UK - Stage Electrics has announced a management buy-out (MBO) of the business from the estate of David Whitehead. The MBO was fully supported and agreed by David Whitehead prior to his stepping down from the role of managing director in May 2012 as a way to position Stage Electrics for future growth and security, the company says. David Whitehead sadly passed away in February 2013 after a courageous fight against cancer.

The new shareholders - Trevor Smallwood, Dan Aldridge, Bob Smith, James Irvine, Anna Western, Adam Blaxill, Adrian Searle and Ian Tregaskis - combine considerable business experience with a strong knowledge of the entertainment technology industry. Under the new ownership structure, Trevor Smallwood will continue as chairman of the board and the company's executive directors remain unchanged.

Dan Aldridge commented: "Stage Electrics is in a solid position

Sweden - PLASA's first ever networking event in Scandinavia, PLASA Focus: Backstage Malmö, was a huge success, with over 240 delegates attending from across Scandinavia and northern Europe.

Devised in conjunction with technical director Ola Melzig and the production team behind this year's Eurovision, this unique event aimed to combine unprecedented backstage access with seminars, Q&A sessions with key members of the production team and a technology showcase to highlight the cutting-edge sound, lighting, projection, video and control systems in use on a show which will have a television audience in excess of 100m people.

After the event, Melzig said, "What a success! All partners and visitors I've talked with are super happy about the quality of this show, and its visitors. It was really great to share the experience and show what is going on backstage to so many peo

Italy - The Spiaggia degli Olivi lighthouse, a historic monument on Lake Garda and the symbol of the town of Riva, was turned off about 40 years ago.

The diving board tower, on top of which the historic lake lighthouse was installed, is found at the end of the pier. Thanks to restoration work in the area, commissioned by Lido di Riva, the lighthouse started sweeping the Trento waters of the lake once again with its beam in October 2012. The surprise is that, instead of the complicated original 24 volt mechanism, there is a new Clay Paky Sharpy inside the lantern room, which is not only able to reproduce the brightness of the old lighthouse, but also its movement.

Giacomo Galassi of Iiriti Noleggi explained that "owing to the originality of the installation, Clay Paky was extremely helpful and let us try the light out for over a month so that we could test it in actual use

UK - Chaos Visual Productions were the video supplier of choice for the inaugural Taste Festival at London's newest venue space, Tobacco Dock at Wapping Lane, East London. This historic Victorian warehouse has been converted into a modern multi-functional facility comprising over 16,000m2. The Lab at Tobacco Dock was hosted by Gizzi Erskine, the TV chef and food writer and was organised in partnership with AEG, the home appliance manufacturer.

The Chaos team, headed up by project manager Mick Jones, provided projection for a live relay screen on the AEG Live Stage where top chefs and culinary experts presented their perspective on how they create inspirational menus. The executive chef from the Fat Duck Group, Ashley Palmer-Watts was presenting alongside the renowned forager Miles Irving on the AEG Live Stage as did Tony Conigliaro, the ingenious drinks creator.

In the AEG Exp

UK - Opened by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1853, The St George's Hall in Bradford holds a special place in the theatrical history of West Yorkshire. Charles Dickens gave the first ever reading of Bleak House at the hall in 1854, Harry Houdini performed for 'positively one week only' in 1905 and the Halle Orchestra have been regular visitors since 1865. Throughout its century and a half of history, the venue has hosted a remarkable array of events. From hosting stage plays to political rallies.

St George's Hall has twice been significantly damaged by fire and was briefly closed in 2003 following the discovery of small cracks in the ceiling. A Grade II listed building of significant historical interest, the facility is administered by Bradford Metropolitan District Council under the scrutiny of English Heritage.

GDS UK dealer Northern Light was commissioned by the

UK - With its installation and rental arms constantly in simultaneous swing, it's not always easy to keep tabs on developments at Sound Services. The London-based audio specialist and Funktion-One partner is behind some of the coolest events and venues that the UK capital has to offer. Its latest installation endeavour is Beagle in Hoxton.

Situated within a stone's throw of Hoxton tube station, Beagle houses a restaurant, which is flanked by a spacious bar and daytime coffee shop. While the décor could be described as minimal, its audio package is all encompassing.

The system utilises Funktion-One F101 speaker, a range that has recently been bolstered by the addition of the F1201 - now the largest in the series.

