UK - A team of entertainment technology professionals have joined forces to form People Powered UK in a bid to help relieve the pressures of the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The initiative was started by LDs Katharine Williams and Jono Kenyon and has so far amassed 915 members and counting from across the entertainment and live event industries. Williams previously worked on Crew for Calais, a project that saw event professionals build shelters for refugees, whilst Kenyon has first-hand insight into the pressures of the UK’s health service thanks to his partner, an ITU worker.
A statement from People Powered UK says: “People who usually work at venues such as the London Roundhouse and provide production services to festivals are working together across the entire UK. They’re using skills and ingenuity honed building festival infrastructure to provide structures quickly and effectively, and sourcing equipment from outside the NHS’s usual supply chain to provide solutions to challenges hospitals are currently experiencing. Production people already work with emergency services and local authorities at SAGs, on health and safety, and at planning meetings, so already speak the same language.”
Sam Oldham, commercial and operations director of Camden arts venue the Roundhouse comments: "Our industry is full of highly skilled workers, many of whom are currently out of work or have been furloughed. They have essential skills which can be used to support the NHS and we're so proud to see the Roundhouse technical and producti
UK - The country may be on lockdown, but one sound designer has found a way to teleport listeners straight into the heart of London.
Will Cohen, co-founder of the String and Tins collective and the person behind the Silent London project, visited some of London's most popular destinations to capture their soundscapes before the UK lockdown took place.
He used a binaural microphone technique to capture the sound of each place - from Leicester Square and Covent Garden to Charing Cross and Oxford Circus - to create a 360-degree soundscape that everyone can now immerse themselves in from home.
“In the final days before London was shut-down, I made sound recordings of areas that I care about as a Londoner," he explains. "From documenting spots that I skated at as a teenager, through to areas I have worked in - I wanted to see what familiar sounds still resonated at this unprecedented time. I used the binaural microphone technique - if you put headphones on, close your eyes and imagine you are there, the physics behind this method of sound capture will immerse you in the environment pictured in the stills that I took on my journey.”
In simple terms, a binaural recording is a method of audio capture that matches the way humans hear. The recordings are made by attaching two microphones on either a human or dummy head, capturing audio that, when heard back on headphones, creates a realistic immersive experience for the listener.
For Silent London, Cohen used DPA microphones’ new binaural headset.
Listen to the recordings
USA - Grace Primitive Baptist Church in Pearl, Mississippi supports a close-knit community of believers with very traditional services. Spoken word and sung vocals are the focus, with occasional support from backing tracks. Its long, rectangular sanctuary can accommodate approximately 300 congregants, but until recently, many of them had difficulty understanding what was being said or sung.
AV integration firm Sound and Communications (SoundCOM) of Flowood, Mississippi solved Grace Primitive’s intelligibility problems by designing and installing a new sound reinforcement system led by a single, unobtrusive Danley Sound Labs SM100 full-range, point-source loudspeaker.
“The old loudspeaker they had in there was original to the building, which is 17 years old,” explained Allen Cotton, solutions architect with Sound and Communications. “They weren’t pleased with the coverage or the clarity. They called our office and we arranged to come by and visit. As a certified Danley designer, Danley’s point-source fidelity was in the back of my mind the whole time. During the visit, we learned that they were not only hopeful that their intelligibility problems could be fixed, they wanted it done in a way that had no visual impact. They wanted something that was unobtrusive.”
Cotton modelled the system using Danley’s proprietary modelling software, Danley Direct. “They had never seen an acoustical model and were intrigued,” he said. “I showed them the Danley SM100’s coverage pattern at different frequencies, especially those most relevant fo
Germany - Hamburg rapper Samy Deluxe did not choose to celebrate his birthday privately, but instead filled the Hamburg Barclaycard Arena with around 12,000 fans last December. The show, which also marked the end of his successful SaMTV Unplugged tour, was attended by numerous guests. On top of that was the unexpected release of his new album Hochkultur, which was also given as a present to all birthday guests.
LD Bertil Mark, who has been working on the artist’s tour design since 2019 (after handling various festival engagements in previous years), was given the task of transferring the ‘living room’ atmosphere endemic to an unplugged concert to Hamburg's largest concert location. In terms of lighting technology, he included 24 GLP impression X4L, 12 X4 Bar 20, 22 JDC1 hybrid strobes and 18 Highlander Wash lights, in his set design.
