Business News Headlines
What Do the Proposed EU 2020 Lighting Regulations Really Mean to Live Events and the Professional Lighting Industry?
Productive meeting held at EU Commission Brussels on proposed Eco-Design regulation – lighting
Belgium – A group of professionals from across member organisational1, manufacturers and designers in the live entertainment industry had a very productive meeting in Brussels on 17th May on the issue of Stage Lighting with the European Commission.
As a result, PLASA has agreed to channel our work into seeking to draft a specific, technically based, exemption for lighting uses in the Stage and Entertainment Industries in the new proposed Eco Regulations planned for 2020. This work needs to happen quickly with our collective comments being channelled through Pearle2 to the European Commission in advance of the next draft of the regulations due in late June.
1 The meeting was between representatives of the EU’s Energy & Culture departments, and Pearle representing its members in all EU states including SOLT/UK Theatre, the trade associations PLASA, VLPT and OETHG, the ALD, IALD and the Association of Swedish Lighting Designers.
2 PEARLE-Live Performance Europe is the European federation based in Brussels representing its members in the field of music, theatre and other performing arts or live entertainment to the European Institutions.
21st May 2018
Steeldeck secures new production facility
UK – Steeldeck, producer of platforms, staging and seating solutions, has secured a new London production facility. Doubling its present space, the new premises will allow Steeldeck to streamline its workflow and keep up with the burgeoning demand for its products.
“We have been providing stage and seating solutions for sale and rental for over 30 years,” says the company’s Philip Parsons. Location in Central London, which dates back to the PL Parsons and Company scenery days in Kings Cross, became irrelevant once the rental and manufacturing arms were separated, both in terms of management and location.
“What continues to be vitally important, however, is providing uncompromising products and delivering reliable service, every time; the bespoke projects are sometimes very challenging (which we love) but with demand increasing year on year, a new production facility has become essential.”
Located on the outskirts of London in Erith, close to the M25, the new facility increases the available space to over 2300m2 and is being equipped with a rationalised production process that will provide the required increase in capacity.
“The old premises were very conveniently located near our rental business in London’s Bermondsey, and to various suppliers such as the powder coater, but the area has changed,” Philip continues. “Factories have been demolished wholesale to be replaced by towering blocks of flats, parking is becoming increasing limited, the street access for lorries has been reduced drastically by street narrowing and the rents are rising very sharply.”
“Moving from our present railway arch-based accommodation to relatively modern industrial premises will permit proper workflow. The new site, of course, has a substantial private yard as well as excellent access to transport links, all of which will allow us to keep pace with demand and to better provide the service our customers expect from us.”
18th May 2018
AV Stumpfl GmbH Establishes AV Stumpfl Inc. in the USA
USA – AV Stumpfl GmbH, the Austrian AV technology manufacturer, has officially announced the establishment of AV Stumpfl Inc. ahead of this year's InfoComm exhibition in Las Vegas.
The new AV Stumpfl Inc. headquarters will be based in Atlanta and will be supported by a nationwide network of distributors, dealers and technology specialists.
This is the first time that family-owned AV Stumpfl GmbH has established an official subsidiary in the USA with direct ties to the Austrian parent company.
Industry veteran Todd Liedahl (pictured) was recently appointed as the managing director of the new US subsidiary, AV Stumpfl Inc.
"The establishment of AV Stumpfl Inc. is a new chapter in our company’s history. Todd is without doubt the perfect choice for the role of managing director", explains Fabian Stumpfl, AV Stumpfl GmbH CEO. "Although our products are already well known in the US market, we feel that there is still a lot of growth potential for both our projection screen and media server systems. The USA as a whole is obviously of major importance as a trendsetter territory. Professionals from all over the world look to the US for the latest technological trends in the AV and entertainment industries. With the new AV Stumpfl Inc. presence, we will be able to support our US distribution partners and customers in a more direct and efficient way."
Todd Liedahl brings over 25 years of experience from the rental and staging market to his new role at AV Stumpfl Inc. His diverse background in sales and operations leadership gives him a unique ability to develop all aspects of the US organisation effectively. Liedahl’s hospitality spirit drives him to provide the best solutions available while also ensuring an outstanding service experience.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining AV Stumpfl, a company that strives to make a superior product and succeeds in doing so," says Liedahl. "I look forward to helping to grow the business in North America as well as introducing exciting new products to the market. The second half of 2018 will be particularly interesting for US customers, due to a number of activities we are currently planning to promote innovative screen and media server products."
The next stop for the AV Stumpfl team will be this year's InfoComm show in Las Vegas, where booth visitors will be given a sneak peek at a revolutionary new media server software solution and will also be able to see the T-32 Shift screen system leg in action.
This projection screen ‘leg’ makes it possible for just one person to easily adjust a mobile projection screen's height, without having to disassemble it first.
No extra measuring is needed to ensure that the frame is level, due to a clearly marked height scale.
17th May 2018
HHB unveil upgraded demonstration facilities at North West London HQ
UK – Professional audio equipment supplier HHB Communications has announced the opening of its newly renovated and improved demonstration facilities at their headquarters in North West London. The new facility was designed to provide demonstrations and training with the latest formats and technologies currently available in the professional audio market.
With the newly acquired distribution of console and routing systems specialist Studer, HHB has installed a Vista 1 Black Edition as the main control desk console providing an all-in-one compact, flexible mix system for the newly designed room.
The acoustically treated room also features a Genelec 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos speaker array to deliver the most up to date and state-of-the-art audio demonstrations, and a wide range of speaker models available to A/B compare. Recently, the demand for Dolby Atmos has risen dramatically with an increased uptake of Dolby Atmos-compatible home entertainment systems and sound bars. All audio is running through a Dante AoIP focused system, managed by Dante Domain Manager, and featuring a DAD AX-32 for Pro Tools I/O & A/D – D/A, controlled and distributed to all the speakers in the room via a BSS BLU-806 processor, and BSS Contrio Panel.
