Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and other ministers yesterday listened to the two final proposals from bidders vying to take over the Millennium Dome next year. Culture Secretary Chris Smith then told Parliament that a decision on the future of the venue was imminent. The two proposals are for an "urban entertainment resort" from Nomura International's Dome Europe, or a hi-tech campus of offices and workshops proposed by the Dome Legacy consortium. Each bid is thought to be worth around £100 million ($151.7 million) for the site in Greenwich, London, but government officials refused to confirm the figures and denied it had already decided to give the deal to Nomura. The Dome cost £758 million and was propped up with another £29 million cash injection in May.
Autograph Sound Recording has announced its association with the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA), commencing with the donation and permanent installation of a CADAC A Type mixing console for the Paul McCartney Auditorium, the college's largest live performance space. The tie-in with LIPA also includes Autograph sharing their 27 years of live sound design and rental experience with the Sound Technology degree students, by undertaking a regular series of live theatrical sound workshops.
Tennis fans departing from Southfields Tube Station, the nearest stop to Wimbledon 2000, have this year found something else to stare at other than their shoes. Sponsors TDI and IBM, have transformed the station into a tennis haven - the length of the platform features astroturf tennis courts, fan-suspended tennis balls, and hanging baskets. Also present is a huge 2.1 metre by 1.6 metre Clarity Visual Systems cube wall, displaying an edited video of past Wimbledon champions in a heated rally. The cube wall, provided by SNP Group, is the first to ever be installed on an Underground station.
Chancellor Gordon Brown has received a letter from some of Britain's leading stage actors -including Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Judi Dench, Sir Michael Gambon and Sir Derek Jacobi - in which they urge him to "meet the challenge of rejuvenating our regional theatres as a key creative industry." The letter claims that British regional theatre is in crisis, and warns: " . . . for far too long lack of adequate funding has led to a decline in working opportunities, to fewer new productions and to smaller casts. Unless additional funding is made available - and directed into productions and work on the stage - we could well face a two-tiered system of quality of theatre provision between London and the regions."
White Light's Lighting Design Bursary - now in its third year - has been extended to include any student over the age of 18 studying lighting design in the UK. Launched in 1998 as part of The Training Inititaive, White Light's wide-ranging training and education programme, the Bursary was only open to Lighting Design students at Rose Bruford for its first two years. As in earlier years, the Bursary involves students initially producing a short synopsis outlining a project they would like to light. Students selected at this stage are then invited to develop their concept into a full lighting design proposal (within a theoretical budget) and a 'pitch' for that proposal, which they must present to a panel of industry professionals. This year's competition offers a prize of £500 for each of up to three winners; the prize presentation, which for the last two years has taken place at the Royal National Theatre's annual lighting designers' luncheon, also offers a useful chance to make new contacts within the lighting industry. The 2000 Competition offers an additional prize: the overall competition winner will be sponsored to attend the internationally-acclaimed Showlight lighting conference, which takes place in Edinburgh from May 21st-23rd 2001. Full Competition details are available on the White Light website. Those interested in taking part must register their interest by the end of August 2000, with the deadline for the submission of synopses being September 18th 2000.
Allen & Heath has announced the availability of version 1.01 of the new ML5000 console's software, which can be downloaded from the company's website and is complete with full, clear instructions for uploading to the console. The new version offers refinements to the functionality of the desk, including a streamlining of the snapshot store to allow storing to sequential locations with single key presses and an extension of the MIDI dump to include more surface settings.
Lamba has secured one of the most significant agencies in the history of the company with their appointment this month as the exclusive UK distributor for Nady products. California-based Nady Systems has a long tradition of wireless microphone innovation dating back to 1976, while Lamba boasts an even longer track record in both MI and pro audio - the two core markets that Nady's products address. Talks began at the NAMM Show last January, where Nady launched several new state-of-the-art wireless mics, and under the new Nady Audio badge, introduced several new power amplifiers, mixers, hardwired microphones and rack-mount equipment, further extending their influence in the DJ and pro audio markets.
