UK - The newly launched Strand Electric Pattern 23M lantern from Pacific Lighting (HK) is a 1/3 scale replica of the original Strand Patt 23 Mk1 designed by aircraft designer, Morgan McLeod.
The fully working model has a 3W 3000K LED source and is available with a choice of telescopic stand, swivel arm wall bracket or ceiling/floor plate. The lantern can be connected to a USB phone power supply or computer, and the beam angle can be altered by moving the lens back and forward.
Hugh Chinnick, director of Pacific Lighting has spent several years researching and developing the Patt 23M (‘M’ stands for Mini) to perfect every detail of appearance and performance.
“For more than 20 years it has been my dream to produce a scale model of the Patt 23, one of the most iconic lanterns in British theatre lighting history,” he says.
“It has taken over four years of development, failures and triumphs. I have been fortunate and very grateful to have had the contribution, encouragement, and expertise of people without whom my dream would not have been realised: Mike Wood who meticulously produced the very first 3D printed working model of the lantern and kept my feet firmly on the ground, and Scott Ingham, Susan Lo and their team at Ingham Design who took on the onerous task of preparing all the necessary detailed drawings in preparation for production.”
The Pattern 23M is cast in zinc which provides a superior quality of finish while retaining excellent thermal properties as a heatsink for the LED, together with a good weight. Over time,
USA - To create exciting, immersive visuals that highlighted Red Rocks Amphitheatre’s unique layout during the String Cheese Incident’s multi-night run, PHNTM Labs deployed a lighting rig featuring Martin Professional lighting fixtures, provided by Brown Note Productions.
Colorado-based jam band The String Cheese Incident returned to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre for the 45th time this past July to kick off their 2021 tour, marking the first full-capacity events at the venue in over a year.
Red Rocks’ geological architecture and storied history make performing there a major career milestone for many artists, with performers from The Beatles to Vulfpeck gracing the stage over the past 80 years. Because the venue’s steep seating arrangement means a majority of the audience is seated above the stage roof, Red Rocks has historically posed a challenge to lighting designers. However, the venue received a new stage and roof area in 2020 for easier installation and greater production potential.
To give audiences an unforgettable experience, The String Cheese Incident requested a dynamic light show that kept up the excitement throughout their multi-hour improvisational sets and reached every audience member with impactful and immersive visuals. To deliver a truly memorable light show, PHNTM Labs deployed an advanced lighting rig featuring Martin VDO Atomic Dot and MAC Axiom Hybrid fixtures.
“The String Cheese Incident generally do multi-night runs at Red Rocks every year,” said Michael Smalley, creative director, production designer and lig
UK - England’s Enlightened Lighting sparked up its stock of VL10 Beamwash and VL2600 Series luminaires from Vari-Lite for the Bath Festival Finale Weekend in August. One of the first major music festivals to take place in the UK after the pandemic lockdown, it saw favourites McFly, Scouting for Girls and Gabrielle perform alongside a host of big-name bands.
For Dave Thorpe of Enlightened this was the first time their newly purchased VL2600 Profile and Wash fixtures and VL10s had graced the stage of a busy festival. Therefore, he was keen to see how they performed and gauge the response from both festival lighting designer Nic Ayres and McFly’s visiting lighting designer, Chris Yeomans.
“It was a delight to use the VL2600 Wash and Profile fixtures and the VL10 Beamwash luminaires on this production,” says Ayres. “The colours are great - and although the fixtures can be a bit channel hungry that does make them all the more flexible, which is crucial in a festival situation.”
The rig was designed as a traditional spot and wash set up with the versatile VL10 Beamwash luminaires taking care of backlight gobos from the rig.
“What is great about the VL10s is that they work as a beam, a wash and as a spot, which is brilliant on such a small stage and with such limited time to program,” Ayres continues. “None of the acts bring in any set, except maybe a backdrop. The atmosphere is all coming from the artist and from the lights augmenting the mood of the performance, with a bit of haze thrown in for good measure.
“The VL10s are
USA - Tom Kenny wowed the crowd and cameras at the iHeart Radio Music Festival at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in mid-September with a big, but artfully balanced, lightshow that featured 124 Chauvet Professional Maverick MK3 Wash fixtures supplied by 4Wall Entertainment.
