UK - The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games opened in late July, with 4,500 athletes and over a million spectators expected to travel from all over the world to compete in 286 sessions across 11 days of live sport.
Sports Technology (ST) the ’official large video screens & audio services provider’ to the Games, is providing a full turnkey technical solution from the design, through to delivery and operation of all LED screens, projection, audio, sport presentation, and the provision of major signal distribution infrastructure across the 15 competition venues supporting 19 sports and eight paralympic sports.
ST was established in the UK in 2010 in the run up to the London 2012 Olympics as a specialist business focused on delivering AV and associated technology services to major multi-sport events. The business is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Creative Technology (CT), part of the NEP Worldwide Network.
Birmingham 2022 marks the third consecutive Commonwealth Games where ST has enjoyed official provider status, and is one of 10 major multi-sport events, including 6 Olympic and Paralympic Games since the business was established. CT’s Commonwealth history extends back to 1986 in Edinburgh, continuing with almost every Games since.
This year for the first time ever, ST’s Birmingham delivery includes the industry launch of new signal distribution platform TFC Flow which allows transmission of multiple signals for data, intercom, video, and audio (DIVA) over one IP based fibre infrastructure across all venues.
The DIVA concept w
USA – Like some ancient deity of the underworld, Quintillian Speakers are shrouded in mystery. Even readers engrossed in the Vaxis 2 story, from which they sprang, know little about this ancient race of beings, other than that they are made of energy, and can turn up anywhere - even at this summer’s Coheed and Cambria tour across North America.
The band’s frontman Claudio Sanchez conjured up these ‘enigmatic entities’ as part of The Amory Wars, an ongoing series of science fiction comic books and novels he created. His vision is brought to life on the group’s current tour, not just through its thematic music, but also by a commanding 27ft tall inflatable rendition of a Quintillian Speaker.
Animating this impressive figure on the tour, and endowing it with a distinct persona, while also reflecting its power to transmit energy, is a bold and colourful lighting design created by Victor Zeiser and run by touring designer Ben Jarrett that features 68 Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by Squeek Lights.
“Since the Quintillion Speaker is a major component of this show, we have built much of our design around it,” said Zeiser. “We have no traditional backdrop on this tour. The inflatable is our backdrop, and it defines much of the stage presence.”
Getting the tall inflatable off the ground and fitting it within the stage trim has been a key challenge when setting up this show according to Jarrett, who credits his team, including lead LX tech ‘Chud’ Williams, rigger/stage manager Spencer Smyth, and lead LED tech Andre
Thailand – As large-scale live shows begin to return to delight fans across Asia Pacific, one of the region’s biggest stars recently wrapped up two sold-out concerts and fan meets at Bangkok’s Impact Arena.
California-born Mark Tuan made his mark on the K-Pop genre with superstar boyband Got7 and has since confirmed his place as a multidimensional celebrity recognised internationally as a rapper, singer, songwriter, and model. The multi-purpose Impact Arena - which includes a convention centre that can be used for sporting events, conferences, and concerts - was chosen for Mark Tuan to perform and meet with more than 10,000 fans over two nights.
Bangkok-based 4nologue promoted the event. They turned to local audio-visual provider PM Center Co’s team of audio professionals to deploy pristine tour-level sound in the largest concert venue in Thailand. “Our first choice for concerts of this size is always an L-Acoustics system,” says Mr. Thanakorn Tangsereewongsa, head of business development at PM Center, which boasts an inventory of L-Acoustics products from certified provider distributor Vision One. “Most artists’ concert riders specifically list L-Acoustics above others. In our experience, a comprehensive L-Acoustics system provides our engineers with dedicated tools for system optimisation and calibration.”
The Impact Arena, with 24ft-high ceilings and smooth, hard walls, is a difficult venue for sound designers. “Our team knew that reflections would be their main challenge,” explains Mr. Thanakorn. “The team relied on L-Aco
USA - When Coldplay performed a sold-out show in Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena last October, lighting designer Sooner Routhier of Sooner Rae Creative used 64 Claypaky Xtylos luminaires that dazzled the audience. The fixtures were the centrepiece of her design for the show that ringed a massive circular truss mounted over the stage.
