Events News

AES Europe
Tuesday, 25 June 2002

Phil Ward visits the 112th AES Convention in Munich

It’s been said before how much more holistic the American AES Conventions are compared to the European ones. Rightly or wrongly, this may conjure up a uniquely Californian vision: grizzled pro audio shamen burning incense on the exhibition booths, and harnessing nature’s awesome and arcane powers in the pursuit of the ultimate sound wave.

Actually, it just means there’s more loudspeakers. In Munich, despite the fact that it is the German city most suited to outdoor festivals and the like, the beards are as tidy as a studio floor manager’s clip-board during a chat show on Zud-Deutsche Rundfunk about cycle paths. And Rundfunk - broadcasting - is the dominant theme of the AES, leaving the lion’s share of the rest of European pro audio to Frankfurt and PLASA.

The American market is bigger and more cohesive, of course, so it’s not right to draw conclusions about what’s going on based on who’s there over here, and who isn’t here over there, and vice-versa till the goats come home. But just as EAW did not appear at the New York show in December - along with many other absentees, of course - Telex/EVI Audio gave Munich a miss, in spite of being a lot closer to it than EAW is to the Jacob K Javits Centre in Manhattan.

The last time the AES was in Munich, EVI general manager Mathius von Heydekampf was presiding over a new, pan-European regime following the merger of EVI Audio with Telex. The brands from EVI’s base in Straubing in south-east Germany, especiall

PLASA Association Day hailed a great successPLASA Association Day hailed a great success
Friday, 21 June 2002

PLASA’s ‘Association Day’, held at Down Hall Country House Hotel on 14 June and incorporating the Association’s AGM, was a great success, attended by a record number of PLASA members. In an effort to gain maximum value from the opportunity offered by the AGM, PLASA again organized a number of Break-out Meetings following the AGM, which gave members the chance to discuss important issues concerning 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-footballer Paul Fletcher and impressionist Kevin Connelly - before retiring to the bar for some serious networking. Wayne Howell of Artistic Licence called the Association Day "an excellent event. Constructive, informative and enjoyable." Steve Warren of Avolites said: "I felt that the snappier AGM - leaving space for the more important Break-out groups - was a really good format and much more beneficial to the members. I am sure that as word goes around, the numbers will swell for the event. Well done to all of you," while John Simpson of White Light described the day as "excellent", and "well organised, presented and followed through." Le Mark’s Stuart Gibbons commented: "I think the 'Break-out sessions' were a great idea and created a lot of interest . . .&

BEDA announces exclusive support for LIW
Wednesday, 19 June 2002

The British Entertainment and Discotheque Association (BEDA) has announced its exclusive support for International Leisure Industry Week 2002 (LIW). BEDA will be using the show to host both its Annual General Meeting and Chairman's Lunch. In addition to these networking events, the BEDA Village on the show floor at LIW 2002 will showcase the latest light and sound innovations from BEDA's supplier members.

BEDA is the only trade association for the nightclub and discotheque market in the UK and its members are responsible for running the nation's nightclubs, as well as buying and specifying the lighting, sound, design, furniture, fittings, food and drink in all the clubs and discos in the UK. At LIW, BEDA supplier members will be exhibiting within the BEDA Village and displaying the extensive range of new products within the lighting and sound industry.

Also on the show floor at LIW will be the BEDA Lounge, the hub of BEDA members' activities at the show providing an informal networking area for meetings and a focal point for BEDA's light and sound supplier members. John Hayes, BEDA's chairman, commented: "LIW is an important show for the leisure industry in the UK and a perfect networking arena for our members. We are delighted to be able to support the show and believe that the BEDA Village will be a key area for promoting our members activities and showcasing new products to other potential leisure operators."

LIW show director, Neil Felton, added: "We are delighted to announce BEDA's continuing support of LIW and the exciting new initiatives we are

Stagecraft ExpansionStagecraft Expansion
Thursday, 13 June 2002

In response to increasing conference and event business in the Watford area, Salisbury-based Stagecraft has recently opened a satellite office for its Live Events division. Jackie Chambers, who has extensive experience in conference production and event management, will manage the Watford office, which will offer Stagecraft’s complete production service to companies in and around the area.

