Festival Management Ltd (FML), the parent company of the Portsmouth’s ‘International Festival of the Sea’ has been awarded the event management consultancy contract for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee visit to the armed forces in Portsmouth in June 2002. This highlight of the Golden Jubilee year will demonstrate to the Queen the role of the armed forces in the 21st Century. Using an innovative format, it will feature the younger generation of Servicemen and women of all three services and their families. FML is currently involved in putting together the third International Festival of the Sea, a four-day event which will be held in Portsmouth Naval Base and Historic Dockyard over the August Bank Holiday this year. The largest maritime festival in the UK, the event now involves around 700 vessels from all over the world, thousands of exhibitors, traditional craftsmen, musicians, performers and a 12-hour entertainment programme.
Entertainment lighting systems and support specialist, The Service Company has announced a change in staffing. Antony Bridges, who has been with the company since its inception in 1997, is moving on to a new career with the BBC; he will be replaced by another familiar industry figure, Roger Hennigan.
Bridges joined The Service Company from Strand Lighting, where as a service engineer he was responsible for testing and commissioning some of the most complex theatrical lighting control systems around the world. He will be joining the BBC as a studio engineer, responsible not just for lighting equipment but all of the electronic equipment used in television production. Taking over as The Service Company’s sales and project manager is Roger Hennigan. Hennigan is familiar to many in the industry from his days at M&M Lighting, where he provided technical support and servicing for Rainbow colour scrollers and Smoke Factory smoke machines. For the last few years he has run HTS Lighting, providing electrical and support services to the theatre industry as well as acting as the UK agent for products from The Smoke Factory and Look Solutions. These product lines will now be distributed and supported by White Light.
Alan Law has recently been appointed general manager for the SPS group, with responsibility for service delivery, quality assurance and Health & Safety. Alan joins SPS from Earls Court & Olympia where he has spent the last three years as technical services manager and health and safety manager responsible for non-exhibition related events and conferences including The Brit Awards, the Vodafone Gala dinner and numerous pop shows. Law was then asked to take on the role of Halls H&S manager, with the brief to audit and re-evaluate Earls Court’s approach to the ever-increasing H&S legislation. Prior to this Alan worked with Blackout, the drapes and rigging company and was a key player in the rapid expansion they experienced in their early years. SPS managing director Robin Coles comments: "To have a manager of Alan's experience and ability in this new key role adds another dimension to our company."
The Medusa multi-screen theatre in Bologna, a 31,000sq.ft theatre complex featuring nine separate theatres, has been outfitted with a Mach speaker system and Martin intelligent lighting equipment. Audio is provided by eight Mach Installation series M68 in-fill speakers, four Mach M208 subwoofers and four Mach M62 two-way, nearfield speakers. In the large foyer, eight MAC 600 washlights provide colour wash with eight MAC 250 profile spots adding pattern and logo projections. A Martin ProScenium, a versatile DMX lighting control package for multi-media and architectural applications, is used to syncronize lights, audio and video-trailers for the foyer. Outside the complex two Exterior 600 washlights bathe the building in a colorful mix of yellows and blues while 2 PAL 1200 scanners add gobo and logo projection. Lighting Designer and Systems Integrator for the Medusa project was Roberto Ferrari from Creative Communication Milan.
MAVCO has been involved in the recent $21 million renovations onboard United States Lines’ Patriot - now the largest US-flagged cruise ship. MAVCO’s involvement included the design and installation of audio-visual equipment in a number of areas, plus refits of existing facilities. The renovated areas included the Broadway Lounge, Eagle’s Watch, Founders Lounge and Stars and Stripes Show Lounge; which were all fitted with audio systems. The two-tier Stars & Stripes Show Lounge features revues, cultural shows and nostalgia nights from the 70s: here MAVCO has installed an audio system with equipment sourced from Shure, Apogee, Mackie, Sony and EAW. New areas include the Waikiki Lounge and Outrigger Deck - both fitted with audio systems. The flexible lighting systems for the two areas were primarily sourced from Altman, Leprecon, High End/Powerline and Jem Smoke. The Conference Centre, meanwhile, offers everything from Denon CD and cassette players to 3M overhead projectors, Kodak slide and video projectors and a complete portable audio system sourced from JBL, C-Audio, Lexicon and Mackie.
