Europe - ETC has promoted Konstantinos Vonofakidis to regional sales manager. In his new role, Vonofakidis will oversee the sales activities in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus and Egypt. He will manage sales arrangements for key accounts in these regions and work in cooperation with the company’s distributors and dealers.
Vonofakidis previously worked as a field project coordinator for High End Systems in the Southern European, African, Middle Eastern and Indian territories. He began his career as a service engineer working with High End Systems for 10 years before going on to manage significant lighting projects such as the National Theatre of Greece, Bahrain National Theatre and Onassis Cultural Centre.
Darren Beckley, sales manager - ETC Ltd, comments: “Vonofakidis is a valuable member of the sales team who has built a great rapport with the dealers and customers in his territories. With his strong market knowledge and expertise, I am confident he will continue delivering high levels of service and be successful in his new role.”
Vonofakidis adds: “I’m excited to build new customer relationships and work more closely with our dealers and distributors in these markets. I look forward to working in this role and growing the business in my regions.”
UK - Sadly, we report the passing after a short illness of long-time Sennheiser executive and well-known industry personality Paul Whiting.
“It is with deep regret that we inform you that Paul Whiting passed away on the evening of Friday 5 June,” says Sennheiser. “Paul was taken ill suddenly in early May and, although he came home for a short period, it was quickly apparent that he would not recover. The family were given the opportunity to visit Paul at the end of last week to say goodbye. On the Friday evening, Paul passed away peacefully in hospital.”
The statement continues, “For those that did not have the privilege of knowing or working with Paul, he began his career at Sennheiser in 1990, after 15 years with former UK partner Hayden Laboratories as the head of its Professional Division as Sales and Marketing Manager. Paul was instrumental in establishing Sennheiser UK as a subsidiary and as Managing Director led the UK’s expansion. In 2007, Paul became President of Global Sales and joined the Sennheiser Executive Management Board, helping to double Sennheiser’s turnover between 2006 and 2015. Paul spent his final year with Sennheiser as President of Strategic Collaborations, focusing on partnerships with artists, industry partners and organisations.
“As part of the management board for Sennheiser Paul, played an integral part in driving new business opportunities. Just some of these projects included establishing the Nordic subsidiaries, building and driving the business in the Middle East and the partnership with Sennheiser C
UK - Sennheiser has reported that Alan March passed away on Saturday 30th May after a short battle with cancer. The statement reads: “It is with a very heavy heart that we have to inform you that our friend and colleague, Alan March, has been prematurely taken from us and his family. Alan sadly passed away peacefully on Saturday 30th May with his wife Kate by his side. After a short but brave battle with cancer Alan is now out of pain and at peace.
“Alan took up his employment with Sennheiser UK in 2008 as a ‘Business Development Specialist’. Alan’s 21 years’ experience in the pro audio industry in various roles, for HW International and Shure Distribution UK, meant that he arrived at Sennheiser with a wealth of experience and knowledge and was an instant fit within the Sennheiser team. Alan helped drive both new and existing business for Sennheiser with his exceptional reputation in the industry and he contributed greatly to the success of the Professional and Install Sound business areas.
“Alongside Alan’s Sennheiser role he also worked tirelessly as part of BEIRG’s steering team regarding the retention of radio spectrum for the entertainment industry. Alan’s enthusiasm in this aspect later led to his role as ‘Senior Manager for Spectrum Affairs’ for Sennheiser, where he continued to make headway for the industry and Sennheiser alike.”
Dr. Andreas Wilzeck, head of Spectrum and Innovation at Sennheiser, gave the following statement on behalf of his team, including Norbert Hilbich: “As musician and in his role at Sennhei
UK - Audiologic has reappointed Diogo Scutti as application support engineer.
Scutti returns to Audiologic after spending three years as project engineer with SSE, a position that involved complete responsibility for system design alongside a focus on developing exceptional standards of interface management.
