The PLASA AGM is one of the key events of our year - it’s a chance for us to review what’s gone and plan for what will be a very different future. The most effective way we can do that is by involving as many Members as possible so we’ve strived to create an event that we feel is worth attending. Your role is very important so please don’t file your ideas, comments or complaints away for another time, take this opportunity to influence the way PLASA is heading by joining us for the 2001 AGM.
Even if you’ve got nothing to say (unlikely we think), it’s an ideal opportunity for some relaxed networking in beautiful surroundings. As a backdrop to this year’s event, we have chosen the historic setting of Coombe Abbey, near Coventry. Set in 500 acres of parkland and dating back to 1150, this former Cistercian Abbey is an ideal place to meet up with familiar and new industry faces alike.
The day will start with lunch and registration at 12.45, followed by the AGM itself at 2.00pm. After the AGM, members will have the opportunity to meet with members of the PLASA team and its various representatives in a number of informal hour-long ‘break-out sessions’. We have highlighted three key areas:
Membership Services: Do you get the most out of your membership? Can you name six services you benefit from? If not, and you’d like to know more, let us show you where you could gain a business advantage.
PLASA Show: If you have a view on the PLASA Show, this is your chance to discuss it face to face with members of the Clarion
PLASA Presents Light & Sound Shanghai 2001, the fourth consecutive show to be held at the city’s Intex Centre, took place from 4-6 April.
Several companies travelled to Shanghai as part of the Britain in China programme. Among them was DHA Lighting, exhibiting in conjunction with its Asian stockist Pacific Lighting (HK) and showing its latest product, the Gecko Image Projector, together with a range of other products. Zero 88 was reinforcing its presence in the Asian market with the first Asian showing of its Frog and Fat Frog lighting consoles, whilst Artistic Licence was profiling its DMX512 processor chip range which it is promoting for OEM business.
Strand Lighting debuted its 520i lighting console for the Chinese market and also showed its SL spotlights, 300 Series control consoles and SLD96 dimmers. Simplex, meanwhile, was promoting its Ultralight staging system designed for temporary installations, whilst Smoke Design was demonstrating its range of silk flame machines - including Excalibur, Sabre and Medieval Torch and its Scenta Five fragrance unit. Laser Creations International, for its part, was at the show with details of its Laser Video Projectors and Waterscreens - both proving popular in installations across China. MGC Lamps, the UK distributor for replacement lamps from Philips, GE and Osram, was at the show "to scoop some business around Asia in general, and China in particular," according to director Jeff Sawyer. Hong Kong and China distributor ACE took its usual stand inside the main entrance. British lighting companies on the ACE stand
Lee Baldock and Steve Moles report from Germany on the latest audio developments from the Pro Light & Sound exhibition . . .
This year’s Pro Light & Sound exhibition seemed even busier than usual, perhaps partly due to the PL&S halls being rearranged to spread virtually the length of the site, so that what once took 2 or 3 minutes now takes 5 or 10. There were probably many who missed the relative ease of the previous layout, but the point, of course, is that the visitors turned out in force and went home satisfied - albeit in more pain than usual. So to business . . .
Acoustic Line, part of Seeburg Professional PA Systems, presented the TSMSat+ to augment the TS series. This is a highly compact ‘fill’ speaker built to go with the TS Mini Sub+ and is based around a 10" mid driver with a 1" compression onto a very compact horn flare, making for a small cabinet capable of delivering 300W rms from each component. The horn is the same as that used in the TSM10, with a 60° by 90° coverage pattern that can easily be rotated through 90°. Too small for a disco, this could be a nice little unit in a jazz club.
A couple of innovations from Adam Hall: their successful Rack Lamp launched at last year’s PLASA (LED source combined with 10mm side-emitting fibre optic), has been taken a step further. The idea of using a simple LED powered light source for low level rack lighting has been extended by the addition of a gooseneck device for use over control surfaces. Supplied with built-in spring-clip for easy mounting, and battery holder, th
The 2001 PLASA AGM, along with the popular AGM Dinner, will take place on Thursday 14 June in the historic setting of Coombe Abbey, near Coventry. Set in 500 acres of parkland and dating back to 1150, this former Cistercian Abbey is now a thriving hotel and conference centre. In a slightly revised format for 2001, the day will include an opportunity for members to meet with key representatives of PLASA’s various operations in a number of small, hour-long ‘break-out sessions’. These will be organised as follows:
- PLASA Show - members of the Clarion Events show management team and members of the PLASA Exhibitor Forum will be on hand to discuss PLASA Show-related issues.