“A lot of time and consideration went into the refurbishment and upgrade of the studio. With post, recording, and broadcast demands constantly evolving through new technologies (such as immersive audio and audio over IP), we wanted to consider as many different demonstration scenarios as possible to ensure we have the flexibility to accommodate any and all requests from our clients.” commented John Johnson, HHB’s CTO.
The room is now available for demonstrations by appointment only. For further information, booking a demonstration or if you have any questions please contact HHB Communication’s sales team on 020 8862 5000 or visit www.hhb.co.uk
17th May 2018
City Light Slovakia seals deal to exclusively distribute Green Hippo
Slovakia – Green Hippo has announced that City Light Slovakia Ltd is to distribute Green Hippo in Slovakia. With immediate effect City Light Slovakia is responsible for Green Hippo’s range of cutting-edge real-time video hardware and software throughout the central European country.
City Light Slovakia was established in 1993 and since launch it has prided itself on offering a reliable and high-quality service. Providing a comprehensive package, it takes its role of brand distributor extremely seriously, including offering technology installation services and post-warranty service. The Slovakian outfit also has valuable experience of providing operator training; an area in which it will work closely with Green Hippo’s highly regarded HippoSchool and in-house training division.
The addition of Green Hippo to its roster means that City Light Slovakia is able to offer the market-leading solutions for real-time media playback and 3D projection mapping. The Green Hippo product line continues to go from strength to strength – the latest Hippotizer V4+ series takes its media servers to a new level of creativity and Hippotizer’s seamless integration with the likes of Notch is proving invaluable to creative across the globe. Recent global-reach events to rely on Hippotizer Media Servers include the Pepsi Super Bowl LII half-time show, headlined by Justin Timberlake.
“City Light Slovakia started its operations in the professional light and sound industry 25 years ago, and we have worked very hard to become such strong and stable business partner,” said Marek Plancar, owner of City Light Slovakia Ltd. “For us, the distribution of Green Hippo Hippotizer media servers opens the door of creativity and offers high-end hardware and software, for great shows. We are glad to become part of the Green Hippo family and its product line of Hippotizer media servers– it is the world’s best solution for real-time video playback. We hope that we can begin a positive co-operation as the exclusive distributor of Green Hippo in Slovakia.”
Evzen Zomer, sales manager (Central Europe) at Green Hippo, added: “This is a positive time for the Slovakian economy, which continues to record sustained growth. We don’t appoint distributors lightly, and we are confident that City Light Slovakia has the acumen to help Green Hippo gain further footholds in this increasingly important market.”
In picture: L’uboslava Cincarova – sales manager at City Light Slovakia, Marek Plancar – managing director at City Light Slovakia and Evzen Zomer – sales manager (Central Europe) at Green Hippo.
17th May 2018
Theatre Projects announces new office in Denver
USA – Theatre Projects has announced that on 1st June it is opening a second US office in Denver. Wanting to be more easily available to clients in the western and mid-western US, the company looked at locations from Seattle to Austin. They loved the centralness of Denver! It’s only a few hours by plane to Los Angeles, Portland, Minneapolis, Dallas, Chicago, and Atlanta. It’s also one of the fastest growing cities in the US and ranked among the best places to live in the country.
But it wasn’t just the logical choice, Denver loves the arts as much as they do. The city had its first performance of Macbeth before it even had a school or a hospital, and it’s home to the second largest arts center under one roof in the United States (after Lincoln Center in NYC). Denver’s also one of the most generously funded arts cities in the nation with a 0.1% sales tax funding arts and cultural institutions since 1988.
With the opening of their Denver office, Theatre Projects now has five offices worldwide: Denver, Connecticut (South Norwalk), London, Paris and Shanghai, as well as a representative in Chile. Principal Millie Dixon will lead the new office with support from other familiar faces including Aaron Wong and Ali Mignone.
Theatre Projects’ Denver home will be located in the INDUSTRY RiNo Station complex at 3858 Walnut Street, Suite 152, Denver, Colorado 80205.
photo: Lora Karam Photography
16th May 2018
MA Lighting and Avolites join forces again: Anti-counterfeiting campaign at GET Show 2018 launched
China - During the recent Guangzhou Entertainment Technology (GET) exhibition, MA Lighting and Avolites launched a series of anti-counterfeiting actions on the expo site with the help of the trade show organisers. This is another joint action by the two major stage lighting control brands, following a similar initiative at Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt.
Some counterfeit manufacturers in China have long copied MA Lighting and Avolites’ products, and a large number of them are located in Guangzhou. The GET Show – held in Guangzhou – is now one of the most important international industry shows attracting visitors from all over the world, and recently became a “must-go” annual appointment.
The support of the GET show in respecting international patents and copyrights follows the directions by the government of the People’s Republic of China, who set higher goals for the local manufacturing industry with their “Made in China 2025” plan.
This makes a clear statement: “It is understandable to learn advanced foreign technology through imitation during the early years of manufacturing industry development, but pirated copyright infringement is a totally different concept from imitation learning.
The practice of pirating infringement under the name of ‘imitation learning’ can only become a malignant tumor that harms the industry, it is also a clear crime.
Our manufacturing industry needs more innovation, and we urgently need to improve intellectual property protection. Of course, we should support Made-in-China, but this is definitely not as such Made-in-China. Otherwise, in the future when we will once again face sanctions like those that the United States has launched against ZTE and the trade war waged against our entire manufacturing industry we can only surrender.”
Franco Zaghini, director of business development for MA Lighting, and Avolites’ sales director Koy Neminathan led the team to negotiate with counterfeit manufacturers on the show floor and asked them to withdraw all displayed infringing products.
Zaghini commented: “The way we conducted our actions was this; on the first day of the show, we sat with the GET organisers to show them all our patents, trademarks and IPs and their authenticity; at the same time our staff went around the exhibition halls to identify potential infringers. The second day, we visited the booth of the infringing companies accompanied by GET show organisers; we sat at the table of their booths with their management, owners and staff who had declared themselves entitled to speak with us.
