UK - Robe sponsored the Best Designer category of this year’s The Stage Debut Awards which was won by set and costume designer Rose Revitt for the raw, visual environment she created for Dr Korczak’s Example at Leeds Playhouse which was staged in January / February.
The Stage Awards celebrate the very best breakthrough talent in theatre, including actors, directors, designers, writers, composers and lyricists making their professional debuts in the past year.
For Rose, this particular journey started with another prize-winning opportunity. Last year, she won the biennial Linbury Prize for Stage Design which offers 12 emerging designers the chance to work with some of the UK’s leading theatre, opera, and dance companies.
Newly graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff with an MA in Design For Performance (set & costume specialty), Rose applied for the Linbury Prize with her portfolio and as one of the 12 finalists, was linked up with Leeds Playhouse who gave her and two other designers a brief for Dr Korczak’s Example.
The Leeds Playhouse team chose Rose’s dramatic bombed-out, rubble-strewn set concept from the three options, and with a short lead-time, this challenging heart-warming yet bitterly realistic work in the time of the holocaust was realised and staged in February 2020.
This turned out to be exceptionally fortunate timing, just before the pandemic hit and shut down theatres nationwide and the actual turnaround time from drawings, photos and model box visualisation to f
USA - Lighting rising blues star Samantha Fish is acknowledged as a world-class blues guitarist whose repertoire covers southern rock, R&B and soul.
When Fish played The Birchmere outside of Washington DC this October,” house LD at the club David Beebe noted. “I love this artist and her music. A lot of greats have performed here at various times in their career, and she definitely deserved to be added to this list.
“From a lighting perspective, it was really appreciated that the depth and variety of her music gave me a lot to work with,” continued Beebe. “She slows things down sometimes, which creates dramatic moments. This gave me a chance shadows and patterns as much as light.”
Key to creating this deeply evocative effects were the areal patterns Beebe created with the six Chauvet Professional Maverick MK1 Spot fixtures in the Birchmere’s house rig. Describing the 350W LED fixture as a “workhorse”, he said the 350W LED fixture’s ability to maintain crisp, slowly rotating aerial gobo patters was key to achieving the looks he was after to support Fish’s more bluesy numbers.
“The rotation aerials and the split beams were very important in this design,” he said. “It was also nice to be able to play the Maverick’s patterns off the textured backdrop. Really, combinations of different colours and gobo looks in the air helped tell the story of Samantha’s music. At the end of the day, I felt really good to be a part of this.”
UK - Event producers Second Sight asked AV rental and technical specialist CPL to provide a 5m wide by 3m high Roe Black Onyx 3mm pitch LED screen for a key live stream presentation by Volkswagen UK for their retail dealership members and investors.
This annual event was presented from Stage B at Millennium Studios in Bedford.
Normally it would be a big show at a prominent event venue with a full stage set and multiple presenters, but with the pandemic this year, everything was changed as they shifted to a digital format.
As brands, creative agencies and technical delivery companies and organisations continue to come up with new and interesting ways of delivering events safely and Covid-compliantly, like so many others, the Volkswagen Investors Update flipped to a live-streamed event.
Second Sight’s Guy Shayler explained how they were already producing successful monthly digital presentation events for VW since the lockdown started, so when it came to the Investors event, they retained the basic format but scaled up and added production values and extra resources including the LED wall.
As their “go-to” option for additional and specialist AV equipment, crew and expertise, Guy asked CPL to provide the LED - complete with a Barco S3 switcher to split the signal - which joined the camera / PPU / graphics and media server package supplied by Second Sight.
The broadcast platforms and associated infrastructure were coordinated by Bizzabo as the selected supplier for digital event delivery at Volkswagen UK.
Initial ideas fo
USA - Featuring 165 different sets, and a star-studded cast of musicians and models, Rihanna’s recent Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 was not merely a fashion parade but a multifaceted celebration of style to show off her latest lingerie range.
Taking place at the LA Convention Centre (LACC), and streamed on Amazon Prime, the celebrity line-up included showcases from Lizzo, Willow Smith, Bad Bunny, Ella Mai, Miguel, Mustard, Roddy Ricch, and Rosalía, while Travis Scott performed during the post-credits outro of the stream. Among the models, Big Sean, Cara Delevingne, Normani, Paloma Elsesser, Paris Hilton, and Christian Combs all returned to show off the new season collection.
