Qatar - Creative Communication Group (CCG), a Doha-based rental, event management and production company, has recently purchased a number of Robe MegaPointes and Spiider moving lights for its rental inventory.
CCG’s director of lighting Michel Khairallah explained that as a busy rental operation over the years, they have dealt with moving lights from several brands. “Having had good experiences in the past with Robe’s fixtures and knowing the reliability, toughness and quality of the light output, I was convinced that increasing our Robe stock was a solid investment.”
The events CCG produces include many large-scale government and cultural shows and festivals, for which they need the brightest and most durable luminaires. They also organise and deliver executive events and entertainment driven experiential projects for corporate, and private clients, dealing with all technical aspects of event management from lighting, sound, video and rigging to stage and set design.
They chose the MegaPointe and the Spiider for both their power and features, and the overall versatility they can bring to any show, as well as because they are popular with lighting designers.
“These two fixture types stood out far over and above anything that we looked at,” he confirmed, adding “MegaPointe is known for its strong output and incredible mid-air effects, while the Spiider is best known for its strong output and fantastic, smooth and accurate colour mixing”.
Michel and his team are all delighted with the results as the MegaPointes and Spiide
USA - Victory Christian Centre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has enhanced live audio production by installing Solid State Logic L200 consoles at FOH and monitor positions. The consoles were supplied by SSL partner CCI Solutions.
Victory Christian Centre was founded in 1981 by pastors Billy Joe and Sharon Daugherty and has grown to become a large and multi-faceted hub, incorporating a school, college, plus a wide range of ministries and outreach initiatives. The current lead pastors are Billy Joe and Sharon Daugherty's son, Paul Daugherty, and his wife Ashley.
The Tulsa campus sees around 8000 people attend services during one week at Victory, using the 3,800-seat auditorium for four main services on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Chris Trowbridge, technical director and Front of House engineer, comments, "We run a high production value, concert-style service. Comparatively, we do an extended worship time with the band - around 25 minutes in worship and 10-15 in the Altar Ministry. Our pastor is also a musician and he loves worshipping."
Something else that sets Victory apart is its ambitious Easter and Christmas productions. These are well known for being no-holds-barred theatrical spectaculars that require months of preparation. "We normally have around 24 DPA head mics active during one of these productions," says Trowbridge. "We bring in a massive set. We turn the whole room into Jerusalem.
"The layout of the console really helps there. I like having the 36 faders up front as I have a lot of balancing to do and a lot of mics to deal with. I
Europe - Bullet For My Valentine have recently embarked on their summer trek across the UK and Europe, supported by two Allen & Heath dLive S Class systems.
Supplied by SSE Audio, the band’s set-up includes two S5000 surfaces, each paired with its own DM64 MixRack, covering FOH and monitors, with gigaACE split and Dante Cards for virtual soundcheck.
“The Allen & Heath Range has been a ‘go to’ for a number of years now for me. I used to mix BFMV on iLive, then the GLD for fly shows, before making the move to dLive at the end of 2017,” comments FOH engineer, Adam Boole.
He adds: “The effects on the board are great. The depth of the sound is deep, warm and very precise. Functionality wise I’ve not managed to get into a situation I can’t get out of with this console, there’s always a way and it is limitless.”
The band themselves are also big fans of Allen & Heath, having used the digital mixers for many years. Scott Howarth (monitor engineer for BFMV) says: “dLive gives the band exactly what they want in their personal mix. They like a big sound with lots of bite and depth, they don’t want a super clean polished sound and the dLive achieves this with very little effort. Cranking the PEQ and driving things into the on-board FX achieves the perfect blend of tonality and drive for the band.”
The tour covers multiple dates across the whole of Europe including several major British and European festivals such as Rock am Ring, Download Festival, Graspop and Impact Festival.
Scott, who is new to Allen &a
USA - Steely Dane, an 18-piece tribute band, captures the sound that made Steely Dan one of the most influential shapers of post 1960s rock. Their musical kinship with the original band was evident recently when they performed at the Schauer Arts & Activities Centre outside Milwaukee.
Paying careful attention to each instrument, providing crystal clear backup vocals and serving up signature Steely Dan slash chords, the band took their audience on a musical journey back in time. Supporting it all visually was a Glenn Ottenbacher-designed lightshow that blended the best of old and new looks with help from Chauvet Professional Rogue and COLORado fixtures.
