Respected scenic and exhibition designers George P Johnson contacted Total Structures Inc to fabricate the main canopy for the Infiniti stand at the North American International Automobile Show in Detroit.
Since time was of the essence, the designers at Total Structures set to work on the proposed form, adapting tried and tested designs and using well known fabrication techniques to create a visually pleasing structure. The canopy tapers down from the rear hinge to a point, with the top chords curved to enhance the elegant form. The truss skeleton is covered with fabric with spaces for lighting fixtures to spotlight the new models with spectacular effect. The canopy is built at ground level and then lifted on chain hoists to trim height. The rear of the canopy is attached to a grid structure above the dividing wall through a hinge, allowing it to be rotated to the required angle.
Edwin Shirley Staging (ESS) has once again returned to the horse racing circuit, this time at Epsom in Surrey, with the broadcast infrastructure specialist ACS to cover the 2002 Derby season at the famous course.
ESS is providing a similar tower configuration to the one used successfully at this year’s Aintree Grand National to allow the host broadcaster to be able to follow the races by flying a television camera across a suspended line held under tension by ESS’ ballasted towers. John Wilson, ESS’ senior project manager tasked with delivering the trackside solution, has been travelling between Epsom and Finsbury Square in the centre of London during the set-up period, whilst also overseeing an ESS building installation in the City for Bloomberg, the blue chip financial information business. Both installations were completed as ESS were putting the finishing touches to various stages and screen supports in Manchester for the Commonwealth Games and in Buckingham Palace Gardens, the Mall, St Paul’s and Hyde Park for the Golden Jubilee.
Westlife are currently in the middle of a sell-out European arena tour and it’s Star Rigging who have played an integral part in the spectacular show that has the band members flying high over their fans every night. A first for Westlife, the in-the-round production is visiting Europe’s largest arenas. The opening number of the show begins with five 3m-diameter globes rising from the stage and moving out over the audience; each of these then opens to reveal a member of the band inside. The globes track to the five points of a star before the group members fly back to the stage, securely fixed in harnesses provided by Star Rigging.
For the last number of the show, all five members of the band took to the air in flying harnesses. Star Rigging had put the members of Westlife through basic training before the tour began to ensure they were safe and confident in being hoisted 30ft into the air, whilst performing.
Pete Rayel was Star Rigging’s head rigger on the tour, responsible for installing 90 rigging points to fly 45 tons of truss, lights, PA and video in the centre of all of the arenas. He explained: "The mother grid had to be positioned dead centre in each of the arenas, and the star was constructed on the floor, before we lifted it all into the air. No two arenas are the same, so there were adjustments in loading required for every show, but the show remained constant, irrespective of the venues capabilities."
Other members of the Star Rigging team included Gary Courier (deputy head rigger), Steve Armstrong, Jim Lloyd, Richard Wythes and
As ESS’ London office remains focused on the Golden Jubilee celebrations and the Commonwealth Games, and the UK’s commercial summer outdoor events season, the rest of the world has other fish to fry. In the USA, ESS is servicing events far removed from Her Majesty’s festivities and the spectacle of the Commonwealth Games.
ESS’ US team has just completed a Memorial Day Concert, honouring US soldiers, at Auditorium Shores in Austin, Texas. Grammy Award winners Asleep At The Wheel and Travis Trite headlined the day, performing on an ESS Orbit 15m stage. A second ESS stage hosted five bands billed to provide a backdrop to a traditional Texan barbecue ‘cook-off competition’. In true Texan style, 30 accomplished contestants arrived with their barbecues toed onto the site by trucks and prepared their fayre over 24 hours throughout the course of the event. "Perhaps this kind of event should have been a feature at the Queen’s Jubilee party?" mused Greg Howell, ESS vice-president for sales and marketing.
Austin’s Parks and Recreation Division, sponsors of the 2002 'blues on the green' concert series, has asked ESS to provide a stage each Wednesday at Zilker Park for seven consecutive weeks throughout June and July. This event draws huge crowds and is something of an institution within the US’s fastest growing city. Around the same time, ESS’ US team will be attending to a 4 July Independence Day Celebration event, providing two stages including an Orbit system once more at Waterloo Park in Texas.
