Belgium - Volleyball has been booming in Belgium ever since the country won the men’s European title in 2013. For the Euromillions Cup Finals, fans flocked to the 18,400-seat Antwerps Sportspalies to cheer on their favourite teams last year. Things were radically different at the 2021 edition of the tournament.
With the threat of the coronavirus ever- present, the Euromillions Cup Finals was moved to the much smaller Lotto Arena, with no fans admitted. Not able to see their favourite volleyballers play in person, fans had to be content with watching the finals via livestream broadcasts.
The broadcast of the finals kicked off in celebratory fashion, thanks a pixel mapped lighting display created by AB Sound that featured the Chauvet Professional ÉPIX Flex 20 and ÉPIX Flex Drive, along with the COLORado 1-Quad Zoom Tour and foggers.
The display created by AB Sound turned the tunnel that led to the arena into a pulsating cylinder of light and atmospherics. Volleyball players running through this tubular panorama glowed in their team colours. It was a scene that not only psyched up players, but also the fans watching the broadcast.
“Giving the players the kind of entrance, they deserved was very gratifying,” said Bart Aelbrecht of AB Sound. “This meant a great deal to everyone, especially in these difficult times. We were happy to work with Heat International and Kris Schoeters as our partner in sports entertainment on this uplifting project.”
AB Sound used 25 of the 5-meter ÉPIX Flex 20 strips to create the tunnel display. The
Norway - The distinctive triangular shape of Tromsdalen Church (Ishavskatedralen, or the Arctic Cathedral) is one of the most recognised landmarks in the city of Tromsø. But despite its status as a place of worship, tourist attraction and symbol of the city, for many years it suffered from poor sound for the services and many recitals and concerts it hosts. But all that has now changed, following the installation of an Alcons Audio LR7 pro-ribbon sound reinforcement system.
Consecrated in 1965, Ishavskatedralen is considered a masterpiece by architect Jan Inge Hovig. 11 aluminium-coated concrete plates either side of the roof give the church it’s well-known form, complemented at one end by a giant stained glass window and, at the other, a main entrance in an end wall of clear glass, with a giant cross tying all the elements together.
The church is an important cultural centre, featuring many live recitals. With a programme peaking at more than 500 concerts in one year, they include the popular midnight sun and northern lights concerts, which have both become a staple of Tromsø culture.
For many years Ishavskatedralen had a passive sound reinforcement system, which made speech sound boomy and muffled.
“The wish of the church staff was to have a sound system that delivered high quality speech, but also worked well with the many concerts they host. They had grown weary of rolling equipment in and out for events, often multiple times a week,” says Eirik Haua, sales manager of Tromsø-based audio specialists Lydproduksjon.
UK - Robe UK followed the current Covid-19 instructions to “stay local”, teaming up with Northampton School for Boys (NSB), the University of Northampton and DroneSwarm based nearby in Daventry to support #LightItInRed’s most recent campaign to unite the UK live events, entertainment, performance, and production industry in solidarity during these challenging times.
The action featured a new distinctive red heart logo designed by the #LightItInRed team for the occasion that – one year on – specifically highlighted the human elements of the industry affected by the pandemic – including those still working or training, those who have had to seek alternative employment, those who’ve lost their jobs, those who have lost friends and family, those who have lost homes and livelihoods, battled mental health issues and all who have put their lives on hold and on the line to survive and assist others to get through this.
Theresa Gibson, head of marketing at Robe UK explained that having been involved in all three LightItInRed campaigns to date, “it was really important for Robe UK to get behind supporting this fourth activation. We have all been affected by the challenges and difficulties over the last 12 months and having the opportunity to partner with our friends at DroneSwarm and the University of Northampton again to collaborate and show our strength as a united force was truly wonderful.”
