One of London's most famous live music venues, The Astoria, is currently undergoing an extensive technical refit, having been acquired by The Mean Fiddler Organisation, a dominant force in the British entertainment scene. In addition to raising the specification for visiting sound crews, the objective was to make the Astoria's infrastructure more broadcast and TV-friendly, including the addition of a new 48-way patchbay, according to long-time resident technician Erik Sanderson-Evans. Tarsin Entertainments was awarded the contract after a competitive tender, with the new inventory of kit mostly supplied by Marquee Audio. LA 1, the main performance venue which has a capacity of nearly 2,500, takes delivery of a Soundcraft Series FIVE (48 channel plus 4 stereo groups) plus a Soundcraft 324 digital mixer for returning the effects, an ASS loudspeaker system, as well as a substantial batch of BSS proprietary processing equipment. A new 44:24 Soundcraft Series FIVE Monitor console is added to the stage monitoring system.
The fuel crisis must have come as a blessed relief to the Dome, but it hasn't taken the attraction long to be back in the media spotlight. Just a week after Nomura withdrew from its bid, the police are currently carrying out an investigation into fraud allegations. Apparently these centre around "irregularities" in connection with the procurement of contracts, and media reports are suggesting that the firm under investigation was one of the contractors working for the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC). Nomura of course pulled out on the basis that they had been misled over the Dome's finances.
New tribute show, Beyond the Darkside, is to tour the world through 2001 using over 100 Martin lighting fixtures. For the legions of Pink Floyd fans scattered all over the world, the opportunities to enjoy a live concert experience by this legendary band are few and far between. The show will be touring Australia for the later half of 2000 and plans include a tour of the UK, Europe, Japan and the US to commence in mid 2001. The show uses over 100 Martin fixtures and lighting designer Athol Sargood is looking to increase this number in the near future. For co-producers Kevin Hunt and Sargood, Beyond the Darkside is their most challenging and ambitious production so far, and now employs one of the largest digital light shows to tour Australia, with 114 digital moving light fixtures, videos, pyrotechnics and a 5-watt, fully computerised, air-cooled laser. The show includes a spectacular 4.5 metre diameter circular video screen, surrounded by digital lights looming over the stage; a space age flying pig; the atmospheric effects of a mirror ball; animated clocks and glowing drumsticks; the marching Hammers of 'The Wall' all punctuated by a dazzling display of pyrotechnics.
Caribiner International has launched a new name and identity. The company will be known as Jack Morton Worldwide after merging with its American counterpart of the same name. The company has an impressive client list and was responsible for the public arena installations in the Millennium Dome and at the Hanover World Expo 2000. Recent projects include the Special Olympics World Games Opening Ceremonies, The Royal Military Tattoo and the Queen Mother Celebrations on Horse Guards Parade. The new combined company represents a worldwide community of over 1200 people in more than 30 locations in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. William Morton is chairman and chief executive, located in New York, whilst Josh McCall, located in Boston, has been named president and chief operating officer. Lois Jacobs, based in London, becomes executive vice president, regional director, Europe and Asia-Pacific, responsible for the growth and profitability of the company's operations in the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. She joins the executive committee having previously served as chairman of Caribiner Europe, and remains as executive chairman of the London Operation.
Color Kinetics, manufacturers of full spectrum digital lighting, has added 16 new US and international distribution partners to its growing list of worldwide authorised distributors, expanding the company's distribution channel by more than 100% in the first half of 2000 alone. The new distributors will offer the full line of Chromacore-powered digital lighting products, including fixtures, controllers, enablers, accessories and lighting design software. Signing on as authorised distributors in the US are ten companies: Bradfield Stage Lighting, Tennessee; City Lighting Products, Missouri; CM Buck and Associates, Indiana; Cooper Electric, New Jersey; Curtis H. Stout Company, Arkansas; Maurice Electric, Washington, DC; Pacific Lighting, Seattle; RC Lurie, Phoenix; Rexel-Elgee, Columbus, Ohio and Top Shelf Distributors, Chicago. Six international companies have been added to the Color Kinetics distribution channel: Adawliah, Kuwait; ALS, Japan; Grupo Dug, Mexico; Ideal Electric, Singapore; Lights & Color (Lightpower), Germany and Primesite, Australia.
