Glastonbury Cancelled Over Crowd Fears
Friday, 5 January 2001

Glastonbury Festival organiser Michael Eavis has cancelled this year's event because of fears about crowd safety. The festival, which was first staged in 1970, had been under fire from his local authority after thousands of fans sneaked into last year’s Festival. The 2000 event has left Eavis facing prosecution over alleged breaches of the festival licence, and he says he hopes his decision will send out a message that organisers are taking the issue seriously. In a statement he said: "After much deliberation and consultation I have now decided not to run the festival this year." He added, however, that he has every intention running the Festival in 2002. Eavis’s decision follows the deaths of nine crowd members at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark last year. Eavis has commented that the Roskilde tragedy has made organisers and authorities more concerned about crowd numbers.

Lighting Technology for ARTTS
Friday, 5 January 2001

Commissioned by ARTTS International (Advanced Residential Theatre & Television Skillcentre located at Bubwith, south of York), Lighting Technology has recently completed the installation of lighting and track equipment into a new studio build at the organisation's television training centre. A grid composed of five 10m plain scaffold tubes and six 10m internally-wired bars is fixed at a height of four metres and wired to a patch rack unit. An 18-way Pulsar dimmer rack with control outlets has been installed, along with an 18-way Pulsar twin-preset lighting desk. Lighting equipment supplied included five Strand Studio 1kW lanterns and two pantographs. The perimeter track is a Foyal 300 system," explained Lighting Technology’s Terry Reeves. "A subsequent order followed and this involved the installation of a new Harkness Hall T60 track system in the main theatre. We were then approached to install a further perimeter tracking system and lighting bars in the dance studio adjacent to the main studio." Geoff Bicker, technical director of ARTTS International, commented: "Lighting Technology provided us with a very professional and well-organised service, from the initial consultation on the building site through to completion of the project. I can recommend their team to anyone."

More Flash and Flood for Fluge
Friday, 5 January 2001

Turbosound reports that Spanish production company Fluge, headed by Luis Berlanga, has increased its hire inventory of Turbosound Flashlight by 24 TFL-780 low-frequency cabinets and 24 Flashlight TFS-780 mid/highs. The company now boasts 72 complete stacks of the Flashlight fully-integrated long-throw sound reinforcement system and 48 stacks of Floodlight, comprised of the TFL-760H mid/high enclosures and the TSW-721 sub-bass unit. The new hire stock will be used for various tours and events around Spain, but made its debut at the 30,000-capacity Benicasim Festival, providing PA for artists such as Richard Ashcroft, Primal Scream and Oasis.

Frankfurt Launches Planned by ARX
Thursday, 4 January 2001

ARX Systems (Hall 4.1, Stand A70) will be launching a wide range of new products at the 2001 Frankfurt MusikMesse (7-11 March). These include several additions to the company’s powered loudspeaker range including the SPL20 powered sub-woofer, the Level 8 line interface, 8 Pre eight-channel microphone preamp and the ZA5.1 six-channel surround amplifier. The newly-revised and updated ARX V4.1 product CD-ROM detailing all matters ARX will also be available at the Booth, as well as the usual Australian hospitality.

Playlight’s Mike McMullan Dies
Thursday, 4 January 2001

PLASA Publishing has learned of the death from cancer of Playlight founder, Mike McMullan, who died peacefully at home on Tuesday 3rd January, surrounded by his family. A statement from the directors and staff of the Playlight Group said: "Mike was one of life's great characters, and will be greatly missed by all who knew him."

The funeral will take place next Wednesday 10 January at 1.00pm at the Altrincham Crematorium, Whitehouse Lane, Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Cheshire. The family has requested that instead of flowers being sent, donations be made to the following charities: St Ann's Hospice, St Ann's Road North, Heald Green, Cheshire; the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, 11 London Road, Bromley, Kent; or the Lymphoma Association, PO Box 386 Aylesbury.