Working in the extensive sports grounds and facilities of Northampton School for Boys, Robe’s lead creative Nathan Wan assisted by Jordan Tinnis
USA - Lincoln Financial Field opened in 2003 as the home stadium for the Philadelphia Eagles NFL team. In addition to Eagles football, it regularly hosts the Temple University Owls, the Army-Navy game and many soccer games each season.
In 2017, the Stadium staff asked Diversified to design a new, upgraded audio system for the seating bowl. Diversified developed a comprehensive design, installed in multiple phases during off-seasons starting in spring of 2018.
The Philadelphia Eagles wanted to raise the bar for audio performance within the stadium. “The fan experience across the NFL has been improving for a number of years,” says Jeff Sanderson, senior design engineer at Diversified. “A lot of teams are renovating or building new stadiums. The Eagles wanted Lincoln Financial Field to sound as good or better than anything else in the NFL. Speech intelligibility and musical experience is a critical part of that.”
Diversified proposed a Fulcrum Acoustic-based solution for the system upgrade. Diversified had experience with Fulcrum products from other projects. Jeff Sanderson used EASE modelling software to design the new sound system incorporating AH, FH, and GX series products as well as Passive Cardioid subwoofers. Fulcrum’s ability to provide any model with weather resistant construction was also an important factor.
Rigging structures were prefabricated for fast installation. Fulcrum worked closely with Diversified to phase deliveries of products to the Stadium to keep the installation moving efficiently. Where possible, Diversified
Australia - ACMI, Australia’s national museum of screen culture located in Melbourne, celebrates the nation’s long history in the medium - including film, television, video games, and moving image artwork.
Recently, the museum underwent a renovation that completely overhauled its central exhibition design - and its AV system - to allow visitors to take a journey through Australia’s history of moving images. By utilising robust, immersive, and interactive AV, the exhibition, titled The Story of the Moving Image, advances through time – from shadow play to the films that shaped Australia’s cinematic landscape. The exhibition includes Games Lab Presented by Big Ant Studios, where AAA titles sit alongside a curated selection of locally made indie games, and a section dedicated to the power of citizen journalism.
And while the museum is largely focused on the ‘image’ component of its name, the need for thoughtfully placed audio throughout the space is critical - requiring hundreds of audio feeds across the gallery space. To make that much sound work, the ACMI designers relied on Audinate’s Dante.
“Traditionally, the space has been known to be a bit cacophonous,” said Greg Turner, a consultant working with ACMI. “Because of that, we knew from the start it was going to be critical that we had tight control over all of our audio signals. With the redesign we’ve installed hundreds of displays in the space, so how do we make sure we’re managing hundreds of audio signals as well? The obvious answer from the start was Dan
New Zealand - The 2021 America’s Cup, which took place in the Hauraki Gulf off the coast of Auckland, saw the defender Emirates Team New Zealand race against the challenger Luna Rossa PRADA Pirelli, winning by 7:3. Communications specialist Riedel was entrusted with the overarching technology concept for broadcast and race management for the host broadcast partner circle-o.
To complement its hardware and software technologies, Riedel deployed custom-made Sennheiser microphones for the coverage of the prestigious sailing event, which saw the two iGerman companies collaborate closely on this project.
Sennheiser engineers provided custom-made, water-proof microphones for the crews’ boomsets and the on-board cameras, ensuring top-class audio both for the broadcasts and for team communications. The microphones were fully matched to Riedel’s Bolero wireless intercom and integrated seamlessly into the overall communication set-up.
“We are absolutely delighted to having partnered Riedel on this spectacular project,” says co-CEO Andreas Sennheiser. “The America’s Cup is a high-tech race that puts both the teams and equipment to the very hardest of tests. In addition, it is yet another proof that sports broadcasting is a true innovation driver.”
Thomas Riedel, CEO and founder, Riedel Communications adds: “Decades of experience in the most demanding production environments culminated in this very special project with very special challenges. Together with our partner suppliers, all of whom represent the global standard in their fields,
UK - Joining forces with Red Nose Day and kitchen disco Isolation Nation, Glitterbox recently brought the curtain down on BBC1 Comic Relief’s main event. The online Red Nose Rave, the special after-party, further boosted the BBC1 fund-raiser.
