General News

Showforce Stands Up to Cancer with Princess ProductionsShowforce Stands Up to Cancer with Princess Productions
Thursday, 10 November 2016

UK - When this year's Stand Up to Cancer fundraising event was held at Central Hall Westminster on 1st October, a team of Showforce's experienced crew was on-hand to assist with the install and de-rig. Broadcast live on Channel 4, the show included a mix of comedy, music and celebrity appearances. Presenters Davina McCall, Alan Carr and Adam Hills hosted a seven-hour long telethon that raised an impressive £15,700, 222 for Cancer Research.

Working directly for TV production company, Princess Productions Ltd, the Showforce team was onsite from 11th - 22nd October. Crew numbers fluctuated between 14 and 56 per day in the run up to the event and de-rig, with 222 crew shifts amassed in total. The crew were tasked with unloading and setting up all equipment onsite, this included: lighting, rigging, set building, video, sound and carrying out show calls.

Split into two main teams for lighting and set building, the crew assisted Aurora and Scott Fleary with different elements of the build. The lighting team worked with Aurora to install lighting and three large LED screens, along with ensuring powerlocks were in place for the electricians. This team also tested the lighting was working correctly, this included a huge chandelier, consisting of small spheres that was hung above the main stage. The crew assigned to Scott Fleary worked on setting up stages and building structures for the main set, both in the venue and on the additional stage constructed on the roof for Bastille to perform. Following the event, they were responsible for the de-rig of stage flats,

The Week in Lighting & Sound
Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Brexit Fears - More than three quarters of the arts and culture sector believe UK productions will be damaged if freedom of movement within Europe is reduced. The finding comes from a new Arts Council England report, which claims increased administration costs from any further restrictions on movement are "likely to damage" business models across the sector.

The survey asked 1,013 organisations how they thought leaving the European Union would affect the arts in the UK. It reveals that, of 267 applicable responses, 75.3% said this would affect their UK productions by having a negative impact on their ability to bring artists and organisations into the UK. A large number of those surveyed were worried that barriers on bringing artists into the UK would result in a dip in artistic quality. Threats highlighted by arts organisations included "less sharing of skills, ideas and practice, and a less convivial environment for artistic risk".

An Englishman in Paris - Sting is to reopen the Bataclan music venue in Paris the day before the first anniversary of the attack that killed 90 concertgoers. The former Police frontman will perform there on Saturday 12 November. He said he wanted to "remember and honour those who lost their lives" and "to celebrate the life and the music that this historic theatre represents".

The venue has been shut since Islamist gunmen stormed a gig by US rock band Eagles of Death Metal last November. Three heavily armed gunmen wearing suicide vests were part of co-ordinated attacks around Paris on 13 November that killed 130 people

WIcreations celebrates 10 years in styleWIcreations celebrates 10 years in style
Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Belgium - Entertainment engineering specialist WIcreations celebrated its 10th birthday in style over the weekend with a large party for its many fans, friends, clients and acquaintances in home town Heist-op-den-Berg, Belgium.

The company was founded by Hans Willems in 2006 to 'tackle all those challenging, crazy and innovative projects that occur in the industry - with style, flair and imagination'.

Back in 2006 Willems had a big dream, which was to work with like-minded people to realise ambitious projects that pushed the technical envelope and required custom solutions.

Now with 14 full time staff, all with multi-disciplinary knowledge, a team of top project managers, an extensive R&D department, an international portfolio of clients and numerous projects, large and small, standard and esoteric on the CV - there's every reason to celebrate the first decade of WIcreations.

Hans - who has kept the company's independence and spirit intact - has followed his passion and developed a highly successful business.

WIcreations is engaged on a constant stream of eclectic projects from installations to live events and performances, each needing clever elements of customized rigging, flying, lifting, turning and moving objects and systems plus those little touches of ingenuity that make the WI phenomenon so special.

Safety and doing things to inscrutably high standards has always been a core value of WI projects and in addition to all the fabrication and motion control assignments, a unique practical range of off-the-shelf WI products have been develop

Theatreplan becomes Theatreplan Ltd.Theatreplan becomes Theatreplan Ltd.
Monday, 7 November 2016

UK - Theatreplan has announced another key milestone in the company's evolution. With effect from 1 October 2016, Theatreplan LLP has become Theatreplan Ltd. This development comes in the wake of its on-going growth and expansion into new territories.

