USA - PLASA's inaugural Kansas City Focus Show opened its doors this week showcasing the very latest live entertainment technology products, attracting major buyers and hosting truly inspirational industry speakers who shared their knowledge and expertise.

The seminar programme and training sessions saw a diverse range of topics with highlights including: Rocky Paulson - a master of rigging, sharing his expertise on the art of rigging safely with the right components; Daunte Kenner - a veteran in both lighting and video, enlightening the audience on the craft and workflow that goes behind creating video; and Richard Pilbrow - the renowned lighting designer and founder of Theatre Projects, sponsored by Group One's 'ElektraLite', musing that a theatre is an accelerator of energy and light and the principle that an audience makes the atmosphere before the play begins. He presented

Germany - Fritz Kalkbrenner, the younger brother of musician and techno music producer Paul Kalkbrenner, is also a music producer and singer. In his solo projects, he combines techno rhythms and melodic elements. Kalkbrenner broke through with his second album Sick Travellin' and is now on tour to promote his third album Ways Over Water.

The production director Bastian Weinert and operator Thomas Dossman are in charge of the tour. The lighting was designed by Cue Design Gmbh. Among the lights used for the shows are 24 Clay Paky Mythos, together with a grandMA2 light console and an MA onPC command wing.

Jan Bohl, general manager of B&G Promotion GmbH which is in charge of technical production and equipment, stated, "We opted for Clay Paky Mythos because they are currently the best performing hybrid lights on the market. They can be used in a variety of ways: as beam

Edinburgh Rocked - Edinburgh's position as the world's pre-eminent festival city faces challenges from the digital revolution, public investment and city infrastructure, according to a new report. Thundering Hooves 2.0 is a £50,000 report commissioned by the city's festivals forum, the umbrella body for public organisations that have a vested interest in the success of the city's 12 key festivals. It builds on an original 2006 report when it was feared that the "thundering hooves" of other cities could be heard overtaking Edinburgh's status as the UK's preeminent festival city.

The new report makes 38 recommended actions, across six themes, which it says will allow the city's festivals to evolve and cope with future challenges. The festivals are described as being "behind the curve on digital innovation". To combat this, it is recommended that th

UK - In order to upgrade their existing theatrical lighting equipment for the new season, The Point Theatre in Eastleigh approached White Light to help them find the right solution. The Point became an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation in April 2015 and is known as a regional powerhouse for contemporary dance, theatre and combined arts.

Determined to make their theatre spaces more environmentally friendly, The Point wanted to reduce their overall power consumption and saw the use of LED lighting as a natural way to do so. They were also eager to maintain the best possible theatrical dimming and colour options by having a flexible and varied lighting set-up whilst at the same time working towards a particular budget. "We needed to be flexible with fixtures and ensure that they would allow for use across different applications" comments Timothy Slater,

UK - Lighting designer Matt Button used an array of Clay Paky Mythos and Sharpys for the launch event of the Adidas x Pharrell Williams Superstars Supercolor range.

Button teamed up with long-time collaborator Marshmellow Laser Feast for the event, which took place at the Hackney reservoir. Sixty Mythos fixtures, supplied by HDO Productions, lined the venue where they projected stunningly pure beams into the night sky. The light show was interactive with guests able to choose the colours of the beams through Twitter and took place in time to a live performance from dubstep artist Koreless.

"Our creative brief was to basically light up the sky over London in waves and auras of differing colours," says Button. "I made up a quick 3D model which demonstrated our ideas to adidas and they really liked it. We knew we wanted to use Mythos as it has a very quick and almo

USA - Water and electrics usually don't mix unless you were at Wet Electric in Tempe, Arizona, in April for America's largest waterpark music festival where Creative BackStage of Phoenix lived up to its name by creating an extraordinary stage visually brought to life using Elation Platinum Beam 5Rs and Opti Tri PAR lights with Elation EVLED LED video panels used for a high-impact backdrop LED video screen.

On 25-26 April, Wet Electric took over Big Surf Waterpark with headliners Tiesto and Dillon Francis providing the party beats for the biggest pool party in the country. What separates Wet Electric from other electronic music festivals is a professional production stage built into the U.S.'s largest wave pool with a dance floor the pool itself.

