UK - Hoist UK have recently completed a full LEEA audit, and have been granted full membership of LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineers Association) effective from 1 August 2014.

LEEA is the leading representative body for all those involved in the lifting industry worldwide, and has played a key role in this specialised field for over seventy years offering members advice and training on standards, regulations and health and safety within the lifting equipment profession.

"Becoming full LEEA members marks another step towards our commitment to the safety and training of our employees and assuring customers that they are our top priority, this goes hand in hand with our most recent accreditations in quality management (ISO: 9001) and environmental management (ISO: 14001)," says Louise Dickson general manager of Hoist UK.

Paul Jordan, director of Hoist UK Comments, &quo

UK - At PLASA London, uTRAC has revealed its top five feature developments to facilitate more efficient organising and tracking of labour for events

With the launch of uTRAC v2.0, the team has bolstered its drive to become the go-to workforce management application for events. The significantly re-designed interface has been tailored to improve the user experience and make its mobile app more touch friendly for people wanting to do their scheduling on the go with their tablets.

The new notification centre showing outstanding tasks includes notifications for unpaid invoices, unfilled shifts, and overdue payments among many other updates that will help all team members stay on top of their tasks.

The certificate management feature means workers will be able to record details of their relevant qualifications. An expiry date linked with uTRAC's notification centre allows both wo

UK - PLASA London opened its doors at 10am this morning and welcomed a surge of visitors in the first few hours of the show. Hundreds of people skipped their typical Sunday activities in favour of a vibrant exhibition floor and an education programme packed with the world's biggest names in entertainment technology.

Here are some of the highlights from today's show:

World Class Exhibitors

Every year, PLASA London brings together the most important audio, lighting, video and staging companies, filling the show floor with a feast of exhibitors. This year is certainly no different, with more than 250 companies exhibiting. Looking around ExCeL London's first class exhibition space, we see companies like Robe, Clay Paky, Shure, Polar Audio, Autograph, SSE Audio, FBT, Philips Entertainment, White Light, Highlite, Chauvet, MA Lighting, SGM, Prolyte, A.C Entertainment Technol

UK - Faster rigging of stage and sets combined with improved safety are just two of the benefits offered by Doughty Engineering's Modular Rigging System, shown at PLASA for the first time.

A strong, safe alternative to 'home made' drop arms, which until now have been the only option for riggers, the system uses tried and tested connectors to give a SWL of 100kg and enables the safe and speedy rigging of luminaires from truss or fixed tubes or barrels. It also provides for a range of configurations to open up the possibility for highly innovative lighting design.

The Modular Rigging System uses 48mm diameter aluminium barrels in conjunction with a truss style conical coupling and is designed as two parts - Modular Drop Arms, which are single arms designed to be suspended with a coupler, and H-Frames, which can be suspended or floor-standing with tank traps.

Mark Chorley, desi

UK - Milos Group, one of the largest manufacturers of trussing and support structures in the world, welcomes James Thomas Engineering to its growing number of professional and trusted brands. James Thomas Engineering has been one of the leading manufacturers of aluminium trussing, rigging and ground support to North American and international clients since 1977. Its General Purpose, Supertruss and HD truss systems are known throughout the industry as benchmarks for professional outdoor concert, theatre and corporate venue productions.

As part of the Milos Group, and falling under the TOMCAT banner, JTE will continue to manufacture the same high quality "Made in the USA" products that industry professionals have relied upon for more than 35 years. Innovation will remain its first priority, and its mission statement "Innovation through Design and Engineering Excelle

UK - The buzz around the aisles and stands of PLASA London 2014 has created an incredible atmosphere for visitors and exhibitors alike. The entertainment technology industry is full of brilliant characters, giving the industry its special personality. While the social side of the show has flourished, so has business, as exhibitors continue to launch new products and make important connections.

Green Hippo has chosen PLASA London 2014 for the launch of the Hippotizer v4. The company has taken the award-winning features of the Hippotizer v3, such as UberPan, Cross-Fade on Layer, Presets and Region Mapper success, and added new hardware and an array of key software features that will make the user experience better than ever before.

