Events News

Showman’s Show North Gathers Momentum
Thursday, 24 January 2002

The Showman’s Show North will take place at The Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 March 2002, and is generating increasing interest across the North of the country.

Organisers Lance Publications report that stand space is being filled by a wide range of event suppliers based in the North, indicating that the exhibition will achieve its aim of providing a show focused on the needs of the region. The show is offering both indoor and outdoor exhibition space, utilizing the permanent facilities of the Great Yorkshire Showground, and will cater for a wide range of event suppliers and organizers.

The show has been borne out of response to questionnaires and requests from event professionals in the North of England and Scotland to bring Showman’s North to serve their part of the country. The visitor marketing campaign is focused on event and show organizers based in the region and once again advance registrations indicate visitors from all aspects of the events industry will attend.

The show’s manager, Jeremy Lance commented: "Our plans are more modest than the Newbury Show, but in response to business demand, we will strive to create a forum whereby events practitioners in the North can conduct business and promote themselves. Initial feedback is very encouraging."

(Ruth Rossington)

30 Years of Technology at ENTECH 2002
Thursday, 24 January 2002

Australasia’s leading entertainment technology exhibition opens in Darling Harbour, Sydney, from 4 February for three days. With over 120 exhibits across over 100,000 square feet of floor space, ENTECH is one of the key gathering points for technicians, engineers and designers from all over the region. Held every two years, this show also features a museum celebrating 30 years of entertainment technology - with never before seen video footage from the dark past, and numerous old photos of pioneering bands in Australia using very old equipment. There will be displays of the actual offending apparatus, including a genuine double four-way PA and old Australian-made amplifiers!

Entech runs from 4-6 February at the Sydney Darling Harbour Convention Centre. Entry is free after registration, but limited to trade and those who can demonstrate an interest in the technology, such as students.

(Lee Baldock)

CTS: Lighting & Sound Workshop
Monday, 21 January 2002

PLASA members Central Theatre Supplies, in conjunction with Solihull Arts Complex, is holding a Lighting & Sound Workshop on 2 February 2002 at Solihull Arts Complex, Homer Road, Solihull. This training day is open to schools and amateur theatres, providing an insight into stage lighting and sound, including demonstrations and advice on how to achieve certain effects. The cost for the day is £5, and tickets can be ordered from the Box Office at the Arts Complex, telephone 0121 704 6962.

Following the morning session there will be an exhibition where those attending will be encouraged to meet the manufacturers and view the latest products and equipment. People who do not wish to attend the workshops are welcome to attend the exhibition between 12.30 - 2.00pm. Manufacturers attending will include Zero 88, Selecon, HW International (UK distributor for Shure, QSC Audio and Phonic), Doughty Engineering, Prolyte, Celestion, Strand, Stonewood Audio and Audio Technica.

The workshop will be split into four sessions, as follows: 10.30 - 12.30am’ - Lighting from Scratch’ by Jason Larcombe of White Light; 12.30 - 2.00pm Exhibition; 2.00 - 2.30pm - ‘Demonstration of Special Effects’ by Ian Knight of Central Theatre Supplies; 2.30 - 4.30pm - ‘Sound from Scratch’ by Ian Roberts, head of sound, Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

(Lee Baldock)

Avolites’ Special Training at White Light North
Monday, 21 January 2002

Avolites is continuing its commitment to product training with three days of hands-on seminar style events at White Light North in Halifax. The dates are 13, 14 and 15 February. The Valentine’s offering - for all lovers of the popular Avolites Pearl console - will be led by Avo’s training manager Chris West and Chris Clarke from the sales team. Avolites is expecting to see a wide range of Northern-based customers attending the event.

Chris West comments: "It’s important to get out and about to see people, and open days are an ideal method of reaching a focused public, giving them an opportunity of hands-on experimentation with the consoles."

Avolites also see these events as an ideal chance for socialising, networking and catching up with friends and colleagues from all over the country who are involved in live production and performance.