“We had a wide stage with a lot of musicians on it, so we used a lot of lighting fixtures to create some big looks,” says Ottenbacher, owner of AGS Event Productions. “We had some flash and colours reminiscent of the Seventies, but we made sure to add some contemporary geometric patterns with our Rogue R1 FX-B fixtures. We also relied on our Rogue RH1 Hybrids to highlight different performers with specials, and we broke up the stage with crossing beam patterns.”
Supplied mainly by AGS Event Productions, with help from Juan Ocampo’s High Frequency Productions and Edward Loathian’s Animal Productions, the Steely Dane rig included eight Rogue RH1 Hybrid, six Rogue R2 Wash and four Rogue R1 FX-B fixtures, as well as 20 COLORado 2 Solo fixtures and four Legend 230 SR Beams.
South Africa - As Stellenbosch University celebrated its 100th birthday, the 19th SU Woordfees took place earlier this year. For the first time, DWR Distribution were part of the festival, sponsoring dot2s and a DiGiCo SD12 console.
Presented by the Stellenbosch University, SU Woordfees brings the entire town on board and before long, restaurants, schools, the city hall and theatres such as the HB Thom, become home to lovingly produced creations.
“In the current South African economic climate, festivals do not have the financial backing they deserve,” says Duncan Riley of DWR. “Technical companies are often willing to work alongside the organizers for very little income just to keep the arts alive. This year DWR approached event companies involved and asked if we could also help carry the load by sponsoring consoles and providing a team on site for technical support.”
DWR supplied four dot2 cores, one XL-F and onedot 2 on PC with DMX King. In addition, a DiGiCo SD12 and D2 Rack were supplied and used by Johan Griesel, an audio engineer and living legend from Eastern Acoustics.
“Woordfees is, and was a great event,” says Johan Griesel. “This is Eastern Acoustics third year and it gets better every year. We were involved in the Big Outdoor concerts at Coetzenburg where Woordfees ran two outdoor stages - as one stage finished, the second took over. It was a great three days from POPS to family entertainment.”
Eastern Acoustics also ran Rhenish and the Spier Amphitheatre. “I was given the DiGiCo SD12 by DWR for use at the S
USA - The 130 year-old Cathedral Church of the Advent holds a place in the National Register of Historic Places and is the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. It’s also home to 4,000 congregants, who fill its sanctuary for five services every weekend.
The church’s music programme has earned accolades, and includes a modern music ensemble for its last service on Sunday. Georgia-based AV design and integration firm, dB Integrations, recently remedied Cathedral Church's sonic woes with a single Danley GH-60 Genesis Horn loudspeaker, two Danley SM-60s for side-fill, a Danley SBH-20 column loudspeaker for choir-fill, and a Danley TH-118 subwoofer.
In addition to delivering impactful, highly-intelligible music and speech reinforcement, the new Danley system performs without taking away from Cathedral Church's impressive architecture, woodwork, and stained glass.
"The church was getting complaints about the poor sound reinforcement on pretty much a daily basis," explains Ronnie Stanford, director of sales and marketing at dB Integrations. "They were contending with column loudspeakers that had been installed a few years ago on either side of the chancel, slightly behind the pulpit. They couldn't reach 90 feet to the back of the room.
“Compounding the pattern mismatch, gain-before-feedback was terrible. They really couldn't make the pastor any louder. Their modern service includes ensembles, such as acoustic guitar, cello, and djembe, and the musicians were actually positioned in front of the loudspeakers. It was impossible to get their
USA - The Racine County Courthouse in southeast Wisconsin was built in the 1930s and, at 11 stories, remains the tallest building in the county. The bold, art deco style of Chicago architects John Holabird and John Root earned it a place in the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, and it continues to actively serve as the seat of justice for Racine County.
The professionals at local A/V integration firm Sound Specialty Company have been working their way through the Racine County Courthouse’s 12 courtrooms. In each, they have installed an Ashly ne8250 eight-channel 250W network amplifier to provide clean and reliable audio reinforcement. The most recent Ashly ne8250 to go in includes an optional Dante networking card to allow easy setup for court recordings.