Raycom is exhibiting at PLASA London for the first time, using the show as a platform for moving into the live market. The company has built up an ex

UK - The PLASA Awards for Innovation (sponsored by Lighting&Sound International) were presented on Tuesday 7 October, revealing the most ground-breaking products of PLASA London 2014. It was a night of celebration and remembrance, as the prestigious Gottelier Award was awarded posthumously to Clay Paky founder, Pasquale 'Paky' Quadri, who recently passed away.

Clay Paky's Chief Operational Officer, Pio Nahum, graciously accepted the Gottelier Award on behalf of his friend and colleague. The other nominees - Richard Belliveau, David Cunningham and Dr Christian Heil - withdrew from the running following the sad news. The lighting industry has lost a great character and a true pioneer.

Every year, PLASA recognises products that demonstrate progress, through attributes like a new style of thinking, an improvement in technical practice, new technology, materials or technique

UK - A Martin Audio OmniLine system has recently been installed in the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall (ICLH)) at Essex University using Van Damme cable supplied by cabled specialist VDC Trading.

Supplied by LMC Audio and installed by Scan Audio, the micro-line array system was identified as being the perfect solution for the application from the word go. A feature of the hall is that the 1000 seater auditorium can be split into two self-contained 500-seat spaces. The rear walls of the hall move - splitting the auditorium via a central removable divide when it needs to open up.

The installation was carried out by Surrey based Scan Audio. Scan's Dee Couchman specified the Van Damme cable. He said: "We have used Van Damme cable for many years and this project was no different. It has always been the cable of choice for us."

The system is primarily an AMX control with a Marti

UK - leading supplier of Hybrid Power Generators (HPGs) for the events sector, Firefly reports that its Cygnus HPG has saved over 1m litres of diesel since its launch in April 2013.

With increasing requirements from event organisers to power events with a more sustainable, environmentally friendly approach, Firefly creates the appropriate renewable energy solution for any event, whilst significantly reducing fuel costs.

As an experienced and trusted supplier of affordable sustainable power, Firefly has been powering festivals and live events since 2007. Firefly provide turnkey low emission temporary power, technical and creative services. Working with festival organisers, from conception to implementation; Firefly provides power that doesn't cost the earth.

Andy Mead, director comments: "The 2014 summer season has been the company's best yet, as more and more events are

UK - Production Resource Group has announced that Q Willis has joined their team in the UK as head of rigging services.

PRG's offering to the various markets is fortified with valued rigging and venue expertise. This will be reinforced with the knowledge and proficiency Q brings from 19 years in the industry.

In his new role, Q will be focusing on developing existing customer relationships in the rigging industry and also looking for ways to promote new opportunities.

"We have always maintained a good position within the rigging market but we are well positioned for growth. With Q joining the team he plays an important role in moving us forward," says Rich Rowley, chief sales officer.

"PRG have the platform for developing their valued rigging service," explains Q, "I'm excited about the opportunities ahead and look forward to developing and bringi

UK - PLASA London 2014 welcomed visitors and exhibitors to ExCeL, London for the second consecutive year on 5-8 October and impressed with a ground-breaking show floor, an inspiring education programme and a host of important announcements. While exhibitors revealed their latest product innovations, the organisers uncovered plans for the future of the show.

Speaking at the PLASA Awards for Innovation and Sustainability 2014, held on the penultimate day of the show, PLASA's CEO Matthew Griffiths revealed some of the changes for 2015, which will redevelop the scope and delivery of the event. Under the leadership of Christopher Toulmin, PLASA's Director of the Events Division, the show is being remodelled to become a PLASA Member-focused event: developments will include moving from four days to three days, introducing a new floor plan concept, expanding the education offering and i

Canada - Show Distribution, maker and distributor of the Tour Series chain hoists has just unveiled its new Imperium console. This console, the company says, runs the same intuitive and reliable Raynok software that operators have come to appreciate, in a compact and feature-rich package.

"The versatility and simplicity of the Imperium Console puts the power and control of all motion functions at every operator's fingertips. They can call and recall functions and cues with the press of a single button. Programmable macro buttons also allow operators to customise their desktop to not only save time but improve efficiency and safety," say Show Distribution.

Other features include a MS Windows Operating System, a built-in touchscreen, an HDMI monitor output for a crisp and clean image, an integrated Hold-To-Run (HTR) safety device, a fully integrated Emergency Stop Syst

UK - S+H Technical Support has designed and supplied stage lighting and an interactive projection wall for the newly opened Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks' Twitchen House Holiday Village in Devon, UK.

