Event News Headlines
Robe at the #LightSARed Campaign
South Africa – The South African entertainment industry unified en mass for their 5th August #LightSARed ‘Code Red’ activation to shout out the critical state of the live entertainment industry and its support infrastructure, which has had no work, no cash flow and no meaningful government support for five months since mass gatherings were banned on March 15th due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Over 500 buildings, structures, monuments, venues, spaces and places all over the country were lit including the side of Cape Town’s most famous natural landmark, Table Mountain. Robe moving lights were used on many of the installations, and the various action was coordinated by project teams in major cities including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Free State, Port Elizabeth, East London and Kimberley. Industry friends and colleagues from neighbouring Namibia also enthusiastically joined the action.
Under a month ago, #LightSAred was initiated by Duncan Riley of DWR Distribution and quickly gained momentum and support from The Southern African Communications Industries Association (SACIA), the Technical Production Services Association (TPSA) and the SA Events Council.
Duncan and Sharif Baker, chair of the TPSA, energised a wide range of industry sectors including rental and production companies, venues, artists, promoters, agents, technicians, producers, directors and creatives working across all disciplines for this hugely successful consciousness-raising event.
A continuous livestream – an idea initiated by DJ and music producer Dino Moran – and broadcast by SkyRoomLIVE from virtual studios at MGG in Johannesburg and the Solid Group in Cape Town was streamed on multiple channels during the day highlighting and debating key issues facing the industry and its basic demands from government.
Several prominent SA artists played guest slots on the stream including rockers Ross Learmonth of Prime Circle, stand-up comedian John Vlismas, DJ and music producer Kyle Cassim and Afrikaans singer / songwriter Refentse Morake.
Various technical production and live event spokespeople were joined at one stage by Collen Hlatshwayo, deputy director for cultural development in event technology from the Department of Sports, Arts & Culture (DSAC) who could hear first-hand the immediate concerns.
His presence was the result of a communication sent to government the day before, requesting a discussion on finding solutions for the events sector. The DSAC acknowledged this, then the following day Collen Hlatshwayo met with Sharif and others for a round table discussion and was also interviewed on the #LightSAred stream.
The campaign is demanding:
That government and financial institutions extend fiscal relief to those dependent on the technical production and live events industry for an income until work is permitted to resume.
That the government engage with elected leaders from SACIA, TPSA and the SA Events Council, and provide a platform for collective voices to be heard.
That the government recognises and supports the non-profit organisations and NGOs trying to sustain destitute crew and others from the technical production and live events industry.
Right at the heart of this movement and the push to get national media and government attention was Robe’s South African distributor DWR, a company passionate about the industry and all the talented and amazing people who make it rock.
On the night, Kavir Magan and DWR marketeers Nicole Barnes and Sherryn Riley had their fingers on the social media pulse, furiously posting and re-posting which had a phenomenal response as the installations started going live in the evening. One Eyed Jack and Amplicon PR were responsible for attracting the attention of the mainstream media.
#LightSARed trended number 2 on Twitter South Africa, and several TV and radio news portals picked up on the activation and sent reporters to red-lit buildings to broadcast live including ENCA, TalkRadio 702, Metro FM, Star, The Citizen, Newzroom Afrika and Hot 91.9FM.
Of the 500 red buildings, Robe moving lights were used on a significant number of them due to the brand’s prevalence in SA and the need for powerful light sources with amazing colours.
Signature sites in Johannesburg included the impressive frontage, main entrance and fountain of the Montecasino entertainment complex, lit by rental companies MJ Event Gear and Lucidity utilising 36 Robe LEDWash 600s, 12 Pointes, 24 LEDBeam 100s and 24 LED PARs plus four MegaPointes for the Palazzo bell tower.
Rental company MGG lit its warehouse and created an outline shape of Africa in its parking area with the help of 24 MegaPointes, nine Tetra2 moving LED battens and 18 Pointes, plus six Robe CitySkape Xtreme LED washes, 14 LEDWash 1200s and some profiles.
MGG’s Studio A was used for the Johannesburg segments of the livestream where the lighting rig comprised six Robe DL4S Profiles, 16 LEDWash 600s and four PATT2013s.
The conference centre at Kyalami Racetrack radiated ruby red, courtesy 24 BMFLs supplied by MJ Event Gear in collaboration with ShowSync and AV Systems.
Cape Town Stadium was beautifully lit by rental company CCPP using 24 Spiiders and 24 BMFLs.
Table Mountain was lit red by crews from Gearhouse’s Cape Town branch, who boldly trekked up the mountain with giant red coloured gel frames and covered all the lighting ‘pits’ containing the landmark’s permanently installed fixtures.
However, the coolest Robe installation of the night was arguably on the top of DWR’s Bruce Riley’s Jeep Rubicon ,designed to give mobile ‘illumination support’ around the vast Johannesburg area on an “as and when needed” basis.
With a specially modified rigging system designed by father and son team Keith and Tyler Pugin, two BMFL WashBeams and two MegaPointes were secured to the vehicle’s roof rack, together with a RoboSpot Motion Camera for control.
The passenger seat was removed, a RoboSpot Base station fitted in place that could be operated from the back seat, and with a 10kVA generator being towed, Bruce behind the wheel and Tyler poised at the RoboSpot control, they set off to light the town red!
They assisted in lighting several landmarks including the amazing Northcliff Water Tower perched up at 1807 metres on the second highest point in Jozi with stunning views of the city.
For #LightSARed, Northcliff Tower became a beaming red beacon visible from all over the Johannesburg valley, lit with two Robe Tarrantulas located at its base and with its standard permanent white light fixtures gelled red for the occasion.
For the top part of the tower, Bruce and Tyler parked up 300 metres down the hill and shone their mobile lighting rig up, enveloping the whole structure in red and beaming the #LightSARed logo around the top.
Apart from these, there were a host of other fantastic projects activated during the evening and everyone enjoyed great camaraderie and the excitement of doing what they love: working and making events happen.
Sharif concluded: “The entire experience was surreal. Even the next morning, I thought, ‘Wow, did we really do that?’.”
He also confirmed that the DSAC now acknowledges “our existence as the technical production and live event industry, is aware of our cause, our requests, and is undertaking to engage in a consultative process geared to developing a strategy and ensure that the sector does not cease to exist during this difficult time.”
Sharif added: “I am honoured to be part of the campaign and to be asked to speak for #LightSAred. It is a cause worth fighting for, and we believe we can all assist the government to kick start the economy by letting them hear our collective voices.”
photos: Duncan Riley, Andrew Gorman, MGG and SkyPixels
14th August 2020
Sound Technology supports #WeMakeEvents Red Alert
UK – Sound Technology Ltd, UK distributor of Harman Professional brands including Martin Professional lighting, joined the UK live events industry under the umbrella of PLASA's #WeMakeEvents Red Alert campaign, for a day of action on Tuesday 11th August.
The Red Alert campaign calls for urgent targeted government support for the entire live event ecosystem: freelancers and production companies who are not allowed to work and, crucially, are not covered by the government's previously announced arts bail-out fund.
