UK - Source Distribution, exclusive distributor in the UK & Ireland of Arturia products, has been presented with the award of Arturia Best Distributor for 2020. This award, given by Arturia company directors, recognises efforts across a multitude of activities, from sales and fulfilment, to marketing, communications and support.
Commenting on the award, Arturia area sales manager Patrice Martin-Coulibaly said: "2020 was a year of unpredictable challenges and enormous shifts in the way that our industry operates, further amplified by the fact that it was one of our most ambitious as a company. Our partners in distribution play a crucial role in communicating this ambition, our passion, and our message to musicians worldwide - and none more so than Source Distribution. Once again, they've not just risen to the challenges that 2020 presented, but proven themselves to be instrumental in the success of Arturia's mission - and highly deserving recipients of our Best Distributor 2020 award."
Source Distribution director of sales and marketing Darren Power said: “What a great way to start another interesting year. 2020 obviously brought us all some challenges and winning this award with a partner such as Arturia during this time is testament to the talents and hard work shown by my team here at Source Distribution.. Thank you to Arturia for their consistent cooperation and acknowledgement of our work together, by way of this award.”
China - Canton Tower, formerly known as Guangzhou TV and Sightseeing Tower, is a 604m observation tower in Guangzhou, China. It is reportedly the second tallest tower in the country and the fourth tallest freestanding structure in the world. The structure was topped-out in 2009 and became operational in 2010 for the Asian Games.
Advanced Communication Equipment Co. Ltd (ACE), MA Lighting’s exclusive distributor in China, recently installed one grandMA3 light, one grandMA3 replay unit, six grandMA3 processing units and 16 grandMA3 8Port Nodes, all using grandMA3 software to run the tower’s architectural lighting, which was previously controlled by a grandMA2 system.
“One challenge was the tower’s height,” the company says. “Achieving smooth lighting in real-time and stability were key to the project. The main body of the Canton Tower is 454m high, so the network system had to deal with these distances.”
“The grandMA3 light and grandMA3 replay-unit are used as master and backup. The console and the network cabinet realise the long-distance signal transmission via the network with the nodes set up on the tower body - on floors 7F, 16F, 29F, 33F, 65F, 74F and 110F - to send DMX signals to the luminaires," explains Long Zhiyong, technology manager from ACE’s Guangzhou Lighting Department. "The grandMA3 system is trustworthy, and the stability of the system plus the convenience of programming made our work more efficient and straightforward."
Lux Li, in charge of marketing at ACE’s lighting department, adds: "A grandMA2 system w
USA - Immersive experience experts PixMob scored with both football and music fans alike at the Super Bowl LV Halftime Show featuring a performance by R&B star The Weeknd at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Following on the heels of PixMob’s success lighting up last year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show - which featured Jennifer Lopez and Shakira and drew over 104m viewers - PixMob were tapped once more (their third time overall) to provide an epic game-day experience.
Employing over 22,500 LED wristbands for live audience members (and some 30,000 adapted LEDs for the cardboard cut-out ones), 500 ‘flares’ (ultra-powerful LEDs) for the performers on the field, 75 LED masks, and 150 ‘light-up eyes’ (on face shields) for the choir, PixMob demonstrated their ability to turn audiences into part of the show while creating a pulsating, colourful and entrancing canvas of light for viewers at home.
“We’re very happy and honoured to be doing the Super Bowl Halftime Show for a second year in a row, especially during these exceptional pandemic conditions. We approached it as both a challenge and an opportunity, and we are very pleased to have been able to offer such an uplifting experience for everyone watching this extraordinary event during these unprecedented times,” said Jean-Olivier Dalphond, president of PixMob.
Best known for their respected events record - from tours with Taylor Swift, Shawn Mendes and the Spice Girls to the opening ceremonies of the Olympics and NHL and NBA playoff games — PixMob has shifted and adapted
China - The team at French seating manufacturer Quinette Gallay was a contributor to a major project in China recently – the Shangyin Opera House in Shanghai.
The Opera House is part of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music – an institution which has been at the forefront of musical education in China since 1927. It has strong links to musicians and musical institutions worldwide.
