Event News Headlines
ALPD and the Prague Quadrennial
Robe at SHOWTECH 2023 Expo
Claypaky and Audiosales host renowned lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe's workshop at the Teatro Sociale in Bergamo Alta
The ABTT Announce Free Skills Workshops and Fascinating Seminars at Upcoming ABTT Theatre Show
Backup launches new podcast series
CT Norway celebrates LLB with Green-GO
Highlite International at PLASA Locus Leeds
disguise Partners with Film Soho to Launch Cannes’ First Global Virtual Production Summit
ITEAC 2023: Booking now open for London Hub
Robe Turns Up Heat for Prolight+Sound 2023
Brompton’s revolutionary Tessera G1 takes home Product of the Year Award at 2023 NAB Show
Claypaky New Products at Prolight+Sound 2023
ALPD and the Prague Quadrennial
Czech Republic – The UK’s Association for Lighting Production and Design (ALPD) has been given the fantastic opportunity of running the Society of British Theatre Designers’ (SBTD) Hello Stranger exhibition stand at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space on Saturday 10th June 2023. This will provide a unique chance to champion and celebrate the work of lighting in contributing to the wider practice of Performance Design.
The ALPD will be running three panel discussions, the first about sustainability of product and manufacturing, hosted by Tom Lightbody. The panel will feature manufacturers, distributors and hire companies. The discussion will look at topics such as how much power LED units are pulling when they are powered on but not outputting and what companies are doing to reduce waste whilst offering new equipment and upgrades. By continuously highlighting the need for sustainability in their field, lighting designers and other practitioners play a crucial part in ensuring that manufacturers keep sustainable development at the top of their agenda. It is therefore vital that this conversation continues on an international stage.
The second panel discussion will look at sustainability of careers and wellbeing within the industry, hosted by Joe Price. Joe will be joined by Mig Burgess to discuss the recent work she has done through detailed studies and surveys, which have helped to inform new guidelines on workplace standards and wellbeing produced through the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT). The session will include a summary of Mig’s work over the last few years, from Blackout to her Mental Health First Aid Training, as well as a look at fresh research on recruitment and retention that was presented at the Make a Difference conference in April. As wellbeing and pay issues continue to affect the sustainability of career for our workforce, this discussion aims to highlight what work has been done so far and what more we can do to invoke lasting change.
The final discussion will see Katharine Graham and Scott Palmer discussing their new book 'Contemporary Performance Lighting', which they co-edited with Kelli Zezulka. This will offer a fascinating insight into the research involved in creating the publication, the latest in an ever-growing list of literature within our area of specialism and how the findings tie into industry practice.
The exhibition stand features various screens, on which will be played a showreel of the recent ALPD Michael Northen Awards, alongside other images and graphics promoting the wider work of the ALPD. There will be a focus on engagement with attendees throughout the day, an opportunity to comment and ask questions on some major issues and to come together to celebrate the work of light artists and their contribution towards performance design as a whole. If you are planning to be in Prague then do please come and get involved!
11.00 - 12.30 - Sustainability of Product & Manufacturing
1.30 - 3.00 - Sustainability of Careers & Wellbeing
4.00 - 5.30 - Contemporary Performance Lighting
2nd June 2023
Robe at SHOWTECH 2023 Expo
Germany – Robe will be exhibiting at the two-and-a-half day 2023 SHOWTECH entertainment expo next week, staged in Halls 1 and 3 at STATION in Berlin, one of the country’s most charismatic and unique event spaces right at the heart of the German capital adjacent to the world-famous Potsdamer Platz.
Robe has participated in the predecessors of this event and was delighted when the DTHG (German Theatre Technical Society) decided to stage it again, this time as an independent organiser. the company’s German subsidiary immediately secured a premium spot with stand 1.19. A selection of the latest technologies will be showcased, focusing on the T Series products, like the recent TX1 PosiProfile and T11 series, plus the popular T and T2 series and manual and remote followspot systems, together with others suited to stage and performance applications.
“With the focus on theatre and performance lighting and production, we expect a very high quality of attendees from all over Europe,” commented Robe Germany’s marketing manager Julian von den Stemmen. “This also allows us to tailor our booth to the interests of the visitors, not only in showing products, but offering an on-site live workshop experience with international theatre lighting designer Andy Webb, who presents his perspective on using Robe Lighting’s numerous solutions.”
Robe’s T-series LED fixtures are specially developed for the exacting environments embracing all genres of theatre and performance lighting design which require quiet operation, precision, infinite colour manipulation, exceptional quality of light, and refined dimming and intensity shifts to enhance mood and atmosphere.
Utilising the revolutionary MSL multispectral light engine technology, these fixtures offer outstanding colour control and finesse. Advanced technologies, including DataSwatch virtual colour libraries, subtle and accurate theatre grade L3 dimming, AirLOC cooling for silent running, PLANO4 shutter modules and high-definition optics give designers full freedom to practice their art.
Andy Webb will be presenting a series of live workshops throughout the day on the booth, based on Robe’s hugely successfully touring Theatre Workshop concept, offering visitors a chance to learn about some of the challenges and solutions involved in creative stage lighting.
Robe Germany will highlight its NRG (Next Robe Generation) programme activities on the booth with daily presentations at 11:00 and 15:00 for students, apprentices and those interested in pursuing careers as lighting professionals. These will be given by NRG students. Two roll-up screens will be placed on the side of the booth to facilitate these.
Two NRG students will also be part of the booth team assisting with sales and other product support in-between the workshops.
Robe’s architectural brand Anolis will have a presence on its own part of the stand showing the latest luminaires from the new CalummaM range alongside Anolis’ popular AmbianeM and Eminere products.
At the end of the first day, Robe will host a special evening at light art gallery Dark Matter – one of the most in-demand and visited attractions in Germany – showcasing the fabulous, thought-provoking and cutting-edge work of artist Christopher Bauder.
While finishing off the day with food and drinks from an assortment of food trucks, visitors can also enjoy Dark Matter’s exterior Anolis lighting installations and superlative live music from DJ Leisegang. Tickets for the get-together will be available at the Robe booth.
Julian is confident that there will be a good return of investment from the show, remarking that it’s clear from the multilingual nature of the “Theatre of Tomorrow” SHOWTECH Congress and seminar programming which is running alongside the trade fair, that the organisers “plan to evolve it into a go-to European exhibition, conference and destination for professional theatre and stage practitioners.”
STATION is highly accessible with stunning architecture that is protected as a historic landmark, making it an international hub and connecting point for pan European travel. The grand opening of the Dresdener Bahnhof took place on this same site on 17 June, 1875. The station was the starting point of the new Berlin to Dresden railway line, which was 12 kilometres shorter than the old one. While trains commuted to and from Dresden, through traffic continued to Vienna and Prague and further afield.
1st June 2023
Clear-Com to Showcase Intercom Solutions for Theatrical Productions at ABTT 2023
UK – As part of their commitment to the theatrical sound design and stage management community, Clear-Com will be exhibiting at the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) Theatre Show at Alexandra Palace in London on 7 – 8 June. The company will showcase a broad range of intercom solutions for theatre sound applications at Stand E40.
In addition to exhibiting on the show floor, Clear-Com will lead a 45-minute discussion alongside the Association of Sound Designers and Stage Management Association panel in the “Art and Craft of Comms at ABTT Theatre Show” event. Panel topics include best practice techniques and trends in backstage and events communications and will take place on 7 June at 1pm.
“The live event and theatre market is as vibrant as ever, and the need for good audio and good communication has become a top business priority,” says Ben Turnwell, regional sales manager for UK, Ireland and Israel. “Our intercom solutions are an important aspect of a successful theatre production, and the ABTT Theatre Show provides us access to a critically important audience.”
On the show floor, visitors will be invited to experience demonstrations of the award-winning Arcadia Central Station with HelixNet digital network partyline integration, a scaleable IP intercom platform bringing together HelixNet, FreeSpeak II and FreeSpeak Edge digital wireless intercom systems, Encore analogue partyline, other 2W/4W endpoints and third-party Dante devices in a single, integrated system. A popular choice for theatrical productions, Arcadia offers licensed-based scalability that allows it to meet numerous production needs, with support for over 100 beltpacks and up to 128 IP ports.
1st June 2023
Claypaky and Audiosales host renowned lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe's workshop at the Teatro Sociale in Bergamo Alta
Italy – Behind every concert and television show we go to, behind every spectacular effect on the stage at the theatre, behind every clever lighting of urban architecture or public spaces, there is always a whole load of sophisticated technology.
However, not all shows are equally exciting. What makes the difference is the lighting designer, an artist who uses light as a creative tool to interpret the rhythm of music or the atmosphere of a theatrical performance. Patrick Woodroffe is one of the world's most celebrated lighting designers. He has been artistically illuminating the most famous artists and stars of the entertainment world on concert stages, and in theatres and television studios for many years.
In Lighting the Stars, Patrick Woodroffe, who has designed the lighting for the Rolling Stones, AC/DC, the London Olympic Games and a host of other internationally important events, told Claypaky about his most significant and exciting experiences, including an emotional tribute to Michael Jackson, with whom he was working on preparing a tour just days before Michael's untimely death.
After that, in an original live hands-on exercise, he put together a lighting design for the song "I wanna be your slave" by Måneskin, revealing some of the secrets of his art and technique.
