DECEMBER 2018 • ISSUE 016
CORONA SUNSETS FESTIVAL BARASTI BEACH HOSTS THE 2018 EDM EVENT WITH SUSTAINABILITY IN MIND
IN PROFILE: EFM • SAUDI NATIONAL DAY: THE PRODUCTION HIGHLIGHTS • KING OF THE CASTLE IN CAPE TOWN • HALLOWEEN AT THE GALLERIA • MUSCAT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT INAUGURAL CEREMONY
WELCOME... TO TPMEA
Dear readers, I can’t quite believe the December issue is here... It seems as though 2018 has flown by, and what a year it’s been. From our coverage of the biggest EDM events, to various National Day live productions and official opening ceremonies, it seems the action never stops! This year also saw the inaugural TPMEA Awards take place. With the plans for the second event already underway (April 25 for your diaries), 2019 is already shaping up to be quite a year! As we turn to the final month in the 2018 calendar, we have a few more trips planned before the festive break. As I write this, I’m simultaneously packing my bag for my first trip to South Africa, and I’m excited to put it mildly! I’ll be backstage for Global Citizen Festival with the brilliant Gearhouse SA, which will be delivering the tech and crew for a stellar line-up including Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran and Pharrell Williams. In this issue, we’ve got plenty to get your teeth stuck into; from Corona Sunsets festival (Pg. 20), a company profile on freighting expert EFM (pg 30) and TPMEA Awardwinner, Zinaida Mascarenhas, discusses the delivery of this year’s live entertainment at the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in her introduction to the magazine. (Pg 6). Until next time…
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CONTENTS MIDDLE EAST 06 - FIRST LOOK MIDDLE EAST
Zinaida Mascarenhas discusses her company’s relationship with F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
10 - REGIONAL ROUND-UP
28 - TECH PROFILE
Action Impact and Creative Technology join forces for Halloween at the Galleria.
30 - COMPANY PROFILE
EFM’s Dubai operation celebrates 10 years of business in the region.
The latest news from the Middle East.
18 - TECH FOCUS
36 - REGIONAL ROUND-UP
disguise servers provide a visual solution for Muscat International Airport in Oman.
The latest news stories from the region.
20 - TECH PROFILE
Ultra Events supplies a range of Philips Showline fixtures for the Kings of the Castle boxing event.
Stew visits the Barasti Beach venue for the latest rendition of Corona Sunsets Festival.
26 - TECH PROFILE
TPMEA looks at production highlights from the 88th Saudi National Day.
SPECIALISED T ECH N I C A L SOLUTIONS
46 - TECH FOCUS
48 - TECH FOCUS
Cape Town’s first Green Hippo Amba+ gets put through its paces at the Shoprite Super Service Awards. CONCERTS
EDITOR Kel Murray Tel: +44 (0)161 476 8360 Mobile: +44 (0)7738 154689 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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ACCOUNTS Lynette Levi / Sarah Miller: firstname.lastname@example.org
DIGITAL EDITORIAL ASSISTANT James Robertson
CHIEF EXECUTIVE Justin Gawne Tel: +44 (0)161 476 8360 Mobile: +44 (0)7768 850767 e-mail: email@example.com
GRAPHIC DESIGN & PRODUCTION Dan Seaton: firstname.lastname@example.org Zoe Willcox: email@example.com
MONDIALE GROUP CHAIRMAN Damian Walsh
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OPENING CEREMONIES PRODUCT LAUNCHES
COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Corona SunSet Festival by eclipse Staging Services PRINTED BY Buxton Press • www.buxpress.co.uk @tpmea_magazine facebook.com/TPMEA_Magazine @tpmea linkedin.com/company/tpmea
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FIRST LOOK MIDDLE EAST
ZINAIDA MASCARENHAS, STORIES BY ZINAIDA SIX MONTHS AFTER SCOOPING TPMEA AWARDS’ ENTERTAINMENT MANAGER OF THE YEAR ACCOLADE, ZINAIDA MASCARENHAS, DISCUSSES HER LONGSTANDING INVOLVEMENT WITH FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX
Living in the UAE for the past six years, I’ve seen Live Entertainment flourish from just two entertainment agencies leading the industry then, to dozens of agencies now pitching and catering to the demanding requirement for entertainment at events in the UAE. When we launched STORIES by Zinaida, the aim was to design, create, produce and introduce entertainment concepts and experiences, rather than providing a rate card service. It was a conscious decision not to pitch for every event opportunity that came our way, but rather focus on RFPs for events that excited us and gave us the opportunity to push creative boundaries. This decision came with it’s own set of teething challenges but also opened up doors for more project work and the delivery of entertainment for large-scale events. As a team, our ethos is passion above everything else, followed by quality, bespoke creations, attention to detail and being able to adapt and work around situations that may arise at an event. This has also given us the opportunity to work with clients and brands that strive to break away from the stereotype and, allow us the creative freedom in curating and programming, and are willing to experiment and set trends. Being involved in the delivery of Live Entertainment at the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the fourth year running, I can state without hesitation that the success of the event lies on the fact that Yas Marina Circuit is one such client that encourages you to deliver live entertainment experiences that extend beyond just talent on stage. With a clear and detailed brief at a very competitive pitching stage to planning, support and delivery on event days, the process takes 10 months of the year ensuring every entertainment element meets the quality and standards of this international event. Whilst curation, production and booking is one part of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix project, it is the planning process and management on ground that are very crucial to the successful delivery on event days. The event hosts 60,000 international and locally based visitors over four days, with various grandstands and hospitality suites located across the circuit. This translates into a playground for 150+ acts across 35 performance areas, strategically planning performances at stages that support the technical rider of the act, scheduling entertainment that appeals to the profile of visitors in that location and a precise transport plan in place to shuttle acts between various stages and give visitors in different festival areas a chance to experience all the entertainment booked for the event. There are also other important factors like HSE & logistics that need to be taken into consideration when planning entertainment for an event of this scale. Communication is key and at the center of coordination at the event, with a 50-member strong staffing team dedicated to
FIRST LOOK MIDDLE EAST
entertainment and consisting of project coordinators, stage managers, runners, transport coordinators and hospitality managers on ground. Over the past few years, it’s been great to see large organisations like DTCM, Yas Marina Circuit, Etisalat, Meraas amongst others, working directly with entertainment agencies instead of routing and booking entertainment through Event Management agencies. This opens up a clear and direct line of communication with the end client when interpreting entertainment-
specific briefs and receiving feedback on suggestions, whilst working together to achieve the goal for each event. Dubai being the hub of entertainment in the Middle East has also led to opportunities for bookings in countries like Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and now the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The recent National Day celebrations in KSA had almost every full-service Dubai-based entertainment agency providing entertainment across cities in the country, and it’s great to see the GEA being supportive and open to creative
input. As far as talent goes, there is no dearth of world-class acts based in Dubai. It is an absolute joy and honour to work with locally-based professional performers who raise the bar and meet international standards. Entertainment is definitely a very competitive sector and you have to keep pushing to introduce and produce fresh material and concepts to stay in the game, in this very past paced industry. Photos: Stories by Zinaida www.storiesbyzinaida.com
“It’s not surprising that Zinaida won Entertainment Manager of the Year at the TPMEA Awards. Her hard-work and dedication is second-to-none and it’s her professionalism that has helped take the F1 entertainment delivery to award winning levels. Unbelievably passionate about what she does, Zinaida can be relied on day and night (literally) to answer questions, problem-solve and assist wherever necessary. She is dependable and extremely trustworthy. And I would not hesitate to recommend her and services.” Laura Jones, Formula 1 Entertainment Project Manager, Yas Marina Circuit
“Having worked with Zinaida for a few years now, I can confidently say she has earned the Award without doubt. Zinaida is my go-to entertainment partner for international celebrities, talent and performances. No matter the scale of the event and the deadlines of a project, you can rely on her and I don’t think twice about her capability to deliver.” Qais Aloul, Director, Business Communication, Etisalat ME
REGIONAL ROUND UP
CT CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF DP WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONSHIPS ON 15 NOVEMBER, GOLF FANS CAME TOGETHER TO WATCH THE DUEL BETWEEN THE TWO RYDER CUP TEAMMATES FRANCESCO MOLINARI AND TOMMY FLEETWOOD AS THEY RACED TO BECOME EUROPE’S NO 1 AT THE DP WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP IN DUBAI. THE FOUR-DAY EVENT, HELD AT JUMEIRAH GOLF ESTATES MARKED THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY AND THE FINAL STOP OF THE TOURNAMENT. Creative Technology (CT) delivered all video aspects for the world-renowned event for the 10th year running on behalf of European Tour Productions. CT supplied 4 ROE CB5 outdoor screens to ensure spectators could follow the event no matter where they were. CT’s Dubai Project Manager, Barry Collins explained: “The ROE CB5 is a great product, the high refresh rate and high NIT levels makes it ideal for outdoor viewing, even in daylight. The custom detachable touring frames are specifically designed with outdoor applications in mind and has been wind rated to provide structural rigidity while providing a lightweight solution.” The fun filled family event had live music performances in the Champion Village where attendees could relax, enjoy the performances, eat and drink from various venders and even get a free golf lesson. It was here where CT’s 21sqm outdoor screen was situated to ensure all spectators in this area never missed a second
of the tournament. The driving range was also a popular place for fans as they got to watch pro golfers warm up and practice whilst both golfers and fans kept up to date on CT’s 10sqm outdoor screen. The 18-hole course had high footfall around the 18th green which is why CT strategically placed two screens here, one 21sqm outdoor screen faced the 18th hole grandstand and one 60sqm outdoor screen was directly opposite the 18th green and hospitality areas. A first for the touring event was the 11sqm Absen A3 Pro indoor screen located in the championship hospitality chalet. The hospitality chalet houses the key sponsor lounges and the hospitality terraces. Adding the indoor screen this year gave all VIP guests a fantastic HD experience. CT’s London’s account manager, Richard Smith adds “The indoor screen in the hospitality chalet has never been done on any touring event before and it was a great success. We have received nothing but positive feedback”.
