Lighting&Sound International, PLASA Media’s leading entertainment technology journal, is sponsoring the New Technology Gallery at PLASA 2001. This is the showcase of all products nominated for the prestigious PLASA Awards for Product Excellence. Situated on the Top Deck of the PLASA Show, near to the main bar area, the showcase offers visitors a chance to check out the features and capabilities of all of the major product innovations at PLASA 2001, in one place.
L&SI will be based on the Lower Deck (stand K19), where we will be offering free readerships to qualifying UK industry personnel, plus special offers on international subscriptions only available at PLASA 2001 - plus PLASA Media freebies to all new subscribers!
L&SI can be found on stand K19.
The PLASA Standards Office has prepared a series of Guidance Notes for PLASA Members. Each provides useful information on current topics of interest and will be updated on an ongoing basis in line with developments. Further documents are planned in response to the needs of PLASA members. The following guidance documents are currently available. These documents are in PDF (Portable Document Format) and may be read with Adobe Acrobat Reader (version 3 or later) which is available free from www.adobe.co.uk
Guide to Australian EMC Framework: contains advice on the EMC and C-Tick labelling requirements for equipment destined for the Australian market.
Basic Guide to the FCC Rules: contains advice on application of the USA Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules on EMC for entertainment equipment.
Standards for Dimmers: contains advice on the applicable safety and EMC standards for professional dimming equipment in Europe. Now revised - version 2.
EN 61000-3-2: details the current status and activity on EN 61000-3-2, the EMC standard for harmonic current limits. Now revised - version 2.
Electrical Safety for the USA Market: contains advice on the electrical safety requirements for the USA market.
CE Marking for Trade Shows: contains advice on the CE Marking requirements for equipment displayed at trade fairs and exhibitions in Europe, including the PLASA Show.
The C.D.M. Regulations - A Summary of the Regulations for PLASA Members: contains advice on the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations. Now rev
The Entertainment Services and Technology Association has launched projects to draft three new American National Standards:
BSR E1.18, Recommended practice for the selection, installation, use, and maintenance of single-conductor portable power feeder cable in the entertainment industry. The standard is intended to offer guidance on how to select, install, use and maintain single-conductor portable power feeder cables. The project will promote safety and compatibility in the equipment and practices used in live performance and in film and video production in North America.
BSR E1.19, Recommendations for the use of ground fault devices in the entertainment industry. The standard is intended to offer guidance on how to select, install, use and maintain ground fault protection devices in the entertainment industry. The project is intended to promote the use of these devices to protect people and property from hazards associated with using electrical equipment in wet locations, such as when pools of water are used on stage or a location video-shoot is conducted in the rain, and to promote reliability and avoid nuisance tripping.
BSR E1.20, Remote device management over USITT DMX512. The project is intended to develop a method of bi-directional communication over a USITT DMX512/1990 data link between an entertainment lighting controller and a remotely-controlled dimmer, moving light, or other device. The protocol for this communication is also intended to work with the BSR E1.11 lighting control protocol being developed by the same working group.Int
For those visitors new to PLASA or simply keen to remind themselves how impressive last year’s event was, the Show website now features a virtual tour of last year’s PLASA Show. The tour takes in various elements of the exhibition with views from both the lower and top decks. By clicking on any of the green circles featured, visitors can look at the show floor in 3D and also explore other facilities at Earls Court 1.
PCM was one of the first companies in this industry to promote the value of training. Since L&SI routinely covers news of its well-established Motor Schools, we thought it high time we actually sent someone to take a closer look. Jacqueline Molloy volunteered . . .
I must confess to not having prior intimate knowledge of Columbus McKinnon hoists, but I now feel confident that should I ever have the need to strip and rebuild one, I would not disappoint the training staff from PCM!
29 of us gathered at PCM’s premises for the start of the two-day intensive course aimed at unravelling the mysteries of CM Lodestars. The popularity of the course, which has been running since 1993, is such that some attendees had flown in from Dublin and Portugal to take part. A cross-section of the industry was represented, including freelancers and representatives from sound, lighting and rigging companies. It was also good to see a group of students from Welsh College, accompanied by their lighting lecturer, all keen to gain a working knowledge of Lodestar motors, several of which the college owns.