After showing them the proof of our patents and IP rights, none of the counterfeiters, had any objections and they removed voluntarily all the infringing products. They clearly know they are committing a crime. grandMA2 software is only legal for use on our own hardware platforms; using our software either on consoles or any other window-based hardware developed by any other manufacturer is ‘pirated copyright infringement’.”
The companies involved were:
YEL, Yel Intelligence Technology Co. Ltd.
YPL, Guangzhou Yunpeng Lighting Equipment Co.,
F-LINE, Guangzhou Fine Line Performing Equipment Co. Ltd.
GUODA, Guangzhou Guoda Electronic Technology Development Co. Ltd.
HB Lighting, Guangzhou HB Lighting Equipment Co. Ltd.
LIV Lighting, Guangzhou LIV Lighting Equipment Co. Ltd.
XFC, Guangzhou Xun Fei Optoelectrionic Equipment Co. Ltd.
ZNL, Guangzhou Zunneng Stage Equipment Co. Ltd.
Taurus Light Co. Ltd.
These counterfeiting actions will continue outside the People’s Republic of China against importers of counterfeited products in every single country.
16th May 2018
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16th May 2018
Stage Electrics discusses Eco-Design Issues with Ashley Fox MEP
UK – This week Stage Electrics Group CEO Maria Townsend and marketing director Adam Blaxill met with Ashley Fox MEP for the South West to discuss the proposed EU Eco-Design Regulations.
In the proposed regulations that will come into effect in 2020, stage lighting will lose its current exemption and the sale of tungsten and arc light bulbs would be prohibited. It will even prohibit the sale of state of the art, low energy LED stage lighting fixtures.
During the meeting Adam Blaxill outlined the potential implications, not only for specialist lighting companies like Stage Electrics and their sister company SLX Hire & Events but also for theatres, social clubs and schools all of whom own equipment which will effectively become obsolete. “The UK and Europe are world leaders in entertainment lighting, these regulations are a direct threat to our ability to deliver world class entertainment.”
Ashley Fox was aware of the Eco-Design Regulations and had already responded to the consultation before meeting with the Stage Electrics team and was able to offer valuable insights into how the legislative process works. During the meeting Mr Fox assured us that he will continue to raise concerns with the Commission and push for the existing exemption for stage lighting to be continued.
“We need to get these regulations right,” argues Mr Fox. “If the market cannot supply the technology needed to meet the new energy efficiency standards then we risk damaging the entire theatre industry by asking them to achieve the unattainable. I will be making the case in Parliament and to the Commission that we need to take a more pragmatic approach and avoid harming our creative sector.”
11th May 2018
A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ireland Ltd Opens for Business
Ireland – A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd. (AC-ET) has a new sister company, A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ireland Ltd. The new company, registered in Dublin, will have a long term commitment to supporting customers of its growing portfolio of brands.
Local industry face, Aaron Cripps has been appointed as managing director. Based in County Limerick, he previously acted as AC-ET's representative for Ireland. Prior to this Aaron has also worked as an account manager in the international sales division of AC-ET.
AC-ET Ireland will supply Chroma-Q, ProLights, Avolites, Luminex, Green Hippo, D.A.D and Tourflex Cabling products exclusively, as well as many of the other leading industry brands that are also available in the UK from AC-ET.
AC-ET’s managing director, Phill Capstick states: "Providing exceptional customer support is at the core of "A.C.'s offering. I'm delighted that Aaron will be heading up A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ireland. With his extensive local experience and contacts, and strong relationships with key suppliers, he is well equipped to oversee the development of "A.C.'s" Irish business."
Aaron states: "I am really looking forward to building the A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ireland business. The company has access to a fantastic portfolio of cutting edge brands covering lighting, rigging, audio and video system needs, so will offer its customers the same convenience of a 'one-stop shop' of products and services that AC-ET's customers have been receiving for years."
In picture: A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ireland's managing director, Aaron Cripps with A.C. Entertainment Technologies co-founder and executive chairman, David Leggett.
11th May 2018
Sharing The Spoils: Alcons Audio Adds Another US Representative
USA – Alcons Audio has announced the addition of Spoiled By Technology, Inc to its US network of representatives for the professional audio industry, covering the northern Illinois and Wisconsin region.
Describing itself as ‘a professional sales organisation providing integrated solutions in a continuously evolving world’, the team at Spoiled By Technology (SBT) has over 50 years of collective experience within the professional audio/visual industry. The company has won many manufacturer and industry awards over the past two decades, highlighting its core values of open and honest communications, trust, respect and a determination not to rest on its laurels.
On the subject of Alcons’ Audio products, SBT is clearly excited about bringing the many benefits of the company’s pro-ribbon technology to live sound suppliers in the region.
“There is a lot of opportunity in our territory and we are grateful to Alcons for trusting in us to expand the horizons of the live audio industry here,” says Maurice F. ‘Moe’ Paulsen, SBT VP of sales and marketing. “Alcons is not just another traditional speaker company. The unique, proven technology of high powered pro-ribbon high frequency devices delivers something that you really need to hear to believe.
“Ironically, like Alcons, one of our mottoes has always been ‘hearing is believing’, further highlighting that Alcons is a natural fit for SBT. We look forward to working with our dealer base and giving them the experience of genuine high fidelity sound at concert levels.”
“SBT’s philosophies that anchor the company perfectly match our values of service, support, honesty and integrity,” says Alcons US sales manager David Rahn. “Added to the unparalleled performance of our pro-ribbon systems, we are sure that we will make an impact in the region with SBT.
“We have already seen very positive responses to this new union and look forward to working closely with SBT to provide the best tools and support for their customer base.”
10th May 2018
Konsbud Audio Appointed Polish Distributor for KLANG:technologies
Poland – KLANG:technologies has announced the appointment of Konsbud Audio as its exclusive distributor for Poland.
Konsbud Audio is a leading pro audio distributor with a portfolio that includes, among others, d&b audiotechnik, Allen & Heath, Audio-Technica, Avid, Genelec, Neutrik and Cordial. Started in 1989, at the beginning of the free market in Poland, Konsbud Audio began with distribution of audio and music equipment. Today, in addition to distribution of pro audio products, the company offers complete audio solutions for rental, recording and post-production studios, theatres, cultural centres, broadcast and AV companies. Konsbud Audio also supports its clients with industry leading technical support and service.