The workshop was organised by Claypaky and Claypaky's distributor for Italy Audiosales, with Ziogiorgio.it as media partner and AILD as sponsor. It was held on Tuesday 16 May at the Teatro Sociale in Bergamo, in the beautiful old city centre. Bergamo and Brescia are "capitals of culture" for the year 2023.
Alberico D'Amato, Claypaky sales director, had this to say: “It was a great honour for us to host such an important and charismatic figure as Patrick Woodroffe. We are convinced that we have given all those who attended a great opportunity for professional growth, and we hope we have contributed to spreading the culture of light in the best possible way.”
23rd May 2023
The ABTT Announce Free Skills Workshops and Fascinating Seminars at Upcoming ABTT Theatre Show
Free to attend, this popular industry event connects thousands of attendees with the biggest names in theatre and live events. With record numbers of registrations, it is the place to be on the 7th and 8th June.
Held at the stunning Alexandra Palace the ABTT Theatre Show is the only exhibition in the UK focused solely on theatre and live entertainment, and this year the event will be focusing on
supporting those wanting to enter the industry or progressing their careers through captivating seminars and free skills workshops.
This will be done by addressing three key themes: education, training and recruitment in engaging ways over the two-day event.
Promoting learning, the ABTT will be encouraging conversation and collaboration through a diverse range of free inspiring seminars and discussions educating attendees on a variety of topics, including VR, automation, sound design, AI, comms, health and safety, lighting, staging in the wilderness, mental health, industry guidance, the voices of the next generation and plenty more!
Supporting training and skills development, the ABTT have arrange a selection of free hands-on workshops including ‘crucial knots used in backstage roles’, ‘the importance of correct manual handling’, ‘finding faults in the workplace’ and learning how to handle, hang and store drapes. These fun taster sessions give attendees a glimpse at the importance of ongoing training while refreshing their knowledge.
Opportunities at our “Careers and Professional Development Hub” provide a focused location for attendees to can make sure they have all the latest tips, tricks and practical advice to help them land that all important next role! Attendees can have their CV reviewed by a professional or schedule to speak with an industry expert one to one and have their questions answered about pathways into and through the Industry to the ultimate dream job.
For those attendees looking for advice and direction on the next steps in their learning and career development, the show floor also has a dedicated space key educational establishments called “Education Alley” providing a go to area to speak with a wide range of colleges, universities and training providers all in one place.
This year this area includes those offering apprenticeships, college and university courses such as Academy of Live Technology, Backstage Centre, Creative Alliance, Falmouth University, GSA, GSMA, LAMDA, LIPA, Mountview, RCS, RCSSD, ROH, Wimbledon College of Arts as well as those supporting education in the industry such as Get into Theatre, TheatreCraft, Theatre in a Box, Production Futures and The Stage.
Attendees can also head across to “Associations Corner” a dedicated area for the main unions, membership associations and charities whose aim is to support backstage workers in their day-to-day roles. Talking to these professional bodies face to face can aid attendees with understanding what support is available to them during their career within the Industry.
These include the ABTT, ALPD, ASD, Backup Tech, BECTU, FMTW, ISCVE, PMF, SBTD and SMA.
As always the ABTT Theatre Show will also provide the essential meeting point for our community, giving the Industry a chance to meet face-to-face in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere which provides a hot-bed for new discussions, connections, knowledge and productivity.
This year we are joined by exhibitors from all sectors of the theatre and live entertainment world.
Lighting professionals can look forward to Robe offering product demonstrations and RoboSpot taster sessions in the Palace Suite. They will be joined on the show floor by White Light, Encore, Chauvet Professional, GLP UK, Mushroom Lighting, AC-ET, ETC, GDS, City Theatrical, Robert Juliat, CP Wave and GoboPlus.
Top of the line audio is available from Stage Sound Services, EM Acoustics, Orbital, Shure UK, Sound Technology, Meyer Sound, Ambersound, d&b audiotechnik, HD Pro Audio, Clear-Com, DCRS, Nexo, KV2 Audio, Riedel Communications, Raycom, Point Source Audio and Atlas Show Control for Spatial Audio. Not only that, cutting edge AV can be seen at the stands of Audio Visual Material and A&M Production too.
Specialist solution providers in rigging and staging technologies will also be in attendance, such as Steeldeck, Unusual Rigging, TAIT, Triple E, Igus, Aluminium Access Products, Chainmaster, Total Solutions Group, Doughty Engineering, Centre Stage Engineering, Lyon, Rigging Team, WhirlyReeler, Boc Office VR and XM Automation.
The show also features key companies offering seating solutions, such as Figueras Seating, Audience Systems, Aresline, Ferco Seating Systems, Race Furniture, Alcat Design, Hussey Seatway and Stage & Tiers.
Pioneering accessories will be on show courtesy of Drapemakers, Harlequin Floors, J&C Joel and Rope Assemblies, and don’t forget to check the specialists in their fields: Entedi, Lamp & Pencil, Preevue, RB Health and Safety Solutions, Flints Theatrical Chandlers, Solutions on Stage, Vectorworks, Blue Lemon, trackingThis, Ampetronic, Hayles and Howe, Just FX, Mayr Transmissions, Misto ART, Steve Myers LTD, Test Event, Tracked Carriers, Trail and plenty more.
Crewing companies including Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruises, MSC Crew will be on the show floor alongside those establishments currently recruiting too.
ABTT’s events manager, Elysia Moore, comments: “With a bursting show floor, a diverse range of activities and a record number of attendee registrations, this year’s Theatre Show is sure to be bigger and better than ever! We cannot wait to welcome everyone in the industry at Alexandra Palace, with such an amazing gathering of industry suppliers and users we are honoured to be able to provide the space for you to all come together! Don’t miss out, register for your free entry badge today.”
The ABTT Theatre Show will take place from 7-8th June at Alexandra Palace, London.
Register for free: https://www.abtt.org.uk/abtt-theatre-show/register-now/
Find out more: https://www.abtt.org.uk/abtt-theatre-show/
23rd May 2023
Backup launches new podcast series
UK – This week sees the first episode of Backstage with Backup, a new series of podcasts designed to let you know a bit more Backup Tech by talking to the people behind the charity, the industry friends it works with and those who have benefitted from its support.
Backup Tech is a UK registered charity that provides financial and wellbeing support to technical professionals, crew and production personnel and anyone working in the technical supply chain across the UK entertainment industry.
In this first episode, Sarah James (Press & PR for Backup) talks to Backup Trustee and Autograph MD Scott Arnold, who discusses his passion for working with Backup, his history of mental health – he has general anxiety disorder – and his desire to give something back to celebrate the way he has been helped, and to help others.
“I was very lucky,” he says. “Around 20 years ago I had a breakdown and started to suffer from anxiety. I’d only worked with Autograph for two years and they gave me the help and support I needed through what was a year out from work. They stuck by me and 25 years later I’m MD of the company. That shows what can happen if you stick by someone. I wanted to try and put that message out to other people. Mental health shouldn’t be a hinderance. There are so many people that have mental health issues, but it doesn’t have to be a disadvantage. If you find out how it works and how to handle it, then you can grow.”
Backup wants to encourage the industry to be more aware of how mental health is so often invisible, and how simply having someone to talk to who understands what you’re going through can help.
“It’s not necessarily easy to talk, and trying to explain to people what you’re going through can be tough,” adds Scott. “There’s a frustration that our industry has a massive hole in the understanding of mental health, and we can address that. The repercussions of the pandemic have created an increase in the need for help, and I think our work at Backup has become even more important.”
To hear Scott’s story, how he manages his anxiety, that it is OK not to be OK, the part Backup plays in raising awareness and helping those who are in need, and the importance of having more trained mental health first aiders in the industry, listen to the podcast at https://podcast.backuptech.uk
19th May 2023
CT Norway celebrates LLB with Green-GO
Norway – Oslo-based CT Norway enjoyed a successful LLB exhibition in March, its busy booth including a showcase of systems from event and broadcast comms specialist, Green-GO.
LLB (Lyd Lys Bilde or ‘Light Sound Picture’), held every two years in Oslo, is a major social event for Norway’s industry, attracting professionals from all over the country. This year, however, following Covid, it returned for the first time since 2019, bringing an added anticipation for all concerned.
Part of the global Creative Technology Group, CT Norway provides audio, lighting, visual and staging technologies and expertise for all kinds of live, virtual and installed environments. What’s more, it is also the exclusive Norwegian distributor for a number of leading brands, including Green-GO’s award-winning range of innovative, Ethernet network-based, digital intercom systems.
As well as making Green-GO technology a centrepiece of their LLB booth, CT Norway also gave a special ‘thank you’ to customers and partners with an after-show party featuring Green-GO systems as a central talking point. Senior account executive Jørgen Tharaldsen says, “The new Green-GO software – now on version 5 – is always a really popular thing to demonstrate to customers. The dashboard gives a complete system overview, and the drag-and-drop functionality is very useful.”
He adds, “Green-GO is an affordable solution too because it’s so flexible and scalable. You can start to communicate with just two products, and add more users or functionality as the budget allows. System setup is fast and simple, and it’s easy to monitor and to make changes or adapt the system. It suits everything from small, touring productions to large, complex installations.”
Drawing interest was the MCXD multi-channel desk station, along with the BPX (wired) and WBPX (wireless) beltpacks. Also shown was the RDX radio interface – which allows the user to connect radio to the Green-GO network, the Beacon call light, and the Slim Audio Interface 2-Wire (via which existing analogue party-line systems can be integrated into the Green-GO network).
