General News

The Week
Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Challenges & Opportunities - MPs have launched an inquiry into the impact Brexit is likely to have on the arts. The culture, media and sport committee said its inquiry would examine the "challenges and opportunities" that leaving the European Union would bring. In particular, it is looking at whether the creative sector will be able to "attract and retain talent" across the world when the UK leaves the EU as a result of June's referendum, and whether "onerous visa requirements" could see a drop in the number of people coming to the UK after Brexit.

The inquiry will also examine what impact the loss of EU funding could have on the sector and whether the government would replace these funds. News of the inquiry follows concerns raised within the arts that Brexit will have negative consequences for the sector.

Last week, former Ambassador Theatre Group chief executive Rosemary Squire said any restrictions on free movement would "make it harder for us to produce quality content and run our theatres profitably". National Theatre director Rufus Norris has also expressed concern about the financial damage leaving the EU could have on the venue.

The Beatles Live - Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have reunited for the premiere of a film telling the story of The Beatles' live tours. The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years recounts the Fab Four's rise to megastar status from their gigs in The Cavern Club in Liverpool to sell-out tours of the US.

The film was made by Oscar-winning director Ron Howard and was debuted in Liverpool and in

Knight of Illumination Awards 2016 winnersKnight of Illumination Awards 2016 winners
Tuesday, 20 September 2016

UK - Lighting and video content design ceremony Knight of Illumination Awards (KOI) announced the winners of the 9th edition during a prestigious ceremony at London's Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith on Sunday 18 September.

The well-attended ceremony saw almost 500 professionals come together to celebrate the achievements of lighting and video designers working on shows across the UK.

The event was hosted by Australian actor, television presenter and comedian Mark Little. The winners have been revealed as:

THEATRE

The ETC Award for Dance: Michael Hulls for Conceal | Reveal, Russell Maliphant Company, Sadler's Wells

The Hawthorn Award for Musicals: Mark Henderson for Sunset Boulevard, English National Opera

The Robert Juliat Award for Opera: Joachim Klein for Saul, Glyndebourne Festival

The Elation Professional Award for Plays: Jan Versweyveld for Songs from Far Away, Young Vic

The FIX8Group Award for Projection Design: Will Duke for The Encounter, Edinburgh International Festival/The Barbican

CONCERT TOURING AND EVENTS

The Ambersphere Solutions Award for Arena: Patrick Woodroffe for Adele

The HSL Award for Club: Francis Clegg for Public Service Broadcasting

The MA Lighting Award for Events: Adam Bassett for The Rolling Stones Exhibitionism

The Ayrton Award for Stage: Tobias G Rylander for The 1975

The d3 Technologies Award for Video Electronic Content: Ben Miles for Coldplay

TELEVISION

The Philips Vari-Lite Award for Drama: Sue Gibson for De

 
 
BTS announces Fred Foster Scholarship Fund
Friday, 16 September 2016

USA - The Behind the Scenes Foundation has announced the Fred Foster Scholarship Fund. Board members had long been seeking a way to honour Fred's innumerable contributions to our industry and, in particular, his unwavering support of the charity since its inception.

The purpose of the fund is to assist the children of Behind the Scenes grant recipients with continuing their education which may otherwise be in jeopardy due to their family's current financial situation. BTS frequently assists individuals whose children are unable to remain in school because the family can no longer afford tuition.

The BTS Grants Review Committee will be responsible for identifying appropriate candidates from among the families of grant recipients and awarding the scholarships which may be used for any accredited post-secondary education program or vocational training.

Rick Rudolph, chair of the Behind the Scenes Foundation, commented, "We felt that enabling young people to continue their studies and pursue their goals is a fitting tribute to Fred. He has always concerned himself with educating students and providing them with opportunities. This seems like a natural extension of that commitment."

Fred Foster, CEO of ETC, responded, "Behind the Scenes continues to find and develop great ways to support the folks in our industry who need our help. This latest effort, that will assist their children to continue their education while their parent fights a serious battle, is a great addition to the BTS portfolio. I am truly honoured to have my name associated with this."

 
A Summer's Tale with GravityA Summer's Tale with Gravity
Thursday, 15 September 2016

Germany - A Summer's Tale proved worthy of its name. For the event, which is nestled in an idyllic forest and moor landscape presented much more than "just" a top-class music programme from 10-13 August. The cultural summer fairy tale south of Hamburg also included yoga, cooking, dancing, acting, canoeing, slackline balancing and many more activities. "Try out things in beautiful nature" is part of creative happenings organisers' festival philosophy.

