Four days of professional design and technology workshops in lighting, production techniques and audio highlight the second annual ExpoLatina running from 22-25 May at the Miami Beach Convention Center, USA. A series of lighting and sound seminars will run alongside the show with Making the Music highlighting the audio seminar programme presented by a panel of top Latin record producers and engineers. Other audio sessions range from Dubbing Music for the Latin Market and Getting the Best Live Mix to explorations of applications for loudspeakers, microphones, mixing, sound system design and studio design. The 'Beyond the Light' programme represents three days of presentations for stage, screen and special events, showcasing lighting designers, technicians and consultants from around the world. Sessions include roundtables on industry standards from ESTA, film and television lighting techniques and moving lights for television. Lighting designer Sarah Sidman presents a look at new gobos, colours and lighting techniques, while Steve Hoffman and Chris Garcia from GAM lead a hands-on look at creating special lighting effects. The workshops will be taught in or simultaneously translated into Spanish.
A weekend of celebrations will mark the opening of the new Lowry Centre, the first purpose-built centre in the UK to integrate the visual and performing arts. Based on Salford Quays, Greater Manchester, the stunning steel and glass building will receive its official opening on April 28 with a major programme of music, dance, theatre and fire. The Lowry, a national millennium project costing £98 million, will host a 1650 seat lyric theatre, a 400 seat flexible theatre, as well as a purpose-built gallery for the City's comprehensive Lowry collection. In partnership with the University of Salford, there will be an adjacent national industrial centre for virtual reality. At the heart of the opening weekend is a specially-created production - To You - which involves the local community and professional artists. The audience will then be drawn into the 1,728-seat Lyric Theatre, which boasts the biggest stage outside London, for the next part of the production before the finale - a fireworks display and water pageant by Walk The Plank Theatre Company.
Earls Court and Olympia is working with Land securities, one of the UK's largest property companies, to develop an on-site hotel at Earls Court, home to the PLASA Show. Planning permission has been approved for a 513 room, four-star hotel in the Empress State building, adjacent to Earls Court 2. The two companies are now working closely to select an operator to develop the hotel, with a decision due in the next three months. The hotel will then be operational by spring 2002.
Preparations are now well underway for this year's Theatrical London event which will run directly after the PLASA Show in London from Wednesday 13th September through to Friday 15th September. Although certain parts of the programme are still to be finalised, shows already booked include The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre and the Witches of Eastwick at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. As with previous events, Theatrical London will include a number of backstage visits to venues of interest to this industry. Full details available shortly.
The AES UK conference will take place from 8-9 May at Church House, Westminster, London. Mark Yonge will chair the conference which will address the way networks are used to transmit streams of digital audio and will include sessions on audio quality in network design, fibre channel technology, audio file transfers, ethernet networks and digital audio interfaces. The conference will be of interest to technical managers as well as the operators and technicians responsible for developing and using new audio systems for radio, TV and music recording.The registration fee is £298 + VAT for AES members and £348 + VAT for non-members.
Lighting Technology Newcastle, growing dynamically out of the newly-merged but long-established company Sound Electronics, launched itself into the new Millennium with a major Open Day event at its premises on Tyneside on Friday 3rd March. The occasion celebrated the formal launch of Lighting Technology Group's Newcastle offices, which will act as a centre for expansion for sales in the region. It will also provide the base for the resources of the Northern region of LTP, the Group's project business.Over 30 major manufacturers lined up to support the mini-expo which included a special architectural lighting area, the presence of Strand Lighting's 45' exhibition trailer, Pioneer's mobile DJ display truck and the launch of a new-style entertainment lamp catalogue. For pictures of the Open Day follow this link . . .
PALA - the international trade show for the professional audio and lighting systems, audio-visual technology and music related products - moves to the Philippines for this first time this year. It should provide a fitting backdrop to the show as the country has a growing economy - new venues are being built and a large number of existing theatres, restaurants, arts centres and clubs are undergoing restoration, refurbishment and installation. A programme of special events has been planned to run alongside the trade show which will feature over 250 exhibitors, including both sound and lighting shoot-outs, a run of technical seminars and an outdoor concert, staged together with a Beer Party and a Millennium DJ Competition. 6-8 July 2000 - World Trade Centre Metro Manila, Philippines
Vari-Lite Production Services (VLPS) London has won the prestigious contract to light the biggest stage set ever built at Earl's Court - for the BRIT Awards 2000 night tonight.VLPS is supplying the automated lighting systems, not only for the Awards ceremony itself, through BRITs production company MJK Productions, but the pre-show Mastercard Reception and the massive after-show party too. VLPS won the huge contract after proving the cost effectiveness of choosing one specialist supplier for all of the event'' major lighting elements.
