UK - A UK hydraulics firm pulled off a stellar performance to arrange manufacture and delivery of a range of hydraulic cylinder components in a short space of time, for the opening night of a new performance at The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

MGR Fluid Power ensured that the RSC's performance of Othello went off without any last minute glitches after it sourced 14 custom-designed hydraulic cylinders for the main stage, in a matter of days before opening night. The company was called in at the last minute to ensure that the stage hydraulics were capable of moving the stage in the way that the performance dictated.

Far from being a simple task, the brief for MGR Fluid Power was to source and supply cylinder components to exact specifications, and to ensure the hydraulics operated smoothly. The rams for the cylinders were flanged with stainless rods, operating under v

UK - A dozen Straightpoint wireless load shackles have been installed by Rigging Services in the Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop, where scenic artists and craftspeople create the sets and scenery for the world-famous Royal Opera House in London. The Production Workshop is located at High House Production Park, a centre of excellence for the creative industries in Purfleet, Essex.

The Rigging Services-branded load shackles are 3.25t capacity and feature bespoke multiple wireless load cell controller (SW-MWLC) software. They are installed on 12 overhead cranes, which travel on gantries and I-beams that cover the entire floorspace.

The load shackle installation represents a landmark project for both Rigging Services and Straightpoint. The Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop is a state-of-the-art, purpose-built facility and home to scenic painters, carpenters a

UK - Mojo Barriers has continued to expand its work with independent festivals by securing a new contract win for this year's BoomTown Fair (13-16 August). BoomTown Fair has called upon Mojo Barriers to design and deliver its stage barriers for this year's festival, which takes place at Matterley Estate in Hampshire. Mojo has been contracted to supply 450m of stage barrier, 200m of bar barrier and 13 line-up gates across the whole festival site.

Set in its own fantasy festival town, Boomtown boasts nine different districts with winding streets and a host of bespoke entertainment venues, including a casino, hotel, hairdressers and roller disco. BoomTown Fair is now in its seventh year and this year will witness performances from Mungos Hi-fi, John Butler Trio, Dreadzone and a host of other artists across 22 main stages.

Kevin Thorborn, Mojo Barriers' UK manager commented: "

UK - Touring England and Scotland with over 40 performances, Le Mark's Harmony floor provided Blood Wedding with a stunning high gloss floor. Performance after performance, Harmony Gloss remained resilient and easily portable between venues.

A co-production of Dundee Rep, Graeae Theatre Company and Derby Theatre, the production toured at the beginning of the year. Renowned for the ability to lay flat almost instantly from the roll and just as easy to roll up for storage, Harmony Gloss made an ideal touring performance floor.

"We were very pleasantly surprised how well the floor stood up to the heavy use as we expected a high gloss floor like that to start showing signs of wear and tear much more," says Nils Den Hertog, head of production, Dundee Rep Theatre. "As it was, with regular cleaning, it lasted right through till the end of the run."

(Jim E

UK -Triple E reports that its design engineer, Alex Kusztelan, has successfully been awarded his Engineering PhD research degree. Alex is part of Triple E's team working alongside founder and managing director, David Edelstein.

"I joined Triple E at a very exciting time," says Alex. "Last year, the company celebrated three decades of innovation in design and things are far from slowing down. In fact we are working on a wealth of new products and upgrades to existing track and motor designs, as well as ModTruss, which is now ready for action in the UK. We're looking firmly to the future."

David Edelstein comments: "We're thrilled to have Alex on board. He brings an enormous amount of knowledge and passion for design to Triple E, which is already proving invaluable. Together with Alex, we look forward to bringing more of the innovative track and motor so

UK - Friends and colleagues of Dave Cartwright, who tragically passed away in July aged just 46, are organising a gathering in London this Friday to remember Dave and celebrate his life. The get together will take place this Friday, 21 August, in The White Hart, on Drury Lane, from 6pm. All those who knew Dave are welcome to attend.

Dave, a 20+ year veteran of the industry, passed away in July after suffering a massive stroke in late June. His employer, Stuart Gibbons of Le Mark, said: "To say that Dave will be sorely missed by many would be an understatement.

"His career in the entertainment industry had encompassed many skills and experiences from his early days with Stage Electrics through to his time at Lighting Technology, before joining Le Mark in 2010.

