The Netherlands - HOF has appointed Podiumtechniek as a distribution partner in the Netherlands. Podiumtechniek specialises in custom-made stage technology solutions.
Bob Ages, co-founder of Podiumtechniek, comments: “We believe that with creativity there are no limits to what is possible on stage and at events and that there is a solution to everything - either with regular products or with tailor made solutions - and often a combination of both. HOF is one of the rare companies that offers both and we are glad to have the HOF products in our portfolio now and a manufacturer in our network that can design and deliver custom made solutions.”
Edwin Duivelaar, export & sales manager at HOF, adds: “With Podiumtechniek we share the same philosophy which is that no project is impossible and the crazier the idea the better. We are impressed by the creativity of Podiumtechniek and are delighted to enlarge our distribution network in the Netherlands with such a dynamic partner.”
Europe - HOF has announced Treti as a new distribution partner for Italy. Treti has more than 40 years of experience in live events, trade shows, theatres and the film industry, and disposes of a distribution and service network throughout Italy.
Daniele Melis, managing director at Treti, comments: “We always carefully research the products that we choose to distribute in order to ensure we fully satisfy our customer needs. Therefore, it came as a natural choice to add the HOF brand and their trussing portfolio to our range of products.”
Edwin Duivelaar, export & sales manager at HOF, adds: “We are delighted to enlarge our European footprint with a very well established and recognized partner for the Italian market and look forward to a very successful cooperation and partnership with Treti.”
Europe - Sixty82 has launched Arena Frame, a new stage concept designed for venues which value the benefits of a quick and easy-to-build stage system.
The straightforward design allows big stages to be built ‘in the blink of an eye’ - a 200m2 stage, for example, can be built in just 90 minutes with a crew of four and a forklift.
The system has a very small storage footprint due to its foldable frames, while it also offers the ability to build the stage and rig at the same time, greatly reducing the time needed to build any stage set.
The Arena Frame system allows every second frame to be omitted, allowing the creation of corridors underneath the stage in both directions without any loss of its load bearing capacity. For standard decking 2x1m elements are used.
The system is equipped with robust swivel castors and an internal lever system which allows the castors to be raised once the stage is in position and rests on its screw jacks. Accessories like stairs, guardrails and transport dollies are also available.
UK - HOF has announced that Entedi is now a distribution partner of HOF in the UK and Ireland.
Marcel Wijnberger, technical manager at Entedi comments, “Another innovative brand to add to our portfolio. Reviewing MLT Prerig truss showed me how small differences can have a big impact on real world use. Our customers are going to be very happy. As customers who have already invested in this pre-rig truss can testify.”
Edwin Duivelaar, export & sales manager at HOF, adds: "Entedi joining the HOF Family is another important step in the internationalisation of the HOF brand, especially considering that the UK and Ireland are very important markets for the European event industry and many European tours will be planned and executed from the UK even after Brexit."
Entedi will distribute the HOF brands HOF trusses including the MLT2 and CJS clamps.
UK - 5 Star Cases has announced the appointment of Allen Smith as quality assurance manager, to set product and process quality standards across its range of products and provide quality related guidance to 5 Star’s staff and management.
5 Star Cases services multiple industries from entertainment, medical, telecoms and robotics, to motorsport. Longstanding clients include Terry Tew Sound & Light, Universal Studios, Allen & Heath, Power Maxed racing, DiGiCo and Arden Motorsport. The company’s ambitious growth strategy and ever-increasing product portfolio, including a new range of wooden packing crates, prompted the search for a quality assurance manager.
“As part our long-term strategy, we have been investing in state-of-the-art equipment to ensure we can serve our customers with products that are manufactured to the highest quality standards,” says Ingus Lasinskis, operations director at 5 Star Cases. “The investment in technology goes hand in hand with the investment in our team, which is the backbone of 5 Star’s philosophy. With the growing demand for flight cases and our latest addition - wooden packing crates - we felt that quality assurance manager position was necessary to maintain the high product standards our customers expect from us.”