For the prestigious Grammy Awards, which took place last night at The Staples Center, Los Angeles, lighting designer Bob Dickinson and console programmer Andy O'Reilly used a Vari-Lite Virtuoso lighting control console to 'mix on the fly' - literally creating the lighting looks for each performer just minutes before they took to the stage. As it was impossible for the pair to know the colour and style of each artist's wardrobe, O'Reilly received cues from backstage as each artist appeared, and then used the Virtuoso's facility for instant creation and editing of cues to create the right colour scheme.
For the fourth successive year, Britannia Row Productions has been engaged to carry out the audio production for the BRIT Awards, which moves to Earls Court 2 next week. Brit Row is continuing its association with sound designer Derek Zieba for the event. Chris Coxhead and Bob Lopez will be looking after the front-of-house sound, with Vince Sharpe and Andy Ray on monitors. Sound reinforcement will be drawn exclusively from Brit Row's Turbosound Flashlight inventory - the main system will consist of TFS-780 and 760 L-C-R clusters, with L-C-R delays and various audience and pit fills.
TFE Concerts, aligned to The Full Effect, has appointed a new events and marketing manager responsible for concerts, roadshows and other outdoor music events. Clare Sugars, formerly of the Royal Festival Hall, has been brought in to manage all Year 2000 Music Events staged by TFE.
Readers of L&SI will recall that in 1998 nva organisation presented the landmark 'Secret Sign' event in a deep river gorge near Loch Lomond. The sell-out show was nominated as Production of the Year by The Herald newspaper and led to the single largest award by the Millennium Festival Company to create a new project to mark the year 2000. Setting their sights high, nva spent a year searching the highlands of Scotland for the perfect location and eventually settled on Glen Lyon. From May 19th - June 4th, 300 people per night (and that includes an intrepid pair from PLASA Publishing) will travel from every part of Britain to experience a journey into the heart of the glen. Over a two hour night-time walk they will encounter a beautifully animated environment, lighting and sound installations and performance revealing key natural features varying from waterfalls to standing stones. With an international creative team led by Angus Farquhar, this is the first time an event of this scale and ambition has been developed in Britain. Full story in February L&SI.
The annual Siel show has just completed its run at the Porte de Versailles in Paris and in true French style managed to bring together all that is fascinating about the entertainment industry. Business seemed to be good on the show floor which may have something to do with the show's slightly revised format: having previously mixed both the theatre and nightclub industries together, organisers, Reed-OIP, siphoned everything to do with the nightclub sector into its own separate hall thereby making life a little easier for the visitor. To strengthen its international credits, Siel invited Great Britain to be the Country of Honour and Reed worked with PLASA to co-ordinate a British pavilion, complete with traditional watering-hole, which quickly established itself as a social hub for exhibitors and visitors alike. The UK's Minister for Trade & Industry - Richard Caborn MP - visited the show on Monday and, accompanied by PLASA MD Matthew Griffiths, met with most of the UK companies and PLASA members exhibiting at the show. A full report appears in February's L&SI.
VLPS London has started off the New Year supplying equipment to a string of high profile motor industry events across Europe. For Volvo's launch of the new V70 in Brussels, lighting designer Glyn Peregrine used ETC Source Fours, Minuette and Cantata fresnels an Arri desk and Avolites dimmers; in Seville, Ford launched the new Transit, with lighting designed by Mike Sobotnicki, incorporating 12 VL5Arc and 16 VL6B luminaires, along with ETC Source Fours and Par 64s, all controlled via a Wholehog II. Other projects for Ford included the company's exhibition stands at the Brussels Motor Show (lighting design by Andy Offin) and the Amsterdam Motor Show (lighting design by Ross Corbett).
The first commercial use of Gearhouse Structures' Tensile 1 structure was for the Gatecrasher 2000GC millennium celebrations, held at the Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield.The 15-hour event attracted an audience of 25,000and required 180 tonnesof sound, lighting and video production. Gearhouse also supplied LED screens for the event, including one of the largest ever Optiscreen systems ever erected - 78sq.m. Lighting was supplied by LSD, the 180-stack Nexo Alpha PA system was supplied by SSE and Laser Creations and Pyro Production were responsible for the lasers and special effects.
