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.
Peter Hind of Total Fabrications Ltd has recently been appointed to the Council of the Institution of Structural Engineers. The Council - a body of 12 appointed members - is charged with the running of the Institution for a term of three years. This is proving a good year for Hind - only four months ago he was made technical director at TFL. Hind has made a wealth of contributions to the entertainment business over the years, and is a regular contributor to the ESTA Protocol publication. He has written the ESTA / ANSI standard on the Design, Manufacture and Use ofAluminum Trusses and Towers (about to be published); The revised edition of Temporary Demountable Structures by Institution of Structural Engineers - published in March 1999; and written a chapter on Structures of revised edition of the HSE's The Event Safety Guide - published October 1999.
Just months after buying the chain from First Leisure, Candover has sold its 14 Brannigans bars, along with six other pubs, for £67 million. The new owner is Mustard Entertainment Restaurants, a recently-established venture backed by investment company Phildrew Ventures. Candover secured the Brannigans bars last November, as part of its £210.5 million acquisition of First Leisure's 40 nightclubs and 25 bars. It intends to keep the remaining bars and has also signalled its intention to expand its portfolio of nightclubs.
lastminute.com has joined forces with promoter SFX to offer the latter's products to lastminute.com's subscribers. Both companies have been much in the news lately, lastminute for its share issue and SFX for its expanding empire - the company operates and manages 79 venues in the UK, including several major West End theatres. Under the terms of the deal, SFX will market any unsold tickets from its own distribution network on lastminute.com's website. If the new arrangement is successful, the companies plan to extend the agreement into other European countries.
PLASA Publishing has learnt that there has been a second fatal accident at Earls Court. The venue owners have confirmed that the accident occurred at 7.10pm on Friday 23 June and that the individual involved was working for Unusual Rigging, who are contracted to the venue. EC management and the relevant authorities have launched an investigation into the incident. The news comes six months after the death in December last year of a rigger working on a backstage event for the Spice Girls, who fell 80 feet whilst breaking down the after-show party. An investigation into that incident is still ongoing.
Peter Maddison has joined Performance Light & Sound as sales representative. Maddison has extensive industry experience, and has previously worked for companies such as Adam Hall. John Ridley, managing director of Performance Light & Sound, told PLASA Publishing that is looking forward to working with Peter and will take full advantage of his extensive industry knowledge.
Martin Professional UK's sales director David Faulkes is leaving the company to form his own distribution company, Miltec, which will concentrate on the distribution of audio and lighting products within the UK and Ireland. Faulkes told PLASA Publishing: "Over the past six years I have built up a strong relationship with many of the industry's key accounts. Having attended a number of International exhibitions, I believe there are a number of important product lines that have very little or no presence within the UK and Ireland."Miltec can be contacted at: Unit 1, Leddingford Farm, Darman Lane, Laddingford, Maidstone, Kent ME18 6BL.
Bob Geldof is planning a major New Year's Eve event in London. Through his company, 10 Alps, he has won the contract to stage a spectacular show in the capital which promises to build on last year's River of Light New Year's Eve celebrations. To help him on his way, he has managed to secure £1.5m of Lottery Funding and is now looking for sponsors to weigh in with their contributions. No details have emerged yet of what's been planned, but we will keep you up to date as we learn more.
Michael Kaiser, executive director of the Royal Opera House, has resigned. Kaiser, who has been in the job less than two years, plans to leave by June 2001 and return to America. He is the latest in a long line of executive directors to leave the Royal Opera House and his decision comes at a time when the House seems at last to be putting behind it the funding controversies and technical problems that dogged its reopening.
One of London's best-known nightclubs - Tramp - has recently received a new sound system as part of a major refurbishment. Watford-based Stage Two designed the system, based around RCF's ART Series, in conjunction with RCF UK's Andy Austin-Brown. Stage Two's Terry Douris explained that the brief presented difficulties in terms of the small size of the building and the high power required from the system. Four ART 300 cabinets are used, with two situated over the dancefloor and two on the perimeter of the room. In addition, two MSW 8 sub-woofers provide the heavy bass required on the dance floor. The system is controlled by an XTA DP200 digital sound processor, with amplification from InterM M1000 and M700 amps. Meanwhile, four RCF Monitor 5s and four Monitor 4Ts cover the restaurant and reception areas respectively.
The Queens Birthday Honours list paid tribute to a number of those working on the creative and technical sides of the arts and entertainment industry. Theatre director, and more latterly Oscar-winning film director, Sam Mendes was rewarded with a CBE for his services to drama. Two of the principal talents behind the Dome were also honoured; Timothy Gardom, responsible for the content of the body and faith zones, becomes an MBE, while Mark Fisher receives an OBE for his work as creative director of the Millennium Show staged in the Dome's central arena. Vivien Duffield, a director of the Royal Opera House for 14 years who is credited with raising £100m for the recent £214m refurbishment, was awarded a DBE, whilst Neil Bartlett, artistic director of the Lyric Hammersmith, and Derek Deane, artistic director of the English National Ballet both received OBEs.
PSL has announced the signing of a seven-year contract with ExCel, the new London International Exhibition Centre, which makes the company the preferred onsite AV and presentation equipment supplier. PSL will acquire approximately 20,000sq.ft of office and warehouse space onsite, within one of the existing warehouses on the ExCel site for the storage of their AV and presentation hire equipment. In addition, the company has negotiated two additional storage areas - within the Northern and Southern breakout/seminar rooms - allowing them to be the only AV company to service these areas. PSL estimates that it will hold around £1million of state-of-the-art equipment onsite.
Martin Pro's MiniMAC won the Best of Lightfair 2000 award from Design Journal magazine recently - the latest in a string of awards for the product. In the past month it has also picked up the Lightfair Innovator award and the inaugural Roeder Award. It also won last year's LDI Award for Lighting Product of the Year/Architecture and more recently the Best New Product of the Year Award at the Electricity and Lighting Show in Montreal.
For their recent headline UK tour, Toploader augmented their live set with an on-stage Tascam DA-98 digital multitrack and RC-898 remote control. Controlled by drummer Rob Green, the Tascam recorder is used to bring some of the studio-recorded strings and percussion from the Album - Onka's Big Moka - into the live performance. The band also brought in a second rig of four DA-88 digital multitracks to record some of the gigs.
Marquee Audio has announced the formation of a new division, which will operate under the supervision of co-director Mark Brown. Marquee Installations aims to respond to increasing retail sector requirements. Brown's roster of licensed-trade contractor clients, which included many of the UK's leading breweries, restaurants and independents, had previously been homogenised into Marquee's general work portfolio, but he now believes he can give greater focus to expanding the business. Marquee Installations will offer a complete turnkey service, combining audio, lighting and visual display integration.
PSL has set up a new audio division, and pledged a multi-million pound investment in a new hire fleet. The bulk of the equipment will be purchased through Marquee Audio, while other suppliers will include LMC, SES, Total Audio Solutions, VDC, Kelsey Acoustics, d&b audiotechnic and Shuttlesound. Gil Rabinowitz (pictured) was brought in to configure an inventory which the company believes will make them competitive in their own right, at the same time offering a resource that will enable the remainder of the Gearhouse Group to quote turnkey packages to conference and exhibition clients.