Theatreplan's seven partners, Michael Atkinson, Paul Connolly, Roger Fox, David Ludlam, Clive Odom, Mathew Smethurst-Evans and John Whitaker have opted to make the transition to limited company status to facilitate the further growth of the group worldwide. The current partners will all become directors in the new organisation.

"Given our current level of expansion, it became clear to me that the next step was to become a limited company," said Paul Connolly who manages the Hong Kong operation. "While the transition will be seamless for our clients, as a limited company we will benefit from fiscal opportunities not previously available to us. I see this as a crucial move to facilitate our continued worldwide growth."

(Jim Evans)

The Week in Lighting & Sound
Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Bat Out of Hell - The Jim Steinman musical Bat Out of Hell will receive its world premiere in the UK next summer at the London Coliseum. Featuring a book by Steinman and Stuart Beattie, with music and lyrics by Steinman, the musical includes songs such as I Would Do Anything for Love and Bat Out of Hell.

Old Gold - Elvis Presley has overtaken Madonna to claim the most number one albums by a solo artist. The Wonder Of You features Elvis' voice above an orchestral score performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. It sold 63,500 copies after being released last week. Elvis' number one albums also span the longest period of time by the same artist. There are 60 years between his first - Elvis Presley Rock N' Roll in 1956 - and this latest release. It comes almost 40 years since he died in August 1977.

Speechless - Bob Dylan says he accepts his Nobel Prize in literature, ending a silence since being awarded the prize earlier this month. He said the honour had left him "speechless", the Nobel Foundation said in a statement. The foundation said it had not yet been decided if the singer would attend the awards ceremony in December. However, Dylan reportedly told The Telegraph he intended to pick up the award in person "if at all possible".

Dead End - New York's Metropolitan Opera halted an afternoon performance after an audience member sprinkled what is suspected to be cremated ashes on to the orchestra. The incident happened during an intermission of Guillaume Tell, prompting anti-terror un

DiGiGo supports new charity BackupDiGiGo supports new charity Backup
Tuesday, 1 November 2016

UK - The annual DiGiCo Rental Company of the Year Quiz saw the pro audio world come together to do battle to claim the title of brainiest audio rental company in the UK.

Amongst the action James 'Al Murray' Gordon and Dave 'white wine for the ladies' Webster guided the teams through the evening with a series of questions that taxed the knowledge of the participants and a raffle, with prizes donated by the teams, that achieved a record breaking result.

Each year, DiGiCo looks to support the industry with the funds raised during the night. This year, the newly re-branded Backup, the Technical Entertainment charity was selected as the recipient. Backup (previously- Behind the Scenes UK) is a UK charity specifically created to give support to anyone working in the Live Events industry who may need it.

DiGiCo has been a long-time advocate of Behind the Scenes UK and when the opportunity came during the summer to relaunch the UK arm as Backup, a British run and supported charity, it was one of the first companies to sign up to give its ongoing support.

Backup trustee Lee Dennison says, "The DiGiCo Quiz night is the UK audio industry's fun night out of the year and DiGiCo really knows how to show everyone a good time. In previous years, there have been around 16 teams and approximately £4,000 raised for charity. But, because of its popularity, there were 27 teams this year and the total amount raised exceeded £12,500. This is a truly amazing amount of money for Backup and we are extremely grateful for the generosity of both the audio industry and

20/20 Productions up for Industry Awards
Thursday, 27 October 2016

UK - Edinburgh-based creative communications, digital, film and event production agency 20/20 Productions has made the shortlist at two top industry awards - The Drum UK Events Awards and the Institute of Internal Communication Scotland (IoIC) ICon Awards.

Recognising excellence in all aspects of internal communications, the prestigious IoIC Icon Awards shortlist includes nominations for three 20/20 Productions employees in the Best Visual Creator, Best Designer and Rising Talent Award: Best Young Communicator categories.

Editor Chuck Cumming has made the Best Visual Creator shortlist for his filming and video work with clients such as Standard Life Investments, Heineken, Tesco Bank and Akzo Nobel.

The Best Designer category includes senior designer Graham Gilhooley following outstanding work with Heineken, Standard Life and Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association.

