General News

The Week in Lighting & Sound
Tuesday, 13 December 2016

No Surprise - Reports from the US suggest Donald Trump is struggling to find A-list stars to perform at his inauguration. When President Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009, he was serenaded by Beyonce and Aretha Franklin. During his stay in the White House, he's had audiences with the likes of Rihanna, James Taylor and Kendrick Lamar.

According to US news website The Wrap, Trump's inaugural committee is scrambling to find stars who are willing to play at his swearing in ceremony on 20 January 2017.

"They're calling managers, agents, everyone in town to see who they can get and it's been problematic," an unnamed source told the site. Grammy-winner John Legend, who has been a guest of the Obamas several times, says he is "not surprised at all". "Creative people tend to reject bigotry and hate," he told the BBC. "We tend to be more liberal-minded. When we see somebody that's preaching division and hate and bigotry, it's unlikely he'll get a lot of creative people that want to be associated with him."

That's Life - Contemporary theatre festival Mayfest has been forced to cancel next year's event due to funding issues, and will move to becoming a biennial offering from 2018. Organisers of the annual festival, which takes place in Bristol, said they had not been able to raise the required funding to put on the festival in 2017.

Mayfest is a city-wide festival, with performances in theatres and non-theatre spaces such as the Tobacco Factory Theatres and modern art gallery Arnolfini. The programme runs for 11 days and features international co

Power specialist targets Australian marketPower specialist targets Australian market
Monday, 12 December 2016

UK / Australia - Power distribution specialist, ide Systems, is branching out to Australia with its range of British-made power distribution equipment. The equipment includes distribution units, transfer switches and power cables for sectors that need temporary power such as events and exhibitions, construction, healthcare, industrial and offshore.

The company started the expansion with its recent delivery of an Australian order for a range of bespoke 400A power distribution boards. Ide Systems responded with the prompt delivery of the customised product. The client chose ide Systems specifically because of its high-quality products made in Britain and its reputation across the UK.

The company has adapted many of its electrical products destined for the Australian market, such as using the red, white, dark blue and black colours for power cable insulation. With 22 years of experience, customising and delivering power distribution products, the company is ideally placed for the individual challenges of the worldwide market.

"We knew from our research that the quality and cost of power equipment is a big issue in the Australian market and this is one of the reasons we targeted the country," explained Matt Collins, business development manager at ide Systems. "A lot of the power distribution equipment in Australia comes from one of its nearest manufacturing nations, China, where quality isn't always up to standard.

"Because Australia's electrical standards and principles are very similar to ours here in the UK and because we can match interna

DWR establishes freelancers' charityDWR establishes freelancers' charity
Wednesday, 7 December 2016

South Africa - DWR is setting up a charity organization aimed at freelancers. When freelancers fall ill, injure themselves or sometimes even pass away, it puts their family under immense pressure.

This charity will hopefully help a few people, on a merit basis, with basic assistance. This can either be in the form of helping to pay for school fees for a few months, maybe cover the rent, or providing grocery hampers. Each case will be submitted to the charity where a board will decide who we can assist and how.

Says DWR, "At the end of each year, DWR Distribution usually take pleasure in giving our clients gifts. This year, instead, we will use the money we would have used to buy presents to kick start the charity. It's something we believe will make a difference to someone who may find themselves in trouble when times are low. DWR will initiate the charity by donating R150 000 to the fund."

"When DiGiCo's Ian Staddon recently visited South Africa, he made us aware of a similar charity that runs in England and which DiGiCo supports," said Duncan Riley of DWR. "The people of South Africa are very generous and I believe we can do something as successful here. For technicians working for a company, there is often medical aid or some form of support. It's so sad to hear when something tragic or unexpected happens to a freelancer and there's no one else to help.

"Exciting events are in the pipeline in the New Year to raise funds for the project. We hope the industry will join in the fun as the charity hosts comedy evenings, go-karting races or golf days."

The Week in Lighting & Sound
Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Diplomatic Spat - South Korean pop stars appear to have become pawns in an escalating diplomatic spat between Seoul and Beijing over the deployment of an American missile defence system.

Entertainers from the colourful Korean music scene, K-pop, have been mysteriously barred from entering China to perform, Korean TV shows and films have been blocked, and actors replaced by Chinese stars in advertising campaigns, say local press reports.

Wembley Bound - Adele has added two further dates at Wembley Stadium next year, after the initial concerts sold out. Dubbed The Finale, the four shows will see her play to more than 300,000 fans as she wraps up her world tour. The new shows will be on 28 June and 2 July, 2017, with tickets on sale from 7 December to members of her fan club.

Take That hold the record for playing the most dates at Wembley, having staged eight nights of their Progress tour there in 2011. The previous record holder was Michael Jackson, who brought his Bad tour to the stadium five times in 1988.