“We sell a lot of wireless technology,” explains Tharaldsen, “and Green-GO’s RDX is very popular, as is the Slim 2-Wire, and indeed anything that can effectively help you to reuse old equipment, such as the customers’ partyline or walkie-talkies. In a time when it’s important to make use of existing equipment, anything that makes that possible is of great value.”
LLB returns to Oslo in March 2025.
18th May 2023
Electric Airshows thinking out of the box at PLASA Focus
UK – Electric Airshows, the only drone show company currently in PLASA’s membership, revealed two major advances at the popular PLASA Focus Leeds trade show in early May.
First up, the specialist provider of drone light shows gave the production industry its first glimpse of a brand-new, ‘out of the box’ solution that signals the future of fast drone show implementation for entertainment. At the same time, the company introduced another major step forward with the addition of award-winning lighting designer (and trained drone pilot) John Bishop, to its growing team.
The ingenious new flightcase system offers rapid deployment for drone light shows. With 12 drones ready to fly out of – and back into – each protective case, the system promises to significantly speed-up the laborious process of prepping and laying out a swarm of drones for an aerial display. Importantly, the system drastically reduces the time and manpower required on site, making the inclusion of drone light shows in events a far more viable option.
Chris Crockford explains: “This is such an important step because providing drone light shows is far from straightforward. Each individual drone in a swarm is, after all, an aircraft and its flight has to be planned, monitored and logged accordingly to meet the stringent regulations set by the CAA. With so much inherent complexity behind the scenes, this new innovation will make a huge difference to actual on-site activity, and help to make the inclusion of drone shows a much easier option for production companies creating all kinds of outdoor events.”
The system uses a new generation of quad-copter drones with accurate GPS RTK (Real Time Kinematics) positioning technology for formation flying. When landing, on-board cameras read individual fiducial ID tags which give simple and accurate 6D (x, y, z, roll, pitch, yaw) information to guarantee each unit’s precise return to its spot in the case. LED lights mounted top and bottom of each drone allow for low-level ‘marker’ lights to be visible during take-off and landing, meeting another significant safety requirement of the CAA. What’s more, the inclusion of the latest battery technology reduces weight and extends the flying time of each unit, while the addition of lightweight rotor guards offers added protection.
Meanwhile, expanding the team’s human capabilities is lighting designer John Bishop, who joined company founder Chris Crockford on the stand at PLASA Focus. A member of the Association for Lighting Production and Design, the Society of British Theatre Designers and Equity, Bishop has designed for over 200 productions including operas, ballets, musicals and plays. His 27-year career in lighting began with Vari*Lite, touring Europe with the likes of Eric Clapton, Tina Turner and Toto and now continues with his qualification as a drone pilot.
Bishop says: “I’m relishing the opportunity to take my design work into the skies with Electric Airshows. This team has an unrivalled level of technical knowledge and understanding of aviation, and it’s tied in with years of production experience and visual design capabilities. This is an exciting new arena of entertainment, and I believe this company is a force to be reckoned with!”
Formed by two well-known event production industry figures, Chris Crockford and Ian Lomas, Electric Airshows combines years of experience in entertainment production, high technology and aviation to offer an extra new visual dimension to outdoor shows of all types and sizes.
In picture: Chris Crockford and John Bishop.
17th May 2023
GLP’s X5 family focus at Prolight + Sound results in resounding success
Germany – GLP (German Light Products) can reflect with complete satisfaction on the recent Prolight + Sound Show in Frankfurt. Both the quality and quantity of visitors – as was the case last year – were impressive and despite prophecies of doom, it was particularly gratifying to note that 51% of visitors were international.
Stefan Wagner, GLP sales director EMEA, attributes its success, especially with regard to international customers, to the company’s high level of commitment in the run-up to the fair. “We invited global customers on a widespread basis,” he explains, “with the result that we received an unexpected number of visitors from Asia, including many new customers. From our point of view, the equal commitment of many of our distributors from other EU countries and the USA, who brought their customers to our booth, also contributed to the success of the fair, even though we admittedly had significantly fewer US guests than in previous years."
In order to specifically address young lighting talent, GLP organised the Tech’n’Talents party for the first time this year as a side event alongside its trade fair participation. The hip Frankfurt party hotspot Fortuna Irgenwo served as the location, an appropriate venue since it has a lot to offer in terms of lighting technology. Both the VLLV e.V. and the LD Talent Club supported the event, with the result that 200 young technicians and designers used the party for exchange of views and networking. In view of the positive feedback from participants, the GLP Tech’n’Talents party will certainly be repeated next year.
In terms of product showcasing, unsurprisingly the impression X5 family was the focus of interest. In addition to the impression X5 and the smaller impression X5 Compact, both of which have been available for some time, a prototype of the impression X5 IP Maxx could be seen at the trade fair for the first time. IP65-certified and equipped with 37 LEDs, the impression X5 IP Maxx will make the outstanding colour rendering qualities of the series accessible to large outdoor events and festivals.
The linear lighting solutions of the X5 series – the impression X5 Bar and impression X5 IP Bar – could also be experienced at the booth and were extremely well received by visitors.
GLP's new X5 service platform, iQ.Service, could be seen in detail for the first time. Trade fair visitors were able to familiarise themselves with the associated app, which allows fixtures to be operated and configured, and usage data, such as the current mode or operating hours, to be read out. With iQ.Service, GLP is taking the next step towards cloud services for spots, which will offer customers more convenience, security and time savings in the future.
Also reflecting on a highly positive show was GLP key account director Oliver Schwendke. "Once again we were able to welcome many important decision-makers and designers and we are already excited about the upcoming Prolight + Sound 2024,” he says.
In conclusion, GLP’s managing director, Udo Künzler, adds his endorsement: “All in all, for us it was a successful Prolight + Sound. The Frankfurt trade fair remains close to our hearts; we have always been there and will undoubtedly be exhibiting again next year.
“The current shifts in the relevance of international markets are forcing all manufacturers to make critical cost-benefit considerations in the coming years. The trade fair knows what its duties are, and we are looking forward to celebrating our 30th anniversary at next year’s show.” Bring on the party!
15th May 2023
Highlite International at PLASA Locus Leeds
At PLASA Focus Leeds, Highlite International exhibited many of its lighting, audio and audio-visual products, including a number of brand-new entertainment solutions and innovations from Showtec, Infinity, DAP and Artecta.
For Highlite International, PLASA Focus Leeds offered a great opportunity to meet customers to discuss the latest developments in the entertainment market. The Highlite stand was the setting for a comprehensive presentation of a wide range of new products for entertainment lighting from Showtec and Infinity, audio solutions from DAP and architectural lighting from Artecta.
Showtec exhibited its updated LAMPY DMX console with V2 software, which promises a huge step forward in functionality with multicell capabilities, a new professional colour picker, multi-touch support and up to six universes in combination with the new LAMPY Re-Load 4 expansion kit. Several other new products were also on display, including the Polar Wash 740, an IP65-rated effect moving head with seven 40 Watt RGBL LEDs. The Shark range of IP65-rated moving heads also received new additions to improve and expand the series. The Shark – The Meg – Beam One, a compact, 100 Watt LED, 1.6-degree beam moving head with gobo, dual prism, frost, LED ring and more and the Shark Wash Zoom Two, a 7 x 30 Watt RGBW LED washer with zoom, were also on display. Other Showtec fixtures like the Performer Cyc Q6, the Performer Profile 700 Q6, the ACT Fresnel 150 and the Cameleon Flood 15 Q4 Tour were there too. Showtec hazers and smoke machines were also on display.
Infinity showed off their Raccoon P14/4 with new diffusers. This high-brightness (8000 lumens) and high-quality (CRI>87) professional RGBM par with 14 ultra bright LEDs is ideal for rental applications and professional environments. Its software calibration ensures accurate colours using XY, RGB, CMY or HIS colour mixing. Other Infinity favourites such as the Chimp 300.G2 lighting controller and the iFX-640 effect moving head also made their way to the exhibition.
At the event, DAP also showcased several loudspeakers from its WMS and Xi ranges for installation purposes, among other products.
And from Artecta the new Image Spot 100 gobo projector for indoor and outdoor projection of (customisable) logos and gobos could be seen.
Finally, from Antari the IP-1500 outdoor fogger with 1500 Watts was on display, a high-capacity, IP63-rated outdoor fog machine with DMX, wireless, and manual control and timer function.
The stand was built using Wentex pipe and drape products consisting of base plates, base plate pins, uprights and drape supports to create the stand boundaries quickly and neatly.
12th May 2023
disguise Partners with Film Soho to Launch Cannes’ First Global Virtual Production Summit
UK – disguise has announced that for the first time, Cannes attendees will be able to access five days of virtual production activities powered by its platform at the film festival’s inaugural Virtual Production Summit. Created in partnership with Film Soho, Marché du Film and Cannes Next, the summit will feature talks, demos and workshops on the future of entertainment with studio heads and film-makers at Netflix, Paramount, Framestore, Nordisk Film and more.
For anyone that wants hands-on experience, the summit will also offer a taster of disguise’s Virtual Production Accelerator course, which provides in-depth training on everything from lighting techniques to the colour science behind LED walls. Hosted in a dedicated virtual production studio running on the disguise real-time production platform, the course will take participants on a journey from fundamental technical knowledge to on-set production techniques and beyond, enhancing skills with backgrounds such as video plates, 2.5D and Unreal Engine scenes. By the end of the day, participants will have the essential in-camera VFX knowledge to break into this emerging sector.