Beagle's director, Kieran Clancy, comments, "Being club promoters as well as restaurateurs, sound quality is incredibly important to us, and we think tha

Norway - Norwegian Idol recently celebrated its 10th anniversary with a televised final at the Oslo Spektrum before a crowd of 7,000. As in previous years, sound for the event was being handled by local rental company Frontlite, but this year saw the first-ever use of a new Nexo STM system, which arrived in the country just days before the event. This was also the first STM sale for Norwegian Nexo distributor, Bright.

Frontlite's PA system and FOH technician Sondre Sandhaug had a weekend to get to grips with STM, its rigging software and amplifiers before the event, when the system had to be loaded in, rigged and line checked in one day.

"We had 111x Nexo speakers up in the air, but even though it was the first time with the new system, STM proved to us that it's efficient and easy to rig," says Sandhaug. "It really is an excellent system, and went up in

The Netherlands - As every football fan knows, the roar of the crowd at a major game is just as important as the action on the pitch when it comes to truly experiencing the excitement of the event. With this in mind, Outside broadcast specialist United chose DPA Microphones' 5100 Mobile Surround Microphone to capture the ambience of the Amsterdam Arena when SL Benfica played Chelsea in the 2013 UEFA Europa League Final.

Huub Lelieveld, senior sound supervisor for United Outside Broadcast and Studios, says, "UEFA was adamant that the broadcast quality had to be top class as this was a huge 35 camera production that was going out to broadcasters all over the world. We wanted to make sure the audio quality would be as high as possible and that we captured the ambience of the stadium in phase coherent surround so that it sounded huge in surround, but also still sounded great in

The Netherlands - Royal Philips reports that the 300th licensee signed up to its LED luminaire and retrofit bulb licensing programme, which has seen its number of licensees grow by 50% since May 2012. As a result, 300 companies have access to Philips' comprehensive portfolio of patented LED system technologies and solutions.

Arian Duijvestijn, senior vice president of Philips Intellectual Property & Standards said, "We are thrilled that the LED programme has grown by 50% in the last year. We are delighted that more and more businesses, from start-ups to larger companies sign up to the LED luminaire and retrofit bulb licensing program and recognize that working with us helps to speed up product development, lower costs and advance the industry. We warmly welcome our 300th licensee and are confident the program will continue to attract a wide variety of companies in the comin

USA - Bandit Lites had the privilege of being the first to light a concert at the University of Georgia's Sanford Stadium, where ACM award winner Jason Aldean played to more than 60,000 people. The 90-minute set, which was filmed for a DVD release, included a surprise visit from rapper Ludacris and a virtual appearance from Kelly Clarkson.

Award-winning lighting designer, Aaron Swetland faced the singular challenge of having to adapt his already massive rig for television with an additional 88 Sharpys, 20 Syncrolite fixtures, 34 3500 washes, 20 MAC Auras and 24 Bandit 5x5s. Giant artwork scrims were added above stage right and left with 30ft trusses above them, while a 60ft lighting truss was placed centre downstage from the usual downstage truss for television lighting.

For his inaugural stadium show, Swetland focused on filling the space while being mindful of the challenges

UK - The Lennox Suite, an extension to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), celebrated a star-studded grand opening on 2 May 2013, unveiling flexible staging solutions designed and specified by Theatre Projects in collaboration with The Right Solution and architects BDP.

Built in the heart of Edinburgh's West End and surrounded by some of Scotland's most prestigious financial institutions, space for this events space was at a premium. Added to this challenge, the design team were required to make the new space fully integrated with the EICC's existing facilities. This required a much greater level of coordination and communication with the rest of the design team than usual, but this suited Theatre Projects' collaborative style perfectly.

What makes The Lennox Suite different is its fully automated moving floor. Theatre Projects designed an innovative engineer

UK - Genelec reports its continued commitment and support for the not-for-profit John Lennon Educational Tour Bus Foundation. A new European tour bus was recently unveiled by Yoko Ono Lennon at a ceremony in Liverpool, and like its USA-based sister bus, its two state-of-the-art mobile studios are outfitted with Genelec active monitors.

Following huge success in the USA, the Lennon Bus concept has now been rolled out to Europe where it will provide kids and students across the continent with hands-on digital media production experience. Built on a rugged Mercedes-Benz 12m long chassis, the bus also features a roof top terrace and 'pop outs' that offer expansion into exterior space when stationary.

Like the North American Lennon Bus, the European counterpart has two digital recording studios plus an acoustic isolation room. Genelec joins a raft of other sponsors including Apple,

USA - Inside the Caesars Windsor Hotel and Casino in Ontario, Canada, is the state-of-the art venue The Colosseum. As 5,000-seat, multi-functional performance house with the largest retractable seating configuration in North America and approximately 500 fixtures in the air, The Colosseum is the largest of all Caesars venues in both Canada and the United States.

