As part of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Edwin Shirley Staging, the international staging and structure specialist, has built a bespoke 30m high needle-shaped tower, from which a £1 million Mercedes Benz Gullwing car will be balanced to help celebrate the luxury car company’s Centenary. The car will be placed on its nose and will be on display to visitors during the three-day motor show.
The ESS structure has been specially designed by Gerry Judah, the renowned designer behind such projects as the model of Auschwitz in the Holocaust Galleries at the Imperial War Museum and Linkbridge 2000 in the Woolwich Dockyard Estate, as well as last year’s central display at Goodwood. Patrick Woodroffe, known worldwide as a leader in lighting design and whose recent projects include Lord of the Dance II and the Rolling Stones tours, is lighting the structure. The festival, which opens on July 6, is motor racing’s equivalent of Ascot or Wimbledon and is Europe's premier Historic Motorsports event, featuring classic roadsters from the 19th century as well as today’s ultra-modern racing cars.
After the success of the multimedia waterscreen shows during the world expos in both Osaka (1990) and Tottori (1996), Yves Pépin and his team at ECA2 have been asked to produce the multi-media watershow for the Yamaguchi Expo in Japan, which runs from the 14th of July through to the 30th of September 2001. For the last two years, ECA2 and its technicians have been working alongside the Japanese Expo team to ensure the success of this night-time spectacular. The show will feature images projected onto four monumental spheres, as well as onto a giant water screen; pyrotechnic and fire effects will complete the impressive show.
Brand experience consultancy Hotcakes has won the international award for Best Consumer Products Event at the European IBTM Awards in Geneva (30 May), for its production of Marks & Spencer’s unique ‘Time To Celebrate’ touring show.
‘Time To Celebrate’ has been acknowledged as Europe’s biggest ever touring show undertaken by a retailer and was devised to showcase the retailer’s Christmas/Millennium collections. Taking place in a specially-designed state-of-the-art structure, the show was staged adjacent to M&S’s flagship stores in Bristol, Gateshead, Edinburgh and Camberley. It incorporated a celebrity cooking demonstration, a fashion show and an exhibition of merchandise from the Home & Gifts department, and was seen by 26,000 customers and staff across the UK. The event was managed by a crew of 550, and transported around the country by 25 articulated trucks. Hotcakes collected the award during a ceremony at Geneva’s Inter-Continental Hotel. The Event, which has been incorporated for the first time into the huge European IBTM Exhibition at Palexpo, has been created to recognise the excellence, creativity and planning which helps big brands and multi-nationals reach out to their staff, suppliers and customers. From a shortlist of four, Hotcakes fought off strong competition to win the Award, and received additional acclaim for its production of the Mazda MX-5 Catwalk at Cosmopolitan Show which was Highly Commended.
Exhibited widely in Europe, Japan and the US, Panamarenko, whose works are immediately recognizable and highly distinctive, has become one of the most famous contemporary artists in the world. Obsessed with flight, Panamarenko calls himself an artist-technologist, producing work that is a cross between art and science.
Belgium’s Museum of Contemporary Art (SMAK) in Ghent recently hosted a three-month retrospective exhibition of his most impressive works, an event that opened with a one-off show entitled Panamarenko by Night which took place on March 23. Martin’s Belgian distributor EVDV proposed giving Panamarenko’s work an additional touch of dynamism for the show so its architectural lighting specialist Duncan Verstraeten took the opportunity to incorporate Martin effects lighting into this rather unusual environment. He contacted lighting specialist Lode van Pee of City-Lights who designed a scheme to ‘guide’ visitors through each piece of art.
20 of Martin Professional’s new Atomic 3000 strobes debuted at the show. Other Martin lighting effects included nine Exterior 600s, two MAC 300s and 13 CX-4 colour changers (some with custom-made wash lenses) along with a MAC 2000 profile spot. The light show was programmed on a Martin LightJockey and replayed by a DMX recorder. A Jem 6500 heavy fog machine created an even more surrealistic atmosphere. City-Lights installed all lighting.
