UK - Planning permission has been granted for the £48.8m transformation of Bristol’s Colston Hall.
The redevelopment of the venue includes refurbishing its historic facade, remodelling and upgrading the Main Hall and The Lantern, and utilising the Victorian cellars as a third performance space and education suite with classrooms and a technology lab.
Bristol Music Trust, the organisation that runs Colston Hall, and Bristol City Council have selected construction company Willmott Dixon as preferred contractor. Work will start in June and the new Hall is expected to re-open in 2020, with the Foyer set to stay open throughout the transformation.
Louise Mitchell, chief executive of Bristol Music Trust, comments: “Now our plans have been approved we’ve reached the final milestone as we approach the start of the Hall’s transformation. We are incredibly grateful for the hard work and dedication of our partners and supporters who have got us to this stage.
“The Hall hasn’t been updated since it opened in the 1950s, so it’s long overdue a transformational refurbishment that will give Bristol and the South West a world class venue to be proud of as we make our detailed plans a reality.”
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, adds: “Bristol has an internationally-renowned cultural offer, which also makes a major contribution to the local economy. We are really pleased that the Arts Council has committed this funding alongside our own investment and that of other city partners.”
Over £41m has been raised towards the project thro
Turkey - J&C Joel, in conjunction with their regional distributor Eramita, received the Turkish President’s seal of approval when they were commissioned to fit the stage engineering solutions at TCCB National Congress and Cultural Centre.
The Congress and Cultural Centre is one of the largest multi-purpose halls in Turkey and is located within the grounds of the Presidential Palace Complex in Ankara. The venue will be home to several types of performances ranging from concerts, operas, theatres, musicals to congresses or big meetings.
J&C Joel’s engineers took on one of the company’s biggest ever installations despite being caught in the middle of an attempted military coup in the country’s capital city. The installation in the 2,042-seat theatre took around seven months to complete with a team comprising a site project manager, four UK fitters and three local labourers.
J&C Joel’s project engineers carried out a full installation of the private theatre’s stage engineering solutions and drapery. This included a 45-axes powered flying system to provide over-stage suspensions for lighting, scenery and stage drapery, and a complete lift system consisting of a front of house lift and two orchestra lifts driven by Serapid Link-Lift systems.
The company also manufactured and installed main FOH curtains from custom-dyed Vegas Velvet Velour. Forestage Loudspeaker Hoists were also installed for the suspension of speaker clusters and the company also supplied a full Wenger ‘Diva’ Concert Shell system and all the loose Wenger
UK - As the want of returning sound designers has become more adventurous by the visit, and sound designs and PA systems have grown in complexity, so Manchester’s Royal Exchange theatre has stepped up to match the requirement by expanding its existing TiMax SoundHub to provide an impressive 48 x 48 analogue and MADI inputs/outputs. The upgrade also included a new Digico SD10T main console and QLab over MADI.
TiMax has been integral to the theatre’s sound control for just over two decades and the main productions appearing at the Royal Exchange have long benefitted from the advanced spatial programming that can be achieved effortlessly in TiMax. Head of sound, Sorcha Williams, who oversaw the last upgrade in 2014 to TiMax2 SoundHub, when the theatre’s original system came to its end of life after 16 years, notes that sound designers accompanying productions from elsewhere are amazed by the difference the Exchange is able to engineer. “Though all the settings remain the same, there’s disparity in the detail we’re able to pick out here and play with.”
The extra capabilities of the embellished TiMax system means the theatre can offer its sound designers greater possibilities with the in-house equipment and keep show budget for very specific requirements or building onstage practicals. With the added advantage of MADI, Williams explains, “We have essentially doubled our output capabilities as not only do we have the 48 channels dedicated to TiMax we also have another 56 analogue outputs from the SD rack and a further 8 on the console itself.
UK - With a prime site off London’s Leicester Square, Studio 88 has opened as a new concept in entertainment, billed as “a non-stop, audience requested, live music experience”.