“’Unplugged’ always implies something warm - a kind of living room acoustic atmosphere - and that was also the idea for this show set,” explains Bertil. "Samy's own musical implementation of the unplugged concept was extremely 'fresh' overall and so I was able to develop theme based on that. In the end it became a nice mixture of old and new technology, along with some wooden set elements."
Bertil, who regularly turns to GLP solutions, had already used the S350, X4S, X4 Bar 20 and JDC1 during the unplugged tour in March and April. X4 Bar and JDC1 in particular are among his standard tools. “The X4 Bars are my fixture of choice for 3D light surfaces and light curtains. In single-pixel mode, they ar
Spain - Marea has been rocking for over 20 years as one of the most popular Rock en Español bands around. In 2019, the band released their first album in eight years, El Azogue and promptly hit the road in support with renowned Spanish lighting designer Miguel González on board to define the visual concept.
Gonzalez has worked with a variety of high-profile acts over the years, including Marea since 2007, and incorporated 52 Elation Chorus Line 8 LED battens in his design. Seeking a linear light that was something more than a static wash light, he chose the Chorus Line 8 for its 4 to 40-degree zoom and 220-degree tilt axis movement, dynamism that allows it to fulfill a number of roles in a single show from directional stage wash to dynamic eye candy effect.
“I chose the Chorus Line for its versatility and the short 50cm length, which gave me plenty of possibilities when positioned in vertical truss pipes. The fast zoom and the speed of the tilt movement added vitality and I used them quite a bit throughout the show,” stated González, who also handled programming and lighting desk operation on the tour.
The Chorus Line 8 fixtures were positioned in eight 2m vertical truss pipes, four fixtures per pipe, with the remaining fixtures located under a stage riser (behind retro lenses), a position that allowed the LD to take advantage of the fixture’s zoom. “The Chorus Line 8 played a major part in every scene of the show,” he said, “from pixel-mapping effects to fast beam sweeps.”
One of Spain’s largest AV rental companies
Serbia - With an impressive line-up of EDM stars, the Green Love Festival in Novi Sad has grown into a magnet for music fans, not just for its sounds, but for its visual treats as well. Aside from being located in a beautiful vibrant city on the Danube that was designated the European Capital of Culture for 2021 by the EU, the indoor and outdoor festival also wows fans with some stunning stage panoramas.
This was readily apparent in the looks that lighting designer Predrag Djordjević and stage designer Dragan Rajčin from Chameleon Rental conjured up for artists like Spartaque, Metodi Hristov and Fernanda Martins during the most recent incarnation of the festival. With its crossing patterns of beams set off against a massive wall of bright blinders and video panels, their design wrapped itself around the music, commanding attention without taking attention away from the artists.
Aiding them in this endeavour was a collection of over 100 Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by Chameleon Rental that included 16 Maverick MK1 Spot, 20 Maverick MK2 Wash, 24 Rogue R2 Beam, and 60 Rogue R2X Beam fixtures.
Massing some of their fixtures along the upstage wall to create a stunning backdrop, positioning some on the stage deck, and flying the remainder on overhead truss that extended midway through the indoor performance area, they were able to immerse the crowd in a field of light from multiple directions.
Key to providing a colourful visual foundation to underline the electronic beats was the output from the combination of Maverick MK1 Spot and MK2
UK - The Space is a theatre training complex for 16-19 year-olds at Heathfield Community School, located next door to Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre in Taunton, Somerset.
The complex includes an 85-seat performance theatre, dance and drama studios all kitted out to high technical specifications - including new Zero 88 Chilli Pro 24 Bypass dimmers.
The facility offers young people in the south-west of the country opportunities for developing future careers in the performing arts. It specialises in a range of interrelated disciplines including dance, acting, film, production arts, makeup, set design and building, and more, with an intake of around 80 students over two years.
The Space’s technical manager Tom Froom explained that the students from both years will produce between 10 and 12 shows over the course of the academic year.
Tom has been at The Space for three years having started as a student there himself and before undertaking a two-year apprenticeship at Tacchi-Morris and The Space. He expresses the importance of having the latest technologies available as part of the learning tools to benefit students.