Popular Scottish band, Mogwai, played a pre-launch gig for their second album ‘Rock Action’ at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London. Mogwai, known as the 'no words' band because of their cinematic and instrumental music, played the pre-launch gig prior to embarking on a tour of Japan. The lighting rig for the event featured a host of Martin moving heads supplied by Bandit Lites and specified by LD Nick Jevons. He used six MAC 2000s, 10 MAC 500s and 10 MAC 600s, all controlled via an Avolites Pearl 2000, to create a cinematic and dramatic lightshow which perfectly complemented the various moods of Mogwai’s music. Jevons has been a lighting designer for over 10 years, and in his time has designed spectacular lightshows for bands such as the Super Furry Animals, Reef, Elastica and Skunk Anansie. In addition, he has also designed the lighting for a large number of extreme sports events.
Mad Manufacturing will be providing the full lighting rig in the HK Audio demo theatre at the JHS Event 2001, held at the company's Garforth head office. In addition, Mad Manufacturing will be a guest exhibitor at Event 2001, able to both demo their impressive state-of-the-art lighting and effects systems, and to access the large number of trade visitors throughout the busy three-day duration of the show. With a well-deserved reputation for innovation in what is a highly competitive market, one of Mad's recent successes was the launch of the IMP, or Image Marketing Projector. This is a simple-to-use projector system which features an array of onboard programming options designed to give retailers a high-tech but convenient method of in-store product promotion.
Alongside the IMP, Mad's new installation range also includes the popular 250W AXIS moving head, and the IMP Pro series of effects, all of which will be featured in Mad's lighting and effects setup at the JHS Event 2001.
The JHS Event 2001 runs from June 17 - 19.
Oxford-based company Airstar Space Lighting helped illuminate the recent Playtex Moonwalk in Battersea Park in London where more than 7,000 women stripped to their bras to raise funds for cancer research. The world-wide leader and pioneers of the lighting balloon industry used one of their large helium-filled lit Solarc's and several air-filled Crystal's to guide the way for the half-dressed walkers during their midnight charity stroll. On the same weekend, Airstar provided light for 50,000 night-time revellers in Oxford's Cuttleslowe Park during an annual hot-air balloon festival. Airstar's products have been used around the world for a variety of projects including Film and TV productions, festivals and cultural and sporting events. The balloons have also been hired to light the set of the Oscar-winning blockbuster Titanic, for the 1999 Miss World contest in the Seychelles and numerous international music festivals.
The balloons, which are tethered between 5m and 50m, can be used to illuminate from 1,000sq.m right up to 40,000sq.m and are suitable for small-scale garden parties to major outdoor events. The balloons are constructed of a translucent fabric that is custom made to Airstar specifications and are easy to store, transport and set up. They are available to be rented or sold.
The ABTT has confirmed that its ABTT Theatre Show 2002 will be held at the Royal Horticultural Halls on 19 and 20 June 2002. Further details of booking arrangements will be announced shortly. Any enquiries should be directed to the ABTT Office on 020 7403 3778.
This summer saw a free concert for 20,000 people staged in the busy heart of London. Mike Mann discovered that such a production has its logistical difficulties . . .
Before even thinking about the problems involved in bringing central London to a standstill, Star Hire’s Roger Barrett realised that the stage design for the Africa Day concert would have to be an unusual one: "We would normally have built a higher stage than this - but a major feature of the design was that the famous lions should be visible on stage." Two of the huge statues were incorporated into the stage, which was positioned just in front of Nelson’s Column, facing northwards towards the National Gallery. Flanked by the South African Embassy (who funded the entire event) and Canada House, the central area of Trafalgar Square itself also needed treatment. "One of the first things we realised was that the ornamental fountains obscure sightlines for a large part of the square," explained Barrett. "So we included 3,000sq.m of industrial flooring to raise the outer sections of the audience." This was the first rock‘n’roll outing for the Danco flooring system - a modular industrial system which has also seen service in Formula One pit areas.