Growing business at the company’s Salisbury office has led to internal promotion for two key staff members - Fiona Clayton and Martin Palmer. New technical sales advisor Fiona Clayton originally started with the company as a hire assistant nearly five years ago and is now working closely with the five-strong sales team. She joins Martin Palmer, who has recently been appointed head of sales and projects. Stagecraft has also recently adapted its four units in Salisbury to house new staging and lighting equipment, which is available for both hire and sale.

(Ruth Rossington)

Get Behind the Scenes of the RAH and Tussauds Studios
Friday, 7 June 2002

With an exclusive Behind the Scenes tour, PLASA Media is offering a unique opportunity for you to take a privileged technical tour of two of London’s best-known entertainment institutions - the wonderfully atmospheric and newly refurbished Royal Albert Hall, and the fascinating Tussauds Group Studios, the creative heart of the world-famous visitor attraction specialist.

Behind the Scenes will take place on Thursday 12 September, immediately following the PLASA Show at Earls Court - one of the highlights of the entertainment technology industry calendar. As a participant in the tour, you will be transported by coach from Earls Court Exhibition Hall to the Royal Albert Hall, where you will be conducted on a backstage tour encompassing the breadth of the venue’s recently-completed £70 million refurbishment. The tour will take you through front-of-house and the historic auditorium, to the extensive state-of-the-art dimming installation and new loading bay - just two days before the RAH plays host to the renowned Last Night of the Proms. There will also be a chance for an informal chat with the technical crew . . .

This will be followed by lunch and a coach ride to the Tussauds Group Studios, where Behind the Scenes continues with a unique and truly exclusive tour. This will include the demonstration of a wax model being created from sculpting to wardrobe, with a chance for questions and answers, followed by an opportunity to hear first-hand from the technical designers how the many different projects and attractions of the Tussauds Group are put together, from

Dates announced for Pro Production 2003
Friday, 7 June 2002

Timeless Communications has announced that Pro Production 2003, ‘The Live Event Marketplace’ will take place on January 10-12, 2003, at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Building upon 2002’s inaugural show, Pro Production 2003 will offer expanded educational opportunities and social functions, in addition to the trade show portion of the event.

The event is designed to bring together the world of live event production professionals who coordinate, produce and manage major concert tours, sporting events, political conventions, touring Broadway shows, large corporate meetings and tradeshow exhibits. Suppliers and purchasers of services and products used in these environments also attend this annual winter gathering. Over 1,600 attendees from 33 states and 10 foreign countries visited the first Pro Production convention in January last year.

(Ruth Rossington)

Places left on ISCE’s Basic Acoustics course
Friday, 7 June 2002

The Institute of Sound & Communications Engineers has informed PLASA Media that there are still a few places available on a two-day course on Basic Acoustics for Sound System Professionals, being presented by Dr Roy Lawrence on Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th June 2002 at the Gardens Hotel, Piccadilly, Manchester. Further information is available from Cathy Mackenzie at the ISCE, tel: 0151 639 5211 Fax: 0151 639 5212, or at the e-mail address below.

(Lee Baldock)

Golden Jubilee provides showcase for entertainment technology
Friday, 7 June 2002

The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations, held over the long weekend of 1-4 June, not only celebrated 50 years of Elizabeth II’s reign, but also had the added bonus of providing a stunning showcase for the UK’s entertainment technology industry, watched by television audiences worldwide. The cream of the UK’s design, production, staging, rigging, lighting, sound and pyrotechnics specialists combined to create a lavish display which has drawn praise from across the world and will be remembered for many years to come.

