UK - Heathrow Airport and Fisher Productions worked together to bring some Christmas magic to travellers over the Christmas period at Terminal 2: The Queens Terminal.

Building on Terminal 2's vision, in conjunction with Heathrow, The Fisher team have designed and installed a giant vinyl Christmas tree which stands over 90ft high in the covered courtyard to T2, close to the Slipstream sculpture by renowned British artist Richard Wilson.

Fisher have added a very modern interactive touch to this traditional looking tree, overlaying it with festoons of lights that can be triggered to flash and dance by passengers who tweet Christmas greetings to #T2Christmas. After dark the tree will come alive with a gentle wash of light giving it an enchanting glow.

(Jim Evans)

UK - S+H Technical has supplied specialist draping and 'soft' lighting effects lighting to several high profile TV shows recently including Strictly's Blackpool special as well as for the regular weekly show broadcast from Elstree Studios; the main Children In Need telethon studio; popular talent competition Stars in Their Eyes back on air in 2015 after a nine year hiatus; new ITV talent show Get Your Act Together and Bette Midler's first ever ITV special One Night Only.

Another blockbusting Strictly season for the BBC sees S+H working with BAFTA Award winning set and scenic designer Patrick Doherty - a regular client - for whom the Ilfracombe, Devon-based company is supplying around 6000 Pea-Lights for the regular weekly episodes broadcast from Entree Studios. The Pea-Lights are integrated into the set walls of Patrick's impressive ballroom de

UK - Truss UK Ltd, sister company to Hoist UK Ltd, has announced that it has acquired 100% shareholding of AJB Precision Fabrications Ltd. The combined companies are now conducting business together under the name Truss UK Ltd, with their main office located at 2 Wrynose Road, Old Hall Estate, Bromborough, Wirral, Merseyside, CH62 3QD.

"This is a merger of two innovative and professional companies which have a history of successfully working together over the last six years," says Truss UK director Paul Jordan. "Both companies have a very high standard of products and services with very similar work ethic and philosophy for doing business, with a track record for providing excellent products and customer service."

Fellow director Tony Dickson comments: "This union reflects both companies' commitment towards sustainable growth creating a world class inn

UK - London's Dominion Theatre has recently completed the biggest refurbishment and restoration project that the theatre has seen since it opened in 1929. This multi-million pound, four month long project sees the theatre transformed to its original 1920s grandeur with over half a million pounds spent on upgrading the technical infrastructure using over 36 kilometres of Van Damme cabling from VDC Trading supplied through Edmundson Electrical, Greenwich.

Included in the technical refurbishment was a brand new stage, a complete overhaul of the entire stage electrical system, the installation of a new flying system and a new stage lift. As most of the productions brings their own sound system and lighting, attention has been paid to installing a comprehensive network for video, sound, data, dimmers, patch panels and lighting looms. Cable used included Van Damme Cat 6 Data and Digil

UK - In December 2013 Stage Technologies' sister company Delstar Engineering was commissioned to provide a huge scenic structure for the set of ANNE, a new play about the life of Anne Frank. Produced by Imagine Nation, with set design by Bernhard Hammer and directed by Theu Boermans, the play is performed at the new 'Theater Amsterdam', a purpose-built venue in the Westerlijke Houthavens district of Amsterdam.

The play covers the two years that Anne Frank and her family hide in an attic in Amsterdam, as well as some events prior to their secret life and following their discovery and deportation by the Nazis. The intimate and powerful production not only utilises Anne Frank's own words from her diary but also plays out against a life-size backdrop of the Frank family's flat.

The audience views a series of projection screens that part to form a proscenium at various times

UK - Amp Pack Cases and Packhorse enjoyed a successful PLASA show at Excel London in October. Both companies were showcasing their wide range of innovative cases and received a fantastic response.

John O'Neill, Founder of Amp Pack Cases, commented: "The show was a very successful event and we received a great response for our products. As well as showcasing our range of Amp Pack cases we were exhibiting the Packhorse range, which also witnessed a great deal of interest from potential clients. We very much enjoyed the show, meeting new and existing customers and are definitely planning to attend next year."

