Italy - Creative technology expert Realtime Environment Systems Ltd (RES) has completed an 18-month project, working in collaboration with media agency Innovision and content creators Immersive, to design, install and pixel map 1000s of LEDs for two of four giant metal LED sculptures created for Expo Milano 2015.

Situated in the heart of the Expo, in the Piazza Italia sponsored by Siemens, the four 10m-high shimmering tree-like sculptures anchor the four corners of the central square.

Conceived by Polish-American artist and architect Daniel Libeskind, each structure's dynamic form spirals out of the ground and spreads into two branches spanning 10 metres above the square. Crafted from brushed aluminium and fitted with a grid of innovative LED technology, the sculptures' 'Wings' animate the public space with a constant flow of pulsating patterns and imagery that relate to the t

USA - Alternative artist Børns didn't just perform for fans who turned out for Lucid Candy in Culver City, a pre-concert event celebrating his Candy EP, he took them on a dream-like journey reminiscent of Alice's fantastical walk through the Looking Glass. Lighting designer Rachel Miller used a collection of fixtures from Chauvet Professional to add to the evocative power of the event, which was created by 72U and Mophonics Music & Sound.

The magic Miller worked with lights was evident in the event's mesmeric tunnel entrance, which visitors walked into after being presented with intriguing pill vials filled with M&M candy. With dry ice produced fog rising from the ground and flowing fabric covering the walls and ceiling, the tunnel gave visitors the feeling of walking into a dream. This effect was accentuated by Miller's use of COLORado 1-Quad Tour RGBW LED wash fixtures

USA - Passion plays, traditional theatrical depictions of the life and death of Jesus, have been an Easter season staple for centuries and the modern-day touring production The Thorn with a full Elation lighting and LED video package, is arguably one of the best.

The Thorn,which has been staged yearly since 1998, breaks from ritual and adopts a more dramatic form, fusing Cirque du Soleil-type aerials, martial arts and state-of-the-art entertainment technology with emotionally powerful performances.

This year, the play raised the visual drama even further through use of a dynamic package of Elation Platinum Series and LED-based moving heads, LED Par and effect lights, and LED video displays with haze and special fog effects from Antari.

Illuminate Production Services of Sacramento provided nearly all of the lighting equipment, labor and production management for

UK - Since Ambersphere Solutions welcomed Ayrton into its family of quality distributed brands, the proliferation of Ayrton fixtures has been one of the company's many success stories.

A dozen of Ayrton's Magicpanels can currently be seen on the lighting rig for Olly Murs' latest outing. Famously just the runner-up in the X-Factor of 2009, his current UK tour includes four nights at The O2 in London before heading to Europe and then on to Australia. At the recent Manchester Arena show, the set list was put on hold to accommodate filming Olly and his audience by the X-Factor team in preparation for his debut on the show as a judge. Not a bad result for a performer many thought would be consigned to the Butlins summer season after losing out to Joe McElderry.

Production designer Paul Normandale has combined a set, video and lighting rig that places the audience focus firm

UK - London's Royal Albert Hall is the first live performance venue in the UK to invest in Robe's BMFL Spot moving light, with a purchase of 17 fixtures for its in-house lighting rig.

The decision was taken by the Hall's senior technical manager, Ollie Jeffery, and the venue's award-winning lighting design and systems manager, Richard Rhys Thomas. The units were delivered by Robe UK in conjunction with TSL Lighting where the process was co-ordinated by Ashley Lewis, Robe UK's key account manager for touring, TV, theatre & film.

The venue stages approximately 400 performances per year in the main auditorium, which has a capacity of over 5,000 (variable according to configuration) and is known for its splendid environment and famous organ, built in 1871 and comprising 9,999 pipes.

In addition, there are about 400 events in other spaces around the building, encompassing all typ

The Netherlands - Coemar Lighting has announced the appointment of Fairlight BV has its exclusive distributor for the LEDko products in The Netherlands and Belgium.

For 25 years Fairlight has been known for innovation, customer satisfaction and reliability. They are a leading distributor of quality equipment for the entertainment industry, representing many major brands such as Martin, Eurotruss, Avolites, LSC, Prolift, Chainmaster, De Sisti and Wireless Solution.

Michel Arntz, director of Fairlight says, "We are glad to start our cooperation with Coemar. Coemar is an historical brand with a long heritage and the LEDko products are outstanding and a great tool for the professional lighting. We are confident that our customers will be happy by providing new, innovative and good solutions with Coemar with the service customers know from Fairlight."

