General News

Spice Girls Rigger Dies at Earls Court
Thursday, 16 December 1999

A 25-year-old freelance lighting crewman was killed in the early hours of Thursday 16 December when he fell more than 80ft during the breakdown of the after-show party for the Spice Girls following their recent sell-out performances at Earl's Court. PLASA Publishing has learnt that the technician, one of the crew working for lighting supplier Spot Co, was not de-rigging the stage in the main arena, but working on the second level where the after-show party had been held. He was taken to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. A spokesman for Earls Court confirmed that the fatality had occurred at 3.50am Thursday morning. Earls Court management, in conjunction with the relevant authorities, is in the process of a thorough investigation of the incident. A further statement is expected shortly.

FX Unveils New Look
Tuesday, 14 December 1999

FX is marking the start of the New Year with a brand new image designed to identify and promote all areas of its business. The changes are highlighted by the company's logo that now features the FX brand name followed by the name of each of its separate divisions. These include FX Rentals, which handles all rental business; FX Copyroom, which handles transfers to and from any format - analogue and digital; FX Music Control, the company's sales arm; FX Spain, which represents its International dimension and the recently added FX Cimple Solutions, a servicing and repairs division.

 
 
PLASA Executive Committee Election Results: New Committee Members Welcomed
Thursday, 9 December 1999

The elections for places on PLASA's Executive Committee closed on Wednesday 1 December, with three existing members re-elected and two new members welcomed to the committee. Eight candidates had stood for the five places available and collectively attracted 104 ballot papers. Re-elected were Paul Adams of PA Installations, who has just completed his final year as Chairman of the Association, Nikki Scott of Stage Technologies and Sammy DeHavilland of Deco Leisure. New to the committee are Paul de Ville of Lighting Technology and Diane Grant of DHA Lighting. Matthew Griffiths, MD of PLASA, commented that the continuing high level of participation, in both numbers of candidates and voters, was indicative of the great interest shown in the association and its work on behalf of the industry. He added: "It's good to welcome two such well-known individuals who will undoubtedly provide fresh ideas and views to add to the skill and experience of the existing committee members."One of the vacant places on the committee arose due to the recent resignation of long-term committee member Matthew Tonks, following the demise of Glantre Engineering earlier in the year. Paul Adams commented: "I would like to thank all the members of the executive committee for their support during the four years I have spent as PLASA Chairman. I would especially like to mention Matthew Tonks, who has worked very hard for the Association during the five years that he has served on the committee. His input, particularly in the area of Technical Standards, has been invaluable."The new Chairm

 
Metro Audio is Wound Up
Thursday, 2 December 1999

PLASA Publishing has received news that a winding up order has been served on Metro Audio. The company, well known for its wired intercom and stage management systems, is now in the hands of the Official Receivers Office, which is currently working on establishing a full list of creditors. Although the company is trading as Metro Audio, the order, which went through the High Court on November 17th, relates to Speed 1436 Ltd - the company's official registered name.

 
 
Stage Electrics Relocate
Wednesday, 1 December 1999

Stage Electrics is relocating its Bristol branch and Head Office to new premises located in the same area at the Junction of Avonmouth Way and Third Way, close to Junction 18 of the M5.The sales and hire company is refurbishing the existing warehouse space of 43,000sq.ft, whilst a new 16,000sq.ft administrative building will be added onto the 3.7 acre site. This will bring under one roof the entire Stage Electrics workforce. Work on the site has started and the first phase, the transfer of the equipment, is expected to be completed by March 2000. The administrative building will be ready later on in the year.

 
ESTA Seeks Feedback on DMX512 Standard
Monday, 29 November 1999

The Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA) is asking all interested parties to comment on the first draft of a revised and updated version of DMX512, which will be formally designated BSR E1.11, Entertainment Technology - USITT DMX512, Asynchronous Serial Digital Data Transmission Standard for Controlling Lighting Equipment and Accessories. Wide public input is being sought in order to finalise this draft and ensure that the needs of the industry are being met. The comment period is now open, and will end at 4.00 p.m. ET, January 12, 2000. The draft document may be requested in hard copy from ESTA's Technical Standards Manager at the address below. When commenting, please provide the following: clear identification of the relevant clause, page, and line numbers; the proposed change marked in legislative format, with strikethroughs to indicate deleted text and underlines to indicate new text; substantiation for the change; and a wordprocessing file of the proposed changes (Word Perfect, Word 97 or lower, or RTF), with each proposal on a separate page. A sample comment form is included at the end of the draft standard and is also available for comment. Please send electronic submissions to dmx-rfc@DesignRelief.com. Please mail paper submissions to Technical Standards Manager ESTA, 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 2302, New York, NY 10001, USA

 
 
Clever Developments
Friday, 26 November 1999

Clever Group, the WPP Group's facilities and events company, has announced that David Pacy is returning to the company as chairman and chief executive officer with immediate effect. Pacy takes over from Stuart Appleton who will be leaving the company to pursue other interests. Pacy founded the original Clever Group (then called Metro Video) in 1980.The Clever Group includes Metro Broadcast, Metro Tyrell, Metro Staging, Metro East, Metro Ecosse and Clever Technology. From January 2000, the group will assume the Metro name once more. The creative production arm of the group, Clever Media, will be combined with Enterprise IG, WPP's global branding and identity company.

