UK - As the Strictly Come Dancing Live! 2020 tour draws to a close, crew and artist catering specialist Eat to the Beat has received positive media feedback from the celebrities, professional dancers, judges and crew.
With 33 dates in major venues throughout the UK and Ireland from 16 January to 9 February there was plenty of scope for Eat to the Beat’s culinary team to get creative and cook up a feast. Whilst menus always featured tasty healthy options, including plant-based meals, to fuel the dancers ahead of each performance, there’s no doubt that the amazing array of tempting desserts on offer were also a definite hit.
Mary Shelley-Smith, global operations director for Eat to the Beat comments: “The Strictly Come Dancing Live! tour is always a highlight in Eat to the Beat’s calendar, the whole team really enjoy working with the celebrities, professional dancers, judges and crew. We always receive a warm welcome and knowing that they’re all huge fans of our food is really pleasing. Seeing all the social media posts and the wonderful comments in Heat magazine over the last few weeks is fantastic feedback for the team on a job well done.”
Europe - EXE Technology has announced the release of its 2020 catalogue that features all of the latest standard EXE RISE D8+ hoists, EXE DRIVE Controllers and EXE DST (Dynamic Stack Tracks) ranges, as well as some new additions.
As live load monitoring is now a key requirement in rigging environments, the EXE Cell range has now been expanded to include both integrated load-cell chain hoist solutions AND separate shackle-based wireless technology components for easy deployment and monitoring. The catalogue is available through email@example.com.
UK - Stage Electrics has been appointed a UK distributor for Prolyte Trussing and Staging which is now part of Area Four Industries.
Fons van Teijn, Prolytes CEO, signed the deal with Stage Electrics operations director Adam Blaxill at the company’s Bristol-based offices.
“Stage Electrics have been a good ambassador for Prolyte for the past 15 years, we plan to build on that heritage and develop a strong working relationship,” comments Fons.
Blaxill adds: “We were a natural partner for this new incarnation of Prolyte in the UK. We are able to hold large stocks of trussing and staging and distribute the Prolyte product range across the UK on a next day service. Our sales team are already familiar with the product range and we now increased our Prolyte product managers to three with the appointment of Rob Foster as Prolyte technical sales consultant.”
UK - Unusual Rigging has achieved a series of compliance standards that will provide its customers with the guarantee that its products and services consistently meet their requirements.
The Northampton-based company achieved both ISO 9001 which sets out the criteria for a quality management system, and ISO 14001 which focuses on environmental systems. Unusual is currently working towards securing ISO 45001 for good health and safety practice.
At the forefront of steering Unusual towards achieving these new standards are operations manager Lizzie Richmond and technical manager Tom Nightingale.
Richmond comments: ““We are extremely proud to have secured these ISO standards, which, though not compulsory, demonstrate to our customers that we are leading the way with our policies and processes. When we tender for work we are increasingly being asked to demonstrate how we meet the various requirements surrounding quality, environmental impact, health and safety etc and we have always been able to provide the evidence required. Achieving the ISO standards however makes this all more official.”
Nightingale adds: “ISO 9001 sets out to address various aspects of quality management and contains some of ISO’s best-known standards. These provide guidance and tools for companies who want to ensure that their products and services consistently meet customers’ requirements and that quality is consistently improved. In short, it formalises and documents all of the excellent processes that we at Unusual already have in place. It gives us a great to
UK - Southampton-based lighting rental specialist Liteup supplied lighting, video server and control plus rigging equipment for all technical departments for the recent UK and European leg of Björk’s Cornucopia tour, for which the dramatic lighting was a co-design by Bruno Poet and Richard White.
Bruno is well known as a theatre and opera LD and for his creative lighting for bands like avant-rockers Sigur Ros, also from Iceland. Richard White has worked for Björk as a programmer and lighting director on the road for the last six years, and together the two enjoyed a fantastic synergy that has produced some stunning lighting.
The focus of the Cornucopia show - initially produced as a series of one-off shows at new arts venue The Shed in New York, mid-2019 - was nature and the environment, touching on some of its frontline issues.
The visual starting point for Bruno and Richard’s lighting design was the video content created by artist and designer Tobias Gremmler - with whom Björk has worked previously - together with Chiara Stephenson’s striking and intricate set designs.
Bruno and Richard both also really enjoyed working with show director, award-winning Argentinian filmmaker Lucretia Martel whose influence brought a cinematic perspective and its own distinctive spirit and rhythm to the show.
