UK - Hawthorn has been newly appointed as the in-house technical production partner at Victoria Warehouse, Manchester’s historic landmark venue.
As part of a long-term partnership agreement that started on 1 September 2018, Hawthorn will provide exclusive in-house rigging services and will be the preferred technical production supplier for corporate events across Victoria Warehouse’s diverse event spaces.
Renowned for its highly flexible event spaces with an industrial vibe and situated in the heart of Manchester, Victoria Warehouse offers event spaces for a huge range of corporate events, from conferences and exhibitions, to gala dinners, award ceremonies, brand activations and parties.
James Cohen, owner of Victoria Warehouse, comments: “I’m delighted to welcome Hawthorn to the team. Victoria Warehouse is a unique, iconic and carefully restored industrial venue and with that in mind, it’s vital that we work with a highly knowledgeable and trusted technical partner like Hawthorn who can help enhance our clients’ experience in our event spaces.
“We’re always looking to take what we offer our agency and corporate clients to the next level. With Hawthorn’s impressive track record of building successful partnerships with prestigious venues, alongside their reputation for delivering creative technical solutions for events of all shapes, sizes and budgets, we’re looking forward to what we can achieve together for our clients.”
This new relationship represents an increased presence for Hawthorn in the north, with the tech
UK - Studioforce, a new company specialising in the provision of production and technical freelancers to the film and TV industry, launched on Monday, 3 September.
The London business is spearheaded by former ITV Studios head of scenic and lighting, Dave Stevens. It offers a network of personnel for the broadcast and production sector, including gaffers, lighting electricians, camera operators, scenic supervisors, sound engineers, studio engineers and lighting console operators. Studioforce is also offering a service to facilitate and administer payroll contracts and handle recruitment for any clients who are looking to outsource certain roles, easing the process to make it more time and cost efficient.
Stevens comments: “When the recent changes at ITV Studios were announced [the broadcaster is closing its London studios], I needed to look for a new opportunity. I’ve known the team at Showforce for a long time, having utilised their services for many years.
“Having spent over 30 years working in television, being responsible for a staff of 50 and a further freelance pool of up to 150 people, I have both the knowledge and the contacts to deliver a service that is definitely required in the industry. I’m looking forward to pooling that with a team of people who completely understand how to run a highly efficient crewing company. It’s the perfect combination and I can’t wait to get started.”
Studioforce is backed by global event support firm Showforce. Chris Martelly, who heads up Showforce’s global operations team, will be a dir
UK - Prolight Concepts Group will exhibit at PLASA (stand G40), highlighting its expanding product range and an eventful business year that saw the company move to a new warehouse and office complex and refresh its logo (pictured).
At the PLASA Show, Prolight Concepts will feature eLumen8, LEDJ and Global Truss and launch many new products, including dynamic backlit blinders and Kudos moving heads, IP65-rated Endura pars and Evora series all from eLumen8.
LEDJ will feature a pixel version of the Spectra Flood Q40 and an addition to the new CZ Stage Pars with an RGBA version, and Prolight Concepts will also showcase its ever-expanding Global Truss staging systems.
USA - Four documents have been posted for public review on the ESTA website.
BSR E1.29 - 2009 (R2014), Product Safety Standard for Theatrical Fog Generators that Create Aerosols of Water, Aqueous Solutions of Glycol or Glycerin, or Aerosols of Highly Refined Alkane Mineral Oil
This standard is being considered for reaffirmation. It's intended to help guide product safety testing laboratories in evaluating fog-making equipment for design or construction defects that might create unacceptable hazards. It is based on UL 998 - 2006, Humidifiers, with modifications. Products covered are theatrical fog generators intended for use in professional theatrical entertainment, film and video production, theme parks, and fire safety training.
BSR E1.62, Minimum specifications for mass-produced portable platforms, ramps, stairs, and choral risers for live performance events
The 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.
BSR E1.5 - 2009 (R2014), Theatrical Fog Made with Aqueous Solutions of Di- and Trihydric Alcohols
This standard is being considered for reaffirmation. This standard describes the composition of theatrical fogs or artificial mists that are not likely to be harmful to healthy performers, technicians, or audience members of normal working age.