Nexo at the Crazy Reindeer
Thursday, 4 January 2001

Nexo has won the sound installation contract for Finland’s ‘coolest’ new venue, Hullu Poro, (The Crazy Reindeer). Possibly the most northerly entertainment venue in Europe, Hullu Poro is a large multipurpose centre being built in the busy skiing resort of Levi. When it opens next spring, the two-level, 1800-cpacity venue will host concerts by all the top Finnish artists and many international names. Nexo’s distributor in Finland, Oy Hedcom, is overseeing the installation of a Nexo Alpha E system, featuring six Alpha E-M, four B1-18s and two S2 sub-bass for the main PA, with six Nexo PS8 compact cabinets for fills around the venue.

Adlib Tour With ArmatradingAdlib Tour With Armatrading
Thursday, 4 January 2001

Adlib Audio has completed a successful UK Theatre Tour with Joan Armatrading, covering venues ranging from 330-capacity up to the 1800-seat Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, which provided the biggest test for Adlib’s Martin Audio Wavefront System and the rigging capabilities of their crew. With Alan ‘Nobby’ Hopkinson mixing FOH on a Soundcraft Series 4 and the Astoria’s Erik Sanderson-Evans on monitors (doubling as production manager), Armatrading played acoustic guitar exclusively across a wide range of styles. Adlib’s Andy Dockerty said: "Nobby put this tour out to tender, but knew that our equipment was quite new, and given the type of show that it was, that the Wavefronts would be smooth enough to handle the wide range of styles." There were 16 W8Cs at Adlib’s disposal, "but we only ever put three subs each side of the stage," says Dockerty. "We had the option to do a single or a two-bar drop, but tended to use six top boxes downstairs, stacked each side of stage, reinforced with three subs."

New Amphenol Connectors from Adam Hall
Thursday, 4 January 2001

Adam Hall has announced the release of the AC series BNC 75 Ohm receptacle connectors, from Amphenol Australia. The design features an Amphenol BNC adapter mounted in the AC series receptacle ensuring a rugged flush-mounted product. Designed for broadcast, video and other applications that require impedance matched performance, the connector is completely isolated from ground. The industry standard D series XLR panel housing provides the installer with the convenience of having standard metalwork cut-outs for both XLR and BNC installations. Available in standard Nickel finish or optional black.

Autopilot II Released
Wednesday, 3 January 2001

Wybron Inc has introduced the next generation of its popular Autopilot. Autopilot II is a 3-D tracking system that turns moving lights into automated followspots that track performers in real time. Autopilot II is now ‘plug and play’ simple and anyone can set-up and run. Set-up is virtually automated and viewable in three dimensions on a laptop. Web-based enhancements give users the power to use, adjust, monitor and even diagnose system performance from the laptop. Autopilot II has expanded memory capacity that allows users to control up to 75 moving lights.

Strand Wins Eddy Award for Lighting Product of the Year
Wednesday, 3 January 2001

Strand Lighting's SLD series dimmers have won the Eddy award for Lighting Product of the Year, as presented by Entertainment Design Magazine. Phil O¹Donnell accepted the award on behalf of Strand Lighting at a ceremony held in New York City in December."We are delighted and pleased to accept this Industry recognition for our new SLD dimmer range," said Peter Rogers, global sales and marketing director for Strand Lighting.

Dynamic Duo
Wednesday, 3 January 2001

Sennheiser Electronic Corporation and Future Sonics Inc have entered into agreement under which Future Sonics has designed and will manufacture a professional, universal personal ear-phone to be packaged with the popular Sennheiser evolution wireless 300 IEM system. The formal announcement will take place at NAMM 2001 and product will start shipping next month. Both companies will eventually sell the units as stand alone products.

Schacherl Resigns from High End Systems
Tuesday, 2 January 2001

High End Systems has announced that Bob Schacherl, one of the founding partners of High End, has resigned from his role as president of the company in order to spend time with his family and pursue personal interests. Schacherl, who was instrumental in establishing the initial worldwide sales distribution network during the early years of the company, commented: "It’s been a privilege working with so many great people here at High End and throughout the lighting community." Schacherl will continue as a shareholder in High End Systems. Sean Hoey, sales manager for North America will assume responsibility for Latin America, supported by Tony Magana. John Wiseman, vice-president of special projects will continue management of European Sales and will assume responsibility for the Asian, Middle Eastern and African territories supported by JR Chai and LeighAnne Aiken.

