USA - Magic Reinvented Nightly, magician Mat Franco’s current Las Vegas residency, is staged at the Mat Franco Arena at the LINQ Hotel+Experience.

Production lighting designer Scott Chmielewski from design studio DMDS7UDIOS was first asked to create a lighting environment for this show in 2020 when it launched. Scott has worked with creative director / producer Brian Burke on top TV shows like American Idol and America’s Got Talent and has crafted his own multidisciplinary lighting aesthetic blending the theatrical with the televisual.

The Mat Franco show – under the artistic direction of scenic designer Joe O’Neill was initially planned to run for five years – and received a quick refresh during the COVID period, followed by a full production and room re-design in February 2023. This last update brought large qua

Spain - Home of Zarzuela - a form of Spanish traditional musical comedy – central Madrid’s Teatro de la Zarzuela was restored to its historic beauty in 1913 after a fire destroyed the original 1856 building. Now owned by the Ministry of Culture and a designated Asset of General Interest with Monument status since 1994, the Teatro is Spain’s first and only Spanish lyric theatre.

The most famous Zarzuela performances have premiered here and the best works of its repertoire are still sung and heard here to this day to audiences in excess of 1,200.

Theatre, television and event rental company, CityLight Iluminación, has supplied 32 Robert Juliat Dalis 860 Cyclorama lights to the opulent venue, procured from Robert Juliat’s exclusive distributor for Spain, EarPro & EES.

Teatro de la Zarzuela’s technical team carried out some in dept

USA - Il Divo are currently on their 20th anniversary global tour, which is animated by a vibrant Ignacio (Iggy) Rosenberg lighting design that represents a dramatic departure from previous shows.

“This being the group’s 20th anniversary tour, we wanted to give them a refreshed, modern look,” said Rosenberg. “It was the best time for them to get a total revamp.  Some of the band members had ideas they wanted (including lasers and video), and I wanted to minimize the orchestra to express the individual identities of the four singers more dramatically.”

As part of new design, Rosenberg revamped the production’s audience lighting. To accomplish this, he added eight Chauvet Professional Color STRIKE M fixtures, supplied by The Lighting Design Group, to his rig.

“The band loves seeing their audience,” he said. “I wanted to push

China - Colombian singer-songwriter Juan Gomez’s concert at Beijing’s Zhongshan ‘Forbidden’ City Concert Hall has used the ethernet-based Green-GO digital solution to improve efficiency.

The Concert Hall is known as the ‘pearl of music in China’s royal garden’ as it is situated inside one of Beijing's most beautiful parks, Zhongshan Park, and surrounded by historic gardens and landmarks. Its main stage measures 23m wide and 14m tall, offering more than 1,400 seats on two floors. The venue hosts both international tours, the Beijing International Music Festival and concerts by the China Philharmonic Orchestra and Beijing Symphony Orchestra.

China Green-GO dealer and AV expert EZPro was tasked to provide a high-quality intercom system for sound engineers and stage staff for the show. “The technical team had no previous awareness of the

Poland - MSD Animal Health, part of Merck & Co, based in Rahway, New Jersey, has opened a new experience centre located at the company's production plant in Psary Małe (Greater Poland Voivodeship), established to present the company's solutions in the field of animal health identification and monitoring.

The unit's activities will support breeders and veterinarians in learning about the latest technological solutions supporting animal breeding and production.

IT integrators Koma Nord called in architectural sound installation specialists Lauda Instalacje who proposed a Nexo sound system comprising a pair of the French manufacturer’s ID84 column speakers mounted either side of the main screen, with LF extension from two ultra-compact LS400 subs mounted and hidden on the wall to the right. Processing and amplification are provided by Nexo’s DT

Australia - Based on Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s fairy tale La Belle et la Bête, Disney’s Beauty & the Beast was the first full-length stage show to be produced by the newly created Disney Theatrical Productions (DTP) company. The musical has since grossed more than $1.7bn worldwide and played in 15 countries and 115 cities and remains one of Broadway’s biggest successes.

A new Australian production – based on the 2021 UK revival - is currently mid-way through a tour across Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. This latest production features sound from KV2 Audio, designed by sound designer and long-time Disney collaborator, John Shivers.

