Rigging and Staging News

hsl-panto-seasonHSL supplies record number of panto productions
Friday, 19 January 2018

UK - It’s panto season again and as innuendos fly, slapstick humour is trowelled on and extravagant costumes and characters abound, entertaining thousands of people up and down the UK. Lighting and visuals rental and production specialist HSL supplied equipment to a record 31 premium UK pantomime productions for the 2017-18 season for leading pantomime producers, Qdos.
That is 11 more shows than last year’s schedule of 20, which are taking place all over England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, as far north as Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh and as far west as Plymouth and Llandudno, as far south as Southampton and also including Belfast, Cardiff and London.
The equipment has included lighting – conventional and intelligent fixtures (LEDs / moving heads), rigging and a raft of special effects like smoke, fog and atmosphere, together with humungous amounts of custom gobos and assorted rigging, including a Kinesys automation system for Glasgow.
Impressive statistics include over 2600 intelligent lighting fixtures deployed, around 900 generics, a staggering 3000+ custom gobos, over 100 miles (160 Km) of cabling (socapex, single and three phase power) and a similar quantity in data, as well as over 1400 Doughty boom arms of assorted sizes.
All of which had to be tested and prepped to cover a period from the first get-in on 19 November to the last out at the end of January.
Spearheading the project and juggling the intense logistics is HSL’s Jordan Hanson, working alongside Emma Turner, with Joy Brown and Alex Allen brought on-b

rcmstepsReally Creative Media parties with Steps
Thursday, 18 January 2018

UK - Really Creative Media was entrusted to design the stage content for British pop group Steps’ Party on the Dance Floor arena tour, a vibrant celebration of 20 years since their formation.
Fresh off the back of working with Rudimental and Dua Lipa, Really Creative Media’s lead creative Jack James and head of video James Adkins were brought on board by the tour’s production manager Steve Reeve from Pull The Pin Out to deliver the tour’s live visual content.
Working with creative director Frank Strachan, Really Creative Media first captured footage during a one-day shoot with the band and dancers, destined to populate five LED square hero screens flown above the stage on a Kinesys system and two LED IMAG side-of-stage screens, helping to give the show a larger than life feel for the audience. LED continued to be used on stage with a 18m wide back wall and LED clad tiered risers.
A week-long rehearsal process took place in Fly By Nite’s Redditch studio, allowing the team to put the finishing touches to the pre-set, timecoded content loaded in Really Creative Media’s Catalyst V6 media servers. Control was all run from MA2 consoles both front of house and backstage.
The shows’ opening three-song medley sequence utilised the company’s newest product investment into Panasonic’s latest 20,000 and 30,000 lumen projectors. Two Panasonic PT-RZ31K 30,000 lumen projectors were chosen to create a theatrical visual spectacular behind the band. A 3D world depicting winter forests and Romanesque arches was projected onto a gauze bac

 
 
guil-35-anniversaryGUIL celebrates 35th anniversary
Thursday, 18 January 2018

Spain - This year, GUIL turns 35 and the company is celebrating with customers, distributors and partners by acknowledging their contribution to the growth and consolidation of the brand in the market.
GUIL is one of the leading companies in the field of equipment for the entertainment industry, specialising in the design and manufacturing of lifting towers, stages, stands and structures for sound and light, as well as stands and accessories for musical instruments and A/V equipment.
During these 35 years, GUIL has experienced a fast and constant evolution, adapting to the ever changing needs and requirements of the entertainment industry. For this, it has a team of highly qualified professionals, with an R&D&I department that designs and manufactures high quality, innovative and exceptionally engineered products.
The CEO and founder of the company shows his appreciation for the trust put in GUIL over these years: “The loyalty of our customers and friends has made it possible for the whole GUIL team to achieve their aspirations. It’s been 35 years of determination, dedication and hard work; 35 years of learning and great enthusiasm for what we do.”
The founder adds, “We have always strived to reach excellence in our work, concentrating our efforts on manufacturing high quality products to satisfy the needs and expectations of professionals in our field.”
The first events GUIL plans to celebrate their birthday at will be: AFIAL in Madrid, Spain (27 February to 1 March) and Prolight+Sound, in Frankfurt, Germany (10-13 Apr