The stage and audience flooring were delivered to Trafalgar Square by a total of 20 full-size trailers, each one bringing traffic to a complete standstill. In addition to this, a further three trucks for the security fencing, plus other deliveries for sound and lighting systems, meant that Londoners had to cope with
Luciano Pavarotti recently returned to his home town of Modena, to host the annual open-air Pavarotti & Friends charity concert, with funds this year going to alleviate the plight of Afghan children.
The event was held, as always, in front of a packed crowd and transmitted live by Italian state broadcaster RAI’s channel 1. Daniele Tramontani is in charge of sound for the star-studded show. "Initially, it seemed a live recording wasn’t going to be done, but the organizers decided to put together a well appointed studio in a container backstage, so as well as supervising the FOH system, I was also responsible for the realization of the recording and broadcast mixing set-up - in short, everything apart from monitors!"
Sound engineer Stefano De Maio mixed FOH, with a 72-channel Cadac M-type master desk, a Midas XL3 for the orchestra, and a Heritage 1000 for guest musicians. The audio contractor for the event was Agorà of L’Aquila, and FOH comprised 16 + 16 V-Dosc plus 16 + 16 Meyer Sound 650 subs, plus three delay towers and UPA/MSL4 systems on front-fill - Tramontani once again swore by his trusty SIM II,, which is "indispensable for setting the rig’s components." Monitor engineer Stefano Martinovic helmed two DDA QII, two Innovason Sentury and an A&H 5000 to mix the orchestra’s bug mikes.
Backstage, Mackie’s Sandro Chinellato watched over nine of the firm’s HDR 24/96 hard disk recording units, brought in to immortalize this unique event, at which ‘friends’ duetting with Pavarotti included Deep Pu
Performance Exhibitions Ltd has announced the launch of Performance 2001 - an exhibition including conferences, seminars and workshops aimed at the live performance industry. To be staged at the Newcastle Telewest Arena on 17-18 November 2001, the exhibition will bring together manufacturers, venues, producers and promoters, plus a complete range of associated services. Colin Rowell, director of ShowBlokes, whose vast portfolio includes production stage manager of The Tube, stage director for the MTV Awards and stage manager for the Brit Awards, recently returned to the North East, and is involved in live events in the area. He says: "I feel that this exhibition will offer companies a platform for exhibiting to a large audience. It will put the North East on the exhibition circuit where it belongs for this important segment of the industry." Over 1500sq.m of exhibition space will house exhibitors displaying the latest in lighting and sound equipment, staging, studio technology, special effects, transport, catering and support services.
I hadn’t been to Showtech before, but I understand from those that have, that the Show started out life like ABTT - lots of standard shell-scheme type stands, set out like so many rows of beach huts in a Victorian seaside resort on the South coast of England - as befits an environment apparently conducive to our brethren from the theatre set.
Now, however, the Berlin show is more like an ABTT on growth hormones! Five big halls, segregated more or less by type of product, and large, designed stands that better reflect the egos of the firms concerned than the little market stalls of old. Yet the traffic, in terms of numbers at least, seemed to be dwarfed by the scale of the venture. That’s not to say that the visitors were not of a very high calibre, as was certainly the case. This was more like shopping at Harrods, wide aisles, no crush and exclusive clientele. So the parallels with ABTT are justified, except that Showtech would have filled Earls Court all on its own.But that’s where the parallels end, for it was evident that there was none of the marshalling that so dogs exhibitors at Earls Court and, despite the growth, the get-in seemed remarkably relaxed with none of the usual hassle. Mind you, the Messe Berlin is an enormous complex and could swallow this show and several others, plus all their trucks without pausing for breath. When looking for an e-mail source, I had to walk about two kilometres to a service office (only to be told to go back to where I started)!
As a lighting person, I’m not one for taking much interest in stage machinery,
At this year’s PALA Show in Singapore, Wharfedale Professional products will be exhibited on the stand of their distributor in Singapore, City Music. City Music will be showing a combination of already established loudspeakers and electronics, as well as several new products that have been developed since the Pro Light and Sound in Frankfurt earlier this year. Wharfedale Professional has been working for some time on a range of plastic enclosures to complement the already successful wooden enclosure ranges available. The results of this project can be seen at PALA in the form of the new LA Series. The LA Series offers four models at present; a 15" two-way full-range cabinet and a 15" sub as well as a powered version of both. The cabinet itself has flying points as well as an integral pole mount. As well as moving in different directions with the loudspeakers, Wharfedale Professional has also been concentrating on extending the range of electronics offered. New to the product portfolio is a range of effects in the shape of the Procomp, Ezverb and Proverb as well as a new range of amplifiers - the MAX Series. City Music can be found on stand number G23.