“We’ve been working with the county for a long time, but it has only been in the last three years that we’ve undertaken work on the Racine County Courthouse courtrooms,” explains Jeff Saunders, design engineer at Sound Specialty Company. “The technology in the courtrooms was at least twenty years old, and it was high time for an upgrade. We’re currently on the seventh courtroom, and the recipe for each one has been similar. The goal is to give them a powerful, reliable system that’s easy to control and that will retain its performance long into the future.”
Each courtroom includes a microphone each for the judge and the witness and two microphones each for the defence and prosecutor’s tables. In addition, a custom input panel allows a microphone to be used for speec
Japan - Billboard Live Tokyo recently upgraded their sound system with a full JBL by Harman Professional VTX Series solution provided by Hibino.
Billboard Live is a club and restaurant that hosts more than 200 performances each year. Celebrating their 10-year anniversary in 2017, Billboard Live decided to upgrade their sound system with an audio solution that would earn them global acclaim for another 10 years to come.
Billboard Live hired sound and visual specialists Hibino to supply a top-tier sound system that could deliver stellar sound for any type of music - from the subtle nuances of acoustic performances to full-scale pop productions. After hearing the clarity and precision of the JBL VTX Series speakers, Billboard Live knew they were the right fit.
“The level of detail that the VTX Series provides is exactly what we were looking for,” said the planner of Billboard Live Tokyo. “When we were listening to CDs during the system tests, the VTX Series made us feel like we were actually in the recording studio. They can recreate every little detail of a performance - you can even hear performers breathing on stage.”
Billboard Live Tokyo also used the upgrade as an opportunity to reconfigure the design of their sound system for more efficient low-end coverage. Located within the Tokyo Midtown complex in Roppongi, the venue sprawls across three floors, making it difficult to deliver sufficient low frequencies to the upper levels - especially with ground-stacked subwoofers. To solve this challenge, Hibino flew two VTX-G28 subwoofers
Europe - As the professional entertainment lighting industry continues to seek an exemption for specialist lighting from the European Union’s Ecodesign regulation, an industry task force has said the situation is “far more positive” and “greatly improved” following the latest round of talks with the EU.
The EU DG Energy has now passed a revised draft of the regulation, its content expected to be revealed in a few weeks as it progresses through the committee stages of the process.
The Professional Entertainment Lighting Products Ecodesign task group – the body representing the industry during the public consultation – has confirmed there will be a ‘comprehensive’ list of exempted lamp base types, but some specialist lamps used for non-entertainment purposes may not be included.
The full content of the regulation will be publicly available from November and the directive is set to become law in September 2020. A further update on Ecodesign will be given during the PLASA Show taking place at London Olympia on 16-18 September.
The industry task group comprises Adam Bennette (PLASA), Christian Allabauer (OETHG), Randell Greenlee (VPLT) & Silke Lalvani (PEARLE). It released the following statement:
“On 20 June 2018, the period of public consultation for the proposed Ecodesign regulation – that will affect lighting products of all types – expired. The EU DG Energy department has passed on a revised draft to the next stage o
UK - On a high from last year’s 40th anniversary celebration, PLASA Show returns to London Olympia on 16-18 September, providing a stage for the world of live entertainment technology. The show continues to explore the cutting-edge of innovation and creativity and brings the biggest brands to thousands of visitors.
Audio heavyweights L-Acoustics, Peavey and Adamson, and lighting pioneers Robe, DTS, ETC and Philips are among the 200+ brands exhibiting at the show. And, with last year’s showfloor selling out, extra stands have been released for smaller companies representing all sectors of the industry, from DJ and club, to worship and education.
The show provides invaluable opportunities for those with an interest in working with lighting consoles and loudspeaker systems by providing dedicated training sessions and demos. There will also be more hands-on experiences than ever before, where visitors can sharpen their skills on the latest products guided by expert brand representatives.
New features include a showfloor seminar theatre that will serve as an epicentre for production specialists and riggers looking to elevate their knowledge. This is in addition to the lighting, pro audio and AV, and Fast Track theatres on the Gallery level, delivering continuous next-level content throughout the show.
The Gallery will include an enhanced bar area, a PLASA Members Zone, and a photography display of the Lightpower Collection which shines a light on live rock 'n' roll performance.
