Denmark - Rigging and automation specialist Jimmy Johnson joins the team at Motor State Automation (MSA) led by Christian Vigsø, where he will be focusing on technical sales for MSA’s innovative solutions including the bespoke design and delivery of systems for entertainment projects involving artists, set, scenery, props, equipment, objects, or anything else that needs to move.
Motor Stage Automation (MSA) is a new company based in Denmark, working internationally.
Christian commented, “We are hugely excited about this collaboration. MSA will benefit from Jimmy’s wealth of experience and massive enthusiasm for the industry and the world of automation as well as his love of logistics and the challenges involved in finding smart and creative solutions!”
Jimmy stated, “MSA’s approach to business and investment is impressive. We all share the same values and work ethics, and I relish this opportunity of working more closely with a great company and an outstanding team.”
MSA has purchased large quantities of leading brands like Litec, Kinesys and Alfa System in the past year to facilitate and combine with its range of in-house products like MSA touring dollies, to help provide fast, efficient, and cost-effective automation for a diversity of theatre, music and corporate shows, tours, and events.
“The company and the kit almost sells itself,” added Jimmy, noting that, once the preserve of only the largest shows with massive budgets, automation is now becoming increasingly affordable.
Jimmy will also continue to be
USA - The Morton Salt complex in Chicago had been in operation for nearly a century before it was closed down in 2015. Today, the complex has been transformed into a multi-purpose venue for live music and other events named The Salt Shed. Boasting modern sound and lighting systems, including a comprehensive Elation stage lighting rig from Upstaging, The Salt Shed is quickly becoming a popular performance space in Chicago.
The venue spreads over 1.5 acres of land along the Chicago riverfront and can accommodate around 3,300 people indoors and 5,000 at an outdoor performance space, which opened in the summer of 2022. The newly renovated indoor space was previously a storage facility for salt and features a distinctive A-Frame structure. Today, it boasts a performance stage and an entertainment lighting system of Elation Artiste Monet, Proteus Lucius, Proteus Rayzor 760, Fuze MAX, Fuze Par Z60 IP, Protron 3K Color, and DTW Blinder 700 IP luminaires.
Director of production Tim Schoen at The Salt Shed was responsible for procuring all the necessary production elements for the venue, including lighting, rigging, audio, staging, and other related equipment. He also oversaw the design of the stage, green room layouts, and docking area, among other aspects.
Steve Wojda and Mike Creager of Upstaging visited the site in 2021 when construction of the new facility was just underway. Schoen shared renderings of what the space would look like and asked Upstaging to come up with some lighting concepts. Various options for both the entertainment lighting and the a
UK - The ABTT has announced a programme of free skills workshops and seminars at the upcoming ABTT Theatre Show which takes place at Alexandra Palace next month.
Promoting learning, the ABTT will be encouraging conversation and collaboration through a diverse range of free inspiring seminars and discussions educating attendees on a variety of topics, including VR, automation, sound design, AI, comms, health and safety, lighting, staging in the wilderness and mental health.
Supporting training and skills development, the ABTT has arranged a selection of free hands-on workshops including Crucial knots used in backstage roles, The importance of correct manual handling, Finding faults in the workplace and Learning how to handle, hang and store drapes. These fun taster sessions give attendees a glimpse at the importance of ongoing training while refreshing their knowledge.
Opportunities at the Careers and Professional Development Hub provide a focused location for attendees to make sure they have all the latest tips, tricks and practical advice to help them land that all important next role. Attendees can have their CV reviewed by a professional or schedule to speak with an industry expert one to one and have their questions answered about pathways into and through the industry.
For those looking for advice and direction on the next steps in their learning and career development, the show floor also has a dedicated space key educational establishments called Education Alley, providing a go to area to speak with a wide ra
UK - IPS were delighted to exhibit again at the 2023 PLASA Focus show, returning to Leeds has become a firm date in the company calendar. “The team on the stand met lots of familiar faces during the busy two-day event and had lots of productive conversations about upcoming projects and the latest hire items in the IPS inventory,” says IPS’ Tom Warden. “There was also interest in the IPS offering from new potential customers, as well as students and others interested in starting out within the technical events industry.”
