Business News Headlines
Britannia Row Productions Training Ltd Receives Lifeline Grant from Government’s £1.57BN Culture Recovery Fund
From new kid on the block to top industry player: Elation Europe marks a decade of lighting achievement
MA Lighting and Lightpower support #handforahand: Targeted help
#handforahand is an initiative that collects donations for a private solidarity fund to support freelance lighting, sound, video and AV technicians, stage hands, production and event workers. These professions are the most affected by the current crisis. Several of them are falling through the federal government aid programmes finding themselves dependent on basic social security through no fault of their own.
The funds of #handforahand are distributed monthly according to the instructions of an independent allocation committee, and quickly and directly reach the people from these professional groups who are most urgently in need of financial aid.
Lightpower and MA Lighting have now joined forces to support #handforahand.
Herbert Marx, managing director of Lightpower, explained the commitment: "We want to help those faced with a crisis that came almost from nowhere. While in other places state aid and reserves have helped people and companies to survive the first months of the crisis, it was these freelancers who immediately lost all their income. In #handforahand we see an initiative that specifically supports these same people and ensures that the help gets rapidly to where it is needed most.”
MA Lighting managing director Stephan Saremba added: "From MA Lighting's point of view the support of #handforahand also has international scope as the current situation is a global problem. Our support sends a clear signal that we are aware of the situation facing our industry, and will do our part to improve things as much as possible for the many people affected."
Dorian Steinhoff, initiator of #handforahand commented on the cooperation with Lightpower and MA Lighting: "We are very pleased to have strong supporters on our side with Lightpower and MA Lighting, who appreciate the needs and hardships of the industry, and have been committed to assisting these for years. On behalf of the whole association I would like to thank Lightpower and MA Lighting for this great commitment in difficult times. Without companies that take responsibility in this way, #handforahand would not have the resources at our disposal to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic for those who are economically and existentially affected.”
2nd December 2020
AMX by Harman Appoints POLAR as Distributor for UK and Ireland
UK – POLAR, established supplier of key industry brands to the AV Integration, MI and professional audio markets has been appointed as the UK and Ireland distributor for AMX, a part of Harman Professional Solutions, global leader in audio, video, lighting and control systems, including networked AV.
AMX is dedicated to integrating AV solutions for an IT World, solving the complexity of managing technology with reliable, consistent and scaleable systems comprising control and automation, system-wide switching and AV signal distribution, digital signage and technology management. AMX systems are deployed worldwide in conference rooms, homes, classrooms, network operation/command centres, hotels, entertainment venues and broadcast facilities, among many others.
Andrew Loadman, head of video, Harman EMEA comments: “POLAR is the ideal AMX distribution partner for the UK and Ireland. A well-respected distributor in the AV market, POLAR brings a depth of technical and commercial knowledge that has perfect synergy with the AMX portfolio. POLAR will maintain close relationships with our resellers and consultants, to offer the most advanced and highly competitive AV solutions.”
John Midgley, managing director of POLAR adds: “We are very pleased to be partnering with AMX. In recent years we have broadened our product offering beyond our traditional audio background, and have established strong credentials in the area of AVoIP, control and video distribution. This makes AMX a perfect addition to our brand portfolio, I have no doubt that we can forge a strong partnership combining AMX’s exceptional products with our team’s knowledge and expertise.”
2nd December 2020
Creative Technology Northern Europe AB becomes L-Acoustics Certified Provider
Sweden – With over 30 years in the industry, Creative Technology (CT) has grown to become one of the largest audio-visual technology companies in Europe. Part of the NEP Group, the world’s premier provider of outsourced technology, staging and production services to event organisers and content creators, CT Northern Europe has offices across Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Recently, CT Northern Europe has once again proven its commitment to superior customer service and focus on technical innovation by becoming an L-Acoustics certified provider for the event market.
“I have been working with the L-Acoustics brand since 1995 and have seen the advantage of dealing with such a reputable company,” says CT’s business unit manager, Ola Bigélius (pictured). “I have always believed in developing a close connection with our suppliers. Becoming an official L-Acoustics certified provider corresponds perfectly with this objective.”
A long-term benefit of being an L-Acoustics partner is the training program offered by L-Acoustics. CT’s new technicians will benefit from the technical knowledge of the manufacturer, allowing CT Northern Europe to maintain high service standards within the team.
“Adding Ola and the Creative Technology team in Scandinavia to the network of L-Acoustics partners allows us to create and build closer relationships with our clients in the region,” says Scott Wakelin, regional sales manager at L-Acoustics. “The combination of their local expertise and our technical expertise means we’ll be able to offer better and more personal service.”
L-Acoustics products have been used on almost every event and show CT Northern Europe worked on prior to lockdown, and Bigélius cannot wait for safe return of the events, so they can make full use of this partnership.
“This partnership, together with our growing inventory of L-Acoustics products and increased technical knowledge gives us all the right tools to hit the ground running when the world regains a certain degree of normalcy,” Bigélius concludes. “We’re proud to partner with L-Acoustics as a new certified provider. This is a great development for our customers and for us as a company. We look forward to 2021!”
1st December 2020
Renkus-Heinz’ Strategic Supply Chain Management Means No Delays, No Halt in Product
USA – Renkus-Heinz is reassuring partners who rely on the company’s professional loudspeaker solutions that there will be no shortage of product, nor delay in delivery, as a result of the recent fire at Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM).
While Renkus-Heinz does utilize AKM semiconductors in many of its professional loudspeaker offerings, strategic supply chain management decisions made over the past year means all product – including the company’s digital beam-steering solutions – remain available and ready to ship, and to be custom fabricated, at the company’s Foothill Ranch manufacturing facility.
“We have well over a year’s worth of the AKM components we need to meet our ambitious production expectations,” said Graham Hendry, vice president of strategic development at Renkus-Heinz. “Even as we look at increasing sales numbers, we are in a position where we can confidently continue to deliver on product. We will also be able to comfortably continue innovating and introducing new products on our road map.”
