General News

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.

New Technicians Take to the Stage
Tuesday, 10 October 2000

To help prepare them for a wide variety of careers in theatre, film, television, exhibition and coporate event markets, third-year students taking Lighting Design, Directing and Stage Management degrees at Rose Bruford College put together various productions of a non-theatre nature. This year, these have included 'Club Night', 'Audio-Visual', 'Sone et Lumiere' and 'Dance' productions. Performed at the College's Barn Theatre on the Sidcup campus, just outside London, these productions will enable students to show an audience of technical theatre professionals just what they can do. The College receives much help in this in the form of the loan of equipment from leading companies within the lighting industry, with around £200,000 worth of equipment being loaned this year for the duration of the productions. Help has been received from Martin Professional, Lightfactor, Avolites, Flying Pig Systems, Vari-Lite and White Light.

PCM Wraps 2000 with Motor School
Friday, 6 October 2000

PCM has announced its end-of-year CM Lodestar Motor Schools for the 28th and 29th November, to be held at PCM's HQ in Prenton, Wirral, wrapping up a busy training year for PCM. The two-day Motor School course has been modified to include an operational session on the use of the Lodestar Motor, in addition to the usual hands-on assembly, disassembly and troubleshooting. Once again, the event is broadened by trussing and ground support specialists James Thomas Engineering, who will present a half-day course on truss usage and its interaction with motors. The two-day course is free of charge to all participants - all they need to do is travel to The Wirral and cover their hotel costs.PCM's Motor School is fully compliant with the new LOLER regulations, and on completion, attendees are issued with a certificate to prove that they have been properly trained on the equipment. PCM has now trained over 900 owners, specifiers and users of Lodestar Motors, and courses are always in heavy demand, so early booking is advisable. PCM expanded its Motor School programme in 2000 and also took it to Europe. The company's fully-comprehensive, intensive five-day Rigging School, launched in 1999, is next scheduled to run in February 2001. For further details on all PCM Training initiatives please contact John Jones or Claire Williams at PCM on +44 151 609 0101 or check out the PCM website.

AC Lighting North Moves To Larger Premises
Thursday, 5 October 2000

AC Lighting North, based in Leeds, completed a move to new, purpose designed, larger premises mid way through July. The new 6,300sq.ft premises feature custom-built offices, showroom with full flying height and extensive warehouse facilities. AC Lighting North's sales manager, Jonathan Walters commented: "The need for these new premises has been brought about by our continued increase in sales since the office was established in 1996."AC Lighting North's new address is: Hawksworth Commercial Centre, Elder Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS13 4AT. The company's telephone and fax numbers remain the same, as 0113 255 7666 and 0113 255 7676 respectively.

Excess and Success at the UK Midas Owners Dinner
Wednesday, 4 October 2000

During this year's PLASA Show, the third consecutive UK Midas Dinner was held at the exclusive Teatro Club & Restaurant in Soho. Organised by LMC Audio Systems Limited, the UK's exclusive Midas dealer, the dinner was as usual an extravagant affair with all UK Midas owners invited, and attendance exceeded any other year. Teatro is owned by celebrity couple Lee Chapman and Lesley Ash and was chosen as the venue for the dinner due to it's discreet service and outstanding food along with a modern 'gentleman's club' atmosphere. This year special attention was given to the many New Midas Owners, which included The Lemon Tree, Orbital, Rambert Dance Company and Dicker Sound.

Stage Electrics Opens London Office
Tuesday, 3 October 2000

Stage Electrics, the Bristol-based supplier of lighting, sound and technical equipment, officially unveiled its new London office during PLASA. The new branch, at 284-302 Waterloo Road, offers a trade counter selling consumables and also hosts a Virtual Lighting Studio housing a full WYSIWYG software programme and other WYSIWYG facilities. Also available at the new branch is a demonstration suite, displaying lighting and special effects from major industry manufacturers, giving clients and designers the opportunity to review all the latest technology. Finally to complete the facility, there is a cafe area suitable for informal meetings.