In 2019, the Conservatory began work fitting out the new opera house, intended as an unmatched resource for both students and teachers. The venue would provide a place to practise and perform opera which would match the quality of a world-class opera house, with the very best interior, equipment and acoustics.
Embracing the concept of an opera house as a musical instrument, architect Christian de Portzamparc worked together with acoustician Albert Xu on this stunning space. The design was based on a classic U-shaped model, but was enhanced to improve visibility and acoustics for all audience members.
With its reputation for providing seats to the cream of international venues, Quinette Gallay was chosen as the seating supplier. Quinette Gallay worked with the architect, acoustician and client to produce 1230 very special versions of their Dune BI seat. The wave-form design of the chairs visually evokes the ethos of “the space as an instrument”. The acoustic perforations on the wooden seat shell, meanwhile, help to bring that instrument to life. In addition, translation screens on the back of each seat are key to the Conservatory’s spirit of international co
Pay Freeze - Backstage theatre workers across the UK will have their pay frozen until April next year, under temporary contract changes aimed at helping the industry reopen following the pandemic. UK Theatre and BECTU have concluded a temporary COVID-19 Variation Agreement, which came into effect on 18 January and replaces the current UK Theatre/BECTU agreement until 2022.
Although BECTU members voted in favour of the amendments, the union said they were not happy with the changes. The changes will not impact separately negotiated house agreements with individual venues, but local negotiations can take place to vary house agreements in line with the temporary COVID-19 Variation Agreement.
The UK Theatre/BECTU agreement covers pay and working conditions for offstage roles in theatres across the UK in areas including box office, administration, technical, front of house, stage door, catering staff, cleaners, wigs and wardrobe.
Air Quality - London’s Arcola Theatre is working with scientists from Imperial College London to explore how the air quality in arts venues affects the spread of viruses. According to the theatre, the project will explore “how increased airflow can be used by venues and performance spaces to reduce viral transmission”, to increase the safety of theatregoers. As part of the project, the Arcola will work with scientists to explore ways it can increase airflow within its own indoor spaces and use the findings to facilitate conversations about airflow in other venues.
Executive director Ben Todd said: “Since the
World - Following the postponement of Showlight 2021 which had been set to take place this May in Fontainebleau, France, its organisers have announced that a one-day Virtual Showlight will be held in its place “as a temporary interlude”. The live online event will take place on Tuesday 25 May 2021 between the hours of 15.00 – 23.00 BST. The date coincides with the final day of the original event and the time has been chosen to best accommodate a global audience.
Virtual Showlight will host an online presentation of papers, each up to 30 minutes in length, from international keynote speakers, plus a live Panel Discussion. Q&A sessions will follow each paper with delegates able to message their questions via the chairperson.
The remainder of the time will stay true to the spirit of Showlight with scheduled breaks between sessions providing opportunities for delegates, speakers and sponsors to network in ‘breakout rooms’ where they can spend the time mixing and mingling with others, both socially and within interest groups, in a virtual way.
Virtual speakers wanted
Showlight is issuing a fresh Call for Speakers to enrich the Virtual Showlight programme and make the most of the opportunities presented by the virtual format. “We envisage this will be especially appealing for those speakers whose commitments usually prevent them from speaking at a full Showlight event,” say the organisers. Ideas should be submitted to email@example.com
Virtual sponsors wanted
Sponsorship opportunities are available t
UK - Guildhall School of Music & Drama has announced 15 new online courses that will run from April – July 2021. The school has transferred its most popular short courses online and created a range of new ones, working with tutors to ensure that they are “just as enriching and memorable as they would be within the building”.
The courses cover music, drama, music production for young women and girls, sound design for theatre, video mapping and an introduction to game audio. Participants will have the opportunity to learn with Guildhall School staff members, as well as guest tutors, in a range of workshops all held on Zoom.
In addition to these courses, Guildhall School is hoping to run several in-person Summer Schools from July - August. For a full list of in-person courses and to register your interest, you can go to the website here. Guildhall School hopes to be able to confirm whether these will go ahead at the beginning of April 2021. The courses would run at the School in London from 12 July to 7 August.