Renkus-Heinz made a number of decisions over the course of 2020 to ensure its partners’ continued success both in the short-term and long-term. Key among these decisions was ensuring security in the manufacturing supply chain and introducing new loudspeaker offerings for additional job sizes and installation locations.
“We’ve made every effort we could to ensure our consultant, distributor and integrator partners could continue to depend on the powerful solutions we create,” Hendry said. “That means getting them the right solution and getting it to them on time. We take their business very seriously, and we’re very happy we can reassure everyone we will still be fulfilling their orders.”
26th November 2020
POLAR Appointed UK Distributor for AtlasIED
UK – POLAR, established supplier of key industry brands to the AV Integration, MI and professional audio markets, has announced the addition of AtlasIED to its portfolio. Based in the USA, AtlasIED is a highly respected global electronics manufacturer, providing comprehensive audio solutions for commercial business environments. The company manufactures industry-leading mass notification, life safety, VoIP and speech privacy systems which interface with, and seamlessly integrate into, existing and future analogue and IT-based infrastructures. AtlasIED offers around 2000 specialist products for every application in commercial premises, education, public transport hubs, sports arenas, hospitals, hotels and retail settings.
Stuart Leader, director of POLAR’s integrated services division comments: “AtlasIED offer an incredibly wide range of innovative, high-quality products, to which our customers will have full access. Their recently launched, award-winning Atmosphere signal processing platform, is a fine example of the seamless use of components to deliver streamlined, user-friendly solutions for a wide range of applications. The company’s IPX range of IP Enabled speakers, as well as a variety of sound masking solutions are just a couple more examples of the cutting edge products on offer. We’re pleased to be adding such a comprehensive and highly regarded brand to our portfolio.”
Dean Standing, international sales manager for AtlasIED notes: “I have followed and admired POLAR for many years, and am pleased that we are able to work with them to build the market for our products. The combination of AtlasIED’s portfolio of products and POLAR’s expertise in installed sound will greatly benefit the system integration market in the UK.”
24th November 2020
Powersoft strengthens after-sales offering
Italian audio innovator, Powersoft, has introduced a new care plan for its rack amplifier customers, which will be available via the company’s MyPowersoft portal as of 20th November 2020.
The plan, which has been introduced so Powersoft customers can have increased certainty over their investments in these uncertain times, includes two distinct services: warranty extension and service shield, both of which can be purchased separately.
Powersoft has always ensured that it builds products to the highest quality standards, and this no-compromise approach is what has consolidated the company’s reputation as a manufacturer of reliable, durable, and dependable machines, used by the world’s top live sound crews and system integrators.
Despite this strength, the company has come to acknowledge that, in certain cases, products might be subject to strenuous conditions that could result in the customer requiring assistance or a replacement product. With this in mind, Powersoft’s new warranty extension and service shield plans have been designed to bolster the company’s already celebrated after-sales offering.
The new warranty extension will cover the relevant amplifier platform with up to three-year extension on Powersoft’s standard warranty. This service is available from MyPowersoft and can be activated during the first year of the product’s life.
The service shield includes an option to protect a purchaser’s investment from accidental damage during the first year of its life. This grants users swift assistance from customer care services for one repair (or substitution in specific cases) of the amplifier. This service is also available from MyPowersoft and can be activated during the first 30 days of the product’s life.
“We are really proud and excited to announce new added value services aimed to strengthen Powersoft’s after sales services overall,” said Iacopo Vannucchi, Powersoft’s customer care manager. “Powersoft has always paid attention to product reliability and we want to build on the excellence of our products so our customers benefit from this confidence. The Powersoft Care Plan demonstrates the our willingness to provide excellent customer-focused programme that matches the enviable reputation of our products in terms of quality and reliability, and to offer this exceptional user experience even longer.”
20th November 2020
Rosco Appoints 3LR Lighting
UK – 3LR Lighting Ltd has confirmed that it is now the sole UK and Ireland manufacturer’s representative for the Rosco range of architectural lighting. 3LR has been in discussions with Rosco about taking on the role since mid-2019, and recent events presented the ideal opportunity to finalise these arrangements.
In a move that will ensure service continuity and increase exposure for both businesses moving forward, Sean O’Callaghan, formerly Rosco architectural manager EMEA, has joined 3LR Lighting as business development manager for architectural lighting and control. 3LR represent a number of international brands, including ETC, whose market presence will also be developed by Sean and the 3LR team.
Sean’s career has seen him occupy a variety of sales and marketing roles for several global lighting manufacturers, during which time he has acquired a thorough grasp of the architectural lighting market. Sean’s background in street, amenity and area lighting, naturally steered him into architectural, commercial, decorative and bespoke projects on every scale.
3LR managing director Matthew Lloyd adds: “We’re very excited to be adding Rosco to our portfolio and welcoming Sean to the team. His industry expertise and vast experience will be invaluable in helping to develop new and existing customer relationships, further enhancing 3LR’s visibility in the market.”
17th November 2020
BroaMan appoints Contact Distribution as official Canadian distributor
Canada – BroaMan, the industry leader in high bandwidth fibre networks for professional, broadcast quality video, audio and data has appointed Contact Distribution as its exclusive Canadian distributor. Contact Distribution specialises in sales and support for the most discerning and technical brands in the professional audio visual industry, working with the country’s top consultants, designers and integrators to achieve world-class experiences with flawless execution.
Contact was first introduced to BroaMan’s sister company Optocore in 2005. Since then both companies have enjoyed a successful working relationship and participated together on many large projects ranging from installations in performing art centres such as Massey Hall, Roy Thomson Hall and the National Arts Centre; sports venues including Rogers Arena, The Scotiabank Centre and Place Bell, and both special events and installations for Broadcast including the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
“When we started with Optocore, many in the industry hadn’t taken those first steps into digital networking,” says Bill Coons, director of Contact Distribution. “We are now at a point where not only system designers and operators are more accepting of fibre solutions but fibre is a sheer necessity due to increasing channel counts, numerous different mediums and formats and the expanding production needs of events and shows to draw in and captivate audiences. BroaMan products are the next evolution of technology and people are ready to make that jump.”