After some much-needed caffeine, we were shepherded into the classroom-style space that was to be our home for the next two days. We got to work in pairs, which was a great way for breaking the ice and getting to know our fellow participants. It was also useful for moral support when trying to recall the exact sequence in which the motor needed to be rebuilt!It was also reassuring to have the smiling faces of previous participants gazing encouragingly upon us from the official group phot
The first Hard Rock Cafe opened its doors to the public in June 1971 in London. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the classic diner put on a concert by Grammy-nominated superstars Matchbox Twenty at The London Apollo, Hammersmith, followed by a celebrity reception at the original Hard Rock Cafe.
Blackout Triple E was contacted by Hard Rock Cafe to install black wool Serge drapes over the crowd-control barriers for the VIP guests, plus starcloths to create the desired atmosphere within the Apollo. Additionally, a 6x8ft printed Foamex logo board was rapidly constructed featuring the Hard Rock Cafe logo at the entrance to the venue, presenting an ideal location for taking photographs of the celebrity guests. Accustomed to operating to tight deadlines that also require a high degree of flexibility and quality, the Blackout Triple E team had just two days notice to fulfil this time-sensitive project.
Hard Rock Cafe is now one of the most globally recognized dining brands and has a network of 104 signature outlets in 38 countries. With the world's largest stock of rental drape, Blackout Triple E offers, for both sale and hire, a combination of specialized drape creation and expertise in rigging, track and engineering requirements. The company's project management teams have experience of a diverse range of events featuring well known brands such as Hard Rock Cafe - from the BRIT Awards to the recent Microsoft Tech Ed conference in Barcelona.
James Thomas Engineering will launch its new Exterior MR16 fixture at PLASA 2001 and also feature the new Image Plus focussing device for the MR16 lantern. JTE is also highlighting examples of its large, versatile range of standard aluminium trussing, ground support and roofing structures and theatrical lanterns - applicable and popular in all areas of the entertainment industry, from clubs and destination venues of all types to large scale festivals, theatres, concert tours, theme parks, visitor attractions and retail environments. The Par 16 Outdoor lantern is IP65-rated and developed for use in all types of weather conditions. This highly durable fixture’s body is made from corrosive resistant, robust, cast Aluminium.
James Thomas Engineering is also introducing the latest evolution for the Par 16 lantern - the Image Plus 3. This is a simple and cost-effective focussing device that attaches to the lantern’s colour frame runners, increasing yet further the massive versatility of this already dynamic lantern. The Image Plus 3 takes a standard size 'E' Gobo, enabling any desired image or logo - in either glass or metal -' to be projected onto a surface or wall up to four metres away. James Thomas also offers an MR16 gobo rotator that will rotate either one or two gobos.
Other highlights include the Thomas Follow Spot Chair, which has received a major upgrade in the last year, and a streamlined version of the James Thomas Moving Light Truss (MLT) with enhanced ergonomics, along with examples of the company’s popular and versatile range of standard alumi
Vertigo Rigging has completed a demanding project at the fantastic new high-tech factory of premier Spanish tile company Porcelanosa. Porcelanosa is renowned throughout Spain as a manufacturer of the most stylish, top quality natural stone products. Vertigo were brought in as rigging consultants by Fisher Productions, who produced a special celebration dinner event in the factory space - marking the acquisition of the new building. The creative brief was to transform the factory from its everyday working state to a comfortable, stimulating, chic and slightly magical environment for the occasion . . . which was attended by dignitaries and VIPS.
Sets and environments were designed by Johnny Roxborough, and for Fisher Productions by Nigel Prabhavalkar. This involved large areas of the factory being draped off to create new and interesting spaces, with Vertigo supplying the rigging infrastructure needed to support the draped materials. In the reception area, where guests entered the factory, Vertigo assembled and flew an octagonal trussing mother grid to support the various metalwork, wood and pieces of carpentry that formed the temporary walls. When complete, it resembled a 25m diameter circle, fully draped around the perimeter with a scalloped-style material wall and a stretched ceiling. Directly above the tiered band platform in the middle, Vertigo flew an 8m circular lighting truss.