Unusual Services Ltd are main contractors for the massive Golden Jubilee weekend celebrations that are happening in The Mall, Green Park, St. James’s Park, Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park and at the Queen Victoria Memorial.
The company is supplying all technical infrastructure, co-ordination, site and production management for this mind-boggling task, working closely with show producer Major Sir Michael Parker and the Golden Jubilee Weekend Trust. Unusual has employed over 250 sub-contractors and mounted a major logistical exercise to ensure the event - being broadcast live worldwide - is a well-oiled operation. To this end, the company has been interfacing with various authorities including Westminster City Council Special Events, the Metropolitan Police, Royal Parks, the GLA, the WRVS, London Underground, London Ambulance, St. John Ambulance and the British Red Cross.
The event involves the largest ever road closure programme in the Capital, and the police are expecting over a million people to come and enjoy the spectacle. Activities start on Saturday 1st June with a classical concert at Buckingham Palace, and conclude on Tuesday evening with a fly past over Buckingham Palace and The Mall by Concorde and The Red Arrows. The highlight of the event will be a world first at 10.40pm on the Monday night - a son et lumière and fireworks finale, with Buckingham Palace as the dramatic stage set. Never before has the Palace been used in this way. This imaginative inferno is designed by show explosives impresario Wilf Scott, and will be triggered by The Queen lighting the &
In response to customer demand, Artistic Licence has released the Truss-Ear! This is a truss mount adapter, compatible with a range of Artistic Licence products, including Rack-Split RDM, Net-Link I/P, Net-Link O/P and the soon to be released Power-Hub 4. The Truss-Ear is simply retrofitted to the product by removal of the end plates and provides two thumb screws for added security in addition to dual safety chain mounts. Attachment points for cable ties are also provided, allowing the product cables to be secured.
The Rigging Working Group, part of the Entertainment Services and Technology Association's Technical Standards Program, has approved the following new standards projects and notified the American National Standards Institute of their initiation:
BSR E1.21, Temporary Ground-Supported Overhead Structures Used To Cover Stage Areas and Support Equipment in the Production of Outdoor Entertainment Events: The standard will offer guidance to ensure the strength and structural reliability of the structures within its scope (ones in which the structural elements are rigid towers, trusses, and space frames) but does not address fire safety or safe egress issues, nor cover membrane structures and other structures in which the majority of the structural elements under tension are made of flexible elements.
BSR E1.22, Entertainment Technology - Fire Curtain Systems: The standard to be developed will cover the materials, fabrication, installation, operation, and maintenance of fire curtain systems used for proscenium opening protection and designed to restrict the passage of heat, hot gases, and smoke from the stage to the audience area. The standard will have three major sections: (1) an overview section that describes what a fire curtain is supposed to do; (2) a section offering a set of performance specifications a fire curtain will need to meet in order to be able to serve the intended function; (3) a "deemed to comply" section that offers common solutions for constructing, installing and operating fire curtains that have been found to work in the field. The intent of
The Sandia Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico received a new roof system from Quickbeam Systems recently, manufactured by Tomcat USA. The 60’ X 52’ KT7-like roof structure with a tan canvas top was installed to permanent columns in the amphitheater type facility next to the casino to host concerts and festivals in the community. The main grid is constructed of 54" X 31" custom truss, 54" X 26" internal custom truss members and 24" fixed triangle truss. The grid integrates with four steel towers designed by Dekker, Perich, Sabatini Architects.
Tomcat also fabricated head blocks and a custom guide system for each tower utilizing six 2-ton chain motors that run in tandem. "The Sandia Casino did not want the grid to block the view of the mountains and the lush casino that sits behind it, therefore it was imperative that the grid design could be easily lowered when not in use," explained Kurt Jaeckel, president of Quickbeam Systems. The system itself only weighs 18,000 lbs; however, after the grid is flown into position a custom rigging package is used making it possible for the grid to be dead-hung, holding up to 38,000 lbs. "The system seems to be working out great and we have been really happy with it’s results," stated Jaeckel.
