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Archive for September, 2016

Premium Asian wedding production company invests exclusively in Avolites

26th September, 2016

Liquid Entertainment – a unique, London-based company specialising in the production of lavish Asian weddings – relies exclusively on equipment from British manufacturer Avolites to ensure each and every one of the company’s high-budget matrimonial extravaganzas is technically flawless.

Liquid Entertainment has grown from a small DJ hire outfit to a full-scale event production company within a few years. Offering state-of-the-art sound, lighting and audio-visual services to the most discerning brides and grooms, the company has become synonymous with awe-inspiring production values. Director Randeep Chaggar says investment in the right technical equipment is key to this success within the industry. After trying out many different brands and products, he settled on Avolites as his supplier of choice.

“The main reason we chose Avolites was because of the company’s continual development of its software, based on customer feedback, and the rock solid build of its touring desks,” says Chaggar. “Some of our desks have been constantly in use, in and out of flight cases and used to control over 200 shows since they were purchased but they still work flawlessly and look like new.”

In terms of finding the ideal lighting to create the perfect romantic mood or party atmosphere, Liquid Entertainment took some time to find the right rig, which Avolites Titan software allows the team to control with ease.

“As the business started to grow we encountered limitations at every turn,” Chaggar continues. “One of the biggest challenges was sourcing a fully customisable lighting rig that could be installed and run by a single technician. One of our technicians recommended the Titan interface for control and we fell in love with it. Its global palettes and simple fixture exchange make all the base programming and positions not just easy, but fast. This is vital for us, as we seldom have adequate set-up time.”

Other Titan features Liquid Entertainment commend are the pixel mapping, the direction changes within Key Frame Shapes and the integration of the new 3D visualiser powered by Capture within v10, so on-site blind programming can be achieved without additional networking and laptops.

Titan’s widespread popularity is a further reason Liquid Entertainment exclusively uses Avolites – the company works with numerous rental houses and lighting designers who also favour the brand.

Liquid Entertainment purchased two Avolites consoles to run Titan on: a Tiger Touch Pro and a Quartz. The Avolites Quartz represents the perfect combination of power and portability. The pioneering console is packed with enough power for complex shows, yet remains small and light enough to fly in standard hold luggage.


The Quartz is the latest addition to the Titan Mobile family and the brand’s smallest ever, fully-featured console. It can be packaged with a Titan Mobile wing in a travel case, that can easily be checked into your hold luggage or fit into a car boot, which makes it ideal for life on the road.


To power media content at events, Liquid Entertainment purchased an Ai Bondi license, also by Avolites, after road-testing other systems.


“The biggest issue for us was reliability, as we found that other media systems would give us basic control of the video, but without a dedicated codec, performance was unpredictable,” says Chaggar.


“To our relief, Ai reliably plays back beautiful video via Ai’s unique AiM codec, which made it the obvious choice.”

Avolites powers lighting and video at UK’s biggest ever gaming event

23rd September, 2016

Gaming event lighting guru Steve Thurkettle selected Titan – the fast, powerful and intuitive lighting and media control interface from British manufacturer Avolites – to drive his complex audio-visual design for the 58th Insomnia Gaming Festival (Insomnia58), the UK’s biggest ever celebration of gaming culture. The event took place at the NEC in Birmingham over the August bank holiday weekend, from Friday 26 to Monday 29 August.

The Insomnia Gaming Festival has been running since 1999. Organised by specialist gaming event producers Multiplay, it has become so popular that it has outgrown a series of venues, including Newbury Racecourse Conference Centre in Berkshire and the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. It now takes place three times a year and offers a comprehensive series of activities, demonstrations and talks. Gamers have the chance to play an impressive selection of the latest games in halls packed with thousands of PCs and consoles. Lovers of esports can take part in tournaments and watch all the live finals on a dedicated esports stage or sit back and watch live gameplay demos. Festival-goers can also join in live Q&A sessions with YouTube and Twitch gaming stars. Housed in nine halls at the NEC and featuring six stages, Insomnia58 was the biggest Insomnia Gaming Festival yet – with a record attendance of 66,783 people.

For this vast event, Multiplay’s Senior Production Project Manager Steve Thurkettle was responsible for designing and co-ordinating all the audio-visuals – from staging and rigging through to lighting, audio and projection equipment. The lighting director – who built up his career by freelancing for the likes of Microsoft, Packard Bell and Seat cars chose the Titan interface to power his final, overall design. A long-term advocate of Avolites, he rates the user-friendliness of the products.

