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Archive for July, 2014

PRG Provides Lighting, Rigging and Crew Solution for Arcade Fire at Earls Court

10th July, 2014

RG UK worked closely with Arcade Fire’s Design Team and Touring and Production Management to supply the lighting, rigging and crew package for the indie rockers’ headline European Tour, including the fantastic shows at Earls Court in June.

PRG’s Senior Account Manager, Scottie Sanderson, worked with Show Designer Richard Stembridge, Lighting Designer Chris Bushell and Production Manager Greg Dean to transform Earls Court into a disco-inspired layout of lights and mirror balls, creating an electric atmosphere.

PRG added significantly to the main touring package to create the show Stembridge envisaged. A total of 20 PRG Best Boys were on the main rig along with MAC Viper Washes and Clay Paky Sharpy Washes. To fill the arena and reach across the audience an extensive rig was constructed to support a 40ft silver triangle, seven 20ft silver triangles and eight 32″ mirror balls. The fixtures lighting the audience included 4 Martin MAC Viper Washes, 43 Clay Paky Alpha Beam 700s and 81 Pixel Pars.

PRG also provided the entire cable management for the London shows, consisting of over 15km of cable, 80 additional hoists and over 450m of trussing, to accommodate the over audience lighting and audio. The entire lighting and rigging package was complemented by a 10-man crew.

Arcade Fire’s tour was in support of their latest album, Reflektor. In addition to the London shows, the band also performed larger gigs at Le Zenith in Paris and Sportpaleis Antwerpen in Belgium, where PRG was able to team up with their Paris and Belgium operations to support the shows.

“The Earls Court gigs were truly fantastic,” says Sanderson. “The team was really pushed on this one, putting in maximum effort to make sure it happened. The crew and UK project management team, namely Ian “Bongo” Philips, worked extremely hard to make the tour seamlessly integrate between the more intimate, and the larger shows.”

Collaborating with PRG in France, Sanderson worked with Laurent Boillot to supply further audience packages for the Paris shows. In Belgium, PRG was able to directly support any extras needed for those shows.

“The team from PRG as ever have been great,” says Bushell. “Account manager Scottie Sanderson has looked after many of my shows over the past six years and he has always been really helpful and supportive. The kit is always in tip top condition, the crew are really knowledgeable and helpful and the company does its very best to get me everything I want within the budget constraints I present.”

Touring Europe and playing festivals including Glastonbury, the main touring package for Arcade Fire consisted of PRG Best Boys, Martin Atomic Colours, Vari-lite VLX Washes and white and black Martin MAC Auras. For control, PRG supplied an Avolites Sapphire Touch to Lighting Designer, Bushell.

The four-man universal crew included Crew Chief Rob Starksfield, Kinesys Technician Paul Mundrick, Craig Hancock on Systems and Dimmers and Jason Dixon and Rob Gardner on Moving Lights.

Ian Phillips, Project Manager for the London show and the tour, explains: “The biggest challenges we faced were trying to tie in a festival and headline package into one touring show. There was extensive pre-production and planning to make this happen.”

Arcade Fire are set to play festivals throughout Europe this summer, before heading to Japan and then the US.

The Knight of Illumination Awards announces new venue for 2014

10th July, 2014

The Knight of Illumination (KOI) awards has announced that East London’s art deco Troxy will host the ceremony for the first time, on Monday 5 October.

The venue, once one of the largest cinemas in 1930’s England, is a grade II listed building that has played host to stars such as Vera Lyn, Jarvis Cocker and London Grammar.

The KOI awards will take place during PLASA London.

Pio Nahum, Sales and Marketing Director at Clay Paky, one of the organisers of the event says, “We are really excited to move the awards to this popular new venue. We wanted to give a new feel to the awards, something edgy and unique rather than stark and corporate. Lighting design is all about creative vision and personality and that is what we wanted to reflect in our choice of new venue.”

The KOI awards is celebrating its seventh year in 2014, and recently gained national media attention, with the Guardian newspaper hailing it as the lighting industry’s very own major awards event.