“Allan has over 30 years of experience in the manufacturing industry. He has sound commercial awareness and a proven track record in multi-site, people, performance and project management,” shares 5 Star’s accounts & HR manager Kirsty Locks.
Europe - Prolight + Sound 2022 attracted 20,000 visitors from 93 countries, according to the organisers.
After a break of two years, the Frankfurt event brought together companies and professionals from all segments of the industry. Wolfgang Marzin, president and chief executive officer of Messe Frankfurt, reflects: “By all pulling together, we have achieved something that, at the beginning of the year, many people thought would be impossible: the companies and associations of the event and media technology sector joined forces with us to show once again how much life and positive energy is to be found in this industry.”
“We are delighted we have succeeded with Prolight + Sound in triggering this important restart and that we can once again all come together with no restrictions. Both exhibitors and visitors were hungry for spontaneous meetings,” adds Linda Residovic, managing director of the German Media and Event Technology Association, VPLT. “The high quality of the fair is also reflected by the sales figures reported by our members. In other words, the fair is the ideal starting place to recapture the all-important trust in our industry for the future.”
Prolight + Sound 2022 was underpinned by the organisers’ commitment to a greener future for the event industry, and new products at the show included technologies boasting a high level of energy efficiency; solutions for reducing logistical difficulties, and products made of environmentally friendly materials. At the première of the Green Event Day, a programme of lectures revolvi
UK - Harlequin Floors has launched a pioneering new floor system. Harlequin Liberty Switch is a professional multi-use floor that can be switched from a rigid theatrical floor to a sprung dance floor at the touch of a button.
This innovative and versatile floor has been designed for venues who regularly put on both dance and theatrical performances and so require both a sprung and a rigid floor in the same performance or rehearsal space.
Harlequin Liberty Switch is a modular multi-use floor system comprised of a base unit with the drive and control mechanism topped with a Harlequin Liberty sprung floor. The base units house a series of moving carriages connected by rods running on high-strength carrier rails powered by electric actuators located at the ends of each row. Each actuator and associated controller are linked to a master control unit located off-stage.
The upper surfaces of the base units are fitted with wooden battens which align with the sprung elastomer pads of the Harlequin Liberty panel above. The upper panels are standard Harlequin Liberty with the addition of UHMWPE (ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene) low-friction blocks on the underside.
This new approach has many benefits over the old approach of swapping floors between shows. It transforms between a sprung floor to a rigid floor in minutes, is more cost effective than an equivalent ballet wagon, there are no labour costs in laying and removing a temporary floor and no storage costs.
Harlequin Liberty Switch is a modular system that can be modified to meet an
UK - Area Four Industries UK continues to expand its operations with the appointment of Matthew Millward as head of automation to manage its EXE Technology brands.
Millward comments: “To be finally working with the world’s largest manufacturer of truss, staging and automation products has a great sense of achievement and pride. It is an extremely exciting phase for EXE Technology with the introduction of the All In One / One for All smart solutions.”
Sales & marketing director Glen Brown adds: “I am delighted with Matt joining the A4i UK team at this time. He is the perfect plug & play solution for this new role and joins with a vast knowledge and practical experience of entertainment / theatrical environments. Our customers and users will feel the benefits immediately with his level of professionalism and empathy.”
Germany - Kinesys product engineering and Tait Navigator control technology will introduce new products at Frankfurt in Hall 12.0, stand C96.
Tait will reveal three adaptable winches: suitable for scenic movement, and with the requisite SIL3-rated safety features now mandated for performer flying. The team will also introduce new drives optimised for installation requirements and providing an impressive powerhouse for precision position control.
Visitors to the stand can enjoy a hands-on experience with Tait’s latest automation console, epiQ.
Joining the new machines on the stand will be the tour-proven Kinesys Apex hoist system, the Kinesys Vector control console, and the Kinesys Libra range of load monitoring safety tools that ensure all static and dynamic loads are continually and precisely measured in real-time.