This extensive knowledge base and relationship puts Contact in excellent position to bring BroaMan’s unique and flexible fibre based solutions to the Canadian broadcast and installation markets. BroaMan products are specially designed to convert broadcast quality video to fibre, including 3G, 4K and now 12G-SDI. Multiplexing and matrixing are also possible in different formats and channel counts. Multiplexed Broaman streams can carry a 2GB Optocore network capable of 1024 audio inputs and unlimited outputs that support analogue audio, AES, and MADI as well as IP and serial data transmission. For over 25 years Optocore products have proved the reliability of fibre transport by building rock-solid equipment, and BroaMan builds on that very platform bringing the same experience and dependability.
BroaMan sales distribution manager, Dawid Somló, assisted with the transition. “Contact Distribution is a well-known and highly-respected company in Canada,” he stated. “They have distributed Optocore products successfully for many years, developing a vast knowledge base in the field of fibre optics. Due to the close co-operation it was entirely logical to also hand over the distribution of our video and data fibre solutions, represented by the BroaMan brand. The fact that it is in the hands of a team who can be trusted, will provide great benefit to customers from the broadcast, installation, sports and other markets, which will be reinstated after COVID.”
In picture: Contact Distribution’s Brandon and Bill Coons.
17th November 2020
Britannia Row Productions Training Ltd Receives Lifeline Grant from Government’s £1.57BN Culture Recovery Fund
UK – Britannia Row Productions Training (BRPT) has been awarded £152,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) announced by the Culture Secretary to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure it has a sustainable future.
Britannia Row Productions Training is one of 2,049 cultural and creative organisations across the country to have been awarded £409m of urgently needed support (up to 24th October 2020). The Culture Recovery Fund grants programme is being administered by the Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.
BRPT was founded in 2012 to provide holistic training for those wanting to enter the live events industry as live audio technicians. Courses available from colleges and universities are not targeted enough for this niche sector, making it hard for graduates to enter the workplace as invariably a certain amount of re-training is required. Furthermore, these institutions tend to lag behind with teaching the latest technologies, equipment and working practices.
All BRPT training courses are written, kept up-to-date and delivered by tutors who are industry practitioners working at the top tier of the industry. BRPT has developed and offered a range of courses which have allowed for part-time study through to intensive full-time courses and a 3-year BSc Hons degree.
BRPT students book onto its courses for a variety of reasons. Some already make a living from live audio and simply want to increase their knowledge in certain areas. The motivation for most students is to be enabled to enter the industry. BRPT has seen hundreds of its graduates secure their first jobs in the industry, with many more rising quickly to senior roles.
In March 2020, the company’s training activities were – and have remained – suspended due to the restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Being awarded a Culture Recovery Grant, BRPT now has the ability to offer all potential students to study with BRPT at a distance, online. The grant is a lifeline for the company. Over the next five months, most of the grant will go to audio and video professionals who will be working on producing the online training - and provide them with much-needed income. Marketing of the online courses will begin in late November with the first courses scheduled to be available in January 2021.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden comments: “This is more vital funding to protect cultural gems across the country, save jobs and prepare the arts to bounce back. Through Arts Council England we are delivering the biggest ever investment in the arts in record time. Hundreds of millions of pounds are already making their way to thousands of organisations.
“These awards build on our commitment to be here for culture in every part of the country.”
Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, says: “Culture is an essential part of life across the country, helping to support people’s well-being through creativity and self-expression, bringing communities together, and fuelling our world class creative industries.
“This latest set of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund builds on those announced recently and will help hundreds of organisations to survive the next few months, ensuring that the cultural sector can bounce back after the crisis. We will continue doing everything we can to support artists and cultural and creative organisations, with further funding to be announced in the coming weeks.”
BRPT’s managing director, Mike Lowe, furthers: “I see the Culture Recovery Grant as not only being a lifeline for our training efforts and for those involved in the project over the coming months, but for the whole industry. In normal times, sound engineers and technicians retire; others move on to a whole variety of different roles such as production, technical support or in development for audio equipment manufacturers. This shrinkage in the talent / labour pool at the top end is fed by the pipeline of young people, equipped with the required knowledge and skills, entering the workplace at the beginning of their careers. This pipeline has already been broken by a year. The prognosis is such that it will be broken by at least two years. The natural rate at which sound engineers and technicians move on is accelerating due to the current crisis. Some with family responsibilities are re-training to work in other industries which can provide more immediate and reliable income at this time. Others, who planned to retire in the next two to three years are taking retirement early.
“When our industry is in a position to return to normal levels of activity, the activity will be big. All artists, promoters and venues want to and need to get back to work. Live events industry workers are needed to allow them to do so. Being able to offer COVID-safe distance learning should help enormously with this oncoming problem. By moving from largely ‘physical’ training to largely ‘virtual’ training, we will reduce our cost of delivery and hence reduce costs for students. This reduction applies not only to course fees but to travel, accommodation and sustenance costs. In turn, we hope to see opportunities for a more diverse range of students than ever before.
“In the live events industry’s darkest hour, the Culture Recovery Grants and Loans offer some very welcome light and some very exciting opportunities.”
13th November 2020
From new kid on the block to top industry player: Elation Europe marks a decade of lighting achievement
Europe – Elation Professional B.V., better known as Elation Europe, has come a long way since opening its European headquarter office in Kerkrade, The Netherlands, in 2010. The once fledgling newcomer to the European lighting market has grown to become one of the most influential brands on the market, a decade of development in Europe that can only be described as a genuine success story.
How did the company go from a little known brand in 2010 to one of the top players in the European entertainment lighting market just ten years later? Part of the answer lies in a passion that has driven Elation’s European office since day one.