Those three standards are in public review until 24 Septe
UK - Adlib has had a busy summer after making substantial investments in touring and rental video in the first half of 2018.
The major purchase has been the addition of Unilumin’s UpadIII H5 5mm indoor/outdoor LED screen, which has been designed for quick and safe assembly with the demands of touring and concert style events in mind.
Other new purchases include new broadcast quality camera channels, PPUs and Green Hippo KARST media servers, allowing Adlib to offer large scale video production options to all its clients, as well as versatile single solution technical packages for those wanting to source video lighting and sound equipment and expertise from one supplier.
BBC Music's Biggest Weekend, the event which generally kicks off the UK festival season was expanded to multiple sites this year, Adlib supplied sound and lighting to both stages at Scone Palace in Perth, Scotland, plus video to the main stage, utilising the new Unilumin UpadIII H5 LED screen.
The BBC provided camera feeds which came into Adlib’s PPU, together with Adlib’s own custom media servers running Watchout - capable of three outputs at 4K and 12 at HD resolution - which were used to manage the ‘house’ video content including ‘holding graphics’ and artist video content.
A Barco E3 screen management system was upstream to Adlib’s new 4K video processing racks which contain NovaStar MCTRL4K processors and Analog Way VIO 4Ks to run the pixel management and scaling.
Adlib became embroiled in the football action when asked, - at short notice due
UK - Event production and equipment specialists Light Fantastic Production Services partnered with award-winning international innovation festival Unbound to deliver an immersive two-day experience at The Old Truman Brewery, London.
Supplying a complete production package covering every aspect of the event, LFPS provided full installation, technical infrastructure and management of the busy two-day programme attended by over 5000 visitors and featuring presentations from a host of world leading brands.
Working within the ‘blank canvas’ interior space of the Truman Brewery, the LFPS team transformed the entire first floor into a series of high-tech zones, including the Main Stage, Future Stage, Networking Zone, Partners Lounge, Exhibition and VR/Interactive area. Handling every detail, LFPS provided lighting, audio, video, rigging, draping, set design and construction, digital branding and signage throughout the venue.
For the presentation theatres, LFPS handled the complete design, fabrication and installation of the entire set, along with full production management of the event’s all important keynote presentations, interviews, workshops and panel discussions.
Central to the event, the Main Stage area was created as a self-contained 500-seat, multi-media theatre featuring a 17m wide, curved video wall constructed from Unilumen 2.6mm LED panels. Content was managed via an Analog Way Ascender 4K to deliver on-screen visuals, with live streaming of all presentations being fed to the clients Youtube and social media channels.
EMEA - Production Resource Group (PRG) and VER have completed their merger in Europe and the Middle East, becoming the largest entertainment and equipment and services provider.
The entities will be controlled by The Jordan Company, GSO Capital Partners and PRG Management.Jere Harris will serve as chairman and CEO of PRG and VER, and Stephan Paridaen will be president and COO.
Harris comments: “For more than 20 years PRG has been diligent in offering its clients the best production service and equipment in the entertainment industry. Growth across disciplines, markets and geographies has always been a key part of our strategy. Now, our ability to support all types of entertainment productions globally will take on new meaning, raising an already high bar to an unprecedented level.”
According to a statement, combining PRG and VER’s strength will now offer “a complete suite of services for tours, festivals, and events”. PRG can “enhance its long history in television production and expand its work in the film industry as VER brings world-class expertise in the video camera market, lighting, display and a robust suite of cameras”.
VER customers will benefit from PRG’s staging and automation expertise, vast lighting inventory and its position as the exclusive rental house for PRG’s patented proprietary lighting and video products.
“We believe that this approach will bring about innovation, an exciting level of service, and even more transformative collaboration with our partners. It feels historic, not only for PRG and
UK - Current RMS will be back once again exhibiting at PLASA London in September, where they’ll be showcasing their latest features built for the AV, lighting and staging industries, including a number of new updates.
The team will be on hand to show how simple managing the entire rental process from start to finish becomes with Current RMS, thanks to the convenience and the ease of one cloud-based solution. See the real-time availability of your kit from any device, effortlessly create quotes and orders to send online to your clients, seamlessly scan to allocate and book out your kit, and manage your crew, transport and venues all from one system.
