Six new products showcased at the Professional Lighting and Sound Association’s (PLASA) annual entertainment and technology show in London this week received top honours in the Show’s prestigious Awards for Product Excellence.
Living up to its reputation as the industry’s premier launch pad, the PLASA Show saw a record 56 technical innovations new to the market this year nominated for the Awards. All entries were featured in the New Technology Gallery, sponsored by Lighting&Sound International, which attracted enormous visitor and exhibitor attention and certainly took centre stage.
The awards were presented for Design Excellence and Technical Innovation in four categories: Lighting; Sound; Audio-Visual and Stage Engineering. The winners were presented with a PLASA Award for Product Excellence trophy, specially designed by DHA Lighting. Talking about the Awards, MD of PLASA, Matthew Griffiths, said: "It is very encouraging to witness the high level of new product development and innovation within this industry. It is also heartening that so many manufacturers chose the PLASA Show to launch their latest innovations, demonstrating the Show’s position as not merely an exhibition, but as the major event in the entertainment technology industry’s year."
In the Lighting category, the Award for Design Excellence was presented to Clay Paky for its CP Color Range, a line of colour changers designed for the professional and architectural markets. There are four models in the range, including one specifically for outdoor applications. Each
PLASA 2001, the Professional Lighting and Sound Association’s annual entertainment technology showcase, held at Earls Court from 9-12 September, received an overwhelming thumbs up from exhibitors and visitors alike.
Understandably, the horrific events in New York and Washington cast a shadow over the Show, not least because of the large number of American exhibitors and visitors who always support the event. The shock of the news was felt widely across the show floor, but it quickly turned to a resolve to keep the Show open and a determination that business should go ahead as usual.
Attendance figures were boosted 4.5% on last year’s event as 13,373 visitors (subject to ABC audit) attended the spectacular four-day show to witness the unveiling of the industry’s latest innovations. Of these visitors, an amazing 25% were international. Results of an exit survey showed that over 80% of visitors to this year’s Show felt that PLASA was the Show to view leading edge entertainment technology and new product launches. Highly respected as the international entertainment and technology exhibition, PLASA provided a platform for nearly 350 manufacturers, suppliers and distributors to present their very latest products, innovations and designs and to strike valuable business deals. From state-of-the-art sound systems, spectacular lighting effects, staging concepts and fog machines to audio-visual equipment, trussing and the very latest in DJ decks, PLASA 2001 featured something for everyone.
It represented more than just a place to see the latest entertainm
After many year's absence, the ISCE led range of mini seminars which took place during the recent PLASA Show, attracted over 100 people across the three workshops. Doug Edworthy, Events chair told PLASA Media: "I think everyone attending benefited from the variety of relevant subjects covered in the audio field, and many are now booking for ISCE's extended one day programmes scheduled throughout 2001/2."
Entech 2002 returns to its Darling Harbour home in Sydney next February. The show is one of the largest audio and visual trade shows of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. It attracts professional designers, engineers and equipment users from all over the Asia Pacific region. Each Entech boasts an extensive range of conferences, seminars, workshops and equipment training sessions. These include sessions on a range of issues, including rigging, with the ever popular DJ Bootcamp also returning. A trio of topic-related seminars will be held daily in the new Convention Centre South, nearest to the trade show halls. Pro Audio seminars include surround sound and contracting audio topics, along with a discussion on line array systems and DSP. InfoComm will present a daily session on vision and integration. Venue design is the topic of a summit style seminar, where architects, venue managers, and consultants discuss trends, shortfalls and the future of venue design. Graham Walne will host a series of lighting seminars focusing on designers, and featuring professional working lighting designers.
To add to this year’s Entech educational opportunities, keynote speakers will be addressing the topic of the industry’s future in a free daily seminar.
Entech runs from February 4-6, 2002.
Edwin Shirley Staging, the international staging and structure specialist, has been commissioned by PCI LiveDesign, one of Europe’s leading live communication companies, to provide a bespoke structural solution for the launch of the new Fiesta by the Ford Motor Company, during the Frankfurt International Motor Show this month. An empty warehouse space near to Frankfurt Airport has been transformed into a multi-levelled launch venue with ESS designing two temporary grid structures, a stage platform and show control platforms within the Nexos Centre for the launch. In order to facilitate the flying elements of the launch show, two roof grids measuring 12m by 14m have been specifically designed to take in excess of five tonnes in weight. The whole structure fits inside the Nexos building and was assembled in just three days.
