Stereophonics’ Day at The Races
Saturday, 15 September 2001

Apologies to the Stereophonics, but this is going to be an unsung heroes review. Unlike other shows, I’m going to concentrate attention on the peripherals, everything other than light and sound.

Following the appalling tragedy at Roskilde, crowd management has ridden to the top of all festival organiser’s agendas. This was the first big show at Donnington since the demise of the annual Monsters of Rock five years ago, and security arrangements were uppermost in many minds. Showsec, the contracted party, has much experience of Donnington, not least from Monsters, so in many ways choosing them was a given. Company founder Mick Upton managed a team of 250 Showsec staff from the control room, which he shared with local emergency services and licensing officials, monitoring events by radio and CCTV. Mike Harding, group operations director, was at the sharp end of crowd control, with responsibility for some 40,000 individuals. "As it happened, the event was very good-natured. The crowd tended to be younger and less intoxicated than the old Monsters crowds, and presented no major challenges, even back at the campsite after the show."

Harding’s low-key post show report belies the planning that led to this benign state of affairs. One of the key areas of concern was the front of the crowd and pit area. Following the commitment made by SFX director Stuart Galbraith at the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) this year, where he said that SFX would "proactively discourage crowd surfing," plans were drawn up. A primary D barrier system (f

Screenco Modules Meet Sophisticated TV Set Design in BerlinScreenco Modules Meet Sophisticated TV Set Design in Berlin
Friday, 14 September 2001

The Internationale Funfausstellung, which takes place every two years in Berlin, traditionally opens with a live television transmission (alternating between German national TV networks, ARD or ZDF). ARD was responsible for this year’s opening spectacular on August 25, and while the location in recent years has been the ICC, which is situated close to the fair, this time ARD opted to use the Convention Center at Europe’s biggest hotel - the 1000-bed Hotel Estrel.

Set designer Peter Roth, the man responsible for a number of ARD shows in Germany, wanted to create something original for the network other than traditional projection and cube systems, and the show title Tele Visionen also implied the need for a modern set. Besides centre stage - where the acts performed - there needed to be projection screens in the wings, where the main interviews and presentations would take place. However, the centre stage also required a creative approach, with a 1-2 minute change around, and the ability to project different images and colours - and he knew that only an LED screen would deliver this result.

Having decided on the design concept, the second problem was that in the Convention Center the ground load was restricted to 750kg/m2 - thus it would have been impossible to use a LED system with a weight in excess of 70kg/m2. The Screen Visons/Screenco 25mm LED screen overcame this problem, thanks to its module weight of just 50kg/m2. Yet even this lightweight system required staging and tracking company, Stage Kinetik from Cologne, to support the ground rig with additi

News from New York
Friday, 14 September 2001

PLASA Media has heard from Brad Mackie of New Jersey-based Prism Theatrical Lighting. Brad tells us that on Tuesday his crew were working on a dance series with leading New York ballet companies at the base of the first of the World Trade Center towers to be struck, and were just beginning rehearsals at the time of impact. Brad wants to let everyone know that all the production crew members from RSA Audio, Prism Theatrical Lighting, CSS Staging and MPE Generators got out of the building safely.

Bringing Tintin to Life Again!
Friday, 14 September 2001

Twelve DHA Digital Light Curtains are set to create stunning visual effects in the production of Tintin and the Temple of the Sun, making a spectacular stage debut in Antwerp on 15th September 2001. The production will be under the direction of one of Belgium's most acclaimed directors, Frank Van Laeke, and will be lit by Jack Van de Velde. With two versions of the musical in different languages, the production team is confident of its success and plans are already underway for tours of the Netherlands, France, UK, Germany and Canada.

The main difficulty that faced the creators of this musical version of the all-time classic was how to allow the production to speak to the audiences' imagination with the same impact as the written words and in the same style as the original.