Behind the scenes, production supervisor Dan Leroux has at his disposal an arsenal of creative tools to bring to life the myriad of performances. So when he was looking to bring in a new lighting instrument that would take his rig to the next level, he could have his choice of any automated luminaire he wanted. What he chose was the high-powered and full featured Philips Vari-Lite VL3015LT Spot luminaire supplied by PRG.

"I first saw the VL3015LT Spot via an online demo and once I saw it in person, there was no ot

Russia - Home of celebrated conductor Vladimir Spivakov and the National Philharmonic of Russia, Svetlanov Hall is the principal venue of Moscow's International Performing Arts Centre. To expand its range of concert fare, the 1,735-seat venue recently installed a Meyer Sound Constellation acoustic system and a reinforcement system based around MICA line array loudspeakers.

With an architectural reverberation time of 1.7 seconds, the hall suits orchestral performance well, but is less accommodating of other musical genres. Now with Constellation, Svetlanov Hall can provide the proper acoustics for pop and jazz performances including Al Di Meola and The Duke Ellington Orchestra, as well as its magnificent 5,500-pipe organ, the largest in Russia.

The dramatic improvement to Svetlanov Hall's acoustics was immediately lauded by conductors, musicians, and audience alike.

"Con

Estonia - Robe's Estonian distributor E&T Ltd has completed the largest supply to date of Robe moving lights for a theatre installation.

Over 200 fixtures have been delivered to the Vanemuine Teater in Tartu, Estonia's lively second city and the country's cultural and intellectual hub.

The deal - part of a much wider programme in which Robe luminaires have been supplied to all eight of Estonia's state supported theatres as part of a major national lighting upgrade - involves a mix of LEDWash 1200, 600 and 300s, MMX Spots, DLX Spots and ROBIN 600 and 300E Spot and Washes.

Vanemuine, Estonia's oldest theatre founded in 1870 by an amateur acting and singing organisation and named after the Estonian god of music and poetry, has three separate venues - The Big House, the Small House and the Harbour Teater (Sadamateater).

For many years, it has built a reputation for being at th

UK - West Wales has a new theatre. Partly funded by the Welsh Government and including the refurbishment of a listed chapel alongside a 504 seat auditorium and 100 seat Stiwdio Stepni , Y Ffwrnes will be run by Carmarthenshire County Council to provide a cultural and creative centre, offering space for community and professional events.

The theatre is set to achieve a BREEAM 'excellent' rating for environmental sustainability and is a key player in the regeneration of Llanelli. Y Ffwrnes is expected to attract some 70,000 visitors and provide new full and part time employment for 35 people.

GDS UK dealer Northern Light were commissioned to install a complete sound and lighting package for Y Ffwrnes. The consultants specified that the contractors installed the GDS Stage Manager's Console and CueSystem cue lights. The need to meet the exacting standards of environmental sustaina

USA - Chauvet Professional COLORado fixtures coloured a dramatic rainbow on the Civil Courts Building for a PrideFest initiative in downtown Saint Louis. Ironman Sound Industries production company of Brentwood, Mo., specified 36 COLORado 4 IP wash battens and 24 COLORado 1 Tour PAR-style wash fixtures, which uplit in saturated colours the top of the Civil Courts edifice.

"We used 36 COLORado 4 IP luminaires to light up the outward face of each of the columns that wrap the building," said Stace Napper with Ironman Sound Industries.

"The columns are about 40ft tall, plus our mounting position was an additional 15ft below them for a total throw of over 55ft. The mounting position was a small ledge, only about 2ft deep; but thanks to the slim profile of the COLORado 4 IP we were able to mount each light to the buildings existing lighting hardware, which also ensure

Australia - Robe got behind UK based lighting designer Simon Brockwell of SBLD to assist the facilitation of his innovative interactive work The Nocturnal Pianola, one of the eye-catching exhibits at the 2013 Vivid Festival of Music, Light & Ideas in Sydney, Australia.

The festival featured around 60 major lighting installations all located in and around the downtown area of the city after dark, spread across 18 days in June. It attracted approximately half a million people who came to enjoy and experience some of the wonders and thought-provoking and imaginative properties of light as a live art form.