The Kinesys DigiHoist fixed speed chain motor controller and the Kinesys Elevation drive for hoists and trollies will also be featured on the stand.
Germany - HOF will launch its new Post Dolly at Prolight+Sound 2022. The Post Dolly offers a variety of possibilities to create different structures and layouts on stage. It can be used for single lamps, but also as a stacked dolly with, for example, 1m standard conical tubes between the dollies to create different levels.
The components can be mounted standing or hanging on the 15mm plate. Further, the user can mount 2-point, 3-point or 4-point trusses in sizes 290mm or 400mm on the dolly in different positions, using the optional adapter plate.
Likewise, the MLT trusses can be positioned upright in centre or off-centre positions. Multiple Post dollies can be combined to create various constructions. The components remain in place during the show and during transport, saving a lot of time. The wheels are black & grey and therefore almost invisible on stage.
The stacking connector is included and fits many standard conical tubes. The dimensions of the dolly are 1200mm x 600mm. Customised versions are available on request.
Europe - Prolight Concepts Group has added Robolights IWB components to its product portfolio. These modular installation solutions are now in stock and ready to ship directly from the Prolight warehouse.
The new addition “bolsters our product offering in the stage, theatre and installation sectors”, says Prolight.
Robolights’ Julian Baycock comments: “Robolights are delighted that Prolight will be distributing our products, their ethos of holding stock on the shelf for same day dispatch allows installers to access the product range without delay.”
USA/UK - ESTA and PLASA have announced the release of an updated Version 2.0 of the International Code of Practice for Entertainment Rigging (ICOPER), which is available as a free download at www.esta.org/icoper or www.plasa.org/icoper.
Submissions from the international rigging community were received in response to a call for comments in late 2021. The document’s authors, Nick Barnfield (New Zealand), Tiny Good (Australia), Chris Higgs (UK), Ed Kish (United States), Bill Sapsis (United States), and Roy Schilderman (The Netherlands) praised the commentors for their thoughtful consideration and the obvious expertise they brought to the task.
Chris Higgs notes, “Each comment was discussed at length in our zoom calls, which were facilitated by Lori Rubinstein from ESTA. Some comments acted as a catalyst, causing us to rethink and rewrite the language in the code, while in other cases, comments led us to closely examine and reaffirm the existing statements. In my view the industry is aware of our lead and I believe ICOPER is already influencing other codes/working practice so now is the opportunity to get it spot on.”
Tiny Good comments on the process, “Four years down the road from the creation of the original document it was great to come back to it with fresh eyes and re-evaluate the work we had done. It was enjoyable to get back together as a group again, and we quickly found the old working rhythm we developed while crafting the original document. It was nice to see that much of our original content held up over time. All of us were grate
Italy - When Spazio Bizzarro, a red and white big top circus tent in Casatenovo, Milan, launched its latest project In The Air, it turned to BroadWeigh for its load monitoring requirements. The project, which was conceived in 2012, is a cultural sports and social centre, offering annual courses and workshops in contemporary circus and performative arts, including street art, music, theatre and dance.
Nicola Bruni, director of Spazio Bizzarro explains: “We knew we would need a reputable partner for this venture and selected Monkey Rigging to help us devise a rigging structure for our new indoor space, Il Delado. Working with Monkey Rigging’s Andrea Mammolenti, we came up with a solution that would give us a safe system for both the big top and Il Delado - the training spaces for this project.”
Andrea adds: “The challenge was to design a structure for the hangings in the Il Deladospace and verify the general safety of the hangers in the different spaces. It was also important that those using the system understood the importance of correct evaluation in the design phase of the hanging system through the demonstration of how much a performer of aerial disciplines can actually achieve in terms of a dynamic load.”
Andrea recommended the use of BroadWeigh 2.4 wireless load cells to carry out preliminary testing before using the new structure of Il Delado. The kit was also invaluable during a series of three safety events that Monkey Rigging conducted.
“We used 2.4 wireless load cells because, having to deal with ‘live’ loads
UK - When Matt Strigden of SRD Projects was looking for a track solution for a new drama venue at Channing School in Highgate, North London, he turned to Doughty Engineering.