Online courses that may be of particular interest to LSi readers include:
An Introduction to Video Projection Mapping: Online - “This one-week course will give participants a unique opportunity to learn and develop the necessary creative and technical skills to prepare and project video onto a 3D structure, using industry standard video projection software Resolume Arena 7. Participants will b
Europe - Creative Technology (CT) UK has announced the formalisation of its new dedicated systems integration team for the UK and European integration market.
This long-term planned expansion that CT UK have been working towards over the last few years was accelerated by the rapid growth in customer demand for support in implementing permanent solutions and strengthened with the acquisition of Ion Solutions (now CT Ireland) back in 2019, says the company. Graeme Bunyan and Jack Strong are joining the CT team.
As director of technology, Graeme led the design development and technology strategy on major international projects including the UAE Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015 and the Opportunity Pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020, V&A Dundee (2019) to name just a few.
“Joining CT is an opportunity of a lifetime,” says Bunyan. “I am looking forward to working with so many talented people and helping develop and grow the integration business further.”
Jack comes to CT with a well-established reputation in the integration systems industry. He notes, “Ever since being introduced to CT during my time at Panasonic, I have been a huge admirer of their work and this is a fantastic opportunity to work alongside some of the most creative minds in the industry.”
John Roche, managing director of Creative Technology Ireland, says, “In recent years we have seen a marked convergence in services within the audio-visual industry, many clients now wish to bring the same levels of technical innovation into their permanent installations as they adopt in
UK - Brompton Technology has announced the release of its new Tessera V3.1 software, providing users of Tessera SX40 and S8 LED processors with features including HFR+ and Frame Remapping that deliver “key benefits for creatives working in virtual production and cinematography, as well as for markets such as sports broadcast, simulation and virtual reality”.
Tessera’s High Frame Rate (HFR) function already gives the power to display the video content on an LED screen at up to 144 fps (frames per second). The latest Tessera update extends this with HFR+, allowing the Tessera SX40 and S8 to support up to a massive 250 fps. This gives smoother visuals in eSports and simulator applications using high-framerate content.
“The maximum framerate available will depend on the panel type(s) in use and may range from 60fps to a maximum of 250fps,” explains Chris Deighton, Brompton’s CTO. “The maximum framerate for each panel type can be viewed in the processor's Fixture Library screen, or by using Tessera Remote in Offline Editor mode if no hardware is available. Combining the maximum framerate of 250fps with our existing Ultra Low Latency mode delivers an incredible end-to-end system latency of just 4ms.”
Frame Rate Multiplication is another pre-existing feature in Tessera software which gives the ability to output each input frame multiple times to create a higher output framerate on the LED screen, and is a useful tool to ensure a camera will see a complete image every time its shutter opens.
This is augmented in Tessera V3.1 with a new
USA - Shoreline City Church (SCC) held a fully social distanced and masked Covid-safe Christmas Eve service and celebration at the American Airlines Center (AAC) in Dallas which featured a diversity of performances by multiple artists and a flurry of different vocalists from the church, all backed by their house band.
The church asked Josh Beard and Jacob Vanvlymen from Houston, Texas-based production design specialist Visual Edge to create a memorable production design.
They chose Robe BMFL moving lights – a mix of BMFL Blades, BMFL WashBeams and BMFL FollowSpots – to be at the core of the lighting rig.
Visual Edge was initially asked to present some design ideas which would incorporate lighting and video by SCC’s technical director Jeremy Hix. Three concepts were presented and one selected in which automation was also central to the design.
Taking into account the idiosyncrasies of a socially distanced audience, Josh and Jacob knew the importance of the design being “immersive” and able to reach out and touch everyone in the room, transferring the energy and action of everything happening onstage.
Automation helped achieve this, allowing completed shifts in the stage architecture and plenty of visual surprises that could be revealed throughout the event.
Movement also enabled “supersizing” the rig at key moments to make the environment look and feel huge, sweeping everyone up and into it. Furthermore, working in conjunction with a large ‘blow-through’ LED screen upstage, it helped create a series of unique p
UK - SLX, specialist technical supplier to theatres, touring productions, broadcast and live events, worked alongside young artist, Cameron Flynn - a member of New Adventures dance company on tour with Matthew Bourne’s production of The Red Shoes until the pandemic hit – as he created a digital performance that would speak to the challenges faced by artists nationwide. The performance, titled Unskilled, is available to watch online.