Jarosław Kierkowski, Konsbud Audio’s commercial director commented: “We had previously seen KLANG at PL+S in Frankfurt and, at a meeting with them at ISE this year, decided this is the right time to introduce KLANG products for our Polish clients. Musicians and engineers alike want high-tech products that will improve performance quality and the comfort of their work on stage and in the studio.” Kierkowski continued: “KLANG’s systems have a strong synergy with our business, directed to musicians, sound engineers, production companies and rental, and in those fields we are one of the most experienced distributors in Poland.”
Phil Kamp, KLANG:technologies’ head of sales, commented: “We are very pleased to welcome Konsbud Audio as distributor in this key European region with its vibrant market for live and recorded music. They have a great line of brands and a team with the expertise to provide excellent technical support. I am looking forward to working with them and introducing KLANG:technologies to musicians and engineers throughout Poland.”
In picture: Agnieszka Pyrich, president of Konsbud Audio, Phil Kamp, head of sales for KLANG:technologies and Jarosław Kierkowski, commercial director of Konsbud Audio.
8th May 2018
SPR is Launched
UK – SPR – Special Project Resources – is an exciting and brand new company just launched by Tim Dunn and Marcel Wijnberger, which is part of the growing HSL Group.
Tim and Marcel have both relocated from Johannesburg in South Africa to HSL’s HQ in Blackburn. They bring a wealth of experience and knowledge in entertainment technology and live event production together with copious imagination and enormous energy to the HSL Group.
SPR has been created to share an enriching and completely unique set of skills, dynamics and resources for the implementation, creation and facilitation of extraordinary and ambitious entertainment experiences on all scales and across all sectors.
The company is also set to redefine the notion of thinking out-of-the-box!
SPR will be dedicated to assisting clients on any or all of the technical and design aspects of their concepts and projects, delivering incredible and memorable moments, vibrant storytelling and high levels of engagement for diverse audiences, through the innovative use of technologies.
TimDunn’s industry career began as a teenager in Sheffield. Since then he has worked worldwide on a diversity of ambitious and interesting shows and events, and his skills include production, set, lighting and visual design, rigging, site management, technical co-ordination and complex technical drawing and visualisation.
Tim has been an integral part of some of the highest profile, most demanding events in the southern hemisphere over the last 24 years while he’s been based in South Africa. He has also worked in various executive roles for leading technical production company, Gearhouse South Africa.
Known for his flamboyance, communication skills, deal-making and love of challenges, Tim is also appreciated for his ability to perform and make logical decisions under pressure, to troubleshoot in critical scenarios and for his direct talking and transparent approach to business.
Tim is relishing the new challenges, horizons and huge potential of running SPR: “We have massive equipment resources available at HSL with constant future and ongoing investment as well as access to some very valuable human capital, all of which will be available to our clients. We are also looking forward to a lot of collaboration with a truly amazing team.”
Marcel Wijnberge was a production industry baby! His parents Otto and Linda are both larger-than-life figures in South Africa, and he has always had an insouciant passion for all things visual and technical.
He’s is known for his patience, persistence and quietly outrageous sense of humour. Other skills include systems integration, IT, video and media servers, structural design and rigging and creative strategies converging and combining lighting, audio and video.
He’s worked with South Africa’s most respected enterprises in structures / mobile venues, theatre lighting and visuals and rental / staging in In2Strutures, Splitbeam And Gearhouse SA, respectively.
Marcel is looking forward to; “Working in the UK, Europe and further afield and being part of an enthusiastic, forward-thinking team of individuals where there’s a fantastic atmosphere and everyone feels included.”
HSL’s MD Simon Stuart comments: “I am hugely excited about welcoming Tim and Marcel as SPR to the Group, and am looking forward to the dynamics and vision they bring to our equation. It’s going to be a highly productive, fulfilling and enjoyable working relationship.
“SPR will work in harmony with all the current HSL Group businesses and help grow, develop and diversify the scope of our work, optimise the talent, skills and personalities we already have and take us to a new level in facilitating and delivering the extraordinary experiences that our clients all strive to achieve”.
In picture: Marcel Wijnberger, HSL’s Simon Stuart and Tim Dunn.
8th May 2018
GLP Joins the Campaign to Save Stage Lighting
Germany – Lighting manufacturers have reacted strongly to publication of the EU Eco-Design laws which would have major impact to stage lighting and the industry.
The new EU legislation on Ecodesign and energy labelling sets out to improve the energy efficiency of products in line with the worldwide demand for more efficient products to reduce energy and resource consumption.
However, the Energy Directorate’s Ecodesign Working Plan 2016-2019, and its associated proposed regulations, would impose a minimum efficiency of 85 lumens per Watt and a maximum standby power of 0.5W on all light sources, that would come into effect in 2020.
GLP managing director Udo Kuenzler says: “If this becomes law it could mean extinction for theatres, concert venues and other sections of the performing arts since no tungsten fixtures and many LED-based entertainment fixtures don’t appear to meet these requirements.”
There is already a Save Stage Lighting campaign up and running, mounted by the ALD, with a petition gathering weight, urging that that all stage lighting equipment (EN 60598-2-17, IEC 60598-2-17:2017) be exempted from proposed legislation.
In Germany, GLP would also be deeply affected, despite its wide-scale adoption of LED technology and constant R&D efforts to maximise brightness levels and energy consumption.
“GLP stands for the responsible use of energy and the resources of our planet. However, it is not very helpful do this on flat-rate regulations as provided for in the current EU working paper. Therefore, we advocate that the next stage of the Ecodesign Directive should not include professional lighting technology (PELP),” continues Kuenzler. He is particularly critical of the fact that the industry only has until 7th May to get objections registered in Brussels, in order to force a debate.