- Membership Services - PLASA’s head office staff dealing with membership services will be joined by consultants from certain of our service providers and members of the PLASA Executive Committee.
- PLASA Standards - PLASA’s Technical Standards Officer Tim Cox will be joined by consultants and other of PLASA’s standards representatives to discuss Standards-related topics.
As part of PLASA’s aim of increasing the opportunities for useful communication with its members, these sessions are intended to provide an informal environment for discussion, feedback and questions. PLASA’s managing director Matthew Griffiths comments: "We hope these sessions will prove a valuable use of the time between the AGM and the start of the evening’s entertainment. By offering the chance of an informal meeting with key representatives of the Association, we h
Show Presentation Services (SPS) has launched a new department dedicated to support the use of all types of information technology in the live events market. SPS Event IT will cater for the now commonplace use of IT within conferences and exhibitions, but its approach will differ from ‘traditional’ IT ideas. "What matters to us," said SPS managing director Robin Coles, "is the event as a whole. Stand-alone computers, flat screens, local networking, Internet access, webcasting and all the associated peripherals are becoming as fundamental as video, sound and lights at many events, and should be delivered with the same professional attitude, with all the technology that comes together to service an event being intrinsically linked. We have staffed SPS Event IT with people who approach anything computerish from the live show perspective. Our crew are not ‘nerd’ prima-donna’s who never get their hands dirty, but ‘show’ people with an IT specialisation."
Point Promotions have announced a 72% increase in attendance at last week’s ABTT Theatre Show. The show this year expanded into both of the Royal Horticultural Halls, and had widened its remit to attract 30 new exhibitors. The initial un-audited visitor attendance figures show an increase of 72% over last year’s registered numbers. Point Promotions was appointed by the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) to administer the change from the ABTT Trade Show to the bigger and improved ABTT Theatre Show. The expanded show featured on-stage technology such as lighting, rigging, drapes and sound and also many exhibitors with front-of-house technology including seating and staging.
Festival Management Ltd (FML), the parent company of the Portsmouth’s ‘International Festival of the Sea’ has been awarded the event management consultancy contract for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee visit to the armed forces in Portsmouth in June 2002. This highlight of the Golden Jubilee year will demonstrate to the Queen the role of the armed forces in the 21st Century. Using an innovative format, it will feature the younger generation of Servicemen and women of all three services and their families. FML is currently involved in putting together the third International Festival of the Sea, a four-day event which will be held in Portsmouth Naval Base and Historic Dockyard over the August Bank Holiday this year. The largest maritime festival in the UK, the event now involves around 700 vessels from all over the world, thousands of exhibitors, traditional craftsmen, musicians, performers and a 12-hour entertainment programme.
The UK’s annual pop music back-slapping gala event, The Brits, was recorded live, in spectacular style, on February 26th at Earls Court 2, London. The live production was managed by Brit regular MJK Productions.
Another regular, Vari-Lite Europe provided the complete lighting system - featuring more than 500 luminaires - as well as providing the rig for the After Show Party. Lighting designer for the event was Al Gurdon. With the ceremony designed to look spectacular both for the live audience and a massive worldwide broadcast audience, the lighting design encompassed the entire space within Earl’s Court 2, both on and around the huge stage and the specially-constructed auditorium.
The large-scale lighting rig included 40 VL2416s, 54 VL5 Arcs, 81 VL5Bs, 76 VL5s, 24 VL6 wash luminaires, 38 VL6Cs, six VL7s and 130 VL2C spot luminaires, with control from two Virtuoso consoles. VL also supplied a substantial conventional rig, with 16 4k Xenon Sky Art Searchlights, two 70k Lightning Strikes, four 40k Lightning Strikes, 160 Par 36s, 400 Par 64s and 44 Diversitronics Strobes. The rig also included 420 metres of truss, two 12 metre-diameter semi-circles of truss and 14 one-tonne hoist motors complete with cable, control and rigging accessories.
