Events News

World Lighting Fair, Tokyo 2002World Lighting Fair, Tokyo 2002
Monday, 9 December 2002

The seventh World Lighting Fair was held at Pacifico Yokohama Exhibition Hall in early October. 50 companies from across Japan were joined by 21 international companies at the show, and the show enjoyed high visitor levels from the start, say the organizers.

Exhibits covered not only lighting products for stage and TV markets, but also new software and hardware were presented addressing their broad applications in markets such as retail, architecture, video projection, advertisement and promotion, design and presentation. The seminar programme included a broad range of topics from the latest on control protocols, education systems for theatre technology, opera productions and lighting design for theatres to a model of the lighting designer for the 21st century.

The next WLF will be held at the same venue from June 24 to 26, 2004.

(Lee Baldock)

Screenco smashes record at Smash Hits PartyScreenco smashes record at Smash Hits Party
Monday, 9 December 2002

Screenco provided a huge backdrop for this year’s Smash Hits T4 Pollwinners Party at London Arena, which was broadcast live on Channel 4. The event, co-hosted by Vernon Kay, June Sarpong and special guest host Kelly Osbourne, was celebrating its 15th year, and included performances by Liberty X, Sugababes, Atomic Kitten and Holly Valance.

Contracted by production company Nine Yards, Screenco’s vast 156-module, 25mm screen, all supplied from the company’s UK stock, measured 21.13m wide by 7.32m high, making it the biggest indoor LED high-brightness display ever seen in Europe. It thus provided an exciting solution for Hamish Hamilton’s Done & Dusted, who were responsible for the television production and design.

With all the risers set behind the screen, a large 8.1m x 4.88m door, positioned in the centre, raised and lowered on varispeed dual-brake motor hoists - provided by Unusual and operated off a laptop. The door was primarily used to expedite rapid artist and backline changeovers. But Unusual’s Nick Brown also had to deal with the loading difficulties involving the giant 8¼ tonne Screenco backdrop.

In view of the weight of the screen - and the Arena’s restricted roof-loading capacity - he had to take up around half of the weight, using a rope tension meter to land the display in position. Thus the load was evenly split between the roof and the floor. The screen content was played out from a separate production gallery, which Screenco occupied within CTV’s scanner (whose unit manager was Bill Morris). Four digital motion

Autograph designs and supplies unique Scandinavian concert tourAutograph designs and supplies unique Scandinavian concert tour
Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Theatrical sound design and rental specialist Autograph Sound Recording has recently been involved in a concert tour of Les Misérables across Scandinavia - the first time that the concert production of the world-famous musical has toured multiple cities. The concert, which captured the atmosphere of the stage production by using giant cinema screens, live video and stills from the production, commenced in late October and ran throughout November, taking in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland along the way.

Autograph has been involved with Les Misérables since chairman Andrew Bruce designed the original London production in 1985. To address the scale of the tour, the company supplied an extensive Meyer Sound M3D Line Array Loudspeaker System in a sound design realised by Autograph's Nick Lidster, who also mixed the shows. Lidster was a member of the original sound team on the London production and has gone on to design and mix all concert versions of the show performed in the UK, including the Tenth Anniversary celebration at the Royal Albert Hall in 1995.

Autograph used a computer-controlled Cadac J type front of house console with over 120 input channels and a 56-channel Midas Heritage monitor console for the tour. More than 110 high quality microphones from AKG, Sennheiser, Schoeps, ElectroVoice, Shure, Beyer and Neumann were employed across the 80-piece Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, 200-member choir, 40-piece ensemble and lead performers. The main PA consists of 24 self-powered Meyer M3Ds, with 30 Meyer Sound MSL-4s available for sidefill and delay systems

EMC and RASTI under the spotlight
Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Thursday 12th December will see audio experts John Woodgate and Peter Mapp deliver keynote lectures on two important current issues - Electromagnetic Compatibility and speech intelligibility. John Woodgate's ‘New Creatures in the EMC and Safety Jungle’ introduces some strange new animals to an already crowded zoo, whilst Peter Mapp uses ‘Everything You Wanted to Ask About RaSTI but were Afraid to Know! or How Accurate Really are RaSTI and STI Measurements?’ to illustrate his many years of research into all aspects of speech intelligibility.