(Lee Baldock)

AES New York
Sunday, 20 January 2002

Phil Ward identifies some of the key product launches at the December AES Show in New York

New York at the beginning of December is a sentimental place. Horse-drawn carriages trot fur-coated shoppers along 59th Street at Central Park South. Sesame Street’s Big Bird switches on the Christmas tree lights outside the Lincoln Centre. Tourists flock to Ground Zero. And AES delegates - at least the Americans - exhibit, buy, sell and discuss in detail ‘classic’ audio technology.

One whole section of this show was dedicated to ‘When Vinyl Ruled’, and offered tear-jerking insights into valve and lathe technology. Even away from this grotto, microphone and signal processor designs from the 1950s were on display, re-issued and repackaged with loving attention to detail.

Les Paul himself, who pioneered multitrack recording in the 1950s, figured in Gibson Laboratory’s activities, adding to the general air of reassuring heritage. Such was the mood of the exhibition, the city and, it seemed, the country as a whole, a few false white beards would not have been incongruous at the Jacob K Javits Convention Centre.

Progress continued, though. The biggest sound reinforcement technology announcement was Nexo’s GEO, a new generation holding three patents. On display were the S805 and S830, both full-range compacts for horizontal or line array; and a supercardioid subwoofer, CD12.

Introducing Nexo’s Hyperboloid Reflective Wavesource (HRW), GEO guides the wave using an acoustic mirror rather than the walls of the cabinet, creating a

McDonagh and Ministry Split
Monday, 14 January 2002

Nodd McDonagh, operations director of London-based superclub the Ministry of Sound is parting company with the organisation after eight years. The surprise news followed shortly after the departure in November of Hector Dewar, chief operating office of the group, both moves as a result of what Ministry insiders call "a strategic reshuffle".

Nodd, formerly with leisure giants Rank and First Leisure, oversaw the club operations originally as general manager, then rising to operations director as the global music and media group capitalised on its early successes and began to expand into many diverse areas worldwide. It was in the globe-trotting, trouble-shooting role that Nodd excelled, finding himself organising successful Ministry events from Knebworth to Ibiza: more recently of course, he was heavily involved in the massive New Year’s Eve gig at the Millennium Dome - the world’s largest indoor dance event.

Nodd does not intend to let the grass grow under his feet and has an organisational role at the 2002 Glastonbury Festival already lined up.

(Ruth Rossington)

UK Government Support for TiLE in Berlin
Monday, 14 January 2002

UK exhibitors at the 11th TiLE (Trends in Leisure and Entertainment) exhibition and conference will receive financial support from the Department of Trade and Industry'’ Trade Partners UK, through its SESA scheme. SESA (Support for Exhibitions and Seminars Abroad) provides funds to help British companies exhibit their products and services at trade shows that have a proven record of attracting the right buyers.

TiLE‘s broad base covers visitor attractions, theme parks and themed environments, retail and shopping malls and exhibitions and product launches, attracting exhibitors from the A/V, multimedia, architectural, lighting, sound and special effects fields. The show takes place at the Estrel Congress Center, Berlin, from Tuesday 11th to Thursday 13th June 2002.

(Ruth Rossington)

New, Noisy, and Just in from Australia
Monday, 7 January 2002

If you missed it don't worry, it will return. The World Wrestling Association presented by AAA is the latest wave to catch onto the growing craze for choreographed violence for the under 10s. The recent tour of rippling muscles with cartoon personas has swept through the UK, visiting major venues like Sheffield Arena and Wembley. "When you're presenting shows in venues of this size, and to audiences of 10,000 plus, the same rules apply as for the biggest rock shows," explained production manager Nick Levitt. "That's why we have three artics parked outside - there's a lot more to this than two men grappling in a ring."

One truck was almost totally filled with the ring itself and associated props, such as chipboard ringside tables for the commentators, which shatter harmlessly as these Cinderella Titans hurl each other from the ring in mock fury. In the air, 160ft of truss runs from entranceway to ringside, loaded with Icons, MAC 500s and 600s all from LSD's inventory to provide the requisite grandeur for a triumphal march to stage.