Liteup’s account manager was Marc Callaghan, supported by project manager Dan Bunn.
Callaghan states: “We were extremely proud to be part of a ground-breaking production like this. The show looked fantastic and abso
UK - Bristol-based specialist hire and events business SLX has completed the move to a new warehouse as a result of planned growth and continued investment.
The business, which has heritage dating back more than 40 years and serves the live events, hire and broadcast markets throughout the UK and Europe, remains in a Bristol location, moving from its warehouse on Third Way, Avonmouth, to another nearby Avonmouth location.
SLX CEO Alastair Currie comments: “After only four years since our previous warehouse upgrade, we are moving again to allow for further expansion. We’re doing so as we believe this is essential for the ambitions we have for the business. It will see improved preparation spaces, improved flow of equipment into and out of the warehouse, and markedly better facilities for both our team and those who come to prep shows and events at the warehouse.
“Additionally, the potential for some exciting additions to our offering is made possible by this move, such as a state-of-the-art visualisation suite and a theatre space for clients to use, as well as for manufacturers to deliver training and outreach activities in. As we look to our future in this building, we are also looking to make it as eco-friendly as possible. Watch this space.”
The new warehouse, which will also house the head offices, comprises over 54,000sq.ft of warehouse and office space, and will be at 115 Burcott Road, Avonmouth, Bristol.
Germany - The Area Four Industries Direct Germany office organised an EXE Technology training session.
Held in Emsdetten and led by sales and marketing manager, Carsten Pfeiffer (Area Four Industries Direct Germany), and EXE Technology automation manager, Gianluca Ferrari, the training provided the attendees with a complete overview of EXE Technology’s range of chain hoists, load cells, controllers, and DSTs (Dynamic Stack Tracks). The session then moved on to specific facts and detailed information about models within the EXE Rise and Vario chain hoist ranges, which included classifications, key features and components.
To gain a better understanding of how EXE hoists work, attendees witnessed a complete strip down of the chain hoist and learned about its operation from the inside out. After the mechanical heart of the hoist was put back together, a complete overview of the inspection process (DoV, CE, etc) was covered to help ensure the safety and long-term reliability of the hoists. An explanation of service log contents was also provided.
During the second day of training, attendees were given the opportunity to practise the inspection procedure and ask additional questions.
Attending companies included TDA Rental GmbH, Rigging Service GmbH, Satis&fy AG, Groh-P.A. Veranstaltungstechnik e. K., LITECOM GmbH, Stagebox Rigging Service and Lockschuppen Event GmbH.
UK - Marking the finale to the flat racing season, QIPCO British Champions Day is renowned within the horse racing community. Bringing together leading jockeys, horses, trainers and owners from Europe and beyond to compete in six top class races, this event has become a key fixture in the UK sporting calendar.
The 2019 Champions Day concluded with a lively musical celebration for over 500 guests housed in a giant Igloo domed roof structure, provided by Fews Marquees, built directly adjacent to the Ascot Racecourse Main Grandstand.
Returning to Ascot for the second year running on behalf of clients Generate Events, LFPS once again provided full technical support to the exclusive QIPCO closing party. In creating the suitably glittering venue the team handled all aspects of the lighting, audio, video, staging and rigging requirement, along with the design and fabrication of numerous scenic elements built specifically for the show.
As part of the celebrations, the closing party featured an energetic DJ set courtesy of electronic music duo Basement Jaxx. The headliners were accompanied by a vibrant, club style installation complete with bespoke DJ Booth designed around a backlit graphic of the dance legends’ logo. Adding a further dynamic level to the performance, LFPS developed a mixture of custom video, animation and branded motion graphics to accompany the set.
Andrew Maxted, project manager at LFPS remarks: “The brief for this year’s closing party was to deliver a truly exciting audience experience to accompany Basement Jaxx. We once aga
USA - The 2020 New World Rigging Symposium will take place 31 March - 1 April in Houston, Texas, in conjunction with the USITT Conference and Stage Expo.
The event provides an opportunity to learn from those at the top of their field, to network with their peers, and discuss current issues and new technologies. A complete schedule, session descriptions and a link to register are available at www.esta.org/nwrs.
Jeanette Farmer kicks off the symposium with the keynote address. Her career spans more than three decades of professional theatre technical support, show production, concert/theatre lighting design, theatre design consulting and themed entertainment project management. She will be followed by a session on video wall rigging, featuring three speakers with extensive experience in this area: Joe Clayton of Stage Rigging, Tony Galuppi of PRG, and Stefan Pries of Creative Technology.
