UK - Event design and technical production specialist Maestra Group, run by Justin Hammond (London) and Tom Clements (Dubai), has doubled the size of its UK and European operation ready for a busy 2019.
The east London HQ was bursting at the seams of its Victorian industrial building in Woolwich, where the Maestra mission started in January 2016. When the opportunity to take over the warehouse next door arose, it provided a convenient solution.
Parts of the walls have been knocked through and the interiors completely re-designed so the two spaces operate as an efficient and continuous workspace.
There are now new prepping and dispatch areas for projects leaving the warehouse, greater space for truck loading as well as enlarged storage and maintenance sections for all the different equipment sections. The extra space made available downstairs has been taken up already with new kit investments.
On the first floor, the original Maestra open-plan office space has also been dramatically expanded and made into one large integrated space that traverses the two units.
“With considerably more space, we have an excellent set up to continue growing our European business,” commented Justin. “We all really loved the building, so when the chance came up to move sideways – literally – it was a fantastic lateral manoeuvre.”
Celebrating its third full year of operation, the company finished 2018 with substantial equipment investment – including sound, lighting, video and rigging.
This includes a number of white products includin
South Africa - Semi Soet is a new music venue which opened its door in Centurion in 2018. The owners turned to DWR Distribution for their audio and lighting requirements and the effective solution included Quest loudspeakers, a DiGiCo console and Robe lighting.
Jaco Beukes from DWR recommended four Quest HPI110 Compact High-definition loudspeakers and two Quest HPI18BP Bandpass 18” Subwoofers as the main audio system. “We had to install a system that would offer quality, and it certainly helped that Quest comes at a reasonable price,” said Beukes.
The audio installation also included two Quest QM450A Lightweight Active 12" loudspeakers for the monitor requirements. The centre-fill and out-fills comprise of two Quest HPI111 Compact Hight-definition speakers. To cater for the audio upstairs, three HP15 5” High Output Loudspeakers were added.
Semi Soet decided to invest in the DiGiCo S21. The DiGiCo D-Rack provides 32 microphone inputs and 16 outputs for PA and additional monitor sends.
For the intimate stage and lighting requirements, Schalk Botha from DWR headed the project. Besides the installation of two lighting bars (4m each), new fixtures include Robin Spikies for fast LED Washbeams, and two Robin LEDBeam150s for sweeping beams and wide, far-reaching washes. A Showline SL Nitro 510 creates LED strobes. The rig also includes Longman F4Ups, F8Ups and FacePar 900A LED flat par lights.
Geared towards small to large size venues, the Le Matire MVS Hazer was chosen.
“This was a great project to work on,” said Jaco. “W
Spain - Twenty-four Astera AX1 Pixel Tubes were utilised for one of 20 site-specific lighting installations created by individual artists for the first UMBRA Light Festival in Vitoria-Gastiez, Spain.
The vibrant and highly multicultural historical capital city and seat of government of the Basque Autonomous Community in Alava, northern Spain, came alive for three days, offering creatives, visitors and lighting enthusiasts from all over Spain, Europe and much further afield a chance to redefine the city and see it in some new, exciting and reimagined urban contexts.
UMBRA was organised by ARGIA 3 Asociación Cultural and curated by a new collective comprising Rafael Gallego, the principal of Aureolighting, Joaquín Pérez-Goicoechea, founding partner of AGi Architects and stage lighting designer, light artist, and founder of Studio & Light Carlos Torrijos – three individuals, all passionate about lighting.
One of the technical sponsors was EES, Astera’s Spanish distributor who are based in San Sebastian. They made the AX1’s available which were utilised by Carlos Torrijos for his own work at the festival, Buscando la Vida (Searching for Life).
Buscando la Vida was staged in the former water reservoir next to the Palacio Montehermoso, a 16th century stately Renaissance building - one of two special underground spaces that became immersive light works during the event.
The Palacio was linked to the ancient Depósito de Aguas (water tank) by an underground corridor added in 1885. Since 1991 Palacio Montehermoso has se
Germany - Robert Juliat, which celebrates its centenary in 2019, presented its SpotMe system at Prolight+Sound in Frankfurt. Robert Juliat’s award-winning SpotMe bespoke solution for followspot technology was demonstrated with a new interface, the SpotMe Maestro, developed in partnership with zactrack of Austria. SpotMe Maestro allows the SpotMe system to operate universally with all DMX lighting consoles on the market.
