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
UK - The team behind the ground-breaking Blackout installation have released the results of the UK Backstage Entertainment Industry’s Evaluation on Mental Health Awareness.
This pioneering study was launched alongside the acclaimed 6-minute immersive experience at September’s PLASA Show, held at London Olympia. Funded by leading industry associations PLASA, the ALD, the ASD, the ABTT and the PSA, the academic analysis was conducted by Dr Paul Hanna, research director in clinical psychology at the University of Surrey. Hanna has worked closely with Blackout’s core creative team since they launched the installation in May 2019 at The Guildford School of Acting.
According to the survey, the prevalence of mental health issues among those working in the UK technical, backstage and entertainment industry is far higher than the national average. More than half (58.7%) of those surveyed admitted to suffering from a mental health problem, way above the UK national average prevalence rate of 25%. Women are more often affected, with 71.1% of females stating they currently have, or previously had, a mental health problem compared to 54.2% of males. Working in the industry is often a contributing factor, with 45.5% of those surveyed stating that they did not have a mental health issue before starting work in the industry.
Mig Burgess, who headed up the Blackout project, comments: “I am thrilled that as many as 1,300 of our colleagues have contributed to this important survey. We are so lucky to have Paul working w
Europe - After 40 years on the market, the General Purpose (GP) truss series from JTE is still one of the world’s most popular multi-purpose systems. Quality performance for medium-sized projects is delivered via its safe and stable plated connection system and classic bracing pattern.
This type of truss is also the industry standard for film productions, which use it to build huge “lanterns” or “reflective panels” for indoor/outdoor applications.
The General Purpose truss series consists of two sizes, the 30.5 x 30.5 cm (12” x 12”) GP30 and 52 x 52cm (20.5” x 20.5”) GP52, which are able to handle a wide variety of support structure needs and loading capacities.
The GP30 is a mid-sized, heavy-duty 30.5 x 30.5cm (12" x 12") general purpose truss designed for conferences, exhibitions, and small venues.
A bigger brother to the GP30, the GP52 measures 52 x 52 cm (20.5’’ x 20.5’’) and is suitable for most lighting applications, flying PAs and other general purpose uses. It’s an ideal choice for rental and staging companies.
Germany - Trussing, staging and rigging solutions manufacturer and distributor HOF has expanded its premises by 5,000sq.m, adding over 650 storing positions and increasing the size of its production site.
HOF has also improved the exterior landscaping by installing a heavy-duty pavement that can withstand the weight of cranes for up to 120 tonnes. Trial installations for stages and constructions of up to 36 x 22m can also take place on the new surface. There is also an apartment on the new premises, which can be used by clients and installation staff during the trial installations.
The new premises has a fully functional photo studio for product photo shootings and video productions.
The new showroom now spans over two levels along with three meeting rooms. On show there are HOF trusses, XOOP Lighting and Excellent Line, brands owned by HOF. CJS Coupler and BroadWeigh, which are both brands distributed by HOF, are also featured in the new showroom.
The Netherlands - Prolyte has announced the appointment of Fons van Teijn as CEO, effective 12 December 2019.
“Fons’ connections in the industry, hard work and experience will lead Prolyte to greatness in no time,” comments Frantisek Zykan, CEO of Area Four Industries, which recently acquired the Prolyte brand.
Van Teijn has a 34-year career in the professional photographic scene. He started as a sales manager at Capi-Lux-Vak, a then photography store which has since started offering a full assortment of electronics and today has branches in 40 airports across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. In 2000, he established Provak Photo Film Video BV, a wholesaler of photographic, film and video equipment, which operated as a sole company until its acquisition by Manfrotto in 2016. Van Teijn then stayed onboard the newly-formed Manfrotto Distribution Benelux BV as managing director before being recruited as Prolyte CEO.
“I look forward to leading Prolyte to success in 2020. We will achieve greatness by being a strong united team,” says Van Teijn.
Europe - Area Four Industry is inviting clients to join professional rigging advisor Eric Porter in a back-to-basics video that focuses on the roundsling.
In his latest video on A4.tv, Eric visits the polyester roundsling and how this versatile, gentle and lower pressure contact sling should be used - and not be used! He also covers labels found on roundslings, as well as how pyrotechnics and narrow beam stage lamps have an adverse affect on them.
Click here to watch the video and get up to speed on roundslings.
USA - Every time someone buys one of LiteGear’s popular LiteMat fixtures they are helping an industry colleague who is seriously ill or injured. That’s because LiteGear has pledged a portion of the profits of the sales of all LiteMat fixtures to Behind the Scenes and at the recent LDI show they presented a cheque to the charity for $10,000.
LiteGear are designers and builders of LED lighting products for professionals in the ccinema, TV, and HD video industries and are pioneers behind the popularisation of flexible LED lighting for use in cinema and TV lighting applications. The LiteMat fixtures are designed to offer soft yet controllable light for location or studio work. Available in six sizes, these bi-color LED fixtures are made of a composite of polypropylene and sheet aluminum making Series 2 LiteMat and LiteMat+ one of the thinnest and lightest luminaires in its category.