Theatre Vision for Sound & Vision
Friday, 14 September 2001

Cardiff-based Theatre Vision (a Stage Electrics Group company) has kick-started its busy corporate season by providing production lighting services for the recent WHAT HI-FI? Sound & Vision Awards 2001. Hosted by the irrepressible Clive Anderson at the Hilton in Park Lane, the show is produced by Head to Head Communications on behalf of Haymarket Publishing. Theatre Vision was called upon by busy awards lighting designer Matthew Evered to provide dynamic lighting for the event. A mixture of Strand SL cool-beam profiles, parcans and Martin Mac 300 moving lights were used to help jazz up the event, now in its 25th year, and all controlled and programmed by Tim Routledge on an Avolites Pearl. Also provided were a number of low voltage lighting kits for various branding and reception areas. Truss and rigging was provided by RoadRunner while sound was sourced from Tone Ferne from Dobsons.

Martin Hires International Sales Director for Architectural Segment
Friday, 14 September 2001

Martin Professional has hired Gorm Teichert as international sales director for the company’s expanding architectural segment. Gorm will begin in the newly created position on November 1st and will be based at the Martin headquarters in Aarhus, Denmark. A 39-year-old Dane, Gorm comes to Martin from a position as managing director for German architectural lighting company Erco. An 11-year veteran of the lighting industry, he has been based in England with Erco the past few years.

President and CEO of Martin Professional, Kristian Kolding, told PLASA Media: "With his extensive knowledge of architectural lighting, Gorm will be the driving force behind our continued expansion into the architectural lighting market." Martin has placed increasing emphasis on the indoor and outdoor architectural lighting market over the past two years, launching a range of dedicated architectural luminaires such as the Exterior line of fixtures, as well as indoor colour changers and fibre sources.

Tripath and Alesis Appoint Profusion
Thursday, 13 September 2001

Tripath Technology Inc and Alesis Semiconductor, both from the West Coast of the United States, met at this year’s PLASA Show to finalise their new distribution agreement with European audio component distributor Profusion plc. Keith Persin, managing director of Profusion told PLASA Media: "Tripath have excellent patents covering the class T switching amplifier technology, which produces true hi fi quality." With big names such as Sony using these parts and receiving awards, many companies are now looking at the class T designs. Steve Tomlinson (MD of Tripath Europe) continued: "Our parts often require application support as the technology is so different from traditional amplifier designs. Appointing Profusion was a logical choice as they have applications engineers and the facilities to offer good technical support."

AES Postpones New York Convention
Thursday, 13 September 2001

The Audio Engineering Society has announced the postponement of next week's 111th AES Convention at the Javits Convention Center, New York, until early December. The Javits is being used as an emergency services co-ordination centre in the aftermath of the recent events in New York. The organizers have issued the following statement. "We have just returned from the Javits Center where we had a meeting with their top management. We learned that the New York City Mayor's Office of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have taken over large portions of the Javits Center for use in coordinating emergency services. We also learned that FEMA will have complete control of these spaces and any others that they need, for an undetermined period. This obviously makes holding the event as planned impossible. However, we have been able to reschedule the convention, rather than just cancel it. The new dates will be Friday November 30 to Monday, December 3 2001, with the same exhibit, demo and conference space as would have been used next week."

Thursday, 13 September 2001

Hear’Say are currently part way through their highly successful UK arena tour. The set and lighting was designed by Pete Barnes, with the lighting operated on tour by Graham Feast. In an unusual move, all the lighting gear was supplied by French Company Cote Scene. The audio elements of the tour were provided by Wigwam with rigging by OTT.

The tour’s live video requirements are supplied by XL Video. The 32 square metre central screens - which open like curtains at the start of the show to allow the band to enter - are constructed from Barco DeLite 7 LED systems. Two left and right screens are fed by Barco ELM G10 projectors mounted on the truss, and are predominantly used for the live relay images. PCM was commissioned by Mark Wade from OTT Rigging to build the customised movement system for the video screens. The resulting system, an amalgamation of a Gis tracking system, Beta electric wire winches and a motion control system, is a combination of PCM’s industrial expertise brought into a more theatrical context. The wall is hung on the PCM track, controlled by the Beta Winch that’s rigged through a series of pulleys - allowing the videowall to be opened and closed at a controlled rate. The system is designed with in-built encoders so the PLC (programmable logic controller) can detect the position of each portion of screen. A frequency inverter ensures that the speed, ‘soft start’ and ‘soft stop’ functions can also be closely controlled. A ‘Teach Me’ button enables the settling of the screen in the correct posi

Freytag Joins Chameleon
Thursday, 13 September 2001

After six years' absence from the pro audio sector, Hans Freytag, former co-owner of C Audio, is joining high-end touring and installation manufacturer Chameleon Audio on a freelance basis as European distribution development manager, with a brief to expand the company’s continental distribution network. Chameleon is no stranger to Freytag - it used to make transformers for C Audio - and he is relishing his new role: "I'm looking forward immensely to working with Paul Houlden and raising further the profile of the company's products on the continent."