MAVCO’s expertise and long history with cruise ships enabled them to complete the design/build job on schedule and in their usual style. In addition to their work on the above areas Pete Canzonetta was responsible for putting MAVCO’s stamp on the refit of the Broadcast Room, increasing the TV system from 5 to 22 channels, including 10 satellite channels. MAVCO will continue its association with United States Lines with a contract to design, supply and project m
Taiwanese microphone manufacturer Taky Electronics has introduced a brand new range of microphones aimed at the professional live sound and recording markets. Now on sale throughout Europe, Taky’s JTS range offers professional solutions across a wide range of applications. Manufactured from high-quality components, all of the JTS range include hardened steel grilles and are finished in metallic enamel-painted die-cast metal for durability on the road. The JTS range includes the NX-2 bass instrument microphone (30Hz - 12kHz), the NX-6 supercardioid instrument microphone (60Hz - 16kHz), the multi-purpose NX-7 vocal and instrument microphone (50Hz - 16.5kHz) and the NX-8 cardioid vocal microphone (50Hz - 16.5kHz).
Continuing its programme of expansion, Crestron UK Ltd has announced the appointment of Andrew Butler as technical sales manager. The move follows an outstanding year for the company, which has seen them win a number of awards, including AV magazine’s Company of the Year. Butler joins from Midnight Security, where he gained experience in the specification, programming and installing of Crestron control systems.
ETC equipment is currently being installed in two major Sussex venues, the Worthing Pavilion Theatre and the Worthing Assembly Hall. The venues are run by the Worthing Council, whose technical department, headed by technical manager Dave Lamb, has been working on the technical tpecifications for the Pavilion Theatre since the end of last year. "When the technicians at Worthing Council drew out a list of their requirements for a new control system, it was evident that ETC’s Obsession II was the perfect match," said Paul de Ville, managing director of Lightfactor Sales, who supplied the ETC equipment. He explained: "As Worthing Council already has ETC equipment installed in a number of its venues, it now sees ETC as the industry standard." De Ville has enjoyed a long-standing working relationship with Worthing Council - he was also involved in the last major technical installation at the Pavilion Theatre, 12 years ago. In addition to the Obsession II, the 850-seat Pavilion Theatre has also installed a Reflection back-up system. The Pavilion Theatre is located on the Worthing Pier. Built in 1862, this is one of the oldest piers in the country and it has in its time been blown down, burnt down and blown up.
For the Worthing Assembly Hall, another ETC Reflection back-up was ordered to supply the existing lighting control system. The third entertainment venue in Worthing, the Connaught Theatre bought and installed an ETC Expression 3 some years ago. One of the South Coast’s premier entertainment centres, the Pavilion Theatre hosts a variety of hi
Mick Scullion is to head up PSL Lighting, formerly Lighting Unlimited, as part of the re-launch of the division under the Presentation Services Group branding. Mick brings with him over 20 years’ experience within the industry, having worked for both Concert Productions (now Vari-Lite) and the Spot Company where he was a director for five years. "It is an exciting time at PSL, the new structure will bring a lot of benefit to the lighting division and allow us to offer an even better service to our clients," commented Mick. "We are currently investing in the latest lighting equipment and along with our lighting design service, we aim to build on our already successful position within the marketplace providing our clients with service to the highest level." Barry Dennison, formerly of Gearhouse XTC, also joins Mick alongside current project manager Iain Grant. The division is continuing to grow to meet current demand.
Effective Productions, the company owned by entertainer Jim Davidson, has gone into liquidation owing £640,000, according to a report in The Stage newspaper. The company’s problems have been largely blamed on last year’s £4million Dick Whittington pantomime at London's Hammersmith Apollo, which failed to attract the expected audience. The planned production of Peter Pan starring Brian Blessed at the Hammersmith Apollo this Christmas is now expected not to take place.
Christie Digital Systems USA has announced three sales executive appointments: Dale Miller as vice-president of sales Europe; Joe Delgado as vice-president of sales Latin America; and Lin Yu as vice-president of sales Asia. Scott Friedberg, national sales manager, will handle Joe Delgado’s previous North American responsibilities. Reporting to Lin Yu, Rick Norris will continue his tenure in the Asia Pacific region as the new director of business development, and is relocating to Singapore.
