Germany - Martin Professional today announces the RUSH Club Smoke Dual, part of a new line of atmospheric effects from RUSH by Martin. The new fog and haze hybrid machine will be on display this week at Martin's stand A93 in Hall 9 at Prolight+Sound 2015 in Frankfurt, Germany and is available now for pre-order.

The RUSH Club Smoke Dual features six heads across three zones via DMX or an on-board digital display. This versatile multi-head system allows the user to deploy fog, haze or a combination of both thanks to a specially formulated fluid. The unit's separate base can be installed in a convenient remote location and holds up to 10 litres of fluid to ensure uninterrupted use during busy nights.

Based on the Magnum Club Smoke system installed in prestigious venues around the world, the RUSH Club Smoke Dual is a stalwart new companion for lighting designers and ideal in clubs

Europe - Steven Wilson, four-time Grammy nominee, celebrates the launch of his new album Hand. Cannot. Erase with a UK and European tour in March and April 2015. The tour and album follow his runaway success of his third solo album The Raven That Refused to Sing and his sell out shows at London's Royal Albert Hall in 2013. The UK gigs kicked off at Cambridge Corn Exchange and continue on throughout his 10-country European tour until heading off to the USA and Canada.

Steven Wilson wanted to create "a show that I hope will raise the bar both musically and visually from my previous tours, with a set list based around the new album, as well as casting the net further back into my song writing past for a few surprises".

Steven Wilson's lighting designer, Matthew Jensen, came to Mick Freer of Hawthorn with an idea of creating a strong visual impact for the s

UK - Fisher Hires has invested in new lighting and AV stock following a major investment programme to the tune of £500,000. Fisher Hires is sister company to the prestigious event productions agency Fisher Productions, which this year celebrates its 30th birthday.

Fisher Hires supplies lighting, AV and technical expertise for all Fisher Productions events, and was launched as a separate company last year with the aim to widen the business and offer a full dry hire service.

Responding to client demand, Fisher has purchased a number of products from Clay Paky, MA Lighting, Avolites, Prolights and ETC and have significantly increased its stock of wireless uplights to include the Core Colourpoint.

Graham Beswick CEO of the Fisher Productions Group said, "Our upgrade of lighting and AV equipment comprises of over 110 product lines and thousands of pieces of kit, allowi

South Africa - The Ultimate X festival was staged for the first time this year at the Grand Arena in Cape Town, South Africa's GrandWest Casino, two days of adrenaline-fuelled, gravity-challenging, hi-energy stunts encompassing three breath-taking xtreme sport disciplines - FMX (freestyle motocross), BMX (bicycle motocross) and skateboarding - featuring the best athletes from around the globe.

The event, produced by Old School Productions, was staged in the round and lit by Sean Caie, the venue's head of lighting, using an all Robe moving light rig including BMFL Spots.

It was the first time that organisers had moved the event indoors and the first time it was extended to two days due to massive public demand.

The floor layout comprised a complete skate / BMX Park, with vert ramps and all the death-defying obstacles you'd expect in this raw and uncompromising environment.

Belgium - The most recent tour by Belgian girlband K3 featured a lighting and video design by Painting With Light's Luc Peumans which was based on the bold, bright, poppy and positive vibe that has characterised the band's remarkable 16 year career.

K3's impressive longevity - achieved without airplay on MTV and other standard music channels - was led by proactive direct marketing through youth and children's TV channels.

Luc has been involved with K3's live performance visuals for 12 years. His team from Painting With Light on this tour included programmer and lighting operator on the road Paco Mispelters and media server programmer and operator Katleen Selleslagh, and the design's starting point came from the band's hit TV show K3 Can Do It which is based on helping children achieve their dreams. The idea was to align the live show with the whole current K3 brand conc

UK - Aurora Lighting is supporting lighting director Oli Richards on the new ITV Saturday sporting comedy panel show Play to the Whistle.

Played out in front of a studio audience at Fountain Studios, Play to the Whistle features host Holly Whillouby presiding over team captains, Bradley Walsh and Frank Lampard.

Produced by Hungry Bear Media for ITV, the show pits two celebrity teams against each other with the aim of working out who sports the best knowledge of all things sporting. Helping to keep order, comedian Sean Walsh also joins the show in the guise of comic umpire for the series.

To assist in creating the show's polished, sporty look, Aurora supplied LD Oli with razor sharp Clay Paky Sharpys, which have been integrated into the set to create 'bars' of light that tower above the guests.