Since the success of last year’s PLASA London show, the team has been working to implement some of their user feedback, based on votes on their open Customer Wishlist. New updates have included Choosing Accessories, providing users greater flexibility when adding kits and packages to jobs. The system now shows how many of these accessories are in stock, allowing users to make more informed decisions when building quotes.
A more recent update includes Do a Deal, which allows users to set a deal price to their jobs as a whole, or to individual product groups, with Current intelligently distributing the revenue between items. This is ideal for situations where you’d want a charge total to reflect what was agreed with your customer.
The last year has also seen the team checking in with a number of their users across the globe, to see how their software makes it easier for them to man
Europe - Belgian creative engineering specialists WIcreations are involved in the design and fabrication of three bespoke set elements - all optimised for air freight - to be used on a series of epic outdoor shows on Roger Waters’ current Us + Them world tour, which launched with two seminal shows in Rome and Lucca, Italy.
A pair of 16.6m-high circular PA towers grace the stage, complete with integral tracking systems on the onstage side for the rigging of 10 moving light fixtures, and on the downstage side for the sound cluster’s wind brace.
The second WI object is an industrial style stage roof - ‘roofette’ as it’s known on the tour - comprising a set of imposing cantilevered steel beams which can be fitted with clear roof skins in case of rain.
The third area in which WI is involved is a truss and beam rigging system, devised to securely rig and retain in place the impressive 65m-wide upstage LED screen.
WI’s account and project manager Koen Peeters is overseeing all the WI elements, after being approached by Jeremy Lloyd of Wonder Works, the tour’s production designer. The creative director is Sean Evans and Chris Kansy is the tour’s production manager.
These sleek PA towers are completely different to anything expected at a standard gig. Each one is a half metre diameter, matt black coated round steel tube, for a fully streamlined and modern aesthetic.
The PA rigging cradles holding the slim Clair Brothers arrays are rigged to the towers via an i-beam hoist system. The hoists are at the base of the t
UK - PLASA Show, the worldwide event for entertainment technology, is returning to London Olympia on 16-18 September with a whole host of industry leaders and influential brands primed to deliver popular products, inspirational talks and expert training.
The exhibitor list has been rapidly growing with international brands spanning lighting, audio, AV, rigging and staging, and the programme is filling up fast with critical updates, exclusive panels and the latest projects.
In association with LSi, respected lighting designer Rob Halliday and entertainment architects Stufish will present Giudizio Universale - Michelangelo and the Secrets of the Sistine Chapel, revealing the technical secrets of this stunning €9m immersive stage show created by Marco Balich, now at the Auditorium Conciliazione in Rome. Having worked on the show, Rob Halliday will discuss the richly pigmented, high-contrast lighting design drew on the style, colour and mood of the iconic paintings.
Another seminar comes in the form of Creating the Tempest. It will see Sarah Ellis from the Royal Shakespeare Company discuss the highly innovative digital technologies used in their recent production which could change the face of theatre.
Holoplot are hosting a session exploring wave field synthesis for 3D sound applications and challenging acoustic environments. Attendees will learn about how this technology can go beyond theory to produce real products and scalable solutions that can cope with harsh acoustic environments.
Back by popular demand is
South Africa - Dry hire company Guquko Technical Rider has launched a new website, www.guqukotech.co.za.
The company was established by Phumzile Sibanyoni at the end of 2017 and holds stock of 12 Robe Spiiders, 24 Longman 4 Ups, Prolyte stage decks and other accessories such as cabling.
Sibanyoni comments: “The equipment has been working very hard for us. We were very pleased that our Robe Spiiders and Longman units were used at the Nelson Mandela Annual lecture hosted at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on 17 July. The gear is out most of the weeks and is not gathering dust. That said, it would be great for larger companies to recognize and rent from us to help give us the necessary exposure.”
All gear is also frequently serviced by the local distributor DWR Distribution, including the replacing of globes.
UK - Event design and technical production company Maestra London has expanded its team in readiness for a busy autumn season.
Joining MD Justin Hammond and the London team are Matt Spark (senior project manager), Euan MacLeod (business development manager) and Cameron Pullar (warehouse assistant).