“The Cannes Film Festival is integral to the history of the movie industry. That’s why, as lovers of film, we’re delighted to be a part of how the festival is embracing the future,” says Alex Wills, CXO at disguise. “Our team has years of experience helping creatives and technicians work with LED volumes to create films and shows for studios like Netflix, Warner Bros. Discovery and Amazon Studios. By launching Cannes’ first Virtual Production Summit, we hope to use all we’ve learned to help the next generation of film-makers tell stories that don’t just blur the line between real and virtual, but also between the audience and the big screen.”
Chris Greenhill, co-founder and director of Film Soho, said: “We are delighted to be official partners of Marché du Film and Cannes Next at this year’s festival, and to be collaborating with our friends at disguise to curate this incredible global event!”
Annabel Martin, director of V-Studios and operations at Film Soho, added: “V-Studios are hugely proud to be at the forefront of this cutting-edge technology, bringing our 1.5mm pixel pitch LED screen powered by disguise from London to Cannes exclusively for the first Cannes Film Festival Global Virtual Production Summit.”
To showcase the future possibilities of virtual production, disguise will be showcasing several technologies during the summit. These will include Invisible, an AI-driven markerless mocap software built in collaboration with Move.ai. By making it easy for any actor to map their movements onto a digital character in real time, Invisible can be used to drive digital twins, gesture-triggered particle effects like smoke or fire and even avatars in metaverse experiences. There will also be an exclusive drinks reception hosted by the disguise team on Saturday, 20 May, where they will unveil the teaser for disguise’s first virtual production short, "Space Ryder."
For those interested in attending, the summit will kick off on 17 May and its VP-dedicated events will take place across the Marché du Film venues, Palais des Festivals and Film Soho’s Innovation Hub. Further panel discussions and seminars on virtual production and all of its disciplines will be held on the Main Stage, located in the heart of the Palais des Festivals.
12th May 2023
Robe Goes for Gold at Stage of Tomorrow Conference
Poland – Robe was a gold sponsor of the fifth Scena Jutra (Stage of Tomorrow) conference, a high profile two-day industry symposium taking place at the Teatr Wielki Polish National Opera in Warsaw, organised by the Stage of Tomorrow Foundation.
An impressive array of high-profile Polish and international speakers and influencers ensured there was plenty of buzz and interest in the diverse programme that explored multiple topics and themes all related to stage presentation, scenography, dramaturgy, theatricality and expression over 50 separate sessions. Debates, discussions and presentations focused on how new and developing technologies – from the latest lighting fixtures and sound systems to VR, real-time visual tools remote tracking and AI – might affect the future creation of emotional experiences for audiences and guests.
Scena Jutra president Rafal Rzeczkowski was delighted: “The line-up of industry professionals willing to give up their time to be here was impressive, and the number of registrants and attendees exceeded our expectations,” he stated.
He also explained how for this fifth edition, the scope of Scena Jutra was broadened to attract more brands, organisations and marketing specialists from the corporate sphere.
“We wanted to add diversity to the mix because all of these basic theatrical disciplines from the storytelling to the emotional impact of live performance and installation art, is integral to the impact and reach of successful commercial and business events and brand activations. It is interesting to see how all the ideas, skills and technology of theatre, television and live shows can combine to make a whole range of events stand out!”
Rafal added that they were “thrilled” for Robe to be their gold sponsor again. The manufacturer has supported and encouraged Stage of Tomorrow from the start and sees its relevance and value.
Robe CEO Josef Valchar agreed: “This is a fantastic place to network and meet people from all areas of the industry and beyond. We have engaged with everyone from distinguished practitioners to many young next gen industry professionals, and it was impressive to also see international delegates in addition to the speakers who came and joined in the discussions and debates.”
Josef noted that it was important for Robe to show support for Polish distributor Prolight during challenging times “and appreciate the great job they are doing generally.”
Scena Jutra was an ideal forum for Robe to showcase its latest theatre, TV and performance orientated ranges of LED moving and static lights, which have been carefully developed and evolved over the last ten years to meet the exacting demands of these sectors. These are now leading the charge for getting modern LED lighting technologies specified into some of the more classical spaces.
Joining Josef in Warsaw was Robe’s international sales director Ingo Dombrowski, key account manager for Europe Michel Arntz, business development manager Bram de Clerk and theatre product specialist Dave Whitehouse.
“We wanted to have a strong team at an exceptional event,” noted Ingo who has attended all five Scena Jutras so far. “Everyone connected to theatre and performance is here, plus people in television and many at the forefront of design and technology. The integration with other disciplines and the emphasis on how new technologies can influence and assist designs of the future really makes this event unique.”
Scena Jutra is indeed a melting pot of visual designers, content creators, technicians, geeks and anyone remotely interested in the power and future of the performance artistic spectrum.
Two main presentation areas – Stage of Inspiration and Stage of Discussion – were connected by a lively foyer space which was constantly busy and used as an exhibition area by participating companies. Here they could showcase their latest technologies and chat to guests in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
Stage of Inspiration featured presentations from Berlin based light artist Christopher Bauder of Dark Matter and international lighting and visual designers Yaron Abulafia, Mikki Kunttu and Koert Vermeulen among others. They explored a diversity of topics including sustainability, new technologies and their use in entertainment, art and promotion, education and potential future directions and development for the industry. Most critically, everyone mentioned the need for keeping original ideas and thoughts flowing when creating designs.
Photographer, cinematographer, designer, lighting director and scenographer Arthur Szyman talked about the implementation of lighting and set design for The Voice in Poland, while producer and creative director Paweł Pająk, founder and originator of multidisciplinary brand Percepto, talked about the creation of distinctive visual concepts based on the latest technologies.
Stage of Discussion saw some energising panels discuss some hot button topics including Creative AI in Film Arts & Entertainment which saw production director and digital specialist Chris Bird, Sara Cox of Neutral Human and Paweł Pająk of Percepto discuss the possibilities of what AI may or may not bring to entertainment, moderated by Prolight’s Mikhail Fedorov.
And these were just the tip of the iceberg of around 50 fascinating debates and presentations.
Everyone commented on the event’s excellent production values which were delivered via two rental partners, Transcolor and TSE. Transcolor has recently invested in Robe’s high powered FORTE luminaire and these plus Robe’s TetraX featured prominently in lighting the Stage of Inspirations.
The presentation areas were fully lit with quality audio systems with simultaneous translations into multiple languages available and large high resolution LED screens that displayed everyone’s content with clarity and precision.
Robe’s Dave Whitehouse’s two presentations focusing on some of their latest innovations, “Lock It! The Robe TX1 PosiProfile” was all about this specific product, while “A New Way To Sing In The Rain” unravelled some of the cool patented technologies involved in the development of Robe’s iSeries IP rated ranges of luminaires.
Scena Jutra 2023 was a great success in uniting people from various performance related communities, and it is Rafal’s hope that, post-pandemic, the event will return to an annual slot on everyone’s calendar.
photos: Louise Stickland
11th May 2023
Kartfest 2023 brings promise of Village Fete fun and frolics and mental health support
UK – “Building on eight years of successful Kartfests we’re adding an extra layer of theming to this year’s event and incorporating the traditional British village fete,” says Backup trustee and Kartfest organiser, Lee Dennison. “This now provides the day-out we have been looking to create for the live events industry with the karting becoming part of the day rather than the focus. We will be delivering a host of other attractions and areas to grab the interest of racers and day visitors alike.”
One of the new areas is the ‘Well-being hub. The aftermath of the effects of Covid has hit the live events industry, and the want and need for mental health support is now Backup’s most pressing area of focus. The Backup team has also seen the desire for the industry to better itself and become the first line of support to friends, colleagues and live events, so this is one of the areas Backup is very keen to keep attention and momentum on is mental health and the stories around it.
“This Space we are creating is to showcase the services and support out there for us, but also act as a hub to share stories and initiatives from the industry,” Lee continues. “We will also provide an ‘Orchard’ space to bring people together and provoke conversation and engagement from the industry.”
The Wellbeing Hub will be hosted by Music Support, Backup, Music industry Therapsist and Lions Barber Collective, a group of international barbers who raise awareness for mental well-being and suicide prevention and believe that a barber’s shop is a safe place for men (one of the highest risk groups) to talk.
Throughout the event, the four organisations will be on site to chat, meet and listen to the industry and start to get a snapshot of what people are doing and their thoughts. Lions Barbers will also be giving free haircuts, so if your locks need a little attention, this is your opportunity to get them tamed.
“This year’s Kartfest isn’t just about the racing, it really has got something for everyone,” Lee concludes. “It’s a great opportunity to bring together the organisations who are driving the mental health initiative, along with the in-house individuals in companies supporting it. This is an industry crying out to be trained and be part of the front line that will make it a place where people know their well-being is looked after.”
Backup is inviting companies and their own mental health crusaders to come down and join in the fun and conversation. Bring a gazebo, some bunting and your team and enjoy the day.
Backup will also be announcing another initiative for this year later in the month which will look to help bridge the gap between the practitioners of today and the generation of tomorrow, so please keep your eyes peeled for that.
9th May 2023
Astera Enjoys Busy and Successful Prolight+Sound Expo
Germany – Wireless LED lighting specialist Astera enjoyed a busy and successful 2023 Prolight+Sound expo over four days at the Frankfurt Messe, complete with a brand-new booth design and lighting concept that highlighted their current range of handy and ingenious ‘must-have’ lighting solutions for live events and broadcast applications.