One of the masterminds behind the birth of concert video support nearly a decade ago, Malcolm Mellows has returned to the UK from California to become manager of the Concert Touring Division of Presentation Services Ltd (PSL). A familiar face among road crews from his 18-year career as a lighting designer, Mellows will head a dedicated team at PSL's Cricklewood HQ that also includes Mick Ryder, Scott Russell and Stephanie Jefcoate. Malcolm headed up the original Presentation Services Ltd for three-and-a-half years when it was based at Scrubs Lane. After becoming lighting designer for Suede's Dog Man Star world tour, he then persuaded PSL chief Gary Davis to set up a US office for PSL in Burbank, California, which he established and ran for nearly three years. During his first two stints with the company, Malcolm Mellows was responsible for project managing on PSL's behalf ground-breaking events such as Depeche Mode's Devotional and Peter Gabriel's Secret World tours, as well as campaigns for Take That and U2.
Audio Design Services has celebrated its 10th anniversary by changing the company name to ADS Worldwide - reflecting the company's increasing involvement with global markets. ADS Worldwide has now embraced the education market with a range of products such as the MiniLab, which provides cheap and flexible access to language and general tuition for schools and other establishments. Part of the celebration included a formal dinner at the Deanwater Hotel in Cheshire, at which members of the ADS Worldwide team are pictured.
ESTA (Entertainment Services and Technology Association) in the United States has announced that the following draft standards have been made available for public review. - BSR E1.3, Entertainment Technology - Lighting Control Systems - 0 to 10V Analog Control Specification - BSR E1.7, Entertainment Technology - Recommended Practice for the Design and Use of Manual Systems for Flying Performers - BSR E1.10, Entertainment Technology - Minimum Loading requrements for Theatre Stage HousesIn each case, the review period closes on September 12, 2000.ESTA has also announced the start of a Standards-Drafting Project for Theatrical Boom & Base Assemblies.
The West Yorkshire Playhouse's production of the classic Hollywood musical Singin' in the Rain, which opened to excellent reviews on 22 June at London's Royal National Theatre, has seen the UK debut of Vari-Lite's first for-sale product - the VL2201 zooming spot. In addition to the new fixtures, the rig also includes VL6 and VL6B spot luminaires, augmenting the National's installed rig of 36 VL5B was luminaires and seven VL6 spots, all run from an Artisan II console. Lighting design is by Andrew Bridge, assisted by Mike Odam. The VL2201s were purchased by the West Yorkshire Playhouse as part of their sales and leasing agreement with VLPS.
ARX has announced the launch of two new products. The Mix 8 is an 8 into 2 stereo line mixer, designed as the ideal real-world interface for today's 8-track playback requirements, and a solution to all multi-channel line mixing needs. Also new is the VCS-6 (pictured) DC-controlled noise gate, which has been developed in conjunction with Panasonic Broadcast and the Sydney Olympic Broadcast Organisation (SOBO), who requested from ARX an audio-for-video switcher based on the ARX Sixgate, which they were already familiar with. Panasonic has now placed an order for 34 of the units, allowing them to control remotely 204 channels of audio at the Sydney Olympics.
André Tammes, the founder of the Lighting Design Partnership and a number of well-known figures in the field have this week launched under the new Lighting Design Partnership International (LDPI) banner. Tammes, continuing to work with long-standing colleagues Lawrie Nisbet and Kevin Sturrock, will now be joined by Alan Mitchell and Gavin Fraser, formerly director and principal designer respectively with Jonathan Spiers Associates. Douglas Hamilton, who has worked for the past six years with Lawrie Nisbet at Edinburgh-based Architectural Lighting Design (now merged with LDPI) completes the senior LDPI team. LDPI, in addition to its London and Edinburgh offices, will be based in Sydney Australia, under the direction of Tammes and Sturrock, with a design team of eight.
Power Gems, the manufacturer of electronic ballasts for entertainment lighting, has merged with Quartermaster, specialist supplier of products to the entertainment lighting industry. The Power Gems London office will form the sales and marketing division of Power Gems Ltd, and will be headed by Patrick McGuane, who joins the board of directors. Power Gems will exhibit at the PLASA Show at Earls Court, 10-13 September 2000.