PLASA’s internationally recognised Awards for Innovation
USA - At Lightfair 2018 ETC debuted EchoTouch, a controller designed to give customised lighting looks for a variety of spaces. A stand-alone or integrated controller in ETC’s Echo line of architectural lighting solutions, EchoTouch also offers advanced lighting controls like sequence programming and colour tuning, all from a 7-inch touchscreen.
EchoTouch works in an Echo control system. All Echo control and power products are compatible: control stations, responsive controls, interfaces and EchoDIN power controllers. Integration and control for DMX and sACN fixtures and devices is also straightforward.
Building managers can use EchoTouch to programme Echo zones and preset looks so day-to-day use of a space is easy. Special sequences can easily be created via the intuitive interface with easy-to-use faders and buttons displayed on a vibrant seven inch screen. Native RDM makes discovering and managing lighting fixtures even easier. Colour control is simple and accessible with a colour picker and customisable colour chips to let users take full advantage of their system.
UK - Arena Events Group has acquired specialist barrier and fencing company Events Solution.
The acquisition, worth £2.5 million, will see the Worksop-based company integrated into Arena’s current UK business.
Events Solution founder Richard Herberts is stepping away from the business, with James Wood set to continue as MD.
Arena UK & Europe CEO, Grahame Muir, comments: “Our business strategy is to provide a comprehensive suite of services to event organisers. Events Solution is a very well run and invested business and one we believe has significant growth opportunities. Having a new northern base works strategically very well and we aim to replicate this at our Cambridgeshire hub next year.
“Building on this years’ recent acquisition of furniture specialist hire companies, GLD and portable refrigeration supplier Ice House Rentals, the addition of Events Solution adds yet another in-house capability to Arena Events Group. This diversification adds expertise, extending our offering to existing clients as well as attracting new clients to Arena’s services.”
Events Solution MD, James Wood, adds: “Since being established in 2010, Events Solution Ltd has established a phenomenal array of clients ranging from film premieres in Leicester Square to mass participation events to national music tours and festivals. Joining the Arena Group will give us the resources and extended client network to continue growing our client portfolio in line with our ambitions. Myself and the team are very excited about a strong future as part
Europe - Absen Europe’s latest LED display technologies will be presented during its Stronger Together showcase events, taking place across 30 European cities this summer. The events kicked off this week in Madrid and Barcelona (19 and 21 June respectively) and will be followed by open days in Italy, France, UK, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands and Turkey.
The events are open to prospective clients as well as rental stagers, integrators and distributors alike, and will feature key products in Absen’s range, including the new rental and staging Polaris Series, the award-winning fixed install Acclaim Series, as well as an introduction to Absen’s control room dedicated CR Series.
Each event is taking place over one day and will be attended by Borja Janariz Sanchez, Absen Europe’s corporate and retail industry director, alongside Absen Europe regional managers.
The schedule so far includes:
26 June: Milan, Italy
28 June: Paris, France
29 June: Padova, Italy
29 June: UK (venue TBC)
02 July: Brussels, Belgium
03 July: Frankfurt, Germany
05 July: Ireland (venue TBC)
06 July: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
25 July: Istanbul, Turkey
Dates for Portugal, Poland and Sweden will be announced soon.
To register for the above events, and for the latest list of events planned, visit www.absen-europe.com or contact the appropriate regional manager.
Borja Janariz Sanchez, A
USA - The future was on full display in Manhattan early this May during Digital Content NewFronts, a week-long showcase for media buyers of the latest digital and video creations from the leading names in entertainment, news and information technology.
A must-see venue for the executives who descended on New York for the event was Pier 26, where Oath, a division of Verizon that reaches over one billion people worldwide through its digital media brands, introduced an exciting array of new content.
Hosted by Jamie Foxx, Oath Digital Content NewFronts offered guests a smorgasbord of live entertainment options to go along with the chance to preview upcoming productions from brands like Yahoo and Huffington Post.
Taking place on two main stages, along with a half dozen smaller satellite units, the evening event featured performances by stars like DJ Irie, Broadway dancers, bucket drummers and other artists. Adding to the magical atmosphere on the pier was a lighting design created by Barrett Hall that featured Chauvet Professional Maverick and Nexus fixtures, supplied by WorldStage.
“This project came about for me through First, a global creative agency that produced the event,” says Hall, owner of Magic Hour East. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with First in the past, so I was excited about this opportunity to help create a large-scale immersive and illuminated environment. Having everything from musical acts to theatrical style performances filling an entire pier over the Hudson made it quite unique.”