The new Chilli Pro dimmers have replaced older units which had been in residence for around a decade.
They control 120 circuits of lighting. Currently, the lighting rig includes Selecon Rama 150 and Acclaim PC’s, ETC Source Four Zooms and Source Four Juniors plus a lot of PARs all on the LX rig above the 8 x 8 metre stage. The venue also has retractable seating for configuring in different formats.
They sometimes use
Australia - Canberra -based technical production and event specialist and rental company Elite Event Technology ensured that Horizon 2020 – the Friday Night Party event that was part of the Australian National University Students' Association (ANUSA)’s annual Orientation (freshers) Week activities in February – had appropriate lighting and sound for their main stage.
Staged at the Fellows Oval sports ground on the University of Canberra campus in ACT, around 3000 students enjoyed great weather and a line-up of young emerging talent including Cub Sport, Holy Holy, Wafia, Graace, Remi, Adrian Eagle and Hayley Mary.
Elite also provided a d&b PA system for the event. The company supplies lighting, sound and AV production for numerous other functions at the university.
The lighting rig was based around a festival lighting spec created by headliner Club Sport’s LD Jake Ploss.
Elite’s owner and house FOH sound engineer for the night Darren Russell took this as a starting point and – in consultation with Jake – modified elements to make it practical for the event and to fit the 14-metre-wide truck stage.
The stage offered 6.5m of headroom to its structural gantry, below which Elite flew their four production trusses.
Elite’s Blake Watkin operated lighting for all the other bands apart from Club Sport and the challenge was in lighting each artist differently to match their performance and musical style. With the Robes on the rig, there was plenty of versatility and dynamics!
Over 60 per cent played in daylight wh
Thailand - The Office of the Permanent Secretary for Defence recently upgraded its headquarters with Harman Professional Solutions AV, lighting and control systems.
Part of Thailand’s Ministry of Defence, the Office of the Permanent Secretary is responsible for determining strategic goals, executing plans, drafting policy and the inspection and monitoring of the Royal Thai Armed Forces.
Occupying a grand, nine-story building with multiple wings outside Bangkok, the organisation’s headquarters includes a multipurpose hall which can seat 1,500 and be divided into two separate spaces on demand. To ensure world-class sound, video, lighting and control for presentations and events, the Office of the Permanent Secretary deployed a range of solutions from JBL Professional, Crown, Soundcraft, BSS, Martin Professional and AMX.
"The client needed cutting-edge AV and stage lighting systems for the multipurpose hall that seats 1,500 people,” said Pongsakorn Kanchanachayphoom, director of project, Mahajak Development Co. “A robust and flexible solution was necessary to facilitate different types of events. Evaluating these requirements, we designed a system with Harman's industry-leading networked AV and lighting solutions, providing the client with the required flexibility and allowing them to upgrade the platform in the future."
To achieve suitable sound reinforcement in multiple room configurations, the Office of the Permanent Secretary installed a range of JBL loudspeakers in the main hall. When the hall is divided, 15-inch JBL AM7215 speakers
South Africa - Days before lockdown, thousands of fans gathered at the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria to celebrate the 2020 edition of RAMfest, South Africa’s music festival for all things alternative.
This years’ line up included some of South Africa’s most popular alternative bands, including Facing the Gallows, Peasant, Man as Machine, Newtown Knife Gang, The Valley, Stoker, and Truth & It’s Burden. Highlights of the event included a much-anticipated reunion show by South African rock legends, The Van Coke Kartel and USA-based death metal giants, The Black Dahlia Murder, who headlined the one-day festival.
Festival organisers Real Alternative Music (RAM) once again contracted Stage Effects and Blue Array Productions to provide technical services for the event. Stage Effects’ Erik de Bruin has been working with RAM on the festival for several years and he says that it is one of his favourite festivals to work on.
In the lead up to this years’ RAMfest, Erik used the opportunity to give an up-and-coming young lighting designer, Ethan Benjamin, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get behind an MA3 light console at a festival of this size.