“The creative use of light cannot only be summarised in key figures. We are ready for a comprehensive commitment by all manufacturers, lighting designers, production and distribution companies, because only together can we succeed in convincing the European Commission to ratify an exception for our industry.”
In the UK, the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) is running an online petition at: www.change.org/p/energy4europe-keep-stage-lighting-exempt-from-proposed-legislation-changes-savestagelighting
In conclusion, GLP’s MD says: “There is no time to lose. We need to act as a united industry now to prevent these proposals from becoming enshrined in law.
4th May 2018
Sixty82 Appoints First International Distributors
Europe – Newly-launched in March 2018, Sixty82, ‘The New Original’ manufacturer of next-generation trussing and staging systems, has announced the appointment of its first distributors and distribution partners.
With immediate effect, A.C. Entertainment Technologies and Axente have been named as the new, exclusive distributors for the UK and France respectively, while pan-pro GmbH of Germany and Set2Stage of Portugal have been appointed distribution partners in their own countries.
“We chose A.C. Entertainment Technologies and Axente as the first in our international network as they represent the strongest importing distributors in their territories, with an historical strength in the trussing and staging marketplace,” says Sixty82 CEO Fokko Smeding. “Similarly, pan-pro and Set2Stage are both well-established companies with well-respected teams and ideally placed for distribution partnership.
“We are delighted to receive such instant support from companies of this calibre. It is an affirmation of the faith they place in the newly-formed Sixty82, our products, and our team who have been pioneers in our sector of the industry for the past 35 years.”
Sixty82 is a British, Dutch and French alliance of innovative industry leaders with a collective experience of over 100 years in the design and manufacture of trussing and staging systems. Its product range offers every component required to change the way that lightweight structural systems are used, and introduces unique technology that guarantees every structural component is traceable, safe and properly engineered.
“As distributors, we chose Sixty82 because it offers a high quality product and innovation at a competitive level,” says Axente CEO, Xavier Drouet. “We also have the added benefit of a pleasant collaboration with experienced people.”
Sixty82’s driving force is passion combined with the simplicity of purpose which that engenders, to ensure Sixty82 delivers a product and a service unrivalled in experience, innovation and understanding. Its distributors have been carefully selected for their matching values.
“We’re thrilled to work with Sixty82. They’ve brought together some of the leading industry experts in trussing and staging systems,” says A.C. Entertainment Technologies UK sales an purchasing director, Jonathan Walters. “AC-ET loves to work with technology brands who share our drive for constant innovation and value. The Sixty82 team's passion, creativity and vision are the perfect fit.”
AC-ET is exhibiting Sixty82 product lines for the first time in the UK at PLASA Focus Leeds (1-2 May 2018 at the Royal Armouries) on stand number N-E02.
Sixty82’s Germany distribution partner is also very keen to get started with Sixty82: “I have been very enthusiastic about the collaboration with Sixty82 from the beginning,” says CEO of pan-pro GmbH, Klaus Hünteler. “The synergy between the competence and network of the partners behind Sixty82, and the distribution experience of pan-pro and our established team, will result in a fantastic success. In addition to the strong points of quality, know-how, flexibility and short delivery times, Sixty82 brings innovations, like the SixtyTAG RFID tagging system - which are trend-setting.”
“I am delighted to be launching a new company with the support of the leading sales partners in their fields,” continues Fokko Smeding. “I am certain that it gives us the best platform to serve our emerging community of Sixty82 users with the best products and unrelenting support in their growth.”
In picture: Lee Brooks, co-founder of Sixty82 and UK sales and purchasing director, Jonathan Walters of A.C. Entertainment Technologies.
1st May 2018
Save Stage Lighting Now!
Czech Republic – Josef Valchar (pictured), CEO of Robe Lighting s.r.o is petitioning the Czech government and Czech Euro MPs to request that they exempt all stage lighting equipment (EN 60598-2-17, IEC 60598-2-17:2017) from proposed legislation that will prohibit its manufacture and sale immediately across Europe in 2020.
“I cannot stress the importance of this enough.” stated Josef. “Every manufacturer, rental company, venue, LD, technician and other individual or organisation involved in any aspect of entertainment lighting or in producing events and performances should have a vested interest in opening a sensible and measured discussion about how it affects stage luminaires producing less than 85 lumens per Watt.”
“It is urgent! We have only until the 7th May – that’s just 10 days – to get objections registered in Brussels! If we do this, then there will have to be a debate before the laws is passed,” underlines Josef.
He continues: “It is a vitally important time for the industry to unite and object to these proposals, to preserve tools at the very essence of our vibrant, diverse and creative industry.”
The proposed legislation – the Energy Directorate’s Eco-design Working Plan 2016-2019 – will affect the entire industry, from lighting designer’s right through to manufacturers, rental companies and venues, technicians and everyone at all levels involved in the fabric and infrastructure of entertainment lighting.
Tungsten lamps will immediately become unavailable, so most lighting fixtures in most theatres Europe wide will become obsolete.
Many more recent high quality LED lighting units will also be banned under the proposals which will bring the vast majority of quality theatre lights under the same rules that govern domestic, office and industrial lighting.
The impact of the proposals as they currently stand will be immediate and overwhelming.
The legislation relates to the amount of lumens output rather than the quality, and does not take into account lights utilising sophisticated optical systems which are geared to performance and entertainment lighting.
The entertainment industry will be left with virtually no tools with which to light concerts, festivals, events plays, musicals, dance events, television shows.
Many venues and production will go dark, others wanting to continue will have to be lit with equipment which is not appropriate or designed for the application.
It is as simple – and as stark – as that!
Josef is quick to point out that the Robe Company is among the greatest supporters of sustainable and energy efficient lighting. As a manufacturer, Robe has been committed to this philosophy and integrated it into its development process for well over a decade.
Josef’s statement concludes: “The technical production industry, and lighting and visuals in particular, has produced so many stunning and multi-award winning works worldwide and enabled numerous highly talented and skilled individuals to collaborate and has made important and invaluable contribution to our culture.