Taking place on a custom stage at the Royal Albert Hall, the venue was lit by Sam Tozer of Vision Factory, using fixtures from the GLP portfolio. These zipped into action around midnight on 19 March to light sets from the from body confidence guru turned celebrity DJ Gok Wan, Melvo Baptiste, and The Shapeshifters, while Teni Tinks joined the latter for a live PA.
The LD has been working with Mattie Smith’s production company Nocturnal Tour Management (NTRP) since the start of lockdown, handling the live YouTube streams. His brief here was to support the Glitterbox brand’s own particular style and feel.
“They support the LGBQ+ community, and the stage is packed with dancers, colour, and enjoyment,” Tozer says. “We had to create club intimacy down the camera lens, but at the same time turn it into a dynamic show. I was asked to design the set, production and lighting to meet this aesthetic, and from there I was given the freedom to create the show.
“Coming from a live performance background, lockdown shows have seen a big change in style of lighting and stage design,” he continues. “We wanted to show off the scale of the venue but at the same time create its own space that would be more familiar to Glitterbox audiences.”
Using the venue as a large catwalk, at the end of a centre
Egypt - Audio Technology recently outfitted the Cairo Stadium Indoor Halls Complex with Harman Professional audio solutions for the 2021 World Men’s Handball Championship.
An extension of Cairo International Stadium, the Cairo Stadium Indoor Halls Complex is a multi-use facility featuring four Olympic-standard indoor sports arenas. Over two weeks in January 2021, the venue hosted the 2021 World Men’s Handball Championship in its 16,900-capacity Main Hall and 1,620-seat Hall 2.
Although functional and visually impressive, the venue wasn’t designed with acoustic performance in mind, possessing a long reverberation time which made providing intelligible sound reinforcement challenging. Additionally, the venue’s structural design limits the amount of weight that can be hung from the ceiling, creating the need for a lightweight yet high-quality audio solution. Adding yet another challenge, the International Handball Federation (IHF) enforces a maximum sound pressure level (SPL) limit, as well as a mandatory minimum standard of speech intelligibility.
To overcome the venue’s limitations and meet the IHF’s stringent audio standards, event organisers turned to Audio Technology, a Cairo-based full-service provider of professional audio equipment. Audio Technology designed and implemented a full Harman Professional audio solution across both halls featuring JBL loudspeakers, Crown amplifiers, BSS signal processors and Soundcraft mixing consoles.
“When we started the project, we were concerned that the hall would need to be treated because
Russia - Celebrating its 60th anniversary next year, the State Kremlin Palace is Russia’s principal stage. Situated inside the Moscow Kremlin and overlooking the banks of the Moskva river, the building is the geographic and historic centre of Moscow for both social and political gatherings, as well as home to the Kremlin Ballet Theatre.
Recently, the Big Hall has been equipped with the latest generation of DiGiCo mixing consoles, provided by the manufacturer’s exclusive distributor for the Russian market, ARIS.
Accommodating almost 6,000 spectators, the Big Hall has played host to virtuoso performance from some of the world's foremost ballerinas Olga Lepeshinskaya and Maya Plisetskaya, as well as soloist Galina Vishnevskaya, Mariah Carey, Tina Turner and Cher, all leaving their mark in this place.
“The calibre of productions in the venue meant the reliability of the system was the number one requirement from the State Commission for the Development of the Russian Federation management team,” says ARIS’s head of project department, Alexandr Soloukhin. “All equipment installed in the venue simply cannot fail. This might be intimidating for some companies, but not for ARIS, as ‘good sound’ is in our DNA and has translated into delivering some of the most demanding sound reinforcement projects to date.”
