Ayrton Karif-LT celebrates J’Ouvert at London’s Harold Pinter Theatre

Broadcast on 26 April as part of BBC4’s Lights Up season, J’Ouvert is the second in Sonia Friedman Productions’ RE:EMERGE season. Set amid the colourful backdrop of London’s historic Notting Hill carnival, it is the story of two best friends battling to preserve tradition in a society where women’s bodies are frequently under threat.

Ayrton Karif LT

J’Ouvert was first produced at Theatre503, before transferring to the Harold Pinter Theatre, where it was filmed for the BBC prior to its West End run. Lighting designer, Simisola Majekodunmi, chose two Ayrton Karif-LT fixtures as major workhorses in her design.
“The play takes place from dawn until dusk and has moments of realism and surrealism throughout, so I needed a fixture that could deliver a representation of the colour and vibe of Carnival as well as the sombreness and isolation of the spiritual moments,” she says. “We also had a massive flying piece to contend with over the central revolve which blocks several conventional lighting positions.”
Majekodunmi hung one Karif upstage and one downstage of the central structure to combat the difficult angles. “The upstage Karif was the real workhorse as it was in the best position to encapsulate the whole of the circular stage and was used very prominently during the dream sequences. The downstage unit was invaluable for face light during the poignant moments and for highlighting the actors downstage.”

As the mood changes between the excitement of Carnival and the weight of its spiritual and cultural importance, there are moments of crisis for one of the characters when the spirit of Carnival appears: “It’s at this point the Karifs did the most work,” says Majekodunmi, “drawing down into rich, deep colours and heavy back light.

They enabled me to keep the mood sunny and light, yet have room to go to the dark spaces when we needed them. “For ‘normal’ times of the day I kept them at a really low level to add warmth and substance to the sunny day, and richness to the characters’ skin tones.”

“Karif is a really fantastic fixture,” concludes Majekodunmi. “It’s very fast and responsive and did all that I planned for it to do. To go straight from a very small theatre to filming in a larger venue was a radical change.
I had to embrace the fact filming is very different from stage: everything needed to be brighter and the Karifs were a godsend in this respect because they gave us a lot more scope in intensity, and gave us somewhere to go.”

Lighting programmer, Tamykha Patterson was impressed with the speed of Karif: “They are super easy to use and control and really fast! There are so many things you can do with them and we have only just touched the surface.”

J’Ouvert opens for a 3-week run at London’s Harold Pinter Theatre on 16 June until 3 July 2021. The Karif-LT fixtures were supplied by Ayrton’s exclusive UK distributor, Ambersphere Solutions.

Read the full story here and more information on Karif-LT and all Ayrton’s LED lighting fixtures can be found at www.ayrton.eu


Teatro Nacional de São João accesses Robert Juliat Dalis technology

The prestigious Teatro Nacional de São João (TNSJ) in Oporto, Portugal has increased its inventory of Robert Juliat Dalis Access 863 cyclorama lighting with the addition of a further 20 units after a comprehensive tender process which saw the Dalis Access fixtures hold their winning position against a number of alternative options.

Robert Juliat Dalis Access 863 proves a versatile and valuable addition for cyclorama and footlight applications at Oporto’s Teatro Nacional de São João. © João Tuna, official TNSJ production photographer.

The purchase brings TNSJ’s total complement of Dalis Access 863 units to 34. This is more than sufficient to cover the theatre’s 12m x 9m cyclorama cloth and back wall from floor- and grid-mounted positions, plus fill in as ‘ribalta’ lighting when required.

“Dalis Access is a very versatile tool which can be used as both cyclorama and footlight,” explains TNSJ’s Lighting Department Coordinator, Filipe Pinheiro. “This is a real advantage for multi-purpose theatres with an eclectic programme of shows, conferences, debates and dance, and at a price that makes it accessible to all budgets.”

Dalis Access 863

The Dalis Access 863 were supplied by NAN AudioVisuals, Robert Juliat’s exclusive distributor for Portugal and the project supplier for TNSJ. The fixtures were chosen by TNSJ’s tender jury – Lighting Department Coordinator Filipe Pinheiro, Stage Director Emanuel Pina, and Stage Director Assistant Filipe Silva – following several demo sessions with similar products organised by NAN AudioVisuals.
“The lighting team was unanimous in its decision that Dalis was by far the best product,” says NAN’s Jorge Santos.

“Our decision was based on the dimensions, brightness and colour mixing of Dalis Access,” explains Pinheiro, “all of which are key features for our type of application.” Teatro Nacional de São João runs a varied programme of theatre, dance and music, so flexibility in its lighting products is vital, and with just 460 seats, the low profile and fanless cooling of the Dalis units are especially valuable assets.

Dalis Access 863 is a 150W LED fixture designed to give first access to RJ’s award-winning Dalis technology. It offers a four-colour mixing system (red, green, royal blue and warm white 2200K) and 24 patented asymmetrical micro-reflectors which deliver powerful, smooth coverage with a variety of pastel and saturated colours.

© João Tuna, official TNSJ production photographer

Inspired by the Dalis 862 Footlight, Dalis Access 863 combines the same technological advantages as original Dalis 860 cyclight with body shape of Dalis Footlight. Its low profile and aesthetically-pleasing finish enables it to merge into its surroundings almost unnoticed.

“Our new Dalis Access units have blended in seamlessly with our existing Dalis fixtures and really elevate the quality of the final result in any of our lighting designs,” says Pinheiro. “Our technicians are very happy with them, and with the service we have received from NAN. The team there consistently takes great care of us.”

TNSJ has been an advocate of Robert Juliat products for more than 20 years, with an array of RJ dimmers, profiles, PCs, Fresnels, fluorescents and followspots in its lighting inventory. “We can truly say it’s our brand of choice,” confirms Pinheiro. “We are currently testing the Sully module for our SX profiles with a view to converting all our tungsten profile range into LED fixtures.”
TNSJ Administrative Council comprises Pedro Sobrado, Sandra Martins and Susana Marques.