Key players within the European festival community met at this year's Lowlands Festival in the Netherlands to discuss the issue of crowd management and risk assessments in the wake of the tragic death of nine people at the Roskilde Festival earlier this summer. Attending the meeting were Gunnar Lagerman - promoter of Hultsfred and chairman of Yourope, The European Festival Organisers Association, Anders Hagstrom - production manager Motor SE, Leon Ramakers - promoter at Lowlands, Bert van Horck - chairman, The International Crowd Management & Security Group, Mick Upton - IMCS European Risk Consultant and invited members of the trade press. Discussions centred on internal policing of event management procedures and appropriate risk management policies. All agreed that this would make festival environments safer for crowds, and give festival organisers benchmarks from which to work.
Laser Grafix of Royston have been successful in persuading Richard Wright to join the company as Group sales manager. Wright has left his role as general manager and director designate of GVC Laserpoint. Wright will bring with him a great deal of sales experience, not only from his time at Laserpoint but also from his work for Philips Analytical, and his knowledge of the videowall and large screen industry will prove invaluable.
Winner of the Best Shell Scheme award was UV Light Technology on stand P20. Judges were impressed by the effect of such a wide array of UV products in a very small space - even including the stand's signage - maximising the impact of the stand.In the Best Space Only Stand (up to 50sq.m) category, the winner was Mad Lighting for stand F48, built by LiteStructures. The judges were impressed by the creative combination of small space and product on display. Judges also made a commendation to Tomcat for its spectacular rotating stand feature.Winner of the Best Space Only Stand (over 50sq.m) category was Martin Professional on stand E54/E56. Judges were impressed by the impact of the 'wall' of products, and by the simple but stylish separation of the different parts of the organisation. Commendations were also made in this category to ETC for its cool, calm haven of a stand with sumptuous and kind-on-the-feet carpet and to Pioneer for its innovative and stylish Surgery area with comfortable bean bag seating.In the Best Overall Use of Product on the Stand category, the winner was Pulsar & Clay Paky on stand G46 for its excellent light show with Ministry of Sound bar, formidable structure and interactive demonstration area for visitors. Commendations were made to Unusual Rigging Ltd for its creative use of a circus magician act in a trade show environment and to Tomcat for its gyroscopic truss feature feature.
C Audio has reinforced its senior management structure to enable them to sustain and maximise the early sales potential in the wake of last year's successful worldwide launch of the new Pulse switched-mode amplification series. The key change sees David Neal take up the role of sales and marketing director, in parallel to his duties with BSS Audio. At the same time, Dominic Harter has been appointed as sales engineer for C Audio, covering all sales to European markets. Ruth Buchanan becomes sales office manager with responsibility for both BSS and C Audio, and Paul Bass becomes C Audio marketing co-ordinator. Lee Basham (product support manager) and Melissa Bednarski (sales co-ordinator) continue in their present roles.
C Audio has embarked upon a new worldwide distribution initiative, resulting in them making several strategic changes in key territories. In Canada, newly-appointed Erikson Pro Audio placed an immediate order for Pulse and GB series products. The company supplies equipment to all major music and PA stores, production companies and installers across Canada. Erikson's first sizeable order for C Audio was from Montreal-based Audio Services. In Sweden, Septon Electronic AB has taken over the distribution, forefronting C Audio with exclusive representation. The company's primary markets cover touring sound, cinema, MI, recording and broadcasting, installation as well as consumer. Septon's initial commitment to the Hertfordshire company comprises both GB series and Pulse amplification. The most southerly on the C Audio global map is FZ Audio, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The company, which supplies to contractors and PA hire companies, have already sold the majority of their first shipment - which consisted mainly of Pulse 2 x 1100W amplifiers - to a Sao Paulo PA rental company, with the remainder destined for a nightclub in Rio. Finally, C Audio have also made changes in Greece, where they have appointed Lyric Audio to handle their range.
The Board of Directors of AC Lighting Inc has announced that Bob Gordon has become president and chief executive officer of the company. As one of the founding partners of AC Lighting Inc, Gordon has been instrumental in establishing a distribution company with an enviable reputation for quality products and technical support in North America. Founded in 1993, AC Lighting Inc distributes professional lighting equipment to the North American entertainment industry. AC's exclusive product range includes MA Lighting (grandMA lighting control), Jands Electronics (lighting control), Chroma-Q (colour changers) and cable assemblies.