At the heart of Hall’s
UK - It has been another outstanding year for multi award-winning UK songstress, Paloma Faith. Paloma and co. are now touring on the strength of her fourth album, The Architect and her engineers are using DiGiCo consoles to run the show, provided by UK rental company, Adlib.
Mixing the Paloma show is no mean feat, it seems. The show's channel-count out front is at 75, which is broken down into drums and electronics, 20 lines of keys, guitars, vocals, and various drum triggers. The sheer size of the show meant a DiGiCo console was a must-have, says Paloma's FOH engineer, Andy Williamson.
“I could have done this show on an SD5, but we're using that on monitors [with James Neale], so I'm on the SD7; and I have to say, this show really is an exercise in chopping,” Andy says. “There is that much going on, it had to be a DiGiCo to make it work - and I have a comedy amount of Waves plugins on here, too. I have to use dynamic compression across the whole thing, and all the tracks are cut to hell; it's a bit of a noisy jigsaw, really, but it works well, and these consoles are always great sounding and super-reliable.”
Monitor engineer, James Neale, has been working with Paloma since 2014. He has built up a good working relationship with her, her trust in him making her feel more relaxed on stage. He started using DiGiCo consoles a few years back, whilst mixing Ellie Goulding, opting for them for the overall sonic quality the brand offers and because he needed more outputs for the show.
“I started out on the SD7 and have used most of
USA - Since their start in California’s Newbury Park in 2011, alternative indie rock band The Neighbourhood has gone on to chart multiple times in the US, release three albums, tour internationally, and perform multiple times at Coachella. The band stepped up to an Allen & Heath dLive Digital Mixing System at FOH and monitors, with two C1500 Control Surfaces, a DM32 MixRack and a DM64 MixRack.
Monitor engineer Jason Hines sums up the dLive system as being “intuitive and flexible.” Hines noted a number of particularly useful features for touring monitor engineers. "The flexibility of the External Input to PAFL Source in the Surface Audio Preferences and PAFL Settings is amazing. The way it is designed takes the annoyance out of talkback systems on stage. Another great feature that I love is the option of having an IEM fader and a wedge fader.”
Michael Bangs, Allen & Heath USA live sound touring manager notes: “We’ve seen a growing number of tours utilizing the compact C1500 for both FOH and monitors in a similar sort of setup as Jason’s. Having toured for years running monitors myself, I can certainly relate to the importance of having a super flexible workflow. dLive comes from that design approach - work with engineers, not against them.”
Speaking to the road-worthiness of the compact dLive C1500 Control Surface, Hines notes, “The little desks we used were tossed up and down in the truck at least 60 times in less than two months. They were robust and they held together. I was also really impressed with the calibration of
World - British progressive rock pioneers Marillion are currently delighting fans with their hit world tour, which marks over three decades of the band's music. A celebration of musical storytelling, the show is enhanced by a theatrical lightscape created by the band's long-term lighting designer Yenz Nyholm, who selected the Claypaky Scenius Spot to deliver key animation lighting effects and rich, vibrant colour onstage.
Integral to Nyholm's design is an intricate back wall of light that surrounds an 8 x 5m projection screen. Above the top edge of the screen, Nyholm places a row of Scenius Spots to create a varied web of jewel coloured beams and wide, saturated washes. Supplying the fixtures for the UK leg was British lighting hire specialist Siyan.
"The band as a whole is very theatrical," says Nyholm. "You don't just 'light' them, but play along with the music and in that, you become part of the band. The music of Marillion ranges from very soft acoustic sounds to full-on grunge and rock. The Scenius Spot is highly adaptable so it can always produce a look that fits with the mood of the music."
A long-term fan of Claypaky products, Nyholm found the selection of the Scenuis Spot for this design a simple decision. He says, "I have used Claypaky products for the last six years, since the Claypaky Alpha series. I have always felt they were reliable and easy to work with. The optics and zoom range are exceptionally good and the added feature of the Scenius' animation wheel means that I can get everything I need from the one fixture."
UK - Folk punk singer-songwriter Frank Turner recently played four sold-out nights at London’s Roundhouse venue, performing four different sets and presenting lighting designer Tom Mason-Smith with the task of creating four totally different lighting designs.