Bella Hadid led a group of black satin, leather- and lace-clad models and stars - including Demi Moore, Pose star Indya Moore, and RuPaul’s Drag Race season 12 winner Jaida Essence Hall - in a performance set to N.E.R.D.’s She Wants to Move.
The show was lit by TV lighting specialist, Bob Barnhart (of design partnership 22 Degrees), who made expansive use of the KNV Dot among the GLP effects in his arsenal.
The multiple Emmy-award winning LD was engaged by production company, Film-45, with whom he has worked previously on shows, including Miss USA and Miss Universe. He also worked closely alongside Prodject, the New York-based production company. “It was my first time working with Keith Baptista and Jihye Song; they and their company of dedicated people were great to work with,” he confirmed.
One of the best elements of this project had been th
UK - To facilitate BDO’s first ever fully virtual global conference, creative consultancy Fusion Comms produced a new digital delivery format. The BDO Rethink Festival, which is traditionally held as a bi-annual face-to-face leadership event, was instead broadcast to a global audience on 2 and 4 November.
Fusion Comms partnered with White Light (WL) to create a virtual world for the event, within its SmartStage broadcast facility at London’s Science Museum.
WL collaborated with Fusion Comms and their digital creators MalfMedia to design a flexible xR solution to facilitate three festival broadcasts to BDO’s managing partners from across the world. The visual identity for the xR world was conceptualised around the Rethink Festival’s existing logo and branding.
An entire virtual infrastructure of festival stages was built with the use of digital assets created in a media server system that for the first time incorporated teleportation, remote callers, in studio presenters and XR and AR graphics.
The use of Augmented Reality enabled multiple cameras to track the presenter, whilst the AR festival environment worked in sync with the cameras so the presenters could ‘walk’ from one stage to another.
Delivery of the plenary sessions included the live, full-body teleportation of five presenters directly into the xR environment. Three presenters were transported from studios in Canada Washington DC and Israel, with two more from their homes in Scandinavia.
The whole conference was streamed to a worldwide audience of over 2,500 de
USA - Whitesburg Baptist was at a crossroads last year. Leaders at the 7,000-member church knew that they had to modernise their worship space to create a more engaging environment, one that would support their three different Sunday services while also being more camera friendly for livestreams and broadcasts.
The question they faced was how? Ideas ranged from constructing an entirely new building, to undertaking smaller piecemeal changes. None felt quite right until they met with the team from Paragon 360 who showed them how they could completely transform their existing space without making the investment of time and money in a new facility.
This summer, Whitesburg Baptist unveiled the result of its collaboration with Paragon 360: a contemporary and beautifully balanced worship centre that makes all feel welcomed, whether they’re watching online or participating in a social distant live service.
Paragon 360 followed a carefully planned multi-step approach to achieve this transformation. The company’s team redesigned the stage area for functionality and aesthetics using its custom staging, scenic and architectural elements.
To improve the listening experience, acoustics throughout the room were enhanced and new audio gear was integrated into the church’s existing system. Video walls were added, and lighting was made more immersive, as well as more camera friendly, through the addition of 43 Ovation E-260WW LED ellipsoidal fixtures.
Outfitted with 14, 19, 26 and 36-degree lens tubes, the Ovation units are used for front lighting
UK - English National Opera chose live event specialists ADI to support them in the delivery of ‘the world’s first fully staged drive-in opera’, ENO Drive & Live at Alexandra Palace (19-27 September).
This ambitious outdoor project saw performances of Puccini's La Bohème take place outside Ally Pally, providing UK audiences with live opera for the first time since March. ADI supported ENO in delivering the drive-in experience by providing a complete event production solution, incorporating staging, structures, LED screens, lighting, OB and cameras.
Despite the creative and technical challenges of delivering fully-staged performances beyond their usual venue, ENO in partnership with ADI achieved the feat of transforming a car park at Alexandra Palace into a fully-featured outdoor theatre on a vast scale.
The production has been met with critical acclaim, with the 16 live performances hosting many sell-out audiences. The production was also broadcast live on Sky Arts.
ADI worked closely with ENO’s technical team to design and build a raised stage solution. This featured high resolution 4.6mm 45sqm LED screens on the wings to offer image magnification and coverage for up to 100 vehicles.