Cameron says: “I was determined to use this time to do something meaningful. I didn’t want to moan about it but I wanted to convey a world where dance, performance and theatre didn’t exist yet all around were individuals trying to fit uncomfortably into other jobs, with their performative skill invisible and dreams to perform bursting to get out of them. It certainly has parallels with now as so many of my peers are working in roles simply to get by whilst the whole cultural industry remains largely closed. We’re all out there in the shadows doing other jobs.
“I began to flesh out my idea with the support of a group of friends, and then New Adventure’s heard about the project and were keen to invest some funding as part of their Young Associate Artist program to help us realise this vision. That’s when it really started to take shape.
Through being part of creating the whole production, I have been exposed to all the hard work and skill that is needed behind the scenes to make productions run and that has been such an important part of it. When I
UK - On 21 April 2007, The Grove Theatre in Dunstable held its opening gala hosted by actor Brian Blessed. The following day, its first show, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, began a one-week run. From that point on, the 750-seat venue looked like it would never slow down, staging over 5,000 shows and events in a 13-year period. Then the COVID-19 pandemic brought its busy schedule to an abrupt halt.
Although the theatre had to close its doors to the public during the lockdown, activity within its walls didn’t stop. With the popular venue empty, its technical director Richard Shrubb and his team were more readily able to upgrade its lighting rig by adding 16 of the new Chauvet Professional Force series fixtures supplied by its long-time vendor 10 out of 10 Productions.
“Grove Theatre was opened well over a decade ago, and was still using a sizeable number tungsten fixtures in its rig,” said Paul Need of 10 out of 10 Productions. “The lockdown proved to be a suitable time to commence this work as there were no dates in the diary for any performances. Richard and his team wanted to bring the rig in to this century. They also appreciated the savings in power they could expect from both their FOH and stage lighting, as well as the savings in replacement lamps. Also, having 16 moving fixtures in the rig will reduce their change-over and focusing times.”
Thanks to the support of the theatre’s patron, the Central Bedfordshire Council, Need and the 10 out of 10 Productions team were able to install 12 Maverick Force1 Spot and
Europe - Genelec has confirmed the appointment of Audio-Technica France to handle the French distribution of its studio and AV loudspeaker ranges, with Gilles Pétrotey joining the Audio-Technica team to spearhead Genelec sales in the region.
This new distribution partnership is effective from 1 March 2021. With Audio-Technica already handling the distribution of Genelec products in the Netherlands and Spain, this move further strengthens the relationship between both companies, which will also benefit from the three decades of pro audio experience that the highly regarded Pétrotey brings, says the company.
Having held senior positions at Yamaha, Beyer, Lexicon and the TC Group, Pétrotey joined the Music Tribe organisation to oversee Western European sales - with particular responsibility for the TC Electronic, Tannoy, Lab Gruppen and Midas brands. His appointment enables Audio-Technica France to significantly expand Genelec’s regional brand presence, embrace new business opportunities and both support and engage with local customers more effectively.
Petrotey comments, “To have the opportunity to be part of the Audio-Technica team in France, and to represent Genelec, is doubly exciting. Professional loudspeakers are a particular passion of mine, so the prospect of being involved with the undisputed market leader in this field is something I’ll relish.”
Genelec international sales director Ole Jensen adds, “I’ve known Gilles for many years and have had the pleasure of working alongside him. I can’t think of anyone better qu
Europe - The organisers of Integrated Systems Europe 2021, scheduled for June in Barcelona, have set a 1 March deadline for making a decision as to whether the physical event will go head.
ISE managing director Mike Blackman remains hopeful that the show will go on. However, in his most recent statement, in view of the unpredictable nature of the pandemic and continuing travel restrictions, he remains guarded.
“Following the announcement that the InfoComm 2021 show will now take place in Orlando in October 2021, we want to confirm that Integrated Systems Europe, remains scheduled to open live and online on 1-4 June in its new home at the Fira, Barcelona,” says Blackman.
“Whilst we recognise there continue to be challenges ahead, we are in touch with government and the relevant health authorities to constantly monitor the situation. None of us can predict how the situation will look in June, but we are hopeful that by the second quarter of 2021 we will see the world return to a new ‘normal’ with vaccines being rapidly delivered in many countries around the world.