Producer Marii Stoltsen is nominated for the Rising Talent Award: Best Young Communicator. Having worked with 20/20 Productions since 2013 she has been responsible for the conceptualisation and delivery of a variety of events, video and design projects for some of the agency's biggest clients including Heineken, Standard Life, Tesco Bank and Reed Business Information.

The award-winning agency has also been nominated for the Standard Life CRW Conference 2016 in Conference of the Year and The Scottish IoIC Awards 2016 for Award Scheme of the Year at The Drum UK Event Awards.

Alastair Scott, 20/20 Productions managing director commented, "I am incredibly proud of the hard-working

Showforce secures contract with Dubai Opera
Thursday, 27 October 2016

UAE - Support company Showforce has further cemented its reputation as global leader in the provision of experienced personnel to the entertainment industry by securing a three-year contract with Dubai Opera. The contract covers the provision of all the new venue's temporary event staff and crewing requirements including: stage crew, crew managers, forklift operators, senior console operators, lighting technicians, wardrobe assistants and make-up artists and assistants.

Showforce was awarded the contract following a competitive tender process, where it demonstrated its ability to deliver a global solution that encompasses an unrivalled network of specialised staff. Showforce's ethos complements Dubai Opera's multi-format event space - versatile and flexible. As the first venue of its kind in the Middle East, it can be transformed into a theatre, concert hall or flat floor event space.

Any successful venue requires an experienced and professional team to assist with changeovers, production builds and de-rigs and temporary staff for show days. Showforce was able to offer "the highest levels of professional standards and capabilities across a range of disciplines, demonstrating their ability to adapt and change and continually push and define the boundaries of excellence".

Dubai Opera, is the first of its kind with the UAE, hosting an incredible array of world-class talent, with opera, ballet and classical music concerts and productions at the core. Dubai Opera will also stage musical theatre, fashion shows, jazz, comedy, family shows and a full range of liv

WIcreations finds Epica solution
Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Europe - Belgian entertainment engineering specialist WIcreations was tasked with creating a neat and novel piece of technical wizardry for Coen Janssen, keyboardist with acclaimed Dutch symphonic rock band Epica who wanted to be able to move his keyboards up, down, along and around the stage throughout their energetic live performances.

WI's project manager Koen Peeters was initially approached by Epica's lighting designer Erwin van Lokeren - familiar with WI's work on various projects - and asked to propose a robust, reliable and tourable solution to enable Coen to whizz around the stage.

With only three weeks from receiving the order to delivering the finished completely bespoke product to the band in time for the start of a new world tour campaign for their seventh studio album, The Holographic Principal, WI designed and fabricated two different systems to suit different venue / stage sizes and scenarios.

Coen Janssen takes up the story, "As a band we are known for thinking 'out-of-the-box' and had toyed around with the idea of a track for the keyboards to take my setup around the stage and enhance my stage-act as a whole.

"As it has never been done before, we needed a company with enough experience and imagination to realise an idiosyncratic request. We asked around a bit and came up with only one name - Wicreations."

One system is a complete riser built from 15 sections with a fully integrated 10m U-shaped track, into which the bottom of the keyboard stand pillar is guided, allowing Coen to freely move the keyboard rig along the track at the

CAST Group's CEO and BlackTrax among Canada's finest innovatorsCAST Group's CEO and BlackTrax among Canada's finest innovators
Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Canada - Gilray Densham, owner and CEO of CAST Group, has won an Ernest C. Manning Innovation Award, a prestigious innovation award in Canada.

Densham has been awarded the David E. Mitchell Award of Distinction, the second highest achievement of the Ernest C. Manning Innovation Awards, and a sum of $25,000 in recognition for BlackTrax real-time motion tracking system that offers production professionals with six degrees of freedom, including 3D and rotation.

To date, BlackTrax has been used in many of the world's most dynamic and exciting projects ranging from Cirque du Soleil productions, Marvel Universe LIVE! and Disney on Ice. It is also currently part of the Harry Potter production in London's West End.

Densham established CAST Group 22 years ago and the current portfolio includes BlackTrax realtime motion tracking system, wysiwyg lighting design and previsualisation software and Vivien virtual event designer. Each company has made an array of cutting-edge technologies designed to enhance artists' performances in the entertainment and production industry.