With the #LightItInRed campaign under the same Red Alert umbrella, over 700 venues were lit in red across the UK, creating incredibly powerful images.
For Sound Technology's part, it worked with The SSE Arena, Wembley, who were very keen to support the event, and also lit its own headquarters and demo facilities in support of everyone affected.
Having been the first into lockdown and likely the last out of lockdown in many months to come, this highly specialised industry, without which live events cannot happen even when safe to do so, is in danger of total collapse. It cannot survive the extended time frame where large scale gatherings are unable to take place.
Sound Technology aims to do all it can in supporting its friends and colleagues within the industry in calling for urgent targeted support for the entire live events ecosystem.
14th August 2020
Prolyte goes red!
The Netherlands – On the 11th of August 2020, Prolyte participated in the Nationwide Red Alert Campaign #WijMakenEvents (We Make Events). Various buildings in the Netherlands lit their buildings bright Red, including municipalities, town halls and government buildings. The event industry and sectors have been at a complete standstill since the very beginning of the corona crisis earlier this year. It has been more than five months, which means there are all costs but no turnover. Despite the government’s support during this period, companies are now on the verge of collapsing. Therefore, in order to draw attention to this crisis-like-situation in a peaceful and public-friendly manner, the Prolyte building was lit red at 21:00 and pulled the plug out exactly at ‘five to twelve’. Together, we hope to get the support packages for the event industries extended and a clearer prospect is outlined until we can go back to work normally without the 1.5m restrictions. Without this commitment, a large number of companies will end up going bankrupt and employees will end up on the street.
Politicians need to wake up and understand that if nothing happens, the entire event sector is in danger of disappearing. More than +250 buildings across the Netherlands lit their buildings red that night.
The Red Alert campaign is an initiative of Plasa.org England and taken over by VTTE in the Netherlands.
13th August 2020
Martin Audio lends support to #WeMakeEvents Campaign
UK – Martin Audio has been supporting the PLASA led #WeMakeEvents campaign which highlights the plight of the UK live events industry and the desperate need for additional government support to this highly technical and specialised sector. The campaign culminated with a spectacular day of action with up to 5,000 people lining the banks and bridges of the River Thames to raise awareness of the crisis with politicians and the wider public.
The live events industry was the first to be impacted by the global shutdown as a result of the pandemic and will be the last to return to work. It can only exist when large scale gatherings can be held safely, which is simply not possible until sometime next year and even then, the future is uncertain.
Without additional grants, extensions to the furlough scheme and protection for freelancers it is simply inevitable that companies up and down the country will collapse, mass redundancies will ensue and many freelancers will be lost to the industry. The resulting impact will be devastating. It will harm the economy and negatively impact British culture and ultimately lower the country’s leading position in this global industry.
A day of action was coordinated across the industry on Tuesday 11th August and Martin Audio joined other well-known entertainment technology manufacturers in backing the campaign. Alongside fully supporting the industry with social media – its Facebook posts alone reaching 1 million people on the day – Martin Audio helped organise a full TV production and livestream of the activities in London, including a helicopter swoop across the city. These included many of the capital’s major landmarks being lit up in red and people gathering along the banks of the River Thames and bridges, dressed in red tee shirts, wearing red masks and waving their own red lights. Martin Audio also supplied its loudspeakers as the main PA for the boat that took members of the press and industry professionals on a trip along the River Thames past the illuminated landmarks.
Closer to home for Martin Audio, the company also supported the Wycombe Swan Theatre and High Wycombe Town Hall being lit in Emergency Red, alongside its own headquarters.
“Martin Audio has been extremely lucky to continue to operate during Covid-19 with the amazing support of our worldwide sales partners and end users, but most of our friends in the UK live event industry have had zero revenue since this all began,” reflected Martin Audio managing director, Dom Harter. “Without further funding from the Government the industry is at risk of collapse and we simply wanted to do everything we could to support their plight.”
To find out how you can get involved with the #WeMakeEvents campaign, visit: www.plasa.org/we-make-events
13th August 2020
"Throw us a line" on Tuesday 11 August
UK – On 11th August, the live events industry across the UK will come together in solidarity to host a series of creative action to help save the live events and entertainment sector, which is on the verge of collapsing without financial support from the government.
Hundreds of venues are expected to turn their lights red, along with other creative activities being staged in over 20 cities across the UK to symbolise the industry going into red alert, and a final call to action titled ‘Throw us a line’ will be taking centre stage on London’s South Bank.
The capital’s finale will begin on a boat at 20:20, as it makes it way down the Thames, passing Royal Festival Hall, the National Theatre and the Tate, and more all illuminated red. As the boat reaches key locations, such as Westminster Bridge and Jubilee Bridge, hundreds of volunteers will symbolise the ‘throw us a line’ theme creatively.
The call to action hopes to raise awareness for over a million professionals at risk of losing their jobs, 600,000 of whom deliver outdoor events, around 70 per cent of the workforce are freelance. The imminent closure of the self-employed income support scheme at the end of the month threatens their livelihood.
Unlike other industries, events, festivals, and performances have been unable to safely reopen due to social distancing guidance and may not reopen until early 2021, and opening times keep being pushed back. With no government support on the horizon for the event supply chain, redundancies have already begun, research indicates that 25 per cent of companies will have served redundancy notices by end of August, this rises to 70 per cent by the end of December.
Over 19 trade associations from the live events sector are collaborating for the first time to save help save their industry; the initial #WeMakeEvents campaign by PLASA issued a ‘Red Alert’ last week, to symbolise the imminent danger the industry is in.
The socially distanced call to action will shine a light on the collaborative nature of the industry, showcasing a creative experience and live displays containing messages from established figures. Platinum-selling artists Peter Gabriel, The Cure, and Imogen Heap are a few of the many voices giving their support to this cause, with others expected to join.
Peter Gabriel, singer, songwriter and activist, comments: “The live events sector employs over 600,000 highly skilled people in the UK: event production, audio, lighting, video, logistics, planning, transportation and technology, over 70 per cent of which are freelancers. All of whom have had no work for the past four months, with little likelihood of restarting until Spring 2021 at the earliest.”
Peter continues: “A lot of high arts have now been given some support, but people working on the festival side of things and in live events have been forgotten about, and I hope they are not forgotten about any longer. Around the UK they’ve created something which I think is the best in the world.
“Many of these people are freelancers, so don’t fall under furlough schemes. So right now, they are feeling the pinch very badly and if we want live events and festivals to stay an important British business then it needs to be supported.”
Award winning rock band, The Cure, comments: “The events sector urgently needs government support to survive the COVID-19 crisis. Without major, immediate support from government, the entire live events sector supply chain is at risk of collapse.
“The aim is to have financial support extended for the people and companies in this sector, until they can return to work.”
