The doors of PLASA Show 2019 open in just a few days from 15-17 September at Olympia London, where thousands of visitors will experience the leading edge of live entertainment technology. With 220+ brands, 55+ educational sessions and a plethora of immersive features, this year’s show is ready to serve industry professionals from all sectors.
PLASA’s Managing Director Peter Heath comments: “Last year’s edition of PLASA Show was heralded for its high footfall and vibrant atmosphere. We have worked hard to build upon this by offering more brands and new features for a show that is both enjoyable and productive.
Of course, we couldn’t do it without the exhibitors and their technology which has developed at a dizzying rate over the years – PLASA is proud to provide a platform for such innovation, and we can’t wait to share what’s in store.”
Brand new products
After much hype, the Heritage-D digital console from MIDAS will be at the show, providing hands-on encounters. Coda Audio will display their N-APS, an ultra-compact 2-way arrayable point source, and d&b audiotechnik will display their flexible A-Series. The all-new TrackerD4 Precision Stagetracking from TiMax will also be here.
Robe will launch their new luminaire, Esprite, which has been designed as an LED replacement for discharge fixtures. Other notable lighting fixtures appearing at the show include the Huracán-X from Ayrton, the Maverick MK3 from Chauvet and the Synergy 5 from DTS. Artistic Licence will present their latest lighting control
UK - Area Four Industries is gearing up for a busy PLASA 2019, taking place on 15-17 September at London Olympia. On stand G50, the team will present some of the latest staging and trussing products from MIlos, Litec, JTE, EXE Technology and Xstage.
The company says Glen, Adam, Peter, Dave and Tracie from the Area Four Industries Direct UK office will be ready and waiting to discuss your projects and provide more information on the many solutions Area Four Industries’ brands can deliver.
UK - Temporary outdoor LED screen support structures are key part of today’s leading live events. With this in mind, Area Four Industries’ Norbert Tripp is giving a presentation at PLASA Show to discuss best practice for their use and design as well as advance planning in set-up and safety measures.
Temporary Outdoor LED Screen Structures is taking place on 16 September from 13:30 - 14:15 in the Lighting and Production Theatre at London Olympia’s National Hall.
During the presentation, Tripp will discuss how LED screens react under wind loads; how the load-bearing structure should look like; and how to take the proper precautions in case of high wind speeds.
UK - A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) will exclusively show over 20 brands from across its dedicated lighting, rigging, audio and video sales divisions on stand E30 at PLASA 2019 (15-17 September, London Olympia).
The stand will feature at least six products that have been nominated for the PLASA Awards for Innovation 2019, including the Prolights PixieWash XB, a single source RGB+WW LED wash light with extensive zoom and high CRI. Also nominated from Prolights is Mosaico XL, a long-throw IP66 LED fixture for projecting gobos and textures onto buildings and landscapes with colour mixing, animation wheel and framing shutters. LumenRadio’s TimoTwo module, which brings concurrent CRMX (wireless DMX/RDM) and Bluetooth to a single chip, and BroadWeigh’s Bluetooth system that sends data straight to a smart device, have also been nominated.
Other nominees include Luminex, who will be unveiling Araneo, a free software that provides a graphical overview of a network; and Claypaky’s laser-source beam light, Xtylos.
Lighting highlights include the new Chroma-Q Space Force onebytwo variable white LED soft light panel. Recipient of a Lighting Product of the Year Award at NAB, the cost-effective, bright, high quality unit is a modern replacement for traditional soft sources. The popular Space Force fixture, upon whose technologies the onebytwo is based, will also be on display, alongside Chroma-Q's other film and TV fixtures, the Studio Force II and the Brute Force, a powerful, LED alternative to traditional light sources.
Additional moving h
USA - Three new or revised standards are available for public review on the ESTA TSP website at estalink.us/pr.
Those materially affected by the proposals is invited to review them and to offer comments before the deadline.