The BBC-produced Garden Concerts at Buckingham Palace and the surrounding infrastructure through central London included a roll-call of experts that would be familiar to any top-flight rock tour or major spectacular, including Mark Fisher (design), Robbie Williams (production management), Edwin Shirley Staging, XL Video, Screenco, Fourth Phase, VLPS London, Stage Electrics, Britannia Row, Owen Brown, Unusual Services, Orbital, Dobson Sound, RG Jones, Wigwam, Stageline, Pyrovision, E//T//C and many more. Special thanks also go to the manufacturer of the microphone that allowed television audiences to hear some unwitting person (was it really David Dimbleby himself?) huffing, tutting and muttering in annoyance as the Queen waited to light the Beacon on The Mall - TV magic!

PLASA Media will be pulling all the strands together to provide detailed coverage of the Buckingham Palace Garden Concerts and the surrounding spectacle in detail in the August issue of Lighting&Sound International magazine.

(Lee Baldock)

Unusual Backstage at The Jubilee
Tuesday, 28 May 2002

Unusual Services Ltd are main contractors for the massive Golden Jubilee weekend celebrations that are happening in The Mall, Green Park, St. James’s Park, Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park and at the Queen Victoria Memorial.

The company is supplying all technical infrastructure, co-ordination, site and production management for this mind-boggling task, working closely with show producer Major Sir Michael Parker and the Golden Jubilee Weekend Trust. Unusual has employed over 250 sub-contractors and mounted a major logistical exercise to ensure the event - being broadcast live worldwide - is a well-oiled operation. To this end, the company has been interfacing with various authorities including Westminster City Council Special Events, the Metropolitan Police, Royal Parks, the GLA, the WRVS, London Underground, London Ambulance, St. John Ambulance and the British Red Cross.

The event involves the largest ever road closure programme in the Capital, and the police are expecting over a million people to come and enjoy the spectacle. Activities start on Saturday 1st June with a classical concert at Buckingham Palace, and conclude on Tuesday evening with a fly past over Buckingham Palace and The Mall by Concorde and The Red Arrows. The highlight of the event will be a world first at 10.40pm on the Monday night - a son et lumière and fireworks finale, with Buckingham Palace as the dramatic stage set. Never before has the Palace been used in this way. This imaginative inferno is designed by show explosives impresario Wilf Scott, and will be triggered by The Queen lighting the &

PALME arrives in the Mid East
Wednesday, 22 May 2002

One of the world’s most successful trade show series is being brought to the Middle East by IIR Exhibitions. Pro Audio Light Middle East (PALME) is the region’s first dedicated professional sound and lighting communication showcase. It will run at the Dubai World Trade Centre from February 16-18 next year.

The show joins a strong IIR portfolio of professional sound and lighting trade exhibitions, which includes PALA, Asia’s largest entertainment technology event, which alternates between Singapore and Hong Kong; PALMM Philippines, which attracts over 7,000 specialised trade visitors; and CALM China, which spans over 25,000sq.m, boasts over 400 exhibitors and attracts 17,000 visitors. "Our entertainment technology showcases have been tremendously successful in the Far East and we are now looking to emulate that in the Middle East," said Jessica Sutherland, general manager, IIR Exhibitions & Conferences. "In the past, the Middle East market was too small to justify the investment, but a huge surge in entertainment, tourism and leisure facilities over the past few years has convinced us the region can now sustain this highly specialised exhibition.

"Our research shows that these industries are set for spiralling growth in the Middle East. Major new tourism and leisure facilities are planned and there’s a huge catalogue of investment in entertainment projects resulting from a need to satisfy one of the youngest populations in the world," explained Sutherland. "We anticipate the show will not only serve the direct needs o

CT NEC in print
Tuesday, 21 May 2002

CT NEC supplied a wide array of AV equipment to over 80 stands at the recent IPEX print exhibition at the Birmingham NEC. The most notable of these was the Xerox stand, produced by PGI, which covered 65,000sq.ft of the venue. Both CT NEC and CT London provided video technology, hardware, software, installation and manpower to the stand throughout the nine-day event.

PGI - who have offices in 30 cities across the world - offer business-to-business communication, exhibition and trade show services and destination management, and have been working with Creative Technology for over three years. A purpose-built theatre, which ran demonstration shows eight times each day, required three remote control cameras and four lipstick cameras which were placed on the new Xerox DocuColor iGen3 in the theatre and at various other places around the Xerox stand. Throughout each show, presenters were able to cut to real-time camera shots, to show the operation of various machines.