Peter Heath, MD of PLASA, comments: “The live events industry supply chain, essential to every single event in the UK, is set to completely collapse without financial support from the government, due to social distancing prohibiting mass events. Large scale events are not expected to reopen until Spring 2021 at the earliest, and the reality is that the sector can’t wait that long. We’ve issued a ‘Red Alert’ after using #WeMakeEvents because the sector is on its last legs, and now the whole industry is coming together to ask the government to ‘throw us a line.’”
Andy Dockerty, managing director of Adlib, comments: “The events sector has been absolutely devastated by the COVID-19 crisis, and there are few signs of any significant restart in the near future. Without immediate support the entire live events supply chain is at risk of collapse, and some one million highly skilled professionals face many more months of financial uncertainty. We need the government to understand the urgency of the situation, and so we call on industry members to make their voices heard and join us on the evening of 11 August.”
In addition to the London action, a series of regional events will also take place. More details can be found on the event Facebook page WeMakeEvents: Red Alert – day of action
10th August 2020
Registration now open for #WeMakeEvents day of action on 11 August
UK – The #WeMakeEvents campaign, which is raising the alarm for the live events and entertainment sector, has organised a day of action across London and the UK on 11 August. A series of events will call on the government to ‘Throw us a Line’ before the talent and expertise that makes the UK’s live events and entertainment sector the envy of the world is lost.
In London, journalists and politicians have been invited to board a boat at Westminster Pier, from where they will sail through a series of ‘arenas’ which will feature many of the capital’s iconic landmarks, all lit up red in solidarity. For added impact, industry members are being asked to line up, socially distanced, on river banks and bridges to create a Red Alert route. In key locations supporters will lower down red rope lights to the boat as it passes, to symbolise ‘throwing us a line’.
Everyone who wants to be part of the Red Alert route must pre-register via EventBrite, where they can also select their preferred location to join the action. Those who are part of the route are asked to wear a red t-shirt and download the MyLight – Flashlight app to turn their phone into a red flashlight.
Please note it is also mandatory to wear a face covering throughout the event – a red one would be ideal.
Andy Dockerty, managing director of Adlib, said: “The events sector has been absolutely devastated by the Covid-19 crisis and there are few signs of any significant restart in the near future. Without immediate support the entire live events supply chain is at risk of collapse and some one million highly skilled professionals face many more months of financial uncertainty. We need the government to understand the urgency of the situation and so we call on industry members to make their voices heard and join us on the evening of 11 August.”
In addition to the London action, a series of regional events will also take place. More details can be found on the event Facebook page WeMakeEvents: Red Alert – day of action
The industry bodies now involved in #WeMakeEvents include: the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT), the ALD – The People in Performance Lighting, the Association of Event Organisers (AEO), Association of Sound Designers (ASD), Community Leisure UK, Creu Cymru, Curtain Call Online, the Federation of Scottish Theatre (FST), Freelancers Make Theatres Work, the Institute of Sound & Communications Engineers (ISCE), MUTA, the MIA, the Music Venues Trust (MVT), the National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA), Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), PLASA, Production Managers Forum (PMF), Production Services Association (PSA), Society of London Theatre (SOLT) & UK Theatre, Sustainability in Production Alliance (SiPA) and Theatre & Dance Northern Ireland.
For full details and to register, visit https://wemakeevent.eventbrite.co.uk
7th August 2020
Long Reach Long Rider announcement
USA - The Long Reach Long Riders are thrilled to announce the successful completion of the 2020 LRLR Kazoo Relay Ride. The ride was the LRLR response to the coronavirus crisis that has gripped the US and the world.
“We knew we couldn’t hold a traditional LRLR ride due to the virus,” noted ride organiser Greg Williams, “but we also didn’t want to abandon the charities at a time when they really needed support. We came up with the Relay Ride to give riders an opportunity to participate in the ride and the public to support it.”
The Kazoo Relay Ride was dubbed the Just Breathe ride, in honour of Cris Dopher, one of the LRLR founding members who passed away in September after a long battle with Cystic Fibrosis. Bill Sapsis recalled that: “Cris’s courage, humour and bike parking skills are legendary among the LRLR and the Relay Ride was the perfect way to acknowledge the impact Cris had on our lives.”
The ride, which raised over $45,000.00 for Behind the Scenes and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, consisted of small groups riding for a day or two with an oversized kazoo ‘baton’ and then passing the baton to the next group of riders. It began at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse in Pescadero, CA. and finished at the Portland Head Lighthouse in Portland, ME.
Number of days to complete the Relay Ride: 14
Number of riders, passengers & chase car crew: 38
Number of relay legs: 8
Total mileage: 4,838 miles
Longest relay leg: 1,060 miles
Shortest relay leg: 141 miles
The Long Reach Long Riders would like to thank everyone involved with helping make this very special ride such an amazing success: the organisers, riders, chase car crew and especially the 200+ sponsors.
Please visit http://lrlr.org/ for more information on the ride and to make a donation.
Photos: Eddie Raymond and Bill Ellis
21st July 2020
PLASA Show postponed to 2021 with new dates announced
It is with great regret that PLASA announces that the PLASA Show will not take place at Olympia London from 6-8 September this year due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and uncertainty regarding social distancing and lockdown policies. However, PLASA Show will return to Olympia London in 2021 from 5-7 September.
PLASA’s head of events Sophie Atkinson comments: “It is of course very disappointing to have to postpone PLASA Show this year which would have been the first in Olympia’s Grand Hall. But I am in no doubt that it is the right thing to do for the industry at this challenging time. We will sorely miss PLASA Show this year and look forward to being able to meet you in London from 5-7 September 2021.”
Behind the scenes, PLASA the association is working hard to support its members and the wider industry through government lobbying, research, and cross-industry collaboration. You can find out more about what PLASA is doing during this time at www.plasa.org/coronavirus. As always, PLASA is open to feedback and would love to hear from you.
Its latest campaign, #WeMakeEvents, has gained huge traction since launching on 25 June. If you haven’t already, PLASA encourages you to share the campaign video across social media to help amplify the industry’s call for urgent government support. Get involved at www.plasa.org/we-make-events.
PLASA’s managing director Peter Heath comments: “We are all hugely aware of how the events industry is suffering, and as it stands there is no end in sight. PLASA is focussing all its efforts into supporting the industry and we invite you to join the cause so we can all enjoy concerts, theatre shows and festivals long into the future.”
PLASA hopes that by the time the PLASA Show 2021 comes around the industry will be restored back to full health and can celebrate with a fantastic ‘come-back’ show, face to face. In the meantime, keep safe and in keep in touch.
6th July 2020
Brompton Technology HDR excels at AVID – AV Innovation Days powered by LANG AG
Germany – The end of June saw Brompton Technology take part in one of Europe’s first face-to-face industry events since lockdown, the AV Innovation Days (AVID), organised and hosted by LANG AG at its LANG Academy in Lindlar, Germany.
Designed as an accompanying event for InfoComm Connected, LANG hosted the three-day fair with both new and familiar AV technologies on display, whilst adhering to strict hygiene and safety rules. Leading LED panel manufacturers showcased their innovative solutions, with Brompton partnering with INFiLED to demonstrate how its panels have benefited from Brompton’s highly acclaimed HDR solution.