Over his 20-year career, Scutti has played a major role in both live production and systems integration in many world-famous events and locations, including the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“It is with great pleasure and delight that we welcome Diogo back into the business,” comments Ben Spurgeon, senior application engineer at Audiologic. “Diogo’s experience in large-scale projects and expansive system design will help to push our technical offering even further and we are thrilled to have him back on board. Each member of the team has varying experience and Diogo is a perfect fit to keep expanding the team's vast knowledge base.”
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to re-join Audiologic,” says Diogo. “The leadership calibre and vision of the management team have created the environment in which my return makes sense. I look forward to adding to the team’s collective expertise and utilising my specialist knowledge in audio and video protocols and digital networking to help Audiologic continue to thrive.”
Germany - ARRI has appointed Ivo Ivanovski as general manager lighting business unit, effective 1 August, 2020.
In this position, Ivo Ivanovski will be responsible for demand creation including the areas of product management, application engineering, service, sales, and marketing. He will support long-term ARRI colleague Markus Lampier who will continue to focus on operations at ARRI Lighting. Ivanovski will report directly to Markus Zeiler, executive board member of ARRI.
Ivanovski studied electrical engineering at the University for Applied Sciences in Aachen and began his career at Targetti Lighting in Italy where he pioneered the use of LED technology in the field of general lighting. Soon after completing his MBA studies, he continued his professional career at Osram Opto Semiconductors.
Markus Zeilercomments, “We are thrilled to be able to welcome Ivo Ivanovski to our team. I was privileged to be able to work with him as a business partner during ARRI’s successful LED SkyPanel platform ramp-up; Ivo’s drive, talent, and leadership will certainly fit right in at ARRI Lighting.”
Ivo Ivanovski adds: “From the moment I was introduced to ARRI I admired the uniqueness of the products and the level of innovation. I am very enthusiastic and truly honoured to be part of #teamARRI.”
UK - Knight of Illumination Award winning live video director Ben Farrey (previously Miles) sadly passed away last week. Sharing the news, Coldplay – just one of many high-profile bands and artists Ben worked with throughout his career – paid tribute to a ‘beloved’ member of their crew in an emotional post shared across their social media platforms on Thursday 14th May.
The message, signed by all members of the band, reads: “We're sad to report that we lost one of our most beloved and talented crew members last night. Ben Farrey was our live visuals director. He was in charge of everything that you saw on the screens at our live shows. If you ever made it to a show, you’ll know that he was ridiculously good at his job. He was also one of the kindest and most generous-spirited people you could ever meet. We love you, Ben.”
The message was accompanied by a video of Ben saying what he loved most about his job. He said: “What I really like is coming to work, because my work day is the day thousands of people have been waiting for. The anticipation and the excitement – there’s some electricity in the air every work day.”
Having worked with Coldplay for over 10 years, Ben won the prestigious Knight of Illumination Award for Video Electronic Content in 2016 for his work on their A Head Full of Dreams tour. His considerable talents were also put to work for acts including The Spice Girls, The Script, George Ezra, Elbow and more.
Avolites - where Ben spent time working in the service department at the beginning of his ca
UK - AVIXA has elected Visual Displays founder and displays consultant, Greg Jeffreys, as new chair for its Standards Steering Committee, which advises the main board on issues relating to industry standards.
The Committee will provide recommendations for standards development within the context of AVIXA’s strategic plan, and approve completed standards before they are sent for American National Standards Institute (ANSI) ratification and subsequent publication.
As one of the committee’s founder members, Jeffreys had written the previously published projection best practice paper, in conjunction with international consultants, experts and dnp’s R&D team in Denmark. As a result, the PISCR (Projected Image System Contrast Ratio) standard was amongst the first task groups out of the blocks. He then assumed InfoComm leadership roles in preparation for becoming president in 2012, while continuing to lead the DISCAS (image size) standard group and undertaking other standards writing activities.
