One of the UK's best known live music venues, the Leeds Town and Country Club, has closed its doors. Formerly the Coliseum, the 1,800-capacity venue first opened its doors in October 1992 and has since played host to many high-profile acts including INXS, Blur, Mark Knopfler and The Stone Roses. It's not clear what will become of the venue, but there have been suggestions that First Leisure plan to re-open it as a theme bar and nightclub. Live music is taking something of a bashing in Leeds at the moment. In March came the announcement that the Duchess, a stalwart of the national gig circuit, was closing. It has been confirmed this week that it will reopen as a Karen Millen fashion outlet.
Following over two successful years with Propergander, Anna Morgan has left to form new public relations company, Media Ink. Launched in June, Media Ink provides a comprehensive public relations service to the events industry. The company has moved into offices in Wembley overlooking the Arena, and will work with clients across the spectrum, from the rock 'n' roll arena to corporate clients.
Alfred Van Wyk, whose extensive experience includes time spent at both TOA and more recently Federal Signal, has been appointed the area sales manager for Philips CSI communications division. He will be covering the UK, Northern Ireland and Irish Republic, and will have responsibility for communications, public address and congress sales.
SSE Hire has been servicing Pearl Jam's sell-out European arena tour with a Nexo Alpha PA system. The company is providing all of the input and house side of the show, control, line system and a 36-stack Alpha system with delay hangs where necessary, processed by BSS Soundweb and ably mixed by Brett Eliason. Rat Sound are looking after the monitor side, Karrie Keyes mixing on a Yamaha PM4000 using Crest amplified, Rat wedges and fills. The tour is the fourth American production to be serviced by SSE this year and SSE personnel on the tour include Matt Field, Tom Wiggans and John Gibbon.
Artistic Licence has launched a new show control system. 'Common-Sense' provides a protocol interface that supports contact closures, switch matrices, analogue control voltage, real-time clock, MIDI, MIDI show control, Infrared, RS232, RS485 and of course DMX512. All of these interfaces are software-controlled in a self-contained wall-mount enclosure. The product is configured using a user-friendly graphic software package, Sense-Edit. Common-Sense has been nominated for the PLASA 2000 Best New Product Award.
An investigation has been launched following the news over the weekend that eight fans had been crushed to death at the Roskilde Festival in Copenhagen. Several others were also injured in the incident which occurred around midnight on Saturday when American rockers Pearl Jam were performing on stage. The front section of the 50,000-strong crowd slipped and the injured were trampled underfoot. Worryingly, the news reports covering the event have, in part, pointed the finger of blame at the sound system, claiming that the rear loudspeakers were not working thus forcing the audience forward. Oasis and the Pet Shop Boys both pulled out of the festival as a mark of respect for the dead, although other bands have chosen to play on. Technical investigations are being carried out and emergency support services have been set up on-site.
LMC Audio London has supplied the Rambert Dance Company with the UK's first Midas Heritage 1000 mixing console. Rambert, the UK's only large-scale contemporary dance repertory company, used the Heritage 1000 at the promenade performances at the new Sadler's Wells. David Kenning, Rambert's sound technician, said: "I am completely bowled over by the console - it's versatile, well laid out, the routing is incredibly easy and the automation is another worthwhile feature."
Phay MacMahon has been appointed managing director of Bandit Lites London and Bandit Lites Ireland which has recently relocated to new premises in Dublin. MacMahon has been a director of all Bandit companies since 1992 and remains such to this day. He is now directly in charge of operations for both European offices. In London, Jason Tang is the general manager and he reports directly to MacMahon on a daily basis. Bandit's new, larger premise in Dublin can now be found at Unit 10, Solus Tower Industrial Estate, Corke Abbey, Bray, County Dublin, Ireland.
Autograph Sales, UK distributor for the Conductor show control systems from Belgian compant Avenger, has announced the introduction of the Soundweb plug-in for the Conductor's Composer software. Developed in conjunction with BSS Audio, plug-in enables the Conductor to interface with BSS's programmable audio network products, and brings additional functionality to the Soundweb system by allowing the control of fades and cross-fades. The plug-in provides event-synchronised control of any variable-gain Soundweb parameter, such as Eq value, delay time or compression threshold.
Thommy Hall recently joined High End Systems as the Northeast sales representative for High End's soon-to-open New York office. Most recently Hall was the stage lighting director for the Maui Myth and Magic Theatre's production of 'Ulalena', which received the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Board's awards for Best Show, Best Attraction and Best Performing Arts presentation. Prior to that he was the sales manager for Hawaii Stage and Lighting.
Federal Signal has launched the Millbank Ultima II XK series of integrated public address amplifiers - the first Millbank product introduced since Federal's acquisition of the brand last year. The Ultima II range boasts a range of features not normally available in this price range, and are also very easy to install, with no internal adjustments or retro-fit options required. The amps feature six inputs, the first five 'universal', allowing the simple configuration of the signal priorities associated with each input. Each offers a balanced input, with a trim control to allow a wide variety of signal sources to be used.
Doulas Sound & Lights Production in Greece and Wang Keum Musical Instruments Co Ltd in South Korea have been appointed as distributors for the full range of Chameleon pro audio products. As well as serving the pro entertainment market, Doulas Sound also has a substantial and growing business in the public sector, especially in 'hidden' speakers for churches. Wang Keum Musical Instruments Co Ltd, based in Seoul, has already taken delivery of a complete Chameleon touring rig, and it is expected that Chameleon will now feature in many installations and concerts planned in the next 18 months. Both distributors will be carrying a full range of Chameleon products.