With over 100 years of combined experience, Amp Pack Cases design and hand-build flightcases for the music, TV, science, motorsport and military industries. By producing the best quality cases for all types of high value and delicate equipment, the company have bui

UK - Flightcase Warehouse (FCW) is pleased to announce the achievement of ISO9001 accreditation.

"By demonstrating and verifying our compliance to the requirements of ISO 9001, FCW are actively advertising the company's commitment to quality, traceability and continual improvements," said FCW's Sam Austin.

ISO 9001 promotes the development of continual improvement, customer satisfaction and traceability through the implementation of various management system processes.

"ISO9001 accreditation will drive Flightcase Warehouse forward and assist in constantly improving our quality management systems. This is key criteria in showing our existing clients our commitment to quality management and will assist in convincing potential clients to utilise our products and services," the company says.

UK - It was announced on Friday that the UK's first government-backed National College for the Creative and Cultural Industries is to be established at The Backstage Centre, High House Production Park, opening in September 2016.

Managed by Creative & Cultural Skills on behalf of a consortium of employers and industry organisations including Live Nation, Royal Opera House, White Light and the Association of British Theatre Technicians, the new National College will provide specialist training in the technical skills needed by the creative and cultural industries. This is in response to significant industry growth, with the creative economy growing at four times the rate of the national economy, and the value of the UK's creative industries exports standing at over £15 billion per year.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "The talent which brings plays, operas, and f

UK - After nearly eight decades of hosting legendary events, Earls Court has had its final curtain call. After working on the venue's three concluding events, Blackout took down the last ever drape to grace the venue's walls on 14 December.

The historic London venue, famed for 'creating legends since 1937' has hosted an array of events in its 77 years, and Blackout has been part of some of them. At the very beginning of the company 25 years ago, founder Steve Tuck's second job was to install the PA system in Earls Court 2. December this year saw the exhibition centre host Victoria's Secret annual show, the inaugural BBC Music Awards and its ultimate concert by Bombay Bicycle Club. Between the first and last jobs Earls Court 1 and 2 has been a frequent destination for Blackout's team.

For Pink Floyd's 1994 Division Bell shows Blackout created 70 painted banners, featuring the a

UK - Triple E has emerged as the prince charming of equipment engineered for entertainment this Christmas as Cinderella opens at De Montfort Hall, Leicester using 192m of Unitrack.

The concert hall has no fly tower and in the theatrical format, with a false proscenium, has a seating capacity of 1,490. It is generally a receiving house and in more than 20 years this is the Hall's second year of producing a pantomime.

Jim O'Mahoney is the Hall's Principal Technician and technical godfather. He notes, "As we have no flying we needed to hang 19 separate cloths over 14 x 16M swipe tracks. These are all hand swiped other than two roped tab tracks. We have no wing space for the down pulleys.

"We already have a large quantity of Triple E track in house and wished to augment it, as we find that Triple E products offer a very reliable system. We rarely get issues with

USA - Over a year ago, Trinity Fellowship Church (TFC) mega-church ministry based in Amarillo, TX first installed the BlackTrax realtime motion tracking solution from CAST BlackTrax As part of the festive season, TFC presented an illustrated three-week sermon series called Who Is This Jesus?.

BlackTrax is part of TFC's lighting, sound and video system for its 3,800-seat auditorium set up as a theatre in the round.

BlackTrax realtime motion tracking solution was installed in August 2013 and has consistently been used a number of times each week ever since.

"It definitely solved a lot of problems for me over the year we've been using it. As soon as BlackTrax was installed and I was able to control the iris and beam to a specific width no matter where the light tracked. The options of what we could accomplish suddenly became seemingly endless in terms of creating an

UK - On a street that boasts the most famous front door in the world, it's fitting that the Downing Street Christmas tree is a vision to behold. Over the holiday period, the tree outside Number 10 appeared countless times on television news reports. So when Future Group Lighting Design was asked to do something a little out of the ordinary to coincide with the International Year of Light, Doughty Engineering was brought on board to provide some expert advice.

Peter Phillipson, award winning lighting designer and Principal at FGLD explained "Back in August we were asked to design something special for the Downing Street tree that signified the International Year of Light without looking like a corporate sponsorship. We considered many types of projection but went for backlit motifs resembling baubles in order that it could be left unmanned."