 
tslTSL delivers for Hillsong's London Carols
Tuesday, 16 January 2018

UK - In December, specialist lighting and rigging provider TSL successfully met the large-scale production requirements and tight deadlines for a festive event with a difference - the UK's largest carol service, staged at the SSE Wembley Arena, London.
Continuing a long-standing client relationship with international Christian church organisation Hillsong, TSL provided rigging and lighting services for London Carols, which saw three back-to-back performances on 17 December, reaching a total live audience of 30,000.
Arena-scale show production always places huge demands on suppliers and crew, and the requirements for London Carols were no different, says Sam Tamplin, managing director of TSL. "We supplied the rigging equipment for all departments, so it was imperative we didn't hold anything up. The load-in schedule was meticulously planned by Hillsong down to 15-minute slots, and we were kept accountable to that."
According to Tamplin, TSL's solution to these demands was great crew, and great preparation. "Crew Chief Karl Lawton and Marcus Brown looked after the rigging, using our moving pre-rig for every lighting truss. We also had a full four days of prep in our warehouse, which saved hours of time on-site."
Hillsong called on the services of lighting designer Tim Routledge - more commonly associated with the likes of Take That and Jeff Lynne's ELO - to create a suitably awe-inspiring set and lighting for its 2016 carols. For 2017, Andrew Bruce and Joe Lott of Quantum Creative were called on to reprogramme and expand on Routled

 
 
gse-logoGearSource Europe grows business team
Thursday, 11 January 2018

Europe - GearSource has added Jeroen Knol to its business development team. Jeroen is based in Europe and well networked in the European markets, having worked the last 12 years with two of the world’s largest industry-related companies. He will bring his network and relationship management skills to GearSource Europe.
Along with Jeroen in Europe, the company’s US-based business development and operations teams will support everything from listings to orders, logistics and more.
GearSourceEurope.com now operates as a fully integrated and secure e-commerce platform, built on the company’s redeveloped engine, G-Suite offering users even more power than ever before.
“In developing G-Suite, our technology team has once again raised the bar. G-Suite will help us remain the largest name in used gear – globally,” says Marcel Fairbairn, CEO of GearSource.
(Jim Evans)

 
adamplasaPLASA appoints new chair and board members
Tuesday, 9 January 2018

PLASA has announced changes to its elected board including the appointment of Adam Blaxill as the new chair.
Blaxill joined the PLASA Board as the Professional Services Representative in 2012 and was elected as vice-chair in 2014. He has been voted as the new chair of PLASA through a simple majority vote.
Blaxill takes over from Ed Pagett who has served as chair for an extended seven years. During this time Pagett oversaw the de-merger with ESTA with the support of an executive committee which included Blaxill as vice-chair and Martin Hawthorn as treasurer. This valuable work enabled the survival and growth of PLASA.
Pagett will continue to serve as a non-executive director, contributing his extensive knowledge and expertise to advise and support the association as it continues its work in the industry.
As a director of Stage Electrics - one of the UK’s leading integrators and suppliers for entertainment technology - Blaxill’s far-reaching expertise includes hire, sales, events, and installation, as well as testing and servicing operations at regional and national levels.
Peter Heath, managing director of PLASA, says: “We are very much looking forward to having Adam as our Chair and have faith in his knowledge and guidance. I would like to extend my thanks to Ed, who has been an extremely valuable Chair since 2011 - we are delighted he will continue to work with us in his new role as non-executive director.
“PLASA has gone from strength to strength in recent years. We have made internal changes to ensure teams are all working fr

