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

UK - Britannia Row’s specialist comms department Surfhire oversaw a large Cisco network backbone, Riedel comms and Motorola radios to the globally watched live sporting event.

Since Britannia Row Productions acquired Surfhire in 2019, Comms and IT capabilities have become an integral part of the company’s services. In alignment with the wider Clair Global rental offering in North America and the Middle East - where recent projects include the Superbowl and Qatar Web Summit - the UK’s powerful equipment inventory is being deployed by trusted teams across major live and broadcast events.

Held in Glasgow over three days in early March, the 19th edition of the World Athletics Indoor Championships saw 586 athletes from 128 countries compete for 26 titles as 22,000 spectators watched.

To ensure uninterrupted coverage of these high-octane perf

Slovenia - Singer-songwriter Nina Pušlar played a major sold-out show in Ljubljana’s 14,400-capacity Stožice Arena which was recorded for broadcast on national TV and celebrated the release of new music from Nina, for which her team including creative director Anže Škrube wanted a spectacular production.

Lighting designer Amadej Šuperger from design studio Blackout specified large quantities of Robe moving lights which made up 75% of the lighting. The positions were facilitated by an angled triangular truss in the centre with four bracing trusses flanked by raked grids of crisscrossing trusses in the roof above the stage, which brought a structural look and industrial tone to the performance area. It also amplified the depth of the performance space.

Amadej has been working with the artist for some time. He already had a show designed for smal

USA - The former university of Michelle Obama, New Jersey’s Ivy League Princeton University is one of the top schools in the United States. At the centre of its religious and ceremonial endeavours sits Princeton University Chapel, an elegant house of worship that gives nod to the architectural style of the English Gothic Cathedrals of the 14th century.

Constructed in 1928 after a fire destroyed the previous worship site, the cruciform chapel cost over $2m to construct and was the largest university chapel in the US. For years, the venue has been relied on to carry congregations, host events and offer an oasis in the centre of the university campus for people of all faiths. Complete with seating for almost 2000 worshippers, the nave features sandstone walls with limestone highlights and towering 80ft-high ceilings, but its admirable aesthetics compromised t

South Africa – Hit TV series The Masked Singer kicked off its second season in South Africa in April with 16 celebrities battling it out in flamboyant costumes to hide their identities. The production team ramped up the staging, lighting, and visuals for the 2024 contest using tvONE’s Green Hippo brand of Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2 Media Servers alongside a grandMA3 console to create epic projections and LED screen animations.

On stage, a 11m x 4m 2.9 pixel pitch Absen LED main wall backed each performer, displaying custom-made content designed in collaboration with The Masked Singer South Africa creative director Barry Pretorius, and set designer Michael Gill. In addition, there were two 2m x 4m LED walls for Unreal Engine 3D effects rigged behind two stage left and right mask-shaped surfaces, which were projection mapped using the Boreal+ MK2 via

UK - The Backlot Cinema in Blackpool aims to ‘offer a cinematic wonderland, blending local stories with global narratives offering a diverse selection of films’.

The Backlot is also a community hub, committed to bringing people together through the power of entertainment media. Beyond the big screen, The Backlot actively engages with the Blackpool community through local partnerships, community events, and educational outreach programs.

Lancashire based AV integrator, AV2events was appointed to design and install the audio system for this venue.

Lee Wilson, managing director of AV2events, remarks, "With its complex structure and multiple zones, we needed equipment that was not only reliable but also capable of mass flexibility, to meet the customer’s needs. We turned to Audiologic for their guidance, support, and in-depth knowledge, to

South Africa - Stage Audio Works was recently enlisted to reinvent the video infrastructure inside South Africa’s Moreleta Church. Known for housing one of the largest auditoriums in the country – with over 7,000 seats for the congregation - Moreleta welcomes both in-person and online worshippers every weekend.  

“We had been talking to the client for several months about upgrading their current video system,” says Stage Audio Works’ Lee Thomson. “They were considering an overall video upgrade for centre, left and right screens, so the first phase of the project included two new side screens, two cameras and a new video-switching solution.”  

Moreleta Church opens its doors twice every Sunday – at 9am and at 5pm. Additionally, the church also hosts dozens of external events across the calendar year, so having a video system that w

USA - The Coachella Festival’s Do LaB electronic music stage beat stronger than ever this year, thanks to a new open-air stage design featuring a Meyer Sound Panther large-format linear line array loudspeaker system.