Robert Juliat Waiting for Godot

For more information about Dalis Access 863 and all Robert Juliat products, you can visit www.robertjuliat.fr

NAN Portugal can be contacted at: [email protected] and www.nan.pt

For Teatro Nacional de São João, visit their website

Finland’s biggest music competition picks MDG haze

Finland’s biggest music competition, Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (New Music Contest), is an annual event in which Finland’s representative for the Eurovision Song Contest is selected in a live broadcast by Finnish television viewers and an international UMK jury.

MDG’s theONE and ATMe generators provide the perfect canvas for Pekka Martti’s UMK21 lighting design which showcased each of the 2021 contestants with their own unique look. © Miika Varila

This year’s Finals on 20 February marked the show’s 10th anniversary. The evening was broadcast live in four languages from Mediapolis TV studios in Tampere and televised on Yle TV1 to an audience of 1.7 million viewers, breaking all records.
Lighting designer, Pekka Martti of Aku’s Factory, turned to MDG haze generators to breathe life into his beautiful lighting design, using its pure white haze to show off a range of stunning visuals that created a different look and mood for each of the seven contestants.


MDG theONE dual

With the help of MDG’s Finnish distributor, MSONIC Oy, Martti selected an MDG ATMe haze generator and an MDG theONE dual haze and fog generator for this important, spectacular event.
“I wanted a haze machine that I knew would make the beams of light look good on camera,” explains Martti, “and, for TV shows, MDG – which I have been using since 2006 – is a must.
I love the haze quality I get from them in television and live shows. The haze is white so does not discolour the light beams, or make them appear brownish like some other machines do.”

Martti positioned theONE atmospheric (dual fog and haze) generator, set in haze mode, on stage behind the upstage curtain, and placed the ATMe haze machine in the auditorium (there was no live audience due to Covid restrictions).

© Miika Varila

“This way we were able to show the beams to best advantage across the whole venue,” he says. “I think the biggest advantage of MDG haze is the quality: not only is it white, it produces an even haze with no big clouds so we could have a smooth canvas to work on.”

Because the UMK21 Finals was a live broadcast, Martti also needed to be totally confident of the reliability of the haze generators. “I’ve worked on festivals for 15 years, and I always want MDG,” he states. “I’ve had 15-year old MDG MAX5000 fog machines and those are still rocking! So I would say that MDG is most reliable machine available – and yes I would use them again!”

© Miika Varila

The UMK Final was hosted by Antti Tuisku, Finland’s biggest pop star, and the winners were Blind Channel, with their song Dark Side, who went on to represent Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam in May.

© Miika Varila

theONE and the ATMe generators were supplied to Aku’s Factory by MDG’s Finnish distributor, MSONIC Oy.

For more information on MDG and their products, you can visit www.mdgfog.com


Anolis Shows Nottingham Castle in New Light

The UK’s landmark Nottingham Castle reopens in June following a £30 million refurbishment which started in 2018. Part of the new look is a stylish Anolis exterior LED lighting scheme illuminating all four sides of the building, comprising 17 x Anolis Divine 160 fixtures which was designed by Ian Forrow of IJF Lighting and commissioned by On Event Production from Castle Donnington.

Photo Louise Stickland

Electrical installation and fixtures were supplied by Amptron Electrical Services Ltd who were the appointed electrical contractor for the whole project which included the external lighting. The original fortified castle dates to Medieval times but that structure was largely demolished by the mid-17th century, with a mansion built on the site in the 1670s by the first and second Dukes of Newcastle.
This was burnt down by rioters in 1831 and rebuilt in the 1870s to house an art gallery and museum which remains today. It occupies a commanding position at the top of a 40-metre-high bluff known as ‘Castle Rock’ and has stunning panoramic views across the south of the city below.

Photo Louise Stickland

On Event Production is the technical supplier for the local council’s city hall building, Nottingham Council House, and was asked to consult on renewing the Castle lighting by Richard Hamblin, who has co-ordinated and run the Nottingham Castle renovation project for the City Council.
On Event’s own project manager Alex Tweedie explained that the brief from Richard was to replace the old metal halide lighting scheme with something that was brighter, more energy-efficient, better quality and that would be infinitely more flexible when the Castle was in use for assorted public and private events.

Anolis was successful in being selected as the lighting provider, so Alex consulted Simon Gooding from Anolis, who both conducted a site visit which was challenging as the entire building was shrouded in scaffolding at the time due to the restoration works! However, they were still able to get a good enough idea of the scope and requirements, and this resulted in the specification of the Divine 160s.

Photo Louise Stickland

The fixtures were selected for their size, quality of output, coverage, colour mixing – the RGBW light engine of the Divine 160s ensures a great spectrum of colours, from the richest saturates to the most delicate pastels – and reliability. Also, they fitted in the budget and have a five-year warranty. They are installed in new lighting positions, some similar in location to the previous lights around the four facades of the building.

The zoning capabilities of the Divines were perfect for what the Castle wanted in terms of adaptability for special events and functions … it means that the building can be instantly transformed into alternative colours or colour schemes as the units can be run in four separate zones if needed.

Photo Louise Stickland

Each Divine is fitted with a cowl to reduce light spill into the sky and surrounding area. Everyone liked the possibility of the Castle being transformed to support different events and occasions.
Clever positioning was needed to maximise the coverage offered by the 17 x Divine 160s which are all in close range to the building. They cover its substantial dimensions smoothly and evenly, and once illuminated it stands out like a beacon on the hill from many miles away!

Custom optics were needed for some Divine units to ensure the best coverage, especially those on the north side façade where the fixtures lighting the main wall are positioned on the roof of a lower section of the building.

Anolis was “very obliging” in making this happen commented Alex, adding that the Czech Republic-based manufacturer was generally “fantastic” to work with “and prepared to invest in the project just as much as we all were”. The Divine 160s are controlled via a Pharos TPC and EXT, and the system has a custom touch screen for users within the castle that can also be remotely accessed by the team at On Events without attending site.

