Events News

Round Table sessions address Industry Issues
Friday, 16 August 2002

L&SI magazine is running two Round Table discussion sessions during the forthcoming PLASA Show (September 8-11, Earls Court 1, London) designed to address some of the most central issues in the industry.

The first session Freelance Rates - Due for Review? will focus on the current rates of pay for freelancers, which over the years have shown a downward trend in real terms, and will be led by a panel of industry professionals on both sides of the fence. The second session, Discounting Rental Rates: Is it Economic Madness? will look at discounting in rental markets, and how companies may be devaluing the services they provide in their attempts to undercut competitors. Once again, the panel will be drawn from those who deal with these issues on a daily basis.

The Freelance Rates session will take place on Monday 9 September at 3pm in the Westminster Room on the Mezzanine Level of Earls Court 1.The Discounting Rental Rates session will take place on Tuesday 10 September at 3pm in the Westminster Room on the Mezzanine Level of Earls Court 1.Both sessions are free for all to attend, but as space is limited, we would ask that you register in advance by contacting Jane Cockburn at PLASA Media at the e-mail address below:

Major launch event for Faceparty.comMajor launch event for
Thursday, 15 August 2002

Drape and rigging specialist Blackout recently assisted in the realisation of the launch party. Recognised as one of the world’s most popular websites, Faceparty marked the occasion with a celebration of dance music. Staged at Three Mills Film Studios, the Faceparty event’s line-up included Pete Tong, Lisa Pin-Up, Kosheen, Boy George, Ms Dynamite, Scratch Perverts and many more.

Over 4km of sunset orange carpet, a staggering quantity of drapes and starcloth, custom-built scenery, 140kW of Turbosound PA and tens of thousands of fairy lights converted the Three Mills car park and three main film studios into a stunning spatial wonderland. Blackout’s project manager, Kevin Monks, collaborated with Faceparty’s Dave Bamforth to realise Bamforth’s creative ideas, before the Blackout team dressed all four themed dance areas of the vast site.

For the Veranda arena and main entrance, a custom-built 20m x 7m Orange Trevira Festoon drape formed a backdrop behind the outdoor stage. Another 37m x 2m area of the same orange fabric was rigged from the perimeter fencing to blend with the carpet, transforming the car park into a fizzy orange wonderland. Blackout’s Kevin Monks explained: "It was a challenging task - particularly rigging the exterior walls v- but the effort was worth it for the end result."

The entrance to the extreme-themed Rainforest zone (planted for the event using thousands of real plants and trees) was framed in starcloth. More starcloth drape inside the area created a magical galaxy-like effect, augmenti

Allen & Heath consoles at Hue FestivalAllen & Heath consoles at Hue Festival
Thursday, 15 August 2002

A pair of Allen & Heath GL3300 eighteen buss live sound consoles were used at several events during the recent Hue Festival in Vietnam. The festival was held in the ancient imperial capital of Hue and was the second celebration of its kind, building on the success of a similar event in 2000. Thousands of tourists were attracted to this year's festivities, which showcased the diverse cultural traditions of Vietnam's different regions and also gave local people an opportunity to see performers from France, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, The Philippines, China, Korea and Japan.

The rental division of Allen & Heath's distributor for Vietnam, Nguyen Hoang Co Ltd, supplied the sound reinforcement system for several major events during the 12-day festival. Both 32-channel GL3300s were first used for the opening ceremony, which centred on a 600 square metre stage in Ngo Mon Square. One of the GL3300s provided front-of-house mixing, with the other being configured as a dedicated monitor console. After a spectacular display of traditional dance performed by troupes from 10 different nations, the crowds were treated to music and songs from the northern, central and southern regions of Vietnam.

Nguyen Hoang employed the Allen & Heath consoles again for a show of traditional fashions on a stage built on Truong-Tien-Bridge. Both GL3300s were back in action at the closing ceremony, watched by an estimated 40,000 people and held on a floating stage on the Huong river. A huge choir of 600 Vietnamese schoolgirls started the event with songs and dances from Hue city itself, followed

Fourth Phase on IceFourth Phase on Ice
Thursday, 15 August 2002

The £40m National Ice Centre, Nottingham, boasts two Olympic-sized ice pads (the first such facility in the UK), one of which transforms into the impressive 10,000 capacity Nottingham Arena designed to host an array of rock and pop concerts and children's shows. The multi-purpose centre also houses a health and fitness centre and first class corporate entertainment and conference facilities.