The event, which is being organized by the ISCE, will take at Brooklands College in Weybridge. There is a special entrance rate for PLASA Members of £25. Further details are available from Cathy Mackenzie on +44 151 639 5211.

(Ruth Rossington)

Music Show success continues for HK Audio
Monday, 2 December 2002

Music Live 2002, held recently at the NEC, consolidated its reputation as one of the UK’s leading public music shows, with a strong programme of acts and demos underlining the event’s increasing popularity. With a billing which included an acoustic set by Simon Fowler and Oscar Harrison of top UK rock band Ocean Colour Scene, HK Audio’s comprehensive range of pro audio systems was once again the preferred choice of show organizers, Mammoth Events. HK Audio systems were placed in a wide variety of show applications, right from the 7.2kW 12 x box R-Series main stage rig to a number of PA applications across the show.

As a result of HK Audio’s performance at Music Live 2002, HK has been confirmed once again as the sound reinforcement marque of choice for Music Live 2003. Additionally, another music show has been introduced to the annual show rota, this time it’s the London Guitar Show. Scheduled to be held at Wembley Conference Centre on May 10th - 11th 2003, HK Audio has been chosen to provide a full range of PA applications for the show.

(Ruth Rossington)

PALME exhibitor portfolio expands
Wednesday, 27 November 2002

Pro Audio Light Middle East (PALME), the region’s first dedicated professional sound and lighting communications exhibition being held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates next year, has expanded its portfolio to include systems integration solutions.

The move has been spurred by exhibitor demand, according to organizers IIR Exhibitions. With the rapid development in digital technologies, and the advent of converged communications, entire entertainment showcases are able to be controlled using centralised interfaces. "We are seeing the industry moving to a converged environment where everything from sound and lighting to audiovisual offerings are being integrated into a singular infrastructure," said Iain McLean, project manager PALME, IIR Exhibitions.

According to McLean, the move has been well received by the industry, both regionally and internationally, with key Gulf players expressing keen interest. Additionally, the show, which takes place at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre from 16-18 February, 2003, has already secured participation from the UK, Germany, Italy, China, the United States, Belgium, Lebanon, the UAE and Austria.

PLASA has negotiated an exclusive discount for its members who want to exhibit at the event. A discount of 35% is available for the first 9sq.m of any stand and an additional 20% for every square metre above 9sq.m. For further details e-mail Shane McGreevy on

(Ruth Rossington)

Mackie HDR at New Horizons
Friday, 22 November 2002

The sixth annual New Horizon event on the campus of Coleraine University attracted over 20,000 visitors to the Christian-based Gospel presentation over a seven-day period. For the second year running, the sound was produced by local company Light & Sound FX (LSFX).

For the main tented area, LSFX used four stacks of Mackie Fussion, two each side of the stage configured in four Fussion 3000 mid/high boxes, four 1800 subs and four 1800A subs, all driven by Mackie M1400 amps. For the stage monitoring, Mackie C300 speakers and a Mackie SR40:8 mixer were spec’d. Around the rest of the site were 14 Mackie SRM 450s, whilst for the FOH mix, LSFX used the Crest VCA 32:4 FOH console.

Running alongside all of this, Upstream Recording had a live recording unit in action, for a forthcoming CD. The unit utilised a Mackie D8B digital mixer, a Mackie HDR 24/96 hard disc recorder and a pair of Mackie HR824 monitors. Handling the recording was Trevor Michael from ICC in Eastbourne, in conjunction with Roy Rainey from Upstream Recording, a specialist in Christian recording.