He adds, "We

Opera on the Road - Opera is to be toured to theatres around the UK by a new production company that aims to bring more diverse audiences to the genre. HighTime has been founded by Felicity Green and Benjamin Hamilton, who met while studying at the University of Warwick, and is aimed at staging productions for people who would otherwise not have access to opera. Its first production, supported by Arts Council England, will be Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, in a new translation by Kit Hesketh-Harvey. It will run at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry, with plans to tour the show around the UK next year, engaging young people from each location to perform in the chorus.

Green Day - Amelia Lily will star in a new London production of Green Day musical American Idiot. The X Factor runner-up, who is currently starring in a tour of Joseph and the Amazi

USA - Fort Lauderdale-based lighting and video rental company Paradigm Lighting once again delivered a fabulous production, lighting design and kit for the Live Stage at this year's Ultra Music Festival in Miami, with Robe Pointes and MMX Spots at its core.

Paradigm's owner and founder Jorge Valdez has been involved in lighting this stage at the US's premier EDM extravaganza for the last 12 years. The Live stage, located at the 7500 seat outdoor Klipsch Amphitheatre at Bayfront Park, was a major hotspot of the event, and hosted up to eight live artists a day for three days. This year included jaw-dropping sets from Krewella, Netsky, Kygo, Porter Robinson, Bassnectar, Royksopp and Chromeo.

Jorge received a brief of what the organizers wanted to see in terms of a visual concept - Paradigm also supplied video for the Live Stage - and then oversaw its technical realization, which

UK - The recent gala evening for Alice's Adventures Underground saw team White Light venture down the rabbit hole for Les Enfants Terribles' extraordinary new show, nestled deep in the Waterloo Vaults.

Now open for a strictly limited season, the multi-sensory production fuses puppetry, story-telling, music and spectacle with stage technology for an immersive experience. Inviting intimate groups to choose their own adventure, different interactive elements re-create memorable scenes from Lewis Carol's novel, which has just celebrated its 150th anniversary.

The White Light team led by Gary O'Donnell - hire coordinator, worked closely alongside Paul Walmsley - chief electrician for the project, utilising our inventory to fulfil the extensive kit requirements. The design incorporated eight different rooms, all with an entirely bespoke set-up and experience within. Fully net

USA - At the sold out Invasion Del Corrido concert at the Staples Centre, keeping pace with the swirling passion, colour and intensity of the music on stage was a dynamic lighting design created by LD Brandon Dunning of Visions Lighting. At the heart of Dunning's design was a series of truss structures energized by bright pixel mapped Nexus 4 x4 LED panels from Chauvet Professional.

Dunning used 20 of the Nexus panels controlled with an ArKaos LED Mapper. (He ran the rig using a grandMA 2 Light console.) Eight of the Nexus panels were hung inside a 30' x 25' upstage circular truss structure. The other 12 Nexus units were arranged three each on the four 10' truss towers that accented the stage.

By displaying pixel mapped breakout patterns on the Nexus panels and varying the intensity of their output (he ran a mixture of 110v and 208v), Dunning was able to reflect the diverse ra

USA - It is the hope of every museum to help make history come alive, and with an 11,000 year old history as rich as the Cherokee nation, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian had no shortage of inspiration. In 1998, Visual Terrain, Inc. designed lighting for the newly renovated space, and was awarded the IESNA's prestigious Edwin F. Guth Memorial Award for Interior Lighting Design.

In 2014, the museum called when they could no longer get parts for the 1998 dimming and control system. Upon visiting the museum, Visual Terrain CEO Lisa Passamonte Green noted, "They had started to upgrade to LEDs, but it was early technology, and the light output and colour consistency was not what we can achieve with the newest sources. The museum was darker, and our original design was no longer evident.

"It's rare we get an opportunity to completely re-do a project that we did many years

USA - With spectacular staging, big-screen displays, theatrical lighting, all-encompassing sound and close to 20,000 spectators at every event, this year's Passion Conference - Passion 2015 - looked more like a major rock concert than a religious event. But the Passion 2015 event is actually three full days of music, inspirational speeches, video, lights and stagecraft designed to bring 18 to 25 year olds closer to Jesus Christ.

An annual event since 1997, the Passion Tour has grown exponentially, with this year's conference presenting three separate events this winter to sold-out crowds at Philips Arena in Atlanta over the course of two weekends, and the Toyota Centre in Houston. The Houston event was also streamed over the Internet, allowing roughly 40,000 more viewers to virtually attend this high profile, influential Christian event.