Produced by Diversified Production Services, C2W, Firehouse Productions, All Access Staging & Productions, Inc., and Atomic, The iHeart Radio Music Festival is “a real hybrid,” notes Kenny. “It’s really a big TV special,” he said of the show, which was broadcast on the CW Network. “All the experienced LDs and creatives understand that this is not a festival in the usual sense of the word. It’s a huge party being filmed and aired for the enjoyment of millions of fans.”
With this in mind, Kenny used copious amounts of lighting, along with video elements to create an ebullient, festive aura that made it easy for fans at the venue as well as those watching on TV to get swept up in the good-time excitement. The characteristics of the T-Mobile Arena provided him with a good foundation for generating this atmosphere.
“I’ve lit many big shows and TV specials here,” said Kenny “This is very much a 21st century arena with all the bells and whistles that can help a show of this kind. It has a very high trim and some great video elements including ribbons that helped me build a bigger palette. This setting contributed to the show coming off so well, as did my colleagues in this project Mike Appel ,Fuji, Jess Baker, Mark Butts. Jason Uchita, Bob from 4Wall, Joey Vi
Denmark - Coinciding with Denmark’s ‘Freedom Day’ - the lifting of all the current coronavirus restrictions - in September, an innovative and popular production of Jesus Christ Superstar featuring the Danish Chamber Orchestra (Danmarks Underholdningsorkester) conducted by Andreas Vetö was staged at Copenhagen’s Royal Arena, complete with a spectacular lighting and stage design by Sune Verdier.
This version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘rock opera’ embraced the production genres of theatre and rock ‘n’ roll in staging and lighting.
The lighting included an all Robe moving light rig comprising nearly 150 luminaires - supplied together with audio equipment by Copenhagen-based European Tour Production (ETP).
Imposing three-tiered scaffolding decks accommodated the orchestra, while a 30m long 3m wide runway extended across the arena floor which was the principal playing area for all the action. This layout enabled the actors to get close up to the audience, which apart from the surprise element - as everyone gets used to face-to-face contact again - was particularly effective for the many intense and intimate JCS moments.
With no video the pressure was on the lighting as the main visual embellishment to enhance all the emotion, drama and thought provocation of the piece, plus highlighting a string of rousing musical numbers. “I wanted the lighting to be edgy, simple and impactful,” explained Sune.
During the planning stages, no-one was certain what venue capacities might be possible, so it was planned for a half-
USA - Car dealership Porsche Austin’s top floor window display features 10 Porsche cars highlighted using SEVEN Batten 72 linear lights from Elation Professional.
Eric Bernstein of Intelligent Lighting Services (ILS) of Austin has worked with the dealership’s ownership group for about 20 years. On this latest project, he worked with Kirk Franceschini, managing partner at Hi Tech Motorcars (Porsche Austin Group), who was tasked with implementing a lighting system that would attract attention to the new dealership. The idea was to line 10 Porsche cars along a sixth-floor display window and illuminate them in high-quality lighting so they couldn’t be missed by the myriads of people who drive by the dealership each day.
Bernstein designed the sixth-floor look and specified 20 Elation SEVEN Batten 72 fixtures, 6ft colour-changing LED battens with 7-color multi-chip LEDs, two units illuminating each car. “We brought several fixtures up there to demo in order to give the client a few choices,” said Bernstein, who was already familiar with the SEVEN Batten from several church installations he has used them on. “We decided that the SEVEN Batten was best for both colour choices and power. It also has an integrated gel slot so it’s easy to put filters in.”
At Porsche Austin, the SEVEN Battens work with light halos above each car, each halo comprising 496 4-color LEDs with the intention of having full control over them. Each halo runs four universes via a Netron EN4 from Obsidian Control Systems, a powerful Ethernet to DMX gateway with interna
Serbia - Since it arrived on the scene in 1994 with over 100 channels, TV Pink has been a media success story. The privately-owned broadcaster is well-known for its innovative programming aired on numerous channels in entertainment, music, talk shows and news.
The popular broadcaster recently upgraded its PFI studio complex in Šimanovci near Belgrade with an intelligent LED lighting system.
Designed and installed by Novi Sad-based AVL Projekt, the new system includes a collection of 64 Chauvet Professional Maverick and Rouge fixtures as well as four RDMX Splitter 8 units and two Net-X II nodes.