“The simplicity of Titan’s user interface and the speed from unboxing the desk to being able to start a show are invaluable, with the shape generator, which is fantastic for last minute programming,” he says. “I tend to patch desks using the Titan PC suite and the beauty of the Titan OS is that it’s the same software across every console. This means that I can put DMX addresses on my plans for the rig crew to follow and once the stick is in the desk, I’m ready to go. All in all, Titan has made programming and operating easier.”

Insomnia58 comprised six stages/arenas. Thurkettle selected a combination of Robe Pointes, Martin Mac 101s and Lanta Fireball Par64 Quad LED Cans to illuminate the main arena in an immersive design with winged truss, angled to make the space feel more enclosed.

The smaller League of Legends-themed League stage is lit by Robe 100s, Mac Quantum profiles and more Lanta Fireball Par64s. The Robe fixtures are at two different heights between the stage and the back truss where the Quantum Profiles and Fireball LEDs are positioned, with Thurkettle commenting that varying levels is his go-to design look. Each team in the League of Legend tournament had a specific colour, which programmer Matt Evans reflected in the look for each stage as they took their turn to play.

“Avolites’ Titan-powered consoles are my desks of choice, I have used them for many years and they never fail to impress me,” says Evans. “I enjoy how speedy and easy the software is across all the consoles – from powering up to having a few simple states takes a matter of minutes. After receiving Steve’s plans I can sit on the sofa at home and patch the desk with Titan suite, giving me all my addresses for the fixtures, which also makes rigging easier for the crew. The Shape Generator along with the Pixel Mapper are my favourite features and when I need to get creative – Key Frame Shapes provides the power and precision I need. is there to help.”


“For smooth and reliable dimming across the event, Thurkettle selected Avolites ART2000 touring dimmer racks and Power Cubes, commenting “the Power Cubes are very powerful for their size, offering both dimmer and switch channels and the six split channels are a nice feature.”

To control each stage’s set up, Thurkettle specified Avolites Expert Pro and Quartz consoles according to the demands of each arena. The kit is was supplied by MCL Create and Hawthorn.

“I love the way that Titan works and the mix of different desks was based around cost against playbacks and usability,” he says. “This is why the larger, more complicated stages had Expert Pros – with the ability to use not only multiple pages, but also put playbacks on the two rows of 30 handle faders. And for the smaller stages, which don’t need so many playbacks, the Quartz was cost effective – plus it can be packed in a travel case and used almost anywhere.”

Marc van der Wel announces departure from Ampco Flashlight Group and XLNT CyberMotion

21st September, 2016

Longstanding Director of Business Development for Ampco Flashlight Group and Director of Sales and Marketing for XLNT CyberMotion Marc van der Wel is stepping down from both positions in order to pursue a new career challenge.

Van der Wel will be joining broadcast and media solutions provider NEP The Netherlands (part of NEP Group Inc.) as Director of Sales. His new role will commence on 1 October.

“We are all saddened by Marc’s departure, but we wish him the very best as he moves on to new opportunities,” says CEO of Ampco Flashlight Group and XLNT Advanced Technologies Dick van Berkum. “Marc has worked tirelessly to establish our Rental, Technology and Sales Distribution divisions as the leading providers of entertainment technology solutions for some of the biggest productions and acts in the industry in concert touring, theatrical, broadcast and event production. It has been an honour to work with this industry pioneer for so many years. I wish him only the very, very best and I look forward to working with him in the future.”

After joining Ampco in 1990 and Flashlight in 1999, van der Wel played a crucial role in building the combined Ampco Flashlight Group to the large-scale, thriving operation it is today.

“It is with mixed emotions that I leave the Ampco Flashlight family,” says van der Wel. “However I feel that it is time for me to pursue a new chapter in my professional life. I have been extremely proud of Ampco Flashlight’s and CyberHoist and CyberMotion’s achievements in recent years and I am confident that the team will carry on in providing the highest level of support and pushing the envelope with new technology.”

Winners of Knight of Illumination Awards 2016 revealed at sparkling London ceremony

19th September, 2016

Lighting and video content design ceremony Knight of Illumination Awards (KOI) announced the winners of the 9th edition during a prestigious ceremony at London’s iconic Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith on Sunday 18th September.