 
ELA and HSE in joint R&D Project
Monday, 8 November 1999

The Entertainment Laser Association (ELA) has begun a major programme of research and development on the safety of audience scanning techniques. The work will cost around £15,000 to complete of which half will come from the Health and Safety Executive who are co-funding the programme. It will be managed and co-ordinated by Paul Tozer of Lasermet who will work in conjunction with other companies from the ELA and will report to Steve Walker, the HSE project manager. The project is the first research work ever undertaken by the UK laser display industry, on the laser display industry and at the behest of the laser display industry. The research will cover Measurement of typical emission levels; Examination of the regularity of laser pulse hits in audience members; Accurate measurement of typical beam divergences out of scanning systems and Evaluation of maximum scanning speeds and scan angles.

 
 
P&O's Clarion Call
Thursday, 28 October 1999

P&O Events, organiser of the PLASA Show, has changed its name to Clarion Events. The name change, which becomes effective on November 1st, follows the acquisition from P&O of the Earls Court and Olympia Group by the Morris Family and Candover Investments. The company's portfolio of shows includes famous names such as The London Motor Show, The Olympia Fine Art and Antiques Fairs, Top Drawer, Home & Gift (Harrogate), The Royal Smithfield Show and The Olympia International Show Jumping Championships. Designers are currently working on the company's new brand image which will be unveiled before the end of November.

 
Internet 2000 Business Conference
Thursday, 28 October 1999

Following research carried out by international brokers Goldman Sachs, which forecasts that the value of business conducted via the Internet in the next four years will amount to £1trillion, the publishers of Internet Business magazine are staging the UK's first two-day conference aimed at managers who want to take advantage of business opportunities offered by the Internet. The event, being held in Brighton from 7-8 December 1999, will include a conference, a dedicated Internet exhibition and a workshop programme. The conference will feature panel sessions, Q&A sessions and interactive technology to answer delegates' questions.

 
 
Best Band on the Net
Thursday, 28 October 1999

If you're interested in how the second year of the 'Best Band on the Net' contest is progressing, then visit the site dedicated to finding the best unsigned band. Originally organised by Kaman Music, makers of Ovation Guitars, bands have been submitting material since August and during November and December, listeners can hook in and vote on-line, thus determining the top 10 bands. The panel of judges will then select a winner with the best band being announced at NAMM 2000. The winning group will receive a record deal with digital music label NewTech Music.

 
GES Exposition Services Teams up with PRG
Tuesday, 26 October 1999

Las Vegas-based GES Exposition Services has announced the formation of a new company, GES Lighting, to cater for clients requiring a turnkey package for exhibition requirements. The new company has been formed in partnership with Production Resource Group (PRG). GES is the official show services provider to more than 3,000 conventions, trade shows and events each year. With sister company Exhibitgroup/Giltspur, it is the largest full service provider of convention and exhibition services in the world, with combined annual revenues of nearly $1billion.

 
 
BBC Work Experience for LIPA Students
Tuesday, 26 October 1999

Sennheiser LIPA Scholarship Students, Adam Garret Fulton (right on picture) from Canada and Chandra Fleig from Germany, recently completed a four week work experience placement at BBC Television Centre with BBC Resources, London Operations. The two students, who are both studying for a Sound Technology degree at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, spent over a week in each of the sound, video editing and graphics departments, gaining first-hand and hands-on experience across a breadth of television production skills.

 
Business as Usual
Monday, 25 October 1999

It's barely a month since the announcement, yet LSD's acquisition of Midnight Design and Spotco is already bearing fruit. While Midnight has been busy with the launch show for Sega's eagerly awaited Dream Cast games package, Spotco has been gearing up for the World premiere of Sir Paul McCartney's latest Opus, Working Classics. As part of an ongoing programme of restructuring, a design department has been established at Spotco's warehouse in Northfields, bringing in some of the talent from Midnight in Croydon.

 
 
Aids Support
Monday, 25 October 1999

Organised by the National Aids Trust for those directly affected by HIV and Aids, the Celebration of Life concert takes place on Wednesday December 1 (World Aids Day) at Covent Garden Market on the West Piazza. The Trust have contacted PLASA in the hope that companies within our industry might support the event by providing technical equipment. If you would like to help, contact the National Aids Trust in London on 0171-814 6748.

 
Vari-Lite Closes Dallas and Atlanta Offices
Thursday, 21 October 1999

Vari-Lite International is embarking on what it describes as "an inventory consolidation strategy". According to a recent statement issued by the company, the Dallas and Atlanta offices are to close and product and personnel from these is to be relocated to other offices within the VLPS regional network. The statement doesn't give any indication of timing, but it is anticipated that the offices will close shortly.