The project included the installation of a fully redundant system that integrates the DiGiCo consoles with the venue’s existing Stage Tec Nexus routing system. In order to facilitate seamless integration, the manufacturers work
USA - Corey Easterbrook of Hot House Music and Productions credits his ChamSys MagicQ MQ80 with smoothing the path when he returned to live events recently, providing AV services to the Power & Communication Contractors Association (PCCA) annual meeting in Naples, FL.
A North American trade association serving members involved in the electrical power distribution industry, PCCA had always used in-house AV services for their events. The results were mixed. So, during the lockdown, the group re-evaluated its policies and decided to go with a professional. Hot House Music and Productions came highly recommended by a Fortune 500 company.
For Easterbrook, the call from PCCA was the opportunity to work on his first significant live project since the lockdown began. “The past year has been a challenge for us as it’s been for just about everyone in our industry,” he said. “But this show was different because it was the first time that I felt like we were turning a corner. Every morning when doors opened, it felt like Christmas!”
“Along with my business partner Jeremy Robertson and our crew Nathan Gifford, Brandon Scopel, Russel Lewis, and Tim Walters, the MQ80 was the key to making this event work,” said Easterbrook. “I have been using ChamSys for four years now, and it’s been making my life easier the whole time, especially at this event with all that was going on. The FX engine makes it incredibly fast and simple to dial in great looks without a ton of fuss. We programmed the entire show on site, so the ability to make changes quickl
UK - Boasting a high-profile celebrity clientele, the Barry’s Bootcamp boutique fitness franchise continues to roll out in London and the UK, the latest (and flagship) operation being in Soho.
Originally established in California in 1998, Barry’s (as it is now known) offers high-intensity interval cross training, revolving around two red-lit studios. A series of trainers pump out high volume, high BPM dance-oriented music through Martin Audio sound systems as classes build up a sweat over an intense 50-minute session, focusing respectively on treadmill and strength training.
By the time sound specialist Callum Toms of Luna Sound and Lighting came on board following a recommendation, Barry’s were already familiar with Martin Audio’s signature sound, having adopted the brand via a previous installer.
Toms, himself, was equally conversant, having worked with their premium installation ranges at his previous company. But for the new basement operation underneath the famous Hamleys store (with the entrance on Kingly Street), he went a step further and specified a large complement of Martin Audio Blackline series speakers.
“We first replaced an old sound system with Blackline X8 at Barry’s Central on the Euston Road, which was the first to open in London [back in 2013],” confirmed Toms. “Then we were offered St. Paul’s and now Soho. Blackline seems to be made of steel, it’s just so durable. It comes at a price that’s hard to beat and it looks attractive.”
He says the operators are known to run the system at 98dB. “We
USA - When the city of Trussville, Alabama unveiled its new downtown entertainment district, the results were nothing short of spectacular. Complete with an amphitheatre-style concert stage and pavilion. The new PA system consists of 15 EAW ADAPTive Anna loudspeakers (arranged six left, three centre, six right), four EAW SB828 Dual Drive Subwoofers (two per side, stacked on stage) and six MW12 MicroWedges.
The central elements of Trussville’s downtown entertainment district are its new stage and pavilion. The stage will host large concert performances and national touring acts for up to 2,500 spectators. A 27ft-wide LED video wall will allow the stage to be used year-round for family movie nights, concert simulcasts and screening sports events, including football games.
ESB Group managed the installation and worked closely with consultants, MediaMerge. “We were called upon to help design an audio solution with a specific set of requirements from the city,” says Drew Breland, solutions architect/design engineer at ESB Group. “Having been a 10-year user of EAW equipment, we knew EAW’s Anna three-way full-range ADAPTive array module PA system was going to be an ideal fit for this project.”
The pavilion and amphitheatre are located within the new outdoor entertainment district, which required the PA system to be both rider-friendly and easy to use by city employees. The system not only needed to provide a high-quality product that met SPL levels but with homes around the venue, the system also needed good pattern control.