Turning to artist friend I

UK - The divisions between architecture and art have become ever more blurred in recent years, so no one should be surprised to find room-spanning mirrored structures suspended in the Raphael Gallery at London's Victoria and Albert Museum as part of the London Design Festival. Designers Edward Barber OBE and Jay Osgerby OBE, in collaboration with BMW, devised 'Double Space for BMW', a kinetic installation that altered the viewers perception of space and movement in relation to themselves and the Raphael Cartoons on display. Total Solutions Group (TSG) were tasked with suspending the structures in the revered halls of the V&A.

"Manufactured by Millimetre and engineered by Arup, the two structures are in fact shallow ellipses 15m long and 10m deep made from polished Alucore panels mounted to a lattice framework, much like the construction of an aircraft wing," explained

UK - 2014 has been a full-tilt year for UK rock band Kasabian with a massive homecoming gig in Victoria Park, Leicester in the summer followed by their acclaimed Sunday night headliner slot at Glasto. The year ended with equal style and gusto with a sold out European and UK arena tour, complete with a daring and ambitious show design by Nick Gray from Renegade whose creative magic ensured something radical.

Kasabian's reputation for spectacular live performance continued with this maelstrom of shows, storming their way thought a set action-packed with energy, hits and material from their newest album, 48:13.

Nick Gray's starting point for the stage, lighting and visual design was in developing a video aesthetic. He and Kasabian's Serge Pizzorno discussed the initial concepts based on wanting something that was related to the band's performance, non-conventional, innovat

UK - PLASA is delighted to announce the launch of the UK Trainee Rigger Scheme.

PLASA have developed a way in which those who wish to pursue a career in rigging can identify and record the necessary training and experience. They will also be able to demonstrate their commitment to rigging to potential employers.

The scheme will provide a way of logging experience against specific rigging tasks, building a picture of the trainee's practical rigging development and training undertaken. Over time they will be able to track their development and readiness to register for competence-based assessment at Level 2 of the National Rigging Certificate.

Training providers and trainees will have access to a syllabus of learning and the National Rigging Certificate Handbook. Each trainee will have attended a health and safety course recognised by the National Rigging Advisory Group as des

UK - The Entertainment Industry has seen many improvements in safety practices in recent years as 'health and safety culture' becomes common place in all aspects of day to day business.

One of the latest areas of focus is the design and management of temporary electrical systems in not only the TV and Radio world, but also in films, at events, in theatres and other similar workplaces.

Whilst the current IET Wiring Regulations BS7671 (17th Edition) qualification exists for fixed electrical systems, there has not been an agreed industry qualification for BS7909 - the Code of Practice on Temporary Electrical Systems in the Entertainment Industry.

Therefore, an industry working group involving the leading broadcasters, lighting rental companies, BECTU, PACT - representing the Independent Production Companies, several key employers and, Creative Skillset have all come together to

UK - Doughty Engineering has appointed Candice Robinson as the newest member of its UK sales team. Candice joins Doughty with a wealth of experience, previously working in sales for Honeywell and as head of administration in the dispatch department at Kondor.

Speaking of Candice's appointment, Laurence Dyer, Doughty's sales and customer services manager, said, "In the short time that Candice has been with us, her enthusiasm, efficiency and initiative has been impressive. She took the reins on day one and has demonstrated excellent customer service skills, and a good technical know-how. Candice will be a real asset to the UK sales team and to our customers too."

Candice, who will deal with all UK orders, customer queries, invoicing and dispatching, said, "Although it's early days, I feel as though I've been at Doughty for months. The entire team made me feel welc

Mexico - Flightcase, speaker cabinet and 19 inch racking solutions specialist Penn-Elcom has announced the opening of a new fully operational manufacturing facility in Tijuana, Mexico.

It is part of the company's planned expansion following robust trading worldwide in recent years, and the strategic location in Mexico's bustling Baja financial and industrial centre will benefit both Penn's Latin American and US markets with even quicker and more efficient delivery times and product options.