 
 
slcb-4xProtec acquires Aventeq
Thursday, 4 January 2018

UK - Dubai-based Protec has acquired Birmingham-based Aventeq.
The UK company, which offers a comprehensive suite of services, including creative & technical design, production, lighting, audio, video, staging, rigging and venue support services, will be renamed to Protec European Events and continue to be lead by its founder Chris Bramwell.
Stephen Lakin, Protec’s founder and CEO, says: “I have a lot of time for Chris Bramwell and the team. They have built up a strong business and I’m thrilled to welcome them into the Protec family. I am looking forward to the opportunity to introduce their customers to a wider global reach and more exciting tools & technology to create unique and memorable event experiences.”
Bramwell adds: "Aventeq, which of course I’m thrilled to say, is now Protec European Events, has a similar passion to Protec. We are very excited to be a part of one of the world’s most respected industry leaders and now be able to offer our clients a more creative and technological palette with a wider market reach.”
Lakin concludes: “Protec European Events shares our passion and I’m looking forward to extending this commitment across the UK and Europe,” Lakin concludes.
(Jim Evans)

 
tomcatTomcat and JTE celebrate past and future at LDI
Wednesday, 3 January 2018

USA - Tomcat and JTE racked up another successful show at LDI that not only featured their current line of products, but also the products they had each manufactured over the years that allowed them to experience the success they both enjoy today.
The walk-through time was to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Tomcat and the 40th anniversary of James Thomas Engineering in truss manufacturing, but the main thrust of the show was to highlight their current line of truss products and new innovations.
This year’s LDI show was also the introduction of Carmen Savarese as the new sales & marketing director for the Tomcat and JTE teams.
The star of Tomcat’s presentation was its new Nemesis pre-rig truss that comes in standard and touring formats. Its single person side loading system allows you to easily rig moving lights to the aluminium bar, slide into the truss from either end and lock it in place. With 4” spaced holes, even spacing is easily and consistently achieved. It comes with an adjustable caster assembly and different fixture bracket options are available.
JTE featured its Galaxy 300 pre-rig truss with Tomcat’s Edge rotating spigot. This 6061-T6 aluminium and stainless steel constructed truss features adjustable mounting bars for conventional and moving lights, a removable stacking cup, a range of gates for increased flexibility, and a space saving 15” design.
The Tomcat and JTE sales teams were on hand during the exhibition to give visitors the lowdown on their leading truss and support structure products, as well infor

 
 
ac-et-supplies-to-darlington-hippodromeAC-ET equips refurbished Darlington Hippodrome
Wednesday, 3 January 2018

UK - The newly opened Darlington Hippodrome, formerly known as Darlington Civic Theatre, has been restored to its former glory and transformed with 21st century technical facilities that include new stage lighting, audio and video systems.
Featuring leading brands including Chroma-Q, Allen & Heath, Panasonic and many more, most loose equipment was supplied by A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET).
The theatre received a £5m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards the ambitious £13.7m project to regenerate and upgrade the venue, which also included restoring the exterior of the distinctive Grade II listed building and the beautiful Edwardian auditorium inside. In addition, seating capacity has been increased to enable larger shows to be accommodated as part of an expanded artistic programme.
Darlington Hippodrome is also managing the newly-built Theatre Hullabaloo, a separate £2.9m project to create an adjacent flagship children's theatre venue. This was made possible in part by the venue receiving a £1.5m grant from the Arts Council England (ACE) in partnership with Darlington Borough Council, who committed £800,000.
When Darlington Hippodrome's technical manager, Steve Sanderson needed to equip both venues' facilities, having previously purchased from AC-ET, he approached them to tender for the supply of various entertainment technologies.
Sales executive Ben Steppenbeck of AC-ET's specialist lighting division recommended some options that would best meet the venues' technical requirements. In addition, the compa

 
adlib-dreamworks--wembley-arena-48rAdlib lives the dream at Wembley
Wednesday, 20 December 2017