The well-attended ceremony saw almost 500 professionals come together to celebrate the achievements of lighting and video designers working on shows across the UK.


The event was hosted by Australian actor, television presenter and comedian Mark Little. The winners have been revealed as:




The ETC Award for Dance: Michael Hulls for Conceal | Reveal, Russell Maliphant Company, Sadler’s Wells


The Hawthorn Award for Musicals: Mark Henderson for Sunset Boulevard, English National Opera


The Robert Juliat Award for Opera: Joachim Klein for Saul, Glyndebourne Festival


The Elation Professional Award for Plays: Jan Versweyveld for Songs from Far Away, Young Vic


The FIX8Group Award for Projection Design: Will Duke for The Encounter, Edinburgh International Festival/The Barbican




The Ambersphere Solutions Award for Arena: Patrick Woodroffe for Adele


The HSL Award for Club: Francis Clegg for Public Service Broadcasting


The MA Lighting Award for Events: Adam Bassett for The Rolling Stones Exhibitionism


The Ayrton Award for Stage: Tobias G Rylander for The 1975


The d3 Technologies Award for Video Electronic Content: Ben Miles for Coldplay




The Philips Vari-Lite Award for Drama: Sue Gibson for Death in Paradise (honoured posthumously)


The Light Initiative Award for Events: Bernie Davis for BBC Proms Season 2015/2016


The PRG XL Video Award for Light Entertainment: Mark Kenyon for Strictly Come Dancing 2015


The VER Aurora Award for Small Studio: Dave Evans for The One Show


The SGM Award for Video Graphic Display: Julien Rigal for The Voice UK Final 2016


The winner of the Enrico Caironi Award for Lifetime Recognition was John Offord, presented by KOI co-ordinator and lighting designer Durham Marenghi. “John has been a great influence for the good on a lot of people in our industry,” says Marenghi. “He launched Lighting and Sound International in 1985, was fundamental to the success of PLASA and is now not only editor of ETNow but has also published over 80 books about our industry from technical to artistic.”

Previous winners of this award include lighting designer Richard Pilbrow in 2011, Bryan Leitch in 2012, Ian Dow in 2013, Brian Croft in 2014 and CEO of ETC Fred Foster in 2015. The category is named in recognition of former Clay Paky commercial director Enrico Caironi (1947 – 2011), whose inspiration and enthusiasm created and subsequently shaped the Knight of Illumination Awards.


Backup – The Technical Entertainment Charity (formerly Behind The Scenes UK), the charity which supports entertainment technology professionals in times of need, received a £5,000 cheque at the ceremony thanks to a donation from Clay Paky. The company’s Chief Executive Officer Pio Nahum presented the cheque to John Simpson of White Light, who was standing in for lighting designer Rick Fisher.


“We welcome this generous support for Backup and urge all to join Clay Paky in contributing to our charity and alerting us to those who may need help,” said Simpson during the ceremony.

The Awards was originally conceived in 2007 by Italian entertainment lighting manufacturer, Clay Paky, now Headline Sponsor in association with parent company OSRAM, and renowned international lighting designer Durham Marenghi and his partner Jennie who now coordinate the Awards. Prestigious industry organisations the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) and the Society of Television Lighting and Design (STLD) bring together the judging of the Theatre and Television categories respectively.

Pio Nahum, CEO of Headline Sponsor Clay Paky comments: “The Knight of Illumination Awards has evolved to become one of the most significant events in the lighting and video design world and provides the ideal platform for awarding the hard work and stunning creative talent of professionals operating in it. As we look toward the KOI 10th anniversary in 2017, we think back to the event Clay Paky started almost a decade ago and are immensely proud of how it has developed year on year thanks to the sponsorship and support of almost all the major businesses in the entertainment lighting and video technology industry.”


Headline Sponsors of this year’s event are Clay Paky and OSRAM. The event is supported by Spotlight Sponsors Ambersphere Solutions, Ayrton, d3 Technologies, Elation Professional, ETC, FIX8Group, Hawthorn, HSL, Light Initiative, MA Lighting, Philips Vari-Lite, PLASA Media and Events, PRG XL Video, Robert Juliat, SGM and VER Aurora TV plus Table Sponsors AC-ET, Avolites, Brompton, Carallon, Chauvet Professional, CT London, ELP, GLP, Martin Professional, Panalux, RC4 Wireless, Robe, Rosco, SLX, Stage Electrics, TMB and TSL.