The stand-alone concert, presented by Amazon Music and live streamed worldwide on Amazon, was part of a global promotional tour of single shows in support of the band’s ninth studio album, Music of the Spheres.
For the ambitious Seattle show, Routhier and her team “essentially created a full-size arena production for a 20-plus-camera, global live broadcast with three days on site and five days of previs,” she points out. “It really does come down to the team; it’s a massive collaborative effort to get something like that off the ground, and every person on the crew was essential to making the show happen. We were able to do previs in a ballroom at the hotel to minimize our travel (and carbon footprint) while Claypaky and Upstaging collaborated on logistics to get us Xtylos units in previs to play with. That was a total game changer for us.”
The show’s lighting programmer/lighting operator Shaheem Litchmore recalls, “Everyone was raving about the Xtylos. The physical style and design of the fixture fit the aesthetic of our show flawlessly, while the impressive laser source output allowed us to keep our power consumption low. Also, no challenges presented themselves while programming this show. I w
Ireland - A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ireland (AC-ET Ireland) turned to Doughty Engineering when they were contracted by Dublin Business School (DBS) to deliver a new studio space to enhance its extensive suite of programmes. DBS has evolved over the years, expanding its offerings to meet the demands of various sectors, offering subjects in business, law, finance, computing, media, arts, psychology, and social science.
To create a modern studio with the latest technologies, AC-ET Ireland specified and supplied a number of leading technology brands for the project, including Six-Track from Doughty Engineering. “Once we knew that track and drapes were part of the client’s brief, it was a no brainer for us to specify Doughty products,” explained Aaron Cripps, AC-ET Ireland’s managing director.
“We know that Doughty kit is consistently reliable and that the team would help with the design of the track. For this state-of-the-art lighting studio, which is used for camera and lighting classes and also screenings, media workshops and industry guest speakers, we needed to fit a black out feature that could also function as a high-end screening room.
“One of the biggest challenges of the project was the availability of products – an all-too-common issue being faced across the industry. Access to the space was also tricky so Doughty advised changing the track from 3m to 1m to help with this as 1m lengths could be transported via lift. Doughty made these changes with minimum price impact and no delays to the project – small changes which mad
UK - CPL co-ordinated and delivered staging, sound, video, lighting and other associated BTS (behind the scenes) infrastructure to Tropic Fest, a two-day festival style event staged in the grounds of the historic Chillington Hall in Staffordshire.
CPL was working for production company Pandora Events and their end client, Tropic Skincare with a team led by Lee Gruszeckyj. They asked Star Events onboard to supply the 15m orbit stage on which all the performance action took place.
The sound, lighting and video production design was based on the requirements of several artist riders from a lively line-up that included acts like Rob da Bank, Our Girl G, Queenz, Mr Motivator, Air Guitar Band, Magic of Marley, Twinnie, the Strictly Come Dancing Band with headliners Gok Wan, Bjorn Again and the Ministry of Sound Disco. This mixed line up meant that flexibility was essential for all technical departments.
CPL’s experience of servicing festival events like Glastonbury, Hay on Wye, Camper Calling and many others was a massive asset in staging Tropic Fest, a small festival environment for approximately 1200 of Tropic’s ‘top ambassadors’.
A 5.4m wide by 3m-deep LED screen was hung at the back of the stage which features cantilevered PA supports for a neat, streamlined finish and clear sightlines.
The LED screen and a variety of lighting was rigged on four trusses sub-hung underneath the roof. Lighting comprised 40 moving lights - Claypaky Mythos2s for specials and effects, Martin MAC Auras for washes and Ayrton Perseos for beams and additio
Europe - After hanging up his bass guitar from his time in bands like Kix and Wrathchild America, Brad Divens has been the Front of House engineer for a range of major artists, including Linkin Park, Cyndi Lauper, Garbage, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band and Mötley Crüe. This summer he mixed major European shows for Enrique Iglesias where, since switching to a Yamaha Rivage PM digital mixing system, he was able to bid a final farewell to years of touring with outboard racks.
