Business News Headlines
Theatres Trust awards £25,000 to five theatres across the UK to address the challenges small theatres face
SIXTY82 continues global expansion in UAE, Oman, and Saudi Arabia with Unusual Rigging & Engineering LLC.
Portable power specialist Green Voltage expands market availability with new Belfast and Dublin outlets
Zero 88 Launches New Website
UK – Leading lighting control manufacturer Zero 88 has launched a new website www.zero88.com complete with a highly visual contemporary design and a host of relevant product, project and general information that’s quick and easy to navigate via intuitive menus that gets viewers to exactly where they need to be – quickly and logically.
It has been designed and initiated by the same team who worked on delivering the award-winning patented ZerOS User interface features and mobile app.
The site is fully mobile-friendly and optimised for all devices: smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops. It is action-packed with high-quality photos and embedded product overview and training videos, all of which will maximise the available viewing surface area with precisely curated information.
“It’s been designed to meet the needs of today’s end-users including lighting creatives and specifiers who are regularly accessing the internet on the move using mobile hand-held devices,” commented Zero 88 product manager Jon Hole, who is part of the team driving the development of the new portal.
At the essence is enabling visitors to find what they need “quickly and painlessly on whatever device they are using, with everything looking visually attractive and appropriate to the creative worlds for which Zero products are designed.”
Zero 88’s focus on regularly developing new software features is reflected in the new site which ensures that the process of finding and downloading the latest issued software versions is straightforward and efficient.
For the first time, it provides an opportunity to download the back catalogue of software releases in case required for show file compatibility.
Accessories, Variants and Spare Parts are now all listed for each product together with their product order codes, and a global Distributor Search engine simplifies sourcing local Zero 88 distributors worldwide.
A series of downloadable Comparison Charts allow side-by-side comparisons between Zero 88 lighting consoles plus power control and distribution products to assist specifiers and installers to select a perfect combination for their project or application.
An improved training page highlights Zero 88’s ongoing and enthusiastic commitment to free training sessions around the UK, together with international training opportunities and the wealth of tutorials available via YouTube.
Zero88.com is designed to be a central communication hub for every aspect of the brand’s culture and identity – from technical to community – and all parameters including news feeds, press and media coverage / published content and social channels making up the digital ‘bedrock’ for supporting and promoting the products also feed in and fuel traffic to the website.
Celebrating 47 years of success as one of the most recognised and reliable ‘Made in the UK’ entertainment technology brands, the history of Zero 88’s website also goes back an impressive 22 years to 1997!
The first one was launched at the PLASA expo of that year, for the company’s 25th anniversary.
The background to this started around 1995 “…with the steady introduction of computers into the workplace and the Zero 88 design and marketing being moved from an external design agency to in-house,” recalls the company’s head graphics specialist, Mandy Buggey.
In 1997 Tim Burt was tasked with creating that first Zero 88 website – revolutionary in its time – and over the years this has morphed several times, each time remaining at the cutting edge of online facilities as the technology, speed and availability of internet access and general expectations have changed, always getting more complex and demanding!
More recently, the Zero team has worked with independent web developers to create a future-proof, user-friendly modular system that works fluidly and looks stylish
The original website received around 4,000 page views in the first six months and the current site gets significantly more than this every week from thousands of unique visitors around the globe.
For Zero, as well as being a powerful platform for communication, the website also offers latitude for engaging the 'Zerosphere' in some fun!
This started back in the early 2000s with a section called The Green Room which included links to Fun downloads, back in the days when every company had its own screensaver - quizzes, e-postcards, caption competitions and a range of jokes: good, bad, ugly and hilarious, spawned from diverse senses of humour and aspects of life, all vaguely related to Zero products. Some of these have gone on to become classics in the company’s rich history.
Jon now loves how good and dramatic production photography is front and centre of every page, drawing people in and capturing their attention.
He concludes: “Our products are tools integral in realising fantastic lighting designs that help tell amazing stories and delight audiences and it’s this fission of excitement and ‘liveness’ that we really wanted for this new website in addition to all the practicalities and, naturally, the core information that underlines our commitment and passion for this incredible industry.”
20th November 2019
Theatres Trust awards £25,000 to five theatres across the UK to address the challenges small theatres face
UK – Theatres Trust has awarded vital funding to five more theatres. Each will receive £5,000 from the Trust’s UK Theatres Small Grants Scheme for projects that enhance accessibility, address urgent repairs, environmental improvements and expand facilities.
Accidental Theatre, housed in a former bank building in Belfast will use Theatres Trust funding to install wheelchair accessible toilets on its first floor. This project comes soon after an accessible lift installation, part of a package of improvements informed by an access audit to ensure the venue is as inclusive as possible.
New automatic doors will improve the theatre-going experience for disabled patrons and wheelchair users at the Court Theatre run by Swindon Dance in the town’s former Town Hall. The project will replace faulty doors and make sure accessibility standards remain high after the Court Theatre’s recent accessibility-led auditorium refurbishment.
Theatres Trust small grants funding for Liverpool’s Unity Theatre, housed in a former synagogue, will finance access and repair work to its leaky roof, ensuring the longevity of this important community building.