UK - Adlib supplied full production, including sound, lighting, rigging and large format video projection, for a special one-off event at the SSE Wembley Arena in London, DreamWorks Animation in Concert which was presented by DreamWorks Animation, CineConcerts, and The MJR Group. It featured music and many memorable moments from DreamWorks Animation’s numerous hit films like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon and more with music performed live by The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.
Adlib project managers Dave Eldridge and Richard Nicholson co-ordinated all the technical elements working closely with tour manager Barry Jepson, MJR’s production manager Leanne Powell, technical manager Curtis King and creative director Nathan Stone.
It completes a hattrick of recent noteworthy orchestral works serviced by Adlib including the Harry Potter Film Concert Series and La La Land UK tours.
Video was right at the core of the technical production and a starting point for the entire concept.
Adlib’s Charlie Rushton and John Haggart ensured that this all ran smoothly, starting with the large 40ft wide x 22.5 deep projection screen as specified by the production. Adlib has a number of Stumpfl screens and this one – a 40ft wide Vario 64 – was chosen for its quality and precision as well as the modular construction which ensures a nice rigid surface.
The powerful front projection system consisted of a double-stacked pair of Panasonic DZ21Ks.
The content was fed via the production

 
 
maestra-blend-abu-dhabi-20171017img9065Maestra delivers full production for Blend Abu Dhabi
Thursday, 14 December 2017

UAE - Event technical production specialist Maestra’s UEA based operation, delivered rigging, staging, sound, lighting and video / AV for Blend Abu Dhabi, a special event to relaunch the YAS Marina Formula One circuit meeting space.
Attended by event organisers, production companies, suppliers, social influencers, media and other organizations and individuals from across the event spectrum, all with different interests in the world of live events, the pressure was on for Maestra’s team on site, led by project manager Aaron Merchant, to deliver something unique.
They co-ordinated technical production for four different areas, the main conference space, the pit garages, the reception area and entrance and the afterparty staged in the chic, rooftop Luna Lounge.
A stunning sculptural set design for the conference session’s stage was conceived by the YAS Event Centre team and augmented by Maestra, who suggested the lighting scheme which really energized the idea.
The set comprised 28 geometric structures made from semi translucent white sheer material which was stretched over a series of wooden frames in different shapes and various sizes with the largest around 2 metres wide. All were internally lit with a single LED PAR.
The colours and intensities could be changed and chased to great effect creating a fantastic ‘living, breathing’ ambience to the room.
The PARS were all controlled via the ChamSys MQ 60 console which was running the other stage and room lighting which comprised Martin MAC Aura LED Washes and MAC 700

 
sensation-2017Mojo Barriers installs vast pitch cover
Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Australia - Mojo Barriers Australia recently undertook one of Australia’s largest stadium field cover installations, with over 15,000 sq.m. being installed for Sensation at Spotless Stadium, Sydney Showground, in November.
Sensation, the biggest open-air festival in Australia this year, was a great success, and protecting the valuable sports surface was of critical importance as Spotless Stadium is the home of Sydney’s professional cricket team Sydney Thunder and the Greater Western Sydney (GWS) Giants, part of the Australian Football League.
Mojo installed a complete Supatrac system to ensure the best possible pitch protection. It took 34 truck movements to freight the equipment in and out of the stadium and over 850 man-hours to install and remove.
The Mojo team installed over 15,000 sq.m. of 100% white Supatrac, along with over 500m of aluminium Mojo Barrier in a ‘D’ configuration. Since launching as a supplier of Supatrac in January of this year, Mojo Barriers is now able to provide both barrier and stadium floor covering as a combined offering. To further protect the stadium pitch at Sydney Showground, the team installed a layer of Enkamat under the flooring to provide additional protection at the areas with the highest footfall and crowd density.
As well as being on-site during the event, the Mojo team managed the daily installation and removal of the aluminium ground protection products during the stage build, and worked closely with the festival organisers and stadium groundskeeper to ensure optimum crowd barrie

