Rigging and Staging News

Adam Hall to Distribute Racklight in EuropeAdam Hall to Distribute Racklight in Europe
Monday, 14 May 2001

The Adam Hall group has announced its agreement with California-based RPM Optoelectronics to distribute RPM’s innovative new Racklight throughout Europe. Racklight represents a new dimension in glare-free directional focused lighting for rack cabinets. Technical advances incorporated in the ‘Racklight’ provide visually uniform, brilliant illumination unavailable in other products. The unique design of the UV-resistant acrylic light guide provides heat-free, concentrated light with no hot bulbs to handle or change, and is guaranteed for five years. Racklight illuminates one metre of rack space with cool, even light. Built with high quality materials around dependable solid state lighting, ‘Racklight’ is a safe and durable addition to any rack equipment, and is available in a variety of light source colours.

Navigator Hamper
Friday, 11 May 2001

Navigator Systems recently presented Pascale Lecomte of Britannia Row with a Harrods food hamper for taking part in a research and development project linked to the company’s Hire Track Eclipse rental management software. Britannia Row, which has been using Eclipse since 1999, was chosen at random from a number of companies who participated. Navigator will use the results from the findings to further develop the software.

Thompson Leaves Shoptick.com
Friday, 11 May 2001

Frances Thompson has announced that she is leaving the US-based production industry web venture, Shoptick.com. Launched last year, Shoptick.com offers ‘e-business for show business’ with production resources including online inventory tracking and project management, product and manufacturer listings and crew resources. Thompson, who previously worked for US truss manufacturer Tomcat, was responsible for marketing at Shoptick.com. She told PLASA Media that Shoptick.com was in the process of downsizing in order to concentrate heavily on product development. The company’s Kansas City staff will now handle marketing as well as continuing to provide the level of service already established.

Fineline Goes Heavy MetalFineline Goes Heavy Metal
Friday, 11 May 2001

Touring, festival and corporate event lighting rental house Fineline have become the first UK stockists of Tomcat’s new Extra Heavy Duty trussing. Fineline’s initial purchase of nearly 300ft of the super-strength truss was prompted by the demands of a recent event at Westpoint Arena in Exeter for Warwick Corporate Events, for which Fineline constructed a complete 80m x 30m x 11m high pitched-roof tented structure within the Westpoint venue - using the new trussing to form the topmost span of the apex. The 80m run of Extra Heavy Duty served as the main truss run. Below that, further out from the centre each side were two runs of lighter GP trussing (also Tomcat), and below these - still further out from the centre - were two runs of Trilite lightweight trussing, at a height of approximately 4m. All three layers of trussing were bridled together with additional runs of Trilite for rigidity and stability. The complete superstructure was suspended by 24 Lodestar motors, and Warwick Corporate Events dressed the entire ‘box’ with drapes and starcloths and Fineline installed an impressive moving light rig of Martin MAC 500s and 600s over the dining area, plus Golden Scans over the dancefloor. Lighting design was by @lighting.

Fineline is now adding a Tomcat ground support system with a 4 tonne per leg loading capacity to go with the trussing and into their rental stock. The ground support will be in action in Geneva for a huge corporate event in the summer that requires 80 ft spans with a centre load in excess of 1 tonne. Fineline’s Darren Wring ex

AVW Controls Director PromotionAVW Controls Director Promotion
Thursday, 10 May 2001

AVW Controls has announced that Mark Brown, who joined the company as general manager in February 1999, has been appointed a director of the company. Born in Suffolk in 1964, Mark has worked in many engineering control disciplines including cranes and truck auto-electrics and in his new role will control the operations side of AVW, from the initial purchasing and manufacturing stage through to installation and commissioning, often to very tight schedules. Brown will also be responsible for the inspection and testing of equipment prior to delivery for a variety of projects, ranging from small pile wind hoists and revolves to much larger orchestra elevators, safety and house curtains and powered flying systems. "The projects we undertake at AVW are diverse, with recent projects I've worked on including the Thessalonika Concert Hall and Royal Theatre in Greece, as well as the Glyndebourne Opera House - I'm both excited and flattered at being invited to be an integral part of AVW, which is a relatively young, but growing, company," he commented.

