UK - The hit musical, Hamilton opened at the end of December to sell out audiences at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London. Prior to its opening, the venue underwent a complete facelift to prepare for the show, with everything from the decor, the seats and the uniforms of the staff tying in with Hamilton. As part of the refurbishment, Unusual Rigging was brought on board to rejuvenate the theatre's 'tired' flying system as well as to provide rigging services for the show itself.
Jeremy Featherstone of Unusual explained: "The flying system at the Victoria Palace Theatre had become life expired due to many years of use. For Hamilton, Unusual was asked to refurbish fifteen counterweight sets that were needed for the show. Essentially, all the moving parts and ropes were replaced during the pre-rig period and the opportunity was taken to lengthen some of the cradles to increase their capacity to balance some of the heavier lighting bars."
With the venue shut, rehearsals for the show had to take place off site. Chris Boone, production manager for the show said: "We did an out of theatre set up with pre-rig at Set Up Scenery in Cambridge. With Unusual providing over 30 motors, we test built the whole site there."
A major part of the installation within the theatre focussed around the lighting rig, with eight counterweight flown LX bars and an integrated LX truss and catwalk system which hangs over the stage. This catwalk system weighed in at around 9000kg when fully loaded and this weight was spread over 18 points.
Europe - Newly-launched in March 2018, Sixty82, the manufacturer of trussing and staging systems, has announced the appointment of its first distributors and distribution partners.
With immediate effect, A.C. Entertainment Technologies and Axente have been named as the new, exclusive distributors for the UK and France respectively, while pan-pro GmbH of Germany and Set2Stage of Portugal have been appointed distribution partners in their own countries.
“We chose A.C. Entertainment Technologies and Axente as the first in our international network as they represent the strongest importing distributors in their territories, with an historical strength in the trussing and staging marketplace,” says Sixty82 CEO Fokko Smeding, “Similarly, pan-pro and Set2Stage are both well-established companies with well-respected teams and ideally placed for distribution partnership.
“We are delighted to receive such instant support from companies of this calibre. It is an affirmation of the faith they place in the newly-formed Sixty82, our products, and our team who have been pioneers in our sector of the industry for the past 35 years.”
Sixty82 is a British, Dutch and French alliance of innovative industry leaders with a collective experience of over 100 years in the design and manufacture of trussing and staging systems. Its product range offers every component required to change the way that lightweight structural systems are used, and introduces unique technology that guarantees every structural component is traceable, safe and properly engineered.
UK - The stand of A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd (AC-ET) will provide the UK show debuts of leading innovations across its product sales divisions, at PLASA Focus Leeds.
Chroma-Q''s new Studio Force II is a powerful homogenised LED source for applications requiring high quality variable white light - complementing the multi-award-winning Color Force II RGBA LED cyclorama, wash & effects light. Also featured is the Inspire XT colour-mixing house light and Space Force variable white LED soft light.
ProLights' new Panorama IP WBX LED moving light delivers a massive output and pixel ring "eye candy" effects in an IP65-rated fixture ideal for temporary outdoor events. The brand's other show debuts include the JetSpot4 powerful, fully-featured LED Spot in a compact design, and the RA3000 high precision LED Profile. Other models will be featured.
Follow-Me's remote follow spot control is a network based software package that allows the user to harness multiple moving lights from any manufacturer in any orientation to follow multiple targets or performers. Independent and flexible, it requires no sensors, belt-packs or proprietary hardware, and provides seamless fixture takeover with any lighting console.
BroadWeigh's new BW-BSd wireless USB dongle enables users to connect to BroadWeigh shackles at a line of sight range of up to 500m. The portable, wireless solution is ideally suited for laptops and tablets running the full version of Microsoft Windows.
ProLights' OmegaPIX LED video screen range includes an IP65-rated 3.9mm pitch ve
UK - PLASA Focus Leeds has begun its tenth birthday celebrations on 1-2 May at the Royal Armouries, Leeds. The popular entertainment technology trade show provides a stage for over 175 global brands, and the show’s reputation attracts thought-leaders and taste-makers who share their expertise through seminars and training sessions.