The IPS stand was consistently busy as people visited to have a look at the fixtures on display, which included the new Martin MAC Aura XIP LED Wash fixture (which was recently one of the stars of the show at the Windsor Coronation Concert) and the new GLP Impression X5 IP Bar, which will arrive in hire stocks very shortly. The X5 IP bar boasts a brighter output with the impressive colour range from the new RGBL X5 LED engines, plus a wider zoom range and faster movement, all now in an IP rated package.
Also on display and continuing the IP rated lighting theme were Chauvet onAir IP Panel 2 fixtures providing diffused stand lighting, with Chauvet Ovation Reve E3-IP profile fixtures on highlighting duty. The stand itself was a Black Prolyte H30V Truss based structure, and everything was built from standard hire stock items.
One of the most popular features of the IPS stand was the pick’n’mix stand which helped keep spirits high during the show for event attendees and fellow exhibitors alike, with the intention being to
UK - Eurovision star Sam Ryder recently paid a visit to London’s RD Studios as brand partner to Vodafone.
This marks Ryder’s first venture into brand association since his public breakthrough in 2020. Rising to prominence after posting music covers on TikTok during lockdown, he went on to represent the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, finishing first in the jury vote and second overall, and was recently voted the UK’s favourite Eurovision entry of all time.
Captured in the colossal Studio 3, the shoot involved creating an entire concert (complete with Ryder’s band and dedicated fans) to promote Vodafone’s EVO plan, which offers more flexibility across new and refurbished phones.
As a project that promotes a sustainable alternative to buying new, the importance of utilising a sustainable production facility was paramount. Located in the heart of Park Royal, RD Studios was able to provide a state-of-the-art production facility in a central location, thereby minimising travel requirements and associated CO2 emissions.
The team were also able to take advantage of the automated dynamic truss to further reduce the carbon footprint of the production by eliminating the need to transport mechanical rigging and associated crew, as well as slicing rigging time.
Merman Branded producer Sam Linzell says: “We had a brilliant shoot at RD Studios, communication was really clear, and everything we needed was sorted with a smile. I can’t say how many times I had people comment on how nice the studio was, everyone w
Norway - Oslo-based CT Norway enjoyed a successful LLB exhibition in March, its busy booth including a showcase of systems from event and broadcast comms specialist, Green-GO.
LLB (Lyd Lys Bilde or Light Sound Picture), held every two years in Oslo, is a major social event for Norway’s industry, attracting professionals from all over the country. This year, however, following COVID, it returned for the first time since 2019, bringing an added anticipation for all concerned.
Part of the global Creative Technology Group, CT Norway provides audio, lighting, visual and staging technologies and expertise for all kinds of live, virtual and installed environments. It is also the exclusive Norwegian distributor for a number of leading brands, including Green-GO’s range of innovative, Ethernet network-based, digital intercom systems.
As well as making Green-GO technology a centrepiece of their LLB booth, CT Norway also gave a special ‘thank you’ to customers and partners with an after-show party featuring Green-GO systems as a central talking point. Senior account executive Jørgen Tharaldsen says: “The new Green-GO software - now on version five - is always a really popular thing to demonstrate to customers. The dashboard gives a complete system overview, and the drag-and-drop functionality is very useful.”
He adds: “Green-GO is an affordable solution too because it’s so flexible and scalable. You can start to communicate with just two products, and add more users or functionality as the budget allows. System setup is fast and simple,
USA - Las Vegas and Los Angeles based full production and rental specialist, 3G Productions LLC (3G), has invested in a substantial amount of Kinesys automation kit, adding to its already robust inventory.
The purchase comprises 500kg and 1000kg Kinesys Elevation Liftket motors with Elevation drives, Vector control console, multiple PD-ES Array Power Distros, and all necessary Libra Cell digital load cells, Libra Pro controllers, and networking switches.
3G has invested heavily in all departments since the pandemic, including rigging and automation, explained CEO Keith Conrad, who believes that automation will become an increasingly important element of future visual and stage designs.
The company works across multiple sectors including large-scale events, concert tours, festivals, and corporates, together with “significant” work up and down the world-famous Las Vegas strip.
The initial purchase of Kinesys motors proved hugely popular with a wide cross section of clients, so the decision was taken to expand and develop the automation department with future growth in mind.