July 31 saw the official opening by Her Majesty the Queen at a Gala organised and choreographed by Torvill and Dean. The crowds gathered to enjoy an evening packed with music, ice-skating and celebrations, featuring Nottingham Symphony Orchestra, the local ice hockey team and the world's finest figure skaters, including two Olympic Gold medallists, plus local skaters. The evening began with a demonstration of the skating skills of local children, followed by speeches from the Lord Mayor of Nottingham and Her Majesty the Queen.

Providing lighting to match the celebrations on the ice was lighting designer Nick Jones, using Fourth Phase London to supply him with Molefays, Martin MACs, Cyberlights and Wybron colour scrollers. "We didn't have a great deal of planning time for this event," explained Jones, "which is why I specified moving lights for the rig."

Rehearsals began on the previous Sunday, although the French World Champions didn't arrive until the evening of the day before. Generally the skaters had only an hour on the ice to rehearse their routines, "which meant we didn't have a lot of time to work out what we were going to do," said Jones. &qu

Unusual move the Tyne BridgeUnusual move the Tyne Bridge
Tuesday, 13 August 2002

Internationally-recognized American artist Chris Burden has produced a scale model of the Tyne Bridge made from Meccano. However, the scale was such that it was not possible to install it in the gallery by conventional means. At 282cm high and 153cm wide the problem was the length of 945cm and the destination of the top gallery space. The exhibit was constructed of specially-fabricated Meccano parts in stainless steel and consequently was of some considerable weight.

Tim Roffey of Unusual was given the task of finding a way of getting the bridge up to the 4th floor gallery. Although it couldn’t fit into the goods lift on the level, there was a possibility that it might fit in if loaded into diametrically opposed corners. A ground support was built inside the lift using mini-beam truss. Using manual lever hoists attached to the temporary grid, the exhibit was gently coaxed into position inside the lift - leaving no more than 20mm clearance by the lift doors.

(Lee Baldock)

Feel the noise 2002Feel the noise 2002
Tuesday, 13 August 2002

Star Hire (Event Services) Ltd provided the staging for ‘Feel the Noise 2002’, a series of five Emap radio roadshows. Star Hire supplied a mixture of their mobile SS 15-12V StarStages and VT 15 stages for the event, flanked by screens on either side of the stage and triangular PA towers, provided by SSE. The tour included a variety of venues including Newcastle, Blackburn, Liverpool and Hull, for their respective radio stations.

The events, production managed by ClearChannel, featured Blue, Darius and the talented Sugar Babes amongst the artists, with Gareth Gates closing the show, much to the delight of the 25,000 strong crowd. The central stage was 15m wide, 12m deep and 10m high with a stage height of 1.8m. Each stage was constructed in its ‘Vista’ layout with screamers or 'ego-platforms' extending in front of the screens which were set back to improve audience sightlines.

In addition to the stages, Star Hire supplied its new Clearspan front-of-house tower and a wheelchair user’s platform. Star Hire’s project manager Tez Sheals-Barrett commented: "The vista format of these stages really suited the shows, allowing better sightlines for the young crowd and the informality of the roadshow. The production team for these shows have all worked together before, meaning problems could be sorted out quicker and the sites have been a pleasure to work on."

John Probyn, ClearChannel Event’s production manager for the shows commented: "Tez and the Star Hire team have worked with us excellently on this series of events. Th

Vegas Motor School to follow LDI 2002
Monday, 12 August 2002

Tomcat’s second annual Las Vegas Motor School is sweeping through the Western Region this year hot on the heels of LDI 2002. The workshop, scheduled for 21 and 22 of October, will be held at 4 Wall Entertainment and consists of a full day of motor instruction taught by Don Dimitroff of Columbus McKinnon, a half-day of fall protection led by Morgan Neff of Mine Safety Appliances, and a half-day of truss design, use and theory taught by Keith Bohn from Tomcat USA. In other Tomcat training news, the annual Tomcat Hoist and Rigging Workshop will be hosted by Tomcat USA in Midland, Texas, from 5-8 February 2003. Recognized worldwide as one of the most comprehensive training courses of its kind, the Hoist and Rigging Workshop is a unique learning opportunity for those new to the entertainment industry, as well as veterans of the business.