Like all experienced engineers, Brad cut his teeth on analogue mixers. Since, he has used various digital systems, but it was when friend and fellow engineer Frank Scamalone recommended the Yamaha Rivage PM series that Brad properly took the plunge.
“I knew that I wanted to do something different and Frank kept telling me ‘Look Brad, just plug an SM58 into it and listen to your voice, that's all you need to do and you will want to check it out.’ We had a long conversation about it because he's one of my peers and I trust his opinion when it comes to mixing,” says Brad.
He contacted Yamaha in Nashville for a system demo and immediately appreciated what Frank was saying. A key benefit of his switch to Rivage PM has been the ability to reduce, and then eliminate, the outboard rack he was carrying with his previous digital system.
“When using other digital desks, I immediately felt that I needed to add something because they are a little on the sterile side. For example, with the previous system, I had all my group and mix buss processing on outboard. But when
Columbia - Reggaeton superstar Maluma sold out Medellin’s Atanasio Girardot stadium for a homecoming show that was as spectacular as it was popular, complete with lightshow created by Alain Corthout using over 200 Robe moving lights.
Alain is already working on the artist’s ongoing US & Latin American tour with runs until November 2022, so for this special concert complete with a 22-camera shoot streaming via Amazon Music, he substantially upscaled set and lighting. It was also the first time that Maluma has staged such a big show in his lively and significant hometown.
Amplifying the touring set and lighting, Alain specified 125 x Robe MegaPointes, 80 x Spiider wash beams, 32 x Tetra2 LED battens, 28 x ColorStrobes and eight BMFL WashBeams for the in-the-round show.
A massive ground supported roof / stage system with 23m of trim height was installed in the middle of the venue, together with a cross-shaped video floor below which had the band positioned on risers in the four corners. Most of the lightswere rigged on and around the roof structure.
Eight motion controlled vertical trusses around the stage were each rigged with 12 x MegaPointes, and these flew up and down during the show.
Another 24 x MegaPointes framed the 7m-wide by 10-m-high video cube which was the set centrepiece. These lights and the video cube also moved up and down independently together with an outer shallower square of video panelling, all of it unfolding like layers of a giant chandelier.
Five MegaPointes were positioned directly in the centre o
UK - The Smile embarked on their first ever UK and European tour with audio support from Britannia Row Productions.
The band – comprised of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, and Sons of Kemet’s Tom Skinner – chose a selection of intimate venues for their debut tour, which meant that house PA systems were the order of the day, and the Brit Row control package would take on a lot of the heavy lifting.
FOH Engineer Mikko Gordon has worked with The Smile’s frontman, Thom Yorke, for 10 years both live and in the studio, most recently serving as engineer for the band’s debut album, A Light for Attracting Attention.
“It felt natural for me to be the one to take this show out into the world,” says Mikko. “We spent some time at Rak Studios for production rehearsals and this allowed me to create my mix in a controlled environment. I used a lot of the same mic placements as when recording the album and spent a lot of time with the band refining the sounds. One studio technique I've tried for the first time live is using a Neumann FET 47 on the kick drum, which has worked really well.”
The show is a detailed and dynamic one, ranging from as low as 80db all the way up to short bursts of 105db. Mikko explained that this variability stems from his desire to capture the essence of each album track, heightening its emotional impact for the audience.
“They are only a trio but there's a lot going on,” he says. “Johnny plays synths with foot pedals on some songs and even plays piano and harp at the same time. I
USA - Franklin Music Hall on Philadelphia’s North 7th Street first opened its doors in 1995 as Electric Factory, the second incarnation of a bygone local ’60s/’70s venue. The new 2,500-capacity venue quickly emerged as one of the city’s prime destinations for artists spanning genres from rock to punk to noise to dance, and its popularity sparked the warehouse-style music-venue trend, becoming the model for clubs across the nation.
