Event News Headlines
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.
22nd April 2020
The Long Reach Long Riders announce a 2020 Kazoo Relay Ride across America
The Long Reach Long Riders are adapting this years’ ride to meet the challenging conditions necessitated by COVID-19. Toward that end the LRLR have postponed their full group ride until 2021 and are replacing it with a Relay Ride in which small groups ride for two or three days carrying a kazoo shaped baton (what else?!). The oversized kazoo-baton will be passed from one group to the next at dedicated locations across the country.
The ride, which will begin at Half Moon Bay, California and end in Lubec, Maine, has been dubbed “Just Breathe” A Celebration of the Life of Cris “Brooklyn” Dopher. Cris, a founding member of the LRLR, passed away last year.
Ride organiser Greg Williams noted: “We feel it’s only fitting to honour Cris by making this year’s ride a celebration of his remarkable life and by adopting his mantra as he dealt with the many challenges he faced in his life – Just Breathe.”
Ride dates are tentatively set for mid-late June. Please visit http://lrlr.org/ for details on joining the ride and making a donation.
22nd April 2020
Martin Audio announces virtual tradeshow
With much of 2020’s global tradeshow 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 tradeshow, putting the spotlight on the new additions to its portfolio.
Much like Martin Audio’s famed Open Days, the virtual tradeshow will offer an overview of the portfolio suitable for end users, distributors, rental companies and integrators. The event will be webinar-based across a number of time slots on Wednesday 20 May to ensure that people in different time zones can come together for the show.
“These are unprecedented times for the pro audio industry, and we want to play our role in helping industry professionals to stay active, connected and informed,” says Dom Harter, managing director at Martin Audio. “The webinars will last for about 90 minutes, and I will be joined by colleagues to talk people through our portfolio and to help attendees find the right product for different applications and budgets.”
As with all tradeshows, 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 the next generation of Martin Audio’s ground-breaking products can meet challenges for people all over the world.”
For more details of the event and to register, please visit https://martin-audio.com/events/portfolio2020
21st April 2020
ABTT Theatre Show 2020 Postponed
UK - Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the 42nd ABTT Theatre Show has now been postponed to Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th June 2021 in the West Hall at Alexandra Palace.
The 41st edition of the ABTT Theatre Show took place last June at Alexandra Palace. Those who attended will have noticed a few changes. As a result of the developments in 2019, the interest shown in the 2020 show was more than we have seen in recent years. The exhibition floor was fully booked for June and we were ‘ready to go’. … and then everything changed.
This shutdown is unprecedented, as will be the process of rebuilding the industry. One of the defining values of our industry is the ‘can do’ attitude that always delivers the show. This characteristic is the key to rebuilding a future for everyone.
Looking back to January 26th this year, we started to work on the main theme of the ABTT Theatre Show for June 2020. It was Re: as in review, rethink and reimagine. The key driver was to address our climate issues with genuine action.
Little did we know that two months later the brakes would be well and truly applied and that the concept of Re: would climb to the top of everybody’s agenda – but for a totally different reason. The shutdown of the entertainment industry has forced us all to consider how we are going cope now and how we will survive these desperate times to enable us to rebuild when we eventually reopen.
Whilst the 42nd outing of The ABTT Theatre Show at Alexandra Palace has now been postponed to June 2021, plans are underway for constant and ongoing behind the scenes support with the hope of a collaborative coming together when the time is right. We know we are not alone and the ABTT will work tirelessly to unite our entire technical community with as many live performance disciplines as possible to consider how to rebuild, how best to create new opportunities and how to play our part in getting theatre back on its feet.
In closing, let’s be thankful for what we have and bless those who are less fortunate than us. Stay safe, stay well and let’s look forward to rebuilding together.
With much hope for a brighter future,
Isobel Hatton, Show Director
14th April 2020
Audient Announces Morale Boosting Gear Giveaway: Just Create
UK – Audient and EVO by Audient have teamed up with some of Britain’s best audio companies, as well with some friends across the pond to give away over £2000 worth of prizes in an online competition . Together with Sontronics, STL Tones, Music Tech Magazine and Control Room, Audient’s intention is to lift spirits whilst much of the world is in lockdown.
Marketing director, Andy Allen says: “Many people and their livelihoods have been affected by the CV-19 outbreak, including a lot of freelance musicians, producers and engineers. In light of the recent events we wanted to do our part to help spread some cheer and offer some great prizes to help people keep making music – and podcasts – while staying at home.”
