UK - Prolight Concepts has released the V1.5 software update for the popular LED Master 64 DMX controller from Transcension. The update allows the user to patch a virtual dimmer for any fixture that does not feature its own onboard dimmer channel (i.e. 3 DMX channel RGB fixtures). The virtual dimmer gives control over intensity for all functions of control including manual colours, fades and chases.

Users can download the V1.5 software from the product page of Prolight Concepts' website and load onto the controller using a standard USB stick (2GB max.).

USA - At the mid-year mark, Christie Lites reports a busy and successful 2015 for its new Chicago rental office, which officially opened in January. The full-service, 50,000sq.ft warehouse in the suburb of Woodridge, Illinois, marks #13 for this North American stage lighting and rigging rental company.

Said Christie Lites CEO Huntly Christie, "I have always considered Chicago the sister city to my home town of Toronto. We both enjoy great history, architecture, water, food, sport and wonderful people. Christie Lites is pleased to complete this sibling connection with the opening of our new warehouse in Woodridge. We can now provide local service and support in the home of the largest convention centre in North America."

"The calendar has been active primarily with corporate events," said Christie Lites operations manager Eric Eaton, citing the city's large

South Africa - Three years ago, Martin Professional held a lighting competition to showcase their lighting design software and controllers around the Frankfurt Pro Light and Sound Show in Germany and in Russia. Entrants submitted videos of their designs, set to a pre-determined piece of music and let the public vote on the best submission and contestants then won prizes from Martin Professional.

Electrosonic SA decided to take this concept to the next level: Why not invite entrants to design their own show, to their own music, and then perform the show to a live audience?

"A year ago the Electrosonic SA Lighting Team pitched this idea to the organisers of Mediatech Africa in the hope of hosting the competition at the 2015 trade show. Claire Badenhorst (general manager) and Simon Robinson (exhibition director) liked the idea and we were all confident it would prove a drawc

USA - Her farewell tour is called Rock This Country and country icon Shania Twain is doing just that as she bids good-bye to her fans from coast to coast. More than 300 Clay Paky lighting fixtures are along for the ride, selected by lighting designer Mark Butts who also serves as the tour's coproduction designer with Raj Kapoor.

Last year, when Twain was in her residency at Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas where Kapoor was her show director, Butts conceived a "big, edgy, modern rock 'n roll look" for her farewell tour. "I wanted a big lighting rig, big pyro, lots of automation - the biggest possible system that we could easily move around the country," he says. "And that led me to Clay Paky."

According to Butts, "The only way to implement a rig of this size was to use super efficient small, high-power lights with a ton of features. There was

Europe - Clay Paky's award-winning hybrid fixture, the Mythos, has joined Brandon Flowers on his European tour, with lighting designer Steven Douglas making full use of its multi-functionality for the majority of the show's stunning looks.

Playing across Ireland, Germany, Italy and the UK, The Killers' frontman was out in support of his The Desired Effect solo album campaign.

Douglas has been working with Flowers and the Las Vegas-based rockers for over 10 years, building design ideas from scratch for each of their highly successful tours. For Flowers' run of solo dates, Douglas' design was centred upon defined beams of light to create an architectural feel, employing six Mythos as the workhorses of the floor package.

"My idea for this tour was to move away from using wash fixtures and to use dark space to accentuate beams," explains Douglas. "We found

Guatemala - The Frater is the largest Christian Church in central and South America and has recently undergone a major lighting installation.

"We worked hard," says Walter Moran head of the lighting project, "but it's important that everybody is happy with the achieved result. A special thanks goes to Fabiano

The Frater is a modern multi-complex venue built on a 113,000sq.m site in San Cristobal, a few miles away from the city centre of Guatemala. The 50,000sq.m building includes a main auditorium with 13,000 seats.

The Frater belongs to a Christian congregation, Fraternidad Cristiana de Guatemala, established in the late '70s by Pastor Jorge H. Lopez. The congregation is founded on the values of the family and through the years has gathered thousands of people - becoming a model for Central and Latin America.

The main auditorium is used for religious servic

USA - The 15-passenger van that Brothers Gow rolls with has logged a lot of miles of late, as the much-in-demand jam band has been playing to packed houses from San Diego to Seattle on its current Bring The Heat tour in support of its fourth studio album, Reflections. Fans aren't flocking just to hear the quintet's captivating blend of rock, funk, jazz and reggae, they're coming to see it too, thanks to a quick moving lightshow that reflects the improvisational spirit of the music.