“With SpotMe Maestro we have made the SpotMe technology more widely available to all venues and events, broadening the protocol possibilities,” says Claus Spreyer, Robert Juliat’s sales director. “We are proud to be associated with zactrack which is a major player in the field of position tracking, 3D-calculation and media control.”
“As a young, high-tech company, zactrack is honoured to deliver our 3D knowledge to the best-known brand for followspots on the market,” confirms Werner Petricek, CEO and founder of zactrack. “SpotMe Maestro easily connects the world of Robert Juliat products with the complex tracking and auto-following technology of zactrack.”
Dalis Access 863 was also showcased on the stand where a dedicated section of the wide cyclorama showed how its light quality and functionality is comparable with the full-scale Dalis 860 cyclorama fixture.
Dalis Access 863 is a cost-effective, versatile introduction to the Dalis technology, designed to give small-sized venues or those with smaller budgets access to the benefits of Dalis technology. Sharing all the technology of the original Dalis 860 Cy
UK - Leisuretec Distribution inspired the industry’s future bright sparks with a training day on Zero 88’s FLX / S lighting consoles. The event took place at Leisuretec’s HQ in February 2019, offering a group of home-educated students aged 13-18 the opportunity to taste the world of entertainment and theatre lighting.
Zero 88’s FLX / S lighting desks provide a simple and intuitive solution perfect for applications where the user has little lighting knowledge but needs to operate their theatre, school stage, event or production. Each desk equipped with a visualiser, the group of young people learnt how to patch and set up their stage and how to use chases, groups, cues, playbacks, colour palettes and many other features to create an effective show with wash and intelligent lighting.
“We recognise the importance of bringing young people into the industry to help it grow for the future,” said Andy Friedli, lighting sales specialist at Leisuretec. “From our experience it is rare that young people get hands-on experience with professional lighting equipment, unsighted to the possible career opportunities our industry can behold. This is our second training event for young people and we get great satisfaction from giving them a gateway into our exciting world of entertainment.”
Leisuretec also hosts training events for both their trade customers and industry professionals covering many industry topics across sound, lighting and video. See upcoming events at https://www.leisuretec.co.uk/page/teczone-events.
The Netherlands - TechPro, provider of video, audio and lighting services for the live events industry has announced its first site in Continental Europe, with the opening of a newly built 2000 sq. ft. warehouse and office unit in Ridderkerk, close to the city of Rotterdam.
Although long in the planning, the potential for logistical disruption following Brexit helped TechPro’s management team with their decision to open up in the Netherlands and mitigate any impact on the company’s ability to meet growing demand for European-based live events.
TechPro director Rob Stokes, commented: “UK-based event agencies rely on TechPro to deliver truckloads of AV equipment throughout Europe with smooth efficiency.
“With over 60% of our work now taking place at event venues throughout the EU and beyond, our new branch in the Netherlands will allow us to continually meet our client’s expectations, whilst removing any future concerns for logistical disruption or potentially costly import/export legislation.
“Our presence in Europe is an investment in a practical solution to the as yet unknown challenges ahead and not only demonstrates our commitment to our clients, but shows we are fully prepared, whatever the final outcomes over the next few days, weeks or months.
“Rotterdam is a fantastic location and very early on in the procurement process it felt like the natural choice for TechPro, being less than a 10 minute drive to major local highways and only a 30-minute drive from the port of Rotterdam.
“This move into Europe gives our
Company Stars - A revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical Company was among the big winners at Sunday night's Olivier Awards. It won four prizes at the ceremony. The West End revival of the 1970 musical saw the lead character, Robert, re-imagined as a woman.
Accepting the award for best musical revival, the show's director Marianne Elliott explained her company's "main goal was to put female stories front and centre on our stages".