The recent Sports Awards of the Century gala evening at the Vienna State Opera House, with live performances from Eros Ramazotti and Sir Cliff Richard among others, was lit by a large automated rig supplied by Vari-Lite Austria. The rig included 18 VL5, eight VL6, 16 VL6B and 20 VL7 luminaires, programmed and operated by lighting designer Norbert Wolfsberger. The production company for the event was Cataclysm.
The second ExpoLatina trade show and conference takes place from May 23-25 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami. The show floor boasts more than 200 international manufacturers and distributors of products geared to live performance, film and TV and themed environments. The accompanying conference programme (presented primarily in Spanish) features round-table discussions, project portfolios and hands-on training sessions presented by industry professionals who work or have an interest in Latin American business.
Britannia Row Productions ended the year by supplying the sound system and technical staff for the New Year's Eve opening celebrations at London's Millennium Dome. The event was broadcast to millions across the world and although the invited audience at the Dome numbered only 15,000, the area to be covered by sound was considerably larger than a standard arena. Given the source material and the dispersion needed, it was decided to augment the main 48-pair Flashlight left and right system with six Flashlight delays. Floodlight, and the new TCS-56 enclosures, were used for audience infill. Brit Row's touring clients during 1999 included Robbie Williams, Simply Red, The Pet Shop Boys, Chemical Brothers and Nine Inch Nails, with events covered including Glastonbury, The Brits, The MTV EMA awards and the Miss World competition.
The Scottish Lighting Exhibition will take place on February 13 and 14 2000 at the BBC Studios in Glasgow. The format will follow that of previous years where an exhibition featuring a range of technical companies will run in tandem with a series of seminars presented by some of the leading names in the industry. A full programme will be available shortly.
The second annual ExpoLatina trade show and conference, targeted at the Latin American entertainment design and technology market, takes place from May 23-25, 2000 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami. ExpoLatina 2000 is the only trade show in North America with a complete range of performance and production technology designed for Latin American applications. The show floor boasts more than 200 international manufacturers and distributors of products geared to live performance, film and TV and themed environments.
With so much activity confirmed around the New Year period, it's not surprising to find the big production houses organising themselves ahead of time. As such Edwin Shirley Trucking (EST) is finding itself busier than usual during the dying days of '99. In preparation for the Brussels Motor Show in Jan 2000, EST has begun to transport 30 truckloads of equipment out to Belgium for Imagination, the producers of the Ford display. Also out in Belgium, Toyota is staging a pre-Motor Show bash for its main European dealers, which will require around five EST artics to outfit the show. In a similar vein, but over here in the UK, Ford is holding aChristmas dealer review at the ICC in Birmingham for which a further seven EST trucks will be required. As if that weren't enough, during the same period 14 45-footers will be ferrying equipment over to Seville in Spain for the launch of the all new Ford Transit 2000. All this motoring activity doesn't mean there are no concert tours going on. Barry Manilow is the first to kick off the new-year with a four truck production touring around the UK and Europe from the 6th Jan. Probably just the right artist to soothe those post Millennial hangovers.
A new initiative to improve the career prospects of those working within the events sector has also recognised the importance of the sector to UK tourism. The continuing growth of events in the UK is a primary reason for the creation of TTENTO, the new National Training Organisation for Travel, Tourism Services and Events. The Government-backed organisation has been set up to ensure industry employers undertake training and development and will provide the events sector with nationally recognised qualifications for its workforce and individual career paths. In particular, TTENTO is working on initiatives for small businesses which comprise some 85% of the travel, tourism services and events industries. The new body brings together all three sectors under one banner for the first time and follows the launch of the events industry NVQs/SVQs earlier this year.
The Loch Ness monster is alive and well thanks to the latest in multi-media display technology supplied by GB International - a specialist supplier of presentation systems. The seven projector system forms the heart of a new exhibition at the Official Loch Ness Exhibition Centre in Drumnadrochit, on the banks of the famous loch. The Exhibition uses seven Philips LCD Projectors to project movie and animation sequences using a mixture of front and back projection onto gauze, 3D objects, large screens and even a half-silvered mirror to create a realistic, dramatic 3D environment.
Established in 1981, when the first event took place at London's Barbican, Showlight exists specifically to give lighting people time to talk, to discuss ideas and to mix with some of the best known names in the industry. Organised by lighting professionals for lighting professionals, the sixth Showlight will take place in 2001 in Edinburgh on May 21, 22 and 23. Over the three days you will have the opportunity to meet some of the world's top names from theatre, television, film and even architectural and themed lighting. If you would like further details on how to register for Showlight 2001, or would like to be kept informed of speakers and exhibitors as they are announced, contact Ruth Rossington, Showlight 2001, telephone +44 (0) 1323 642639.