“It’s really incredible to think how much has changed in these ten years,” comments Frederik Afif, international sales manager for Elation Europe and one of a handful of employees who helped to start up Elation Europe in 2010. “We started in a small office with just two sales people and some back-office support, a coffee machine and not much more! I was on the phone constantly, driving to customers all over Europe in a small van, doing demos every day and introducing the Elation brand. We literally called every phone number we could find from production companies, distribution firms, rental companies, anyone who would listen. We worked from early morning until late in the evening driven by a real passion for what we were doing. It was challenging but we were laying the groundwork for relationships that I still have today.”
It’s a passion that still permeates the company.
“Going the extra mile, in the office, on the road, on the plane, always giving a little bit more. That has been one of our keys to success,” Afif says. “It’s a passion you feel when you walk through our offices and still today people who visit us often remark about it.”
Leading the European office is sales and marketing manager Marc Librecht, a lifelong lighting industry pro who came onboard in 2011. “From day one, we’ve made an effort to create a leading brand by offering value and taking care of customers,” he said. “We’ve always been about people, about how we can make a better solution together or solve a problem for a client. That’s what drives us.”
Librecht says that caring attitude starts with the Elation European team. “The fact that we’ve kept our core team together over the years says a lot about who we are. We’re a team that genuinely cares about each other and supports and relies on one another. That’s a big reason behind our success.”
Another employee who has been with the company since its earliest days in Europe is head of R&D and QA Roger Hamers. “My goal from the beginning was to produce really top quality, high end products that would fit into the professional market here in Europe,” he states. “The challenge was to have the right products for the European market. There was a lot of competition in that area of the market at the time but we were confident we could break into that with quality products that had more features while keeping the size down. We put a lot of energy into it so that we could compete here and I think we’ve reached our goal.”
In 2010, Elation had been enjoying success in the US but the Elation brand was new in Europe and finding success there took a different approach. “The European market is a different market than the US,” says Afif, “and we knew we would have to create new products to satisfy our clientele. In the US it was often about bigger and brighter but we had a different requirement, more compact fixtures with a lighter weight.”
A big change came in 2011 when Elation began to cooperate with Netherlands-based Philips Lighting to develop the now industry-standard Platinum lamp. “We were the first company to use their Platinum lamps and it allowed us to produce more compact units but still with a lot of output,” states Hamers, who says that the smaller lamp size and the bright, homogenised beam it created opened up a lot of possibilities. “We were actually the first to come out with a dedicated Beam fixture using the MSD Platinum 5R lamp, the Platinum Beam 5R. It is the original beam fixture and soon after other companies followed our lead.” A successful range of products using Platinum lamps followed like the Platinum FLX. “We also worked closely with Philips to lengthen the lamp life by creating more sophisticated cooling systems, systems that we’ve patented. In the end, we got some excellent products out of it and we’re still enjoying the fruits of that cooperation today.”
Elation has showed its innovative nature often over the years and Elation’s European office has been key in the development. In 2011, the company was one of the first in Europe to launch an LED moving head panel and there have been many other milestones like premixed colour, quad-colour, six-colour and Chip on Board (COB) LED technology.
Innovation and hard work helped fuel consistent development in Elation Europe’s early years but growth also came in greater leaps like when Elation launched the Proteus line of IP65 luminaires in 2017, helping to raise the company in Europe to new levels. “The Proteus line opened a lot of doors for us into the top end of the market,” Librecht states of the IP-rated range of luminaires that has become synonymous with weatherproof lighting. “And the development continues,” adds head of R&D Hamers, who notes that Elation started with 30W LED engines just a few years ago and now launches products with LED engines over 900W. The focus on cutting-edge technology has led to a string of industry accolades for innovation with Elation’s Proteus, Artiste and Fuze lines all multiple award winners.
Today, Elation offers what is arguably stage lighting’s most complete toolbox and Elation Europe enjoys a position as one of the game changers in the entertainment lighting market in Europe. To mark the company’s decade of achievement in the European entertainment lighting market, Elation Europe will be celebrating the milestone with a variety of special activities in 2021. Like so many other events in 2020, Elation Europe has decided to postpone celebration activities until 2021 when larger groups can again gather safely. “We look forward to the time when we can celebrate our decade of success with our valued partners and friends in the industry,” ends Librecht.
10th November 2020
Fairlight to distribute Absen LED in Benelux
The Netherlands – Leading global LED display brand, Absen, has signed a partnership with Fairlight, a distributor of light, sound, and video equipment for professional users, to welcome the company as its latest Value Added Distributor (VAD).
Headquartered in Bemmel, in the Netherlands, Fairlight will primarily be tasked with bringing Absen’s expanding range of fine pitch LED products to customers across the Benelux region. The new partnership will allow prospective customers in the region to experience Absen LED at Fairlight’s Bemmel showroom, as well as taking part in product-specific training and making use of the company’s on-site maintenance and repair services.
“Our aim has always been to offer our customers a complete package of AV related brands,” said Michel Arntz, general manager at Fairlight. “The introduction of Absen LED displays to our inventory means we are now able to fill the gaps between our existing product groups. The versatility of the Absen portfolio will allow us to cater to our AV and integration-focussed customers just as easily as those interested in rental staging.”
Fairlight’s existing product range consists of leading brands such as Epson, L-Acoustics, Martin Professional, CLF Lighting, Aurora, RGBlink, I3, Avolites, and Luminex. The company offers its services to a variety of customers including theatres, pop venues, TV studios, live events, and architainment.
Fairlight also boasts an extensive team of experienced product specialists on hand to offer training and advice, and a dedicated project department that is able to assist customers from the genesis of a project right through to planning and implementation.
“We expect a lot of growth in commercial displays, TV studios, and our rental offering,” said Arntz. “Together with our light, sound, control, and other video products, we will be able to provide a complete package of solutions. Moving forward, we also expect to see a lot more opportunities in the education, leisure, retail, and experience centre verticals, and have already installed a number of DW3 Series LED screens at an event centre in the north of the Netherlands in December.”
