Italy - Although ground broke for the construction of Milan Cathedral in 1386, it was only in the last decade that its construction was declared complete. The massive architectural project took over six-hundred years. Milan attracts two million visitors a year, and almost all of them visit the famous cathedral.

To convey the epic story of its construction and to raise additional funds for Milan Cathedral's costly upkeep, the Cathedral Museum opened in 1953. In keeping with the long timescale of the cathedral's construction, the museum closed for five years and only recently re-opened, completely refurbished and ready to accommodate contemporary revenue streams. Among its new offerings, the museum added a conference room that can be rented for meetings and dinners. To keep costs low, but functionality and fidelity high, the conference AV system uses an Ashly Pema 4125.10 100V out

UK - Eclipse Presentations has added the busy Hilton London Wembley hotel to its list of high profile serviced venues in the UK capital.

The Kent based event specialist will have a sales manager based on site and will co-ordinate all technical and creative production elements for the various functions, conferences, events, shows and meetings taking place at the property, a brand new build landmark property completed and opened in 2012 right next door to London's Wembley Stadium.

Eclipse's brief includes the provision of lighting, sound, video, AV and rigging equipment, plus sets / staging and specialist crew. Eclipse also offers a whole range of additional related services like videoconferencing, video content creation, widescreen projection mapping and interactive events, all of which are available at Hilton London Wembley through a single point-of-contact.

Eclipse was chos

Rich Pickings - Taylor Swift has returned to the top of Billboard's annual list of music money makers, a title she held in 2012 only to relinquish last year to Madonna. The 24-year-old earned $39.7m (£23.8m) in 2013 from a combination of music sales, royalties and touring, according to the trade publication. Country star Kenny Chesney rose three places to second place, while Justin Timberlake came third. Rock acts Bon Jovi and the Rolling Stones round out this year's top five.

Homecoming - Hit musical Book of Mormon is due to play Salt Lake City for the first time next year, near the location of the Mormon church's headquarters. It will run from July to August at The Capitol Theatre, less than half a mile from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' flagship temple. Written by South Park's Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the show pokes fun at two naive m

Russia - Within the newly constructed 42,500 capacity Fisht Olympic Stadium in the developing Russian city of Sochi, the XXII Olympic Winter Games drew to an end with the spectacular closing ceremony.

Just as he had done at the Opening extravaganza 16 days earlier, audio director Scott Willsallen (of Auditoria) designed the technological infrastructure, placing all the transmission on a 24-node Optocore dual redundant ring and working with two different creative teams to fulfil different objectives.

The formal operatic and cultural Opening Ceremony display, creatively designed by Konstantin Ernst and directed by Andrei Boltenko, made way for the more party atmosphere of the Closing Ceremony, directed by Italian Daniele Finzi Pasca. Featuring nearly 800 performers and representing hundreds of years of Russian history, it was an exacting task.

Italy had played a key role this

UK - HHB Communications has installed the UK's first 24-channel Avid S6 M40 control surface in its subsidiary Scrub's demo room in Soho, London.

Customers are invited to arrange an appointment to view the full features of the S6 with HHB's knowledgeable Avid specialists in a 5.1 equipped facility. The 24-fader M40 offers a unique advantage by showcasing the full range of modules available in a large format console. Pro Tools, Nuendo and Logic are installed and available for S6 demonstrations.

The S6 console has revolutionised the control of Pro Tools and other DAWs by providing extensive visual feedback, an integrated touchscreen and superior ergonomics that provide faster mixing and intuitive control. By offering the best of industry leading ICON and System 5 families, S6 provides a truly immersive experience for the user.

Available in an array of pre-configured M10 and M40

Australia - The heritage-listed Newstead Gas Ring is an iconic piece of Brisbane's historical industrial architecture that is now at the hub of a major urban regeneration project, Gasworks, a plan started over two decades ago to transform the formally derelict post-industrial wasteland into a busy and vibrant contemporary living, working and commercial environment.

The newly launched Gasworks Plaza element of this project stands below the superstructure of the former gas storage ring which still majestically towers above the land below ... and has now been illuminated with over 500 Anolis LED lighting fixtures.

These bring its Victorian architecture to life in a spectacular lighting and sound installation concept bridging the gap between its former functionality and its new funkiness.

The old gasworks that once stood on the site adjacent to the Brisbane River was opened in 1

UK - Push The Button Ltd (PTB), the specialist electrical contractor for the entertainment industry, has recently completed the creation of a new backstage artists lounge for the Barbican Concert Hall in London.