The dining area proved a more galvanising rigging equation. The 400 guests were seated at one 155m long dining table. Vertigo built a 155m long by 5.5m wide box truss to run above the table,
Tomcat has recruited two new members to its US sales team. Trent Stoker will be handling the South East region and Mike Regan will be handling the North East region of the United States. Stoker, originally from El Paso, attended the University of Texas in Austin obtaining a BS in Advertising. He previously served as sales rep for a software company, Vignette. Regan, residing in Evergreen, Colorado for the past few years, has been in the industry for over 30 years touring with dozens of bands. He also spent time with FM Productions, Feld Entertainment and worked as a grip for Miami Vice. More recently, he owned his own company, Regan Design Associates, and traveled all over the world coordinating events and productions.
James Thomas Engineering has completed the design-and-build of an ambitious new concert stage for Leeds-based production and rental facility 3D Productions. The stylish, streamlined structure, based on a series of four arches, was designed, engineered and project-managed by James Thomas’s Paul Young who worked in conjunction with JTE’s regular structural engineers The Broadhurst Partnership.
The four arches form bays 4.8 metres apart and are built from standard 52 cm Thomas SuperTruss - eight pieces per arch - which fit at the base onto an integral stage decking system giving a full area 19.2 metres wide and 16.8 metres deep, complete with thrust plinth along the downstage edge. Headroom is an impressive 10 metres at the apex of the arches. The front edge of the stage also features an elegant cantilevered ‘eyebrow’ protruding five metres over the thrust at the top-of-the-roof elevation, tapering to a flush-fit against on the downstage arch at floor level. This serves the dual role of water and weather protection, and imbibing the structure a rounded, finished appearance.
Each arch can take a sturdy 2000kg load - giving a SWL of 8 tonnes across the entire roof structure - which works at windspeeds of up to 25 metres per second. Fully rated lighting flying points are also integral to the stage, so visiting productions can easily be accommodated, just as if it was a permanent venue.
3D productions wanted a good-looking, flexible and versatile modular staging system with the option of having a 50 or 60 ft width stage in a variety of different dept
This month, Ground Zero BV, the Dutch system integrator and show-control specialist has opened a branch office in Germany. Show-control specialist Franziskus Scharpff will represent Ground Zero Berlin. Scharpff has over 15 years experience as a lighting technician and operator. He travelled the world with various artists and has programmed more than 200 moving lights on his Whole Hog console for numerous live TV Shows and the Gold-Medal-Lightshows. But his key interest is show control systems and the network environment. At the Hannover World Expo 2000 he programmed the show control for the Planet-M pavilion (Bertelsman), Planet of Visions pavilion (IBM) and the Mediaversum pavilion (Siemens).
"I’m very pleased with this opportunity to build Ground Zero Berlin to be as successful as I expect it to be," says Franziskus during one of the first formation meetings with Rutger van Dijk and Sierk Janszen at Showtech 2001.
The organisers of Entech 2002 have released preliminary details relating to next year’s event, which takes place from February 4-6 at Darling Harbour in Sydney. The visitor programme includes keynote summits for audio, vision and lighting practitioners on 4 February. The summits will cap the opening day’s educational programme set to feature new format seminars held in the lecture facilities within the Sydney Exhibition and Convention Center. Day One features a Venue Design Forum, an afternoon session with leading lighting designers, two pro audio seminars and a vision/video seminar.
Additional events on Day One include a rigging workshop, an opening day reception on the rooftop at closing time and Mark Cunningham’s famous pop quiz at sundown. A complete programme of events, including the sixth and largest Entech Awards Dinner, will be released ahead of an extensive visitor campaign starting in October.
LGH Group has amalgamated its Customer Training operation with its Lifting Equipment Training Institute (LETI). Working across all industries, the Institute aims to promote the cause of safe lifting in the workplace. The institute has found that most companies are aware of the new LOLER and PUWER legislation, yet struggle to answer how they are complying with the new regulations.
LETI is seeking to help bridge this gap and is keen to offer help to companies to ensure their compliance with the legislation. A large part of this initiative is the provision of Lifting Operation Audits. These will serve to provide managers with a complete report, detailing all the measures the company would need to undertake to assure themselves they are compliant with the new regulations and lifting operations. In addition, LETI is also offering comprehensive training to companies in all industries in the safe use of lifting equipment and operations. LETI can provide CITB approved courses and EMTA/NVQ training and assessment, in addition to a full range of standard and customized courses for every lifting operation.