Running for two weeks, there are five prize categories on offer. Entrants are in with a chance of winning the grand prize: a 20th anniversary, limited edition iD14-LE USB audio interface and an ASP800 eight-channel mic pre and ADC, an STL Tone Hub Plugin license and a Sontronics Podcast Pro microphone, together with three months free membership to Control Room and a year’s free subscription to Music Tech Magazine.
The second and third prizes comprise a brand new EVO 4 audio interface, a Sontronics Podcast Pro microphone and an STL Tone Hub Plugin licence, together with three months free membership to Control Room and a Music Tech subscription.
The lucky fourth and fifth names drawn will get the EVO 4 audio interface and a Sontronics Podcast Pro microphone.
Launched in January this year, EVO 4 by Audient is a two-in / two-out audio interface designed to make recording easy, offering an intuitive user experience for all creatives. It’s the ideal partner to the new dynamic microphone from Sontronics, Podcast Pro which was developed for podcast, broadcast, voiceover and gaming applications.
Acknowledging the need to ‘keep creating and carry on’, Audient’s Just Create competition is easy to enter and open to all. For full details, a comprehensive list of prizes, terms and conditions and your chance to enter, just visit the evo.audio website here.
The closing date is Wednesday 22nd April 2020. Good luck!
9th April 2020
The North American Theatre Engineering and Architecture Conference has been postponed
USA – The continuing COVID-19 crisis, and the time needed to recover from it, make it unimaginable to hold NATEAC this coming summer. In order to provide a safe environment in which to meet and ensure a worthwhile and exciting experience for the presenters and attendees, NATEAC will be postponed for one year.
NATEAC will be held at the Roosevelt Hotel, NYC on 18 and 19 July, 2021.
NATEAC hopes to bring many of the excellent presentations that were set for this July forward to 2021. However, the current crisis, and our response to it, may alter what is considered important next summer.
NATEAC also hopes to keep the Harbor Cruise, Conference Dinner and Cocktail Party on the same schedule and in the same location as before. Vendor discussions are ongoing and more information will be provided as it becomes available.
8th April 2020
Introducing Durham’s Digest
Lighting designer Durham Marenghi’s wife Jennie suggested that while he, like many of us, is stuck in the house at this time he should put pen to paper and record some of the rather curious and hopefully amusing experiences that he has witnessed across his forty years of lighting design.
So, get yourself a cup of tea (or something stronger) and enjoy this little distraction by scrolling down the front page of etnow.com and clicking on the Durham’s Digest button on the right, or use this quick link to Durham's Digest.
7th April 2020
Blue Skies at Night in Support of Frontline Workers
UK – Dan Ridd and Steven Haynes of Clearsound Productions in Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, positioned eight Robe MegaPointes on the roof of their warehouse and beamed them around the town and up into the night sky, creating a unique piece of light art to connect the local community and show support for the incredible efforts of frontline and essential workers and the National Health Service (NHS) during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The action was inspired by the now weekly “Clap For Carers” initiative (started in the UK by Annemarie Plas) which united millions across the country who appeared in windows and doorways clapping and rattling or thumping percussive objects, the first of which had happened at 8pm on the previous Thursday.
Dan participated in this and realised just how much you can actually hear! This prompted him and Steve to think about what you might be able to see, coupled with the magical effect that the medium of light can have in unifying people and environments.
Taking advantage of the warehouse being on one of Shipston’s highest spots, the following night – carefully observing the social distancing rules – the pair experimented with a couple of different fixtures positioned on the warehouse roof, and hit on MegaPointe as the perfect fixture to shine bright and slice through the darkness!
They then engaged in some industrious social media posting on the Saturday telling people in the area to watch the sky at 8.30 on the Sunday evening for a nice surprise, which generated a buzz of interaction even before the impromptu installation started!
When the time came on Sunday (luckily a dry, clear, cold night with perfect wind conditions) Dan and Steve fired up the eight MegaPointes using a ChamSys console, and ran through a special light show which included the signature ‘NHS blue’ look that they chose for the default beam formation. The interest and excitement were instant!
“My Facebook literally exploded with cool comments and messages of support and the phone rang constantly for the half-hour that we ran the light show!” declared Dan. “I really wasn’t expecting such a massive reaction and it was a fantastic feeling to be part of generating a little wave of positive energy that was appreciated by so many people. It was also amazing just to get everyone talking and realising that none of us are alone in this.”