“The EAW A
USA - For a large venue, the 115,000sq.ft Sonoran Lawn at the Rawhide Event Centre in Chandler, AZ often feels intimate to concert goers. Perhaps that’s because of the crowds that, prior to the pandemic, packed the site for the national acts that performed there.
When Sullivan King, Ghastly and Shiba San appeared at the venue over three nights, headlining a series of EDM shows produced by Relentless Beats, COVID-19 safety protocols restricted the number of fans that could be present. Those lucky enough to score a ticket had to stay within widely-separated 8ft x 8ft pods.
Everyone was able to enjoy the sense of connectivity that this venue is known for, despite the limited crowd size, thanks to an engaging lighting design by Luis Torres that featured a collection of Chauvet Professional Rogue and Maverick fixtures.
“There was a lot of social distancing at the venue, so my main goal was to connect the limited audience as much as possible to the acts on stage,” says Torres. “By directing light out towards the crowd, we helped to immerse people in the experience so they could feel like they were closer to the stage even if they were in the back row of pods.”
Helping Torres do this were the 16 Rogue R2X Beam units in his rig. Flown, four apiece on downstage, mid-stage and upstage truss, and positioned on the DJ riser, the 231-watt moving beams were used to direct bright light over the crowd. Drawing on the intense output (134,000 lux at 15-meters), Torres was able to cover the entire spacious venue with beams.
During much of the sh
USA - The Naval Academy Athletic Association in Annapolis, Maryland recently opened the Ron Terwilliger ’63 Centre for Student-Athletes, a 25,000sq.ft facility that highlights the Academy’s tradition and history of physical education and intercollegiate athletics.
The centre includes the new Akerson Theatre, a 180° immersive theatre that uses a suite of Christie products, including HS Series projectors, Spyder X20, Mystique and Pandoras Box, and is designed to help inform visitors, prospective midshipmen and their families about opportunities at the school.
The Naval Academy Athletic Association (NAAA) engaged Dimensional Innovations to design, integrate and provide content for the centre and the Akerson Theatre. The project began in 2017 and was originally conceived as a visitors’ centre, but says Drew Berst, executive director, Dimensional Innovations, “The Centre was really about what it meant to be a midshipman student-athlete - the academics, and the physicality of it. The NAAA wanted a space to celebrate the accomplishments of its intercollegiate athletics department, and do it in a way that was interactive and state-of-the-art.”
Brian Silvey, creative director - interactive technology, Dimensional Innovations, says: “The Academy considered what made them stand out amongst other schools, and one of those things was being timeless. And for us, one of the ways to do that is to integrate technology throughout the space.”
For the Akerson Theater, Dimensional Innovations began with a 3D model and worked with Christie to determin
USA - ClearOne has announced the addition of Voice Lift technology to its BMA 360 microphone.
According to ClearOne chair and CEO Zee Hakimoglu, the upgraded BMA 360 is now shipping to customers worldwide. “Voice Lift provides a powerful and simple way to drive multiple mix-minus speaker zones allowing everyone in the room to hear every word. ClearOne’s breakthrough technologies, FiBeam and DsBeam, allow greater Voice Lift gains to be realised than have been previously possible.”
The combination of ClearOne’s beamforming plus feedback cancellation technologies provide up to a 20 dB boost in gain before feedback compared to an omni mic.
Local amplification of a presenter’s voice easily enables local listeners at every corner of a large space to experience the same comfortable and intelligible audio level as someone sitting right next to the presenter. Voice Lift provides near-end users the same benefits of comfortable collaboration and clear audio as far-end users experience; all based on the BMA 360’s technologies.
The addition of Voice Lift rounds out the BMA 360 offering to include ‘everything desired in a beamforming microphone array ceiling tile’ - beamformed audio, echo cancellation, noise cancellation, smart beam selection, power amplifiers, and camera-tracking’.
Each BMA 360 can have up to four Voice Lift zones to provide a simple and intuitive way to drive multiple speaker groups, allowing everyone to easily hear and be heard. Built-in 4 channel power amplifiers make wiring simple and convenient.