EventPro Forum set for February
Monday, 18 November 2002

Event Pro Forum, the conference for event production professionals, will be held 17-20 February 2003, at Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa in Las Vegas. The conference targets top professionals responsible for producing events for amphitheaters, arenas, auditoriums, concerts, fairs, corporate functions, festivals, sporting events, theme parks and touring entertainment.

The 2002 premiere conference attracted 150-plus attendees from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, Nashville to New York and even London to Moscow. EventPro Forum 2003 will feature industry speakers, professional development panels and the Production Pow-Wow, a series of round-table discussions. Special events, including a golf tournament, welcome reception, wrap party and backstage tour of Las Vegas venues will provide attendees with the opportunity to have fun while networking and expanding their professional contacts, say the organizers.

(Lee Baldock)

AES West Coast
Sunday, 17 November 2002

You know you’re at a West Coast AES Convention when you’re standing in a rooftop bar at sunset, surrounded by skyscrapers, and listening to Sheryl Crow-alike Dana Glover singing through Audio-Technica’s Artist Elite microphones. One of many PLASA repeats, the product at least gave the excuse for the party, and where Earls Court ends, as Phil Ward discovers, California begins.

QSC Audio began by reinventing itself. OK, the new logo is "a relatively small change in terms of effort," but, said CEO Barry Andrews, "it’s an important one symbolically and technically. It signifies the transformation of our company from an amplifier specialist to an integrated systems supplier."

‘Integrated systems’ in this case means QSC products in signal processing, network audio transport, control systems, loudspeakers and - not least - amplifiers. QSC was late to arrive with a remote-control and monitoring system, but QSControl is now a dominant force. The company also pioneered CobraNet as an interface, and Routing Audio Via Ethernet (RAVE) now accounts for a great number of CobraNet nodes. Cinema is catered for by DCA amps and DSP processors, while DSP-3 and DSP-4 are gaining ground in pro audio generally.

At the show, it was announced that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - venue for the Indianapolis 500 and F1 Grand Prix races - is to install a network-based sound system clearly showcasing QSC’s ‘integrated’ buzzword: ISIS speakers, CX amplifiers, DSP processors, QSControl and RAVE audio transport.

Speaker pr

Expo. 02
Sunday, 17 November 2002

It may have been costly and controversial, but Switzerland’s most ambitious Expo to date has also been hailed as one of its most creative and successful. Steve Moles selects two projects which illustrate why . . .

The revered publication Architects Journal headlined a feature ‘Swiss Expo shames Dome failings’. Intended to occur approximately every 40 years, Swiss Expo is a project in the public domain and yet staged without Lottery funding. Which begs the question - is free money a curse or a kindness?

Look at what else has been in these pages of late: The Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, the Pageant of the Horse, the Commonwealth Games and the Jubilee concerts at Buckingham Palace - all without Lottery money and all successfully realized. These examples have, of course, all received finance from the commercial sector, but without the political interference which afflicted the Dome. Pardon my oversimplification, but commercial enterprise doesn’t release these funds with less strings than the Lottery, but they’re better able to make decisions about value for money than politicos. That doesn’t make it easy - indeed, as a case in point, Expo in Switzerland has been particularly tortuous, leading to the total replacement of all officials just 18 months prior to opening, but ultimately it worked and was successful.

Success, as opposed to finance, is a matter of substance; the National Centre for Pop Music springs to mind - arguably more funding would have helped here, but it was the paucity of content that was its ultimate undoi

Successful show for Leisure Industry Week
Thursday, 14 November 2002

Leisure Industry Week (8-10 October, NEC, Birmingham) reaffirmed the position it occupies in the calendar for its industry: an increased audited audience of over 14,250 (Independently audited figures from CTS) visitors from across the out-of-home leisure industry - from theme parks to themed restaurants, nightclubs to fitness clubs - attended LIW 2002. They came to see over 350 exhibiting companies showcasing their latest products and services, and to socialise with their peers from their own industry sector, as well as with their contemporaries from across the broader industry through the activities of the 20 leisure industry trade associations supporting LIW 2002.