Brits Nominated in US Event Awards
Tuesday, 2 January 2001

The UK Events industry has received an important accolade on a world-wide scale, with four companies from the ISES (International Special Event Society) UK Chapter nominated for awards at the ‘Special Event’ to be held this January. Nominees include The Moving Venue (Best Off-Premise Catered Event), The Special Event Company (Best Multi-Day Event), Vok Dams Gruppe (Best Achievement in Technical Support), and The Full Effect has received nominations in an impressive three categories (Best Corporate Picnic, Best Entertainment Concept over $50k, and Best Theatrical Production). The final judging takes place in New Orleans during the Special Event Show, with the Awards and Gala Dinner being held on 13th January. "It’s a tremendous achievement for the Brits to get so many nominations from the 375 entries submitted," said ISES UK Chapter president, Sally Webb. "The UK Special Events Industry is up with the leaders in terms of new, innovative and creative ideas, and this has been reflected with many British award winners over the past few years."

Midas Ceases Production of XL3
Tuesday, 2 January 2001

Production of the Midas XL3 console has finally ceased with serial number 1000, the very last XL3 to be manufactured, rolling off the production line last month. The XL3 has had a long and varied history over its 10 years of production. The first ever XL3 users were rental company Electrotec who took a prototype out on tour with heavy metal rock band Motorhead - before the console was even launched. However, the very first XL3 off the production line went not to Electrotec, but to the famous London venue, The Forum in Kentish Town, where it still serves as the FOH console - and coincidentally will later this month be used for Motorhead. The last console, serial number 1000, along with numbers 999 and 998, has already been shipped, via Midas’ Belgian distributors Ampco Belgium, to a large Belgian full service production company, Philing Live, who also have subsidiaries in France.

Michael Northen Awarded MBE
Tuesday, 2 January 2001

Michael Northen, Life President of the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) has been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s New Years Honours list, for services to Theatre. Michael was the first professional Lighting Designer and has been in the industry for many years, designing for over 300 productions at venues including the Royal Opera House, the Royal Ballet, Glyndebourne Opera House and RSC Stratford.

Star Hire Achieves National Standard
Tuesday, 2 January 2001

Following two years of concentrated improvements to its company training programme and the development of individual employees, Star Hire (Event Services) Ltd has just received recognition as an Investor In People. The Investors In People award signifies that Star Hire know where they are going as a company, have imparted this focus to all their staff, and have trained them to move forward in line with that vision. Maddy Sheals, responsible for steering the company towards the standard said: "In the feedback session at the end of the two days, the assessor said how much he was impressed with the calibre of people he interviewed - their honesty, commitment, and individual skills, plus an awareness of what Star Hire is trying to do." Maddy hopes to build on this achievement through a programme of continuous innovation and improvement in the training and development of all Star Hire people.

Mackie Launches V3.0 For Digital 8 Bus
Tuesday, 2 January 2001

Mackie Designs has launched the V3.0 operating system for the Mackie D8B console, and it is now available for download at the company’s website. V.3.0 features third party plug-in support, and many new surround sound mixing features, innovative networking capabilities, and many new user-requested features.

Etruscan Expo
Monday, 1 January 2001

Palazzo Grassi is among the most imposing buildings on Venice’s Grand Canal. It was built in the 1700s for a rich merchant family before being purchased by Fiat in 1984, who restored it to its original splendour and equipped it with all the facilities necessary for a large modern exhibition centre.

Currently running until July 1 is a new exhibition covering ‘The Etruscans’. Occupying 36 exhibition rooms with 700-plus exhibits, the exhibition uses cutting-edge multimedia technology to ensure visitors high-impact immersion in the history of this mysterious race of people. The company responsible for these aspects of the exhibition was specialist Turin firm Medialogos/WDM, whose expertise in this area has been gained on other high profile events, including ‘The Future of the Longobards’, the Italian Design Process show in Seoul and the ‘Sinestesia’ exhibition on the five senses.