Artists' Rights - Duran Duran have said they are "outraged and saddened" at losing a High Court fight to reclaim US rights to some of their most famous songs. "We are shocked that English contract law is being used to overturn artists' rights in another territory," said founder member Nick Rhodes. The group had argued that US copyright laws gave them the right to call for a reversion of copyright after 35 years. Girls on Film, Rio and A View to a Kill were among the disputed tracks.

Late News - David Bow

Annalise Hodgson joins DWR DistributionAnnalise Hodgson joins DWR Distribution
Tuesday, 6 December 2016

South Africa - DWR Distribution has announced the appointment of Annalise Hodgson who will lend a helping hand to Duncan Riley as a much-needed assistant.

Annalise previously worked at sound company Tadco before joining Christie Digital Systems as office manager. Her joined DWR Distribution at the start of December. "It's a great team and I will find my feet, once I've done the filing," she says. "I am so excited to be here."

Duncan Riley adds, "It's an honour and a privilege to have Annalise as part of our team. I wish her many happy years. I'm hoping that her input will mean I can spend more time with my family."

(Jim Evans)

Dick Tee honoured at UK Festival AwardsDick Tee honoured at UK Festival Awards
Monday, 5 December 2016

UK - EnTEEtainment's Dick Tee received the award for Outstanding Contribution to Festivals at the UK Festival Awards, London, 28 November 2016.

Over 600 festival professionals headed to The Roundhouse to celebrate the hard work, vision and creativity of the UK festival industry in an award ceremony hosted by DJ and music journalist, Mary Anne Hobbs. Dick Tee was honoured with

The Outstanding Contribution Award which was presented to him by Greenpeace's Bob Wilson, Dick's first client, who said, "This award recognises Dick's consistent high levels of production management across a career spanning three and a half decades in the live events industry. Anyone who has worked with him will recognise he has never been one to rest on his laurels. By always striving for new and better ways to do things, Dick has been bold in introducing a variety of production innovations which have changed the industry for the better."

In his 35-year career, Dick has worked at over 200 festivals, most notably Glastonbury and Reading. On receiving the award he "thanked the members of his family, staff, and numerous suppliers who had contributed to building and managing the sites, stage builds and ensuring 1,000s of band's production deliver performances on the day to entertain over seven million people."

(Jim Evans)

Maestra Dubai grows the teamMaestra Dubai grows the team
Thursday, 1 December 2016

UAE - Event technical production specialist Maestra Dubai has added two new key management personnel - Richard Kleinsmit, who will be looking after operations and Patrick Maxwell who is in charge of the new warehouse, with both an integral part of the team led by managing partner Tom Clements.

The appointments happen simultaneously to the company's move to new premises which more than doubles Maestra Dubai's warehouse facility.

"I'm very excited to welcome two people of Richard and Patrick's calibre on-board at the same time," comments Tom Clements. "They both bring a huge amount of experience and some great personality attributes to our team. They share and appreciate our core values and I look forward to a very positive and productive working relationship going forward."

Richard comes from Cape Town in South Africa where he gained extensive knowledge in the event and brand activation world through freelancing and then owning and running his own successful company LymeLyte Events. He came to Dubai seeking new horizons three years ago.

Immediately before joining Maestra, Patrick worked as a Service Manager for PRG-Gearhouse, so he is well acquainted with a busy and fast-moving technically advanced workspace - and is calm under pressure.

"The new warehouse and these two appointments will help us continue delivering the optimum end-product to clients," concludes Tom.

(Jim Evans)

The Week in Lighting & Sound
Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Trumped - Sir Elton John will not perform at Donald Trump's presidential inauguration, a spokeswoman for the singer has said. Anthony Scaramucci, a member of Trump's transition team, had told BBC HARDtalk that Sir Elton would perform in Washington DC in January. "Elton John is going to be doing our concert on the mall for the inauguration," Mr Scaramucci said. But this was "categorically denied" by Sir Elton's representative in London. "There is no truth in this at all," she told BBC News.

During the election campaign, Sir Elton had expressed support for Mr Trump's opponent, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Performing at a fundraising event for Mrs Clinton in Los Angeles in October, he was reported to have told the crowd, "We need a humanitarian in the White House, not a barbarian."

Mr Trump had used Sir Elton's songs Rocket Man and Tiny Dancer - without the singer's endorsement - at his campaign rallies.

The Road to Wembley - Adele has announced two dates at Wembley Stadium next summer to round off her multi-million pound world tour. The singer announced the concerts in an Instagram video, where she sang football anthem Three Lions as well as the Match of the Day theme song.

