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Archive for July, 2015

Light Initiative creates the beautiful and the bizarre at Glastonbury 2015

29th July, 2015

UK – Trailblazing controllable LED design and manufacture house Light Initiative (LI) has lit up this year’s Glastonbury Festival with bespoke creations on Years and Years, Enter Shikari and the mighty Arcadia Spectacular stage.

For Arcadia’s audio-visual feast ‘Metamorphosis’, LI worked alongside costume designer Joanna Peacock to create six custom performance wearables, integrated with LED, and six zorbs.

The costumes transformed Arcadia’s dancers into fantastic alien/jellyfish hybrids, or “Jellyfish Light Queens”, who appeared from the zorbs as if hatching from an alien egg.

“The moment we saw Jo Peacock’s sketch of a performer being released from a zorb we knew the LED solution must be above and beyond anything ever delivered before, and pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved is what really excites us,” says Light Initiative’s MD Bryn Williams.

LI’s immediate task was to develop a fully diffused ultra-high definition LED product in both semi-rigid and flexible versions that would stand out in an incredible performance environment.

“With an Arcadia show, there is always so much going on that for an effect to be noticed it has to pack a huge punch,” says Arcadia performer and costume creation project manager Claire O’Neill. “The Jellyfish Light Queens certainly surpassed that expectation and have become one of the show’s big new reveals. The roar of the crowd when the creatures bungeed from the eggs and the lights burst to life was incredible.”

The costumes also had to meet a rigorous creative brief, with a durability, flexibility, weight and safety proviso.

“As the costumes were worn by aerialist performers, a full range of movement was essential,” continues O’Neill. “The wiring was so well stitched into the costumes that we didn’t notice it at all. It also withstood being squeezed through a small trapdoor and zorb hole, sat on, shaken about, bungeed and span at high speed, all in proximity to pyrotechnics and flames.”

Arcadia’s lighting team was able to fully bring the costumes and zorbs to life with Light Initiative’s unique control system.

The Electron-V system, an embedded micro media server with integrated LED drivers, was chosen following its faultless performance on the UK’s Eurovision entry in Vienna.

The tiny wearable system is designed to operate in radio-degraded environments and has a playback capacity of hundreds of cues for over a hundred hours of content. This, coupled with LI’s latest dynamic battery management software, proved a winning solution for Arcadia.

Tom Wall of blinkinLAB created the beat-perfect pixel-mapped content that the Electron-V system pulsed through the LED in time with the show.

“We wanted to visualise Metamorphosis’ underlying musical score and sound track by creating various animations,” explains Wall. “LI’s timecode system was very robust so we could be as precise as we wanted to be, creating animation that highlighted individual beats, melodies and sounds from the 30 minute score.

“LI took care of all the technical aspects of mapping the eggs and costumes, providing us with a template that we used to create the content. We were then able to visit LI’s office once the costumes were complete and test out some initial ideas.”

Light Initiative was also on hand during the festival to deliver full technical support.

“As all the different disciplines came together on site, we found a lot of technical and scheduling challenges cropped up,” continues Wall. “However the LI team worked tirelessly to ensure that the show was up and running in time.”

O’Neill adds: “The environment is very demanding as the show seeks to push the boundaries of what has been done before. In addition, the mix of performers and show crew with technology, heavy machinery and pyrotechnics above the heads of thousands of people takes intense planning, concentration and professionalism. Light Initiative was incredible throughout and we’re looking forward to working with the team to push the boundaries further for Arcadia Bristol and beyond!”

On the other side of the festival, band of the moment Years and Years took to the John Peel stage with their beautifully intricate Light Initiative screen in tow. Built from LED branches, the ingenious structure is an extrapolated version of the band’s album artwork for their debut ‘Communion’.

“Light Initiative took every requirement of my brief to deliver a unique tourable end product,” says Years and Years’ lighting designer Squib Swain, who approached LI with his concept at the beginning of the album campaign tour. “As well as looking amazing, Light Initiative made the screen ground supported and free standing with short festival turnarounds like Glastonbury in mind.”