New Identity for PRG Lighting Group
Monday, 2 October 2000

The Production Resource Group is to relaunch and rebrand its lighting division. With effect from October 20, the companies in the PRG Lighting Group - Cinema Services, Light & Sound Design (LSD), Production Arts, Production Lighting Systems and Vanco Lighting Services - will come together under the name Fourth Phase. All of the companies except LSD will assume the name Fourth Phase, whilst LSD will be called LSD/Fourth Phase. The new identity coincides with new operational changes within the company. A national sales team has been established, under the direction of Bill Gallinghouse, senior vice president of sales and marketing. Jeff Senkovich, meanwhile, has moved from his operational responsibilities with the PRG Audio Group to assume the newly created role of COO of the Lighting/Audio Group. As COO of PRG, John Hovis oversees the operational aspects of the organisation. Full story October L&SI.

South Bank Show Behind the Scenes of The Beautiful Game
Friday, 29 September 2000

Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest musical The Beautiful Game, with book and lyrics by Ben Elton, is to be the subject of a South Bank Show this coming Sunday (October 1). The programme will look at the musical from its initial concept through to rehearsals.

PLASA Signs Up First Associate Member
Thursday, 28 September 2000

Following a recent review of its membership categories, PLASA has welcomed its first Associate Member. Lesley Harmer, who runs the highly successful Harmer PR public relations company, which counts several PLASA members amongst its client list, becomes the first person to take advantage of the revised membership structure. PLASA introduced the Associate Membership category in the summer to encourage universities, colleges, charities, individuals and consultants, together with those businesses that operate on the periphery of the industry, to play an active role in the future of the industry. Lesley Harmer is pictured here with PLASA MD Matthew Griffiths.

Rank Hands Butlins to Bourne
Wednesday, 27 September 2000

The Rank Group is to sell its holiday camp division, which includes Butlins, to a group led by Bourne Leisure in a deal that could be worth £700 million. Bourne has backing from both Candover Investments and Legal & General Ventures, who will take a percentage share of the business. For Rank, the deal allows it to continue its programme of restructuring and to use the income from the sale to offset some of its debts.

Music in the Classroom
Monday, 25 September 2000

Music Education Consultants of Guildford has again been busy working with schools in order to bring music facilities up to current specifications for teaching KS2 and KS3 curriculum music and GCSE, A Level and HE Music Technology Courses. One of the most challenging projects for the company was designing the functionality of the new Recording and Music ICT facilities at The Academy of Contemporary Music's new centre, The Rodboro Buildings, which opened on September 22. The new ACM building incorporates a dedicated Music ICT suite based on PCs running Cubase VST 5, Wavelab 3.0, Recycle and Rebirth, Roland Keyboards and Yamaha Samplers all connected to a flexible monitoring and recording system. Five highly-specified studios were designed, ranging from small post rooms to a large 30-seat capacity teaching studio. A control-room based on twin Yamaha 02Rs and a host of other state-of-the-art digital equipment faces the main teaching control room. In-between the teaching control room and the 02R are four live rooms that can be accessed from either studio allowing maximum flexibility.

A Double First for Sennheiser at LIPA
Friday, 22 September 2000

At this year's graduation ceremony for The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, Professor Dr Jorg Sennheiser, presented the inaugural Sennheiser Student Achievement Awards. The ceremony, held in the art-deco splendour of the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, saw Professor Sennheiser share the stage with lead patron Sir Paul McCartney, principal and chief executive Mark Featherstone-Witty and almost 200 graduating LIPA students. Professor Sennheiser presented the three achievement awards to a total of five students for work of outstanding merit in both recording production and theatrical sound design. Among the graduating students was Adam Fulton, who was awarded a first class Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Sound technology; the second Sennheiser scholarship student to graduate and achieve a first.