Cardiff-based Theatre Vision (a Stage Electrics Group company) has kick-started its busy corporate season by providing production lighting services for the recent WHAT HI-FI? Sound & Vision Awards 2001. Hosted by the irrepressible Clive Anderson at the Hilton in Park Lane, the show is produced by Head to Head Communications on behalf of Haymarket Publishing. Theatre Vision was called upon by busy awards lighting designer Matthew Evered to provide dynamic lighting for the event. A mixture of Strand SL cool-beam profiles, parcans and Martin Mac 300 moving lights were used to help jazz up the event, now in its 25th year, and all controlled and programmed by Tim Routledge on an Avolites Pearl. Also provided were a number of low voltage lighting kits for various branding and reception areas. Truss and rigging was provided by RoadRunner while sound was sourced from Tone Ferne from Dobsons.
The Audio Engineering Society has announced the postponement of next week's 111th AES Convention at the Javits Convention Center, New York, until early December. The Javits is being used as an emergency services co-ordination centre in the aftermath of the recent events in New York. The organizers have issued the following statement. "We have just returned from the Javits Center where we had a meeting with their top management. We learned that the New York City Mayor's Office of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have taken over large portions of the Javits Center for use in coordinating emergency services. We also learned that FEMA will have complete control of these spaces and any others that they need, for an undetermined period. This obviously makes holding the event as planned impossible. However, we have been able to reschedule the convention, rather than just cancel it. The new dates will be Friday November 30 to Monday, December 3 2001, with the same exhibit, demo and conference space as would have been used next week."
The opening day of the 2001 PLASA Show proved to be one of the busiest opening days the show has yet experienced, with early indications showing a 6% increase in visitors over the previous year. Clarion Events, the PLASA Show organisers, also report that visitor pre-regisration for PLASA 2001 showed an increase of around 1,000 over last year's event.
The show floor was buzzing throughout the day, with many exhibitors commenting on the especially high quality of both UK and international buyers visiting the show. Watch out for more developments from the PLASA Show as we enter Day 2 . . .
More than 250 of the world's leading companies from 30 countries will showcase their products and latest technology in the 11th Consecutive Broadcast India 2001 Exhibition & Symposium. A host of leading manufacturers will exhibit a wide range of products catering to the broadcast and entertainment industry in three days of the exhibition. The Broadcast India 2001 Exhibition will be held from 1-3 November 2001 at World Trade Centre, Mumbai in three halls - Expo Centre, South Side Lobby and Centrum - spreading over 40,000sq.ft of stand space. The exhibition will be preceded by a two day Symposium from 30-31 October 2001, to be staged at the Y B Chavan Centre, Mumbai. Industry professionals will speak on various topics covering the fields of TV, radio, video, audio, film, music, lighting, cabling, satellite, multi-media, transmission, computer graphics, broadband internet and all their allied and associated technologies in the two day Symposium. More than 21,000 trade personnel are expected to visit the three day exhibition, making this event the biggest and best in India.
For the first time this show will incorporate a Technical Awards ceremony sponsored by Seagate International. On the evening of 2nd November 2001 the Seagate Technical Awards for Excellence in Digital Technology in the field of Cinema and Television will be awarded.
The doors have opened at Earls Court for Day 1 of the 24th PLASA Show, and the first visitors are now filling the show floor, where over 370 exhibitors are displaying their latest innovations to the industry. Over 400 products are making their first appearance at a PLASA Show, with the cream of the crop entered into the PLASA Awards for Product Excellence, and displayed in the New Technology Gallery on the Top Deck of Earls Court, which is this year sponsored by Lighting&Sound International magazine.