On presenting the cheque, LiteGear CEO, Mike Wagner, stated, “Many of our customers are like family to LiteGear. As the company was started by a group of filmmakers, we take great pride in supporting charities like Behind the Scenes, which directly supports those in the field.”
Lori Rubinstein, executive director of Behind the Scenes, commented, “Once again LiteGear has demonstrated their heartfelt commitment to ensuring those in need won’t be evicted from their homes or have their heat and water turned off, that they’ll be able to afford medications and doctor visits. Their inclusion of information about Behind the Scenes in every shipment of LiteMat fixtures
The Netherlands - Eurotruss Group has appointed Ralph Stockley as chief commercial officer (CCO) and board member for the Eurotruss Group.
He will be responsible for group sales while offering support to all individual brands and will work alongside Martin Kuyper (CEO) and Frank Schrage (COO) to develop and implement the group's strategic international growth plan. "Ralph's role will be instrumental in the future global expansion planned in early 2020," explains Kuyper.
Stockley joins Eurotruss after over 20-plus years' experience in the entertainment industry. He comments: "I am excited to work with such an established brand serving international markets in the entertainment industry and feel privileged to join the team as we embark on the Eurotruss journey together."
Eurotruss is an entertainment solutions manufacturer based in the Netherlands with offices located around the globe.
USA - Broadweigh Bluetooth won Best Debuting Product award in the Rigging and Staging category at this year's LDI Awards. This latest win rounds of a successful year for the brand which launched its Bluetooth system at ABTT 2019, where it won Widget of the Year.
Speaking of the product's success, Robert Wilmington-Badcock, MD of Mantracourt commented: "We are extremely pleased to receive such a coveted award for Broadweigh Bluetooth. It's something that we've worked extremely hard on to get it just right. It's such an exciting time for us as a company - as we end the year and move towards 2020, you can expect to see a series of bold developments from Broadweigh as we strive to provide better solutions dedicated to the entertainment industry."
LDI 2019 recorded the highest number of registered attendees in the show's history. "We certainly felt it was the perfect platform for launching Broadweigh Bluetooth in the USA," says Wilmington-Badcock. "It was a privilege to have the opportunity to showcase our range of kit that we believe so strongly in, to such a knowledgeable audience. The scope to gain first hand feedback from existing and potential new customers is second to none. When we create our products, our aim is always to take a potential user's wish-list and see if we can turn requests into real products. Judging by the reception we got during our few days in Vegas, it seems we've succeeded."
Broadweigh's stand at the show was also a hit, welcoming visitors with live demonstrations of its products. The stand itself was designed by one of Broadwe
UK - There are no signs of slowing down for Triple E as a busy year draws to a close. The Kent-based stage-engineering manufacturer reports a busier team and factory than ever in the run up to the festive season.
“The momentum we have seen in all areas of the business this year is continuing,” reflects deputy director, Lucy Edelstein. “The autumn has been incredibly busy and it’s been non-stop since the PLASA Show in September.”
At PLASA Show 2019, Triple E took the opportunity to present two product prototypes to the industry - the Points System and the Bocking Block.
“The Points System is a simple and elegant addition to our 2Way track system, allowing multiple drapes to be used on one track or to create different spaces in one room,” says Edelstein. “With both wired and wireless control all venues will be able to change the feel of their space quickly and easily.”
The Bocking Block has been engineered specifically for the film and TV industries and is the first product in Triple E’s new Grip Equipment range, providing the wider entertainment industry with a selection of useful widgets, tools and equipment. This product will be launched to the market early next year.
In October, Triple E was a major sponsor of the Theatres Trust annual conference. Conference 19: Centre Stage took place at Battersea Arts Centre - a venue which has seen a large installation of Triple E’s VariRoller acoustic banners as part of the refurbishment of the Grand Hall following the devastating fire in 2015.
UK - Antony Gormley Studio enlisted the expertise of Unusual Rigging for the sculptor's recent exhibition at the Royal Academy. Gormley's retrospective, which ran until 3 December, has wowed art lovers and novices alike, having been designed to put 'the visitor centre-stage'. It was spread across 13 rooms, all calling for physical and imaginative participation from those who visited the Academy to see his work.
Robin Elias, technical director, Unusual Rigging, comments: "This was Unusual's first foray into the Royal Academy. Antony Gormley Studio contacted us based on previous successful collaboration sand, of course, we were delighted to be able to bring our know-how - both to the artworks themselves and the beautiful Royal Academy building."
The centrepiece of the exhibition was Body and Fruit in the Central Hall. "The piece centres around two huge rusty steel apples - one weighing five tonnes and the other two tonnes," explains Elias. "Our task was to suspend the fruit to hover just above the floor. We started with a visit to see the pieces in a warehouse in the North of England. To hang the items, we specified 32 diameter and 22 diameter steel wire ropes - they had to terminate inside the artworks which were then sealed. The challenge was to ensure the rope was exactly the right length as once they were added and the pieces sealed, there would be no going back."