"With Fairlight, we have found a dynamic partner with whom we share a common strategic alignment in the LED market," said Philippe Poppe, business development manager for Absen in Benelux. "Together with the team of experts from Fairlight, we can provide individual advice and personal support for the specialist trade partners. We are looking forward to the co-operation."
6th November 2020
ETC ‘rep agency’ 3LR Lighting adds broadcast to portfolio and appoints two new team members
ETC representative organisation 3LR Lighting has added broadcast, film and TV lighting and control to its portfolio as the exclusive ‘rep agency’ for ETC in the UK and Ireland.
Jeremy Roberts, regional sales manager for the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa comments: “It is great to have 3LR supporting the broadcast sector for ETC and especially well-timed as we have recently released our innovative new studio line of fixtures, fos/4. The new Fresnel and panel lights are designed specifically for the broadcast market with their unique eight colour LED mix and intense brightness.”
The addition of broadcast lighting and control complements 3LR’s work in the growth of ETC’s architectural product lines. 3LR acts as an additional resource to ETC’s dealer network, bringing its expertise in the field to progress the company’s studio and architectural products in the market.
As part of this extension into a bigger market, 3LR Lighting has announced the appointments of experienced industry figures Barry Grubb and Sean O’Callaghan.
Barry Grubb joins 3LR as business development manager for broadcast, television and film lighting. In a 25 year career, Barry has worked with some of the biggest names in the imaging industry both in the UK and overseas, and has forged lasting relationships with stakeholders at all levels. He has contributed to a host of large productions and delivered a wide range of theatre and broadcast solutions with leading brands.
Sean O’Callaghan takes up the post of business development manager for architectural lighting. Sean’s career has seen him occupy a variety of sales and marketing roles for several global lighting manufacturers, during which time he has acquired a thorough grasp of the architectural lighting market. Sean’s background in street, amenity and area lighting, naturally steered him into architectural, commercial, decorative and bespoke projects on every scale.
3LR managing director Matthew Lloyd adds: “We’re very pleased to be adding ETC’s broadcast lighting and control products to our portfolio and welcoming Barry and Sean to the team. With their combined industry expertise and our team’s experience in the sector, we look forward to building further customer relations and enhancing ETC’s market presence.”
3rd November 2020
PMC Opens a New Factory to Cope with Demand for its CI Monitors
UK – Loudspeaker manufacturer PMC has opened a new factory in Bedfordshire to cope with burgeoning demand for its world-beating CI series.
Since launching last September, CI monitors have proved hugely popular with the installation market where they are delivering Hollywood studio audio quality. Incorporating the same proprietary PMC technology as the company’s multi award winning audiophile speakers and studio monitors, these slimline speakers are designed with a shallow depth for on-wall and in-wall custom installations. This design feature also makes them ideally suited to professional studios that are embracing Dolby Atmos immersive audio for music and film mixing and want discreet monitors for their wall and ceiling channels.
“In addition to the flourishing custom installation market, CI monitors also form an integral part of our loudspeaker systems for Dolby Atmos and we anticipate a sharp uptake in demand as more and more professional studios embrace this format for music mixing,” says PMC’s owner Peter Thomas. “Thanks to its the almost limitless headroom, power capabilities, pin-point accuracy and sonic fidelity, PMC’s system goes well beyond Dolby’s own minimum requirements, making it the template for many internationally acclaimed studios such as Universal’s Capitol Studios in Los Angeles and the legendary Dean Street Studios in London.”
Based on an industrial estate in Sandy, just ten minutes from PMC’s head office in Biggleswade, the new factory covers 6,000 square feet and includes additional space for warehousing. Alongside the very latest manufacturing equipment, PMC has invested in facilities for stringent acoustic testing and critical listening, which will be carried out on every monitor before it is despatched.
In addition to the new manufacturing facilities, PMC is also increasing its staff resources to support the expansion.
29th October 2020
CMI Music & Audio to handle Optocore distribution in Australia
Australia - Fibre network specialist, Optocore, has appointed CMI as its new Australian distributor. The brand provides a strong addition to the Melbourne company’s Audio Division portfolio.
CMI CEO, Peter Trojkovic said he was delighted with the appointment, stating that he was impressed by Optocore’s ability to provide innovative, scaleable and rock solid backbones, embracing open standards. He noted that this will influence a vast range of their core market segments, including events, theatres, stadiums and studios.
“With many fibre-compatible solutions in CMI’s portfolio, this marks a strategic move by the Audio Division to position CMI as a one-stop solution for performance, broadcast and commercial audio networking.
“Optocore are the world’s most popular and innovative manufacturers of fibre optic networks. With systems already deployed in world class venues such as the Madison Square Garden, Bastille Opera House, Paris and the newly deployed system in the MCG, this appointment advances our position as the leading provider of performance audio solutions in Australia,” he continued.
“We look forward to working closely with Optocore’s solution engineers in providing time critical, redundant, audio and control infrastructure.”
Dawid Somló, Optocore sales distribution manager responded: "As a brand we have already been recognised by pro-audio professionals in Australia for many years. Therefore, I am delighted for the opportunity to begin cooperation with such a respected company as CMI Music & Audio. It is an important step in the history of our company.
“CMI unquestionably has the competence to implement our fibre solutions, and consequently we hope to expand our presence in the installation, broadcast and hopefully soon to be revived live sectors.”
29th October 2020
Green Hippo welcomes new international sales partners
Green Hippo, the specialist creator of tools for the real-time manipulation of video for the AV industries, has welcomed two new distribution specialists to its growing international sales network.
Representing the brand in Australia and New Zealand is Melbourne-based Corsair Solutions. Established in 2009, Corsair imports and distributes professional and commercial audio-visual equipment and has established itself as a trusted partner of audio-visual system integrators, pro audio and video equipment resellers and equipment rental companies throughout Australia and New Zealand. Corsair also distributes Green Hippo’s sister brand within Spitfire Creative Technologies, tvONE.