“The event offered a perfect platform to discuss some of the key developments in the AV industry, such as the increased use of curved, or faceted, applications which are based on a variety of corresponding products. Also, the emerging trend of virtual LED studios instead of green screen studios is an interesting niche marked right now, as protagonists can interact with their environment. That makes recording much more efficient and saves post-production costs,” shares Benjamin Valbert, director LED and displays at LANG AG.
Valbert notes that choosing the right LED processor is an important requirement in supporting these trends. Whilst most LED processors provide the basic functions necessary for video display, they can have limited to no adjustment capabilities compared to more full-featured processors, which have numerous options for colour adjustments and image scaling, and are designed with LED-on-camera applications in mind.
“Equally, with rental applications, for example, where setup time is limited, operator knowledge is not always the same and failures need to be eliminated as quickly as possible,” Valbert adds. “This means that processing needs to be intuitive and provide several options for trouble shooting, with features that are able to get the very last bit out of your hardware, or simply overdrive the system for a reasonable period of time.”
After using Brompton Technology’s Hydra advanced measurement system to perform Dynamic Calibration, the enabling technology for Brompton HDR, on its DB 2.6 series LED panels manufactured with Brompton’s R2 receiver cards, the INFiLED team were in complete agreement.
“One of the major, and most noticeable, differences for us was the extended colour gamut and enhanced luminance of the panels,” says Marco Bruines, senior vice president of INFiLED EMEA.
The immediate effect was visible both with SDR and HDR video content, with the improvements added to the plethora of fine-tuning tools already offered by Brompton’s Tessera SX40 4K LED processor.
“This gives us a significant advantage when dealing with busy clients like INFiLED, who have a lot of projects going on at the same time and need a highly reliable and versatile LED processing solution,” states Dries Vermeulen, business development manager – Europe at Brompton, who was on hand throughout AVID. “When our Tessera LED processor encounters an issue, its intelligent algorithm takes care of it, so it’s not necessary to even think about how to solve the problem.”
Whilst the LANG team is looking forward to visiting InfoComm next year, based on the positive feedback received from this event, they will have no hesitation in repeating AVID in the future.
“AVID was a great success for our customers, suppliers and LANG,” says LANG CEO, Tobias Lang. “For a lot of visitors, this was their first trip after more than 13 weeks of working from home during lockdown; they told us it was like balm to the soul. It is also incredibly useful to understand what kind of business has a strong development curve at the moment. With this knowledge, the industry now has a much better focus.”
The INFiLED team concur, stating they were very happy to be able to meet their key contacts and customers again in person and experience a new form of trade show participation.
“The AV industry is well known for its passion for new technology,” Bruines concludes. “Our customers were excited to see the latest products and market trends, including Brompton’s incredible HDR technology.
“Successful business relationships are achieved through a combination of high-quality products, solid pre-sales quality control and a high service level. The nature of this type of technology means it’s essential to have close relationships with customers and able to solve problems at any time. Offering global 24/7 customer support on top of a tested and reliable processing technology is just one of the values that makes Brompton stand out.”
3rd July 2020
ISE looks forward to Barcelona debut
Spain – Planning for Integrated Systems Europe 2021 is well underway with its organisers, Integrated Systems Events, committed to delivering a compelling and safe exhibition for the world’s audiovisual integrated systems community.
The 17th edition of ISE is set to take place at its new home at the Fira de Barcelona, Gran Vía, 2-5 February 2021. The world class exhibition centre plans to reopen for business in September. This will follow the successful completion of a collaboration with risk mitigation consultancy AON and the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona which will determine the specific security criteria for holding B2B events at the venue later this year.
Over 850 world leading technology and solutions providers have already committed to participate at ISE 2021. Over 55,000 sqm of exhibition floor-space has been confirmed for nine dedicated technology zones. This represents a 5% increase on the total floorspace booked for the 2020 show.
The state-of-the-art exhibition centre will house a new-look ISE featuring nine dedicated technology zones, in an easy to navigate layout. These are: Audio, Broadcast and Content Creation (new), Digital Signage and DooH, Education, Live Events (new), Residential, Smart Building, Unified Communications and VR/AR/XR.
A significant development for ISE 2021 is the strategic partnership with The Next Web (TNW), a world-leading technology media brand with extensive reach among global start-ups and technology businesses in general. In conjunction with ISE, TNW will present Growth Quarters: four days of keynotes and presentations addressing all aspects of business growth and scale-up, presented by inspiring technology innovators and experts. TNW will also present Fast Lane, where start-ups create solutions that address specific ‘pain points’ within AV businesses.
In addition, a five-day solutions-themed series of 14 conferences will cover a wide range of topics including digital signage, design and build, control rooms and XR. The extensive programme has been devised in association with ISE co-owners AVIXA and CEDIA. Both associations will also produce their own dedicated series of training sessions and themed events.
ISE will also be developing the show’s digital reach to help engage with a bigger audience than ever before. This will include a wide selection of cross-platform live ISE content being made available, along with many other engaging digital opportunities to help attendees connect with the world’s leading technology innovators as well as hear from thought-leaders and experts.
Mike Blackman, managing director of Integrated Systems Events, commented: “ISE is committed to delivering an engaging in-person event in Barcelona and is taking all necessary steps to deal with the new post-pandemic reality that will impact those attending exhibitions and conducting international business.
“The Fira de Barcelona has partnered with AON and the Hospital Clinic de Barcelona and other experts to create a set of safety protocols that are designed to guarantee health and safety around the conditioning of spaces and the regulation of visitor flows. This work started in April and involves risk evaluation, the creation of mitigation strategies and an action plan. Once completed, guidelines for event organisers and exhibitors will be communicated.
“We are listening and adjusting to ensure the show continues to provide the connections the industry needs to grow brands and business. We are determined and confident that we can deliver a compelling show in a safe and secure environment.”
19th June 2020
Martin Audio’s first ever virtual trade show exceeds expectations
With registrations similar to the numbers Martin Audio would expect to meet at a large international trade show, the British pro audio pioneer has declared its first ever virtual trade show a resounding success. The company held its event on 20th May taking the form of three 90-minute webinars matched to different time zones.
“We achieved over 800 registrations for the event,” reveals James King, Martin Audio’s director of marketing. “To put that in context, this is the amount of people we would engage with at ISE or InfoComm in our demo room in a given week, and probably four times the amount we get to our UK Open Day events. So, this was a very efficient exercise.”
The virtual trade show gave Martin Audio the opportunity to speak in detail about its overall portfolio and how different systems can fit with different applications and budgets. It also provided a platform to highlight new products, such as the award-winning ADORN ceiling and pendant loudspeakers and three new subwoofers including two new cardioid subwoofers and punchy value for money double 18” sub.
“The format itself worked well with people being able to see both presenters and the presentation so as to make it more human, and there was opportunity also for an open Q&A on numerous topics that people wanted to discuss,” says King. “There was even some illuminating glimpses and hints about the future product roadmap that came out of that discussion.”