Following his epic 480km bicycle ride that incorporated visits to the scenic areas in the vicinity of Beijing - including the Great Wall of China - Lighting Technology Projects' Jonathan Hilton is now busy collecting in over £3000 worth of promised donations for Mencap. Within the sum is £1000 that was sanctioned by director Bruce Kirk on behalf of LTP. Organised by Mencap in the UK, the trip turned out to be a never-to-be-forgotten experience. "I can tell you quite categorically that Chinese bicycles do not have saddles," said Jonathan. "They have a multi-functional device which splits a person into two halves and also acts as a 'no anaesthetic' vasectomy." In his spare time, Hilton is Lighting Technology's product manager for searchlights and Light Pipe and was project manager for one of the company's latest major contracts, the Light Pipe installation on the Millennium Bridge.
Lighting designer and theatre consultant Richard Pilbrow will join the Broadway Lighting Master Class (BLMC) 2000 faculty from 6-10 December, 2000 in New York City. In his first BLMC appearance, the British-born designer will discuss the influence of European traditions on lighting design in the United States. Tony Award-winning lighting designer Jules Fisher will again head the BLMC 2000 faculty roster, which includes Donald Holder, Tony Award-winning LD of Disney's The Lion King, and Peggy Eisenhauer, Tony Award winner for Cabaret. BLMC is offering discounts for members of ESTA, PLASA, USITT, TEA, IATSE, CITT, ATHE and members of other theatrical education associations worldwide; schools sending two or more students or faculty members receive special prices.E-mail email@example.com
Adding to its continually-expanding range of dramatic lighting fixtures, the ultra-high-power Titan 7kW Xenon searchlight is now available from Lighting Technology. It is the latest unit in the architectural range from manufacturers Astralux, for which Lighting Technology is an exclusive distributor. Ideal for situations where organisers want to attract the attention of the general public, the Titan can send out a call-sign in the form of a dramatic shaft of light. It has a range of 1 lux at 24 kilometres.
In a surprise announcement Jon Miller, managing director of The Sound Company, has decided to step down from running the organisation in order to spend more time on music and theatre production. Whilst he will still take a directorial role in the company, the day-to-day business will be run by Mark Thompson, as sound designer and technical director, with Mich Speller taking over as production manager from Giles Rowland, who is heading off to the computer industry. In the meantime, The Sound Company, which is currently enjoying its best ever year, will continue to offer a sound design and hire service for the theatre industry, whilst expanding into other markets.
The Roald Dahl Revolting Concert, held in Cardiff at the end of May, provided the first opportunity for Show Presentation Services (SPS) to spec its new Barco Dlite 7 LED screen for an outdoor event. Part of the nationwide BBC Music Live series, the 17sq.m screen was used to relay live coverage of the concert to the 3,000 strong crowd.
Matrix Audio Distribution is now accessible online via two new websites. One site details the full range of Matrix amplification allowing customers to view the entire range, alongside product manuals and troubleshooting tips, whilst the second site covers the company's recent news and project work.
Over 70 people from 51 countries joined members of the Clay Paky and Pulsar teams in Bergamo in mid-May for a conference outlining the long term goals of both companies. In his opening speech, President Pasquale Quadri welcomed delegates and highlighted the continuing growth in sales, ongoing research into ISO 9001 certification and the company's plans for expansion, which include a move to new headquarters. Other members of the Clay Paky and Pulsar teams then took to the floor to cover recent technical and marketing developments, before paving the way for a number of distributors from across the world to outline numerous projects where Clay Paky and Pulsar equipment had been part of the project specification.
The Danish Design Centre, in the heart of Copenhagen, opened its doors to the public in January of this year. The centre aims to be a hothouse for ideas and development in Danish industry, as well as providing, amongst other things, an international exhibition venue for industrial design, public exhibition areas, a shop and café, conference rooms and office space. For the Conference Hall, which will play host to a number of different types of events and will hold up to 200 people, lighting and AV consultants 1001 Watt.dk specified ETC Source Four Jr Zooms which were supplied by ETC's local distributor, Bico Professionel. In addition, 24 ETC Irideon AR6, launched at PLASA last year, were supplied by SFL of Sweden.
Sound Reinforcement is the theme of the sixteenth Reproduced Sound Conference, organised by the Institute of Acoustics and to be held in Stratford-on-Avon over the weekend of Nov 17-19, 2000. Presentations will be given by sound designers, tour sound managers, manufacturers and equipment and systems designers. Subjects tackled include the new loudspeaker array technologies, aspects of digital sound processing, control and distribution, designing auditoria for reinforced sound and environmental issues relating to stadium sound.
Tony Rodber is to join Stage Electrics as business development manager for Wales and the West. He brings with him a wealth of experience from the industry where he has been a well-known figure for the last 13 years, principally with Lighting Technology.
High End Systems' new automated luminaire, the Studio Beam PC, has won the award of Best of Lightfair 2000 from Design Journal magazine. Products were judged during the recent Lightfair 2000 trade show in New York City and were chosen based on their form, functionality and design. Studio Beam PC uses a pebble convex lens to produce a unique quality of light unlike the wash or spot fixture. Extremely high-output color mixing coupled with a large zoom range and intense beam shaping give the Studio Beam PC a unique niche in lighting design.
Despite the well-publicised financial crises at the Dome, managers and staff are to receive loyalty bonuses totalling up to £3 million. The payments are intended to reverse the exodus of Dome personnel in recent months - over 400 of the 2,000-strong team have already left - and reward staff who see out their contracts. The bonuses seem to go against the grain of recent cost-cutting measures and include payments to four board directors, with former chief executive Jennie Page, also in the line-up for a hand-out. £2 million will be shared between the Dome's 300 managers, while a further £1 million will be split between the 900 hosts who show visitors around.