An Avolites Ai Infinity EX8 server powered vibrant content, devised by Adam Young, through the structure. “As LI provided me with a perfect visual representation of the structure in After Effects, designing the content was made far easier. The LED refresh rate of the screen was also fantastic, with the colours I chose in the designing stage perfectly represented in real life.”

Squib agrees: “LI turned my vision into a reality and we had an amazing reaction to it from the Glastonbury crowd.”

Also playing the John Peel stage was Enter Shikari. The genre bending four-piece brought their new album to the festival, along with their bespoke Light Initiative set piece.

The stunning structure reflects the ‘Mindsweep’ album concept. For the build, LI decided upon its pioneering controllable LED system ‘Intelliflex’.

“Intelliflex has been performing perfectly on this festival run, despite the demanding outdoor conditions and being constantly transported around. It’s a fantastically robust system,” says the band’s lighting designer Steven Bewley, who commissioned the set piece from LI.

The pulsing LED strip cleverly evokes neural pathways thanks to content delivered by Ben Sheppee at Light Rhythm Visuals. Bewley programmed a GrandMA2 Lite to trigger a HippoPortamus media server to deliver the content via Light Initiative’s unique LED control.

“It’s been fantastic to see my concept realised so well,” continues Bewley. “Not only did Light Initiative’s creation help make a very memorable Glastonbury performance, but an entire tour too.”

Avolites Ai servers pump up the party for Arcadia at Glastonbury

29th July, 2015

UK – The incredible Arcadia Spectacular stage pumped out some serious visuals at Glastonbury this year created and controlled by blinkinLAB’s Tom Wall using an Avolites Sapphire Media and Ai server.

The Spider stage is Arcadia’s most monumental environment. Built from recycled military hardware, it is a 360-degree, interactive environment with a fully programmable DJ booth and integrated video mapping, amongst many other pyrotechnics!

2015 is the third year running that Tom Wall has masterminded the Arcadia visuals. This year’s performance was called the ‘Metamorphosis’ show, and the returning spider was accompanied by some amazing new Ai powered costumes and zorbing balls, created by Light Initiative.

“We created mapped animations for the projection on each face of the three legs, the LED screens installed inside and around the DJ booth, and this year for Light Initiative’s alien eggs and alien jellyfish costumes!” explains Wall.

Dave Whiteoak from Video Illusions originally conceived adding projection mapping and LED screens to The Spider, and approached Wall to create the content for the project.

“We debated using different media servers but went with Ai as it has some features out of the box that we would need, such as 7 outputs to cover all the different surfaces, as well as timecode control,” says Wall. “Having the media server built into an ergonomically designed lighting desk is actually really useful, especially during the live DJ sections where nothing is rehearsed. Using the touch screen to select media and having sturdy faders and buttons available in one system to be able to control different layers of video is really useful. I worked with Ciaran Abrams from Avolites to create some customised elements such as routing buttons to be able to switch between different fixtures, or apply different effects.

“A lot of my work creating content revolves around 3D modelling and animation. Ai uses the same system of applying a 2D texture to a 3D surface as is found in all major 3D software. So when creating the 3D assets needed for mapping in Ai, I was happy to use this industry standard.”

The stunning media content was projected onto the body of the spider. Avolites’ Selvin Cooper mapped and supported the video projection for Arcadia, using six projectors he used provided by CPL.

“The projection mapping is a combination of 3D animation of metallic reptilian scales and machines that ripple and pulse along the legs, mixed with more graphical content inspired by retro-futuristic sci-fi computers and circuit diagrams,” Wall continues. “The material has to work with the constraints of the structure which has quite a narrow space on which to actually project.

“The LED screen content is also quite constrained to the thin design of the screens. One of the screens represents the mouth, so on this we have a visualisation of the Spider speaking. We have also created a lot of graphical VJ content that fits with the overall aesthetic.

“For the jellyfish costume and alien eggs built by Light Initiative, we created pixel mapped animations that flash and pulse, highlighting different parts of the musical score.”