While the event was a success, the obvious drawback was attendees not being able to hear the loudspeakers that were being discussed. The current global situation makes that challenging to overcome, but there are methods which Martin Audio is looking at to build from this initial event.
“Our next jumping off point, dependent upon ability to have small and safe gatherings, will be to have a centralised show, professionally produced at our UK HQ that is then beamed to the ‘world’ but critically to global distributor demo rooms,” explains King. “This way people can gather in small safe environments to listen to the loudspeakers in the demo rooms. While markets might start to reopen, we believe international travel will be circumspect, so we see this as an opportunity as we move forward.”
In the immediate future, the manufacturer will continue to be active in the digital domain with its ongoing weekly webinars and participation in other types of virtual trade show, such as InfoComm Connected.
“Having tried our own, there is no doubt there is a place for virtual meetings,” concludes King. “With events such as InfoComm Connected we have the opportunity to network with a wider sphere of people thanks to good digital platforms and easy access to attendees. But this is a people-first industry and there is nothing like the physical interaction and unity of a live event. It may take some time, but I believe we will see a delicate balance between physical and virtual shows in the future or indeed some hybrid solution.”
16th June 2020
ChamSys Announces Winners of Online Programming Competition
UK – With many designers and programmers looking for new challenges during the lockdown, the ChamSys Online Programming Competition offered a creative outlet: the chance to program the power packed 200-plus fixture rig that Chauvet Professional had earmarked for the company’s stand at the 2020 ProLight + Sound exhibit before the show was ultimately cancelled.
Drawing over 200 entrants from around the world, the contest asked participants to create a three-minute or shorter show with the PL+S rig, using ChamSys MagicVis software. The large outpouring of creativity awed the panel of five judges, though it made their job of selecting three finalists more challenging.
After a careful evaluation, the judges named Amir Cohen of Tel Aviv, Israel the winner for his inspired two minute and 38 second show. Cohen’s design flowed seamlessly in sync with dramatic musical shifts he selected, as it transitioned from blinding effects, to black outs, to swirling gobo patterns, conveying myriad moods all along the way. Amir dove into MagicVis and even wove in different camera vantage point angles to stunning effect in his programmed show.
Second place winner, Niklas Fuchs of Vienna, Austria, created a dramatic choreographed display of light in his three-minute submission, which was entirely busked, with no time code. Third place finisher David Misakyan of Moscow, Russia, devote considerable creative juice to matching his lights with the music, weaving a mesmerizing pattern of strobes and crossing beams around Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die.”
Cohen received a MagicQ MQ70 console for this winning effort. Fuchs and Misakyan were awarded premium swag bags, and 25 other entrants were given MagicDMX Test Kits. All earned the satisfaction of taking a show rig that never got to be, and turning it into a virtual engine of unforgettable looks.
The work of the contest’s three top finishers can be seen on the ChamSys Facebook page.
11th June 2020
ROE Visual to Showcase Latest LED Products at AV Innovation Days
The Netherlands – Taking its first cautious steps out after the COVID-19 lockdown, ROE Visual will be showcasing some of its latest products at the AV Innovation Days. A unique chance to see and experience the visual quality of ROE Visual’s latest products in action.
The AV Innovation Days, as organised by Lang AG, offer an alternative event platform for the cancelled InfoComm show and are held at the Lang Academy location in Lindlar, Germany.
With ISE’s sister event InfoComm 2020 turning into a virtual experience event, held from 16-18 June, Lang sought to offer an alternative programme. The AV Innovation Days will see a virtual programme broadcast during the InfoComm Connected, combined with an on-site live event for regional visitors. Apart from ROE Visual, other manufacturers such as Panasonic, Samsung and Barco will present their current technologies and innovations.
As part of InfoComm Connected, the AV Innovation Days will give visitors the chance to discover the latest highlights and developments that would normally have been presented at the InfoComm show. The AVID days will be held from 17 to 19 June, 2020.
You can register here for the InfoComm connected and here for the AVID event.
ROE Visual will bring its latest products, like the Ruby R2.3 screen, the Black Quartz outdoor screen and the Vanish transparent LED panels to the event. Interested in cutting-edge LED technology? Stop by at ROE Visual and experience these products first-hand. A top-notch team of ROE Visual experts are at the stand to answer all your questions. Erik Baum, Roelof Bouwman and Victor Kortekaas will be happy to help you, taking all the COVID-19 precautions to heart.
Equipped with features that are beneficial from build to performance, the innovative Ruby R2.3 LED panel is ready for the next generation. ROE Visual has developed its own four-in-one LED, exclusively available for Ruby. The remarkable LED performance is due to the strength, low reflection and high contrast of the 4in1 LED packages, the resulting colours are striking and create perfect on-camera visuals. Fitted with advanced driver ICs and LEDs with large colour space Ruby is fully HDR adaptive, adding excellent colour depth and great greyscales.
Building outdoor LED screens can be a challenge, the Black Quartz LED panels provide an excellent solution, since they are designed as a fast-building, full-fledged LED screen appliance, with an integrated wind-bracing system. The perfect LED screen for your outdoor cinema or event.
Black Quartz panels, available in a BQ3.9 and BQ4.6 pixel-pitch, use Common Cathode technology, translating into a stable and brilliant LED performance. Reduced colour differences and relatively high brightness are the result of a significantly reduced panel temperature and efficient heat-dissipation.
In addition, ROE Visual will show the HELIOS processing platform. The HELIOS LED processing platform is the result of close co-operation between ROE Visual and Megapixel VR.
Combining their in-depth knowledge of LED and processing technology, the result is a future-ready processing platform that reimagines processing from the ground up to support large-format LED displays for use in demanding pro AV, broadcast and installation applications. The HELIOS processor will be exclusively available for ROE Visual LED screens. The HELIOS platform is a modular platform, which you can easily grow towards a full 8K system.
Find all these products at the ROE Visual stand for a truly exciting LED experience. The ROE Visual team is happy to demonstrate the latest novelties.
ROE Visual Stand13. Register here.
10th June 2020
GLP Launches 10 Out of 10 Video Series
Germany – GLP is to launch a new series of short-form, fun, and informative interview videos with lighting designers from all over the industry.
The series will see videos released on a weekly basis with different designers facing the same ten questions, covering their formative years, as well as career highs and even some of the moments they would rather forget. Partly informative, partly inspirational, and partly irreverent and amusing, the interviews have been designed to bring a little bit of everything to the viewer.
To keep them easy and fun, the interviews will be edited into 15-minute episodes. Given that some of the more elaborate stories could take a little longer, full-length versions of the interviews will be made available in the future. Episodes will be published every Wednesday on GLP’s YouTube Channel @glpimpression and through its various social media feeds.
With guests such as storied concert touring designer Ethan Weber, Broadway and West End award winning designer Neil Austin, the legendary Steven Cohen, NBC Universal’s Fred Bock and many more fascinating characters, the series should have something for everyone. It all kicks off with Justin Kitchenman, best known for his work with Nashville artist Luke Bryan.
