Lee Baldock and Steve Moles report from LDI, Las Vegas
T his year’s LDI was, we are told, the biggest and the busiest LDI Show to date, with more exhibitors than ever before and record-breaking attendance, topping 12,000 in the first two days alone. The show floor of the Sands Expo & Convention Center certainly seemed very busy for the most part - as did the rest of Vegas, mind-bogglingly over-booked and bursting at the seams.
One of the few really high-profile debuts at the show was from Vari-Lite in the form of the Virtuoso DX console; this brings the for sale option to the Virtuoso control platform family - the daddy of which was launched at PLASA last year. Using the same operating system, the Virtuoso DX supports up to 2,000 luminaires and contains eight built-in DMX universes in a smaller package. Added to this is a new offline programming software package - Visionary 3D - which allows the creation of Virtuoso show files without a console or a lighting system. Also from Vari-Lite were two new luminaire configurations. The VL2202 is the 700W version of the 2201 spot, boasting double the light output. The VL2402 wash luminaire, also 700W, comes in the same compact package as the 2200 series, and offers the same beam control technology as the other members of the 2400 washlight series.
Martin Professional added to its recent success in the PLASA Awards (for the new MAC 2000) by collecting the LDI Architecture Lighting Product of the Year Award for its Exterior 300 - an economical alternative to the Exterior 600. This is a CMY colour-changing unit in
London-based MJK Productions has helped to open a new era in the long history of legendary Alexandra Palace by flying, for the first time, a substantial sound, lighting and video production from the venue’s vaulted glass roof.The MOBO Awards have grown immensely over the past five years. Increased ticket demand for this year’s MOBO Awards brought about the move to Alexandra Palace, with a show hosted by MTV’s Trevor Nelson and TLC’s Lisa ‘Left-Eye’ Lopes. Live performances included Craig David, Gabrielle and the much-anticipated return of Sade.
The Great Hall at ‘Ally Pally’ was completely refurbished following a disastrous fire in 1980 and a new glass roof installed. However, the roof was never intended to support heavy event production rigging, with a maximum loading of 1500 kilos on each arch and no greater point load than 500kg.
MJK Productions had produced the BRIT Awards in the Great Hall in 1995, using a ground-supported production. This time MJK’s Mick Kluczynski, production manager for the MOBOs, was determined to fly his production, the heaviest single element being a four-tonne followspot platform located high over the seated audience’s heads. "The loading restrictions made it rather critical, as it wouldn’t support even the weight of a mothergrid to carry a lighting rig. We had to get very creative. We went to the house riggers, Outback, and discovered they had been in negotiations with the original architects and engineers, and had got to a critical point when our show came along."<
Circle 8 - the new company set up by former PLASA Show Manager Nicky Rowland - has confirmed its first industry contract in its first week of business. Circle 8 will be managing Theme Magazine’s Bar & Restaurant Awards - a series of regional awards dinners, culminating in a spectacular final dinner in London in June 2001. The North West’s awards ceremony has already taken place and the next event will be taking place on Monday 20 November at Brighton’s famous Grand Hotel to celebrate the best in the South East and Home Counties. Circle 8 offers a unique blend of event management, sales and marketing skills that can be applied to the entertainment industry and beyond.
Much of the performance audio buzz at the LA Convention Center at the end of September surrounded the new line array PA systems, but there was more besides. L&SI reports on some of the highlights.
AKG Acoustics launched the PR 81 pocket receiver, a lightweight, durable and feature-packed miniature diversity receiver based on AKG’s WMS 81 wireless technology. The company sees its compactness and plug-and-play operation as ideal for small broadcast and video production houses. AKG also unveiled the WMS 40 UHF wireless system, a fully-featured transmitter/receiver system at what AKG says is a 'breakthrough price' for a product of its ability.
Allen & Heath staged the US debut of the ML4000 dual-function (FOH/monitor) console. Slotting in between the GL400 and the recently-launched ML5000, it's a VCA-equipped 12 aux, eight audio group mixer with eight mute groups, a four-way matrix and enhanced LCR and IEM facilities. VCA groups and the LCRplus panning system join ML5000-derived features such as an angled fader bay, 32-, 40- and 48-channel formats, all with two dual stereo channels and a compact footprint.
Audio Technica promises ‘a new benchmark in wireless performance’ with its ATW-7373 handheld condensor wireless system, which comprises the ATW-T73 handheld condensor microphone/transmitter and the ATW-R73 true diversity receiver. At the heart of the ATW-T73 is the same element used in the AT4033 microphone, a mainstay of recording studios, a combination which A-T says adds up to studio quality sound with road-proven toughness.