During the PLASA Awards for Product Excellence on Wednesday 13 September, a presentation was made to Matthew Randle, a BTEC student of Technical Theatre from Melton Mowbray College, who was the winner of the Pulsar Student Lighting Designer Competition. The competition seeks to find the next generation of professional performance lighting designers, putting their lighting design skills to the test. Following a tough series of heats, judges were looking for a lighting design and show with creative flare, originality and atmosphere. Matthew was presented with a cheque for £2,000 towards the purchase of any Pulsar equipment by Paul Duval, Technical Director at Melton Mowbray College in Leicestershire where this year's competition was held.PLASA Managing Director Matthew Griffiths took the opportunity to announce that in recognition of the important role the Student Lighting Designer Competition plays in seeking the lighting design talent of the future, PLASA will be taking over the reigns of the competition for 2001, widening its scope to lighting students from educational establishments throughout the UK and providing full editorial support in Lighting & Sound International.
Audio installer TASC Ltd has completed the latest in a line of Parisa Café Bars using Martin Audio's Contractor Series ceiling speakers. The development of the Newcastle Quayside venue for Nader Haghighi's Warrington-based Parisa Group follows an audio conception and design instigated by Arron Smith's company 14 venues earlier. "In the majority we have used Martin C516s, fed by our GAGA hard-drive music system," Arron explained. The design brief was for the sound source to be invisible, and so once again Arron opted for 38 of the flush-mount C516 ceiling speakers, arranged in a five zone system (across four separate feature areas), using two Cloud CX133s to route the sound, powered by Crown and QSC amplifiers. The highest profile area in the ground-floor venue is around the bar and dining area, where the low-end is reinforced with three of Martin compact CS265 twin 6.5" subs (each clustered by four C516s), also recessed back into the ceiling and painted cream to match the decor. Elsewhere in the Café Bar, the ceiling speakers operate full-range.
The Sound Broadcasting Equipment Show takes place on 8-9 November at the Birmingham NEC. Show organiser Point Promotions is offering visitors special deals on hotels through Expotel www.expotel.co.uk/?EVENTCODE=SOUBRO00. Expotel can also offer budget B&B accommodation within the NEC area. If you are planning to use the train, visit www.virgintrains.co.uk, which offers reduced rates on pre-booked tickets. The Seminar sessions this year will cover topics including the future of webcasting, automation and transmission, among a wide range of items.
John Lethbridge, founder and ex-managing director of Cerebrum Lighting and a former vice-chairman of PLASA, has launched a brand new on-line Internet auction site through his new company, Cereco International Ltd. www.cereco.com will specialise in offering new and ex-demonstration audio, lighting, AV and effects equipment - all of which carries a 12-month guarantee.The auctions are free to enter for buyers and sellers and unusually, for an e-commerce operation, buyers do not have to give any credit card details. All sellers will be carefully vetted as Cereco will provide a money back guarantee to any dissatisfied buyers. Instructions on how to take part are available on-line in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Chinese and Japanese and products are offered in six different currencies. New auctions will start every Thursday evening and run for 10 days, finishing on a Sunday evening (UK time).
The PLASA 2000 Awards for Product Excellence were presented at the Show yesterday. Seven exhibitors were presented with awards specially designed by DHA Lighting, for Design Excellence and Technical Innovation in four categories: Lighting, Stage Engineering, Audio-Visual and Sound. And the winners were . . .LIGHTINGMartin Professional for the MAC 2000 (Design Excellence)Pani for the BP4CT Large Format Projector (Technical Innovation)SOUNDAcoustic Solutions for the Homemix entry-level DJM+D Design for the SID Event System Monitor STAGE ENGINEERINGTotal Fabrications for the T2 trussing system (Design Excellence)Stage Technologies for the Pathway 3D Flying System (Technical Innovation)AUDIO-VISUALM+D Design for The Podules (for both Design Excellence and Technical Innovation)
In recognition of the product that claimed the greatest Environmental Impact, a short demonstration captured the judges' attention immediately - the Airoamer from Nu-Light Systems which delivers scents and smells into the atmosphere without the use of heat or even liquids. One again, all Awards entry fees were donated to a number of nominated entertainment technology industry charities. This year these include the newly-launched Light Relief fund (a new created to support freelance lighting professionals who find themselves in difficult circumstances); the Production Services Association Welfare and Benevolent Fund; the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy UK Trust, and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.