For more information regarding either workshop or to register, please contact Lisa Jebsen at +1 915 694 7070.

(Ruth Rossington)

Pioneer plans PLASA spectacular
Wednesday, 7 August 2002

Pioneer is planning a spectacular stand at this year's PLASA showcase; and the exhibition, held at Earls Court from 8-11 September 2002, promises to be the best yet. As well as showcasing their range of top-quality Pro DJ products, Pioneer is planning to unveil an exciting new product at the show aimed at all budding DJ's. One of the highlights of the show, Roger Sanchez will be performing in Pioneer's live DJ Booth. Let the professionals show you how it’s done - then try it for yourself! Also on the Pioneer stand will be competitions, give-aways and the opportunity to meet the man himself, Roger Sanchez.

Pioneer can be found on stand D40

TMB to celebrate 20th with LA open day
Tuesday, 6 August 2002

As of LDI 2002 (18-20 October), TMB will be turning 20 years old, and is hosting a post-LDI Open House and 20 Anniversary Party at its brand new LA headquarters on Monday 21 October, TMB’s LA office will be open to visitors from around the world. Open House visitors will get to see TMB’s custom-built 40,000sq.ft facility, overlooking the Hansen Dam Golf Course in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley - just 10 minutes from the company's old Burbank location.

The facility features a unique one-room office and shipping/receiving area that enables all departments to easily interact; the two-story atrium is over 8,000sq.ft and embodies the spirit of teamwork at TMB. The facility’s 32ft high warehouse contains over a half-mile of small parts racking, plus enough space to house over 1,000 pallets on a VNA (very-narrow-aisle) pallet racking system, which utilizes a digital, wire-guided forklift. Additionally, the building features a two-story demo room, two cable assembly workshops, a machine shop and a fully-equipped electronics shop.

Anyone who has ever visited the TMB booth knows that TMB are the World leaders in having a good time. In addition to the open house, TMB has arranged a variety of outings to keep visitors entertained throughout the day. In the evening, things will really heat up with a full-on 20th Anniversary bash.

"We chose the Monday following LDI, to give our International customers the chance to see our new global headquarters as part of their LDI itinerary," said TMB CEO Colin Waters. "Also, we will have our entire sales team

ProLight+Sound Shanghai
Monday, 5 August 2002

Messe Frankfurt and Intex Shanghai have announced their collaboration on a new international event in China for the professional audio and entertainment lighting industry - ProLight+Sound Shanghai. The show will make its debut at the Intex exhibition centre and the Shanghaimart from 15-18 October 2003 and will be positioned as a professional marketing platform for manufacturers of sound production, broadcasting and recording equipment, lighting, laser technology and special effects for the entertainment industry, stage, studio and event technology, and pro-audio and lighting-related computer hardware and software. As an entertainment venue in itself, the show will be accompanied by live performances and special events, including a DJ competition.

ProLight+Sound Shanghai is supported by several national and local cultural and trade associations as well as government bodies, including the Chinese Ministry of Culture Bureau for Culture Market, the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Cultural Radio, Film and TV, and the China Recording Association. For more information on the show, email the address below:

Behind the Scenes @ Chitty Chitty Bang BangBehind the Scenes @ Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Friday, 2 August 2002

L&SI is launching the first in what it intends to be a series of networking events for the industry. Since its opening in the West End earlier this year, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has been widely praised by critics and audiences alike. Directed by Adrian Noble, with lighting by Mark Henderson, sound by Andrew Bruce and sets by Anthony Ward, much of the credit for its success lies in the work of the technical and creative teams who have used state-of-the-art techniques to bring this amazing stage production to life.