Hulme’s Z-arts will be able to undertake a suite of works responding to the needs and requirements of users at the family-friendly arts hub. Theatres Trust funding will allow the venue to install an evacuation chair and defibrillator, as well as complete urgent repairs to its entrance stairs, improving the access and safety of its audiences. The award will also support an LED lighting upgrade front and back of house as the theatre works to make itself future-ready.
The Little Theatre Gateshead campaign to create a new rehearsal room to improve and expand facilities for its members, patrons and the local community will receive a boost with Theatres Trust funding. The improved provision will help protect future theatre use at this important community hub.
Jon Morgan, director at the Theatres Trust said: “The high demand for this funding emphasises the challenges that smaller theatres throughout the UK face. We are delighted to be able to support theatres with projects that will protect them for the future, make the buildings accessible to audiences and continue to offer rich experiences for communities across the country.”
Sarah Miller, director at Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation said: “It has never been more important to cherish and protect our regional theatres, which provide a vital cultural hub for many local communities. I am thrilled Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation funding can target these urgent repairs for theatres across the UK under the guidance of Theatres Trust expertise.”
Launched in April 2012, the UK Small Theatres Grants Scheme awards grants of up to £5,000 to theatres across the UK to address urgent building works and improvements. It receives support from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and the Charles Michael Holloway Charitable Trust.
The five awards bring the total number of theatres funded by the scheme to 75. The next round of the scheme is now open and the deadline for applications is 3 February 2020 at noon. Further details about the scheme can be found: theatrestrust.org.uk/grants.
20th November 2019
The expansion continues: SIXTY82 appoints ETP as its exclusive distributor for Denmark
Denmark – SIXTY82 has announced the appointment of a new distribution partnership in Denmark. With immediate effect, European Tour Productions (ETP) has been named as its new, exclusive distributor.
Besides offering technical knowledge and a broad product portfolio, SIXTY82 particularly values ETP's customer intimacy as well as the access to the growing markets for the trussing and staging industry.
ETP's main competencies are related to project management, rental equipment and engineering for the experience industry. Since 1994, they have carried out projects for organisations and companies in Denmark and abroad. As a result, they have extensive experience with various cultural events of all sizes.
The team at ETP has a combination of professional project management experience and technical know-how, together with a wide range of equipment from reputable manufacturers. This optimises the project process for the benefit of all parties involved.
"We chose to partner with ETP as they represent the strongest importing distributor in its territory, with a historical strength in the trussing and staging marketplace," says SIXTY82 CEO Fokko Smeding. "This agreement further iterates both the company's enthusiasm to drive growth and extend relationships with its customers. With their extensive experience in the industry, we believe that the team at ETP is highly equipped to fulfil our customers' every need."
Date Jonkman, executive account manager of SIXTY82, continues: "We fully understand how incredibly important it is to serve our customers' needs for fast delivery times of high-quality products. And for the technical support from experienced people that comes with that. Only the right team of people can cater for these high standards. We therefore chose ETP carefully to be our new exclusive partner because we believe that they strive to meet the same principles.
Flemming Pedersen, CEO of ETP, responds: "We were seeking a truss and staging manufacturer that could fulfil not only our day-to day needs, but especially help us with the many special requests we receive from our customers. When we learned about the success of SIXTY82, we decided that it was time to make a move and join the family. Due to our joint passion for the industry, we believe that this partnership can have a real impact on the current market. SIXTY82 has the knowledge and experience to provide our increasing requirements to satisfy the market.”
19th November 2019
The Big 40!
UK – On the 5th of November, Stage Electrics marked 40 years as one of the UK’s most respected specialist installers, integrators and resellers, celebrating this milestone with a thank you party for its staff, held at Bristol Zoo, close to the company’s headquarters in Patchway.
Stage Electrics was formed in 1979 by a group of passionate theatre lighting and sound equipment enthusiasts. It has grown since then from three staff to over 120, keeping the original passion and amassing an impressive portfolio of sales and installations, including prestigious venues such as the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre, the recently opened International Conference Centre Wales (ICCW), Croydon’s Fairfield Halls, London’s Southbank Centre and Riverside Studios, with overseas projects including Freespace, Hong Kong’s new centre for contemporary performance in the heart of the West Kowloon Art Park, as well as the new Dublin Institute of Technology.
The company’s success is built on the dedication of its team, some with over 30 years service at the company, our teams intimate knowledge of the technologies and practices of our industry, as well as its ability to deliver comprehensive national coverage, which spans from the very tip of Scotland via its sister company, Northern Light, to the furthest point on the South Coast and reaching beyond the UK to Ireland, the MENA region, the Far East and as far as New Zealand.
Offering a range of services that include installation, product sales and testing, inspection and maintenance services, the company has a sales team of over 20, including a field sales team who are permanently out on the road. Its export business has also seen significant growth in recent years.
“We tailored our service to suit our customers, who all have differing needs,” explains sales director Anna Western. “Some clients like to see their contact person on a regular basis, while others like to have someone available on the end of the phone. We also offer a huge range of products from special effects, trussing, staging and sound, to lighting and control. We hold around £1.2milllion of sales stock, so we can guarantee next day delivery, which is vitally important.”