“A few years ago, I found this young guy, Ethan Benjamin, on YouTube, who was making videos about his experience programming on the MA2 platform. I got a hold of him and discovered that, at the tender age of 16, he had taught himself how to programme an MA2 by following YouTube tutorials and online resources. I decided to allow him the opportunity to programme a few gigs over the past two years
USA - Mirror balls have been used to create atmosphere in dancehalls and nightclubs for almost a century, and became synonymous with the ‘70s disco explosion. Dance Studio Vol. 1, the latest new addition to the nightlife scene in Chicago’s River North neighbourhood, takes this lighting staple to a new level by filling the ceiling above its dancefloor completely with ADJ mirror balls of various sizes.
The new nightclub and event space is a renovation of the ‘dearly departed’ Studio Paris, which closed in January 2019 after an eight-year run. With a totally redesigned interior, Dance Studio Vol. 1 is a 350-person venue that hosts live music, DJs and ‘surprise entertainment’. It features a lighting system that was designed and installed by Craft Lighting, a Chicago-based AV design and integration company.
Craft Lighting supplied and installed a total of 470 ADJ mirror balls of different sizes, hanging them at various heights to create a sea of glass facets above the heads of dancers. A mixture of standard 8”, 12”, 16” and 20” balls were combined with three of ADJ’s huge 40” units to create a truly dazzling, eye-catching installation which surrounds a moving light package consisting of fixtures from ADJ’s sister company Elation Professional.
“The mirror ball installation sprung from conversations and design explorations with the client,” explains Noah Craft, owner and lead designer for Craft Lighting. “They were exploring visual themes for this project that relied on repeating patterns/textures and wanted to evoke feeli
USA - High End Systems has announced new live events via its Study Hall programme, featuring webinars, Q&As, and round tables led by both employee experts and friends around the industry. “The content will be geared toward all our audiences around the globe, including dedicated events for just our dealers and reps - so be sure to log in to MyETC to see all the upcoming listings!” suggests HES.
This week’s schedule includes: Thursday, 2 April, 10:00 am CDT - Intro to Controls Networking - “It's all about making meaningful connections... between the components of your lighting system! ETC NYC's Nick Gonsman presents a special intro to the theory and practice of controls networking.”
Thursday, 2 April, 12:00 pm CDT - Let’s Go Hog Wild - “Join Maegan Wilson and Noah Allen, product support specialists for High End Systems, as they will cover the basics of the Hog 4 console, including console layout, navigation, patching, and controlling fixtures.”
Says HES, “We welcome your feedback, so please reach out to the HES Sales team with any suggestions and topic ideas. In the meantime, stay safe and stay connected.”
UK - Stage Electrics has won the contract to complete the technical fit out of production lighting, sound, video, comms and stage engineering systems at the new purpose built, fully accessible, Brixtonhouse Theatre (formerly Ovalhouse Theatre) which forms part of the Somerleyton Road Project in the heart of Brixton.
The new building will have two performance venues and seven multi-use accessible studios and a whole new inventory of equipment and is set to at the end of 2020.
Stage Electrics will again be working with main contractor Galliford Try with who they previously completed the Southampton New Art Complex.
UK - Technical services provider White Light (WL) has taken delivery of a number of Powersoft’s T Series amplifier platforms from the company’s UK distributor, CUK Audio.
The purchase, which took place between July and October of last year, included 31 T604s and three T602s, and was made after the company had a chance to get some hands-on time with the products at WL’s warehouse.
WL’s senior audio technical project manager, Harry Saxton McCann, says: “CUK’s product demos were brilliant, and the training was ideal to bring our freelance and full-time staff up to date with Powersoft’s latest offerings. A lot of the engineers have commented on how clean the PA sounds when being driven by Powersoft amplifier platforms, and the ability to keep everything digital over Dante and AES has been very beneficial.”
Available in both 4-channel and 2-channel versions, the T Series is designed to deliver cost-effective, high-quality performance loudspeaker processing. Both versions of the amplifier platform support channel powers from 750 W to 3,000 W.
In addition to analogue, the T Series includes AES3 and Dante by Audinate inputs, which are optimised for daisy-chained distribution of 2-channel audio to multiple amplifiers with no need for external switches or splitters. The T Series also allows remote control and advanced signal processing abilities through Powersoft's ArmoníaPlus, plus onboard DSP.
“It’s the all about the amount of flexibility the T series offers,” McCann explains. “The power output on offer in such a small
The Netherlands - Jack-Rotterdam is a restaurant where 30 years of dance music and fine food coalesce.