The casino successfully pulled off the first show on 21 April, with the Little River Band. Other shows scheduled for this year include a variety of acts such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, James Brown, Kenny Rogers, Billy Ray Cyrus, Kevin Sharp, Styx, Bill Cosby, Jeff Foxworthy, The Temptat
London based MCL (Media Control Europe Ltd) the integrated solution provider of Avesco plc group, recently purchased one of Acutek's eight channel hoist controllers. Part of Acutek's growing range of control products, the hoist controller meets or exceeds all European and UK legislative requirements.
Nick Whitehead, MCL's head of lighting, commented on the controller's performance on its first outing for a big corporate presentation at the ExCel centre in London's Docklands. "It's built well and has a good specification. Importantly, it complies with all current EU safety regulations, that's an essential consideration for us." The controller's features include a three-pole type 'C' MCB protection on each motor channel, allowing identification of a faulty motor or cable from the rack. The controller also auto-senses local voltage; provided the hoists are set to the correct voltage the controller will work anywhere in the world with no adjustments. The unit also assigns control and E Stop functions to the handset when the handset is connected and detected. Most importantly, the E Stop system complies with risk level 4 of harmonised EC regulations, currently being applied in the UK.
Following the hoist control purchase, MCL have now also ordered one of Acutek's 18 Channel Hot Power Modules for use with their extensive range of automated lighting. "It's quite likely we'll be looking to Acutek to provide more equipment in the future," concluded Whitehead.
Rental Management Systems, provider of advanced software systems for the entertainment industry, has recently completed one of its most comprehensive multi-site systems installations to date, for European staging rental company, Stageco.
Founded in Belgium in 1985, Stageco now has rental operations in Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Germany and the USA, and has serviced some of the world’s most high-profile tours, sporting events and festivals, counting the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Pink Floyd, U2 and Robbie Williams among its clients.
The company stocks in excess of 7,000 different products - sometimes holding as many as 10,000 examples of each - making for a stock-holding which numbers literally millions of items. Consequently, the logistics of tracking movement and availability presents a huge administrative effort, hence why the company turned to RMS.
The system that Stan Gunkel of RMS came up with treats the company’s various stocks as a single entity, and uses internet connections and a 150MB database to track movement across the company’s six sites. Regular online updates to the database mean that each Stageco branch has an exact up-to-date record of what is available, as well as where and when.
The system incorporates a library of AutoCAD designs and elements, and once a drawing is completed it is exported to the RMS system which then automatically generates all the required documentation, guaranteed error-free. When drawings are changed and updated, all documentation is updated accordingly. For jobs where the equipment list alone can r
Navigator Systems Ltd have come up with a solution which will ensure that companies who own ‘demo’ stock achieve the best possible return on their investment. Following several months of discussions with sales representatives, Navigator discovered that for some keeping track of the ‘demo’ stock had turned into a logistical nightmare. Items such as mixing desks, projectors, plasma screens and lighting consoles had either been forgotten or simply gone missing.
By adding several new features to its rental management software system RentalDesk, Navigator Systems have now made it possible to search quickly and easily for the ‘First Available Date’ for the ‘demo’ item required. Thus, if a company requests a mixing desk for a five-day period in June, the sales rep can check whether it’s available for that period and if it isn't, give the client the next best alternative date. This will ensure that the ‘demo’ item is being used efficiently and sales stock will not have to be used because of a double-booking that wasn't taken into account. Ex-demo stock will therefore not accumulate and will not have to be sold at vastly reduced prices. The new system also makes it possible to record the exact location of the demo item.
Star Hire (Event Services) Ltd has set an event industry precedent by gaining LANTAC approval for its SS11-09 (Mk2) mobile StarStage. LANTAC is the Local Authorities National Type Approvals Consortium, a scheme which over 90% of the 550 Local Authorities in the UK belong to. In essence, certification under the scheme means that Star Hire no longer has to have the complex engineering calculations checked by local authorities at every show. This saves the clients, licensing authorities and themselves significant time and work in the tight schedules of the live events industry. Local Authorities and clients can be sure that the stage is safe, merely by possession of the signing-off certificate. This guarantees that the stage has been erected in accordance with the LANTAC approval.