The Production Services Association has made two announcements: the first is that John Jones of PCM has filled the remaining seat on the 2001 PSA Council. John is a long-time supporter of the PSA and through his company PCM has donated £10,000 to the PSA Welfare & Benevolent Fund since the Fund’s inception. PCM has also gained a reputation for being among the industry’s leaders in promoting training, with the PCM Motor Schools now well established. In a separate announcement, Keith Owen will now oversee the PSA’s new series of BTEC courses. The courses, which commence in June in Birmingham with the Production Technician Intermediate BTEC, will be expanded during the year to cover other disciplines. Owen spent 20 years at Light & Sound Design before spending 18 months at Loughborough College as the PSA’s representative for training. He is working for two days a week at BMS in Birmingham in order to kick-off the new range of PSA Entertainment and Events Industry BTEC qualifications.
Photographic giant, Canon, unveiled its world vision at the recent Focus Show (NEC) with a stunning new stand featuring a huge globe constructed from leading aluminium trussing system, OPTI Trilite. The exhibition brings together photographers and suppliers from all over the UK, and is one of the key showcases for new products and services in Europe. As one of the biggest players in the market, Canon was determined to make a big splash and didn't disappoint. Canon's stand was the brainchild of exhibition specialists, Creative Concepts. "We always try to do something bigger and better every year for Canon's Focus stand," says managing director, Paul Harber. "This year we decided the central feature would be an enormous globe built from the polished version of OPTI Trilite. Being close business neighbours helps too, as both Creative Concepts and OPTI are based in Luton. Glen Brown at OPTI reckons the Canon globe was one of the most impressive structures the company has built. "We pre-assembled at our OPTI Trilite manufacturing facility in Huntingdon and it looked awesome. It's great to see a vision come to life like that."
The PLASA AGM is one of the key events of our year - it’s a chance for us to review what’s gone and plan for what will be a very different future. The most effective way we can do that is by involving as many Members as possible so we’ve strived to create an event that we feel is worth attending. Your role is very important so please don’t file your ideas, comments or complaints away for another time, take this opportunity to influence the way PLASA is heading by joining us for the 2001 AGM.
Even if you’ve got nothing to say (unlikely we think), it’s an ideal opportunity for some relaxed networking in beautiful surroundings. As a backdrop to this year’s event, we have chosen the historic setting of Coombe Abbey, near Coventry. Set in 500 acres of parkland and dating back to 1150, this former Cistercian Abbey is an ideal place to meet up with familiar and new industry faces alike.
The day will start with lunch and registration at 12.45, followed by the AGM itself at 2.00pm. After the AGM, members will have the opportunity to meet with members of the PLASA team and its various representatives in a number of informal hour-long ‘break-out sessions’. We have highlighted three key areas:
Membership Services: Do you get the most out of your membership? Can you name six services you benefit from? If not, and you’d like to know more, let us show you where you could gain a business advantage.
PLASA Show: If you have a view on the PLASA Show, this is your chance to discuss it face to face with members of the Clarion
PLASA Presents Light & Sound Shanghai 2001, the fourth consecutive show to be held at the city’s Intex Centre, took place from 4-6 April.
Several companies travelled to Shanghai as part of the Britain in China programme. Among them was DHA Lighting, exhibiting in conjunction with its Asian stockist Pacific Lighting (HK) and showing its latest product, the Gecko Image Projector, together with a range of other products. Zero 88 was reinforcing its presence in the Asian market with the first Asian showing of its Frog and Fat Frog lighting consoles, whilst Artistic Licence was profiling its DMX512 processor chip range which it is promoting for OEM business.