The After Show Party’s lighting was designed by Theo Cox who lit the four exclusive rooms - Air Lounge, Water Bar, Earth Garden and the Fire Club - using a rig that featured 56 VL5 wash luminaires, 16 VL6B spot luminaires, VL Moving Mirror Ball units and conventionals, all run from a pair of Wholehog 2s and an Avolit
The countdown to the PLASA Show 2001 has begun! The entertainment technology industry’s leading event will run from 9 - 12 September at Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London. With over 89% of the available stand space already sold and all the leading manufacturers booked into the show, PLASA 2001 promises to live up to its reputation as the showcase event that launches the entertainment technology year. Venue improvements have continued, with over £500,000 invested in the last 12 months to improve comfort cooling at the Show. Furthermore, an overall investment of £6million will ensure that Earls Court is a fully air-conditioned exhibition centre by 2002. Over 400 exhibitors and 14,000 UK and international visitors are expected to attend and experience the sound and lighting extravaganza that has become synonymous with PLASA. Manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of professional lighting, sound and AV equipment will descend upon Earls Court to unveil their latest products and technical developments for the vibrant and hugely diverse entertainment and leisure industry.
Almost 13,000 visitors, including a record 25% from overseas, attended the PLASA Show last year. Specifiers, consultants, attraction managers, recording technicians, disc and light jockeys, corporate presentation planners, technicians, architects, installers and other professionals from the world of entertainment technology traveled from all corners of the globe to see the very latest products, innovations and designs showcased.
The PLASA Show 2001 will feature many of the attractions that cont
With the setting up of new Creative Technology companies in London and Birmingham NEC, the Avesco subsidiary brand is set for a substantial increase in its work portfolio. In charge of Creative Technology London is Steve Rowan, former head of Gearhouse Multimedia. From its 8,200sq.ft base in Chessington, Surrey, the company is ideally placed to service exhibition sites such as Earls Court, Olympia, Business Design Centre and the new ExCeL in Docklands. Meanwhile, the former Gearhouse NEC - based inside the Birmingham exhibition complex - has now been re-branded Creative Technology NEC, and will operate under the senior management of Chris Bramwell. This division was part of the northern group bought out of receivership by Avesco plc last month, along with Gearhouse’s Manchester and Scottish operations.
Although the established end of Creative Technology, based in Wandsworth, has for many years been working in the exhibition environment, CT London will be setting up a dedicated operation in which IT will form the core element of their service to exhibition organizers and direct-to-venue clients. Steve Rowan’s experienced operational team, which joins him from Gearhouse Multimedia, will specialise in providing a total solutions service for exhibition clients. General manager is Jon Dasent and technical manager, Paul Holden. Creative Technology London is investing around £700,000 in PC technology and web access hardware, including thin computer terminals especially for show control rooms. A highly-experienced, commercially-focused team and dedicated project crew
The countdown to the PLASA Show 2001 has begun! The entertainment technology industry’s leading event will run from 9-12 September at Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London.
With over 89% of the available stand space already sold and all the leading manufacturers booked into the show, PLASA 2001 promises to live up to its reputation as the showcase event that launches the entertainment technology year. Venue improvements have continued, with over £500,000 invested in the last 12 months to improve comfort cooling at the Show. Furthermore, an overall investment of £6million will ensure that Earls Court is a fully air-conditioned exhibition centre by 2002.
Over 400 exhibitors and 14,000 UK and international visitors are expected to attend. Manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of professional lighting, sound and AV equipment will descend upon Earls Court to unveil their latest products and technical developments for the vibrant and hugely diverse entertainment and leisure industry.
Almost 13,000 visitors, including a record 25% from overseas, attended the PLASA Show last year. Specifiers, consultants, attraction managers, recording technicians, disc and light jockeys, technicians, architects, installers and other professionals from the world of entertainment technology travelled from all corners of the globe to see the very latest products, innovations and designs showcased.
The PLASA Show 2001 will feature many of the attractions that contributed to last year’s success including the PLASA Technology Gallery, a display of the product developments enter
I’m not going to write much about Craig David; not that there isn’t much to write about, but because I expect to be writing much more in the future.