BSR E1.62, Minimum specifications for mass-produced portable platforms, ramps, stairs, and choral risers for live performance events is being offered for a fourth public review. The proposed standard covers mass-produced portable platforms, stair units and ramps used with those platforms, and choral risers, designed to be used for the presentation of music concerts, dramatic plays, fashion shows, and other entertainment and special events. The units covered by this standard are of a size and weight that allows them to be moved and erected by one or two people. The scope also covers the railings provided as fall protection accessories, and the legging systems. The public review runs through to 23 September.
BSR E1.4-3, Entertainment Technology - Manually Operated Hoist Rigging Systems, is a standard for permanently installed, human-powered manually operated hoists, used as part of rigging systems for raising, lowering, and suspension of scenery, properties, lighting, and similar loads This standard establishes requirements for the design, manufacture, installation, inspection, and maintenance of manual hoist systems for lifting and suspension of loads for performance, presentation, and theatrical product
UK - With thousands of performers taking to hundreds of stages across the city, this year’s Edinburgh Festival and Fringe proved to be the busiest ever for full technical production provider Hawthorn, who supplied equipment to performances across both festivals.
Having headed to Edinburgh for their 29th festival season, this year saw Hawthorn provide lighting, rigging and power distribution to the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF).
The International Festival presents a programme featuring performers and ensembles from the worlds of dance, opera, music and theatre. Hawthorn was tasked with providing equipment to an array of performances in Festival Theatre, Kings Theatre, Lyceum Theatre, The Studio and Usher Hall as well as providing kit to the opening ceremony which took place at Tynecastle Park.
As well as supplying equipment to EIF, Hawthorn was also kept busy with their Edinburgh Festival Fringe clients. This included supplying lighting, rigging and power distribution for Assembly Festival - the longest-running of the multi-venue operators - as well as continuing their collaboration with Summerhall and long-term client Paradise Green.
David Slater, Hawthorn’s group director of hire, says: “This year has definitely been our busiest Fringe Festival to date and we’re thrilled to be working with so many amazing venues, both new and old. Edinburgh International Festival was a new client for us this year and it was a privilege to support them in so many fantastic new venues. EIF offers such a diverse programme so it was really exciti
UK - Communications solutions specialist, Surfhire, has provided essential services for UK Athletics (UKA), the governing body of athletics in the UK, for the 10th consecutive year.
Responsible for overseeing the governance of athletics events in the UK as well as its athletes, their development, and athletics officials, the UKA hosts a programme of key events throughout the British summer.
For the 2019 season, Surfhire deployed a considerable amount of kit, including walkie talkies, matrix intercom, commentator systems and extensive networking services across six events.
The comms, radios and networking infrastructure - with comms for the UK Athletics Sport Presentation being run by head of comms, Paul Carter - is a multi-faceted operation. A central control area and several remote locations, as well as interfacing to the host broadcaster, The BBC, all come under Carter’s supervision.
For the comms rack, Surfhire utilised an RTS Adam 80-way Intercom Matrix, an RVON IO IP Convertor, Optocore X6R-FX Fibre Convertor, Wohler VAMP-SDR Audio monitor, Canford Audio patch bay, and Sonifex Redbox Audio DA with assorted panels; KP32 CLD, KP32 and KP12.
Glen Fuller working for Surfhire took charge of the radio shack and RF base. The RF Rack boasted Bolero V2 Base, Bolero Beltpacks, Bolero Active Antennae, two TAIT TB7100 bases and four Surfhire SiFace simplex radio interfaces.
Surfhire’s Simon Hodge, who has provided comms packages for Hugh Jackman, Drake, Take That, Coldplay, Robbie Williams, Sam Smith, One Direction, Queen + Adam L
UK - Independent rigging specialist Rigging Team has announced the appointment of Matthew Millward to the role of technical manager at its Stevenage headquarters.
Working with some of the industry’s leading rental providers and as key crew on a host of major international tours, Millward’s experience encompasses a diverse variety of roles from in-house technician through to touring production manager on large scale arena shows.
Adam Searle, Rigging Team director, says: “Matt brings with him over two decades of real-world experience in rigging, technical theatre and technical management. This wide-ranging understanding of our business will ensure he remains an enduring member of our team.”
UK - TSL has completed the rebrand of Basingstoke-based stage lighting equipment supplier Blinding Light to TSL Lighting following the latter’s acquisition in January 2018.