Three experts on performer flying will focus on emergency response and rescue plans: Fred Caron from Cirque du Soleil, Stu Cox of Sapsis Rigging, and Jim Shumway from TAIT.
Joe Champelli of Entertainment Projects, Pete Svitavksy of Wenger/JR Clancy and Nils Becker of ETC will discuss the differences between automation and motorisation.
There will be an opportunity opportunity to put questions to four of the industry’s most respected engineers: Tim Franklin of Theta Consulting, Bill Gorlin of McLaren Engineering, Miriam Paschetto of Geiger Engineers, and Jeff Reder of Clark Reder Engineering.
Sponsors for the 2020 New World Rigging Symposium are: St
Switzerland - Prolyte has appointed DJP Diffusion as its official distributor in Switzerland. DJP Diffusion becomes a Prolyte distributor after joining forces with Prolyte's most experienced ambassador, Rose Oberer.
"Together we will keep Prolyte as the number one in Switzerland. In Prolyte you can trust” said Oberer.
Oberer has more than 25 years of partnership with Prolyte and the Swiss market. "No matter what happens, Prolyte is the standard in quality and safety. After more than 25 years of collaboration, I know what I am talking about," she adds.
"We are so proud and glad we can continue with the experiences and energy of Madame Oberer, who is known as the best in the Swiss Market," says Bruno Lerminiaux.
DJP Diffusion will primarily focus on the venue, theatre installations and the rental fleet business.
Europe - Next Truss has appointed AED Group as its European master distributor for the complete product range.
The AED Group will make the complete Next trussing and staging catalogue available at competitive pricing and with optimal stock levels. A professional discount structure aligned with AED Group’s rental department “will benefit every professional customer”. Besides the popular 30cm and 40cm truss ranges, Next will also offer ladder, rectangular (36/100) and 52cm square truss, ground supports, towers and stage decks.
Glenn Roggeman, CEO of AED Group, comments: “For nearly 30 years we’ve set the industry standards with a leading brand in a loyal relationship. Despite this, recent events have resulted in an uncertain situation, without guarantees for the future vision, organisational structure, distribution policy, production capacity and delivery terms.
These conditions made us decide to take a new direction, the Next chapter. We strongly believe in this new brand, its strong values and clear vision. With the addition of Next Truss to our product portfolio, we allow all our existing customers to acquire high-quality 100% compatible products. The recently launched Luxibel decks and truss products will be incorporated in NEXT. Our rental department will carry the full Next range, and will hold an impressive stock for dry-hire.”
Martin Kuyper, CEO of the Eurotruss Group, says: “Next Truss stands for well-produced goods, competitive pricing, experienced and trusted staff, swift delivery times and good industry relationships.
UK - After enjoying an informal relationship with Backstage Academy stretching back many years, Manchester-based STS Touring Productions has now put the relationship on a formal basis.
The Academy’s industry partnerships director, Miles Marsden, confirms that the rental company has been supplying a vast range of equipment, including Litedeck staging, PA, lighting and backline as required, virtually since the Academy set out its stall a decade ago. “But my relationship with [director] Pete Dutton goes back to the late ‘80s,” he adds. “They are an established supplier and we are delighted that they have now signed a partnership agreement.
“This provides them with the potential to give masterclasses, which we would welcome, leading to work experience and employment opportunities. In fact a lot of our industry partners are looking at career potential.”
Marsden says that STS have recently provided valuable assistance for some really challenging and high profile projects, notably Litedeck staging for the current Lightwaves 2019 student showcase at Salford’s Media City, as well as the backline for two major stages at the Academy’s Graduation Showcase, held at their Production Park facility outside Wakefield, back in May.
Pete Dutton says: “I understand that new blood must be trained in the industry and hopefully we will see the benefits in the future if the graduates make the grade and placement will then take them further into the industry."
Europe - The Eurotruss Group has launched NEXT Truss, a new company that will operate under the group’s umbrella.
NEXT Truss already offers a variety of truss systems and decks. In addition to the 30 and 40 multi-purpose truss systems, there are rectangular 36cm and 100cm heavy/ pre-rig trusses, plus a 52cm square truss. Also available are ground support towers and Stage Deck series with accessories.