Join the fun at: https://www.youtube.com/user/GLPimpression/videos
And GLP’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GLP.German.Light.Products/
10th June 2020
Martin Audio expands presence in Asia
Asia – Generation AV, the company that represents Martin Audio in the APAC countries, has appointed a pair of new distributors to target key markets in Asia. PT Goshen Swara Indonesia has become the exclusive distributor for Indonesia, while Guangzhou Guidance AV Technology Ltd Co will add to Martin Audio’s distribution network in China.
Headquartered in Jakarta, PT Goshen is a well-established distribution company, with representation right across the country. “They are a great fit for Martin Audio as they cover all the vertical markets we work in, from touring and rental to all the installation markets,” explained Generation AV founder Dave McKinney. “PT Goshen’s MD, Cunario Suriya leads a terrific team of people and sales director, Franky Cahyadi runs a highly motivated sales force. They have a highly capable technical team that will be able to provide product and system training to all our dealers and customers.”
Martin Audio already enjoys a strong brand reputation and exposure within the country’s entertainment markets, and PT Goshen’s goal will be to focus on expansion into other key vertical markets, from houses of worship and live production through to corporate and education, as well as growing the foothold in entertainment.
“We are excited about what might be achieved together to ensure more engineers and users can experience the latest Martin Audio products and technology,” McKinney continued. “PT Goshen are a great partner, with an incredible customer-focused attitude, which fits perfectly with the Martin Audio culture and it is a great testament to the new cooperation that they have been able to get the new acquisition up and running whilst in lockdown.”
“It is a privilege to add the Martin Audio brand to our portfolio as it complements our other distributed brands,” responded Cunario Suriya. “This will now enable us to offer full, end-to-end systems to our customers.”
The changes in China mean that existing distributor, Sino Hui Feng, will continue to handle the entertainment market, under which Martin Audio has achieved great success in some of the leading nightclubs across the country. As of 1 June, 2020 they were joined by Guangzhou Guidance AV Technology Ltd Co which will be responsible for developing many new market opportunities on top of existing Martin Audio foundation in China, including the Hong Kong and Macau territories.
Guangzhou Guidance is a newly established Professional Audio Company, with headquarters in Guangzhou, led by general manager, Xu (Rico) Ruixian. “The members of the new Guangzhou Guidance team have a long history in the Chinese audio industry and the company has quickly established its dealer network across the country, with a strong support network in place,” said McKinney. “Martin Audio already has a great brand name in China, and with a great distributor like Guangzhou Guidance AV Technology now partnering with us, we feel confident Martin Audio will be more accessible to more customers across the country.”
“With the latest product releases from Martin Audio such as Blackline XP, the expanded Adorn Series, and of course the new Wavefront Precision WPS Series, we are now set up to show and demonstrate these products to all regions of China,” added Xu Ruixian. “We look forward to getting these in front of customers as soon as possible and are relishing the opportunity to promote this famous brand in China.”
“In an ever-changing market such as China, where we constantly need to adapt and change in order to progress, we feel we now have the perfect structure to support our Martin Audio customers in all markets,” reflects McKinney. “We are thankful to have two such great partners looking after our interests.”
“China remains an important market for Martin Audio, while Indonesia offers the opportunity for growth,” concludes Martin Audio MD Dom Harter. “With the breadth of our portfolio it’s important that we can maximise sales across vertical markets. The addition of Guangzhou Guidance and PT Goshen is a reflection of that strategy and we have great confidence in both companies.”
2nd June 2020
Knight of Illumination Awards 2020 Cancelled in UK and USA
UK/USA – The organisers of the 2020 Knight of Illumination (KOI) Awards in both the UK and the USA have announced the cancellation of both events due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the entertainment industry.
The difficult decision has been reached following extensive discussions between the committees of both the UK and US versions of the KOI Awards: The Fifth Estate and KOI co-founders Durham and Jennie Marenghi, along with the ALD and STLD in the UK and Live Design/LDI in the USA.
All parties explored various possible options to secure the events, including virtual, live streamed/webcast ceremonies and postponed or scaled-back ceremonies. However, these ideas were ultimately deemed not to be viable for 2020.
KOI-UK and KOI-USA executive committee member Sarah Rushton-Read of The Fifth Estate comments: "This has been a challenging decision, given the unpredictable nature of this global crisis, which has hit the KOI community very hard. Many have lost their businesses, their employment, their sources of income. Skilled creatives are taking jobs in other sectors and others are retraining. Many have no idea when, or in what capacity, they might return. While we have every faith that the industry will bounce back, it will be a different landscape for some time to come."
She adds: "We believe the KOI Awards mission is to bring a meaningful value to the lighting and video design community by providing independent design awards, judged by respected critics and experts. Just as importantly, it provides a valuable opportunity for the whole lighting and video community, across theatre, events, live music and television, to acknowledge and celebrate their creative achievements, and this is something we feel is important to uphold and protect."
Durham and Jennie Marenghi comment: "Having spoken to many sponsors who struggle to see the benefit of an online Awards, and to many designers who fail to see how they could connect online with hundreds of their peers, the KOI executive committee has decided that it would be inappropriate to consider any form of KOI Awards this year. We feel that this is the only sensible decision available to us. KOI is, in essence, a social event and we feel it would be difficult to connect our community in any meaningful way until we can all be together again in the same room."
Marian Sandberg, market leader at Live Design, says: "This was a tough decision for everyone who works on the USA version of KOI through LDI and Live Design. Ultimately, trying to produce an alternate version of the KOI Awards ceremony during these difficult times didn't seem appropriate. We will look for other ways to honour the discipline of design this year directly through LDI and Live Design, and we all look forward to re-joining The Fifth Estate, the KOI committee, our lighting and video designers and our sponsors next year to come back in full force."
The KOI-UK and KOI-USA committees are promising that this year's nominations will be amalgamated into the 2021 Awards.
"We would like to thank our judges who had committed to support the KOI Awards in whatever guise we felt appropriate this year," Durham Marenghi continues. "Stay safe and we will all meet once more on the other side of this pandemic."
Rushton-Read concludes: "I for one will certainly miss the thrill of seeing many of the top creatives in these fields come together in one magnificent room for one fabulously glamorous night to celebrate each other's work, and always with such generous curiosity.
"We would like to thank all our wonderful suppliers, whose businesses are also entirely focused on the live event industry, for their empathy and support, which has been generous and heart-warming. Thank you to the teams at Hammersmith Apollo, Hawthorn, Party Ingredients, FIX8 and Transition Video, all of whom have lost valuable income not just from our event but from multiple events globally."
The organising teams had pursued the possibilities of virtual events in partnership with a number of companies, and wish to thank Creative Technology, Hawthorn, SXS and White Light for taking the time to discuss technical solutions.
