General News

Correction: Stageline
Sunday, 5 November 2000

In May 2000, we reported that Stageline had launched legal proceedings aginst Five Corners seeking a number of injunctions to prevent Five Corners from trading.

We also reported that as a result of Stageline’s claim being rejected by the Quebec courts, Stageline was ordered to pay $22,500 to Five Corners.

However our further investigation into these matters has demonstrated that legal action was not taken against Five Corners but against its owner Carl Richard, who counter-claimed in the same proceedings. We apologise to Stageline for any innaccuracies in our news item. As we now understand it, relief was granted to each party in relation to their claims and counter-claims.

All Aboard
Saturday, 4 November 2000

PLASA Members Baldwin Boxall took advantage of the one storm-free day in October to invite a host of clients, colleagues and friends to join them on Sussex’s equivalent to the Orient Express.

The Bluebell Line was the UK’s first preserved standard gauge passenger railway, re-opening part of the Lewes to East Grinstead line of the old London Brighton & South Coast Railway in 1960. Since then it has developed into one of the largest tourist attractions in Sussex, yet it still remains true to its objectives of the preservation of a country branch line and its steam locomotives.

Over 50 people joined Baldwin Boxall on the day thanks in no small part to its growing reputation as a generous host. Terry Baldwin and David Boxall welcomed guests to the picturesque Sheffield Park station before inviting them to take lunch on board one of the Railway’s steam locomotives as it journeyed part-way up the beautiful Bluebell Line. Lobster Bisque, Roasted Quail, Beef Wellington and Chocolate and Almond Torte were washed down with some particularly fine wines - with stops en route to try out the special beers at Horsted Keynes station and allow some members of the party to ride on the footplate of the train before reboarding for yet further refreshments (was it our imagination or did the countryside become more blurred the longer we stayed on the train?).

Those in attendance came from across the industry and included guests from ADT, Next Two, BBC Fire, DNH Loudspeakers, Romers Electronics (from Blackburn), Sound Productions, Dublin (in fact, Gerry McGlinn flew in fr

 
 
A Century of Theatre
Friday, 3 November 2000

Richard Eyre is to present a six-part weekly television series looking at the history of 20th century theatre. The programme Changing Stages: 100 Years Of Theatre will explore the influences and creative people that have shaped the course of the theatre throughout the last century. The programme will show archive footage of some of the key productions from the last century and talk with the writers, directors and actors which made them possible. The first programme runs on BBC 2 at 7.30pm, Sunday 5 November 2000.

 
Is Time Running out for 28% of the Sound Systems Industry?
Friday, 3 November 2000

Over a quarter of all UK sound systems companies will not see out 2001 in their present shape, according to Plimsoll Publishing. Identified in their new First Edition 2001, Plimsoll Portfolio Analysis they are predicting in 2001 these companies will disappear, be taken over or be forced to change to stay in the market.

The analysis, which included 1019 companies in total, predicts that the Winners and the Chancers, who are capturing market and profits with a combined sales growth average of over 15.2% are pushing the Losers out of the market. As they try to maintain sales and profit targets, acquisition activity could intensify in 2001.

The First Edition 2001 describes four types of company strategy. The Winners have low borrowings (debt) as a % of sales and have high sales growth. The Chancers have high borrowings and high sales growth. The Sleepers have low borrowings and low sales growth, whilst The Losers have high borrowings and are growing below average.

For these 131 Losers, time is running out. Their level of debt is high at 38% of sales on average. These companies have lost market share and sales growth average for the latest period is showing an average decline of 11.5%. Their margins are showing a loss of 2.0% on average and almost 60% of them are loss-making. They have borrowed to stay in the market, but how long can this strategy be maintained?

The publication contains an up-to-date analysis of 1019 UK sound systems companies covering their last four years of trading. To order a copy call Jennifer Ovington on +44 1642 257800, or for a full version of th

 
 
Dry Ice Not to Blame
Wednesday, 1 November 2000

An inquest into the circumstances surrounding the death of student Joanna Smith, 19, who died following an asthma attack, thought to have been triggered by a dry ice machine at a nightclub, has concluded that there was no link between the two. The incident happened at First Leisure’s Volts (now renamed The Works) nightclub in Kingston Upon Thames on September 7 last year. Christopher Russell, the barrister representing club owners First Leisure, told the inquest: "This type of machine has never been associated with harmful effects." Coroner Alison Thompson concluded that Joanna had died from natural causes.