Photo Lindsay Cave

For additional flexibility, the Castle lights are running via Art-Net and can be connected to an external controller e.g., one that might be controlling a concert or an event show lighting system, allowing them to be synched.
They can also be aligned with the nearby Council House’s lighting scheme for special events like New Year’s Eve and the city’s annual Light Night. The default nightly setting for the lights is a slightly warm white, a bit of a tungsten touch that blends seamlessly with and beautifully complements the yellow sandstone of the walls.

For more info about Anolis or Robe Lighting you can visit www.anolis.com or www.robe.cz


Elation IP line lights Château de Chambord for a musical TV show

On the French television show La chanson de l’année (The Song of the Year) on station TF1, the French public get to choose their favorite French song of the past year.
Produced by DMLS TV and one of the television highlights of the year in France, this year’s show featured a breathtaking château backdrop with stunning lighting effects from Elation IP-rated luminaires.

For this year’s show, aired live on June 5th, the magnificent Château de Chambord in the Loire Valley, a French Renaissance palace of the highest quality, provided a spectacular backdrop for lighting designer Frédéric Dorieux to showcase the competing acts.

Dorieux had at his disposal 148 Proteus Hybrid arc-source moving heads and 140 Arena Zoom Q7 IP Par lights, both luminaires from Elation’s extensive outdoor-rated IP65 line.
The award-winning Proteus Hybrid, with a 21R 470W lamp, is not only powerful and compact, it is loaded with features and is multi-functional with spot, beam or wash capability.
Dorieux used them to stunning effect from ground positions, as well as from across the front parapet of the château.

The Arena Zoom Q7 IPs, outdoor rated PAR fixtures with 30W RGBW LEDs and 7° to 40° motorized zoom, uplit the Château and highlighted the surrounding gardens. Dushow TV supplied all of the lighting and audio for the show. Elation French distribution is by Best Audio & Lighting.

More information on the Elation website


RIVAGE PM7 Brings Peace Of Mind To Theater Freiburg

Founded in 1866, Theater Freiburg is the oldest and biggest theatre in Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg, south-west Germany. Moving to its present venue in 1910, like many theatres it has seen an almost continuous series of changes and renovations, some more successful than others.

Jonas Gottschall

Most recently, the installation of two Yamaha RIVAGE PM7 digital mixing systems have brought much-needed peace of mind to head of sound Jonas Gottschall and his technical team. Featuring orchestral performances, opera, musicals, dance, plays and more, the Theater Freiburg building includes a main stage, smaller stage and Chamber stage.

The venue has a long history with Yamaha digital mixers, going back to the DM2000 and the iconic PM5D. More recently, the venue invested in systems by other manufacturers because, as Jonas – who joined the theatre three years ago – says, “At the time there was no Yamaha console that could do exactly what Theatre Freiburg needed.”

“You can only work according to the circumstances of the time,” he adds. “In 2014, the theatre had to go down a different route, but the system it invested in ran into trouble with the network connection from the control surface to its DSP.” The issues culminated in every live sound engineer’s worst nightmare, when three productions had to be stopped mid-show, in front of audiences. “It took the manufacturer six months to investigate the problem and I don’t think they ever found it,” says Jonas.

With the RIVAGE PM series, Yamaha has not only continued its long tradition of reliability, it also introduced all the features that Theater Freiburg needed. So the investment in RIVAGE PM7 systems for the main and smaller stages was an obvious solution.

Joscha Muschaln a happy sound engineer.

“Reliability is the number one priority for me,” says Jonas. “With any system, if there is ever an issue you also need the technical support to be there at the right moment. If it isn’t, it doesn’t make either us or the audience happy. In my experience Yamaha digital systems have always been fine, there are never any software issues, network connection problems or anything, so I had absolute confidence that we would be safe if we invested in RIVAGE PM.”
Not only has the RIVAGE PM7’s theatre mode opened it up more to the theatre world, its ease of installation has meant that Jonas was able to install both systems himself. “We didn’t need anyone from Yamaha to come in and hold our hand,” he smiles.
“We installed the first PM7 system on the smaller stage, which was quite challenging because we had a new PA as well, with only a short time to install both and get them up and running. But it worked out absolutely fine.”

He continues, “In terms of the features, in my opinion the sound quality is better than before. I also really like the dynamic EQs. We try to make the amplification of actors onstage very discreet but, as soon as the voice gets louder, it starts to behave differently with the microphone. So the dynamic EQ is a very useful feature.”

Theater Freiburg head of sound Jonas Gottschall.

As with all venues, 2020-21 has seen Theater Freiburg having to cope with many difficult challenges, so innovation and adaptability need to be at the heart of its present and future.
“Normally, you plan for the year ahead. But now, when we have been able to stage performances, we have had to improvise and cope with a very short preparation time,” says Jonas.
“For the foreseeable future we will need to be very flexible and fast, with limited rehearsals. So I am very happy to have invested in secure, stable systems that work exactly as we hoped they would.”

More on the Yamaha website


Cory Pattak Light Tuacahn Amphitheatre with Chauvet Professional

Like anyone who enters Tuacahn Amphitheatre for the first time, Cory Pattak was awed by the surroundings when he arrived there in 2017 to light a production of Newsies.
Located at the mouth of Padre Canyon in southwestern Utah, with its towering sandstone cliffs dotted with sage brush and yuca trees, the setting offers a quintessential image of the American West in all its rugged, untamed beauty.

Ovation E 910FC-IP

Along with this splendor, however, comes another side of nature: harsh, wildly fluctuating weather. “The theatre is subjected to every kind of environmental challenge, including rain, high wind, dust, 100-plus degree temps, and even snow this April,” said Pattak, a New York based lighting designer. “The conventional pars and ellipsoidals here have taken a beating over the years.’

Since Pattak’s first show at Tuacahn, the theatre has been working to upgrade its rig to include more outdoor rated fixtures.
Last year, during the pandemic lockdown, it took a major step in this direction when its Production Manager Craig Engel, with assistance from Pattak, replaced its old incandescent units with 58 Ovation E-910FC IP fixtures from Chauvet Professional.