“We understand our exhibitors and partners need to make commitments that will incur cost and we do not wish to burden them unnecessarily. For this reason, if circumstances impact our ability to host an in-person event and we are forced to cancel this element of ISE, we will make this decision by 1 March.
“With the backdrop of the global pandemic, our priority in recent months has been devising the means to deliver a safe and secure event for all exhibitors and vi
UK - On Tuesday 2 February, #WeMakeEvents gave evidence during the DCMS select committee inquiry into the future of UK festivals. The campaign’s political group leader Duncan Bell detailed the ongoing challenges faced by the live events and entertainment industry.
When asked if there is a problem with people leaving the industry due to COVID-19, he stated: "Freelancers have been forced to find work elsewhere. In a recent survey of 2,800 people over 30% of freelancers said they have had to leave the industry, and 20% say they hope to come back but are very unsure whether they are able to because of the lack of certainty." #WeMakeEvents is currently verifying the data from this survey and will be publishing the full report in the coming weeks.
One of the central aims of #WeMakeEvents is to get government-backed cancellation insurance for events, and following a question on the financial processing Bell explained: “In many cases there will be payments in the planning stage but the majority of funds will not be paid until the event has gone ahead…It’s one of the reason the insurance discussion is such an important discussion for us.”
"Conversations have been going on for some time and we have put forward various schemes," he added. "I think the urgent requirement and benefit of the insurance is to bring certainty to being able to plan and book equipment, making it the first link in the chain, not the last."
A road map still has yet to be presented by government on how and when the events industry is likely to re-open. "We
South Korea - TechDataPS Co recently equipped the new Vans Brand showcase store in Seoul’s Gangnam district with a Harman Professional Solutions audio system spanning two floors and featuring JBL loudspeakers, Crown amplifiers and dbx zone processors.
In addition to being a retail outlet for the brand’s extensive footwear and apparel line, the Gangnam store aims to immerse visitors in the company’s history and style. The first floor features a “shoppable timeline” of historical merchandise, books, vinyl records and more, as well as a DJ booth and a functioning wall of vintage loudspeakers. The second floor houses a “customisation zone” where customers can design and personalize their own shoes and apparel, as well as space for hosting weekly workshops and events.
To provide balanced audio coverage for background music and special events on both levels of the store, the store required high-quality loudspeakers and a flexible zone management system. To achieve these goals, TechDataPS Co equipped the store with JBL Control Series loudspeakers, Crown amplifiers and dbx zone processors.
JBL Control 65 P/T full-range pendant speakers provide consistent 120° conical coverage across the show floor, thanks to Radiation Boundary Integrator technology. These are supplemented by JBL Control 16 C/T in-ceiling speakers, which deliver crystal-clear sound from 62 Hz to 20 kHz with 110-degree coverage. JBL Control CRV architectural speakers feature a curved design that enabled TechDataPS Co to easily mount them in the corners of the space.
USA - When the new Biden-Harris administration asked New Radicals frontman Gregg Alexander to play You Get What You Give at their 20 January virtual Parade Across America, producers ESM Productions and A/V provider Synergetic stepped in to help make it happen.
“Scott Mirkin, president & CEO of ESM Productions, had seen our new studio streaming space and called just a few days before the Inauguration as he thought the stage would be a good setting for the New Radicals performance,” comments Jason Weldon, president and CEO at Synergetic. “When he came in to refresh his memory, as soon as he walked in he said he knew the space would be perfect.”
Last summer, Synergetic converted a portion of their warehouse in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, to a professional studio for live streaming complete with a full Elation Professional lighting system. As the traditional inaugural parade was not an option this year, a virtual celebration with performers from across the United States was organized and Synergetic ended up fulfilling a key role. “To have them call us and have our studio space featured on such a national stage was huge,” Weldon said. “It was a great experience for our team and significant recognition for all the hard work we've done over the last eight months.”
The New Radicals performed their hit You Get What You Give using Synergetic’s lighting setup of 12 Artiste Picasso, six Artiste DaVinci and 12 Rayzor 760 LED moving heads, along with 12 Platinum Beam 5R movers and 14 Seven Batten strip lights. A floor packa
Belgium - Creative lighting and multimedia design specialist Painting with Light (PWL) was commissioned by the city of Leuven to imagine and realise an eye-catching, living, breathing light artwork to tie in with popular Belgian Radio station StuBru (Studio Brussel)’s 2020 De Warmste Week (Music for Life).