This philosophy also extends to the top-class music programme. On several stages, around 12,000 visitors enjoyed shows from international stars spanning several different music genres. The festival's highlights included shows by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Garbage, Amy McDonald, Nada Surf, Sigur R

 
 
The Week in Lighting & Sound
Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Fighting Talk - Culture minister Matt Hancock has pledged to improve access to the creative industries and build a stronger relationship between technology and culture, as he sets out his main priorities for the role. Hancock, who succeeded Ed Vaizey in the position in July, also said he would fight to ensure government support for arts and culture in his first keynote speech as minister.

Delivered in front of an audience of creative industry professionals, Hancock used his first speech to set out his three main priorities, which he described as "backing success, access and synthesis". After praising the creative industries as "absolutely central to our post-Brexit future", Hancock said he would "fight to ensure that the creative and digital industries are at the heart of this government's industrial strategy." The minister went on to pledge that creative sector tax reliefs would not be adversely affected by Brexit.

Hancock, who worked in the technology sector before moving into politics, said his third priority would be to better strengthen the relationship between technology and culture. He cited the live-streaming of theatre productions as an example of existing ways in which "we are able to meld time-honoured craft with cutting-edge technology". Hancock's speech was delivered at the British Film Institute and hosted by the Creative Industries Federation.

Big Issue - Andrew Lloyd Webber has accused some producers of staging their shows in smaller venues so they can demand higher prices for tickets. The composer, speaking at the launch of his new

 
Theatres Trust releases At Risk Register
Tuesday, 13 September 2016

UK - Theatres Trust has revealed the 36 theatres at most risk across the UK, and Trustee Dara

 
 
New venue for Behind the Scenes Happy Hour
Monday, 12 September 2016

USA - ESTA's Behind the Scenes Happy Hour returns for its third year as the biggest pre-LDI party in a new location at the Embassy Suites Las Vegas (3600 Paradise Road). Tickets are on sale for the event on Thursday, 20 October from 6pm-8pm. Advance tickets are $60 a person at behindthescenescharity.com/btshh, and tickets will be available at the door for $75 a person.

The Behind the Scenes Happy Hour features an open bar, hors d'oeuvres and music with all proceeds going to benefit the Behind the Scenes charity, the only industry charity that provides grants to ill or injured entertainment technician professionals. Since its beginning in 2014, the Behind the Scenes Happy Hour has raised over $120,000 in sponsorships and ticket sales.

A limited number of sponsorship opportunities are still available. Interested sponsors are encouraged to find out more information by visiting www.esta.org/ or by emailing btshh@esta.org.

Current sponsors for the 2016 Behind the Scenes Happy Hour include: Altman Lighting (Executive), 4Wall Entertainment (Platinum), IATSE (Platinum), Ultratec, (Platinum), LDI (Gold), Robe (Gold), Stage Equipment & Lighting (Gold), Vectorworks, Inc. (Gold), Barbizon Lighting (Silver), Columbus McKinnon (Silver), ENTTEC Americas (Silver), iWeiss Theatrical (Silver), Musson Theatrical (Silver), Stan Pressner (Silver), Sapsis Rigging Inc (Silver). Lighting sponsor: A.C. Lighting. Badge sponsor: Anvil Cases. Official media sponsors: Lighting&Sound America and Protocol.

The goal of Behind the Scenes Happy Hour is not only to throw a great party

 
Show Technology opens in New ZealandShow Technology opens in New Zealand
Friday, 9 September 2016

New Zealand - Tuesday 30 August 2016 was a significant date in the 26- year history of Show Technology.

The date was the official opening of the Show Technology New Zealand office in Auckland with managing director Emmanuel Ziino welcomed officially onto the land in a P?whiri - a M?ori welcoming ceremony involving speeches, dancing, and singing performed by a local school 'Kapa Haka' group. The P?whiri concluded with a Hongi, a traditional M?ori greeting done by pressing one's nose and forehead (at the same time) to another person at an encounter.

"It was an absolute honour to be welcomed onto the land by their chief," commented Emmanuel. "The P?whiri welcomed us (the owners) and our guests (the future users) during a dedication of the building."

The evening was an industry event attended by invited guests who make up the cream of the professional lighting industry in New Zealand. Many guests travelled far to attend the opening including several who came from Wellington and Christchurch.