The new £2.5m entertainment complex opened this summer after work began in 2013. Great attention to detail has been paid in the design of the glass complex that has been built and carefully integrated with the historic Edwardian pile of Twitchen House ... under the watchful guidance of English Heritage.

The new facilities include the Sail Loft entertainment lounge that contains the stage and the impressive interactive projection wall, and the all-day glass roofed Bar 5 cafe / bar together with a tasteful lighting scheme to reveal the magnificent facade of Twitchen House after dark.

S+H - based locally in Ilfracombe - was approached by owner, entrepreneur Rudi Lancaster with

UK - When Richard Kiernan, building services manager at Nederlander Theatres called upon the team at Unusual Rigging to overhaul the Dominion Theatre's flying system as part of a multi million pound refurbishment of the entire venue, he had just one request - make the Dominion the best theatre in the West End.

"We wanted the Dominion to stand head and shoulders above all other theatres in terms of its flying and electrics. Having started the process with Unusual Rigging way before the project itself got under way we knew they were the team who could deliver our vision.", said Richard. "Having looked at some of their previous projects and systems, we then sat down with Mark Priestley to identify exactly what we wanted for the Dominion. The rest was a completely bespoke build flying system that we as a theatre are very proud of."

Unusual Rigging is renowned f

UK - Unusual Rigging has become one of the first companies to donate to the UK's new entertainment industry charity Behind the Scenes. Presenting a cheque for £10,000 to White Light's John Simpson, the charity's chairman, at the PLASA 2014 Award ceremony, Unusual's Alan Jacobi (AJ) called upon all organisations within the industry to dig deep and support this very worthwhile cause.

Behind the Scenes provides financial support to people working in the entertainment technology industry who experience hardship when they become ill or injured, or to their surviving family members. Grants are tailored to each individual but uses can include basic living costs, medical related expenses, transportation, retraining and funeral expenses.

AJ, who is also treasurer of the charity, commented, "PLASA has provided Behind the Scenes with a springboard to reach out to all sectors w

UK - Following the official release of the newly formed SES Academy at PLASA 2014, SES Entertainment Services are very pleased to announce that its BS7909 courses have been approved by City & Guilds.

With two training centres at either Ascot or Maidenhead, the academy is able to run courses for up to 12 candidates who on completion will receive the coveted City & Guilds certification. "We are also able to bring the courses to your offices providing you have certain facilities available, and we can offer overseas training too," says the company. "For a full prospectus on all the courses available, please contact our sales office or go online at"

(Jim Evans)

UK - A ballet piece performed in front of London's elite ladies on a Harlequin dance floor was a highlight of the recent Circles of Dreams lunch organised to raise funds in aid of breast cancer support and research.

A 30sq.m. light grey Harlequin Cascade dance floor was provided for the occasion by Harlequin Floors.

Pippa Collins speaking on behalf of organisers, Future Dreams, said: "The Future Dreams Circles of Strength lunch took place on Monday 6October 14 at The Dorchester Hotel and was attended by 500 of London's most elegant and influential women. Jenna Lee, former principal from The English National Ballet choreographed a powerful modern piece of ballet using 10 exquisite dancers."

Pippa continued: "The lunch was attending by Melanie C, Kirsty Gallagher, Donna Air, Melissa Odabash and breast cancer survivors Michaela Strachan and Jacqui B

UK - Leading European flightcase manufacturer 5 Star Cases has announced the appointment of new account manager Jeremy Ruggles who joins Keith Sykes and the team.

Jeremy will spend his time between a desk at 5 Star's HQ in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire and being on the road around the UK seeing customers, developing new business, networking and keeping an ear-to-the-ground.

His background includes a wealth of experience in the worlds of pro photography, video and broadcast - so he knows a thing or two about the necessity of having good road cases!

He worked as a freelance photographer in London for over 10 years as well as a sales and product manager for photographic retail giant Calumet in their professional and corporate divisions.

Crossovers between this and the live production industry including being highly customer-focused, and understanding the importance of delivering or

UK - BroadWeigh's exclusive UK partner, A.C. Entertainment Technologies (Rigging Division), has announced the supply of three full kits of 12-point load monitoring to UK-based Load Cell Rental, in a major deal to kick start the company's wireless equipment hire offering.