L&SI has arranged an exclusive backstage tour of the Palladium Theatre where you can meet with those who worked on the production and see first-hand how some of the more complex effects in the Show have been achieved. Following the tour, you'll have a chance to network with industry colleagues at an L&SI-hosted reception where you can talk further with members of the creative teams, before sitting down to watch this stunning performance from some of the best seats in the house.

The tour takes place on Thursday October 10, 2002 at the Palladium Theatre, London, running from 3.30pm onwards, and costs just £69.00 (which includes a full reception and a £40.00 ticket for the Show).

For further details contact Sheila Bartholomew at L&SI on +44 1323 418400 or e-mail

A.C. North tradeshow draws praise
Tuesday, 30 July 2002

The A.C. Lighting North Tradeshow 2002, held at the Royal Armouries museum in Leeds on 23-24 July, was deemed a great success by both sponsors and visitors alike, with more than 400 people attending over the two days of the show.

Being the first opportunity for the A.C Audio division and its suppliers to meet the industry face to face, the tradeshow was also something of a milestone in the history of the company. As most UK entertainment technology shows are held in London or the south of England, the A.C Lighting tradeshow provided a rare opportunity for professionals in the North of England to see the latest technology from specialist lighting and audio manufacturers represented by A.C Lighting. Specialists from each participating manufacturer were on hand to give technical advice on products and applications, and a large number of the visitors took advantage of the hands-on demonstrations and training on offer.

A.C. Lighting’s Northern sales manager Jonathan Walters commented: "I am extremely pleased that the 2002 Tradeshow was so well received in the industry, and gave visitors such a valuable insight to the new products and technology our lighting and audio suppliers have to offer. It was apparent some visitors were not previously aware quite how much the range of products and services available from A.C. Lighting has grown, particularly with the range of professional Audio equipment we now offer. I would particularly like to thank all of our sponsors who supported the event, and look forward to a future opportunity for hosting another A.C North tradesho

Calling all Cricket and Pimms fans!
Tuesday, 30 July 2002

You are welcome to join us to support your favoured team in the fiercely competitive Hayden Laboratories Annual Industry Cricket Cup Challenge, taking place on Thursday 1 August and now in its 4th year.

Two highly-trained, athletic teams will be competing for the much-coveted championship cup, as PLASA & Clarion Events take on the might of the Sound & Lighting Industry. Come along and watch them battle it out as Clarion & PLASA fight to regain the cup after their defeat against the Hayden Labs Audio team last year.

The match will take place in the idyllic setting of Littlewick Green Cricket Club, Berkshire. The full 50-over match is scheduled to begin at 1.30pm, with tea at 4.15pm followed by the second innings before the BBQ and prize-giving kicks off at 7.30pm.

Tickets for the post-match barbecue are a bargain at £5.00 each. If you would like to attend the BBQ and for directions, please call Nicky Rowland at Clarion Events (020 7370 8231) or Simon Curtis at Hayden Laboratories (01753 888447).

(Lee Baldock)

PLASA Initiatives: gobos and massage for Light Relief
Friday, 26 July 2002

Light Relief, the industry charity that supports lighting designers with personal difficulties, has announced two major initiatives to raise awareness during the PLASA 2002 show this September - one aimed at exhibitors and the other for visitors.

The first - ‘Gobos for Light Relief’ - is encouraging as many PLASA exhibitors as possible to use Light Relief coloured glass gobos as part of their on-stand demonstrations. "Visitors will be confronted by a large projection of the logo at the front of the hall as they arrive", explained Tony Gottelier, co-founder of Light Relief. "The idea is that by encouraging exhibitors to participate, visitors will see the same image repeated all over the exhibition - we need to raise awareness of Light Relief and this is set to make a huge impact."

The idea is sponsored by Apollo Design Technology, the Indiana-based manufacturer of high quality dichroics and glass effects, who are making available a quantity of Light Relief glass gobos and any number of metal ones. To participate, simply complete an online order form on either or Alternatively, download the artwork from the Light Relief website - the colour to match is Apollo Bikini Yellow (Rosco 312 Canary, Lee 101 Yellow).