When former techno DJ-turned restaurant and hotel concept developer Jack planned to open to his own house concept eatery, Amate Audio’s Benelux distributor, Imagination AV (also based in Rotterdam) was charged with specifying and installing a sound system throughout the long beautifully arched venue, that would meet the demands of both dining and dancing with equal measures of quality.
Power and performance on the dance floor come courtesy of eight Nítid N6P 2-way systems and a pair of N12WP subs. The most compact Nítid series model, the N6P’s frequency response and high SPL output is astounding for cabinet of its size, due to a combination of advanced design and components that includes a 6” carbon fibredriver that enables the N6P to deliver a response akin to an 8” system.
Providing the same full range, high intelligibility sound, at considerably lower SPL’s, throughout the dining area is accomplished with a centrally ceiling mounted, left / right side firing arrangement of 10 lower profile Amate Audio B8 2-way systems, down the length of the elegant arch room.
The power and control rack for the entire installation comprises a combination of Amate Audio’s high power-to-weight ration HD2000 and HD1200 power amplifiers, and a single DSP608 6-in / 8-out, 1U high resolution, DSP loudspeaker management processor.
Proclaiming himself “well happy” with the resultant audio quality throughout his entire venue, Jack is espec
Poland - One of the most spectacular and well-equipped theatres in Europe, with a seating capacity of over 2,000, The Grand Theatre - National Opera (Polish: Teatr Wielki - Opera Narodowa (TW-ON)) is a ‘must-visit’ cultural hub in Warsaw, housing a theatre complex, museum, opera company, and the Polish National Ballet all under one roof.
Most recently, its Młynarski Hall, also known as the Chamber Music Hall, has been updated with an L-Acoustics Kiva II system, offering “unparalleled sound” versatility to the venue’s extensive programme of concerts, ballets, operas, and special events.
When it was time to upgrade this notable venue's PA system, the team invited the top AV suppliers to participate in the tendering process.
The team consisted of the theatre's Zdzisław Staszewski, Łukasz Baska and Michał Polański. They were responsible for conducting the tender for the Młynarski Hall, and developing a detailed listening procedure which the team presented to Polish equipment supplier and L-Acoustics certified provider distributor, Audio Plus, among two other AV candidates.
"TW-ON's listening committee included a technical team of sound engineers, a robust artistic team consisting of a conductor, singer, musician, representatives from both the Academy of Opera and the Impresariat; and people from other units associated with the artistic work of TW-ON," Audio Plus marketing director, Paweł Kuhn eplained. "It's a testament to their commitment to getting the sound right, for technicians, for artists and for the audience."
USA - Community Christian Church in Tamarac, FL, has been livestreaming Sunday services for over two years, but until recently, they always were conducted before a room filled with worshippers. When concerns about Covid-19 prompted the church to hold services inside an empty building, its tech team, which includes media pastor Bill Kelly, director of communications Vinny Cesar and visual arts director Kevis Mulchan, began revising its streaming strategy.
“We felt that not having people in the church would necessitate some changes,” said Mulchan. “Our initial thought was that it would not be good to show a room full of empty seats on our online broadcasts. However, by the second week of doing this, we reversed course, coming to realise that it was actually a good thing to show the vacant space, since this emphasized that the church is not the building itself, but the individual people out in the community.”
The Community Christian team continues to tweak their livestreaming strategy to account for the absence of worshippers at services. “Since we are now lighting exclusively for an online audience it is different,” said Mulchan. “We’re lighting only for the camera, so I’ve been intentionally looking at new ways to position lights and camera in relation to the band and vocalists. Conveying energy on camera has been a focus of mine.”
Helping Mulchan convey that energy are the eight Chauvet Professional Maverick MK2 Spot and 14 COLORdash Batten Quad-12 fixtures in the church’s rig. Drawing on the output of these fixtures along wi
World - Challenging times call for extraordinary responses and for DJ EZ, a man not unfamiliar with marathon sets, what could be better to put smiles on faces than to set up, plug in and play for 24 hours on the spin?
DJ EZ’s response to the current unprecedented worldwide circumstances, was to team up with the My Kind Deed website to lift people’s spirits whilst they observed social distancing and self-isolation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. From 6pm GMT on 28 March through to 6pm GMT on 29 March, DJ EZ streamed a 24-hour set via Boiler Room TV. My Kind Deed is a project that encourages positivity and kindness as a way to promote better mental health and general wellbeing in society.