The Chauvet Professional fixtures (16 Maverick MK3 Wash, 12 Maverick MK2 Wash, 12 Maverick Silens 2, and 24 Rogue R3 Beam units) were selected for the upgrade project after an extensive review by professionals in image quality and management of lighting resources, including PFI rental director Dragan Gravara, deputy director of PFI Rental Miloš Jeremić and directors of photography at TV Pink Nenad Serafijanović and Nenad Stojković Piksi.
As part of their evaluations, these experts checked the fixtures using two colour meters: Sekonic C800 and Sekonic C700. The analysis and testing proved that the technical characteristics from the specification matched the measurement results in actual environment.
Given the diverse range of programs on RTV Pink, the broadcaster’s team paid careful attention to evaluating the flexibility and multi-functionality of the lighting fixtures. They came away very impressed by the Maverick Silens 2 Profile LED movi
USA - When Germany-based Thomas Christmann saw Claypaky Xtylos at a Prolight + Sound expo in Frankfurt he knew he had to work with the fixture one day.
The lighting designer and director for metal band Korn since 2015, Christmann, who is known as ‘Church’, thought the 2020 tour planned for the band would be the perfect opportunity to use the first moving head light with a laser light source. “I’m not a big fan of beam lights and try not to use them for effects lighting,” he says. “But I love the Xtylos beam, their colour and speed and was eager to use them.”
Then the coronavirus pandemic intervened and 2020 touring for all bands was cancelled. But as soon as Korn was booked to play two 2021 summer festival dates, Church put 20 Xtylos from OSA International, Inc. in the rig for Rock Fest Wisconsin and the Upheaval Festival in Michigan.
Now Korn has begun a 28-date US tour with Staind. The run kicked off in early August in West Palm Beach, Florida and will wrap at the end of September in Dallas. Church upped the ante and specified 36 Xtylos for the tour, also obtained from OSA. He mounted four each on top of a straight line of five upstage pods, which roll onto the set, and eight on each side of angled upstage trusses, which split over the drum riser.
“My lighting designs are pretty theatrical with cues and strong looks - I don’t go crazy with a lot of positions,” Church explains. “The Xtylos’s beam light was very impressive when I saw it the first time, and I trust OSA’s (vice president, lighting) Mark Fetto, whom I
Turkey - ChamSys has appointed Modern Elektronik as its exclusive distributor in the Turkish market.
Modern Elektronik, which has overseen major installations, as well as theatre and touring projects throughout Turkey, will be responsible for selling and servicing ChamSys’ line of consoles in the country, including conducting hands-on training.
“Modern Elektronik is an excellent company with strong values that align with our own,” comments Aziz Adilkhodjaev, international sales and business development manager for ChamSys. “Modern Elektronik will be offering a variety of hands-on experiences with ChamSys products. I am looking forward to visiting their facility soon to work with them on master classes on the latest Stadium consoles like the MQ500M and MQ250M.”
Erkan Işıksel, Modern Elektronik’s managing director, adds: We are very excited. Chamsys was our first choice. We have a history with ChamSys, and have always been very impressed by the versatility and user-friendliness of the company’s products. We strongly believe that ChamSys products will be right for the needs of our customers. There is a great potential ahead for ChamSys products in a wide range of establishments in Turkey.”
USA - North Montgomery High School auditorium in Crawfordsville, IN, is benefiting from a new technical upgrade, including advanced C21 dimming technology and Vision.net touchscreen control interfaces from Strand.
Looking for new power-saving LED house lights and stage lighting control infrastructure to replace their increasingly unreliable systems, North Montgomery High School turned to Associated Controls & Design (ACD) for help. “The existing wall controls had started to fail, while the dimmer racks were also failing and had started randomly flickering various circuits when the system was in use,” said Sean Cole of ACD.
Cole opted for Strand’s versatile C21 dimming system because it offered “the best level of flexibility and control for the needs of the auditorium”. He specified a combination of non-dim modules for the stage circuits, and IGBT modules to take care of the new, dimmable-LED house lighting system.
A new Strand Vision.net system, installed on the existing wiring infrastructure, allows touchscreen control of the house lighting system for the operators in the control booth. Further Vision.net touch panels are positioned near the entrances and on the stage.
“The ability to seamlessly go from using Vision.net, to the lighting console and back, was instrumental to meeting the customer’s needs,” said Cole. “And the generous 10-inch touchscreen allowed me to put most of the controls on one screen for easy access,” he added.