 
PCM’s Donation to PSA Welfare Fund Tops £10,000
Wednesday, 1 November 2000

The latest cheque from PCM, European importers and distributors of the CM Lodestar hoist, to the PSA (Production Services Association) for their Welfare and Benevolent Fund, puts PCM’s contribution to this excellent cause to over £10,000. The fourth cheque, for £3,700, was presented by PCM’s John Jones to Simon Whittaker, Chair of the PSA, at PLASA 2000. The next PCM cheque will be presented during The Live Show 2001 in February.

 
 
Con Men Try Again
Tuesday, 31 October 2000

Those Nigerian businessmen are at it again - another round of letters has gone out inviting UK companies to provide them with bank account facilities into which they can deposit large sums of money earned illegally. The latest letter comes from Dr. Sule Ahmed, a civil servant, who advises that he has been a key player in the deliberate over-invoicing of a government contract to the tune of $21.5million US dollars. Overlooking his own shortcomings on the integrity front, he also refers to a previous transaction with one Patrice Miller in New York, who did the dirty on Ahmed and his mates and made off with the money. As so often in the past, PLASA members are being targeted heavily and we have already fielded a large number of e-mails and phonecalls on the subject.

 
Broadway's The Lion King Roars into BLMC2000
Tuesday, 31 October 2000

The Broadway Lighting Master Class has lined up an eclectic programme for this year's event which takes place in New York from December 6-10, 2000. Tony Award-winning lighting designer Don Holder will present an in-depth look at his acclaimed lighting for Disney's The Lion King. BLMC has obtained a block of hard-to-get tickets for this sold-out Broadway musical as one of two major performance elements in this year's programme. BLMC attendees will also get to see Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular at the magnificently renovated home of the world-famous Rockettes. The visit will also feature a one-hour guided tour of Radio City and a technical discussion of the lighting after the performance with LDs Ken Billington and Jason Kantrowitz. The BLMC programme will feature some of the leading names form theatre. Joining creative consultant Jules Fisher (the upcoming Jane Eyre) will be Peggy Eisenhauer (Cabaret), Beverly Emmons (Jekyll & Hyde), Wendall K. Harrington (The Who's Tommy), David Hays (founding artistic director, National Theatre for the Deaf), Don Holder (The Lion King), Vivien Leone (associate designer, Sunset Boulevard), Chris Parry (Not About Nightingales), Clifton Taylor (LD for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and others), and Richard Pilbrow (Showboat). Additionally, BLMC will feature two special panel discussions: the Lifetime Achievement Panel led by moderator Steve Terry, president of Systems Group/Fourth Phase (see below); and an exclusive discussion with members of The Lion King's creative team, moderated by Jules Fisher. The event will also feat

 
 
B2B Music Online 2000
Monday, 30 October 2000

Ready or not, the music industry as we know it is rapidly changing. As MP3 and digital distribution technologies gain momentum, every facet of the industry, from the artist to the label to the retailer, is feeling the impact. At Access' B2B Music Online 2000, which takes place from 30 November to 1 December 2000 at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, the conference will examine how these changes are affecting the traditional business-to-business music models and what the new opportunities are for both traditional players and new players in the industry. This forum includes a selection of expert speakers from the global music industry. Several US speakers will analyse the current and future state of online music in their country where the impact of the Internet is more advanced. Players in the British and European music industry can therefore see what opportunities and developments are just around the corner.

 
ILMC Unveils Conference Dates and New Team
Monday, 30 October 2000

The International Live Music Conference (ILMC The 13th) has announced that it will return to the venue for the 2000 event - the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London - on the weekend of March 9th-11, 2001. A new team has been assembled by ILMC organiser Martin Hopewell to produce the Conference and create both its discussion agenda and the series of social events that surround the conference sessions themselves. Conference producers for ILMC 13 are Alia Dann and Lynn Curtis, with Mike Lethby and Sarah James at Gasoline Media responsible for media and sponsorship. Registration and sponsorship details are available from the ILMC office on 0207 833 8998.

 
 
Osram Sylvania Online
Monday, 30 October 2000

Osram Sylvania has launched a new interactive website, intended to be an on-line lighting workplace for its commercial partners and end users. The company has created a virtual lighting community where visitors can get all the news they need, from information on products and industry trends, to specifically tailored promotions.

 
Presentation Services Launch E-Commerce Site
Friday, 27 October 2000

Presentation Services Ltd (PSL), the corporate and exhibition event specialist, has launched a new e-commerce internet site called PSL Direct. Visitors to the site will find everything from the latest video/data projector to plasma flat screen technology.