Dubbed The Finale, the performances will see her play to more than 150,000 fans on 29 June and 1 July 2017. Wembley Stadium has not announced any other events planned for that week, raising the prospect that Adele may add further concerts if demand is high enough. Launching in Belfast on Leap Day, Adele's first world tour has

Theatres Trust launches Urgent Repairs Scheme
Tuesday, 29 November 2016

UK - Theatres Trust has announced an Urgent Repairs Scheme, a new fund set up in partnership with the Wolfson Foundation. Theatres in need of immediate repair and maintenance, and which could otherwise face closure, will be able to apply for grants of up to £15,000.

The scheme is open to all theatres operating a year-round programme of live performance. Theatres that are not statutory listed will need to demonstrate the architectural significance of their building. Two funding rounds will take place in 2017, closing on 15 March and on 16 September.

Interim director at Theatres Trust, Rebecca Morland says, "Over the last few years we have become increasingly aware of the challenges facing theatres in terms of maintenance and repair. When budgets are tight, theatres often find it difficult to prioritise adequate spending on repairs and this leaves them vulnerable to unforeseen issues. The Urgent Repairs Scheme will support theatres that can demonstrate that without such repairs their operation is placed at risk. We would urge theatres to contact us in advance of applying to discuss their proposals."

Wolfson Foundation has long been providing capital funding to the cultural sector, supporting museums and galleries, historic sites, educational institutions and performing arts organisations. Since the beginning of the year Theatres Trust has been working with the Foundation to develop a scheme focussing on smaller, regional theatres, complementing the Foundation's existing funding programme and building on the knowledge and expertise of Theatres Trust. 2

Behind the Scenes launches BTS Counselling Fund
Tuesday, 29 November 2016

USA - Behind the Scenes has announced the creation of a new granting programme, the BTS Counselling Fund, which is designed to provide early access to mental health and addiction counselling for entertainment technology professionals by assisting with the associated financial burdens.

Behind the Scenes was approached earlier this year by Karen Sherman with the idea of creating the fund, "I'm a choreographer whose day job is as a stage technician; I've worked both sides of the stage for over 20 years. Stage technicians tend to view themselves as invincible, working as they do in a physically demanding, dangerous industry that shuts them away in a darkened theatre for days, nights and weekends, and through it all asks them to remain unseen and unheard. While depression, anxiety, and substance abuse occur across every profession, many aspects of the stage production industry reinforce these problems."

A few years ago, Karen began working on a piece called Soft Goods to highlight this issue. Structured as a live load-in, tech, and rehearsal for a show that never happens, she has developed it in collaboration with an ensemble of technicians and dancers, all of whom appear in the performance in their actual roles. Soft Goods has been co-commissioned by the Walker Art Centre (Minneapolis), P.S. 122 (NYC), and the Centre for the Art of Performance at UCLA (Los Angeles). The Walker, where Soft Goods premieres 8-10 December, will be donating a portion of the proceeds from each ticket sale to seed the fund.

Karen commented, "Most people think of

ACSP technology at Reach Academy FelthamACSP technology at Reach Academy Feltham
Tuesday, 29 November 2016

UK - A.C. Special Projects Ltd. (ACSP) has supplied and installed a bespoke entertainment technology system to Reach Academy Feltham - a pioneering, all-through free school for pupils aged four to 18 in Hounslow, west London.

The school approached ACSP with a brief for a fully flexible lighting, video and sound system for its main hall - which is used for a wide array of events, including plays, dance shows, presentations, social functions and workshops. The system had to be user-friendly and intuitive, so that teaching staff and pupils could work it with ease.

In practice, ACSP managed the entire project. As well as devising a bespoke technical solution, the company supplied and installed it - subsequently providing training for school staff and ongoing technical support.

ACSP Director, Lance Bromhead felt that the high-performance ProLights lighting range would offer the best results within the school's budget. For the main stage area, he installed four Diamond 7 LED washers, the smallest luminaire in the Diamond range. These washers are complemented by two bigger, more powerful Diamond 19 LED washers.

The rig also includes six ProLights Crystal spot moving-heads and an EVO190ETU LED profiler which is capable of replacing traditional profilers equipped with 750W HPL lamps.

This lighting system is controlled by a Jands Vista S1 console. The intuitive, graphical user interface allows students and teachers to concentrate on the creativity and design of their show lighting, rather than deal with complicated lighting programming. The Vista software h

IBS celebrates 20 Years in DubaiIBS celebrates 20 Years in Dubai
Thursday, 24 November 2016

UAE - The IBS (International Building Services) Group celebrates 20 years at the top of the entertainment production industry in Dubai, having gained a solid reputation for building ambitious bespoke sets, providing detailed and elaborate décor as well as specialist draping and soft goods.

The company is headed by Alan Scoley and embraces all types of events from high profile corporate activations to live performances, cultural shows to conferences and exhibitions to lavish weddings.