Penn Elcom Mexico will be headed up by MD Javier Haro with Frank McCourt heading up the sales effort. Javier has a manufacturing background owning businesses both in Tijuana and in San Diego, California. Frank's career with Penn Elcom stretches back an impressive 32 years, working for Penn both in the UK and in the USA. He has very close links with all Penn's OEM clients. They will be assis

The Netherlands - Mojo Barriers launches its new reinforced barrier system High Fence to the European events sector at Eurosonic Noorderslag today, 15 January.

High Fence is billed as an exceptionally strong and durable reinforced aluminium barrier system, with a Polycarbonate upper section that can be adapted transparent, black or white. It allows event organisers and venues to create robust restricted zones such as stage access areas for artists, either giving security personal and the audience uninterrupted views, or creating complete sight line kills.

Mojo's extensive range of compatible doors and gates are also available, which integrate seamlessly into the barrier line, to ensure fire safety, access and egress regulations are met. It is aesthetically attractive and safe, with increased strength compared to the traditional fencing methods and similar types of barricade us

Germany / Belgium - Belgian-based engineering and automation specialists WIcreations designed the 4m square six-faceted video cube which is the visual centrepiece of the current Record tour by German hip-hop superstars Die Fantastischen Vier.

The striking video feature - which moves on all axes and rotates throughout the show - is at the hub of the spectacular and inventive set, lighting and visuals show created by Gunther Hecker.

In addition to displaying conventional playback video, its different fascias are used as alternative lightsources. In the second half of the show, three large sections of gold mirror surface rise up from ground level around three sides of the stage, and the video takes on yet another dimension with these used to bounce and reflect its ambient light back onto the stage.

The Wicreations team led by project manager Yves Vervloet, was approached by Ste

UK - All Access Staging and Productions Ltd provided onstage risers to Paolo Nutini on his recent arena tour.

Stage manager Nik Rea approached All Access to provide the tour with a riser package. A multi-level riser system was put together with the decks in a diamond configuration which was filled in along the back from our stock triangular decks to produce areas for the band to move around on.

The production also used All Access rolling risers throughout the summer on their festival tour.

The All Access Versa system is designed so you can create the stage you require. Whether it is onstage risers or our proprietary rolling stage system.

(Jim Evans)

Spain - LitecC has announced that Bofill&Asociados S.L. has recently become its new distributor in Spain. "B&A is a well-known company made of highly skilled professionals, specialised in providing advanced technologies in the entertainment sector since 1990. They offer a wide range of high quality products from relevant brands and operate in several markets such as the entertainment, architecture, exhibition, TV and theatre among the many, complying with the current strictest regulations," the company says.

B&A is located in Madrid, with warehouses in the outskirts of the city to keep a stock and support customers efficiently.

"They are recognized as a premier firm with the proven ability to successfully provide flexible and effective solutions at short notice. They truly have solid knowledge and 25-year strong experience of technologies and special needs of cu

USA - All three ETCP examinations will be held at USITT in Cincinnati, OH on the morning of Saturday, 21 March, 2015. Candidates who wish to take more than one exam should contact ETCP. USITT members and employees receive a $100 discount on examination fees. Interested applicants must submit their application, along with supporting materials and fee, to the ETCP office no later than February 28, 2015. The ETCP office is located at 630 9th Ave, Suite 609, New York, New York, 10036.

Candidate information, including eligibility requirements and applications, is available on the ETCP website ( Materials can also be mailed by contacting Meredith Moseley-Bennett, ETCP Certification Manager, at 212-244-1505 or

Those unable to make it to USITT are encouraged to register and take an exam at one of over 190 computer based testing cen

South Africa - Inspired Stages ended off 2014 with a high, as students attended the last three-day school holiday workshop of the year, designed to give insight into the entertainment industry. This successful event was hosted at the GrandWest in Cape Town and was once again presented by Karen Burt (Planet Productions Code Teen) and Gavin Taylor (GrandWest Entertainment).

"It was a phenomenal three days and I personally feel like the richest person alive with the knowledge that together we have made such an unforgettable impact on the teenagers and the next generation," said Karen Burt.

Messages on facebook started rolling in from the participants shortly after the workshop ended, a testimony to what Inspired Stages meant to everyone.

"I personally find it interesting to note how many times Inspired Stages is referred to as family, specifically as many of thes

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