The brainchild of Alan Lorrimer, founder of The House of Song, the venue features a stage that has been equipped with a premium Martin Audio sound system by W1 Productions, using a variety of the company’s components and control.
Every night, two piano vocalists and accompanying musicians form a six-piece band who play a non-stop repertoire of music through the Martin Audio system - decided only by the customers themselves who populate the 350-seat restaurant.
Both W1 Productions MD, Stuart Turvill, and operations manager, Alan Beck, have wide experience in using Martin Audio systems in their various guises, the latter having first encountered the legendary Philishaves and split bins while running FX Music with brother Dave back in the ‘80s.
“I have always been a Martin Audio person, and so it was a no brainer to specify the brand,” said Beck.
Here, the company has designed an ingenious stage system based on the venue’s extremely low ceiling height. Two XD12, mounted horizontally stage left and right, are complemented by four CDD8 in a pelmet line, which project the sound forward towards the main dancefloor. Low frequency extension is provided by three strategically placed Martin Audio S18 bins, and a further CSX112 sub.
W1 Productions had been recommended to the client by a mutual friend, and Stuart Turvill put together the design after vis
UK - In one of the company’s biggest ever projects in the UK, J&C Joel, helped keep sound in check by installing their acoustic solutions in the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s performance spaces.
The £57m facility is an international music and drama academy, which is part of Birmingham City University. It has over 500 students on undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes, as well as a junior department of over 200 students. In 2015, renowned cellist and conductor Julian Lloyd Webber was named as Principal.
The Conservatoire has moved to a new building adjacent to Millennium Point, where Birmingham City University already has a campus. The new building includes The Concert Hall – a 500-seat concert hall with a large stage, to accommodate a symphony orchestra. Other venues include The Recital Hall with retractable seating, The Lab, a cutting edge, completely flexible black-box studio, and Eastside Jazz Club, the first permanent jazz space in any UK conservatoire
For the multifaceted project J&C Joel provided an array of stage engineering and acoustic solutions for The Concert Hall. This included 24 acoustic concertina banners, rolling beams, moving stage, temporary demountable forestage and an acoustic reflector rigging system.
One of the most important aspects of the job was the acoustic properties in the performance spaces. To improve the acoustics in The Concert Hall, 24 acoustic concertina banners were installed ranging in size from 2.2m wide to 4.5m wide.
The banners were manufactured by the in-house fabri
France - Green Hippo announces the appointment of ESL France as its French distributor. The agreement will see ESL France exclusively distribute Green Hippo’s line of cutting-edge hardware and software throughout France’s hugely significant economy.
Founded in 1992 by Alain Cornevaux and Olivier Verlet – with Serge Thiriot joining the duo shortly after launch – ESL has since added Paris premises to its Montpellier headquarters. In 2013 the company launched its Architectural Lighting Service, and today’s ESL France continues to offer a global service in the field of stage lighting.
Commenting on the new partnership James Roth, head of sales and marketing at Green Hippo, said: “France is a crucial market for Green Hippo. We fully recognise not only the size of the French economy, but also its population’s enduring love of live events. ESL France brings the necessary understanding of this region – as well as of the Green Hippo line – to help further grow our brand during 2018 and beyond. And we thoroughly look forward to helping them succeed.”
René Pujalte, managing director of ESL France, said: “We are big admirers of Green Hippo the company as well as its products. An award-winning product range is just part of what Green Hippo brings – its technical support, including the likes of HippoSchool training, is just one example of it going the extra mile in support of its end users. We are delighted to team with Green Hippo and we’ll also be going the extra mile – or kilometre as we might say! – to make this new collaboratio
UK - Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance has announced the appointment of Clarie Middleton, currently chief executive of the Hackney Empire, as its new principal and chief executive officer.
The appointment of the eighth principal of the college was made by the governing body of the College. Clarie Middleton will take up her new post in February 2018. She is the first woman since Rose Bruford to be appointed to the role.