The show floor will feature products fresh from European launches, and the seminar programme is overflowing with enriching talks and lively debates. The show caters to everyone from lighting designers and sound engineers, to riggers and production managers.
Audio enthusiasts can get under the skin of digital mixers with Soundcraft’s Andy Brown and Sound Technology’s Ben Todd, and can get to grips with Line Array systems with Harman’s Ed Jackson and Sound Technology’s Stuart Strachan. Visitors can learn about frequency response with Oran Burns of d&b audiotechnik, or touring monitors with Justin Grealy of Soulsound. Plus, Phil Ward and a pro audio panel will explore object-based and spatialised audio solutions.
Among the many new audio innovations will be Martin Audio’s Wavefront Precision Series, Sennheiser’s Wireless G4 System, RCF’s JMIX8 two-way array speaker, and the award-winning LD Systems MAUI P900 column speakers from Adam Hall Group.
Lighting designers may wish to join the Association of Lighting Designers who will discuss issues for those unable to test their designs until technical rehearsal. Additionally, the ALD will join forces with PLASA to address the Eco-Design changes affecting
Germany - This year’s Prolight + Sound show saw the worldwide debut of EXE Technology’s new dynamic stack tracks rail and trolley system – the EXE-DST66 – which draws on the success of its DST52 system.
To answer the call by live production professionals across the globe for a heavy-duty rail and trolley system for their demanding live productions, EXE Technology developed the DST66 system that draws on a total of 63 Nm of power (additional 38 Nm compared to the DST52 system) and achieves speeds up to 60 m/min at 50 Hz (an additional 36 m/min compared to the DST52).
Response to this system at the EXE Technology stand during the exhibition was absolute proof that they hit the bullseye, says the company.
Germany - James Thomas Engineering came to the Prolight + Sound show to officially debut its safety block system for its Thomas Tower TT4 that protects mother grids from both drop and lift.
The recently-launched conical truss series for the EMEA region was also on display, which builds on its pedigree and extensive knowledge in truss manufacturing. James Thomas Engineering now offers a total of three connection systems – conical, fork and plated – for a range of structures and projects.
Their conical range includes the JT22 light-duty display system in a compact format, JT30 / JT30H mid-sized system for multi-purpose use, multi-purpose JT40H / JT40HR / JT36 truss for mid-sized heavy-duty applications, JT52 high-capacity truss with super-sized conical connectors for higher loading capacities, and the extra heavy-duty JT100 truss for extra high-capacity loads.
Germany - Automation specialist and manufacturer Kinesys enjoyed one of its busiest and most successful Prolight+Sound exhibitions in Frankfurt to date.
The UK-based company highlighted its new Apex chain hoist system, launched at Prolight 2017, which incorporates Kinesys’ extensive knowledge, practical experience and history as a pioneer in the world of variable speed chain hoist control technology.
Kinesys also launched a new product - the LibraNODE - which can enable the EXE RISE loadcell hook as well as other third party loadcells to be integrated directly into a Libra monitoring network or a DigiHoist.
Kinesys MD Dave Weatherhead commented, “The show was excellent and we saw lots of quality visitors throughout, from the first moment of day one to the very end. It was without a doubt the most positive Prolight we have experienced to date! We were very happy.”
As well as seeing plenty of key European customers, end-users from rental companies and venues, plus a host of freelance riggers and show designers all with a vested interest in the advantages of automation, Dave noted a substantial international contingent.
This was especially noticeable with visitors from Asia, the Middle East, Australia and the Pan Pacific regions. “The show seems to be expanding as a meeting place and international hub for these areas, which is great news”.
Kinesys has increased its business in Asia dramatically over the past few years.
Apex was the focus of attention and received lots of interest. The system comprises a range of safe,
UK - Specialist manufacturer of flame retardant fabrics, drapery and stage engineering solutions J&C Joel has been named as one of Yorkshire’s top 100 best performing SMEs in Yorkshire Business Insider’s SME 300.