"People will be surprised to discover I brought in Dave Hill to light the show," continued Levitt. "But someone of his abilities proved indispensable. The show came in direct from Australia, without rehearsal, loaded into the Odyssey in Belfast, and by the time fit-up was complete Dave had three quarters of an hour to programme in a show."

Sound proved equally demanding: "We had the smallest PA I’ve ever seen in an arena, it only took two and a half rows in the truck, but it did a fantastic

PALA 2002, Hong Kong
Wednesday, 2 January 2002

PALA 2002 will run from the 10-12 July in Hong Kong. The Show features a diverse range of exhibitors covering every area of the entertainment industry, including pro audio, lighting, club, broadcast and music. The show has always attracted the support of industry associations - amongst them PLASA, APIAS and SECARTYS - and for the first time will also be supported by ESTA, the US-based trade association.

Regular exhibitors at the event include AKG, Allen & Heath, AMEK, Apogee, Audio-Technica, Avolites, Behringer, Celestion, Cerwin Vega, Clay Paky, COEF, Coemar, Community Pro, DAS Audio, Denon, EAW, Ecler, EVI, FAL, FBT, Futurelight, Griven, Harman Group, High End Systems, JBL, Jem, Lexicon, Lite-Puter, Lobo, MACH, Martin Audio, Martin Professional, Meyer Sound, MIPRO, Nexo S.A, Optimus, Outline, Peavey, Penn Fabrication, Pioneer, Proel, Pulsar, QSC, Rane, Sennheiser, SGM, Shure, Sony, Spotlight, Studio Due, Tarm Laser, Telex Communications, TMB, TOA, Tomcat and Total Fabrications.

Exhibitors can expect to meet potential buyers including agents, dealers, distributors and end-users from all over Asia. Moreover, with PALA being held in Hong Kong for the first time, more visitors are also expected to attend from Taiwan, Korea, China and Japan, in addition to regular attendees from India, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

(Ruth Rossington)

Sarner Brings Time Travel to LifeSarner Brings Time Travel to Life
Friday, 14 December 2001

Sarner and ESP have combined resources to provide a creative solution for Liverpool’s new multi-million pound International Astronomy and Space Centre (IASC). Sarner, which has recently been bought-out by two of its directors, Michael Bennett and Ross Magri, is thrilled to have such an innovative and important project under its creative direction. "This is a great win, not just for us but for the team at Sarner and for all our clients and colleagues," comments Bennett. "Sarner has been highly successful for over 30 years and we intend to build on that reputation and drive the company forward with new commitment to delivering innovative design solutions that have so often won clients’ belief in our skills, quality and service."

Sarner will be responsible for the design and production of special effects for the new visitor attraction, while ESP will project manage the fit-out of the centre, bringing life to the dramatic designs - from the spectacular hanging celestial sphere atrium through to the excitement of a 'Journey To The Stars' in the space-time machine.

IASC, which is part of the continued regeneration of Liverpool's Wirral district, is due to be completed by Easter 2003. "Visitors will be taken on an interactive journey through time and space that is set to have people, both young and old, returning time and time again", said Ross Magri. "This is theatrical sensationalism at its best. It is the aim of the project team to bring the excitement of astronomy and space to life with multi-sensory technology, simulated time

PLASA Offers Major Export Boost for 2002PLASA Offers Major Export Boost for 2002
Thursday, 13 December 2001

PLASA (the Professional Lighting and Sound Association), in conjunction with British Trade International (BTI), will be conducting an extensive programme of government-funded overseas trade missions and other events aimed at boosting UK export trade, during 2002. The programme is part of PLASA's ongoing aim to provide valuable export assistance to the UK entertainment technology industry.

PLASA is currently organizing exhibitor groups to some of the world's key international trade exhibitions, including the NSCA, USA (April), Pro Audio & Light Asia, Hong Kong (July), and Lighting Dimensions International, USA (October). This is the first time that PLASA has been successful in a bid for funding for the NSCA Show - an event aimed at the sound contracting/installation market which showcases the products and services of over 500 exhibitors. It's also the first time that PLASA has had an opportunity to provide a gateway to Hong Kong through its funding for PALA, a trade show and conference covering technology for entertainment and broadcast applications.