Spark started working at festivals and events like SW4 and the Isle of Wight and other international events, as well as becoming a freelance production assistant for a succession of artists. This experience took him to Australia for three years where he worked with a raft of brands including Star Wars, Quantas and Disney.
MacLeod worked in New York and Woodstock before relocating to Scotland to take a degree in Events & Entertainment Management at Glasgow Caledonian University.
Pullar worked at a Scottish LED company whist still at school and then studied Music Performance & Production at the University of East London. He’s subsequently worked as an audio technician at the New River Studios in north London.
UK - Cardiff City Council contacted 11th Hour requesting a turnkey solution for the presentation event as the city welcomed back Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas.
The council contacted 11th Hour with the brief just three days before the homecoming was due to take place.
Outside Cardiff Castle, 11th Hour erected a 6m x 5m Trilite stage, complete with cycle ramp and PA system by ABacoustics. As well as power to the stage and temporary media centre, the company supplied two confetti cannons and 58m of Prolyte truss to create 2 x 13m high archways over St Mary’s Street.
With much of 11th Hour’s own truss out on festival duty, the company was able to source its requirements at short notice from trusted partner AED. Every aspect of the event proceeded smoothly, from the build, managed by a highly experienced team operating in what are familiar, busy city centre surroundings, through the presentation itself, to the swift removal of the installation.
Business development manager Jason Venables comments: “At 11th Hour we’re always happy to take up any challenge on behalf of our clients, even at the shortest notice. More often than not, events are notified well in advance and we’re able to take time over planning and implementation but every so often, circumstances dictate otherwise. We are pleased and very proud that Cardiff City Council regularly turns to 11th Hour for a range of solutions and particularly so in this case, where we were delighted to play our part in welcoming home a true national hero.”
UK - The Hay Festival, an annual festival of literature and the arts, held in Hay-on-Wye in Powys, Wales, has expanded to encompass a broad spectrum of cultural activities. This year’s 10-day event welcomed more than a quarter of a million visitors.
The festival site comprises temporary marquee structures of varying size (capacities vary from a few thousand to less than a hundred) connected by covered walkways and is located in a field on the edge of the town. The infrastructure required to meet the needs of the festival audience and the 800 or so events that take place is significant.
From lectures, readings, concerts and screenings, to discussions, sales, children’s activities, catering, media centre and more besides, Hay Festival presents logistical challenges that might bring a frown to even the most seasoned events professional. This year, Cardiff-based events services supplier 11th Hour was in the thick of the action having been appointed as the event’s lead production company.
To meet the needs of the site’s eight principal venues, as well as peripheral areas on what is a very compact site, 11th Hour supplied full production, including stage and site lighting, staging, audio and AV (in partnership with Stage Sound Services) as well as generators and mains distribution. The provision covered a varied range of requirements, from large concerts to intimate talks.
11th Hour’s project manager, Pete Morgan, reports: “The site is quite tight in terms of moving equipment around and keeping it discreet and safe. Whilst very detailed
UK - Event specialists, Light Fantastic Production Services Limited partnered with L'Atelier Five agency on the recent Hublot FIFA World Cup installation and product launch event at Harrods, Knightsbridge.
L’Atelier Five turned to LFPS to handle rigging and technical installation on their installation for Hublot watches in the store’s Hans Crescent entrance atrium. At its centre, the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia themed project featured three large open frame ‘footballs’ constructed from aluminium with integrated LED lighting and video displays.
Finished in red, white and blue to reflect the Russian national colours, the trio of footballs needed to appear to float effortlessly within the atrium. Limited by extreme load restrictions on the rigging points and severe weight limitations on the sloping floor below which precluded the use of traditional lifting methods, LFPS were called upon to devise the creative rigging method to safely lift the structures to height. LFPS also took charge of the electrical installation providing a discreet supply to each football directly from the Harrods infrastructure.
Having installed the footballs, LFPS were also invited to return to the site to provide lighting, audio, video and scenic elements for the prestigious Hublot launch event staged in front of a VIP audience.
The team utilised their stock of Robe LEDBeam 150s to line the entrance corridor, which also doubled as the backdrop to the live proceedings.