LETI will manage a database of all course attendees and will assist companies in managing their training needs and records through a process of annual reviews, reminders and refresher courses. All delegates trained through LETI will be issued with ID cards, plus a certificate as proof of training.
This July over a million people will have been part of a live audience in front of a stage supplied by Star Hire (Event Services) Limited. Star Hire’s position as the UK’s busiest staging company this summer can be in little doubt, with their stages the first choice of promoters of prestigious events across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Star Hire has operated three large VerTech constructed stage systems simultaneously whilst still managing seven mobile stages at a wide range of events. Star Hire (Event Services) Limited supplied the stages for well over 250,000 live concert goers on each of the first two weekends of July 2001 (with a TV audience of millions).
VerTech stages began the month at the Prince’s Trust ‘Party in the Park’ concert in Hyde Park, London, featuring artists including Geri Halliwell, Ricki Martin and Destiny’s Child; at ‘T In The Park’ Nr Kinross, Scotland headlined by the Stereophonics and Texas and at Ludlow Festival. Whilst the Hyde Park stage stayed put in London for Pavarotti’s spectacular visit to the capital followed by the Route of Kings concerts, the other systems moved from Scotland to Donington (Stereophonics) then Cardiff Millennium Stadium (Stereophonics) and from Ludlow to Henley Festival and Dublin (Andrea Bocelli).
Star Hire has not only invested in new truss and roofing to enable this program of events, but in their in-house trained VerTech crew, managed by Pete Holdich. The mobile stages and their specialist crews have also been busy at classical concerts, sporting event
To complement the exhibition, PLASA has lined up a range of seminars, workshops and clinics that will give an insight into how new technology is creating new opportunities, how individuals have pulled together highly complex projects, why integration is so important and how you can achieve more by picking up tips and techniques from others.
DJs can learn more about MP3 digitally-compressed music files and how this new technology is already creating a platform for a more creative approach. In a programme of seminars sponsored by Installation Europe, audio installation and integration is the theme under which issues of networking, control and the benefits of converging technologies are explored. Tuesday sees a Theme and Leisure Masterclass, presented by Leisure Management, in association with the TEA and TiLE, which focuses on how the leisure industry exploits special effects, lighting and audio technology to create unique environments to enhance the visitor experience. On Wednesday, the sessions move to consider the integration of audio and lighting into building design, the regulations facing those who install lighting, the increasing profile of new media such as LED technology, and the basics of video conferencing.
For the first time, you can also attend any number of focused courses, workshops and clinics. The ISCE is sponsoring three sessions covering the issues associated with audio system design, whilst Loughborough College and the AETTI are jointly promoting a series of courses which offer those interested in theatre a chance to work towards BTEC certification. Al
Rebecca Lace has joined LeMark Group as sales office manager, bringing with her multi-skill experience in bothelectronic and conventional marketing and sales. Rebecca will also head LeMarks’ continued expansion of custom-printed consumables into the North American and Canadian markets. Rebecca’s background has recently been within the Medical & Scientific equipment manufacturing sector, where she project-managed both the marketing and sales promotion of a new equipment range to clients throughout the world. A lover of theatre, film and music and in her ‘spare time’ she enjoys the practicality of DIY and Design. Stuart Gibbons, LeMark managing director said: "We are absolutely thrilled to have someone of Rebecca’s calibre and professionalism join the team. Expanding LeMark into the US market has been a big challenge for us all. I feel confident that with Rebecca we have the correct sales management team in place to move us forward in this highly-competitive market.
Summit Steel’s award-winning SmarTmast system will be much in evidence at this year’s 50th Anniversary ‘Music on a Summer Evening’ concerts at Kenwood House, one of the historic properties in the care of English Heritage. Founded in 1951 by Frank Wright after a visit to the Hollywood Bowl, the first concert featured a performance by the London Symphony Orchestra, who are welcomed back this year as part of the celebrations.