Clarie has over 25 years’ experience as an arts and cultural leader. She began her career working for Welsh National Opera before joining the Arts Council’s Touring Department. This was followed by the formation of Clear Day Productions which commissioned and staged co-productions with Bristol Old Vic and Plymouth Theatre Royal. She went on to work with Thelma Holt Ltd for five years, touring large scale theatre productions and working with major international artists including Yukio Ninagawa, Vanessa Redgrave and Alan Rickman.
Since 2009 Clarie has been chief executive of Hackney Empire. Under her leadership the Empire has grown audiences, achieved a firmer financial footing and enhanced resilience (including the establishment of diverse income streams and Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation status through to 2022), and developed an inspirational artistic vision with diversity and inclusion at its heart.
When accepting the role of Principal of Rose Bruford College, Clarie Middleton said; “Rose Bruford College is a truly distinctive specialist Higher Education institution and a creative community wit
USA - CrossRoad Baptist Church in Ames, Iowa was at a crossroads. The sound system it had relied on to deliver spirited services in its 450-seat auditorium had never possessed the kind of intelligibility the church members and staff had hoped for and age wasn't helping matters.
Originally called in with the hope that improved acoustics could do the job by itself, A/V integration firm Communication Innovators (Des Moines, Iowa) diagnosed the larger and deeper issues that were preventing congregants from fully immersing themselves in CrossRoad's services. The church's new Dante-connected digital system relies on a bank of high-value, high-reliability Ashly Audio nX-Series multi-channel amplifiers with optional Dante I/O.
"CrossRoad Baptist Church already had some acoustic treatment to deal with the reflective surfaces and they hoped they could address complaints by getting the remaining exposed surfaces covered," explained Eric Bishop, AVLI engineer with Communication Innovators. "We analysed their space and their existing system and found that the acoustics could be improved but there was also uneven coverage from the speakers preventing them from getting the kind of intelligibility they desired. In fact, reduced reverberation in the space may have reduced the perceived coverage of the speakers! We outlined the improvements that made logistical and financial sense given the age and capabilities of their existing equipment."
The main element worth keeping was a relatively new Midas M32 digital console. Bishop replaced the analogue snake they were usin
Russia - When Moscow’s original Luzhniki Stadium was demolished in 2013 to give way for the construction of a new stadium, it was with the 2018 FIFA World Cup in mind.
At the end of 2015, a new tender document was drawn up on behalf of the principals, The Big Sport Arena Luzhniki, for the 81,000 seat stadium, with the technological requirements detailed by Moscow integration specialists S-Pro Systems, together with the German company Broadcast Solution.
Selected by the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup bid as the venue for the Final, the Stadium will also be used as a heritage venue after the Championship.
At the heart of the new network broadcast transmission are some 57 Optocore and BroaMan fibre interfaces, designed in a fibre ‘star’ out of the ring topology, and supplied by Moscow-based distributor Audio Solutions. After the bid was accepted they became involved in the project as an S-Pro partner, with responsibility for equipment supply and warranty service management of the whole system.
They were able to demonstrate the advantages of producing a site-wide multi-node fibre transmission system and broadcast/multi-format links to the OB vans.
According to Igor Kovalev, who manages Audio Solutions’ pro audio department, “Optocore and BroaMan create a perfect synergy, providing an extremely robust optical network system for audio transport and auto routing functionality.
“Optocore I/O modules also have a wide working temperature range, which was one of the important criteria for choosing equipment for this project.”
Denmark - Aalborg Theatre is in the heart of Denmark’s attractive fourth largest city’s old town area. Established in 1878, it has a rich and colourful history and is known as a ‘heavyweight’ on the Danish theatre scene. This long standing critical fortitude was further advanced with the arrival of Hans Henriksen as artistic director in 2015, who had several key objectives including one to make the production programme more dynamic, cutting-edge and accessible.
One of the ways in which he’s achieving this is by changing the scheduling to repertory style, with several productions running simultaneously in rotation over several weeks, and this fundamental shift in turn demanded a different approach to lighting.
The installation of Robe DL series moving lights has helped complex shows to be quickly and efficiently turned around - de-rigged, re-rigged and re-lit on demand.