Media partners were LSi and Total Production International (TPi). The event was also supported by ABTT, ET Now, Focus, Lighting and Sound America and The Theatres Trust.

The Knight of Illumination Awards 2016 launches brand new event app

14th September, 2016

Prestigious lighting and video content design awards ceremony the Knight of Illumination Awards (KOI) has launched a brand new interactive event app for the 2016 edition.


The app serves as a one-stop hub for KOI Awards’ shortlisted designers, guests, sponsors and interested parties to engage with the event and its celebration of lighting and video content design across theatre, television and concert touring and events.


With a clean, intuitive interface and branding for the Awards’ valued Headline, Spotlight and Table sponsors, the free-to-download app offers users all the information about the event they could need in the palm of their hand, from shortlists to social media links.


Content creation, communications and events agency The Fifth Estate, that produces the event, worked alongside developer eStage Digital to introduce the new digital tool. The app is available on both iOS and Android.


“This is our second year producing the KOI Awards and we knew we wanted to bring the event further into the digital age,” says The Fifth Estate’s Creative Director and KOI Event Director Sarah Rushton-Read. “The app is essentially a virtual event programme, which includes useful information such as an interactive map to the venue plus the latest KOI news. What’s great about it is we can keep developing it for years to come – we already have exciting ideas on how to build on it for the KOI Awards 10th anniversary in 2017.”


The KOI Awards ceremony and awards dinner will take place on Sunday 18th September at the iconic Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith. The Awards was originally conceived in 2007 by Italian entertainment lighting manufacturer, Clay Paky, now Headline Sponsor in association with parent company OSRAM, and renowned international lighting designer Durham Marenghi and his partner Jennie who now coordinate the Awards. Prestigious industry organisations the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) and the Society of Television Lighting and Design (STLD) bring together the judging of the Theatre and Television categories respectively.


Durham Marenghi comments: “Every year we try and extend the visibility and validity of the Awards and this new app should improve the interface between the Knight of Illumination event, our nominated designers, the event organisers and our much valued sponsors and guests.”


The Knight of Illumination Awards has doubled in size since inception and is sponsored by many of the key businesses in the professional lighting and video industry. Along with Headline Sponsors Clay Paky and OSRAM, the event is supported by Spotlight Sponsors Ambersphere Solutions, Ayrton, d3 Technologies, Elation Professional, ETC, FIX8Group, Hawthorn, HSL, Light Initiative, MA Lighting, Philips Vari-Lite, PLASA Media and Events, PRG XL Video, Robert Juliat, SGM and VER Aurora TV, plus a raft of Table Sponsors.


The Knight of Illumination Awards app is available to download now from both the Apple store for iOS and Google Play for Android.

Philips Lighting to preview brand new product at PLASA London 2016

12th September, 2016

Philips Lighting (Euronext Amsterdam: LIGHT), a global leader in lighting, announces its Entertainment business will preview a brand new product from its highly popular effects light range Philips Showline, plus showcase the latest innovation from its Philips Vari-Lite, Philips Selecon and Philips Strand Lighting brands, at the PLASA London expo 2016.


One of the major exhibitions for the international live entertainment technology industry, PLASA London will take place at Olympia London between Sunday 18 and Tuesday 20 September. Philips Lighting will be on stand G60.


The first in a new innovative LED range under the Philips Showline brand, the SL LEDSPOT 300, will be available for exclusive preview on the Philips Lighting stand. The SL LEDSPOT 300 is a compact LED, highoutput luminaire that will offer designers a gamut of vibrant colors from its CMY color mixing and fixed color wheel. Not only that, the product can achieve dynamic effects from its rotating and fixed gobo wheels, 3-facet prism, Iris and framing system.


Also from Philips Lighting’s Showline range will be the SL BEAM 300fx and the SL HYDRUS 350 – a compact yet astonishingly powerful luminaire ideal for the live event and TV market that launched earlier this year. Feature-packed with a wide zoom range in each mode, the Philips Showline SL HYDRUS 350 offers a vibrant color pallet and features all the tools a designer needs to create mid-air effects, clear and precise projection as well as seamless blended animated washes.