The event was supported with attendees from Show Technology in Australia including Harold Hassapis (CFO), Vince Haddad (technical director), Stephen Dallimore (BDM), Paul Nicolaou (Victorian branch manager), Elisha Blanch (sales coordinator) and company owners Emmanuel and Gina Ziino. Jonas Stenvinkel from Martin was lucky enough to be visiting during this time and was also at the opening.

"The opportunity to be able to work alongside our clients day to day and to be able to provide them the support they deserve, is great step and I'm very excited about what the f

 
 
PLASA 2016 announces further educational sessions
Wednesday, 7 September 2016

UK - As the PLASA show consolidates its position as one of the premier events in the international tradeshow calendar, it is pleased to announce the last of its free-to-attend educational sessions.

Completing this year's educational and informative offering, are Sound Design for Olympic Ceremonies - Lessons Learnt, The art of creating impactful artist performances, Investigating the Intangible - When Lighting & Sound Interact, Apprenticeships - A new approach to employer-led schemes, AV Installation Strategy for Venue Owners and Inventing The Future: The Story of the National Theatre's Lightboard.

Scott Willsallen has been one of the leading audio designers for major international and outdoor events since 2004 and has been involved in the majority of the Olympic Ceremonies since then. In Sound Design for Olympic Ceremonies - Lessons Learnt he will discuss the challenges of sound designs for such complex projects, from loudspeaker system design, control system redundancy, signal transport, RF systems, music replay and timecode.

"This is an interactive session where I'm going to be talking about my design process and the lessons I've learnt over many years of major event sound design," says Scott. "I'll follow this with a discussion about if, and how, some of these techniques may be implemented into small scale projects, so it's a great opportunity for anyone who wants to pick my brains!"

The Art of Creating Impactful Artist Performances will be presented by Nicoline Refsing, production designer, creative

 
The Week in Lighting & Sound
Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Through The Past Darkly - The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is hoping to replicate the success of its David Bowie exhibition with a major retrospective of Pink Floyd. The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains, marking 50 years since the release of the band's first single, will include a laser light show and previously unseen concert footage. The "immersive" show will feature 350 objects and artefacts, including instruments and original artworks. It will run from May to October 2017.

The V&A promised "an immersive, multi-sensory and theatrical journey through Pink Floyd's extraordinary world" which will "chronicle the music, iconic visuals and staging of the band, from the underground psychedelic scene in 1960s London to the present day". The exhibition will also include items from stage performances, as well as instruments, handwritten lyrics, architectural drawings and psychedelic posters. After it was announced in 2012, the V&A's David Bowie exhibition became the fastest-selling in the museum's history.

Mercury Rising - Freddie Mercury has joined fellow rock-idols Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by being honoured with a blue plaque at his childhood home in west London. The English Heritage plaque commemorating the former Queen frontman was unveiled by the band's guitarist Brian May at the unassuming terraced house in Feltham where Mercury lived with his parents after the family arrived from Zanzibar in 1963.

On a higher plain, an asteroid has been named after Freddie Mercury to mark what would have been the singer's

 
 
GearSource Europe relocatesGearSource Europe relocates
Thursday, 1 September 2016

UK - GearSource Europe has completed the relocation of its European office to the historic Horton Kirby Paper Mills in South Darenth, UK.

The office and warehouse functions are now located in what was once known as Building 25 in the original 1820's mill complex - in the shadow of the Grade II listed chimney, a local landmark alongside the railway viaduct, that spans the delightful Darent Valley.

"The increase in space provides better warehousing facilities, offering greater diversity in the type and quantity of equipment we can stock to serve our clients - our previous location was unable to handle the growth we have experienced," said managing director, Garry Nelsson. "And the new location, situated just off the M20 and M25, makes access easy."

GearSource Europe's new address is: The Studio at the Mill, Esparto Way, South Darenth, Kent, DA4 9FF, UK.

(Jim Evans)

 
The Week in Lighting & Sound
Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Called to the Bar - Fans of Motorhead frontman Lemmy raised more than $22,000 (£16,600) for a life-size statue at his favourite bar in Los Angeles. Dozens of fans turned out to see the unveiling of the 6ft bronze sculpture that will immortalise him at the Rainbow Bar and Grill on West Hollywood's Sunset Strip. Cheryl Keuleman and Motorhead's long-time manager Todd Singerman were among those who paid tribute to Stoke-born singer who died in December. Singerman, who managed Motorhead from 1992 until the group disbanded after Lemmy's death, said he thought the Ace of Spades singer would have been "extremely proud" of his statue.