All UK-based businesses and organizations involved in exporting from the UK are eligible for the funding, whether they are a PLASA Member or not, and participating exhibitors can claim up to £2,300 towards their exhibition expenses. A significant number of UK companies have already shown an interest in taking advantage of one or more of these opportunities.

For further details and deadlines contact the PLASA office on +44 1323 410335.

Shaken but not Undeterred: ILMC 2002 Dates
Tuesday, 11 December 2001

The International Live Music Conference (ILMC) has announced the initial details of its 14th meeting next year. For ‘ILMC14’ the three-day conference will return to the five-star Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, over the weekend of March 8-10 2002. This time it comes wrapped in a spoof sixties spy movie theme that will see the invitation-only delegates challenged to complete a three-day mission that may not be ‘impossible’ but may certainly turn out to be ‘implausible’, ‘indigestible’ or even occasionally ‘incomprehensible’ (that is, should they choose to accept it, of course).

The ILMC’s usual array of in-depth debate, specialist breakout sessions, industry trade association meetings, and a whirlwind of social activities, culminating in the notorious ‘ILMC Gala Dinner and Arthur Awards’ on the Saturday night at the new venue of The Savoy, will drive the the 2002 conference programme. The events that have taken place since September 11 - and which have seriously affected the live music industry - will be reflected in the conference programme and have been taken into account in the organisers’ planning.The ILMC’s Martin Hopewell comments: "This year’s crowd safety debate has sparked an enormous and continuing communal response from around the industry, as well as in the wider music press and broadcast media, and we anticipate that the equally serious issues facing the business right now will make for compelling main sessions at ILMC14." Specific details of events surr

Conferences at Entech 2002
Monday, 10 December 2001

The Entech 2002 Conference program features workshops and seminars in areas of lighting, design, rigging, audio, projection and even the business needs of a DJ. Sessions includeIntroducing the Line Array; The Future of Systems Integration and ProAV Technology; Venue Design Forum; Digital Live Sound Mixing; Lighting Designer Forum; Rigging Workshop; Stacks and Racks; Motor Training School; Location Sound Recording; Trends in Facilities; The Art of Designing with Moving Lights; We Are Surrounded (Surround Sound); and The Changing Face of Post Production.

Entech 2002, Australasia’s leading entertainment technology trade show, will be held in Sydney’s Darling Harbour from 4-6 February 2002. For further details on the conference programme and exhibits, visit the web address below:

LDI 2001
Saturday, 1 December 2001

Despite some understandable concerns, LDI went ahead as planned. L&SI reports from Florida.

Naturally, there were doubts about this year’s LDI show following the events of 11 September. These ranged from concerns about whether people would travel to the visit the show - both internally in the US and from overseas - to whether the show would take place at all. With the assistance of ESTA and other supporters, the rallying cry went out through September and October, and the show went on.

Admittedly, some exhibitors dropped out, making a floorplan reshuffle necessary, and the general consensus was that the visitor numbers seemed markedly down. However, at the end of the day, business was done in Orlando: by the close of the show many exhibitors said they had done well - a few even said they had done better than last year. The prevailing attitude was well illustrated by TMB Associates, who gave us little stickers to wear on our badges, bearing the Stars and Stripes and the words ‘I traveled overseas to come to LDI 2001. Capitalism Rules!’ ADB’s stand focused on its high end lighting control systems and communication networks. The flagship Phoenix 10 was on stand, linked to a WYSIWYG laptop to demonstrate the operational facilities of the company’s recently launched ISIS software. ADB’s UK arm - Lighting Systems International - has been busy of late, having recently completed a major studio project for Channel Four.