Tim Smith of Smash Productions once again oversaw the visual proceedings, evolving the lighting for the spider in conjunction with Colour Sound Experiment. Rachel Moule took control as lighting designer for the spectacular stage with support from Dave Cohen of MIRRAD, both operating from Avolites flagship Sapphire Touch

Avolites consoles and servers light up Glastonbury

22nd July, 2015

UK – Avolites’ world-class lighting and video control solutions provided an integral part of this year’s Glastonbury Festival, with representation on sites including the Pyramid Stage, Other Stage, John Peel Stage, Silver Hayes and the mighty Arcadia.

An Avolites team of fifteen was on-site to liaise, support and connect with the many talented industry professionals working on the festival, further strengthening Avolites’ association with the festival.

The Avolites equipment included consoles, dimmers and media servers being used across the festival site, highlighting the power, versatility and connectivity of the company’s product range.

Saturday headliner Kanye West drew plenty of comment before the festival began, but after his appearance, it was the lighting that was the talk of the town for the enigmatic ‘All of the Lights’ rapper. Powered by 16 Avolites ART2000 dimmers and two Powercubes, Kanye’s Pyramid Stage performance was lit by a simply massive 792 par cans. Supply and rigging came from ELP.

Also on the Pyramid, John Barker brought along his trusted Tiger Touch Pro console, which he used to control the floor packages for the fantastic George Ezra.

Nearby, on the Other Stage, Shaun Moore of Nitelites utilised a Tiger Touch II to control the lights for Frank Turner’s hugely popular set that got the crowd dancing, before Ben Howard took to the stage with Andy Rowe at front of house, using an Expert Pro and Wing to illuminate the Other Stage as the evening sun set.

Moving to the former Jazz stage West Holts, two 48-way ART2000 dimmers powered the generics for the stage that featured artists such as George Clinton, Hot Chip, and Flying Lotus. The dimmers were supplied by DPL.

There was plenty of Avolites action in the John Peel tent, with Ben Vaughan operating the media for rising indie-electro stars Years & Years. Vaughan, of Light Initiative, designed a stunning pixel mapped show using their custom made LED flex screen, designed to take the form of the band’s logo.

Also on John Peel, Andy Liddle used a Tiger Touch II to control a dynamic light show for La Roux – while Francis Clegg used Avolites’ fully featured, compact console the Quartz to control the lights for energetic punk two-piece Slaves. Their set, one of the highlights of the festival, drew a boisterous crowd that the huge tent couldn’t contain. Clegg operated on behalf of MIRRAD.

2014 was a huge year for the team behind the Arcadia stage but this year they turned it up to another level with the incredible new ‘Metamorphosis’ show. The returning spider was this time accompanied by three web-walking mini-spiders, the Lords of Lightning, and some amazing new Ai powered costumes and zorbing balls, created by Light Initiative – for an enthralling 30 minute show of fire-powered action, before the guest DJs kept the rave going well into the night.

Tim Smith of Smash Productions once again oversaw the visual proceedings, evolving the lighting for the spider in conjunction with Colour Sound Experiment. Rachel Moule took control as lighting designer for the spectacular stage with support from Dave Cohen of MIRRAD, both operating from Avolites flagship Sapphire Touch consoles.
The stunning media content, that was projected onto the body of the spider was created and controlled by Tom Wall of blinkinLAB from a Sapphire Media console, while the LED panels were provided and installed by Video Illusions. Avolites’ Selvin Cooper mapped and supported the video projection for Arcadia, with the 6 projectors he used provided by CPL.

Avolites products were selected by Alan King of Rockin’ Horse for a number of festival areas, including the three venues that make up The Common. Avolites’ Arran Rothwell-Eyre took charge of visuals at the Temple, as media server technician for the stage.

Controlling four Ai S8 media servers from a Quartz console, Temple featured amazing projection-mapped visuals across 16 outputs for a total surround, including the elaborate DJ booth.