The venue was eventually acquired by AEG in September 2018 and took on its current moniker, with AEG’s regional partner The Bowery Presents producing shows there by artists like Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Greta Van Fleet, MGMT, and Matt and Kim.
Now, Franklin Music Hall has turned yet another corner with its recent installation of an L-Acoustics K2 loudspeaker system, which has pumped up the volume for its most current raft of touring artists, including LCD Soundsystem - who christened the newly-installed K2 arrays with a four-night stand in March - Car Seat Headrest, The Story So Far, PUP, Mitski, and many other forefront musicians.
This project builds on The Bowery Presents’ many sonic successes with L-Acoustics systems at its other venues, including NYC’s Brooklyn Steel, Terminal 5, and Webster Hall, as well as Boston’s new Roadrunner, which is also now home to a K2 rig.
For much of its life as Electric Factory, the Philadelphia venue was also a pioneer of an earlier L-Acoustics loudspeaker, V-DOSC, one of the first truly world-class, modern touring-sound systems. Thus, with the installation of its n
USA - Built as a hotel in 1865, the Haywood House in Jefferson, Texas, has served as a grand hotel, a local history museum and a personal residence. Today, the historic Haywood House is an upscale Euro-American restaurant and cocktail bar.
Owners Teresa and Alan Ponder purchased Haywood House in 2020 and have been updating and renovating the building's infrastructure, including the installation of a new state-of-the-art, facility-wide sound system from AtlasIED, featuring the company's Strategically Hidden Speakers and Atmosphere audio control platform.
Michael Chism, account manager at Visual Techniques (VTI-TX), was the point person for the historical Haywood House sound system project. Based in Longview, Texas, VTI-TX is an AV systems integration firm providing a range of products and solutions, including high-quality audio and control systems, visual presentation and video wall solutions, and other interactive technologies. VTI-TX has been an AtlasIED reseller and installer for more than 15 years.
Chism noted that the charming, historic nature of the building presented unique sound system challenges. First and foremost, any installed speaker system had to be as discreet as possible and not detract from the restaurant's classic ambiance. Haywood House also required high-quality sound for each space, with easy control to accommodate different guest events, often at different volumes with different web streaming or Bluetooth-connected content, so flexibility was vital.
“This was a fun project because we were helping bring a very historic bu
UK - London’s 02 Intercontinental Hotel recently hosted the World Procurement Awards. Organisers of the event, which celebrates the achievements of companies and individuals involved in the procurement supply chain, wanted to endow it with a “rock vibe” to reflect the bold convention-challenging attitude that drives that industry. Helping to convey this mood was a dynamic production and lighting design by Pytch that emulated the look and feel of rock shows throughout the venue.
The design team created one of the largest scale of productions the 02 has ever seen. This required a complex rigging system, incorporating a large mother grid and a kinesys based motor system to accommodate unique angled automated diamond LED wall. There were also over 400 panels of LED for the stage set. The size and scope of the production meant that load in and load out were challenging, with only six hours between the end of the Awards show, and deadline to clear things for the next event.
Although the proceedings covered a wide area, and involved many different activities from awards ceremonies, to entertainment and speaking sessions, the design team tied everything together around the rock theme. “Creating a unified look was fairly straightforward,” said Chelsea Hopkins, head of brand and marketing at Pytch. “We simply stuck to our brief of building everything around the rock n’ roll look.”
Helping the design team accomplish this feat was a collection of over 100 Chauvet Professional fixtures. Key among these were 12 Maverick MK1 Hybrid, 10 Rogue RH1 Hy
The Netherlands - The Nederlands Blazers Ensemble Nieuwjaarsconcert - performed on-stage before an audience and broadcasted by NPO 2 on New Year’s Day - is a pivotal event in the Dutch cultural calendar, ringing in the New Year for countless viewers. The 2022 edition marked the concert’s 50th iteration, which paid tribute to legendary singers Nina Simone and Maria Callas. To create immersive and riveting visuals suitable for such a milestone, veteran lighting designer Henk-Jan van Beek and the Light-H-Art team selected the Martin MAC Ultra Performance as the lighting fixture of choice.