“It is imperative that EU industry leaders petition lawmakers in their own countries and urge them to start a dialogue on these proposals which will affect the industry so dramatically.”
Other action that you can take includes signing online petitions.
In the UK the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) is running an online petition which contains over 14,000 signatures to date, please find the link to the ALD petition here
https://www.ald.org.uk/resources/savestagelighting and click on “sign and share the petition here”. It takes only a couple of seconds.
“I strongly encourage everyone to get behind the campaign to change these proposals,” urges Josef.
“Performance in all its forms is an expression at the heart of our numerous European cultures. Without moving, dramatic and spectacular lighting and visual effects, the experience will lack character and emotional engagement.”
27th April 2018
J&C Joel named as one of Yorkshire’s top 100 SMEs
UK – Leading manufacturer of flame retardant fabrics, drapery and stage engineering solutions, J&C Joel, has been named as one of Yorkshire’s top 100 best performing SMEs in Yorkshire Business Insider’s SME 300.
The SME 300 table is made up of companies in the county with a turnover of between £5m and £20m and this is the first time the Sowerby Bridge based firm has been listed featuring at number 86.
J&C Joel has seen significant growth over the past few years opening a new purpose-built facility in Vietnam last year as well as expanding operations in Europe and Australasia.
The award-winning business exports to more than 80 countries, providing products and services such as Front of House theatre drapes, stage backdrops, cycloramas, gauzes, acoustic solutions, projection screens plus an array of stage engineering solutions.
James Wheelwright, J&C Joel’s CEO, said: “We’re extremely proud to feature on this list, it is testament to the hard work the staff at J&C Joel put in.
“This is another fantastic achievement for the business and builds on our success at the Lloyds National Business Awards where we were crowned Exporter of the Year.
“We are continuing to invest in our infrastructure and staff and are continually putting plans in place to support the future growth of the business.”
27th April 2018
Visual Productions proud to be partnering with DWR Distribution
South Africa – When it comes to high-tech control solutions for LED, architectural and lighting equipment, Visual Productions BV, established in 1999, is a leader in its field. The Netherlands based company have recently appointed DWR Distribution to distribute their products in South Africa and across her borders.
“With an ability to ‘speak’ just about any language, from Art-Net to sACN, OSC, UDP, KiNet, TCP, Real-Time clock and NTP time synchronisation, Visual Productions offers a control solution that is the pinnacle of show control,” said Jannie de Jager, technical training and support at DWR Distribution. “The units are able to communicate to every protocol known to lighting and AV technicians.”
He explains that the purple boxes will convert any incoming signal to trigger any command to perform any type of task in a system. From Art-Net to Contact closure to UDP to OSC, any protocol can be cross triggered on the network and even be wirelessly controlled either by the native Kiosc app or any other third-party OSC command based apps. “The units also serve as a DMX playback unit which could stream a DMX show when triggered,” he added. “The units integrate perfectly into any existing lighting system to manage or control, lighting fixtures. They don’t look like much but the software is what makes them so powerful. That is where the magic starts.”
DWR Distribution initially came into contact with Visual Productions when working on a elegant lighting installation in the gardens at Sun City. Needing a system that would control the Anolis installation, Bruce Riley decided on Visual Productions. A number of DIN Rail multi-protocol boxes were dotted around the garden, which powered all the fixtures along the pathway installation, creating a DMX network. Security beams were used to trigger the boxes so as people walked along the pathway, different lighting sequences are played out.”
Visual Productions has a lighting control family that DWR will use to fulfil both sides of the market, namely installation, architectural and entertainment. “From an installation point of view it will offer universal control in venues such as conference rooms, boardrooms, presentation rooms and outdoor architectural spaces,” said Bruce Riley of DWR. “From a show control point of view for tools, it is definitely key to certain markets that we’ve been lacking in. The product is backed by good people and the support thus far has been amazing. We can definitely build a great future together.”
When Visual Productions’ Sales Manager Zoë Castle met with the DWR sales director Robert Izzett at the recent Prolight+Sound show, it was made clear that her belief in the strength of DWR as a Distribution company was correct. With a sales team of about 12 people located around the country “DWR is excellently structured to facilitate growing the knowledge and sales of our solid-state controllers across the region. DWR work within markets including Architectural, TV, Retail and Venues where our products are a perfect fit!” Zoë concludes that: “We all at Visual Productions are excited to be working with such an established and renowned company, safe in the knowledge that DWR’s commitment, technical expertise and enthusiasm for the lighting controllers that we make, will bring their market presence to a much deserved level.”
In picture: Visual Productions sales manager Zoë Castle and DWR sales director Robert Izzett.
25th April 2018
Sorinamoo Appointed South Korean Distributor for KLANG:technologies
South Korea – KLANG:technologies has announced the appointment of Sorinamoo as its distributor for South Korea. Busan-based Sorinamoo is managed by CEO Dosung Shim and practices the three principles of honesty, best practice and appreciation.
Established in 2000, Sorinamoo is a leading distributor of premium pro audio and video brands. The company represents Yamaha, Meyer, Inter-M and Harman brands, including JBL, Crown, DBX and Soundcraft. Video brands include Blackmagic Design, Avics and ETC. Additional brands complete a portfolio that makes Sorinamoo a complete AVL systems supplier.
“Sorinamoo is constantly growing and developing ahead of our customers’ needs and we are continually looking for advanced new products to introduce to our market.” explained section chief, Yonghui Kim. “We first came across KLANG:technologies on Yamaha's YouTube channel. Andy Cooper has produced a couple of great videos introducing KLANG and explaining its set up with Yamaha CL/QL Series consoles.”
“We evaluated KLANG further and were very impressed with the ease of use and exceptional audio quality,” continued Mr Kim. “The advanced 3D technology presents a completely new paradigm for the IEM and sound field markets and we look forward to delivering this outstanding product to our customers.”
Phil Kamp, KLANG:technologies’ head of sales, commented: “We are pleased to welcome Sorinamoo to our expanding network of international distributors. With a great line of compatible brands, they are technically experienced and will bring our systems to the market with great presentation and support. I am confident they will do an excellent job in representing KLANG:technologies in South Korea.”