In the media center, CT provided a 21sqm Absen A3 Pro indoor screen to allow the press to follow the action in real time whilst providing a customised scoring graphical wrapper. 59 IP TV’s ranging from 15” – 65” were strategically placed in various locations and used to display CT’s customised Tournament Television Programme (TTV) comprising of live feeds, highlights, interviews, scoring, player information, stats, social media and sponsor advertising. For the first four hours of each event day CT also supplied Sony HDC 1500 camera channels to offer coverage of every shot on the first hole, to provide a live feed for the TTV programme before the World Feed went live. Smith concluded: “This year’s event as always was a great success, with crew and kit coming from both the Dubai and London offices, it’s a real global team effort and an event I always look forward to.” www.ct-group.com
REGIONAL ROUND UP
EVEN2 OPENS KSA BRANCH RIGGING SPECIALIST CUTS THE TAPE ON A NEW WAREHOUSE FACILITY IN DAMMAM, SAUDI ARABIA.
Supporting the growing demand in specialised and general rigging tasks in the Saudi Arabian market, including structural engineering reports and project management. CEO of EVEN2 Rene Karnahl commented: “We have been working in Saudi for the last decade for customised special events and unique solutions. With the opening of the entertainment market, our clients have asked us to supply directly within KSA to cut on delivery times, paper work and ultimately on costs - we listened to them. “We now have an inventory of trussing with different sizes; weight-saving H30V triangular
trussing for smaller ballrooms and up to 60cm trussing for medium sized ground support systems, chain hoists from 250kg to 1000kg, and, of course, plenty of tested rigging accessories. We are ready for the season and have already finished the first projects with local equipment and staff”. As the branch is set for growth, EVEN2 is still transferring kit and staff to KSA. Karnahl explained: “We are also recruiting for the branch, in particular we are looking for an Arabic speaking project manager to serve the market properly.” Founded in 2007, Even2 has been on
the forefront of UAE rigging industry with warehouses, facilities and workshops throughout the GCC of over 20,000sqft. The company stocks up to 10,000m of different trussing systems, 500 motorised chain hoists, the Cyberhoist System and up to 100 linkable channels of Motor Control, Rigging Automation and Performer Winches. This latest move strengthens the company’s development of Rigging Systems, static calculations and strict adherence to international rigging regulations, which have led to a zeroaccident record since the first day of operation. www.even2.com
REGIONAL ROUND UP
ECLIPSE INVEST IN MA LIGHTING GRANDMA3 CONSOLES ECLIPSE STAGING SERVICES PURCHASES MA LIGHTING’S LATEST DESK, LAUNCHED EARLIER IN THE YEAR AT PROLIGHT + SOUND.
eclipse has added a complement of MA Lighting grandMA3 consoles to its extensive inventory to strengthen its services and technology offerings to customers. With smoother key strokes, minimal button pushes and an improved hardware layout, the consoles provide exciting, almost limitless playback possibilities, and are ideal for a live music environment. Craig Ralph, Head of Lighting at eclipse Staging Services commented: “This is the newest in control technology on the market. eclipse has always endeavored to remain at the cutting edge of the industry’s technology, ensuring the latest innovations have been incorporated into our shows, not just for our clients but also for
our staff who are operating any new equipment released.” For the past 35 years, MA Lighting has been a high-quality manufacturer in the lighting industry, equipped with the most up-to-date technologies to handle even the most complex requirements for high-profile projects. “MA Lighting is the epitome of innovation and a company run by lighting people for lighting people,” Ralph added. “The amount of thought which goes into every element of the console is clearly visible and practical right from the key layout to the back panel of the console.” eclipse regards its expansion of its lighting equipment inventory as part of the company’s
policy of maintaining a leading role in technological innovation. Ralph noted: “I’ve been a user of the products since the original grandMA1, and it has been exciting to see just how far the advancements in the MA Lighting consoles have come whilst keeping themselves leaps and bounds ahead of their counterparts.” eclipse Staging Services’ General Manager, Martin Lubach concluded: “We are committed to staying up-to-date in terms of what touring organisations want and that will make a difference for our clients. We look forward to using the new equipment on a variety of different events.” www.eclipse.ae
REGIONAL ROUND UP
VERITY STUDIOS’ DRONES DESCEND ON DUBAI MALL HAVING TOURED WITH METALLICA AND DRAKE, AS WELL AS CREATED DRONE SHOWS FOR STARLIGHT EXPRESS AND TED 2016, VERITY STUDIOS TURNS ITS FOCUS TO THE MIDDLE EAST MARKET. Swiss-based Verity Studios’ drones featured in Paramour and Dubai Mall’s installation. In Talisman, the drones are deployed on trays around the central pillar. Once cued, they know when to take off and perform their pre-programmed choreographies. The drones fly completely autonomously, no drone pilots are required. When the show starts, a single hero drone dressed as a red desert flower circles the central pillar before being joined by its companions in a grand finale. At 50g (1.8oz), the Lucie micro drones are ultra-light and ultra-safe. Each drone has an RGBW light that can create countless colour combinations. But what makes the system truly unique is Verity’s proprietary indoor positioning system. It acts as an indoor GPS, allowing the drones to locate themselves in space and fly with no human intervention. The system can be installed in virtually any venue and doesn’t require line-of-sight or any unseemly carpets. With 40,000 flights and counting, this track record is one of the reasons Lune Rouge reached out to Verity Studios for this collaboration. Inspired by previous drone shows, they had developed a creative concept from the ground up with drones playing a central role. The Verity drone choreographers and creative team then collaborated
closely with Lune Rouge to ensure the drone show was completely integrated with the other effects and film. www.veritystudios.com
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REGIONAL ROUND UP
JAMES THOMAS ENGINEERING LAUNCHES EMEA REGION WEBSITE EXPECT OPTIMISED, USER-FRIENDLY NAVIGATION.
An optimised layout and navigation structure allows users to quickly and easily find the products required for a wide range of needs. Browse through JTE’s new conical truss series, as well as its legendary plated and fork series’. Learn more about JTE towers, multi cubes, book corners, circles, clamps and accessories in the easy to navigate and colourful online presentation. It’s wide range of products provides the safety and support customers have relied on for more than 40 years. www.jthomaseng.eu
DELTA CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF DUBAI MALL AN IMMERSIVE MULTIMEDIA EXPERIENCE COMMEMORATES THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DUBAI MALL.
To celebrate the landmark milestone, a mesmerising light and sound spectacle presented by Lune Rouge, the new live entertainment company created by Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil, produced its first-ever show in the Middle East. Talisman voices was a visually stunning and immersive multimedia experience that played the eight-minute spectacle nightly and it is the first of its kind in the Middle East, showcasing video content, lighting, lasers and world-first special effects to tell a poetic story of a dream come true,
from sand to city, from vision to reality. Blending multimedia and story-telling technologies. Delta have provided full audio distribution across all three levels of the circular atrium with supportive wired comms for crew. The show utilises Delta’s time code to trigger the light and laser show and visual displays. Delta developed the specifications for the venue with the producers to create an immersive experience using a circular formation of 12 L-Acoustics KARA on the ground floor and series of 48 HK 108 hung around the three atrium
balconies. Delta Sound’s Sound Engineer Mahesh Ramdin explained: “The set up and operations was tricky, coordinating access for installation machinery and equipment was a challenge, particularly due to opening hours of the venue and the heights of the balconies. We have been able to produce a multifaceted and immersive experience which is unlike any other. The captivating show runs nightly throughout November.” www.deltalive.com
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REGIONAL ROUND UP
NEUMANN&MÜLLER MOVES TO A LARGER FACILITY IN DUBAI EVENT TECHNOLOGY PROVIDER RELOCATES CENTRALLY BETWEEN TWO MAJOR EVENT HUBS.