Altman had three new products on stand. The UV-250 blacklight is a lower wattage, more compact version of the compa

Theatre Engineering and Architecture 2002
Thursday, 29 November 2001

Richard Brett, ABTT Conference Director, has confirmed to PLASA Media that the international conference on Theatre Engineering and Architecture 2002 will take place between 16th and 18th June 2002, in London.

Focusing on stage technology in its widest sense, and covering all types of performance venues, this is the first international conference structured to attract theatre technicians, architects, consultants, scenographers, lighting designers, stage and building services engineers, acousticians and fire control specialists, as well as administrators, building owners, cost consultants and project managers. The conference includes papers and discussions on the current trends in stage machinery and other stage technologies, alongside debate about the types of, and need for, new buildings. One of the aims of the meeting is to offer those designing, financing and managing major arts projects an insight into the combination of art and science that makes live theatre.

The conference is being sponsored largely by the international stage engineering industry, along with many other equipment suppliers, consultants, architects and other theatre-related organisations. Committed sponsors to date include Telestage/Waagner-Biro, Stage Technologies, Unusual Rigging, Blackout Triple-E, SBS Buhnentechnik, Sansei Yusoki, Bytecraft, Delstar Engineering and Serapid. International speakers from all aspects of the performing arts are being invited to contribute. The conference is presented by the Association of British Theatre Technicians in conjunction with its Industry Supporters Group a

Total Production Awards 2002
Friday, 23 November 2001

The Total Production Awards are scheduled for January 30 2002 at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in London's Edgware Road. The Awards will acknowledge the achievements of leading individuals and rental companies in the fields of live sound, lighting, video, staging, rigging and other key disciplines. Three special commendations will round off the Gala: a Lifetime Contribution Award, a unique Best Live Event of All-Time Award and The Editor's Award - something which TP editor Mark Cunningham promises will yield a big surprise on the night. Nominations will be announced in the Winter issue of Total Production, published on December 21.

A voting form and table booking form will be included in the forthcoming November issue of Total Production; alternatively, PDF forms can be obtained by contacting Andy Lenthall at the address below.

Blackout Triple E in Cannes
Monday, 19 November 2001

PCI LiveDesign, the London-based production company which recently merged with Ultimate Events, was commissioned in October for two Microsoft events. Following a long-standing working relationship with Ultimate Events combined with the success of Blackout Triple E’s involvement with the Microsoft Tech-Ed Conference 2001 in Barcelona, PCI LiveDesign again contracted Blackout Triple E, and project manager Chris Brain, for the project in Cannes.

Brain and his six-strong team made the journey to stylish Cannes to drape a drinks reception and party as part of a weeklong Microsoft conference. The theme required the team to turn their hands to more unusual drapes - plastic fish, to compliment the famous Palm Beach. The company also provided and installed 30 fibre optic starcloths (proving that it isn’t just at the annual Film Festival where the Stars come out in force), as well as a truss box for the light and sound system. Plus, track and drapes were hung to reveal the many drinking and refreshment bars when drawn back.

After successfully completing the project, the Blackout Triple E team travelled back to England, only to return to Cannes a week later for a second Microsoft event, this time at the house of designer Pierre Cardin. This was for a three-day event marking the launch of the Microsoft’s new XBox games console, for which Blackout Triple E installed 14 fibre optic starcloths along with general rigging equipment.

Mobos - Rising Star
Monday, 12 November 2001

The MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Awards is the fastest-rising star of the international music awards circuit. In just four years the event has grown from its niche origins, through last year’s production at Alexandra Palace, to the London Arena in 2001. The star-studded event included performances from R. Kelly, Mis-Teeq and Usher, plus Beverly Knight and the legendary Dionne Warwick, amongst others.

Production managing the event was Mick Kluczynski of MJK Productions. "It was definitely the best MOBO Awards ever - the show has finally grown up, and I really enjoy working with the team. This year we had a new director, Nicky Parsons, and new producer, Lisa Chapman, with a 3,500 live audience. In spite of the events in America, we managed to retain most of the artists - only Luther Vandross pulled out."