Pattak is putting the new fixtures to good use this season, creating an engaging and evocative design for a production of Beauty and the Beast. Drawing on the Ovation units’ RGBA-Lime LED engine, he is transforming the stage to support the magical mood of the musical with a wide range of deep, richly saturated colors.

Discussing the upgrade and his role in it, Pattak, who has designed at the venue every year since 2017, noted: “Aside from looking for an IP rated fixture, we were also looking to reduce the overall size of the conventional plot, as it takes days to focus the entire rig all overnight of course.
The large rig required a significant amount of dimmers and cabling, not to mention lamps and gel.I advised considering Ovation fixtures, because I had used them on previous shows and have always been pleased with them.

“My friend Rob Denton, who is the lighting supervisor at the Muny, had recently replaced many of their conventional lights with the new IP-rated Ovations. They had already gone through a full season with them, and reported back all positives,” continued Pattak.

“So, last season we got one of the fixtures out at Tuacahn for an onsite demo and were encouraged by the results. Fortunately, we were able to add them to the plot between the 2019 season and this season.”

The Ovation E-910FC IP fixtures at Tuacahn today are positioned to work as three different systems of washes. Previously, the theatre had two front template washes in a warm and a cool color from its FOH towers. These have been combined into a single LED system.
The high side template system had always been NC and cool. The latter has been replaced with the Ovation LED units. The theatre also had two different back template systems, which have now been combined into one LED backlight system.

Aside from their reliability and efficiency, the new Ovation ellipsoidals increase the flexibility of Tuacahn’s lighting rig, making it better able to meet the theatre’s diverse schedule of productions.
“Since there is one rep plot for multiple shows, any opportunity to add versatility to the rig is a plus,” said Pattak. “We’ve previously had to pick fairly neutral gel colors that would work for all shows. However, with the added LED sources, the designers can now customize their color needs for each show.

“For instance, the first two shows of the season are Beauty and the Beast, which I lit, and Annie, lit by Aaron Porter,” continue Pattak. “Just due to the nature of the shows, BATB calls for much deeper and more saturated colors than Annie, which has a more naturalistic approach. Being able to tune in our own palettes was a big advantage. In both cases, we are able to achieve better color washes than we ever could before.

“The ability to turn nearly 60 lights all the same color before you even have to touch a moving light is an amazing tool in our design toolbelt,” continued Pattak. “Also very important to lighting designers at the theatre is the savings in time resulting from the installation of the new fixtures. In the past, when working with the larger rig of mainly conventionals, the crew would spend long hours at night dealing with maintenance issues that come from non-outdoor rated fixtures.”

Freed from this task, they can now devote more time to working on creative issues, or perhaps take an extra moment or two to savor the beautiful natural setting that makes Tuacahn Amphitheatre so special.

For more information about Chauvet Professional and their range of products, you can visit: www.chauvetprofessional.com/


dBS Solutions Goes For a Martin Audio WPS System

dBS Solutions’ roadmap through Martin Audio’s evolutionary control technology shows no sign of abating. In 2014 they purchased an XD/DD combination rig for deployment on a successful theatre tour.
This was followed by the acquisition of a 40-box Wavefront Precision Mini (WPM) system, specifically for the Mercury at Abbey Field pop-up theatre space in Colchester. This ran for an entire outdoor season and was a direct replacement for their old Martin Audio W8LM rig.

Then in February 2020—immediately before lockdown—two hangs of 16 WPM, supported by flown SXF115 subwoofers and DD6 front fills, went out on the Queen Symphonic tour.
Fast forward to the present, and after carefully considering all options, the company made its first investment in Martin Audio’s more powerful WPS system. “We’ve dipped our toe in the water with a package that will enable us to provide coverage for 2,000-plus capacity concert halls,” confirms dBS Solutions MD, Chris Bogg, taking up the story. “However, we will definitely be increasing that inventory.”

His earlier entry into the world of Wavefront Precision had been driven by the fact that the Abbey Field site is surrounded by local residencies. “This called for a system that could minimise offsite noise while maximising coverage in the tent.”
dBS Solutions were able to use the unique Hard Avoid feature in the proprietary DISPLAY control software to equal benefit with the Queen Symphonic UK tour. “The balance of rock music in a classical environment is always a very difficult one, not least in some of the most reverberant performing spaces in the UK. We chose the WPM as the even coverage and on-stage noise levels were critical to the tour’s success.”

The Queen Symphonic UK tour.

Explaining further, he said, “In addition to the 35-piece symphony orchestra, there was a rock band and four West End musical vocalists. Traditional classical musicians don’t like a loud stage, and in terms of levels we were able to use Hard Avoid to remove much of that.”

As to mitigating venue reverberation, he remarked, “I have never heard a system sounding so consistent across three or four levels [of a venue] or so tonally balanced, when compared with other systems we’ve used.”
In summary, he said, “WPM has been amazing for us and it was the confidence we had in this that led us to invest in the bigger WPS system.” But it hadn’t been an automatic decision, as Chris Bogg had been well down the line to purchasing an alternative system before reverting to Martin Audio. “I decided to take a different view, and I’m pleased we stuck with the option we knew,” he admits.

Credit Nathan Garwood

He believes the timing of his latest investment is perfect as the country slowly emerges from lockdown. “It will certainly help raise the profile of dBS,” he believes. “It gives us a larger system that really works in terms of our brand profile and ticks the rider boxes.”

However, above all he is in love with Martin Audio’s unique optimisation technology. “We had already been aware of how fantastic WPM was at the point of purchase, as two of our techs had already done the training. It was the flexibility of being able to drive the system off the iKON amplifiers and the scalable resolution options that swung it for us.

“If something less sophisticated is required we can drive the system in 2- or 3-box resolution, and carry less inventory, whereas we can use 1-box where a cleverer approach is required.”
He is referring specifically to those reverberant concert venues. “That’s where Martin Audio really excels,” Chris Bogg exclaims.