Having worked with the Doughty team for years, Strigden, who heads up the projects department at SRD, knew that they were the right team for the job. He said: “I know Doughty well - the people and the products. I have known sales managers, Dan Phillips and Laurence Dyer for nearly 20 years. Both are extremely helpful whenever I have a design question and are really good at providing the answers we need.”
SRD Projects works across all sorts of sectors; theatres, education, fitness, houses of worship and retail, providing lighting and audio solutions in these spaces and so regularly find themselves turning to Doughty for the right kit. This project at Channing School involved restoring one of the school halls - Founders Hall into a new performance space.
Strigden continues: “The hall had been converted into classrooms about 10 years ago and been used for numerous things including music, drama, PE etc and there was a lot of infrastructure in place that didn’t really work. We had conversations with the school over a period of 18 months to two years and were finally ready to start work when COVID hit, and everything got put on hold.”
The scope of the job was to turn the space into a drama and teaching space, designed so it could be split into two studios with concertina wall folds down the middle and connected to a Dante network so that musicians can play from Founde
UAE - Fantek Industrial, part of the Equipson Group, is playing a key role at Expo Dubai 2020 by supplying all the rigging and structures needed to create audiovisual displays and performance stages in both the Spanish and Angola Pavilions.
The Angola Pavilion pays tribute to its indigenous traditions by taking inspiration from Sona geometry, the ancient art of sand drawing that has been used by generations of its citizens to transfer knowledge. Using interactive spaces and a multimedia show that combines different audiovisual technologies, the Pavilion highlights how traditional wisdom can be used as a starting point to develop innovative solutions to local and global problems. The Angola Pavilion’s central square also features a Fantek stage where leading African artists host daily performances.
Spanish company Eikonos was responsible for designing and installing the Pavilion's technical and audiovisual infrastructure. Project manager, Andrés Aguerri, says: "Having the direct support of the manufacturer from the early stages of the project allowed us to develop customized solutions that undoubtedly make the whole assembly easier."
His view was reinforced by Eikonos head rigger Justin Abio who adds: "As well as Fantek's light and resistant trusses, the company's range of accessories and components allowed us to place each element, each projector and each spotlight in exactly the right place."
Fantek products are also used in the Spanish Pavilion, which highlights sustainability and the historical connection between Spain and the Eastern
USA - The organisers of the 2022 New World Rigging Symposium (NWRS), which will take place online on 5-7 April, have announced the programme of sessions and the presenters who will speak at the event. Highlights for this year include a follow-up to the popular Rope 201 where Stu Cox, Eric Rouse, and Andy Schmitz will dive even deeper into the intended uses, benefits and drawbacks of ropes, lines, and ties.
Also featured will be the Rope Access session, featuring industry experts from around the country who will explore rope access use in the entertainment industry.
Loading into a university theatre can be significantly different from backing the trucks up to a commercially operated roadhouse. A panel of university venue managers will ask, and then answer, What makes them different? by focusing on the unique challenges of the university setting including staff and leadership experience, red tape and paperwork, availability of skilled labour and more.
For the full programme, please visit www.esta.org/nwrs_sessions.
UK - Moulin Rouge! opened at London’s Piccadilly Theatre last month. The intimate theatre has been transformed into a world of splendour, romance, glitz, grandeur and glory - with Unusual Rigging brought onboard to help create a world where Bohemians and aristocrats rub elbows and revel in electrifying enchantment.
Jeremy Featherstone, senior design engineer at Unusual Rigging, explains: “We were contacted by production manager Matt Towell to help bring this extraordinarily heavy show into a relatively small venue. The idea was always to create the feeling that the audience is involved in the show - a recreation of the intimate feeling of being at the actual Moulin Rouge. The production weighs in at over 23 tonnes, but the Piccadilly’s grid was only really equipped to deal with half that weight - so we needed to come up with a workable solution.”