Robe was selected primarily on the recommendation of three lighting designers working regularly in the theatre – Kasper Daugsberg, Stine Fumz and Matthias Hersland.
An initial purchase of five DL4S Profiles at the start of the 2016 season (September) was followed by a further investment of 13 x DL7S Profiles in mid-2017. These were the first profile moving lights that the theatre has owned.
The fixtures can be moved between any of the three performance spaces – a 450-seater main auditorium, a studio seating 150 in different configurations and an experimental space that can accommodate 50 people. However, the DL7S’s so far have been used primarily in the mai
Switzerland - The Zurich Opera House entered the 2017/18 opera and theatre season following an extensive technical renewal that included new audio equipment, modernisation of its workflows, and fresh approaches to its sound reinforcement.
The Lawo mc²66 mixing console that was previously installed in the sound control room has been replaced with an mc²56, with a second an mc²56 also installed in the auditorium – making the sound control desk and auditorium desk mirrored consoles. Operated in mirror mode, the configurations, snapshots and adjustments of parameters that are performed on one console can also be recalled at the other. This ensures efficient preparation of performances, particularly where Microport systems are increasingly being used. Managed in this way, musical and children's opera projects planned for the future will be easier to mix in the hall.
The new Lawo mixing consoles offer 48 faders in the control room – a 32-fader console with a 16-fader extender that can also be connected to the hall console – and 16 faders at FOH, with both sharing a common core. Previously installed with the mc²66, this core remains the heart of the system and has been expanded with Wave SoundGrid with Gold Bundle, along with an additional Dante card. The capacity of the redundant routing card is 8192 x 8192 mono channels; four DSP cards provide 192 DSP channels of processing.
Both consoles can be used standalone or in two-person operation so that, for example, recordings are activated and controlled from the sound control room while the auditori
World - Mojo Barriers is supplying almost 2km of its bespoke touring barrier this autumn to a range of this year’s most anticipated tours.
With Mojo’s European office supplying tours including The Rolling Stones, Queens of the Stone Age and Queen & Adam Lambert, and the US office working with Katy Perry, Gorillaz, Guns N’ Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bruno Mars, 21 Pilots and Nick Cave, Mojo Barriers is in the midst of a busy touring season.
For Katy Perry’s Witness tour, the shape of the stage thrust required a carefully considered barrier configuration. The final design consisted of over 100m of barrier with many vario corners which enabled Mojo to create a flawless barrier set which followed the unusual contours of the stage perfectly. The system will be used for the remainder of the American leg and will continue to be used when the tour reaches Europe.
For the Rolling Stones’ European tour, No Filter, Mojo supplied a full front of stage set comprising of 200m of barrier. The creation of two VIP areas either side of the stage required a special configuration of barriers including six emergency exit gates. Mojo also provided a new product, Pipe & Drape, with 200m being used, along with two custom transport carts, to ensure the drape could be loaded and unloaded with ease.
Queen & Adam Lambert’s tour required full front of house and front of stage barrier sets. These comprised of 160m of barrier with a high number of fixed corners and a minimal amount of vario corners in order to create a continuous f
Finland - Helsinki City Theatre, the biggest professional repertoire theatre in Finland, has recently reopened its doors after an extensive three-year refurbishment and upgrade process. The technical part of the multi-million Euro renovation project was designed and managed by international theatre consultants Theatreplan.
“We were first approached by HCT in 2014 to work with them on a complete refit of the entire building,” explained Theatreplan director and stage engineering specialist, Dave Ludlam. The project started in March 2014 and was delivered in July 2017 for inauguration in August to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the modern Finnish nation.
Theatreplan carried out work on two of the six stages within the building: the ‘big stage’ with a capacity of 947, and the 347-seat ‘small stage’. The big stage now benefits from a re-shaped proscenium which has improved sightlines; increased power flying capacity; two new concentric revolving stages with three elevators inside.
“The revolves are now much more flexible and it’s a lot easier to reconfigure the orchestra pit,” said Ludlam. “We also put in a new modular floor which is much easier to use than the previous solution, and all goes towards making the stage a far more versatile and easy-to-work-with space. The small stage also benefits from a new revolve, modular floor and expanded point hoist system with significantly increased capacity.”