There are three directors in addition to CEO Alan - Scott Davies, Nigel Smith and Terry Murtha. Alan is the only one involved in the daily operation, while Terry is busy heading up UK based drapes, soft goods, video and special FX S+H Technical Services together with other ventures.

Twenty years ago, they had a collective hunch that Dubai had all the ingredients to become a major player in the world of events. Their vision and willingness to take some risk and make key commitments has clearly paid off, as the company has thrived over two decades and robustly survived the economic dips.

Over the same time period Dubai has expanded dramatically, become a pulsating global metropolis and epicentre for events of all types - sporting, cultural, corporate and industrial etc.

IBS now has 86 full time employees bringing a dynamic mix of international cultures, vibrancy and energy to an impressive office and warehouse facility in Dubai's Investment Park. This is fully owned and has been customised to meet current needs and maximise an efficient and streamlined operation.

The Week in Lighting & Sound
Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Off The Campaign Trail - While the American Music Awards is designed to celebrate the best in US music, many artists instead took the opportunity to comment on the election of Donald Trump. Green Day were perhaps the most vocal group on the night. During a pyrotechnic-filled performance, they turned their track Bang Bang into an anti-Trump song. President-elect Trump has previously declared himself a fan of the punk rock group's work, having seen their musical American Idiot and describing it as "excellent".

Sting took home a lifetime achievement award and his acceptance speech seemed to make reference to current affairs. Rock music is "perhaps America's greatest and most influential export," he said, before saying the genre has been "always open to all colours in the spirit of welcome and inclusion". He added, "A mixing of culture, of rhythm and passion is what made this country the greatest country in the world."

The AMA hosts - model Gigi Hadid and Saturday Night Live comedian Jay Pharoah - made multiple jokes and comments at Donald Trump's expense. Bruno Mars, who was born in Hawaii and has roots in Puerto Rica and the Philippines, performed at the ceremony in Los Angeles. "I love Bruno Mars. I don't know what colour he is, so I can't deport him," Pharoah said, imitating Trump's distinctive voice.

Bristol Fashion - Bristol is to be branded a national centre of arts technology after a new deal was struck between Arts Council England and the University of the West of England. The two bodies will work together across the next

PRG Alliance names partner for IndiaPRG Alliance names partner for India
Friday, 18 November 2016

India - With ever increasing demands for events in India, the PRG Alliance has announced a new partner in the region. The new addition to the membership of the PRG Alliance is passionate about great results and meticulous in execution.

DynaMix Media is a company recognized in India for their remarkable contribution to events and entertainment, having introduced the 270 degrees projection format to corporate presentations, and the first 300' wide projection to the local market.

The company has a growing number of immersive projection and projection mapping jobs under their belt. DynaMix Media was founded in 2005 and is led by Mr. Suresh Madan. The company brings to PRG Alliance its vast understanding of video playback and networking systems, and its one-stop rental shop and services across India - offering complete services in video, audio, lighting, trussing, project management and content design.

"Our position in the Indian market is not only that of a company capable of delivering complex audiovisual projects, but also one which is attentive to international standards in processes and safety. It is a constant effort for us to implement these aspects in projects in India, but slowly the clients are accepting this is the right path. We know that PRG Alliance has the same principles and tapping into this great resource and knowledge pool will be very beneficial for our company," declares Suresh Madan, founder & CTO of DynaMix Media.

This attitude has been recognized by the industry and DynaMix Media was awarded as the Best Video Rental Company by Palm

Samsung to acquire Harman for $8 billionSamsung to acquire Harman for $8 billion
Monday, 14 November 2016

South Korea / USA - Samsung Electronics and Harman International Industries Inc have entered into a definitive agreement under which Samsung will acquire Harman for $112.00 per share in cash, or total equity value of approximately $8.0 billion (£6.4bn). Samsung says the transaction will immediately give them "a significant presence in the large and rapidly growing market for connected technologies, particularly automotive electronics, which has been a strategic priority for Samsung, and is expected to grow to more than $100 billion by 2025". Harman is the market leader in connected car solutions, with more than 30 million vehicles currently equipped with its connected car and audio systems, including embedded infotainment, telematics, connected safety and security.

Oh-Hyun Kwon, vice-chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics comments: "Harman perfectly complements Samsung in terms of technologies, products and solutions, and joining forces is a natural extension of the automotive strategy we have been pursuing for some time."

Samsung predicts that the purchase of Harman will deliver significant growth opportunities and benefits to customers by leveraging Samsung's and Harman's complementary technologies, resulting in increased market penetration across important end markets. "The combination will also expand the combined company's business-to-business platform through its ability to deliver integrated, large-scale audio and visual professional solutions at stadiums, concert facilities and other performance centres such as The John F. Kennedy Center for th

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


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