Cadac launched its R-T
The International Live Music Conference (ILMC The 13th) has announced that it will return to the venue for the 2000 event - the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London - on the weekend of March 9th-11, 2001. A new team has been assembled by ILMC organiser Martin Hopewell to produce the Conference and create both its discussion agenda and the series of social events that surround the conference sessions themselves. Conference producers for ILMC 13 are Alia Dann and Lynn Curtis, with Mike Lethby and Sarah James at Gasoline Media responsible for media and sponsorship. Registration and sponsorship details are available from the ILMC office on 0207 833 8998.
At the close of the LDI exhibition on Sunday evening at the Sands Convention Center, Las Vegas, the show was being hailed as the biggest, busiest and most successful LDI yet. In addition to its regulars, the show boasted no less than 65 first-time exhibitors, while the visitors were out in force. Speaking at the LDI Awards ceremony on Saturday evening, LDI's Jacqueline Tien said that with more than 12,000 visitors through the doors, LDI 2000 had already outstripped last year's visitor total, with a day left to run.
The annual LDI Show has just finished its run at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas and early reports suggest that this was a busy and successful Show (more show news in the next few days). One of the highlights of the event is the annual awards presentation which took place on Saturday, October 21. The Wally Russell Award for lifetime contribution went to San Miller, chief executive officer and chairman of Rosco Laboratories. Miller is the only person ever to be named both a Fellow of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology and a member of the American Society of Cinematographers. Having graduated from Brown University in 1954, Miller served in the US Army until 1956, and acquired Rosco in 1958. The Best Widget Award went to American Harlequin for its new storage bag. In the design categories, the Lighting Designer of the Year Awards are divided into three areas. Dawn Hollingsworth picked up the architecture award, Tom Ruzika, collected the themed award and Patrick Woodroofe was honoured in the entertainment category.Coemar's CF7 was voted the Entertainment Lighting Product of the Year, whilst Martin Professional added to its raft of PLASA Awards by collecting the Architecture Lighting Product of the Year for its Exterior 300. On the audio front, Level Control Systems' Cue Console was recognised as the Sound Product of the Year, with Honourable Mention going to Wireworks Wirelux cables. Tony Meola was voted Sound Designer of the Year. Pathport picked up the Best Software Product Award for its Pathway Connectivity system and Dataton's Watchout was aw
Are you a lighting student eager to visit the only International Colloquium on Entertainment Lighting? If so, Showlight 2001 may be able to offer you the opportunity of a lifetime! Exhibitors at Showlight have the option to sponsor one entertainment lighting student, to enable people at all levels of the profession to attend and participate. The essence of Showlight is to encourage attendees to talk, discuss ideas and mix with some of the top names from theatre, television, film and architectural and themed lighting, and the list of exhibitors encompasses some of the top names in the industry, including DHA Lighting, ETC Europe, Strand, White Light and Wybron, with confirmed speakers from the worlds of themed entertainment, television and outdoor events. For further details contact Ruth Rossington, Showlight 2001, telephone +44 (0) 1323 418401.
Southwest Sound & Light have announced that hey will be organising and hosting the Southwest Sound & Light Show on Sunday 28th and Monday 29th January 2001, from 10am to 8pm both days. The venue is the Clubhouse at Golden Sands Holiday park, Dawlish, Devon, and admission will be free. Organiser Paul Goody said: "The event will be of interest to all people involved in the leisure industry - with clubs, pubs, holiday centres, leisure centres, bands, DJs and karaoke. Visitors will be able to see and try the latest in amplifiers, mixers, loudspeakers, microphones, CD players, mixing kits, effects units, harmonisers, lighting effects for stage and club and large screen video." Call Paul Goody for further information: 01626 890806
There is now less than a week to go until designvision, a brand new exhibition for the world of restaurant, bar, hotel and pub interiors opens its doors to the trade at London's Olympia. Running from Sunday 1 to Tuesday 3 October, the event is expected to attract over 10,000 restaurateurs, bar operators, hoteliers and publicans., as well as architects, specifiers and designers. In addition to an exhibition of the industry's leading suppliers, the event will play host to a comprehensive seminar programme featuring industry personalities such as Stuart Hopson Jones, Simon Woodroffe, Ian Caulder and Callum Lumsden.
Details of the fourth annual Fullpower Showcase have been announced. This year's event, which is free to attend, takes place on November 9th and will again be held at Salisbury's Red Lion Hotel. It will showcase DJ technologies from all the leading manufacturers including Martin Profesional, Batmink, Lamba Plc, Gemini Sound, Numark and Antari. The event is very much an interactive experience with demonstrations and hands-on session being a key feature of the show. Information and tickets can be obtained from Richard Hunt on 01722 718331.