Theatreplan also designed brand new audio and lighting installations for both venues.
HCT technical director, Antti
UK - L-Acoustics ARCS WiFo system was specified for the Belfast Empire’s Empire Laughs Black Comedy Club to cope with the venue’s challenging configuration and architectural restrictions.
Owners Wine Inns Ltd required a new, high specification FOH sound system installed that would deliver excellent audio coverage across the venue’s dancefloor, as well as the raised tiers of seating areas and audience vantage points. The company’s technical manager, Will Barrett, contacted technical production company, Adlib, who recommended the L-Acoustics.
“The venue operator required an updated sound system that would supplement and support live performances for a wide number of genres from spoken word and comedy, to folk music and rock ’n’ roll at their vibrant and very popular city venue,” says Adlib director, Roger Kirby. “The venue’s ornate interior architecture presented challenges and limitations for any installation, with original wall surface finishes of wood panelling and extensive panelled timber surfaces amplifying and exciting mid-band frequencies,” Roger explains. “There is also a very large feature mirror feature in place forming a 10m long back bar, which again had the potential to generate additional unwanted high frequency reflections.”
Adlib arranged an initial on-site meeting with the client to undertake listening tests, SPL measurements and to discuss the pros and cons of the existing rig before finalising the brief for any new system, which would take all these elements these into account. The venue was then modelled
UK - East London venue Troxy was crowned Best London Event Venue – 500 to 1,000 attendees at the London Venue Awards, 20 October 2017.
Celebrating the best of London’s venues, suppliers and partner organisations, the London Venue Awards took place at The Brewery and recognised excellence and exceptional quality from venues across the capital.
Daniel Smith, Troxy’s head of sales & events reports: “London is spoilt with an array of amazing venues and events professionals who work around the clock to bring incredible events to the capital. We’re honoured to have taken home such a prestigious accolade at this year’s London Venue Awards and to have been in a room with so many inspiring individuals celebrating and recognising each other’s success and achievements. Congratulations to all the winners.”
UK - Cambridge-based co-educational boarding and day school The Leys has recently upgraded the drama technical facilities of its purpose-built theatre and performing arts centre with the latest energy-efficient Spotlight Green Line white LED Fresnels.
As part of the lighting upgrade of the school’s 337-seat performance venue, theatre manager Paul Durose contacted A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd. (AC-ET) to replace the existing conventional Fresnels / PC white lighting fixtures with energy-efficient LED equivalents.
Paul had previously worked with AC-ET to upgrade the theatre and main drama studio's PAR and Profile fixtures to full colour-changing LED versions, so he approached them again to recommend several suitable white fixtures from their extensive portfolio of theatrical LED solutions.
The company's specialist lighting sales division arranged for an onsite trial of various product options, after which Paul chose Spotlight Green Line FresneLED 200W and FresneLED Compact 100W, Warm White Fresnels.
He commented: "Over the past few years we have invested in an all-LED 'standard rig' for both our main theatre and drama studio. We had been looking for an affordable, good quality warm-white LED Fresnel. In my opinion, the Spotlight units offer this at a good price. They produced the best results out of the various LED fixtures we trialled, and deliver a very smooth and even coverage, with no compromise to the quality of light.
“As well as complementing the rigs' RGB LED units, they work well with our additional theatre stock of 1.2
Germany - Absen recently expanded and upgraded its showroom setup at their European HQ in Rüsselsheim, Germany.
In the new set up, the company is showcasing its bestselling models and a number of new LED solutions developed for a number of industries including corporate, retail, rental staging, OOH and sports.
The majority of the LED screens in the showroom are fed content from an AV Stumpfl Wings Engine Stage media server. The Wings software interface gives Absen technicians the ability to quickly change and replace professional audio-visual content, depending on the profile of the showroom visitors.