A total of five SmarTmasts will be provided by Summit Steel, who invested in an additional five of these versatile rigging towers in order to service the event. One SmarTmast will be positioned either side of the stage to fly the main PA system, while the remaining three will provide delay towers. Interestingly, the two PA SmarTmasts will be firmly anchored in the lake in front of the stage. Adapted to hang the V-dosc sound system provided by RG Jones, the SmarTmasts will be suitably ballasted to cope with the unusual weight distribution of hanging a line array PA. The self-climbing SmarTmast is ideally suited to such an event. "With one of the smallest footprints around it keeps blindspots to a minimum," says Summit’s director and SmarTmast developer Jon Bray.The Concert programme which runs from 7 July until September 1 includes ‘Lesley Garrett in Concert’, ‘Classic fm - Live in the Park’, and a ‘Russian Spectacular’.
Booking your tickets to the PLASA Show, the entertainment technology industry’s leading event, running from 9-12 September 2001 at Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London, has never been easier. You can now book in any of the following ways:
By Telephone: The Visitor Hotline is now live! Call +44 (0) 870 429 4472 to make your credit card booking or to request an advance booking form.
Online: Go direct to www.plasa.org/show/register to book online.
There are many advantages to pre-registration. Not only will you save £6 on the cost of entry to the Show (tickets on the door are £12) but you will be sent a personalized badge in advance permitting you fast entry into the show. You will also receive up-to-date information on the Show’s Masterclass Programme and how to book your seat at any of the sessions. Entry to the show is free for overseas visitors.
Now in its 24th year, the PLASA Show will feature over 350 exhibitors - manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of professional lighting, sound and AV equipment for the performing arts, night venues and theme bars, concerts and touring, the DJ market, architectural installation, corporate presentations, amusements and attractions, recording studios, cruise liners, TV and film, educational and religious establishments.
PCM/Pfaff-silberblau Ltd will launch two important new winch products at PLASA 2001 - the Tau Winch, specifically designed for flying people and aerial performance, and the Delta Winch - for the fast, efficient accurate scenery moving.
With the increasing popularity of aerial theatre and performance, PCM has designed and developed The Tau electric winch - the first winch to be designed and manufactured specifically for this specialist task. It features a host of inherent safety features, including a double brake system - one on the load, one on the motor, double limit switches, encoder feedback for accurate positioning and monitoring of over-speed and electronic overload protection.
The Delta winch is a quiet, very safe, accurate and durable device for flying scenery and set pieces in all performance situations. The near silent operation makes the delta winch ideal for operas and classical shows. Built to German VBG 70 standards, the Delta Winch’s features include double limit switches, encoder feedback and variable speed options. A unique feature of the Delta Winch is the Zero Fleet angle. The entire winch travels along its mounting skid, ensuring that the rope always leaves the drum at 90 degrees eliminating any fleet angle to the pulley. It also has two electric motors, two gearboxes and two brakes running in tandem to reach VBG 70/BGV C1 German safety standard. Each motor unit is capable of driving the winch completely independently, ensuring maximum safety.
PCM are exhibiting on stand F18.
It’s been a busy couple of months for Tomcat Global’s UK operation. May started with a near £250,000 order to manufacture a custom stage set for German rock group Rammstein. With Leroy Bennett as lighting and set designer, the build included, amongst other items, a custom ‘spiders web’ truss grid, five 1.5m diameter aluminium and plastic surgeon’s lamps and an aluminium and carbon-fibre ‘birthing sack’. Tomcat worked alongside lighting provider Light & Sound Design and scenery specialist Perry Scenic to turn Bennett’s ideas into a reality.
June also proved to be a busy month with the manufacture of a stage set for the present Robbie Williams stadium tour. The set involved the manufacture of a 17m x 5m stage with decks rising from ground level up to a height of 3m. Most tricky was the need to provide a quick-opening deck on the highest level for a hydraulic dragon to emerge from, without any crew or mechanics being seen by the audience. Also provided by Tomcat are the 7m tall silver opera gauze dragon wings that unfold from the back of the stage when the dragon makes its appearance.