Available for demo on stand will be the refreshed Philips Selecon PL1 MKII LED range – comprising the PLprofile1 MKII, PLfresnel1 MKII and PLcyc1 MKII – plus the new PLprofile4 MKII. The augmented PL luminaires now offer boosted color benefits including better consistency across units and newly introduced power saving features. All models of the PL Series Mark II LED luminaires are complete with RDM capabilities as well as remote fixture setup for device settings.


Also, PLASA visitors will be able to get up close and personal with the new Philips Selecon RAMA LED Fresnel MKII. An incredibly popular luminaire, the RAMA LED Fresnel MKII’s light quality features very highly on the Television Lighting Consistency Index (TLCI) with a score of 96 – close to a tungsten source’s score of 100. As a result of this high TLCI ranking, the RAMA LED Fresnel MKII not only performs well for the camera but also renders colours beautifully for the eye. This makes it a great alternative to the conventional Fresnel at a fraction of the power consumption.


Both the PLprofile4 MKII and RAMA LED Fresnel MKII have been entered for a PLASA Innovation Award 2016. The winners will be announced on Monday 19 September at the PLASA show.


Fans of Philips Vari-Lite will be able to learn more about the latest additions to the legendary product line – the 2014 PLASA Innovation Award-winning VL4000 Spot and the multi-featured VL4000 BeamWash – with the VL4000 BeamWash on stand for live demos.


Last but not least, the two latest additions to the leading range of Philips Strand Lighting branded consoles – the 500ML and NEO Lighting Control Console – will also be showcased. Visitors are encouraged to come down to the stand and get to grips with the intuitive and feature-packed desks, which will be controlling the complete lighting system of the stand. 

The Knight of Illumination Awards 2016 reveals TV shortlist

2nd September, 2016

The third and final category shortlist for this year’s prestigious Knight of Illumination Awards has been revealed.  

The announcement of the TV shortlist follows Theatre and Concert Touring and Events which were disclosed earlier this month. The 2016 TV judging panel is made up of Stuart Gain (Chairperson) and STLD committee members John O’Brien, Andrew Dixon and Alan Luxford.


The shortlist is as follows:


THE PHILIPS VARI-LITE AWARD FOR DRAMA – Sue Gibson for Death in Paradise, Martin Kempton for Upstart Crow and John Sorapure for Hunderby


THE LIGHT INITIATIVE AWARD FOR EVENTS – Nigel Catmur for Tom Jones and Rob Brydon: One Big Night, Bernie Davis for BBC Proms Season 2015/2016 and Roger Williams and Zac Nicholson for The Sound of Music Live


THE PRG XL VIDEO AWARD FOR LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT – Philip Brines for BBC Music Day, Mark Kenyon for Strictly Come Dancing 2015 and Gurdip Mahal for Robot Wars


THE VER AURORA AWARD FOR SMALL STUDIO – Iain Davidson for Thronecast, Dave Evans for The One Show and Jeremy Tobert for Weekend


THE SGM AWARD FOR VIDEO GRAPHIC DISPLAY – 59 Productions for the BBC Proms 2016 Cello, Joe Phillips and Nicholas Reyniers for You’re Back in the Room and Julien Rigal for The Voice UK Final 2016

“This year we tightened up the judging panel to have a more focused process for appraising the spectacular standard of work entered,” explains Stuart Gain. “The video graphic display category in particular has stood out as video and projection mapping is becoming ever more advanced with some stunning results.”

The Knight of Illumination Awards was originally conceived by Italian lighting manufacturer Clay Paky. It is coordinated by lighting designer Durham Marenghi, who designed the opening and closing ceremonies for Rio 2016, and his partner Jennie, and organised by industry associations the ALD and the STLD and content creation, communication and events agency The Fifth Estate Ltd.


The Awards is a celebration of the creative talents of international lighting and digital content designers working in the UK across TV, Theatre and Concert Touring and Events. For the first time in the event’s 9-year history the ceremony and awards dinner will take place at London’s iconic Eventim Apollo on Sunday 18th September.


The Headline Sponsors of this year’s Awards are Clay Paky and OSRAM. The Awards is also generously supported by Spotlight Sponsors Ambersphere Solutions, Ayrton, d3 Technologies, Elation Professional, ETC, FIX8Group, Hawthorn, HSL, Light Initiative, MA Lighting, Philips Vari-Lite, PLASA Media and Events, PRG XL Video, Robert Juliat, SGM and VER Aurora TV.


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