The company’s Ottavio Dichio explains: "The idea was to use innovative technology to complement the information given by the more traditional media - so videos, stereoscopic computer graphic reconstructions and 3D Dolby Digital sound environments help tell the exhibition’s story." 3D videos, designed for projection on ‘fragment’ screens, are used to emphasize aspects of the Etruscan civilisation.

"In rooms with just projections," continues Ottavio "we used DVDs with films in MPEG2. The D-1999E players by Olidata can play DVD, video and audio CDs and CDs with MP3 files and have a built-in AC-3 decoder for Do

Association News - Parental Leave Regulations Briefing
Monday, 1 January 2001

Since late 1998, major new requirements have fallen on employers and enhanced rights have been granted to employees through the National Minimum Wage, Working Time Regulations and Disability Discrimination Act. Revised legislation has also raised the unfair dismissal compensation limit to £50,000.

If all this has come as news to you, then it would be worth your while taking advantage of PLASA’s new Human Resources Service. The advice you receive will clarify the current legislation so that you and your staff don’t end up in a dispute.

For instance, when the Parental Leave Regulations were updated in December 1999, the existing entitlements were revised. Parents became entitled to 13 weeks’ leave per child before the fifth birthday (subject to a four-week annual ceiling in blocks of one year), a ruling which also applies to adoptive parents or those of children with disabilities. Maternity Leave was extended from 14 to 18 weeks and all employees now have the right to take unpaid time off to deal with family emergencies.

The Human Resources Service can advise PLASA members on all the above - it will also highlight other issues such as the Data Protection Act of 1998, the Working Families Tax Credit and the New Stakeholder Pension schemes, all of which have placed additional burdens on employers.

Don’t get it wrong out of ignorance. If you need further advice, call PLASA now and we will help.

Association News - PLASA Highlights Personnel Issues
Monday, 1 January 2001

New service introduced to help members through the complexities of running a company.

Ever mindful of the growing burden legislation places on businesses, PLASA has launched a new service designed specifically to make life easier for its company members.

The new Human Resources Service, set up in conjunction with CP Associates HR Consultancy, provides PLASA members with access to professional help and advice on personnel issues.

The service is designed to offer practical, independent advice, based on the latest legislation, and covers areas including contracts & terms of employment; disciplinary and grievance procedures; employee benefits; employment legislation; pay reviews; recruitment and selection; risk assessment; redundancy and absence control.

To give you an idea of the type of information you could receive through this new service see the Briefing panel to the right. To use the service, members simply call the PLASA office, and are then given the telephone, fax or e-mail address of CP Associates. They are then entitled to 15 minutes of free advice on any one subject. Where a more detailed or specific consultation is required, PLASA has negotiated highly preferential rates for its members. These might include personnel procedure audits, contracts of employment and staff handbooks, setting a human resource strategy, and new personnel policies or systems. To safeguard the viability of the service, it can only be used by a member company's PLASA contact or managing director.

Explorer of the Seas
Monday, 1 January 2001

Explorer of the Seas, the latest addition to Royal Caribbean International’s Voyager class cruise ships, showed the world her colours on her first cruise out of Miami on October 28th, 2000.

The Explorer, the second in the Voyager class which debuted with Voyager of the Seas in 1999, could actually be considered a destination in itself, boasting a wealth of facilities, activities and entertainment. Perhaps one of its most arresting features is a 60ft by 40ft ice skating rink (the only one at sea) which can be converted to a 900-seat concert venue or TV Studio.

At the heart of the vessel is the Royal Promenade - longer than a football field and wider than three lanes of traffic anchored by two atria that are marvels of marble, trees, greenery and sculptures. Diversions along the way include the Crown & Kettle - a traditional English Pub, a 24-hour cafe, a sports bar and more shops than you can shake a credit card at. The Palace, the main show lounge, is a four-deck-high, 1,350-seat theatre equipped with all the latest technology. There’s also a jazz bar, a contemporary sports bar, a Vegas-style casino and The Chamber, a nightclub designed to resemble a Gothic castle, with stone columns, arches and a dance floor flanked by chrome suits of armour.