The SME 300 table is made up of companies in the county with a turnover of between £5m and £20m and this is the first time the Sowerby Bridge based firm has been listed featuring at number 86.
J&C Joel has seen significant growth over the past few years opening a new purpose-built facility in Vietnam last year as well as expanding operations in Europe and Australasia.
The award-winning business exports to more than 80 countries, providing products and services such as Front of House theatre drapes, stage backdrops, cycloramas, gauzes, acoustic solutions, projection screens plus an array of stage engineering solutions.
James Wheelwright, J&C Joel’s CEO, said: “We’re extremely proud to feature on this list, it is testament to the hard work the staff at J&C Joel put in.
“This is another fantastic achievement for the business and builds on our success at the Lloyds National Business Awards where we were crowned Exporter of the Year.
“We are continuing to invest in our infrastructure and staff and are continually putting plans in place to support the future growth of the business.”
Germany - This year’s Prolight+Sound exhibition saw the debut of several new Milos products and product lines.
Presentation of the Milos steel truss line, as well as its new steel tower, head section and base with outriggers, turned more than a few heads at the show and generated a lot of interest from companies that could appreciate extreme load capacity this truss line can deliver. The accompanying video next to the display, which documented the recent load testing on MILOS steel truss spans with up to 47 tons CPL, was a fitting addition to the already impressive power the steel line commanded at the show.
Additional new products that Milos displayed included its roof canopy tensioner that achieves 50% higher tensioning compared to their previous system and eliminates water pooling on roof structures, ceiling support for low headroom and safe suspension of all sizes of MILOS truss, and its truss carrier + dolly for convenient transport of all M2900/M390 trio and quatro format truss.
Germany - Litec debuted three new products at this year’s Prolight+Sound exhibition in Frankfurt. One of the stars of the show was its new MyT Virtue truss line, which is part of the MyT truss family and a smaller version of the MyT Folding Steroid truss line.
A compact solution, thanks to its folding design, it provides increased loading capacity for a truss of this size, as well as decreased deflection and longer spans for large-scale events. Made from EN AW 7003 T6 aluminium, it has 60mm main chords and features weld-free construction.
Another popular new item from Litec was its Hoist Box Truss that offers EXE-Rise 500kg hoist owners a convenient, space saving and low headroom method of hanging their hoist within a wide range of support structures. The hoist box has a standard length of 500 mm, which makes it compatible with selected trio and quatro Litec truss for seamless integration in structure designs. Weaker, heat affected zones are eliminated due to its weld-free construction, making it extremely strong.
Litec also displayed components from its high-capacity MaxiTower 52HD and MaxiTower 63 line, and selected modules from its extensive crowd barrier line.
Another attraction was the introduction of their new Litecad Evolution online/offline configurator, which helps bring their customers’ structural visions to life.
Germany - GUIL revealed its TMD-545/N rigging tower for flying sound systems at Prolight+Sound. "It’s one of the most compact towers on the market,” - says CEO Eduardo Hinarejos. “It can lift up to 500kg of line array to almost 6.5m and it is transported in a single package of only 1.48m3.” Visitors to the show were impressed by the design of the tower and also by the components that are included in the price: the complete truss structure with a double handled winch, a chain hoist for 2000kg and a chain bag.
Another new product which attracted a lot of interest was the ULK 600XL front loading tower, which allows the user to lift line array, truss structures and LED screens from ground level. With a double handled auto brake winch, this compact lifter of only 1.63m stowed can raise 350kg to 6m high.
“Nowadays professionals are looking for solutions that can offer a good balance between load capacity, height and design,” adds Hinarejos. “Precisely for this reason GUIL tries to offer compact solutions but with a high load capacity and with technical specifications that are different from those offered by the rest on the market.”
As a manufacturer of solutions for events and the world of entertainment, GUIL also launched new DJ and sound engineer tables in Frankfurt, all of them with three cable holes, and with lots of accessories (for monitor speakers, a computer/laptop, headphones, a parasol, a mic stand, a music stand, etc). All are designed for indoor and outdoor use.