Stage Electrics also has its own workshops, making a range of cables, IWBs, panels and racks, custom-building for its own projects, as well as selling one-offs to its customers.
“It’s all about getting our customers what they want, when they want it,” Western continues. “To facilitate that, we don’t operate on an exclusive basis with any manufacturer, we want to be completely unbiased in our recommendations and make sure we always provide the right product from right manufacturer for any given job. We work hard to pick our suppliers, it’s all about the service they deliver as well as the products and forge good relationships with them. They need to tick the right box in terms of products, service and support and our team put a lot of effort into learning their product ranges. This is absolutely key to our ethos.”
Consultative selling is also high on Stage Electrics agenda, ensuring each project fits within budget and time scale. This is evident in recent installations such as the ICCW, the Linbury Theatre and Fairfield Halls.
But it is not all about big contracts. Stage Electrics handles jobs that range from £50 to £5million, placing as much value on its work with regional theatres, schools and council owned facilities as it does on larger-scale projects.
“We have a strong approach to project management,” adds commercial director Dan Aldridge. “This is important to be able to achieve commercial and financial success, whatever the size of the contract. Our customers are buying into hundreds of years of collective experience, which ensures that we can design to just about any budget and help achieve a successful end result, whatever the scale of the project. We listen to what’s needed and come up with the right solutions.”
Under the banner of Venue Services, the company’s testing, inspection and maintenance division has also seen significant growth in recent years. Providing annual checks for a variety of venues from schools to opera houses, the Stage Electrics Venue Services team provides clients with peace of mind that their systems and equipment are fully checked and compliant.
It may have 40 successful years behind it, but Stage Electrics has its eye set firmly on the future, with plans to further increase business whilst making sure its service remains top notch by adding to the team.
“Investing in people as well as the right products is what it’s all about,” concludes Western. “We know if we get that right, we’re in great shape for the next 40 years.”
In picture: Maria Townsend, Adam Blaxill, Dan Aldridge and Anna Western.
19th November 2019
Backstage Academy Signs Partnership Deal with KV2
UK – Backstage Academy, the leading live event production educational facility, has signed a new partnership agreement with professional loudspeaker manufacturer KV2 Audio.
KV2 Audio, whose R&D and manufacturing base is in the Czech Republic, has worked informally with the academic institution, based at Production Park in Wakefield, for the past two years, providing equipment for student led events on an ad hoc basis and presenting seminars.
“These seminars are always well received,” says Tom Weldon, who is in charge of UK sales. “We have an exclusively point source approach to loudspeaker design and are proud to be able to present this approach to the technicians of the future. We strongly believe this is the best way to reproduce the original source, and in a market that is dominated by alternative designs it’s important that students are exposed to all options. We try not to blind people with the technology side, but instead encourage them to really use their ears and from that starting point, it’s surprising how quickly they begin to understand our philosophy and approach.”
In their engagement with the Academy, KV2 has provided a ‘tool kit’ of products, enabling students to create a six-way monitor mix via the passive ESM26 and ESM12 alongside a portable plug and play FOH system with the active EX series, offering complete reconfigurability that can be set-up by individual students quickly and easily.
In sharing close geographical proximity to Wakefield (KV2’s UK headquarters are in Harrogate) the other benefit of partnering with Backstage Academy is the access to Production Park for potential larger scale demonstrations.
KV2’s director Jonathan Reece adds: “The amazing facility at Production Park is clearly an attraction for KV2. However, our main hope for this arrangement is that by giving students three years to work with and understand KV2 products they will experience a broader field of knowledge and be more inclined to join the numerous sound designers and engineers choosing to place our products on their shows later on.”
Said Backstage Academy industry partnerships director, Miles Marsden: “KV2 has been a long term supporter of Backstage Academy; the delivery of their electro-acoustic master classes has always been well received by our students. Their unique scientific approach and focus on application rather than particular product is the way we like to roll here.
“In our opinion KV2’s well-engineered products punch above their weight explaining perhaps the increasing popularity of the brand particularly in West End, Broadway and Touring Theatre and why our students benefit from exposure to product they are likely to come across in the live events sector.
“It’s also a bonus and a source of local pride that KV2 UK headquarters are just up the road here in Yorkshire.”
In picture: Frazer Gall (Backstage Academy lecturer for live events production), Tom Weldon (KV2 UK sales) and Johnny Goodwin (Backstage Academy live events production course leader).
12th November 2019
SIXTY82 continues expansion into Germany with SIXTY82 German Division and partnership with CAST
Germany – SIXTY82, ‘The New Original’ manufacturer of next-generation trussing and staging solutions, has taken exciting steps towards its expansion across Germany with the start of SIXTY82 German division.
“The start of SIXTY82 German division is a reaction to the expanding needs of the live events industry for rapid delivery times of first-rate products and a service that is second to none,” says Fokko Smeding, CEO of SIXTY82. “With SIXTY82 German division, we believe that we can ensure our customers are provided with expert technical support from experienced people. Therefore we hired specialists Michael Kempe and Christian Schoof to provide extra service and attention to the German market.”