Strand Lighting debuted its 520i lighting console for the Chinese market and also showed its SL spotlights, 300 Series control consoles and SLD96 dimmers. Simplex, meanwhile, was promoting its Ultralight staging system designed for temporary installations, whilst Smoke Design was demonstrating its range of silk flame machines - including Excalibur, Sabre and Medieval Torch and its Scenta Five fragrance unit. Laser Creations International, for its part, was at the show with details of its Laser Video Projectors and Waterscreens - both proving popular in installations across China. MGC Lamps, the UK distributor for replacement lamps from Philips, GE and Osram, was at the show "to scoop some business around Asia in general, and China in particular," according to director Jeff Sawyer. Hong Kong and China distributor ACE took its usual stand inside the main entrance. British lighting companies on the ACE stand
Lee Baldock and Steve Moles report from Germany on the latest audio developments from the Pro Light & Sound exhibition . . .
This year’s Pro Light & Sound exhibition seemed even busier than usual, perhaps partly due to the PL&S halls being rearranged to spread virtually the length of the site, so that what once took 2 or 3 minutes now takes 5 or 10. There were probably many who missed the relative ease of the previous layout, but the point, of course, is that the visitors turned out in force and went home satisfied - albeit in more pain than usual. So to business . . .
Acoustic Line, part of Seeburg Professional PA Systems, presented the TSMSat+ to augment the TS series. This is a highly compact ‘fill’ speaker built to go with the TS Mini Sub+ and is based around a 10" mid driver with a 1" compression onto a very compact horn flare, making for a small cabinet capable of delivering 300W rms from each component. The horn is the same as that used in the TSM10, with a 60° by 90° coverage pattern that can easily be rotated through 90°. Too small for a disco, this could be a nice little unit in a jazz club.
A couple of innovations from Adam Hall: their successful Rack Lamp launched at last year’s PLASA (LED source combined with 10mm side-emitting fibre optic), has been taken a step further. The idea of using a simple LED powered light source for low level rack lighting has been extended by the addition of a gooseneck device for use over control surfaces. Supplied with built-in spring-clip for easy mounting, and battery holder, th
The 2001 PLASA AGM, along with the popular AGM Dinner, will take place on Thursday 14 June in the historic setting of Coombe Abbey, near Coventry. Set in 500 acres of parkland and dating back to 1150, this former Cistercian Abbey is now a thriving hotel and conference centre. In a slightly revised format for 2001, the day will include an opportunity for members to meet with key representatives of PLASA’s various operations in a number of small, hour-long ‘break-out sessions’. These will be organised as follows:
- PLASA Show - members of the Clarion Events show management team and members of the PLASA Exhibitor Forum will be on hand to discuss PLASA Show-related issues.
- Membership Services - PLASA’s head office staff dealing with membership services will be joined by consultants from certain of our service providers and members of the PLASA Executive Committee.
- PLASA Standards - PLASA’s Technical Standards Officer Tim Cox will be joined by consultants and other of PLASA’s standards representatives to discuss Standards-related topics.
As part of PLASA’s aim of increasing the opportunities for useful communication with its members, these sessions are intended to provide an informal environment for discussion, feedback and questions. PLASA’s managing director Matthew Griffiths comments: "We hope these sessions will prove a valuable use of the time between the AGM and the start of the evening’s entertainment. By offering the chance of an informal meeting with key representatives of the Association, we h
Show Presentation Services (SPS) has launched a new department dedicated to support the use of all types of information technology in the live events market. SPS Event IT will cater for the now commonplace use of IT within conferences and exhibitions, but its approach will differ from ‘traditional’ IT ideas. "What matters to us," said SPS managing director Robin Coles, "is the event as a whole. Stand-alone computers, flat screens, local networking, Internet access, webcasting and all the associated peripherals are becoming as fundamental as video, sound and lights at many events, and should be delivered with the same professional attitude, with all the technology that comes together to service an event being intrinsically linked. We have staffed SPS Event IT with people who approach anything computerish from the live show perspective. Our crew are not ‘nerd’ prima-donna’s who never get their hands dirty, but ‘show’ people with an IT specialisation."