The LFPS audio department supplied a number of d&b T10 and B4 speakers, selected from
Canada - CAST Software has released a new version of its wysiwyg lighting design and previsualisation tool. Release 41 brings a broad range of new features, including scaling objects, section sets, NDITM support, enhanced rigging points and realistic smoke and light effects.
CAST has also announced it’s working on a cloud and student licencing option and support for 64-bit architecture.
Scaling Objects: users are now able to easily scale up, down or stretch any 3D object within wysiwyg. The Scale tool can be applied to a primitive shape, an object from wysiwyg’s library (except truss and fixtures) or objects imported from other applications.
USA - ESTA and USITT have announced that the second New World Rigging Symposium is taking place 19-20 March 2019 in conjunction with the USITT Conference and Stage Expo 2019 in Louisville.
Symposium attendees will receive free show floor passes to the USITT Stage Expo opening on 21 March as well as a discount on the conference registration.
The event will provide an opportunity for riggers and those interested in the live entertainment rigging industry to network, discuss current issues and new technologies, and help shape the future of the industry.
In 10 sessions over two days, participants will be given a range of opportunities to further their technical knowledge, keep up to date with codes and standards, increase their understanding of structural issues, and learn about the challenges of working as a rigger in other segments of the entertainment industry. The symposium will carry ETCP education renewal credits for re-certification.
The event will also include multiple opportunities for attendees to network over morning coffee breaks, lunch, and evening cocktails.
Contact email@example.com to be notified when registration opens or to enquire about sponsorship opportunities.
Europe - Litec is increasing its range of Flyintowers to nine in total with the release of four new towers this year.
The company has introduced the first two of these - the FTH40 and FTH52. The FTH40 allows 1,600kg of your audio equipment to be supported up to 10m, while the FTH52 Flyintower supports a total load of 1,400kg up to 13m.
Both towers are designed for lifting loads with an electric chain hoist or manual winch, but more importantly, feature all straight sections made from standard truss, rather than truss that’s custom made.
Israel - Ninja Warrior is a sports entertainment competition that features hundreds of competitors who attempt to complete a series of obstacle courses of increasing difficulty in a bid to make it to the national finals and become a ‘Ninja Warrior’. The format originated in Japan and has since been sweeping audiences off their feet in hundreds of countries.
After gaining immense popularity worldwide the television format has finally landed in Israel, with the Israeli version hosted by Asi Azar and Rotem Sela.
The exhausting obstacle course was built at the Haifa Port in two weeks with a team of over 80 professionals using 4.5 tonnes of trusses. The rigging and obstacle course were built by the production riggers who arrived from the US and accompany the production worldwide.
Gil Teichman from Lighting Design Systems was in charge of lighting and sound. Mt. Midoriyama and the host's rig were created by Itzuv Bama. Lighting designers Ofer Jacobi and Avi-Yona Bueno (Bambi) were the creative spirit for the impressive lighting design.
Jacobi said, "Designing lights for obstacle courses at the Haifa Port was challenging because of the enormous location, the real challenge was finding a way to combine the lighting for the environment with the lighting for the obstacle course and the television lighting. The solution was using many moving lights and fixtures and making them work together."
After many months of work, including 3D simulation programming using WYSIWYG and the complicated installation of the large lighting set, Ninja Isr
UK - Retford based Rope Assemblies has been praised for its professionalism and expertise by ScottWhitbystudio for its role in helping create The St Paul's Gateway as part of the London Festival of Architecture.
The contemporary gateway structure creates over 400 mirrored images of St Paul's Cathedral as pedestrians arrive out of St Paul's Underground Station. The design features hundreds of highly reflective anodised aluminium poles suspended vertically from a simple lightweight structural canopy. In the middle of the structure, users will find a reflective oculus and dome of poles which have been derived using the same mathematical geometry Christopher Wren used when designing the dome of St Paul's Cathedral.
Osman Marfo-Gyasi, studio project leader at ScottWhitbystudio comments: "We were initially approached by the Cheapside Bid Alliance alongside the London Festival of Architecture who commissioned us to come up with ideas for something to animate the traffic island outside St Paul's Cathedral. Marc Thomas of Millimetre, our initial fabricator on the job recommended that we get in touch with Rope Assemblies. Marc had done a lot of legwork for us, so we knew what kit we needed to procure, but the Rope Assemblies team was extremely helpful in ensuring we were able to get what we needed and also keep within budget."