At the same time, Wholestage has been appointed to represent Green Hippo in Latin America and the Caribbean. Founded in Venezuela in 1998, Wholestage is today based in Miami, Florida, with offices in Colombia, Dominican Republic, Panama, Chile and Spain. It specialises in the distribution of pro video, audio, rigging, lighting and control, and provides the latest technologies and solutions to the Central American, South American and Caribbean markets.
Mark Lampard, managing director of Corsair Solutions, comments: “We are extremely proud to be representing Green Hippo. As a distributor of many complex, highly technical products, we thrive on educating our partners and end users on their technical benefits and why they are valuable. As a market leader, Green Hippo naturally provides us with an exciting new entry into the live production and entertainment industries which will also allow us to cross-promote some of our other brands.”
Speaking on behalf of Wholestage, CEO Luis Duque says: “Green Hippo brings solutions for the management of media content which integrate perfectly with the brands that we already distribute. Our reputation allows us to recommend and demonstrate product directly to our customers, who have complete confidence in our recommendations. That’s why we take great care in what we offer, we have to be sure of the product and the brand behind it. We welcome Green Hippo with great enthusiasm; their range will undoubtedly reinforce our premium portfolio of comprehensive solutions.”
Green Hippo’s sales director David March comments: “We are delighted to partner with Wholestage and Corsair Solutions, both of whom have strong, professional reputations in their respective markets, and share our commitment to providing the best possible solutions and support. We look forward to working with them and their customers in the future.”
In picture: The team at Wholestage.
28th October 2020
Rosco announces expanded distribution relationship with Pacific Lighting
Singapore - Rosco has announced the expansion of the company’s relationship with distribution partner Pacific Lighting in Singapore. Pacific Lighting Singapore will continue sales and distribution of Rosco products in south-east Asia as Rosco’s master distributor in the region. While Pacific Lighting’s primary focus will be sales and distribution within the permanent installation and architectural markets, the company will maintain sales of the entire Rosco product line.
Pacific Lighting and Rosco have held a long-standing relationship, which will be further strengthened through the expertise of Fauzan Fadil (pictured). He most recently worked at Rosco as a sales manager for south-east Asia and will continue to support the Rosco product line as the sales and operations director of Pacific Lighting in Singapore. His expertise in lighting, depth of knowledge about Rosco’s broad range of products, and relationships in the entertainment and architectural industries will allow Pacific Lighting to provide consultation, sales and distribution of Rosco solutions throughout the region.
28th October 2020
ETC postpones in-person trade show attendance until July 2021 and offers live online demos
Worldwide – Out of concern for the safety of its employees and global community, ETC has announced that it will not participate in traditional trade show exhibitions until July, 2021. With the pandemic affecting many people’s ability and desire to travel, the company has instead decided to focus its resources on remote demos and online events.
A major part of the trade show experience is the chance to see the latest gear and get one-on-one face time with product experts. With this in mind, ETC has been hard at work converting in-house demo spaces throughout the company’s offices into studios for online product demonstrations. Customers may now use an online portal to schedule live, one-on-one demos of some of the company’s newest fixtures: ColorSource Spot jr, Source 4WRD Color, and the fos/4 Panel and fos/4 Fresnel studio products from the comfort of their own homes or workplaces. With plans in the works to expand these online offerings, ETC hopes to make online demos a permanent resource for customers looking for the latest in lighting technology.
Until live events can safely return, ETC is also turning its focus to online events and programmes. The company’s online Study Hall seminars – ongoing since the beginning of the pandemic shutdown – continue to provide remote learning and Q&A opportunities, with past sessions posted to an ever-growing YouTube library. Having held a successful training workshop for reps and dealers over the summer, ETC is also planning customer-facing events in the first half of 2021.
“Live trade shows, customer visits and training in our offices around the world, all these activities will return to us in the future,” says David Lincecum, ETC’s vice president of marketing. “For the short term, we will focus our business plan on learning new ways to connect with customers.”
26th October 2020
POLAR Appointed UK Distributors for Bluesound Professional
UK – POLAR, established supplier of key industry brands to the AV Integration, MI and professional audio markets, has announced the addition of Bluesound Professional to its portfolio. Bluesound Professional provides networked audio streaming for installation and integration in the commercial world, offering a versatile way to incorporate music streaming from dozens of different platforms, including internet radio stations, Spotify and Amazon Music. A combination of hardware and software, Bluesound Professional’s range of streamers, amplifiers, active and POE+ installed loudspeakers and controllers provides an easy-to-install, expandable and secure solution designed for the commercial space. Utilising plug-in barrier strip connectivity, the platform can be integrated with existing audio installations for retro fit into retail, hospitality, restaurants, gyms and office environments, or as a complete end-to-end Bluesound installation.
Stuart Leader, director of POLAR’s Integrated Services division comments: “Before the advent of Bluesound Professional, the options for businesses wishing to stream digital audio content for replaying in public spaces were somewhat limited. Large businesses might use a ‘music provider’ which could be inflexible and expensive, whilst smaller operations were often limited to using a particular streaming service via a phone or a laptop. Bluesound Professional’s full range of streamers, amplifiers (rack-mounted) and all-in-one speakers, deliver high quality audio, are secure and have proper control options for commercial users.
“We’re very confident that this game-changing, cutting-edge addition to our portfolio will be an instant hit with our customers.”
Graeme Harrison, VP and general manager at Bluesound Professional adds: “We’re pleased to be partnering with POLAR to expand our presence in the UK. The POLAR team combines vast experience with the highest level of technical expertise, and its portfolio of brands speaks for itself. We feel that POLAR is perfectly placed to support the Bluesound Professional brand, and to communicate to its customers the advantages which our products can deliver to a wide range of commercial settings.”
23rd October 2020
Prolyte welcomes All Creation to become distributor in Japan
Japan – Established in 1995, All Creation is a professional team for construction in Japan, including stage setup, LED assembly, lighting installation, TV, movie set assembly and other event services.