To gain the certificate the stage and its documentation were examined in detail by one local authority, which included a full inspection of it being installed on site, so covering work practices as well. Their report was then checked by a second independent authority. Finally, an engineer independent of both authorities signed the documentation, having checked the work of the two authorities. This is the first time that a stage system that meets current guidance and regulations has won LANTAC approval in the UK. The SS 11-09 Mobile StarStage will feature prominently in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, as it tours the UK fulfilling 48 shows in as many days as part of the Queen’s Jubilee Baton Relay.
Edwin Shirley Staging (ESS) will have the opportunity to counterbalance London’s current West End bias for live events during June this year when it deploys an ESS Superstructure building into Finsbury Square within the City’s Square Mile (financial district) at the end of May. The client in this case, Bloomberg, the US-owned financial information and broadcast business is once again taking advantage of it’s proximity to the grass covered square to mount an event, this time in conjunction with the World Cup.
An audience consisting of Bloomberg employees and clients will be able to view the matches from inside an ESS building, which has been designed to Bloomberg’s specifications and includes clear wall panels. The site will also play host to other forms corporate hospitality during the tenure of the World Cup.
ESS will spend four days installing the environment and estimate a two-day decommissioning process to follow. The Superstructure, a 30m long by 25m wide open-ended building will also have hoardings at either end of it provided by ESS to carry Bloomberg’s branding for the event. ESS will be providing screen supports for Screenco’s Jumbotron installation at the site. The site has an underground car park directly beneath it, giving the installation team particular constraints to consider regarding point loadings of cranes during the installation as well as load spreading for the building itself. The site’s other challenges are determined by its location; it is at the heart of one of the busiest thoroughfares within the city,
First opened in 1910, London's oldest purpose-built cinema, the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill, reopened on April 26 following a lengthy and complex refurbishment. A Grade II listed building, the venue retains many of its original features including the foyer's gilt-domed box office and mosaic floor, which leads to a Baroque panelled auditorium. Now the cinema has comfortable new seating and the most technologically advanced 35mm projector available.
Unusual Rigging was first approached to quote on a lighting grid, but once there, Robin Elias of Unusual was quizzed about ways of 'growing' the cinema's existing screen to make it suitable for widescreen presentations. However, as a listed building there were restrictions that had to be taken into account, making major structural changes impossible. After presenting the initial idea, Unusual contracted Total Fabrications to realise the concept, who, in turn, contracted AVW Controls "after a number of strong recommendations," explained Neil Darracott, design engineer for Total Fabrications.
Working with both companies, AVW Controls contributed to the design and installation of a motorized screen-extending mechanism. AVW's control system can be operated from both the stage and the projection booth, whilst moving the screen forward and simultaneously 'growing' it by three feet on each side. And, as safety was an important factor for this mechanism, AVW has created a system that senses when objects obstruct the screen's extension, stopping the movement if someone or something is in the way. Equally, the screen contr
Edwin Shirley Staging deployed over a hundred tonnes of staging equipment to the six zones of this year’s Essential Festival, held for the first time at Ashton Court in the Bristol area. The staging was located inside six temporary marquees. During the build up to the May bank holiday weekend festival, the weather provided no mean challenge to the organizers and the suppliers of the event. ESS was left with a shorter installation period thanks to the challenges provided by a windswept and rain-soaked site, although work was finished for the festival to start at the appointed time despite the difficulties.
ESS was supplying the festival for the first time and is now looking forward to rejoining the event when it arrives in London, this time at Hackney Marshes in early August. The Hackney site is currently specified to be larger than the Bristol site, with ESS currently estimating that more than 200 tonnes of staging will form part of its commitment to the project.
Czech Republic-based truss manufacturer Milos is continuing to expand its global operations with the announcement that the company is finishing the move to its new European HQ near Prague. The facility boasts over 90,000sq.ft of production area, fully equipped with the latest manufacturing technology including semi-automated welding processes. The new facilities creates one of the largest production centres in Europe and enables Milos to substantially increase its production capacity and introduce new product lines scheduled for later this year. Phased production moves to the new site have been completed on time and have ensured that the fast delivery of QuickTruss systems have continued as normal. Full production is expected from the factory by the end of April 2002.
Edwin Shirley Staging (ESS) continues to feature prominently in this year’s Golden Jubilee events calendar. This time ESS will be providing a staging solution for the sell out All the Queen’s Horses event at Windsor between May 16 and May 18.