Throughout today, and for the duration of the show, the team from PLASA Media will be bringing you all the latest news and pictures from the show floor. To follow events as they unfold at PLASA 2001, visit our dedicated news section at the address below:
The 56 products nominated for this year’s PLASA Awards for Product Excellence are currently available for visitors to view on the Top Deck of Earls Court, in the Lighting&Sound International-sponsored New Technology Gallery (pictured). The Gallery allows a one-stop view of all the latest product innovations in the categories of Lighitng, Sound, Stage Engineering and Audio-Visual. Judging for the Awards will take place during the show, by a panel of experts from each respective field. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony at 9.30 on Wednesday morning, at which time PLASA will also present the money raised from the Awards entries to a number of charities.
To view the complete list of products entered for the PLASA Awards for product Excellence, visit the web address below:
‘All The Queen’s Horses’ - a live equestrian spectacular with a cast of 3,000, including over 1,000 horses, is to be staged at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2002, as part of the tribute to The Queen in her Golden Jubilee Year.
One of a number of national events marking The Queen’s accession to the throne 50 years ago, ‘All The Queen’s Horses’ will be set against the backdrop of the floodlit Windsor Castle during three days of the annual Royal Windsor Horse Show, and will tell the story of her 50-year reign.
A purpose-built stage will be erected to house the orchestra, choir and dancers, together with an all-weather arena, to accommodate the 2,000 participants and over 1,000 horses that will perform in the show, which will be produced by Major Sir Michael Parker and directed by Simon Brooks-Ward. Parker, of course, has been the producer for most of the ‘Royal Spectaculars’ both here and abroad for the past 30 years.
The finale of the show will recreate the 1952 coronation procession with the inclusion of the Gold State Coach with its eight grey horses in harness, a sight that has not been seen since the 1977 Jubilee.
The event that will be more ‘Broadway’ than ‘Horse Show’, according to Brooks-Ward, and if previous Parker/Brooks-Ward collaborations are anything to go by, should feature some serious quantities of lighting, audio, staging and screen technology. It runs on the 16th, 17th and 18th May 2002.
PLASA is now just two days away and it looks like this year’s event will be the best ever. PLASA is where you get to find out what over 400 of the industry’s leading players have been doing in the past few months. It’s got to be better than leafing through hundreds of product brochures or trawling the internet for information. Aside from the exhibition, there are plenty of things to catch the eye, including the DJ Competition on the Sunday, the newly-introduced iDJ Talk Zone offering advice to DJs, a comprehensive seminar and workshop programme, the PLASA Awards for Product Excellence, the various Feature Areas, and the many events, press launches and on-stand receptions organized by exhibitors. If you still haven’t registered for the event, don’t worry, you can register on the day. All you need to do is turn up at Earls Court 1 and register on the door. See you there.
If you’re looking for ways to entertain clients during the forthcoming PLASA Show then why not consider taking them to see some of the hottest shows in London. On the Monday evening we have tickets for the hugely popular Mamma Mia at the Prince Edward Theatre. The show starts at 7.30 and we have excellent seats in the stalls for £32.50.
We also have tickets for Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring which is part of the Proms Season at the Royal Albert Hall. These are for Wednesday 12th September with the performance commencing at 7.30pm. Again we have the best seats in the stalls for £35.00 each.
If you’re staying on in London after PLASA, we also have a number of tickets for the Divas at the Donmar show featuring Sian Phillips which takes place on Thursday 13th September at 7.30pm. Tickets £24.00. To take advantage of these offers simply visit the PLASA Stand (K19).
We’ve also been contacted by the Really Useful Group who have arranged a special ticket deal for visitors to PLASA for the Pet Shop Boys’ musical Closer to Heaven, which we reviewed in the August issue of L&SI. The offer applies to any Monday-Friday performance 10th September-28th September 2001 and gives visitors £10 discount on tickets that are usually £28.50 or £30.00. Call the Box Office on 020 7836 3334 and quote "PLASA Offer" or take your PLASA visitor badge to the Box Office.