"Dave had enjoyed many successes during his career. To become a part of the London 2012 Olympics Openi

UK - This year's PLASA Rigging Conference will be held alongside the PLASA Show 2015 at ExCeL, London, in the North Hall Gallery Rooms on Monday 5 October. This perennially popular feature of the show comprises topical sessions led by leading industry figures and offers a unique opportunity for the rigging community to share industry knowledge and network.

Unusual Rigging is confirmed as the conference's Platinum sponsor for the third consecutive year, while Outback Rigging makes a welcome return as Gold sponsor.

"Rigging is an essential aspect of almost every event but, as productions increase in scale, size and complexity, so do the consequences of getting it wrong," says Alan Jacobi, managing director at Unusual Rigging. "Unusual Rigging wholeheartedly supports conferences such as this. It's imperative that we, as an industry, keep the debate fresh in order t

USA - Eight PLASA draft standards are in public review. The draft documents, review forms, and instructions for submitting comments may be downloaded from the Technical Standards Programme website at http://tsp.plasa.org/tsp/documents/public_review_docs.php. Anyone with a material interest is invited to submit comments through the end of the day 28 September 2015. Listed in order by working group, they are:

Control Protocols Working Group

BSR E1.31 - 20xx, Entertainment Technology - Lightweight streaming protocol for transport of DMX512 using ACN

This standard describes a mechanism to transfer DMX512-A packets over a TCP/IP network using a subset of the ACN protocol suite. It covers data format, data protocol, data addressing, and network management It also outlines a synchronization method to help ensure that multiple sinks can process this data concurrently w

UK - A new company specialising in the supply of construction (design and management) services for the event sector is reporting strong demand for their services following the changes to the CDM regulations that came into force on 6 April.

HFL:CDM was established in July 2015 as a direct response to customer demand for CDM consultancy for event and festival projects but has already been selected to provide these for major events sectors such as steam rally events and corporate parties.

HFL:CDM's director, Barry Hird, commented, "Following the changes to the CDM regulations in 2015, and the resultant increasing demand for CDM advice and services within the event sector, HFL-CDM was set up not only for general construction and process engineering clients but also for those organising medium and large scale events - a niche field requiring construction, engineering, H&S, exp

UK - J&C Joel is expanding its work with sports venues following the successful completion of a number of projects across the UK.

While the majority of J&C Joel's clients can be found in the world of entertainment - from West End productions to TV shows, right through to school productions - the company can also turn its hand to projects in community spaces such as sports halls and conference centres, installing drapes and tracks for varied uses.

Most recently J&C Joel's expertise has been applied to Serco Leisure's Lilleshall National Sports and Conferencing Centre (Lilleshall NSC) in Shropshire and Queens Sports Club in Halifax.

Lilleshall NSC is a residential training centre often used by the Great British Gymnastics team. The centre, which offers a range of sporting facilities for hire, is used by both professionals and the general public.

To enable the main sports hal

UK - Matthew Griffiths is to step down as PLASA CEO. A statement from PLASA reads: Over the past few months it has become clear to the boards and executive management of PLASA that a fundamental redesign of our business model and structures are necessary due to the increasingly difficult trading conditions currently being experienced. For the organisation to remain of service & benefit to the membership we represent, it is imperative that our expenditure can be funded by an affordable and sustainable income. To that end, the PLASA Governing Body has decided that there needs to be complete review of its businesses.

In light of the above and after 17 years as PLASA's chief executive officer, Matthew Griffiths has decided that now is the right time to step aside which would help kick start and facilitate a fresh set of ideas and approaches needed for the next chapter in PLASA's dev

Italy - The 58,000 capacity Stadio San Nicola in Bari recently played host to a much anticipated Vasco Rossi rock concert, organised by Live Nation Italy.

To ensure everything possible was done to guarantee the safety of the structure, Colin Luke,senior project manager at Oswestry-based Load Cell Rental, was asked to supply a way of monitoring the stage weights during the build.

Following conversations with the event organisers, Load Cell Rental supplied a 20 cell BroadWeigh system. Colin said, "Following a spate of high profile events where temporary stages have collapsed, it was vital to leave no stone unturned in order to ensure the concert made the headlines for only the right reasons. No respectable concert organiser can afford to ignore the loadings on temporary structures and the BroadWeigh system is the perfect tool for the job."