Rothwell-Eyre also worked alongside Dan Shorten, a tutor from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, as well as a group of first and second year students also from the college. The students assisted in all aspects of the production, including mapping, operation, content creation, installation and rigging.

Also in the Common, The Cave, complete with crashing waterfalls, was controlled by Julian Weare who was using a Quartz console plus wing, with a Titan Mobile for backup. The Rum Shack also had a Quartz console, with a number of operators stepping up to operate at the lively bar.

Avolites control was also to be found at the ever-popular Block 9 nightspot London Underground, a run-down apartment block adorned with a crashed London tube train teetering out of its façade. The venue, reliably blasting the best electronic music, was lit using an Avolites Tiger Touch II and Fader Wing, operated by Jonny Godsmark.

Fineline Lighting, which has been closely involved with Glastonbury over the last 24 years, supplied lighting equipment including a wealth of Avolites consoles and dimming racks for the Acoustic, Astrolabe Theatre, Cabaret and Circus venues, as well as Silver Hayes’ Wow Stage.

Designed by Rob Sangwell and Stuart England, the Acoustic stage featured performers such as The Proclaimers and the Moody Blues, with control coming from an Avolites Tiger Touch II plus wing, and ART2000 dimmers powering the generics.

The Astrolabe Theatre featured a line-up of performers spanning dance and physical theatre. Lighting was handled by Hal Himsworth, with a Pearl Expert Pro providing control, plus ART2000 dimming throughout. Dimmers were also used in the Cabaret tent with Wingnut controlling lighting.

The high-flying acrobatics of the Circus stage were operated by James Louden on a Sapphire Touch console with ART dimming.

Towards the Northern tip of the festival site, Paul De Villiers was in charge of the Silver Hayes dance area’s main stage, Sonic, where he operated a Tiger Touch II and wing. Also guesting on the stage was Stephen Abbiss, lighting designer for Idris Elba and Roni Size, who both performed on the stage.

Abbiss had a particularly busy Saturday, lighting for these two acts before heading over for Fatboy Slim’s raucous headline set on Brazilian favela inspired stage The Blues.

Also in the dance area, an Expert, controlled by Matt Spencer, graced La Pussy Parlure, while A1 Events supplied a Tiger Touch II to The Gully, with Paul Wiltshire and Nick Szerencses taking control. Finally in Silver Hayes, the WOW stage, which was regularly spilling over thanks to the extent of DJ talent on show, was controlled by James Harrington, with ART dimming distributing the power.

LD for Public Service Broadcasting, Dom Adams used an Expert to control the lights on Glade stage, nestled amongst the trees, with James Dickson also running lights for pyro-circus performers Slamboree on the stage, after also performing on Shangri-La’s Hell Stage.

Also in Shangri La, the jagged, many-surfaced Heaven stage was this year expertly projection mapped by Nick Diacre, who accomplished the complex feat using two Ai S8 media servers provided by XL Video.

The art installations all over the site, designed by Joe Rush, who also designed the frontages of the Pyramid and Other stages, were lit by Nick Rominini and Christian Smith, using Titan Mobiles.

“It is wonderful to continue our close association with Glastonbury Festival,” says Avolites MD Steve Warren. “With so many areas and artists trusting their shows to Avolites’ fantastic products, we really wanted to be able to catch their performances and share in their excitement. Glastonbury provides the perfect opportunity to do this.

“The dedication and enthusiasm of the Avolites team was paramount to our successes this year, and we are proud of their efforts in servicing and supporting the companies and individuals that made this great festival happen.

“It was particularly exciting to see the increased prominence of video at this year’s Glastonbury. The fantastic work of Nick at Heaven Stage, Arran at The Temple, Light Initiative, and the ever-impressive Arcadia team, proves the power of Ai. Next year we hope to show the world even more lighting and video integration!” Warren concludes.

Avolites ART2000 Dimmers Control 792 Par Can rig for Kanye West at Glastonbury

15th July, 2015

UK – American rapper Kanye West’s headline gig at this year’s Glastonbury Festival has gone viral due to the incredible 792-strong par can rig controlled by 16 Avolites ART2000 48 way 16A dimmers and 2 Avolites Power Cubes.