Germany is one of the biggest markets within Europe so, to put a strong sales structure in place, some planning was needed: and because SIXTY82 is so familiar with the German market, it is also happy to announce its newly formed partnership with CAST as its official competence centre and premium reseller. This close partnership will ensure high availability of SIXTY82 products all over the country, while simultaneously providing strong support and after-sales service.
CAST is an extremely well-established company in the live events industry, and its current position as one of the most valued players in the field will be an outstanding addition to the SIXTY82 family. With their extensive experience and knowledge of the German market, CAST will be able to help SIXTY82 customers’ every need, so providing markets that have been longing for extensive service.
“The name SIXTY82 stands for innovation and vision like no other manufacturer of trussing,“ says CEO of CAST, Heinz Siller. “For decades, we have known the founders of this company. From the beginning, we have been in an amicable business, and together we have walked a great distance. Our collaboration led to the development of new products, unified in the passion for trussing and constructions. I truly believe that SIXTY82 is a perfect fit for us.”
“This is the perfect time for SIXTY82, and we are happy and excited to launch our activities in Germany together with CAST,” comments Michael Kempe, sales engineer of SIXTY82 German division. “I am looking forward to getting in contact with old friends from our industry and establishing the new business relationships that are awaiting SIXTY82.”
Headquartered in Drachten, SIXTY82 has every component required to change the way that lightweight structural systems are used. With over 100 years of experience in the entertainment industry, the team of SIXTY82 can provide growing demand for craftsmanship and technical know-how. They are committed to the continuation of innovative means of improving product and service, driven by a passion for their craft, to ensure their customers can continue to build incredible stuff. With their growing international network of carefully selected distributors, they guarantee full distribution coverage to its customers.
In picture: Arved Hammerstädt and Heinz Siller; Rainier Smeding, Christian Schoof, Michael Kempe and Date Jonkman
12th November 2019
PROLIGHTS appoints PLUSMUSIC AG as distributor for Switzerland
Switzerland – PROLIGHTS has announced the appointment, with immediate effect, of the company PLUSMUSIC AG as the new distributor for Switzerland.
PLUSMUSIC AG has a excellent reputation in Switzerland as experienced provider of professional AVL technologies for rental, production and system integration industries and it will address its total focus and offer for the professional lighting on PROLIGHTS and its brands.,p>PLUSMUSIC take over in the Swiss market which historically has been served directly from the PROLIGHTS Italian HQ for years, inheriting a network of loyal users, who will benefit from the distributor local sales and demo stock, and qualified technical support team.
Paolo Albani, international sales manager for PROLIGHTS says: “PLUSMUSIC is a natural match to carry on PROLIGHTS brand in the Swiss market. They share the same passion of our team when it comes to lighting technologies, and having full access to the market in its various segments and as well providing a high class customer service, we are very sure they will be a great asset for our Swiss partners.”
Gianluca Trevisan, sales manager of PLUSMUSIC adds: “We are excited to join the PROLIGHTS family, which today represents on of the best stories of success in the professional lighting industry. The product range effectively represents what our customers have been asking us for a long time and visiting the Italian HQ have been inspiring to see a young and dynamic team who run the daily activities with lot of dedication and passion. The impressive logistic backup and tools in the neighbour Italian headquarter, including the large showroom areas, will help us to support the customers with fast response to their needs.”
7th November 2019
SIXTY82 continues global expansion in UAE, Oman, and Saudi Arabia with Unusual Rigging & Engineering LLC.
UAE – SIXTY82 is pleased to announce that it has recently appointed Unusual Rigging & Engineering LLC as its exclusive representative in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Saudi Arabia, for its full trussing and staging product range. Unusual Rigging will exercise skilful supervision on a broad scope of possibilities, advising customers on the best SIXTY82 solution for their specific needs.
Established in 1983, Unusual Rigging is a highly experienced provider of rigging and stage engineering solutions, working around the globe, principally in the entertainment, special event, exhibition and presentation industries. In 2009 Unusual Rigging & Engineering LLC opened for business, bringing to Dubai a wealth of experience and expertise unmatched anywhere else in the world.
The team of Unusual Rigging has spent its entire working life on the production side of the entertainment business: its specialist teams boast a wide range of disciplines, and all are passionate about what they do. “At SIXTY82, we share this passion for the industry,” comments Fokko Smeding, CEO of SIXTY82. “We therefore we believe that Unusual Rigging & Engineering is a perfect fit to meet the needs of our ever-expanding customer base.”
SIXTY82’s sales and marketing manager, Rainier Smeding, continues: “We are extremely excited to be working with a team that has this kind of knowledge and expertise, supported by an unrivalled track record. With these dynamic and experienced people, we can focus on next-generation structures, based on the highest knowledge and working skills, as well as safety regulations.”
Denis Bramhall, managing partner at Unusual Rigging LLC, commented: “We are delighted to take on the role of distributor for SIXTY82 in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. By adding their products to our portfolio, we are offering our customers in the region something new and something which complements our current range. The quality of SIXTY82’s products is second to none, and we are proud to have formed this new partnership with them.”