Greg reports: “When our first standards were published, we innocently assumed a grateful AV world would beat a path to our door and adopt them enthusiastically. The reality sadly did not match the expectation. At this point the InfoComm/AVIXA leadership stepped in. After producing articles, seminars and creating CTS courses I’m pleased to say the tide has turned and we’re now in a mature phase whereby impactful developments will affect the entire AV ecosystem.”
The refreshed 2020 Standards Committee had been due to meet at AVIXA’s Virgini
UK - 7thSense Design has appointed Geoffrey Platt to the position of product manager.
With over 20 years of experience as a media server technology and emerging digital media specialist, Platt has worked with a number of real-time video companies, and on many high-profile shows and events, including concerts, theatre, film, location-based entertainment and television.
Platt will work with global systems engineering and sales teams from the 7thSense Orlando office, defining key product features and future roadmaps of the expanding 7thSense product range.
“We’re excited to have Geoffrey join our team,” comments Eric Lehman, global sales and marketing manager, 7thSense Design. “His extensive experience of media server technology, interactive digital installations, product design for large-scale live events and video technology workflows will be a huge asset to the future development and feature releases of our Delta Media Server and Juggler pixel processing solutions.”
Italy - Proel SpA has appointed Fabiano Cammoranesi as business unit manager for Sagitter.
Cammoranesi can boast 24 years of experience in the communications and lighting sector. His career at Proel began in 2007 and his product and market strategies have contributed to the growth of the Sagitter lighting brand and the creation of a further brand, SDJ.
In February this year, Fabiano Cammoranesi was called to fill one of the key roles within the Sagitter Business Unit. “An important professional challenge begins,” he says. “This role stimulates me to pour all my enthusiasm and my determination to make the brand grow on the national and international fronts. My passion for this sector is great and it is a pleasure to share it with the whole team. Communicating and transmitting this passion will be my main goal.”
Italy - DTS Illuminazione S.r.L. has appointed Maurizio Gidoni as the company’s technical director.
Gidoni has a background in electronic engineering as well as management and process industrialisation. In his new role, he will lead DTS’ research and development department.
The company says in a statement: “During his 30-year career, Maurizio has developed a strong leadership attitude, alongside with a fundamental teamwork and coaching skills. We strongly believe he will be an example and a human incitement to our technical teams.
“For 10 years, Maurizio has successfully led technical departments and always focussed on electronic products development. His professional philosophy is to promote constant innovation by pursuing the excellence, paying strong attention to cross-functional interaction to achieve the company's goals.
“His skills include market analysis, definition of product specifications, purchasing, quality check from the supplier to the final product industrialisation.
“We are pleased to give him our warmest welcome and we strongly believe he perfectly fits the company growth.”
Europe - Ayrton has appointed Kseniia Igoshkina as the latest member of its international sales team. Based in Detmold, Germany, Igoshkina is responsible for emerging markets across the Baltic countries, the CIS states and South America.
Igoshkina joined Ayrton at the end of 2019, since when she has quickly established her position by appointing new distributors in Belarus, Armenia, Romania/Moldova, Colombia, Panama and the Caribbean. Her previous experience includes two years at Astera LED Technologies as key account manager based in China, after which she relocated to Europe to look for new challenges.
“My first experience of Ayrton was its famous lightshow,” she says. “I was immediately blown away by their unique products. Now, a few years later, I am working for this amazing company and I couldn’t be happier.
“Ayrton’s approach is very different from what I have experienced before. We handle many different types of project and take a very specialised, individual approach to each one. Ayrton products are so full of features that we have something to meet every requirement. It’s a perfect opportunity to create a bespoke solution for all our clients – every day is interesting and exciting.”
“Kseniia brings a freshness and dynamism to Ayrton which perfectly matches our team approach,” says Ayrton Global Sales Director, Michael Althaus. “We are excited to see the response from the emerging markets as she helps raise brand awareness in these new areas.”