Densham and BlackTrax have employed local people training them on the latest visual technologies, working in a global economy and creating valuable knowledge resources and money back into the Canadian economy.

Densham's creativity and ingenuity allows artists to bring their vision to life on stage. During his previous 20 years as a lighting assistant with Canadian Broadcasting (CBC), he learned the intricacies of lighting design and installation and began developing technologies that would im

The Week in Lighting & Sound
Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Blowin' In The Wind - Bob Dylan's failure to acknowledge his Nobel Prize in literature is "impolite and arrogant", according to a member of the body that awards it. The 75-year-old singer was named the shock winner of the prize last week. But all efforts by the Swedish Academy to contact him have failed, and he has not acknowledged the win in public.

Academy member Per Wastberg told Swedish television, "He is who he is," adding that there was little surprise Dylan had ignored the news. We were aware that he can be difficult and that he does not like appearances when he stands alone on the stage," he told Sweden's Dagens Nyheter newspaper in a separate interview. A reference to the prize was removed from Dylan's website last week. It is still not known if he will travel to Stockholm to receive the prize on 10 December. If he does not, a ceremony marking his career will go ahead as planned.

Musical Airs - A new radio station dedicated to musical theatre launches this week. Encore Radio will feature presenters including Duncan James from boy band Blue and former Classic FM presenter Jamie Crick. Crick will also be content director for the station, which is available online and on digital. Listeners can also access the station via an app.

The station will feature music from shows such as Matilda, Wicked and Hamilton, and its schedule will feature broadcasts from opening nights, backstage news and interviews, alongside reviews of shows. The station is being backed by radio group UKRD, which owns and operates 14 local commerci

Hilton Arts Festival 2016 successHilton Arts Festival 2016 success
Tuesday, 25 October 2016

South Africa - The Hilton Arts Festival 2016 was once again a resounding success, Sue Clarence's diverse programme had festival goers spoilt for choice. The pick of South African Theatre was represented across all genres from John Kani directing his son in Sizwe Bansi is Dead to the one man masterpiece Dead Yellow Sands featuring the talented Graham Weir.

For those fortunate to see it the South Korean production Dallae's Story was the pick of the festival, a delicate and tender story told through the medium of mime and puppetry. Grahamstown Ovation award winners Graveyard and crowd favourite The Snow Goose were also well received.

Black Coffee, the technical suppliers for the festival once again outdid themselves. Brandon Bunyan (Mr. Black Coffee), for the second year running exposed a selection of COPA (Centre Of Performing Arts) students to the industry. While some struggled to adapt to the demands of the festival, others grew wings and by the end of the festival had most of the experienced technicians taking notice of them.

Black Coffee and DWR will award the two most enterprising and hard-working students, as voted for by the venue technicians, with a prize for their commitment and dedication.

DWR's Michael Taylor-Broderick, the festival's technical director believes that it is festival director Sue Clarence's insistence on the technical aspects being top notch that makes the event so successful. "It is a huge honour to have a legend like Mannie Manim and the hugely creative Wilhelm Disbergen lighting productions at the

Robe enjoys busy award winning LDIRobe enjoys busy award winning LDI
Tuesday, 25 October 2016

USA - Robe enjoyed an action-packed LDI expo in Las Vegas, this year all the more memorable for collecting a 2016 Parnelli award in the indispensable Lighting Technology category for the successful BMFL WashBeam luminaire.

Robe highlighted two new products for the first time at a U.S. exhibition - the Spiider LED wash beam - "the next big thing" from the Czech manufacturer, and Halo, an ingenious new LED 'pixel technology' device. Also new was the Spikie, a small, super-fast LED wash beam.

The full BMFL range of high powered signature moving lights, popular in the US, were also prominent on the stand, together with the elegant DL series of potent LED luminaires designed specifically for the demanding worlds of theatre and performance. The arty and scenic PATT range of retro-styled tungsten lights additionally made an impact.

Much anticipated, 42 x Spiiders and 31 x Spikies were the visual centrepiece of a special lightshow running every hour, each time attracting massive crowds to the booth, further ramping up the Robe buzz.