- USA - Specialist mobile business fabricator Cruising Kitchens has created a custom food truck for the Raising Cane’s chicken finger restaurant chain, which was designed ‘not only to deliver delicious food but also to get the party started’. The fully functioning mobile kitchen also features a custom-designed pop-up DJ booth on the roof, which is surrounded on three sides by ADJ weatherproof LED video panels.
Already operating from over 500 restaurants in 29 states and territories, they are moving into more areas, thanks to a pair of custom food trucks. The trucks were delivered at the end of 2020, as a surprise for the company’s founder, Todd Graves, from his co-CEO, AJ Kumaran, to celebrate the brand’s 25th anniversary. They are now making their way across the US, as part of the Cane’s Across America campaign, visiting areas not yet served by a Raising Cane’s restaurant.
A true ‘rags to riches’ story, Graves came up with the idea for a restaurant chain focused on delivering quick, delicious chicken finger meals while in college. The concept received the worst grade in a Business Plan class and was rejected every time Todd presented it to a bank. Undeterred, he worked hard to save enough of his own money to open his first store in August 1996 from which the business rapidly expanded. Despite now operating from over 500 locations, a hallmark of Raising Cane’s is individuality. Every restaurant is unique, with 100s of distinctive details, which is something AJ and his team were keen to see replicated in their food trucks.
Zimbabwe - The rhythmic Afro-pop dance floor sound of Ammara Brown flows through a musical path that is distinctly different from the jazz infused offerings of Tamy Moyo. Yet both of these multi-instrumentalists and All Africa Music Award winners exude a captivating aura every time they step on to the stage.
This was plain to see on 12 February when they joined forces for Girls on the Move, a two-hour pay-for-view livestream on Gateway Stream Music intended to celebrate and raise awareness of Zimbabwean women in music.
Providing a lively and brightly coloured setting in support of their performances was a Blessing Bero designed lightshow that featured Chauvet Professional Maverick and Rogue fixtures, including eight MK2 Spot units, four R2 Spots and four R2 Washes, all of which were supplied by Events Evolution.
Working in coordination with video designer Tatenda Gaylord Rushwaya, Bero reflected the personality and music of the two artists, each of whom performed separately during the livestream, after briefly meeting on stage. At the same time, he relied on recurring patterns in light angles and thematic colour mixes to create a consistent, unifying image throughout the livestream.
Key to highlighting the artists and their backup performers was downlighting from the Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures. At times, Bero tightened the zoom on the 440-Watt moving fixtures to create a circle of light around each person on stage. For dramatic effect, he also created spot circles in front of the performers, adding greater dimensionality to the stage.<
Estonia - Robe moving lights and two RoboSpot systems provided a neat solution for the 2021 Eesti Laul competition to select Estonia’s entry to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
Lighting and set designer for the finale show and the two semi-finals that preceded it in Tallinn’s Saku Suurhall arena was Rene Jõhve, who was approached to work on the project by Estonian national broadcaster, ERR. This was his tenth year of lighting the finale and semi-final events which were aired live, and - for obvious reasons - this year were staged without an audience.
The lighting rig included a selection of Robe fixtures including two BMFL WashBeams, 13 x DL7 Profiles, 12 x 300E Spot, 42 x Pointes, 25 x Spiider LED wash beams, 18 x LEDBeam150s and eight MMX WashBeams, plus other lights, all of which were supplied to the production by rental company Cuuclub.
The streamlined main stage design was triangular, with angled side struts meeting above the centre to create a triangular arched ceiling over the upstage section which were clad in LED panels, leaving the forestage open.
The transparent stage floor also contained tilted LED screens, and another main triangular LED screen upstage had lights rigged on both edges to accentuate its shape. A long and elegant runway at the front of the stage connected it to a smaller B stage out in the centre of the arena. Had there been an audience, this would have been right in the middle.