Passion 2015 leveraged world-class stag

Belgium - Earlier this year, Elation partner Fratuer near Antwerp, Belgium, supplied and installed a new Elation lighting package in Red&Blue, the city's largest gay club and the biggest in Belgium. Red&Blue, which has stood as a pioneering nightclub in Antwerp for more than 17 years, hosts crowds of partygoers each night, as well as a slew of parties throughout the year. The club sought to create a new experience for its customers and chose to upgrade its existing lighting system.

"Together with Frateur and Red&Blue management, we started out with some drawings to get our thoughts and demands for the lighting down on paper," commented Tim Torfs, who manages the club together with Nourdin Bens. "After several brainstorm sessions we came up with a fantastic idea, which Frateur then put into action. It resulted in the magnificent piece of lighting design we have tod

Germany - ArKaos PRO enjoyed a spectacularly successful show at Prolight+Sound, Frankfurt with its stand constantly awash with new and existing customers eager to see the company's latest developments.

The stand's complex projection surfaces were a perfect foil to illustrate the capabilities of ArKaos PRO's Kling-Net, the protocol driving its LEDMaster LED show control, and the latest version of ArKaos PRO MediaMaster software.

Visitors to the stand were also able to witness for themselves the technical wizardry and simple operation of ArKaos PRO LEDMaster - an all-in-one solution which delivers LED show control in three easy steps. Designed to work in conjunction with ArKaos PRO's Kling-Net protocol, LEDMaster adds a layer of intelligence to any LED device by automatically recognising and configuring it to make it ready for mapping. Scenes can be triggered live, automatically

Switzerland - With the new BeamBar Series, Laserworld launches a low price solution in the product range of single beam fan projection laser bars.

The Laserworld BeamBar units are available in red, green and blue and have 10 laser apertures. At each aperture, one laser beam is emitted. Fine adjustment screws at the front panel allow for easy beam alignment such as making all beams exit the bar parallel or in a certain angle. Each of the 10 laser sources can be switched via standard DMX512, so the BeamBar can easily be integrated to existing lighting setups. It uses 13 DMX channels for control.

The Laserworld BeamBar units are suitable for fixed installations, on stage, or for mobile use. Several bars combined bars makeoffer many design possibilities, says the company.

(Jim Evans)

USA - Pretty much anywhere in the world, state funded school budgets are tight, so most cannot frequently upgrade technology; and when they do invest in classrooms, gyms or theatres, they have to make the right choice since they'll be using it for years to come.

When Nevada's Clark County School District needed to upgrade its aging theatre equipment, the district - which spans 9,000 square miles and includes Las Vegas - chose ETC Ion lighting desks to bring its 37 theatres into the 21st century.

An Ion is now in all 35 Clark County High School theatres and its performing arts high school and middle school. Many of these high schools were built somewhere between 1992 and 2005. When each was built, it had a state-of-the-art performing arts space, says Gary Sessa, a teacher in the district as well as the theatre taskforce chair for secondary fine arts in the Clark County School D

UK - As befits an event devoted to physical conditioning, the pace was nonstop high energy at the International Fitness Showcase 2015, which drew 3,500 fitness instructors to Blackpool Winter Gardens for three intense days of Pilates, kettlebells, spinning, pole fitness, Zumba, step aerobics, street dance and other activities. Helping to pump up the action and motivate participants at the annual event was a collection of LED fixtures from Chauvet.

Oliver Wilkinson, lighting designer and engineer at Arranpaul, which supplied lighting, sound and AV for the event utilised a variety of colour rendering Chauvet fixtures to add a festive, glitzy air, not to mention a dash of intensity, to Blackpool's Spanish Hall. A spacious Andalusian-style vaulted room, Spanish Hall was the main spot for the event, which was organised by Chrysalis Promotions, in addition to serving as the site for i

USA - Even in the depths of January, Red Bull's Crashed Ice event in St. Paul, Minn., drew more than 100,000 people to a weekend of after-dark competitive ice cross downhill skating. Spread out over three square miles of the city center, the massive track and viewing area required hundreds of Martin Professional fixtures to be properly lit. Lighting designer Paul Guthrie of Toss Film + Design Inc. was brought in by Red Bull to lead the layout and design of all the lighting fixtures for the event.

Crashed Ice takes place four times a year in world-class cities such as Helsinki, Belfast and Edmonton. Skaters compete in heats of four on temporary 1,500ft long ice tracks featuring steep turns and high vertical drops erected in these urban environments. The track in St. Paul was set up in front of a cathedral - a backdrop made all the more impressive by high-quality lighting.