Unusual worked with a specialist company to fabricate the rope with a threaded end to ensure it could be inserted into the artwork with ease. The greatest difficulty, however, c
Lithuania - Sixty82 has entered into an exclusive partnership with Scenos Techninis Servisas (STS) as its distributor for the Lithuanian market.
Vilnius-based STS offers a variety of staging, trussing and rigging equipment as well as lighting, sound and video products. The company’s services include installations of stage, lighting and sound systems.
Sixty82’s CEO, Fokko Smeding, comments: “The best partnerships aren’t dependent on a mere common goal, but on a shared path of equality, desire, and a great amount of passion. Therefore we believe that STS is the perfect partner to service our customers. This agreement further iterates both the company’s enthusiasm to drive growth and extend relationships with its customers.”
Date Jonkman, executive account manager of Sixty82, adds: “With STS’s history of representing leading manufacturers of trussing and staging equipment, they have built an excellent reputation in the industry and form an opportune extension to our already existing distribution network.”
Laurynas Paskervicius, CEO of STS, says: “We are extremely excited to start this partnership with Sixty82. They have developed such a strong brand within just a few years of existence, which is magnificent, to say the least. Because they share the same values and goals as we do, we believe that together, we can have a real impact on the industry.”
Europe - In the latest back-to-basics video release on Area Four Industries’ internet channel A4i.tv, Eric Porter tackles the main information you need to know about shackles in less than two minutes. He covers the two main types of shackles used for rigging, their proper use, the important markings found on them and where they should be used.
The video is available on www.a4i.tv/2019/11/26/shackles-eric-porter
UK - This month saw the 10th anniversary of Lumiere - the UK’s largest light festival - take place in Durham. The event, run by Artichoke, has been transforming cities across the UK since 2009, with each Lumiere festival inviting local and international artists to create works that reimagine familiar buildings and public spaces, changing the way we experience our urban surroundings.
Over the 10 years since the first Lumiere, Unusual Rigging has been a key supplier in the delivery of specialist rigging and engineering for the festival in Durham. Engineers, riggers and technicians work with Artichoke’s production teams to design solutions to the most challenging projects, from working in delicate heritage environments such as Durham Cathedral to rigging artworks over the river Wear or across the historic medieval streets.
Kate Harvey, senior producer for Artichoke comments: “This year, Unusual has been working with us on a special edition of the festival to celebrate our tenth anniversary. The programme included a number of returning artworks from across previous editions of the festival, together with new commissions from artists specialising in the field of light related work.
“Led by Jim Dugan, the team designed and installed rigging systems for the French fire artists Carabosse in the interior of Durham Cathedral. They provided a rigging system to span the Cathedral nave on three levels and oversaw all work in the upper levels of the medieval building. Compagnie, Carabosse’s captivating fire gardens and flame filled installations have be
Europe - James Thomas Engineering’s conical truss Multicubes has been designed to increase the strength of truss structure corners, while offering six different truss connection points with integrated location holes for expanding your structure’s versatility.
All multicubes are available in regular and heavy-duty versions, and are compatible with JT22 Quatro, JT30 Quatro, JT30H Quatro and JT40H Quatro truss. “The heavy-duty multicube provides enough strength to reach the maximum loading capacity of your truss,” says the company. “Male and female receiver accessories are available for convenient, trouble-free connections.”
Bookcorners’ aluminium profile is constructed with bolted male or female receivers, compatible with the quatro and trio formats in the JT30 and JT40 truss series.
Switzerland - In the summer of 2019, the Béjart Ballet Lausanne gave new performances of Dixit, the ‘cinema-ballet-theatre’ show written and directed by Marc Hollogne, in tribute to its founder, Maurice Béjart. To embark the audience on the choreographer's story and work, the company relied on Modulo Kinetic and its real-time tracking module, KineMotion.
To pay tribute to its creator, the Béjart Ballet Lausanne worked with Marc Hollogne to write and direct Dixit, a show that combines dance, acting and video projection to tell the story of Maurice Béjart's life and work.
To bring this show to life, the Béjart Ballet Lausanne used Modulo Kinetic, Modulo Pi's media server solution, as well as KineMotion, its real-time tracking plug-in.
Lucas Borgeaud, technical director of Béjart Ballet Lausanne, explains: “We had already used video in some of our ballets, but never on this scale. For this show, the video is almost at the same level as the dance. That's a first.”
For one hour and 40 minutes, Dixit allows the past and the present of the company to interact with each other through a conversation between real and virtual life, choreographies of Maurice Béjart and Gil Roman (the BBL's artistic director), new original creations and archive
The show is performed on a 13m stage on which two screens are freely moved by the dancers and actors and tracked in real time. In addition, there are three screens suspended on DMX hoist in the theatre fly loft.
A 30,000-lumen PT-RQ32 video-projector from Panason