The first journey between All Creation and Prolyte dates back to 15 years ago when the easy connection of trusses was introduced to All Creation. At that time, it was common sense that bolts were the mainstream for connecting truss flange surfaces and work would not progress without an impact driver. "However, Prolyte truss is easy to be connected by a hammer, and I was surprised and interested in the overwhelmingly fast assembly speed without worrying about forgetting to tighten the bolts," said Koichi Okajima, CEO of All Creation.
Back in the day, there was a concern about the lack of experienced personnel (engineers) in Japan, while the same applied to All Creation. Safety issues and personnel training were the most discussed topics in All Creation. More importantly, they are the present and future subjects to be taken care of. "Using Prolyte products, I realised that not only can these problems be solved, but also the construction time can be shortened. Partnering with Prolyte helps us reduce cost, the costs in all perspectives. This is one of the reasons I choose Prolyte."
"In addition, next to the outstanding product that drives this partnership, the biggest reason is the close communication between Eddie and all the staff in Prolyte. Both Eddie, who is the main responsible for All Creation, and other colleagues. They answered all our questions and fulfilled our requests sincerely and patiently by conducting multiple meetings. In the last several months, we were led to great relief. I am thankful to you."
I look forward to continuing to improve my knowledge of products and expand Prolyte Market in Japan." Koichi Okajima continues.
Eddie Slotboom, projects director of Prolyte says: "Glad to be back in Japan with direct contact for all customers in Japan. Happy to work with such a dedicated and well organised team as All Creation. Professional view on the entertainment branch with a wide knowledge. Sure that the Prolyte brand will succeed under the flag of All Creation with Mr. Okajima."
23rd October 2020
SLS, from Sales Partner to Official Distributor
Portugal – Prolyte celebrates its latest addition to the family as Prolyte’s latest authorised dealer, Sound light and system (SLS), being Prolyte’s sales partner since 2014, has now become Prolyte’s latest distributor in Portugal.
Established in 2014, SLS has always had the mission to provide complete solutions for the professional audio and lighting market in Portugal.
"With the development of the market during these uncertain times, it is reassuring to have a strong trustable partner to further deliver high-end quality products and structural solutions that are in increasing demand in Portugal,” Prolyte manager William Voskuil said.
Rui Nunes, SLS CEO, states: "We’ve worked with Prolyte for years now and we firmly believe that Prolyte is in fact the best truss solution for the Portuguese market. Being a well-recognised and known brand, Prolyte is ahead of its game in the market, as it is not only used and trusted by everyone but also recognised for its potential to lead. Prolyte has always offered us an excellent, tech-savvy product line, and we’re more than excited to be an official distributor of the Prolyte family. We at SLS look forward to working together with Prolyte and create amazing things together.”
"It is always a pleasure to work with SLS, and the growth of this relationship is publicly recognised with this transition up the latter. SLS being our latest official distributor in Portugal strengthens our worldwide network, while increasing the availability of Prolyte's wide ranges of products across Portugal and the world. Rui Nunes is an industry professional and we are delighted to continue our magnificent work together with him and his team. We are pleased to have flourished this friendship and developed this partnership with one another, with a shared commitment to providing high-quality and safe products to the entertainment industry," William Voskuil adds.
“All of us at SLS are more than excited to work on great things together, now and in the future after these troubling days,” Rui Nunes, SLS CEO concludes.
SLS leads the Portuguese market by their young and ambitious team working around the clock to offer absolute top tier solutions at attractive prices. Thus, with this latest development, Prolyte assures that current and new Prolyte customers have quick access to materials, services, knowledge, and support from a trusted source within the industry.
15th October 2020
Backup announces Hardship Fund
UK – In light of the devastating impact of COVID-19, Backup – The Technical Entertainment Charity, has announced the creation of a separate initial Hardship Fund, which will provide limited financial assistance to crew/production personnel, and people working in the technical supply chain across the UK entertainment sector, including those from live events, theatre and TV and film.
“The technicians and their families in our industry, particularly freelancers, are experiencing incredible hardship at the moment and, with the lack of ongoing financial support from the Government, there are many people who are in desperate need of help,” says Backup chairman, John Simpson. “As an industry, we are trying to help ourselves, and Backup is now in a position to be able to offer a small measure of assistance. We still need more donations to help many more of our colleagues in distress.”
With the help of its supporters, including “We Make Events”, Backup has raised £100,000 to date, with Light Relief agreeing to match this funding with a further £100,000, targeted to help support the lighting community. This means that there will initially be a total fund of £200,000 allocated to this Hardship Fund, with further fundraising in progress.
During the first application period, from 19th October 2020 (08:00) to 30th October 2020 (20:00), Backup is targeting resources to people who have received no government grants (e.g. from the furlough scheme (CJRS) and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)) and no grants from other charitable funds (e.g. Theatre Artists Fund, Arts Council, etc.). All successful applicants will receive funds two weeks after the closing date.
“Whilst we know this is not a perfect solution, and that there are so many technicians in need of assistance, we are ensuring that we help people who have had no financial support whatsoever first,” John adds. “If funds are available after this first application period, we will look to help people who have received limited government support or other charitable support.
For details on the hardship fund, eligibility criteria and how to apply, please visit:
13th October 2020
Bandit Lites Supports Muzology
USA – Students across the nation started this past school year enjoying maths, even though the subject had been incomprehensible to many of them previously. The reason: a concept called Muzology that combines music videos with the principles of pre-algebra.
“Our industry has been decimated by COVID-19. Another sector under immense strain is education,” says Bandit Lites chair, Michael Strickland. “We have to continue to provide quality education to our children, be it in the classroom or at home, and through platforms like Muzology this is happening.”
Strickland first learned about Muzology through his client and colleague, Bob Doyle, long-time manager of Garth Brooks.
“As soon as I heard about Muzology, I knew I had to help,” said Strickland, who is on the University of Tennessee President’s Council and helped pilot the Muzology programme in Knoxville. “Muzology has changed the lives of learners throughout the country. Now, to support equitable access to learning, Muzology has released Love @ First Sound (When Math Met Music), which has been submitted for consideration for a GRAMMY nomination in Best Children’s Album.”