The Edinburgh International Film Festival, sponsored by FilmFour, ran from 12-26 August, 2001. To promote the Festival, FilmFour devised a projection of iconic film images and stars onto the rocks beneath Edinburgh Castle. To facilitate the project, leading lighting distributor Fourth Phase London was commissioned by Alan Ramsey at Fisher Productions to ensure the images would be clearly visible along Edinburgh's Princes Street. The high profile exercise presented huge challenges from the outset - projecting images from 125m onto a rocky surface, as opposed to a screen, meant that Fourth Phase technicians had to think carefully about the equipment they would use to complete the brief to its full potential. The rock's rough surface absorbed rather than reflected projected light, requiring pre-distorted imagery combined with a powerful 12,000W Pani projector. Additionally, Fourth Phase London specified a BP12 HMI projector, a highly powerful piece of equipment ideal for projection onto objects that are not standard projection surfaces.
Working closely with Wyatt Enever at DHA Lighting, Fourth Phase London was able to manipulate the digital artwork and output the images onto heat-resistant slides suitable for such projection. Plus, regular contact with Film Four enabled Fourth Phase technicians to use their experience to ensure the best possible end result. Having developed and prepared a number of slides with some of the most striking images from a number of box-office hit films and some of the biggest names in film including Sean Connery, Billy Connolly, Ewan McGregor and
One of the community highlights for visitors to the recent Edinburgh Festival was the opportunity to attend a free festival in the beautifully-raked 2,000-seat bowl in Princes Street Gardens. The event, which ran daily through to 9pm, gave appearing Festival fringe acts the chance to preview their work in a series of short showcase ‘tasters’ on the main stage. This was interspersed with Worldart Media’s own productions and concerts. The 22-day event was manned by volunteer students looking to learn all aspects of staging a show, under the auspices of event producer, Richard Hamer, and event stage manager, Claire Palmer.
In the case of Screenco, who lent its support for the fourth consecutive year with a 4 x 4 Saco 15mm pixel pitch display, it gave its screen and camera engineer, Jon Baverstock, the chance to give hands-on experience to would-be technicians - many of them photographers looking to progress beyond the ‘stills’ domain.
The initiative was directed by Ian Murray, whose company Festival Revue 2001 Ltd, rent the bandstand from Edinburgh Council. With support from major sponsors, Telewest and BT Broadcast Services, this is now the largest arts broadcast in the world, and next year will feature on the net and broadband TV (as well as Telewest). In addition to the i-mag display, Screenco provided a four-camera PPU (broadcast-quality, industry-standard DW-30s) with widescreen capability, and additional feeds were provided by three video players - and a camera mounted on a balloon. BBC Radio 3 and the local Radio Forth also took feeds.
For the first time PLASA is running an on-site clinic at the PLASA Show to lend useful business support and advice to member companies exhibiting at the event. This new initiative, which will also see the launch of a new health-related service, is aimed not only at existing PLASA members, but also at prospective members who can learn for themselves the advantages to be gained from using PLASA services. During the course of the Show, representatives from the Association's range of service providers will be on hand in the PLASA Clinic to answer questions and assist members. Services available include the following:
Telephone Interpreting Service provided by Comunicado: interpreters specializing in over 100 languages. Cost is charged per minute, less than half price to PLASA members.
Legal Advice Service provided by Sherman Phillips: advice on intellectual property, contract, leasehold matters and company matters. Free 15 minutes of advice per call. Solicitor will advise if any costs to be incurred.
PLASA Insurance Scheme provided by Allan, Chapman and James: single comprehensive policy with wide range of benefits including exhibitions, full theft cover, samples and spares, financial loss etc. Further policies include medical insurance, stakeholder pensions. Preferential rates for UK company members.
Human Resources provided by CP Associates: professional advice on human resource issues including terms of employment, pay reviews, redundancy etc. Free service to eligible members.Business Financial Reporting Service provided by Dun and Bradstreet: financial reports evalu
The small Midwestern town of Carthage, Missouri, in the US, is home to a unique amphitheatre that draws tens of thousands of visitors annually.
When Samuel Butcher, the creator of the American figurines and greeting cards featuring Precious Moments and his sons Jonathan and Don decided to develop an attraction in their home base, they turned to a creative team that included the lighting designers of Nautilus Entertainment Design for their inspiration.