SkyTronic & Adastra
Tuesday, 11 September 2001

The PLASA Exhibition marks an exciting period for SkyTronic and Adastra as they launch their third catalogue in as many years. The 300-page catalogue contains over 4,000 products including 650 which are new for 2002, covering the entire consumer electronics spectrum.

SkyTronic prides itself on bringing new and exciting products to the marketplace backed up with a sales and customer care policy of which they are equally proud. The rapid growth that SkyTronic has achieved and continuing customer loyalty are testimony to this. Adastra Electronics Limited offers a comprehensive range of commercial audio Public Address products. Incorporated in 1949, Adastra has a long history of quality, performance and reliability.

Sennheiser Chips In With £15K
Tuesday, 11 September 2001

Sennheiser's annual 'Industry' Golf Challenge Trophy competition, at Mill Ride Golf Club near Ascot, proved more successful than ever before, this year raising more than £25,000 for Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital in London. Held on 6 July, a good turnout of keen, though not exclusively proficient, golfers entered into the spirit of things. This year's winner was once again Ashok Patel of ASK, just pipping Richard Bleakley from Diamond Stylus for the Stableford competition. In third place was Praful Patel of ASK who took consolation as winner of Nearest The Pin.

The day's longest drive came from LMC's John Ridley and The Texas Scramble was won by Mark Austin of Wycombe Wanderers, Andy Streets and John Hine of Synergy for the front nine, with Charles Smith, Chris Cress and Sennheiser managing director Paul Whiting on the back nine. Martin Sheehan represented Great Ormond Street Hospital and Autograph Advertising's Paul Hodsman was responsible for the Golf Invitations and Score Cards.

The £10,000 record sum raised on the night, along with the £15,000 proceeds from other Sennheiser fund raising activities, meant that a final overall total of £25,000 was achieved. As in previous years, all the money will go to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.Commenting on the success of the day, Paul Whiting said, "I want to thank everyone who took part, both on the fairway and during the evenings activities. Congratulations to the winners, and we look forward to seeing everyone again for next years trophy in July 2002."

Maltbury Invited to the Budweiser House Party
Tuesday, 11 September 2001

Currently touring the UK, the Budweiser House Party, visiting the cities of Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow and London among others, showcases some of the UK’s top DJs and is part of a touring promotion campaign for Budweiser Beer. The essence of ‘cool’, the Budweiser house has the statutory flying ducks on the wall, a range of retro furniture, a bath full of Budweiser and a dance-floor bed. Staging specialist Maltbury was approached to supply staging for the events. Jon Scott, managing director of Jon Scott DC, was contracted to design and construct the innovative dance floor bed for the Leeds House Party at Granary Wharf. The ‘bed’ needed to be robust enough to support the weight of partygoers whilst also creating interest and focus within the set of the Budweiser house. Maltbury was chosen to provide nine modules of Metrodeck staging, some of which were to be modified to create the dance floor bed. A number of 600mm square framed lightboxes were incorporated into the Metrodeck staging to create the ‘disco-feel’ dance floor in the shape of a bed and each of the lightboxes was individually lit. Scott specified Maltbury’s Metrodeck for several reasons: "Due to the imminent deadline on this job and the number of modifications that had to be made to create the dance floor bed it was essential that we chose the right company to provide the staging. Maltbury demonstrated once again the ability to alter a design to order and work within a limited time frame. Metrodeck is a lightweight decking system and far easier to transport than

Avo Launches Diamond 4 at PLASAAvo Launches Diamond 4 at PLASA
Tuesday, 11 September 2001

The latest addition to Avolites' range of lighting control consoles, the Diamond 4, has received an overwhelming response at PLASA 2001, according to managing director Rick Salzedo. At a packed champagne launch for the industry press, sales director Steve Warren presented the Diamond 4 and explained its enhanced time-saving features, the result of feedback from many users of the company's consoles.