Since 2005, Do LaB, created by brothers Dede, Jesse, and Josh Flemming, has brought elements of underground culture, spontaneity, and community-driven experiences to Coachella, drawing on its founders’ roots in Southern California’s festival and art scene to provide a prime destination for festivalgoers and headlining artists alike.

At this year’s festival, which took over Indio, CA’s Empire Polo Club on the weekends of 11-13 and 19–21April, Do LaB hosted nonstop performances from the likes of Chase & Status, Alesso, Anna Lunoe, and DJ Tennis, plus surprise appearances including back-to-back sets by Kaskade and Alison Won

The Netherlands - Tilburg University campus which specialises in artificial intelligence, social and behavioural sciences, recently upgraded its DAF Technology Lab to revolutionise the way its students learn and collaborate.

Expanding the possibilities of immersive education and innovative research, two CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) systems with VR opportunities and 360º sound from Genelec now call Tilburg home. In a project that aims to positively impact education and training, Genelec’s Smart IP series of networked loudspeakers brought real-life audio to a notably complex installation. 

Max Louwerse, professor of cognitive psychology and artificial intelligence at Tilburg University – and founder and scientific director of the DAF Technology Lab – has been a big advocate of this new type of immersive learning. In several publica

USA - Working with lighting designer Roger Gant, Montreal-based visual design company Lüz studio oversaw the lighting design, creative design and video content for Billy Strings’ ongoing US tour and festival dates, which feature Ayrton fixtures, grandMA3 consoles and MDG theONE atmospheric generators provided by Bandit Lites in Nashville.  ACT Entertainment exclusively distributes all three product brands in North America.

The singer, songwriter and bluegrass star’s current tour commenced in Asheville, North Carolina in February. Dates are booked nationwide through April and May, there’s a break in June and July for a trio of festival performances, then the tour resumes for a summer leg that wraps at LA’s Kia Forum. Billy Strings’ 2024 tour is in support of his Grammy-nominated collaborative album with his father, ME/AND/DAD.

Canada - For Winnipeg’s large French-speaking community, the Franco-Manitobain Cultural Centre (CCFM) serves as an important cultural gathering spot for events and celebrations. CCFM recently marked its 50th Anniversary in grand fashion with a dazzling show featuring a production design by Red Rover Entertainment and illuminated by Elation lighting.

With two large-scale shows as well as several smaller events on the schedule, the venue’s year-long anniversary celebration commemorates the rich cultural heritage of Winnipeg’s francophone community across five decades. For a special anniversary show that took place 19 April, several francophone artists who have graced the CCFM stage over the past 50 years, old and young talent alike, were invited to perform backed by a house band.

Jon Stanners, who has operated Red Rover Entertainment in Winnipeg

USA - Don’s Seafood is an institution around Ascension Parish, famous for its Zydeco Shrimp, Fried Allegator, and other Cajun delicacies. But it’s been a long time since Don’s did the kind of business it did on 5-6 April. According to its owner, the 90-year-old restaurant saw more than $20,000 in additional sales that weekend.

The story at Don’s was repeated throughout Gonzales, a Louisiana town of roughly 13,000 people, as every place from the local hotel to the service station and cowboy boots store did more business. That’s exactly just what the folks at 46 Entertainment and Peach Tree Entertainment were hoping for when they put together Rock The Country, a series of two-day festivals intended to give an economic boost to seven hard-hit small towns across the South.

Appearing at the series inaugural event, which took place just a few mil

Italy - After participating in Sanremo 2024, Roman singer-songwriter Gazzelle, exponent of Italian indie pop, left for the Inside X always tour, with a total of 12 dates throughout Italy.

Lighting designer Andrea Arlotti chose to use the innovative and powerful Ayrton Rivale Profile, the most versatile fixture in the Ayrton range, equipped with continuous rotation of the pan and tilt movement.

“I chose Ayrton because it is top of the range equipment, and supplied by Mister X,” he says. “I positioned the Rivale Profile in the hanging trusses and use them mainly for effect lighting during the songs. They have high definition and excellent beam brightness.

“The concept echoes that of Rome’s 2023 Olympic stadium repurposed as a sports hall. A simple but very direct concept, with large screens and linear trusses, to directly convey the e

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