Sound contractor Britannia Row decided to take the unusual step of trialling a new system at the event. With the help of Telex/EVI’s Bob Doyle and Paul Barretta from UK EV distributor Shuttlesound, Brit Row was able to put Electro-Voice’s new line array system, X-Line, through its paces on its very first major UK gig. Sound designer and FOH engineer, Derrick Zieba, who has vast experience of such events, confesses to an initial reticence about using the X-Line, as he had previously found line arrays to lack the bottom end required for rock and roll.

However, he was persuaded by Brit Row’s Bryan Grant, who had been running X-Line on a number of large Radio One events over the summer. "We plugged it in, selected the pre-sets on the

Martin Produces MAC Number 100,000
Friday, 9 November 2001

Martin had plenty of reason to celebrate at the LDI exhibition in Orlando this past weekend, but one accomplishment appeared extra special. At a press meeting held at the Martin stand on Saturday, Martin President and CEO Kristian Kolding presented the 100,000th MAC automated light produced. The 100,000th unit, a MAC 2000 profile spot, rolled off the production line just prior to the LDI exhibition. It was ceremoniously painted gold and is now displayed in the Martin manufacturing plant’s reception area in Frederikshavn, Denmark.

At the LDI Awards Ceremony Martin won ‘Product of the Year Lighting/Entertainment, Most Promising Prototype’ honours for the TracMAC mini, an easy to operate followspot luminaire that drew a lot of attention from visitors. Mach speakers was awarded the ‘Product of the Year, Sound, Most Promising Prototype’ for the Mach ViroStation, an elegant combination of illumination and atmospheric audio that also had people talking.

LDI 2001
Monday, 5 November 2001

The 2001 LDI exhibition in Orlando ended yesterday after a successful three days which included a full and well-attended conference programme. At the LDI/ESTA Awards ceremony held at the Orange County Convention Center auditorium on Saturday evening, Jim Bornhorst of Vari-Lite was this year’s Wally Russell Award recipient. Amongst the product awards were the Omni Connector from Total Structures, Protec’s Smart Motion control system, Rosco’s ImagePro, Wybron’s Eclipse 2. Prizes for ‘Widgets’ went to Rosco, Lex Products and Lee Filters. High End Systems’ Catalyst picked up the Entertainment Lighting Product Award to add to the Award for Product Excellence it won at the recent PLASA Show. Best Audio Product was the Legend tri-purpose mixing desk from Midas.

Full details of the rest of the award winners will follow and a full report from LDI, including the rest of the news from the show floor, will appear in the December issue of Lighting&Sound International.

Smart Move for UniversalSmart Move for Universal
Wednesday, 24 October 2001

Universal Events was called in by Mark Borkowski PR to provide full technical infrastructure for the world launch of the revolutionary smart car (right hand drive versions) from Daimler Chrysler UK. The event took place in the car park at Wembley Stadium, and revealed the vehicle for the first time to UK smart dealers and users, plus the national and motoring press.

Universal supplied everything - from the lighting, sound, video and staging - to the dome-shaped marquee and seating rostra. The company’s brief was to provide a clean, slick, streamlined environment in which to launch one of the most ecologically sound vehicles available. Universal’s Steve Butcher designed the show’s production elements. A flat, empty centre stage at the start of the show was soon filled with the demo smart car, revealed by elevator, clouds of smoke and flashing lights, early on in the proceedings.

Lighting was designed by Chris Doy. Rigging points were provided by two circular Penn trusses - a 4m diameter section over the stage, suspended from the nodes of the dome, and a 15m diameter curving elegantly around the perimeter of the entire space. Doy used 22 Futurelight MH 640s spaced equidistantly around the outside ring, plus two under the stage, and six Futurelight MH 660s on the central truss for gobo work and for whizzing about - all from Universal’s moving head stock. Doy operated using a Celco Ventura console, located in the very handy circular production area, created between the inner and outer skins of the tent.