Lighting is so much a part of the Brothers Gow experience that their website refers to their LD Matt Collier as the sixth member of the band. Collier, who traverses the country with the well-travelled band (it's been averaging over 80 shows a year), shares the group's passion for taking the audience's experience to the next level. This commitment led him to expand his lighting rig for the curre

UK - Avolites Tiger Touch II consoles and Ai media servers were partners for The Charlatans, as they performed at Manchester's Castlefield Bowl for Summer in the City.

Appearing after a special event at Hotel Football the previous night, the band captivated the audience with an assortment of crowd-pleasers from their extensive catalogue, as well as new material from their latest album, Modern Nature.

Andy Liddle programmed and operated the lighting using an Avolites Tiger Touch II console, which controlled an array of lighting fixtures including Martin MAC Vipers, Quantum Washes, Atomic 3000s and Clay Paky Sharpys supplied and rigged by Adlib Lighting with a floor package from Lite Alternative consisting of Solaris Flares, i-Pix Satellite IIs and SGM X5s.

Chris Ewington of i-Pix programmed and operated the video content for the show, using 24 of the Db1 video and ligh

Namibia - Celebrating the very best of Namibian musical and recording talent, the 2015 Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) was staged at the Swakopmund Indoor Sports Centre, in the coastal city of the same name, with full technical production delivered by Windhoek based dB Audio Namibia for producers Rockstar 4000.

The eye-catching lighting scheme was created by Jonathan Bandli from design practice Bad Weather in Cape Town, and included over 100 Robe moving lights.

The show, sponsored by a combination of Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC) and the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) who broadcast it live, was the second NAMAs for Jonathan, having been asked on-board last year by dB Audio Namibia to set the scene with a production design incorporating the visual mediums of lighting, video and set.

He received a brief from the producers outlining the theme and directi

South Africa - The Michael W Smith South African Tour 2015 included performances at the CRC in Bloemfontein, Durban ICC, GrandWest Arena in Cape Town, Rhema Church in Johannesburg and the Moreletapark Church in Pretoria. With the venues ranging in size and application from church auditoriums to the convention centre, and set up different at each location, Wayne Mertz had little choice but to busk a fair amount of the show - a Robe rig - on his grandMA2 lite.

Mertz, lighting operator for the South African tour, is from Delta Stage Lighting in Nashville. The Delta motto says it all: "Not the one in the limelight, just the ones who cast it." It was the seventh show he had worked on for Michael W Smith and the first time in his career to make use of Robe Pointes.

The tour was organised by 104 Concerts who appointed Phoenix 5 Productions to assess the artist's rider and i

South Africa - The annual Hillsong Colour Conference was hosted at the Grand West Casino in Cape Town from 15-19 April. Rental company C&S supplied and set up the custom built stage, lighting - which included over 160 Robe fixtures - rigging, trussing, LED Screens and the Backline. Bad Weather, for the third consecutive year, helped Hillsong South Africa redesign and primarily execute the lighting and video elements whilst assisting all areas of the technical production.

"As the conference was hosted over three countries, our equipment had to meet with international standards," commented Henning de Villiers, production manager at C&S. "We worked with the Hillsong team to achieve and surpass all expectations and were delighted that the event was a major success."

Jonathan Bandli, creative director at Bad Weather elaborates. "This process is very complex

Singapore - GLP has appointed lighting industry veteran, Søren Storm, as the company's new Sales Director for Asia Pacific, based in Singapore.

Søren, who has worked in the industry for the last 18 years, both for Martin Professional and Robe Lighting s. r. o., will take responsibility for sales across the entire region.

"I am looking forward very much to being a part of GLP's extremely professional team," stated Søren. "GLP has a very good reputation in the pro market due to its high quality products and service, so I am really excited by the opportunity of helping them to gain an even bigger presence in the region."

GLP managing director, Udo Künzler, added, "We are very pleased to welcome Søren to GLP. At a time when our product range is expanding so quickly, this gives us a far greater, and much needed level of suppor

UK - The Arcadia Spectacular stage pumped out some serious visuals at Glastonbury this year created and controlled by blinkinLAB's Tom Wall using an Avolites Sapphire Media and Ai server.

The Spider stage is Arcadia's most monumental environment. Built from recycled military hardware, it is a 360-degree, interactive environment with a fully programmable DJ booth and integrated video mapping, amongst many other pyrotechnics!