Themed recreation venues and attractions took centre stage on the evening of Saturday, September 16 as the Themed Entertainment Association celebrated its seventh annual THEA Awards Gala in the Grand Ballroom of the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal Studios Island, James Cameron's Titanic: The Experience, Fox Studios in Sydney, Australia and the Stone Forest in Yunnan Province, China (all of which have been featured in Lighting&Sound International) all picked up awards. Universal Studios Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida was also voted the best Theme Park. The THEA Classic award went to Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark - said to be one of the prime inspirations for Walt Disney in determining the character and quality of Disneyland. Tivoli Gardens has operated continuously since 1843. A special award recognising Breakthrough Technology was collected by Richmond Sound Design for its AudioBox system. The company developed a special version of its AudioBox for The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Islands of Adventure, designed to withstand shock and vibration up to 15Gs.
Winner of the Best Shell Scheme award was UV Light Technology on stand P20. Judges were impressed by the effect of such a wide array of UV products in a very small space - even including the stand's signage - maximising the impact of the stand.In the Best Space Only Stand (up to 50sq.m) category, the winner was Mad Lighting for stand F48, built by LiteStructures. The judges were impressed by the creative combination of small space and product on display. Judges also made a commendation to Tomcat for its spectacular rotating stand feature.Winner of the Best Space Only Stand (over 50sq.m) category was Martin Professional on stand E54/E56. Judges were impressed by the impact of the 'wall' of products, and by the simple but stylish separation of the different parts of the organisation. Commendations were also made in this category to ETC for its cool, calm haven of a stand with sumptuous and kind-on-the-feet carpet and to Pioneer for its innovative and stylish Surgery area with comfortable bean bag seating.In the Best Overall Use of Product on the Stand category, the winner was Pulsar & Clay Paky on stand G46 for its excellent light show with Ministry of Sound bar, formidable structure and interactive demonstration area for visitors. Commendations were made to Unusual Rigging Ltd for its creative use of a circus magician act in a trade show environment and to Tomcat for its gyroscopic truss feature feature.
The Sound Broadcasting Equipment Show takes place on 8-9 November at the Birmingham NEC. Show organiser Point Promotions is offering visitors special deals on hotels through Expotel www.expotel.co.uk/?EVENTCODE=SOUBRO00. Expotel can also offer budget B&B accommodation within the NEC area. If you are planning to use the train, visit www.virgintrains.co.uk, which offers reduced rates on pre-booked tickets. The Seminar sessions this year will cover topics including the future of webcasting, automation and transmission, among a wide range of items.
The PLASA 2000 Awards for Product Excellence were presented at the Show yesterday. Seven exhibitors were presented with awards specially designed by DHA Lighting, for Design Excellence and Technical Innovation in four categories: Lighting, Stage Engineering, Audio-Visual and Sound. And the winners were . . .LIGHTINGMartin Professional for the MAC 2000 (Design Excellence)Pani for the BP4CT Large Format Projector (Technical Innovation)SOUNDAcoustic Solutions for the Homemix entry-level DJM+D Design for the SID Event System Monitor STAGE ENGINEERINGTotal Fabrications for the T2 trussing system (Design Excellence)Stage Technologies for the Pathway 3D Flying System (Technical Innovation)AUDIO-VISUALM+D Design for The Podules (for both Design Excellence and Technical Innovation)
In recognition of the product that claimed the greatest Environmental Impact, a short demonstration captured the judges' attention immediately - the Airoamer from Nu-Light Systems which delivers scents and smells into the atmosphere without the use of heat or even liquids. One again, all Awards entry fees were donated to a number of nominated entertainment technology industry charities. This year these include the newly-launched Light Relief fund (a new created to support freelance lighting professionals who find themselves in difficult circumstances); the Production Services Association Welfare and Benevolent Fund; the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy UK Trust, and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.
Live event company Hotcakes has today announced the formal appointment of five senior figures to its new Board of Directors. The Board will consist of Chris Spencer (executive producer and managing director), Helene Spencer (visual director), Sean Canning (creative director), Dick Tee (production director) and Alison Esse (communications director). The Board has been formalised as the company enters a new phase of development and expansion. Hotcakes already designs, produces and manages creative shows and live events for a number of different brands and organisations in the UK, including Marks & Spencer, Cosmopolitan Show and Prima, as well as the creative production for International Festival of the Sea, and will be announcing new projects in the near future.