Elsewhere, Oli specified the innovative Doughty H Bar ladder syste

UK - OneBigStar supplied full technical production across eight sites at Aintree Racecourse for the 2015 Crabbie's Grand National Festival. Working directly with Accept Management who were appointed by Jockey Club Racecourses to provide an impressive programme of entertainment and production management for the prestigious sporting event.

Music acts performed in the Aintree International Equestrian Centre throughout the three days of the Festival. The line-up included local legends, The Christians on the Grand Opening Day, followed by X Factor and I'm A Celebrity star Jake Quickenden on Ladies' Day and The Stars from the Commitments on the day of the Grand National itself.

With many of the race goers staying on to enjoy the entertainment, it was vital that OneBigStar delivered the highest standards of production at this hugely popular event. They brought along a full festival s

USA - As part of the company's overall expansion of video touring production services, Production Resource Group (PRG) recently purchased 58 additional Fujinon lenses for use on its newly acquired Grass Valley LDX80 Première cameras.

As part of PRG's recent acquisition of over $50m in new equipment for PRG Nocturne, part of its recently rebranded PRG Music Group, the company placed orders for 21 Fujinon XA99X8.4BESM ultra-wide field production lenses, 27 ZA17x7.6 BERM ENG-Style lenses, and 10 ZA12x4.5BERM wide-angle remote control lenses to service its continually expanding touring production business. PRG Music Group focuses on providing integrated video and lighting solutions for worldwide tours, festivals, concerts, and corporate events.

Mickey Curbishley, CEO of the PRG Music Group, stated, "We're making this initial investment of over $50m in new, state-of-the-art v

Germany - Laserworld has a major presence at this year's Prolight+Sound, not only on their own boot, but also in the Festhalle on the PRG stage, where 22 RTI laser systems are playing for the duration of the exhibition.:

The PRG LEA Awards marked their 10th anniversary on 14 April 2015. This anniversary was celebrated in spectacular style in Frankfurt. An impressive laser setup accompanied the celebration of the awards with more than 22 show laser light systems from Ray Technologies (RTI) - the high end laser manufacturer from Germany - placed all around the huge stage, the balcony and, in conjunction with video projection systems, for special mapping effects.

Overall, laser power of more than 300W emphasized the size of the lighting rig that PRG built for the LEA Awards. Laserfabrik was responsible for the laser show design and control.

There were many famous nominees for t

Germany - Martin Professional has announced Jorge Espinoza as the first prize winner of the 2015 Young Lighting Designer Contest. As part of his prize, Espinoza has been awarded a trip to the Prolight+Sound 2015 show in Frankfurt, Germany where he will be formally presented as the winner at the Martin Professional stand (A93, Hall 9.0) today.

In addition to his all-inclusive trip to PL+S 2015, Espinoza has been awarded a new Martin M-Touch controller and an M-PC kit. Commenting on his win, the 25-year-old from Mexico said, "I really enjoy working with the M-series as it offers the right tools to translate my ideas into real-life shows. I'm pleased and very humbled to be announced as the winner among so much talent. I wanted to share my show and my message, but I never expected to be announced as the winner. Thank you to the judges and everyone who voted for me."

Thro

Germany - High End Systems has announced the launch of the SolaWash Pro 1500, billed as "the brightest in a line of incredibly bright, white light LED products".

With an output, approaching 30,000 lumens from a 600w LED source, the SolaWash Pro 1500 comes packed with CMY, Variable CTO, two fixed colour wheels, framing and a nine to 55 degree zoom range.

Alongside this full feature set, the SolaWash Pro 1500 includes High End Systems' patented thermal control software ensuring that the fixture's cooling system is as efficient as possible while being whisper quiet. Further to this, there are various cooling modes in order to meet differing customer requirements such as opera and broadcast.

"Following on from the incredible success of the SolaSpot Pro 1500, launched at LDI 2014 it is exciting that we have, in such a short space of time, been able to set the bar e

Germany - With the G-1 Beam moving head, launched this week at Frankfurt, SGM is offering numerous cutting-edge features in a physically compact chassis.

A sharply defined, flat and uniform beam that operates rapidly in every movement provides intense mid-air beam effects through a high power white LED light source and a colour wheel as well as a gobo wheel. The results are high contrast levels and an extreme brightness. Adding to its uniqueness, this moving head is not only IP65-rated and maintenance-free, but also offers the choice of being either battery-driven with an impressive 10-12 hours operation in typical use or being connected wired mains power.