Operating as TSL Basingstoke, the company will look after all lighting projects, whilst the rigging projects will be processed at TSL’s warehouse in Gatwick.
The move has been described as “a milestone” in the expansion of the company, which is under the directorship of Sam Tamplin, Loz Wilcox and Dom Sheerman.
Tamplin comments: “During the time that Blinding Light has been part of the TSL family, we’ve harmonised our processes to the point where the equipment preparation for all jobs, whether styled as TSL or Blinding Light, is identical, so the time feels right to remove any potential brand confusion for our customers.
“Bringing the brands together as TSL Lighting will see no change or disruption to new or existing customers of either brand. Projects will continue to be delivered from both our Basingstoke and Gatwick locations and our trade hire teams will continue to service our industry colleagues.”
Tamplin adds: “Clients can continue to deal with their existing project manager or hire coordinator at the same location, via the same phone numbers and email addresses, and will continue to enjoy the same great level of service and quality of equipment they have learned to expect from both brands. I’m excited to continue our mission into 2020 and beyond and to cement our position as one of the leading independent suppliers in the UK.”
UK - Manchester International Festival (MIF) is staged every two years at venues across the city and presents work from across the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture.
A major commission at this year’s festival had an urgent technical requirement, which Triple E were only supported
Jack Thompson, MIF’s technical director, reports: “We had an urgent requirement for a replacement system for some rollers for the world premiere of Invisible Cities, which we produced with 59 Productions and Rambert and staged in the Mayfield, an abandoned railway station. We needed a speedy response from a reliable supplier. Triple E fell into the frame pretty quickly with their UniTrack system.”
Production manager at MIF19, Niall Black adds: “Within 24 hours of us making the call, the installation had been completed. UniTrack is so simple to install, 10 hours after it arrived on site, all of it was up in the air and working, which, on a dead hung grid in a space the size of Mayfield Railway Station, with a specially constructed canal running down the middle of the 40m x 15m stage was not the easiest of asks. But a five-man team working overnight from UK Rigging had it up and rigged ready for rehearsals the next day.”
“We were so delighted to be able to turn around such a large order in a very short time. I am immensely proud of our staff who all pulled together to ensure the track and parts left within an hour of the order being confirmed,” says Brenda Edelstein.
Europe - EXE Rise series’s most established hoist range - the Large Frame Hoist - is the subject of a new video released by EXE Technology distributor Area Four Industries.
Adam Beaumont (UK, EXE Technology brand manager) is back again on the company’s A4i.tv video channel to explain the product’s features, benefits, components and technical specifications.
Designed for touring and permanent installations, the Large Frame Hoist is available in one-tonne (single fall) and two-tonne (double fall) loading capacities.
Europe - Area Four Industries have continued to promote various trussing products through its video channel A4i.tv, dedicating the latest one to the Milos Corner Brace HD.
This piece of kit has been designed to add full support for small- to medium-sized roofs and eliminate the need for guy wires.
In the video, available here, Area Four Industries’ technical director Norbert Tripp discusses the design, features and advantages of the Corner Brace HD. Designed for use with standard two-way and three-way 90° corners, it eliminates the need for guy wires by ensuring stabilisation, reducing ballast requirements, providing more access to the stage, and requiring less time to install.
UK - White Light has returned to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe where it is supplying the lighting and rigging equipment for all of the Gilded Balloon venues for the sixth year running.
WL’s customer service key account manager Dan Last comments: “We work closely with Gilded Balloon across their five buildings: Teviot (nine spaces), The Museum (auditorium space), Old Tolbooth Market (three spaces), Rose Theatre (three spaces) and the newly-acquired Patter Hoose (five spaces). Our role is to supply the lighting and rigging solutions in each of these, ensuring that they are well-equipped and able to host a range of performances throughout the Festival.”
Prior to the Fringe, Last and the WL team work closely with Gilded Balloon to decide on the equipment that will be used in each space. “We initially work with Karen and Katy Koren who each run Gilded Balloon, which is one of the only ‘Big Four’ producers who are Scottish based and operated,” says Last. “As we move closer to the festival, we then liaise with production manager Meredith Rehburg and technical manager Simon Cook to finalise the specific technical requirements.”