KOI-UK was due to take place in London in September 2020, and KOI-USA in Las Vegas in October. Both events will announce plans for 2021 ceremonies in due course.
photo: Knight of Illumination Awards
28th May 2020
Martin Audio signs up for InfoComm Virtual Show
Martin Audio is embracing the new digital first world during these challenging times by following up on its own virtual trade show with now participating in the InfoComm Connected 2020 Virtual Experience taking place in June.
Following the success of Martin Audio’s own virtual trade show, which took place on Wednesday 20th May and attracted over 500 registrants, Martin Audio decided to take part in InfoComm’s own event taking place 16th-18th June, a replacement for the original physical show.
With much of 2020’s global trade show calendar all but wiped out, there are very few chances in the near future to get together and highlight the new and noteworthy additions to the international pro audio industry’s arsenal. For the near future, Martin Audio believes virtual events and virtual networking offers a good opportunity to keep the conversations going.
“We were impressed with the digital platform that InfoComm is using to help network and provide virtual meeting spaces to talk to new and existing clients,” commented James King, marketing director at Martin Audio. “It’s a very easy to use and powerful platform and really opens the doors to perhaps having conversations with people that we would not normally be able to. We feel it’s worth experimenting in this brave new world and so we jumped on board.”
As part of InfoComm Connected, virtual meetings can be requested and scheduled with representatives from across the Martin Audio US sales team as well as representatives from other regions. These meeting take place via video call within the platform provided by InfoComm.
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained is our mind-set right now, and we are really approaching the hurdles we all face with a proactive attitude,” says King. “We’ve been fortunate that we have been able to continue to ship goods to parts of the world in the last two months. Now we are seeing more countries slowly rebuilding their economy, leading to pro audio projects starting to be discussed again and so InfoComm Connected will help in that process.”
28th May 2020
ALD launches its ALD Awards for Excellence 2020
UK – The ALD has announced that its ALD Awards for Excellence 2020 are open for submissions. Aimed at all students and recent graduates studying in the UK, the ALD Awards for Excellence offers the perfect opportunity for the ambitious to raise their profile in 2020.
The awards are a celebration of imaginative and creative lighting and video production and represent a chance for young designers to showcase their talent, bringing their work to the attention of experienced lighting and video designers, as well to the wider reach of industry professionals. Awards are presented to those who demonstrate strong, imaginative and creative lighting, video designs or skill in production electrics.
Johanna Town, chair of the ALD, encourages all young designers in further education to apply: “The ALD’s Awards for Excellence are so important to a designer’s future. To be able to sell your ideas and passions for a design or methodology to other industry leaders is an important skill.”
The Awards are now open for submissions from students studying in the UK, recent graduates from 2018 onwards or corresponding affiliate members of the ALD, in the following categories:
The Michael Northen Award in Lighting Design
(sponsored by the Mousetrap Foundation and Vectorworks UK.)
£250 cash prize,
a one-year Vectorworks license
An industry contact pairing to aid ‘initial career’-stage questions
A copy of Michael Northen’s book, “Northen Lights”.
The Fred Foster Award for Production Electrics
(This Award is dedicated to the late ETC CEO, Fred Foster.)
£250 cash prize,
a subscription Moving Light Assistant,
a one-year subscription to the ALD’s PLI insurance
An industry contact pairing to aid ‘initial career’-stage questions
The Blue-i Theatre Technology Award for Video Design
(sponsored by Blue-i Theatre Technology)
£500 cash prize,
£1,250 hire credit towards their first commercial venture,
An industry contact pairing to aid ‘initial career’-stage questions
An esteemed panel of judges will deliberate over submissions to decide the deserving winners. Awards will be presented at the annual Lighting Lunch held in London in December 2020.
The full criteria, including checklists, for submission to each award can be found on the ALD website: https://www.ald.org.uk/awards/awards-for-excellence
The awards are open now and all submissions must be received before the closing date of midnight on Friday, 31st August 2020.
26th May 2020
Last Call for Martin Audio’s Virtual Tradeshow
UK - Martin Audio’s first ever Virtual trade show takes place on Wednesday 20th May, with registration slots throughout the day filling up fast.
With much of 2020’s global trade show calendar all but wiped out, there are very few chances in the near future to get together and highlight the new and noteworthy additions to the international pro audio industry’s arsenal. To help to tackle this, Martin Audio has decided to take matters into its own hands and host a dedicated virtual trade show, helping the industry understand more about its portfolio and recent new additions.
Much like Martin Audio’s famed Open Days, the virtual trade show will offer an overview of the portfolio suitable for end users, distributors, rental companies and integrators. The event will be webinar-based across three time slots on Wednesday 20th May to ensure that people in different time zones can come together for the show. Each session will last for 90 minutes with the first starting at 7.30am BST, followed by a second at 10am BST and a final session beginning at 5pm BST.
“We’ve been delighted with the response so far,” says Dom Harter, managing director at Martin Audio. “With over 500 registrants to date this is fast becoming an excellent opportunity for us to guide people through our portfolio and to help attendees find the right product for different applications and budgets.”
As with all trade shows, the timing of the event is aimed at ensuring that people who can attend will be able to find real solutions for potential projects.
“We see May as a time when more countries will start to be rebuilding their economy and when projects within pro audio will once again be discussed and so its opportune to provide this showcase,” reasons Harter. “Equally, we have already announced many new products this year and May is a time when much of the production on these will commence. We’re looking forward to talking to as many people as possible, albeit virtually, and discussing how Martin Audio’s products can meet the challenges and opportunities in this testing time for people all over the world.”
For more details of the event and to register, please visit https://martin-audio.com/events/portfolio2020
14th May 2020
ENTTEC's trade show is still happening
It's tricky to get out and about right now and that all the major trade shows have been put back until later in the year – if they haven't been cancelled altogether.
But fear not! ENTTEC figured that this is no reason customers should have to miss out on the exciting products that it would have been exhibiting, so to create a bit of fun in the process, ENTTEC is staging its very own online Virtual Expo!
Visit the online Trade Show – simply click here to go to a special new section of the website where multilingual staff will give visitors the rundown on ENTTEC's latest offerings via video, all without leaving the comfort of an armchair.
Who needs a real trade show after all?
7th May 2020
L-Acoustics’ Tim McCall’s Big Cycle Back To Work
On 27th April, L-Acoustics sales manager, Tim McCall, set out on an unusual journey to ride an incredible 2000km from L-Acoustics headquarters in Marcoussis, France, to each of the companies in the group. He will return to Marcoussis on 11th May, in time for when the French Government is due to lift some of the current lockdown restrictions.
“The live production business has been hit hard by Covid19, and individuals in this industry even harder. So to help our global crew family, I will be riding my bike on a trainer (so as not to break strict French lockdown laws),” says Tim. “My virtual route will start at L-Acoustics HQ in Marcoussis before going on to Keskatel and then Wenden, Germany and on to the L-ISA HQ in Highgate, London before heading south and back to Amboise, France before heading home to Marcoussis – a trip of around 2,000km and around 8,000m of climbing.”
Tim is attempting this feat, riding each day in addition to working his normal daily hours, on behalf of crews around the world, and the money raised will go to the PSA Welfare & Benevolent fund in the UK, Support Act in Australia and SOS and Feed Our Crew in South Africa.