The powerful light beams could clearly be seen scanning across the whole town and were visible from up to 15 miles away in Banbury, Oxfordshire!
Shipston-on-Stour’s Mayor, Dan Scobie, acknowledged the devastating effect of COVID-19 on the events sector and posted in support: “Clearsound Productions have done so much for the town. Instead of rolling over, they have responded in the best possible way with a spectacle for the people.”
Dan and Steve’s imagination also attracted national TV coverage including being interviewed for both the BBC and ITV channels.
“We felt a bit like celebrities for a couple of days,” commented Steve, “but it was just a simple idea to connect our community utilising the power, drama and playfulness of light.”
In addition to this, Steve highlights another lighting-based initiative, #ourshininglight, which encourages people to light their houses, if and when possible, also in support to the NHS and the incredible job everyone in the organisation is doing.
Normally, Clearsound Productions is busy creatively lighting projects for a range of corporate and event-based clients for awards shows, gala dinners, conferences, etc., plus some summer festivals, but now they join all the other event, rental and technical production companies who are trying to save their businesses and survive the lockdown period.
The company started investing in Robe around three years ago, and now have 90 Robe moving lights in the rental inventory, including MegaPointes, Spiiders, Spikies and LEDBeam 150s.
photos: Clearsound Productions
7th April 2020
Long Reach Long Riders postpone annual charity ride
USA – In light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, The LRLR leadership, in consultation with the 2020 Ride Marshals, have decided that this year’s Long Reach Long Riders charity ride shall be postponed until 2021. The current plan is to ride the same route that was originally planned for 2020.
Plans are being developed for an alternate ride for 2020 which will potentially involve a relay from West Coast to East Coast. The relay concept will call for short one to two day rides for individuals or small groups. It’s currently planned to start on the West Coast and finish in Maine. The start date for the relay ride is tentatively scheduled for 20 June.
Please stay tuned to the LRLR Facebook page and the LRLR website http://lrlr.org/ for more information as it becomes available.
The LRLR wish to thank its sponsors for their support over the years and look forward to continuing with the full ride next year. In the meantime, please stay safe. Wash your hands and practice social distancing while on and off your motorcycle.
6th April 2020
Ayrton Boredom Buster
Currently, this industry is facing an unprecedented, involuntary down-time as a result of the C-19 situation. Ayrton wants to help break up the monotony by offering an opportunity for creative expression while in isolated. Let’s channel that creative energy into something positive and fun. Show what you can do by participating in the Ayrton Boredom Buster!
Here’s how to get involved:
- Create a show to the song of your choice using your favourite pre-visualisation software and an ‘Ayrton only’ virtual lighting rig.
- Submit your video, mailing address and shirt size via email to email@example.com with the subject “Ayrton Boredom Buster.”
In return you could receive some swag, goodies and an opportunity to be featured on Ayrton’s social media pages.
Please get in touch with Ayrton with any questions you may have, and keep watching its social media pages to see some great results! #AyrtonBoredomBuster
31st March 2020
EM Acoustics reports hugely successful joint demos with Timax
UK – SARM Music Bank rehearsal studios in London recently hosted a major series of demonstrations from UK loudspeaker manufacturer, EM Acoustics and Out Board, immersive spatial reinforcement and performer tracking specialist. In the spotlight was the revolutionary Reference Series R10 point source loudspeaker from EM Acoustics – seen for the first time anywhere at ISE 2020 – and the acclaimed HALO-B medium format line array. Out Board showcased the new HARDCore FGPA processing for the TiMaxSoundHub and the all-new TiMax TrackerD4 precision stagetracking for live performer vocal localisation and multimedia effects control.
Held from 3rd-5th March, EM Acoustics’ Mike Wheeler deems the event to have been a huge success with high attendance figures and, more importantly, extremely positive reactions from the industry.
Renowned sound designer Sebastian Frost, whose credentials include plays, musicals and operas the world over as well as live events and installed visitor attractions, was very taken by what he heard: "I was so impressed by the R10, I’ve already specified ten of them for a major new production that will take place later in the year."
Bobby Aitken, another award-winning West End and Broadway theatre sound designer, was equally impressed with the new Reference Series loudspeakers: "The new R10 point source loudspeakers sounded great and I'm really looking forward to spending some time with the upcoming R8s. The combination of a rotatable horn and the ability to swap the horn between two different included versions will make it a really interesting loudspeaker for theatre use."