As the new season starts in the UAE, Neumann&Müller Event Technology have been busy moving in to its new offices and warehouse in Dubai Investments Park 1. Rick Wade, General Manager for N&M Dubai explained: “We had outgrown our old home of 11 years and it was important for us to respond to our clients’ needs and integrate them more in keeping with the type of work that we do. So, we designed an office space which will enable our clients and our project teams to work together in a comfortable and creative environment.” The size of the entire facilities is almost double their previous one. The office area is open plan, which is great for keeping everyone informed about what’s going on in the company day-to-day. The meeting and conference rooms were purpose-built, so the teams can work together on their latest projects and sit with their clients and project partners to discuss strategic planning for their specific needs. While the warehouse is also big enough
to set up demos and mock ups to previsualise projects that their partners have conceptualised. Wade added: “This move is a part of the expansion plan that we have in mind as we take this business to the next level. We have several new members to our team, as well. One of them is Abigail Bates, who is our new technical project manager. She has lived and worked in Dubai for the last seven years and had a very successful career as a lighting designer before moving into technical management. We are very excited about these improvements and cannot wait to accommodate more clients here.” In line with raising the game in this industry, N&M responded with a comprehensive upgrade of their existing technology, training of staff to keep up with the latest development and increase in their stock levels this summer. Along with the lighting fixtures, the biggest investment was the 1.8 mm LED screens - one of the highest resolution displays in the market which takes presentations and video content to a
higher and dynamic level. They have recently opened their doors to their clients and industry peers to have a peek at their new premises and inventory. The warehouse and the offices were transformed into a mini event venue featuring some special equipment which was well-received by their guests. Early this year, N&M launched the system integration division, which is also based in this new facility. This unit is responsible for the semi-permanent and permanent AVL system integration in the region targeting the expo productions, together with other global installation projects. Felix Erdmann, business unit manager commented: “This new location is perfect for our business as we are not only in the middle of the two key Emirates, we are also just around the corner from the Dubai EXPO 2020 site. This was a strategic step to support and help realise expo projects with ease.” www.neumannmueller.com
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DISGUISE SERVERS PROVIDE VISUAL SOLUTIONS FOR OMAN AIRPORT THE MAJOR EXTENSION OF THE MUSCAT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IN THE SULTANATE OF OMAN WAS CELEBRATED ON 11 NOVEMBER WITH ARCHITECTURAL PROJECTION MAPPING BY BELGIUM-BASED VISUAL SOLUTIONS, DRIVEN BY 3 DISGUISE GX2 AND A 4X4PRO MEDIA SERVERS WITH VFC CARDS.
The Muscat International Airport in Oman expanded its services and capabilities with the new extension, which included a second passenger terminal. The inaugural ceremony used the striking new terminal as a projection surface. Custommade screens produced a giant visual canvas composed of three 40 x 23m displays spanning the façade. While a large stage with a military band sat directly below the screens. Visual Solutions utilised disguise systems to pre-visualise and drive 13 Barco 4K UDX laser projectors. The media servers also fed live transmissions from the outside broadcast van
into the projection feed with low latency. “We chose disguise systems because we rely on their stable play out and timelining capabilities,” explained Jo Pauly of Visual Solutions. “The 4K play out to all projectors also necessitated using disguise.” In addition to the systems’ stability, Pauly highlighted the “flexibility, frame replacement, versioning and multi transport” features of disguise gx2 and 4x4pro. “We especially liked the frame replacement and content versioning, which helped with all the last-minute content changes and additions. Also, the mobile editor function for alignment was very, very necessary
and proved very stable. The systems performed perfectly, as always!” The servers were supplied by Faber Audiovisuals who delivered them together with By-Lex. Filmmaster MEA was the client with Aurelia Gohin as creative mastermind and Julien Poncelet as Technical Director. Micha Stroobants was the Project Manager, Kristaps Liseks the disguise System Engineer along with Matt Villis and Callum Gossling as Projector Engineers. Finally, Chema (Jose-Maria Menendez Herrera) was the disguise Operator. www.disguise.one
CORONA SUNSETS FESTIVAL MAKING A WELCOME RETURN TO BARASTI BEACH, THE CORONA SUNSETS FESTIVAL WAS BACK IN FORCE OFFERING A FREE, WEEKEND-LONG BEACH PARTY FOR DUBAI’S EDM FANS. WITH ACTS INCLUDING DJ NICKY ROMERO AND SAM FELDT, PROMOTERS URBAN EVENTS JOINED FORCES WITH ECLIPSE STAGING SERVICES TO PRODUCE THREE MEMORABLE NIGHTS AT THE FAMED PARTY LOCATION. TPMEA’S STEW HUME REPORTS…
Located at the iconic Barasti Beach, in the shadow of the impressive Marina skyline, was this year’s Corona Sunsets Festival. The threeday EDM extravaganza has gradually become an annual event for the beach venue, taking place in late October to the delight of the Dubai’s dance music fans. With the sun setting and the evening festivities in full swing, TPMEA descended on to the sands of Barasti Beach. For it’s second year running, Urban Events was contracted to lead the concept creation for the festival. Leading the charge was company Director, Tammy Urwin. Taking on the role of Event Director, she talked to TPMEA about how she and her team approached the 2018 edition. “This year marks the 10th anniversary of Urban Events,” exclaimed Urwin. “We work on
a huge cross-section of projects, from private media dinners to festivals of up to 30,000 people. Sunsets is very much a global project for Corona, but their Dubai stop is definitely one of the flagship events due to its scale.” Urwin stated that on average, Corona’s other pop-up events usually only attract up to 8,000 people. Whereas the Dubai event is on a much bigger scale with close to 30,000 punters in tow. “Our role at Urban Events is to create the concept in collaboration with Corona,” explained Urwin. “We then talk to the teams at eclipse and the staging crew at Al Laith to make these ideas reality.” The 2018 theme was sustainability. From a selection of recycling bins, furniture made from re-used materials, all the way to the bar
staff producing 100% sustainable cocktails, the commitment to the theme was undeniable. “We even had our suppliers fill out sustainability forms explaining why they had used certain materials - and how much of the equipment would be re-used,” stated Urwin. A SOLAR ECLIPSE Taking the helm for eclipse was Project Manager, Conor Kerestesi. The PM has become eclipse’s go-to specialist for weekend dance spectaculars at Barasti, looking after Corona’s Sunsets along with Smirnoff’s similar project – Sound Collective. “Sunsets is always a great event,” began Kerestesi, while looking over the festival site from the upper deck. With the crowd already starting to fill the sandy dance floor he pointed out some of
the highlights, specifically the towering Mandala structure upstage from the DJ booth which has become synonymous with the event. “The Corona Mandala is the heart of the visuals and we build the effects and the attractions around this theme,” stated Kerestesi adding, “But every single time we apply small updates and surprises for the crowd, to make sure that all around entertainment is fully guaranteed.” Despite his fondness for the event, Kerestesi conceded that on both years, he had experienced various logistical issues on site. “Last year was the first time we had run an event with the new pool, located several metres from the main stage edge,” he explained. The team actually finished building the pool a few days before the event, which was certainly an interesting experience. The latest incarnation also witnessed changes to the site with construction work taking place behind FOH; cutting into 16m of the audience space of prior renditions of the festival. Not only that, this meant eclipse had to alter its
plans for incoming temporary generators, and spend a considerable amount of time on heavy cable management.” Despite the challenge, Kerestesi was able to liaise with all parties to find a solution. “In my experience, if you get the right people together at the right time and are willing to share information, a solution can always be found.” The look of Sunsets has certainly evolved over the four years eclipse has been contracted as the main technical supplier. Alongside Kerestesi, leading the visual department was Geno Welburn, a Senior Lighting Technician for eclipse. Speaking to TPMEA at FOH, Welburn outlined the main fixtures that were deployed on the rig. “Starting with the Mandala, we have a whole selection of Chauvet Professional COLORado Battens and LED PAR COLORados,” began Welburn. “It’s been fun working with the rig as we have so many LED products that we have created a pixel map grid, playing video content through
the backdrop to create some really effective looks.” The overall design of the stage show, along with the rest of the festival site, heavily referenced the dark blue and sunshine yellow of the Corona logo. “As well as using a lot of yellows and blues, we speak to all the artists ahead of their performance to ask if they have any specific requests for their set,” commented Welburn. The rest of the rig consisted of 24 Claypaky Sharpys, 20 Stormys, and A.leda B-EYE K20’s along with 28 Martin by Harman MAC Auras. Also on the rider were ETC Source Fours. For control, the lighting department utilised 2 MA Lighting grandMA2’s main and backup. Laser FX’s Oliver Yates and Stage FX’s Phillip Tharian discussed their visual feast. Tharian got the ball rolling by discussing the pyrotechnic setup. On the top of the Mandala structure were three Sunshine Flames with Sparkulars and Magic FX Co2 jets set out on the stage. “All three of those fixtures are fairly standard for this style
Above: Project Manager, Conor Kerestesi; Audio crew Karam Saad and Tariq Al-Hassan; Stage FX’s Phillip Tharian; Laser FX’s Oliver Yates; Lighting crew Charlie Creese, Geno Welburn and Kieran Hancox.