With Unusual’s Emily Egleton managing the project, the result was the installation of six aluminium trusses bolted into two walls of the theatre both up and down stage. These have been fitted with hangers which take a load out of the grid and into the walls of the theatre. “We have done this with temporary truss rather than a system bespoke to the venue as we needed it to happen quickly, and the building didn’t lend itself to massive steel work. It also had to happen during fit up - there was no pre-rig or quiet time,” says Featherstone.
As the Piccadilly’s flying system is relatively old, it can only pick up 250kg per set and as such a lot of Moulin Rouge’s scenery is flo
UK - FIX8Group has launched a new in-lift AV experience, designed “to deliver content to customers in a fully immersive, captivating and memorable manner”.
Called elev8, it enables clients ranging from museums to malls, airports to attractions to reach lift users with customised displayed messages.
The elev8 project involves the installation of audio-visual display solutions within an elevator, to which everything from simple static marketing video, 2D animation, landscapes, audio experiences and fully immersive 3D worlds can be delivered.
FIX8Group has already completed a major elev8 installation, at the St James Quarter, Edinburgh. This encompasses a new retail led, lifestyle district that fully integrates into and enhances Edinburgh’s City Centre providing an inspiring, attractive, and vibrant destination for locals and visitors to live, shop, eat, sleep and play.
FIX8Group collaborated closely with Nuveen, the investing organisation of the project, and Gardiner & Theobald LLP, which was appointed as an independent construction and property consultancy working across all sectors of the built environment.
Antony Ranger, Nuveen director of operations at St James Quarter, says: “At the outset of this unique initiative, we were not at all clear about what we wanted, or what may be achieved. FIX8Group managed the whole destination-creating solution, from greatly assisting in defining the specification, to providing wonderful and extraordinary content and sound, all on-time and on-budget. This was despite working for the first
Europe - Prolight Concepts UK has expanded the eLumen8 Tank Trap range with the addition of a version with wheels.
Tank Trap consists of a 600mm square steel plate fitted with a 50mm receiver that features wing bolts to firmly secure aluminium or steel tubes in place. A cut out in the base allows compact stacking for transport and storage. Heavy-duty 75mm wheels are fitted to one edge for ease of transportation.
USA - ESTA has released six documents for public review on the TSP website. The publications are free to download and read, with comments due by 21 March.
E1.26, Entertainment Technology - Recommended Testing Methods and Values for Shock Absorption of Floors Used in Live Performance Venues sets out the energy absorption requirements for floors in venues used for live performances, and the methods for testing them. This document is to be used in conjunction with all applicable local building codes and requirements. The existing American National Standard is being considered for reaffirmation.
E1.36, Model Procedure for Permitting the Use of Tungsten-Halogen Incandescent Lamps and Stage and Studio Luminaires in Vendor Exhibit Booths in Convention and Trade Show Exhibition Halls is a model set of procedures that can be used by convention centre and trade show exhibition hall staff to mitigate the risks perceived to be associated with the use of tungsten-halogen lamps and stage and studio luminaires. The standard gives guidance to allow T-H lamps and luminaires to be used in a safe manner in convention centers and trade show exhibition halls. The existing American National Standard is being considered for reaffirmation.
BSR ES1.18, Event Safety - Rigging is a new draft standard addressing the roles, responsibilities, and general requirements for design, planning, installation, set-up, removal, and operation of rigging
USA - Organisers of the New World Rigging Symposium has announced the 2022 edition of the event will take place online on 5-7 April. The symposium will carry nine ETCP education renewal credits for re-certification, and the admission cost is $99.
“We’ve turned the table on the ever-popular session featuring some of the industry’s top structural engineers - Bill Gorlin, Dan Louis, Miriam Paschetto, and Jeff Reder,” say the organisers. “Instead of getting to ask your questions, they are going to tell you the things they want you to know. There was so much we’ve given them two sessions to cover subjects such as ballast, wind speeds, site safety, codes, AHJs and why things don't always stay the same.”