Tomcat UK’s production manager, Phil Williams, commented: "Obviously most of our work is done in aluminium or sometimes steel. These jobs enabled us to work with a number of different materials - especially plastics and timber - that normally only our sister company, Brilliant Stages, gets to play with!" Charlie Kail, technical advisor for both projects, offered both jobs to Tomcat UK after Brilliant Stages, his first choice, we
This weekend, 250,000 spectators at the 35th British Grand Prix enjoyed a close-up view of racing heroes Michael Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard, via two 4.8m by 8.1m jumbo TV screens from Screenco, supported by 16.5m high tower structures provided by ESS, the international staging and structure specialist. The 43 tonne screens were located at key spectator spots on the circuit, namely Copse Corner and Chapel Curve and relayed live TV coverage. So far this year, ESS has provided support structures for Wimbledon, the Grand National, the Kentucky Derby and Royal Ascot, as well as the one-day international cricket tests at Lords and Edgbaston, as part of the UK tour by Pakistan. In addition, ESS has also supplied screen supports at Twickenham for various national rugby fixtures. This brings the total number of locations where ESS has provided camera and screen supports to eight so far this year.
ESS was asked at the eleventh hour by Wimbledon organisers to provide a second TV screen to meet spectator demand for Tim Henman’s nail-biting Semi-Final match. This was in addition to the original screen support on ‘Henman Hill’ supplied by the company at the beginning of the world-famous tennis tournament. ESS was able to design, build and erect the second tower structure to support the huge screen, once again supplied by Screenco, within eight hours, working through the night to deliver the project four hours ahead of schedule.
Tim Norman, managing director of ESS, said: "The Silverstone contract is a great endorsement for ESS’ capabili
Stage Technologies has just been awarded the contract for the supply of rigging systems for the latest of the Grand class ships currently being built for P&O Princess Cruises by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Nagasaki, Japan. Stage Technologies’ scope of supply includes nearly 100 axes of automation, both mechanical and electrical systems, installed in three venues. Rigging systems include 26 flying bars, 4 stage lifts, and 16 curtain tracks. Control systems include the company’s award-winning Acrobat, Juggler and Solo consoles. Mark Ager, Stage Technologies’ managing director commented: "We are very excited to receive this order which confirms Stage Technologies as a major supplier of automation systems to the cruise ship industry."
To date, the company has provided the control systems for eight cruise ships including the original Grand Princess and ships for Carnival Cruise Lines and Star Cruises. They have also recently completed the installation of both control and flying systems for the Golden Princess and currently have orders for similar systems on vessels in the Italian Fincantieri and French Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyards, where Stage Technologies is acting as a subcontractor to Harbour Marine Systems (HMS). In addition, they have orders for control systems on more Carnival Destiny class ships in conjunction with HMS and Star class ships for Wagner Biro. Matthew Tonks, who recently joined Stage Technologies as project manager, commented: "We look forward to working with MHI on this project and together delivering the be
David Plail has joined MCL London as head of project management, bringing with him 28 years of industry experience. David comes to MCL from FrameSet Products, a company that he founded over 10 years ago, dedicated to the design, build and supply of diverse conference staging products. "Some people may think it a strange decision," said Plail, "to move away from FrameSet when it is such a successful company. But MCL is a young company with incredible backing from Avesco and it was an opportunity that I couldn’t miss. In the end it was an easy choice to make. It puts me right back into the industry mainstream and will draw heavily on what I have learnt over the years. I am looking forward to the challenge."
In his new role, Plail will be drawing together all existing elements of project management at MCL London and will fine-tune current practices to ensure the continued efficiency and quality of output to MCL clients - from information to technical solutions. "David’s experience will add to the team in the South, and the offer nationally," said Mike Bell, managing director of MCL London, "providing our project managers with support and advice on a day-to-day basis. His diverse background in all areas of live events will be invaluable."
The US-based Entertainment Services & Technology Association (ESTA) has announced that BSR E1.8, Entertainment Technology - Loudspeaker Enclosures Intended for Overhead Suspension - Classification, Manufacture and Structural Testing, is now available for public review, and will be until 25 September 2001. Loudspeakers suspended overhead should not pull apart and rain debris on people below, and this draft document is an attempt to offer guidance to a manufacturer to make sure such a mishap does not happen. The document describes the structural requirements for loudspeaker enclosures intended for overhead suspension, which include enclosure construction, component part security, enclosure suspension hardware, manufacturing control systems, structural testing, and product representation. The standard is intended to enhance the safety of speaker rigging at popular music concerts and other performances.
Further details are available from the Technical Standards Program section of ESTA’s website.