It provides an output of 61,910 lux at a 3m distance and a colour temperature of 6,500K on pure white light. The G-1 is equipped with a 2.8? fixed beam angle; however, it can deliver an aperture zoom adjustable down to 0.3?.

Germany - Leading into Musikmesse on Tuesday evening was the opening reception for the exhibition of the Lightpower Collection of Neal Preston's extraordinary photography In the Eye of the Rock'n'Roll Hurricane.

One of the highlights of the evening, attended by over 350 people, was the presentation by Ralph-Jörg Wezorke, owner of Lightpower, of the Lightpower Neal Preston donation of $50,000 to the Behind the Scenes charity. The donation, which represents proceeds from three previous exhibitions over the last year, will be split between BTS in North America and the newly launched BTS UK. Future showings of the exhibition are currently in the planning stages.

Neal Preston has spent more than 40 years capturing rock and roll, with unprecedented access to musicians ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Led Zeppelin, Mick Jagger to Queen, both on and off the stage.

Takin

USA - ETC's CUE (Create. Understand. Experience.) professional development conference can help lighting professionals improve their skills and become more confident in their work. CUE - to be held 26-28 June, in Madison, Wisconsin - will have something for designers and programmers of all skill levels, whether they have years of experience in the most well known venues, are just getting started in their careers, or consider lighting to be their hobby or side job, say the organisers.

The conference is beneficial for professionals who work with all different kinds of lighting, including for theatre, houses of worship, broadcast, dance, academic institutions, architecture, live events, and more.

This summer's CUE conference will be the third end-user event that ETC has held. Attendees to previous CUEs have been able to apply what they've learned to their everyday work. "The

UK - An illuminated sculpture which features two up-cycled Star Wars craft is now on display in an exclusive public exhibition in Manchester's Spinningfields district.

Designed as a collaboration between lighting specialist, Andrew Gibson of Tyson Lighting and Vinny Smith of Northern Backdrop Interior Design, Heavy Petal has been fashioned from retro Raleigh bicycles which have been used to create the X Wing Fighter and TIE Interceptor from the iconic movies.

This innovative design installation, recently showcased in science, culture and technology magazine, Wired, has been moved from an exhibition at Tobacco Dock in London where it attracted high profile attention from the media.

Andrew commented: "I decided to use neon-effect Encapsulite fluorescent tubes to bring the ships to life. The ice blue gun tube offers reflections off the ships' chromed b

Germany - MA Lighting has introduced a new range of compact lighting control solutions - the dot2.

The dot2 range consists of three lighting consoles; dot2 core, dot2 XL-F, dot2 XL-B; two playback expansion wing solutions; dot2 F-wing and dot2 B-wing and the dot2 Node4 (1K) network output node as well as the dot2 onPC console software and the dot2 3D visualisation software solutions.

Designed for small and mid-sized projects and venues, dot2 offers advanced functionality with ease-of-use. Full tracking backup is available via plug and play networking.

Intuitive operation is the core of the dot2 philosophy and with all connectivity onboard, the dot2 range is suitable for most theatre, touring, corporate, television and education lighting environments.

The easy to operate dot2 software is available in multiple languages and provides onboard Help and Direct Hints to guide a n

USA Lighting designer Justin Kitchenman of FadeUp Design Group and the team at Elite Multimedia were impressed with rising country music artist Cole Swindell when he opened for superstar Luke Bryan last year. They were in a good position to appreciate this emerging talent, since Kitchenman was the LD on the tour and Elite provided its lighting and video package. So when Swindell announced his current Ain't Worth The Whisky tour, they were eager to put together a lighting package, which is precisely what they wound up doing in colourful fashion with some help from 44 ÉPIX Strip 2.0 units from Chauvet Professional.

"We've had a great relationship with Justin and production manager James 'Mo' Butts, who works with Luke Bryan and Cole Swindell," said David Venus of Elite Multimedia. "Justin has used the ÉPIX strips in various rigs over the past few years

Germany - Robe enjoyed another mega busy and successful Prolight+Sound expo in Frankfurt, with the launch of 10 new products and four hyperactive days on the booth in Hall 11 at the Messe exhibition centre.

This was preceded by Robe's sixth biennial International Distributor Conference, staged a day ahead of the exhibition at the Dorint Hotel Frankfurt Niederrad, and attended by over 150 Robe distributors from around the world. The conference detailed the company's growth trajectory over the last two years, highlighting the trends and outlining strategies for the next five years and beyond.