“Overall, the new system offers a greater level of flexibility and a system that
Austria - To give the reimagined Starmania 21 a fresh look, lighting designer Roland Greil designed a dynamic and versatile lighting rig using Martin Professional LED lighting fixtures and creative video solutions.
Starmania is an Austrian televised musical competition that was originally broadcast from 2002 to 2009 on channel ORF 1. This year, ORF decided to bring the show back as Starmania 21, with a fresh cast of contestants and a new panel of judges. Taking the opportunity to give the revived show a fresh look, the producers hired lighting designer Roland Greil, who designed a lighting rig using a variety of Martin LED fixtures and creative video elements.
“The young talents on Starmania performed all kinds of music, from early 20th-century Austrian folk music to the newest chart hits and everything in between,” said Greil. “You want to give every song the right look and feel. Your fixtures need to be versatile enough to do this, because you’re still dealing with budget constraints. You can’t have 300 lights for rock and roll and 300 lights for modern hits.”
Greil’s lighting design included 48 Martin MAC Aura PXL wash lights, To supplement these, Greil added 35 MAC Viper Wash DX fixtures for additional wash illumination. To highlight the performers, Greil selected 68 MAC Viper Performance fixtures, taking advantage of an innovative ‘Follow Me’ system, which automatically follows the performers’ movements like a traditional follow spot.
To produce synchronised effects, Florian Wieder, the prod
UK - The recruitment network for creatives and freelancers Curtain Call has re-launched an improved membership platform to help link up freelancers with employers - and PLASA members benefit from reduced subscription fees.
The network, which is free to join by freelancers, has a search and match algorithm that makes it easy for employers to find skilled available freelance technicians and creatives for project-based or long-term positions.
Businesses looking to recruit need to subscribe to search the database, with PLASA members able to get 15% off for 12 months by signing up through the Pioneers programme. For every PLASA member company that signs up, Curtain Call will donate £15 to #WeMakeEvents, and for every month of membership, the network will plant a tree. Early adopters include the Ambassador Theatre Group, Donmar Warehouse, Sonia Friedman Productions and White Light.
Peter Heath, managing director of PLASA, comments: “Curtain Call is a fantastic platform which brings employers together with skilled workers while also creating accessible pathways for newcomers into our industry. We couldn’t be more pleased to bring this service to our members, particularly after the prolonged period of industry closure and loss of personnel to other sectors. This partnership will certainly help to connect up and regenerate our sector’s workforce.”
Matt Humphrey, founder of Curtain Call, adds: “We are thrilled to partner with PLASA and lau
Germany - Wireless LED lighting manufacturer Astera has announced the appointment of Thor-Andre who joins the after-sales technical support team based at the company’s HQ in Munich.
“This is a fantastic and hugely exciting chance to work directly with one of the world’s leading entertainment LED lighting manufacturers,” stated Thor.
He will be engaging directly with key customers and companies worldwide offering after-sales support and be working with gaffers, DoPs, lighting and set designers, rental and production companies, combining his first-class communications skills with his love of geekery. He will also be travelling extensively as well as attending all the major international trade shows once they get up to speed post-pandemic.
“Astera’s growth has been extremely strong even through this very difficult pandemic period, and that’s a testament to the ingenuity, foresight and imagination that goes into producing products that are so ultimately useful and usable!” he says.
Astera’s Sebastian Bückle comments: “Thor is one of the most knowledgeable Astera users and technical supporters out there. His expertise and dynamism will help take our after-sales services to the next level.”
UK - The Maverick Silens 2 Profile doesn’t attract attention to itself because of its sound; the 100% convection cooled LED PCB fixture operates in virtual silence. However, the versatile 560W luminaire did make waves recently when it was honoured with a 2021 PLASA Award For Innovation.
The only moving fixture (and one of two lighting products) to earn this recognition at the PLASA show, the Maverick Silens 2 Profile was singled out for its “near silent operation,” being described by the independent panel of judges as “the sound engineer’s favourite light.”
Without making a sound, the Maverick Silens 2 Profile wowed judges with its impressive visual performance, thanks to features like CMY+CTO colour mixing with CRI, R9, CQS, and TLCI all between 91 and 97 (depending on the colour temperature mixed). Other features that speak volumes about this silent powerhouse of a fixture include a four-blade framing shutter system with rotation, a colour wheel, animation wheel, a 10:1 zoom, prism, two frosts, static and rotating gobo wheels and 16-bit dimming with selectable red shift.