He continues: "The Rope Assemblies kit was extremely well made - while installing the cables for the structure, they were put under an immense level of tension and none of them showed any signs of failure. The entire experience o
USA - Trussing and staging equipment specialist Prolyte Group has opened North American headquarters in Pearland, Texas.
The company is well established across Europe and Asia and its expansion to the USA follows five years of successful operations in Canada.
Ralph Stockley, Prolyte’s chief commercial officer, comments: “Texas was an attractive selection for Prolyte’s North American headquarters. We already had an existing partnership with a company in Pearland. Other factors, such as tax benefits, the strength of the Texas economy and the proximity to the Port of Houston finalised our decision.”
Prolyte is also planning to introduce its Prolyte Campus initiative in North America, through which the company has been offering hands-on training events across the globe.
Lambert Bouwmeester, Prolyte’s chief executive officer, adds: “The opening of our new North America headquarters in Texas and the Prolyte Campus programme will better serve clients in the region, speed up delivery times and provide the inventory and presence needed for Prolyte’s anticipated growth throughout North America and, eventually, South America.”
USA - ESTA has posted three documents for public review on its website. Two of the documents are reaffirmations of existing standards and one is a proposed new standard. The reviews run through 24 September.
The documents are:
ANSI E1.5, Theatrical Fog Made with Aqueous Solutions of Di- and Trihydric Alcohols
ANSI E1.5 - 2009, last reaffirmed in 2014, is being considered for reaffirmation. This standard describes the composition of theatrical fogs or artificial mists that are not likely to be harmful to healthy performers, technicians, or audience members of normal working age. It is limited to those fogs and mists made from a solution of water and one or more dihydric or trihydric alcohols, and is intended to be applied in theatres, arenas, and other places of entertainment or public assembly.
ANSI E1.29, Product Safety Standard for Theatrical Fog Generators that Create Aerosols of Water, Aqueous Solutions of Glycol or Glycerin, or Aerosols of Highly Refined Alkane Mineral Oil
ANSI E1.29 – 2009, previously reaffirmed in 2014, is being considered for reaffirmation. The standard is intended to help guide product safety testing laboratories in evaluating fog-making equipment for design or construction defects that might create unacceptable hazards. It is based on UL 998 - 2006, Humidifiers, with modifications. Products covered are theatrical fog generators intended for use in professional theatrical entertainme
UK - Nominations for PLASA’s Gottelier Award are now open.
The award, named after late lighting designer and industry commentator Tony Gottelier, launched in 2007 to recognise product developers who have made significant and sustained contributions to the advancement of entertainment, presentation or installation technology. Previous recipients include Wayne Howell (Artistic Licence), Anne Valentino (ETC), David Cunningham (Entertec), Pasquale Quadri (Claypaky), Jim Bornhorst (Vari-Lite), John Meyer (Meyer Sound), Terry Clarke (Klark Teknik, MC2 Audio), Fred Foster (ETC), Alex Cooper (Midas & Klark Teknik), John Stadius (DiGiCo / Soundtracs) and Tony Andrews (Funktion-One).
Anyone in the industry can nominate individuals as well as development teams by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line 'GOTTELIER') by 17 August (Friday).
Following the nomination stage, a shortlist will be circulated to PLASA members and registered PLASA Show visitors, who will exclusively vote to elect a winner. The recipient of the 2018 Gottelier Award will be revealed at the PLASA Show (16-18 September 2018, London Olympia).
Canada - Solotech has announced David Brazeau’s appointment as director, research and development (R&D).
In this role, Brazeau will lead a team of audio, lighting and video technology solution consultants and specialists. This team will support other Solotech professionals, contribute to the delivery of various complex projects and help select equipment from suppliers, in keeping with the company’s overall technology strategy.
During more than 21 years as a Solotech employee, David has developed a diversified expertise, first, as a shop technician, then as a production technician on international stages while touring with André Rieu and Céline Dion. He went on to make a name for himself as an audio project manager for various Solotech clients, including Britney Spears and Michael Bublé. Until recently, he was a technical advisor in the audio department.