Oliver Straub, the Absen technician in charge of the showroom comments: “Since we opted for the Wings Engine media server, handling content has become a lot easier for us. We now have one main system interface, that we know is reliable and can easily be adjusted. In order to make the best use of the quality of our LED solutions, we needed a professional media server platform, because no matter how good your LED display is, you have to make sure that the content workflow is equally professional.”
Among the LED screens showcased in the showroom is the Absen HDV 1.2, the latest generation of UHD indoor wall displays for fixed installation. Boasting a viewing angle of 160°, the front install HDV 1.2 design helps to save up to 80% of space.
UK - Bristol Music Trust, the organisation that runs Colston Hall, has appointed Clare Jack, the development director at Bath Festivals, as chief operating officer. Clare will start at the organisation in October.
An experienced arts manager, Clare brings with her over nine years’ experience in the arts industry, following an extensive career in private sector change management.
In her new role Clare will be working closely with Louise Mitchell, chief executive of Bristol Music Trust, to take a strategic overview of the financial, commercial and operational competitiveness of the organisation. As chief operating officer, Clare will be responsible for driving forward the financial imperatives of the business in order to support, develop and sustain the charitable objectives of the Trust.
Clare joins the senior management team at Colston Hall, who are responsible for implementing Bristol Music Trust’s strategy across their individual departments and taking an overview of the day to day running of Colston Hall and Bristol Plays Music, their education arm.
Belgium - AED Display and AV Stumpfl have organized a Wings Certified Operator Bootcamp from Monday 28 August until Friday 1 September 2017 at AED Studios, Lint (Belgium). The trainer will be Rainer Brandstätter, project manager & trainer AV Stumpfl.
Says Rainer, “On the first day of this five-day bootcamp we will tackle every aspect of setting up your show, starting with the physical installation and the troubleshooting of the system. On the second day we will learn more about the different modules (Wings / Vioso / Avio / Touch) and their capabilities.
“One by one we will introduce you to them and show you the basics which will allow you to explore them further on your own pace. This part will be mainly focused on the Wings software. Days three and four will include more advanced use of Wings and Avio. At this point you will dive into the Avio software and learn how to connect all the previously mentioned modules and add intelligence, logic and interaction to your show.
“On the last day of the bootcamp, our focus will be with Vioso. We will teach you how to camera calibrate your projections and all the do’s and don’ts on this matter. Registration is via email@example.com.
USA - When an event space owner and esteemed car collector in Pottsville, Pennsylvania decided to model a cavernous 4,000sq.ft room after a vintage drive-in movie theatre, he knew that top notch technology would be necessary to truly create the coveted 1950’s experience. That’s why he called on local technology integrator Tom Walker of the CI Guys to turn his vision into a reality with a custom-built entertainment system anchored by ELAN control.
“First and foremost, a reliable control system is the most important factor when designing a unique and complex system such as this,” Walker explained. “It’s imperative that the technology is responsive and accessible during private events. That’s why we installed a central ELAN system to control both the sophisticated theatre and multi-room audio system.
“ELAN also controls the entire building’s Lutron lighting, Aprilaire thermostats, Elk Security system as well as Axis and Toshiba security cameras. Now, through both one-touch access and automated scenes, all of the event space’s technology is instantly manageable.”
To serve as the basis of the system, Walker installed one ELAN gSC10 System Controller, accessible through 14 strategically placed ELAN touch panels and two ELAN handheld remotes. Additionally, Walker used three ELAN S1616A audio controllers to control the space’s extensive multi-zone audio system. “With reliable control in place, we can employ the most cutting-edge entertainment technology available today and turn what was once a garage into an indoor drive-in movie
UK - Storyhouse in Chester is a new theatre, cinema and library, housed in a renovated art deco Odeon Cinema building. Located in the city centre, it is the biggest project of its kind outside of London. (A detailed report on the evolution of The Storyhouse features in the latest issue of LSi - plasa.me/lsidigital).
The £37m renovation has seen the building revitalised and it now houses an 800-seat auditorium, a 200-seat studio theatre, a restaurant, two bars and a 100-seat boutique cinema. Leading production solution specialist White Light was contracted to supply all of the loose entertainment equipment, which included lighting, audio and video.