Pulsar Presents Awards
Friday, 22 September 2000

Pulsar presented two awards during PLASA, demonstrating the company's continuing commitment to training. The already established Disco International UK Light Jockey contest was won by Colin Walker, with Stuart Wardale second and Peter Ramdine third. The winner was presented with the coveted trophy - a unique Gold Masterpiece 216 and the title of UK Light Jockey Champion. Following on from the success of the Light Jockey contest, and a pilot scheme last year, the Student Lighting Designer Award was launched. The heats took place at Melton Mowbray College and this year's winner was Matt Randle who received £2,000 worth of Pulsar products, presented as part of the PLASA awards. The success of the award has generated huge interest and the intention for next year is that the concept will become a PLASA/L&SI endorsed project, inviting other colleges to take part.

Thursday, 21 September 2000

Over 30 members attended the AGM of the Institute of Sound & Communications Engineers (ISCE), held during the PLASA Show. Outgoing president Doug Edworthy welcomed PLASA's Matthew Griffiths and Ruth Rossington as guests before handing over the role of president to Michael Leaver of Adastra Electronics. Doug Edworthy was presented with a Certificate of Merit, to express the gratitude of all members for the devoted way he had guided the Institute for the past six years. It was agreed that the Institute would work more closely with PLASA to set up training and seminar programmes, and from 2001members will receive complimentary PLASA Show tickets. During the meeting, several members were elected to council including Alan Bond, Phil Brown and Nigel Williams, with Tony Clayden, David Tyas and Jon Rapier being co-opted.

SCV London Appointed UK distributor for Sincrosoft and IPE
Thursday, 21 September 2000

SCV London has been appointed the UK distributor of of Sincrosoft - manufacturers of the Opus notation package. Compatible with both Mac and PC, the programme provides an array of easy-to-use features including 12 ways to display time signatures and 12 options for sub-grouping notes and beams. The system has full MIDI playback and recording support and can provide a professional print. SCV has also taken on the distributorship of International Print Edition (IPE), the company responsible for (in conjunction with Melbay), The Masters' Collection - a library of digital scores from famous composers.

ESTA Public Review of Draft Speaker Rigging Standard
Thursday, 21 September 2000

BSR E1.8 Entertainment Technology - Loudspeaker Enclosures Intended for Overhead Suspension - Classification, Manufacture and Structural Testing, is now available for public review until December 5, 2000. The document describes the structural requirements for construction, component part security, enclosure suspension hardware, manufacturing control systems, structural testing, and product representation. The standard is intended to enhance the safety of speaker rigging at music concerts and other performances. The draft standard can be obtained from the ESTA website or by writing to Karl Ruling, Technical Standards Manager, ESTA, 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 2302, New York, NY10001, USA.

Police Launch Fraud Inquiry at Dome
Tuesday, 19 September 2000

The fuel crisis must have come as a blessed relief to the Dome, but it hasn't taken the attraction long to be back in the media spotlight. Just a week after Nomura withdrew from its bid, the police are currently carrying out an investigation into fraud allegations. Apparently these centre around "irregularities" in connection with the procurement of contracts, and media reports are suggesting that the firm under investigation was one of the contractors working for the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC). Nomura of course pulled out on the basis that they had been misled over the Dome's finances.

Crowd Safety Meeting at Lowlands Festival
Monday, 18 September 2000

Key players within the European festival community met at this year's Lowlands Festival in the Netherlands to discuss the issue of crowd management and risk assessments in the wake of the tragic death of nine people at the Roskilde Festival earlier this summer. Attending the meeting were Gunnar Lagerman - promoter of Hultsfred and chairman of Yourope, The European Festival Organisers Association, Anders Hagstrom - production manager Motor SE, Leon Ramakers - promoter at Lowlands, Bert van Horck - chairman, The International Crowd Management & Security Group, Mick Upton - IMCS European Risk Consultant and invited members of the trade press. Discussions centred on internal policing of event management procedures and appropriate risk management policies. All agreed that this would make festival environments safer for crowds, and give festival organisers benchmarks from which to work.