Major Sir Michael Parker, producer of many royal events during the past 15 years, conceived the show. ESS has previously worked alongside Major Sir Michael on events such as the VE and VJ Day celebrations. The show, an equestrian spectacular, involves a cast of 3000 performers and 1000 horses performing in front of a specially designed stage which will hold an orchestra, a choir and a company of dancers. The night-time event will also feature a floodlit Windsor Castle as a backdrop.
ESS is providing a 25m arched Orbit stage system with a split-level plinth to accommodate the orchestra and choir. The stage will be finished without a back wall, to allow for an uninterrupted view of the Castle. The show’s design calls for a crown, a unicorn and a lion decoration to be positioned on the proscenium arch. ESS has provided two Lite-tower structures as part of its solution to allow for these additional features to be located where the designer wants them. The site, a sensitive green field location, requires ESS to employ it’s broad knowledge of low impact installation techniques.
Tim Norman, managing director for ESS said: "We are delighted to see yet another Golden Jubilee related event join our 2002 projects portfolio. As with the earlier Waltham Forest event, All the Queen’s Horses form
A strategic contingent of 27 South African roadies has embarked on a 20-city US tour which will cover coast-to-coast principal venues, in an initiative engineered with UniverSoul Circus, Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The seven-month outing with Platinum Soul 2002 carves out the global collaborative stage that enhances technical exchange projects between the Republic of South Africa and the USA.
This initiative extends the five-year European projects, which cover Ireland, Holland, Denmark, France and Norway. In July 2001, while on a world tour through South Africa, Cedric Walker met with the president of SARA (South African Roadies Association), Freddie Nyathela, in Johannesburg and discussed ways and means of establishing joint-projects that could foster technical transfer initiatives. Within a year of that historic meeting, the scheme has come to fruition, falling in line with the objectives stated for SARA's 10th anniversary agenda (1992-2002).
The Emmy-nominated, globally recognized UniverSoul Circus, a vision of Cedric Walker and Cal Dupree, was created in 1994 to provide educational and inspiring entertainment to urban families. President and founder Cedric Walker is a veteran of the entertainment business, who has worked with the legendary Commodores and the Jackson Five. He also created the nation’s first rap tour, called FreshFest.
Bucharest, the capital of Romania, witnessed a dramatic new development right in the heart of the city earlier this month. Communications company Orange was inspired to use a live concept to bring a part of their current marketing strategy to life, and in doing so engage their audience directly.
Park Avenue, based in London, worked closely with Orange’s Global Corporate Articulation team to devise the concept, a simple structure as the device to house a series of events for Orange. Park Avenue turned to Edwin Shirley Staging’s (ESS) London office to realize the concept. The entire project was installed and commissioned on site at the first attempt in less than one working week and remained in place for events scheduled between 5 April and 9 April.
Michael Dodsley has been appointed as the new Theatre Division Manager of Custom Group Ltd, based in Ilkeston, Derbyshire. Dodsley, formerly project manager at CCT Lighting, has 20 years experience within the stage drapery, engineering, sound and lighting industry, commencing from humble beginnings as a trainee engineer for Furse Theatre Products. Managing director Richard Rybij commented:"Mike joining our Theatre Division team further strengthens our expertise within a very technical market, where the customer often requires detailed advice planning their theatre or drama venue"
Custom Group Ltd commenced trading 28 years ago as a curtain and blind company, evolving into a supplier of all aspects of theatre equipment, which now also includes seating, lighting and sound, stage engineering and control equipment. Dodsley joins an established team which includes sales manager Gary Redfern and project manager Andrew Brader, both of whom have vast experience having also spent their working life within the theatre stage engineering and lighting markets.
Edwin Shirley Staging (ESS) has been commissioned to provide the staging for another major Royal event, this time to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in June 2002. The Queen will host two major events in the grounds of Buckingham Palace on 1 June and 3 June this year to celebrate her Golden Jubilee. These two unprecedented events will be held in front of 12,000 people on each day. The format involves an audience drawn from all over the UK. The events will be broadcast live by BBC television and radio around the world as well as over the internet.