 
 
Hacienda Nightclub to be Demolished
Friday, 27 October 2000

The contents of the world famous Hacienda nightclub in Manchester - scene of early shows by Madonna, Oasis, U2, Take That, Boy George and the 'Madchester' bands - are going under the hammer at a unique auction for charity. The lots include the revered DJ booth and interior designer Ben Kelly's hazard-striped steel columns. The venue for the auction, which will take place on Saturday November 25 at midday, is the nearby Richard Conrad building. Viewing will run from 10am to 4pm on Friday 24 and from 10am to midday on the day itself. In addition to the auctioned lots, pieces of the dance floor, coloured tiles and even bricks from the building, will be sold off at nominal sums. All proceeds from the event will go to the Greater Manchester Community Foundation which works with disadvantaged young people in the city. New owners Crosby Homes are redeveloping the Haçienda site and two neighbouring buildings into apartments.

 
£15 Million Hampstead Rebuild
Wednesday, 25 October 2000

London is to have its first new producing theatre since the National Theatre opened in 1976. Hampstead Theatre has won a major £9.85 million capital grant from the Arts Council of England for a new landmark development, the total cost of which will reach £15million. The Theatre's currrent building, a portakabin erected in 1962 to last 10 years, is nearing collapse and work on the new venue, which will be sited close to the existing theatre, is about to commence. Designed by Bennetts Associates, the new theatre, which will open in late 2002, will be translucent, with an adaptable elliptical aditorium.

 
 
Dome Becomes Party Zone
Wednesday, 25 October 2000

The Ministry of Sound is to stage a 12-hour New Year's Eve Party at the Millennium Dome. The event will take place in the buildings around the Dome including the adjacent Skyscape structure dubbed by many the Baby Dome. Just under 40 DJs will be there on the night alongside chart act Artful Dodger. In preparation for the event, the Dome itself will close at 6pm on December 31 with a final performance of the Central Show.

 
Dome Contracts Come Under Closer Scrutiny
Monday, 23 October 2000

The industry rumour-mill has gone into overdrive following the news of the arrest of four individuals in connection with irregularities at the Dome. The arrests came part-way through Scotland Yard's investigation into fraud allegations at the Dome and followed scrutiny of the way in which contracts were awarded. According to a report on the Financial Times' website on October 14, the arrests were to do with the procurement of a contract by a south-east London lighting maintenance company, and focused on a number of individuals working at the Dome. PLASA Publishing contacted both Scotland Yard and the NMEC, but both refused to comment, the latter only willing to say that its internal control system had identified the irregularities and the matter was now in the hands of the police.

 
 
LDI Awards
Monday, 23 October 2000

The annual LDI Show has just finished its run at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas and early reports suggest that this was a busy and successful Show (more show news in the next few days). One of the highlights of the event is the annual awards presentation which took place on Saturday, October 21. The Wally Russell Award for lifetime contribution went to San Miller, chief executive officer and chairman of Rosco Laboratories. Miller is the only person ever to be named both a Fellow of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology and a member of the American Society of Cinematographers. Having graduated from Brown University in 1954, Miller served in the US Army until 1956, and acquired Rosco in 1958. The Best Widget Award went to American Harlequin for its new storage bag. In the design categories, the Lighting Designer of the Year Awards are divided into three areas. Dawn Hollingsworth picked up the architecture award, Tom Ruzika, collected the themed award and Patrick Woodroofe was honoured in the entertainment category.Coemar's CF7 was voted the Entertainment Lighting Product of the Year, whilst Martin Professional added to its raft of PLASA Awards by collecting the Architecture Lighting Product of the Year for its Exterior 300. On the audio front, Level Control Systems' Cue Console was recognised as the Sound Product of the Year, with Honourable Mention going to Wireworks Wirelux cables. Tony Meola was voted Sound Designer of the Year. Pathport picked up the Best Software Product Award for its Pathway Connectivity system and Dataton's Watchout was aw

 
G-E-T.com Get Together with Navigator Systems
Friday, 20 October 2000

G-E-T.com, the UK's trading portal for the entertainment industry, has formed a strategic alliance with Navigator Systems. The collaboration is seen as an opportunity for both companies to develop an integrated internet trading platform, utilising a combination of Navigator System's HireTrack Eclipse package and G-E-T's product-led internet search engine. G-E-T users sourcing equipment through the portal will benefit from faster, targeted product searches. Companies subscribing to G-E-T will be given the option to batch upload their equipment to G-E-T's search system via HireTrack with minimal inputting required. G-E-T will also benefit from the addition of Navigator's customers to its database. The ultimate aim of the alliance is to help companies market their rental equipment to the hire market by developing a fast, industry-targeted search and product request platform.