 
 
the-cast-of-the-band-credit-matt-crockett2Unusual Rigging on board for The Band tour
Tuesday, 28 November 2017

UK - The Band is a new musical written by Tim Firth, featuring the music of Take That. Cast through the 2017 BBC reality television show Let It Shine, it is produced by David Pugh and is currently touring the UK through until July 2018, with more dates being added.
With so many theatrical venues playing host to the production, Kate West, production manager has brought Unusual Rigging on board for the duration of the tour to provide motors, truss and rigging for LX and sound positions and for some scenic items, as well as supplying staff for the get-in and get-out at each tour move.
While The Band is not a particularly complex show in terms of rigging, as with the nature of touring productions, some venues are more challenging than others and Kate needed peace of mind that the points could be installed relatively quickly in each venue to enable the fit up to be completed on time. The team also had to be quite conscious of how much truck space was used to transport equipment as space was limited.
Kate explains: “I have worked on many productions with Unusual Rigging and they have always been very helpful right from the start of the process – making suggestions on how things can be achieved, which is why we brought them on board for this particular tour which sees us visit lots of different venues across the UK.
“Unusual provides us with a person who is a point of contact for the show, which means you have one person who is completely on top of the job, which makes it a lot easier and ensures things are less likely to

 
winnerStar Events wins at Structural Awards
Thursday, 23 November 2017

UK - The stages used for Adele’s 2017 stadium tour in the round became the first events industry designs to win a coveted Structural Award.
Designed by OPS Structures for Star Events, the VerTech Ultra stages claimed the Best Small Projects (of between £1-3m) gong at the annual Structural Awards organised by the Institution of Structural Engineers. The stages were developed, built, tested and shipped to Australia in just four months and suspended 90t of production equipment at 25m above the ground. The judges praised the structures’ design, which allowed easy transportation and erection, minimised work at height and enabled unobstructed views by negating traditional bracing.
A spokesperson for the judges said: “The Adele 25 Stage engineering took account of the vast constraints and design drivers to produce a safe, efficient, elegant and reusable structure. The adaptability in its design allows it to be used in different countries, taking account of change in environments, multiple design code requirements and variable foundation and support conditions. It is also designed to be easily transportable and reusable, and easy and fast to construct, which allows for repeat use and therefore minimises costs.”
Roger Barrett, Star Events’ special projects director, comments: “It is a brilliant achievement for the whole Star team in conjunction with our structural engineers, OPS Structures, to have our temporary structure engineering recognised, on a truly global level, by a team of eminent judges who have no connection with the events industry

 
 
cpls-got-constructive-talent-img4356CPL’s got constructive talent
Thursday, 23 November 2017

UK - Technical production specialist Central Presentations (CPL) and producers Constructive Communications delivered full technical production for Construction’s Got Talent, a team-building / gala dinner conference event with a difference for leading independent construction and property services company Wilmot Dixon.
This was staged in the Noble Suite at the Pullman Hotel on Euston Road, London, with tailor made format partly inspired by TV talent show competitions on a quest to discover the company’s own undiscovered talent, which was interspersed with presentations and speeches.
Lee Gruszeckyj led the CPL team who worked with Constructive Communications’ project manager Ken D’Souza.
A 10 metre-wide stage with free-standing printed graphic wrap set / backdrop including the event’s own Got Talent logo was installed, complete with small thrust for the competitors and presentations. Meanwhile, at the back of the room, a Judges’ Stage with its own graphic wrap was built at 800mm high, so just raised above the dinner tables.
All the staging was also designed and built by CPL specifically for the event.
The four judges each had an iPad for which CPL created a custom touch screen interface featuring a big red digital buzzer.
Five LED screens were rigged on a scaffolding goal post structure above the stage, each with a judge’s names displayed, and each iPad was linked to its relevant screen. An additional iPad was supplied to the judges – shared between the four - with a golden buzzer surface which they could hit i

 
u2-traf-squareMTV’s global icons rock Trafalgar Square
Wednesday, 22 November 2017