Lighting experts, Elstree Light & Power (ELP) supplied the rig and the dimmers for the huge rectangular array of par cans, which moved up and down during West’s set as 135,000 revellers watched in awe at the Pyramid Stage.

ELP’s Chris Rand oversaw the delivery of the kit, reporting directly to Kanye West’s ‘people’.

“Avolites is the preferred dimmer supplier for ELP, and we’ve been a long time fan of Avolites kit with a large stock of Avolites ART2000 dimmers and Power Cubes,” says Chris Rand. “We came in rather late on this project and immediately turned to in-house Avolites dimmers – we regard them as the industry standard for robust, reliable Rock and Roll dimming, and so did the client.”

The ART2000 dimmers provide a complete solution to dimming, moving light power and data distribution. There’s no need for separate mains distribution or DMX splitters making set up times faster and lowering the number of individual components needed to put a show together.

The ART2000 controls up to 48 individual channels using four plug in modules of 12 channels each. The 2 compact Avolites Power Cubes offer quick setup and boast 12 dimmer circuits at 10A each, 6 combined dimmer/fixed mains at 10A each, 6 fixed mains at 16A each and 2 utility CEE16 outlets at 16A each.

“When Kanye came on to do his set, the lighting looked awesome and we immediately knew we’d hit the nail on the head – Avolites has always given us the support we need and we know their dimmers are built to withstand the festival environment,” Chris continues.

The rapper took to the Pyramid Stage at 10.15pm for an hour and a half set which became the top trending topic on Twitter during the performance.

“It looks like the retro lighting theme is back – Kanye may have started a revolution in old school rock lighting!” Chris adds. “Of course, this is something ELP is absolutely no stranger to – 800 par cans is what we were totally used to 30 years ago on some large Rock and Roll shows!”

Knight of Illumination Awards 2015 main sponsors announced

15th July, 2015

UK – The Knight of Illumination Awards (KOI) 2015 has announced the main sponsors of this year’s prestigious event.

The Awards, which celebrates the creative talents of international lighting and digital content designers working in the UK in the sectors of TV, Theatre and Concert Touring and Events, is delighted to welcome industry heavyweights: OSRAM, Ambersphere Solutions, MA Lighting, Hawthorn, Robert Juliat, Ayrton and XL Video, who have generously supported the Awards for several years running (some since its inaugural year). Alongside them are FIX8Group and Light Initiative, who are new to the event. The ceremony will take place at East London’s Troxy club on Sunday 4 October.

“We are very proud to be sponsors of the KOI Awards. It is an amazing ceremony which last year we were very happy to attend,” says Valére Huart-Gyors, Ayrton. “Seeing the most creative lighting designers receive acknowledgement is really a pleasure, as we are sure it is for them as well! We at Ayrton are all looking forward to being there again this year and continuing to support the recognition of true talent and hard work.”

Hailed by the Guardian last year as the lighting industry’s very own major awards event, the Knight of Illumination Awards is able to expand and develop year on year as a result of this high-profile industry sponsorship. The 2015 incarnation is no exception, with the Awards adding a new ‘club’ award in its Concert Touring and Events category.

“The extension of the Awards to cover this area proves how lighting design is a multi-faceted profession which demands a great capacity for adaptation,” says François Juliat, Robert Juliat CEO. “Designers are always forging ahead with new ways to create unprecedented emotions in audiences with their inspiring visual productions. We’re proud to be associated with this celebratory and professional event for the third consecutive year.”

Also supporting the Awards for the third year running is XL Video, with Managing Director Lee Spencer commenting: “We’re very pleased to be able to sponsor the Knight of Illumination video categories for the third consecutive year. KOI celebrates the very best talent in lighting and video design in our industry, and it’s great to be involved in an event which highlights their work.”

Supporting the Awards in a more creative vein are main sponsors Light Initiative and FIX8Group. Visual production house FIX8 will be delivering an awards presentation with a difference for the October event, while Light Initiative is designing and manufacturing special table centres for the night, detail about which is still under wraps until October.