Robe has always been interested in creative arts projects, and Brockwell's initial contact with Robe was with Ashley Lewis, key account manager for film, theatre & TV from the UK office. The two have worked on some previous projects together. Ashley put him in touch with

UK - Lighting specialists Stage Electrics has taken the lead as systems integrator, supplying a full architectural LED lighting solution into Theatre Royal, Drury Lane which stands proudly on the oldest theatre site in London. First built in 1812 in the heart of London's West End and originally known as 'Drury Lane', the theatre has recently completed a £4m restoration.

In collaboration with architectural lighting designer Norman Bragg and Theatre Royal's Steve McAndrew; Stage Electrics' worked hand in hand to find the right lighting solutions for this iconic venue. Control of all lighting was via Zero 88 Chilli dimmer racks with a Stick KE1 touch screen control interface and DMX was distributed around the space via Swisson DMX merger and splitter units.

Business development manager Paul Roughton commented, "The scope of the project was to provide discreet lighting

Germany - Lighting any type of religious building for a special occasion means a close eye to detail is required; so when Cologne Cathedral call for special lighting, they really mean it.

To create Lux Eucharistica, a dynamic audio visual show gracing Cologne Cathedral's recent Eucharistic Congress 2013, the management called on illumination art specialists Friedrich Förster und Sabine Weissinger of Casa Magica in Tuebingen, southern Germany. They, in turn, enlisted ETC Ion control desk expert Matthias Strobel to help programme the spectacular projections and colourful light.

"Controlling the Selador Classic Vivid-R fixtures and projection using Ion was the easy bit," says Strobel. "The more challenging part was taking control of the cathedral's very complex house light system with 1000+ channels via the Artnet protocol. The fact that we could organise it all u

UK - The famous gothic St. Michael's Cathedral (better known as Coventry Cathedral), reduced to a ruined shell after its bombing during the Second World War, and subsequently rebuilt in a celebration of 20th century architecture, has been a place of Christian worship for over 1,000 years.

However, it had long found that the quality of its audio fell short of its majestic interior. Recently RaceTech's head of audio engineering, Robin Dibble, returned 20 years after implementing a revolutionary analogue solution, known as the Coventry Reciprocating Delay and devised by his acoustician father, Ken Dibble. This time it was to lead the cathedral into the digital age via BSS Soundweb London signal distribution architecture, which will future-proof it for years to come.

Notes Dibble Jr, "Coventry Cathedral is a vast open space with huge air volume, many hard sonically reflective

US - "We've never really had a sound system that worked for our church. Since 1982, when the worship space was built, it has always been a challenge to provide full, consistent audio," admits Charles Malmede, media services director for Whitesburg Baptist Church of Huntsville, Alabama.

Twenty five hundred seats wrap 180 degrees around the sanctuary, including a full balcony. Embracing a wide variety of both traditional and contemporary music, an average service demands versatility from any sound system. Malmede spent most Sundays dealing with unsatisfied parishioners, "There were complaints every week. Our goal is always +/- 3 dB, which was hard enough; but the real problem has always been the frequency. It was clear we needed to fix our sound, but we have never had any particular success in the past."

However, after Spectrum Sound's Ken DeBelius began cons

UK - Lancelyn Theatre Supplies have recently purchased the Roland M-300 and M-480 Digital Mixing Consoles from SSE Audio Group for two separate projects at Oxford University. The Oxford based theatre and lighting systems integrator specified the Roland consoles for their intuitive user interface, compact footprint and comprehensive range of effects.

The first project, a new-build lecture theatre and conference facility at Wolfson College, Oxford, required an audio solution with the ability to cope with a variety of uses from simple conference setups to live bands and performances. After looking at a number of consoles, design engineer Marcus Boyton from Lancelyn Theatre Supplies selected the Roland M-300 after trying it out at a Roland Training Day held at SSE Audio Group.

"We chose the M-300 because it is user friendly, has good utilities and effects and is flexible enou

UK - An Allen & Heath iLive digital mixing system has been installed in the live studio of top UK radio station, XFM. Comprising an iLive-T112 and iDR-64 MixRack, the system is used to record visiting artists for pre-recorded sessions.

The MixRack is mounted in the studio's equipment rack so it can easily be patched to the studio tie lines and building's technical network. The iDR-64 is fitted with an M-DANTE module, and connected to a Mac which has Dante Virtual Soundcard and runs Apple Logic for recording. Mic preamp signals are sent pre-processing to the DAW. Additional Dante channels are used via the iLive patchbay inserts to access plug-ins in the DAW. The choice of Dante networking permitted the stage box to be taken to the roof terrace on occasions to record a session upstairs whilst mixing downstairs in isolation but with full control over Cat 5.

"The studio is bu

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