Key features of the Diamond 4 include: 28 cue playback masters, 200 pages; 128 preset fully legended preset faders, configurable as fixture masters or cue masters, 200 pages (a preset fader can now control a chase, cue or fixture, fully configurable); 1,000 or more fixtures; 200 pages of 128 direct access programming palettes; multiple times on attributes and fixtures; logical, informative cue viewing environment; dedicated buttons for theatre plotting features; electronic legending for palettes, groups, fixtures, and cues; dual theatre and multiple cue list playbacks; fully automatic configuring of palettes and groups; ethernet capabilities; six DMX lines built in, additional lines using ethernet; high quality exceptionally smooth faders used throughout and last but not least, powerful shape generator, fan and highlight capabilities.

White Light and Robert Juliat Introduce MariusWhite Light and Robert Juliat Introduce Marius
Tuesday, 11 September 2001

White Light Sales, the exclusive UK distributor for the acclaimed Robert Juliat range: the Marius 1.2K HMI followspots. The Marius will be on show for the first time on the White Light stand - F4, just inside the main door - at PLASA 2001, which runs from September 9th-12th at Earls Court, London. The Marius is also a nominee for the Product of the Year Award at the show.

The Marius will be accompanied on the stand by other members of the popular Robert Juliat family, already finding use on many shows in the West End of London as well as the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican Concert Hall and at the BBC. White Light Sales will also be using PLASA 2001 to show other products from their extensive sales stock, including the highly versatile Unique variable haze machine and ever-popular Tiny-Fogger miniature for machine from Look Solutions and smoke machines from The Smoke Factory, both ranges available exclusively from White Light in the UK.

£3 million-worth of sales in the last year suggest that people are discovering that White Light is more than just a hire company. White Light Sales’ projects include the ongoing upgrades to both the Royal Albert Hall (which the company is supplying with ETC Sensor dimmers and Unison control stations) and the Barbican Concert Hall (which has purchased more than 70 Robert Juliat profile spot, sixty ETC Source Pars, six City Theatrical Autoyokes and High End automated fixtures), as well as equipment upgrades at RADA’s Vanburgh Theatre (which has purchased a selection of new lanterns from Strand Lighting) and the Guildhall School

Pilbrow Heads All-Star Cast at Light Relief
Tuesday, 11 September 2001

In preparation for the process of obtaining official charitable status, Light Relief, the industry fund that supports lighting designers in times of crisis or personal tragedy, has chosen a board of trustees which includes some of the profession’s best-known names. Additionally, Richard Pilbrow, doyen of theatre lighting design and author of the seminal work on the art, has agreed to be Honorary Chairman.

Rick Fisher, ALD Chairman and joint founder with Tony Gottelier of Light Relief, explains: "We desperately wanted Richard to have a role, but as a non-UK resident that would have proved difficult in view of the requirements of the regulations governing charities. Consequently, we’re delighted that he has agreed to accept the position, as we know that his involvement and wise counsel will prove invaluable."

Although born in England and having worked here for many years, Pilbrow departed these shores for Connecticut and the bright lights of Broadway some time ago. As he says: "I told Tony that I was honoured to be asked - provided they don’t mind me being an absentee landlord! Light Relief is a great idea of which they should be proud."

The board of trustees itself reads like a roll of the most respected figures in the profession in the UK and the industry at large: lighting designers David Hersey, Andrew Bridge, Rick Fisher and Patrick Woodroffe, together with Matthew Griffiths, managing director of PLASA, John Simpson, chairman and CEO of lighting rental specialist White Light, Lesley Harmer, a leading public relations consultant

New from Formula Sound
Monday, 10 September 2001

Formula Sound has unveiled its latest modular mixer- the PM-100 - at PLASA 2001. This mixer replaces the award winning PM-90 and is proving to be as popular. One important feature of the PM-100 is the single universal input module which can be configured to accept virtually any type of input source. Also featuring VCA controlled crossfade with punch; contour control and inserts at either end for connecting external signal processing equipment. With its many other facilities and its combination of sizes, layout etc. the PM-100 is the most versatile small production mixer around.