Jonathan Haynes, WL’s business development manager and William Bray, business development support at WL, brought Doughty Engineering on board to supply a range of IWB boxes.
Jonathan commented: "For the Storyhouse project, amongst many other things, we needed to supply a range of internally wired lighting bars at custom lengths, so we approached Doughty for a number of reasons, namely the high quality of their products, their impressive lead times and fantastic service. We have always been impressed with Doughty’s build quality and needed a brand which could meet the demands of a busy producing theatre.”
WL supplied the Doughty team with an idea of what was required and was soon presented with a specific design. Will comments: "We worked closely with Doughty's technical sales adviser, Mike Guglielmi who was extremely helpful in providing us with an exact solution. All kit was custom mad
UK - Natural History Museum has strengthened its venue hire team with two new appointments, ahead of the Museum’s relaunch of its main event space Hintze Hall on 14 July.
Joining the team is Gavin Bevan who has recently been welcomed to the Museum as operations manager, bringing over a decade of hospitality and events experience including six years delivering conferences, private banqueting and match day hospitality at the Kia Oval. His responsibilities will be to ensure a smooth collaboration between clients, accredited suppliers and the museum, resulting in world-class event delivery.
Susie Williamson, will join Bevan as the second operations manager, bringing with her five years of events experience within the heritage industry, having worked with the National Trust and the Royal Geographical Society. Susie’s experience ranges from organising family-friendly events to holding high-profile, logistically complex events for the likes of BBC Newsnight, Vogue and AGA in listed buildings.
UK - Garsington Opera Pavilion has undergone a number of major additions to its existing structure ahead of its summer 2017 programme of events that started at the beginning of June, thanks to Unusual Rigging. Visitors to the pavilion will this year experience enhanced protection from the unpredictable British weather as well as additional flexible space beneath the seating tier which will increase the champagne bar area as well as acting as a gallery space.
Angus Boyd-Heron, events manager for Garsington, said: "The award winning pavilion which Unusual constructed in 2010 was built as a demountable structure and has gone from strength to strength. Each year, we bring Unusual Rigging back to make some additions and improvements, which have escalated into some pretty major works as our ideas have become larger. As our ambitions grow and our season now extended enabling more people to attend, so too have our hopes for the venue."
Mark Priestley, head of major projects at Unusual, explained: "We've worked closely with Angus and the Garsington team to come up with ways to improve the building to achieve a new level of audience comfort. Visitors to Garsington come dressed for the opera but unfortunately the elements aren't always considerate of this. Even on the finest of days, the evenings can be chilly and we needed to look at ways to match comfort with audience aspirations."
With just two months to complete the project, Mark and his team reconfigured and added to the outer sliding screens which provide weather protection and added more glazed panels a
UK - WI has supplied staging, elevators and extensive automation elements to the Take That ‘Wonderland’ tour which kicked off at the Genting Arena, Birmingham.
The lively, colourful carnivalesque aesthetic is the vision of the band’s creative director Kim Gavin and the result of some serious creative and technical talents who have collaborated to bring action packed drama to a strong, highly entertaining performance by the band.
The WI team was led by Hans Willems and Koen Peeters and the company was asked on-board by production manager Chris Vaughan. They worked closely with production designer Ray Winkler for Stufish, scenic designer Misty Buckley, lighting designer Tim Routledge and video designer Alex Leinster to specify and construct the numerous custom elements.
To deal with the complex and rigorous health and safety aspects of the project WI brought in Cristiano Giavedoni of Blumano as the dedicated safety manager.
WI designed and built the 20m diameter circular stage for the in-the-round show from scratch. It is the first time the band has embraced this particular performance concept, which allows them to get close to their fans - and is wowing the crowds.
It is also the first time that WI has developed this specific circular staging system. As with all their constructions, it is designed for touring - to be built and de-rigged quickly and straightforwardly, and travelled expediently in a series of dollies which pack logically into the truck.
The understage space is optimised to provide quick-change facilities as wel