It wasn’t the first time that this hugely respected DJ has put himself out there to give something back to his community. Four years ago, DJ EZ raised £60,000 for Cancer Research UK by streaming a 24-hour show to thousands of supporters.
Pioneer Pro Audio supplied an XPRS system for the booth, comprising two XPRS12 tops and a pair of XPRS115S subs. DJ EZ was familiar with the brand, having enjoyed using an XY-Series system for his last Boiler Room set.
Pioneer Pro Audio’s Mark Grotefeld, General Manager comments: “This was a brilliant initiative by DJ EZ which can only spread a massive amount of positivity and joy during these very difficult times. Sharing music to bring people together is fundamental to every culture in the world. We’re pleased we could supply the system for this event - matching DJ EZ’s staying power is a tall orde
Australia - Progressive metal band Tool have just completed the southern-hemisphere leg of their extensive and technically ambitious arena touring schedule, supporting the launch of the album, Fear Inoculum. As they headed to Australia and New Zealand, it was confirmed that the tour’s TiMax SoundHub-driven 3D surround sound system - that started out as something of an experiment - would continue for the rest of the tour as it had ‘become part of the show’.
The system design - a distributed d&b arrangement of main left and right, plus overheads focused vertically down forward and back, rear surround hangs and upper seating ‘front’ channels - is the result of extensive research by the band’s system engineer, Liam Halpin, to realise the suggestion of FOH engineer, Alan Hopkinson, that their audience would love ‘sounds to appear from different places around the room’.
Liam’s research took him towards TiMax. He explains: “Keeping abreast of what TiMax can do over the years I thought this might be an ideal use for it: to create something that is not quite what everybody else is doing.”
A key element of the success of the TiMax-rendered “effects system” was that it avoided blocking sightlines for the highly video-intensive production design, in addition to offering spatial mapping across multiple subsystems so that almost every seat in the house would experience spatial placement and panning of individual or groups of mix elements. It was also vital that it could be readily adapted for different arenas.
UK - This year’s Buckinghamshire Music Trust (BMT) Battle of the Bands (BOTB) contest for young aspiring musicians saw two leading pro audio manufacturers provide a top tier concert touring spec. By being able to broadcast their sound through a premier touring PA, on a Dante backbone, will have taken the 12 bands competing in the final into new territory.
The two High Wycombe-based manufacturers concerned were Martin Audio and Focusrite Pro, both now under the umbrella of parent company, Focusrite plc.
It was Stephen Button, Focusrite’s EMEA channel marketing executive, who established the relationship with Buckinghamshire Music Trust (BMT) several years ago. It started when he helped them out as a local musician with their monthly event Guitari Lounge, an open mic night created for under-18-year-olds.
BMT evolved from teaching young people ‘traditional’ instruments such as trumpet, flute or violin to now providing a programme called Hi-Gain - an after-school activity for musicians in bands, or self-taught musicians wishing to gain experience of playing in a group. The programme offers young people the opportunity to develop their performance, song-writing and music technology skills on a weekly basis. The jewel in the crown for these students is the annual Battle of The Bands event, now in its sixth year, which is held at the Wycombe Swan Old Town Hall. It is an opportunity for these young musicians to experience a professional setup with large stage and big audiences.
In recent years, Focusrite’s interest has increased as a sponso
USA - Boston is a town with many traditions and one festive custom that Bostonians have enjoyed since 1975 is First Night Boston, New England’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration. Produced by Conventures, Inc., this past season’s festivities were lit by Port Lighting Systems using Elation weatherproof luminaires. First Night Boston is an event the New Hampshire-based lighting specialists have worked for many years.
As veterans of First Night Boston and other outdoor events, Port Lighting Systems knew the secret to its success would be carefully selecting equipment and crew. “We tapped team members with experience lighting in all weather conditions, and chose a combination of outdoor-rated fixtures, equipment designed to protect fixtures from the elements, and back-up gear should anything fail,” says Port Lighting’s Graham Edmondson, who served as production manager on the project.