UK - Tony Kingsley, a former PLASA chairman, industry maverick and disco lighting pioneer, passed away on Friday 8 May 2020 after a long illness.
If the early 90s marked the period when Tony Kingsley was in the chair of PLASA, it was a decade earlier, when the trade association was still known as BADEM, that he achieved his finest moments, writes Jerry Gilbert.
Tony ran the UK operation of Cologne-based Avitec Electronics GmbH, arguably the pioneers of the ‘superdisco’, who ran operations in four countries.
A former Roger Squire’s store manager, Tony set up Avitec Electronics UK in Hitchin at the end of 1979, and became distributor for the vanguard of popular lighting helicopters, scanners, ‘flowers’ and other effects - mainly from Spain and Italy - that would quickly populate nightclub ceilings and redefine the new disco genre. These included Kremesa (formerly Cremesa), Nisel and Clay Paky.
It was in 1981 that German parent company, Avitec GmbH, booked a staggering 6,000sq.ft of space on two floors at the DIFA Show in Münster. The ‘Discorama’, as it was termed, was designed as a showcase to present their own products and those from UK companies for whom they acted as distribution agents, namely Pulsar, Optikinetics, ICElectrics and Mode.
This did the rounds of mainland Europe, and such was the impact of these awesome displays of technology, that its arrival in London was not long coming. At the BADEM 82 Light & Sound Show in London’s Novotel, Tony Kingsley oversaw an incredible installation of a blue 1000sq
UK - Following the death of Alan Jacobi in April, Unusual Rigging has announced that Jacobi’s son Tom Harper will take on the role of managing director, with Jacobi’s wife Peta appointed as chairwoman. Beyond this change, the Board will continue to lead the Unusual team, directing the overall strategy of the business and assessing how best to respond to all future opportunities and challenges.
“The consequences of losing AJ are great,” says Harper, “and his absence will be felt, both by his family, colleagues, and the industry as a whole for many years to come. As a business, there are obvious implications that need to be addressed which in turn, honour AJ’s wishes regarding succession. AJ shared with Peta and myself that after he was gone, Peta would become the company Chairman, and I would become the MD”.
This strategy was recently reviewed and approved by the Board, which was formed in 2018 when Unusual was faced with exponential growth, and was enhanced by further directors – Simon Stone, Steve Porter, Simon Tiernan and Tom Harper, who each took on specific leadership roles within the organisation.
Jacobi said at the time: “We needed to regenerate the thread of continuity as we move forward and continue to grow, and the Board needs to reflect this intention in the management and governance of the company. We needed a solid and secure base to guide us into the future where responsibilities are growing ever more demanding”.
“And now”, says Harper, “our industry is facing challenges never before contemplated. Yet d
UK - Long-time ETC employee Mark White has announced his retirement from the company after nearly 20 years of service.
White has worked in theatre since 1985 and was part of a team of theatre consultants at the Royal Opera House before he joined ETC Europe in October 2000, taking on the role of sales manager for the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
He has remained at ETC since and his most recent position was regional sales manager, Ireland & UK Rigging, a role in which White focussed on progressing ETC’s stage machinery offering across the UK as well as growing the business in Ireland. Following his departure, Jeremy Roberts will take on those duties.
White comments: “ETC has been a fine company to work for. I am retiring at a time of new and exciting product development in the company, which will keep ETC in pole position as the go-to suppliers of entertainment lighting.”
Darren Beckley, sales manager, ETC Ltd, says: “Mark has been an integral part of developing the company’s brand these past 20 years. We thank him for all of his efforts and wish him the very best on his retirement.”
USA - Apollo Design Technology, the manufacturer of gobos, colour filters and lights, has announced the appointments of Connor Digan and Aaron Prins to sister company, AVID Labs.
Connor Digan is named a project manager for AVID. Digan graduated from Bishop Dwenger High School in Fort Wayne, and Purdue University in West Lafayette with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology.