The UK’s annual pop music back-slapping gala event, The Brits, was recorded live, in spectacular style, on February 26th at Earls Court 2, London. The live production was managed by Brit regular MJK Productions.
Another regular, Vari-Lite Europe provided the complete lighting system - featuring more than 500 luminaires - as well as providing the rig for the After Show Party. Lighting designer for the event was Al Gurdon. With the ceremony designed to look spectacular both for the live audience and a massive worldwide broadcast audience, the lighting design encompassed the entire space within Earl’s Court 2, both on and around the huge stage and the specially-constructed auditorium.
The large-scale lighting rig included 40 VL2416s, 54 VL5 Arcs, 81 VL5Bs, 76 VL5s, 24 VL6 wash luminaires, 38 VL6Cs, six VL7s and 130 VL2C spot luminaires, with control from two Virtuoso consoles. VL also supplied a substantial conventional rig, with 16 4k Xenon Sky Art Searchlights, two 70k Lightning Strikes, four 40k Lightning Strikes, 160 Par 36s, 400 Par 64s and 44 Diversitronics Strobes. The rig also included 420 metres of truss, two 12 metre-diameter semi-circles of truss and 14 one-tonne hoist motors complete with cable, control and rigging accessories.
The After Show Party’s lighting was designed by Theo Cox who lit the four exclusive rooms - Air Lounge, Water Bar, Earth Garden and the Fire Club - using a rig that featured 56 VL5 wash luminaires, 16 VL6B spot luminaires, VL Moving Mirror Ball units and conventionals, all run from a pair of Wholehog 2s and an Avolit
We have heard much, over the last few years, of theatres being given large sums of lottery cash to undertake major improvements. But what of the poor souls left behind without major injections of cash?
The Hazlitt Theatre in Maidstone is owned by Maidstone Borough Council and, like all other departments of the council, has to take its place in a long queue for what small amount of money is available. A general re-fit was accomplished 20 years ago, but since then there has been no major injection of cash available to it.
Theatre manager, Mandy Hare, took the reins just over three years ago and set about raising the profile of the venue, putting in more events, a wider artistic base, a thriving youth theatre, a regular programme of workshops and a selection of outside events. Production and operations manager, Eric Lund, joined the team just over two years ago and soon realised that the existing resources just didn’t shape up. "I realised that the technical resources available to the two theatres at the Hazlitt were simply not going to be able to cope. With a combined technical budget of just £5,000 to last a year, we were barely standing still. Not only that, all the new equipment which had been put in 20 years ago, needed either major servicing or replacing."
Hare and Lund devised a cunning plan. Knowing that a single major cash injection was not going to be possible, they decided to split their requirements into several separate projects, each requiring only a (relatively) small amount of funding. They took their plan to councillors who, impressed wi
Following lengthy negotiations, which actually began in the bar at the Live! Awards, The Event Safety Shop has appointed Tim Roberts as senior consultant. The Event Safety Shop is a partnership between well-known event managers Dick Tee and Mike Richmond, and has a rapidly growing client base of people looking for specialist safety advice. Roberts will oversee the day-to-day running of the company, including the presentation of safety policies and other paperwork for production companies and risk assessment for large-scale events.
Matthew Tonks has joined Stage Technologies as project manager. Tonks, formerly a project manager with Glantre Engineering and more recently with Impact AudioVisual, will concentrate on the company’s growing cruise installation work.
The countdown to the PLASA Show 2001 has begun! The entertainment technology industry’s leading event will run from 9 - 12 September at Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London. With over 89% of the available stand space already sold and all the leading manufacturers booked into the show, PLASA 2001 promises to live up to its reputation as the showcase event that launches the entertainment technology year. Venue improvements have continued, with over £500,000 invested in the last 12 months to improve comfort cooling at the Show. Furthermore, an overall investment of £6million will ensure that Earls Court is a fully air-conditioned exhibition centre by 2002. Over 400 exhibitors and 14,000 UK and international visitors are expected to attend and experience the sound and lighting extravaganza that has become synonymous with PLASA. Manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of professional lighting, sound and AV equipment will descend upon Earls Court to unveil their latest products and technical developments for the vibrant and hugely diverse entertainment and leisure industry.