LIW 2002 featured five individual shows covering all of the out-of-home leisure industry: Body & Soul - a health, fitness and beauty event; FamilyLand - the family fun event for parks and attractions; Food For Leisure - dedicated to catering opportunities for leisure sites; Leisure Environments - the light, sound and design event and Leisure Solutions - covering everything needed to run any successful leisure business.

The number and breadth of trade associations supporting the show and using it to host their events reflects LIW's role as a forum for its industry. These included the Fitness Industry Association (FIA), the Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management (ILAM), the Sports & Recreation Trusts Association (SporTA), the Sunbed Association, the Bar, Entertainment & Dance Association (BEDA), the Showmen's Guild, and Holiday Centres Association. Visitors were also treated to live demonstrations, hundre

Electro-Voice at Music Moscow 2002
Thursday, 31 October 2002

From 10-13 October, Moscow was home to Russia’s largest music trade fair. ‘Music Moscow 2002’ attracted visitors and exhibitors from all over the world. One of the highlights was provided by Ruton S - the Russian distributor for Electro-Voice, with its dynamic yet business-like presentation.

As well as introducing visitors to a whole series of products drawn from the current Electro-Voice range, such as the Eliminator Double, the Eliminator kW, the EVID speaker and the new Co-11 and Re510 condenser microphones, the team, led by Gregory Ronin, had laid on a rock band, ‘The Vinyl Steam Locomotive’, whose powerful sound quickly established them as one of the biggest draws at the show. The band - all dedicated EV users - were showcasing the EV Eliminator Double and Eliminator kW enclosures, as well as the new Fri-2082 monitors. This allowed music dealers as well as members of the public to experience first hand the sensational sound quality of the new EV systems. As well as clinching numerous deals, Electro-Voice was able at this show to consolidate and further strengthen its market position in Russia.

"The response to our products was outstanding," said Gregory Ronin. The feedback on the new active speakers, as well as the systems tailor-made for Russia’s burgeoning cinema industry, were especially positive. "Professionals were particularly interested in the new X-Line Compact Array System," commented Ronin, adding, "it was great to see how many satisfied Electro-Voice customers there are already in Russia."

Le Maitre set for Harrods pyro show
Tuesday, 29 October 2002

Le Maitre are set to stage a spectacular firework and pyrotechnic display from the roof of Harrods to mark the switching on of the Christmas Lights on 3 November. The display will go ahead despite the proposed fire strikes. As the strike is due to start on 2 November for 48 hours, Le Maitre’s events director Karen Haddon has employed private fire crews to cover the event. This will be in addition to the British Army’s Green Goddesses, already covering the strike nationally, and Harrods’ own fire officers stationed on the roof itself. Although it is extremely expensive to bring in private fire engines and crew, ensuring safety at the event is paramount, and the decision to go ahead with the show has been welcomed.

The display is very complex, and will be fired with a pyro digital system. It runs just under 15 minutes and is set to the James Bond theme tune. It will begin with chase sequences of stage pyro across the front of the roof, using flames, gerbs and fire breathing dragons! It will progress to large scale fireworks including mines, comets and a dramatic finale of cakes and shells. The Harrods Christmas Lights switch on is open to the public and promises to be a thrilling event. It starts at 6.00pm on Sunday 3 November.

Also on a James Bond theme, Le Maitre are working on some fantastic pyrotechnic effects for the premiere of the new Bond movie Die Another Day, which is scheduled for 18 November at the Royal Albert Hall. Unfortunately, details cannot be released prior to the event, but the stars will certainly be arriving in style!

(Ruth Rossi

Momentum builds behind The Event Show
Tuesday, 29 October 2002

The Event Show, formerly Event Expo, has a new name, a new look and a new venue. Running on 28-30 January 2003, the show sets out to cater for the needs of event professionals from a broad variety of backgrounds including production companies, event management companies, corporates, charities, local authorities and sales promotion agencies.