At the same time, in the gallery adjacent to the main escalator from the lobby, Light Relief will be dispensing comfort to weary visitors and exhibitors alik

PLASA 25th Party plans announced!
Wednesday, 24 July 2002

As the PLASA Show celebrates its 25th annual event, a party to mark the milestone in style will be held on the evening of Sunday 8 September at The Bridge, SE1 - a stunning and atmospheric brick-arch party venue situated beneath London Bridge Station. The informal party will have an international theme to reflect the PLASA Show’s strong international audience, and the ticket price (£50 + VAT per head) will include champagne reception, beer, wine, soft drinks, buffet and dancing ‘til late - not to mention a great chance to catch up with friends and colleagues from across the industry.

Don’t miss out! For tickets and further information, contact Mikaela Fenton-Jones on +44 (0)20 7370 8207.

PLASA Association Day a great success
Friday, 19 July 2002

PLASA’s ‘Association Day’, held at Down Hall Country House Hotel in Hertfordshire on 14 June, and incorporating the Association’s AGM, was a great success. The event was attended by a record number of PLASA members, and drew a positive response from all involved.

The format of the AGM has changed gradually over time, and has for some years included an industry dinner event at the close of the day. Last year, a series of ‘Break-out’ meetings were held for the first time, providing valuable discussion and feedback on a number of topics.

The aim of the Association Day is to gain further advantage from the opportunities offered by having a large contingent of PLASA members, plus the PLASA Executive Committee and head office staff, together in one place. Rather than concentrate on the AGM itself - a legal formality - the emphasis has now been shifted fully to making the day an ‘event’ in pleasant surroundings, with opportunties for communication, debate, suggestions and networking.

This year’s break-out meetings covered Membership Services, Standards/Health & Safety and Training. These lively sessions raised valuable feedback for the PLASA Executive Committee and staff, and were well-received by all who took part.

Following the ‘business’ of the day, around 100 people sat down to an enjoyable dinner with entertainment provided by two guest speakers - ex-pro footballer Paul Fletcher and impressionist Kevin Connelly - before retiring to the bar for some serious networking.

PLASA’s managing director

Flying Theatre’s Colours
Friday, 19 July 2002

Lee Baldock and Ruth Rossington report from ABTT 2002

From its now established base at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London, the ABTT Show continues to underline its role as a key event for the theatre industry. Well over 100 exhibitors from across the wide spectrum of supplies and services were at the show, drawing in over 2,500 visitors.

Before we get down to brass tacks, a quick mention of the Dinner, staged on the first evening, at which Major Sir Michael Parker, famed for his work on such events as the Royal Tournament and more recently All the Queens Horses, was the guest speaker. During the dinner, Andrew Bruce of Autograph Sound collected a Lifetime Achievement Award; Nick Wade, chief electrician at the Birmingham Royal Ballet, was handed Technician of the Year;

Vari-Lite’s VL1000 won Lighting Product of the Year; AVW’s Impressario stage motion control system was voted Engineering Product of the Year and Rosco’s Image Pro picked up the coveted Widget of the Year award. There’s always a good feel to ABTT and a real sense of a community coming together, no doubt fed by the presence of such organizations as BECTU, ALD, Central School of Speech and Drama, Society of British Theatre Designers and Loughborough College.

A.C. Lighting was showing examples of its wide range of lighting products, including its Tourmate range of connectors. AC was also promoting the introduction of free training courses on grandMA and Jands lighting control systems.

Allen & Heath showed the latest addition to its ML series, the 15-buss ML3000. The c

Music China sold out
Thursday, 11 July 2002

With over three months still to go until the show opening, the first Music China - the International Trade Fair for musical instruments and services - is completely sold out. Over 260 companies from all over the world have signed up to be a part of China’s first major international event for the musical instrument industry in Shanghai, the commercial heart of the world’s fastest developing nation. They will cover 15,000 square metres of exhibition space.