UK - Overlooked by a dominating Nelson’s Column and The National Gallery, U2 premiered material from new album Songs Of Experience amongst a set of their greatest hits, at a free show for 7,000 fans in London’s Trafalgar Square on Saturday 11 November.
Introduced by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, MTV Presents Trafalgar Square was the curtain-raiser to the following evening’s 24th annual MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) at The SSE Arena, Wembley, where the Irish four-piece were honoured with the Global Icon award.
Both events were graced by Stageco’s dedication as staging provider with Wim DeWolf and Mario Dockx handling the R&D, while Dirk De Decker managed both projects. For the U2 event, the Stageco crew of seven [plus local crew], headed by Stefaan Vandenbosch, negotiated one of the busiest tourist areas of the city to erect the company’s now-classic transparent canopy roof. The choice came directly from the event’s production manager, Chris Vaughan, who successfully implemented the product on other events earlier in 2017.
Along with the band roof, the three-day build saw Stageco construct 16 vertical 460-type towers of varying heights and widths, each accommodating 1m and 0.5m wide LED strips designed to transmit lyrics, slogans and graphical content to augment U2’s live set. The company also built four towers for PA and lighting, bridged by horizontal trussing which served the dual-purpose of suspending black drape while offering additional stability.
“Organising and co-ordinating some 20 trucks to come o

 
 
dry-hireSouth Africa’s first dry hire company
Wednesday, 22 November 2017

South Africa - The country’s first strictly dry hire company, Guquko Technical Rider, has been established by a young entrepreneur, Phumzile Sibanyoni. Guquko is the Zulu word meaning ‘to turn around’ or ‘to reform’, a pertinent name for a company that hopes to bring a fresh wind of change to the industry.
Making an investment of 12 Robe Spiiders, 24 Longman 4 Ups and Prolyte stage decks purchased from DWR Distribution, the objective of the company is to rent out high ticket line items that are specified by lighting designers on a daily basis.
“Because we were just starting out, we looked at gear that would be beneficial to the growth of Guquko,” said Phumzile. ”The company has started trading and with the Robe Spiiders currently high in demand on shows, their units are out already creating revenue.”
Duncan Riley of DWR says, “Phumzile was wise enough to see the gap in the market for a professional dry rental company who don’t do shows and who only rent out gear. It’s a trend in Europe.”
Phumzile started working in the events industry in 2014. She offered a service which covered a broad spectrum including staging, technical equipment, décor and catering. She realised that by focusing solely on equipment hire, she would create a niche in the market, and be able to assist rental companies with the supply of well-kept gear and excellent service.
Her career has included working at Eskom for 10 years as a senior plant operator. “I have always worked in a male-dominated industry,” said Phumzile. “I’ve always

 
kinesys-ldi-2017-dstKinesys to make strong presence at LDI 2017
Monday, 13 November 2017

USA - Automation and motion control manufacturer Kinesys will exhibit at LDI for the first time on its own booth - 843 - where they will be creating a strong presence with an international team and an eye-catching design showing a selection of key products which will be moving and working in situ.
Having focussed on building brand presence in the U.S. in recent years, which has included attending the last few LDIs and walking the floor, the next phase in that strategy explained founder and CEO Dave Weatherhead, “is to put ourselves right in front of potential customers, for which LDI - attracting a wide cross-section of high quality decision makers and influencers - is a perfect opportunity”.
Kinesys will be showing their new Apex system which incorporates the best of Kinesys’ extensive experience working with variable speed chain hoists. Apex offers a range of safe, reliable and rock-solid hoists and controllers designed to maximise the creative options for show, stage and environment designers and operators in all fields of entertainment.
The brand’s l Elevation 1+ variable speed chain hoist control system will also be highlighted. It has become one of the most popular choices for shows and events wanting to move objects of any type.
The Kinesys DST trolley system, a project that has been developed working with leading trussing manufacturer LITEC, will also be one of the products in action.
In addition to these, the action-packed booth will include the Kinesys DigiHoist fixed speed chain motor controllers and visitors can also