While Westlife are a well-voiced, but ultimately plastic facsimile of pop stardom (see feature this issue), Craig David has it all. Last time I made such an assertion was for Baby Bird, who promptly migrated South, so I’ll temper my predictions for David. He is a skilled songwriter - consecutive hits have established that - and he has a rich, round voice, but it was seeing him live that convinced me. He prowls the stage with the leonine grace of a caged animal. He’s compelling, urging the crowd like a Gladiator holding his sword to the neck of his vanquished foe: Thumbs up? Thumbs down? Who cares, this man is dangerous. He may not be playing as many arena shows as Westlife, but they’re sell-outs, and get this - the audience he attracts is, at a rough guess, two years older than theirs, and they scream at 116dB A weighted, according to sound engineer Carl ‘Snake’ Newton - 6dB over Westlife . . . that’s 200% more powerful.
Newton uses a V-dosc system supplied by Wigwam, which is 15 cabinets per side, with three of the near-fill dV-dosc below. As with Westlife, this is the biggest hang of this type I’ve heard. In light of the supersonic screaming of both bands’ audiences, it would be wrong to draw comparisons: there again, the comparison is perfectly made. Walking the room, there’s nothing to choose between them, though I still prefer the low end of the d&b to t
The ABTT Show is proving to be one of the best networking events for the theatre industry. L&SI was at London’s Horticultural Halls . . .
The show consolidated its core theatre roots, firstly by changing its name to the ABTT Theatre Show 2001, and secondly by widening its appeal to complementary sectors and actively targeting architects, consultants and specifiers of front-of-house services. This inevitably led to a broader range of products on the show floor and alongside the lighting, audio, AV and staging equipment, came front of house goods and services - principally seating, but also training, recruitment and licensing. This, in turn, led to more visitors and first indications are that the visitor figure was up a massive 72% over last year’s registered numbers . . .
The talk on the AC stand was of the company’s new HQ, the finishing touches to which, are being applied as we write and since we’re heading to High Wycombe in the next few weeks, you can read all the statistics in the next issue of L&SI.
Flightcases remain ADDA’s mainstay, but it has found a growing market in the range of all-weather protection systems that it distributes on behalf of OXO. The latest - Upside’Dome - has been modified since we saw it at PLASA and 34 were employed to protect the Vari-Lites at the Christmas illuminations of the London Eye.
Garwood’s range of in-ear systems were on the Amber Promotions stand. Garwood has recently introduced a new wireless microphone system to its range, as well as the new Airstream custom earpiece/microphone.
SJM Consultants has for the last four years been awarded the contract to provide technical and production management of Kensington & Chelsea Colleges' (London) fashion shows, which have been held at the college and at Chelsea Old Town Hall. For 2001, the show is to be held at Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street London W8, on 22 May. Steve McNeil of SJM Consultants will be providing production management along with Svend Johanson of DSA Production Services, who are supplying the technical backup, set, catwalk and crew.
A two-day, technically-groundbreaking CIO Summit was recently staged by a major internet networks and applications multinational at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.
Situated within the Prince Pierre Theatre, the event provided the opportunity to introduce enabling technologies and methodology in a unique fashion. The organisation briefed production company Project Worldwide to design an adventurous set on a grand scale. They conceived a massive, rear-projected 17-metre screen as the entire backdrop, with the aim of turning the theatre into a giant internet site.
To help them, they asked Creative Technology to devise a projection system based on the new Dataton Watchout soft-edge system. The keynote room and stage thus became the website page, with the proscenium arch as the web page header, enabling them to present streaming video alongside flash animation and basic Powerpoint and video feeds on a conference scale.