For audio, ADI and ENO explored several options, including delivery over Bluetooth via an app, but eventually decided on the traditional drive-in solution of delivering over radio signal to individual cars. This was supported by an onsite 5.1 audio system which covered the whole car park to ensure an impeccable aural experience from ev
USA - When Richmond, VA-based Soundworks took delivery of their Martin Audio WPS and WPC line array systems in February this year, they little knew that the world was within one month of lockdown. “The pandemic shut down all of our bookings from mid-March forward,” recalls CEO, Steve Payne. The company had to wait until the end of summer for the maiden voyage for both systems - in the shape of two socially-distanced outdoor concerts by the Richmond Symphony Orchestra.
Soundworks have been contracted to provide sound reinforcement for all Richmond Symphony Orchestra’s community outreach concerts since 2015. “Each season the RSO will incorporate the performance of a popular local or regional artist into one of their ‘Big Tent’ gigs,” he explains. “The arranger will write scores for orchestral accompaniment to six or so of the guest artist’s songs. Past musical artists have included a wide range of musical styles and genres, and this year’s featured artist was the Commonwealth Bluegrass Band.”
Still to thoroughly road test their new scalable Wavefront Performance rigs, Soundworks used the 12 September show at Maymont Park to evaluate the power of WPS in the delay position with a view to future main FOH deployment. “The venue required that we cover a depth of 420ft, so we used two hangs of eight WPC for the main PA, with two SXH218 subs ground stacked per side, and two hangs of six WPS for delays at 220 feet, with a CDD-LIVE 15 at each of the main hangs as out-fills.” The audience size was capped at 700, socially distanced.
UK - At the beginning of this year, singer/songwriter Niall Horan had to take the decision to cancel his Nice To Meet Ya world tour. But earlier this month, he announced a special, one-off live streamed show from London’s Royal Albert Hall and promoted by livestreaming company, Driift.
Audio equipment for the show, which achieved a massive 150,000 ticket sales, is supplied by Wigwam Acoustics with Ant Carr, Niall’s long-term head of touring and production, at the helm and regular crew members Matthew Kettle and Joe Campbell handling broadcast and monitor positions respectively, both deploying DiGiCo SD5s.
Featuring songs from his two hit albums Flicker (No1. in the USA) and Heartbreak Weather (No.1 in the UK), the show streamed on 7 November and gave loyal fans a chance to be part of what they are so sorely missing. It is also providing much needed financial support for touring crew, with all profits divided between Niall’s own crew and the #WeNeedCrew relief fund, and also helped raise further awareness for industry campaign, #WeMakeEvents.
The team had been working on Niall’s radio and television promotion last autumn, which was due to wrap up in March. They were about to move into an extended period of worldwide touring, starting with a North American arena tour in April. What happened next, notes Kettle, will likely be of little surprise to anyone.
“With his tour cancelled and unable to promote his Heartbreak Weather
Austria - In 2005, the Oval, designed by lauded Roman architect Massimiliano Fuksas, opened its doors at the Europark shopping mall in Salzburg. The 227-seat cultural showcase stages unique shows ranging from music, drama, cabaret, cinema and more, and has earned a firm place in Salzburg's already rich calendar of events. Under the direction of Europark managing director Christoph Andexlinger, the Oval has added another attraction to its offering since July 2020: L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology from L-Acoustics.
Right from the start, the room’s extraordinary architecture, which features a steep atrium grandstand and a 13m-wide stage that is only 15m from the control room, posed significant challenges to conventional L-C-R sound reinforcement systems. "Thanks to L-ISA, not only was the conventional technology replaced, but a completely new, immersive listening experience was created at every seat," explains Rupert Pichler, managing director of Pansound and project manager for the L-ISA conversion in the Oval.
The sound design by Martin Rode, Head of Application Install D-A-CH, comprises a Scene system with five arrays of three A10 Wide, evenly hung above the stage and across its entire width, along with two sets of three KS21 subwoofers each, flown horizontally behind the Scene system and configured in an end-fire cardioid array.
Five 5XT placed in front of the stage serve as front-fill. Three coaxial X8 per side are placed along the walls, with a further two X8 on the rear wall, and five ceiling-mounted 5XT create surround and overhead
France - When his international tour with the San Francisco symphonic orchestra got cancelled due to the spread of the pandemic, renowned French cellist, Gautier Capuçon, decided to bring music back to the towns and villages of France – all while respecting healthcare and social distancing measures – with a free tour entitled Un Été en France.