The Concert Hall, part of the Barbican Centre, is the home of the London Symphony Orchestra, and also hosts a wide range of other concerts, productions and events. "The existing backstage area that greeted those performing at the Hall was quite cold and uninviting," comments PTB's Nick Ewins. "It needed some TLC to provide the welcoming and relaxing atmosphere that the great artists who play here deserve before and after a concert."

PTB was selected by the Barbican to explore how lighting might be able to help transform the existing space. The company presented a number of options to the Barbican Centre, aiming to create a versatile lighting system

UK - Liverpool's Everyman Theatre, whose acting alumni includes Pete Postlethwaite and Julie Walters, has undergone a complete structural and artistic renovation thanks to the Everyman creative team, architects Haworth Tompkins and theatre consultants Charcoalblue.

In 2005 the Liverpool and Merseyside Theatres Trust enlisted Haworth Tompkins and Charcoalblue to consult on the complex and ambitious project.

Having just celebrated their 10th Birthday, Charcoalblue's managing partner, Andy Hayles, observed that for nine of those years the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Team has been their most determined client.

"When a project takes this long to get through funding hoops and complex site negotiations, the sense of achievement experienced when opening such a sensational building is particularly poignant," says Hayles. "The client and design team have become clo

UK - De Montfort Hall in Leicester, which plays host to concerts, stage productions and many other events, has recently received a comprehensive lighting upgrade courtesy of its local technical supplier, Hawthorn.

The upgrade consisted of one behind-the-scenes change, replacing the venue's dimming system, and one change visible to an audience, updating the lighting of the auditorium itself, all helping the popular venue celebrate the centenary of its 1913 opening.

For the dimmer upgrade, Hawthorn supplied and installed four new ETC Sensor dimmer racks to replace aging Strand LD90 racks, "De Montfort's staff were worried about being able to maintain the LD90s in both the short and long term," explains Hawthorn's head of install, Alan Jackson. "This ultimately led to the decision to switch to something in current production with strong support from its manufacture

UK - Stage Electrics delivered the lighting, audio and video systems to Milton Court, Guildhall School of Music and Drama's multi-million pound facility near its premises in Silk Street.

To ensure that it continued to offer students incomparable training in exceptional, modern facilities, the School's aim was to update and expand its site, 'future-proofing' it for the next 25 years. The result is a venue which houses three rehearsal rooms, a television studio, a studio theatre, a 227-seat theatre and a 608-seat, world-class concert hall.

Stage Electrics supplied, installed and commissioned the lighting, audio and video infrastructure venue-wide which includes dimmer racks, data distribution, paging and show relay, plus custom-manufactured stage management desks, facility panels, lighting bars, 'raceways' and loose equipment.

The physical challenge of cramming so much into a

Sweden - One of the last examples of neo-classical architecture in Sweden, The Stockholm Concert Hall was designed by Ivar Tengbom and completed in 1926. Sited near Hotorget Square, the building's monumental facade cuts an impressive figure with its 10 huge Corinthian columns. Its interior is similarly impressive, decorated in part by the work of renowned artists Isaac Grunewald and Edwald Dahlskog.

The Konserthuset comprises three separate halls, the largest of which seats 1770 people. In 1971 the venue was renovated by Tengbom's son Anders with a focus on improving its acoustics. Home to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Concert Hall is the principal venue for orchestral music in Sweden as well as being perhaps most famous for hosting the annual Nobel Prize Ceremony.

The principle issue to be resolved in the Main Hall at the Konserthuset was the need to quite literally l

UK - Push The Button Ltd (PTB), the specialist electrical contractor for the entertainment industry, has announced the appointment of Gary Burrows as project manager.

Burrows joins the core PTB team of managing director Nick Ewins, designer manager Andy Phillips, operations manager Adrian Veale and finance director Jenny Ewins, based at the company's Bristol HQ.

Though new to PTB, Burrows and the rest of the PTB team already know each other well. "I've known Gary for a long time; he served a full apprenticeship with me back in the Stage Electrics days and we worked together there for a decade or so," notes Nick Ewins. "He's been off doing other things in the time since, but we're delighted to have lured him back. He's incredibly organised and not just a really good electrician, but a really good electrician who knows and understands the world of theatre. He's go

Norway - Until recently, the lighting system at Oslo's Det Norske Teatret consisted of some 100 conventional and moving lights. But the theatre produces both musicals and plays, and the noise level from the lighting rig often became an issue: they were forced to turn off movers and keep scroller use to a minimum.