The eye-catching theatrical booth concept that has featured at all of Robe's major trade exhibitions this year was continued, customized for LDI with a Broadway street theme, complete with New York soundscape, news stand, a bar for happy hours, warm Czech hospitality, cookies and other fun elements encouraging a great atmosphere.

Two demonstration areas integrated into the main booth and meeting area were in constant operation throughout the show, allowing visitors to take a closer look at products of interest.

Robe's own

The Week . . .
Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Serious Impacts - Theatre figures have condemned the "catastrophic" reduction of arts education in schools, claiming it is having serious impacts on the diversity of the theatre industry. Curve artistic director Nikolai Foster led criticisms of the shrinking emphasis on creative education, claiming that "pathways" in place several decades ago have now disappeared. "Twenty-five or 30 years ago . . . in schools there were teachers who were encouraged, because of a curriculum, to share these great plays, these great stories. There were drama clubs, dance classes. Drama GCSEs and A Levels, theatre studies - these were subjects that the teachers were able to teach freely and speak about passionately, and have value for the students," Foster said. He was speaking as part of a panel on training opportunities at a diversity conference held in Leicester, at Curve. Foster continued, "It seems more and more nowadays that, apart from the syllabus being shrunk, a lot of students are channelled into a more academic route . . . Because of funding being squeezed, fewer young people can know that there is a drama club, or know that there's a youth theatre. That's the very first seed, and there's a barrier." Reality Cheque - Harry Shearer is taking legal action against entertainment group Vivendi, claiming it has denied him and others profits from 1984's This is Spinal Tap. Shearer accuses Vivendi, which acquired the film in 1989, of conducting a "fraudulent campaign" to hide revenues. According to Vivendi, the actor claims he and his co-creators were entitled to just

Claypaky launches new brand imageClaypaky launches new brand image
Monday, 17 October 2016

Italy - Claypaky has launched its new image - a brand new logo and new way of writing the company's name (Claypaky rather than Clay Paky). The first public event Claypaky will attend with its new identity will be LDI in Las Vegas from 21 to 23 October.

"The need for modernity sometimes requires a break with tradition," says CEO Pio Nahum. "This does not mean betraying the ideals with which the company was founded and has grown in the past forty years. However, the way we see it, it does mean being in step with the times including purely from the point of view of brand image, with our eyes firmly fixed on technological progress, innovation and the future."

(Jim Evans)

Penn Elcom expands cable & rack manufacturingPenn Elcom expands cable & rack manufacturing
Thursday, 13 October 2016

UK - Penn Elcom has expanded the capacity of its specialist cable and 19 inch rack manufacturing facility in Hastings, east Sussex, UK, with a substantial investment in new cable cutting and stripping machinery from market leaders Schleuniger. This will bring the cable technology and production up to the highest levels.

A bespoke built laser etching machine has also been designed and installed for adding logos, letters, numbers and other customisations to aluminium and steel rack panels, giving Penn the ability to offer further flexibility to its clients.

The move is in response to an increased demand for both standard and bespoke cable and rack manufacturing products and services after the launch of the Penn Elcom Online global web portal in January of this year. A boost in international business is seeing cables, leads and racks being shipped worldwide.

"We want to ensure that with this ramp up we continue delivering all our products and cable solutions to the highest quality standards in the quickest turnaround times for which the Penn brand is renowned," confirms Penn Elcom's Rob Platt.

These state-of-the-art precision machines will help streamline the workflow, maximise efficiency and underline Penn Elcom's dedication and commitment to delivering premium customer service.

The Schleuniger PF2200 Electric Demand Pre-feeder is a free-standing, electrical pre-feeding machine designed to pull wire and cable from reels and works in conjunction with the MS9480 Cut & Strip machine, one of the most versatile cut & strip platforms available. The two ma

The Week in Lighting & Sound
Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Sold Out - Glastonbury 2017 sold out in 50 minutes on Sunday morning - with a reported 2m applying for the 135,000 tickets available - and the usual complaints regarding problems in access-ing the ticket website. "We have, once again, been blown away by the incredible number of people from around the planet who hoped to come to the festival, with demand significantly outstripping supply," said the organisers in a statement. Next year's event will take place from 21-25 June, with the line-up not being announced by organisers until early 2017. Daft Punk and Kraftwerk have been tipped as potential headliners.