"We are in the enviable position of simply having no space left to sell, but the applications are still coming in," says Cordelia von Gymnich, vice-president of Communications & Leisure Fairs for Messe Frankfurt, co-organiser of the show with Intex Shanghai and the China Musical Instruments Association (CMIA). "It is unprecedented to have a waiting list for a debut international event in China. The overwhelming response we have had to this show highlights the huge demand for a quality business platform in Shanghai."

The show will offer the complete spectrum of musical instruments and professional sound equipment, as well as a programme of live performances, concerts, workshops and competitions to add sparkle to the four day event.

(Lee Baldock)

Showman’s Show 2002 opens for business
Wednesday, 10 July 2002

The organisers of the Showman’s Show 2002 (Newbury Showground, 16-17 October) have announced that Europe’s largest exhibition for outdoor event professionals is getting bigger this year. Following the success of the 2001 show at Newbury and the inaugural Northern Showman’s Show at the North Yorkshire Showground earlier this year, the interest for the 2002 show is already very strong. In one of the busiest years seen in the outdoor event marketplace in recent years, the show organisers, Lance Publications Ltd, are looking towards incorporating new developments and responding to industry trends.

"We will be making a few changes to the layout of the showground," said organiser Stephen Lance. "These are in part being made to accommodate increased demand for space and partly to make the show more effective for visitors and exhibitors. Even after all these years we are still learning and looking to improve the show where possible."

During recent years the innovations launched at the show have attracted an increasing number of event professionals from corporate, sporting and charity backgrounds. This year visitors will have the unique opportunity to meet the cream of the UK’s production industry exhibiting at the show, who have been central to the production of events attended by millions of people across the UK and Europe, ranging from the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, radio roadshows, pop and rock festivals and the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games.

(Lee Baldock)

LIW announces keynote speaker line-up
Wednesday, 10 July 2002

International Leisure Industry Week (8-10 October, NEC, Birmingham) has announced the keynote sessions for the free seminar programme at this year's show. The programme will feature high profile speakers addressing the industry's key issues and concerns, and sharing best practice and business innovation.

Speakers include Peter Alvarez of Virgin Atlantic Airways, who will tackle issues surrounding the service-profit chain; the relationship between staff retention and customer loyalty, and share tips on best practise for the service industry. Simon Sprowell of Hilton Hotels UK & Ireland will offer insight into combining mission and vision to ensure your brand values are reflected throughout the entire organisation. Graham Abbey of easyJet will address the challenging task of developing a corporate culture that reflects your company's personality. Abbey will focus on easyJet case histories as he demonstrates how to help your people make sense of your business.

LIW show director, Neil Felton, said: "Our priority for this year's speaker programme is value - ensuring our sessions offer real inspiration, practical advice and profit-generating ideas. LIW's 2002 programme offers something for all leisure industry operators, and this educational programme is unique within the industry as it features some of the biggest names in business and is completely free of charge."

(Lee Baldock)

Dick Tee splits from Hotcakes
Tuesday, 9 July 2002

The successful completion of The Queen's Golden Jubilee Visit to the Armed Forces in Portsmouth has effectively marked the end of the association between production manager Dick Tee and brand agency Hotcakes UK Ltd.

Tee started working alongside Chris Spencer of CJ Spencer Associates in 1995. In the spring of 2000 Hotcakes was launched with Spencer as managing director and Tee adopting the role of production director. When, in the Autumn of 2001, Hotcakes secured the contract to handle the creative development of the Golden Jubilee Visit (GJV) to Portsmouth, Tee worked with Hotcakes on the event production, at the same time as handling the site co-ordination directly for the GJV project team on behalf of the MOD. As a result, Tee has now decided to return to full 'freelance status' - choosing to concentrate on his own ‘That's EnTEEtainment’ business activities and developing The Event Safety Shop, the Bristol based Health & Safety consultancy which he co-owns with Mike Richmond, founder of REM - Richmond Event Management. "I feel that it is now time for a change," commented Tee.

(Ruth Rossington)

JHS Event 2002JHS Event 2002
Friday, 5 July 2002

With German pro audio concern HK Audio having made huge inroads into the UK & Eire pro audio market in recent years, the JHS Event 2002 presented the perfect opportunity for HK Audio to launch three new and very significant product lines.