“With a host of new products to show for our efforts, we thought we’d bring one to the table, quite literally, providing the table centre-pieces for the KOI Awards Dinner,” says Light Initiative’s Paul Bellman. “It is fantastic to be involved in an event that recognises the artistic achievements of the talented individuals that make up our industry, and we are proud to be associated with this endeavour.”

Submissions are still open for the Television and Concert Touring and Events categories and shows performed or broadcast between August 2014 and 31st July 2015 in the UK are eligible. However submissions will close on 31 July. As with previous years the Theatre section can only be nominated by the judging panel.


Showline delivers powerful LED strobing on Romania’s biggest festival

15th July, 2015

Romania – Showline SL NITRO 510C strobes have made their debut on the third edition of Electric Castle, Romania’s biggest music festival, becoming the first LED strobes to be used on the event in its short history.

The award-winning dance festival takes place in Bánffy Castle, a 14th century monument in the Romanian village of Bonțida. Twenty-two of the powerful Showline strobes, supplied by ASC SYSTEMS, were an integral part of the main stage rig, where such big name acts as The Prodigy, Rudimental and Fat Boy Slim performed.


“We’ve been suppliers to the festival since its first year,” says ASC SYSTEM’s Raluca Dumitru. “This year several of the lighting designers asked for LED strobes in their brief and so we chose to invest in the SL NITRO 510C. We were confident in our decision on account of Philips’ fantastic reputation for high quality entertainment lighting products.”

The SL NITRO 510C has a tightly packed array of 264 high power white LEDs and 264 RGB LEDs. These ensure maximum output for traditional white effects as well as an almost infinite choice of color, with full field and even distribution across 120°.

“Electric Castle was the first time I had used the SL NITRO 510C and I found it a good replacement for a conventional strobe,” says Stephen Abbiss, lighting designer for Fat Boy Slim. “The size is comparable and the output similar.”

The SL NITRO 510C’s six zones of control allow for ultimate flexibility and a wide range of effects. Dumitru comments that thanks to their low power consumption, they are also “far more efficient than conventional strobes.”

“We believe that in the future LED strobes such as the SL NITRO 510C will replace the classic Xenon models,” says Dumitru. “They are particularly good for festivals and it is highly likely we will be supplying them to Electric Castle again next year.”

Electric Castle Festival ran from the 25 to the 28 of June.

Titan works like a Dream for students’ Shakespeare theatrical production

13th July, 2015
UK – Technical theatre student Bradley Allen has used an Avolites Titan Mobile armed with the new Titan V9 operating system to light a production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Colchester Institute.


This production saw Extended Diploma Acting students perform Shakespeare’s famed romantic comedy, following events surrounding the marriage of Theseus and Hippolyta.


Allen, now in his second year of study, chose Avolites from a number of console manufacturers, controlling a lighting rig including 24 dimmers, 4 Robe Colorwash 575XTs, 2 Robe Colorspot 575s, and both Chauvet and Visage LED parcans from the Titan Mobile console.


“The brief for the lighting was that it should look timeless,” says Allen. “The lighting process needed to be smooth and not cause issues. I felt Titan offered the most useful features for me.”


Avolites Titan is renowned for its world-class rock and roll capabilities, with thousands of artists and lighting designers, big and small, using Avolites consoles to control their lighting worldwide. No less important is the wealth of theatre specific functions in Titan.


“The Titan Mobile is a brilliant console for theatre shows,” says Allen. “It gave me the power and features of a full console, but in a tiny space. The new features are intuitive and easy to work out – I’ve never had any issues with finding anything or trying to work any features out, it all just works.


“The GUI is very user friendly, everything is clear, one thing I prefer in Avolites over others. You can customize the window layout so I could see everything I needed to, and it wasn’t cluttered with the things I didn’t need. It just makes sense to me in a busking sense, everything is in front of me, or exactly where I’d expect it.”