The first event is a classical concert, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, with Mstislav Rostropovich, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Sir Thomas Allen, amongst others, providing a repertoire of opera and musical theatre pieces. The second event, the Party at the Palace, brings together a roster of familiar artists including Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Aretha Franklin, Sir Elton John, Tom Jones, Brian Wilson and Sir Paul McCartney. They will share the party atmosphere with contemporary pop stars such as Will Young and S Club 7. Sir George Martin, Phil Ramone and Michael Kamen are tasked with providing musical guidance and direction for the entire repertoire.
ESS, working again with Mark Fisher, is providing the main stage, the Royal box, a commentary booth, a second stage, pre-show staging, mixer and spot positions, production cover, choir riser and a security platform in Hyde Park. Meanwhile, in front of Buckingham Palace on the Mall, ESS will be providing staging for the officially-organized public celebrations in conjunction with a
In a joint statement, David Edelstein and Steve Tuck of Blackout Triple E announced that they have decided to demerge the two companies. With immediate effect, Triple E and Blackout will trade independently, although they will continue to share office and warehouse space at Colliers Wood.
David Edelstein, managing director of Triple E, commented: "Steve and I have known each other for many years and will continue to supply product and equipment to each other, just as we have done for nearly 12 years. But we simply concluded that it would better for our two respective companies if we operated independently."
With the fullest order book the company has ever had, Triple E is busy installing its specialist track worldwide - including for Bombay Dreams at London's Victoria Apollo, the Concert Hall in Gothenburg and Theatres on the Bay, Hong Kong - as well as recently contributing technical knowledge to the flying effects in the current West Life tour.
Blackout will operate from the existing numbers, whilst Triple E will have new telephone and fax numbers - tel: +44 (0)20 8646 6767, fax: +44 (0)20 8646 4747.
The London Borough of Waltham Forest is to treat Her Majesty the Queen to a presentation of half a century of fashion when she visits the area on 9 May 2002. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will be guests of honour at an all day celebration of youth and fashion.
50 models (one for each year of Her Majesty’s reign) will put on a fashion spectacular that will reflect fashions from 1952 to the present day. Popular music from the different eras and a commentary on momentous events in the nation's history will complete the pageant.
"We have a great days celebration of youth planned for 9 May and we’re looking forward to the visit from The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. It’s a fairly simple idea really, but I think it’s a great way to celebrate the Golden Jubilee," commented a local authority representative.
ESS will provide a 50 metre by 12 metre stage for the show itself and a grand stand structure of 56 metres by 7 metres. A Royal Box, also from ESS, will be situated next to the stage. ESS has provided solutions at many Royal events including the hand over of Hong Kong from Britain to China, the 2000 Royal Military Tattoo in London and the VE and VJ day events in Hyde Park.
The Queen will arrive by helicopter and will be escorted over some suitably colour co-ordinated red track-way ground protection before taking her position for the event. John Wilson, ESS senior project manager for the event, said: "As an experienced provider of services to Royal and other State occasions for many years we understand the protocol and atten
That is the upbeat message from PLASA’s new Show Director, Sue Saint. Celebrating its 25th year, the PLASA Show is the world’s pre-eminent light, sound and audio-visual event, attracting major brands every year, and this year is no exception.
Stand bookings are currently at 82%, with top names such as Vari-Lite, Sennheiser, Martin Professional, Denon, BSS Audio and Total Fabrication already booked. The show pulls in over 13,000 visitors from the UK and abroad each year, having become the main marketplace for the £11billion entertainment technology industry.
"The show is evolving continually," commented Saint, "and one of the key trends emerging is the growing number of manufacturers choosing to exhibit in their own right, rather than rely solely on representation through distributors. In addition, many long-standing exhibitors, including Numark, Peavey, Sound Technology, Avolites and SGM, have reaffirmed the importance of PLASA by booking larger stands. Other major industry players are also recognizing the role the show can play in developing their businesses and this year will see Marantz, Tascam and Duran Audio exhibiting for the first time. All this is happening at a time when the economy generally has been talked down, but the increased interest in the show is clear evidence that the market is picking up and that the PLASA Show is an integral part of the exhibitors’ marketing armoury."
Steve Warren, sales director of Avolites, an exhibitor at the show for the past 13 years, added: "The PLASA Show is clearly the most imp