HK Audio’s impressive pro audio range now makes a significant contribution to the presentation of the JHS Event, and represents an ideal opportunity for the many trade visitors to the show to hear for themselves why HK Audio is proving to be so successful in this most difficult of markets to break into. It’s also an ideal chance for them to speak to representatives from HK Audio, who visit the JHS Event specially to consolidate HK’s increasing UK profile and presence.

The main outdoor stage at Event is flanked by 12 boxes of HK’s stadium-friendly R Series, offering a total of 7.2kW, with the large capacity active Projector system positioned infield, providing a good opportunity to find out what these systems sound like when run at something approaching true outdoor SPLs. Elsewhere on the site, a dedicated HK Audio demo theatre featured many pro audio systems and components from the HK catalogue, including the highly successful L.U.C.A.S., E.L.I.A.S. and ACTOR self-powered active PAs.

However, grabbing most attention were the newest additions to the HK Audio line-up - Linear 3, Installation Line and D.A.R.T., an extremely useful looking portable active monitor. Features of the new Linear 3 passive speaker range include Linear 3’s LightGuide LEDs, offering continuous status information on the performance o

Blackout’s Perfect Planning at Tech-Ed 2002Blackout’s Perfect Planning at Tech-Ed 2002
Thursday, 4 July 2002

Tech-Ed 2002 offers Microsoft developers and IT professionals from across Europe the opportunity to update their knowledge of the latest integrated solutions from the world’s largest software supplier and hone their expertise with the product range.

Drapes and rigging specialists Blackout Ltd have been appointed by UK production house, PCI Live, to supply all the blackout draping and production rigging services for the event which is held at the enormous Fira de Barcelona 2 exhibition centre this month, filling the entire space of both gigantic halls. The first hall, measuring over 500m in length, over 15m high and some 100m wide, is transformed into 11 acoustically friendly rooms, the smallest of which seats 880 delegates, the largest having the capacity for over 2000. The second hall houses the conferences catering and keynote facilities, including a 6000 capacity room with full production rigging and automated set.

Blackout has supplied a staggering 53,000sq.m of black wool serge drape from its extensive hire stock - enough to cover 11 football pitches! Weighing in at over 30 tonnes the drapes filled three 45’ trailers. The rigging required a further five trailers to transport the 1,465m of truss, 195 motors and 36 manual chain hoists.

The thousand or so drapes specified for the project are all coded using coloured ties and loaded by room to be distributed around the halls by the trucks and local crew who are then easily able to identify which drapes go where. The drapes are suspended, using in excess of 10,000 snap hooks, from over 5km of catenary wir

DPL lights Maldon Promenade Festival
Thursday, 27 June 2002

The festival season kicked in for DPL Production Lighting at Maldon in Essex, for the Maldon Promenade two-day event, staged against the picturesque backdrop of the tidal River Blackwater.

The festival was production managed by the redoubtable Dick Tee, who was engaged in other projects when the site build started, so the co-ordination of the Maldon event fell to his associate Laura Sands. DPL were called in to suppy lighting production for the fifth time. The first night had a pop cabaret theme and starred Jaki Graham, Rose Royce (with Gwen Dickey) and The Three Degrees, rounded off with a specially choreographed Techno Show son et lumière number, complete with fireworks and projection, directed by Sean Canning from Hotcakes UK. The following event was dedicated to popular classics.

DPL’s lighting rig was shaped to follow the curves of the Orbit stage (supplied by Serious Structures). Equipment included Martin MAC 250s, 500s and 600s, over 150 PARs, UV cannons, ETC Source Four PARnels, blinders and ACLs, tech’d by Andy Higgins, who was also LD. For architectural illuminations, DPL lit the sea wall with Studio Due City Colors and also supplied four large silk flame effects for the front of the stage which looked out across a large artificial lake to the audience, who sat on the other side. The lake was drained for the get-in and then re-pumped with water for the show.

Lighting control came from an Avolites Pearl, operated by Andy Higgins and Darren Parker. The FOH platform actually stood in the water, with the multicores (housed in a special waterproof ja


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