The awards, organised by the ALD, Ambersphere, Clay Paky, and the STLD, and sponsored by Hawthorn, MA Lighting, Osram, Robert Juliat, and XL Video, promote a unified and forward looking entertainment technology industry by recognising the creative achievements of those who work within the lighting and video sectors.

“As KOI grows it becomes more and more evident how important the awards are for the industry, celebrating the incredible talents of people working in these sectors or lighting and video, and bringing their work to the forefront of people’s minds,” says Glyn O’Donoghue, Managing Director of Ambersphere. “We have been overwhelmed by the support from individuals and corporations within the industry, but are still inviting people to get involved at various levels – get in touch for more info. We look forward to seeing you at the ceremony in October.”

Bruno Poet, winner of last year’s Stage award in the Concert Touring and Event’s category for his lighting design for Icelandic band Sigur Ross agrees, “The awards provide a unique opportunity for lighting designers, video designers, manufactures and hire houses to communicate and see what is being achieved with their products as well as celebrating the amazing work happening within the industry.”

Public nominations for the Television and Concert Touring and Events categories are still open. For information on how to submit a show please visit

“Events like KOI help make you feel part of a warm and supportive community,” continues Poet. “If you are thinking of putting forward a design submission then I say go for it!”

Details of how to book a table for this year’s KOI will be announced soon.

For more information and to make a submission for Concert Touring and Events or Television please visit the KOI website and social media sites at:

Philips Strand Lighting and Philips Selecon provide ‘reliability and power’ for major TV stations in Lebanon

8th July, 2014

Lebanon’s first public television network Télé Liban and pan-Arabist satellite television channel Al Mayadeen have tuned in to the power of Philips Selecon LED and professional studio lighting solutions from Philips Strand Lighting in a major upgrade to existing kit.

State-owned Télé Liban and private Al Mayadeen are both significant channels in the region. Télé Liban is one of the longest established TV stations in the Middle East whilst Al Mayadeen is a wide-ranging news channel, owning offices in Tunisia, Cairo and Tehran, and headquarters in Beirut.

Both studios needed an overhaul of their previous lighting equipment to optimise broadcasting capabilities. Lebanon distributor Prolites supplied and installed 26 Philips Selecon SPX Zoomspot luminaires and four Philips Strand Lighting SD6 Dimmer Packs into two newly renovated Télé Liban talk show and news studios. In addition, three new news studios at Al Mayadeen were equipped with 54 Philips Selecon SPX Zoomspot luminaires, five PLfresnel1 LED luminaires, eight Strand Lighting Wallrack Digital Dimmers and a Strand Lighting 200 plus Lighting Control Console.

Dany Akoury, technical manager at Télé Liban and project supervisor for the renovation, says: “The SPX Zoomspot luminaire’s crisp white beam is one of its best features. It ensures high definition projection without pink hues, which can be easily detected by HD cameras. Its tilt lock and shutter clamp are also ideal for our studio setting as it allows the beam to be fixed and precise throughout broadcasts.”

The Al Mayadeen studios are also benefitting from the power of the Selecon SPX Zoomspot, which is being used as a ‘profile light’ focusing on the anchor/host, guests and screens, and blends homogeneously with the adjacent PLfresnel1 luminaire’s single source RGBW colour mixing beam.

The Philips Selecon PLfresnel1 is perfect for studio lighting applications as it allows designers to easily create a multitude of different looks for shows without having to change lamps or colour filter. In addition, the luminaire’s single source RGBW LED chip delivers limitless colour mixing capabilities and variable colour temperature.

“The PLfresnel1 LED luminaire’s infinite colour-mixing feature is great,” continues Farhat. “It’s also a really practical unit which doesn’t use up much-needed studio space as it mitigates the need for multiple luminaires. It’s also really efficient which allows the station to cut down on expenses.”

The lighting in the Al Mayadeen studio is controlled by the Strand Lighting 200 plus Lighting Control console, which is ideal for the studio environment as it features 12 easy-to-record effect playbacks with 48 steps each, and allows for easy lighting changes according to the change in segments and moods.