In the range of decks for stages, the Spanish company has a
UK - Triple E’s heavy-duty curtain and scenery track took the weight for a new multi-function ‘innovation space’ at The Crystal, Siemens’ recently-completely sustainable UK headquarters on Royal Victoria Dock.
Rigid enough to serve as a suspension joist, UniBeam can be curved to a minimum radius of 2m and has the same dimensions and component range as UniTrack. As a result, The Crystal project benefitted from Triple E’s full range of accessories and carriers, capable of taking up to 385kg.
Commissioned by Siemens to create the space, design agency Jotta tasked Shape Studio with the build, specifying materials such as Bencore, a lightweight/light-permeable, honeycombed panel, custom moulded in Italy, to reflect The Crystal’s unique architecture and environmentalism.
Moving those elements, together with the other components, securely and efficiently, was a crucial element in bringing the project to fruition.
The new space is designed to facilitate C-Suite meetings between Siemens and key global clients, showcasing the digital pioneer’s IoT platform, MindSphere.
To that end, Jotta designed a zoned solution to reflect the three stages of Siemens’ client engagement; including a cinema style set-up extolling Mindsphere’s virtues and a circular room with two configurable partitions, where clients can interact with the touch table exhibit. The third area provides workshopping facilities including custom-designed modular furniture. Again flexible, it can turn into intimate or boardroom style configurations.
Germany - At the recent Prolight + Sound show in Frankfurt, Fantek and Work Lifters announced they will be incorporating an enhanced version of the existing Dynsys overload limiting system in their future products.
Dynsys is a patented safety feature developed to protect operators by preventing top-loading (telescopic) and front-loading lifters lifting under overload conditions, in accordance with the stringent requirements of the EU-wide safety regulation DIN 56950, an important part of the DGUV V17/18 Health & Safety (Industrial Accident Prevention) regulations.
Until now, if lifters incorporating Dynsys are overloaded, user control of torque is blocked. With the improved Dynsys v1.2 system, Fanterk and Work lifters will additionally be prevented from raising anything above Level 0. At the same time, the operator will be given immediate visual feedback to inform them that their tower is excessively loaded, making it impossible for them to miss the potentially dangerous state of their lifter and keeping them safe.
“We all need safety standards, especially in the realm of industrial lifting technology,” comments CSO of Equipson Juan Jose Vila. “The problem is that left alone, companies sometimes have a tendency to create their own proprietary standards. But here are two rival companies agreeing to jointly adopt a new technology in the interests of everybody’s safety. Far from this putting them both at a commercial disadvantage, everyone benefits - not least lifter operators, who will be safer using products incorporating Dynsys v1.2.
Germany - New trussing and staging systems manufacturer Sixty82 only came into being on 1 March, and shortly after made its successful first public appearance at Prolight+Sound 2018. “The show was incredible for us and we have been bowled over by the phenomenal response we have received from the start,” says Sixty82’s sales & marketing director, Rainier Smeding.
Sixty82’s stand was built using some of its own products to replicate a pub. Complete with bar serving bespoke Sixty82 beer, meeting areas and a full complement of its products, it was a suitable setting for staff to welcome its many new clients. The arrangement reflected the friendly, approachable nature of the company whose team has a genuine enjoyment of their jobs and puts customer service at the forefront of their operations.
“Having good product is paramount of course, but we believe that giving our customers the best service possible is essential,” says Smeding. “We want them to be confident knowing we can be relied upon to deliver upon our promises, and will support them on their projects in every way possible, from advice in the initial stages through to the final supply.”
The stand was constantly packed with clients for the four days of the show: the company officially launched the new Sixty82 App and celebrated with an after-hours party with a live band. Sixty82 App allows users instant access to both unique and general data about the origin and safe use of the system through the use of unique Product Personalities obtained through each component’s RFID tag.