The BroadWeigh portable wireless system offers real-time, simple, effective and accurate load monitoring for rigging professionals, safety officials and site managers enabling them to monitor and log the precise loads on any given rigging point.

Central to the design of the BroadWeigh system are Crosby shackles equipped with a high accuracy, wireless load pin that reports data remotely to a computer or a handheld display. The system is able to monitor multiple load cells and can trigger an alarm should a load exceed a preset parameter.

Load Cell Rental's BroadWeigh wireless package includes 36 of the 4.75 to

UK - Video, AV and technical production provider Central Presentations Ltd (CPL) has launched a new range of specialist projector rigging solutions.

Four innovative products are currently available - Rental Frames, Truss Mounts, Flying Mounts and a Portrait Adaptor - all designed to work together.

These have been developed by and for riggers and technicians combining numerous ingenious features, offering straightforward and practical projector rigging options informed by CPL's vast experience of touring and live events.

The streamlined, efficient and versatile Truss Mount is at the heart of the system.

A genius touch is the tilt-and-swivel (T&S) mechanism underpinning the design, which is based on a ball joint and enables extremely quick and easy adjustment of the projector by one person - requiring only a single pair of hands!

This is ideal for crew aligning machines wh

Australia - Dance floor specialists Harlequin Floors has announced a commercial and artistic tie in with Melbourne City Ballet.

Announcing the news, Harlequin's group marketing manager, Mark Rasmussen said, "The innovative partnership brought together the commitment of an enlightened manufacturer with an artistic dance company, both driven by an obsession with excellence in their respective fields."

"Dance floors are where dancers perform and rehearse and indeed spend much of their working lives. As a manufacturer, it is our aim to provide floors and dance surfaces which inspire confidence in dancers to fully explore their artistic creativity without any fear of slipping, falls or even longer term injury."

Melbourne City Ballet is described as "The city's newest and most exciting Neoclassical Company. A dance company based on new ideas; where indepen

South Africa - DWR Distribution is offering the industry the annual Prolyte Rigging Course, presented by Rinus Bakker from Rhino Rigs. Due to popular demand an extra day for practical training has been included extending the course from five days to six.

Delegates are welcome to join DWR at their Johannesburg premises from the 2 - 7 February 2015 and on 9 - 14 February 2015.

"We are hosting the course for the same price as last year and it will once again be subsidised by DWR and Prolyte," explained Robert Izzett from DWR. "The last day will be a practical day, it's what people have been asking for."

The internationally recognized course includes certification. Delegates, who attended the course in previous years without passing the final examination, are welcome to rewrite the exam at no extra cost.

(Jim Evans)

UK - As Skate at Somerset House prepares to open on 11 November, The Technical Department is set to supply temporary power solutions for the twelfth consecutive season.

Utilising their bespoke electrical distribution system, The Technical Department runs cable from the basement of the 18th century buildings to distribute and supply power to the courtyard where the open-air ice rink is set in the midst of the stunning architecture.

"Having worked with The Technical Department over 10 years, their kit and knowledge is second to none," says Jon Howes, production manager for Somerset House.

Jerry Singleton, The Technical Department's director comments, "The quality and presentation of our electrical distribution equipment is very important to us. We regularly invest in new equipment and maintain our existing equipment to a high level.

"Our proactive

USA - PLASA will present the 2014 Volunteer of the Year Award to Bill Ellis for his work with the Control Protocols Working Group (CPWG) and the ad-hoc Technical Marketing Group (TMG) on Saturday, 22 November on the PLASA Booth #1469 at LDI.

The award to Bill Ellis, owner of Candela Controls, will be presented by Mike Lay, chair of the CPWG. Bill Ellis spends many volunteer hours on work for the CPWG and the ad-hoc TMG, which promotes the work of the Technical Standards Programme. He has put in an extraordinary amount of work in the preparation, set up and running of the Technical Standards portion of the PLASA booth at LDI, first with the Control Protocols Pavilion and most recently with Standards on the Stage.

Bill's contributions also include presentations on DMX512 and RDM at various trade shows and conferences. Recently, he assisted in completing assembly of an equipment

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