This year saw the Gilded Balloon take on a new venue - Patter Hoose. Unlike the other spaces which were utilised at previous festivals, the producers had to create the technical set-up completely from scratch. Last explains: “With Patter Hoose, we were asked to go up in January to see the space, which at that time was essentially four blank rooms and one lecture theatre. We were shown round the different spaces
Europe - Area Four Industries has announced availability for James Thomas Engineering’s latest aluminium truss, the JTE Quatro (4CF30).
Made from EN-AW-6082 T6 aluminium alloy and designed for medium-duty structural requirements, the truss achieves extended free-spans of up to 20m (65ft) and provides heavy-duty loading characteristics. Compatibility with JTCELL 200/400/600 series cell clamps and Xtruss accessories extend its wide range of applications. The 4CF30 also offers 50mm (2’’) aluminium tubes and anti-twist end brace, whilst powder coat colour finish is available on request.
Area Four Industries’ David Gore comments: “Quick, simple and secure assembly is ensured by its popular conical connection system, and comes with the well-known durability and reliability you’ve come to rely on from James Thomas Engineering.”
UK - PLASA has announced its line-up of seminar sessions in the run up to the PLASA Show 2019 (15-17 September, London Olympia).
In collaboration with top industry figures and brands, the programme will feature an array of creative achievements as well as advice on salient industry issues.
Pro audio journalist and consultant Phil Ward will lead a panel of industry figureheads - Chris Hill from Wigwam, Jim Griffiths from Vanguardia and Steve Jones from d&b audiotechnik - in ‘Equal rights for audio!’ They will assess how live performances, including the recent Spice Girls reunion tour, can neglect audio in the rush for spectacular video, lighting and set design.
Moving from concerts to theatre, Shure will present the future of audio for theatre productions, in association with Curtain Call. This panel will explore how the advancement of microphone technology, such as wireless and lavalier mics, continues to influence performance and push the industry forward.
Meanwhile, Women in Music will host a session on how to survive and thrive in the live music industry, sharing tips on how to create an impressive CV, keep busy during the slow season, gain recognition, and prevent burnout whilst on the road.
Continuing on this theme, Rose Bruford graduate Tom Harrison will speak on the lifestyle of technicians. Working on the road is notoriously hazardous for diet, sleep and exercise, but Harrison is equipped with the latest research and insights to help those interested in leading healthier and more sustainable lives.
James Simpson, L
China - The Prolyte Group has opened a new office in Guangzhou.
The premises provide capacity for manufacturing, warehouse, sales, and customer service. It operates alongside Prolyte Asia Pacific, the company’s base in Malaysia.
The Prolyte Group has also announced Guangzhou trussing manufacturer Eagle Group as a ProLyft distributing partner, working alongside Prolyte’s long-established partner in China, Trinity Technology.
Ralph Stockley, Prolyte's chief business development officer, comments: "Prolyte continues to see a trend worldwide for the needs of shorter lead-times. Our new offices and production facility in Guangzhou has been strategically located to satisfy the demand for ProLyft products in China and allow for quicker delivery times through Asia. Factors, such as tax benefits, the strength of the Chinese economy and the proximity to the port of Guangzhou, helped finalise our decision."
Lambert Bouwmeester, Prolyte's chief executive officer, adds: "After the success of our new office and warehouse opening in the USA in 2018, I am pleased to announce the continued growth of Prolyte with the opening of our Chinese office and production facility in Guangzhou. These local offices will serve customers better in the region, speed up delivery times and provide the inventory and presence needed for Prolyte's continuing worldwide growth."
Prolyte will exhibit at Prolight + Sound Shanghai in October, where it will introduce its entertainment hoist series to the Chinese market.
UK - Independent event production specialists Light Fantastic Production Services returned to The Old Truman Brewery, London to support innovation festival Unbound with a complete event solution.
Featuring presentations by a host of leading brands, the two-day symposium attracted over 5,000 visitors.
The LFPS team worked with Unbound to transform the capacious venue into a series of zones, including the Main Stage, Future Stage, Networking Zone, Partners Lounge plus individually-branded spaces for over 140 exhibitors.