And when his concert in Mansle got threatened by the weather on the 11 August, he was able to rely on a sound engineer and sound equipment that could adapt to the various challenges that were bound to rear their heads on that day.
“When Gautier Capuçon's team announced that he was going to tour France, the towns and villages wishing to host the shows were invited to contact him,” explained sound engineer Léopold Randon de Grolier. “He received well over 600 requests in 48 hours.” Depending on the dates, the French virtuoso was accompanied by either Jérôme Ducros or Samuel Parent on piano.
“During the exchanges with the artist, we received a technical sheet with expected references in terms of microphone placement and preferred sound systems,” he said. “The precision and fidelity of the sound required for classical music is extremely important, but thanks to APG and Radio Semnoz, we were able to supply a top-of-the-range sound recording and PA system that was perfectly adapted to the configuration and style of music.”
While APG’s Uniline Compact (UC) range is flexible enough to support a wide range of musical genres, it is particularly well suited for classical music, accordi
Europe This week’s Elation Coffee Break is hosted by Alistair Smyth and Frederik Afif and will focus on the creative possibilities unique to three of Elation’s most popular automated LED luminaires.
The narrow-beam Dartz 360, Chorus Line pixel bar, and compact Rayzor 360Z will take centre stage for a discussion of their creative potential and the dazzle, drama and excitement they can add to stages big and small.
The Elation Coffee Break (www.facebook.com/ELATION.Pro.Europe/live/) with a focus on creative LED luminaires will air live on Thursday, 12 November 1at 11:00 a.m. CEST. No registration is required.
The Elation Coffee Break is an online presentation series from Elation’s European office in Kerkrade, the Netherlands that takes an up-close look at some of the company’s most popular product series. To view previous Elation Coffee Break webinars, visit www.facebook.com/ELATION.Pro.Europe/live/.
Germany - Lean-pro & Co has invested in Prolights EclPanel TWCJr. With the new LED softlights, the Paderborn-based company has equipped its livestream studio for trade fairs, product presentations, workshops, lectures, concerts, general meetings and much more, thus further expanding its professional image, lighting and sound technology.
Joachim Flottmeier, managing director and partner, says, "The decisive criteria for me were the excellent price-performance ratio and the enormous output in relation to the size of the device. Thus the EclPanel TWCJr makes the competition look old. It is also unrivalled in this price league in terms of the range of functions. In addition, the wide range of accessories such as diffusion filters, egg crates and snap grids convinced me".
The Prolights EclPanel TWCJr offers not only a wide range of colours, but also white tones from warm to cold color temperature range.
Besides the control via DMX, the EclPanel TWCJr also allows fast and precise adjustment directly at the device. The three control knobs allow direct access to color temperature, +/- green and magenta shift and HSI. In addition, a mode is also available in which the device can be controlled segment by segment. Various pre-programmed and adjustable effects can be called up directly on the device or via DMX.
Due to the internal power supply, the optional battery operation and the compact dimensions, the EclPanel TWCJr can be easily operated in most locations. Lightpower is the exclusive distributor for Prolights in Germany.
Japan - Adding powerful sound to its striking visual displays, Art Aquarium collaborated with HIBINO Corporation to enhance its exhibit with a state-of-the-art Harman Professional audio solution.
Established in 2007, Art Aquarium has exhibited all across Japan and overseas at places that communicate history and culture, including Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall, Kyoto’s Nijo-jo Castle as well as the 21st-Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa.
With more than 10m visitors, Art Aquarium has expanded overseas into Milan, Italy and Shanghai, China. Wanting to elevate the ‘Kingyo’ Aquarium to reach the vision of its creative director, Art Aquarium required an innovative, cutting-edge audio system that provided pristine sound quality and an enhanced guest experience.
“The client wanted a high-performance audio solution that would provide as much power and clarity as possible. After careful consideration, our team designed and installed an integrated Harman Professional audio solution made up of JBL Professional speakers, Crown amplifiers and BSS signal processors,” said a spokesperson at HIBINO. “We were confident the solution would cover the museum’s needs and exceed their expectations.”