The hard work, creativity and productivity of the top performing distributors were recognized in a series of awards, and the event proved an ideal precursor and motivator for the exhibition where Robe' colourful booth featured multi-lingual staff communicating in over 20 different languages

USA - LA band Maroon 5 has kicked off their World Tour 2015 with two grandMA2 full-size consoles controlling lighting and video elements. Maroon 5 launched its World Tour 2015 in Dallas and will finish in Auckland, New Zealand. The tour is in support of the band's fifth album, V which was released last year.

LeRoy Bennett, the production designer for the tour, has branded the stage with strong 'V' motifs, inspired by the album artwork, incorporated into the trussing and transparent set pieces. Lighting and video create a dynamic, constantly changing environment on an arrow-shaped stage.

Plexiglass panels, filled with special effects smoke, act as upstage display surfaces for video content while the downstage stage was constructed as a giant, hollow plexiglass 'fishbowl' that could also be filled with smoke and lit with 20 Clay Paky Sharpy Washes. The ceiling structure h

USA - Bandit Lites international sales and installation team is expanding with the hiring of Rudi Aldridge and Brandon Gauthier.

Rudi Aldridge joins Bandit as a sales and design associate with more than 20years of experience in venue operations and management, including the Tennessee Performing Arts Centre as an event master electrician and technical director at a multi-venue facility at Vanderbilt University.

In his new position, Rudi will be working with Bandit clients through the entire process, from concept, to design, installation and training.

In addition to Aldridge, Bandit's sales team also is growing with Brandon Gauthier as an installation and service specialist. Due to his previous experience as the lighting and sound director of the Orlando Repertory Theatre, lighting supervisor for the Wallis Annenberg Centre for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills and as a pro

USA - Back in 1782, George Washington consented to have the small 'College at Chester' renamed in his honour. More recently, the students and alumni at Washington College (the tenth oldest in the US) have been showing their appreciation for this gesture by throwing a giant annual party in honour of the first president. This year's George Washington Party may have been the most colourful ever, thanks in no small measure to a dynamic lighting display created with a collection of Legend, Q-Wash and COLORado fixtures from Chauvet Professional.

Massimo Didonna of Partners in Sound (New York) created the party's lighting rig to be impactful and versatile at the same time. "The party is a very big event for the school," said Didonna. "Not only does it draw a huge turnout of students, it also attracts quite a few alumni. The students want dancing, intensity and visual exc

Germany - At the Prolight+Sound International Press Award, also known as the pipa award, SGM's Q-7 RGBW won the award for best lighting product.

Journalists from more than 100 dedicated special interest magazines from all over the world were called upon to nominate and vote for the best equipment in the marketplace, and they selected the Q-7.

"To be recognised for this ground-breaking LED fixture is amazing. It has quickly become an industry standard and I am proud to see it implemented in so many great designs," said SGM CEO Peter Johansen.

The Q-7 is a low-profile and compact RBGW flood, blind and strobe containing 2,000 powerful LEDs providing 28,000 lumens. It is also available in as a Q-7 W with a pure white light output offering 60,000 lumens.

(Jim Evans)

Germany - ETC is celebrating another successful Prolight&Sound show, in which they had their biggest stand space ever, spread across two areas.

On one of their stands, visitors were able to get an exclusive preview of the Eos console family software version 2.3, which is due for release in summer and adds a number of new options for controlling colour. Anne Valentino, ETC's Eos product manager, says, "Among the changes are multiple colour space options, which can be used for any type of mixing system and improved gel matching and new display options. Tinting tools - such as warmer and cooler - can also be used to adjust colour.

"Spectrum tools expose emitter settings for LED fixtures, and with ETC LED fixtures provide an adjustment at an emitter level that will maintain the white point. A number of colour fade path options are allowed, with a graphic to display the c

UK - Welsh Indie rock band Catfish & The Bottlemen recently played two sold out shows at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire to finish a successful run of shows around the UK. LD Scott Galloway provided the sparkle for the tour using an Avolites Tiger Touch II.

Galloway created a "compact but punchy" show using a package from Nitelites, including six Chauvet Slimpar Pro's, four Martin Atomics, eight 2-cell blinders, and eight Clay Paky Sharpys.

Though he has toured with Avolites consoles since 2012, this was Galloway's first show using the Tiger Touch II. He had to be creative with his show design as he was limited on colours. "When I came onboard the band requested I only use red as a stage wash, which can make it difficult creating separate looks for every song," he explains.

"It can be really interesting to see what you can do when you're limited to usin

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