Created by Doyle and memory expert, Dr. Lana Israel (a Harvard and Oxford-educated Rhodes Scholar), Muzology enlisted hit songwriters, producers and subject matter experts to craft academically sound songs that teach critical maths skills.
“We recognised that many students struggled with learning yet knew the words to countless pop songs,” explained Dr. Israel. “That’s because music directly activates brain regions critical for successful learning.”
Doyle added: “It’s how we all learned our ABCs: to a song, so why not extend the learning power of music to teach more sophisticated curriculum.”
A recent feature story on Muzology in Billboard quoted maths department chair, Shirley Forehand, who uses Muzology with her students in Little Rock, AR: “It’s probably one of the best resources that I’ve got and I’ve been teaching for 25 years. It reminded me of what I grew up on, Schoolhouse Rock but on steroids.”
8th October 2020
Funktion-One appoints Ko Team as its distributor for Israel
Israel – Loudspeaker manufacturer Funktion-One has joined forces with Ko Team as its distributor for Israel. The collaboration signals an exciting chapter for both companies, as they look forward to bringing Funktion-One sound to more venues and audiences around the country.
Following a meeting at ISE in early February, the conversation between Funktion-One’s director of business development Bill Woods and Ko Team’s Keynan Oz continued, with the partnership being finalised remotely due to travel restrictions.
“After the show we all agreed that Ko Team are the right company to work with in Israel and take the brand forward,” recalls Bill. “I was scheduled to visit Tel Aviv in early March but as the Coronavirus began to inexorably spread, I cancelled my flight and my appointments. After about a month, it became clear that trying to plan a visit was pointless, so the handshakes and on-boarding had to be done virtually.”
Though the distribution partnership is new, Keynan’s connection with Funktion-One goes back a couple of decades. He explains: “We have owned many Tony Andrews designed speakers over the past 20 years, and have grown from working as technicians in companies that owned them, then owning them ourselves, learning everything about them and now taking on the distribution.”
For Keynan and his team, the aim is to create the best environments, which means the best possible audio. He continues: “We believe our mission and life’s work is to create the best atmosphere in Israel’s nightlife. We see Funktion-One as the very best sound system in the world, so we’re very excited to have it in our company.”
Both Bill and Keynan recognise the potential in Israel and an opportunity to bring Funktion-One sound to more people. Bill says: “Having spent time in Tel Aviv a few years ago, I was aware of the bustling bar culture in the beach area and the potential for our brand if we were with the right company. Keynan and I totally agreed on a strategy and the stock necessary to take that forward. The pandemic conspired to scupper the initial plan, but I am 100 per cent confident in Keynan and his team’s ability to put Funktion-One in the position it deserves.”
Keynan adds: “There are over 1,000 nightlife locations in Israel. We are very excited to start installing Funktion-One systems; upgrading our customers and raising the sound quality of installs in Israel.”
5th October 2020
SCENA is with Prolyte in Russia
Prolyte would like to introduce its distributor for the Russian market, SCENA. The company was founded in 2016 by specialists with many years of experience in the field of equipment for cultural facilities and social and entertainment events.
“In different times one stays constant. Great quality and support from a truss manufacturer with over 25 years experience, Prolyte is available at Russian market like never before,” said Nikita Safonov, SCENA.
Having been a leading manufacturer and supplier of aluminium truss and staging for a long time, Prolyte has gained its reputation in providing the highest quality and safe products for the entertainment industry.
SCENA has an enormous knowledge of the Russian market and has already partnered with Prolyte for many years. Together they can formulate a more inclusive development of products and services according to your demand.
In these uncertain times, Prolyte and SCENA are reliable partners for valuable business.
5th October 2020
UK Event Industry Campaigns Combine Forces to Deliver One Industry One Voice
UK – Organisers of several high profile events industry campaigns have created a taskforce to ensure strong alignment and more effective communication in fighting for awareness and financial support for the whole industry. The organisations behind #WeMakeEvents, #Let the Music Play and #WeCreateExperiences will align with One Industry One Voice and are encouraging other campaigns to get in touch.
The three campaigns represent different communities of interest within the £84 billion UK Events industry, and a diverse range of creative and technical skills, venues, suppliers and infrastructure that make up the UK events ecosystem. By joining forces through the One Industry One Voice initiative, the taskforce hopes to co-ordinate closely on campaign dates; to amplify each other’s messages where relevant; share and agree on data and statistics to accurately reflect key industry numbers; align closely on key industry asks of government; and to promote each other’s activities.
The taskforce incorporates umbrella trade organisations, business visits and events partnerships (BVEP) which represents the conference, exhibition and outdoor events sector, the UK Live Music Group which represents the UK’s live music industry, and events and entertainment technology trade association the Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA).
Simon Hughes, chair of the BVEP comments: “Many different industry sectors will be looking to government for additional help and assistance in the next few weeks, alongside the more public/corporate targeting with the narrative of confidence and expertise. So it will be critical to ensure that messaging with the various target audiences are aligned across the extended ecosystem that comprises the whole of the event industry in the UK and the extensive supply chain that supports many thousands of livelihoods and enriches the lives of millions of people from all parts of society."
PLASA started the #We Make Events campaign in May 2020 as a response to its members' plight. "We are immensely proud of how this has galvanised into over 22 trade bodies, along with thousands of industry professionals from over 28 countries, all working together voluntarily to create awareness of the whole events supply chain and the urgent need for financial support," says Peter Heath MD of PLASA "The alignment of the major hashtags allows us all to communicate more, maximise our efforts and streamline our voice to government."
“With a long dark winter ahead for many in the arts, culture and events spaces, it’s imperative that we work closely together,” says Greg Parmley, chair of UK Live Music Group. “Bringing the campaigns under one collective cross group addresses the need to communicate both short and medium-term tactics as well as the longer term plans required to support the industry.”