Headquartered in Drachten, SIXTY82 has every element required to innovate in the way that lightweight structural systems are used. With over 100 years of experience in the entertainment industry, the team of SIXTY82 is committed to the continuation of improving product and service. They are driven by a passion for their craft, to ensure their customers can continue to build incredible stuff.
In picture: Denis Bramhall managing partner of Unusual Rigging LLC, Fokko Smeding CEO of Sixty82, Rainier Smeding of Sixty82 and Cyd Acanto Unusual Rigging LLC.
6th November 2019
New Danish Distributor for Allen & Heath
Allen & Heath has named Light Partner as its exclusive distributor for Denmark.
Allen & Heath’s EMEA sales manager, Fred Cresson, commented: “Allen & Heath has a strong, loyal following in Denmark, particularly in live sound and installation. We are therefore delighted to be working with Light Partner to continue providing first-class support to our Danish customers, and to explore the opportunities to keep developing the brand.”
Stig Meyer Jensen, Light Partner’s CEO, commented: “With the new Avantis adding to an already unbeatable line-up of consoles, Allen & Heath is the mixer brand everybody is talking about right now. We’re proud to be appointed to distribute A&H in Denmark and we’ve invested in a highly experienced team to deliver the outstanding backup that our customers deserve.”
The new distribution partnership is active with immediate effect.
In picture: Light Partner owners Stig Meyer Jensen and Johan Kvartborg.
6th November 2019
PROLIGHTS appoints HPL as distributor for Brazil
Brazil – HPL Light Company bring with them over 20 years of distribution experience and an excellent reputation throughout the Brazilian lighting market along with a lengthy of creating long-lasting business relationships. The extensive training and technical know-how of their staff makes HPL the perfect strategic partner for PROLIGHTS in Brazil.
Alberto Da Silva, sales manager of HPL explains: “PROLIGHTS is the perfect addition to our offering here in Brazil. The importance placed on the customer and their journey is part of why we do what we do here. The difference comes with the fixtures they create, stemming from the design and development processes, they feature sets and types of fixtures are to answer a specific need or gap in the market and not just another me-too fixture. With the increasingly growing popularity of PROLIGHTS fixtures in North America we have seen this influence the uptake here in South America.”
PROLIGHTS international sales manager, Paolo Albani adds: “Having HPL on-board as a partner is Brazil is great. They bring with them a wealth of local and market knowledge, experience and connections. We really look forward to working with them and watching this partnership flourish.”
1st November 2019
Area Four Industries acquires Prolyte
The Netherlands – Since its establishment in 1991, Prolyte has been a leading brand in the production of temporary structures for the entertainment industry. Throughout its history, the company introduced several key products that influenced the entire market for years to come. Now is the time to bring back the glory days.
František Zykan, CEO of Area Four Industries, explains: “We will invest in the development of Prolyte as a brand, as well as in new ideas and products. Our current partners remain equally important for us. I trust that in two years, Prolyte will be number one in customer satisfaction.”
30th October 2019
WIcreations Acquires the Assets of Visual act Scandinavia AB
Belgium - Entertainment technology engineering and automation specialist WIcreations has acquired the assets of Swedish advanced technology manufacturer, Visual act Scandinavia AB, effective immediately.
The terms of the deal include all the IP, source coding, patents, etc., related to Visual act’s innovative computerised control systems designed for all types of automated machinery, on, over or below the stage, for events, installations and venues.
The move makes independently owned and operated WIcreations the largest and most significant automation rental provider in Europe.
Hans Willems (pictured), CEO of WIcreations, stated: “This hugely exciting opportunity will assist our planned medium-term growth and allow us to develop even more dynamic and all-encompassing automation solutions for a wider range of clients, including full touring packages.
“WIcreations has been using elements of Visual act’s Stage Control System for three-dimensional flying and for moving our own stage / event wagon system since 2014, so this puts us in a strong position to develop this powerful software for future applications.”
The intention is to integrate the platform into WIcreations’ comprehensive new WImotion system, which offers a full range of European-designed and manufactured motion control hardware and software to move any object safely, smoothly and accurately in a 3D environment.
WIcreations, founded in 2005, already has over 80 Visual act drive units in its rental stock and is the most active and creative worldwide provider of this specific programmable wireless wagon system, known for its precision and robustness.
Full access to the Visual act Wagon and Visual act 3D IP and codes will allow WIcreations to provide its client base with unrivalled device, object, wagon and 3D flying control and management.
Hans adds: “Our goal has always been to have one single software solution to run all automated aspects of a show or event, whether it is flying people or objects, moving wagons on a floor or along another flat surface, etc. With the proven reliability and scope of the Visual act architecture, several elements are now aligned for this to happen imminently.”
WIcreations will make a further strategic announcement about their new WImotion system development / rental opportunities in the coming weeks.
29th October 2019
Sonos Libra Appointed Exclusive Allen & Heath Distributor for Vietnam
Vietnam – Allen & Heath has announced the appointment of Sonos Libra as its exclusive distribution partner for its full range of mixers in Vietnam.