The guest speaker presentations and panel style discussions were hosted within custom designed auditoria, built from the ground up by the LFPS team. Covering every aspect of the installation LFPS provided all lighting, audio, video and staging along with an extensive suite of stylish exhibition stands, digital event branding and signage.
Commenting on the project LFPS managing director Rob Myer says: “We’re delighted to have once again partnered with the Unbound team for this phenomenal event. With our 50 strong crew, we provided the organisers a single source solution for all equipment, technical support and full production management.”
Central to the event was the 500-seat Unbound Main Stage. The set design wove together LED video panels and 3D fragments of the Unbound logo to create an abstract, modern setting around a 10m upstage video wall. This LED wall was fed via a Barco S3 switcher with Panasonic laser projectors deployed on IMAG duties. In addition to the live audience, all sessions on the main stage were st
USA - ESTA and USITT have announced the sponsors for the 2020 New World Rigging Symposium, taking place 31 March to 1 April in Houston in conjunction with the USITT Conference and Stage Expo.
Returning as the platinum sponsor for the third year is Stage Rigging, Inc. a diversified theatrical rigging company that provides a full range of specialised rigging services on a global basis for tours, corporate and special events, and expositions.
Chris Schmidt, vice president and general manager of Stage Rigging, comments, “When I started my career in rigging little did I know that by working for Stage Rigging, one of the first to focus only on arena rigging, I had access to the some of the industry's most respected and innovative professionals to bounce ideas and ask some of the most basic questions. The New World Rigging Symposium is the perfect place for both seasoned riggers and those interested in rigging to do the same. This is a great place to network and have access to the rigging industry’s top talent. And please don't be afraid to ask!”
Returning gold sponsors are ETC, offering a range of hoists and controls to accommodate the needs of any production space and budget, and J.R. Clancy, providing professional riggings solutions worldwide on thousands of venues since 1885.
Certex USA joins returning silver sponsors Geiger Engineers and Kish Rigging. One silver sponsorship at $5,000 is still available.
To the Moon Rigging joins returning Bronze sponsors CM-ET, H&H Specialties, The Light Source, Motion Labs, Prolyte, Reed Riggin
Europe - The new Milos Armor Cart is the focus of a new video released by Area Four Industries.
Available on A4i.tv, the video shows how the Armor Cart helps reduce hoist storage and transport space, as well as making the movement of hoists to and from venues more convenient.
USA - The American Crane & Safety and Reliable Design Services were approved this month to become ETCP Recognised Training Programmes. The courses that participate in the programme present an opportunity for ETCP technicians to get a bulk of their education credits in one place, as these training opportunities count one point per hour of attendance.
“I am excited to say that ETCP now has almost 20 Recognised Rigging Training Programmes that provide relevant courses for those who need renewal credits. Perhaps the most important thing ETCP has brought about in our industry is a sincere interest in training. Adding these two training opportunities only furthers that mission,” says Tim Hansen, ETCP council chair.
American Crane & Safety’s Entertainment Rigging Courses is designed to provide participants with the ground-rigging basic knowledge of inspecting rigging gear, load control, as well as rigging procedures and techniques used in the entertainment industry through a problem-solving workshop. Scott Weldon, company owner, joined the ranks as ETCP recognised trainer this month as well. The Entertainment Rigging course is available online anytime. The courses are also taught onsite for those who would like to attend in person.
Reliable Design’s Advanced Structures Workshop is co-hosted in Dallas on 24 September 2019 with Clark Reder Engineering. Attendees will learn about a wide range of structures used for outdoor events, including, how to deal with forces on systems and a rare opportunity for hands-on time to experiment with loads a
UK - Adlib supplied full production - sound, lighting, video and rigging - plus crew for the recent UK tour by Daryl Hall and John Oates, whose impressive string of top 40 hits stretch back to the 1970s.
After the UK tour, an Adlib control package and video servers went on to the Latin American leg of the tour, and then returned to Europe with the addition of a full audio package for the third segment and euro festival run.