Distributed around the rest of the stand were approximately 20 plasma screens, which ran looped video advertisements, displayed PowerPoint presentations and were also connected to the PC’s and Macs that run the Xerox print engines. Plasmas were also erected on seven remote satellite stands around the rest of the IPEX exhibition area, which acted as three-dimensional poster sites. Video projection technology, LED screens and plasma screens were also provided for the Keynote conference held by Xerox on the first day of the exhibition - catering to approximately 500 attendees.

(Ruth Rossington)

E//T//C UK makes magic at King's CrossE//T//C UK makes magic at King's Cross
Tuesday, 21 May 2002

E//T//C UK, the large format projection specialists, created magic at King's Cross Station last week, as Platform 1 was transformed into Platform 9 ¾ for the launch of the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone DVD/video. Copies of the coveted DVD arrived onboard the Hogwarts Express, and were handed out to eagerly awaiting Harry Potter fans by members of the top grossing film’s cast.

When the idea of projection was thrown into the production mix, E//T//C’s Ross Ashton was approached by Chris Slingsby and Dave Hurd from Imagination. The platform was already decided upon, and then they needed over 100 different cross-fading images projected, large and clear, onto the wall at the end of the platform. The images were to be projected onto an arched projection surface, custom designed by Harkness Hall, attached to the wall at the station end of the platform. Since the rest of the station functioned normally, packed with commuters going home from adjacent platforms, the main challenge was in overcoming the high ambient light levels. To address this, the 6kW PIGIs were located on a bridge 125m away, with two pairs of projectors lined up together to maximize the intensity. At the start of the show, all four projectors were overlaid to produce one single bright image, but as it got darker, they were able to switch the show to the two pairs and start the cross-fading sequence.

The get-in time constraints were also tight. The only slots for the projection team to work were between midnight and 4 am on the three nights preceding the event. The first of these wa

Screenco chooses Barco for Commonwealth GamesScreenco chooses Barco for Commonwealth Games
Monday, 20 May 2002

Screenco have purchased an opening stock of Barco’s DLite 10 tiles - primarily for use in the new £32m Manchester Aquatics Centre for the upcoming Commonwealth Games swimming events. The 144-tile order will give them a maximum 30sq.m presentation area, which will be split into three separate displays. Screenco also purchased additional rental structures to allow greater flexibility in creating non-standard shapes.

In view of the humidity in the pool, one of the recommendations made by Screenco was the need for displays to be rated to IP65 for dust and water protection, as confirmed by Graham Andrews, Avesco plc Audio Visual Services Division managing director. "We chose the D10 on its price versus performance ratio and its IP65 front and rear characteristics, which make it ideal for the high degree of outdoor arena and stadium work in which we specialize."

(Ruth Rossington)

SIB 2002
Monday, 20 May 2002

The SIB exhibition has a new home and new look. Lee Baldock reports from Rimini . . .

It was clear this year that Rimini’s SIB exhibition has moved away from its past in more ways than one. Most obviously, it has moved from its usual home - the relatively tatty old Fiera - to the gleaming, air-conditioned, marble-clad new Fiera. But behind the simple fact of location, there seems also to have been an effort to make this a more ‘professional’ exhibition, i.e. to cut out much of the nonsense for which SIB has been known and loved for years.

The ‘old’ SIB epitomised the unique Italian discotheque culture, and the show floor was a vibrant mix of promoters, performers, punters and posers, squeezed alongside the lights, lasers, smoke and sound - all generously applied. The show still retains elements of its past: a separate hall contained a vestige of the former, while the latter - the unrestrained use of smoke and SPLs - was still in evidence in places. However, that special buzz seemed all but gone, and with the apparent abundance of space at the new venue, SIB looked for the most part like it was making a brave effort to grow into a big pair of sensible shoes.

That said, this was not a bad show: business was pretty good according to most exhibitors and the post-show report stated visitors were up almost 2% on the 2000 event. At the end of the day, it’s the business that matters, but SIB always used to show that business and fun are not mutually exclusive . . .