For more information on the Martin Audio website and on the DBS Solutions website


Adam Hall Group welcomes 100 guests to an industry restart event

The #WeBelieveInLive campaign becomes the “We Are Live” event! On 30 June 2021, the Adam Hall Group marked its live relaunch, and with it an emotional end to a seemingly never-ending standstill for the entire event industry.
Representatives from around the live entertainment industry paid tribute to a special evening that showed how the challenges ahead are being tackled with renewed vigour.

Joint exchange about the future of the event industry

Since spring 2020, the Adam Hall Group has been searching for ways out of the crisis with unwavering confidence, while also seeking dialogue with politicians, its own community and business partners in order to proactively advocate for the closed industry. At the “We Are Live” event, this dialogue was finally transferred from virtual distance to physical proximity again. Together with 100 invited guests from German-speaking countries and further abroad, the event technology manufacturer sent a clear signal at its Experience Centre in Neu-Anspach: we are here, and we are here more than ever! In compliance with the current hygiene and distancing regulations, the event not only celebrated the restart, but also explored the question of where the event industry of tomorrow is heading and what hurdles need to be overcome in a top-class talk.

“The future is now! We’ve had a year-and-a-half break
and want to get going again – let’s get ready!”

Peggy Cornelßen, Marketing Communication and Cooperation, Kliemannsland

#webelieveinlive panel: individual experiences for collective challenges

“It’s going to be stressful, but awesome!” – satisy&fy CEO Nico Ubenauf gave probably the most appropriate description of the outlook for the industry. Alexander Pietschmann, CEO of the Adam Hall Group, Carsten Heling, press spokesman for the LANXESS Arena in Cologne, and moderator Felix Uhlig took part in the #webelieveinlive panel talk alongside Timo Feuerbach, managing director of the E.V.V.C. & representative of the Forum Veranstaltungswirtschaft, Julian Reininger – organiser of BonnLive – and the guests in the Experience Centre’s auditorium for almost an hour. They came to a unanimous conclusion: the industry’s mood of optimism is unbroken, but the upcoming challenges must be dealt with responsibly.

In the political arena, the industry is advocating now not only the extension of economic aid, but above all the extension of the cultural default fund to B2B events, along with uniform federal guidelines. When it comes to the cultural relaunch, the problems of event congestion and staff shortages are already becoming apparent – these are perhaps inevitable after more than a year of event cancellations and the events sector being shut down. The conclusion of the discussion partners on stage and in the audience was clear: the shortage of resources must now be identified as an opportunity to structure future working conditions in a more appropriate way. Future calculations will also need to be adjusted, and companies will need to act to position themselves more sustainably.

“I hope that, beyond the crisis, we have all moved closer together. From venues to organisers, from artists to technical service providers and manufacturers. The restart will only be successful if we work together.”
Carsten Heling, Head of Press and Public Relations, LANXESS Arena

The industry looks forward to optimistic times with new impetus

A sense of euphoria was felt consistently throughout the evening. As soon as the guests arrived, it was noticeable in countless faces: the anticipation of finally getting together again, meeting old and new colleagues, business partners and friends from the industry on-site, and exchanging ideas.

“In 2020, we started out like an ICE train at 300 kph… then the emergency brake was pulled without any warning!” Adam Hall COO Markus Jahnel recalled in his speech the beginnings of the worldwide Corona pandemic. With the “We Are Live” event, the Adam Hall Group is now picking up speed again.
Following the talk, the event technology manufacturer showed that it had been anything but idle during the long phases of the lockdown. In an impressive light show, the new Cameo OPUS Series spotlights, among others, were able to show how creativity can be used to create the magical moments that we have all missed so much.

Gentleman’s first appearance in a year-and-a-half as a symbol of an entire industry

The crowning highlight of the evening, however, followed: an exclusive performance by global reggae star Gentleman and his band to kick off his 2021 festival tour, which reminded all the guests once again of what has been missing over the past 18 months: music, people and emotions. On this evening, the event industry showed that it is not afraid of change and is looking forward to the restart with great anticipation: WE ARE LIVE!

“Without entertainment and culture, humanity ceases to be what it is. There will always be room for them.”

Gentleman, musician

Further information:



The Barber of Seville outdoors with Ayrton fixtures

The San Francisco Opera utilised a complement of Ayrton Perseo-S fixtures when it brought opera back to town in a COVID-safe outdoor production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville at Marin Center in San Rafael, California.
Ayrton Perseo is the first compact, multi-function luminaire with an IP65 enclosure rating developed for intensive outdoor use.

The Barber of Seville, directed by Matthew Ozawa, ran from April 23 – May 15 at Marin Center, 15 minutes from San Francisco, where the audience pulled up their cars alongside the lagoon with the beautiful hills of Marin in the background. They watched the production, on a custom-built stage with soaring LED videowalls, from their vehicles.

“We have staged concerts before in Golden Gate Park, but nothing to this extent has been produced outside in the three years I have been with the company,” notes Justin Partier, lighting director for the San Francisco Opera. “We considered several venues and found Marin Center to be the best location. So we constructed a stage and used the set from a yet-to-be-produced production of Fidelio in a new configuration.”

Partier says the lighting team was looking for a fixture that offered shuttering, gobos, colour and diffusion, which was small enough to place inside the set. The lights also had to be able to withstand any inclement weather during the opera’s three-week run. Perseo-S ticked all those boxes.

“The fixtures had to be small and bright – they were the only way to get light underneath the set from side light and footlight positions,” he explains.
“They also needed to be rated for outdoor use. As it turned out, we had only one really wet day with the rest California sunshine and rainbows.”

Partier says that Aaron Hubbard with ACT Lighting helped steer him to Perseo. “Early on I looked at a bunch of lights with them, and when I said something smaller was required for the production, they led me to Perseo and were very helpful in giving me all the information I needed.” Felix Lighting of Burlingame, California supplied the fixtures.