Before the latest Kinesys kit had even arrived at the warehouse, it was already booked and specified to fulfil the design requirements of several upcoming shows and events!
For Keith and the team, “innovation, flexibility, reliability and the potential for the kit being used by clients/artists to differentiate their shows” are all key reasons for choosing Kinesys.
They use it frequently on ‘turntable’ festival stages for lifting a mid-stage v
UK - Gary Beestone Associates made Unusual Rigging their contractor of choice to supply the rigging and automation for Eurovision 2023 in Liverpool. The event, held at Liverpool’s M&S arena, was hosted on behalf of last year’s winner’s Ukraine and featured one of the entertainment world’s most complex stages.
As well as the rigging requirements of the show itself, Unusual was also contracted to supply the aerial rescue cover. With the set design finalised and ready from the get-go, the team had approximately 10 weeks of pre-production time for this huge-scale event. “Knowing exactly what we were working towards from day one was a huge benefit given the sheer quantity of work involved,” says Paul Rhodes, senior production rigger at Unusual.
He continues: “This year’s Eurovision set had a lot of automation. The set design required nearly 600 motors, including 72 automation hoists, giving a total static load just shy of 140 tonnes! We stock a large quantity of chain hoists in our warehouse and were able to supply all of the standard motors from our in-house stock. We also have lots of Kinesys equipment, however it was decided that on this project we would use a MoveCat system.”
At the beginning of the project, Unusual recommended installing an outdoor self-climbing roof system (installed by ESG) to take some of the load out of the venue roof. “This is such a heavy show,” explained Paul, “that we had to look at ways to take some of the stress off the arena’s main roof. There were four large clad lighting arcs, each weigh
UK - With record attendance, PLASA Focus Leeds 2023 proved itself yet again as the go-to trade event for the entertainment technology industry in the north of the UK as it returned to Royal Armouries from 9-10 May.
This year’s show saw a strong 20% increase in attendance from 2022 and a 5% increase from 2019, confirming the rising importance of in-person connections. Furthermore, this year saw 18% more students attending – a promising sign for the long-term prospects of the live sector.
Always popular for its inclusive layout and friendly atmosphere, PLASA Focus Leeds welcomed a diverse array of visitors, with organisers reporting that one in five were business directors or owners. The most common professions represented by visitors were engineers, technicians and programmers. Moreover, a third of visitors were final decision makers.
Tony Torlini, general manager for Optikinetics, comments: “PLASA Focus Leeds was a great success. Attendees from diverse backgrounds and experience levels - including seasoned professionals and those contemplating a career in entertainment tech - contributed to the event's buzz. We are proud to have been a part of this vibrant and dynamic industry event.”
Matt Wiseman, sales and brand manager for MDG FOG UK, adds: “We've always found PLASA Focus Leeds to be very welcoming and productive. There's not a show gone by that has not yielded opportunity; PLASA Leeds show has played its part to our increasing success.”
Big brands and new products
The event’s two halls were brimming with
Denmark - Motor Stage Automation (MSA) is a new company based in Denmark, working internationally, specialising in the designing art of stage and show automation and movement elements and systems. The company is headed by Christian Vigsø, who used the downtime during the pandemic to launch this venture.
“More and more shows are using automation to make themselves stand out visually, and I saw a need for a company to facilitate straightforward, practical and cost-efficient solutions across all production sectors,” stated Christian.
One of Motor Stage Automation’s first investments was in Litec DST (Dynamic Stack Truss) products, some to help facilitate the fabrication of MSA’s own Touring Dolly systems.
The purchase included large quantities of Litec DST52 Truss Rail System - 3000 / 118 inch sections, and the new Litec STK52 MTD2KN, a 52cm DST heavy duty trolley system that can handle loads of up to 1000kg moving at 21-metres-a-minute.
“One of our strategies is to invest in the newest and best equipment we can find,” explained Christian, “and while the DST52 is for sure not the newest, it is still the best. It’s also a well-respected industry standard kit and therefore an extremely cross-rentable and generally super-reliable product.”
The DST heavy duty trolley was needed for MSA’s own new heavier duty Touring Dolly systems offering the larger weight loading.