Two other shows took home four prizes from the ceremony - The Inheritance and Come From Away. Other winners included: Best set design - Bunny Christie (Company), Best lighting - Jon Clark (The Inheritance), Best sound design - Gareth Owen (Come From Away)
Mamma Mia! - Abba's Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus made a surprise appearance as hit musical Mamma Mia! celebrated its 20th anniversary in London's West End. Huge applause welcomed the pair onto the stage as the show ended at the Novello Theatre. Ulvaeus told the crowd it felt "both strange and wonderful" to be there. They have appeared at previous anniversary performances and this time were joined at the Novello Theatre by producer Judy Craymer, director Phyllida Lloyd and writer Catherine Johnson, who Ulvaeus described as "three angels".
Smart Glasses - Smart caption glasses developed and trialled at the National Theatre for hearing-impaired audiences are being rolled out across the UK, with Leeds Playhouse the first regional theatre to use the technology. The glasses are aimed at D/deaf au
USA/Europe - Elation Professional has announced a new warranty policy that extends its standard limited product warranty to five years on LED light engine sources for some of its latest and most popular LED luminaires. In addition, warranty coverage on fixture components has been extended to three years for products used in registered indoor fixed installation projects.
The five-year/three-year limited warranty applies to Elation’s Artiste, Fuze, KL Fresnel, Seven and Profile LED product series for indoor installation projects installed and maintained by an authorized reseller. Products used on temporary indoor rental projects also benefit from the extended five-year warranty on LED engine sources with warranty coverage on fixture components remaining at two years. All exterior-rated lighting products continue to be covered by Elation’s standard two-year limited product warranty for the LED source and fixture components.
Eric Loader, global director of sales & marketing at Elation, commented on the new policy: “High power LED technology has evolved and matured to the point that it now allows us to offer this extended warranty to our customers. Because we work closely with our component suppliers and select only the highest quality key components to engineer into our products, the long-term reliability of our products has increased tremendously. We therefore feel very confident in being able to provide this extended warranty offer to our customers, adding even more value proposition to our product line.”
The new extended warranty cover
Belgium - For the recent incarnation of the infamous Nacht van de Schlagers, organisers decided upon a ’90s music theme marrying ’90s pop hits with performances from the biggest pop musicians and bands of the decade.
Having provided production and set design for the Nacht van de Schlagers since its inception, Creative Rental Solutions was tasked once again with creating a memorable visual backdrop for 2018’s ’90s extravaganza. Aiding them in this endeavour was a collection of Chauvet Professional fixtures that included 12 Maverick MK2 Spot, 32 Rogue R2 Wash, 120 ÉPIX Strip Tour, 60 STRIKE P38, 6 MK2 Profiles, 22 Rogue RH1 Hybrids and 56 COLORdash PAR H12IP units.
In order to reinforce this central focal point while adding to the grandeur of the stage setting, Thomas Vandekerkhove, CEO of CRS incorporated the ÉPIX fixtures within the architecture of the complex stage trussing to provide linear highlighting.
“The ÉPIX units ensured that we could provide the necessary highlighting to create a stage of grand visual proportions,” said Vandekerkhove. “Ultimately, the fixture’s vivid colours and pixel mappable technology enabled us to really play with the scale of the stage, which helped us realize our overall concept.”
Vandekerkhove painted the gaps between the architectural structure with wash colouring effects from his Rogue R2 Wash and COLORdash PAR H12IP fixtures, which were flown above the stage. The combination of the Rogue’s RGBW quad-LEDs and COLORdash PAR H12IP’s RGBWAUV capabilities ensured a broad palette of warm
UK - ITV Studios Global Entertainment unveiled their spring drama slate to a packed audience of international buyers at its second annual Drama Festival. Held at London’s Roundhouse on 20 February 2019, the event saw 330 delegates experience a range of new titles from ITV Studios’ production labels and leading independent producers.
Creative technical event production company Hawthorn supported the ITV Studios team to showcase dramas soon to launch to the international market. Featuring a 360-degree projection, the Hawthorn team delivered full technical production for the Drama Festival including lighting, video, sound and draping.
With the event showcasing programmes such as World War Two drama World On Fire and screen adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s Noughts + Crosses, content was key. Designed to immerse the audience in a world of storytelling and make the most of the impressive birdcage architecture, Hawthorn collaborated with event production designer Matt Gates to deliver a 360-degree projection solution.