Shivers first started work on Beauty and the Beast for the Shanghai production in 2018. He and his associate designers, Kevin Kennedy and Greg Pink along with sound engineer Andy Sha

USA - Daze Between New Orleans returned to Faubourg Brewery on 30 April – 1 May, bridging the consecutive weekends of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival with two days of live music, local cuisine, craft beer, and good times.

Now in its third year, the festival showcased two stages, both powered by official sound partner Meyer Sound. From jam to jazz, funk to rock, the lineup showcased acts from the Big Easy and beyond, including Galactic, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and headliners Lettuce and Gov’t Mule.

Meyer Sound systems were provided by Upscale Productions of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Panther large-format linear line array loudspeakers returned to the main Daze Between stage, paired with the 2100‑LFC low-frequency control element. The Jerry Garcia Wellness Stage centred around Leopard compact linear array loudspeakers, supplemented

The Netherlands - Following the pandemic, Racoon embarked on an extensive tour of The Netherlands in support of their album.

The quartet performed at a wide variety of venues, from amphitheatres and festivals, to clubs and theatres during their busy 30-month tour. Each show had its own distinctive atmosphere, which is why Racoon’s long-time lighting designer, Erwin Van Lokeren created different looks for every stop along the way.

Now, as Racoon does the final shows of its extended run, Van Lokeren has woven together many of those looks from the past two-and-a-half years into a transformative tapestry. Moving seamlessly through a spectrum of emotions, his design blends live images of the band’s members on a blow-through video wall with evocative (mostly warm white) light projected from multiple angles.

“I took all those designs from prev

The Netherlands - With the 2022 version of Soenda Indoor Werkspoorkathedraal in Utrecht being a major success, repeating the trick for the 2023 edition in the same location would be no small feat. T.Y.S were once again on hand to create a design that surpassed expectations.

The biggest challenge for the design team was coming up with a solution that could turn the cavernous Werkspoorkathedraal into a venue with a cosy club atmosphere. With a floor surface of 5,800 m2 to cover and a ceiling height of 20m, there was plenty of scope for creativity.

Together with the event’s producer, Elevation Events, the design team decided that doing something with motion could add a surprising new dimension to the lighting setup for the 2023 edition. This culminated in the construction of four large square frames that were suspended from the venue’s two crane tra

Europe - Simple Minds are back on the road for their 2024 Global Tour, playing arenas and proving perennially popular to both old and new generations of music fans.

The production has also been growing and developing in size and dynamics with Robe iForte and BMFL moving lights assisting show and lighting designer Mark Wynn-Edwards to produce a colourful show supporting the band’s powerful up-tempo set.

The show design is new but contains some threads inspired by the 2020 arena tour which was abruptly halted due to the pandemic. Mark has been working with the band since 2018, initially coming onboard to look after media servers.

The tour features 14 x iForte in the floor package and three iForte for followspot duties plus 37 x BMFLs in the flown rig which are the main hard edge and workhorse lights of the design. All kit is supplied by Solot

Italy - Tenax, a beacon of the underground club scene in Florence, recently underwent a sonic upgrade with the installation of a new sound system from K-array. Boasting 43 years of continuous activity and a star-studded roster of performers including the likes of Daft Punk, Ben Harper, and Dream Theater, Tenax required a system that would live up to the club’s reputation whilst honouring the requirements for low frequencies in a built-up urban area.

The team at K-array worked directly with the in-house technicians at Tenax to design and implement the updated system. “Our headquarters are located just outside of Florence city, so we have strong connections with the nightclub and with the underground music culture that has evolved from Tenax over the decades,” explains Daniel Strasserra, global business development manager at K-array. “Whilst a key goa

Qatar/UAE - The inaugural Qatar-UAE Super Cup football tournament kicked off in Doha, Qatar on April 12, 2024, showcasing talent from both nations, then continued the next day with the UAE-Qatar Super Cup Shield match in Dubai.

Qvision (Qatar Vision), the Doha-based event production and management company, was charged with bringing the organising committee’s vision to life in spectacular opening ceremonies featuring a large complement of Claypaky lighting fixtures.    

For the opening ceremony’s show, Qvision artistic director and executive producer, Sharif Hashisho, devised a mesmerising display at Al Thumama World Cup stadium where storytelling laser animation highlighted the development of football in the GCC region and the significance of the newly established championship. A massive array of Claypaky beams lit up the night sky, sweeping

South Africa - Theatre and professional rental specialist, Gearhouse Splitbeam of Johannesburg, has made its first investment in Ayrton, purchasing a consignment of new Ayrton Rivale Profile fixtures from Ayrton’s South African distribution partner, Planetworld.