Paul Sapsis will walk attendees through a complicated custom flying system designed for a concert and DVD shoot at the Wembley Stadium - from concept to implementation, install to risk assessment and rescue whilst seasoned touring pros Jim Digby, Chad Kohler, and Bill Rengstl will discuss the tools and techniques used when rigging abroad.
Event sponsors are Electronic Theatre Controls and Sapsis Rigging, Kish Rigging, TAIT, Texas Scenic Company, and Wenger|J.R. Clancy, IA Stage, The Light Source, Reed Rigging, Reliable Design, and Stage Rigging, CM-ET, DeLong Rigging Solutions, EPS, Geiger Engineers, H&H Specialties, and Tyler Truss, Lighting & Sound America and Protocol.
USA - Lighting and rigging company RZI Lighting has added a significant number of Stagemaker products to its rental inventory. Acquisitions include a large quantity of Stagemaker award-winning SR10 D8+ compliant chain hoist as well as Motion Labs Hoist controllers.
“Stagemaker continues to impress us with consistent quality and a robust feature set of their products,” says RZI president, Ray Ziegler. “The SR10 series will be a workhorse for our clients. The hoists are a natural fit with our continued growth in the rigging market. The sales and technical support we receive from Stagemaker is fantastic.”
RZI Lighting has remained open throughout the pandemic. Once events started happening again RZI worked quickly in procuring new gear their team had been evaluating during the downtime. Additions to RZI inventory include a full hoist certification centre from ProofCert, which allows the load testing & annual inspections of any sized hoist.
Stagemaker business development manager, Jay Cid, comments: “We are very excited to work with RZI in building their rigging and hoist inventory in the New Orleans market. Our products will be a great addition to the company’s growing inventory”.
UK - Thomas Heatherwick’s Materials House was commissioned by the Science Museum in London as an exhibit to show “everything that anything can be made of” for the Challenge of Materials gallery. The idea was that, instead of prioritising any one material to make the house from, and then exhibiting small samples of all the other materials within it, the studio chose to make the house itself from all of the materials.
The result - six-metre-high pieces of each material bonded together into a single element of many strata was built in situ on the first floor of the museum in 1999 and remained a centrepiece of the gallery until December 2021, when Unusual Rigging was called upon to help the museum remove the exhibit from its long-time home, and lower it to the ground floor, ready for transportation to be held in storage.
Robin Elias, director at Unusual Rigging explained: “Materials House is a fantastic artwork made of 213 materials, bonded together in over 2000 individually shaped pieces sourced from more than eighty suppliers and sponsors. Measuring 7m x 4m x 1.5m, it had been welded to substantial steel foundations beneath the floorboards at the museum. It was displayed at a jaunty angle and restrained by attachment to an overhead beam, but it had no useful fixing points and was of indeterminate weight but estimated to be between 4-8 tons.”
In order to be able to move Materials House in one piece, Unusual needed to remedy this - it was vital to know the exact weight of the exhibit and design and install a system to allow the team to move it
USA - The 2022 New World Rigging Symposium, taking place virtually on 5-7 April, will bring together professional riggers, engineers, manufacturers, venue managers, educators and students to further their rigging knowledge, hear about challenging projects, get up to speed on new technologies, discuss current industry challenges, and get their questions answered.
The session line-up features an array of subject matter experts sharing their knowledge on: Rope 201, Load Monitoring Systems: Know Your Limits, Rope Access in Entertainment: Training and Usage, Performer Flying Case Study: It Happened at Wembley, Hosting Road Shows at a University, What the Engineers Want You to Know, Touring Overseas: Getting Your Ducks in a Row, Rigging Challenges: Infrastructure Case Studies, Women Riggers of ETCP and Intro to Mental Health First Aid.
The three-day symposium will also include breakout rooms where attendees can get in-depth information from our sponsors as well as virtual networking opportunities with attendees and presenters.
The symposium will carry ETCP education renewal credits for re-certification. For a list of presenters, visit www.esta.org/nwrs. The cost of the NWRS is $99.