A main hero screen, measuring 14.3m x 6.79m, was created using two of Hawthorn’s Barco UDX-4K32 projectors, delivering full 4K playback. Over 65m of custom-made voile draping were then installed around the venue’s iconic pillars to allow the content to seamlessly run out from the central screen, completely enveloping the space.
Nineteen Panasonic RZ970 laser projectors were used to display content between the pillars, creating nineteen screens that worked alongside the hero screen to create the 360-degree experie
UK - GDS has announced a new partnership with Italian lighting manufacturer DTS, that will see the two companies work together to bring products to the UK.
Since 2004, Bristol-based GDS has been providing innovative and practical lighting solutions for a range of clients across the globe, with their focus primarily on entertainment venues and protected historical sites. This year, the company has broadened its approach to include the architectural sector in order to bring their expertise, ighting products and quality control systems to even more spaces worldwide.
Established in 1980, DTS has created a diverse product range, thanks to its extraordinary in-house expertise and authentic Italian craftsmanship.
The partnership between these two forward-thinking companies has been welcomed on both sides, with international sales manager for DTS Rafaella Scaccia saying, “GDS is a passionate company, that has been working successfully within the international entertainment lighting sector for over 15 years. It is my absolute pleasure to work together and I am confident that they will offer us a strong and stable sales and marketing platform to further establish DTS as a primary choice for rental companies and lighting professionals.”
Managing director of GDS Richard Cuthbert adds, “Put simply, DTS quality and innovation is outstanding. Witnessing the product operating reliably in harsh environments over many years is a testament to its build quality. DTS innovation is aligned with GDS core philosophies and I’m proud to be focusing on buildin
UK - The newly installed d&b audiotechnik permanent sound solution in London’s Royal Albert Hall made its public debut with last weekend’s Olivier Awards show (see LSi April).
Driven by a vision to provide its audiences with life enriching, unforgettable experiences, the hall has installed the world’s largest single room audio system with over 450 individual loudspeakers from the d&b audiotechnik range.
The Olivier Awards, celebrating British theatre, served as an appropriate showcase for the system’s coverage and flexibility, significantly enhancing the overall listening experience inside the auditorium.
“Previously, our control over the audio experience was limited and often didn’t meet our high standards,” explains Ollie Jeffery, HoD production and technical at the RAH. “What we wanted was to bring sound in-house with a properly implemented system and make it so good that the majority of productions would feel comfortable using it.
“Naturally, everyone who has ever played here wants to get it right; some audio teams would spend five or six hours on the day taking speakers up and down, up and down, trying to achieve that end, but it was always a compromise. It wasn’t that our service providers were doing anything wrong, but we felt the difficult challenge of delivering world class audio within the extremely demanding geometry of the room, could only be met with a different approach to the goal.
France - PlugFest 2019, the event for lighting connectivity, was recently held in Lille, France for the first time. The event, which sold out well in advance, was celebrated by attendees and organisers alike for its productive programme and thriving atmosphere.
The annual event aims to improve the connectivity of lighting products and provides a unique opportunity for manufacturers to test the interoperability of their products. The move to mainland Europe enabled even more professionals from across the continent to convene and collaborate.
“We’ve been coming to PlugFest for many years” says Jon Hole from Eaton, “as it allows us to discuss protocols that are still in development and test our software with newly developed protocols before we release them to our customers.”
38 representatives from 16 leading manufacturers, hailing from 10 different countries were in attendance including GLP, Swisson, Robert Juliat, TMB, Claypaky, Eaton, ChamSys, ETC and Chauvet, as well as the National Theatre and Central School of Speech and Drama (CSSD).
Fraser Connolly from CSSD comments, “PlugFest gives us the information to make sure we are teaching cutting-edge technology, to test our own developments and to strengthen ties with manufacturers.”
PlugFest offered a programme of seminars which detailed the most widely used protocols including DMX512, RDM, DALI, sACN, Art-Net, RDMnet and LLRP. Making the most of these technical sessions, Christian Van Maurik from EldoLED says, “PlugFest offers the opportunity to connect with control dev
Germany - One year after the release of MADRIX 5, the first major software update was previewed at PL+S 2019, alongside the full range of hardware products for modern lighting control.
