always sought to innovate in the market, and to offer our unique experience in broadcast systems, coupled with the best of AV technology to our clients.
“We were looking for the next step in our evolution and becoming part of Creative Technology and the global NEP Worldwide Network - working alongside our existing partners on the NEP Ireland, Screen Scene and NEP Connect teams - will be a tre
UK - Registration is now open for PLASA Show 2019, which returns from 15-17 September to bring over 200 brands lighting, audio, AV, rigging and staging brands to Olympia London.
Mirroring the growth of the AV sector, this year’s show will present an array of next-generation LED screen technology from major players such as Canon and Midwich. Furthermore, Netgear will share its networking and integration solutions.
The audio presence at the show has been growing rapidly over the last few years and in 2019, the show will welcome Void Acoustics and CUK Audio in addition to Bose, d&b audiotechnik, Yamaha and Adam Hall among others.
Meanwhile, live audio demos will double this year, with L-Acoustics taking a dedicated demo space and KV2 Audio demo'ing its products, which feature across various West End and Broadway productions. There will also be back-to-back speaker demos from Adam Hall, Shermann Audio, Ohm, Aura Audio, RCF and Void Acoustics.
New for 2019 will be Stage To Studio, an initiative organised in association with Sound On Sound and Headliner magazines, which will see a band being recorded live and mixed by a professional engineer. Following this, a competition will launch, inviting people to submit their own mixes of the band performance for a chance to win a pro audio prize.
Lighting industry professionals will once again be able to see products from global industry leaders, including Claypaky, Elation, ETC and Robe. Joining the
Germany - Over 300 exhibitors will be presenting their latest products and services for theatre, film and event technology at Stage|Set|Scenery, taking place at the Berlin Exhibition Grounds from 18 to 20 June.
The expo is co-organised by Deutsche Theatertechnische Gesellschaft (DTHG) and Messe Berlin.
Dr. Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin, comments: “With over 50 theatres, three opera houses, Europe's biggest museum complex and numerous exhibition venues, as well as some 1,000 companies representing the film industry, culture is a major economic factor in Berlin. By hosting Stage|Set|Scenery we are aiming to give the city's large cultural sector a platform for an interdisciplinary dialogue, opportunities for training and an inspirational event.”
Wesko Rohde, chairman of the board and managing director of DTHG, adds: “Creativity drives this industry. Together with many of its innovative partners we have organised a wide-ranging programme of conference events this year, with a clear focus on a dialogue involving practical issues. Be it at the RoundTables or on the special display areas - the fact that visitors can engage with creatives and experts and directly exchange views on the latest topics about modern and innovative events sets Stage|Set|Scenery apart.”
The RoundTables and special display areas have been integrated directly into the halls to ensure their proximity to the exhibitors, many of whom have actively contributed to the programme and setting up the special display areas. The LightLab curated by Manfred ‘Ollie’ Ol
UK - Birmingham-based NEC Group gave a presentation of what’s to come in the new Bradford Live venue, during an event at the National Museum of Science and Media.
Formally the Bradford Odeon, the demolition work inside the building is now well under way, with many of the original art deco features revealed for the first time in over 40 years, as the concrete from the 1960s cinema structure is stripped out. The next stage of development will be the start of the renovation and restoration works, paving the way for a re-opening in the 2020/21 season.
The venue will boast the renaissance of the 1930s ballroom, which will become a 750-person capacity space, for conferencing and banqueting, whilst the double height main auditorium will be reinstated as a 4,000-capacity live events venue.
Phil Mead, NEC group chairman for the group’s arenas and ticketing company, says: “We really want to put Bradford back on the map for major touring artists. The venue has seen legends play there, such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and I’ve no doubt that we’ll see legends play there again. We are in preliminary talks with a number of promoters and event organisers to discuss the opening season and will announce this as our plans progress next year and construction dates are finalised.
“As well as creating the full time equivalent of around 50 new jobs, the venue will play an important part in the ongoing regeneration of the city led by Bradford Council and a range of partners. It will help to boost the night time economy of Bradford, increasing
USA - Entertainment technology industry veteran Nils Thorjussen has helped develop key lighting control solutions, including the Flying Pigs’ Wholehog lighting console and Elements Lab’s VersaTube LED tube. Now, he’s back as the CEO of drone show company Verge Aero.
Thorjussen comments: “A lot of beautiful and outstanding work has already been done with drones in entertainment, but what’s lacking is a fully integrated system making it easy for designers to create and deploy their creative vision via hundreds of drones. For the past two years, I’ve been working with a team of former aerospace engineers to create a comprehensive control system with a straightforward programming interface, effects generation algorithms, full 3D visualisation, and automatic flight path calculation.
“When my lighting friends ask me what I’m up to, I say I’m building Dronehog.” We believe there’s large untapped creative potential for drone technology in the entertainment industry. Drones are a dynamic, three-dimensional platform that allow light pixels or other artistic elements to reconfigure themselves endlessly. The sky’s quite literally the limit!” To give a taste of what’s possible, the team, together with rental partner A&O Drones, recently created a drone light tunnel and raced a Jeep through it.
He continues: “Our software makes it so fast to create a show. No coding or third-party animation software is needed. From scratch, we programmed, tested, deployed, and flew the light tunnel in a couple of hours. This kind of streamlined