 
 
PLASA Launches Major New Services for Members
Tuesday, 19 October 1999

PLASA (the Professional Lighting and Sound Association) has introduced two valuable new Membership Services. The first new service, a Business Support Helpline, offers PLASA's UK members useful and relevant advice on a range of topics (including tax and PAYE, VAT, Employment Law, Company and Contract Law, Copyright and Patents, Debt and Debt Recovery) by advisors who are all widely experienced in their respective fields. This helpline will initially be completely free to members of the association, who will have unlimited access to the service.Also new is PLASA's Business Reporting Service: PLASA has negotiated an extremely competitive rate for business risk evaluation reports through Dun & Bradstreet, a company with 150 years of experience in analysing and assessing credit risks. This service is available to all PLASA members.

 
C Audio Relocate
Monday, 18 October 1999

Expansion has forced amplification specialist, C Audio, to vacate its Potters Bar premises at Linkside House in favour of larger capacity at Cranborne House situated opposite on the Cranborne Industrial Estate. While production has been taking place at the larger building for some time, C Audio will now streamline its R&D, sales, marketing and administration departments in the one building with immediate effect. The new address for C Audio is: Cranborne House, Cranborne Road, Cranborne Industrial Estate, Potters Bar, Herts EN6 3JN. Tel: (01707) 643643.

 
 
AES Exhibitor Grants
Friday, 15 October 1999

The APRS will act as a sponsor of the Joint Venture with British Trade International for the 108th AES Convention (19-22 February 2000) in Paris. UK exhibitors receive 60% of their space and construction expenses up to a ceiling of £2,300 and are eligible to exhibit with Government funding at AES Europe events twice within any given ten-year period, irrespective of where the exhibition is held. In addition to the Government funding, companies that have never exhibited previously on a UK delegation will receive a complimentary research package from British Trade International giving special pointers as to where to find export-related help, advice and information which should assist with their exporting efforts to the whole of Europe.

 
Cyril Griffiths
Thursday, 14 October 1999

Cyril Griffiths died after a short illness on September 30th. He will be known to many in the industry having spent 42 years in the business, starting in 1948 at the Phoenix Theatre, later going on to work as group engineer and subsequently technical director for 13 Stoll Moss Theatres. He also established TSL - one of the key suppliers of lighting and sound equipment to the West End which was bought by the White Light Group in 1991. The funeral takes place on Friday 8th October at Putney Vale Crematorium, London.

 
 
Entertainment Technology on the Move
Thursday, 14 October 1999

DJ equipment manufacturer Entertainment Technology, part of the Leaf Group, is moving to new premises. By 1st December the company's offices, warehousing and R&D will be situated under one roof at Unit 21, Warner Drive, Springwood Industrial Estate, Braintree, Essex, CM7 2YW, UK.

 
BSS Move Next Door . . .
Thursday, 14 October 1999

Following a record sales year for BSS Audio, the company is moving from their Linkside House premises in Potters Bar to the neigbouring Cranborne House. While the company's production facilities are already located at Cranborne House, the R&D sales, marketing and administration departments are relocating to the more spacious premises with immediate effect.The company's new address is Cranborne House, Cranborne Road, Cranborne Industrial Estate, Potters Bar, Herts EN6 3JN, UK.

 
 
Hawthorn & Gaudeamus!
Wednesday, 13 October 1999

Leicestershire-based Hawthorn Theatrical has supplied lighting, sound and projection equipment for a major production which marks the start of a Millennium celebration of 1,000 years of village life. The show, which involves 200 local villagers including a cast of 70, has been two years in the making and has been playing to packed audiences at St. Mary's Church, Goudhurst, Kent. Lighting designer Nick Gale used a mixture of MAC 500s and 600s for Gaudeamus!, along with StageScans, to complement the generic rig which included Selecon's pacific luminaires. One of Hawthorn's Avolites Pearl consoles was used to control the show's 200+ cues. Also supplied was a Martin Audio Wavefront sound system and Denon MiniDisc machines, overseen by an Allen & Heath mixer front-of-house.

 
Tour News
Wednesday, 13 October 1999

Metallica will be performing in Berlin on the 18th/19th of November. Appearing with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the LD will be John Broderick. The Nine Inch Nails have just announced a five week tour - rehearsals commence late Oct for two weeks, then they're out from the 10th Nov. Roy Bennett designs, Gary Westcott operates. Despite reports in National newspapers that she's having trouble with her voice, Whitney Houston has extended her current tour of Europe until 11th Nov. LSD provide all bar moving lights. Simon Miles designs, Telson James operates. Bryan Adams has also extended due to overwhelming demand. The tour now runs until 10th December. The Pet Shop Boys will open their latest tour in the US at the start of November. Their first in over four years, they have once again employed an architect Zaha Hadid (a female with a reputation to rival Sir Richard Rogers) to design the. Lighting design sees the return of an old favourite, Mark Brickman. Rig details still to be announced, but expect something pretty wild.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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