Astera’s sales and marketing director Sebastian Bückle and the team were energised to be back at the show and prominent in Hall 12.1 at this major European entertainment industry hub where they enjoyed the buzz of an international audience visiting from all over Europe and much further afield.
The large, airy, minimalist stand showcased Astera’s full product ranges as well as various accessories, with a focus on the HydraPanel which was launched last year. This unique ‘pixel panel’ light source offers an extensive range of exclusive features not found elsewhere in a small, powerful package, complete with wireless and wired DMX options, multiple beam-shaping modifiers and all the bits needed to rig and mount it literally anywhere some high-quality light is needed on stage, on a set or any space or environment.
The additional space on the stand was soon filled across all four days with people. Sebastian commented: “Prolight+Sound is much more than a trade show for us. It is a vital meeting place and a lively forum for discussion and communication where we can build our existing friendships and make new ones as the industry connects! It is a great hub for generating business, networking and making new contacts.”
As well as HydraPanel, other current Astera innovations prominent in the stand included the PixelBrick, the AX9 PowerPAR and AX2 PixelBar, the smart and neat NYX Bulb and, naturally, the flagship Titan Tube family – Titan, Helios, and Hyperion – which are popular and ubiquitous for show and event lighting.
One of Astera’s many USPs is not just the technology integral to each product, but the way products are designed to coordinate and complement each other as well as other types of lighting, providing unmatched flexibility and creative potential for practitioners working in all professional lighting sectors.
Two adjacent stands on the Hall 12.1 show floor – both related to the sales division of German Astera distributor Kaiser Showtechnik GmbH – showed several Astera-orientated accessories, a testament to the popularity and ubiquitousness of the brand and its products.
The PG3 Neo is a stylish universal stand with a small footprint for mounting different products at different heights, utilised extensively with Astera’s AX2 PixelBars. It is made of high-quality aluminium and is lightweight, durable and ideal for scenarios where there’s no trussing available for rigging lighting fixtures. The elegant aesthetics ensure the infrastructure blends nicely into architectural environments.
Flex is a lightweight aluminium system created by Lautwerfer Solution in close conjunction with Kaiser Showteknik for housing the full family of Astera Tubes. It can make up any shape and is great for DJ booths and outlining stage sets. The tubes clip to the Flex frame via two neat discreet snap-clamps, and the system comes fully flightcased and ready for action.
Also on this booth were Flex Airline stands for both truss mounting or flying arrays of multiple Astera HydraPanels or PixelBricks, complete with adaptors for angling the fixtures.
In a secret demo room, Astera previewed its upcoming Fresnel product that will be launched at the end of May which impressed all who were lucky enough to catch a glimpse.
photos: Louise Stickland
5th May 2023
Artistic Licence at PLASA Focus Leeds Royal Armouries, 9-10 May 2023
UK – Artistic Licence is looking forward to exhibiting at PLASA Focus Leeds. As regulars at the show for many years, AL is excited to be returning this time as part of the Robe Lighting family, which also includes the architectural brand, Anolis.
Artistic Licence's focus this year is on product training. The company will be demonstrating its core commissioning and test tools, so come along and find out how it's done. All knowledge levels are welcome: from beginners who are just discovering the basics of DMX512, RDM or DALI, to power users with advanced configuration questions.
Taking centre stage is the new product, Commissioner multi: a hand-held DMX512, RDM and DALI test and commissioning tool. It is unique in supporting all three protocols, making it a highly versatile piece of equipment ideal for site use in many scenarios.
The test gear line-up would not be complete without Micro-Scope, the rugged DMX tester first launched in the 1990s. The product has recently undergone a major upgrade, and the latest (3c) version offers RDM support. Customers of old Micro-Scopes can also buy an upgrade kit, a highly economical way of bringing an old product up to the latest specification.
nanoScope is a small battery powered tester for DMX512 and RDM. It is built into a 5-pin XLR connector with a translucent plastic case. nanoScope lights up in different colours to express its findings. A great budget option for those with fairly simple rig check needs.
DMX-Workshop is a software package for lighting network management, analysis, configuration and diagnostics. It is also the reference against which all Art-Net implementations should be tested.
4th May 2023
Highlite International at Prolight + Sound 2023 in Frankfurt
Germany – At Prolight + Sound 2023, Highlite International BV not only showed their latest entertainment solutions and innovations from Showtec, Infinity, DMT, DAP, Artecta and Showgear, but also demonstrated two impressive light shows.
One of the European event highlights of the year is Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt. From the 25th to the 28th of April, almost the entire entertainment industry gathered at Messe Frankfurt. Highlite International has been attending the event for many years, as Prolight & Sound is the perfect opportunity to meet many customers and suppliers to discuss the latest developments in the entertainment market. Highlite’s stand was the stage for a comprehensive presentation of a wide range of new products. Two live shows on the stand combined entertainment lighting from Showtec and Infinity and audio solutions from Odin Audio Systems to create an immersive audience experience.
Showtec exhibited its updated LAMPY DMX console with V2 software, which promises a huge step forward in functionality with multicell capabilities, a new professional colour picker, multi-touch support and up to six universes in combination with the new LAMPY Re-Load 4 expansion kit. Several new products were also on display including the Polar Wash 740, an IP65-rated effect moving head with seven 40W RGBL LEDs that deliver an exceptionally high CRI of >95. The Shark range of IP65-rated moving heads also has new additions to improve and expand the series. The Meg - Hybrid One is a compact, 160W hybrid LED moving head with two gobos, prism, frost, motorised zoom and focus, and more. The Meg - Beam One is a compact, 100W LED, 1.6-degree beam moving head with gobo, dual prism, frost, LED ring and more. The Spot Two is a 90W LED spot moving head with gobos, prism, focus and more. The Wash Zoom Two is a 7 x 30W RGBW LED washer with zoom. And the Beam One is a compact 90W LED beam moving head with three degree beam angle, gobos, prism, frost, focus and more.
Showtec also introduced the new Stage Blinder FLEX Blaze with eight 100W pods, tungsten and RGB blaze effects, IP65-rating and a dedicated controller. Also new were the three Cameleon Spots, 7Q6 Tour, 12Q6 Tour and 18Q6 Tour, all IP65-rated RGBWA-UV LED spots with a 15-degree beam angle, the Cameleon Flood 15 Q6 Tour RGBWA-UV LED IP65 flood light and the Cameleon Pixel Bar 15 Q6 Tour with 15 x 10W RGBWA-UV LED pixels and IP65-rating, the new Performer Profile Zoom 150 Q6 theatre light with 150W RGBACL LED with a CRI of >95 and manual zoom, and the new Stellar range of FX machines (three foggers, a hazer and a snow machine).
Infinity showed off their Raccoon P14/4 with new diffusers. This high-brightness (8000 lumens) and high-quality (CRI>87) professional RGBM PAR is software-calibrated to produce the most accurate colours using XY, RGB, CMY or HIS colour mixing and 14 ultra bright LEDs, ideal for rental applications and professional environments.
At the event, DAP unveiled its brand-new NRG line of PA loudspeakers. The NRG series starts with an 8" version and goes up to 10", 12" and 15" full range loudspeakers, which can be complemented by a 12", 15" or 18" subwoofer. Each model is available in either passive or active versions. The active speakers feature a lightweight Class D amplifier, an optimised DSP that ensures perfect integration between the series’ subs and tops, several useful presets and Bluetooth with True Wireless Stereo (TWS) functions. Also on show were the new EDGE EHS-2 wireless dual handheld microphone set with true-diversity receiver and internal antenna distributor, full-colour LCD and convenient features, the new EDGE EOA-1 active omni-directional antennas, and the new source control system with the SC-5.2 and SC-WP1, which provides easy (remote) source selection and volume control for up to four zones.
Artecta showed their new Image Spot 150 CW for indoor and outdoor projection of (customisable) logos and gobos.
And as you would expect from a brand that aims to provide solutions for many different event needs, Showgear showed its very effective Raindome 40, a rain cover for moving heads, and a handy tree and pole mounting bracket, a 48mm mounting base that can be strapped around a tree or a pole.
Wentex’s SEG Stretch Panels provided an original visual impact. They were a perfect fit for the stand, which was built entirely from Wentex SET Frames. The SET Frame system provided a sleek design for walls, separations and displays and, much to the relief of the construction crew, was easy to erect and dismantle.
3rd May 2023
Eco-Friendly Unplugged Bug to Entertain Guests at PLASA Focus Leeds
UK – Martin Audio has joined forces with Belair Technology and The Bug Club to entertain visitors to PLASA Focus Leeds. The ultimate eco-friendly VW Pop-Up DJ Booth will be stationed in the courtyard between the two halls at the Royal Armouries between the 9th and 10th of May to demonstrate what can be achieved with the latest in sustainable festival technology.
Already proving to be a popular option for events across the UK, the fibreglass-built vehicle is 30% larger than a standard VW Camper and is designed to be a ‘festival friendly’ DJ booth. The custom-built Martin Audio sound system runs entirely on renewables thanks to Belair’s rack mounted Power Tower. The Power Tower is a clean and modern rechargeable battery-powered replacement for noisy and polluting generators and with its easy-to-use operation combined with silent running and zero emissions delivers the perfect ‘off-grid’ solution.