The system features an array of JBL Control Contractor 20 Series speakers, including Control 23-1 and Control 25-1 loudspeakers as well as Control SB-2 subwoofers. The compact speakers deliver a rich sonic character with wide, consistent sound dispersion across the venue, while the subs deliver authoritative, accurate low end.
Further adding pr
China - The Songcheng Group is the first performing arts company in China to go public and is also a global top 10 theme park group. With its core competence in performing arts, Songcheng Performance has built a number of established brands including Songcheng and the Romance show series.
The company owns 74 theatres with a total capacity of 175,000 seats, which exceeds the combined number of seats available in two of the world’s most famous theatre districts, namely London’s West End and Broadway in New York.
The spectacular Romance series of large-scale, hi-tech productions has broken box office records with more than 8,000 performances per year to an annual audience of over 35m people. Recently, six of Songcheng’s 10 dedicated Romance theatres – many of them sited in dedicated Romance theme parks across China – have upgraded to powerful KV2 Audio sound systems.
Songcheng’s Romance theatres are high-capacity, Vegas-style structures that have been specially designed host dazzling, large-scale productions with incredibly complex sets designed for maximum visual impact. Each show is specific to the area where it is staged, re-enacting local cultural legends in song, dance and acrobatics. Audiences can expect a stunning show at every level – visually, aurally and technically.
All Songcheng Romance productions use advanced sound, lighting, effects and staging technology to interpret a period of China’s classic history. As with every other element of the production, the audio has to
UK - The Sugar Hut nightclub, bar and venue - made famous through its association with reality TV programme The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE) -returned to TV screens earlier this month boasting a new refurbished look featuring Void Acoustics kit.
The venue has recently been acquired by the same experienced club operator who also owns London super club Studio 338 – a large music and arts venue on the Greenwich Peninsular, and sister club The Bridge (also in London). The team has consistently chosen Void as their audio system of choice for the last decade, starting with their install at Studio 338, which currently boasts a 4-point Air Motion system covering their large capacity multi-room club including one of the largest outdoor terrace arenas in Europe as well as a Loft Room and VIP level.
Sugar Hut has been celebrating 10 years of TOWIE. The venue’s re-opening and refurbishment has been eagerly anticipated and well-received.
“Being familiar with Void and the aesthetic quality of their products combined with their excellent audio credentials, it was an easy decision to specify Void throughout our Sugar Hut refurbishment,” explains Larry Field, technical manager and sound engineer for Studio 338 and Sugar Hut.
Acoustic challenges abound at Sugar Hut because it is located in a listed historical building, which, by its nature, provides a challenging layout. It is a maze-like 15th century coaching inn with a courtyard and hundreds of years of history.
Field comments: “From a sound perspective there are local residents to take
UK – The 2020 final of popular TV show Britain’s Got Talent wowed millions of viewers with a spectacular LED screen stage set and virtual audience, powered by Green Hippo’s Hippotizer Boreal+ and Karst+ Media Servers.
Three active Boreal+ and one Karst+ were used for the main system, with the same amount again running as backup for the live show. One Boreal+ fed the main stage LED display, driving 6K content to 3mm screens from supplier Anna Valley, with another Boreal+ dealing with camera overlay effects and live camera shots. The Karst+ fed Art-Net data from two lighting consoles to an array of SGM LED Tubes.
This was a very different finale, with no physical audience present in the studio due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In substitute, more than 1000 live feeds from viewers at home were fed to a new LED ‘audience wall’, positioned behind the judging panel. This was driven by the third Boreal+, with data fed in via NDI by broadcast graphics specialist, Happy Graphics.
The virtual audience was collated from PCs using real-time communications (RTC), and after being brought into the network via NDI was applied to a Hippotizer layer. Using VideoMapper, the team structured the feed to fit the different screens, using tint and colour match to unite them and make the virtual audience look harmonious with the video content and graphics, which were created by Ben Foley and Alex King at Buckloop Films.
Russ Grubiak served as Hippotizer programmer for the event. “As usual, we chose the Hippotizer because of the ease and speed we can m
World - When Kim Kardashian-West celebrated her 40th birthday this year, her husband Kanye West gifted her a hologram of her late father. Presented on the Holopops Ultra Holographic Projection System, the event was the debut outing for the innovative product but thanks to the occasion it secured a global launch that most manufacturers can only dream of.