2015 is the third year running that Tom Wall has masterminded the Arcadia visuals. This year's performance was called the Metamorphosis show, and the returning spider was accompanied by some new Ai powered costumes and zorbing balls, created by Light Initiative.

"We created mapped animations for the projection on each face of the three legs, the LED screens installed inside and around the DJ booth, and this year for Light Initiative's alien eg

Regional Catastrophe - Regional theatres have claimed that planned government cuts could have "catastrophic" effects on the sector. George Osborne last week told government departments to prepare for cuts of 25% and 40% in order to make £20 billion of savings. Curve chief executive Fiona Allan said that if these cuts were passed on to the theatre sector by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Communities and Local Government, they would have a "catastrophic effect on the theatre ecology of this country".

She warned that training programmes, support for emerging artists and the development of new work "would be slashed" as a result. "The subsidised sector is without doubt the research and development arm of the commercial sector, where new productions, new work and new talent are developed. Ultimately, cuts of

UK - 5 Star Family Reunion is a new game show that sees UK family and their long-lost overseas relatives working together, both from the studio and over satellite link, to win a once-in-a-lifetime reunion in a five star location.

The show, produced by 12 Yard, is being filmed for the BBC at Pacific Quay Glasgow and is hosted by Nick Knowles. Richard Martin Lighting (RML) provides the lighting rig; RML's relationship with local firm Technique Systems continues and they are on hand to ensure a smooth transition from London to Scotland.

Lighting designer Roger Williams lights the show and his rig features MAC Auras, Sharpys, Alpha Spot 700 HPE, Colour Block 2 Kits and an Alex Follow Spot. "Auras are my favourite lamps so I've used those on a wide zoom in the back of shot to fill out the gaps and also sometimes zoomed in for a sharper beam," says Roger. "I've

UK - DTS Raptor and Wonder supplied by Qeytek wowed the crowd at Two Counties Music Festival at Bewl Water in Kent.

Steve Hubbard, lighting designer and owner of BigFish SRL explains why he likes and uses the lights from DTS, "First, we are so pleased to be the main supplier of stage, roofing, rigging, lighting and sound to theTwo Counties Music Festival. With such a great turn out it certainly was a resounding success."

Hubbard continues, "DTS products were truly spectacular, I was blown away by the light output and quality of light. The continuous pan rotation, FPR, is a great feature. Whilst it is too early to say, I do feel the reliability will be excellent. Certainly if I judge the DTS XR series I have from 10 years ago, and they are still going strong. Having Qeytek as the UK partner for DTS is an added bonus, and a breath of fresh air, their combined indu

Switzerland - Stagelight AG of Switzerland has been celebrating the receipt of the first Robert Juliat Merlin followspots to roll off the production line. Merlin is Robert Juliat's new 2500W HMI sturdy followspot designed specifically for the touring market.

Merlin worked its magic on the Stagelight team at Lucerne's Light and Sound show in October 2014, where they immediately placed an order for four of the 2500W HMI touring giants from Robert Juliat's Swiss supplier, Electric Claudio Merlo.

"It was time to replace our old, big followspots, so we were looking around for a good alternative and found Robert Juliat's new Merlin," says Stagelight's managing director, Peter Lemmenmeier. "We decided on Merlin because of its excellent new technology: the newly developed integrated PSU with the 2500W HMI arc lamp provide great brightness; the zoom range from 3° to

Kazakhstan - Astana city celebrated its 21st anniversary as Kazakhstan's capital on 6 July with an abundance of festivities. Announced as the new capital by the Kazakh President in 1994 and later receiving the title City of Peace from UNESCO in 1999, Astana has become an architectural gem and a symbol of the achievements of the Republic of Kazakhstan for the years of its independence.

Astana Day is a beautiful celebration attracting thousands of visitors as a culmination of week-long festivities. This day recognizes Astana's growth from a provincial city to a 21st century regional hub of Central Asia, and with the attendance of high profile politicians such as the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Kirgistan, Almazbek Atambayev and the former President of Turkey, Abdulla Gjulem, as well as world famous artists, opera and ballet performers it is a bri

UK - A new event aimed at conference organisers and event managers is to be staged in Birmingham on 3 September by conference specialist Saville Audio Visual.