25th April 2018
Wanted: Lighting Repair Technician for Chauvet
UK - Taylor-Phillips Recruitment, the recruitment division of etnow.com, brings the best new vacancies across the full spectrum of the entertainment technology sector.
This week’s focus is on an excellent opportunity with Chauvet Lighting in Nottingham – the company is looking for a technician to join their team, working on repairs and maintenance of its professional range.
The successful candidate will have a working knowledge of electronic repairs and a firm understanding of the engineering and construction that goes into building a lighting fixture.
They will also need to be a good team player and also possess appropriate academic qualifications and have a good working knowledge of Microsoft Office.
24th April 2018
PSI joins Adamson Network
Ireland – Leading Irish technical production company PSI is the latest company to join the Adamson network as a certified reseller and rental partner appointed by Adamson’s UK Distributor The Warehouse.
With offices in Belfast and Dublin, PSI specialises in all aspects of event lighting, rigging and training, and has recently added an audio department headed up by Adam Lee Collins, along with audio projects manager, John Hesketh.
Adam Lee Collins commented: “We looked at all of the leading brands of loudspeakers but felt that Adamson was the perfect fit for our new department. We see the brand growing steadily in the international market and want to be ahead of the curve, we’re initially adding a substantial inventory of Adamson S10 systems to support this. Relationships with like-minded people and companies are key to PSI values, and together with support from The Warehouse and Adamson I see a great future ahead!”
For more than 18 years, PSI has provided production solutions for live events, specialising to date in lighting and rigging services and supply. The decision to open a dedicated audio department comes from the desire to offer a consistent service in this area, to meet the high standard already provided by PSI in the other areas. The provision of leading-edge equipment, and the appointment of the best industry professionals, highlights PSI’s dedication to providing exemplary service to all clients.
Derek Blair from The Warehouse, said: “PSI is the perfect fit for Adamson and ourselves, they totally understand the importance of having premier brands to hire and sell into their expanding customer base. They provide a very high quality customer experience from start to finish with some of the best staff and equipment in the industry. As well as being one of Adamson’s UK resellers and rental partners they will also be handling sales for us in the Republic of Ireland. We very much look forward to working with them and supporting their future success with Adamson.”
In picture: Derek Blair The Warehouse, Janet Murray The Warehouse, Sean Pagel PSI, Brian Reilly PSI, Jochen Sommer Adamson and Adam Collins PSI.
23rd April 2018
CEG and Current RMS: Delivering Innovation to the Rental Industry
UK - This week, cloud-based rental management software provider Current RMS and Cambridge-based lighting and production rental house, CEG, reflect on a four year history. In this time, the CEG team has certainly put Current’s software through its paces, all in pursuit of its mission to make the process of renting gear as painless as possible for the customer.
CEG has been renting itsr professional lighting and production kit to customers and clients across the UK and Europe since 2008. Like most rental providers with an impressive repertoire of the latest industry technology, when there's a lot of kit to manage and jobs on the go, robust software that’s up to the challenge is required. With a drive to improve the efficiency of their workflow, the team started looking for new ways to manage their rental processes in 2014, joining the Current RMS Early Adopter Programme.
“We were becoming frustrated with the PC based solutions available to us. But once we'd started using Current within our business for an hour or so, it was a no-brainer to stick with it," said Ben Bowles, director at CEG.
The CEG team began using Current to its fullest capabilities from the get-go, appealing to their flexible way of working in the fast-paced AV and lighting industry. Often key details of products and orders need to be viewed there and then on a job, even when the team is away from the office. Here, Current’s cloud-based functionality has really helped them out.
“The cloud gives us complete control of our hire stock, regardless of location or workstation. We’re able to react quickly, whether we’re in the office or on the beach – it’s great.”
Over the years, the CEG team has expanded their ambitions and their stock holding, supplying to a massive variety of jobs across the UK and Europe, including music and theatrical touring, as well as one-offs and special events.
"The last year has been incredibly busy for us. We've been growing the business in many ways, including getting new rental stock and new expanded premises at our location in Cambridge. Current's been great the entire time, allowing us to scale up quickly and cope with demand."
In 2016 the real challenge started, when they decided to give their website a complete overhaul, integrating with Current’s Open API. This would pull some of their Current system’s data straight through onto their live website for customers to view. This was a massive undertaking, not without its challenges, but something Ben and the CEG team dove into head-on. The website, www.ceghirepro.uk, which launched in 2017, allows customers to view the real-time availability and pricing information of CEG's products as they shop – ideal for speeding up the quotation process.
“From the start of the project we were keen to incorporate some groundbreaking features into the hire catalogue and rental account sections of the website. We're constantly looking for ways to incorporate technology into our growing rental operation.”
Proud to support growing rental businesses since their launch, Current RMS now has over 1,500 companies on board, from all corners of the globe. While companies just like CEG are able to implement their own custom uses for the Open API, Current’s Customer Wishlist allows users to vote on features they want to see in Current. The past 12 months alone have seen them add in huge highly requested features like Global Check-in, allowing users to check-in kit from multiple jobs at once, and choosing accessories, which gives users the option to select which optional accessories they’d like added to a job.
The Current RMS team will be exhibiting their rental management software at PLASA Focus Leeds in May on Stand N-B17, where visitors can drop by for a demonstration of the software.
19th April 2018
Atlona Designates Sahara AV as Commercial AV Manufacturer’s Representative in the UK
UK – To strengthen its marketing and distribution efforts across the United Kingdom (UK), AV collaboration and control leader Atlona has appointed Sahara AV as its manufacturer’s representative for the United Kingdom (UK). Headquartered in London, Sahara AV will work closely with systems integrators, consultants and end users to demonstrate, deliver and support Atlona’s complete line of signal management and control systems, with a goal of moving more commercial facilities to AV over IP solutions.