Allen & Heath’s APAC sales director, Jamie Ward, commented: “Sonos Libra has impressed us with its commitment to providing excellent service to the full spectrum of Allen & Heath customers in both Thailand and Vietnam, ranging from DJs and performers to systems integrators and rental companies. With a dynamic, experienced team on the ground, we’re looking forward to growing the Allen & Heath brand together in the region.”
Alfonso Martín, Sonos Libra’s CEO, added: “Allen & Heath is unstoppable at the moment and with the stunning new Avantis console joining heavy-hitters like Qu, SQ, and dLive, this is the perfect moment to take our representation of the brand in Vietnam to the next level.”
The exclusive partnership takes immediate effect and Sonos Libra already has plans to extend its product training, presentations and support activities.
In picture: Alfonso Martín, Jamie Ward and Mr. Cuong.
28th October 2019
Portable power specialist Green Voltage expands market availability with new Belfast and Dublin outlets
Ireland – Following the UK launch of the company earlier in the year, the Green Voltage team has been quick to realise the potential for establishing an enhanced presence in Ireland via new distribution outlets in Belfast and Dublin.
Green Voltage director Adam Baker comments: “Our Voltstack power units have been incredibly well received by production so we started looking at potential opportunities to make it even easier for customers to access our product range. The ongoing success of the region as a production centre plus the growing number of enquiries we have received proved Ireland to be an obvious choice for us.”
The company’s Voltstack range of battery powered generator units have been delivering emission-free, silent power to sets throughout Europe and is quietly building a reputation as a true alternative to traditional remote power sources. The popularity of the eco-friendly units has attracted considerable attention both from HoDs as well as the likes of BAFTA's albert scheme and the National Trust.
The new venture will be operated by Niall Crawford of Skylite Balloons. Having supported an impressive roster of productions including Game of Thrones, Penny Dreadful, Outlander and The Night Manager, Niall has a huge amount of experience working with both the local and international industry. With operations in both Belfast and Dublin, Niall is able to provide full product support throughout Ireland.
Adam continues: “We spoke to Niall about working with us to support the region’s vibrant production industry. His extensive industry experience and sheer enthusiasm for our products made him the perfect choice to help us take the next step in our journey. We are looking forward to working throughout Ireland, together in what is an exciting new market for us.”
Having taken delivery of a brand new consignment of Voltstack power units, Green Voltage is all set to open the doors to its new operation from the beginning of November.
28th October 2019
Highlite Offers Solutions
UK – Highlite (UK) recently provided a range of switching units to Rainford Solutions, a world-class UK-based designer, manufacturer and integrator of high quality electronic enclosure protection solutions for indoor and outdoor environments.
Rainford serves a diverse client base of Tier 1 organisations across a wide variety applications, including fixed and mobile telecommunications, road and rail transport, large data centre operators, defence, and utility companies. Dave Hartley, sales manager, Highlite (UK) commented: "This is another example where Highlite comes to the fore, offering solutions for more diversified markets"
23rd October 2019
Getting social with rigging
A4i.tv has just released a new video about the current state of rigging posts on social media. Rigging advisor Eric Porter tackles this subject in a very straightforward manner, speaking about how social media is being used for rigging commentary and how people are behaving online.
Eric also addresses the importance of training and rigging knowledge not only in emerging markets, where rigging is still in its youth, but also in countries with long established rigging practices and regulations.
Watch the video here.
17th October 2019
Group One Ltd Exclusive North American Partner For Solid State Logic
USA – Solid State Logic (SSL) has announced a new business partnership with Group One Ltd to manage its US portfolio of audio solutions and operational infrastructure. Effective immediately, the new deal brings together one of professional audio’s most prestigious brands with Group One’s extensive distribution, customer support and partner network, to further strengthen both businesses.
Jack Kelly, CEO of Group One Ltd, comments: “We know the Solid State Logic North American team and business pretty well with our common links through the Audiotonix Group. Having the opportunity to help take this world-renowned brand and their fantastic products to another level has all of the Group One team incredibly excited. With key new products in the pipeline, backed with the expertise and knowledge of the SSL team, there is no limit to what we can achieve.”
Nigel Beaumont, managing director of Solid State Logic, is clear on the benefits the agreement will bring. “To achieve our next level of growth in the live and broadcast sectors, and expand our reach within pro audio retailers, having a strong resource pool and partner in the US is key to that success,” he shares. “We have immensely talented people, along with an exciting product and technology strategy, and working with Jack’s team will help us realise our goals.”
The partnership also sees the introduction of pro audio industry veteran Phil Wagner as North American senior vice president of SSL, working alongside the Group One senior management team. Wagner has been involved in the audio and entertainment industry for the last four decades. Having started as a recording engineer and technician using SSL consoles, he eventually worked for the company for 17 years, becoming president of US operations in 2005. His career has also included President of US operations for Focusrite Novation Inc, with more recent senior management roles at Apogee Electronics and Ocean Way Audio.
“This is a coming home for me, working with a brand and colleagues that helped shape my early career,” comments Wagner. “They are making products I always envisaged SSL making, and with the team at Group One we can ensure our clients and partners get to share this amazing opportunity. Seeing the wealth of new products coming makes this a special time to be part of the company, and I couldn’t be prouder to follow my career back to its true SSL origin.”