“Our entire team is very proud of this honour,” says Michael Brooksbank, managing director of Chauvet Europe. “Silence has always been a goal for everyone involved in lighting theatre, broadcasts, recitals and other applications where absolute quietness is essential. However, no one could be expected to give up performance for the sake of silence. Now, with the Maverick Silens 2 Profile, they don’t have to - they can enjoy the best of both worlds.”
UK - Copper Candle won three separate PLASA Innovation Awards during September’s PLASA Show 2021, held at London’s Olympia.
The winning products - Copper Stream, Bone Stream and Cue29 - were chosen by a panel of industry experts and have been created to optimise the real time design, broadcast and audience engagement of live music, theatre shows and events in the virtual environment.
The PLASA Innovation Awards judging panel said: "The judges have chosen to award a suite of products from this boundary-pushing software developer. They felt the group of products shared the same innovative approach to merging gaming technologies into a framework engineered for the live events industry. The judges believe these products are at the forefront of the move towards virtual production in events."
Following 18 months of a global pandemic on the live entertainment sector, James Simpson, managing director and founder of Copper Candle, was thrilled, and reassured, by the outcome of the awards: “Winning industry specific, product awards are critical to the success of curve leading products like ours. If there is a positive outcome from the recent pandemic, it’s that it has revolutionised people’s attitude to virtual technology. For a new start-up like Copper Candle the PLASA Award has provided the respected expert and public validation we need for our products. In turn that drove our future customers to pick up the phone to discuss their own projects.”
Simpson went on to say that the Copper Candle team were astounded and flattered by the suppor
UK - Yesterday morning, Chauvet’s Sam Bowden departed from Stratford Upon Avon to embark on day one of his 101-mile walk to the National Theatre on London’s Southbank. Staged over five days, the fundraising event will raise money for the ALPD’s 2021 Lumière scheme and industry charity Backup.
Members of the ALPD’s executive committee and other members of the Lumière scheme working group, including Lucy Carter, Charlotte Burton and Tamykha Patterson are completing the walk remotely, racking up the mileage around existing work commitments to raise funds for two great causes.
Charlotte Burton explains: “We have taken on this almighty test of endurance because we believe that the work achieved through the Lumière Scheme and by Backup is vital and worth the sore feet!”
Looking forward to a pint to refresh his legs at the end of day one, Sam Bowden added, “The first day definitely brought home how big the challenge is. The good news is that’s the longest day done!”
The funding will assist the evolution of the Lumière scheme which for the past five years has seen continued success. The scheme creates pathways into the lighting production industry by offering real work opportunities alongside established practitioners. The ALPD are committed to expanding the current Design scheme and establishing the new Production scheme. All Lumières are paid for their work on the full six-month scheme, whilst those on the virtual scheme receive a micro-bursary.
Backup provides financial support to industry technical professionals, crew/
Norway - Nobody can deny that the last 18 months have been difficult and challenging, especially for our people-orientated industry. Limitations on work, movement and contacts have been hard on everyone. But as restrictions started to ease and the industry begins to open up, LiteNordic, Ayrton’s exclusive distributor for Norway, Sweden and Denmark, came up with an ingenious way to reconnect with their customers and lighting designers in a safe, fun way after a near two-year hiatus.
They hired a camper van, threw in a bunch of IP65 rated lighting fixtures, including Ayrton’s Perseo Profile and Perseo Beam, and took them out on a camping road trip. They set up camp in forests outside Norway’s three main cities: Stavanger, Oslo and Bergen where they invited lighting designers, rental companies, sales companies and other of their colleagues and clients to join them for a barbecue and, if they wished, a night under the stars, sleeping in hammocks beneath tarpaulins.
Organised by Lite Nordic’s Aleksander Kjær-Wilhelmsen and Petter Nilssen, Camp LiteNordic: Into the Wilderness was, as Kjær-Wilhelmsen is keen to point out, “more about people than product”. He notes, “It gave us the opportunity to take people out of their comfort zone and routine a little, and relax for a nice evening that focused on fun rather than fixtures. It gave us all a chance to meet and catch up after a long period of isolation when we have all suffered hardships. However, after a few beers and sausages, curiosity overcame our guests and when they asked about the IP65 rated
USA - In the past month, the West Coast welcomed the opening of Main Light West in Las Vegas, the second location of Main Light, LLC.