Launch for Ground Zero
Wednesday, 9 May 2001

Three European entertainment industry veterans have announced the formation of Ground Zero BV, which they claim to be ‘the first system integrator and show control specialist company in Holland’. The founders of Ground Zero are Sierk Janszen, Rutger van Dijk and Reind Brackman, all well known figures in the worldwide entertainment industry. The company’s main working area will be North-Western Europe and Spain.

Sierk Janszen has worked as applications manager at Avenger Systems in Belgium for the last six years after he had worked as a sound-engineer for several theatre-companies in Holland. Rutger van Dijk has been the manager of Vari-Lite Production Services Amsterdam since it establishment, before which he worked as technical production manager on many musical productions, Cirque du Soleil Europe and Focus Showequipment. Finally, Reind Brackman is the owner and founder of Beo (the Dutch Compulite dealer) and Trekwerk, a company specializing in automatic flying systems and their controls.

Quality Award for Total FabricationsQuality Award for Total Fabrications
Friday, 4 May 2001

Following an assessment by an independent body, Total Fabrications Ltd (TFL) has been awarded the ISO 9001 Certificate. This award for quality is supported by Government, and recognized worldwide. "We’ve experienced an increasing demand for special project work across all our market sectors, both here and abroad," commented TFL’s managing director Chris Cronin. "Couple that requirement with the development of our unique safety product, the T2 trussing system, and the need for an internationally recognized standard became essential." The award recognizes the company’s commitment to high quality service. Readers will be interested to learn that only around 3% of UK businesses hold this certificate, thus TFL are now at the forefront of quality service and customer care. Peter Hind of TFL headed up the team that prepared the company for assessment, co-opting production manager Lou McDonald and operations manager Brendan Cusack onto the team.

Report Dodgy Structures
Friday, 4 May 2001

PLASA Media has been advised of a new service designed to draw attention to poor standards of work within the industry. If you see a 'dodgy’ structure being built, such as a truss or tower being put up incorrectly or fashioned from battered old bits of ancient origin, you can now report it via e-mail to the Institute of Structural Engineers. This service has been arranged for the Industry by Roger Barrett, MD of Star Hire and PSA Council member.

Rock ‘n Rolling with EST
Friday, 4 May 2001

Those masters of rock industry logistics, EST, are once more in the thick of the action over the summer season. Touring with a list of bands that reads like a roll-call of the top aristocracy of the rock music industry, the range of locations and number of vehicles involved is staggering. The tours are all major Arena and Stadium scale and are forecast to be the biggest gross-earning acts of the summer season. 16 of the familiar yellow and purple trucks will provide logistic support to Madonna’s European tour running from the 5 June until 12 July. A further eight trucks will provide transport for the Eagles, starting in Moscow on 29 May and finishing in Glasgow on 28 July. Another 16 EST trucks will accompany Bon Jovi’s European Tour which starts in Stockholm on 31 May with 16 more shows in locations as diverse as Huddersfield, Hamburg and Zurich before ending in Munich on 30 June.

On top of that, EST will also provide transport for Jethro Tull’s European Tour, centred mainly in Germany, plus trucking equipment to a major Conference of the World’s Ophthalmologists in Istanbul for Face to Face Productions. Last but not least, EST is providing transport for the Barcelona Motor Show in early May which will entail 35 trucking movements each way.http://www.ess-uk.com

QuickTruss Launched at NAB
Thursday, 3 May 2001

Milos Structural Systems has announced that GES Exposition Services of Las Vegas debuted its new QuickTruss M290V inventory at the April 2001 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas. At NAB 2001, QuickTruss was used to build several structures including the pictured Banner structure that had 45ft tall towers and was 188ft in length. Another structure was used to carry a 3,400lb Barco LED wall. QuickTruss M290V is an 11 7/16" aluminum truss using 2" x 1/8" main tubing and 5/8" braces. It was selected by GES because of its quick connection system of solid spigots, pins and clips along with its versatility for indoor and outdoor use as well as being decorative or structural.