 
 
New World Rigging Symposium sessions confirmed
Thursday, 9 November 2017

USA - ESTA and USITT has announced the session line-up for the New World Rigging Symposium taking place 13-14 March 2018 in conjunction with the USITT Conference and Stage Expo 2018 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
In these 10 sessions, participants will be given the opportunity to further their technical knowledge, keep up to date with codes and standards, and learn what it’s like to work as a rigger in other segments of the entertainment industry. Attendees will also hear from experts in related fields. Full session descriptions can be found at www.esta.org/nwrs_sessions.
The keynote address will be delivered by Scott Fisher, with the programme including: Show Rigging on Cruise Ships. Big ideas. Tiny venues; Ground Support Concert Rigs; ANSI Standards and ICOPER. Paperwork that’s actually useful; OSHA, Risk Assessments and Rigging Emergency Action Plans; Damn it, Jim. I’m a chain hoist, not a winch; Automation and Touring. Because we can; Structural Engineering. For when guessing just won’t do; Training, Certification and Liability. It’s a good start; Young Riggers Networking Lunch; Hot Button Issues.
The New World Rigging Symposium will also include multiple opportunities for attendees to network and a special lunch will include young industry members keen to learn from the professionals about how to pursue a career as a rigger.
Registration for the Symposium is now open at www.usittshow.com/registration. Registration for the two-day symposium, including lunches, is $375 and at

 
carmen-savareseTomcat USA appoints sales & marketing director
Wednesday, 8 November 2017

USA - Tomcat USA has appointed Carmen Savarese as a sales & marketing director.
Carmen has served as global business developer and chief operating officer during her 11 years in the entertainment industry and will use this experience to grow and expand the Tomcat and James Thomas Engineering truss brands in the Americas and internationally.
She will add “a new, dynamic element to the already well established and successful Tomcat and JTE teams”, says the company.
(Jim Evans)

 
 
little-ceasers-arena12017toddkaplanDetroit’s Little Ceasars Arena opens with Elation
Wednesday, 8 November 2017

USA - Little Ceasars Arena in Detroit opened in September, with nearly 1,700 custom LED strip lights from Elation Professional mounted to the venue’s vast wire grid.
Designed by HOK architects, the $863m, 20,000-seat arena is part of District Detroit, a major new development in the city centre.
Lighting and multi-media design firm, Illuminating Concepts (IC), was the lighting designer on the project, responsible for lighting the public spaces through to the theatrical lighting in the bowl. The dynamic ceiling is just one part of the arena’s large integrated lighting network in which all lighting is interconnected – indoors and out – to act as one themed environment.
Illuminating Concept’s design for the arena uses lighting to create a space that engages, guides visitors, creates moods and disseminates advertiser information. IC brought in production design company Crossfade Design, a firm with extensive theatrical lighting and video experience, to handle the theatrical lighting elements, including the dynamic ceiling.
The client wanted the arena bowl to be covered by a solid ceiling rather than the typical black void of most arenas, but with challenges like HVAC and rigging to contend with, not to mention cost concerns, the solution wasn’t easy to find. The answer came in the form of SkyDeck, a tension wire grid system created by InterAmerica Stage. The open wire covering acts as a scrim over the bowl, a modular ceiling that can be reconfigured for any event. Keith Irtenkauf of Illuminating Concepts calls it a “functional solu

 
world-class-events-and-showforce-crew-1World Class Events team at WorldSkills 2017
Tuesday, 7 November 2017