The Showman's Show will take place on Wednesday 18 - Thursday 19 October, 2000, at its regular Newbury Showground location, but this year visitors will notice a new aisle has being added to the show, and there is an increased international presence. here are several areas of the outdoor event industry which will be boasting new developments: The international community has found Newbury with new stands ranging from a Dutch consortium of companies co-ordinated by Festivak and new marquee companies including 'Tentology' from Canada and Spantech from Belgium. Trade associations within the industry will be promoting standards, and this year Newham College will be promoting education via their new rosta of events related courses and qualifications. On-line registration is now available.
Former deputy show director of the Cosmopolitan Show, Matt Briggs, has joined brand experience consultancy Hotcakes as a full-time producer. The appointment of Briggs, who has worked closely with Hotcakes for the past two years in producing Cosmopolitan Show's award-winning catwalk show, underlines Hotcakes' push to recruit skilled individuals from a variety of sectors. His responsibilities will include the initiation and management of projects, close client liaison, co-ordinating the teams allocated to each event, controlling and managing budgets and production schedules and identifying and acting on opportunities as and when they arise.
High End Systems fixtures have been chosen to illuminate the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2000 Olympic Games on September 15 and October 1, respectively. Designed by LD John Rayment, the ceremonies at Olympic Stadium in Sydney's Olympic Park will be seen live by about 120,000 spectators and on television by an estimated three billion people worldwide. Rayment and lighting director Rohan Thornton are using 300 Cyberlight Turbo and 40 Cyberlight fixtures, as well as 136 Studio Beam luminaires, and 132 Studio Color 575 luminaires. To control the multi-layered system, the designers are using 14 Flying Pig Systems Wholehog II consoles. Bytecraft, the exclusive Australian distributor for High End Systems, is the event's general lighting contractor, and is working with two German companies, Procon and Sound and Light, to pull the massive lighting system together.
The Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) committee has appointed Point Promotions, organiser of the Sound Broadcasting Equipment Show, to manage its show operations. This comes at a time when the physical size and importance of the Show has surpassed the ABTT committee with the organiser, Roger Fox conceding that it is now "very much a full time job" and it can only meet the demands of the industry with professional exhibition management. This announcement follows the news of the show's change of name and widening focus for 2001. The ABTT Theatre Show 2001 will be held at the Royal Horticultural Halls, London, on 4-5 April 2001.
The Association of Theatre Technicians has announced major developments to its well established annual trade show. With a name change to emphasise its identity, ABTT Theatre Show 2001 is expanding the range of products on show to include front of house goods and services including seating, soft furnishings, box office systems, print and publicity, insurance and legal services. The show will be held on 4 and 5 April in the Royal Horticultural Halls, Westminster, London SW1. The newly refurbished Lindley Hall will accommodate front of house exhibits, while the Lawrence Hall will continue to concentrate on backstage services. The organisers hope that as a result of its expansion, the show will attract new visitors from theatre and entertainment building managements, as well as architects, consultants and specifiers.
London's first ever floating opera will take place on the River Thames in late July. Split across two dates - 26 and 27 July - the two performances of Fleeting Opera: Birthright will run first at Battersea Park and then on the following evening at the Albert Embankment. The water-borne initiative, which will see opera singers, musicians and dancers perform from a barge while being towed up the River Thames (which should prove enough of an attraction in its own right), is a collaboration between the Royal Opera House and the Couper Collection for the String of Pearls Millennium Festival.
Earls Court & Olympia has announced that Jonathan Goold will be leaving Clarion Events, organisers of the PLASA Show, at the end of this year. Goold has spent 17 years with the events organising company at Earls Court & Olympia, more than nine of them as managing director. During his time at Earls Court & Olympia, Goold has been show director for a number of events, including The London Motor Show through the 1980s, before taking on the role of managing director in 1991, and overseeing the company's growth throughout the 1990s to its position as one of the UK's leading exhibition and event organisers.
An investigation has been launched following the news over the weekend that eight fans had been crushed to death at the Roskilde Festival in Copenhagen. Several others were also injured in the incident which occurred around midnight on Saturday when American rockers Pearl Jam were performing on stage. The front section of the 50,000-strong crowd slipped and the injured were trampled underfoot. Worryingly, the news reports covering the event have, in part, pointed the finger of blame at the sound system, claiming that the rear loudspeakers were not working thus forcing the audience forward. Oasis and the Pet Shop Boys both pulled out of the festival as a mark of respect for the dead, although other bands have chosen to play on. Technical investigations are being carried out and emergency support services have been set up on-site.