Earls Court Exhibition Centre (home to the PLASA Show) and sister venue Olympia have been sold by the P&O Group to an acquisition vehicle backed by Candover and the Morris family for £183 million. Included in the sale are P&O Events, the organisers of PLASA, P&O Exhibition Services, which provides exhibition services to exhibitors and specialist catering business Beeton Rumford. The net consideration for the sale will be settled in cash, plus a £20 million loan note repayable over 10 years. Candover is a private equity company, whilst the Morris family owns City Industrial Limited which operates The Business Design Centre in Islington, London.
Neville Druce, founding director of Audio Engineering, the London-based manufacturer of Micron radio microphone and communication has died following a long illness. His expertise in broadcast research and development resulted in the original Micron radio microphone, produced in the early 1970s, and he was responsible for a major part of the company's subsequent product designs, including contributions to the recently-launched 100-channel 700 Series.
One of the hottest tickets of the moment has to be for The Eurythmics' reunion tour. Peacetour, in aid of Greenpeace and Amnesty International, opened on September 17th in Cologne and will enjoy a four month run before ending in London in mid December. Lighting designer Simon Sidi will work with a rig supplied by Light&Sound Design, whilst video director Matt Askem has the luxury of no less than three of Screenco's brand new Saco 15mm pixel pitch LED daylight video screens, plus two Barco projectors which will feature specially commissioned graphics from Tim Head.
At PLASA 99, the White Light Group launched Colourhouse Technical Presentations, its new specialist conference and exhibition lighting company. Formed to meet the increasingly demanding requirements of corporate and exhibition clients, the new operation is headed by Steve Bartlett, familiar to many in the conference trade from his time at TIS. He is joined by former TIS colleague Cliff Williams. Though Colourhouse was officially launched at PLASA, the team were busy prior to the show having already completed a corporate event for Blitz Vision at the Pyramids in Cairo.
High End Systems Inc and Flying Pig Systems have released two new controllers in the Wholehog II family - the Hog 1000 and Hog 500 consoles. The Hog 500 and Hog 1000 include fewer control channels than the Wholehog II consoles, but feature the industry standard Wholehog II operating system, making them perfect for smaller professional applications.
Multiform Electronics has enlisted Ian Rose as UK and Export sales manager. Rose has a degree in European Business Studies and is a member of the Institute of Export; his role will be to build closer relations not only with Multiform's UK distributors, but also with the company's distibutors throughout Europe.
Ethos Acoustics' newest loudspeaker, the Performer, has been delivered for installation in the soon to be re-opened Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden. Selected for both on-stage use and for auditorium in-fill, the Performer exceeded the exacting performance targets set by the House, both in terms of accuracy and power from a small enclosure. The ROH joins existing user Trans World Television (TWI) with their selection of the Performer Pro variant. The speakers are rugged but unobtrusive, incorporating facilities for a full pan and tilt bracket, secure fixing for a safety chain and steel protection grilles over the over the drive units.
Richard Castillo has joined the expanding Lightfactor Sales team as Southern Area sales executive. His assorted work experiences include grooving as a club light jockey for two years, working for a sales and rental company and two years as a freelance lighting designer.
Symetrix has introduced a voice processor specifically tailored for installed sound applications. The single channel 527E Voice Processor combines a mic preamp with a compressor/limiter, an expander, high and low pass filters, and a 3-band parametric EQ. The company has also released the 440 Foreground Audio Controller - a signal router and controller for use in music/paging sound system installations.
3D Productions, the Leeds based company specialising in Lighting Sound and Staging has just taken delivery of six Starlite Mk 5s purchased from Lane Lighting. The units went out immediately on 'Classical Fantasia at the Abbey' an outdoor classical spectacular at Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds with the Northern Ballet Concert Orchestra. On their return they will be used at Harrogate Theatre in ' Jack to a King ' by LD Paul Collie.
Screenco has expanded its sales and operations team. Mike Walker, formerly at sister company Creative Technology, joins MD Dave Crump and sales manager Anita Page as business development manager at the sharp end of Screenco's rental business. On the operations front, Andy Bramley has joined the team with responsibility for managing Screenco's new Portable Production Unit (PPU). Like Walker, Bramley has also worked with CT, but more recently has been out touring with a number of bands.
A new company has been launched to enhance Denmark's position in the lighting and truss manufacturing market. SeeLite merges together the activities of three companies - Paradise Tour Production Aps, Pan & Tilt A/S and Gøgler Lys Udlejning A/S and has been set up by Søren Nørgaard, Jens Lind, Frank Paulsen, Viggo Ladekjær, Leif Hellberg, Lars Nissen and Martin Corneliussen.
Sennheiser UK, the exclusive distributor for the D.A.S Audio, has introduced a complete range of new high efficiency, competitively-priced dual-channel power amplifiers. The E-nergy Series features four models, the E-2, E-4, E-8 and E-12, rated at 125W, 225W, 450W and 650W (into 4 ohms) per channel, respectively.