Engagement is seen as the key word at conferences and events today, as audiences become more discerning in the fast paced world of technology. Organisers looking for new and innovative ways of keeping audiences engaged can see the newest solutions here, with on-the-spot demonstrations and advice from one of the UK's leading creative technical teams.

Midlands Conference Tech Expo takes place at the CBSO Centre, Berkley Street, Birmingham B1 2LF on 3 September from 9.00am to 3.00pm.

The event will allow visitors to experience the sheer impact of the latest high resolution LED display technology first hand, plus much more.

Saville event manager Vicky Fennell says, "Organisers looking to make a BIG impression at the

UK - The Mayor's Newham Show is a free two-day event which aims to provide fun and entertainment for those living in the borough of Newham, East London. Organised by Newham Council, a record crowd of 50,000 attended this year's event which had the theme 50 Years of Newham, marking five decades since the show's formation in 1965. The event saw East Ham's Central Park buzzing with a wide range of events for all ages including live music, a pop-up beach and sports taster sessions. White Light was once again called upon to provide its lighting and rigging services, having worked on the event for the past four years.

Taking place on 11-12 July, the event featured the traditional village fΩte 'Best in Show' competition, various arts and crafts activities, alongside the selection of plants and flowers that were on sale. It also saw 2,000 schoolchildren from 22 Newham schools take

UK - LED design and manufacture house Light Initiative (LI) lit up this year's Glastonbury Festival with bespoke creations on Years and Years, Enter Shikari and the Arcadia Spectacular stage.

For Arcadia's audio-visual feast Metamorphosis, LI worked alongside costume designer Joanna Peacock to create six custom performance wearables, integrated with LED, and six zorbs.

The costumes transformed Arcadia's dancers into fantastic alien/jellyfish hybrids, or 'Jellyfish Light Queens', who appeared from the zorbs as if hatching from an alien egg.

"The moment we saw Jo Peacock's sketch of a performer being released from a zorb we knew the LED solution must be above and beyond anything ever delivered before, and pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved is what really excites us," says Light Initiative's MD Bryn Williams.

LI's immediate task was to develop a f

UK - Created by Joe Rush's Mutoid Waste Company, the structure Peace Time Flies at Glastonbury was a giant metallic winged clock that spanned the entire breadth of the Pyramid stage and captured the free, uninhibited and hopeful spirit that defines Glastonbury.

A sweeping sculpture supporting a soaring and noble ambition required bold lighting. This is exactly what was provided by the Iluminarc Colorist Panel 36Qa, which is packed with 36 15-watt RGBA LEDs that radiate bright and vibrant colour washes, and the Chauvet Professional COLORado 1-Quad IP par-style RGBW fixture. A total of nine of the Colorist panels and six of the LED parts were used to direct coloured light at the Peace Time Flies. The rich colours of this collection of fixtures animated the sculpture, amplifying the artist's suggestion of flight, while the intensity of their output ensured that the sculpture would

USA - The legendary Suwannee River is enshrined in folklore and history - the wild backwater river rises in the Okefenokee Swamp emerging at Fargo, Georgia, passes through southern Georgia and northern Florida for 246 miles before flowing out into the Gulf of Mexico near the town of Suwannee.

The Suwanee River Jam is a popular and well known annual three-day country music festival staged in Live Oak, Florida and attended by around 9000 music enthusiasts. Robe Lighting Inc.'s Thommy Hall - regional sales manager for the southeastern U.S. and also an LD and programmer in his own right - has been involved with lighting both stages at this major event in his hometown ... for the last seven years.

This year, he was able to supply a variety of Robe products for use on both the Main and Amphitheater Stages in what was also a fabulous working showcase opportunity.

Thommy worked clos

Mexico - Daktronics in conjunction with Mexican partner Pantallas Publitronics, was called on to provide two new LED video displays for Estadio BBVA Bancomer, home of C.F. Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. The displays were installed this summer and are ready for C.F. Monterrey, commonly known as Los Rayados, to take to the pitch for their first match on 2 August, the eighth edition of S.L Benfica's Eusébio Cup.

"We are excited to work with Daktronics to bring a better overall experience to our fans and sponsors for interaction, information and statistics at every event held at Estadio BBVA Bancomer," said vice president of C.F. Monterrey Tonatiuh Mejía. "We worked with world leaders in every aspect of creating this facility which will be a tourist icon for the city, designed with iconic materials from our states and equipped with the highest audio and video

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