Joel Nichols, chief innovation officer for Apollo Design and AVID, shares, "It has been great to bring on Connor. He has done a great job of ramping up, leading the AVID team and taking project management to the next level."
Aaron Prins now serves as mechanical engineer for AVID. Aaron graduated from Rose-Hulman with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2019 with a concentration in Aerospace. Aaron did an internship at Precision Aerospace Corp last summer.
"We’re excited to have Aaron join the AVID team. He is excited to build on his aerospace engineering experience with the AVID family," states Connor. "His addition in this role strengthens the mechanical aptitude of the team. Aaron’s curiosity for product development is equally matched by his tenacious problem-solving ability. The crew and I are excited to welcome him aboard."
UK - L-Acoustics Creations has recently appointed Nick Fichte to the role of business manager.
The appointment completes the existing new business team and “positions the division to make headway in key installation markets, leveraging the relationships and knowledge that Nick has forged in his 15-year career in the AV industry”.
Fichte first stepped into the AV industry when he was still a student, applying to work for custom installer, Audio Vision. He was offered the position and boarded a flight to Turkey the following day to assist on technology integration for one of the world’s largest superyachts. This experience cemented a vocation and led to his career progressing at Audio Vision where he became store manager of one of their Bang & Olufsen dealerships. Nick later held sales roles at London-based custom installers Olive Audio Visual and Inspired Dwellings, then, prior to joining L-Acoustics, Crestron.
Fichte comments: “I am extremely excited to join such a world-renowned professional audio manufacturer to drive growth as we enter the residential and marine AV markets. With unique solutions designed for the most exclusive homes and yachts, this is going to be a great journey.”
“We are very pleased to have Nick on board,” comments Christian Heil, president and founder of L-Acoustics. “L-Acoustics Creations brings a new way to experience music and home entertainment to market. It requires rethinking current approaches which in turn requires close collaboration with integrators and end users. Fichte’s proven abilit
UK - Satore Studio has appointed Zillah Watson as Director of Content and Executive Producer. She will lead Satore’s development of virtual production and experiential content, as the company enters an ambitious new phase of growth.
Watson was Commissioning Editor for Virtual Reality at the BBC and headed up the BBC’s VR studio. She was executive producer of a number of award-winning VR experiences and led a project to push VR out to over 170 public libraries around the UK, resulting in the most comprehensive VR audience research in the UK to date.
Satore Studio combines design and technology to bring bold, beautiful concepts to life, delivering truly memorable virtual experiences from runways, stages and sets to audiences worldwide. The studio is led by creative director Tupac Martir.
Discussing Watson’s appointment, Martir said: “I am incredibly excited to be able to share this news with the community. Zillah has always been someone that we can trust on giving us the correct opinion and constructive criticism to move our projects forward. To have her as part of the Satore team brings joy and fills me with enthusiasm for what we can build together; we have become stronger and more creative with the arrival of Zillah.”
Watson brings a wealth of experience in creating and commissioning high-quality content from over 20 years in broadcasting prior to her work in VR. A former Head of Editorial Standards for Radio 4, she started her career in TV documentaries and later worked as a journalist for BBC News.
Before leading the BBC
UK - Robe UK has appointed Theresa Gibson as head of marketing. Theresa has worked across a mix of sectors including marketing / live event agencies, and also in the world of entertainment technology for a distribution company, all of which will be a “massive asset” to Robe UK, comments managing director Mick Hannaford.
“Lights set the scene, create atmosphere and can really bring any environment to life, so to be working with a market-leading moving light manufacturer is fantastic,” she commented.
Theresa will be based at Robe UK’s HQ in Northampton. The scope of her role there will include coordinating marketing activities across events, tradeshows and exhibitions, digital and social media and a range of integrated brand communications.