“Main Light is pleased to have expanded our market reach by opening a West Coast location, which we know has been a wish of many of our customers for some time,” states Randy Mullican, general manager of Main Light, LLC., for both Main Light East and West. “Whether on the East Coast or the West Coast, clients can be confident of finding a trusted partner in Main Light and receiving the same reliable service and equipment.
“We are here, now on both coasts, ready to respond efficiently and effectively to the needs of the industry when they are looking for additional equipment support to supply their clients’ requirements.”
The 40,000sq.ft Las Vegas facility’s day-to-day operations is handled by operations manager, Mike Gaynor, who is supported by rental executive, Steve Nancarrow. Gaynor was previously part of logistics/assistant operations at 4Wall Entertainment and prior to that was operations manager at Christie Lites, while Nancarrow was formerly entertainment lighting representative at PRG.
“We are all really excited about getting things up and running for Main Light in Las Vegas,” Gaynor comments. “We have a great crew here, with lots of years of experience and they are all looking forward to putting that experience to work for our customers. I think much of that experience is evident in the well thought out procedures we have created as we have opened, and it is evident to clients in the
The Netherlands - Lighting designer Bas van der Poel from design practice Light Image used Robe’s new LEDBeam 350 moving light fixtures for the recording of a new series of German games show 99 - Eine:r schlägt sie alle! (99 - One Beats Them All!), which was recorded in the Netherlands at the circular Westergas venue - part of a former gasworks now sustainably reimagined as a popular event and cultural space - in central Amsterdam.
The 32 LEDBeam 350s - the first to arrive in the Netherlands - were delivered to lighting rental company Eventec which specialises in supplying lighting for the television and broadcast sector by Robe’s Benelux distributor, Controllux.
Eventec works regularly with the show’s production company, Fabiola BV, and was asked to supply lighting and rigging for the series’ three-week shooting period at Westergas. The show action starts with 100 competitors who play a series of crazy games and knockout rounds until only one - the winner - is left standing!
Bas and director Bastien Angemeer discussed initial ideas for lighting, and Bas created the design based on this plus having an adaptable and versatile rig to be able to quickly cover multiple requirements of the fast-paced show and tight recording schedule.
Recorded in the Netherlands, this was a German edition of the show, so key elements included having a fuller and more prominent production that had featured in the Dutch version, and the director also wanted to be able to conceal props and scenic elements at strategic times with clever light
UK - As part of this summer’s Theatre on Kew programme, The Australian Shakespeare Company staged an open-air production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, within the botanical surroundings of Kew Gardens. As an approved supplier at the venue, White Light (WL) was chosen to provide all lighting and audio equipment for the project.
Each performance during the four-week run began at twilight, to take full advantage of staging the Shakespearean favourite beneath the stars and canopy of Kew Gardens’ heritage trees. To enhance the play’s woodland setting and achieve lighting designer Peter Amesbury’s vision, WL specified a range of different lighting fixtures, all controlled by the HES Road Hog 4 console. The rig included Elation SIXPAR 200IPs and Chauvet Ovation E-910FC IPs, as well as SGM G-Spot Turbos. Look Solutions Unique hazers were utilised, to add to the sense of magic in the air.
WL’s key account manager - Dominic Yates comments: “Given the alfresco set-up for the performances, our entire rig had to be fully IP-rated. There were different visual elements to focus on, from the players on-stage, to the surrounding trees, which we wanted to appear larger than life to heighten the drama. To work around the ambient sounds of the gardens, we supplied a robust audio solution, which provided evenly distributed coverage regardless of where the audience were seated.”
Amesbury adds: “We were so impressed with the quality of the solution and service delivered by WL. The SGM G-spots were a real powerhouse fixture for the show, providing
UK - The family of Mike Jarvis, lighting designer and projects manager, are sad to report that Mike passed away 9 August at the age of 65.
Mike grew up in south Birmingham in a loving home, with his parents Douglas and Peggy and his brother Paul. Music was very important to Mike, especially when it was live. Growing up in Birmingham meant that he saw bands in small clubs before they went on to become rock legends.
He attended Harborne primary school, followed by Lordswood boys school. His foundation year at Fazely street in Birmingham studying art was a happy one, experimenting with sculpture and design which led him to the Theatre Design course at the City of Birmingham Polytechnic in the mid-1970s.
Joanna was one of his fellow students on the course and they quickly developed a strong friendship. At the end of the three years that friendship developed into the loving relationship that has lasted for 42 years, 35 of them as a married couple.