He will be on Zwift and post daily reports on mileage, etc and invites you to ride with him via Zwift meet-ups. He is expecting to ride both in the morning and early evening Paris Time. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for details of how to ride with him on zwift.
Tim’s initiative is for the industry as a whole, not just for the L-Acoustics family, and wants to encourage other companies to support their customers and users, most of whom do not have safety nets available elsewhere.
He has already highlighted his support for the PSA in the UK (https://lnkd.in/dr8XMMp); Support Act in Australia (https://give.everydayhero.com/au/cycle-back-2-work) and SOS & Feed Our Crew in South Africa (www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/feed-our-crew), but is also keen to involve other charities and organisations that can help the entertainment technology community worldwide.
“I hope all my friends, colleagues, compatriots and competitors in the entertainment sector can show the same solidarity and come together to help all our users and crew members globally,” he notes.
6th May 2020
Astera Factory Assists with Global Face Mask Supply
China – LED lighting manufacturer Astera has energised its 10,000 square metre factory in Shenzhen, together with its knowledgeable and adaptable workforce to assist with the delivery of essential personal protective equipment (PPE) items, including face masks.
These are desperately needed worldwide as countries continue to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.
Astera’s CEO Norbert Ernst explains that they were about to temporarily scale back operations in the factory, whilst the entertainment lighting business was quiet due to the crisis, when he was approached by a contact asking if they would be willing to assist with the production / distribution of face masks.
“Naturally I jumped at the chance,” states Norbert, “It offered a path to keeping many staff employed full-time which is great, and also helps contribute positively to the ongoing global demand for face masks which are vital to help meet the unique challenges of containing Covid-19.”
Additionally, he feels that having the factory working in this capacity will assist a rapid return to full LED lighting manufacture when conventional business starts to resume.
Two types of mask are being safely and cleanly packed at the factory, the standard disposable face masks and KN95 respirator masks. They are first enclosed in sanitised plastic bags which are sealed, then packed into an inner carton, and finally into outer boxes which are secured and placed on pallets ready for shipping and transporting around the world.
During normal peak times, over 250 people working at the Astera factory across all departments. Currently, around 100 Astera staff (primarily from production, quality control and the warehouse) are dedicated to this project. Astera’s management team in Shenzhen are considering hiring another 100 temporary workers for the face mask project, depending on demand.
The current contract runs for three months, after which Astera has the option to continue or switch back fully to producing their award-winning range of wireless battery powered LED fixtures.
Astera’s factory and warehouse houses all production elements involved in the manufacturing process plus other departments including some sales, purchasing, and part of the Astera R&D team. The brand’s quality control, operations, production and engineering all feature a dynamic mix of local and European management, while the company’s administrative HQ, senior management and R & D are based in Munich, Germany together with sales and marketing.
Having been manufacturing for two decades in China, Astera embraces the spirit, energy and diversity of a truly harmonious international operation combining the best of Asian and European design, creativity and efficiency in bringing its high-quality products to market.
5th May 2020
ALD Awards for Excellence 2020 have been rescheduled to start imminently
UK – Always backing ambition, the ALD has announced that its ALD Awards for Excellence, aimed at all UK-based students and recent graduates, will launch imminently, to offer an exciting, additional focus for students. The ALD Awards for Excellence reflect the association’s growing representation of lighting and video design as well as production electrics and include The Michael Northen Award for lighting design, The Fred Foster Award for Production Electrics (sponsored by ETC) and the Blue-I Media Award for Video design.
Johanna Town, chair of the ALD, said: “The ALD Awards for Excellence provides an important platform for students on which they can hone their abilities to communicate their chosen medium. To be able to sell ideas and passions for a design or methodology to other industry leaders is an important skill. For this reason, The ALD’s Awards for Excellence are so important to a designer’s future.”
Rory Beaton, head of the ALD’s working group for awards, added: “We’d like to encourage UK students and recent graduates to use this time to collate photos and notes for your entry. Also, to check our social media pages and the Awards section of the ALD website where those with a real interest in entering and winning the awards can find extra information and tips."
The Awards offer a chance for young designers to showcase their talent, bringing their work to the attention of experienced production professionals and the industry as a whole. As a celebration of imaginative and creative lighting and video production, awards are presented to those who demonstrate strong lighting or video designs or skills in production electrics.
Further announcements will be made across all the ALD's media platforms:
ALD website: https://www.ald.org.uk/awards/awards-for-excellence
5th May 2020
Showlight 2021 Postponed due to Coronavirus
France – A statement from Showlight: “It is with great disappointment that we announce the postponement of Showlight 2021, scheduled for May 2021 in Fontainebleau, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has been an extremely difficult decision, which has been made in view of both the immediate effects and anticipated recovery period that will be needed by companies and individuals across the industry in the coming months.
The state of the lighting industry, the probable extension of restrictions on gatherings and the effect that this is having on theatres, cinemas, events and concerts worldwide where audiences are involved, are immediate and catastrophic, and the resulting effect to employment and income within all aspects of performance and the technical support of entertainment at all levels, are equally devastating.
“While we sincerely hope that, by May 2021, the situation will have improved, we cannot tell to what extent events and social interaction will have returned to ‘normal’. While last month we were confident enough to continue preparing for the original dates, the ongoing feedback from the industry makes it evident that the after-effects will take longer to subside. The industry will need time to recover, and companies and individuals will need to prioritise their own financial recovery.
“So, while we acknowledge that Showlight is a much-loved event, the well-being of everyone in our industry comes first. We need to be sensitive to the financial situation that many of our sponsors, exhibitors and delegates may find themselves in, through no fault of their own, after the worst of the pandemic has passed. We understand the cost of exhibiting, travel and accommodation for Showlight would be an added strain on company and individual finances at a time when income and wages are severely reduced, so we feel that postponing Showlight until these have had a chance to recover is the most sensible thing to do.
“In addition, Showlight is a voluntary organisation entirely dependent upon the support of its sponsors, and exhibitors. Without sponsorship from many companies and the goodwill and attendance of lighting industry exhibitors, the economics of Showlight would be severely impacted. We also have to consider our delegates, many of whom will spend a large proportion of the next few months either unemployed or furloughed, in which case attendance at Showlight, so soon after the crisis, may not be possible for a variety of reasons.
“So for now we, like everyone, urge you to stay at home, be safe and keep connected (via the website (www.showlight.org), the Showlight mailing list, Twitter and Facebook) for updates on a revised date for Showlight, and we look forward to meeting you in happier, healthier times.”
5th May 2020
What Panasonic had on show at ISE 2020
For everyone who missed ISE this year or is looking for a summary of Panasonic product announcements for 2020 in the professional projector and displays categories this webinar is the best opportunity to catch-up within just one hour.
The products below will be covered during the webinar:
SQE1 Display Series
SQ1H Display Series
InGlass Multi Touch Technology
Wolfvision SDM Solution
Register for the webinar here.