Bytecraft Invests in UK Stage Automation Company
Wednesday, 2 May 2001

Bytecraft Automation has completed its investment in the UK stage machinery company, Caire Ltd. Bytecraft’s John Rowland told PLASA Media: "The acquisition of a controlling interest in Caire Ltd is the culmination of Bytecraft's five year strategy to achieve a European network of alliances and affiliates allowing us to offer stage automation and stage lighting solutions to our European customers." Bytecraft is one of the leading suppliers of stage automation control systems with major installations worldwide in cities including Tokyo, New York, Sydney, San Francisco, London, Melbourne and Paris. Bytecraft director Ted Fregon said: "The investment in the UK company Caire follows the opening of Bytecraft's Dutch operation in 1999. Bytecraft has now completed more than 10 projects in Europe and expects to complete a further 11 in the next three years."

The UK-based company will provide service, maintenance and customer support for existing Bytecraft installations in Europe, in addition to turnkey solutions for stage automation projects.

Canon Goes Global With OPTI
Wednesday, 2 May 2001

Photographic giant, Canon, unveiled its world vision at the recent Focus Show (NEC) with a stunning new stand featuring a huge globe constructed from leading aluminium trussing system, OPTI Trilite. The exhibition brings together photographers and suppliers from all over the UK, and is one of the key showcases for new products and services in Europe. As one of the biggest players in the market, Canon was determined to make a big splash and didn't disappoint. Canon's stand was the brainchild of exhibition specialists, Creative Concepts. "We always try to do something bigger and better every year for Canon's Focus stand," says managing director, Paul Harber. "This year we decided the central feature would be an enormous globe built from the polished version of OPTI Trilite. Being close business neighbours helps too, as both Creative Concepts and OPTI are based in Luton. Glen Brown at OPTI reckons the Canon globe was one of the most impressive structures the company has built. "We pre-assembled at our OPTI Trilite manufacturing facility in Huntingdon and it looked awesome. It's great to see a vision come to life like that."

PLASA Set for 2001 AGM
Friday, 20 April 2001

The 2001 PLASA AGM, along with the popular AGM Dinner, will take place on Thursday 14 June in the historic setting of Coombe Abbey, near Coventry. Set in 500 acres of parkland and dating back to 1150, this former Cistercian Abbey is now a thriving hotel and conference centre. In a slightly revised format for 2001, the day will include an opportunity for members to meet with key representatives of PLASA’s various operations in a number of small, hour-long ‘break-out sessions’. These will be organised as follows:

- PLASA Show - members of the Clarion Events show management team and members of the PLASA Exhibitor Forum will be on hand to discuss PLASA Show-related issues.
- Membership Services - PLASA’s head office staff dealing with membership services will be joined by consultants from certain of our service providers and members of the PLASA Executive Committee.
- PLASA Standards - PLASA’s Technical Standards Officer Tim Cox will be joined by consultants and other of PLASA’s standards representatives to discuss Standards-related topics.

As part of PLASA’s aim of increasing the opportunities for useful communication with its members, these sessions are intended to provide an informal environment for discussion, feedback and questions. PLASA’s managing director Matthew Griffiths comments: "We hope these sessions will prove a valuable use of the time between the AGM and the start of the evening’s entertainment. By offering the chance of an informal meeting with key representatives of the Association, we h

New Manager for LGH RiggingNew Manager for LGH Rigging
Friday, 20 April 2001

Bob Dean has joined LGH Rigging Services as commercial manager. He returns to LGH Group plc, having held the post of branch manager of the Slough Lifting Gear Hire location for three years. He has worked as a project manager in Malaysia and as a contracts manager, working on such key contracts as Canary Wharf DS5. His appointment is a further step in the continuing development of the LGH Rigging Services business - a specialist in the field of rigging equipment hire, offering, in addition, comprehensive operator training capability.