Abbey Road Studios has opened a new remastering and audio restoration suite, where award-winning engineers Simon Gibson and Andrew Walter will be working to provide clients with state-of-the-art technical equipment and the benefit of their experience in the production of high quality remastered recordings. The new facility is equipped with 5.1 surround sound monitoring to enable the remastering of multi-channel recordings for DVD, offering a one-stop shop for clients considering the transfer of archive material to DVD.
Australasia's leading entertainment technology exhibition, Entech, is set to outstrip all previous Entech events when it opens at the Sydney Olympics site in Homebush Bay, 5-7 March 2000. Show organisers Connections report that sales have already exceeded those of Entech 98, with six months still to go. The show now occupies over 120,000sq.ft of floorspace at the new Sydney Showground and exhibition centre.Features of Entech 2000 will include the opening night's Carnivale under the stars, the Boulevard of Light, and the PA system shoot-out, while daily lighting comparison seminars will also be held, and technical tours of the nearby 110,000-seater Olympic Stadium will be available.The DTI has now offered PLASA funding for a trade mission to Entech 2000 for UK exporters. Under the terms of the offer, British Trade International (BTI), will cover 60% of exhibitors' space and construction expenses, up to a ceiling of £2,300. Anyone interested in taking advantage of this offer should contact Anna Pillow at the PLASA Office, email@example.com
Pro Sound & Light Services was recently commissioned to design a specific audio system for the Cross nightclub in London's Kings Cross area. The company's Andy Linklater designed and installed the system using RCF's Vision Series contractor loudspeakers. In designing the system, Linklater had to deal with brick archways, low ceiling heights and potential noise complaints from local residents. A total of 10 RCF Vision PA281 enclosures, four RCF Vision PA261 enclosures and eight RCF 18s800 chassis in custom-designed sub bass enclosures were used to realise the seamless coverage patterns.
Griven has launched the Kaleido MSD 575W into the ever-growing architectural lighting marketplace. The Kaleido features a mart CYM subtractiove colour mixing system to give even colour change, as well as anew patented wide-angled optical system. The product is distributed in the UK by Multiform.
Roger Boustead has Joined Amek as customer service manager, moving from nearby AMS Neve, where he has been field service manager for the last five years. Boustead will oversee all the Amek service engineers and spares provision and will also be responsible for customer training.
Musical equipment distributor John Hornby Skewes & Co Ltd, has launched a new live Web site at www.jhs.co.uk featuring full product details and information on the full range of instruments, amplification, pro audio equipment and accessories supplied by the company.
Sound Dept will benefit from the product experience of Steve Badham, who joins as EAW's new product manager. Based at the headquarters of EAW's UK distributors, Sound Dept in Abingdon, Badham's first challenge was the launch of Avalon, EAW's new club system; he will also be working with other pro ranges handled by Sound Dept, including Crest computerised control systems.
The Blitz Communications Group provided the AV equipment and software, support and technical back-up for Microsoft's Tech Ed Europe 99 event. Organised by Ultimate Events, and held in the Rai Centre, Amsterdam, Tech Ed 99 was the largest event ever held by Microsoft in Europe.The event opened in the main auditorium with a wide screen spectacular made possible by Blitz's unique Suite P3, the new broadcast quality presentation system. Blitz also supplied AV for each of the 18 breakout rooms, which hosted approximately 340 seminars over the four-day period. In all the company supplied 23 crews, 40 video and data projectors, 30 separate switchers, 100 interfaces, 30 distribution amplifiers and around eight miles of cable.
CAST Lighting, the creator of WYSIWYG, has created a new program for lighting console manufactures - the WYSIWYG Developers Program. The intention is to create a dialog between CAST and console manufacturers, and the goal is to develop a more useful electronic connection between WYSIWYG and other devices. The current list of developers includes ETC, Strand Lighting, Flying Pig Systems, Compulite, Rosco ET, and AVAB/Transtechnik.
PCM hit the ground running after an incredibly successful PLASA and went straight into its autumn Motor School season. Responding to feedback from recent Schools, PCM reduced class numbers on the courses to enable two people to work on each Lodestar motor. Once again, the course was strengthened by James Thomas Engineering presenting a half day course on truss usage and how it integrates with motors. PCM's Motor School is fully compliant with the new LOLER regulations and at the end attendees are issued with a Certificate of Attendance which proves that they have been properly trained on the equipment.
Bert de Haes has left Vari-Lite. In his place Vari-Lite has welcomed back Jimmy Barnett who is the new general manager for European operations for VLPS. Barnett, well known within the Vari-Lite community, will oversee the growing network of VLPS offices that he was instrumental in expanding during his earlier stint within the company (1984-1990). Working under Barnett will be the general managers of the regional VLPS offices: Ed Pagett (VLPS London), Jan Van Malder (VLPS Brussels/EML and VLPS Amsterdam), Jan Lambrecht (VLPS Paris) Adrian Bell (VLPS Dubai) and Sonia Sward (VLPS Stockholm and VLPS Madrid).