And all this is just but a small part of the on-board facilities, but there isn’t time in this millennium to list the rest. Nor to cover comprehensively the technology arrayed across the ship. There are however some common denominators - on the audio side JBL, Clair Bros, EAW, Bose and Genelec speakers seem to

Friday, 29 December 2000

It would appear that the world of opera is trying to take over the world of the musical: London in early autumn saw two directors best known for their operatic work in action in the West End. Robert Carsen created The Beautiful Game at the Cambridge Theatre, while up the road at the Shaftesbury multiple-Olivier award winning director Francesca Zambello was pulling together Napoleon, an epic new musical charting the love of Napoleon Boneparte for Josephine through troubled times in France.

To help her, Zambello turned to regular collaborators, notably set designer Michael Yeargan and lighting designer Rick Fisher, who won the 1998 lighting Olivier for his work on Zambello’s Lady in the Dark at the National Theatre.To stage the show, which covers a huge range of locations and times, Yeargan designed a spectacular floor capable of rising, falling, twisting and tilting to provide land, sea or mountains as required; this scenery proved to be something of a technical challenge, requiring international co-operation between scenery makers TMS, engineers Devineau, Jetter Automation, Vertigo Rigging and production managers Stewart Crosbie and Mark Whitemore - along with one programme credit you don’t see on many shows: automation interpreter, this the experienced figure of Miki Jablkowska. Yeargan also made the bold decision to extend the French flag painted on the show’s frontcloth out onto the proscenium itself, to dramatic effect.

Though the set was capable of many dynamic shape changes, much of the work of defining space and time actually fell to lighting an

Huntington in Control
Friday, 29 December 2000

If you’re interested in how control systems and computers are used in the live entertainment arena, then John Huntington’s latest book will not disappoint.

Control Systems for Live Entertainment has become something of a bible for those who seek a better understanding of control systems. In this updated and revised version, Huntington has revised his original work in answer to the changes of the past six years. He covers the new technologies that now operate in the field, although perhaps the most important change has come not in the technology itself, but the level to which it is now being used. Huntingdon addresses the challenge of how to adapt these technologies to purposes for which they were never designed. Covering control for lighting, lasers, sound, video, film projection, stage machinery, animatronics, special effects and pyrotechnics for theatre, concerts, theme parks, themed-retail, cruise ships, museums, corporate and other events, the second edition includes sections on all major entertainment control standards, methods and protocols, including DMX512, MIDI, MIDI Show Control, Sony 9-Pin, SMPTE Time Code and many others. It also addresses the basics of control systems and data communications, including EIA serial standards, in addition to offering information on networks for entertainment applications, including the all-important Ethernet.

Huntington also casts his expert eye over system design concepts and case studies featuring realistic problems and practical solutions. Drawing on his extensive experience in the field and classroom, John Hu

Car Show
Thursday, 28 December 2000

Creative Technology crews and communications systems were out in force at the British International Motor Show 2000 - working alongside leading design companies Imagination and Jack Morton Worldwide (formerly Caribiner).

The highlight was the spectacular Ford Motors stand, dedicated to the launch of the new Mondeo, which dominated Hall 4 of Birmingham’s NEC. The centrepiece of their display was CT’s fully-integrated audio-visual installation, designed and programmed by Chris Slingsby, head of Imagination’s Special Projects dept, working alongside CT’s Dave Herd. The presentation combined multiples of 6K PIGI scenic projectors, using double scrollers and rotating double scrollers through 360 degrees, supplemented by eight Christie 7K Roadie projectors. These were mounted onto the circular lighting grid in the centre of the drum, firing out into the 30m diameter auditorium - one projector assigned to each of the four perimeter screens. The 3-chip DLP Roadies provided the video element and live camera replay while the picture origination was from Doremi hard drive systems, controlled via Dataton, which also interfaced with the show automation system. Playback was from a three-camera PPU system, with desktop video PCs, providing the speaker support.

On the dealer and press days the presentation was made in a full show format. Tracking screens moved on monorails as part of a choreographed sequence, while dealers watched from their seats inside the theatre ‘drum’. As each show commenced the screens moved from their fixed positions, and eac


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