The network connectivity of Titan allowed Allen to patch his fixtures without concern. “Using the Titan Remote app on iPhone sped up the focusing process, saving me from running back and forth, or having someone sat on the console doing nothing else.”


It was the theatre specific tools, however, that particularly stood out to Allen for this project. “It is clear to me that the cue stack and theatrical features have improved,” he notes. “Down to the little things, everything has been thought about, such as the auto scroll in playback view. It meant I could easily see the details of upcoming cues, without having to scroll to find them.”


Another cue function allowed Allen to see cue fades on within the software. “Seeing this on screen is good, it tells you how long is left and when each fade is complete. Very handy for long fades you can’t really notice!”


Allen also took time to comment on the updated Move in Dark, Palettes and Live Timings in Titan Version 9: “Move in Dark works very well, I didn’t have to program extra cues, and fixtures were ready to go on ‘Go’. Using palettes I could update positions and other attributes when actors and set moved places at the click of a button, rather than having to reprogram whole cues.


“Live timings makes it easy to change the times on the fly, brilliant when something on stage doesn’t go quite as planned. And it’s also simple to change times in the playback window,” he concludes.


Discussing the overall advancements that Titan has made in its latest iteration, Allen believed the software to be amongst the best. “Titan has now caught up with standards in the theatre industry,” he says. “I feel comfortable using Titan in a theatre situation, and would personally favour it over other solutions. The new features mean the console makes your design and ideas a reality with just a few button presses, and it doesn’t limit me. I can experiment with creativity rather than stress about using a console.


“With the improvements being made to theatre features, I can see it quickly becoming my first choice for any event, as improvements will now build on a solid base.”


Bradley Allen is studying BA (Hons) Technical Theatre at Colchester Institute.

Triple E ERAIL slides into play on The Remarkable Case of K at the Young Vic

13th July, 2015

UK – Track systems specialist Triple E has loaned a quantity of ERAIL track and components to Taking Part at London’s Young Vic Maria studio theatre for a production called The Remarkable Case of K.

The Young Vic stages a production with Special Educational Needs young people every year. This year, the team is working with 32 local children with autism from age 4 to age 10. The Remarkable Case of K is inspired by the Young Vic’s current main house production of The Trial – a ‘timeless tale of ordinary terror’ by Franz Kafka and adapted by Nick Gill, with Rory Kinnear leading the ensemble cast.

“The creative team is keen to create a fun production line so we follow the journey of a ‘box’ being made,” explains Neil Mickel, Production Manager at Young Vic Studios. “The box turns out to be the case file and this relates to The Trial. At the start of the show the box is seen traveling around the space, and we required a simple to use track for it to run on.

“When we were looking at different types of track we thought that ERAIL compared to heavier tracks was the best option as the box is so light . As  ERAIL is a lightweight track it makes rigging much easier.”

Once completed the box carries on the next stage of the journey. At other points the box is due to be driven by a remote control car and then also travels with the aid of a Helium Balloon.

The compact profile extruded aluminium ERAIL track offers a comprehensive range of component parts that enable it to be used for all but the heaviest professional main stage curtains. Operation of ERAIL is almost silent by the use of ball raced nylon wheels making it an ideal choice for small stages, conference halls, hotels, and school halls.

“The children had an amazing time preparing for the show, doing experiments with giant bubbles, colouring water, conveyor belts and making original music,” adds Igor, Technical Director at the Young Vic. “All of the team here would like to thank Triple E for supplying ERAIL for the production.”

Triple E has a long and ongoing business and charitable relationship with the Young Vic. The most recent project they collaborated on was the JMK Award winning production of Caryl Churchill’s Far Away in November 2014.

The Remarkable Case of K was performed from the 24th to the 26th of June 2015.

Triple E’s ModTruss wins Engineering Product of the Year at ABTT

13th July, 2015

UK – Triple E is celebrating winning Engineering Product of the Year at this year’s ABTT Awards at Alexandra Palace for its ModTruss ‘universal building system’.