So when a lighting renewal was suggested, the managers decided to see what new technology was available. They already had Eos®-family control desks in each space, along with Sensor dimming and ETC Net3 networking, so they wanted to get the most out of the equipment they had invested in.

After having a shootout with various types of fixtures - both conventional and moving lights - they "fell in love with the ETC Source Four LED Lustr+ units" that had been brought along by ETC dealer Elektrik. Says resident lighting designer Torkel Skjærven, "The fan

USA - Not every theatre can go all LED, but Sunnyvale Theatre in California has made the bold choice to do so. Thanks to a lot of careful research, the right conditions and the advanced features of ETC's LED luminaires, the theatre's new LED-only lighting system has been a major success.

The venue's previous lighting system was installed in 1992, but after 20 years of service, the theatre had trouble with its control desk, transformers needed replacement, and the power supply in its 140 dimmers no longer worked and couldn't be serviced. Staff began looking at new solutions, and considered three different systems: conventional (tungsten) only; hybrid (both tungsten and LEDs); or all-LED.

They worked with ETC dealer Musson Theatrical, got support from ETC representative Wunder Lighting and Controls, did cost analyses, tried out a lot of different equipment and assessed the needs

UK - The breath-taking architecture and spectacular facilities of the new Library of Birmingham drew the attention of the press when it opened in September 2013. Sited in Birmingham's Centenary Square, the library is a major part of Birmingham City Council's 'Big City Plan' to regenerate the city centre and draw people to Birmingham from the wider world.

Described by Francine Houben of Mecanoo, its Belgian-based architects, as a 'people's palace', the complex has been designed as a major cultural destination and sets a new standard for libraries in the 21st century.

The Library is joined to the existing Birmingham Repertory Theatre with which it shares a common entrance and foyer, café and restaurant facilities and a new flexible 300-seat Studio Theatre. The Studio is a flexible venue which caters for a prolific and wide-ranging program of productions, events, functions

UK - Engage Production, specialist in interactive technologies for branded environments, has played a vital part in the creation of five new interactive kiosks at Heathrow's Terminal 5, part of a campaign promoting the British Airways Amex credit card. Engage was responsible for developing the software, based on Adobe AIR. The kiosks are Intel NUCs running Win 7 Pro. The five kiosks are housed in a booth surrounding a giant spinning globe with BA destinations marked on it.

Allowing visitors to input their details for a chance to win 100,000 Avios points, there's also the opportunity to win an instant prize of a leather passport holder or leather luggage tag. The installation also includes a server that sends visitors marketing emails, provided they have agreed to it.

"We're delighted to have developed the software for this kiosk-based experiential marketing promotion, say

France - In the Bohemian Marais District, in the centre of bustling Paris, a new tech hub opened in the final months of 2013. The Silicon Sentier aims to provide a digital ecosystem to help aid and accelerate tech innovation in small and upcoming companies.

Media and tech designers Blow Factory offered the Sentier the idea of providing some interactive fun and excitement, using Light Emissions creative LED video display system. Blow Factory owner Paula Guastella had worked with Light Emissions previously in London, and knew that the Art system could provide the brightness and pure video speed needed.

Blow Factory's Paula Guastella explains, "We wanted to surprise people entering the lobby. As they walk past this large glass wall with colourful moving images, they spot their own 'body shadow' shown on the screen. They stop, turn around and wave and have a little dance!&quo

UK - The Theatres Trust's Community Theatres conference report was launched yesterday at the annual ABTT Theatre Show, Old Truman Brewery, London. Written by theatre journalist Dominic Cavendish, the report provides valuable case studies on how theatres are harnessing their Community Rights and insights into the future community ownership, financing, and management of local theatres.?

Community Theatres was chaired by Henry Bonsu and took place at the Grade II (*) listed City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds on 24 April 2014.

Mhora Samuel, Theatres Trust director said: "We learnt how cultural well-being is being promoted through the new Community Rights agenda and that communities are taking control, determining priorities and working together to ensure there is a future for our theatres in towns and cities that reflects the diversity of communities across the nation."

Singapore - One of Singapore's leading educational institutions, the Republic Polytechnic, has completed the installation of a Nexo Geo S12 line array in its primary theatre at The Republic Cultural Centre (TRCC).