In picture: SSL managing director Nigel Beaumont, SSL USA SVP Phil Wagner, Group One Ltd president Bryan Bradley and Group One Ltd CEO Jack Kelly.
17th October 2019
Purchase Agreement Sealed for Bristol-Based SLX
UK – Specialist hire and events business, SLX, has been sold by the Stage Electrics Group in a transaction led by the existing chief executive of the hire and events business, Alastair Currie (pictured).
SLX has a heritage dating back more than 40 years and serves the live events, hire abd broadcast markets throughout the UK.
All staff will transfer as part of the transaction which completed on Friday 11th October 2019.
Alastair Currie says: “Two years ago I joined SLX and at the time had no idea what an amazing business I would find. SLX is brimming with some of the most knowledgeable, talented, passionate and dedicated individuals I’ve ever come across. From delivering on incredible West End productions and national tours to utterly unique corporate events as well as being in house providers at nationally recognised top tier venues, I couldn’t be prouder of the work we do. There is still an incredible untapped opportunity and I’m confident our plans for significant investment in the latest lighting products and further investment in our technical team will enable SLX to quickly become recognised as the leading player in the hire and live events sector.
Maria Townsend CEO of Stage Electrics Group commented: “We believe that this decision is extremely positive for Stage Electrics, it will enable us to target our management time and focus our resources more effectively. As a market leader in installation, sales and venue services both in the UK and overseas, we felt the timing was right to concentrate purely on our core businesses.”
17th October 2019
Time to switch channel to Area Four Industries
In a world of uncertain times, and the worrying thought that those that have been relied on in the past may not be here tomorrow, Area Four Industries' A4i.tv remains on the air with a strong signal.
With more than 100 educational, technical and product-oriented videos online, and many more coming soon, viewers are provided with trussing and rigging fuel that keeps them smart and ahead of the curve.
Ensuring that A4i.tv remains broadcasting without the fear of potential down time, is the undeniable strength of the Area Four Industries Group and its portfolio of eight leading brands. As with A4i.tv, they will always be there tomorrow and delivering the required products and services when they are needed them most.
16th October 2019
Copper Leaf Media releases first ever research into AV and pro audio industry awards
AV marketing expert, Copper Leaf Media, has released the industry’s first ever research into the somewhat hazy world of industry awards in an attempt to provide some clarity on how awards are judged and what companies really gain from entering. The wide-ranging, 40-page document covers Europe and North America, reporting on over 20 awards. The research was conducted via comprehensive telephone interviews with the majority of the awards organisers as well as extensive online research.
The document aims to answer three principal questions:
Is the time, effort and cost worth it against the potential exposure you might receive?
Is the judging process credible, making it an award that actually means something?
Could there be bias or subterfuge?
In order to answer those questions, Copper Leaf performed three key tasks:
Research into how each award is managed and judged
Analysis of how transparent the process is and whether there is opportunity for bias
Review of what shortlisted and winning companies receive in terms of exposure
The report also includes a history of all product and technology winners over the last five years for an at-a-glance view of who won what award and when in addition to a number of helpful charts and tables to summarise the findings on each award.
Copper Leaf director, Roland Hemming explains the motivation behind producing such a report: “Clients frequently come to us asking advice on which awards to enter; whilst we had our opinions, of course, and plenty of experience, our advice was only anecdotal at best, so we decided it was about time that we had some real data to draw upon. As nothing of that nature actually existed, we decided to do the research ourselves, which turned out to be a fascinating process.”
“So often we hear mutterings of unfairness or bias about who won what,” adds director, Kiera Leeming. “This is the first attempt to uncover the truth about how all of these awards really operate and what companies can really get out of them.”
The document is available for download on the Copper Leaf Media website at www.copperleaf.media
16th October 2019
7000 up for Association of Stage Pyrotechnicians
The number of delegates to ASP events has now passed the 7,000 mark reports organiser Lincoln Parkhouse. A UK administrated organisation for people working with stage pyrotechnics, the register of members is a public resource to enable venue managers, licensing and safety agencies and other interested parties to verify the status of an ASP member. It lists any relevant training and experience that the member has entered into the register.
The next ASP event is at Production Park in Wakefield on January 20th 2020.
14th October 2019
PLASA and MIA to host two Brexit forums
UK – PLASA and the Music Industries Association (MIA) are co-hosting two free-to-attend forums in preparation for Brexit, taking place in London on 25 October and Leeds on 28 October.
The two associations are collaborating with the aim of bringing the most relevant and up-to-date information to as wide a community as possible. Both events will feature a line-up of expert speakers, panel sessions and Q&A providing trustworthy and accurate information and allowing attendees to ask their burning questions.
Topics to be covered include legal, shipping, HR and currency, however the event organisers are open to further suggestions. Confirmed speakers include Ros Kellaway of Eversheds, transport and haulage specialist Tim Ridyard, Nicky Gleadow of HR Point, economist Roger Martin Fagg (Leeds only), and representatives from SGM, freight company Velta, and HR consultants Croner. More speakers will be announced over the coming weeks.