It's for You - A long-lost demo disc recorded by Paul McCartney that was given to Cilla Black has sold for £18,000 at auction, the Beatles expert who found it has said. Black, who died in 2015, had a UK top 10 hit in 1964 with It's for You, written by McCartney and John Lennon. McCartney recorded his own version earlier that year, which was delivered to Black while she was performing at the London Palladium. It was believed to have been lost or destroyed until her nephew found it. The disc fetched £18,000 at the Beatles Memorabilia Auction at Unity Theatre in Liverpool.

Open House - Prince's private estate and studio complex will open for daily public tours later this year. Fans of the late star will get the chance to tour the huge Paisley Park complex in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen from October. The move was announced by the trust company overseeing his estate, and the tours will be manage

 
 
Star Events celebrates 40th birthdayStar Events celebrates 40th birthday
Friday, 26 August 2016

UK - Star Events turns 40 today, 26 August 2016, with its commitment to invention, safety and best practice the key to all the candles on the birthday cake.

Founded by Roger Barrett and Maddy Sheals as touring sound specialist Star Hire, the company's first contract, in 1976, was with singer/songwriter Carol Grimes. Star went on to provide for the likes of Split Enz, the Rock Against Racism tour of 1979 and Miles Davis in a similar capacity.

Star Hire stages made their debut at Notting Hill Carnival 1983, Barrett, and Sheals who retired in 2014, determined they could make a better, safer job of it than the platforms then available to them as a PA supplier.

Later the same decade, Star formalised its interest in improving standards, writing a technical safety guide for the National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA). Star Mobile platforms were patented in 1989 and the VerTech stage system was introduced in 1990, at the legendary Stones Roses show on Spike Island. Star went on to design and supply the biggest ever touring ground support for Italian artist Eros Ramazzotti in 1993, taking it across North & South America and Europe by the end of 1994.

Barrett gave the first event safety lecture at the Emergency Planning College, on the back of 'The Pop Code', in 1994 and Star Rigging was launched later the same decade. The company closed its sound department at the end of the century to focus on staging and rigging and these two elements of the business were formally merged at the PLASA show in 2003.

Next, Star Even

 
The Week in Lighting & Sound
Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Rich Tapestry - West End show Beautiful - The Carole King Musical has extended its run at the Aldwych Theatre until July 2017. The show, based on the life of singer-songwriter King, was previously booking until November this year. The musical opened in the West End in February 2015, winning two Olivier awards for performers Katie Brayben and Lorna Want.

Going Underground - London's 24-hour Tube service could see some West End shows abandon their traditional 7.30pm start times, the Society of London Theatre has claimed. SOLT chief executive Julian Bird said the introduction of a 24-hour Tube service in London, which begins this weekend, would present "significant opportunities" for the theatre sector. He hinted that the 24-hour service, operating on Fridays and Saturdays, could see shows abandoning the traditional 7.30pm start time in favour of a later curtain-up.

He told the BBC, "Lots of people need to get to work late in the night or home from work - doctors, nurses, porters, security guards - but also it will be a massive boost to the night-time economy. Think of the theatres, the live music venues, the restaurants. I'm really pleased and proud that finally the Night Tube is here." The Night Tube will initially be available on the Central and Victoria Lines. Further lines will be rolled out later this year.

Tragically Hip - A farewell show from Canadian band The Tragically Hip reached 11.7m people after CBC broadcast the gig on TV and live streamed it on the internet. The band had announced the show in the group's hometown of Kings

 
 
Knight of Illumination Awards Concert Touring and Events nominees revealedKnight of Illumination Awards Concert Touring and Events nominees revealed
Tuesday, 23 August 2016

UK - The judging panel of the Knight of Illumination Awards 2016 Concert Touring and Events category has announced its shortlisted designers for the highly-anticipated ceremony next month at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith.

The panel, led by new Chairperson for this year Coral Cooper, is made up of deputy editor of Lighting&Sound International magazine Claire Beeson, head of lighting design at creative agency Imagination Jonny Milmer, editor of Total Production International magazine Kelly Murray and formally-trained lighting designer and experienced video content creator Miguel Ribeiro. Beeson, Milmer and Ribeiro are also new to the process for 2016.