Tomcat Hoist & Rigging Workshop
Friday, 20 April 2001

Following on from the success of the last three year’s events, Tomcat UK has announced that it is hosting its fourth annual Hoist & Rigging Workshop on May 30 to June 2, 2001. This year’s workshop has been extended from three days to four to enable extra tuition to be included, specifically in the area of fall arrest, and to allow the participants to have more ‘hands-on’ instruction. The tuition will be held at the Pacific Road Theatre, Birkenhead, UK. As well as the fall arrest tuition, performed by Steve Jervis of Protecta International, Wally Blount from Columbus McKinnon will again be providing instruction on the Lodestar range of electric chain hoists. Nick Brown and Pete Smith of Unusual Rigging will be giving their usual entertaining class on rigging practices and principles, whilst Mike Wells of Tomcat engineers Parkhill, Smith, & Cooper Inc, will be supplying information on proper truss usage and inspection. As in previous years the tuition will be provided alongside the social activities that have helped make the course so popular with experienced professionals and newcomers to the entertainment industry alike. More information is available from the e-mail address below.

Outback Holdings Acquires Slick Systems
Wednesday, 18 April 2001

The manufacturer of one of the most popular forms of rigging hardware, Slick Systems, has been acquired by one of its biggest customers, Outback Holdings. In a move that results in Outback acquiring the building, assets and worldwide manufacturing rights, the company will be relaunched as Slick (UK) Ltd, whilst continuing to operate from the Leek plant. "We’ve two main objectives with this deal," commented Outback Holdings managing director, Mark Surtees. "We initially want to ensure the continued supply of Slick to its loyal customer base, but our ultimate goal is to build the credibility of the system within the industry and to make Slick (UK) a more competitive company." No redundancies will result from the deal, although the shareholders and directors of Slick Systems will not be part of the new venture. "This is a significant move for Outback. As one of Slick’s biggest customers we understand the potential for the system. We intend to invest in its future and promote it to a wider audience," commented Surtees. Outback Holdings is the holding company for Outback Rigging, Outback Services, Trapeze Rigging and Mushroom Lighting.

New Grid at Shaftesbury TheatreNew Grid at Shaftesbury Theatre
Tuesday, 17 April 2001

Vertigo Rigging was called in to design, fabricate and install a completely new grid system into the famous Shaftesbury Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, in the heart of London’s West End theatreland. The month-long grid refurbishment project started directly after the get-out of the musical Napoleon which had completed its run at the theatre - a complex production also rigged by Vertigo.

The grid project was managed and overseen by Vertigo’s Ken Mehmed and all the new equipment was manufactured in Vertigo’s workshops in Bermondsey. Across the entire 140sq.m grid area, Vertigo stripped out all the old timbers from the Shaftesbury’s drop wells and replaced them with steel box-beams, two per bay. These beams have channels on the top for up and downstage adjustment of the drop pulleys and all connections were fitted with neoprene packers to reduce noise transfer through the walls to the adjacent building. A completely new set of sheaves and cables were fitted to bring it up current specifications.

With the new beams in place, runners can be spread between the drop wells across the stage, and additional sheaves and diverter pulleys can be inserted to spread the load. The result is that all the weight is relieved from the theatre’s timber joists and the load is applied to the main roof trusses and walls of the building. The new system is highly flexible and will offer productions an additional degree of versatility for the flying of scenery, props, drapes, LX bars and additional trussing or metalwork. Vertigo worked on the scheme in conjunction wit

InspHire Sign Partnership Agreement
Friday, 13 April 2001

InspHire Ltd, providers of hire management systems for hire companies, has signed a Partnership Agreement with Microsoft Great Plains Business Solutions. inspHire will offer Great Plains Dynamics and e-Enterprise solutions as the fully integrated Back Office solution for inspHire’s SQL Edition. With a long history of working together to deliver new business technologies, the two companies are joining forces to provide a package for small and medium companies. Andy Beal, inspHire MD told PLASA Media: "The signing of the Partnership Agreement between the two companies was the culmination of a two-year search for a suitable Back Office partner to integrate into inspHire SQL Edition. Great Plains' purchase by Microsoft, together with the VBA tools available to us in the end, made it an easy choice. Not only will we be able to offer the same level of two-way integration with our hire system, but our customers will have the benefit of using a Microsoft branded accounts system in use in 130,000 businesses in 132 countries worldwide."