MSA’s initial Touring Dolly system was developed in response to market demand to make flying and automation systems more accessible, tourable, practic
UK/USA - Backstage Academy has rebranded as the Academy of Live Technology (ALT) and opened a second campus at Rock Lititz in the US to complement the work of the original UK site which is located in Production Park, Wakefield.
A statement from ALT reads: “Since Backstage Academy was founded in 2011, the live experience industry has changed at a rapid pace; new creative and immersive technologies are reinventing how we produce live events and experiences. We recognise that as the industry evolves, so should we.
“From May 2023, Backstage Academy is changing its name to the Academy of Live Technology. The decision to update our name and brand is part of a considered process of evolution to better align ourselves with the changing industry.
“Our new name reflects who we are for both today and tomorrow. What we teach goes beyond ‘backstage’ – we’re at the heart of creating live experiences and entertainment. From virtual production to live event design and everything in between, our specialist courses are designed to meet the demands of industry.
“We have chosen our new name to reflect the world we’re preparing students for. Technology drives our industry forward and is integral to all kinds of job roles – whether it’s using the latest equipment and software to design and deliver experiences, or managing and leading that team. The Academy of Live Technology represents us as a place where students not only find their feet in the industry but feel empowered to have an impact – a place where creative, technical and profess
UK - When Projects Department were contracted to kit out a studio at The Bartlett School of Architecture, at UCL in Here East in Stratford, East London, they turned to Doughty Engineering to provide its Studio Rail. The room, which will be used by students for motion capture, required a solution for mounting cameras as well as curtains for both privacy and to aid with acoustic absorption.
Peter Daffarn, director Projects Department said: “In 2020 we supplied and installed a similar system at another UCL site. For projects like these our preferred supplier is Doughty as we know we can get any bespoke items made and the sales team are invaluable in listening to what we need and then suggesting alternatives that might work better. For a job like this, the products have to be high quality and operate to a high standard."
To complete the job, Projects Department specified some made-to-order IWBs as well as the Studio Rail. Studio Rail is a light and extremely strong track system with several unique features. A pair of four-wheel double swivel carriages allows an adjustable moving rail to be mounted to a pair of fixed parallel rails. The six-wheel carriage with a 28 mm receiver has a SWL of a massive 100 kg. Fitted with a friction brake it stays where it’s put. It can be used for luminaires, monitors, pantographs, and drapes.
Peter concluded: “Doughty is our go to supplier for grip and suspension because we know they will always give the customer the best end result. The product range is diverse and there is always a solution to any challenges we fa
South Africa - With a demand for international rigging training in South Africa, DWR Distribution welcomed Ruud de Deugd, a rigging specialist, to Johannesburg. The course, attended by 22 delegates, was held in February this year and included five intensive days of theory and calculations, with the sixth day reserved for a practical examination.
This was the third annual Rigging Training presented in South Africa by Ruud, the owner of T&E Support, which was interrupted for a couple of years by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many countries are not regulated when specifically focussing on large structures. “In certain venues in the UK, riggers are only permitted to work if they have completed the NRC (National Rigging Certificate)," Ruud explains. "It's a good course but does not regulate the rest of Europe [yet]. For many places, there are no requirements." He is happy to report that requests for rigging training are on the increase from across the globe including Mexico, Indonesia and Dubai.
Over the years, stages have changed to become technologically driven, large LED screens are part and parcel of many shows and rigs are a lot heavier. Ruud often asks his delegates to imagine a green button on a motor controller being pressed and suddenly seeing 20 tons moving at the touch of a button. "If the wrong button is pressed on a lighting console, most of the time, it would not lead to a fatality or injury, but if there is a failure or mistake in rigging, it's a disaster,” he says. “Failures often come from being unaware.”
Ruud is the first to
Germany - At Prolight+Sound 2023, TAIT will invite attendees to explore the world of opportunities for live experience automation technologies, as TAIT showcases products for automation.
The 2500kg capacity variable-speed chain hoist offers 200mm/s movement, and the capability of slowing all the way down to 0mm/s, which means that it can perform smooth motion at any intermediate speed. The hoist is accompanied by a new 7.5kW variant of the Kinesys Pulse Drive, incorporating the TAIT Navigator Infinity Panel.
TAIT has a long history of creating bespoke products for prestigious live events and entertainment installations around the world and has many decades’ experience integrating products into projects.