UK - A new lightweight lighting stand will take centre stage on the Doughty stand at this year's PLASA Focus Leeds. The prototype product, which has been designed with the events and conference market in mind comprises a flat, round plate and slim tube, slotted at each end to allow cables to run unseen inside it. Described as ‘extremely robust’, the stand has a sleeker appearance than the standard Tank Trap and comes with a stacking slot which allows for the stands to be stacked together as well as a carry handle.
Dan Phillips, project sales co-ordinator at Doughty comments: "We really encourage everyone to come and take a look at this piece of kit on stand N-C25 while it's still in its development stage. We take feedback extremely seriously and use it to fine tune the product so that it ticks all the right boxes. We think our customers will really like the Lightweight Lighting Stand - with all the principles of our popular Tank Trap but packaged into a neater, more aesthetically pleasing model."
He adds: "A 28mm receiver in incorporated in the top of the stand which will take an industry standard 28mm spigot. And, when used in conjunction with a spigot adapter, the stand can also be used to hold small speakers."
The Three Position Tank Trap will also feature on this year's stand. Following its debut in 2017, it went on to win the ABTT Engineering Product of the Year. This clever piece of kit enables rigging to be built close to a wall, in the corner of a room or near to an obstruction. It has a detachable receiver suitable for 48mm barrel, whic
USA - Known colloquially as RodeoHouston, The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) is the world’s largest livestock show and richest regular season rodeo, dedicated to benefiting youth, supporting education, and facilitating better agricultural practices through exhibitions and presentation. It draws more than 1.4m people each year to the 72,000-capacity NRG Stadium and over 2.5m people to NRG Park to enjoy the entire festivities.
Running for 20 days in February-March, it attracts the very top names in country music, from Garth Brooks through to Brad Paisley, who perform after the main rodeo event each day.
Such high calibre artists demand top concert production values and this year the Rodeo boosted its technological infrastructure by purchasing a new stage - built by TAIT in Lititz, PA. Working closely with TAIT, and leaning heavily towards GLP fixtures, were Houston based LD Systems. The company has been servicing the rodeo since 1985, and provided all technical design, live sound, concert lighting, HD video screens, custom truss structures, rigging equipment, production crew and logistics throughout the season.
LD Systems is headed by Rob McKinley, who has specified over 300 GLP fixtures, comprising 140 x impression X4; 70 x JDC1; 108 x X4 Bar 20 and 16 x X4 Bar 10.
The process of designing and building the new stage started after the 2015 event, which is when LD made the recommendation to HLSR to engage TAIT to provide a vibrant structure for the 72,000 capacity stadium. In deference to the Lone Star state, this was conceived as a
UK - Global Truss has developed the truss Silencer, a rubber damper that is simply pushed on to the end of a truss pin to reduce noise when assembling truss structures.
The Silencer will decrease the volume when hammering truss pins by around 50% whilst dampening the high pitch frequencies significantly, says the company. A special rubber blend is being used in production which makes the Silencer flexible yet hard enough to transfer the force of the hammer effectively, and whilst preserving the material of the pin and the copper hammer.
The Silencer has been designed to be left on the truss pins, whilst fitted to the truss, providing protection not only to the truss but also the surface it is sitting upon. Another added feature is that it offers camouflage when silver pins are used on black truss.
“Audio measurements were conducted by audio specialists under real live and laboratory conditions and confirm that with the help of our Silencer an 8dB decrease of the acoustic noise can be achieved. Additional measurements have revealed that especially high pitch tones are significantly dampened for protection of the human ear. Tests during events have attested that other service providers on location did not feel as disturbed by noise when assembling truss,” says Oliver Braun, marketing director of Global Truss.
Since the inception of Global Truss, innovation is one of the guiding principles and the whole industry will now benefit from this innovation, as Global Truss will distribute the Silencer for free to all customers, users, exhibition v
UK - Unusual Rigging has appointed four new directors to the board in response to the company's exponential growth over recent years. The new directors, all current employees at Unusual will, in time assume specific leadership roles within the company.
Senior project managers Steve Porter, Simon Stone and Simon Tiernan, together with Tom Harper, Unusual's sustainability coordinator, have accepted positions on the board.