The geometry of the stage lent itself to a lot of dynamic beam lighting effects and worked brilliantly on camera even with
Finland - Tomi Björck is one of Finland’s best-known chefs and restaurateurs. With 10 restaurants and two bakeries already to his name across Finland, Sweden and Australia, Björck with his wife Minka and three other associates embarked on their latest project in Spring 2020.
Lily Lee, in the heart of the Finnish capital of Helsinki, offers a range of dishes inspired by Taiwanese cuisine, Hong Kong’s street kitchens and classical Cantonese cooking.
Finnish AV integrator, 4Business Oy, installed a Genelec loudspeaker system in the environmentally friendly RAW aluminium finish to enhance the dark, sultry interior with an audio experience that blends into the lush surroundings. In fact, Björck contacted Genelec directly for his latest project. 4Business’s Janne Lankinen was unsurprised by Björck’s choice. “Music and atmosphere are crucial elements for Tomi at all of his venues, so an easy-to-use, high quality audio system was a must-have feature for Lily Lee.”
“We have had Genelec loudspeakers in almost all of our restaurants and there is no other brand we would go with,” confirms Lily Lee’s Minka Björck. “The full, rounded sound of Genelec is key for us and it is totally unique. No other brand sounds quite like it. We like to play music quite loud in our venues, so sound quality is super important. Finally, we love the sleek look of the loudspeakers, they work really well with our décor.”
Lankinen and his team installed a total of 12 Genelec 4030 installation loudspeakers in the distinctive RAW finish across the three
USA - The Events United team and production manager Kevin Hart returned to live work in March at the Space Coast City Fest in Melbourne, Florida.
For Events United, the two-day evangelical conference represented its first large-scale live event (with the exception of a few smaller outdoor projects) since the pandemic started. As if putting together a stage for Dove Award winners Casting Crowns, Zach Williams, Social Club Misfits, Andy Mineo and other praise music stars while dealing with COVID-19 safety protocols wasn’t enough, they also had to contend with problematic weather throughout the two-day event.
“The winds got pretty intense at some points. The gusts ended up peaking around 35 mph.” said Jon Martell, who made up the Events United team along with Donald Van Slyke, Chase Clark, Ryan Lane, and Joel Pelletier.
As a result of the wind, the festival had to shut down for most of Sunday, putting time pressure on the crew. “Our headliner couldn’t load in until later that afternoon and we ended up building a “C” stage out in the audience so we could have some of the program happen without being on the main stage,” said Martell. “The PA was landed, the lighting rig was high and tight, and the LED walls were lowered, but the show was able to go on without any danger.”
At dusk, the winds died down, and the festival moved forward as planned. Events United supported the stars on stage with an immersive light and video show that featured Chauvet Professional Maverick and STRIKE fixtures as well as X6IP and F4IP video panels.
USA - With up to 50,000 people in and out of the Georgia World Congress Centre each day over a two-day period in February, the Cheersport National Cheerleading Championship in Atlanta may be the largest event to have taken place in the world under the COVID pandemic.
Rental and production company Lite Tek Entertainment supplied and designed lighting for the event and turned to an Elation lighting package of Cuepix and DTW blinders, Protron strobes, SixPars and more to highlight team routines across five different stages.
The National Cheerleading Championship is one of the biggest of its kind in the world. A typical year would see 1,400 teams competing but due to a 50%, reduction in allowed participants due to the pandemic, some 700 teams competed at this year’s event. Nevertheless, the event was huge with stages spread across two buildings and 90 acres.
“This was, to the best of our knowledge, the largest event in the world since COVID with up to 50,000 people coming through the facility two days in a row,” states Lite Tek founder and owner, Darren Lewis. “Cheersport created an effective plan to manage the onsite people flow with guidance from Varsity Spirit and the CDC fulfilling a discrete observation role. There were no spikes or known outbreaks that were traced to the event so it worked out really well.”