Also on display will be the epiQ console, with live demonstration of the seamless integration with Kinesys variable-speed chain hoists. Visitors to the stand are invited to meet the TAIT training team, who have announced a suite of new in-person and online courses, available globally.
Dave Weatherhead, president of technology, TAIT comments: “Kinesys is well known for versatile, dependable touring equipment for automation. Our increasing range of products bring the best of TAIT's and Kinesys' control and integration technology, engineering and manufacturing together, to meet the market needs for high quality machinery and controls.”
Megan Reiplinger, global head of customer training, TAIT, said: “We know that it is important for automation professionals to have convenient access to specific training to meet their needs on each st
UK - TAIT is celebrating the opening of a new factory in Suffolk. Having been part of the Haverhill landscape since 1978 in the form of Delstar Engineering, supplying stage sets and machinery to many West End shows and venues, numerous Cruise Ship theatres, and worldwide theme parks, the firm has now expanded its facilities with a move from Haverhill’s Homefield Road to a new 100,000 ft2 manufacturing facility at The Ridge development on Iceni Way.
The new facility enables TAIT’s expanding team of design engineers, fabricators and industry specialists to assemble equipment for multiple projects simultaneously within the massive factory, which is equipped with four 15-ton cranes and has space for articulated lorries to load and unload within the building. TAIT employs over 100 colleagues in Haverhill, almost 500 across the UK and over 1500 globally. The company exports from Haverhill to projects in the Asia Pacific region, across Europe and to every type of entertainment venue worldwide.
Locals will have spotted that the iconic ‘Delstar tower’ now has a new home and logo in Iceni Way. The 21.5m tall tower is used for safety testing stage machinery, such as the winches that fly scenery or acrobats.
The new facility has been developed with sustainability in mind, with LED lighting, rainwater harvesting, solar panels and facilities for staff EV charging built into the scheme.
Mark Dakin, managing director of TAIT Neasden and Haverhill, comments on the new facility. “Haverhill and the broader region’s rich history of manufacturing and e
Greece - Immex will be the new distributor in Greece for Fenix Stage, the company coming from the rebranding of Megaevent. Immex, which already distributes DAS Audio, Ayrton and Avid, will be responsible for the distribution of all Fenix product categories - lifting towers, PA towers, platforms, ground support towers, trusses and roofing.
"We trust Immex as the renewal that the sector needs to lead the sector in Greece. It is an honour for us to work with companies of such size and professionalism and we certainly believe that it will become a key partner of Fenix Stage's worldwide trading network,” says Alex Bryan, export manager.
After the incorporation of this new distributor, Fenix Stage continues to increase its number of official distributors around the world and will soon focus its efforts on growing in the Latin American market, looking for a new official distributor to service and continue taking the lifting towers, trusses and platforms around the world.
“We hope to have good news soon about our export strategy and more specifically the distributors section; it seems that we are on the right track thanks to the great work of recent years in increasing the quality of product and service. To be able to count on such excellent distributors, assures [we can] keep growing, and be able to focus on the product at the same time," says Bryan.
UK - Stage One has launched two new products - The Venturi Console and Playback Wing. Designed and manufactured in-house, the wing body is printed by sister company FluxAxis and finished by Stage One’s scenic department. The Qmotion automation system has been continuously evolving and developing for over 20 years. As part of this ongoing development, the new products will support the system’s scalability and capability.
These new additions will join an extensive catalogue of in-house automation equipment, further cementing Qmotion’s position as a leader in the automation industry. The Venturi Console is a portable operator console for controlling up to 10 axes of automation using Stage One’s MotionBase software. The console connects to the complete range of Qmotion hardware using the company’s standard Global cable, which incorporates both safety and network connectivity within one interface.
As a result, the product will reduce load-in times and complexity for multiple axis jobs whilst offering a robust and tourable platform for smaller shows. The new playback wing is the update of a product that has travelled the globe operating countless shows, including the London Olympics and the Sochi Winter Olympics. Operating with Stage One’s NextQ software this wing allows for slick control of cues and motion. The new design adds tweaks and updates to improve accuracy and efficiency by using ergonomic playback control and configurable shortcut buttons.