Mike Wheeler is delighted with the response to the demos. “Not only did we have a lot of people through the doors, but they were all figures who influence our industry – sound designers, rental companies, engineers – and reactions were universally positive, both for our products and the Out Board TiMax gear. Our event predated the worst effects the COVID-19 epidemic; this is clearly a challenging and unsettling time for live entertainment, and our thoughts and best wishes go to our colleagues and friends throughout the industry. We remain positive, and we’re looking forwards to bringing the outstanding and highly effective Reference Series to market once these clouds pass.”
31st March 2020
2020 Knight of Illumination Awards postponed
UK – The Knight of Illumination (KOI) executive committee has come to the decision to postpone the 13th annual awards ceremony and gala dinner due to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis and the enormous implications it is having on the entertainment industry.
A statement from co-founders Durham and Jennie Marenghi on behalf of the KOI committee reads: "The Knight of Illumination committee has taken the considered decision that this year's KOI Awards ceremony will not be held on 6 September as planned due to the uncertainty of the times in which we now live. The event will be held as a celebration of our industry and to bring people together, once the current situation has been resolved and it is safe to do so.
"Meanwhile, we will continue to appraise the work already submitted and we ask designers to please continue to nominate via the KOI website. We are all watching more TV than usual, so please submit anything outstanding that catches your eye, and to those concert and events lighting designers and video content creators now stuck at home, we invite you to submit your finest work this year before the closing date of 30 June 2020 and if you have videos/photos to review.
"Further announcements on the Awards ceremony will follow in the coming months as the situation hopefully improves. Stay safe and we will come together once more as Knights of Illumination once this worldwide battle has been fought and won."
KOI has been a connected hub for the entertainment technology industry for more than a decade, bringing the community together to celebrate the achievements of lighting and video designers across the sectors of television, theatre, and concert & events, and it plans to remain as such throughout the course of this year and beyond.
Given the large number of productions postponed and cancelled over the upcoming months and the impact that is having on the industry, the committee feels it would be unwise for KOI to choose to proceed with a conventional KOI ceremony. The ceremony revolves entirely around our community of creative individuals, and also relies on sponsorship from businesses, and both groups are already being and will continue to be drastically affected by this unprecedented situation.
Though the ceremony will not take place in the traditional sense, KOI aims to continue to celebrate the achievements and raise the profile of the creatives in the industry, and to this end, it will endeavour to host an alternative event at a later date.
Submissions can be made through the KOI website. www.knight-of-illumination.com
25th March 2020
ChamSys Unveils Contest for Programmers “Stuck at Home”
UK – There’s a massive new 200-fixture rig that was going to premiere at the now-cancelled Prolight + Sound 2020 show. There are also a lot of talented lighting programmers and designers finding themselves “stuck at home,” who would love a chance to show their creative chops. Put them both together and you have an exciting remedy for the “Coronavirus Blues,” called the ChamSys Online Programmers Competition.
Sponsored by ChamSys, the contest, which runs between now and 10th April, provides lighting professionals with more than a creative outlet during slow times, it also offers a chance to win a new MagicQ MQ70 console, something that is sure to open bright, new possibilities when the curtain rises once again on live concerts and festivals. The first 25 entries in the contest will also receive a MagicDMX Test Kit, while the three top runners up will earn a premium swag bag.
Entering the contest is simple. To participate, entrants merely have to download the Vis/Base show file of the Chauvet Professional PL+S 2020 rig, select a one to three minute song of their choice, and then program the lights using MagicQ with MagicVis visualistion.
Once they do that, entrants have to record their entries via screen capture, and submit them, along with the show file, to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11:59pm Eastern Time (US) on 10th April. The entrant’s name, location and mailing address must be included in all submissions.
The judges evaluating each submission are Max Koehler and Ryan Warffuel of Antic Studios, Phil Watson and James Harrison of ChamSys, and Michael Graham of Chauvet Professional.
For complete contest rules visit https://cutt.ly/Dtl7HQa
24th March 2020
PLASA Focus Leeds Cancelled
UK - Following the concerning recent developments of the Covid-19 outbreak PLASA has come to the disappointing yet inevitable decision that they must cancel PLASA Focus Leeds, which was due to take place on 12-13 May at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds.
PLASA stated that they cannot now share the incredible programme they had planned, as well as two sold-out show floors full of industry figureheads. However, they said that PLASA Focus Leeds will return next year, taking place from 11-12 May 2021, bringing with it the usual vibrant atmosphere and exciting technology.