Designed by Maki & Associates (Japan), TRCC exudes an elegant simplicity and balance of aesthetics and functionality that reflects an appreciation for the arts and culture. Under its fan-shaped roof, TRCC has three main performing arts venues: a 1,000-seat theatre, 300-seat studio and, 120-seat lab, all of which are open to the public.

This is the first upgrade for the main theatre since its opening in 2007. With more international acts gracing its stage, and taking into account the evolving needs and criteria of modern shows, Mark Spencer, former student and Head of TRCC's Audio Division, felt it was time the audio caught up to speed. "Audiences nowadays are mo

USA - Located inside a former Boeing missile factory building in Duluth, Ga., Cross Pointe Church has taken its worship experience to a new level with its recent upgrade to Meyer Sound Mica line array loudspeakers and 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements. The new system replaces its trusty nine-year-old Meyer Sound CQ-2 loudspeaker system, which will continue to serve in a second Cross Pointe campus that will open in late 2014.

Alfred Burgess, pastor of worship and creative arts, reports that the MICA loudspeakers' power and clarity was immediately noticeable. "After the first Sunday, our lead pastor Dr. James Merritt came up to me and said, 'I've just had the best speaking experience of my life,'" says Burgess. "Mica has the coverage and the clarity we want, and now it's really enjoyable to sit out here and listen."

The new system includes main hangs of

Australia - Greenroom Productions supplies all of the in-house audio and lighting to Canberra's ANU bar as well as other small events around the city. Recently the company purchased a Soundcraft Si Performer 2 console along with a Vi Stagebox as a low-cost expansion option.

"We use the Soundcraft Si Performer 2 at the ANU bar as a foldback console," remarked Garry Peadon of Greenroom.

"Chris Neal at Canberra's Eclipse Lighting and Sound owns a Soundcraft Si Performer 2 and he told me how good it was and that was good enough for me. They know their stuff and if they say something is good, you know it is. It also stood apart from its competitors because you could expand it."

However, when it comes to expressing his initial thoughts on his new Soundcraft Si Performer 2 console, Garry isn't shy in coming forward. "At first I wasn't too sure of it because

USA - When San Antonio's Tobin Center for the Performing Arts opens in September, its H-E-B Performance Hall and Alvarez Family Studio Theater will boast Robert Juliat Cyrano and Buxie followspots, respectively.

The new Tobin Center rises behind the façade of the former San Antonio Municipal Auditorium along the famed River Walk downtown. The 1,750-seat multi-purpose house will be the home of the San Antonio Symphony and other resident companies; its inaugural 2014-15 season will feature such diverse performers as comedy legend Bill Cosby, radio icon Garrison Keillor and "The Prairie Home Companion" and the Scottish Ballet's production of "A Streetcar Named Desire."

The four-level H-E-B Performance Hall is the largest of the Tobin Center's performance spaces; it has installed four Cyrano 2500W HMI followspots whose narrow beam angle makes them the perfect

Belgium - One of the Belgium's best-known football teams is celebrating an audio refurbishment at its home stadium, the Stade Constant Vanden Stock, known better as the Stade d'Anderlecht.

Home to Anderlecht FC, the 24,000-capacity Brussels stadium, used solely for football, needed to upgrade its 25-year-old PA/VA system. Following evaluation of three possible solutions, long time Anderlecht solution supplier Prosonix, together with Nexo's Belgian distributor's Pascal Deneef, proposed a Nexo compact, two-way Geo S12-ST system. The Geo S12-ST, a specialist stadium version of the popular Geo S12, fitted the stadium's requirement for long-throw line array cabinets perfectly. Another major reason for choosing the Nexo option was the success of the Geo S12-ST system installed in France's Stade de Valenciennes, a similar venue in size and design.

Nexo's Paul Massiani, together with

USA - What started as a late-night effort between two brothers in 1987 to perfect their mother's secret recipe turned into Crabfries and launched their fledgling restaurant, Chickie's and Pete's Crab House and Sports Bar, to critical and commercial success. ESPN recently proclaimed the establishment to be the 'Number One Sports Bar in North America' and Maxim magazine deemed it the 'Greatest American Neighbourhood Bar'.

Now a well-established Philadelphia favourite, Chickie's and Pete's is expanding its reach and recently opened its 26th location in Atlantic City's Tropicana Resort & Casino. As with all of the other Chickie's and Pete's locations designed and installed by Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based Pro Systems, the new one uses Symetrix processing. This time it's two SymNet Radius 12x8 Dante network audio DSPs paired with two SymNet xIn 12 and two xOut 12 audio I/O exp

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