In addition, Stage One has recently launched a School of Technology, a training platform deve
UAE - The Dubai World Cup marks the end of the Dubai racing season. To mark this occasion, each year the Dubai Racing Club stage a lavish closing ceremony. This year, Artists in Motion (AIM), were contracted to deliver a show that was to be bigger than any ceremony to date. The show included video, lighting, sound, 1900 UAV drones, aerobatic planes & pyrotechnics. Unusual Rigging & Engineering (URE) was on hand to provide structure and rigging to support the main screen and lighting fixtures.
Liz Goodyer executive producer, AIM said: “Our brief was to support a large LED screen with minimal visually intrusive rigging but maximum safety. AIM and our team have not worked directly with URE before, however we have worked alongside them on many international events and their reputation precedes them, so we were thrilled to be able to work together on this project.”
Liz continued: “With the audience onsite during the day, it was important to our client to not have the visual of intrusive structures around the racecourse. It was vital to maintain a clear line of sight for the race caller from the main stand to the far side of the track. This meant the screen had to be held in a low position during the day, and only reveal its full height just prior to the ceremony commencing. The UREteam was instrumental in making this happen.”
Work began on-site on 6 March, following the conclusion of the last race meeting, to install test and rehearse all systems.
Nick Newey, technical director at AIM commented: “URE set out a schedule of work t
UK - Unexpected Twist is the re-telling of the Charles Dickens classic, Oliver Twist, by one of the best-loved figures in the children’s book world, Michael Rosen. The book combines two stories in one: Rosen’s story and the Dickens classic that inspired it.
In a co-production between The Children’s Theatre Partnership and the Royal & Derngate, Northampton, it has recently been adapted for the stage by award-winning playwright Roy Williams and is currently touring the UK. The lighting designer for the show is Rory Beaton, who approached White Light (WL) to supply his lighting fixtures.
Unexpected Twist tells the story of Shona, who, along with her class, is studying the book, Oliver Twist. She’s the new girl in school and finding it hard to stay out of trouble – much like Oliver himself. When she’s given a new phone by a stranger, she begins to suspect there’s something unusual about the new boys she’s met.
Describing his role on the show, Rory comments: “My biggest responsibility is being able to create so many of the different locations which feature in the play. We go everywhere from a city underpass to a rock concert to a classroom to a bright sunny vista by the sea in Brighton – so that’s quite a variety for an open set.
He continues: “We also needed to establish a clear differentiation between the modern-day classroom and our Dickensian world; sometimes in a mere split second. Similarly, James Dacre, the Director, is a very visual director so it was great fun to sit pre-rehear
Denmark - Motor Stage Automation (MSA) provided automation equipment – Kinesys Elevation 1+ drives, Apex hoists and control plus three Alfa System revolves – and expertise for three set elements on the recent run of The Bodyguard The Musical produced by Lion Entertainment and staged at the China Teatern in Stockholm.
This is the first time that the popular stage version of the modern film classic showcasing Whitney Houston’s music has played in Sweden.
MSA, a new company specialising in the design and realisation of stage and show automation systems, has worked in this capacity on several other Lion Entertainment Productions, including for the Danish touring version of this show, which was on the road in 2020 and again in 2021 after some Covid interruptions.
A dynamic and eye-catching contemporary set designed by Benjamin La Cour featured three elegant LED screens that were at the centre of all the action and combined seamlessly with various scenic pieces to make up the bigger picture.
Benjamin and Lion Entertainment’s owner and creative director Thomas Langkjær made the decisions about which parts should be automated to fit the storyline and rhythm of the piece and asked MSA’s Christian Vigsø onboard. As lead automation engineer, he specified the kit required to best achieve the results they wanted and he co-ordinated their installation at the 1,230-capacity venue.
The first set pieces that needed to move were three LED screens. The central one was 5.5m by 5m and weighed approximately four tons including its support
UAE - Unusual Rigging & Engineering was the rigger of choice for IDEX – the largest defence exhibition in the Middle East – when it took place at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi last month. The show attracted over 130,000 visitors from 65 countries, with more than 1350 exhibitors across 165,000sq.m of space.
For such a prestigious and sizeable event, David McKean, head of mains and rigging services at ADNEC, brought Unusual Rigging on board to assist the venue rigging team in the installation and management of rigged items throughout all 15 halls for the event.