The decision came after a concerted post-pandemic fact-finding mission to secure the best new LED moving lights with which to update Splitbeam’s aging lighting stock, spurred on by the impending requirements of Showtime Management’s production of Mamma Mia! later in the year and a need to increase its stock of LED moving lights. Departing from its traditional manufacturers, Splitbeam decided in favour of Ayrton Rivale Profile following a shoot-out between major manufacturers’ products and a visit to the Ayrton factory just ahead of the launch of Rivale Profile.

“We are essentially a

France - La Planète Rouge, a team of 3D and VFX set designers as well as colourists, set out to create The Next Stage. Housed within Provence Studios, the largest filmmaking infrastructure in southern France, it is situated in the heart of the French filmmaking industry near Marseille. The Next Stage has been designed to be ‘the ultimate in virtual production studios’, featuring a custom-made LED screen from French manufacturer, ArtBox, and is powered by Brompton LED video processing.

“We started with a blank sheet,” says La Planète Rouge’s Morgann Brun. “The infrastructure needed to be as immersive as possible because our aim was for production companies to be able to create content for feature films there.”

The result is a studio that features a U-shaped volume with an LED ceiling, plus a mobile set up. As Brun puts it, it is a Swis

USA - On his recent arena tour of the US, Israeli superstar Eden Hason worked closely with lighting designer, Alon Shnaiderman.

“The concept of the performance design was built by me together with my client,” said Shnaiderman. “We meet and began to bring his personal place onto the stage. There was a hopeful, positive message he wanted to say to the audience, we broadcast this through the design.”

In keeping with this vision, the singer and his lighting designer sought to create an uplifting mood. “We wanted to give the impression of levitation, that the whole element floats and gives a feeling in space,” said Shnaiderman. “This was key to the story Eden wanted to tell.”

Relying on 20 automated hoists, Shnaiderman created multiple layers of light to change perspectives during the two-hour concert. Over 340 lighting fixtures, 1

The Netherlands - Villa Ananas hosted a tropical disco party on King’s Night and King’s Day in Beek en Donk. Featuring an impressive array of lighting equipment including Infinity and Showtec fixtures supplied by Dito Rental B.V., the event lit up the night with retro beats and vibrant hues.

As the Netherlands geared up for its vibrant King’s Day celebrations, Villa Ananas welcomed party-goers to immerse themselves in two days of retro beats and disco vibes on King’s Night and King’s Day. Held in the historic village of Beek en Donk near Eindhoven, Villa Ananas offered a tropical disco paradise.

Dito rental B.V. supplied an impressive array of lighting equipment, including 36 Infinity Furion B401 Beam moving heads, 28 Infinity iW-741 RDM RGBW wash moving heads and 10 Infinity iW-1941 RDM RGBW wash moving heads, creating an electrifying atmo

South Africa - Sound engineer Simphiwe ‘Smooth’ Mhlanga has become the first choice for some of South Africa’s most promising talents, including the likes of Jabulani ‘Sjava’ Hadebe, a singer, rapper and actor, as well as Kiernan Forbes, the late rapper and producer known as AKA. As Sub-Saharan African music has recently seen an impressive surge in sales and an increase in streams on all popular music platforms, Smooth’s experience is increasingly in demand.

When Smooth gets tasked with miking live shows, the engineer knows he needs a high-quality solution that highlights both his and the performers’ skills. Whether performing for 2,000 people or 10,000, the artists require a mic that offers pristine sound replication and the versatility to problem-solve on the spot. Working with DPA Specialist Keith Karimi from ApexPro in South Africa, Smooth

Spain - As part of its Presidency of the European Commission, Spain has recently played host to several high-level European events. The 134th Europol Meeting of the Management Board in Zaragoza was a standout amongst these, due to the scale of the conferencing solution required.

The Europol Management event is a gathering of all the European police force representatives to talk about international coordination and actions to ensure security within Europe.  

Having provided the AV solution for the 2022 NATO summit in Madrid, Ditec Comunicaciones was well placed to support El Cuerpo Nacional de Policía (Spain’s national police corps) in delivering this similar event. With the large number of delegates and variety of languages required, the Ditec team chose the comprehensive Dicentis conference system from Bosch Building Technologies.  