“The Strand Lighting 200 plus Lighting Control console is a fantastic addition to our studio, as it is particularly useful in live broadcasts where the lighting operator has to have an easy-to-access console with a variety of playbacks to coordinate the lighting on the spot,” says Farhat.

“We chose Philips Strand Lighting and Philips Selecon products because of their reliability and proven track record,” explains Télé Liban’s Akoury. “The user-friendliness of the products also reinforced our choice as our technical staff are able to operate them without having to undergo extensive training.”

Mirroring this sentiment, Farhat comments:  “Philips Selecon and Strand Lighting have long standing reputations, and we had the convenience of a reliable technical support team through Prolites. This was really reassuring for a new TV station.”

Philips Vari-Lite VL3500 Wash luminaires provide ‘vibrant and powerful’ colour for Grease: The Arena Spectacular

2nd July, 2014

Multi-talented theatre-lighting professional Luc Peumans of creative design practice Painting With Light has produced the set, lighting and video for rock’n’roll feast for the eyes Grease: The Arena Spectacular, specifying the exceptional power of 35 Philips Vari-Lite VL3500 Wash luminaires to flood the stage with stunning and vibrant colours.

Taking place in some of Belgium’s biggest arenas, the show was a fresh and contemporary take on the 50s classic high school romance story, injecting it with energetic dance routines and huge visual effects. Peumans therefore needed a wash light powerful enough to hold its own against the video elements, flooding each massive stage with intense colour in a range of stunning hues.

“The concept behind the design was to create a big, modern and powerful look with vibrant colours that united the video and lighting and focused the audience’s attention to the different moments on the huge stage,” explains Peumans. “There’s also a considerable amount of LED, including a video screen of over 200m2, on set. It was therefore essential to use powerful luminaires that could hold their own against it, which is why I turned to the VL3500 Wash.”

The Philips Vari-Lite VL3500 Wash has an output that exceeds 70,000 lumens as well as varied options for colour and beam control. An extremely versatile luminaire, the VL3500 Wash features internal zoomable beam optics with either Fresnel or Buxom options, as well as Vari-Lite’s VARI*BRITE mode. From any zoom position, this mode can be engaged to offer a tight column of remarkably intense light. The VL3500 Wash also features CMY colour mixing, variable CTO colour temperature correction and dual five-position colour wheels.

“I love the clear/Buxom lens configuration which gave me the exact right beam optics for this show, maintaining a pure and intense output from a tight almost parallel beam to wide open washes,” continues Peumans. “The extensive colour range also provided me with endless creative possibilities.”

Peumans rigged the Vari-Lite luminaires, supplied by Belgium-based rental company Phlippo Showlights, on the three back trusses above the stage to create a powerful backlight wash that punched through the energetic action and video elements of the show. The lighting designer also positioned several of the luminaires above the B-stage and catwalks to work as front washes on the main stage.

For the second run of the show, Peumans decided to replace the VL3500 Wash luminaires with the VL3500 Wash FX, supplied by AED rent, to add another dimension to the design. On why he prefers to use Vari-Lite products for his large theatrical spectaculars, Peumans comments: “For me, they are the superior luminaires on the market for optical quality. Plus, they are incredibly powerful and have an excellent gobo selection. Not to mention they are universal and can be obtained all over the world which makes life much easier.”

Philips Selecon PLprofile1 LED luminaires provide ‘magical light’ for immersive installation

2nd July, 2014

Award-winning Australian lighting designer Flynn Talbot utilised the intense colour of three Philips Selecon PLprofile1 LED luminaires to add another dimension to his latest stunning light installation ‘Primary’ at the PSAS gallery in Perth.

A three-sided triangular wall installation made from cardboard, ‘Primary’ explores the three primary colours of light – red, green and blue, with the structure designed to fragment the light and demonstrate how coloured light is mixed.