Usually, a highly visible charity fundraising extravaganza, this year’s De Warmste Week concept was reinvented and presented in a more subtle format due to pandemic restrictions. While the city of Leuven broadcast StuBru from 20 ‘warm places’ around the town for this week, the light art display became a visual focal point that tied in with this action.
The designated site for the lighting feature was the front of Leuven’s Catholic University Library. The building features neo-Flemish-Renaissance architecture and holds over 4m books and manuscripts.
The main objective was to create a spirit-lifting installation that was fun, danced with the music and was filled with positive forward-looking energy, representing hope and better days ahead after a tough time for everyone during the pandemic.
It had to add some aesthetic magic to the immediate environment and be able to run in harmony with the music station, all without drawing so much attention to itself that crowds stopped to gather.
The PWL team was led by Céline Cuypers and Jo Segers, whose challenge was to create and deliver the appropriate design and control system extremely quickly, meeting a deadline of just under three weeks!
Beats of Leuven was created from 1
UK - The new Solid State Logic UF8 controller delivers ‘a new level of user focused design; insightful displays, intelligent fader and control access and function, multiple stand angles for user defined placement, and a production workflow enhancing control layout’. The high-spec touch sensitive faders, encoders, and high-resolution colour displays, compliment the premium build quality that belie this new price point for an SSL controller, says the company.
Expandable to a 32 channel control surface with integration for all major DAW platforms, UF8 is suited to music creation, production and mixing, post production and webcasting. The new SSL 360° control software manages multi-controller configurations, customised user keys, and DAW switching across multiple layers, allowing for seamless switching between numerous sessions.
Andy Jackson, SSL studio product manager, comments, “UF8 is an obvious next step in SSL’s development in ergonomically designed studio tools for todays’ mixers, producers and creators. The layout and build quality are all about our fixation with ‘human engineering’; creating products that keep you in the creative zone with high-speed access to every fader or control, without operator fatigue or discomfort.”
UK - A.C. Special Projects (AC-SP) supplied lighting and control for a feature within the new Silverstone Experience, which is an educational 4000m visitor attraction, overlooking the Silverstone racetrack.
The project to create an educational centre for British motor sport began in 2012 with the charitable mission of creating a museum to exhibit and preserve precious motor racing artefacts, archives and collections. The seven-year project of turning a former Second World War RAF hangar into an impressive experience for motor sport enthusiasts cost in excess of £20m and required multiple teams of specialists to pull it all together.
AC-SP was approached by M4 Electrical and worked alongside them and designers Max Fordham to deliver a range of lighting and control solutions, including for a bespoke cut out replica of the historic Silverstone track to run at high level around the exhibit.
Chris Little, AC-SP’s project manager, comments: “The brief was to bring to life the high-level track feature. We supplied Traxon Dot XL6 RGB diffused strings, which were recessed within this. The purpose of the track was to show the racing line of the circuit and optimum line through the corners.
“The use of Traxon Dot XL6 meant every pixel was individually controllable. To replicate a car going round the circuit we created an effect using eight nodes, three represent a car and the remaining fade out to give the effect of movement as this travels around the circuit.”
AC-SP also supplied Traxon RGB 30° Washer Allegro fittings which were mount
Cyprus - A virtual charity event recently took place on the island of Cyprus to help families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Featuring local DJs and performers, United We Can was filmed on top of one of the tallest buildings in the city of Limassol. A lighting rig comprised exclusively of ADJ fixtures was used to not only illuminate the performers, but to fill the whole sky above the city.
Cyprus relies heavily on tourism to fuel its economy, which means that it has been seriously impacted by COVID-19, resulting in many families struggling to pay their bills and feed their children. In direct response to this situation, the United We Can fundraising livestream took place last Friday evening (29 January), which not only collected donations for those in need but also provided entertainment for a community under strict lockdown measures.
Broadcast by Cypriot radio station Choice FM, the two-hour virtual party was hosted by radio presenter Maria Christou-Pierides and featured local performers DJ Journal, Illeven and The Voice Greece contestant Charles Kay.