Alan Jacobi, managing director at Unusual, comments: "Unusual has grown at an unprecedented rate in recent years and now has responsibilities in very defined but different sectors where the clients expect to deal with officers at the highest level. This, together with the ever-increasing compliance requirements meant that we had to take measures to ensure the board is not overstretched."
He adds: "We needed to regenerate the thread of continuity as we move forward and continue to grow and the board needs to reflect this intention in the management and governance of the company. We need a solid and secure base to guide us into the future where no doubt the responsibilities will be ever more demanding."
Speaking on behalf of the newly appointed directors, Tom Harper comments: "It is an honour to be invited to sit on the board of Unusual Rigging. We are all long-standing employees of the company and have been a part of the team for nearly 30 years. We all know the company inside out and all share the same aspirations for its future."
Jacobi concludes: "We have been discussing these issues for some time now and decided at t
Germany - Manufacturer of flame retardant fabrics, drapery and stage engineering solutions, J&C Joel is launching several new products at PL+S 2018.
Visitors to the tradeshow will be able to see four new velvets, the widest IFR Canvas on the market, a new addition to the Wool Serge range a new 3D digital print fabric and an exciting new acoustic system.
At the event J&C Joel will launch Empress - a new NDFR Velvet manufactured with an upright pile direction giving it a very black appearance. The Velvet meets BS5867, B1 and M1 flame retardancy standards and is also acoustically tested to Class B Absorber making it perfect for European and touring markets.
Andrew Walsh, J&C Joel’s sourcing and product development manager, said: “Empress is a Velvet with a high-density construction more typically seen offered to the high end domestic market. Its compact, upright pile makes it a fantastically luxurious fabric with a deep full colour appearance. It’s one of the nicest Velvets I’ve seen in my 38 years in the industry and I am delighted that Joel’s are able to bring it exclusively to the worldwide market.”
The company is also introducing Euro Wool Serge a new product which meets B1, M1 and BS5967 flame retardancy standards. The new addition to J&C Joel’s world-famous Serge range is a hard-wearing, acoustically tested, blackout fabric which can be toured, sold and used for the rental market across Europe and beyond.
Super Wide Width IFR Canvas, will also be on the stand and available to customers in the next few mon
UK - Richard Black has joined stage track and engineering specialist Triple E in a newly created technical sales and marketing role.
Previously the projects manager at Flint Hire and Supply, Black’s new job will utilise his 10 years’ experience in scenic construction and rigging with a focus on client relationships, training and marketing Triple E’s expanding portfolio.
David Edelstein, managing director, says: “We’re delighted to have Richard on board. He’s familiar with our products and ambitions and fully equipped to communicate the company’s product solutions.”
Richard Black comments: “I’ve admired Triple E since I started working in this business. David wants people in tune with his designs, who recognise their merits. The tech sales and marketing position is a perfect fit for me and I’m looking forward to exciting challenges as Triple E takes its message into new corners of the market.”
USA - VER has entered into an agreement to merge with an entity controlled by Production Resource Group LLC (PRG).
To facilitate the implementation of this pre-negotiated transaction, VER has filed voluntary petitions for reorganisation under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. These filings only affect the company's North American operations, says the company. The agreement is part of a transaction supported by VER’s second lien lenders, including funds managed by GSO Capital Partners.
VER expects to continue normal operation during the restructuring and says clients “can be confident that their project will not be interrupted”.
Digby Davies, CEO of VER, comments: "Entering into this agreement and undertaking the court-supervised restructuring process will greatly reduce VER's outstanding debt and position the company for the merger with PRG. VER remains a strong business with more customers than ever before, and a customer satisfaction rating that is highest in the industry. The actions announced today will provide a stronger capital structure and sufficient cash to fund operations."
Davies continues: "During the process we will continue to provide our clients with the largest inventory of equipment and unmatched reliability and expertise. Clients will work with their trusted VER representative and their projects will not be interrupted."