In the meantime, the PLASA team will proceed full steam ahead to make the 2020 edition of PLASA Show the best it can possibly be when it returns to Olympia London from 6-8 September. You can find out more about PLASA Show at www.plasashow.com.
19th March 2020
Media Production & Technology Show
UK - The Media Production & Technology Show Organisers have been carefully monitoring the COVID-19 situation in the UK and abroad, with the situation growing increasingly concerning, it is with a heavy heart, they have decided to postpone the event on the 13/14th May 2020 at London’s Olympia.
The health and well-being of exhibitors, visitors and staff is the utmost priority and the organisers feel this is the best course of action for all. This has not been an easy decision, as following the hard work from the team and all of the industry support received, this was going to be our biggest show yet. But now more than ever it is important that we support each other and navigate the way through these difficult times.
The organisers are still deciding on the best way forward in terms of the event postponement, and ask for patience as they do so. The team is committed to weighing-up all alternatives and will provide updates as soon as possible.
“Our disappointment in not delivering our May event will only spur us on further to make sure our next steps help drive your business forward and strengthen your relationship with us.”
17th March 2020
Pro7ect Announces its Producer Line-Up and 2020 Dates at the Coach House Studio, Rockfield, Wales
UK – Pro7ect, the creative retreat that brings top songwriters and producers together to write and record great music, is moving to Wales for 2020 – its seventh consecutive year – for an eight day residency in the stunning surroundings of Rockfield Studios.
Rockfield’s world famous Coach House Studios, where artists such as Oasis, Bullet for My Valentine, Sepultura and Simple Minds have recorded, will form the base for this inspirational collaborative event where participants work with top producers to write and record a track a day.
“We are delighted that Rockfield’s Coach House Studios will be our base for 2020,” says Pro7ect’s creative director Lisa Fitzgibbon. “The studio has an incredible live room and a control room packed with amazing equipment, including some really rare vintage pieces. It is exactly the right kind of space to inspire imagination, which is what Pro7ect is all about, and we anticipate that this year’s retreat will be phenomenal in terms of output and creativity.”
Taking place in September 2020, Pro7ect will run two residential sessions across eight days – the first from 7th-11th September (leaving on the morning of the 11th) and the second from 11th-15th September (arriving on the evening of the 11th). The sessions will be separated by a one day Masterclass on the 11th, which is open to people who want to find out more about the Pro7ect experience before committing to a full three-day retreat.
Since its formation in 2012, Pro7ect has attracted many A-list producers who work with participants to capture the best possible recording of their songs. These have included Youth (Sir Paul McCartney / The Verve / Echo & The Bunnymen / The Orb), Roni Size (Reprazent, Method Man, Zac de la Rocha), Mercury Music Prize winner Tavin Singh, John Fortis (Razorlight, Ellie Goulding, Yellowdays), Andrew Levy (Brand New Heavies), Iain Archer (Snow Patrol, James Bay, Jake Bugg) and Matty Benbrook (Paulo Nutini, LENA, Rebecca Ferguson, Beverely Knight).
This year’s Headline producers include Greg Haver, an award winning producer/engineer who has worked with artists such as the Manic Street Preachers, Melanie C, INME, Opshop, John Cale, Catatonia and Super Furry Animals; Stew Jackson, writer and producer for Massive Attack and Nick Cave and a founding member of Phantom Limb, and Gethin Pearson, who recently produced and mixed Badly Drawn Boy’s new single Is This A Dream? and has also produced tracks for artists such as To Kill A King, KELE and JAWS. Pro7ect’s 2020 line up is completed by Lisa Fitzgibbon, who is not only the creative inspiration behind this event, but also a talented producer and singer / songwriter.
“The Pro7ect experience is highly collaborative and often results in a large volume of material being written and recorded in a very short space for time,” Fitzgibbon says. “Participants work with the producers to write and record a track a day for three days. The teams are changed each day and every evening there is a feedback session where teams play the result of their day’s work to the entire group.”
Space for this creative event are limited and usually sell out fast. This year is likely to be even more popular as many people will be inspired by the stunning Rockfield location. Each residential session costs £1,595.00, which incudes four night’s accommodation, three writing days, three home cooked meals each day, the studio and the headline producer. The cost of attending the one-day Masterclass on 11th September is £350, which includes lunch.
For more information and to apply for a place, please visit www.pro7ect.com