Ralph Stockley, who leads the new operation, comments: “NEXT Truss allows entertainment industry professionals to have access to purchase truss the way, they want it. I am 100% sure immediate availability and a market-compliant price will ensure that the entertainment industry will benefit from our arrival. The professionalism, high quality standard and dynamic customer approach as known within the Eurotruss Group will be carried throughout NEXT and gives it the foundation to become a leading brand in the world.”
Wilfred Hovinga, sales director at NEXT Truss, comments: " I am glad to join NEXT Truss to reinstate my old network and offer them my 15 years of experience in the industry and my expertise in trussing and staging.”
“We are certain that NEXT Truss is the solution for a large part of the entertainment industry. Well-produced products, competitive pricing, an experienced and trusted staff, short delivery times, and good industry relationships are the most important characteristics of NEXT Truss. We are very pleased with this new addition to the Eurotruss Group," states the CEO of the Eurotruss Group Martin Kuyper.
USA - Kinesys has relocated its US sales office, warehouse and training facility from Lithia Springs to TAIT’s HQ in Lititz.
The move completes Kinesys’ transition to the TAIT group of companies. The new address is: Kinesys USA c/o TAIT, 401 West Lincoln Ave.,Lititz, PA, 17543.
David Bond, Kinesys COO and head of sales, comments: “We’re very excited for our base of operations to be moving and after joining the TAIT family it just makes sense for us to take advantage of their enormous headquarters. Lititz has long been the very centre of entertainment technology in the US, and we cannot wait to be a part of it.”
The transition has been completed without any impact on any outstanding orders in the USA, Kinesys has said. The company’s email and phone details will remain the same, as will the shipping and ordering process, whilst goods will now be sold as EX WORKS Lititz, PA.
Meanwhile, Tracey Anderson has been promoted to the position of Kinesys USA sales operation manager and has relocated to Lititz. All Kinesys USA clients can continue their relationships with her and David Bond as their main points of contact.
Europe - Area Four Industries Direct UK has issued a clarification statement in respect to the continuation of supply of Lightspace deck & truss products supplied via Impact Products (Europe) Ltd, who were placed into voluntary liquidation procedures at the end of last year.
“Contrary to recent reports, these products have not been discontinued,” says Area Four in a statement. “Milos, which is part of Area Four Industries, has exclusively manufactured Impact OEM brands Spacedeck and Lightspace for the past five years from their production facilities in the Czech Republic.
“Area Four Industries UK owns the rights to Spacedeck and Lightspace products and will continue to provide full sales and technical support from their design and distribution centre in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. All truss & staging stocks have now been transferred from Northampton to Wisbech. Main production and UK stock are actively increasing in preparation for the busiest events season ever.
“Over the past five years, Lightspace decks have become the leading choice for temporary platform and staging solutions. Area Four Industries Direct UK remain totally committed to these products and mutual clients. They wish to express their thanks for confidence in their brands and continued support for the future.”
Saudi Arabia - A Swedish House Mafia show staged by Live Nation Middle East at the Diriyah Festival in Riyadh featured a specially designed touring stage. It was created by SHM show designer Samuel Tozer, working under the Vision Factory brand, recreated in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by Gabriel (Gabe) Fraboni, founder and creative director of LA-based design studio PHNTM LABS.
Full technical production - audio, video, lighting, rigging, trussing - for the Diriyah Season Stage, the Festival’s headline stage and international music venue, was supplied by Dubai-headquartered mediaPro International.
This included a Kinesys automation system, used to move three 5m diameter signature circular trussing rings made from Alutek 40x40cm heavy duty product, each symbolizing the three artists - Steve Angello, Axwell, and Sebastian Ingrosso - making up the Swedish House Mafia.
The SHM gig concluded a whole month of high profile Diriyah Festival events including the opening round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship plus a host of weekend music events culminating in the Swedes showing the world once again how to take the concept of DJ performance into new dimensions of awesomeness.
mediaPro International’s Hugh Turner handled the pre-production and co-ordination of the technical and automation elements of the show with Gabe Fraboni and the team at PHNTM LABS, and liaised with SHM’s own Kinesys operator Giulio Ligorio and production Rigger Liam Beech and Matthew “Mattie” Evens, director of Nocturnal Touring and Rooted Productions and production /
Europe - Litec’s Litecad truss configuration software now supports French and German languages.
The software is now available in four languages – English, French, German and Italian.
Litecad is a design programme for technicians who need to quickly and easily put together structures with Litec products and present them to their clients or product managers.