Guthr

USA - In Manhattan, the heart of the city that never sleeps, creating something spectacular can be a challenge. The New York Spring Spectacular starring the Rockettes does justice to the word. Animated statues, rain, 3D video, moving video screens, and more, all make this show something to behold.

An RC4Magic Wireless DMX and Dimming System delivers subtle and not so subtle effects that help make this show great. Act 1, Scene 1: Grand Central Station, complete with its world-famous ticket counter and clock, centre stage. Lights are controlled using RC4Magic Series 3 wireless, and that's just the beginning of a long list of untethered props and set pieces brightening practically every scene to come.

When the plot brings us to the Empire State Building, four coin-operated binoculars are on the Observation Deck. These free moving props, pushed around by the ensemble dancers, are

USA - A Motionless in White concert is not for anyone expecting a predictable metalcore experience. Sometimes described as "horror metal," the iconic group never fails to surprise and unsettle audiences by pulling unexpected tricks out of its musical bag, whether it's a shattering blast beat that bursts out of nowhere in the middle of a verse or a haunting keyboard effect that leaves audiences looking over their shoulders. The band's headline performance at the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival was no exception, arousing the crowd with its unexpected twists and turns.

Keeping pace with the music was an intense and sometimes darkly theatrical lightshow by lighting designer Freddy Thompson of JDI Productions that featured a collection of Legend moving fixtures and Vesuvio RGBA foggers from Chauvet Professional. Thompson used six Legend 230SR Beams and eight Legend

South Africa - Set and lighting designer, Joshua Cutts from Visual Frontier, used one grandMA2 full-size, one MA NPU (Network Processing Unit) and grandMA2 onPC for back-up on Miss South Africa, hosted at Sun City's Superbowl. Cutts explains that the beautifully lit HD televised production, with the set and full technical supplied by Dream Sets, went back to a fashion show feel.

Gavin Wratten was the producer and director from Sic Entertainment: "The show concept came about as Gavin talked me through his ideas," commented Joshua Cutts. "He wanted to go back to a fashion show production. The main stage, with two wide staircases on either, tapered into a long ramp which extended into the centre of the Superbowl.

"Miss South Africa is usually a banquet affair, but this year Gavin felt the audience should be seated around the ramp, without any distracting table

USA - Everyone knows that energy efficient LED fixtures like the Iluminarc Ilumipanel 180 IP are good for the environment, but in at least one case they can directly save the animals that occupy our planet too. This was recently demonstrated in convincing fashion at the iconic Sundial at Turtle Bay Bridge in California's Shasta Cascade region.

The metal halide fixtures that had previously been used to illuminate the pedestrian/bicycle bridge were causing a serious threat to the sensitive salmon that spawn directly under the glass bottomed structure. As this halide lighting burned at night, it reflected into the water and in the air, allowing predators to find and decimate the salmon population.

Jeff Dennis of Multi-Lite USA was called in as project manager to find a solution to this environmental issue. At the same time, Dennis was also asked to enhance the aesthetic appeal of

USA - Nashville-based companies Cour Design and Elite Multimedia Productions are continuing their partnership with the designer's midi-controlled lighting and video system on pop artist Nick Jonas shows in 2015.

Cour Design co-founders Gordon Droitcour and Erik Anderson focus on efficient tour design based on midi triggering of lighting and video cues from the band's existing backing tracks. Using Jands Vista Bryon's lighting software, Arkaos Media Master Pro, Capture and Ableton as the master programme, Cour Design builds a whole show for video and lighting.

Having a self-contained, auto-triggering, midi-controlled system using notes, bars and measures from Ableton allows the visual performance to be based in a more musical way with notes, bars and measures as opposed to SMPTE and time code triggers.

"The idea is we create a design and we program the whole show for vid

UK - XL Video is sharing in the runaway success of supergroup McBusted, an energetic fusion of two of the most popular pop-punk-rock bands from the early noughties - McFly and Busted - which is delighting generations of both original and new fans, all equally exuberant, on their latest UK arena tour.

The show's design and set concept is a non-stop, high-octane narrative set in a classic 1980s arcade games machine, which was the brainchild of artistic director Paul Caslin. He's known both bands for around 10 years and has a background in video and filmic art, so visuals and moving image were always going to be prominent in the aesthetic, which also includes snippets inspired by renowned cult movies of the 1980s and 1990s like Wayne's World, Back To The Future, The Mighty Ducks - the formative era in which they all grew up.

Production North is handling all t

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