Pro audio retailer The M Corporation has kicked off an autumn season of seminars and workshops on 8 September with a day dedicated to the launch of Steinberg's new version 5 Cubase software. The well-attended event gave everyone the opportunity to see what the new software was capable of, and was quickly followed by a day dedicated to the Lexicon range of processing, including the 960L and Core 2 system at the M Corp's Nottingham office.Open days still to come will offer visitors the chance to see and use the new Roland VM7100 and 7200 digital mixing desks (27 Sept, Nottingham); a couple of evenings looking at the principles of good monitoring led by Dynaudio's UK suppliers Unity Audio (2 Oct, Ringwood & 4 Oct, Nottingham), and a series of workshops which will look at the finer details of Digidesign's Pro Tools (19 Sept & 6 Nov Ringwood, 12 Oct & 14 Dec Nottingham). Attendance at any of these events must be booked in advance. Tel: +44 (0)1425 470007.
Tomcat USA has become the exclusive distributor of Batalpha Bobach's Modular Control System in the US. The move follows a meeting between Tomcat CEO John James and Batalpha MD Lars Bobach which will see Tomcat handling the company's range of theatre automation systems.
Auditel has launched a new range of E series infra-red radiators for simultaneous interpretation and tour guide systems. The top of the range EP105E provides radiated power of 24W with 21 channels and commensurate endurance and range coverage. It uses the latest extended frequency diodes previously only found in systems for users requiring 12 to 16 language channels. A single emitter can cover up to 9,500sq.m. There are tow other products in the range - the EP150 and the smaller version EP160.
FAL has appointed MilTec (UK) Ltd as its sole distributor for the UK and Ireland. The company, which only started trading on September 1 2000, is headed by David Faulkes, previously sales director with Martin Professional PLC. David Faulkes told PLASA Publishing: "MilTec (UK) Ltd has been formed with the single aim of providing the industry with a service and range of products second to none. We are excited to be taking on this range of products and are looking forward to working with FAL.
Mid-Sussex based KAVE Theatre Services has recently been appointed the UK distributor for the American SFX range of audio control software. The range consists of five packages offering various levels of control, making them suitable for a wide spectrum of users from schools and colleges to the professional theatre.
It's probably the world's most famous radio studio and visitors from around the world flock to the Grand Ole Opry House every weekend to get a glimpse of their favorite country music stars. The facility also frequently houses general meeting sessions and multimedia shows, as well as concerts, business conference, and nationally televised awards shows (such as the Country Music Association's annual awards). The 45,000sq.ft building features pew-style seating for 4,400 people, and a 110ft-wide by 68ft deep stage, floored with beechwood imported from Denmark, save a circle in the centre of the stage lifted from the stage of the Opry's original home at the Ryman Auditorium. Lucas W. Hendrickson Management wanted a replacement for the dimming system and looked to Bandit Lites to provide handle the installation. Jeff Goetsch (regional sales manager at Bandit Lites), worked out the system spec, which was based around ETC Obsession consoles and dimming equipment.
The International Leisure Industry Week exhibition and online trading community LeisureHub.com have launched a new online virtual trade show. The site will give leisure industry suppliers high profile stands on a virtual show floor, available to visitors to the site all year round. The new service will start life with links to two of the leisure industry's key sites - the LIW show site and LeisureHub - the leisure industry's online B2B trading community. A major year-round programme will include e-mail newsletters, special online conferences and events, a banner ad campaign and leveraging the LIW exhibition and its databases.
Las Vegas, the city famous for creating spectacular illusions will host Lighting Dimensions International 2000 on October 20-22. The show has assembled a major programme of exhibits, conferences and technical training, covering the entire spectrum of entertainment technology. This year's LDI capitalises on its Las Vegas location by offering Backstage Las Vegas - a four-day event for those who want to see behind the scenes of the city's major entertainment venues.