“I had already seen and played with the MAC Ultra Performance, and so I knew it was something I wanted to have,” said van Beek. “It’s since become my de-facto workhorse - it’s easy to set up, zooming into an iris effect is fast and elegant. Because it’s so bright, the fixture is amazing at painting walls and making the subtle background illuminations that are vital in a stage performance.”
Designed to suit even the most ambitious productions, the MAC Ultra Performance features Martin’s 1150W, 6000K proprietary LED light engine, which is capable of emitting up to 46,500 lumens in projection over its 50,000+ hour lifespan. Additionally, the fixture’s comprehensive collection of effects, filters and colour blends allows for everything from stark white beams and saturated colour washes to flickering strobes and captivating prisms. Suited for broadcasts as well as live shows, the MAC Ultra Performance was ideal for creating the grand and stunning visuals
UK - Sennheiser has been an essential part of Ed Sheeran’s touring inventory since the start of his career, with his long-time production company, Major Tom, providing Sennheiser’s flagship Digital 9000 system for him in recent years. Now on a tour that takes in some of the biggest venues in the world, including London’s Wembley Stadium, the Stade De France in Paris, the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, New Zealand’s Eden Park and Sydney’s Accor Stadium, and with a show that has expanded significantly from his ‘one man and a guitar days’, a switch has been made to Sennheiser’s Digital 6000.
“Digital 6000 delivers the same sonic excellence, but with added flexibility,” says RF engineer Dave White. “The 9000 Series served us incredibly well, but with large shows on multiple nights with a band and the addition of guest artists, we needed some extra flexibility. The 6000 system, coupled with the extension of Sennheiser’s Wireless Systems Manager application and a wider bandwidth, provides us with that.”
Digital 6000 Series transmitters are coupled with a Sennheiser MM 435 capsule for Ed’s vocals, chosen for its cardioid polar pattern, and a 945 capsule, a favourite for many years because of its tight pickup pattern, for his loop vocal. “The 435 is a specific choice for this tour as we have a lot of PA and don’t want any spill,” says White. “Although Ed is close to the mic for a lot of the time, he’s dynamic in the way he uses it and the 435 allows a little bit more range and pick up.”
There are a total of 16 channels
China - Fujian Province’s new Pingtan International Performing Arts Center recently invested in a series of Green-GO digital intercom products to provide a much-needed scalable, high-quality sound and simple-to-use solution.
The centre, which serves as a cultural hub in the Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Area in northeast Jinjing Bay, is a vast building. It includes a 1,500-seat theatre, a 400-seat multi-function hall and a public centre for performance and art, covering almost 40,000 sq.m. Now open for business, it will be the home to a stage play directed by Chinese dancer YANG Liping called Pingtan Impression.
Chinese AV solution provider EZPro was responsible for the audio system design and installation at the Centre.
“The project needed an intercom system with a good quality of sound, which is easy to use and would be scalable. Therefore, we chose the innovative Green-GO digital intercom solution,” says EZPro technical engineer, FAN Gaoqing. “Green-GO IP technology allows the implementation of a full intercoms system without expensive central matrixes and complex, time-consuming programming. The system meets all the client’s current needs and, importantly, offers easy and affordable upscaling in the future.”
At the core of the centre’s system is a Green-GO MCX multi-channel rack station, which is designed to allow direct access for up to 32 separate intercom groups or partylines. The team has installed this in the mobile stage monitoring cabinet, enabling them to clearly see the status of each channel in use acros
USA - There are many reasons why Dustin L. Derry always embraces the opportunity to light dance performances. High on this list is the opportunity it affords him to depart from the conventional use of colours and patterns.