Designing a full production stage amid a wet pool environment, the mix of water and power cabling posing their own challenges, matter

UK - Showmagic has confirmed PCM Distribution Ltd as a new distributor for its ShowMagic Control Software. Peter Maddison from PCM Distribution comments: "This product will make a great addition to the ever growing portfolio of products we distribute".

ShowMagic is an integrated lighting, audio, video, digital signage and device controller, with built-in scheduling and triggering features. It gives users complete control of their lighting and AV, controlling, combining and synchronising all the elements of a live show or fixed installation, the company says.

Its power and flexibility make it the ideal solution for a wide range of applications. From spectacular light shows to subtle mood lighting, immersive spaces to corporate presentations, ShowMagic is used worldwide across a range of industries.

UK - AV equipment supply and integration company SSE has completed an audio and video installation project for Phillips, the internationally renowned auction house, at the new European Phillips HQ in London's Berkeley Square.

As part of the construction of the new six-floor complex, which incorporates auction rooms, client presentation and hospitality areas and offices. SSE installed a Q-Sys audio routing and management system, based around a Core 250i processor, to distribute and control networked audio and video throughout the building. Several channels of Shure's ULX-D wireless microphone systems have also been installed; these can be linked into the SSE-installed, building-wide Layer 3 audio network. The Shure and QSC equipment was supplied by Shure Distribution UK.

The Berkeley Square building had been Enron's London HQ, but it was completely gutted and reconstructed when

Puerto Rico - Pop singer, composer and actor Chayanne is currently touring with a lighting design by Belgian-based designers Alain Corthout and Ignace D'Haese, who have many top Latin stars in their current portfolio, and the skill of lighting this lively and demanding genre honed to a fine art.

They designed the lighting - including 59 Robe Pointe moving lights - set and video for the tour, his first for the artist, based on an integrated package that is ultimately flexible and can be set up in multiple formats according to the available stage space. He also wanted to create multiple levels onstage and a playground for the musicians and dancers.

Fifty-five of the 59 Pointes are positioned over the stage, rigged on four triangular trusses which move into different positions throughout the show.

The Pointes are the only effects lights on the rig and they work hard and look fa

Austria - The city of Schärding on the Inn River on the border with Germany, had the whole city illuminated with a multimedia spectacular over the winter season. The bridge crossing the Inn was illuminated as well as the monastery and the water front.

However, it was not only conventional illumination effects that lit up Schärding. The whole city centre was covered with a multimedia projection, the facades of the buildings were covered with video mapping and video projections and the orchard was covered with laser projections.

Additionally, multiple information projections were displayed alongside the ring road in the city centre. HB-Laser, a company that specializes in multimedia and laser projects, set up the whole show installation. The video projections in the city centre were created with six video projectors, all controlled with two special Titan multimedia workstation

UK / India - Lighting and video control specialist Avolites has appointed Integrated Entertainment Solutions (IES) as its sole distributor for the Indian market. The announcement comes ahead of the two companies combining their efforts to exhibit the latest from Avolites at the PALM Expo at the end of May.

IES is an 18-year-old distribution & trading company based in Mumbai, pioneering in the fields of intelligent lighting, pro-sound & control systems. Their expertise stretches beyond distribution to encompass solutions from entertainment-related venues such as nightclubs to architectural installations.

Avolites' story in India stems back over 20 years, and directors Steve Warren and Koy Neminathan conducted the first workshop there in 2002. Regular training opportunities continued, and so grew the relationships with the local LDs and rental companies.

As the sole distributo

South Africa - SABC TV Outside Broadcasts has invested in an Avolites Quartz console, part of the Titan Mobile Family, and a Lumen Radio CRMX Nova FX RDM transmitter and receiver, their second LumenRadio acquisition. South African based DWR Distribution supplied the equipment.

Andre Rossouw, the specialist production lighting electrician for the SABC TV Outside Broadcasts, was introduced to LumenRadio a couple of years ago when Peter Kirkup visited South Africa for a LumenRadio Roadshow. "The system is rock solid," said Andre. He used LumenRadio for the second time at the South African elections in 2014. "I had two different areas which needed camera lighting and it was no hassle. I have sat under an escalator before with dimmers around the corner and the rig set up inside a hall. LumenRadio has a decent frequency." He also used LumenRadio, working with Kurt

USA - In many educational theatre environments, students are often confronted with the challenges of learning their craft on outdated equipment, but every so often, a school district gets the opportunity to create a performance space filled with all the latest technologies available. At Denison High School, the newly created Smith Auditorium is one such case as Batts AVL was given the chance to install a completely new lighting system filled with lighting, dimming and control from Philips Strand Lighting.