The venue for the video shoot was the rooftop of Cedar Oasis, a 16-floor tower located in the center of the city of Limassol. The DJ booth was setup at the edge of the viewing platform; this meant that the cityscape provided a special backdrop for the performances, which began just before dusk and continued well after the sun had set. A combination of drone shots and close-up cameras allowed the livestream to feel both intimate and epic, while the wide drone shots captured the beams
USA - Billy Bob’s bills itself as ‘the world’s largest honky tonk’. The former World War II airplane factory in Fort Worth’s Stockyard District, covers over 100,000sq.ft, features a 2,000sq.ft dance floor, 20-acre parking lot and 30 bar stations.
This information is shared in an introductory video near the venue’s entrance narrated by George Strait, one of the many superstars who has performed at this Goliath of a club.
Despite its massive size and stellar pedigree, the stage at Billy Bob’s is relatively small. Mason Felps was aware of this “limitation” when he signed on to design two recent socially distant concerts at the club for Josh Turner. He was able to meet this challenge and create big looks for the chart-topping country artist with help from the Chauvet Professional Rogue R1 Spot.
“This is a great venue, and it’s an honour to work there,” says Felps, the touring lighting director for Josh Turner. “The stage, though, is super small. Because of this it’s very important to give your show bright and big looks to connect with the crowd.”
Captivating the crowd was even more critical at this particular concert, because social distancing protocols meant that the number of people inside the spacious club was extremely small. Felps engaged them by turning up the brightness of the four Rogue R1 Spot fixtures in the house rig.
“We weren’t able to bring our touring rig in for this show,” adds Felps. “Fortunately for me, the house rig did have the R1 Spots, which I love for their punchiness. They were h
UK - Leading trade associations have backed a campaign to keep UK’s VAT rate on ticket sales at 5% to aid the live events sector’s recovery.
Last July, the government temporarily slashed the VAT rate to 5% from the standard rate of 20% to support businesses severely affected by the pandemic. The cut currently applies until 31 March 2021.
#KeepVATat5, initiated by LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment), aims to convince the Treasury to extend the VAT rate cut for the next three years and comes ahead of chancellor Rishi Sunak’s hotly-anticipated budget announcement on 3 March.
“With the budget approaching, we must act now to convince the chancellor to #KeepVATat5,” says LIVE in a statement. “Of all the industry’s asks from government currently, keeping the VAT rate on tickets at 5% for the next three years will make the single biggest impact to the sector’s recovery. If it is reversed, the rate (...) will take millions from our industry when we need it the most.”
This week, LIVE is coordinating letters to Sunak and other prominent MPs, but the body is also asking those willing to help to write to their local MP (see .docx template here) and raise awareness of the campaign on social media by using #KeepVATat5.
The campaign is backed by some of the most influential industry bodies, including the Concert Promoters Association, the Association of Independent Festivals, the Musi
South Africa - The South African State Theatre in Pretoria’s 550 seat Drama Stage hosted both the rounds and finale of the 2020 edition of Idols SA, complete with a lighting design by Joshua Cutts of Visual Frontier and technical production delivered by Dream Sets for SIC Entertainment. This, the sixteenth series of Idols SA was directed by Gavin Wratten and broadcast on the Mzansi Magic network.
The show would usually have shifted to the 3000 capacity Carnival City Big Top Arena in Johannesburg for the finale, however this time, due to COVID-19 restrictions, everything remained at the State Theatre, and Josh drew on some imaginative and original lighting techniques to keep all the broadcasts looking fresh, interesting, and spectacular.
He devised a selection of special visual treatments, some of which were based around utilising Astera Titan Tubes which Josh deployed on three different shows.
Titan Tubes proved a suitable illuminated accessory for some of the dance numbers and worked well accompanying some of the choirs featured throughout the series backing certain artists and songs.
More than that, at times they were attached to set flats to vibe-up the backdrop for the house band, as well as positioned on their Astera floor stands to provide close-up side light for performers or dynamic fill-lighting for set pieces. “They are just very flexible,” stated Josh.
For the Dance Show they were integrated as another illuminated and kinetic element fusing with the dancers, either by being hand-held or having the choreog