of event,” stated Tharian. “The Sparkulars are particularly suited for this show as it’s a cold pyro effect. There is still a safety distance, naturally, but there is no risk of getting burned, which is something I tell all artists before they take to the stage.” One other fixture on the rider that Tharian was excited about was the Galaxis G-Flame. The flame projector with the power flame upgrade is new the to region and a very versatile device that offers a number of interesting features for both indoor and outdoor and special effect applications. Compared with other systems on the market, the G-Flame generates a significantly higher and fuller flame, giving the effect a much nicer overall appearance as well as a responsive start and stop system. “You can also run the system wirelessly,” enthused Tharian. “I can just place them in the most ideal location and set them off from my desk.” Tharian’s console of choice was a ChamSys MagicQ MQ80, the tech’s “go-to desk” when it comes to live events. He explained: “For pyro, you
really just need a reliable surface that you know will get the job done.” For the performance, Tharian explained his relationship with the rest of the visual department. “Some of the artists and managers have certain requests on when they want some of the pyro hits. But on the whole, we just feel the music and the cues come quite naturally with the build-ups and drops within the tracks.” He went on to explain that one of the main tricks with special effects is knowing when to hold back: “We make sure we never have too many things going on at the same time,” elaborated Tharian. “If the laser department is shooting their fixtures, I hold back, and vice versa, making sure each effect gets the maximum audience reaction. I’ve been working in the region for over 7 years and I still get a kick when I see the faces of the audience look up at a massive pyro blast – it never gets old!” Tharian concluded by informing TPMEA about the H&S measures he took for the performance. “I have a spotter on the other side
of the stage during the performance to ensure all the sightlines are clear and no artist or dancers are anywhere near any of the fixtures. Standard procedure, but if the sightlines are blocked then the effect doesn’t happen.” Laser FX’s Oliver Yates - this year’s SFX Engineer of the Year at the TPMEA Awards certainly had a busy weekend during Sunsets, as he recounted while setting up his control system. “This weekend Laser FX is heading-up four shows across the city, including performances at the Atlantis the Palm and BASE Dubai, as well as this one,” he stated. For Sunsets’ first night, Yates was using a ChamSys PC Wing, a laptop and Akai APC40. “But for tomorrows show I’m upgrading to the Laser Grafix Beyond desk which will give me much more control for the show.” The LG Controller is a custom-built surface which featured an integrated E-Stop button to disable any connected lasers, a removable 22inch capacitive touchscreen, Pangolin Lasershow Performer console, Laser Image Midi controller, and an Apple Mac mini computer. Yates’ rig
consisted of 2 x 30W RYGB lasers and 4 x 12W RGBs, along with 10 x RGB starbeams and 12 x 1W blue beam lasers. Last but not least, 2 MDG Smoke Machines provided the necessary haze to ensure the laser show looked its best. AUDIO The eclipse audio engineers mixed both monitors and FOH from the side of the stage. Kerestesi told TPMEA the reasoning behind this: “It simply allows the DJs to have a better line of communication with our audio engineers, should they require it.” From behind his chosen console, a DiGiCo S21, mix engineer, Tariq Al-Hassan talked through the audio design. “We’ve opted for a complete d&b audiotechnik system comprising 6 boxes of V-Series per side, with a sub array of 6 J-SUBs, all driven by d&b D80 amplifiers.” d&b’s ArrayProcessing was also utilised, and a key asset to the event: “Having this tool in place was invaluable, especially as we were easily able to cut the dispersion for the VIP area at the back of the site. The d&b system is fantastic; not to put too fine a point on it, but you don’t have to do a lot to make this box sound great. After a few minor tweaks during sound check, we were show-ready!” he proclaimed. “When it comes to sound for us, it needs to be loud, crisp and clear on the dance floor,” stated Kerestesi. “Personally, we love a little extra bass and d&b does this perfectly. It’s important to keep the mixer levels out of the red - a simple rule, but you’d be surprised just how many experienced DJs don’t follow it. The more you push it, the more the limiters fight back and the worse your set sounds. Let the system do its thing. We’re always working year after year to develop our sound system, trying different things
or speakers to find out exactly what we need.” For the DJ riders, eclipse supplied a Pioneer DJ CDJ 2000 Neuxs 2 and an DJM NXS. Al-Hassan stated: “They’re a step-up and have been really appreciated by the visiting artists.” For microphone choices, the team used Shure UR4D+ Dual Wireless Receivers with two microphones main and back up - for the guest artists. With the ever-growing crowd filling the sandy Barasti Beach, TPMEA retired with some of the eclipse team to the VIP bar to try the 100%
ethically sourced cocktails. It seems the 2018 Corona Sunsets event tastes a little sweeter than ever... TPMEA Photos: eclipse Staging Services www.coronasunsets.com www.urbanevents.ae www.eclipse.ae www.stagefx.ae www.laserfx.ae www.allaith.com
Show Laser and Special FX Solu ons
88TH SAUDI NATIONAL DAY SAUDIS COME TOGETHER TO RECALL THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE COUNTRY’S FOUNDER, SUPPORTED BY A RANGE OF THE NATION’S INDUSTRY LEADERS, AS TPMEA DISCOVERS...
MATRIX LASER The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recently celebrated its 88th National Day in Dammam, with a breathtaking multimedia showcase of lights, laser, music, dance, aerial performances and more. The show aptly-titled The Light Garden, created by the dynamic and innovative Moments International, is a poetic, celebratory portrayal of the Kingdom’s history and tradition, achievements, progression and above all, National Pride. Subcontracted by Moments International, Matrix Laser assisted in its part to bring the story to life with a synchronised, bespoke laser show, custom made to enhance certain elements of the show. 12 x 20W Showlaser systems were installed and the end result was truly spectacular. Michael Hilgemann, Managing Director Matrix Laser: “This event attracted over 110,000 visitors over a three-day period and it was an honour to be part of it and experience the celebrations in this proud nation.“ www.matrix-laser.com
ALL EVENTS SERVICES As suppliers of the previous year’s National Day celebration, in the same location, King Fahd Stadium Riyadh, All Events Services provided are large stage and screen backdrop at one end of the stadium. As always no job is ever simple, as this job required a reinforced stage for 50 camels to walk on. The Cirque du Soleil event took months of preparation, as this was to be a showcase event for the country’s day of celebration. As this was CDS’ largest ever one-off production, the detail and planning from their side was meticulous. AES were given an intricate brief and designs of multiple structures, including a 3,700 sqm stage, 16m high IMAG towers, 14m high tech towers - all built out of scaffold. Plus the required 11 black steel towers from 8m-14m high which were to support the sail canopies around the stage. AES primarily built the event structures using the Layher scaffold system, as this system offered the flexibility for design, as well as being strong and safe to build with.