"The incredibly high standard of entries for the KOI Awards Concert Touring and Events category made selecting a shortlist a real challenge," says Claire Beeson. "It's been an honour to witness the vast and varied array of work from nominated lighting designers and I would like to wish all shortlisted entries the best of luck."

The Concert Touring and Events shortlist is as follows:

THE AMBERSPHERE SOLUTIONS AWARD FOR ARENA - Al Gurdon for Madonna, Tim Routledge for Jeff Lynne's ELO and Patrick Woodroffe for Adele.

THE HSL AWARD FOR CLUB - Francis Clegg for Krept and Konan and Public Service Broadcasting and Tom Webber for Charlie Puth.

THE MA LIGHTING AWARD FOR EVENTS - Adam Bassett for The Rolling Stones Exhibitionism, Dave Cohen for Arcadia at Glastonbury Festival and Al Gurdon for The Brit Awards 2016.

THE AYRTON AWARD FOR STAGE - Tobias G Rylander for The 1975, Rob Sinclair for Pe

 
Dawn Chiang joins Behind the Scenes board
Monday, 22 August 2016

USA - Behind the Scenes has announced that lighting designer and theatre consultant Dawn Chiang has accepted an invitation to join its Board of Directors. Upon her acceptance Dawn commented, "Behind the Scenes helps address an important need to technology professionals within the entertainment industry -- issuing grants to those in need due to serious illness or injury. I am honoured to join the board of Behind the Scenes to help support such an important, and often overlooked issue."

Dawn has designed lighting on Broadway, Off Broadway, the New York City Opera, regional theatres across the country, and concert tours. A few highlights include Zoot Suit on Broadway; work at Manhattan Theatre Club, Arena Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the Guthrie Theatre; and a Paul Anka tour. Dawn has earned two Drama-Logue Critics' Awards and numerous nominations around the country.

Dawn is a senior consultant with Theatre Projects Consultants, where she served as project manager for two of the largest water based permanent shows, House of Dancing Waterin Macau and the Han Theatre in central China. She has served on the board of directors for Theatre Communications Group and is a mentor for the Theater Development Fund's "Open Doors" outreach program to New York City high school students.

Rick Rudolph, the chair of the Behind the Scenes Foundation, welcomed Dawn to the Board saying, "We are extremely pleased to have Dawn join the Board. She has long been an enthusiastic supporter of our work and has witnessed the difference Behind the Scenes has made in th

 
 
Obituary: Rick Clarke (1946-2016)Obituary: Rick Clarke (1946-2016)
Thursday, 18 August 2016

UK - Sound designer Rick Clarke sadly passed away on 10 July 2016 after a prolonged period of complications from cancer.

One of the UK's most prolific and accomplished sound designers, Rick Clarke started out as a roadie and mix engineer for the 1970s band Medicine Head and The Grateful Dead. He went on to enjoy a successful career in theatre, especially musicals.

In 1980, Clarke joined the staff of the National Theatre, under Peter Hall, and worked there for four years. He was fondly remembered by the National's technical coordinator Rob Barnard as "a very capable technician - fearless, self-confident and a lot of fun".

Clarke himself recalled Richard Eyre's 1982 Guys and Dolls as a stand-out National production that helped to make musicals more highly regarded by the theatre establishment.

He left the National in 1984 to work on Howard Goodall's groundbreaking musical The Hired Man and Me and My Girl, which ran for nine years at the Adelphi. He also set up his own company, the Sound Department, providing sound for live events and installing systems in theatres and clubs.

Clarke designed the sound for more than 40 West End shows, but was most often associated with the musicals Chicago - which he worked on for 12 years all over the world, from Vienna to Buenos Aires - and the similarly long-running revival of West Side Story.

In a tribute on the Association of Sound Designers website, Chris Headlam of Orbital Sound writes: "Rick was a truly gentle man with a spirit that soared, a mind that enquired and an ear

 
PLASA 2016: Gottelier Award nominees announcedPLASA 2016: Gottelier Award nominees announced
Wednesday, 17 August 2016

UK - Named in memory of Tony Gottelier, the renowned industry innovator and commentator who passed away in 2006, the annual Gottelier Award aims to recognise those product developers who have made significant long-term contributions to the advancement of entertainment, presentation or installation technology - whether in audio, lighting, rigging, staging, or any other related field.