Almost 13,000 visitors, including a record 25% from overseas, attended the PLASA Show last year. Specifiers, consultants, attraction managers, recording technicians, disc and light jockeys, corporate presentation planners, technicians, architects, installers and other professionals from the world of entertainment technology traveled from all corners of the globe to see the very latest products, innovations and designs showcased.
The PLASA Show 2001 will feature many of the attractions that cont
With the setting up of new Creative Technology companies in London and Birmingham NEC, the Avesco subsidiary brand is set for a substantial increase in its work portfolio. In charge of Creative Technology London is Steve Rowan, former head of Gearhouse Multimedia. From its 8,200sq.ft base in Chessington, Surrey, the company is ideally placed to service exhibition sites such as Earls Court, Olympia, Business Design Centre and the new ExCeL in Docklands. Meanwhile, the former Gearhouse NEC - based inside the Birmingham exhibition complex - has now been re-branded Creative Technology NEC, and will operate under the senior management of Chris Bramwell. This division was part of the northern group bought out of receivership by Avesco plc last month, along with Gearhouse’s Manchester and Scottish operations.
Although the established end of Creative Technology, based in Wandsworth, has for many years been working in the exhibition environment, CT London will be setting up a dedicated operation in which IT will form the core element of their service to exhibition organizers and direct-to-venue clients. Steve Rowan’s experienced operational team, which joins him from Gearhouse Multimedia, will specialise in providing a total solutions service for exhibition clients. General manager is Jon Dasent and technical manager, Paul Holden. Creative Technology London is investing around £700,000 in PC technology and web access hardware, including thin computer terminals especially for show control rooms. A highly-experienced, commercially-focused team and dedicated project crew
CDAI has recently completed the design of the lighting, videowall systems, architectural acoustics and mechanical noise control, for the FAA's new Atlanta Terminal Radar Approach Control Center (TRACON) in Peachtree City, Georgia. Controllers at Atlanta's new TRACON will manage over 3,200 flights for more than 30 airports in the state of Georgia. The new facility will be fully operational on April 10, 2001.
Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport, only one of the 30 airports managed by Atlanta TRACON, is the busiest airport in the world, having surpassed the traffic of Chicago’s O’Hare airport in 1999. It has 78 million passengers a year, and a daily airport average traffic count of 2,600 flights. Key to the system are 20 Barco MP50 video display systems. Its digital processors allow the FAA to show all sources in their native resolution and create the ability to quickly change the videowall configuration with the push of a button.
Continuing the company's commitment to European workshops, DHA Lighting recently organized a product demonstration day in association with Goboland of Belgium. Held at Chicago's, part of the Radisson SAS hotel in the centre of Brussels, DHA held presentations and hands-on workshops using gobos and moving effects, as well as the Digital Light Curtain and DHA Gecko image projector. This was the first in a series of open day workshops to be held across Europe over the next 12 months - keep your eyes peeled for DHA events in Denmark, Finland, France, Holland and Norway.
Glyndebourne Opera House in East Sussex has a new control system for its three electrical bridges, supplied and installed by Suffolk-based AVW Controls. The system, an upgrade of that installed seven years ago, provides Glyndebourne with absolute control of the bridges, each of which weighs seven tonnes and is capable of lifting 2.5 tonnes. Rather than disrupt the production schedule, the work was completed during the first two weeks of December 2000, while the Opera was on tour. The upgrade was the second phase of a contract originally undertaken by AVW as a sub-contractor to the erstwhile Glantre Engineering, the first phase of which involved upgrade work on the bridges themselves. Following Glantre’s demise, Glyndebourne contacted AVW direct, and is very pleased with the results. Dave Locker, production manager, said: "We are absolutely delighted with the new control system which AVW has supplied and installed. Being easy to use, staff have been able to assimilate the new system quickly, reducing the amount of time needed for training."