The ‘Fountain of Angels’ is an open-air music and water production featuring a plaza of large programmable fountains centred around 252 bronze sculptures - some weighing as much as 1,000 pounds each. The action centres on a fountain containing a water jet that shoots 75 feet into the air, surrounded by a cathedral arch and two foam jets that are smaller versions of the main water jet. The water is held in a 100,000-gallon underground reservoir; during the peak of the performance, 16,000 gallons of water are pumped through the fountain per minute. 13 pumps with a total of 550 horsepower force the water through 560 valves, connected by over two miles of tubing to 260 water nozzles.
Surrounding the central sculptural display are two Water Castles and two Dancing Water fountains, which are animated with movement. There are four additional foam jets in this area. Finally, at the rear of the plaza is a giant fan-shaped 80ft wide mist screen and a candelabra comprising 60 individual jets creating another wall of water. The entire plaza comprises an area 170ft in diameter.
Jim Tetlow of Nautilus Entertainment Desig
As one of Germany’s biggest distributors of lighting equipment to the entertainment industry, German distributor Lightpower handles brands such as Clay Paky, MA Lighting, Rosco, ETC, Eurotruss, Rainbow Colour Changers and Pulsar. The Paderborn-based company recently provided L&SI with an insight into its role in two very different projects in southern Germany.
Known as ‘the Tent Event’, the Zelt (or ‘tent’) Musik Festival (ZMF), took place in Freiburg this summer, for the 19th consecutive year, in the heart of a very hot and humid Black Forest. With more than 100 events spread over 19 days, ZMF has a diverse appeal, attracting around 150,000 people of all ages and musical tastes, from across Europe. It also has a strong family appeal, with a cosy beer garden atmosphere, and entertainments for children during the day.
Lightpower’s involvement, which is as old as ZMF itself, has always been closely linked with their long-term ‘partner’ company, Tent Event, who not only supply all of the tents for the Festival, but also provide an ‘all-inclusive’ service, taking care of the sub-hire of lighting, sound, projection and staging equipment.
The company was originally founded by Felix Thoma as ‘Lighthouse’. Andreas Gause joined Thoma as an equal partner in 1993, and the company officially became Tent Event in 1996. However, the ‘all-inclusive’ capability and the relationship with Lightpower has remained unchanged. This multi-discipline approach has seen Tent Event provide complete tent-based te
At this year’s PLASA Show, the Association has moved its stand to a new, bigger area towards the back of the main hall - stand K19.
The move from the usual spot at the very front of the hall on stand F1 has been made in order to provide more room for the PLASA stand - which will now incorporate the PLASA Technical Bookshop - and also to allow us to develop the PLASA Clinic, which will run adjacent to the PLASA stand, on J52 (see below).
Equally importantly, the move puts us right next to the busy after-show bar (inside the new Pizza Express restaurant), which will be open every evening after show closing, allowing everyone at the show a little extra time to continue those all-important conversations!Upstairs, meanwhile, Lighting&Sound International is sponsoring the New Technology Showcase - a major display of every product nominated for a 2001 PLASA Award for Product Excellence.
In a new PLASA initiative for 2001, PLASA is inviting all members and prospective members to take time to visit the PLASA Clinic on stand J52, to find out more about the range of services offered by the Association. Representatives from PLASA’s service providers and Head Office staff will be available on the stand to answer your questions and to show you how you can benefit from taking advantage of what PLASA offers.
Among the range of services offered by PLASA are the following:
- Comunicado - a telephone-based interpreting service, offering fast access to over 100 languages.
- Legal Advice Service provided by Sherman Philips. Covers intellectual
The JHS Event has become something of an industry fixture. Held at the company’s Garforth premises, on the outskirts of Leeds, it has quickly become part of the music business calendar, attended by significant numbers of representatives of both the retail trade and music press.
The company’s huge, purpose-built office and warehousing complex spreads over a four-acre site and ensures that the company, now the largest family-owned independent musical merchandise distributor in the UK, has an effective base for demonstrating the product lines from its extensive catalogue. And I do mean extensive - for the catalogue carries some of the music industry’s biggest names, including the innovative roundback guitar range from Ovation, for whom JHS are sole UK and Eire distributors and the famous Danelectro guitars and amps, back in the music world with a vengeance.