He notes that Perseo’s gobos were especially in demand for the production. “Any time the four video panel back walls were in the open position we painted gobos onto them with the prism,” he explains. The gobos were particularly effective in the storm and shave sequences.
“The Perseos looked great and were actually much brighter for their size than I thought they would be,” Partier reports.

Jax Messenger: Lighting Designer – The Barber of Seville
Matthew Ozawa: Stage Director
Alexander V. Nichols: Scenic and Projection Designer
Justin Partier: Resident Lighting Director, San Francisco Opera
Nathan Scheuer: Assistant Lighting Designer
Rachael Blackwell: Gilbert Hemsley Lighting Intern
Stephanie Lasater: San Francisco Opera Intern
Leon Parsons: Head Electrician
Michael Anderson: Assistant Head Electrician
Russ Adamson: Lighting Systems Administrator
Anna McGriff: Lighting Programmer
Erik Walstad: Technical and Safety Director
Ryan O’Steen: Production Manager
Chris Largent: Associate Technical Director
Chung Kuo: Technical Producer (Rittle Dragon Productions)

Felix Lighting: Kim Martin (agent), Greg Kunit (onsite agent)

More information on Ayrton Perseo can be found at www.ayrton.eu


Astera Launches New PixelBrick product

This flexible luminaire is a truly multi-functional light source with the power of Astera’s Titan LED engine coupled with the practicality of its popular AX3 LightDrop product, all in a completely new and fully adaptable housing.

Great for concerts, events, filming, or broadcast scenarios, PixelBrick is compact, light (1.1kg) and handy as an up-lighter – like an AX3 – or it can be hung anywhere and become a light for accenting and texturing buildings or facades. For exterior use, it is IP65 rated and therefore resistant to rain and other elements.

The PixelBrick has 450 Lumens and 1200 Lux at 2 metres – both at 3200K and can also be used like a PAR as a general-purpose fixture complete with a bracket.

PixelBricks can be joined together and built into an impressive array of geometric shapes and clusters. With the help of adjustable connectors, shapes like circles, hearts, numbers, etc. plus other illuminated scenic pieces or signage can be created. These can be used in a plethora of contexts, like performance spaces, on live events, on location or in the studio for film projects and photo shoots.

The lights can be arranged in matrix patterns or as numbers and letters spelling out a name, a word or a tag, and they can be pixel-mapped to produce yet more stunning effects.
The combination of the LED light source and wireless control is a solution for so many aspects of a stage or an event space.

Diffuser Domes are available to switch the PixelBrick beams to softer eye-and-camera-candy effects and ‘pixel’ looks.

PixelBricks are physically interconnected via a bespoke engineered track system on all four sides which gives maximum scope for creativity. These tracks can also be used to mount airline track accessories like TrackPin, Hangar, Handle, etc., and brackets can be mounted to the PixelBrick using the same track system.

Other major features include RGB Mint Amber for creating stunning colours – from the richest saturates to the most delicate pastels – authentic white tones from 1,750 – 20,000 K and an impressive CRI & TLCI of 96 or above.
Several different beam options are available. The fixture’s native 13-degree angle can be customised with the use of a 17-degree diffuser for a soft-light effect or a 30-degree flood filter to enable smooth coverage of larger surfaces and areas.

The PixelBricks can be wirelessly controlled via the inbuilt LumenRadio CRMX DMX receiver and the units can also be run via wired DMX through an Astera PowerBox. Up to four PixelBricks can be daisy-chained using a single power / data combination cable, and units are compatible with the Titan PowerBox.
Additionally, the AsteraApp can be used for local control, either via the ART7 AsteraBox or by directly connecting the PixelBrick fixtures to the App when ART7 is not being used.

The rear panel display has dedicated buttons for brightness and colour adjustment, just like the Titan Series tubes, for tweaking when running in stand-alone mode.
A handy PixelBrick set of 8 units is available from Astera, complete with filters, a PowerBox charging flightcase complete with cables and connectors.
The PowerBox can be used for in-case charging and to wire the lights – power and data over a single cable – for longer installations. An Accessories Set is available for 8 PixelBricks which expand the flexibility of this fixture event further!

Astera sales director Sebastian Bückle stated, “We are really excited to bring this ultra-adaptable light that can be used for a zillion different occasions to the market. I think our customers will have plenty of fun with PixelBrick and use it imaginatively, discovering many

For more information about Astera and their products line, you can visit astera-led.com


Electori exclusive Frenetik distributor for Japan

The team at Electori (from left to right): Ms.Yui Takase, Atsushi Shimizu, Akashi Matsuura and Haruo Abe .

Electori, a prime provider of technological solutions and services for venues, puts its trust in Frenetik’s Dante and PoE audio solutions and becomes the exclusive distributor in Japan.

Alain Hercman Frenetik International Sales Manager.

Alain Hercman Frenetik’s International Sales Manager says: « We were particularly impressed by the professional approach of Electori’s team who deeply and accurately evaluated the Frenetik products range. We are confident we have found a very good partner in Japan for a long term and fruitful collaboration »

Atsushi Shimizu – Acting GM, Electori says: « When we saw Frenetik products, it was our first thought that their design was very unique and impressive. »

Atsushi Shimizu Acting General Manager, Electori.

« Since there were many interests to check out real products, we had to take a couple of sample products, which convince us about the sound quality. The balance between price and sound quality along with its unique design has great value for our customers, we believe. »

Founded in 1962 and located at the heart of Tokyo, Japan, Electori boasts a tremendous experience in importing and representing professional brands on the Japanese market. With teams dedicated to broadcast and professional installations, Electori is a prime provider of technological solutions and services for venues such as amusement parks, stadiums, government offices, hotels and more.
Part of Hibino Group since 2016, Electori benefits from its resources for sales, marketing, logistics and technical support of the highest level in this industry.

Frenetik is a French brand that designs and manufactures professional Dante and PoE audio solutions. All our products share the same DNA that make our solutions unique on the market:
Use the latest available technologies
Provide original solutions and complementary tools to the professional audio market
Make innovation accessible by offering exceptional value for money Since its introduction in 2019

Some Frenetic iconic products.