Hacousto International b.v. has appointed ProAudio Marketing GmbH as their official distributor in Germany for the Matrics Pro-Sound range of products. The appointment follows a study of the target market and those companies in Germany who showed interest in representing the products, particularly the Magic 88, the digital processor-mixer aimed at the pro-sound, conference and installation/contractor markets. ProAudio Marketing, who were officially appointed at the beginning of July, have started with a large stock order off which is intended to support the significant sales expected following their initial product launch.
Dave Haydon, BSS Audio's long-serving sales manager, has left the company to join Out Board Electronics as commercial director. To ensure a smooth hand-over, he will continue his association with BSS, on a consultancy basis, for one year. Haydon has a wealth of industry experience, including working as a sound engineer on Jesus Christ Superstar, QC engineer at Midas and product management and broadcast sales at Solid State Logic.
XtraMusic has launched a new satellite music package which provides subscribers with unlimited access to 80 channels of music, encompassing full background and foreground music requirements for business establishments. The company's European business development manager Noel Chivers said: "Our customer feedback tells us that the average pub can spend between £50 to £100 a month on CDs, and this is without the cost of CD players."
Canadian company Scéno Plus has won awards in Britain for its role in the design and build of the Dream Factory, the new head office of the British Playbox Theatre. The Dream Factory received three prestigious awards at the Quality in Construction Awards 2000: the Supreme Winner Award, the Small Project of the Year Award, and the Marketing and Image Award. The Dream Factory is a unique venue for aspiring actors to learn about stage acting. The first of its kind in England, the theatre is located at the Aylesford School in Warwick and boasts a 280-capacity flexible theatre space, rehearsal studios, a boutique and cafe.
Philips CSI's Easy Line 2000 products represent anew and easy way for CCTV installers to offer more advanced systems combining CCTV and PA. Easy Line brings together Philips POS observation and discrete CCTV systems with compatible public address products to add sound capability in a plug and play format. The new system allows installers to provide fast and cost-effective solutions including stand-alone or integrated POS, CCTV and PA systems.
Earls Court & Olympia has announced that Jonathan Goold will be leaving Clarion Events, organisers of the PLASA Show, at the end of this year. Goold has spent 17 years with the events organising company at Earls Court & Olympia, more than nine of them as managing director. During his time at Earls Court & Olympia, Goold has been show director for a number of events, including The London Motor Show through the 1980s, before taking on the role of managing director in 1991, and overseeing the company's growth throughout the 1990s to its position as one of the UK's leading exhibition and event organisers.
Music Live 2000, the UK's largest public music-making show, returns to the NEC, Birmingham in November. The show, which runs from 17-19 November, is looking to attract over 25,000 music enthusiasts which brings together some of the most respected names in the business, including Marshall, Fender, Korg, Peavey, Yamaha and Akai.
Artistic Licence (UK) Ltd is now able to supply the full range of Tourflex Datasafe cable manufactured by AC Lighting Ltd. Tourflex Datasafe cables are engineered specifically to handle the requirements of DMX512 and the range includes single pair, twin pair and digital colour changer cable, all types are UL listed.
Soundcraft's successful Going Live programme of sound engineering seminars has debuted in Mexico. Hosted by local distributors Hermes Music in Mexico City and Metropoli in Guadalajara, the events were joined by Dave Kay of Adlib Audio who flew out from the UK to chair the panel of engineers who provided the tuition, accompanied by Ian Staddon of Soundcraft and engineer Geoff Lissaman. Nearly 200 people attended the events. The first USA Going Live course is due to take place in Nashville in November.
Surrey-based installation company, Audioplan, has recently taken delivery of a total of 21 PS-8 cabinets and seven LS-400 subs. Indeed, the demand for these loudspeakers has been so intense that the very first shipment to arrive at UK distributor, Fuzion, went straight out to Audioplan who installed them within 36 hours of arriving in the country. The first recipient of the PS-8 was St John's Church in Ealing who took delivery of four PS-8s and two PS-15s. Other interesting applications from Audioplan's initial delivery include a sale to Surrey-based BallRacing Developments who develop high-end motor sport simulators for PC and Playstation.