PLASA took a group of UK exhibitors under the DTI’s SESA (Su

ABTT , 19-20 June 2002
Monday, 20 May 2002

The ABTT Show, which attracts over 100 exhibitors from across the wide spectrum of supplies and services necessary to stage a production or equip a theatre building, will set up base once again at The Royal Horticultural Halls in London from 19-20 June.

In addition to the main exhibition, there is also a complementary programme of theatre-related seminars, which includes the following. Revitalising Health & Safety: Eric Pirie, a health & safety inspector, will discuss publicly funded bodies and the Government in relation to key pieces of Health & Safety Legislation, together with a discussion of the role of the Broadcasting & Performing Arts Joint Advisory Committee.

Sound System Design in the Theatre: John Taylor of d&b audiotechnik UK Ltd will look at issues of sound intelligibility and in particular, the acoustic part of the signal path between the loudspeaker and the listeners’ ears. Training and Skills Forum: John Faulkner will chair a session on minimum standards for the theatre technician. The ABTT Training & Education Committee will shortly be publishing a Guide to Minimum Standards to assist theatre managers. Rikki Newman from the Phoenix Theatre in London and Catherine Devenish, Chairman of the ABTT Training & Education Committee, will introduce the paper.

AutoCAD Forum: David Ripley from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and Steve Green of Scottish Opera will lead a discussion on CAD theatre drawing standards which will include a demonstration of AutoCAD 2002 City & Guilds, followed by a hands-on ‘clinic’.

Running prior

New five-show format for LIW
Friday, 17 May 2002

Leisure Industry Week (LIW: 8-10 October 2002, NEC, Birmingham) - a key event for all aspects of the out-of-home leisure industry has a new format for 2002 with five dedicated shows and a wealth of ideas and products to make leisure businesses more efficient, attractive and profitable.

Body & Soul: As the largest health and fitness event in Europe, Body & Soul at LIW encompasses all the equipment, technologies, trends and services in the health and fitness market.

FamilyLand: this event is dedicated to family leisure activities. Along with new demonstration plots showing rides in action, visitors will also discover children's play equipment, inflatables, theme park rides, and ideas for animation, costumes, theming and special effects.

Food for Leisure: This covers everything from vending and beverage machines to convenience foods and dedicated leisure catering facilities. In addition, the LIW Menus for Venues profit centre provides inspiration for popular catering facilities such as juice bars, coffee bars and podium cooking.

Leisure Solutions: This event is dedicated to the numerous ancillary products and services needed to run any successful leisure operation and includes everything from computers and software to security, ticketing and communication systems.

Leisure Environments: Packed with ideas and techniques to make a leisure operation a place people want to stay. For restaurants and theme parks to fitness centres and retail developments, this show encompasses all aspects of lighting and sound enhancements, as well as ideas for architecture, interior desig

CEDIA Expo update
Tuesday, 14 May 2002

The time is fast approaching when, once again, the UK’s burgeoning custom installation business gets to share information and demonstrate new product solutions at the CEDIA UK Expo: the UK’s only trade forum dedicated to exploring the latest know-how and hardware available to the custom installer.

The format is a mix of product exhibition and training seminars held in the same venue. Every year it offers home automation practitioners the chance to network with experts in related disciplines and to become acquainted with the very latest techniques, innovations and technologies dedicated to the delivery of the next generation of fully networked ‘automated’ homes. Exhibitors come from the fields of security, satellite, lighting, home automation and AV.

CEDIA’s seminar programme caters for practitioners of all abilities in 21 individual courses, supported by training from a wide range of manufacturers. Subjects are as varied as home cinema room design, residential cabling, sub system integration, lighting controls and home networking. This year as last, members of the public will be welcomed as the guests of CEDIA members at a cost of £10 per head. Those interested should contact their local CEDIA member. A list of members is available via the CEDIA UK website.