The sound system that Martin Audio custom-built for The Bug Club is capable of entertaining crowds of up to 500 people. It comprises two 15” three-way high performance loudspeakers, each pole-mounted to a double 15” direct radiating subwoofer. Amplification for the system is via Martin Audio’s highly efficient yet powerful iKON 81.
“We’re excited to support the live industry and showcase how live sound events can become more sustainable in the future,” said Justin Rushmore, managing director of The Bug Club. “Our Unplugged Bug has been well-received everywhere it has been, from trade shows to football matches and we’re looking forward to proving what sustainable festival technology can deliver in Leeds.”
The Unplugged Bug is just one part of what visitors to PLASA Focus Leeds can expect from Martin Audio at the show. The pro audio pioneers will use the event as an opportunity to take visitors through some of its expanded range with the new FlexPoint and expanded TORUS families on display on stand N-C19.
“PLASA Focus Leeds has always been an enjoyable show for us and we’re sure it will be the same again this year,” said Martin Audio director of marketing, James King. “We’re certain that the Unplugged Bug will be a real hit with visitors this year and we’re delighted to be able to help add to the entertainment that this event always guarantees.”
3rd May 2023
ITEAC 2023: Booking now open for London Hub
UK – ITEAC, the International Theatre Engineering and Architecture Conference presented by the ABTT, has announced that booking is now open for its sixth edition taking place over 19th – 20th September 2023.
Book now to take advantage of limited Early Bird tickets available for Full London Delegate Two-Day Tickets at the discounted price of £650 +VAT GBP. This ticket includes attendance at the in-person London event at the state-of-the-art Savoy Place, the Global Engineering Hub of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), as well as access to the online platform during and for up to 12 months after the event. Once early bird tickets are taken, tickets will be available at £680 +VAT GBP.
Ticketing for the event is now available here.
ITEAC will for the first time engage with participants across global time zones, combining online connectivity with Hubs in London, Brisbane, São Paulo, Hong Kong and beyond; with participation from these and other cities, ITEAC will achieve a truly worldwide conversation.
Theatres across the world are engaging with the event's three themes of:
The Digital Revolution
With international contributions from Paris to Bogota, the debate will draw on global experience and a broad and diverse range of perspectives.
Registration for early booking notification already exceeds the capacity of the in-person London event. Those wishing to attend are urged to book as soon as possible.
More information about the format of the event, its sessions and the speakers will be released during the next few months.
The support of sponsors has been vital to the success of every edition of ITEAC, 2023 is no exception. TAIT will again be founder sponsor and the ABTT was very pleased to welcome ATG as the first ITEAC 2023 sponsor to confirm.
For more information go to www.iteac.info/.
To book a ticket go to https://events.hubilo.com/iteac2023/register
To enquire about sponsorship please email email@example.com
2nd May 2023
Robe Turns Up Heat for Prolight+Sound 2023
Germany – Czech Republic-based lighting manufacturer, Robe, turned up the heat, the spectacle and the topicality and importance of respecting the planet in presenting the finale of its “All Environments” live performance show trilogy.
This dazzling display of creativity and imagination featured 350 of Robe’s latest iSeries of IP rated products plus three performers including a silk acrobat at the Prolight+Sound 2023 expo in Frankfurt, Germany, last week.
Adding extra performers, excitement and energy to Hall 12.1 of the Frankfurt Messe complex, the five-times a day show attracted record crowds who also enjoyed a carefully curated pre-show ‘Voice of God’ sequence, highlighting the technical elements and innovation of each of the featured iSeries products.
“All Environments” was presented in a dynamic, specially devised 270-degree theatre / arena style format, designed and produced by Robe’s in-house creative team. It illustrated how the different fixtures can be used, specifically demonstrating their robustness to elements like water, dust, fire, wind, snow, etc., thanks to a host of original patented features developed by Robe.
All of this expertise and smart engineering ensures that these products are among the best IP rated solutions for lighting designers working worldwide in all sectors.
Robe CEO Josef Valchar commented: “Prolight is always a good show for us and 2023 was no exception! We have all seen how business has bounced back over the last year in spite of some extreme challenges, and everyone is looking forward to the future and to using all these great new technologies and creative tools we have brought to market.”
A full Robe team plus most of their European distributors enjoyed the buzz. “We were delighted to see a fantastic international response with guests from every continent including leading designers and specifiers, all visiting the stand and getting immersed in the show and most importantly, being face-to-face with one another again,” added Josef.
Two constantly busy demo rooms – one private and one public – were dedicated to Robe’s now and future technologies, enabling closer up product presentations.
For the final two hours of the expo on the first three days, Robe’s ‘Meeting Hour’ saw the booth take on a more social vibe as the famous Czech hospitality was rolled out and the good vibes continued to flow.
Robe’s full international team was joined by staff from all over Europe, the USA, Latin America, UK, Asia, Australasia and the pan-Pacific, plus a lively team of Robe Germany’s NRG (Next Robe Generation) students.
A special invitation booth party on the Wednesday night was popular, with guests entertained by musician Beatrix Löw-Beer and friends.
Robe’s “On the Road” show truck – a 45ft artic truck / trailer rig – was parked outside Hall 12 providing additional meeting areas and interest. This is a fully kitted out and expandable mobile showroom / studio / meeting facility, complete with roof deck, which will again be touring selected European festivals through the summer.
Starring in Robe’s Prolight 2023 “All Environments” show was Robe’s iFORTE, iESPRITE, iPAINTE, iTetra2, iSpiider, iBeam350 and TetraX moving lights; the T11 Profile, PC and Fresnel and TX1 PosiProfiles all specially refined for theatre and performance applications, together with three RoboSpot systems running with T1 FollowSpot fixtures.
Robe also introduced its IP65-rated FOOTSIE fixture which truly redefines the concept of traditional ‘footlights’, effectively removing the visual barrier between audience and performers.
Being the finale, the challenge was to increase the epic nature of the “All Environments” show, explained Robe’s lead creative Nathan Wan, who worked closely with his own team including lighting associate designer Andy Webb and lighting operator Jordan Tinniswood, together with exhibition manager, Tomas Kohout. The three performers were choreographed by Jay Marshall.
The goal was also to illustrate the newest products in the environment for which they were designed, so a four by four metre square rain curtain was central to the stage design, with iSpiider fixtures completely immersed in the water tank below, lighting upwards as well as a grid of iSpiiders in the centre of the roof, plus multiple other lights coming in from different heights and all sides of the room, as well as from the floor and stage deck.
The almost in-the-round design was chosen to give the maximum viewing angles and a large nine metre-wide by 3.6 metre high LED screen at the back – cleverly ground supported – was split into three sections to provide narrative context for the show and clear and concise product technical information during the VOG presentations.
In addition to the rain curtain, other environmental effects included jumping water jets, flame jets, a snow machine, an MDG The One and a low fogger, all woven into the story to show the resilience of these Robe iSeries products in the most extreme weather conditions.
Nathan enjoyed using all the new products, remarking that the iPAINTE packs a brilliant punch for such a compact luminaire, and that the iFORTE is every bit as awesome as the standard FORTE. Robe has designed the iSeries to be as identical to the standard no IP rated products of the same name allowing the flexibility of mixing the two types without compromise.
Nathan and the team started work on the show several months in advance after receiving a brief from Josef and an outline of what products will be being promoted and should be available at that time.
All of this multi-layered bespoke production from compiling the soundtrack to the stage, set, video, screen content and show design and implementation, is produced in-house, which makes some elements more fluid and cohesive on one hand and adds pressure on the other. “The buck stops with us basically,” stated Nathan, “We aim to raise the bar every time, and with that everyone’s expectations ramp up!” he notes, adding they also need to impress the industry generally, and that’s people who are working on amazing creative projects all the time!
Adding the aerialist brought a unique 'wow factor' and also a throwback to Robe’s popular “Cirque” show staged at Prolight in 2018.
The lighting (over 2,500 cues across 61 DMX universes) in the 90-minute cycle that included the All Environments show and all the VOG presentations, was programmed on an Avolites D9 console.
Robe’s international marketing manager Pavel Nemec commented: “As always, we were really impressed with the number of people visiting the stand, it was packed throughout the show! We generally have a strong brand image, and the live shows are a great way to reinforce that by entertaining and showing how our kit can make stages look great while emphasising other messaging like the power of people and communication that underpins the whole entertainment technology industry.”
Adjacent to the main Robe booth were the stands of Anolis and Artistic Licence, two vibrant and complementary Robe businesses: Anolis, a manufacturer of high-quality LED lighting for architectural and architainment projects and Artistic Licence, well known for their market-leading intelligent lighting controls for architectural, entertainment and commercial lighting.
Anolis showed new products from all their current ranges and Artistic License also highlighted some practical new control solutions and met some potential new distributors, appreciating the international flavour of the expo. Both of these brands also saw plenty of action.
Artur Frantz, Anolis Germany’s architectural lighting and installations manager, commented: “We saw a lot of customers, old and new, who were interested in our new products, particularly the Calumma M and S and Ambiane SP16 fixtures. Having our own stand area adjacent to the main Robe one has been a huge positive and really helped ensure visibility for the Anolis brand. We’ve also enjoyed a great synergy with Artistic Licence being next door, and it has been great to see and interact with so many people face to face.”