She will be collaborating closely with her colleagues at Robe UK as well as Robe’s international marketing / communications team to continue developing essential brand value and enhancing the company’s business opportunities in tandem with the immersive ‘end-to-end’ customer experience for which Robe is renowned.
Theresa joins Robe UK at a highly challenging time for the whole live music, show and event industry as the Coronavirus pandemic unfolds creating an extraordinary set of circumstances forcing companies, organisations and brands to revaluate their purpose and approaches to life and business.
“The quality and innovation of Robe’s products, the company’s commitment to – and valuing of – human relationships and their ability t
UK - LSi is sad to report the passing of lighting designer and Society of Television Lighting And Design (STLD) committee member Chris Harris.
He passed away on 7 April whilst being treated for COVID-19 and associated complications.
Harris had over 45 years of experience in the entertainment and broadcast industries, including 14 years at BBC's Pebble Mill Studios in Edgbaston. He had worked at most of Birmingham's leading theatres, including the Birmingham Hippodrome, the New Alexandra Theatre, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, and the ICC. He also managed the TV studio and theatre technical departments at Rugby School for many years.
Most recently, Harris was the lighting director for Channel 5's The Gadget Show.
The STLD says in a statement: "Chris was a tireless member of our committee, giving untold hours of his time to it and travelling many miles for the STLD to arrange exhibitions promoting us. And with the hours that he had left in the day he organised membership, took an interest in student matters, and visited colleges. Chris will be a hard act to follow."
Harris' funeral will take place on 27 April at 1.30pm, but due to the UK's social distancing measures, only the closest family can attend. A memorial will be held at a later date when the restrictions are lifted.
Beyond his work in lighting, Harris was a railway enthusiast and volunteered at the South Devon Railway. Those wishing to donate in his memory should visit the test
USA - The American Society of Theatre Consultants (ASTC) has announced that at the ‘Online’ Annual Business Meeting, Jack Hagler, Todd Hensley, and R. Duane Wilson were recognised and awarded the title of Fellow of American Society of Theatre Consultants (FASTC.)
Jack Hagler, a theatre consultant for over 25 years, is a partner at Schuler Shook where he manages the Dallas office. An ASTC member since 1994, he has been the ASTC liaison to the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) since 2005. He has given educational presentations to many industry conferences across the United States.
Todd Hensley has been a theatre consultant for over 32 years and an ASTC member since 1998, during which he has served on the Board of Directors and president and is currently active on several committees. Hensley has consulted on over 400 projects with Schuler Shook where he serves as partner in their Chicago office.
R. Duane Wilson has been an ASTC member for 32 years and has served as the secretary-treasurer since 2013 providing an invaluable service to the Society. Wilson is a graduate of Yale School of Drama in Theatre Engineering, and joined theatre consultant pioneer, George C. Izenour in his practice in the mid-eighties and he remains part of the firm.
With only a maximum of three fellowships awarded every two years; only a small percentage of members attain this honour. ASTC was founded in 1983 and currently has 79 full members representing 31 consulting companies in the US and Canada.
Admitted into membership at the same meeting
USA - Martin Audio has grown its team in the US with the appointment of Will Harris as product support engineer. As the latest addition to the manufacturer’s product support group, Harris will be supporting the Martin Audio team and resellers with demos, system design and implementation. He will also commission installations and provide technical support to customers.
Harris has experienced all aspects of the pro audio industry, from musician on stage to live sound engineer as well as technical support for a high-profile manufacturer. Based in Las Vegas, he will ensure that Martin Audio’s technical support will now cover US customers coast to coast when required.
“Will is not only an experienced live sound engineer, but has experience working for a prominent manufacturer designing and supporting systems,” says Lee Stein VP of sales, North America. “Our rapid growth has required us to add additional staff to support our sales and our customers appropriately. Will has very strong technical expertise, practical experience and has held this position with another manufacturer. The fact that he’s located in Las Vegas is another plus as it expands our technical support presence across the country.”