The 17m display was created by three screens, joined by a soft-edge blend created by Watchout. The three projectors were each fed from a G4 Mac, into which were loaded the pre-designed graphics. These were connected to three Christie 10k Roadie projectors on an Ethernet network, and attached to the end was a production PC, with a standard interface, controlling the three-MAC system. All the elements created externally were imported into Watchout, and once time-lines and sequences had been worked out, this was updated into the G4s. A further pair of Christie 7k units were responsible for the Powerpoint data inserts and live camera i-mag. Avesco plc stablemates,
Audio rental companies SSE Hire of Birmingham, UK, and Melpomen of Nantes, France, have announced a move to merge, with the formation of the SSE Audio Group. The move comes at a significant time for both companies: SSE are celebrating 25 years in the industry, whilst Melpomen has been operating in the French market for almost 20 years, recently adding office and warehouse facilities in Paris and La Rochelle to the main Nantes-based organisation. John Penn, MD of SSE, told PLASA Media: "We have been actively looking for ways to develop the business. The trend for sound companies is to expand purely by buying more and more stock. However, we have seen a steady decline in the amount of work undertaken by UK rental companies in Europe, through a combination of the strength of sterling and the number of strong European rental companies who provide a good service. As a consequence, we have seen an increasing number of tours using mainland European suppliers. With the merger of the two companies into one group, we will extend our service to our clients in the heart of Europe." Future plans for the Group include the development of a new range of products and services aimed specifically at the European market.
The management team at Presentation Services Ltd (PSL), has purchased the assets and business of Gearhouse Group PLC’s Southern UK operation, together with the company’s North American operations. These include PSL and PSL Central, Lighting Unlimited, Set & Stage, Proquip, Presentation Graphics, Gearhouse Multimedia, ConferenceCast and Quorom Travel. In the US, both the Los Angeles and Nashville companies have been purchased. The transaction was concluded on Saturday 3 March and equity funding has been secured for the new company through 3i, with Barclays providing debt funding. The new Group is to be called Presentation Services Group Ltd; all of the companies will be relaunched under the PSL name and will continue to focus on the rental, staging, exhibition and concert touring markets. The new management team comprises Gary Davis, Chris Scadding, Darren Glossop, Irene McLean, Janet Smith, Stephen Rhodes and Nasser Abbas.
Since the Government made the decision to remove preferred bidder status from Legacy plc, the battle for who gets to do what with the Dome has intensified. The Experience consortium, which includes promoter Harvey Goldsmith, has joined forces with the four-company consortium of Quintain, Lend Lease, Stanhope and Grosvenor. The latter has already been in talks with the BBC and the Tussauds Group, which may spur the revival of a 10-year-old plan for a giant theme park at Greenwich, first put forward by Tussauds long before the notion of a Millennium Dome was conceived. Any BBC involvement in the bid could involve turning the Dome into a theme park inspired by classic programmes such as EastEnders and Walking with Dinosaurs. This now places the consortium in a strong position to challenge the rival bid from the Dome’s former chief exec Pierre-Yves Gerbeau, whose bid is centred around retaining the Dome as a visitor attraction.
Following the news last week that the Gearhouse Group and a large number of its subsidiary operations have been placed in administrative receivership, Avesco PLC has acquired the Midlands and North divisions of Gearhouse Group PLC for £4 million. We understand that the business and assets acquired include the operations in Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow and at the NEC.
Paula J. Dinkel, Peggy Eisenhauer and John Rayment will be the keynote speakers heading a formidable array of 21 top-class speakers at Showlight 2001.
Paula J. Dinkel, principal lighting designer for Walt Disney Imagineering, is currently leading the lighting design teams at Walt Disney Studios in Paris. Her paper ‘Theatre to Theme Parks’ owes much to her 20 years’ experience with Disney theme parks and retail projects, amongst them DisneyQuest in both Orlando and Chicago, the Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore and Club Disney.
John Rayment, the man responsible for the exciting lighting design of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, will discuss this experience in his paper ‘Olympics’. Beginning his career in seventies London, Rayment went on to become associated with the Sydney Dance Company, and was also one of Australia’s first lighting designers to go freelance and get an agent, allowing him the freedom to work on projects which have included drama, opera, musicals and events such as World Expo 88.
Peggy Eisenhauer, the only lighting designer to receive two double-nominations for lighting design, is talking about ‘Design Philosophy’. With partner Jules Fisher, she runs the successful Third Eye studio, a provider of innovative lighting design for some of America’s top shows, the most recent being the musical production of Jane Eyre which opened on Broadway in December. Her partnership with Fisher began some 15 years ago and they have gone on to collect many desig
Soundcraft has announced a new event in its successful series of Going Live seminars.