The BroadWeigh load monitor

UK - Since launching in 2010 Rigging Team has gone from strength to strength. To continue to build on this, its new Stevenage office will be fully operational from September 2015.

"Rigging Team has outgrown our current locations and it's now time to gather together under one roof," says operations manager Claire Gilligan, who has the task of coordinating the move. "It's not often companies get the luxury of a blank slate when it comes to organising warehouse space, the Stevenage office and warehouse has come at just the right time for us."

Director Adam Searle comments, "Our new premises will allow us to better serve our clients with increased storage and prep areas as well as dedicated test & inspection facilities. The location has excellent road and rail links giving easy access into London and around the UK."

The new address is: Unit 16 Gunne

UK - De Montfort University, the public research and teaching university situated in the city of Leicester, has undertaken a major upgrade to the PACE (Performing Arts Centre for Excellence) facility on the campus, including a new multi surround speaker array. The project was entrusted to Studio Creations, professional audio suppliers and bespoke recording studio designers founded by directors Mark Russell and Justin Spier.

VDC Trading supplied the Van Damme cabling which was used throughout the facility with all speaker lines running on Van Damme Star Quad multicore cable to minimise interference from the lighting system and power. In addition the Van Damme stage box connected at three points around the room used Van Damme Blue Series multicore and all cable stock used Van Damme Classic Mic Cable.

Justin Spier said, "We specified Van Damme cable, as we always do. Van Dam

UK / Russia - J&C Joel has received an official letter of thanks from the Russian Government for its role in the Sochi 2014 Games. The Sowerby Bridge-based company produced two key elements for the opening ceremony of the Winter Games which were held in Sochi in 2014.

Now, more than a year after the Games took place, J&C Joel has received an official certificate from the Russian Prime Minister, Dimitry Medvedev, expressing the gratitude of the Government of the Russian Federation for the 'large contribution in the preparation and staging of the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympics Winter Games of 2014 in Sochi'.

On the back of successful projects for other major international sporting and cultural events, J&C Joel was asked to create two scenic elements for the Sochi opening ceremony, both of which incorporated a large amount of engineering and drapery. They produced f

UK - Rigging Team are once again supporting the Technical Theatre Awards and for the second year running we are proud sponsors of The "Rigging Team" Award for Outstanding Achievement in Automation.

This award is to highlight an individual within any role of the Automation Department. The individuals nominated for this award are people that have made an outstanding contribution and effort to a show/event or in general over the years. This person should be renowned for their dedication and effort to this discipline and respected among the technical theatre community. The nominees for 2015 are David Greatex, The Twins FX, Richard Willcox and Musa Halimeh.

"We are delighted to be sponsoring the award again this year." says Rigging Team director, Adam Searle. "Everyone behind the scenes works tirelessly to realise the ideas of the 'creatives' and in the pas

UK - 31st August is the last day that visitors can pre-register for free entry to PLASA Show 2015, the UK's premier business event for the live entertainment technology industry. International pre-registrations are at their highest level since the show moved to ExCel in 2013, with registrations coming from over 90 countries so far. Visitors who haven't already registered are urged to take advantage of the last few days of the free registration period.

PLASA Show 2015 takes place at London's ExCel from 4th - 6th October. From 1st September to 3rd October visitors can pre-register for £10, meaning doing so before the end of the free period can make a significant saving. On site entry will cost £25.

"The show will feature over 300 brands, covering all production di

UK - Lifting equipment specialists Hoist UK & sister company Truss UK have recently moved to bigger premises, significantly increasing the size of their previous facilities. The new offices, workshop and warehouse are still based on the Wirral peninsula and are ideally located in the heart of the UK motorway network.

The move reflects the growth and success of both companies over the last year which has seen an expansion in the company, the product range and business generally which meant that they outgrew their previous site. The new workspace boasts a 10,000sq.ft building, along with extensive yard space.