UAE - World Class Events supported DXB Live and WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 in the safe and successful delivery of WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 15-18 October.
Project director John Adkins, senior project manager Brian Gowen and six project managers planned and oversaw the event build, which welcomed 1,300 competitors, 10,000 international visitors and 100,000 visitors from the UAE.
John Adkins, managing director of World Class said: “Make no mistake, the de-rig for World Skills Abu Dhabi 2017 was a mammoth undertaking! The scale of the event, size of the venue and large quantities of kit, equipment and exhibits and the timeframe we working to meant that nothing less than a precise and efficient plan would ensure a successful outcome. The way that Showforce switched on all of its departments to mobilise the numbers of crew involved, when they were busy with other projects, was really impressive.”
He added: “I personally really enjoyed this job, which was largely down to the people involved, it was a great team and everyone had a strong work ethic, this coupled with good personalities made for a great deal of camaraderie onsite a project imperative for successful execution. A clear and concise communication plan was implemented, from the WS Sector managers, to our zonal project managers to crew members etc which allowed us to deliver effectively and meet the deadline.”
Commenting on WCE’s performance, Aidan Jones, executive director of WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 said: “It was g

 
 
enter-shikari--tom-pullen-smlAyrton magic casts spell on Slam Dunk tour
Tuesday, 7 November 2017

UK - Ayrton fixtures were used in the lighting design of the 2017 Slam Dunk Festival.
The alternative music event was headlined by rock band Enter Shikari and held in Leeds, Birmingham and Hatfield, with warm up shows at The Dublin Academy and Belfast Limelight and a further headline date in Barrowlands.
LD Steve Bewley used Ayrton’s MagicBurst LED graphic strobe fixtures and MagicPanel-602 units to achieve the dramatic visual effects needed for the event.
Bewley said: “For this show we designed four rotating towers which we wrapped in haphazardly-arranged LED strips, and used these to flank the drummer by deploying two towers either side of him. We then rigged three MagicBurst units vertically inside each tower towards the rear which, concealed within the towers, we use to shoot huge blasts of light out between the LED strips – much to the surprise and delight of the audience.”
He added: “Enter Shikari are a wild band and the wilder the strobing is, the better they like it – so we have two or three different types of strobe for these shows which enable us to change it about for the audience. We chose MagicBurst as one of the main strobes effects because of the graphic capability, and the sheer power of the units. When the towers rotated we are able to show the audience the full force of what the MagicBurst is capable of.
“I can spin the units around to add interest, often pointing not directly at the audience, but at the roof or tilted at angles, and can introduce interesting chases to the music. Because the MagicBurst has

 
c85a6642-6d66-4c3d-87c7-26e00ed3c0faPLASA and ESTA release rigging code of practice
Monday, 6 November 2017

World - ESTA and PLASA have announced the release of an International Code of Practice for Entertainment Rigging (ICOPER) which is available as a free download at www.esta.org/icoper or www.plasa.org/icoper.
In response to calls from the international entertainment rigging community, rigging professionals from around the globe came together to create ICOPER to promote awareness and safety worldwide by providing a model code of practice with a focus on arena rigging. However, this Code of Practice is applicable to all event production rigging disciplines.
The practices described in the Code are intended to provide a universal foundation for those engaged in planning, managing and executing entertainment rigging. ICOPER also provides guidelines for those who wish to develop policy, design training content or help establish certification criteria.
Key areas covered in ICOPER include Pre-Installation, Planning and Engineering; Drawing Conventions; Equipment Selection; Onsite Rigging Work, Lifting Operations, Show Rigging Operations, De-Rigging Work; and Post Production. Also included are a glossary, an appendix covering determinate and indeterminate rigging systems, and a regional comparison of terms regarding Standards.
The principal authors of the Code, who met regularly via WebEx over a period of 20 months, are Nick Barnfield (New Zealand), Tiny Good (Australia), Chris Higgs (United Kingdom), Ed Kish (United States), Bill Sapsis (United States), and Roy Schilderman (The Netherlands). ESTA’s Lori Rubinstein provided administrative support for

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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