The event has been completely redesigned and rejuvenated, by organizer, Inside Communications, whose business manager, Clair Whitecross, explains: "We are very excited about the new developments, which so far have been received very well . . . We can promise January 2003 will see a spectacular event."

For 2003 The Event Show has moved to the professional, easily accessible National Hall, Olympia, in the heart of London, where over 250 companies including AV and lighting contractors, marquee and temporary structure suppliers and production and promotion agencies will be on hand to make the event professional's job so much easier.

(Lee Baldock)

Music China 2002
Monday, 28 October 2002

The first Music China in Shanghai was an unequivocal success, attracting 18,072 trade buyers and public visitors through its doors over four days, according to organizers Messe Frankfurt. Far exceeding expectations, the show attracted hundreds of visitors from far beyond Shanghai’s provincial borders, with visitors traveling from as far away as Guangzhou in the south and Harbin in the north, plus an estimated 1,500 visitors from overseas (approx. 8% of total) including a 20-strong buying mission from the UK and a large delegation of Japanese importers and distributors.

A total of 274 exhibitors took part in this ground-breaking event, covering a gross exhibition space of 15,000sq.m. Feedback from both exhibitors and buyers was excellent overall, and many commented on how the dynamism of the market and the Chinese peoples’ appetite for music could be clearly felt within the exhibition halls. Some exhibitors felt that the 'action' at Music China equalled that of the big European and American fairs, and others commented on how the show would help to change the music business in China.

(Lee Baldock)

Showman's Show success in 2002
Friday, 25 October 2002

Some of Europe’s leading event industry professionals gathered at The Showman’s Show 2002 this October, where the weather and business were brisk, reflecting the vibrant nature of the industry at the moment.

This year’s Showman’s Show continued to widen its appeal as 3,829 visitors from all walks of event management and show organizing visited Newbury Showground to view the products and services that will shape next year’s events. Over 300 companies exhibited to create the largest outdoor event exhibition ever seen in Europe. The organizers altered the site layout to accommodate the show’s growth and made improvements to the site that meant that visitors were oblivious to the fact that exhibitors had built their stands in torrential rain through the previous two days.

The very nature of the Showman’s Show enables outdoor event practitioners to display their company’s products to the full. From staging, marquees and generators through to a wide range of entertainers, the exhibitors went to great lengths this year to demonstrate the continuing overall improvements being made within the industry.

Stephen Lance commented: "This year we saw a superb level of professionalism and imagination shown by the exhibitors, in the way they chose to display their products and services. We have had nothing but positive comments from visitors who have said they were both impressed and inspired by the exhibitors at the Show."

(Lee Baldock)

New Look PLASA Show for 2003New Look PLASA Show for 2003
Friday, 18 October 2002

In response to feedback from the industry that the PLASA show, at 25 years old, was in need of re-energizing, exciting new plans for the exhibition were unveiled to both exhibitors and press at PLASA 2002.

We took time out with Matthew Griffiths, managing director of show-owners the Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA) and Nicola Rowland, acting show director for organizer Clarion Events, to hear about the plans and their implementation. Matthew Griffiths expands on the background to the decision: "The PLASA show is the leading entertainment, communication and presentation technology show in the world. To maintain this position, the Association realises that the show needs to be a pioneer in adapting to industry change. It also needs to ensure that the visitor experience is kept vibrant, fresh and business-focused.