Version 5.1 will bring native support for Blackmagic Design, NDI, and Spout to the award-winning pixel mapper. Operators around the world are already looking forward to these flexible new ways to work with video.
With Blackmagic Design, using capture cards from the professional equipment manufacturer, such as DeckLink and Intensity, is now even simpler and faster. Capturing live video signals can be a valuable addition to any artistic LED project.
Based on the widely available IP technology, NDI makes sending and receiving video or output streams over standard network easily possible. As such, NDI promises to be an extremely useful addition to any Ethernet-based production environment.
Sharing videos and output streams among different tools on the same system has never been easier than with Spout. Bringing stunning new looks and visuals into MADRIX or using the creative power of MADRIX in other software is now just a few clicks away for any VJ.
The visual lighting design toolbox has never been more versatile or flexible as you can now combine your favourite solutions for video and pixel control quickly and easily, says the company.
Additionally, the new pre-programmer software licence facilitates show and project preparation without the need for a full output licence.
Germany - Robe celebrated 25 years with style and flair at Prolight+Sound Frankfurt 2019 with its largest and most dynamic booth to date – also one of the biggest in the exhibition – which provided a dramatic backdrop for the show-stopping finale of the Lost Worlds trilogy of live shows, complete with seven dancers, a specially compiled soundtrack and over 300 of the latest Robe moving light fixtures.
On the Wednesday night, a special Robe silver jubilee party rocked the booth and over 1000 guests joined the Robe Family to be entertained by Czech ‘glamtronic’ electro swing band Mydy Rabycad, who interrupted their European tour for the occasion.
Robe CEO Josef Valchar got the party started in a short kick-off speech, thanking everyone for their vision, enthusiasm and commitment to the brand. “It’s been a fantastic and inspirational journey in every way by an extraordinary team with whom I am very proud to work! Here’s to the next 25 years,” he stated.
The live show ran eight times a day, and the booth was constantly full for all four days of the event, packed with people as Robe enjoyed the buzz and international flavour of the exhibition and highlighted three exciting new innovations:
The SilverScan is the first in a range of ‘silver jubilee’ products from Robe and the result of a ’favourite technology’ study covering the last quarter century.
The new T1 Wash is the latest product in the T1 series of refined LED luminaires specifically designed for theatre, television and touring, featuring Robe’s MSL (
USA - A recent ballet production of C.S.Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at Pine Crest School, Boca Raton, Fl, featured a Clifford Spulock lighting design, anchored by a collection of Chauvet Professional Rogue fixtures.
“Lighting the ballet opened me up to a lot of different opportunities to make choices and looks that would not normally be done in the stage version of this story,” said Spulock. “Happily, the director of the show, Kimberly Vlcek, has a great understanding of production and gave me a lot of freedom. Along with a strong score and great dancing, my lights really brought a lot of energy and emotion to the show. I really wanted to bring out the precision of the dancers when they were wolves or the Ice Witch, etcetera to help portray their characters more.”
Spulock’s rig for the ballet, which was performed by Pine Crest School, featured the Rogue R3 Spot, Rogue R1X Spot, and Rogue R2 Wash. Working in harmony with some Chauvet DJ Intimidators, these moving fixtures not only provided an architecture of light for dancers to move through, they also set evocative moods by creating coloured shafts of light and textured gobo patterns.
“I used different colour palettes to create various mood temperatures that helped to bring the audience to other worlds,” said Spulock. “When characters were in the real world, it was nice and warm, but when they were in Narnia’s icy fortress, I used a lot of blues and whites that created the feeling of a frigid world. I also used beams with alternating blue and white every
Germany - #reflection is an innovative laser performance presented by tarm Showlaser in Bochum, which is based on an array of static and computer-controlled, motorized mirror surfaces and diffraction gratings, multiplying the full-colour RGBYC laser sources and creating a spectacular scenography that “plays with shapes and colours, dance to selected sounds and create sculptures out of laser light, far from traditional laser stereotypes”.