(Ruth Rossington)

ESIP launches new corporate identity
Friday, 3 May 2002

ESIP International Event Management launched its new corporate identity and announced its involvement in the new ‘Worldport’ festival taking place in Cardiff this summer. The company unveiled its new identity to clients and colleagues this April. Speaking on board Thames sailing barge the s.b. May, the company’s co-founder, John Ellson, explained that the new identity had been created to emphasize the collective skills and years of experience of the key people within ESIP.

ESIP have been something of a well-kept secret, having supplied event management and technical production services to the music and corporate events sectors. Recent projects in these areas include the Showtime in the Stadium concert at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, shown on BBC TV last December; the 100th anniversary of Philip Morris International in Buenos Aries with a charity event; the Rochester International Jazz Festival (Up-State New York) and Dee Dee Bridgewater at the Barbican as part of the Jazz @ The Barbican series.

Ellson also announced that the company will be providing all of the event and technical production management, as well as liaising on the booking of artists and accounts management for the Cardiff Worldport Festival this summer. Beginning with a concert by Bob Geldof’s band on 2 July, the festival of music will also include a concert by Manu Dibango and The Soul Makossa Gang with the London Community Gospel Choir in a unique collaboration on stage, and Spanish Flamenco artist, Eva La Yerbabeuna.

(Ruth Rossington)

Hawthorn Theatrical supplies for Chemical BrothersHawthorn Theatrical supplies for Chemical Brothers
Friday, 26 April 2002

Lighting and sound specialist Hawthorn Theatrical has recently supplied lighting, trussing, rigging and drapes for the UK and European leg of the current Chemical Brothers tour. Lighting designer for the tour is Andy Liddle, who has been working with Hawthorn Theatrical since last April. He has specified High End Studio Beams, Martin MAC 300s and Atomic strobes, Clay Paky Stage Scans, Avolites dimmers and a Wholehog 2 control desk.

Hawthorn Theatrical's main challenge was to produce a circular revolving structure which could be used as a projection screen and then flip over to its reflective side at the end of the show to form the centrepiece of a breath-taking finale. In addition, the screen had to be lightweight and modular as it was to travel with the band for the whole of the World tour. As an approved Prolyte dealer, Hawthorn Theatrical provided 4.5m circular truss from the H30V range, along with Stagemaker motor hoists and a variety of specialist fabrics to achieve the stunning space age effects shown in the accompanying photograph.

(Lee Baldock)

New Ingredient at Chevalier Event Design
Friday, 19 April 2002

Liz Madden has joined Chevalier Event Design as Business Development Manager this spring. Madden has joined Chevalier Event Design, Millennium Sails and Eat to the Beat to work with Bonnie May and the team in taking their unique style of bespoke catering and event presentation to a wider range of clientele.

Madden began working in the operational side of the hotel and restaurant industry in 1990, and six years ago transferred her experience and skills to work in sales in the event services sector. Over that period she has become a familiar figure within the corporate events industry where her professional skills and ‘vibrant’ personality not only resulted in a successful career but also attracted the attentions of Chevalier.

"We have just experienced our most successful year to date and we are confident our continued expansion will mean that Liz will be ‘gainfully employed’ helping to take us into new and exciting areas," said managing director Tony Laurenson. Madden said: "I am delighted to have joined this dynamic team and I look forward to an exciting future working at the leading edge of the corporate events industry."

(Lee Baldock)

PLASA Show 2002 is looking PLASA Show 2002 is looking "positively buoyant"
Tuesday, 16 April 2002

That is the upbeat message from PLASA’s new Show Director, Sue Saint. Celebrating its 25th year, the PLASA Show is the world’s pre-eminent light, sound and audio-visual event, attracting major brands every year, and this year is no exception.

Stand bookings are currently at 82%, with top names such as Vari-Lite, Sennheiser, Martin Professional, Denon, BSS Audio and Total Fabrication already booked. The show pulls in over 13,000 visitors from the UK and abroad each year, having become the main marketplace for the £11billion entertainment technology industry.