Port Lighting Systems also designed all the lighting looks for the event, which included a light show in Copley Square along with illumination of the Ice Pavilion, the mainstage in front of Trinity Church Boston, the facades of the surrounding buildings, and the midnight countdown clock. “In the past, we’ve projected patterns onto the Fairmont Copley building in Copley Square and the Boston Public Library,” Edmondson explains. “This year we wanted to add a base colour layer to the buildings as well.”
With the express goal of bringing energy and excitement to the New Year’s revelry, no matter the weather conditions, Port Lightin
Canada/Europe - Montreal-based visual design practice Luz Studio, headed by Matthieu Larivée, created the eye-catching production design at the core of French-Canadian singer and impressionist Véronic DiCaire’s Showgirl tour, which had a very successful launch in Canada in December 2019, then toured arenas in Europe, before the coronavirus pandemic took hold and curtailed all live events.
The Showgirl concept saw the artist delivering material written / performed by around 50 female vocalists - from Dua Lipa to Celine Dion - in their style and voices, backed by six dancers and four musicians.
Matthieu proposed a harmonious and integrated set, lighting and video design which featured Robe moving lights at the centre, with 28 MegaPointes and 12 Spiiders, plus six BMFL Blades and two BMFL Spots being used with a RoboSpot remote follow-spotting system.
The stage architecture was defined by five distinctive LED columns onstage, a central flat-plane LED surface flanked by four three-sided columns with the four musicians in the middle, which allowed them to be concealed and revealed as desired. This highly effective visual trickery also preserved the form and structure of the performance space.
Working closely with the artist herself and her creative team including show director Josée Fortier, choreography / stage director Geneviève Dorion-Coupal and artistic director Patricia Ruel, Matthieu developed the lighting and video content together into a coherent aesthetic treatment for each segment of the show.
“Véronic was e
UK - Back to the Future The Musical arrived in 2020 at the Manchester Opera House on 20 February. The 1985 movie and pop culture phenomenon has been transported to the stage by the film's original creative team of Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis. Sending audiences on a ride through time with a hit music score, and featuring the famous DeLorean, production manager Simon Marlow, brought Unusual Rigging on board to handle the complex rigging requirements of the show.
Unusual Rigging was contracted to supply all the rigging - both for the load in and the run of the show. Marlow explains: “Unusual's Emily Egleton has been at the helm; we have a great relationship, having worked closely on a number of shows together including Bat out of Hell the Musical and And Juliet. She was tasked with designing all the diversions and the hanging plot for Back to the Future and yet again squeezed more than would seem possible into an extremely tight space.”
The show relies on some complex auditorium rigging as well as a challenging onstage rig as Egleton explains: “Front of house, we've created an environment around the audience in the form of giant circuit boards that extend into the auditorium. To do this, the proscenium was extended so that the audience is almost enclosed by the circuits. This in itself was quite a challenge because the capacity of the roof in Manchester is pretty good – but hidden within the circuit boards is a significant amount of equipment – LED lighting, speakers etc. In the venue, the capacity changes across the roof so
USA - For those missing the comradery and exuberance of a live concert experience, long-time Bandit Lites client Garth Brooks offered some words of encouragement amidst a one-hour Facebook live stream that was so popular, it apparently kept crashing the social media site. Brooks was recently honoured as this year's recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
“Garth stands alone in music at this point,” said Bandit Lites founder and chair, Michael T. Strickland. “Never has anyone been so impactful, yet so giving to the world as a whole. There is never a cause or a moment that Garth does not only rise to the occasion, but he sets the bar. Garth and Trisha provided a free concert for anyone that cared to listen, an incredible move that was 100% them giving of themselves to a public in need of a moment of relief. Thank you Garth and Trisha; we can all learn from you both. I love you both.”
With more than 50,000 requests pouring in, Trisha Yearwood and Brooks entertained the 3.4m watching at home with renditions of Shallow, Whiskey to Wine, Amazing Grace and even Ed Sheeran’s Perfect.
Brooks has postponed his upcoming concerts in Charlotte, NC and Cincinnati, OH with promises to reschedule and honour all tickets. Bandit Lites provides the lighting system for The Garth Brooks Stadium Tour and looks forward to returning to the road with the legendary entertainer, although no one seems more anxious than Garth himself.
“I need this more than anybody,” Brooks shared, and while he or