The software instantly creates a list of all materials used in a structure, including component data, such as weights and volumes. It also allows for the uploading of DXF files, such as theatre drawings and technical layouts. No CAD skills are required to use the tool, which is designed to be very user-friendly.
UK - When Peter Daffarn, MD of Photon Beard was contracted to design, supply and install some studios at YouTube London, he brought Doughty Engineering on board to provide a range of kit.
“Dave Errock of Wave Science Technology first got in touch with Photon Beard - initially just for some consultancy and to prepare the tender documents,” explains Daffarn. “However, it wasn’t long before we were asked to manage the entire fit-out. For a company like YouTube, we needed a solution that not only performed well, but looked great too. And that’s why Doughty were my first port of call.”
YouTube wanted a functional yet aesthetically pleasing suspension system so Doughty supplied a range of curtain tracks, hoists and grids - some off-the-shelf and others made especially for the project. “Working with Dan and his team we came up with a solution that YouTube loved. There’s no doubt that Doughty helped us overcome a number of challenges to get both looks and functionality 100% spot on - something I doubt we would have achieved with any other company,” claims Daffarn.
Since collaborating on YouTube London, Photon Beard and Doughty have gone on to partner on other projects including YouTube Berlin, Google DeepMind and Financial Times TV. “What started as one great job has seen us make a great team on several other great TV/broadcast studio jobs - all with very happy customers. There are several more in the pipeline that we’re very excited about,” continued Peter.
“Doughty really is the best there is in my book,” says Daffarn.
UK - Women in Data, the UK’s largest female data professional event, pulls in over 1,000 attendees from around the world. Held within the surroundings of the InterContinental, London O2 on the banks of the River Thames, WiD features keynote presentations from a host of guest speakers.
Having worked with Light Fantastic Production Services on a succession of previous events, WiD once again called upon the team to provide a complete technical, equipment and logistics production solution, custom designed to cover all aspects of the prestigious conference.
Branding for 2019 Women in Data was characterised by red to signify confidence, ambition and drive. Following this theme, LFPS applied bold, crimson hues throughout the stage set and lighting design, emphasising the colour as a symbol of strength and vitality. Continuing the look, the team extended the lighting design into the auditorium to create a more intimate feel within the space.
With a limited time frame in which to build the event, LFPS worked throughout the night to transform the hotel’s Arora Ballroom, taking care of all lighting, audio, video, rigging and scenic elements ready for the 9am start.
At its focal point, the main stage featured a sharp, smart design conceived around a central ‘W’ concept and flanked with distinct WiD branding and sponsor graphics. Designed in-house and constructed by the LFPS fabrication department, the scenic elements added depth and form to the substantial stage area.
WiD co-founder Roisin McCarthy says: “Once again Light Fantastic deliver
France - For a major project in France, several hundred meters of Milos M290 Quatro truss took on a strong supporting role. It took on a total of seven supporting roles, for seven TV studios, in four buildings, on the Altice Media Group campus in the French district of Porte de Versailles, Paris. The Altice Media Group campus hosts a total of up to 6,000 students per day and supports the activities of the news organizations Libération, L'Express, and 01 Net.
In 2016, the Altice Media Group needed to expand the number of studios on its campus and held a national tender for the construction of seven new studios in four buildings. The company who won the tender for this massive TV project was Red Bee Media, a sister company of Ericsson. Red Bee is the system integrator of NextRadio TV, a sister company of Altice Media Group, and manages the activities of seven TV channels in France: BFMTV, BFM Business, BFM Paris, I24 News, RMC, RMC Découverte and RMC Sport.
Working together with Red Bee Media for this project was Eric Brancherie (TV lighting designer for NextRadio TV), who was responsible for selecting and sourcing all materials in the construction of the seven studios.
A total of € 2.5m was budgeted just for the lighting (light, trussing, wiring, installation). The cost for the studio, control board, video equipment, control room and audio components were in addition to this amount.
For a project of this size and importance, Eric needed to source his studio materials from a supplier he could trust and that had a proven track record. The c
Malaysia - Prolyte Asia Pacific (PAP) has joined forces with Doughty and Sixty82 to form Sixty82 Doughty Asia (SDA).
The move appears to be linked with the 2019 bankruptcy filling by Prolyte Group and the company's subsequent acquisition by Area Four Industries.
“For the past 15 years we have operated under the name PAP, however, due to recent events in the industry, PAP has decided to take a step forward and start a fresh chapter with new partners,” comments Menze van der Sluis, MD of PAP.