Jere Harris, chairman and CEO of PRG, adds: "We are pleased to enter into this agreement with VER and partner with GSO. VER's terr
UK - PLASA Focus Leeds is bringing the world’s latest entertainment technology to the North of England on 1-2 May at the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds.
Visitors can expect new releases from top brands, an array of immersive workshops, and leading-edge seminars covering lighting, live sound, rigging, AV and staging.
The show is the perfect place to see brand new products for the first time in the UK, including the highly anticipated grandMA3 lighting console. Visitors will also see Martin Audio’s Wavefront Precision Series, Vari-Lite’s VL2600 range, Sennheiser’s Wireless G4 System and Robe’s MegaPointe.
The seminar programme serves many different tribes, from immersive audio and theatre refurbishment, to festival lighting and set design software. There is something for everyone at the industry leading show.
The reinvention of the Chester Storyhouse will be revealed by lighting advisor Rob Halliday and others who worked tirelessly on the project. The biggest of its kind outside of London, the venue houses an 800-seat auditorium, a 200-seat studio theatre, a 100-seat cinema, and much more. This seminar will explore the technology involved in such a huge and versatile space.
Professionals involved in set design and production won’t want to miss out on an introduction to Vectorworks. This leading industry software for entertainment design offers an incredible amount of functions including 3D rendering, VR and rigging analysis. Attend this seminar to see how Vectorworks can make your job easier.
The Rigger’s Forum retu
China - Star Events’ technology and inspiration was on the menu at a lunch for major promoters, production suppliers and principal venues in Shanghai recently.
Hosted by Shanghai Mercedes-Benz Arena, China’s second busiest music venue, the event focused on the launch of the China PROM (Production Rigging Operations Manual) and the arena’s new house reduction solution, designed and installed by Star Events China, which was demonstrated to the lunch guests.
Conceived by Star Events China, with input from engineers, local and international experts, rigging publications and the arena architect, PROM is the first rigging safety manual of its type in China.
Built in 2010 for Shanghai World Expo, the Mercedes-Benz Arena has an extensive gallery level serving its sports commitments, which include NBA and NFL games. A roller blind mechanism, designed to screen the section off and provide for a more intimate event experience downstairs, put 100 tons in the roof and fell far short of the requirements.
Star Events’ semi-automated house reduction system was officially handed over after the demonstration. It can deploy nearly 5,000sq.m of Acre Jean AFR drapes in minutes without any Work at Height in the 34m high venue.
Jo Xie, operations director for Star Events China, comments: “The system is operated by the house technical crew. It’s reliable, demountable and weighs less than 10 tons rather than 100 tons, so leaves much more rigging capacity in the roof.”
Germany - Doughty's Lightweight Lighting Stand will make its Prolight & Sound debut this year. Visitors to Hall 3.0 stand E11 can see the new stand, which is currently in prototype format and takes the principles of a Tank Trap but packages them into a neater, more aesthetically pleasing model.
Dan Phillips, project sales co-ordinator at Doughty, comments: "The new Lightweight Lighting Stand comprises a flat, round plate and slim tube, slotted at each end to allow cables to run unseen inside it. A 28mm receiver is incorporated in the top of the stand which will take an industry standard 28mm spigot. When used in conjunction with a spigot adapter, the stand can also be used to hold small speakers. This robust piece of kit has a sleeker appearance than the standard Tank Trap and comes with a stacking slot which allows for the stands to be stacked together as well as a carry handle. We're delighted to be bringing this prototype to Frankfurt to get feedback from everyone who attends."
The Three Position Tank Trap will also feature on this year's stand. Following its debut in 2017, it went on to win the ABTT Engineering Product of the Year. This piece of kit enables rigging to be built close to a wall, in the corner of a room or near to an obstruction. It has a detachable receiver suitable for 48mm barrel, which may be fitted to any of the three mounting points, which are located in the centre as per a standard tank trap, at the edge and in the corner.
In addition the Tank Trap Trolley will receive its Frankfurt debut. Designed by Doughty as a result