“I joined Martin Audio to be part of their great history in music,” adds Harris. “Martin Audio has always put the musical experience first and that shows in every product we make.”
UK/USA - Green Hippo’s product specialist team has strengthened on both sides of the Atlantic with the appointments of Zep Mouris as Hippotizer product manager at its new London HQ and Nick Spencer as product specialist, based in Chicago.
The move comes as the company focuses on delivering enhancements to its range of real-time video manipulation products for the AV industries. It follows hot on the heels of a recent leadership change at Green Hippo, which saw the appointment of David March to sales and marketing director and Ryan Brown to operations and product director.
“Zep has been a cornerstone of software development since joining Green Hippo in 2013 and we’re thrilled that he now takes the role of Hippotizer product manager,” says March. “He has been instrumental in the design of many much-loved Hippotizer software innovations, including SHAPE, the advanced 3D mapping toolkit which integrates with all Hippotizer V4 Media Servers.
“We’ve worked alongside Nick on numerous projects over the years in his roles as freelance lighting and video programmer and witnessed his many talents. We welcome them both and look forward to rolling out developments for our end users born from their enthusiasm and skill.”
Spencer graduated from Western Michigan University with a BFA in Theatre: Technical Production, before freelancing for five years in video for festivals, touring productions, films, corporate events and installations.
“I met and began working closely with Green Hippo during my time with design company Dunaway Designs
USA/Europe - James ‘Graham’ Thomas, founding partner of James Thomas Engineering, has died. The industry has been paying tribute to Graham who retired from the business in 2014 when JTE became part of Area Four Industries.
“All of us at JTE were saddened to hear that Graham ‘James’ Thomas, original founding partner of James Thomas Engineering passed away overnight,” says JTE’s website. “Graham and his partner, John Walters, started JTE in Worcestershire, England in 1977 and their designs became synonymous with the growth and look of rock ‘n’ roll productions throughout the 80s & 90s, in the U.K., in the United States and across the world.
“Graham Thomas and John Walters pioneered the Thomas Spun Aluminum PAR Can and Thomas Pre Rigged Truss, making both widely available for the entire industry globally. The name Thomas is synonymous with trussing and lighting fixtures.
“Graham truly was one of the founding fathers of the truss and rigging entertainment technology industry that we know today. All of us at JTE and Area Four Industries would like to pass on our condolences to Graham’s friends and family.”
John and Graham were both in other industries and began making spun aluminium Par cans on the side, at a time when the steel Altman was the industry standard. Other UK firms were engaged and involved in the early days, but once John and Graham began mass producing PARs, James Thomas Engineering took off.
Dizzy Gosnell (then of Meteorlites) and Ronan Wilson worked with John and Graham to come up with the origi
UK - LSi is sad to report that following a long illness, Alan Jacobi LVO, the founder of Unusual Rigging, passed away peacefully at home on 13 April aged 67.
Jacobi began his career at the Old Vic. He soon moved to the lighting department of the National Theatre, under the directorship of Lord Olivier, and assisted in the theatre’s subsequent move to its current home on the South Bank. He continued to build his comprehensive technical knowledge of show production and toured the world as a freelance production electrician with theatre shows, music and concert production.
Forming Unusual Rigging in 1983, he expanded the company in 1990 to incorporate the production of large-scale national and international events.
In 2018, Jacobi was voted by his peers to receive the Gottelier Award in recognition of his work towards raising the profile and professionalism of the rigging industry. On receiving the award he said: "I am so very honoured … to know how much support I have from industry peers, friends and colleagues. They not only voted me the winner of this year's award, but have been a source of support over the years as we strive to give riggers the credit and professional respect they deserve."
Jacobi - known affectionately to many in the industry as AJ - had long championed the need for training and education in the sector and was a driving force behind the National Rigging Certificate (NRC) accreditation scheme since its inception in 2005.
Awarded an LVO in a special honours list drawn up by the Queen fo