"In the design of the new space, we were very fortunate to not only get what we needed, but also what we wanted," began Amy Jordan, Denison High School Theater Arts Department chair. "For the new Smith Auditorium, I wanted the students to have the most advanced lighting technologies so they could be best prepared to move onto careers in the theatre industry once

USA - - A weekend at the ocean can be entertainment enough, but Alabama's Hangout Music Festival took that sentiment and expounded upon with multiple stages scattered across the sandy beaches and ocean backdrop with lighting from Bandit Lites.

The event provided not only a view of paradise, but the sounds of the Foo Fighters, Beck, the Zac Brown Band, Umphrey's McGee, Skrillex, My Morning Jacket, Foster the People, Paramore and Spoon. With a Ferris wheel, a beach house hangout, VIP areas, gourmet beach fare and a viewing tower known as the Mega Drop, this year's festival also touted a hip craft beer courtyard that boasted draughts from Goose Island, Lagunitas, New Belgium, Straight to Ale, Southern Tier and Abita.

Designed by Dizzy Gosnell, Bandit provided six trusses for the main stage's overhead lighting rig loaded with VL 3000 Spots, VL3000 washes, VL 3500 washes, Sharpys,

UK - Sky TV lighting designer Iain Davidson is using one of the latest additions to the Philips Vari-Lite product line, the feature-packed VL4000 Spot, to deliver smooth, precise effects and stunning colour to popular Sky Atlantic show Thronecast.

The official fan companion series to widely-watched fantasy drama Game of Thrones (GoT), Thronecast follows shortly after each new instalment of GoT on a Monday night. Presented by Jamie East and Sue Perkins, the show sees a live discussion of the episode's events with various members of the cast and crew. Iain is employing six of the award-winning Vari-Lite luminaire, supplied by Richard Martin Lighting (RML), to give depth and texture to the chat show set up.

"My original brief was for a glossy set in front of a white cyc and, as the look was going to be high key, the standard beams and smoke approa

UK - Complete production solution specialists White Light is set to launch a new studio facility at its Wimbledon premises. Featuring its own dedicated entrance and hospitality suite, Studio 15 incorporates a high-specification infrastructure including large format meeting space with video conferencing, pre and post productions audio and video editing suites, and a 120m2 dedicated rehearsal, teaching and product demonstration space.

The multi-purpose venue offers the market accessible space facilitating full technical rehearsals, with the resource to make up-to-the-minute final edits to material. Studio 15 will also be utilised as a hub for White Light's clients to develop bespoke creative content for their events, as well as host industry masterclasses. With a capacity of 60 pax theatre-style, or 30 cabaret, the versatile hire options will include competitive rates.

Lee Denni

USA - Stroll down Grant Place or Webster Street in Old Towne Arvada,CO, and you might find it hard to believe that you're less than a half hour away from Denver. Although this picturesque village, which traces its roots back to the 1850 Colorado gold rush, has grown into a sizable commuting suburb, it's managed to retain much of its old-fashioned hometown feeling. This is evident in Arvada's many homegrown festivals; and it's also plain to see in the warm attitude that prevails at the city's Centerpoint Community Church, which welcomes visitors with refreshments before services every Sunday morning.

As deeply rooted as it is in tradition, however, Centerpoint is also committed to creating an engaging worship environment for modern sensibilities. With this in mind, church leaders contacted Roland Dutzmann of AcousTech (Franktown, CO) to give their 500-seat house of worship a majo

Argentina - OffRamp is a production company based in the San Andres area of Buenos Aires headed by José Luis López. He started this company four years ago, and himself has 20 years of experience at the sharp end of the entertainment technology industry.

Recently, OffRamp invested in Robe MMX WashBeams which were supplied through Argentinean distributor, TSD Group.

The company owns a carefully selected quantity of sound, lighting and video equipment that is utilized on their own shows, for which they will usually provide the full technical production including design. They have a portfolio of many high profile corporate clients and brands and service numerous prestigious events.

Jose Luis explains that they chose Robe after much careful deliberation, primarily because of the brand's reputation for "reliability and quality engineering".