Tony Dickson, director of Hoist UK & Truss UK comments, "Our new Moreton facility consists of ample office space for an ever growing sales / admin team, substantial customer meeting areas, plus extensive warehousing with a lifting equipment testing bay, that should sup

UK - Lift Turn Move based in Bromborough, Wirral, has already shown a commitment to training future engineers and this is set to continue with the announcement from director, John Jones, that they are training three apprentices this year; Joshua Baines, Brandon Gillam and Liam Shone.

Josh joins Brandon in the work shop as the second apprentice currently being trained in the LTM workshop. Brandon and Joshua are studying for an apprenticeship in Mechanical Manufacturing which will involve one and a half days of tuition at a local college to learn essential theory and 3 and a half days a week working in the hoist assembly area to develop their practical skills. They will both spend time in the warehouse receiving product training, dispatching goods and observing the other engineers at work.

Liam is joining as a sales office trainee. Liam will be studying for an apprenticeship in

USA - Zac Brown Band's Jekyll + Hyde North American stadium tour presented by Bai is the band's largest tour to date and features a production design created by James Scott and Louis Oliver, of UK-based creative specialist Okulus, which involves several moving elements with a Kinesys control system at its core.

The Kinesys control system was specified by the tour's rigging contractors Atlanta Rigging Systems (ARS) and is running 39 axes of movement facilitated by 38 Lodestar 1 tonne chain hoists and a custom screen element. Ten of the axes run with Kinesys variable speed Elevation 1+ controllers while 28 run with encoded fixed-speed hoists. The system also features eight pile-wind winches, which were custom-fabricated by ARS to control a gauze screen in front of the stage to be used as a projection surface at integral moments throughout the show.

Okulus were contracted for the

UK - David Cameron has announced the government approval of 59 group standards for 'Trailblazer' apprenticeships, as part of its commitment to supporting three million new apprentices in the UK by 2020.

Supported by key industry experts, this new initiative launches the first apprenticeship as a Live Events Rigger, the development of which has been facilitated by NRAG (National Rigging Advisory Group).

Representatives from leading industry employers formed the NRAG working group. In April 2015 the standard was agreed by the Government Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) to be put forward to lead the rigging apprenticeship initiative, assisting other companies to do the same through the provision of structured opportunities to young individuals interested in a career in rigging.

Key rigging industry leaders already committed to supporting the Trailblazer initia

The Netherlands - Doughty Engineering will be debuting its new Studio Frame at this year's IBC show.

Visitors to Hall 11, Stand number 11.A60 will be able to find out more about the kit, designed to assist small studio spaces eliminate clutter on the ground caused by lighting and trailing cables. The modular system can be easily constructed to suit most spaces and offers a safe working load that is adequate to support most modern day lighting with the addition of pantographs and bars.

Mark Chorley, design engineer said, "The Doughty Studio frame really is ideal for use in studios where space is of a premium. It started life as many of our product ranges do, as a bespoke piece of kit for the animation department at Staffordshire University. The course's specialist technical instructor was looking for a way to enable his students to move more freely around their sets and so

UAE - Dubai-based production supplier Protec supplied HQ Creative with lighting, video and rigging for the opening ceremony of the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament 2015, held at NAS Sports Complex on 21 June.

The event was created using two d3 4X4 Pro servers which created the mask, blend and warp for the custom made screens as well as integrating the use of primarily Clay Paky lighting fixtures which included 24 Clay Paky Mythos and 14 Clay Paky K10 B-eye, working together alongside eight Sharpys, seven Sharpy Wash 330s and eight Super Sharpys.

The venue had to function as a sports arena post show, so the design had to take this into account, staying out of the way of overhead house lighting as not to form shadows for the TV sports broadcast and not interfere with the games being played below. The rig needed to be light weight but still pack a punch for such a dynamic and fast

USA - Production Resource Group (PRG), the world's leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, today announced it will extend its branding in Germany and the UK to integrate the brand of the recently acquired XL Video Group. The integrated companies will be known as PRG XL Video for a transition period while the operations are being merged.

PRG will continue to use its brand name in all other countries across Europe and North America. XL Video teams in those territories will be immediately transitioned into the PRG family.

"Part of our decision to acquire XL Video was the premier value of its brand in many of our markets," said Jeremiah J. Harris, PRG's Chairman and CEO. "We recognize that the XL Video name and logo are synonymous with outstanding quality, customer service, and technical expertise in some of our territories, equal to that o

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