Mike moved from the polytechnic to a job as an electrician at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. He quickly gained a reputation as a cheerful and reliable member of staff and he became responsible for running the lighting for shows in the studio theatre. He loved the intimate atmosphere of the studio and enjoyed the camaraderie of the small company of actors for each show. Sitting at the lighting desk in the box, he was physically close to the performance, something that he appreciated.
Promoted to deputy chief electrician he moved to running shows in the main theatre, sitting in the lighting box
USA - About 10 years ago, Cullman native Mason Felps got the chance to work his first major festival when he joined the crew at Rock The South. This August, he returned to his northern Alabama hometown as the festival’s production manager and lighting designer.
For Felps, who earlier this summer toured with Alan Jackson, the two-day festival brought back great memories. “Rock The South has a special place in my heart,” he said. “Our crew powered through a monsoon to put on this show. Yet, despite the storms, we wanted to do our best to make this festival special for the bands and the fans.”
Helping Felps and the production team make good on this goal was an impressive lighting rig supplied by Bandit Lites that featured 32 Chauvet Professional Rogue R2X Wash fixtures.
“We had a 60’ by 40’ stage with a steel roof,” said Felps. “Its height gave us a nice trim to work with to create some bold vertical looks that went along well with our video wall, while its width allowed us to space things out to make the show feel even bigger.”
Taking advantage of his wide stage, Felps was able to spread his Rogue R2X Wash fixtures on either of the performing artists, a group that included Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Nelly, Ashley McBryde and The Marshal Tucker Band.
This arrangement allowed him to surround the artists in light, enveloping them in a glow that stood up well against the giant video wall, while also pulling attention to the center of the stage. Sometimes that glow was created with white light, while at others it was don
UK - Martin Dudley and collaborator Malcolm Garrett created the lightshow for Heaven 17’s shows at the City Hall in the band’s hometown of Sheffield, and the Roundhouse in London.
Having worked with Heaven 17 for five years, Dudley was eager to light these shows, which would have the band perform in full the two albums that Heaven 17 founder Martyn Ware wrote and recorded with the Human League. He also appreciated how their evocative sound lent itself to rich imagery. Then there was also the opportunity to play his lights off against the video images created by Garrett, who was responsible for the original sleeve artwork for the two albums in 1979 and 1980, as well as many other LP sleeves of the era.
“I had been listening to the two Human League albums that made up this show for some time, but there was no time or budget for extensive pre-programming,” said Dudley, owner of Martin’s Lights. “We were lucky to have about a day and a half to set up the screens and lights in rehearsals immediately before first of the two shows. This was the first time I had seen the visuals, so I sat down with Malcolm to select colour palettes for each of the 24 songs in the show.”
Helping Dudley meet this time-sensitive challenge was his ChamSys MagicQ MQ80. “I had pre-patched the fairly extensive Roundhouse lighting rig into the MQ80 already, so on the show day at that venue I just had to plug it in and make sure it worked,” he said. “One of the really nice advantages of ChamSys products is their sheer speed of programming. If you know what you wa
UK - The seventh annual Outcider Festival, a summer weekend event in Compton Martin in the West Country brought together a blend of over 30 different bands, artisans, food purveyors, and a generous selection of locally brewed scrumpy cider.
Although the main stage setting was decidedly rustic (the festival took place on a farm), the lighting kit supporting the high-energy performances was strictly up-to-date, featuring Chauvet Professional LED fixtures supplied by BH Sound & Lighting Hire.
James Marshall of BH joined with Finlay Wort in designing the lighting rig. Their focus in this collaboration was on versatility, as they knew they’d have to support a diverse mix of acts from polka punk act The Dreadnoughts and ska bands, to Sunday morning ’cider-obics’ and rock sing-alongs.
“Fixture positioning and keeping plenty of options open on the console were the keys,” said Marshall, who has been lighting the festival since its inception in 2014. “As the LD, I wanted to give myself loads of choices through the use of groups, palettes and effects.”
Marshall, who busked the wide variety of acts using his ChamSys MagicQ MQ70 console, described the process of running the boards during the festival: “You can never have too many options. You just keep programming, adding new looks and updating existing ones between bands to ensure each band has a fresh look, but most importantly, you have to follow the music and style.”
Toward this end, Marshall split his eight Rogue R2 Wash fixtures into two groups to create more coverage opti