Voting in the Gottelier Awards is only open to PLASA Members, registered readers of LSi magazine and pre-registered visitors to PLASA 2016. All will receive an email with a unique code inviting them to place their individual vote via the PLASA Show website. Voting closes on Friday 9 September 2016 and the winner will be announced at the PLASA Show at Olympia, West London, on Monday 19 September.

The nominees for 2016 are:

Chris Cronin

During a career of almost four decades, Chris Cronin has had a hand in pushing forward many of the developments in staging technology that we take for granted. From the days of PAR cans and Raylights to the T2 safety truss, and from the Medium Duty truss to Take That's 'Big Man', Chris has applied his enthusiasm and ingenuity to products which have benefited thousands of projects all over the world. Having started his career with James Thomas Engineering in 1978, Chris left to start Tomcat Ltd in 1985, before founding Total Fabrications Ltd (TFL) in 1989, later expanding to become Total Solutions Group (TSG). In all that time,

 
 
Team Leisuretec consolidatesTeam Leisuretec consolidates
Monday, 15 August 2016

UK - On 1August, founder of Leisuretec Distribution Ltd. Mike Henden officially took back the position of managing director following the departure of Cliff Dounting from the company. Mike Henden commented, "I would like to thank Cliff for his contribution towards the success of the company since he joined us in 2007 and wish him the best of health and happiness for the future."

Cliff Dounting commented, "I want to thank the people that have made my journey so special and I will miss working with such a great bunch of colleagues that make up Team Leisuretec."

Mike Henden further commented, "Our business has seen many market and economic changes over the last 26 years and inevitably personnel come and go as well. I am proud to say that I have always reinvested in Leisuretec to ensure that it is robust and does not rely too heavily on one or two single aspects, whether it be customers, markets, brands or indeed people. We have fondly become known as Team Leisuretec and we are exactly that.

"The success of our business is credit to our dedicated management team - Wayne Juggins (commercial), Debbie Scott (accounts), Pete McCorkindale (operations), Charlie Henden (marketing), Rob Davies (External Sales) - and the wider Team Leisuretec. We all strive to provide the best possible service and experience for our customers. Even in the wake of BREXIT, we are continuing to invest. This year, we have already engaged additional personnel in all departments of Leisuretec and we are continuing to recruit for sales, marketing and operations. Our investment in our infrast

 
The focus is on Membership at PLASA AGMThe focus is on Membership at PLASA AGM
Thursday, 11 August 2016

UK - Members of PLASA attending the 2016 AGM at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire were presented with the Association's plans for the next 12 months.

Ed Pagett, formerly managing director of Panalux Broadcast & Event and current chairman of PLASA's Board has led the organisation through very challenging times. In his speech Ed outlined the many changes that have taken place over the last year including bringing in a new managing director following the departure of former CEO Matthew Griffiths, and the demerge from PLASA North America (which has now returned to its former name of ESTA) after four years. This development, said Ed, although not desired by PLASA, had brought fresh clarity and new opportunities for PLASA, but had also resulted in a financial fallout with the North American organisation that has yet to be resolved.

Ed commented, "My role as Chairman has been to navigate the Association back to a position of profitability, strength and, most importantly, into a future that will truly engage our members. A fundamental part of this organisational change has been improving PLASA's financial performance and we have made significant progress in this regard."

He added, "All this has only been possible with the unstinting support of vice-chair, Adam Blaxill of Stage Electrics, our treasurer Martin Hawthorn of Hawthorn, and John Simpson of White Light, who was chair of PLASA's overarching Governing Body prior to the demerge."

These board members have now stepped back from the day-to-day running of the organisation, although their commitment to guiding t

 
 
ESTA announces January 2017 Plugfest eventESTA announces January 2017 Plugfest event
Thursday, 11 August 2016

USA - The ESTA Control Protocols Plugfest, an event where manufacturers and developers can test their products for interoperability with other manufacturers' products, is scheduled to take place 20-23 January 2017, at the Dallas/Fort Worth Marriott Solana in Westlake, Texas. The event is free to attend and everyone is welcome.

The ESTA Control Protocols Plugfest is an educational opportunity for control manufacturers and developers to gather together in person and test their products for interoperability with the latest versions of the Control Protocols Working Group standards. Our goal is to assist you in ensuring that your customer is purchasing products that interoperate and communicate correctly on the same control network.