David commented: “The Unusual team works with us numerous times each year and are well versed in our expectations. This year there were over 100 stands, and Unusual received rigging plans from the rigging manager for each individual stand. From this they were required to mark out and provide both primary and secondary rigging.”
The quantity of kit required for IDEX was vast, with the crew installing several kilometres of truss, over 1200 rigging points and 500 motorised hoists. The build-up period was 21 days, with all works finished by lunchtime on the last day of build. As with all projects of this scale, challenges arose – mainly last-minute orders.
“I have to mention that the entire office team went above and beyond in providing equipment for us to install on exhibition stands at the shortest of notice,”, commented David. “And that’s what puts Unusual in a class above its competitors. Their flexibility and knowledge is second to none and you know that you get 100% support
Germany - The MLT Pre Rig Truss Series from HOF has a new member to complete the series: the MLT Three.
The MLT series now consists of the MLT Three, MLT Two, MLT One, MLT Zero and the MLT Frame. The MLT Three has no closed head frame and is open at the bottom. This makes it easier to mount moving lights or video modules in the truss.
In addition, the dolly of the MLT Three Pre Rig Truss has extended telescopic legs that allow the user to mount complete video modules, including the hanging frame, in the truss and leave them in the truss during transportation.
A rail system is optionally available for the MLT Three, which makes mounting the units in the pre rig truss even easier: the rail system is a double rail system.
This means that the units can be suspended on two different levels and no lowering bar is required. The rail system also allows the user to mount lighting equipment at the transitions between two trusses and to create seamless transitions between the video modules in the trusses.
When loaded vertically, the load-bearing capacity of the MLT Three Pre Rig Truss is the same as that of the MLT Two Pre Rig Truss. When using both systems in a track, the static calculation of the MLT Three must be applied.
USA – The Dirty Rigger brand of workwear played a popular role in the latest Tomcat University five-day entertainment rigging training course, hosted recently at the company’s custom-designed training facility in Thousand Oaks, California.
Hosted by leading entertainment rigging specialist Tomcat USA, a part of Area Four Industries, the annual event provides ETCP (Entertainment Technician Certification Programme) renewal credits for those working in production rigging. This year’s event attracted a diverse mix of 45 attendees from across the USA and Canada, from students to seasoned touring riggers, business owners, stadium production managers and everything in between.
The course includes truss training, taught by Tomcat’s Adrian Forbes-Black and Keith Bohn, a one-day engineering focus led by Jeff Reder of Ohio-based Clark-Reder Engineering, and three days of rigging skills taught by industry legend, Bill Sapsis. Additionally, the Tomcat USA training facility includes its own indoor ground support system for attendees to practice on.
Each day, the Tomcat U attendees were presented with a swag gift on arrival at the facility: these included anything from t-shirts and hoodies made for the event, to custom hats and water bottles. The highlight, however, was Thursday’s ‘Dirty Rigger day’, when they were gifted with Dirty Rigger gloves, bag and a keychain, from the UK’s Le Mark Group. As Thursday was the day spent working on Tomcat’s ground support system, the gloves were immediately put to good use.
Commenting on the support f
Europe - Sixty82 B.V has announced that it has appointed Omikron Electronics as its exclusive distributor for Greece and Cyprus.
Omikron Electronics is a well-established company with years of experience, great product portfolio and a strong customer network in the Greek market. They have already built a substantial stock of Sixty82 products in Greece to meet the quick demand of their customers. They will also organise open days together with Sixty82 to welcome customers and introduce them to their products and solutions.
"We are very excited to partner with Omikron Electronics and expand our presence in Greece and Cyprus," said Rainier Smeding, sales director of Sixty82. "Omikron Electronics shares our vision of providing high-quality products and services to our customers. They have the expertise and resources to successfully promote our brand and grow our business in this important region."
Giannis Tziakos, general manager of Omikron Electronics, said: "We are honoured to be chosen as the exclusive distributor of Sixty82 in Greece and Cyprus. We have been impressed by their products' design, performance and reliability. We are confident that they will meet the needs and expectations of our customers who are looking for innovative trussing and staging solutions. We are looking forward to working closely with Sixty82 and building a long-term relationship."
Henry Schuil will be the executive account manager of the Greek territory and will work together with Omikron Electronics to provide support and guidance to their customers.