Sahara AV is part of the Sahara Presentations System Group, which made the list of London Stock Exchange Top 1000 small-to-mid-sized companies to “Inspire Britain in 2015,” and The Financial Times’ “1000 Fastest Growing Businesses in Europe” in 2017. For more than 40 years, Sahara Presentation Systems has been distributing cutting-edge AV solutions and software through Sahara AV, primarily to the corporate, healthcare, retail, compulsory education and higher/further education (HE/FE) markets.
To achieve its goal of accelerating transitions to the network, Sahara AV will leverage Atlona’s strengths in AV over IP and networked control, including its Atlona’s OmniStream AV over IP distribution platform, second-generation Atlona Management Systems (AMS), and Velocity IP-based AV control solution. Shaun Marklew, Sahara AV’s sales and marketing director, points to the very low latency and high reliability of OmniStream as a substantial Atlona strength; as well as the ability to quickly configure and organize AV over IP products and workflows by room, floor, building and/or site with AMS.
“Rather than just ‘box shifting,’ we pride ourselves on collaborating with resellers and integrators on their projects from conception to installation,” said Marklew. “By working with Atlona, we are now in a stronger position to extend our reach into the many vertical markets we serve, and move our customers to networked systems and workflows that will bring new opportunities and efficiencies to their operations. Having developed reliable technologies that minimize the impact of AV systems on users’ networks and solve technical AV challenges, Atlona is a trusted brand at the forefront of the global AV over IP transition and a welcome addition to our family of market-leading commercial AV manufacturers.”
With its Innovation Centres in London, Leeds, and Edinburgh, and a 290,000-square foot facility housing an extensive AV product inventory, Sahara AV represents a wide range of audio, networking, and infrastructure gear from vendors complementary to Atlona such as Hitachi, Matrox, NEC, and Panasonic. This spring, Sahara AV representatives will offer frequent training courses on the end-to-end Atlona product line at its Edinburgh, Leeds and London Innovation Centres, and present Atlona solutions at road shows along complementary gear.
“Training our own team and end customers has long been a key factor in Sahara AV meeting its business and growth objectives,” said Marklew. “Atlona’s strong emphasis on training and certification strongly aligns with our strategy. And since reliability is crucial to our customers, it’s important to demonstrate in these initiatives exactly how that the Atlona brand stands for reliable products designed to protect facilities from downtime.”
18th April 2018
What Do the Proposed EU 2020 Lighting Regulations Really Mean to Live Events and the Professional Lighting Industry?
The UK’s Association of Lighting Designers (ALD), as part of its Save Stage Lighting Campaign that is warning of the devastating effects the proposed EU 2020 Lighting regulations would have on production lighting, has released a clear, concise guide to those regulations.
The Proposed 2020 EU Lighting Regulations – A Primer’ collects a great deal of relevant information about the existing regulations (EU1194/2012), the regulations proposed for September 2020 as part of the EU’s Ecodesign Working Plan 2016-2019, and the key differences between them together in one place. It can be found online here:
In particular the Primer makes it clear that the effects of these new regulations will not just be on tungsten lighting, as was supposed early on and still seems to be assumed by many, but rather on practically all specialist lighting fixtures used for show lighting, whether tungsten, arc or LED. Worse, manufacturers do not expect to be able to make many types of fixtures that do meet the new standards in time, if at all, because of limitations imposed by physics and optical design.
“The deeper you read into these proposed regulations, the more alarming the threat becomes,” comments multiple award-winning lighting designer Paule Constable, a member of the ALD’s Save Stage Lighting campaign. “The new rules are clearly written for domestic and industrial lighting, and while the goal of reduced energy consumption is of course laudable, they show no understanding of the tools we use or the way we work. If implemented as written, the effect will be devastating for show lighting not just in the UK but across Europe, not just for new shows but for existing shows and shows that return in rep, not just for big theatres but for venues and performances of all types, scales and sizes. We thought this was about tungsten; it’s not about tungsten. It’s about an imminent threat to every tool we use. You should know about it, and you should start doing something about it. This Primer will give you the information to let you do both.”
ALD members will receive a paper copy of the Primer with the forthcoming issue of the ALD’s Focus magazine. But everyone, ALD members or not, can read more about the Save Stage Lighting Campaign and immediately download the Primer from the ALD website:
The ALD is also encouraging everyone to read the ‘Call to Arms’ that trade association PLASA has issued to its members explaining the situation here:
The ALD website also includes information about further action individuals can take, including contacting their MP and MEP to ensure that they are aware of the situation and also calling for the EU to exempt stage and performance lighting equipment from these regulations.
17th April 2018
White Light boosts safety and efficiency with order for Data Strategy’s QC-Check
UK – Data Strategy’s Iain Roche and White Light’s technical director Dave Isherwood shook hands at ProLight+Sound in Frankfurt on a deal for the first of a planned total of four to six QC-Check workstations, incorporating PAT4 and CAB5 PAT and Cable Test Processors from joint partners, Out Board. QC-Check’s test database and logging software will be fully integrated into WL’s InspHire asset management system, which will provide real-time tracked test results for the company’s entire hire inventory.
The first single-bay QC-Check workstation – custom-built by SES Entertainment Services Ltd – will arrive within weeks for installation in the power department. The QC-Check ‘660’ workstation is configured to check a distro’s outputs including those protected by RCDs. For cable testing the heavier high current single phase and 3-phase cables will be positioned conveniently at the front, whilst the low current connectors are mounted on the workstation’s ‘bridge’.
WL’s health & safety and workforce development director, Chris Nicholls, explains: “The integration side of QC-Check won us over. We know other companies using QC-Check who are very happy with the product: it’s built well, made to last and delivers the goods. The fact that it integrates with our existing asset management system is what we really wanted.
He continues: “The bottom line is it significantly cuts a lot of worry about health and safety. The ability to have test results assigned to a contract and to a piece of equipment and then be able to access those results immediately is quite a heavy driving force. It’s also always beneficial when efficiency saves more money – both are equal drivers.”
In picture: White Light’s Dave Isherwood seals the deal with Data Strategy Limited's Iain Roche at Pro Light + Sound, Frankfurt.