Adlib’s Craig Hamilton - based in the Glasgow office - project managed and co-ordinated all things sonic, liaising closely with Daryl Hall & John Oates’ audio team of FOH engineer Chris Salamone, monitor engineer George Squires and US supplier Firehouse’s stage tech, Jeff Child.
Adlib’s Billy Bryson was the system tech, Jay Petch was the monitor and stage tech for the UK section of the tour and Billy was also the tech on the European festival dates.
They again chose to work with an L-Acoustics PA to achieve the precise sound they wanted, deploying 12 K1 plus 4 K2 down-fills for the main arrays and 12 K2 for the side-hangs.
For lip fills across the stage six L-Acoustics X8 were utilised, with out-fills comprising four ARCS II per side.
Subs were 16 x KS28, deployed in four blocks of four, tipped on end. The onstage sub in each stack was reversed and run in cardioid mode, at the request of Chris Salamone in continuity with the setup on their most recent US tour.
Adlib specified an Outline Newton multisource processor which matrixed between the main DiGiCo SD10 FOH console, the DiGiCo S21 backup
Saudi Arabia - The inaugural edition of Jeddah World Fest on July 18 took place in the grounds of King Abdullah Sports City, Jeddah, and attracted a sell-out crowd of almost 40,000. This was the largest music festival held in Saudi. Protec delivered an extensive audio, lighting and rigging package for their client The Manual on behalf of Roqu Media.
This event ties in with Vision 2030, a progressive plan which sees the country open up as an entertainment destination and relax some of its stricter laws around events. With the country’s General Entertainment Authority set to inject upwards of an estimated $60bn into the sector over the next decade, Jeddah World Fest is the first of many events which will fuel the AV and events sector in the Middle East.
Featured artists included Janet Jackson, 50 Cent, Chris Brown, Liam Payne, Steve Aoki, Tyga, Future, R3wire and Varski.
Project manager for Protec, Luke Doyle reports, “The show looked and sounded incredible. The stage structure was the largest ever seen in the Middle East. This type of event had never been done to this scale in KSA and it was a great show to be a part of for sure. Definitely one to remember. The crowd were fantastic and it was almost emotional to witness.
“As the line-up wasn’t 100% confirmed until last minute we were under immense pressure to fulfil the technical rider for each artiste. We had catered well technically for the event using stock from our Riyadh and Dubai warehouses, however, we had to move quickly to discuss the requirements with the relevant artiste’s
Europe - Area Four Industries has released a four-minute video dedicated to the Ultimate Hinge from Milos.
The product, an aluminium and steel truss that allows for up and down and side-to-side movements of truss spans, features a high-strength lifting eye for connection with electric hoists or lifting points.
In the video, Area Four Industries technical director Norbert Tripp explains the design of the Ultimate Hinge, its feature set, loading capacity factors and the self-balancing act it achieves when attached to truss spans.
It can be viewed on www.a4i.tv/2019/07/30/milos-ultimate-hinge.
USA - Broadweigh Bluetooth has been put to the test for the first time at the New York International Auto Show.
Broadweigh’s US product partner Paradigm Rigging supplied the kit to Hang Ten Rigging, who were hired by brand experience agency, Imagination Group, to oversee the rigging component of the build of the Ford booth, complete with lighting, video and scenic truss.
As the exhibit booths at these motor shows compete to be ever more impressive, the designs become more and more challenging. Michael Sorowka, managing director of Paradigm Rigging is no stranger to these events. He explains: "Not only do the auto shows put the riggers to the test, but increasingly, the kit they use in order to build impressive, safe displays is also being required to do more.
“Load cells have become an absolute must, at times, in this industry - whether that's because of weight restrictions imposed by the venue, or because we're being required to fly cars above the heads of thousands of visitors. Sometimes it's video walls and at other times lighting trusses, as was the case at this year's show."
In order to monitor the loads on the lighting truss, Michael loaned four Broadweigh Bluetooth load cells to the project. "This was prior to the official launch of Broadweigh Bluetooth", explains Sorowka. "We felt it imperative that the new kit should be tested in various environments prior to the official launch - and I knew an event like this would really put it through its paces."
Head rigger Joe Harrison installed four Broadweigh Bluetooth load cells a