For Artistic Licence, CEO Wayne Howell stated: “It has been a particularly interesting show because we are new to the ‘Robe family’. The stand positioning has resulted in a large footfall of high-quality personnel, with a great mix of distributors and actual customers and end-users. It has been very productive for us, and has felt considerably busier and more proactive than last year’s first post-Covid Prolight.”
photos: Louise Stickland
2nd May 2023
Brompton’s revolutionary Tessera G1 takes home Product of the Year Award at 2023 NAB Show
USA – Brompton Technology has announced its ground-breaking Tessera G1 receiver card has won the coveted Product of the Year Award, following a live awards ceremony on 18 April at the 2023 NAB Show in Las Vegas. The G1’s triumph in the Digital Signage & Display Systems category is a testament to its pioneering design and unparalleled performance, which caught the discerning eyes of a distinguished panel of industry experts tasked with evaluating the most significant and promising new products and technologies exhibited at the show.
The G1 marks a significant milestone for the industry by being the first-ever receiver card to support 10Gb Ethernet over fibre direct to the panel. It is capable of supporting a remarkable one million pixels, ready for a new era of ultra-fine pixel pitch panels, but is also capable of driving panels at refresh rates up to a stunning 1,000 fps (frames per second). Thanks to an astounding 20-fold increase in computing power compared to the Tessera R2+, the existing industry top performer, the G1’s exceptional performance and unrivalled capabilities make it a game-changer for the industry.
In addition to winning the prestigious Product of the Year Award, Tessera G1 has also unlocked new possibilities, including an innovative technology showcased for the very first time at the NAB show. TrueLight, driven by the Tessera G1 receiver card, enables control of RGBW LED panels. These bring major benefits in situations where LED panels are contributing to the lighting of a scene, such as in a virtual production volume, where the narrow spectral output of conventional RGB panels can cause colour shifts and unnatural skin tones. TrueLight builds upon Brompton’s Dynamic Calibration technology to achieve spectrally aware per-pixel calibration of RGBW panels, allowing for intelligent RGB to RGBW conversion that gives a broader spectral output for better lighting quality while maintaining precise colour accuracy. TrueLight also provides intuitive user controls that can adjust the conversion to suit the needs of a specific application.
“Receiving The Product of the Year Award for our Tessera G1 is a proud moment for the entire Brompton team, as it validates the tireless efforts and unwavering commitment we put into developing G1,” concludes Richard Mead, CEO of Brompton. “With its ground-breaking capabilities, G1 has the potential to transform not only the live events and virtual production sectors but other industries as well. Moreover, the immense processing power of the G1 has opened the door for TrueLight, which offers an industry-changing solution for scenarios where the LED panel serves as a lighting source. We are excited to see the industry adopt these new technologies to achieve even more realistic in-camera visual effects, and we look forward to exploring a whole new realm of possibilities for applications that demand uncompromising image quality and colour accuracy.”
28th April 2023
Kino Flo MIMIK 120 Earns NAB 2023 Product of the Year Award
USA – Blazing new paths brings its own rewards, but sometimes, it can also garner awards bestowed by industry peers. Such was the case earlier this month when Kino Flo, a Chauvet Professional sister brand, won the 2023 NAB Show Product of the Year award for its new MIMIK 120.
A first-of-its-kind product, this full spectrum image-based lighting tile mirrors video content while applying a very high tonal and colour rendering range. As a result, it delivers extended spectral bandwidth and cinematic colour fidelity when lighting talent and set elements in virtual production environments.
Utilising Kino Flo’s patented Matchmakker technology, MIMIK 120 translates an incoming RGB video signal into five individual emitters (warm white, cool white, red, green and blue), generating synchronised foreground lighting that creates the utmost realism on virtual sets. The new tiles output an impressive 10,000 NITs, far surpassing the 800 to 1,200 NITS output of typical LED screens. They also have the capability to shoot up to 960 frames per second and offer as many as 32 Alpha channels at 30 frames per second.
The result is a cinematic fidelity that seamlessly creates a realistic and fully integrated image. This was dramatically evident to visitors to the company’s NAB booth. At its centre was a meeting table, that looked not much different from any other table at the show. But when visitors looked at that table on a monitor, they saw it and the people sitting at it, circling on a giant Ferris wheel in an amusement park in real time. The effect was stunning and powerful enough to win this revolutionary lighting tile the Product of the Year award.
27th April 2023
Ayrton introduces exciting new IP65 rated fixtures at Prolight + Sound Frankfurt
Germany – Ayrton is revealing exciting, innovative new products at Prolight + Sound 2023 in Frankfurt.
Introducing Rivale Profile – Light is Right. The lighter the machine, the more versatile it can be. Weighing only 28.5kg, Rivale Profile has been designed to push limits and is Ayrton’s most versatile luminaire to date.
Equipped with a 160mm frontal lens and a brand new 450W high-efficiency LED module, calibrated at 6500K with a luminous flux of 27,000 lumens, Rivale Profile can produce an ultra-intensive beam of 4°, close to that of Ayrton’s famous "LT" versions, with a 13:1 zoom ratio and a zoom range of 4° to 52°.
A brand new high-definition progressive CMY colour mixing system allows a perfect reproduction of pastel colours. A variable deep red channel optimises the colour rendering index at low levels and offers a progressive red with a high level of saturation for specific needs. A progressive CTO and a seven-position colour wheel complete the palette of tools dedicated to creating colour.
Rivale Profile is factory equipped with a wheel of seven rotating gobos, a wheel of eight fixed gobos, a framing section that allows the precise positioning of each shutter blade on 100% of the surface with a rotation of +/- 90°, an iris diaphragm, a monochromatic effect wheel, two combinable rotating prisms and two frost filters.
By utilising innovative materials and state-of-the-art technology, Ayrton has minimised this fixture’s weight to enable it to accomplishing exceptional feats and deliver outstanding performance. Developed for mixed use indoors and outdoors – In all conditions – Rivale Profile, has a unique visual signature that foreshadows the style of Ayrton’s future line and secures the Ayrton name as a ‘no-compromise’ brand.
Part of Ayrton’s Classical IP65 3 Series, and complete with continuous rotation of the pan and tilt movement, Rivale Profile is a unique projector, unparalleled on the market, that successfully boasts performance, creativity, subtlety and power.
Presenting ARGO 6 – Feel the Freedom. For the first time in its history, Ayrton is presenting a weather-sealed effects luminaire that offers as much creative potential indoors as outside. Argo 6 combines a minimalist design incorporating features for total protection against harsh weather with easier internal access. The window, made of highly resistant and exceptionally transparent polycarbonate with a V-0 protection rating, is designed to ensure optimal visuals. A new composite alloy, reduction in thickness of the parts, an optimised cooling system, simplified lens guidance, and integration of low-density optical components, mean Ayrton has been able to reduce overall weight by 20%.
Available as Wash or FX versions, Argo 6 is equipped with 19 LEDs of 40W with RGB+W additive colour synthesis that can deliver a light output of 13,000 lumens. Argo 6 can obtain a highly intense beam with a zoom ratio of 14:1 and a wide zoom range from 4° to 56°.
For the first time, Ayrton has provided individual control of the LEDs on the Argo 6 Wash version and added a virtually infinite library of effects. Argo 6 Wash is a precise machine that can obtain perfect colour reproduction. A complete library of pre-programmed colours allows quick creation of subtle, dense and contrasting swaths of light. Its black honeycomb and perfect separation of the light sources help to significantly boost the level of contrast.
Argo 6 FX is a versatile fully-equipped luminaire designed for a multitude of applications. It borrows from the main features of the Wash version and offers continuous rotation of the pan and tilt movement I.R.S. Argo 6 FX is equipped with a high-definition liquid effect system enhanced by a translucent honeycomb that can generate complex graphic effects LiquidEffect.
Both Argo 6 Wash and Argo 6 FX can be used alone or in combination with the main LED matrix. By allowing for more precision and exactness, they add a breath of creativity. Part of Ayrton’s Multi Sources IP65 6 Series, Argo 6 allows you to rediscover a new sense of pure freedom.
More Ayrton products will be presented in Ayrton’s famous light show on the booth (Hall 12.0 Booth D74) where Zonda 3 Wash and Zonda 3 FX, its older, larger siblings Zonda 9 FX and Zonda 9 Wash, plus Domino Wash, Huracán Wash and the laser-sourced Cobra will be exciting the audiences with their creative abilities.
Next door to the Ayrton booth Women in Lighting, supported by Ayrton, will have its own booth (Hall 12.0 D72) which will be run by founders Sharon Stammers and Martin Lubach of Light Collective, and Ayrton’s Kseniia Igoshkina and Topstage’s Linnea Ljungmark. This is a space in which to relax and network with the team. A programme of WIL talks will present a new speaker each day in the Theatre + Light Stage (Hall 12.0 Stand C26). Speakers include Daksha Suryavamshi of Tranzept, Raquel Rosildete from Berlin and Sophie Blondeau from PixMob. For the full programme and to register for a free entry ticket to Prolight + Sound, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/women-in-lighting-talks-prolightsound-frankfurt-2023-tickets-597658652117
Don’t miss the daily gathering at 5pm in the Ayrton VIP Lounge for more drinks, snacks and chats. Free registration is required for entry using the link above.
25th April 2023
Neutrik Group exhibits expanding product portfolio at prolight + sound
Germany – A raft of new products are being shown by the Neutrik Group’s NEUTRIK, REAN and CONTRIK brands at Prolight+Sound this year. These include new and extended product ranges from the group’s latest brands, as well as continuing expansion of some of its most recognisable product lines, incorporating a breadth of applications for power, audio, video, lighting and data.