“What’s nice about dance, is you don’t have to think so literally about 'natural' lighting,” said the Chicago-based designer. “In dance, you can push deep into the surreal and express yourself in new ways to support the choreographer’s vision. You can focus on individual elements, like live musicians, and help blend them into the background, and then pull specific dancers or ideas into the foreground and vice versa depending on the needs of the moment. I don't think this presents any challenges, so much as it opens new doors for me creatively.”
Derry stepped boldly through those doors recently, inventively using gobo patterns and coloured key lighting to accentuate shapes and movements of dancers when lighting La Caña, a 14-minute piece that was part of the Flamenco Passion, annual Spanish dance festival sponsored by Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theatre. Helping him along the way were six Maverick Force 2 Profile and eight Rogue R2X Wash fixtures from Chauvet Professional.
“In this piece, texture became everything for our choreographer Susana Lupiañez (“Lupi”) Pinto and me,” he said. “Lupi really wanted to feature the floor patterns the dancers were making as well as the shapes of their bodies. Two great ways to accomplish this sort of thing are by using gobo/textures that pay homage to the shapes
USA - Bandit Lites has added more Robe fixtures to its inventory. Designer Dave Butzler has over 200 BMFL Spots, WashBeams, Robin 1200 LED Washes and BMFL Lightmaster Side Kits on the 2022 Garth Brooks Stadium tour.
“Robe is obviously the heart of Dave’s massive design,” said Bandit Lites chair Michael T. Strickland. “Garth has gone where no other stadium act has gone before, selling out multiple shows in stadiums across the country. Garth did three nights sold out in Salt Lake City, two nights sold out in Edmonton, two nights sold out in Birmingham, and over 100,000 in each sold out show at LSU Stadium and at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. Every show on the tour was a sellout. Garth closes the 2022 Stadium Tour in September with five sold out shows in Dublin, Ireland at Croke Park, over 400,000 people total!”
Constant demand for the popular Robe FollowSpot with the RoboSpot control system drove the 2022 purchase of these units. They are out on Reba McEntire (designers Andy Knighton and David Hare), Shinedown (designers Mitchell Schellenger and Carter Fulghum), Maren Morris (Silent House designer Alex Reardon,) as well as other acts.
New BMFL Spots and WashBeams are out also on Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn with designer Chris Lisle and Widespread Panic with designer Paul Hoffman. Hoffman also uses PATT 2013 units.
Robe Spikies, Pointes, Mega Pointes, 1200’s and Halo LED Rings are across many acts, including Alice Cooper (designer Chris Lisle), Chris Young (designer Mike Stanley), Papa Roach / Falling in Reverse (designer Mathias
USA - Tears for Fears has wrapped the North American leg of their Tipping Point World Tour 2022 in support of the duo’s comeback album of the same name. Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal treated fans to favourites from their new album as well as classics from throughout the years in an amphitheatre tour with lighting design by Joe Cabrera II who chose 48 Ayrton MagicBlade R fixtures for effects lighting. ACT Entertainment is the exclusive distributor of Ayrton lighting in North America.
This leg of the Tipping Point World Tour 2022 kicked off at the end of May in Cincinnati and concluded a month later in New York’s Jones Beach. The duo’s eponymous album, their first since 2004’s Everybody Loves a Happy Ending, was released earlier this year.
Cabrera, of Los Angeles-based Flash and Trash Works, served as lighting programmer on Tears for Fears’ previous two tours. He stepped up to fill lighting designer and programmer roles on the new tour whose production design was by Butch Allen of Blame Funnel Creative.
Picking up on the circular motifs from Tears for Fears album artwork, the show design featured a 30ft circle of truss upstage of the band and tipping down slightly over them. Echoes of that circle appeared in pairs of concentric circle truss at stage left and right. A projection surface behind the drummer occupied a large portion of the stage.