Old Gold - The first leg of the much-hyped Desert Trip festival took place over the weekend, with The Rolling Stones, The Who, Roger Waters, Paul McCartney and Neil Young taking to the stage in California. Organised by the people behind Coachella - and dubbed #Oldchella by some of the music press - the event was particularly dignified, with wood-panelled, flushable toilets for the 75,000-strong audience. The weekend's highlight came when Paul McCartney brought Neil Young out on stage to duet on the Beatles classic A Day in the Life, which segued into John Lennon's Give Peace A Chance.

Flying Pig - Roger Waters made his feelings about Donald Trump abundantly clear during his performance at the festival. As the 73-year-old performed the Pink Floyd song Pigs, Mr Trump's face appeared on the massive video screen above the stage. Meanwhile, a parade-sized balloon shaped like a pig floated above the audience.

Northern Sou

Suzanne Wynne joins Gerriets GB as head of sales
Tuesday, 11 October 2016

UK - Gerriets GB Ltd has appointed Suzanne Wynne to its London office as the company's new head of sales.

A familiar face to many, Suzanne has over 20 years of experience within the industry working with textiles and associated products, servicing theatre, hospitality, special projects and the Event sectors.

Gerriets GB Ltd based in London are suppliers of theatrical curtains and flame retardant fabrics, track systems, screens and stage equipment.

(LSi Online)

Wenger Corporation in talks to acquire SECOA
Monday, 10 October 2016

USA - Wenger Corporation of Owatonna, Minn., and SECOA, Inc. of Champlin, Minn have announced that they are in advanced talks to combine the two companies.

Under the proposal, the combined entity would be wholly owned and operated by Wenger. The shared vision of Wenger - including its subsidiary J.R. Clancy - and SECOA is to "provide a superior value proposition featuring the highest quality products and services for all stakeholders in the performing arts industry".

A statement continues, "After conducting exploratory conversations, the leadership teams of both organizations became excited about the synergies that exist, both strategic and tactical, with the combination of the businesses. By aligning the SECOA, Wenger and J.R. Clancy brands, Wenger expects to reinforce its position as a unique global provider of the broadest array of solutions in the industry. This transaction would mark another milestone in Wenger's continuing commitment to provide the most comprehensive offering of innovative products, project management, superior installation, and aftermarket services in the industry.

"Both companies plan to work diligently to effectively communicate and execute transition plans with their employees as well as external partners and other key influencers in the industry. The companies expect to finalize the transaction over the next six weeks."

(Jim Evans)

5 Star opens manufacturing facility in China
Friday, 7 October 2016

China - Flightcase manufacturer 5 Star Cases has opened a new factory in Fenggang Town, Dongguan City, Guandong Province, China.

Established to run in parallel with the UK manufacturing base in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, the new 5 Star China operation will primarily service the burgeoning domestic Chinese and wider Asian markets which are demanding high quality products - for which it's simply not practical to ship from the UK.

The idea has been on the horizon for some time explains 5 Star's MD Keith Sykes, but several elements needed to fall in line before the plan could be successfully implemented.

Running the new 1000 metre plus production facility will be 5 Star's local business partner James Zhang, a well-known, respected and highly successful entrepreneur who manages other manufacturing companies in the town, including travel bag / handbag and polythene carrier bag factories. He will initially work with a full time staff of around 15 at the plant.

The intention, explained Keith, is to mimic the UK operation as closely as possible in terms of the quality of products, innovative design, an inclusive management style and the rigorous application of health and safety standards.

A new large format CNC machine is at the heart of the manufacturing which will be the key system for producing accurate cut panels for the majority of the case products.

As well as delivering efficiently and cost effectively to 5 Star's existing clients, the strategy and the goal also is also very much to generate new business. They are also seeking potential OEM partne

Hawthorn invests in d3 server technologyHawthorn invests in d3 server technology
Thursday, 6 October 2016

UK - Creative technical production expert Hawthorn is continuing to expand its video department and increase its presence in the dry hire sector with a recent investment in d3 server technology.

Due to an increasing demand for projection mapping and large-scale content, Hawthorn has added four d3 4x4pro media servers to its already extensive hire inventory, representing an investment of £200,000.