"The show is evolving continually," commented Saint, "and one of the key trends emerging is the growing number of manufacturers choosing to exhibit in their own right, rather than rely solely on representation through distributors. In addition, many long-standing exhibitors, including Numark, Peavey, Sound Technology, Avolites and SGM, have reaffirmed the importance of PLASA by booking larger stands. Other major industry players are also recognizing the role the show can play in developing their businesses and this year will see Marantz, Tascam and Duran Audio exhibiting for the first time. All this is happening at a time when the economy generally has been talked down, but the increased interest in the show is clear evidence that the market is picking up and that the PLASA Show is an integral part of the exhibitors’ marketing armoury."

Steve Warren, sales director of Avolites, an exhibitor at the show for the past 13 years, added: "The PLASA Show is clearly the most imp

Big Day Out
Friday, 12 April 2002

Now in its 10th year, Big Day Out is an Australian touring festival that visits Auckland, the Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth every January. It is unique in its design, scale and complexity and attracts many headline acts - the 2002 event featured The Prodigy, Garbage, New Order and Basement Jaxx.

This year, security was tightened following the tragic death of 16-year-old Jessica Michalik last year: organizers West & Lees made changes to audience safety provisions and introduced volunteer safety teams, increased audience lighting and erected a new, alcohol-free, D barricade area (from Mojo Barriers) in front of the main stages. The audience was given free water bottles and sun-block, and crowd surfing was banned. "We also carefully considered the time certain bands take to the stage," explained Matt Dougherty, one of three production managers on the tour. "The crowds are getting bigger (52,000 in Sydney) and some music makes them boisterous. Consequently this year we put System of the Down on at 4pm rather than late in the night. Darkness just exacerbates any problem we’ve had in the past."

Other measures include new agreements with artists to stop performances if requested, and paramedics working in the pit. Whilst necessary, all of these extra measures have added to the management’s problems. The added difficulty of unusually tight turnarounds between shows was met with two identical sets of staging, although only one production team and set of equipment was available.

Jands Production Services supplied the audio, in

Imagination opens Stockholm office
Wednesday, 10 April 2002

Imagination - one of Europe’s largest independent design and communications companies, has opened an office in Stockholm. The company has appointed Bo Albertsson, former marketing director at Ericsson Mobile Communications, as the managing director of this new Scandinavian operation. Albertsson, took up the position in March coinciding with the official opening of the office.

"In my role as marketing director at Ericsson, I had been Imagination’s client for five years. I have always been a great admirer of the company and their unique approach to building brands. I think there is tremendous potential for Imagination in the Scandinavian market and I’m delighted to be joining them at such an important phase in their development," said Albertsson. Imagination (Scandinavia) AB will be supported creatively by Imagination’s headquarters in London.

(Ruth Rossington)

Sarner re-lives history of the TsarsSarner re-lives history of the Tsars
Tuesday, 9 April 2002

Sarner is working on a unique multi-million pound travelling exhibition of Russian Yachts, which is set to open in Hamburg at the end of this year. ‘Treasures from the Tsars Imperial Yachts’, depicts the evolution of the Imperial Navy from 1703, when Peter The Great launched his first ship, through to 1918 and the era of Nicholas II - it includes more than 400 original artefacts, jewellery and ships from the palace of Peterhos and the Central Naval Palace in St Petersburg.

Intellectual property management company, Eagle Crown Productions, who have the rights to this stunning collection, first met with Sarner to discuss the venture almost three years ago. As a result, Sarner have been responsible for every element of the exhibition design and concept; visitors enter by walking onto an imposing aft deck of an imperial yacht; once inside there are displays of panoramic archive film; reconstructions of living quarters, scale models and clothing, with audio, lighting and smells employed to make the exhibition as life-like and interactive as possible.

Sarner directors Mike Bennett and Ross Magri, who bought out the company last year, comment: "We have worked on a concept that uses the best techniques of theatre combined with the disciplines of exhibiting artefacts from this unique collection. The ships were literally floating palaces and the exhibition shows all aspects of what life was like on board these amazing vessels for the sailors, working shipman and the Royal family." Plans are currently in place for ‘Treasures from the Tsars Imperial Yac


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