"Laser beam deflections via mirrors and diffraction gratings have been used for over 30 years, but so far only with small static tiles, usually in the format of 15 x 15cm. The use of motorised units and mirror surfaces of various dimensions and formats, however, opens up completely new design options for use at events and presentations of any kind,” says managing director Ralf Lottig.
This performance can be experienced live by appointment in the Bochum Studios of tarm Showlaser GmbH. A video can be seen on the homepage www.tarm.de at https://www.tarm.de/work/reflection-61.html
South Africa - DWR Distribution is hosting dot2 training from 25-26 April 2019.
Presented by Ole Boinamo, the two-day training course will cover patching, user profiles, groups, chases, back up, tracking and will enable you to have a good understanding of the product.
Delegates are requested to supply their own dot2 console and laptop for the dot2 3D Visualizer.
The training will be hosted at DWR Cape Town, Unit 74D, 4 School Street, Platinum Junction Business Park, Milnerton, Cape Town.
Bookings on-line at: http://dwrdistribution.co.za/register/dot-2-training-april-2019/
UK - White Light is supplying the lighting equipment for the musical Hairwhich is currently touring the UK.
Having first debuted Off-Broadway in 1967, Hair follows a group of youngsters in New York’s East Village as they begin to question the world, authority and the American flag. Having been revived several times on both Broadway and in the West End, this is the 50th anniversary production and has already received a WhatsOnStage Award.
Lighting designer Ben M Rogers comments: “I previously lit this production for its immersive incarnation at The Vaults, Waterloo so this is an evolution of that design into a proscenium format for a national tour. The key design choices and looks remain but are expanded to fill these larger spaces and the enhanced scenic elements.”
Ben worked closely with director Jonathan O’Boyle to discuss the aesthetic he wanted to create for the show. He explains: “Jonathan first described the show as ‘a trip from start to finish’ and that has stayed with me. Although it continually breaks the fourth wall, the show does alternate between the more naturalistic environment that the tribe inhabit and the abstracted, often drug-infused hyper-reality moments. As such, I looked at how to layer the design to allow these dramatic shifts of tone and focus.”
Ben approached WL to supply him with the fixtures to achieve his design. He comments: “I was very conscious of the era in which the show is set and the lighting instruments of the time. That said, I had to ensure the show remained a dynamic music
UK - Absolute Motion Control is bringing live moving light tracking, using LightStike, to The Bridge Theatre for their latest production. A German Life stars Maggie Smith, who returns to the stage for the first time in 12 years.
Over the course of the evening the set moves continuously and almost imperceptibly, taking one and three-quarter hours to reach its final position. The play is staged in a kitchen set, formed by four trucks which move diagonally off-stage. As they move off-stage, slowly gaps appear in the walls as they move apart. In addition to the four trucks, a large floor pallet moves downstage, carrying with it the star of the show.
Because of the constantly moving set, the lighting and scenery need to be synchronised precisely to ensure that the performer and the set are perfectly lit over the course of the long running cues. As an example, the floor pallet moves at only half a millimetre per second throughout the duration of the evening. The moving lights automatically track the performer and the moving set. All kinds of moving light attributes can be controlled using this system. As an example, when the walls move offstage not only do the lights pan and tilt, to keep them lit, but the shutters also adjust to keep them perfectly framed throughout the move.
This precise synchronisation is achieved using LightStrike, a piece of software running on a Macintosh, that enables scenery tracking for OSC/UDP enabled consoles and sACN controlled rigs. Absolute continually transmit the current position of the scenery, over the open protoc
UK - Ozzy Osbourne, Jimi Hendrix, Guns N’ Roses and Motörhead have sold millions of albums, inspired fans around the world and won bushels of major awards. Now these rockers share something else in common as well – each is featured in a licensed slot from NetEnt, the supplier of digital games to the online casino industry.
At the ICE London show in February, NetEnt announced that former Black Sabbath frontman Osbourne is the latest rock hero to be featured in its NetEnt Rocks series, joining Hendrix, Guns N’ Roses and Motörhead. Setting the tone for the big announcement on the Osbourne slot was an attractively designed stand that featured 60 Chauvet Professional ÉPIX Bar Tour fixtures from BigFish SRL, arranged to resemble guitar strings.