A total of 80 amplifiers from QSC's DCA Series of digital cinema products were chosen to power an audio system used for this year's product reel screenings at ShoWest, the annual film industry event where stars, producers, and directors gather to pitch new films to theatrical exhibitors. Installed by Boston Light & Sound within the Paris Hotel’s 85,000sq.ft Paris Ballroom, the QSC-fed cinema system was designed to provide sound reinforcement for audiences of up to 5,600. Electro-Voice X-Array loudspeaker components were mounted at both screen and surround positions, while TL-880 subwoofers brought up the low end. A total of 80 QSC DCA 1622, DCA 2422, and DCA 3422 were used.
Audio distribution throughout the ballroom was provided by 16 QSC RAVE (Routing Audio Via Ethernet) 160 and 161 units, each capable of sending 64 channels of uncompressed 20-bit, 48 kHz digital audio through a single Cat 5 cable. Linked by an assortment of Ethernet hubs and switches utilizing both fibre optic and Cat 5 cabling, the 128 RAVE channels dedicated to the ShoWest distribution scheme eliminated the need for lengthy multi-cable runs, while cutting installation time and labour.
In a ruling handed down by the US District Court, Southern District of New York, Switchcraft, a leading manufacturer of audio connectors, was granted summary judgment in the patent lawsuit filed by Neutrik Inc, in regards to Switchcraft’s HPC connector series. The Courts ruled that Switchcraft Inc has not violated Neutrik’s US Patent No. 5205749 on the Speakon connector. The Court also ruled that Switchcraft is not in violation of trade dress infringement, unfair competition, or unlawful use of a trademark, the other aspects of the lawsuit filed by Neutrik Inc. Keith Bandolik, president of Switchcraft Inc said: "We obviously are very happy with the court’s ruling, and look forward to continued success with the HPC Series." A complete copy of the summary judgment can be reviewed at www.switchcraft.com. The HPC Series, a complete line of panel mount and cord plug connectors, was developed and is manufactured by Switchcraft Inc. to be compatible with the Neutrik Speakon series.
Royal Caribbean International recently introduced the first of its Radiance class ships - Radiance of the Seas. Delivered in Miami on 21 March, the ultra-luxurious Radiance of the Seas’ cruise starts in April. This stunning vessel is the largest ship ever to have been built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and the first joint venture between a German shipyard and an American cruise line. Local company Funa GmbH was the main contractor for the lighting and sound systems, with the key part of the entertainment lighting equipment supplied by ETC. Royal Caribbean International has a tradition of introducing surprise features on each new vessel and guests on board Radiance of the Seas will not be disappointed. With highlights such as the Colony Club, customisable entertainment space comprising four different clubs, and the breathtaking, three storey high Aurora Theatre, passengers will be spoilt for choice of entertainment.
The theme of the Aurora Theatre is based on the Aurora Borealis and here the audience will enjoy the experience of dynamic productions with all the glamour and special effects of Broadway or Las Vegas. ETC has supplied three Sensor SR48 dimmer racks and over 100 Source Four ellipsoidals plus Source Four PARs. Control is by ETC’s Obsession II 1500 channel dual processor system.
Media Control (Europe) Ltd (MCL) is a new company set up by Avesco Group plc to provide full AV staging services to the UK and European corporate presentations market. The company officially began its operation on April 2. Based in Chessington, Surrey, MCL is headed by Mike Bell, who has worked for rental, conference production and support companies in the corporate presentations market for over 20 years. MCL will offer a wide range of services, from dry hire packages to complex presentation solutions. The company will also offer a ‘cloaked’ service to agencies and freelance producers: to protect agency brands, equipment can be provided in unmarked boxes.
MCL will offer a complete inventory of audio, lighting, staging and AV equipment. Mike Bell told us: "We are intent on changing current conceptions about AV staging - often referred to as ‘One Stop Shops’. Working as meticulously as the single-line hirers, MCL will maintain an overall project view, ensuring that all departments come together to fulfil our clients’ expectations."
MCL will enjoy the full backing of the Avesco Group, providers of specialist services to the corporate, presentation, entertainment and broadcast markets, with offices throughout Europe and the USA. Compnaies in the Group incldue Screenco, Creative Technology, Dimension Audio and JVR. Mike Bell is joined at MCL by operations manager Ed Marron, operations coordinator Ian Rawlinson and office manager Laura Cameron.