Point Promotions have announced a 72% increase in attendance at last week’s ABTT Theatre Show. The show this year expanded into both of the Royal Horticultural Halls, and had widened its remit to attract 30 new exhibitors. The initial un-audited visitor attendance figures show an increase of 72% over last year’s registered numbers. Point Promotions was appointed by the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) to administer the change from the ABTT Trade Show to the bigger and improved ABTT Theatre Show. The expanded show featured on-stage technology such as lighting, rigging, drapes and sound and also many exhibitors with front-of-house technology including seating and staging.
Festival Management Ltd (FML), the parent company of the Portsmouth’s ‘International Festival of the Sea’ has been awarded the event management consultancy contract for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee visit to the armed forces in Portsmouth in June 2002. This highlight of the Golden Jubilee year will demonstrate to the Queen the role of the armed forces in the 21st Century. Using an innovative format, it will feature the younger generation of Servicemen and women of all three services and their families. FML is currently involved in putting together the third International Festival of the Sea, a four-day event which will be held in Portsmouth Naval Base and Historic Dockyard over the August Bank Holiday this year. The largest maritime festival in the UK, the event now involves around 700 vessels from all over the world, thousands of exhibitors, traditional craftsmen, musicians, performers and a 12-hour entertainment programme.
The UK’s annual pop music back-slapping gala event, The Brits, was recorded live, in spectacular style, on February 26th at Earls Court 2, London. The live production was managed by Brit regular MJK Productions.
Another regular, Vari-Lite Europe provided the complete lighting system - featuring more than 500 luminaires - as well as providing the rig for the After Show Party. Lighting designer for the event was Al Gurdon. With the ceremony designed to look spectacular both for the live audience and a massive worldwide broadcast audience, the lighting design encompassed the entire space within Earl’s Court 2, both on and around the huge stage and the specially-constructed auditorium.
The large-scale lighting rig included 40 VL2416s, 54 VL5 Arcs, 81 VL5Bs, 76 VL5s, 24 VL6 wash luminaires, 38 VL6Cs, six VL7s and 130 VL2C spot luminaires, with control from two Virtuoso consoles. VL also supplied a substantial conventional rig, with 16 4k Xenon Sky Art Searchlights, two 70k Lightning Strikes, four 40k Lightning Strikes, 160 Par 36s, 400 Par 64s and 44 Diversitronics Strobes. The rig also included 420 metres of truss, two 12 metre-diameter semi-circles of truss and 14 one-tonne hoist motors complete with cable, control and rigging accessories.
The After Show Party’s lighting was designed by Theo Cox who lit the four exclusive rooms - Air Lounge, Water Bar, Earth Garden and the Fire Club - using a rig that featured 56 VL5 wash luminaires, 16 VL6B spot luminaires, VL Moving Mirror Ball units and conventionals, all run from a pair of Wholehog 2s and an Avolit
The countdown to the PLASA Show 2001 has begun! The entertainment technology industry’s leading event will run from 9 - 12 September at Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London. With over 89% of the available stand space already sold and all the leading manufacturers booked into the show, PLASA 2001 promises to live up to its reputation as the showcase event that launches the entertainment technology year. Venue improvements have continued, with over £500,000 invested in the last 12 months to improve comfort cooling at the Show. Furthermore, an overall investment of £6million will ensure that Earls Court is a fully air-conditioned exhibition centre by 2002. Over 400 exhibitors and 14,000 UK and international visitors are expected to attend and experience the sound and lighting extravaganza that has become synonymous with PLASA. Manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of professional lighting, sound and AV equipment will descend upon Earls Court to unveil their latest products and technical developments for the vibrant and hugely diverse entertainment and leisure industry.
Almost 13,000 visitors, including a record 25% from overseas, attended the PLASA Show last year. Specifiers, consultants, attraction managers, recording technicians, disc and light jockeys, corporate presentation planners, technicians, architects, installers and other professionals from the world of entertainment technology traveled from all corners of the globe to see the very latest products, innovations and designs showcased.
The PLASA Show 2001 will feature many of the attractions that cont