"Being able to

UK - HSL continues its busy spring 2015 season supplying lighting & visuals designer Max Conwell for Morrissey's touring work.

Without the constraints of management or record company, Morrissey tours and performs prolifically without being tied in to any album cycles and other more conventional commercial considerations.

This means that his touring work has to be cost-efficient and self-supporting. Things like truck size is an important factor, onstage visual elements have to work hard and be multi-purpose and he challenges his technical team to be constantly imaginative and to deliver the best production values.

He takes an active interest in the look, sound and feel of his stage presentation, and has built an honest and heartfelt rapport with a loyal worldwide fanbase.

Since 2014, Max has turned to rental company HSL from Blackburn to supply all his touring lighting, whi

UK - Illuminate Design has been appointed as a London and South-East Dealer for the High End luminaires range with effect from 1st June 2015. Illuminate Design have a long-heritage in the Theatre Market; Director Ben Payne is an established Theatre Lighting Designer and Technical Sales Manager Ken Berreen has over 30 years experience of the Stage Lighting sector.

Ben Payne of Illuminate Design comments, "We are delighted to be working with High End Systems to introduce their range of LED products to the London and South East markets. The High End Systems brand is one that sits very comfortably with Illuminate Design and we look forward to working closely with them to develop their product sales in the UK in the coming months."

The SolaSpot Pro 1500 and SolaWash Pro 1500 heralds a new generation of lighting innovation from High End Systems; these agile, bright and gre

UK - Over 2,000 items of lighting information from industry magazines, product catalogues and technical manuals, have been gifted by lighting designer Chris Watts to three organisations. This major collection of lighting information from the UK and USA has been carefully collected by Watts for over 30 years.

The collection represents a historical review of lighting companies and reveals developments in technology and design processes from the 1950s to the modern day. The collection also includes plans and technical information on a number of theatre spaces, original colour swatch books, lighting stencils and even an original cardboard colour frame.

The collection is being shared between three organisations: The V&A Museum, London, The Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) and the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT).

Watts says: "I am pleased that my coll

USA - Grammy-nominated singer Meghan Trainor has been making waves ever since she burst on the music scene. It's not just her highly resonant voice and distinctive blend of blue eyed soul, doo-wop and pop that make this effervescent star stand out, it's also the confident, carefree way she defies expectations about body types and sets an example for 21st century women to define their own standards.

Trainor's independent exuberance was on full display during her recent appearance before millions of viewers on The Today Show, supported by an appropriately dynamic lightshow featuring a collection of Chauvet Professional Next NXT-1 and Nexus 4x4 LED panels provided by WorldStage.

Lighting designer Peter Greenbaum used the Next NXT-1 and Nexus 4x4 to create a seamless look on The Today Show's Summer Concert Series stage. "I wanted the lighting to pull everything togethe

UK - Core Lighting's new PinPoint wireless LED pin-spots and their best-selling ColourPoint Mk II wireless LED uplighters made their presence felt at the National Theatre In London for the 2015 Fast Forward Gala, a fund-raising event where normally unseen areas of the facility are opened up for an audience of special guests.

An extensive - and exclusive - backstage tour ahead of the evening's entertainment for the star-studded guest list included a close up look at scene docks, design studios, rehearsal spaces and workshops, all the areas vital to the smooth running of a successful and highly acclaimed production operation.

The behind-the-scenes areas are all specially lit for the occasion, and for the first year, south London based rental specialist White Light won the contract to supply all the lighting equipment for the event, working with several different lighting designe

Italy - ARX Systems has appointed Bregnano based Etabeta Electronics spa as their new exclusive distributor for Italy.

ARX's MD Colin Park said, "Etabeta Electronics spa are a well-known and respected Italian distributor, here at ARX we're looking forward to working with Roberto Santini and the team at Etabeta Electronics.

"They're very enthusiastic about the possibilities for the growing ARX digital and analogue product range amongst their extensive dealer base throughout Italy."

Etabeta Electronics president Roberto Santini said, "ARX fits perfectly in our portfolio to help our installation, live sound, corporate, broadcast and studio customers."

Etabeta Electronics was founded by Roberto Santini in 1985 to distribute professional audio equipment, initially representing Cerwin Vega servicing the Italian disco market.

Subsequently, Etabeta adapt

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