Tom’s company Dragonfly Lighting provided a Robe specials package including 12 x MegaPointes, 24 x BMFLs, 24 x PATT 2013s and 12 CycFX 8s to cover the four shows and assist him make each one “a personal and memorable experience for Turner’s eclectic and loyal fanbase”. Tom also used elements of the house rig including 18 x LEDBeam 100s.
The first night featured a snappy touring set – they have recently finished a UK tour - for which Tom needed flashy, bright, punky and folky lighting and chose a mix of traditional and contemporary lightsources as specials, with 12 x MegaPointes on a large box truss in lines of six, a concept he’d used successfully on the tour, rigged as two 10 metre back trusses, one sub hung below the other.
The second night was the 10th anniversary of Turner’s Love, Ire & Song album, for which he and his band played the complete album.
The visual focus was a large new backdrop inspired by the original album cover artwork which was far upstage, initially covered by a black and revealed via a kabuki drop.
The third night, Turner performed solo. Stripped back and raw in appearance, visual features included a smaller backdrop with a circular logo and a black behind it, surrounded by a square grid of PATT 2013s leaving a space in the centre.
USA - Hall & Oates have hit the road with Train co-headlining a North American arena tour this summer.
Lighting designer Paul ‘Arlo’ Guthrie from Minneapolis-based TOSS Film & Design has selected a large complement of Claypaky Sharpy Washes and Mythos 2 fixtures for the rig.
For the new show, Hall & Oates and Train each do a set then the bands join forces for a dynamic finale. The tour launched 1 May in Sacramento and will conclude in Seattle in mid-August.
Guthrie has designed a look for the tour that “feels modern but harkens back a bit to Hall & Oates’s legacy,” he says. “The lighting is reminiscent of rigs past with newer fixtures and more modern equipment. The video component is also larger than before.”
Downstage a front-projection screen has the form of a curved theatre proscenium. Mid-stage is an upside-down ‘U’ composed of LED tiles. Upstage is a rectangular LED wall and simple scenic elements. “The lighting supports the scenic elements and adds depth between the video components,” Guthrie explains. “The show is lit very much like a TV show with very consistent levels. We’ve modelled the guys to look good to the eye and on camera for the IMAG displayed on the side screens throughout the show.”
Morris Leasing in Nashville is the lighting vendor for the tour.
Guthrie chose 86 Sharpy Wash 330s, which are configured in clusters in pods that move up and down on a hoist system.
The lighting designer also has 64 Mythos 2 fixtures in the rig. “One of the big considerations was
UK - Cross 5 is the latest in a new range of high-performance cable protection ‘crossover’ products launched by Penn Elcom this year. It can be used for any temporary installation or working environment where safe ground-based cable protection is required.
Cross 5 is manufactured from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), chosen for its recyclability, and has been developed to provide a five-channel cable protector with unrivalled strength, abrasion resistance and flexibility. It is also fire retardant to DIN EN 13501-1.
Serious weight capacity ensures that all types of vehicles - including a standard 44t artic - can safely drive over Cross 5.
The Penn Elcom Cross system is made from two elements - the base section and the ramp.
The base section acts as a connector piece from which numerous variations and combinations of crossover can be created. The ramp section features a 15° angle of inclination which is the optimum for vehicles driving over it.
Key features include being tear-proof, stable and resistant to most chemicals, fats and oils and other liquids that can be potential slip-hazards.
The first product in the new Cross series, Cross 3 was launched at the start of the year and has been very successful, so Penn expects a similar scenario with CROSS 5 and other subsequent Cross products.
“With health and safety being paramount at every event, there is a demand for high quality, well-priced technical solutions like Cross in all sectors,” concludes Penn Elcom’s commercial director Rob Platt.
UK - Technical production supplier Blitz has announced the appointment of Martyn Hunt as theatre and sound project development manager.
Hunt will work towards growing the company’s portfolio within the theatre sector. He will also act as technical support on a daily basis for all theatre productions.
Hunt has worked worldwide designing and engineering sound in theatre, live events and broadcast. He started out in in regional theatre 30 years ago and quickly moved to the West End. Hunt has since held the role of head of sound on a number of long-running productions.
Aron Ross, sound director of Blitz, comments: “It is a real pleasure to have Martyn as part of the team here at Blitz. His wealth of industry experience and technical expertise will prove invaluable as we grow our client base. He also brings a fantastic work ethic and sense of humour to everything he does.”