Since then that single tweet has received over 35,000 quote tweets and over 18,000 retweets, with over 235,000 likes. Similar posts on Facebook and Instagram also went viral with over 14 million views of the hologram on Instagram alone.
Liz Berry, CEO of Hologramica and inventor and creator of Holopops, explains: “A social media frenzy started when Kim Kardashian West tweeted: ‘For my birthday, Kanye got me the most thoughtful gift of a lifetime. A special surprise from heaven. A hologram of my dad. It is so lifelike! We watched it over and over, filled with emotion.’”
The story has also hit global news channels and chat shows, bringing the Holopops Ultra unprecedented exposure.
Media outlets, including the BBC and CNN, have speculated on how the compelling and life-like holographic effect was achieved, but Berry can confirm: “We use our patent pending 3D Holonet in the Holopops Ultra Display System. This has already been proved to deliver high quality, super real imagery on full production hologram projects including BASE Hologram’s ground breaking An Evening with Whitney, The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour, Roy Orbison In Dreams tour and for opera fans, Callas in Conce
USA - Smaller crowds equal smaller lighting budgets. Like virtually every designer working a socially distant show, Evan Antal faced this reality when he met with his client to draw up plans to light Le Getaway, a one-day October outdoor event featuring jam band masters lespecial and Eggy in the Camp Getaway Berkshire resort in Kent, CT.
Despite these limitations, the event’s promoter had set lofty goals. “I was asked to put together a package that delivered big rock show looks on a pretty tight budget,” said Antal. “Because of the pandemic and the limited audiences, it’s become a razor-thin balancing act to make a show on a budget work for everyone involved.”
Antal met this challenge in stunning fashion, turning Le Getaway’s small (24ft’ x 20ft) mobile stage into a panorama of overlapping colours. Swirling gobo patterns and fast-moving beams. Helping him accomplish this feat were six Chauvet Professional Maverick MK1 Spot and six Maverick MK1 Hybrid fixtures supplied by High Peaks Event Production.
Flying his spot fixtures on upstage truss and arranging the hybrid units on the stage deck, Antal relied on their smooth transitions, wide zoom ranges and CMY colour mixing to create a variety of looks that outstripped the size of the stage and its rig in terms of the excitement generated.
“I punted my way through lespecial’s very dynamic and edgy sound, so the responsiveness of the Mavericks was very appreciated,” says Antal. “They zoom really wide, and all the different functions work quickly. They also snap from a frost
Monaco - Organised by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Monte-Carlo Gala for Planetary Health was held on 24 September on the terraces of the Monte-Carlo Opera.
Dedicated to ‘Ocean, Earth, and Humanity’, an audience of ‘patrons, decision-makers, artists, and scientists’ gathered under an immersive dome.
For this event, designed and produced by the event agency TUFF Consult, the technical setup relied on five Modulo Kinetic and one Modulo Player, supplying 1,500sq.m of projection.
Since 2006, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation has been working to protect the environment and promote sustainable development on a global scale. Since its creation, more than 540 projects have been achieved by the foundation’s international branches located in France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Canada, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Spain, and China.
Running from 21-27 September, the Planetary Health Week reached its climax with its Gala held in the specific context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Presided by H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco with Sting as guest of honour, the gala brought together patrons, decision-makers, artists, and scientists to discover the initiatives carried out by the Foundation.
During the charity dinner and fund-raising auction, guests were immersed in images created by the studio Spectre Lab, featuring galaxies, forests, and ocean floors. To produce this immersive space, A/V provider Fosphor relied on 22 x Barco UDX-4K40 and four 20K Panasonic video-projectors to illuminate a half sphere o
UK - Shure supported students at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama who performed two new British musicals Catch Me and The Limit for their end of year productions with the equipment required to support a socially distant performance.
Final year students at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama are required to perform what is usually a public musical to a live audience as part of their assessment. Due to COVID-19, their annual performance of Merrily We Roll Along had to be cancelled, leaving students with no end of year project and no opportunity to showcase their work to industry connections.
In this case however, Adam Lenson director and course leader, Paul Barker got creative. The school made the decision to put on a socially distant performance which would be recorded live and streamed via YouTube allowing agents and industry contacts to view the students work.