Both events are free to attend to anyone working in the industry and are likely to book up in advance. Spaces can be reserved www.plasa.org/brexit-forum
10th October 2019
SIXTY82’s international distribution network expands to Switzerland
Switzerland – With a continued focus on providing customers with superior service and fast delivery of high-quality products, SIXTY82 has announced that it has recently appointed CAST as its exclusive distributor for Switzerland. With immediate effect, CAST will distribute and provide technical support for the full product range of SIXTY82 trussing and staging solutions.
In the fast-changing live events industry, it is highly important to have full distribution coverage in order to provide the growing demand for craftsmanship and technical support. CAST’s knowledge of the market will be invaluable in supporting SIXTY82 in providing its Swiss customers, on both academic and industrial levels, with a service that is second to none.
“As we learned about the birth of SIXTY82 in 2018, it was obvious that one day we would join this marvellous team, led by people we have trusted for more than 25 years! It is wonderful that today is that day,” says Silvio Cibien, CEO of CAST Switzerland.
Fokko Smeding, CEO of SIXTY82 comments: “We are delighted to be working with CAST. This partnership will help meet the industry’s requirements for fast delivery times and technical know-how from experienced people.” Date Jonkman, SIXTY82 executive account manager continues: “We believe that CAST is uniquely positioned to further develop our existing customer base and that, with their market presence and sales support network, together we can make a real impact.”
With over 100 years of combined experience in the entertainment industry, the team of SIXTY82 is committed to the continuation of innovative means of improving product and service. Driven by a passion for their craft, their aim is to ensure their customers can continue to build incredible stuff.
In picture: Sixty82’s CEO Fokko Smeding with Silvio Cibien, CEO of new distributor, CAST Switzerland.
8th October 2019
Solid State Logic Appoint Provision AVL for Live Sound Distribution
Middle East – Solid State Logic (SSL) has announced the appointment of Provision AVL as its live sound product distributor in the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. Formed in 2014, Provision AVL have grown their reputation as a leading sales and distribution company in the Middle East, representing premium brands including Prolyte Group, Chauvet Lighting, Clair Brothers Audio Systems, Admiral Staging, and Le Maitre Effects.
The move to distribute SSL’s Live range was an obvious choice as Provision AVL’s MD, Kevin Boujikian, explains. “Back in my college days, the first and foremost audio console brand discussed around our Audio Engineering classes was Solid State Logic.
Twelve years on, it was vital for us at Provision AVL to add a leading audio console brand alongside the exciting portfolio of lighting, staging and trussing products we already represent, hence the simple decision to go with Solid State Logic. The Live series compliments what we already offer in terms of audio systems. Our immediate priority now, will be to increase sales, exposure, and support across the region alongside the SSL team led by Philippe.”
Philippe Guerinet, SSL director of international sales, comments: “We have worked with Provision AVL previously on our core music creation products, such as SiX, and Fusion. As part of our strategy to further develop our Live presence in the region, expanding Provision AVL’s portfolio to include the SSL Live range is a natural progression to achieve our goals. Starting with the forthcoming PL & S show in Dubai, we look forward to growing our customer base in the region.”
Provision and SSL will be at PL&S, Dubai, October 15-17.
4th October 2019
Tempus Fugit for Rope Assemblies
UK – Rope Assemblies is celebrating two years of change and growth, since managing director, Linda Martin signed on the dotted line. The Retford based company, which became part of the Unusual group in 2017 has seen significant change, with the implementation of new company policies, best practice procedures and increased sales.
Linda said: "In the blink of an eye, two years have passed, which seems like no time at all. Then we took a step back and realised how much the company has changed in that time, thanks to all the hard work that every member of the team has put in, and we felt it was worth marking the anniversary."
The biggest cause for celebration is the record sales figures that Rope Assemblies is achieving on a month on month basis. "If we look at January 2017, for example and compare that with January 2018 and January 2019, we are seeing a marked increase in sales. Every month is the same which shows us that we are doing something right. But we can't rest on our laurels. The job isn't done, it's just beginning," commented Linda.
Since taking on the role of MD, Linda has been keen to invest time and energy into improving and updating the internal systems, fundamental to the successful running and growth of the business. "It's very much been a two year spring clean if you like," she said. "We've gone through all our Health and Safety practices, ensured all staff policies are fully up to date, which has in turn resulted in a more motivated workforce and we've worked closely with LEEA to ensure all our certification is all done to standard. We've also updated our welding techniques and revised the way we carry stock, instead preferring to place monthly orders to maintain our stock levels and ensure stock rotation, thereby ensuring we always have sufficient stock to satisfy our customers' needs. We're noticing the changes internally and by default this will filter down to the customers too."
Linda concluded: "When I took over as managing director at the end of August 2017, we had a very defined two year plan. Everything that was detailed in that plan has happened, so now we're hard at work, making sure we meet the goals of our next plan. At the heart of all of this is making sure that we have a happy, motivated team, a concise and user friendly admin system and ultimately, satisfied customers who return to us time and again for their wire rope needs."