D

Europe - Within Temptation has sold close to 200,000 tickets for their European co-headlining Worlds Collide Tour, on which they played alongside US rock band, Evanescence. It also saw their monitor engineer of 17 years, Bennie Veenstra, deploying a KLANG immersive in-ear monitor system to add control and spatial quality.

Formed in 1996 by lead vocalist Sharon den Adel and guitarist Robert Westerholt, Within Temptation is a popular Dutch symphonic metal band. Over the years, they have garnered a massive following thanks to their fusion of symphonic elements, heavy guitars, and haunting vocals, resulting in more than four million record sales and numerous international awards, including a World Music Award, MTV Europe Music Awards, and a Metal Hammer Award. They have also headlined major European festivals such as Download, Hellfest, Wacken Open Air and Grasp

UK - Johnny Marr had some very definite ideas about the kinds of looks he wanted on stage for his Greatest Hits tour, which kicked off at Newcastle’s O2 City Hall on 2 April, with lighting design by Ed Warren.

“Johnny and I have a really good relationship,” said Warren. “We spent a fair bit of time hanging out and chatting before coming up with any kind of plan for this tour.  Once we had this decided, I programmed the entire show at home on my MQ70 using Capture over the course of a couple of weeks.

“Since Johnny’s studio is so close to me, I would pop round to see him every few weeks and talk about life, love, football and of course music. He would explain to me the moments he felt things should happen and would even give me background behind meanings of songs. This really helped me interpret them into light. Of course, this was pretty

Denmark - Performing arts centre Musikhuset Esbjerg has upgraded with advanced dimming and power management solutions from Australian lighting controls manufacturer LSC Control Systems. The new system has delivered faster workflows, increased flexibility, space-saving, and greater peace of mind to this busy, multi-faceted venue.

Musikhuset Esbjerg serves a broad programme of performing arts to the Danish city – including plays, musicals, opera, comedy, and conferences. (Interestingly, this is not its only link with Australia: architect Jørn Utzon, who oversaw the building’s design along with his son, Jan, back in the late 90s, also designed the Sydney Opera House). Today, the building attracts over 150,000 visitors each year, including 80,000 for cultural events and 30,000 for conference and meetings, the remainder being tourists and visitors to non-pay

Italy – Last month, From the Heart to Hands: Dolce&Gabbana opened its doors at Palazzo Reale Milano. Supermodel Naomi Campbell opened the proceedings, inaugurating an evening of celebrations, from a tour of the rooms hosting the display to a fine dining experience.

Every detail of this exhibition has been ‘meticulously orchestrated from ambient and theatrical lighting to scented rooms’.

Produced by IMG, From the Heart to the Hands: Dolce & Gabbana, curated by Florence Müller is an exhibition that pays tribute to the values of Fatto A Mano (hand-made), and delves into the creative imagery and cultural references that underpin the essence of the iconic fashion house that have been essential since its founding.

ERCO helped bring this vision to life, working closely with IMG to provide innovative lighting solution

Australia - Tim Goodacre is a busy and in-demand freelance gaffer and lighting specialist based in Sydney and working all over Australia, primarily on TV dramas.

He has invested steadily in Astera to help drive his business over the last two years, most recently purchasing one of the new LeoFresnel products from Astera’s Australian and New Zealand distributor – ULA Group, which is added to his existing stock of AX3 Lightdrop and NYX Bulb kits and workhorse Astera Titan and Helios Tubes.

He immediately utilised the LeoFresnel on season two of the award-winning Netflix Heartbreak High reboot, specifically for a forest night scene shot on location with the students camping out under the moonlight.

In a different scenario, a moving light might conventionally be used, however the practicalities of the location essentially demanded a w

UK - Point Source Audio’s Series9 lavalier microphones were centre stage for Just for One Day - The Live Aid Musical, as the show completed its debut run from January to March at The Old Vic in London. Nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Contribution, the musical has earned acclaim for the performances from its show band and cast, all relying on Point Source Audio’s latest microphone technology.

Gareth Owen spearheaded the sound design for the production. "My approach was to imagine what the songs from the concert would sound like with today's technology," he explains. "The goal was to maintain the essence of the original performances while infusing modern production values. 

"The Point Source Audio mics performed exceptionally well. We had ample opportunity over the run to compare them to various other microphones an

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