An early decision taken by John Hornby Skewes to carry self-branded merchandise continues to this day too, and JHS also has international distribution for its comprehensive signature Encore and Vintage acoustic and electric guitar and bass range, Antoni stringed instruments, Kinsman cases and Odyssey brass and woodwind instruments. In fact, browsing through this year’s JHS catalogue range reveals over 3000 products under some 50 brand names, with a customer base covering more than 30 different countries.
The Event is a 3D version of the catalogue, adding a social layer to the serious business of business. Arrayed across the site are exhibition marquees, a refreshment marquee, a guest exhibitor
The Illuminated Video Workshop, the Screenco-led consortium that presented two days of innovative show magic at Three Mills Island studios last winter, is set to stage the successful workshop again at the PLASA Show. Situated in the ‘AV Gallery’ of Earl’s Court’s Top Deck, Screenco’s Mike Walker has pulled together the same top-flight technical support teams from the premier event. WAlker explained: "Judging from the number of calls from people who had been unable to attend the January event, the reputation of that two-day spectacular had really spread further than we could ever have imagined. We have been inundated with calls from people, who realising that they had missed out on something special, asking whether we would ever be running it again."
Walker’s first calls were to Edwin Shirley Staging, who agreed to provide their lozenge-shaped Orbit stage - with the dome at each end - and to Chris Beale at SSE Hire, whose provision of the Out Board TiMax sound spatialising system had been one of the highlights of the event. He also contacted Simon Whittaker at Stage One Creative Services - who will again be providing their Q-Motion system to track the 15mm and 25mm Screenco modules on vertical excursions and spinning rotations - and technical director Adam Wildi. Both instantly pledged their support. Peripheral AV equipment will be provided by Screenco’s sister company, Creative Technology, who will supply plasma screens, Electrosonic Vector image processing and Doremi digital video disk recorders.
The PLASA event will
New developments are all set to keep The Showman’s Show as one of Europe’s leading outdoor events exhibitions. The show organisers have announced several changes to the Show’s format for the 2001 event, which takes place on 17 and 18 October at Newbury Showground. The changes have been implemented to ensure the show reflects the changes within the events industry and meets the requirements of modern day exhibitors and visitors.
The most striking change is the new format for the Arena in the centre of the exhibition. For the first time in the history of the event, the ring will take on one theme that will appeal to a wide range of event organisers. In the past the Arena has hosted a range of entertainment aimed predominantly at the traditional show and gala market, but organiser Stephen Lance believes that even that marketplace, like the Showman’s Show, is evolving dramatically. "Country Shows have been widening the entertainment offered for some time, but this year’s foot and mouth crisis has focused organisers on being able to offer their visitors with a wider range of attractions," said Lance. "Similarly, other public, sporting and corporate events are including diverse forms of entertainment in their programmes.
"Members of the National Association of Re-Enactment Societies will be setting up camp in the ring and entertaining visitors throughout the exhibition with mock battles and displays of pageantry. Other changes include alterations to the layout of the exhibition on Newbury Showground. The Showman’s Show D
The audio production for this summer’s Homelands England Dance Festival provided several opportunities for collaboration, reports Mike Mann.
Audio suppliers SSE Hire of Birmingham provided Nexo front-of-house and monitor systems for seven out of the nine stages at this year’s Homelands, which took place in Mattersley Bowl, near Winchester. However, the company sub-contracted the system design, supply and management of the Space Tent and VIP area to Sussex-based GPA Hire and Forefront Audio. GPA, which acts as the UK rental arm of speaker manufacturer Funktion One, provided the festival’s Space Tent and VIP enclosure with Resolution 5 systems, driven by QSC and processed using XTA controllers. "It’s been great working with SSE," enthused Forefront’s Jim Alexander, "Chris Beale knows our reputation in the dance scene and it’s nice not to be involved in a PA war." Beale had also had the opportunity to hear the Funktion One system in action at a New Year dance event in London, while the GPA rig had also seen service at this year’s Oxford May Ball.
GPA’s Jason Bacon spoke of the synergy between his company and its main supplier. "When you have the manufacturer of a system behind you, it’s a big plus. Our gigs are their gigs, and both Tony [Andrews] and John [Newsham] take a real interest in what our clients want from a system."
Jim Alexander of Forefront Audio was responsible for the link between GPA and event organisers Home, and emphasized the company’s established track record with