The challenges faced included managing the organisation of the plan/ schedule/build details. In addition, the time difference between Montreal and Dubai meant face-to-face communications on video call were tough. As meeting in person was limited closer to the event and popping over from Canada was not an easy feat. While on site in August at the start of the build the pre-production period coincided the Eid holiday, which meant the country’s infrastructure stopped for nine days. This meant AES had to be prepared to have all material sourced and on site well in advance as the Saudi borders shut and when they do open, are extremely busy with the back log of the holiday traffic. On the structures AES built we would have had a total of 30-45 men working each day over two weeks. Despite its challenges, the event was deemed as a great success and was truly a spectacle for the 27,000 stadium spectators and for the millions of viewers on the national TV network. The fact that the most famous and prestigious circus act in the world were brought in for this day means that the bar was set high. The team at AES are already looking forward to events coming up including: Formula E, racing on the streets of Riyadh, which we are building stages for, meaning KSA will continue to put on some of the best high-profile events in the region. www.aes.ae
PRG GEARHOUSE Extending its longstanding professional relationship with the annual celebration was PRG Gearhouse. In 2017, the Dubai branch of PRG had a notable presence at the celebration; providing lighting and audio at Kingdom Centre, featuring over 200 moving head fixtures including: PRG Icon Edge, PRG Best Boy Washes and PRG Best Boy Spots fixtures. A total of 24 fixtures were placed on the roof of Kingdom Centre, which required a specialist wireless system to communicate with the lighting console, designed and supplied by PRG. For this year’s festivities, PRG Gearhouse joined forces with PRG Belgium to provide full video production and automation for the Green Concert which was highlighted with a performance from Jean-Michel Jarre at the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud center in Riyad. For the celebration, the company was
able to utilise brand new stock from its annual investment over the summer. During the offseason, PRG purchased significant quantities of ROE Carbon CB5 and PRG30 semi-transparent LED screens, which were deployed at the Green Concert. “The ROE models are renowned for their reliability, versatility and quality and given PRG accessibility to global stock as a group, it was an obvious choice This was the case for the Green Concert with PRG Belgium combining resources to deliver a spectacular video production,” commented Harriet Stewart, Director of Sales. Led by Senior Project Manager, Artur Kurowski, 20 senior PRG Dubai and Belgium technicians were stationed onsite. “It furthered our belief that we’re able to offer customers in Saudi the same service level to that of our UAE customers. Beyond the fantastic spectacle of
the Jean-Michel Jarre show, the Green Concert aimed to symbolise environmental ambitions on renewable energy with all on-stage instruments powered by solar energy harvested from solar panels. The show also signalled a key moment for the future of Saudi’s live event industry with men and women able to attend together for the first time.” PRG Gearhouse’s involvement with this year’s celebration is certainly a good initiator of the uplift in Saudi Arabia’s live events industry. In fact, prior to loading into National Day, the PRG team was busy onsite in Jeddah for the 2018 Drone Racing League (DRL) World Championship Finals. “It was great to do another show in Riyad,” commented Stewart. www.prg.com
EFM The EFM team was once again heavily involved with this year’s KSA National Day celebrations, which took place in September 2018. EFM traditionally work on this event every year, along with other National Days in the region – including Qatar and UAE. This year proved no different, the company handled transport of a wide range of equipment via air, road and sea freight into and out of both Jeddah and Riyadh, on behalf of companies such as Fireworks by Grucci, JK58, Best Broadcast Hire, Giochi di Luce and Delta Sound. EFM were also entrusted by all these companies with the safe and ontime delivery of over 20 truck-loads of technical equipment – from audio visual to lighting and communications equipment; sensitive pyrotechnics and even hot air balloons. EFM were on the ground, ensuring that every shipment
was cleared in and out in a timely fashion and on-site on time. www.efm.global
HALLOWEEN AT THE GALLERIA FOR TWO DAYS IN OCTOBER, ACTION IMPACT AND CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY JOINED FORCES TO BRING HALLOWEEN THRILLS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY TO ENJOY AT ABU DHABI’S GALLERIA. TPMEA WAS THERE TO BRUSH OFF THE COBWEBS AND SPEAK TO THE CREW BEHIND THE EVENT.
Although the annual celebration of ghosts and ghouls is not much of a tradition in the UAE, this year the Galleria in Abu Dhabi opted to bring some Halloween antics to the region for two nights in one of the city’s premier retail destinations. Bringing in event coordinators Action Impact, the two-day spooktacular was held outside on the waterfront with a selection of stalls and on stage entertainment the whole family could enjoy. Getting into the spirit of the holiday TPMEA paid a visit to The Galleria to speak to some of the crew working behind the scenes. Providing a complete audio and lighting package for Halloween at The Galleria was Creative Technology (CT). Leading the team of four crew was Tommy Llaneta, who started off by discussing some of the challenges faced during the production period. “This is the first time the mall has ever put on a Halloween event,” began Llaneta. “The idea itself is quite new for the region. The goal that came from Action Impact was to produce a new, creative event which both the parents and children of the region could enjoy.” With normal
opening hours still in force at the mall, the CT team had to work late into the night prior to the event opening the next day. “Along with the CT team, we brought in six local crew to help with the build. While we were setting up audio and lighting we also had a separate team creating the prop houses that were placed around the central walk way and used as stalls to play various games and competitions. It was quite tricky working around one another, but in the end we were all set for the first day.” With so many of the attendees being children, H&S was of the utmost importance. “Kids are always running around!” exclaimed Llaneta. “This meant we had to pay particular attention to cable management.” The power supplier in question was FLOW Air + Power Solutions that provided a selection of generators for the event. Speaking about CT’s lighting contribution for the event was Nomer Dela Cruz Gutierrez. “Action Impact originally came to us with an initial brief where they explained the basic colour’s they wanted on the stage, as well as an idea of what would be happening in the space. From there I programmed several looks and triggered them
when needed.” The rig itself consisted of Chauvet Professional COLORado Battens and ETC Source Fours with control via an MA Lighting grandMA2 fader wing. One of the most eye-catching looks during the festivities were the two gobos – with silhouettes of a witch and a bat - projected onto the walls of the mall. “Our very own bat-signal,” joked Llaneta. “For the gobos, we are using Martin by Harman MAC Viper Profiles,” stated Gutierrez. “We’ve also used MAC Auras to wash the pillars of the building to extend the look from the event to the rest of the venue.” Aiding Gutierrez in during the show was Lighting Tech, Regan Bueno Hamor. Tasked with providing spooky sounds for the right ambience of the event was Audio Engineer, Alin Tanaselea, who deployed a selection of d&b audiotechnik PA boxes. “We have a L-R PA configuration of d&b Q1’s (4 per side) with some Q-Subs for the low end.” The CT team also deployed a selection of Q7’s around the walkway area, which played a continued setlist. “The console we are using for the event is the Yamaha LS9 with a Figure 53’s Q-Labs and iTunes for audio playback,” he stated.
“The main thing we had to be conscious of was the sound levels around the site,” stated Tanaselea. “Because most of the audience members are children, we have to really bear volume in mind. We weren’t given any strict db limits, but it’s something we were continually monitoring over the two days.