"After ongoing discussions and regular feedback from visitors and key participants, the decision was taken by the Association to radically shake-up the floorplan, allowing us to introduce new feature areas, where we were unable to before. The ideas include moving The New Technology Gallery from upstairs to the very front of the hall, highlighting the show’s position as a key launch pad for new product. We are proposing that an interactive stage area be built where visitors can see products demonstrated in a live environment. And an enhanced educational programme, developed in conjunction with key associations and trade bodies, with even more technical courses for both technicians and end-users, will provide a forum from which vi

New exhibition launched in Shanghai
Monday, 7 October 2002

Messe Frankfurt and Intex Shanghai have announced their collaboration of a new international exhibition in China for the professional audio and entertainment lighting industry. ProLight+Sound Shanghai will make its debut at the Intex exhibition centre and the Shanghaimart in 15-18 October, 2003. The show will be positioned as a professional marketing platform for manufacturers of audio, lighting, staging, laser and effects technology, and will feature live performances and special events, including a DJ competition.

Messe Frankfurt adds ProLight+Sound Shanghai to a portfolio of two existing trade fairs for the pro-audio and lighting sector, including ProLight+Sound in Frankfurt, Germany, and Musikmesse/ProLight+Sound in St Petersburg, Russia. ProLight+Sound Shanghai will be held in conjunction with Music China, a new international exhibition for musical instruments, which debuts this October.

(Ruth Rossington)

Showman’s Show 2002
Monday, 7 October 2002

Live events have become more and more important as marketing ‘tools’ in recent years and The Showman’s Show 2002, with its unique outdoor setting, will showcase the best new entertainment and production companies for event professionals organizing these events.

For any marketing manager wishing to include events in their plans, the Showman’s Show is a good place to source specialist event suppliers, whether for a product launch, road show or music event.

Star’s of the recent Zurich Financial's TV commercial - the flying pigs - will be putting in a ‘celebrity appearance’ at the show, courtesy of Judy Hancox at the Butts Farm, in Cirencester, highlighting the creative possibilities marketers can achieve through understanding the potential of the events world. Other ‘entertaining’ companies exhibiting at the show include fairground ride suppliers Irvin Leisure Limited and Premier Rides; roving artists, from the weird and wacky entertainers of Continental Drifts, used for everything from international festivals to club nights and corporate hospitality events and Peter Johnston Entertainments, the international booking agency, specialists in supplying large outdoor attractions, who will be showcasing some of the acts available for 2003.

The central arena will feature NAReS (the National Association of Re-Enactment Societies), building on their positive reception last year. This display will feature battle re-enactments from a variety of historical armies, ranging from Cowboys to Musketeers and Vikings. The Sealed Knot S

PLASA Member Discounts at PALME
Tuesday, 1 October 2002

Pro Audio Light Middle East (PALME) is the first dedicated professional sound and lighting showcase to be launched in the Middle East. It will run at the Dubai World Trade Centre from February 16-18 2003.

PLASA Members interested in expanding their international business, would be well advised to look to the Middle East. The area has recently seen a huge surge in entertainment, tourism and leisure facilities. Major new venues are planned and there’s a huge catalogue of investment in entertainment projects resulting from a need to satisfy one of the youngest populations in the world.

Following discussions with organizers IIR, PLASA has been offered special rates exclusive to its members. Any member booking a stand at PALME will receive a 35% discount for the first nine square metres and 20% off anything above this. The show joins a strong IIR portfolio of professional exhibitions, which includes PALA, PALMM Philippines and CALM China.

If you are a PLASA member and would like to take advantage of this offer please contact Iain McLean on +971 4 3365161 or e-mail

Further information about PALME and the opportunities in the Middle East can also be found at

Leisure Industry Week 2002
Friday, 27 September 2002

This year's International Leisure Industry Week (LIW) show takes place at the NEC in Birmingham on the 8-10 October. LIW brings together the many elements of the UK leisure industry, from health and fitness to food, drink and entertainment.

The Leisure Environments and Leisure Solutions shows within Leisure Industry Week have been designed to educate, inspire and support industry suppliers, operators and designers. Everything from lighting, sound and furnishing to ticketing, lockers and membership technology will be showcased, and the BEDA Village (the British Entertainment and Discotheque Association) will ensure the show continues to provide an unequalled networking opportunity as well as highlighting the latest ideas and innovations for clubs everywhere. Participating companies include Pulsar Light, HZ International and HK Audio, as well as the likes of Holsten UK who will be showcasing their new Holsten Fusion product.