 
 
CEI Relocates
Friday, 20 October 2000

Current Events International, a technical production company offering lighting, audio and production management services, equipment rentals, and systems integration, has relocated and expanded its San Francisco facility. The company has moved to a larger facility in Oakland, occupying over 17,000sq.ft of office and warehouse space. Headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, Current Events International is an award-winning technical production company with full service facilities in San Francisco and Washington, DC.

 
Students Required!
Wednesday, 18 October 2000

Are you a lighting student eager to visit the only International Colloquium on Entertainment Lighting? If so, Showlight 2001 may be able to offer you the opportunity of a lifetime! Exhibitors at Showlight have the option to sponsor one entertainment lighting student, to enable people at all levels of the profession to attend and participate. The essence of Showlight is to encourage attendees to talk, discuss ideas and mix with some of the top names from theatre, television, film and architectural and themed lighting, and the list of exhibitors encompasses some of the top names in the industry, including DHA Lighting, ETC Europe, Strand, White Light and Wybron, with confirmed speakers from the worlds of themed entertainment, television and outdoor events. For further details contact Ruth Rossington, Showlight 2001, telephone +44 (0) 1323 418401.

 
 
PSA Launches Stolen Equipment List On-Line
Wednesday, 18 October 2000

The PSA (Production Services Association) has launched a new service to help companies in the industry trace stolen equipment. The site is intended for use by the whole industry and is not restricted to just PSA members. To have stolen equipment added to this list, the following details should be emailed to Marco Van Beek at mvanbeek@supporting-role.co.uk: 1) Manufacturer. 2) Description. 3) Model Number/type. 4) Serial Number. 5) Date Stolen. 6) Area Stolen. 7) Contact Name. 8) Contact Number. 9) Crime reference number (this will not be shown on the website). The PSA is also happy to add links to specific web pages that deal with stolen equipment, if this information is submitted elsewhere.

 
Barbizon Announces Employee Stock Plan
Monday, 16 October 2000

Barbizon Lighting Company, which has 11 offices in the United States, has announce the formation of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) for the benefit of its employees, a plan unique in the entertainment lighting industry. Under the plan, Barbizon will become employee-owned, with employees acquiring shares of privately-held stock. Jonathan Resnick, president of Barbizon, says the ESOP recognizes the invaluable role Barbzion employees have played in the company's consistent annual growth. "It is our belief that our greatest asset has always been our employees. And it is their talent and dedication that will enable Barbizon to sustain its growth and innovation in this fast-changing business environment," he said. "The Board of Directors and I believe that they should be rewarded for their contributions."Founded in 1947, Barbizon, serving the domestic and export markets as one of the largest and most innovative providers of lighting products, rigging systems, installation services and show control solutions.

 
 
CP Sound Expands and Moves
Monday, 16 October 2000

CP Sound, creative audio, lighting and AV designer and installer, is moving to a newly-acquired, hugely expanded premises in central Staines. CP Sound's operation has expanded so rapidly in the last two years that it has outgrown the site in Chertsey that has contained it for the last three years. The new building, workshops, warehouse space and offices are part of a purpose-built industrial unit. The extra space and rationalisation of resources will allow CP Sound's hectic production schedules to be managed even faster and more efficiently. It will also enhance its already well-established quality of service.As from today the company's new contact, the new contact details are Unit 3 Tim's Boat Yard, Timsway, Staines, Middlesex, TW18 3JZ. Tel: +44 1784 461614.

 
Four Arrested Over Dome Irregularities
Friday, 13 October 2000

As we reported on 19 September, the police are in the throes of a major investigation into fraud allegations at the Millennium Dome. At the time it was made clear that these centred around 'irregularities' in connection with the procurement of contracts. As a result of these investigations, four people have now been arrested. A 30-year old man and 20-year old woman have been arrested in Liverpool and taken to a London police station, whilst a woman in her sixties has been arrested in West Yorkshire. The final arrest was of a man in his thirties at a business address in south-east London. All four have been bailed until February next year to allow for further enquiries to take place. PLASA Publishing has learnt that the police investigation involves the awarding of a lighting contract.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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