“For this project I needed intense colour and absolutely pure light,” explains Talbot. “The installation is purposefully designed to break up light into many shadows but unless the light source was completely even, the effect and the magic would have been lost. I needed a smooth and colour-rich shift between primary colours, so I chose the Philips Selecon PLprofile1 LED luminaires. I was then able to illuminate all three sides of the structure and create a moving and immersive environment for the audience.”

The PLprofile1 is an innovative combination of LED source technology and precision optical design, with a key benefit that it is no longer necessary to change lamps or colour filters. The luminaire’s single source RGBW LED chip delivers limitless colour mixing capabilities and variable colour temperature, and is a homogenised, fully mixed light that prevents multiple colour shadows.

Talbot mounted one PLprofile1 luminaire to the ceiling of the gallery and two on the floor on each side of the structure, equally spacing them from the central point of the installation in order to generate a uniform shadow effect. The three luminaires were then custom programmed through a ten-minute light show to demonstrate the colour mixing of the shadows and various different moods.

“It was integral for this project that the triangles to appear to glow,” says Talbot. “This meant I needed a luminaire with the ability to shape the beam to precisely the edge of each triangle as any spill light would detract from the effect. The PLprofile1 luminaires delivered a perfectly defined beam, even at their widest beam angle of 44º, which was ideal for lighting the large structure from a relatively short throw distance.”

The PLprofile1 boasts variable beam options and precise beam control and pattern projection from a high output beam and is available in 18º-34º or 24º-44º beam angles.

Talbot worked hard behind the scenes to make sure that each perspective of ‘Primary’ was a unique visual experience. The structure appeared 2D from a long view, transforming to 3D the closer the audience got. A soundscape, also designed by Talbot, complemented the installation for a fully immersive experience.

“It took a lot of time and preparation to design the quantity and depth of the polygons, to ensure my vision of intense and dramatic colour mixing was fulfilled,” explains Talbot. “I performed a series of on-site tests, physical models and 3D visualisations to ensure there were no surprises when we got to the space to set up. Everything went smoothly with no problems at all, leaving me very pleased with the installation and the performance of the Philips Selecon PLprofile1 luminaires.”

Talbot is currently talking to different lighting festivals around the world to find the right space to exhibit Primary again.

Triple E presents TDRIVE prize to Guildhall School of Music and Drama

2nd July, 2014

Track and motor systems specialist Triple E has presented London’s prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama with a powerful TDRIVE motor following the school’s victory in Triple E’s speed-rigging challenge at the ABTT Theatre Show in June.

Triple E’s Managing Director David Edelstein awarded the TDRIVE prize to two Guildhall students, Seb Matthews, and Sam Gosling, who rigged one of Triple E’s popular motorised Unitrack systems the fastest. The ABTT competition was held as part of Triple E’s 30th birthday celebrations, and attracted a lot of interest. Other participants included the Brit School, Imperial College, and Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and teams from Flint Hire and Supply and Northern Light.

Guildhall’s Seb and Sam completed the rigging challenge in 11 minutes 50 seconds – a full 1 minute 10 seconds faster than the nearest challenger.

The TDRIVE is now in use at Guildhall’s Silk Street Theatre, and Milton Court, to complement the school’s existing Triple E Unitrack systems.

“Congratulations to Seb and Sam, and Guildhall, for winning one of Triple E’s robust, reliable, user-friendly and powerful plug and play TRDIVE motors – the students utterly deserved to win following their speedy work at the rigging challenge,” says Edelstein. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer this prize to help emerging, young backstage enthusiasts in their work, equipping the next generation of theatre technicians with the best kit on the market!”

The TDRIVE is designed for use with Triple E’s Unitrack and Unibeam products, and can be used with straight and curved systems. TDRIVE incorporates the control electronics in the motor housing assembly, meaning that all power and control cables simply plug into the motor housing with no onsite wiring required.

Sam Gosling comments: “We took on the Triple E ABTT challenge by chance after seeing other teams giving it a go, and I’m so glad we did! We have a lot of Triple E equipment in Guildhall, and use it all the time. It’s just so practical, bespoke and usable in different situations. We’ve been working to fully automate our theatres but there were still elements of manual tracking, so now with the TDRIVE our buildings will be fully automated which is really exciting. It felt great to win – and it’s a testament to Guildhall teaching.”