The full range or products for mixing and noise control is on show on stand E26.

Scratch-Mo Wins DJ Competition!
Monday, 10 September 2001

Young, talented DJ Scratch-Mo astounded music industry judges and the crowds to win the Extreme V DJ Competition yesterday at the PLASA Show 2001, Earls Court. The annual competition, sponsored by Gemini Sound Products attracted queues of young hopefuls from across the country to its stand for a chance to audition at the UK’s biggest entertainment technology show of the year.

22-year-old DJ Scratch-Mo (real name Angelo Tun) from Derby performed two superb sets to beat off stiff competition in his heat and the final winning £500 worth of Gemini DJ equipment. The music mad Media Technology graduate who has been DJing for seven years was thrilled to win and hopes that it will lead to a career in DJing.

The competition took place on the opening day of PLASA, DJ Sunday and is just part of a programme of events which included a guest appearance from super star DJ, Roger Sanchez at the cutting-edge Pioneer stand.

A panel of judges from the music industry included one of last year’s runners up, Miss Behavin’ who is now enjoying great success with residency at London’s Camden Palais and Ibiza’s Es Paradis. Contestants were judged on technical skill and ability as well as performance.

The heats were interspersed with a popular programme of masterclasses hosted by iDJ magazine on mixing skills, scratching skills, CD mixing and the business of DJing. Throughout the day the inaugural IDJ Talk Zone was full to capacity with young hopefuls eager to pick up tips from seasoned DJs such as DJ Pogo.

A special surprise set was also performed by top chi

Further Expansion for LDPS
Monday, 10 September 2001

Cork-based lighting, technical design and production specialists LDPS has further expanded its team with the addition of two new project consultants - Joe Stockdale and Michael Hurley. Their specialist areas are stage technologies and mixed/multi-media respectively. Stockdale and Hurley join LDPS founder Grant Collie and will be based in the company’s new premises in central Cork. The appointments will strengthen LDPS’s position as a market leader in the field of creating practical technical solutions based on hands-on experience.

Stockdale’s role will include venue technical design, specialising in stage systems, site installation supervision, special projects, client liaison, training and recruitment. His diverse background includes the teaching of theatre studies, set design and construction and event production. For the last nine years, he worked as technical stage Manager at Cork Opera House, a demanding multi-purpose venue. Stockdale is also a master boat builder and a master of lateral thinking!

Michael Hurley will be LDPS’s multi-media project consultant, and his work on venue technical design, specification and installations will include the exacting areas of sound/AV systems and acoustics. His previous experience includes working as chief electrician at the Cork Opera House and running his own successful AV business. Hurley has extensive experience in the fast-moving worlds of computer graphics, video editing and projection systems, making him ideal to oversee this aspect of LDPS.

Collie comments, "I’m delighted that Joe an

Zero 88 Award Dealers at PLASA
Monday, 10 September 2001

Zero 88 chose the PLASA Show to present three Dealer of the Year Awards. Winner of the Independent Dealer of the Year Award was Stagecraft Ltd of Salisbury, while High Wycombe-based AC Lighting Ltd picked up the UK dealer of the Year Award. The International Dealer of the Year Award was presented to California-based AC Lighting Inc, and our picture shows Zero 88's Graham Eales (centre) presenting the Award to CEO Bob Gordon (left) and Mike Falconer of AC Lighting Inc.

Broadcast India 2001
Monday, 10 September 2001

More than 250 of the world's leading companies from 30 countries will showcase their products and latest technology in the 11th Consecutive Broadcast India 2001 Exhibition & Symposium. A host of leading manufacturers will exhibit a wide range of products catering to the broadcast and entertainment industry in three days of the exhibition. The Broadcast India 2001 Exhibition will be held from 1-3 November 2001 at World Trade Centre, Mumbai in three halls - Expo Centre, South Side Lobby and Centrum - spreading over 40,000sq.ft of stand space. The exhibition will be preceded by a two day Symposium from 30-31 October 2001, to be staged at the Y B Chavan Centre, Mumbai. Industry professionals will speak on various topics covering the fields of TV, radio, video, audio, film, music, lighting, cabling, satellite, multi-media, transmission, computer graphics, broadband internet and all their allied and associated technologies in the two day Symposium. More than 21,000 trade personnel are expected to visit the three day exhibition, making this event the biggest and best in India.