Triple E launched ModTruss in the UK at the ABTT Theatre Show at its new London home, Alexandra Palace. ModTruss was created by US-based Patrick Santini and will be manufactured and distributed by Triple E’s new construction arm, EEE-Build.

It was Triple E’s most ambitious launch since the company was formed in 1984 and is set to revolutionise theatre staging, set building, stage machinery, construction and event markets.

Commenting on ModTruss, the ABTT Awards judges said: “The manufacturers liken ModTruss to Meccano, and this is an extremely accurate description. The judges saw numerous applications for building with ModTruss, and can instantly see where it could be used. With impressive load bearing characteristics the system allows great flexibility using standard stock to create all types of stage construction. The ModTruss can be utilised again and again in different configurations depending on the production demands, making it a sustainable resource for theatres, hire companies and set builders.”

The ModTruss system features lightweight aluminium construction and a repetitious hole pattern, meaning applications are practically unlimited. Uniquely, ModTruss is also available in steel for additional strength and greater spanning capabilities. The ModTruss product line lends itself to create endless configurations using standard accessories, and makes ideas that once took extensive custom design and fabrication to be constructed incredibly simply, easily, and speedily.

“We’re thrilled that ModTruss has been named ‘Engineering Product of the Year’ by the ABTT, and would like to thank the judges,” says Triple E’s Managing Director, David Edelstein. “When I first encountered ModTruss at LDI Las Vegas in 2014 I was immediately amazed by its potential. We’ve put a lot of hard work in to bring this product to the UK and Europe and are extremely excited about what it can achieve for the industry. ModTruss is now available from Triple E and interest is incredible. We believe that there is nothing else like it on the market.”

The experienced jury for the ABTT Awards, comprising of working practitioners and industry peers, judged nominations meeting the entry criteria that had been previously submitted or which were brought to their attention on the day.

Commenting on the event, ABTT CEO Robin Townley said: “The Awards ceremony held in the Londesborough Room had a great atmosphere that helped convey the congratulations of all gathered, to all the nominees and very deserving winners. It was a great event to conclude a very successful first day of the ABTT Theatre Show in its splendid new venue.”

In front of exhibitors, guests and ABTT members, the individually engraved hook-clamp trophies were presented by the ABTT’s Chairman Louise Jeffreys, the Barbican’s Director of Arts.

Philips Vari-Lite VL4000 Series takes Spain by storm on EES Roadshow

13th July, 2015

Spain – The latest additions to the Philips Vari-Lite product line, the VL4000 Spot and VL4000 BeamWash, have been demonstrated in four of Spain’s major cities as part of exclusive Philips Vari-Lite distributor for Spain Entertainment Equipment Supplies’ (EES) annual roadshow.


The well-attended roadshow hit Madrid, Seville, Bilbao and Barcelona at the beginning of June. Part of EES’s program to bring its customers closer to the high-end products it distributes, the tour has particular focus on showcasing the latest products on the market.

“Our presentations always attract quite a large number of people excited to see the latest offerings from Philips’ entertainment lighting brands,” says EES’ Head of Marketing Diana García. “Attendees include rental companies, lighting and visual designers, key TV and theatre technicians, installers, event producers, specifiers and integrators, whose first-hand feedback is essential for us to keep offering products of the highest quality.”

EES’ programmer Egoitz Prieto worked with the sales team to create a light show that showed off the VL4000 Spot and VL4000 BeamWash’s most salient features. These include the VL4000 Spot’s four-blade shutter system that delivers fantastic dimming and the multipurpose VL4000 BeamWash’s ability to change from beam to wash mode at the flick of a switch.

“The attendees of the roadshow were eager to get to grips with the features and functionality of the VL4000 BeamWash, following the successful introduction of the VL4000 Spot last year,” continues García. “Many were very impressed that the VL4000 BeamWash goes beyond being the Wash luminaire of the VL4000 range as it offers a beam, wash and shaft function in one luminaire. This is all without having to change lenses and maintaining the Vari-Lite power and quality of light.”

The EES roadshow ran from the 26 May to the 4 June.


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