Seb Matthews continues: “We transfer a lot of our equipment between both the Silk Street Theatre and Milton Court. The TDRIVE’s compact size and plug and play ability makes it a perfect piece of equipment to use at both venues.”

Ben Sumner Director of Technical Theatre at Guildhall.

“The TDRIVE is a great addition to our theatres,” says Sumner. “We can start integrating the tracked movement with what we can already do with the flying movement, which will allow us to create much more interesting effects. We will certainly be using the TDRIVE in both venues. I’ve been using Triple E products all my life. For me, their products really are the gold standard. It is a trusted brand.”

David Edelstein is now opening the Triple E Time Trial Rigging Challenge as an annual event at the ABTT Theatre Show aimed predominantly at schools and colleges.

“Triple E has a long history of supporting the industry, and this is another fun way of us doing just that,” says Edelstein. “We look forward to seeing you at ABTT Theatre Show next year at Alexandra Palace.”

The First Night Riders rock the south coast in aid of The Theatrical Guild

2nd July, 2014

They revved, they rode, and they rocked the south coast last weekend: yes, this year’s First Night Riders charity motorbike and classic car adventure raising money for The Theatrical Guild (TTG) was an incredible success.

More than 30 classic car and motorbike enthusiasts completed a 650-mile journey for this year’s ride, which was organised by First Night Ride founders Brenda and David Edelstein of Triple E Ltd. The 2014 route took the riders from the ROH and Backstage Centre in Purfleet to Norfolk, and around the coast, via Margate, to Eastbourne, before travelling by ferry to the Isle of Wight. Back on the mainland, the team journeyed into Hampshire.

Theatre visits included the Pavilion Theatre Cromer, Great Yarmouth’s Hippodrome Circus, Margate Theatre Royal, Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park Theatre, a photo call at the Shanklin Theatre on the Isle of Wight, and the Pavilion Theatre Bournemouth.

“Thank you to everyone who took part and to the sponsors who have donated their time, money and hospitality,” says David Edelstein. “A big thank you to Mark Ager of Stage Technologies, Sarah Rushton-Read of The Fifth Estate, Ken Golding of Delstar, and Julian Chiverton of Doughty, for fabulous food. A special mention to Mick Powell who provided the Jeep which was the cause of endless merriment and sore bums – 650 miles on a petrol tank seat with a thin foam cover is worthy of a donation to Robert Hamilton and Canna Gray! If you want to get involved and take part next year all you need is reliable, motorised vehicle capable of at least 45 MPH. We will also take donations for a seat on the minibus which acts as our chase vehicle.”

This summer’s ride marked the fifth year that some of the theatre industry’s biggest movers and shakers got together to raise awareness and much-needed funds to help TTG support backstage workers in need. Established in 1891, TTG is dedicated to looking after theatre personnel who, due to a variety of circumstances, need educational sponsorship, counselling, or welfare advice, in order for them to regain employment in the theatre industry.

The charity has many supporters in the industry, including the actors Simon Russell Beale and Keira Knightley, who are patrons. Riders this year included Mhora Samuel, Director at The Theatres Trust, Charcoalblue’s Managing Partner Andy Hayles, the National Theatre’s Rob Barnard, Laura Hannon from TTG, Robert Hamilton and Wes Jenkins from Canada, and Dick and Marie Lindstrom from Sweden.

To date, First Night Riders has raised more than £50,000 for TTG, enabling the charity to help hundreds of people – who are often theatre’s unsung heroes – progress in the industry. This total does not include this year’s sponsorship money, but organisers are hoping for a record breaking year. There’s still time to donate – visit and navigate to the ‘Riders’ page to show your support.

“The event is going from strength to strength,” continues David Edelstein. “Brenda and I are very proud to be organising this event, and for us, it is another example of Triple E’s commitment to supporting the industry that supports us.”

More information is available on the newly re-launched website,


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