To provide effects lighting for the show Cabrera mounted 24 MagicBlade Rs on the outside of the main circle, seven on each of the larger echoes and five on each of the smaller echoes. PRG N
UK - Last week, Alexander Stadium was brought to life for the opening ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Engaged by Birmingham Ceremonies (a Joint venture between Gary Beestone Associates and Done and Dusted), Creative Technology provided LED display technology and playback services for the show, working closely with Total Fabrications for the structural elements and BAFTA award winning artist and creative director Tal Rosner for the content.
Centre stage on the stadium floor the ‘Bullring’ was made from a specialist outdoor and waterproof LED, created measuring over 260m in circumference, incorporating ramps for vehicle access in several locations and a seamless removeable section allowing larger scenic access including the massive mechanical bull.
At one end of the stadium a massive telescopic LED tower incorporating 250m2 of CT’s flagship BQ4 LED reaching 12m high when fully extended was another spectacular centrepiece of the overall production.
In addition to these custom elements built specifically for the show, CT also supplied the four main LED screens within the stadium which will remain in place throughout the Games. These were upgraded both in size and resolution following a recent test event now measuring 125m2 each and utilising the same BQ4 product as the tower screen.
Delivering content to all these displays CT deployed their custom G1 server platform running Pixera software. The G1 hardware is configurable to run multiple software options increasing flexibility, utilisation and consequently maki
Australia - Irish playwright, poet and author Oscar Wilde and his only novel The Picture of Dorian Gray tells a provocative and dreamlike story of a young man living in a Victorian-era England who relinquishes his soul for eternal youth and beauty.
Under the direction of Kip Williams, artistic director of Sydney Theatre Company (STC), actor Eryn Jean ‘EJ’ Norvill plays 26 separate roles capturing the audience’s attention throughout a two-hour performance.
To bring each role to life, TDC – Technical Direction Company worked with the team at Sydney Theatre Company to develop an on-stage technical solution for five moving LED screens and media server technology.
“The Picture of Dorian Gray uniquely uses live camera, pre-recorded and display technology as part of the stage design. The amazing stagecraft was developed by Sydney Theatre Company over a period of ten years,” said Ben Lightowlers, sound and video manager at Sydney Theatre Company.
Ranging in size from 1.5 metres square to 5 x 3m the high-resolution and bright LED screens fly in and off stage using a track system. The screens fly low to the stage, behind and in front of the performer to cleverly reveal the next character. The screens perform an aerial dance on stage, showing recorded and live footage from up to six cameras at various angles that also circle around Norvill on stage.
“Our relationship with TDC is an essential one. Three out of 12 shows we do will have some kind of video element and we rely on an essential relationship with TDC. We may
Vietnam - Phuc Giang recently supplied Xu Restaurant Lounge and Cocktail Bar with a JBL Professional distributed audio system.
Established in 2005, Xu Restaurant Lounge and Cocktail Bar is a social gathering place located in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City. In addition to its menu of cocktails and cuisine from Vietnam, Xu offers premium musical entertainment in the form of live bands and guest DJs. During the 2020 lockdowns, Xu took the downtime as an opportunity to upgrade their sound system with the help of Phuc Giang. To provide immersive musical experiences for guests, musicians and DJs alike, Phuc Giang installed a sound system using JBL EON powered speakers and subwoofers.
Staff reported that Xu Restaurant Lounge and Cocktail Bar needed a seamless and easy-to-use sound system that would deliver clear and balanced audio in all areas of the restaurant, and that they are very pleased with the JBL Professional system installed by Phuc Giang.
To deliver impactful stage audio, Phuc Giang installed JBL EON 612 loudspeakers, which boasts a two-way multipurpose self-powered design. To compliment the low end, the team also installed JBL IRX 115S subwoofers on the stage, delivering powerful bass frequencies to support the musical entertainment. Phuc Giang included a Soundcraft Ui24R wireless tablet-based mixing console.