72% Visitor Increase for ABTT
Thursday, 12 April 2001

Point Promotions have announced a 72% increase in attendance at last week’s ABTT Theatre Show. The show this year expanded into both of the Royal Horticultural Halls, and had widened its remit to attract 30 new exhibitors. The initial un-audited visitor attendance figures show an increase of 72% over last year’s registered numbers. Point Promotions was appointed by the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) to administer the change from the ABTT Trade Show to the bigger and improved ABTT Theatre Show. The expanded show featured on-stage technology such as lighting, rigging, drapes and sound and also many exhibitors with front-of-house technology including seating and staging.

Slick Systems in Liquidation
Thursday, 12 April 2001

Slick Systems, the Staffordshire-based trussing manufacturer set up by Michael Wood in 1976, has gone into liquidation, PLASA Media has learned. The company had manufacturing facilities in the UK and the USA.

A meeting of creditors will take place at 11.30am at the Radisson SAS Hotel at Manchester Airport on 25 April 2001. The appointed liquidator is Messrs. Radfords, 12 Portland Street, Southampton, SO14 7EB.

Stage Technologies Recruits Tonks
Friday, 6 April 2001

Matthew Tonks has joined Stage Technologies as project manager. Tonks, formerly a project manager with Glantre Engineering and more recently with Impact AudioVisual, will concentrate on the company’s growing cruise installation work.

Roberts Joins Safety Shop
Friday, 6 April 2001

Following lengthy negotiations, which actually began in the bar at the Live! Awards, The Event Safety Shop has appointed Tim Roberts as senior consultant. The Event Safety Shop is a partnership between well-known event managers Dick Tee and Mike Richmond, and has a rapidly growing client base of people looking for specialist safety advice. Roberts will oversee the day-to-day running of the company, including the presentation of safety policies and other paperwork for production companies and risk assessment for large-scale events.

Gearing Up for PLASA 2001Gearing Up for PLASA 2001
Friday, 6 April 2001

The countdown to the PLASA Show 2001 has begun! The entertainment technology industry’s leading event will run from 9 - 12 September at Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London. With over 89% of the available stand space already sold and all the leading manufacturers booked into the show, PLASA 2001 promises to live up to its reputation as the showcase event that launches the entertainment technology year. Venue improvements have continued, with over £500,000 invested in the last 12 months to improve comfort cooling at the Show. Furthermore, an overall investment of £6million will ensure that Earls Court is a fully air-conditioned exhibition centre by 2002. Over 400 exhibitors and 14,000 UK and international visitors are expected to attend and experience the sound and lighting extravaganza that has become synonymous with PLASA. Manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of professional lighting, sound and AV equipment will descend upon Earls Court to unveil their latest products and technical developments for the vibrant and hugely diverse entertainment and leisure industry.

Almost 13,000 visitors, including a record 25% from overseas, attended the PLASA Show last year. Specifiers, consultants, attraction managers, recording technicians, disc and light jockeys, corporate presentation planners, technicians, architects, installers and other professionals from the world of entertainment technology traveled from all corners of the globe to see the very latest products, innovations and designs showcased.

The PLASA Show 2001 will feature many of the attractions that cont

AVW Controls at Glyndebourne
Thursday, 5 April 2001

Glyndebourne Opera House in East Sussex has a new control system for its three electrical bridges, supplied and installed by Suffolk-based AVW Controls. The system, an upgrade of that installed seven years ago, provides Glyndebourne with absolute control of the bridges, each of which weighs seven tonnes and is capable of lifting 2.5 tonnes. Rather than disrupt the production schedule, the work was completed during the first two weeks of December 2000, while the Opera was on tour. The upgrade was the second phase of a contract originally undertaken by AVW as a sub-contractor to the erstwhile Glantre Engineering, the first phase of which involved upgrade work on the bridges themselves. Following Glantre’s demise, Glyndebourne contacted AVW direct, and is very pleased with the results. Dave Locker, production manager, said: "We are absolutely delighted with the new control system which AVW has supplied and installed. Being easy to use, staff have been able to assimilate the new system quickly, reducing the amount of time needed for training."


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