Blitz, a GES company, has supplied the theatre industry for over 30 years and currently provides sound and technical support to high profile productions including The Phantom of the Opera and the UK tours of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em and Trainspotting.
Germany - With 35 acts performing across three floors over 14 hours to around 18,000 dance aficionados, the traditional Mayday EDM event in Dortmund followed a familiar theme.
For LD Thomas Gerdon, who has provided production design for five of the last seven events, the only important aspect was that a radical change, relocating the stage from the end of the hall to the long side of the rectangular room, gave him a massive 24m wide performance area to light.
This he accomplished with well over 200 fixtures from GLP - predominantly GT-1 and JDC1 hybrids - but also around 36 of the powerful impression X4 XL. This huge inventory was provided or sourced by Wiesbaden-based schoko pro.
This year Gerdon lit not only the main Arena stage but also the second Empire stage for promoters, I-Motion GmbH - commending their CEO Oliver Vordemvenne for his vision in endorsing the new stage position in his quest to keep the event fresh. “It gave us a totally new perspective and instead of placing lights over the audience, I could have them engage more closely with the lighting on stage.”
The designer relied heavily on the GLP catalogue to populate the giant 40m rig, both for the economy of being able to use versatile hybrid fixtures as well as performance reliability over such an arduous duty cycle.
“It was clear I would be using a lot of GLP equipment from the outset,” he says. “It is important to be cost efficient, so a hybrid fixture is very attractive. The GT-1 is a genuine hybrid with low weight, and having no base is a real plus.”
The Netherlands - Poppodium (Pop Stage) Patronaat is a popular three-room venue in Haarlem, a historic city outside of Amsterdam. The venue has recently upgraded the audio systems in two of its rooms by installing four SSL L200 consoles at front of house and monitor positions, all supplied by SSL Live distributor Audio Electronics Mattijsen (AEM).
Patronaat was started in 1984, in the renovated patronage hall / gymnasium of a former school building by the Pop Music Foundation of Kennerlerland. The venue went from strength to strength, and in 2005, after a brief relocation, a new Patronaat building was officially opened on the original site. The Foundation has been a long-term beneficiary of a substantial arts subsidy - common in cities around the Netherlands - and a founding principal of Patronaat was to use that subsidy, and income from bigger touring acts, to give smaller, up-and-coming acts a stage to perform on. It’s a strategy that continues undiminished today.
The complex has three rooms, sized as large (950 capacity), medium (350 capacity), and small (120 capacity), with independent entrances and in-out freight vehicle access into the middle of the building via the central Schlucht street. The combined rooms see an average of 130,000 visitors a year for around 500 productions.
Benno Linnemann, head of sound at Patronaat, says that a busy week might include up to 15 gigs, functions, or events throughout the building. "That's mainly live music, plus dance and some private and corporate bookings," he explains.
There are four SSL L200 con
Qatar - Losail International Circuit hosts the Grand Prix of Qatar every year, one of the flagship events of the MotoGP season. In 2008, the race became the first to take place by night, at a more advantageous time for television broadcasts but also in order to benefit from milder temperatures.
Thanks to a permanent lighting system, riders can ride on the 5.4km track at any time of the day. Since 2016, the Losail Circuit Sports Club team relies on Airstar to light up the paddocks where teams prepare and adjust their motorcycles.
The Airstar balloons have also provided lighting for the public area, where additional entertainment and attractions are offered to visitors, such as camel riding, falconry, or traditional Arabic coffee making. This year, the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani attended the event for the first time.
“The Grand Prix of Qatar is the only MotoGP race that is held under floodlights. However, the lighting has to be perfect to ensure the safety of the riders, as if they were riding in day time. In addition, we wanted to give a nice and pleasant atmosphere to the place, and that is exactly what Airstar balloons offer,” comments Juan Baquero, CEO of the Losail Circuit Sports Club. “We know and work with Airstar for three years now, they are part of our MotoGP event.”
For this first race of the 2018 MotoGP season, the Airstar Middle-East team has deployed 50 Pixocom balloons. Measuring 3m in diameter and with a power of 9kW, the Pixocom provided a glare-free, efficient and aesthetic light to the 32,000 spec