Attendees may bring controllers, intelligent lights, architectural fixtures, control protocol analyzers, and various other tools. In an effort to look for and resolve interoperability challenges, everything is connected through a central network. People attend from all around the world in an effort to improve their products.

In addition to Remote Device Management (RDM) and DMX512 support, this special January event will be centred on the interoperability of draft standard BSR E1.33 RDMNet implementations and the newly revised ANSI E1.31 sACN protocols.

As Doug Johnson noted: "At the 2016 ESTA RDM Plugfest I was able to engage several people with first-hand experience in both the design and use of RDM enabled products. The format of the Plugfest is easy and informal; show up with your RDM device and whatever support equipment y

 
The Week in Lighting & Sound
Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Edinburgh Rocks - A spectacular light display on the side of Edinburgh Castle marked the opening of the city's International Festival. Dubbed Deep Time, the event, soundtracked by Glasgow post-rock band Mogwai, saw the landmark used as a canvas for animated projections taking in 350 million years of history. A planned live stream of the event malfunctioned, but spectators hailed the event as an "amazing spectacle". A viewing arena was created on Castle Terrace for the show, which marked the start of Standard Life's three-year sponsorship of the Edinburgh International Festival.

Deep Time was developed by 59 Productions with academics from Edinburgh University and will also look at the work of renowned Edinburgh scientist James Hutton (1726-1797), often referred to as the father of geology. Leo Warner, creative director of 59 Productions, said, "Deep Time gives us an opportunity to build on the success of The Harmonium Project and to create a spectacular event that is more deeply connected to the story of the city." Festival director Fergus Linehan said organisers wanted to "offer the people of Edinburgh and beyond a spectacular start to the summer festival season".

Cultural Affairs - Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund have revealed plans for a new £15m fund to embed culture into communities across the country. Part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's recent white paper, the Great Place Scheme is designed to encourage partnerships between cultural, community and civic organisations. The scheme "wil

 
 
ide Systems opens new online shopide Systems opens new online shop
Tuesday, 9 August 2016

UK - Power distribution specialist ide Systems has launched ide Online (ideonline.co.uk), an online store where customers can buy power distribution equipment. The user-friendly interface and enhanced navigation ensures online orders are quick and easy. Free delivery is available on all orders and, as an introductory offer, all first time orders will qualify for a five per cent discount.

The range of equipment available to buy on the new website includes power distribution units, automatic transfer switches (ATS), site transformers, single and three-phase power cables ranging from 16A-125A, as well as a wide range of electrical accessories.

The new website will also feature an online exclusive in the form of the Vulcan range. This budget range of power distribution units features a high-visibility orange enclosure, making it ideal for outdoor use.

"We've launched ide Online as a one-stop-shop for anyone looking to buy power distribution equipment and electrical accessories," explained Matt Collins, business development manager at ide Systems. "To make ide Online a cost-effective and fast service, we are offering free delivery on all orders as well as a click-and-collect option so customers can order online and collect immediately in-store from centres in Glasgow, London and The Midlands.

"Our free delivery is available on all orders, whether they're £5 or £500 and there is no minimum order quantity. Combine this with our commitment to process orders quickly and minimise lead times, ide Online is a great place for small and medium sized bus

 
PR Live boosts team with three key appointmentsPR Live boosts team with three key appointments
Tuesday, 9 August 2016

UK - Event technical production and rental specialist PR Live has expanded its team with the addition of three new key staff members who joined the south London based company following strong business during the first half of the year.

Dave Gillett joins as head of technical, while Karl Travers and Rhys Williams both come on-board as senior project managers, all bringing a fund of experience, knowledge and excellent contacts to the PR Live equation led by founder and MD, Ian Coull.

Ian comments, "I'm delighted to welcome Dave, Karl and Rhys to PR Live, and we all look forward to the hectic pace continuing for the rest of the year. It's great to attract three people of this calibre to join our excellent and highly committed team who all share our core values, ideas and personality."

Dave Gillett has a decade of industry experience, starting off with a lighting company in Wales and then for another high profile London based events company where he developed his skills as a lighting and video engineer, including the design of complex and sophisticated systems and advising on new technology investments.

Karl Travers brings 20 years of live event industry experience to PR Live involving multiple show formats and design at a number of levels including technical, operational, production, business development and creative.

Rhys Williams rocked straight into the industry after studying stage management at university, starting as a warehouse prep tech and working his way up and across all fields both as a full time employee and a freelance technician.

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