Frenetik immediately received an enthusiastic welcome from AV integrators, distributors, IT services and AV planners, confirmed by our rapid development on the international market.

More on the Electori website and on the Frenetic website


RIVAGE PM Digital Mixing Systems V5.0 is available

RIVAGE PM digital mixing systems are continually improved with regular firmware updates, providing mix engineers with the highest quality features and intuitive controls.
Version 5.0 is a major, free update, which includes a number of new features to deliver the industry’s best, most flexible and sonically pleasing mixing experience.

The « real » Master Buss Processor, now recreated and included in V5.0 release.

The Portico II Master Buss Processor (P2MB) is a Virtual Circuit Modeling (VCM) recreation of the RND Master Buss Processor, delivering the ultimate in dynamics, tone and stereo field control for the stereo master buss.

A view of the Portico II Master Bus Processor VCM replica.

Based around the high voltage, discrete, class A signal paths made famous in the RND 5088 mixer, the P2MB redefines the boundaries of traditional two channel compression and limiting. Though originally developed for mastering applications, the MBP quickly became a favourite of mix, tracking, front of house and live streaming engineers.

Josh Thomas

“When we first launched the Portico II Master Bus Processor, we expected it to be used primarily for mastering and studio mix applications.
Rupert and the entire team were pleasantly surprised when it became a standard for FoH, with hundreds of tours trusting it as the final piece in the signal chain,” says Josh Thomas, General Manager and Co-Founder at RND.

“With its VCM technology, Yamaha has come up with an extremely faithful digital replica of the MBP, one of the most complex analogue processors we produce. We look forward to hearing the benefits of this new emulation at concerts in the coming months.“

RIVAGE PM Version 5.0 firmware also provides additional flexibility for mix engineers with several new features. These include:

Monitoring and operation of wireless receiver systems from Sennheiser, Shure, and Sony.

The complete monitoring and operation of wireless receiver systems from the best Sennheiser, Shure, and Sony HF series.

Monitoring and operation of NEXO and Yamaha PC-D/DI series power amplifiers, as well as Yamaha DZR series loudspeakers.
Direct control, naming and colour selection for Steinberg Nuendo Live recording software.
A new, enhanced Global Paste workflow, which is faster and more intuitive to use during rehearsals or performance, without having to interrupt the flow of mixing live.

Following the announcement of Yamaha’s new, proprietary AFC Image, which gives users full control over immersive imaging in a given space, the RIVAGE PM Version 5.0 firmware brings remote control to AFC Image. Object-based 3D panning and other features help to create streamlined, efficient workflows to deliver innovative, immersive audio experiences in the live environment.

Do not ask who owns this index, it’s Andy Cooper who shows the choice offered between L-ISA and now AFC Image.

Finally, the updated firmware adds full compatibility with the Open Sound Control (OSC) network control protocol, which allows remote control of a range of parameters, including fader levels and mutes, pan, mix and matrix sends, delay times and Scene Memory recall.
It’s ideal for use with theatre and broadcast automation systems and software, such as Figure 53’s QLab. Alternatively, users can create custom control panels with a variety of apps and touch-screen devices.

“RIVAGE PM firmware Version 5.0 includes many user-requested features. We are confident that everyone – from existing customers and RIVAGE PM users involved in live streaming and other new forms of entertainment, to those people considering investing in the series – will find this significant update beneficial,” says Chihaya ‘Chick’ Hirai, General Manager of Yamaha’s PA Marketing and Sales Department.

Rupert Neve on a 5088 desk and Josh Thomas, legendary past and brillant future.

“We are very pleased to continue our successful collaboration with RND, which has been instrumental in the sound of our digital mixing systems since 2012.
Plugins for SILK processing, EQ, compression and more add appealing colour to the input stage of RIVAGE PM systems and the P2MB plug-in is the culmination of our first foray into the output stage with RND.

It represents a huge step forward in our relationship and we are very happy to help further the legacy of Rupert Neve, RND founder and pro audio legend, and his limitless passion for sound. “We will continue our ongoing efforts to listen to our customers and give them what they need for the best and most efficient mixing experience.”

RIVAGE PM Version 5.0 is a free firmware update for RIVAGE PM owners. It can be downloaded here

For more detailed information, please check Andy Cooper presentation:


Levels Audio Visual joins L-Acoustics CPi network

Levels Audio Visual was established in 2015, with a primary focus on specialised high quality AV solutions for the entertainment and leisure industry.
Its work focuses almost exclusively on permanent installations in restaurants, bars, beach clubs and nightclubs, along with AV rental and production solutions for DJs, live music, festivals and wedding events. It has recently become part of the L-Acoustics Certified Provider install (CPi) network.

Level AV’s Daniel Ball (left) and Hassan Alwan with a selection of their L-Acoustics equipment

“Over the years, we have built a reputation as one of the leading providers of AV solutions for these industries, largely stemming from our strong personal passion for music and live entertainment,” says managing partner, Hassan Alwan. “This passion has and continues to drive us to be the best in all disciplines and capabilities.”

Levels treats each project as if the venue and concept were its own, striving to achieve the best for its clients, and mandating its solutions to be of the highest calibre. The company’s portfolio of clients and projects is testament to this philosophy and includes some of the leading operators in the entertainment and leisure industry, including Amazonico, Berklee College of Music, Boiler Room, Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE, Cove Beach, Industrial Avenue, Le Petite Maison, Mutek, Nammos and Zuma.

“Becoming an L-Acoustics CPi is an acknowledgment of our high standards, putting Levels in a rare group of professional organisations, each at the top of their game,” Alwan continues. “At the same time, it’s a motivator for us to continue to strive for improvement each time we approach an opportunity.

“With a global presence and an internationally regarded best-in-class reputation, the opportunity to become a part of the L-Acoustics CPi family will allow us to expand our business by being associated with an industry leader, as well as satisfying the demands of our clients at the highest level.
Our company has grown through direct partnerships with manufacturers and this direct engagement will provide our business with the necessary tools and services to achieve our goals collectively.”