“Being a hotspot in Ho Chi Minh City, Xu Restaurant Lounge and Cocktail Bar required superior audio solutions to offer elevated one-of-a-kind sound experiences,” said G Amar Subash, VP & GM, Harman Professional Solutions,
USA - Bob Harmon, CEO and president of Eggshell Light Company of Honolulu, has had success using his stable of Proteus Hybrid luminaires to light shows at the Waikiki Shell ever since he acquired the multi-functional weatherproof lights in 2017. Still going strong after five years, Elation’s IP65 moving heads are reliably weathering another season at Honolulu’s renowned outdoor venue.
“I use a variety of manufacturers’ products but by far the most robust in holding up outdoors and dealing with heat and humidity are the Proteus Hybrids,” commented Harmon, noting that Eggshell has added more Proteus Hybrids to inventory since that first acquisition. “At the Waikiki Shell, they stay outside for four months at a time and work just flawlessly. They have been very reliable for us over the years.”
Eggshell handles lighting for a large number of one-off shows at the Waikiki Shell, so many in fact that they tend to leave the Proteus lights at the venue because they get so much use. “We do shows there almost weekly and clients like the results so much that we know we’ll need them for the next show,” Harmon says. “They are exposed for long periods but just keep working.”
The Proteus Hybrid made its Hawaiian Islands debut on a pair of Jack Johnson shows at the Waikiki Shell in summer of 2017 and have just been employed for a pair of summer shows by the same artist at the same venue, exactly five years later. “They’ve been on many, many shows in-between,” Harmon said.
Eggshell Light Company has handled professional lighting
USA - Popular Richmond, VA live music venue, The Broadberry, has taken delivery of a new Martin Audio Torus constant curvature array, supplied by locally based rental partner, Soundworks of Virginia.
Soundworks has been working with the 550-capacity venue, owned by Lucas Fritz and Matt McDonald, providing sound for their outdoor concerts since the Spring of 2021.
Explaining the rationale behind the venue upgrade, Fritz says they had been making do with the old system that was in the venue when they took over in 2014. “We were well overdue for a PA overhaul, especially given the calibre of artists we were continuously bringing to the market. We had been working with Soundworks and knew they wouldn’t lead us astray.”
The venue’s production manager Justin Lewis confirms that the previous system had been poorly deployed - and he had a firm idea in mind for its replacement.
“Due to the shape of our room, I wanted a box with a relatively narrow horizontal pattern. All the line arrays I looked at were too wide and point source didn’t provide the flexibility we wanted in vertical coverage.”
He looked at a number of systems and consulted his crew, ultimately deciding constant curvature would probably be the best for our room. “We chose Torus mainly due to Soundworks’ existing relationship with Martin Audio, and the cardioid feature of the SXC118 was also a positive influence on our decision.”
Soundworks’ CEO, Steve Payne, adds, “Their trust in the Martin Audio name, and belief that anything with that badge on it woul
South Africa - Blond Productions supplies technical production for a slew of popular reality TV shows which have included several iterations of Big Brother over the years. There was much anticipation this year when the South African version – Big Brother Mzansi – returned for the first time since 2016 produced by Red Pepper and broadcast on Mzansi Magic.
Blond’s Ryan Lombard (head of the show lighting department) designed and operated the lighting, working closely with a new set design created by Michael Gill, and several of his go-to Robe moving lights including Esprites, LEDWash 300s and six of Blond Productions’ new iSpiiders.
Blond made this initial purchase of 12 x iSpiiders for I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here (Germany) which was shot in the South African bush for which they needed some hardy, weatherproof, LED wash fixtures which were delivered by Robe’s SA distributor, DWR.
However, Ryan grabbed six for the Big Brother Studio after he could not get more than 12 LEDWash 300s for the show as they were all out on other jobs.
The series was recorded at the Red Pepper Studios in Linden, Johannesburg, in a space that was formerly a parking garage, with the actual Big Brother house nearby. Due to the compact nature of this, all of the lights had to work in a truly multi-purpose context to maximise the studio space.
Punchy back lights were required at the rear of the set, something for which Ryan would normally have used LEDWash 300s, but the 12 on the plot were needed for other duties, so the si