Finally, for the presenters on stage, CT supplied a couple of channels of Shure RF. This was used for various segments, from a fancy dress competition to a selection of prize draws for those attending. With the two days completed and Abu Dhabi’s youngsters getting their Halloween fix for
a year, the CT crew were straight back to work to de-rig the performance area. “It’s the same deal as the load-in,” stated Llaneta. “We’ve got one night to de-rig the entire show - with the hope of being out by 6am!” he concluded. Photos: Creative Technology www.ct-group.com/me
IN PROFILE: EFM WITH 2018 MARKING THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF EFM’S DUBAI OPERATION, TPMEA STOPPED BY TO MEET THE HARD-WORKING TEAM MEMBERS WHO ENSURE THE SUCCESSFUL DELIVERY OF EVENTS YEAR-ROUND, AND TO LEARN A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THE ‘EFM WAY’. TPMEA’S STEW HUME REPORTS…
Situated in the heart of Media City is EFM Global Logistics’ Middle East HQ. With offices in Europe, USA and Australia, the company has had a base in the region for just over a decade, and the branch of the global freighting company has become the leading logistics specialist in the UAE for large-scale events. Having originally moved to the UAE following an upturn in region’s live events which saw an increase in tours visiting the Middle East, the Dubai office has since diversified its local clientele from the music and theatre fields to include the automotive and sports sectors. EFM has also built up significant expertise in the movement of dangerous goods - from fireworks to military equipment. But as TPMEA soon found out, the said diversification has not been easy… “The service we provide goes so much further than moving goods from point A to B,”
began Chris Lumb, Vice President of Special Projects for EFM Dubai. “Throughout my 10 years in the region, I have found our most valuable service is more akin to Project Management than simply freighting. This means providing solutions to on-site handling, organising shipping documents and even insurance.” It’s this level of detail which has made EFM a staple of the events industry in the UAE with invaluable knowledge regarding how to navigate the region. “What we have found recently is that clients are keen to include us in the planning stages of their projects,” commented Blake Miller, General Manager at EFM Dubai. “This is something we prefer, as we can advise from the very beginning how to efficiently move equipment and how long it will actually take, factoring in borders and customs. This means we are able to produce the most cost-effective solutions.” It’s a fact both Lumb and Miller agreed was one of the big issues with other freight companies which don’t factor in the various
potential disruptions of what might seem to be a simple move. “We get calls weekly from clients requesting help to get them out of an ongoing situation, where another company has taken gear into an area, such as Saudi Arabia, but can’t get it out,” stated Lumb. “Effectively, these other companies are not offering a true door-to-door service because they are not looking into the project management side of their operations.” Both Lumb and Miller outlined the lengthy learning process which had taken place to get EFM where it is today. According to Miller, it comes down to one thing: experience. He elaborated: “What I’ve noticed during my time in the industry, both at EFM and other companies, is the processes have not changed a great deal, but our knowledge of the system is far more efficient.” Lumb continued: “We’ve studied the nuts and bolts of the system for years and learned from our experiences. Take pyrotechnics: we’ve been moving such goods up and down the
Gulf for years, but it was a steep learning curve, working with the UAE police force, and the Ministry of Interior. You’ve just got to understand the processes!” Coming from the world of live touring, Lumb explained how the nature of EFM’s practice has changed in Dubai over the years. “To put it simply, the big acts are not coming here quite as regularly as they used to and, when they do, they are using more local suppliers from the region, meaning they are carrying less gear. As the market changed, so did we, looking into more corporate jobs and official openings of buildings and venues - from malls to football stadia. Essentially, we took all our knowledge from previous endeavours and offered it to new markets.” The corporate world has certainly kept the company busy. Following the interview, Lumb revealed, he was heading to the other side
of the city to oversee a job where a car was to be placed on top of a sea container for an automotive show. Currently, EFM’s Dubai operation consists of 12 full time members of staff, all of whom have their own field of expertise. “It has all happened quite naturally in terms of people’s specialities,” stated Miller. “For example, we have had Ian McLean with us for six months and he has a particular familiarity with the trade show industry, whereas I tend to handle most of the automotive road shows.” Both Miller and Lumb went on to outline what goes into training new staff. “At the end of the day, nothing ever really outweighs experience in this field,” reiterated Lumb. “In fact, when we bring in new people we sometimes prefer that they are new to the industry, so we can train them in the ‘EFM Way’.” Rather than being a catchy slogan, the EFM
Way is now a tangible notion - in a booklet to be specific - which lists the codes and best practices of the company. “It covers everything from how to properly strap down a truck, to the correct way to raise documents,” said Lumb. “This means we not only have a standard in each of our EFM offices, of how to operate across the globe but can give new employees a handbook to offer them the best starting point when entering the freighting world. We could transport someone from the LA, London, German or Australian office and straight away, they could get to work on an upcoming project, something we have often put into practice when one office is quieter than another at a certain time of year.” In line with this training is the EFM Academy which has been running successfully in several branches within the network. The company brings in fresh faces to the industry via a university internship which, should they
Throughout my 10 years in the region, I have found our most valuable service is more akin to Project Management than simply freighting. This means providing solutions to on-site handling, organising shipping documents and even insurance.” Vice President of Special Projects, Chris Lumb
complete it successfully, could land them in full time employment. “It’s been done to a great degree of success in the UK and we are looking to run a similar scheme here in Dubai in the near future, in partnership with the American University,” explained Lumb. Looking towards the future, both Lumb and Miller mused about what lay ahead for EFM Dubai. As is the nature of the work the company is involved in, many of the specific jobs they had coming up had to remain faithful to various NDAs. “One trend we are excited to see more of is the theatre and entertainment market,” enthused Lumb. “We have been involved in productions of Ghost and Tap Dogs earlier this year, various Cirque du Soleil productions, Beauty & the Beast and Cavalia have also been handled by the EFM
team, and we have several major tours coming out to the region in 2019. It’s a market which seems to be growing over here and because of EFM’s background in music touring it’s been quite an easy transition into helping move these massive shows.” 2018 also saw the UAE office involved in several sporting events including the FIFA Club World Cup and Dubai Rugby 7s, alongside several of the regional National Days, the F1 Concerts in Abu Dhabi, Formula E’s inaugural race in Riyadh, the Kings Cup and a number of trade shows and large scale events across Saudi Arabia. “Another aspect we always want to expand our knowledge in is the transportation of specialist goods,” added Lumb. “As we are not moving the same quantities of PA systems and moving lights, we’ve begun to focus more on
modern technologies such as moving drones which are increasing popular in the UAE market,” stated Lumb. Even with an already heaving jobs list, EFM Dubai is continuing to look into new routes to provide better logistic options for customers. “One of the latest developments is the CIS. We have now established new routes to serve that region, for countries including Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan,” said Lumb. “Ocean freight to those regions usually takes 30 days whereas we can truck up there in 12.” As our time with EFM came to an end, after a brief photo shoot with one of the wellmaintained EFM trucks, TPMEA left the team in peace, ready to embark on the second half of its rather busy season. Here’s to the next 10 years! www.efm.global
Build your LED system from ground level with the Universal LED Stack system
Building your LED screen from ground level is now easy, Prolyte offers a universal solution, the LED Stack system (LSU). This combination of a base-unit, connection bar and ladder truss, creates a very stable system to support your LED screens in various configurations and offers flexibility in height as well as width. www.prolyte.com/LSU
REGIONAL ROUND UP
Above: Polish-based Portman’s unique lighting range is now available in South Africa.
ELECTROSONIC SA TO DISTRIBUTE PORTMAN LIGHTS TO NATIVE BASE Electrosonic has confirmed the sole distribution rights of Portman Lights to its South African client base. Bruce Schwartz, Electrosonic’s Director of Live Events, commented on the landmark move: “Portman is a young and dynamic Polish-based lighting company with a product so unique, that we simply could not resist bringing this aesthetic and mindblowing range into our product offering.” He added: “When Łukasz Sztejna (Design Director) and Dominik Zimakowski (CEO) refer to their stage lights, using phrases such as the utmost beauty, remarkable quality, intensified experience and art are mentioned.” Understanding such passion and originality in product design, Schwartz was convinced to shake hands and put his signature on the dotted line. “Portman products offer an exciting range of custom designed lights with original never seen before at any South Africa show. It is a totally unique product range, one that will bring a different experience to our local stages and audience,” he explained. The Portman Lights current range consists of the P1 RETRO LAMP, P2 HEXALINE and its latest addition, the P3 PIX3L. Schwarz is positive about building a solid business relationship with the Portman team: “They are really a good, ethical group of people to deal with and this is a great opportunity for Electrosonic to work with a rapidly growing company”. www.portmanlights.com
REGIONAL ROUND UP
SARA TRAINEES ATTEND PRODUCTION FUTURES Two South African Roadies Association (SARA) technical and production trainees; Promise Khuzwayo from Uitvaal, KwaZulu-Natal and Thembakazi Zabemhlola from Tsolo, Eastern Cape have joined the growing ranks of trainees which SARA have been able to experience life abroad over the past two decades. Khuzwayo and Zabemhlola left on 5 November 2018, from OR Tambo International Airport for a life-changing skills development visit to the Backstage Academy in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, UK. They attended Production Futures gathering, an initiative aimed at Education & Employability that took place at Production Park on 7 November 2018. Specifically designed for students, graduates and young freelancers from across the UK, Production Futures presented a recruitment marketplace offering real employment opportunities, plus an education zone and an
industry forum with an inspiring programme of panel sessions, demonstrations and industrydriven networking opportunities. The attendees also had the opportunity to interact with a broad spectrum of trade organisations and - crucially live events companies looking to recruit. Aimed at students and young freelancers, Production Futures – which is free to attend – gathers together live event industry giants to share their knowledge and experience through an inspiring programme of panel sessions, demonstrations and industry-driven networking opportunities. The Total Production International – TPi Breakthrough Talent Awards was also presented at Production Futures to acknowledge the hard work of up-and-coming members of the industry. The awards were open to anyone aged 30 and under, who are involved in lighting, set or video design, front-of-house and monitor
engineering, backline tech, production coordination, stage and production management and rigging. There were a range of technical careers available for young people in the technical and production sector that includes a variety of jobs that includes lighting, sound, rigging and Audio Visual. The technical and production sector utilises a diverse array of skills, including sound design, sound engineering and mixing, cabling, lighting design and engineering, programming, design to name a few. SARA gratefully acknowledges the Department of Arts and Culture for its support of SARA’s International Program, which enabled Promise Khuzwayo and Thembakazi Zabemhlola to travel to the UK and absorb new skills from and at the legendary Backstage Academy. www.saroadies.co.za www.productionfutures.co.uk www.backstage-academy.co.uk
Recognising Production Talent In The Middle East
SAVE THE DATE 24 April 2019
For sponsorship opportunities and to book tickets, please contact Hannah Eakins or Justin Gawne.