(Lee Baldock)

Sound Advice goes live with a new sponsor
Friday, 27 September 2002

HMV has become an official sponsor for Sound Advice, the music industry education roadshow that tours the UK for five days in October. Sound Advice represents a unique collaboration by all of the UK's leading music industry organisations under an educational banner. Its aim is to provide music students around the country with invaluable advice from leading figures about key issues affecting the industry and how these might impact on their future careers. The importance of Live music, the issues surrounding Copyright and the need for education within the industry will be high on the agenda.

HMV Europe's managing director David Pryde, comments: "I am delighted that HMV is in a position to support this inaugural 'Sound Advice' tour, not least because it gives a chance to those people around the country where we have our stores to find out more about all aspects of our industry. Hopefully this initiative will become a regular and highly successful fixture in the music industry calendar."

Sound Advice starts at London's BRIT School on October 21st and then visits The Garage at the University of Paisley, Glasgow (22nd); the Paul McCartney Auditorium at Liverpool's Institute of Performing Arts (23rd); Manchester City College (24th) and then, though this final date is still to be confirmed, The University of Nottingham (25th).

BBC Radio 1 OneMusic will be hosting the final seminar under the banner of Radio 1's One Live in Nottingham event. To highlight the importance of live music to the industry, each day will conclude with an evening gig at a local venue that wil

Online crew resource arrives
Tuesday, 24 September 2002

A new website for freelance professionals and employers in the UK and beyond has been launched at The site has taken two years to develop, making it a very versatile and user-friendly service for the whole entertainment industry - a market sector which relies heavily of freelance labour. A mix of useful information combined with valuable functions, the website is designed for both employees and employers. Since its launch earlier this summer, the site has registered over 200 freelancers and 80 companies - from more than 20 different disciplines including audio, lighting, carpentry, rigging, scenery, stage management and wardrobe.

Potential employers can check a specific registered freelancer’s availability or search for new ones, as well as placing job advertisements. They can search by name, profession, availability, location or even the ability to speak a foreign language. The website has a personal on-line interactive diary where a registered freelancer can show their availability for work as well as adding those other important dates (such as birthdays and dentist appointments) choosing to share as much or as little of this information with others. Links include travel and weather information and all nature of contacts that show staff need - including a full list of UK venues. All those registered can add comments to venue listings, i.e. best local pub, curry house, or even more vital issues such as the sound, lighting, stage statistics and other helpful hints. Still free t

Grandmaster Flash Rocks PLASA
Monday, 23 September 2002

Grandmaster Flash, the founder of modern Hip Hop, took both the 2002 PLASA Show and the Ministry of Sound by storm when he came to London to launch the new Rane Empath mixer, which he has helped to design.

Flash’s visit culminated in a rocking two-hour set at the Ministry of Sound on the Tuesday night of PLASA. It’s the first time he’s ever played the club, and he took full advantage to put the Empath through its paces to a packed audience. This was preceded earlier in the day by two presentations by Flash on the stand of Rane’s UK distributor, Hayden Laboratories, at the PLASA show in Earls Court. Each was followed by a short demo of his own specialist brand of performance art.

In presenting the mixer, Flash expanded on the ‘8.45’ syndrome, which has prompted many of the Empath’s most practical features. This is the common scenario when it’s 15 minutes before doors at the club, there’s a long queue outside and there’s a load of connectivity conundrums for the DJ to deal with. Coming from the horse’s mouth, from someone who’s been at the cutting edge of performing in the best, worst, most interesting and challenging situations, the Empath is a mixer by a DJ for DJs. Flash’s priorities were to ensure that the elements important to DJs were an integral part of the mixer. "It’s the small and vital details that make the big picture," he explained. This, combined with Rane’s technology and engineering experience, has produced the Empath mixer which, say Rane, is the ultimate c


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