The audio, covering a variety of sources, w

Exhibitors Unite to Support LDI Show
Friday, 19 October 2001

Major manufacturers across the entertainment technology industry are gearing up for this year’s LDI trade show in Orlando in a strong display of industry solidarity. Responding to a call by ETC CEO Fred Foster, manufacturers across the spectrum of entertainment technology have confirmed that they are following through fully with plans to exhibit at LDI 2001. So many exhibitors have voiced their resolve that a separate website link has been established to showcase their responses (see below).

Not only will companies be at LDI, many have reported that they will indeed be expanding their presence this year. AC Lighting, Arriflex Corporation, Bandit Lites, Color Kinetics, Le Maitre Special Effects, Martin, Tracoman and Vari-Lite are among those who have announced that they have planned for their largest showing at LDI to date, and many more are preparing to unveil brand new product at the Show. Visitors are travelling far to see those new wares at LDI. Eckart Steffens of Soundlight commented. "Contacts from Australia, Brazil, and Norway have already made appointments for visiting our booth at showtime, which means the international audience will be there."

As always, many exhibitors, such as Leviton and Rosco, are also using LDI as a forum for connecting with their dealers and clients in national sales meetings and elaborate training events. Nor have LDI exhibitors pulled back on their usual spirit of spectacle and entertainment: Doug Fleenor Design’s booth will double ingeniously as a life-sized mirrored maze, Goddard Design is doing something creati

Parnelli Lifetime Achievement Award for Croft
Wednesday, 17 October 2001

On Friday, January 11, 2002, Brian Croft, Chairman of Vari-Lite Europe, will be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Created by Pro Production 2002, the award is dubbed the ‘Parnelli’, in memory of respected tour manager Rick ‘Parnelli’ O’Brien, who passed away in October 2000. The Parnelli recognizes outstanding individuals in the live event production industry and their contributions to the field.

Terry Lowe, executive director of Pro Production 2002. "We’re very pleased to establish the Parnelli here at Pro Production 2002. And there is no more fitting recipient for a lifetime achievement award than Brian Croft." Croft, whose production career spans 40 years, was a founding member of Britain’s National Youth Theatre, and studied at the Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol. He broke into the business as a theatrical stage manager, and in 1970, segued into rock ‘n’ roll, joining the legendary Chip Monck’s lighting crew on a Rolling Stones tour.

Croft combined both theatrical and concert work for several years, then, with John Brown, formed ESP Lighting Ltd and went on to provide lighting services for such acts as The Who, Queen, and The Moody Blues, while continuing to production manage Rolling Stones tours. Since 1977 he has run the subsequent ventures that grew out of ESP, including Samuelson’s and eventually Vari-lite Europe Ltd.

The award will be presented at the industry reception, a highlight of Pro Production 2002, the trade show being held from January 11-13, 2002 at the San Dieg

Chiswick House - Son et Lumiere
Wednesday, 3 October 2001

Chiswick House is an historic 18th century home whose walls no doubt have tales to tell of its many fascinating inhabitants. The house was designed and built by the wealthy Lord Burlington, who was an amateur architect fascinated with the classical period; hence the lines of the house are simple and elegant - a perfect canvas for the projection of stunning images to recall the spirit and lives of those associated with the glorious building.

Ross Ashton from E/T/C UK was the man responsible for the creation of an absorbing 35-minute Son et Lumiere that recalls the halcyon days of Chiswick. Famous figures such as King George 1, Handel and Alexander Pope all succumbed to the charm of the House and it was these that inspired Ashton and his collaborators: "When I was first presented with the idea of creating a Son et Lumiere about Chiswick House, the trickiest part was figuring out who would be the narrator. There are so many amazing characters associated with the house, but we finally decided on Lady Burlington as she had witnessed so much and survived most of her family."

Ashton spent a great deal of time absorbed in the archives of English Heritage searching for images that would recall the rich history of the house. Many of these images and drawings were black and white, which Ashton then converted to colour on a Mac. To maintain the integrity of the piece, the decision was taken not to include any visual effects other than the projected images, which cut through the blackness of the night sky onto the façade of the house, with striking colour and clarity.


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