Known for its quality products, reliability, and education, along with a focus on safe working practice, customer satisfaction, and in-depth service, PAP has been a critical player in the Asian market for more than 15 years.
“Sixty82 was the best and only choice for catering to the high standards of the extensive PAP customer base,” continues Van der Sluis.
“To continue to support our customers in the way that we have been doing for so many years now, this was the only possible way forward."
SDA customers can expect to find the same team of experts, with a new name and “even better trussing, staging and rigging products and solutions”.
Sixty82 trusses are compatible with products previously supplied by PAP. In line with their existing policies, SDA guarantees full distribution coverage to all APAC countries.
“Our goal is to improve every aspect of our customers’ experience continuously. Expanding our sales n
Hungary - Sixty82 has appointed DP Music Kft. as its new representative in Hungary. The company will offer guidance on a wide range of possibilities, advising customers on the most suitable Sixty82 solution for their particular needs.
Based in Budaörs near Budapest, DP Music offers a wide range of trussing and staging equipment, as well as pro audio solutions. The company is also increasingly focusing on developing its web store and serving the needs of hobbyists, smaller bands, and theatres.
Date Jonkman, Sixty82’s executive account manager, comments: “We look forward to working with a company of DP Music’s reputation, and our partnership will help meet increased local demand for technical know-how from experienced people. They are uniquely positioned to develop our existing customer base further, and with their market presence and sales support network, we are excited to start this new partnership.”
László Pálfi, CEO of DP Music, adds: “Sixty82’s knowledge of the market will be invaluable support to us in providing the Hungarian customers on both academic and industrial levels with a service that is second to none. Sixty82 has a team of professionals that have contributed in a significant way to the development of the staging and trussing market in recent decades. Because of this, we are extremely motivated to move forward and start this next chapter.”
Europe - Swiss electric chain hoist manufacturer GIS AG has launched two new D8 products, of 500kg and 1,000kg capacity, for mobile use in the entertainment sector.
The LPML and higher capacity LPL chain hoists are both capable of lifting over 40 times their own weight. The LPML weighs a modest 12kg (20kg with 18m lifting height) and delivers a lifting capacity of half a ton. The LPL meanwhile lifts 1,000kg, and when fully equipped for an 18m lifting height weighs in at just 39kg (23kg net weight).
The hoists will be introduced as a supplement to the popular GIS D8+ motors, used for static suspension of loads over people. Hoists to the standard D8 specification may also be used for static suspension of loads, but it is essential to have a secondary suspension, such as a load arrestor, for example. The hoists are manufactured in accordance with EN14492 and DIN56950.
Erich Widmer, sales and marketing manager at GIS AG, says: “Both motors are highly robust yet still light, thanks to the aluminium housing and covers. The design of the chain hoists in accordance with protection class IP65 [as standard] protects them against dust and water. This makes them ideal for both mobile and outdoor use. They are extremely quiet running due to closed three-stage transmission with helical gearing and grease permanent lubrication.”
Other standout features, Widmer says, include casehardened profile steel chain with minimum five-fold static safety; modular configuration; quick assembly and disassembly thanks to polygonal couplings; and low maintenance. He adds
UK - Lighting and video specialist Colour Sound Experiment supplied lighting equipment, LED screen, rigging and crew to the most recent UK leg of Respect: The Aretha Franklin Songbook tour which has just finished.
The vibrant and animated two-hour live concert was created by Adrian Grant (producer of Thriller Live) and directed / choreographed by Tiffany King, celebrates the huge success and songs of Aretha Franklin - the Queen of Soul. It was delivered by three leading vocalists - Stacy Francis, Tanya Edwards and Cleo Stewart - together with a live band, a gospel choir and ‘preacher man’ AJ Lewis.
Colour Sound had supplied the tour earlier in the year, so production manager Aaron Booth again returned to Haydn Cruickshank and the team in West London.
For this one, they were also asked to supply a lighting and visuals director, so regular Colour Sound collaborator Sam ‘Kenny’ Kenyon stepped up and took over programming and running of the show’s lighting and video.
Utilising the same basic rig as before, they wanted to recreate the looks, scenes and atmosphere that had worked so well previously.
The venues were mainly theatres and concert halls, all with a wide variety of stage spaces, so it was essential that the rig was adaptable. Combining a bit of rock ‘n’ roll with some theatre methodology, using trusses for some shows and house fly bars for others, Kenny ensured that there was maximum production continuity each day.
The lighting rig was based on three trusses - front, mid and rear - plus a fourth tr