The d3 4

The Week in Lighting & Sound
Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Crucial Opportunities - Policymakers in the UK and China are being called upon to exploit possibilities for cultural collaboration, as part of a report claiming "crucial opportunities" exist for both countries. The report, published by the Department for International Trade and cultural organisation BOP Consulting, claims that the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote has moved collaborations with non-European countries such as China further up the UK's agenda.

However, fostering short-term or profit-led relationships are unlikely to succeed, the report argues, highlighting the emphasis should be on building a long-term, sustained collaboration between the two nations. Recent projects to build collaborations between the UK and China have included a Chinese-language production of War Horse, produced by the National Theatre of China in collaboration with the UK's National Theatre. Last year, organisations such as Shakespeare's Globe and the NT were awarded a share of £7m of government funds aimed at strengthening cultural ties with China.

The Big O - It's worked for Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, N.W.A. and Hank Williams - and now Roy Orbison is to have his life portrayed on the big screen. The surviving family of the singer of songs like Pretty Woman and Only the Lonely have given their blessing to The Big O: Roy Orbison - which apparently makes it the first estate-authorised movie biopic.

Ray Gideon & Bruce Evans have been set to write the script and Alex Orbison, Roy Orbison Jr, and Wesley Orbison will be exec producers. Tho

Elation Cuepix Panels go mad in MadridElation Cuepix Panels go mad in Madrid
Thursday, 29 September 2016

Spain - Mad Cool Festival is a new rock and pop music festival in Spain that debuted 16-18 June at the Caja Magica tennis grounds in Madrid. With a line-up that included Neil Young, The Who and The Prodigy, and a three-day attendance that topped 100,000, Mad Cool is off to an impressive start.

Madrid-based PRG Spain was responsible for the audiovisual production for the festival's three main stages and incorporated Elation Professional's Cuepix Panel LED matrices into the design for Stage Three, a 10,000-capacity stage located inside the main tennis court arena.

"The Mad Cool Festival has been one of our biggest productions this summer with 98 staff from PRG Spain, one full day of set-up and another of lighting, video and sound rehearsals prior to the three days of concerts," said PRG's Francisco 'Pako' Palazon, head of production and lighting design for the three main stages. "We have a stock of 60 Cuepix Panel units and they get used constantly. At Mad Cool we made use of 11 Cuepix Panels as audience blinders at Stage Three."

Stage Three was host to an eclectic mix of international acts like Bastille, The Kills, Flume and Django Django among others, alongside popular Spanish bands like 091, L.A., Leon Benavente and Xoel Lopez. Head of lighting for Stage Three was Gonzalo Plecel, who created the lighting looks and worked as lighting control operator for some of the bands playing there.

He commented, "The Cuepix Panel units were positioned individually alongside the front truss-line above the stage. The different lighting designers that worked here wi

Powersoft helps boost Bardentreffen's island themePowersoft helps boost Bardentreffen's island theme
Thursday, 29 September 2016

Germany - Powersoft's flagship amplifiers were out in force recently at the annual Bardentreffen Festival in Nuremberg - one of a number of successful deployments around the world during the busy festival system.

For the second consecutive year, Powersoft partner Barowski AG provided sound reinforcement for the main stage, situated on the Hauptmarkt in front of the city's main town hall, bidding successfully for the contract, issued by organisers, the City of Nuremberg.

Billed as "Germany's largest world music festival", and attracting more than 200,000 visitors over the three days, for its 41st edition, Bardentreffen focused on a variety of music from around the globe under the theme Sounds of the Islands.

Barowski AG had first fielded their X8 racks for the 2015 edition, but according to Michael Barowski, chairman of the board, they increased their inventory for this year. "We now have five X8 racks and an additional X4 touring set," he said. "Each amp in our rental stock occupies a single rack for maximum flexibility."

In addition to the X4/X8, the production company also deployed additional Powersoft amps for other applications, such as driving delays and near-fill speakers.

The main PA in this case consisted of EV X-Line, with further EV Xi-series enclosures deployed for out-fill and near-fill duties as well as drum-fill on stage. Other monitor speakers included wedges from Rocksound and L-Acoustics.

The move to Powersoft had been carefully thought-out. "We spent a lot of time researching how to replace our stock of different amps and con


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