Among advanced power solutions being featured on the booth are the new grey / blue colour coded NEUTRIK powerCON XXA / XXB lockable, rugged power connectors. With discrete power-in and power-out keying, and an new ergonomic design, featuring an easy to assemble slip-proof two-compound moulded housing (with the strain relief mechanically locking with the insert to align with the housing), they are certified as complying with the latest relevant worldwide device safety regulations for mains supply connectors, particularly IEC/EN/UL/CSA 60320-1, relating to true breaking Circuit Breaking Capability (CBC) functionality.
REAN is expanding its ranges of power XLR and Ethernet connectors, introducing heavy-duty outdoor variants, primarily focused on LED display and lighting applications The lockable, ruggedised X Series power connectors have CBC functionality, and are UL 94V-0 and IP65 rated for high levels of fire retardancy and environment resistant protection. The latest XLR and Z Series RJ45 / Ethernet connectors feature REAN’s new Air-tightness protection, in addition to IP65 rating.
CONTRIK offers a range of professional portable power distribution systems for entertainment, event, touring and mobile production applications specifically for video walls, stage lighting and audio installations. CONTRIK is debuting its range of active’ power distribution products at PL+S, including containers, racks, turtles and strips. These feature highly durability, rugged protective construction and a range of advanced circuit protection features, including full CDC functionality and CEE32A high power capacity input and daisy chaining. CONTRIK products feature high levels of mechanical (IK) and environmental (IP) protection, with CONTRIK’s exclusive Easylen housing material uniquely providing high levels of flame retardancy, temperature resistance, UV protection, corrosion insensitivity, non-conductivity and protection from mechanical impact (up to IK 10+).
NEUTRIK’s new speakON NLFXX series audio connectors expand the range with the NL2FXX and NL4FXX two-pole and four-pole cable connectors. The new connectors feature a locking boot to protect against unintended opening, together with a unique two-compound housing to improve handling in daily operation. The new connectors are easier and smoother to assemble, as the strain relief chuck snaps to the insert.
NEUTRIK is also launching a redesigned, new form factor version of its patent-pending silentPLUG instrument quarter-inch jack plug. silentPLUG automatically mutes (shorts) an instrument (guitar) cable to avoid pops and squeals when changing the instrument (guitar) under load. The integrated (patent pending) silent switch is based on REED-technology and guarantees a lifetime beyond 1,000 mating cycles. The new version features a new two compound housing, with a rugged metal shell enhanced with a rubber cushion overlay for improved shock protection and better handling.
The NEUTRIK opticalCON ADVANCED fibre portfolio is also expanded with the introduction of two new MTP high speed, high capacity connectivity systems creating a standard solution for point-to-point connections in pro AV and broadcast applications. The singlemode opticalCON MTP 16, and the multimode MTP 48 respectively offer 16 and 48 data channels in a single cable. These systems provide cost optimisation per single fibre / data channel. The high data capacity is coupled with high reliability, rapid setup and immediate playback while operating in the most challenging applications, in the harshest environmental conditions.
Also to be seen at PL+S are the latest NEUTRIK FIBERFOX HMA fibre optic connector systems bringing multi-mode fibre connectivity alive without the need to handle pigtailed bulkheads. Uniquely converting a standardised LC patch cable into an expanded beam solution, FIBERFOX allows for on site maintenance and repair, with replacement chassis to board connections clipped in place with simple manual connection of common LC patch cords. Systems provide for highly significant savings in time and complexity together with robust performance and high reliability.
25th April 2023
Claypaky New Products at Prolight+Sound 2023
Germany – World premiere: the SKYLOS is an ultra-versatile and weather-resistant fixture, with incredible light output and outstanding construction features; much more than just a classic searchlight! The Skylos will certainly also be appreciated in the touring sector, where LDs are constantly on the look-out for dense, solid beams of light and ever-greater light output. It fits a custom 300W white light laser source, which provides an extremely parallel, uniform beam. The beam pours out from a large 300mm front lens, specifically designed in Claypaky’s R&D department and it is perfectly uniform and parallel with no visible hotspots. The beam angle can be adjusted from 0.5° to 5° resulting in exceptional light intensity, which cannot be produced by a LED or traditional light source. If you consider its light output and the size of the front lens, the body of this remarkable light is lightweight and compact. This allows the unit both to be moved with relative ease in any environment and to be rigged on trusses for use on tours. Its body is IP66 protection rated and marine grade. So, it is capable of working in any weather conditions and in environments with high marine salinity and a high risk of corrosion. A sophisticated internal heating system designed specifically for this product means it can even work at very low temperatures (as low as -40°).
World premiere: the Arolla Aqua is Claypaky's top-of-the-range weather-resistant light. It is a true workhorse with IP66 rating and technical and construction features which were once unimaginable for this kind of light. The Arolla Aqua fits a white 900W (7000K) LED light source, capable of a 40,000-lumen output. This means it can compete with both high-power-range lights (given its output) and medium-power-range lights (given its small size and weight). Its uniform light beam is another key feature. The high quality of the beam, its density and the total absence of spurious lights can be appreciated with the naked eye, and its zoom can be adjusted over a linear 5.5°-50° range (9:1). Thanks to Claypaky's exclusive "Go-Bright" technology, there is no light loss or colour shift when gobos are inserted into the beam. The Arolla Aqua sets a new benchmark for professionals who are looking for a high-power IP66 light which is compact, reliable and complete in every aspect, with top performance.
World premiere: the Sharpy-X-Spot is a simplified Sharpy-X-Frame model, with all the same lighting, optical and construction features that have made this fixture so successful. First of all, it fits a powerful 550W arc lamp, which makes this fixture extremely bright and produces deep, vivid, uniform colours, including an unparalleled deep red. If needed, the beam shaper module (provided as an accessory) can be added, thus turning the Sharpy-X-Spot into a fully-fledged Sharpy-X-Frame! The module is automatically recognised by the product firmware. The Sharpy-X-Spot is ideal for those who want a light with excellent performance and a cost/performance ratio without equal on the market.
World premiere: the Buddylight is Claypaky's brand new remote followspot system. It follows performers and speakers automatically, in a quick and easy way. The Buddylight can be used either in an Art-Net or DMX network by setting up control priority management with the console, or in stand-alone mode, where it really comes into its element! The Buddylight marks a further step towards ever greater entertainment light automation. It is perfect for theatres, auditoriums and conference rooms.
First time at PL+S: the Mini-B Aqua was created to meet the huge demand from lighting professionals for a weather resistant, lightweight, compact, agile mini-washlight. It is IP66 protection rated, making it suitable for all kinds of outdoor use. However, it is also ideal for indoor installation since it does not require the same levels of maintenance as ordinary IP20 fixtures thanks to the total protection of its internal components against dust.
First time at PL+S: the Mini-b Spot is not only the perfect complement to the Claypaky Mini-b and Mini-b Aqua, but it also has innovative, exclusive features that will make it every lighting designer's favourite choice! The light source is based on a 70W white LED engine, capable of delivering 3500 lumens, but with a power consumption of only 150W. Claypaky has also developed a proprietary optical unit that optimises light intensity and light output. Mini-B Spot is bound to become extremely popular also in the installation and cruise ship markets, where versatile, small fixtures with a big punch are sought after.
First time at PL+S: the Volero Wave is an amazing LED bar with original and innovative features. It is made up of a system of eight moving heads, each one independently capable of a 220° tilt, thus producing never-seen-before three-dimensional volumetric projections. Each of these heads contains a brand-new mirror-based optical system combined with 40W RGBW LEDs. Their synchronised movement produces an impressive wave of light, all the more overwhelming the more Volero Wave units you seamlessly connect to each other.
First time at PL+S: the Tambora Linear 60 is a compact, 60mm static LED pixel bar designed for versatile lighting effects and artistic set decorations. It offers all the features of the Tambora Linear LED bar range and is particularly suitable for applications in narrow environments.
24th April 2023
Shure gathers technical experts from around the world for women in technology panel
UK – As part of Women’s History Month in April, Shure hosted its second instalment in the series of Women in Technology panels. In the autumn, the panel focused on theatre, while this panel discussed location sound.
President and CEO Chris Schyvinck moderated a panel of leading female location sound engineers from around the world to discuss the challenges, opportunities and the future of capturing location sound for film, television, and broadcast. Panelists included:
Christy Illius – A sound engineer from New York City, Christy has worked on films including West Side Story and In the Heights. She is also the production sound mixer for the television show American Horror Story.
Lilou Augier – Lilou is the co-founder and creative director of "Panic Ball Productions," a Tokyo-based bilingual production house specialising in narrative-driven media.
Ivonne Gärber – Ivonne Gärber is a sound engineer in Germany for various film and television projects. Since 2010 she has also been teaching the art of practical sound work and sound design at the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt and other institutions.
Lisa Piñero – Lisa is an Emmy-nominated Production sound mixer for film, television, and commercials. She is best known for her work on the films Licorice Pizza, White Noise and Marriage Story.
The panel also took live questions from social media about how they got into their careers and what advice they could share with others.
“I think that's the great thing about diversity in general; not just between male and female but adding in people of colour, people from different areas, different places,” explained Illius in the panel. “More people leads to a better environment all around.”
The panel replay is available at: https://www.shure.com/en-US/videos/events/webinars/celebrating-women-in-tech-location-sound.