Adam Lenson explains, “We were facing the issue that amateur productions of most canonical musicals (including Merrily We Roll Along) can’t be filmed due to copyright and there was be no point going to the work of putting these productions together if no one could ever see them. So, I floated a mad idea. What if we did new UK musicals. Instead of one big show rehearsed in pieces what if we did four separate productions for each of the four groups of students.
“I suggested two productions of two new musicals. A five hander and a six hander. After going through lists of writers and musicals I landed upon two incredible new shows. T
Portugal - In April last year Porto-based rental company, LVT Audio, purchased a large Martin Audio MLA Compact and Mini array. Director Miguel Lindo notes: “Since the very beginning of our company we have placed our trust in the Martin Audio brand.”
Their upgrade to MLA came after they experienced the system at the Rock In Rio festival in Lisbon, sensing that they would have plenty of deployment opportunities in a work roster that prior to the pandemic included all types of show, from arenas, festivals and touring, to corporate events.
They were helped in their choice and set-up by fellow countryman and friend, Joe Lima, who now works as product support engineer at Martin Audio North America. “He is the best professional we know,” exclaims Lindo. “In March this year he trained our entire team.”
LVT Audio’s most recent deployment has been at the high profile Noites de Verao em Gaia (Gaia Summer Nights) - an eight-day festival promoted by PEV Entertainment that took place in the Gaia district of Porto in late summer. The location was an open space at the Municipal Stadium of Lavandeira.
“It was the first live event held in Portugal in the middle of a pandemic,” continues the LVT man. “All security measures were taken by the local authorities and by the event’s producer, and these socially distanced shows served as an example for others.”
The festival line-up featured leading national artists and was capped at 2,000 spectators each day, which was a sell-out. These included Xutos & Pontápés; Miguel Araujo; M
The Netherlands - Throughout the summer and fall, more than 80 of ADJ’s weatherproof moving head beam and LED wash fixtures were used to light a temporary beach club venue in The Netherlands. Insight Beach Brabant offered visitors an opportunity to enjoy drinks, gourmet food and music in a large outdoor setting at a lake-side venue in the heart of the Dutch city of Eindhoven.
With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the cancellation of concerts and festivals, as well as the closure of nightclubs and music venues, opportunities for relaxing and socializing have been rare. Offering a solution to this, Insight Beach was a large pop-up beach club with a limited capacity that assigned guests dedicated day beds to allow for social distancing.
From the comfort and safety of their designated space, visitors could enjoy a full menu from resident chef Pascal Ariëns of Restaurant By Pascal in nearby Oosterhout, drink cocktails from a fully stocked bar and listen to live DJ performances using ‘silent disco’ headphones. On Saturday nights the venue partnered with a variety of Dutch Dance organizations to bring in special guest DJs who delivered an authentic club experience in a COVID-safe way.
Lighting for the venue was supplied and installed by local rental company Trend Productions, a well-established supplier of lighting, audio and visual equipment. The company is used to providing production services for large-scale one-off dance events, so this long-term installation outdoors was an opportunity for owner Adje van Veghel to thoroughly test his inventory of
Switzerland - The Muehle Hunziken (Hunziken Mill) in Rubigen, southeast of Bern in Switzerland, is a popular concert venue that has been in existence since 1976. Since the former windmill’s conversion, it has hosted more than 4,000 concerts, featuring around 15,000 artists of all styles and genres.
The Mill houses an elaborate collection of quirky works of art, much beloved of its patrons, and regularly attracts internationally renowned artists to play intimate shows in its 500 capacity auditorium.
In spite of the prevailing Coronavirus restrictions, this summer, the management team at Hunziken Mill took the decision to upgrade the venue’s audio system. The existing system was at the end of its viable life, and was proving unreliable and increasingly expensive to maintain.
Chief technician and resident FOH engineer at Hunziken Mill, Tom Binggeli, arranged for several brands to stage demonstrations at the venue. The room presents a number of acoustic challenges, and he wished to be certain that investment in a new system would deliver the best possible audio and value for money.
One of the brands Tom was keen to hear in action was Coda Audio. Swiss audio specialists, Schallwerk demonstrated a system based around Coda’s APS product. Having considered all the options, The Mill’s team opted to go with Coda.
Tom Binggeli reports: “The first time I heard a Coda system was in a small pub with a DJ setup. The system consisted of two cabinets and a sub, and I was surprised how much power it had - very nice lows and clear highs. The seco