The ‘Scouser’ Going Live, which will run in Liverpool at the end of April, will feature a panel of engineers who all started their careers in the city.
The formula of Going Live is a simple and proven one. Soundcraft provides comprehensive and professional PA equipment for the students to work on, including a wide variety of mixing consoles for front-of-house and monitoring. All the course tutors are working engineers who tour with the biggest acts in music today. All the usual topics from how to operate front-of-house and monitor consoles, to microphone placement and outboard electronics, will be covered in the three-day agenda. There will also be a special class on digital mixing in a live situation. PA systems and tech support for the seminar will be provided by Liverpool’s Adlib Audio.
Dates: 27-29 April 2001
PLASA, the VPLT (PLASA’s sister association in Germany) and Trade Partners UK (British Government) have been working together to present three seminars at the Pro Light & Sound Show at the Frankfurt Musikmesse next week with simultaneous German/English translation. The first, on Wednesday 7th March at 12.30pm, covers ‘Cruise Ships and Events Technology‘ with Peter Ed of ETC Europe, Martin Lilly (Airtours/Sun Cruises), and Davey Smalley of BSS Audio. The seminar looks at event technology on cruise ships, revealing what requirements there are and which products and solutions are needed for these less than straightforward environments. The second seminar, on Thursday 8th March at 12.30pm, is entitled ‘German - English Trade’. Paul Robinson from the British Embassy in Berlin and Michael Schneider of Lightronic discuss the difference between the British and the German way of thinking and its marketing. It considers the differences in supply and demand and reviews the development of trade relations between both countries with regards to event technology? ‘Working on DMX, fog, rigging and others - the international standards situation.’Is the final seminar on Friday 9th March, again at 12.30pm.The standards officers of PLASA and the VPLT, Tim Cox and Eckart Steffens, discuss the importance of technical standards and review the various projects underway worldwide.For further details visit the VPLT/PLASA stand - A01 - at the show.
News reaches us that the recent Dome auction turned into something of a bidding war and in so doing laid to rest fears that there would be a flood of cheap second-hand product hitting the market. Word has it that whilst there were some bargains to be had - top end lighting desks normally worth £15,000 upwards going for £7,000 - there were also numerous instances of bidders paying way over the list price for items. A 24-channel lighting control desk, for instance, which you can get for £525, was actually sold for £700, and this before the 10% premium buyers have to pay on all items. We also understand from our mole at the auction that numerous other items were attracting slightly higher or close to list price and one can only wonder at who out there has pockets so deep that price is not an issue. But not everything promised in the auction actually made it to the sale as the NMEC withdrew several items yesterday on the basis that it didn’t wish to prejudice the future use of the Dome - these included the Broadcast and Dome TV Suites and all associated equipment, together with plasma screens.By the time the auction ends at close of play today, more than 15,000 items from the Dome will have been sold and an anticipated £5 million will have been raised for an attraction that cost £800 million.
Following recent internal re-organisation at Clarion Events, the PLASA Show organising team has undergone several changes of role, as well as several new additions.
James Brooks-Ward is now Group Exhibition Director at Clarion, responsible for eight trade shows and 30 staff. Part of his new responsibility will be the development of new business areas for Clarion.Sue Silsby now takes on the role of PLASA Show Director. She has worked at Clarion Events for the past eight years. most recently as Show Director for The Royal Smithfield Show. Stephen Ingram comes in as the new senior sales manager for the Show. He too has a great deal of experience, having worked on events including The Royal Smithfield Show and The Sunday Times Environment Show.
Julie Haddow joins the team as marketing manager, and will take responsibility for marketing all of Clarion’s trade shows, including PLASA. Over the past year, she has been working as venue marketing manager for Earls Court & Olympia. Another new face to the team is Rebecca Perry, who has been at Clarion Events since 1996, and has worked on The Royal Smithfield Show and The London Motor Show. She now joins the PLASA team as marketing executive.
Sophie Matthews joined Clarion in June 1998, as a show administrator for both PLASA UK and PLASA Presents Light & Sound Shanghai. She is currently the operations manager for both shows. Goli Vossough joined the PLASA team in December 1998 as a sales executive. After a year she made sales executive for the PLASA Shanghai show, and is now actively involved in selling for both.