The Power Specialists
SES Global FZC
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WILD & MARR’S IMPACT TOUR VISITS A STRING OF SOUTH AFRICA CITIES VISITING A PLETHORA OF SOUTH AFRICA’S MAJOR CITIES INCLUDING JOHANNESBURG, CAPE TOWN AND DURBAN DURING OCTOBER; WILD & MARR SHOWCASES A RANGE OF HARMAN PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTS.
Wild & Marr’s existing and potential clients; freelance engineers, audio educational institutions, educational institutions, houses of worship, system integrators, rental companies and others; descended on its latest tour of South Africa to witness the integration of Harman professional brands, JBL Professional, Crown, Soundcraft, Lexicon and BSS Audio. JBL Professional, Shure, Crown, Soundcraft and BSS Audio were the pillars of the system, and the integration was supported by products from DirectOut Technologies, Avid Pro Tools, RME and TASCAM. Various technologies were used in the integration and connection process including Dante, MADI, AES3, BLU-Link, MIDI triggering all aligned with timecode and clocking. Gabriel Le Roux of Audiosense, a monitor & recording engineer in the industry and Soundcraft’s Brand Ambassador in South Africa brought to attention that the goal of the tour was to showcase a high level of audio integration, which was achieved by utilising an audio infrastructure where all source and playback audio remained in the digital realm. “The Soundcraft Vi1000 digital mixing console was the centrepiece and the scenes on the console were triggered via MIDI that was programmed on the Pro Tools timeline. Timecode was used to trigger lighting cues. It’s key to note that we didn’t utilise any analogue inputs or outputs. Therefore all audio originated from Pro Tools was transported digitally via MADI Coax to
MADI fibre to Dante to Blue-Link to AES3. We used Shure Axient Digital and Shure ULXD4D receivers that were integrated via Dante allowing for the Shure metadata to be brought onto the console, allowing for monitoring and controlling various Shure features,” explained Le Roux “The attendees were impressed by the main speaker system consisting of the 2 x JBL CBT1000 and 2 x JBL CBT1000E bass extension arrays. This latest addition to the CBT range of column line array speakers created incredible impact in each venue. Sub-bass was augmented with 2 x JBL VTX G28 Subwoofers to create a very well balanced and cohesive frequency response with various music genres that formed part of the listening experience.” observed Juan Soothill of In-Harmony Productions. Amplification and processing were provided by Crown I-Tech HD, with control and monitoring through Performance Manager by Harman. “The JBL VTX A12 system was also very well received and close attention to detail was paid by the attendees on the various components, how small and compact the elements are and most of all how incredibly simple and intuitive the rigging system is,” Juan added. JBL’s premium dedicated stage monitors the JBL VTX M22 and M20 were demonstrated in a stereo configuration. For the demonstration, they were set-up in passive mode, and high praise for their performance was received especially considering their compact form-factor. Harman’s Business Development Manager Lyle Tarby added his thoughts on the day: “I think the session had a good turnout and presentations were seamless. The attendees were very engaged, asked lots of questions and were impressed overall. Attendees were taking photographs of the model numbers so they can go back and do some research. The JBL VTX A12s were well received, and the audience was impressed with the ability to rig them and adjust them to varying degrees. It’s an impressive system, and from a rigging perspective it’s very easy to set up with minimal effort.” Shure has a rich history of being a globally trusted quality product and leader in microphone technology. Andrea Granata, Systems Solutions Manager at Shure EMEA, introduced the audience
to Shure’s Axient Digital Wireless Microphone System. A focus was the ability to enable Quadversity mode, the patented technology which allows for extended coverage of a microphone channel. With the ability to achieve a high density of channels into a single “white space”, with the limitations being placed on RF engineers, is a major selling point for this system. The Axient Digital systems were complemented by KSM8 capsules with patent pending dualdiaphragm design. “The tour was successful. Most of the interest was derived from the very basic foundation of Shure with its reliability when it comes to wireless microphone technology. There was a fortune of interest generated by the listening station, and it certainly peaked the interest of what I’ve seen”, observed Granata. The Soundcraft Ui24 digital mixer coupled with the Shure PSM300 system and Shure SRH840 headphones, with touchscreen control via the Sharp Professional Touch Screen Display was intuitively operated by the attendees at the listening station, who got to compare a range of Shure microphones. “The response has been very positive. What got the attention of the attendees was the fact that we are not running any analogue audio between the various devices. Most of the attendees had not seen this level of integration in the digital realm before, and that was one of the three key drivers behind this tour, being connectivity, integration and innovation. By focusing on the technology in the solution whether audio or data as opposed to the individual products, allowed the attendees to use their own creative thinking in solution concepts based on their relevant applications. From that perspective it’s been an amazing success, bringing the innovation not only in the products but in the complete design process too.” concluded Wild & Marr’s Sales Director, Gary Furman. Wild & Marr, recently being appointed sole distributors of Harman Professional’s AMX Control Systems and SVSI Video Distribution, are well positioned to bring your complete solution to fruition. www.dwrdistribution.co.za
REGIONAL ROUND UP
DWR DISTRIBUTION PRESENTS PROLYTE GROUP RIGGING COURSE THE COURSE WILL COVER A RANGE OF TOPICS FROM RIGGING BASICS TO INTERMEDIATE TECHNIQUES. The annual Prolyte Rigging Course will be hosted at the DWR Distribution headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa from 28 January to 2 February 2019. Presented by Rhino Rig’s Rinus Bakke, the course will cover a range of topics from safety, maintenance, lifting materials and force calculations to load tables and so much more. While the final day of the course is a practical hands-on session.
Those interested in attending must be competent in mathematics. While delegates who pass the course will receive certification and 48 SACIA CPD points. The cost is 9,750 (ZAR) including VAT and includes lunch and refreshments. Attendees are prompted to let organisers know if you have any dietary requirements. Bookings can be made online at: www.dwrdistribution.co.za/register/prolyte-riggingtraining-january-2019
ROBE SPIIDERS ENTER THE MUNGA PIERRE GRIFFIOEN, OWNER OF PURE EVENT GEAR, FLIES THE ROBE SPIIDER FLAG AS HE COMPETES IN THE SINGLE STAGE MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE. Realising he was going to have a quiet week at the office, Griffioen, a cycling enthusiast and a Robe user, decided at the last moment to enter the Munga. “I called Duncan Riley from DWR Distribution and asked if he wanted to be part of it,” said Pierre. “As is always the DWR attitude, he said yes, and has come on board as a contributor which is really amazing.” Griffioen will be riding in his Spiider kit, the same gear he rode for the Epic Race in 2017. “I’m proud to be associated with Robe. I love the Spiider kit and it’s nice to be back in it again. The Munga is tougher than the Epic, and I want to see how far I can push myself.” In South Africa, the Robe Spiider, a LED WashBeam luminaire, has become an industry standard with lighting designers. Robe and DWR are often willing to lend a hand when it come to sponsorship and supporting the industry. The Karroo, where the race takes place, is a semi desert and towns are far apart from each other. “I love the Karoo and it has always been a happy place for me,” commented Griffioen. “It is where my mother was born. I look forward to taking photos of sunrises, sunsets, and whatever I encounter on route and sharing the experience
on the social media platform. Obviously, I’ll be going through the Karoo and none of the farmers will know what Robe or Spiider are all about,” he laughed. “But perhaps we’ll educate one or two of them along the way!” he exclaimed. Duncan Riley of DWR is often keen to sponsor individuals in the industry who are passionate about sport. “For Pierre, to even consider entering the Munga is an achievement,” said Riley. “I’ve got some background to the race, and I know someone who has entered the Munga running trail four times without completing it. His biggest goal is to achieve it. The cycling is the same... it’s no simple feat. Secondly, to think Pierre is riding for Robe and DWR is a wonderful opportunity. It continues the relationship I’ve had since meeting him at Westgate Shopping Centre when he was doing a Patricia Lewis gig over twenty years ago! At the time he was using
Strand Brio Profiles my dad had sold to him.” The Munga was created by adventurer Alex Harris, with the first race taking place in December 2015. The dream was always to create a race with a huge reward, and that’s still the ultimate goal. For the time being, it’s a race that teaches endurance through hardship and difficulty. www.robe.cz www.dwrdistribution.co.za
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REGIONAL ROUND UP
ROBE REMAINS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
In Die Kollig (In the Spotlight) is a brand-new TV music show in South Africa produced by Johan Stemmet, broadcasted on SABC 2. The show’s lighting and video equipment was supplied and creatively illuminated by Ryan Lombard, HOD of Lighting at Blond Productions, who utilised around 100 Robe moving lights and other fixtures to provide a variety of looks. All the lighting and video equipment were supplied by Blond Productions. The initial set design was a collaboration with Dream Sets, after which Lombard and Christiaan Ballot – owner and founder of Blond Productions, now one of the leading South African TV lighting and production specialists – were asked for their input. They also specified the video screens at this stage. Once the set details were finalised, they started working out the lighting positions. Lombard had plenty of creative freedom as director Anne Williams and he has worked together before, and she knew he would deliver the required atmospherics and mood. Three U-shaped trusses were installed in the roof of the studios to provide most of the lighting positions. The upstage one was the widest, with the other two reduced in size proportionately to give a shrinking perspective effect. One of the briefs from the producers was that they wanted it to look huge on camera, yet also capture the intimate, cabaret-style vibe, with guests sitting at tables around the performance space, rather than on traditional tribune seating.