Lite Tek Entertainment, based in Richmond, Virginia, has handled all of Cheersports’ regional cheerleading events for the past 15 years and has worked the National Cheerleading Championship event several times. This year, Le
Argentina - Estadio Unico Madre de Ciudades is the largest stadium in the province of Santiago del Estero with a capacity of 29,000. Completed in October 2020, the stadium will host matches for upcoming editions of the Copa America and the Supercopa Argentina.
To meet the project’s deadline, the AV integration firm working on the stadium, Equaphon Sistemas de Sonido SRL, found a way to integrate the stadium’s audio system while still adhering to all health and safety restrictions in place due to COVID-19 - all thanks to the trust they put in Audinate’s Dante audio network platform.
“Dante saves on costs and ensures the stadium can expand and scale the system as needed,” explains Francisco Maiocchi, member of the Equaphon Engineering Department. “Dante also offers many great audio control and management benefits. Dante was always part of our integration plan.”
What wasn’t part of the plan was the global pandemic. Equaphon management was faced with reducing the number of staff it had on-site during the integration process due to social distancing requirements. They discovered that Dante would enable a modified number of staff to be on-site without compromising the quality of work or timeline.
“We quickly realised that with Dante we could work on all the routing, programming and testing from our headquarters, which is located 600 miles away,” says Equaphon’s Alberto Escriña. “We sent a small team to the site for just a few days of installation, adjustment and measurement and we did most everything else remotely. When we f
USA - When the University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM) School of Visual and Performing Arts was looking to update its existing wireless intercom system, the task of finding the right equipment was left in the hands of the programme’s veteran technical director Steven Burnside. He found the solution he was looking for with Pliant Technologies’ CrewCom wireless intercom system.
Burnside’s primary goal in upgrading the equipment at ULM School of Visual and Performing Arts was ensuring complete coverage throughout the entire building. “Our main auditorium was built in 1931 and made out of steel and concrete, so we really wanted to make sure we had a solid signal throughout,” says Burnside. “We were able to secure a CrewCom demo and we were really impressed, right off the bat.
“With just one Radio Transceiver (RT), we pretty much covered the entire building. To take the system to its limits, we used four Radio Packs (RPs) and sent people to all four corners of the building, both upstairs and downstairs. We never lost the signal and that says a lot for a 700-seat venue. With the budget I was given and CrewCom’s outstanding performance, it was an easy decision to purchase the system.”
The university worked with Pliant manufacturer’s representative, Sigmet Corp., and authorized dealer BMI Supply out of New York to purchase all of the necessary equipment, including one CrewCom Control Unit (CCU) and one CrewCom Radio Transceiver, five CrewCom Radio packs as well as Pliant’s SmartBoom® PRO single-ear headsets.
“The CrewCom system
USA - Berkeley Dent, Jason Pastel, Trevor Creany, Dustin Lee and the team at 81 Productions demonstrated the unifying power of music in a real sense during this cold, hard winter.
With live music venues in their area of Roanoke, VA, locked down, and musicians out of work, they launched The Space Shop Sessions, a series of five livestream concerts, each featuring a different Roanoke band, and each supported by a different hometown business. Taking place over a two-month period, the sessions helped feed the local appetite for live music, while also providing gigs for some of the region’s favourite groups, and giving businesses a chance to engage directly with customers.
Helping the 81 Productions team create a flowing series of distinctive, colourful looks that reflected the personality of each band in the livestream series, was the company’s “virtually all Chauvet” livestream studio rig, anchored by a collection of Rogue R1X Spot and R1 Spot fixtures. Arranged in different configurations depending on the band, the Rogue units expanded design possibilities on the studio’s 24ft by 20ft stage.
“Flexibility is obviously critical in this type of project when you have this many bands playing in the same space,” said Pastel. “The Rogues are ideal in this case, because they are such workhorses that will take you wherever you want to go.”
When Virginia Electric took to the stage for a session, Pastel went with more stylized looks with ambers, magentas, purples and greens playing off against one another. “One of my favourite looks oc