PLASA 2000 Stand Award Winners!
Friday, 15 September 2000

Winner of the Best Shell Scheme award was UV Light Technology on stand P20. Judges were impressed by the effect of such a wide array of UV products in a very small space - even including the stand's signage - maximising the impact of the stand.In the Best Space Only Stand (up to 50sq.m) category, the winner was Mad Lighting for stand F48, built by LiteStructures. The judges were impressed by the creative combination of small space and product on display. Judges also made a commendation to Tomcat for its spectacular rotating stand feature.Winner of the Best Space Only Stand (over 50sq.m) category was Martin Professional on stand E54/E56. Judges were impressed by the impact of the 'wall' of products, and by the simple but stylish separation of the different parts of the organisation. Commendations were also made in this category to ETC for its cool, calm haven of a stand with sumptuous and kind-on-the-feet carpet and to Pioneer for its innovative and stylish Surgery area with comfortable bean bag seating.In the Best Overall Use of Product on the Stand category, the winner was Pulsar & Clay Paky on stand G46 for its excellent light show with Ministry of Sound bar, formidable structure and interactive demonstration area for visitors. Commendations were made to Unusual Rigging Ltd for its creative use of a circus magician act in a trade show environment and to Tomcat for its gyroscopic truss feature feature.

Winner of Pulsar LD Competition
Friday, 15 September 2000

During the PLASA Awards for Product Excellence on Wednesday 13 September, a presentation was made to Matthew Randle, a BTEC student of Technical Theatre from Melton Mowbray College, who was the winner of the Pulsar Student Lighting Designer Competition. The competition seeks to find the next generation of professional performance lighting designers, putting their lighting design skills to the test. Following a tough series of heats, judges were looking for a lighting design and show with creative flare, originality and atmosphere. Matthew was presented with a cheque for £2,000 towards the purchase of any Pulsar equipment by Paul Duval, Technical Director at Melton Mowbray College in Leicestershire where this year's competition was held.PLASA Managing Director Matthew Griffiths took the opportunity to announce that in recognition of the important role the Student Lighting Designer Competition plays in seeking the lighting design talent of the future, PLASA will be taking over the reigns of the competition for 2001, widening its scope to lighting students from educational establishments throughout the UK and providing full editorial support in Lighting & Sound International.

John Lethbridge Launches On-Line Auction Service
Thursday, 14 September 2000

John Lethbridge, founder and ex-managing director of Cerebrum Lighting and a former vice-chairman of PLASA, has launched a brand new on-line Internet auction site through his new company, Cereco International Ltd. will specialise in offering new and ex-demonstration audio, lighting, AV and effects equipment - all of which carries a 12-month guarantee.The auctions are free to enter for buyers and sellers and unusually, for an e-commerce operation, buyers do not have to give any credit card details. All sellers will be carefully vetted as Cereco will provide a money back guarantee to any dissatisfied buyers. Instructions on how to take part are available on-line in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Chinese and Japanese and products are offered in six different currencies. New auctions will start every Thursday evening and run for 10 days, finishing on a Sunday evening (UK time).

PLASA 2000 Award Winners!
Thursday, 14 September 2000

The PLASA 2000 Awards for Product Excellence were presented at the Show yesterday. Seven exhibitors were presented with awards specially designed by DHA Lighting, for Design Excellence and Technical Innovation in four categories: Lighting, Stage Engineering, Audio-Visual and Sound. And the winners were . . .LIGHTINGMartin Professional for the MAC 2000 (Design Excellence)Pani for the BP4CT Large Format Projector (Technical Innovation)SOUNDAcoustic Solutions for the Homemix entry-level DJM+D Design for the SID Event System Monitor STAGE ENGINEERINGTotal Fabrications for the T2 trussing system (Design Excellence)Stage Technologies for the Pathway 3D Flying System (Technical Innovation)AUDIO-VISUALM+D Design for The Podules (for both Design Excellence and Technical Innovation)

In recognition of the product that claimed the greatest Environmental Impact, a short demonstration captured the judges' attention immediately - the Airoamer from Nu-Light Systems which delivers scents and smells into the atmosphere without the use of heat or even liquids. One again, all Awards entry fees were donated to a number of nominated entertainment technology industry charities. This year these include the newly-launched Light Relief fund (a new created to support freelance lighting professionals who find themselves in difficult circumstances); the Production Services Association Welfare and Benevolent Fund; the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy UK Trust, and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.


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