Other lighting positions were provided by truss totem towers positioned around the stage at floor level. Rigged on these were 36 Robe LEDBeam 100s, 12 Robe miniPointes, 12 Robe MMX Spots, 18 Robe LEDWash 300s, 12 Robe 600E Beams and 8 Robe PATT 2013s, plus a selection of Robe LED PARs, and battens. The little Robe LEDBeam 100s were the main effects lights of the show and provided the most spectacular eye candy looks. Lombard mostly ran them at only 10-20% brightness to be subtler with the effects, a ploy that worked better for all the low angle camera shots. Robe miniPointes were a key fixture together with the MMX Spots and 600E Beams, used extensively throughout all the songs to create mood and ambience. Lombard has used Robe products on numerous projects in the last 10 years since he’s been working for Blond, and the Robe miniPointe is currently one of his favourite fixtures. “It’s plenty bright for the camera and you can almost do a whole show just using prisms and three or four colours.” Robe MMX Spots were perfect for washing the main set and floor area, for defined beams and nice simple zoomed-in gobo looks, while Robe LEDWash 300s were a major source of back-light and great for washing and augmenting the performance area. The lighting console was an MA Lighting grandMA2 light with a grandMA2 NPU, also
running an MA VPU with all the video content that Blonde, compiled especially for the production. Ryan programmed furiously during each available two-hour session, creating all the effects lighting and major looks, while Alisdair Richards took care of the ‘classic’ television lighting elements like key lighting, perfecting flesh tones and eliminating shadows, for which he used a different system comprising 40 2K fresnels, 12 ETC Source Fours and 2 Robert Juliat Topaze follow spots. The set featured seven separate screens, five built using 48 x 6mm LED panels which were more abstract in shape, so the graphics were scaled exactly to fit. The two high def 7 x 4 metre side screens were built from 56 x panels of 2.9 mm LED – also from Blond. Lombard enjoyed lighting all the stars taking part for different reasons, however, Afrikaans singer Jannie Moolman possibly stood out the most. “The overall tempo of his show was relaxed,” he explained. “It wasn’t packed with of whizbang moments but seeing it on camera for the first time I realised just how dynamic the design looked and how it worked in so many different contexts.” Photos: Stemburg TV www.robe.cz
ULTRA EVENTS CHAMPIONS PHILIPS SL NITRO FIXTURES IN THE BOXING RING PHILIPS SL NITRO 510 AND PHILIPS SL NITRO 510C FIXTURES, SUPPLIED BY ULTRA EVENTS, PACK A PUNCH FOR THE LATEST INSTALLMENT OF A SOUTH AFRICAN BOXING EVENT, KINGS OF THE CASTLE.
“We wanted to get away from the typical 24 fresnel or Par64 set up of the boxing ring,” explained Ultra Events owner, Costa Champanis. “After much deliberation, we decided on the SL Nitro 510, 8 positioned to light the ring in white, with 4 SL Nitro 510C firing blue light into the audience of around 1,200 people.” “The lights worked perfectly, that’s the only way to describe it,” Costa commented. “The cameramen, the broadcast production manager and the live show producer were very happy with the colour temperature and the even spread of
light. We have a balancing act between lighting the show for a live audience and lighting the show for broadcast. At this tournament, we had a third element, live online streaming.” Built between 1666 and 1679, the Castle of Good Hope, also known as The Castle, is one of the oldest surviving building in South Africa and has been the centre of civilian, political and military life at the Cape from approximately 1679. A tourist attraction and heritage site, The Castle is possibly one of the best preserved 17th century DEIC architecture on the entire globe. Strict safety regulations, with an emphasis on
protecting the building, must be adhered to. “We have worked in The Castle many times, but it is tough,” Costa admited. “You can’t drive trucks in, so it means we have to hand carry equipment from the parking lot into the venue.” Loadout, needless to say, is a challenge, and power cables have to be run, again, with safety and walking feet, in mind. “The Ultra crew were amazing,” ended Costa. “Without them Ultra is nothing. It was another great event which we were proud to be part of.” Photos: Kalakoda Promoters, Dan Edwards www.ultraevents.co.za
AMBA+ DEBUTS AT THE SHOPRITE SUPER SERVICE AWARDS CAPE TOWN’S FIRST GREEN HIPPO AMBA+ WAS PUT THROUGH ITS PACES AT THE SHOPRITE SUPER SERVICE AWARDS HELD IN A 2400SQM EXECUJET HANGAR AT CAPE TOWN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT...
Solid Group was appointed by Venturescapes Events to supply the full technical at the awards, attended by 600 guests; taking ownership of the Hippotizer Amba+ a few days before the event. “We initially came up to visit DWR Distribution purely to attend the L-Acoustics KIVA demo with Richard Smith,” Alex van Dyk, owner of the Solid Group, explained. “Luckily,
we set aside enough time so that we could go through all the toys. Dylan Jones spent time with us on the Green Hippo, and we completely fell in love with it. Even having the baby Amba+, it’s incredible how powerful such a small unit can be, and this is the entry level unit! It packs a punch.” Keystone Productions created the content around the three separate screens. “The nominees’ names would appear on the left-hand
screen, and the area from which they came from would be on the right-hand screen, with an award category always on the centre screen with a rolling video,” van Dyk commented. “For some of the artists’ performance, they had a camera in the middle and video running on both sides or vice-versa. So we would split the screens up to do different things at different times which is exactly where the Hippo came in and did
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incredibly well.” The Amba+ worked in conjunction with the live feed from Solid Group’s new NewTek TriCaster MiniAdvanced, with connection via NewTekNDI, which of course is so much quicker than an SDI feed. “The latency on the camera was unnoticeable,” said van Dyk. The investment into Green Hippo was a huge step for the Solid Group. “It allows us to take our clients and their shows to the next generation of audiovisual technology. Green Hippo allows us to do projection mapping, custom content, pixel mapping, time code and timeline productions.” In addition, the company’s Andrew Pettit and Dylan Edwards agree the Hippotizer is simple to use, with a friendly interface, saying that once your content is in, you can manipulate it as much as you want. It’s almost point and shoot! Solid Group was born twelve years ago, but with a different name - Bundi Productions. “We had a partner in Bundi Adventures, and about five years ago, we bought the partnership out and created a PTY,” van Dyk recalled. “Because they owned the trade name, Bundi, we rebranded as Solid and we’re always known as Solid Event Technical. In September 2017, we decided to broaden our name and created Solid Group, consisting of the different services we offer from Venue Technical Management to Event Power, Event Technical and the Design Element of a show, where we have found the
largest platform for us to grow. Clients want to see what a product will look like before they sign off anything. Being able to show them the lighting plots, the stage, the set design even to the point where the concert gets designed at an early stage, plays such a large role in making your client happy from start to finish.” van Dyk assured for a business to start off you have to be good at everything, but to excel
at something, you have to hire people who are better than you. Solid Group consists of a strong team who have their eye on technology and creating the wow factor. The focus is to work with clients on a one-on-one basis to create a final product that exceeds their clients’ expectations. Photos: Andrew Gorman Photography www.solidgroup.co.za www.green-hippo.com
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N&M was commissioned to technically plan and implement the multimedia experience in the German Pavilion at the Expo 2017 Astana. The result was an impressive 360-degree presentation which was further augmented by a three-dimensional audio installation. “Best Pavilion”, “Best Interpretation of the Expo Theme” and “Best Interactive Exhibit” were some of the awards received by this pavilion.
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Corona Sunsets Festival, Muscat Airport Extension, 88th Saudi National Day, Kings of the Castle, Shoprite Super Service Awards.