“This was the fourth year running that we were contracted by 2lk Design, the stand’s designers, to do the lighting,” said Steve Hubbard of BigFish. “This year it was decided that the main feature of the stand would be six large light strings encompassing the stand entrance and extending inside at its ceiling. Having worked with ÉPIX in the past, and holding a large stock of these fixtures, we decided that this would be the perfect product to achieve the desired effect.”
Instructions from 2lk Design were that the ÉPIX Bars be fully pixel controlled and able to show low-resolution video content. After considering the option of using external media servers, BigFish instead decided that the ChamSys MagicQ MQ500 would give them the most flexibility for programing on site, making it easier fo
UK - Technical production specialist CPL provided a production design plus sound, lighting and video equipment to Pandora Events for Tropic’s massive spring 2019 ‘glambassadors’ event, staged in Hall 9 at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, UK.
Tropic Rocks offered a hi-energy festival / rock theme to energise the 2500 delegates, for which a look and feel to match was needed. This was delivered by CPL’s Mike Radford who led a crew of 40 for the get in / out and show sections of the one-day event, for which they had one rig day and a second for tech and rehearsals.
The event’s format encompassed a lengthy achievement recognition and awards section, new product launches and upcoming incentives, wrapping up with a lively evening party, so the design had to cater these various requirements and practical enough to transform from the conference elements into the evening party in just one hour.
An 18m wide by 8m deep festival style stage and canopy was built by CPL with a 28m long by 4m wide runway going out into the audience enabling presenters to move through the arena and get closer to the audience, and the numerous award winners to walk up to the stage, collect their award and then walk down the runway and back to their seats in the auditorium.
At the end of the runaway was an elevated triangular shaped B Stage – the catwalk split and passed this on two sides – on which the event band The Air Guitar Band played.
Pyro and CO2 effects were also used to accent moments in the production numbers, with 10 x Im
USA - High End Systems’ Sola Series products have replaced part of the lighting rental inventory in the Kauffman Centre for the Performing Arts. The Kansas City, MO venue needed upgrading and required the wide range of features and benefits of the LED automated luminaires.
Kauffman Centre’s production services manager Eric Miller found the right lighting solution with the flagship SolaFrame 3000s and compact SolaFrame 750s after discovering them at a recent trade show. The purchase was made through locally-based Harvest Productions.
“The LED engine influenced the purchase,” Miller explains. “The top two lighting requirements were that it had to be LED and it had to have framing shutters.” Other features needed were for it to “be quiet, have a wide variable beam angle, and colour temperature that closely matches the tungsten lamp of the VL1000s”, he says.
“We purchased 36 SolaFrame 750s, which will be our workhorses, because of their size, price, and they still had all of the requirements we were looking for.”
The new fixtures are not permanently installed, but instead are being hung for each show’s specific needs in the 1,800-seat Muriel Kauffman Theatre. This would include performances from the Kansas City Ballet and Lyric Opera of Kansas City – which call the venue their home – along with Broadway shows, touring acts and other entertainment throughout the year.
USA - The current North American Death or Glory tour by EDM stars Adventure Club, began on 8 March at the Hollywood Palladium and runs through May.
Backing up the popular Canadian duo is a light and video show by Ryan Warffuel and Max Koehler of Antic Studios that is anchored by Chauvet Professional Rogue fixtures and PVP S5 LED panels.
Antic Studio’s design team manages to be both broad and tightly focused at the same time. Shooting crossing beams of light in multiple directions, it immerses the whole room while pulling the crowd into the custom-content centre-stage video display that breaks with convention by being interwoven with lights. By turning on different panels at different times, Koehler and Warffuel change the size and shape of their video wall to create different looks throughout the show.
With help from their business manager Ian Prock, who put in a lot of work behind the scenes to make the project happen, Koehler and Warffuel created a design that pushed the boundaries of video and light displays. “Instead of building a large solid wall surrounded by lighting fixtures, we wanted to give the audience the impression of something truly unique,” said Koehler. “We meshed lighting and video in a different way to create a coordinated image.”
The custom content created by Koehler works with the light to captivate the audience while supporting Adventure Club’s musical themes. “We designed the visual content specifically for the mountain-like structure of our centrepiece display,” said Warffuel. “We tried to stick with