For the first time this show will incorporate a Technical Awards ceremony sponsored by Seagate International. On the evening of 2nd November 2001 the Seagate Technical Awards for Excellence in Digital Technology in the field of Cinema and Television will be awarded.

New Version of Martin’s MAC 2000
Monday, 10 September 2001

Martin Professional will launch a new version of its successful MAC 2000 Profile at PLASA 2001. The new version, the MAC 2000 Performance, is a 1200W profile framing spot featuring a four-blade framing system for precise stage lighting and gobo animation wheel for extraordinary theatrical effects, the ideal illumination framing tool for theaters and special effect applications. Useful for accurate illumination coverage of stage props, scenery or any object, the precision adjusting, fully automated beam framing system transforms the elliptical beam into a multitude of different shapes. Fine adjustment of the shape is within millimeters thus eliminating any excess back light and perfect for stage shows of all types.

Also new to the MAC 2000 Performance is a gobo animation wheel useful for special theatrical effects such as fire, sky and water imaging. The entire wheel can be swiveled for flexible positional control. Like the successful MAC 2000 Profile, the MAC 2000 Performance incorporates an extraordinary 10-lens optical system that produces an extremely bright and sharp beam with high definition contrast and consistent beam field characteristics. The MAC 2000 Performance houses a CMY color-mixing system that offers a nearly unlimited variety of color choices plus an innovative color temperature correction system for effective CTC flexibility, making it possible to gradually and smoothly increase or decrease color temperature.

Other features include a gobo wheel with five indexable rotating gobos, additional effects wheel with rotating beamshaper and 3-facet prism, and

TMB Opens Beijing Office
Monday, 10 September 2001

On the first day of the PLASA Show at London’s Earls Court yesterday, TMB announced the opening of TMB Beijing. TMB CEO Colin Waters stated: "With customers involved in projects throughout China, local coordination has become essential. This office will add another level of support to our international vendors and customers, with a focus on the growing Chinese market. TMB’s ability to assimilate the best equipment from around the world is a real benefit here."

Cherry Huang, a Beijing resident who has worked with TMB on a freelance basis for several years, has assumed the role of TMB Beijing office manager. Waters commented: "The opening of TMB Beijing is the culmination of 10 years’ work in this region. This is an exciting moment. We expect great things from our new location, especially with someone as talented as Cherry Huang heading it up."

Martin Pro On Tour
Monday, 10 September 2001

Depeche Mode have followed their successful album Exciter with a world tour that sees them playing 80 dates around the globe. Lighting designer is Paul Normandale who has masterminded an extraordinary light show that incorporates Martin MAC 2000s and giant video projections by artist Anton Corbijn. Using 19 MAC 2000s, Normandale and his collaborators have created a unique lighting design, with a cleverly-constructed interplay of light, film and Depeche Mode's own unique brand of electronica. Normandale took full advantage of the MAC 2000's hard-edged beams to create a strong visual look that mirrored the moods of the evening's varied repertoire. At times the band was given an almost graphical quality by a silhouetting backlight of MAC 2000 beams. Crew Chief Mike Hosp noted: "The MAC 2000 is a very positive step in the technology of moving lights. It has the brightness that LDs want with the ease of service that road guys need." North American production is by Upstaging and European production is by Lite Alternative.

Meanwhile, ex-Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler has hit the road again, this time in support of his second solo album Sailing To Philadelphia. The tour is his first North American venture in more than a decade. For the 'Sailing' tour, Knopfler wanted to move away from the 'Star Trek' lighting, as he called it, of the Dire Straits days, and towards a more intimate setting. 23 Martin MAC 500s were selected to tour with Knopfler and provide a friendly atmosphere for a varied repertoire that included both new tunes and old Dire Straits numbers. LD Davi


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