Chris Mead

“We are very excited to have Levels AV onboard to join the L-Acoustics family as an integration partner in the region,” concludes Chris Mead, L-Acoustics Sales Manager, Middle East, India, East Africa.

“The dining and entertainment market is ever growing in the UAE and the greater Gulf area, and there is a definite expectation from patrons for high quality loudspeaker systems to go with the superior food and entertainment, and so we see this as a big opportunity for growth.
It’s important that these premium systems are supplied to the end users by an integrator like Levels, who hold a similar appetite for perfection as we do!”

The first L-Acoustics project Levels completed was for Ninive, a luxury Middle Eastern dining and lounge just outside Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. As part of the exciting Riyadh Oasis project, Ninive launched a four-month pop-up destination in the middle of the desert, around an hour and a half from Riyadh city centre, where Levels provided a system comprising twelve X8 speakers and two SB15m subwoofers, all controlled by LA4X amplified controllers.

The company currently has several projects in development, with an initial four venues already confirmed to be delivered and opened with L-Acoustics systems by the end of 2021.

More information on the Level SAV website and on the L-Acoustics website


Eurovision 2021 safe and secure with DiGiCo Quantum 7s

Postponed from 2020, this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, its 65th edition, was held at the Rotterdam Ahoy in The Netherlands. Organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and host broadcaster Nederlands Publieke Omroep (NPO), Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS and AVROTOS.
Specialist rental and sales company, Ampco Flashlight, was the Official Technical Supplier, providing lighting, rigging and audio requirements, which included DiGiCo Quantum 7 mixing consoles at both Front of House and monitor positions.

Working on the lavish production fans have come to know and expect were Erwin Rintjema, ESC Head of Production, Thijs Peters, Head of Broadcast Sound, Ampco Flashlights’ Remco Verhoek as Senior Project Manager and Dennis van der Haagen taking up the role of Operational & Commercial Director, along with Jeroen ten Brinke, ESC Head of Live Sound, who specified the Quantum 7s as part of his audio design.

A competitive tender for the show had been sent out in October 2019, with Ampco Flashlight pitching alongside competitors. “We were awarded the contract in January 2020,” recalls Verhoek, who oversaw proof of concept, prepping the equipment including constructing custom racks and scheduling and taking care of his team.
“We were prepped and ready to go, then the show was postponed because of the pandemic. But we had been chosen and that didn’t change for the 2021 edition. Audio-wise the stakes are always high for Eurovision, and this was a complex system, but not the most complex we’ve ever built and with all the experience we have with DiGiCo it was a good set up and straight forward for us.”

Whilst Ten Brinke had free rein on the design of the audio system, he kept previous productions in mind, particularly the 2018 Lisbon edition which he had visited, where Daniel Bekerman was sound designer.
Ten Brinke drew on Bekerman’s experience. “The first thing I did was call him to make sure he was happy to answer any questions,” he recalls. “We created our design and then I checked with him to make sure we were doing the right thing.”

Along with mirrored DiGiCo Quantum 7 consoles at FOH and monitors was a soundcheck room with an identical set up where in-ears systems on different frequencies, transmitter packs and handhelds microphones were housed, ensuring the in-ears systems were properly balanced before the acts went on stage.
In the arena, Ten Brinke wanted to have the consoles as close together as possible, taking social distancing regulations into account, ensuring short cables that were easy to trouble shoot. The monitor desk was positioned behind glass, so the monitor engineer would not have any issues with spill from the L-Acoustics PA.
“The consoles were approx. 1.5m apart so we could all see each other,” says Ten Brinke. “This made things easier, more fun and meant we could keep our spirits up for the month we were on site.”

A significant reason for the position of the consoles was the tight change over times for the artists. “Thirty to 40 people had to [literally] run with everything,” Ten Brinke notes. “You’re always in the way or in the camera view at the side of the stage, so we were on the top of the first rake of seats and all together, which kept my wish for short cable runs.
Additional cable runs were only to the PA and a few analogue inputs for backup mics, the rest was all local with the receivers, Dante machines, and split boxes to OB kept together. But with social distancing, of course.”

With engineer duties organised in a slightly different way to the norm to account for their time being divided between the soundcheck room, where artists’ in-ear systems received their initial balance, and the arena, Ten Brink wanted to keep things as simple as possible.
Deploying Quantum 7s gave both familiarity to his favourite engineers and exceptional speed of operation “To create Snapshots and transfer them to another desk only took a minute in total,” he says. “No other desk can do that, so for me the choice was clear and with Ampco Flashlight as technical supplier it was an easy decision, as I use their DiGiCo consoles on many different shows.”

With simplicity being key, anything that was not essential was eliminated, whilst a DiGiCo Orange Box allowed the radio mic channels to arrive at the mix position and be relayed to the OB truck over a Dante network.
“We also had an analogue set up in one of the SD-Racks,” Ten Brinke adds. “And there were two Optocore loops with FOH and monitors on one loop, and backups on the other. Simple is always better as if something goes wrong it’s a lot easier to handle.”

As the timecode for the entire show was running through the consoles, the Quantum 7’s double power supply and engine gave the team a feeling of ultimate security.
“If the timecode stops, everything stops as all departments are running through our timecode,” says Ten Brinke. “I’ve done a lot of big shows with Quantum 7s, so I trust them; they are so safe and reliable.”

Despite the teams’ experience and confidence in their equipment, there was still much to take into consideration. “It was intense,” notes Verhoek. “We were working from a standstill (we hadn’t done much work since lockdown) and were going into a full-on production that covered 45 – 50 days. But it all went perfectly.
For me, the DiGiCos and all their infrastructure performed as we’re used to them performing. There was a backup set up, but we didn’t have to make use of it as there wasn’t a single issue.”
“Everything exceptionally well,” concludes Ten Brinke. “In fact, it couldn’t have been better.”

More information on the Digico website and on the Ampco Flashlight website