A celebratory mood was in the air this morning as PLASA Show opened the doors of Olympia for its 40th show. With Robe once again Platinum sponsor, Chauvet Professional Gold Sponsor, infinity Silver Sponsor and Hawthorn Technical Sponsor, there are over 200 brands on the show floor, displaying the very latest pro audio, lighting, effects, AV, staging and rigging technology, an enhanced seminar programme that sees more than 100 industry experts giving key-note talks, live demos, interactive workshops and panel discussions, plus a new Fast Track Theatre featuring additional, bite-sized sessions.
“Prior to the show starting, there was a real sense of anticipation,” says PLASA managing director Peter Heath. “There’s already a relaxed and business-like feel to the exhibition and whether it’s your first PLASA or your 40th, there’s something here for you.”
The PLASA Show is also back on the trade show map as a launch pad for new products, with Harman showing its new Vi1000 digital mixing console alongside UK distributor Sound Technology Ltd, KV2 is launching its new VHD2.18J, a direct radiating bass-reflex loudspeaker containing two 18” high performance transducers, and Adamson is showing its new IS-Series of loudspeakers.
New offerings in lighting include Robe’s MegaPointe multi-purpose moving light, City Theatrical’s new DMXcat controller, three new lighting essentials from CLF - the Yara, Ares XS and LEDwash XL - and the Maverik MK2 Profile is on display on the Chauvet Professional stand. High End Systems is launching its new SolaFrame 750 automated luminaire, Artistic Licence promises an electrifying experience with its new DMX-Protect, and Elation Professional promises two product launches - the Artiste Dali, a full-featured moving head with state-of-the-art LED / Laser Phosphor light engine and the new Dartz 360, a full colour-mixing LED beam/spot fixture with gobos and effects.
ETC has its tradeshow debut of the recently launched Ion Xe lighting desks and the soon-to-be released ColorSource Cyc fixture, Eaton is expanding its award-winning Zero 88 FLX range with two powerful, all-new lighting control consoles, with the new FLX S24 and FLX S48 on show. UK distributor Ambersphere is also making the most of this year’s PLASA with the world debut of the Ghibli from Ayrton, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary, two new fixtures from Clay Paky – the Axcor Profile 900 and the K-EYE HCR – and the Oz and the Alice from Robert Juliat, as well as provided dot2 training, which offers an opportunity to explore the MA Lighting’s dot2 console in the Product Training Theatre.
Having won an award for innovation at last year’s show, Ten 47 is officially launching its Powerline QC connector and rigging, suspension and lifting equipment manufacturer Doughty Engineering unveils a new version of its popular Space Saver.
Highlights of Day One’s seminar programme in the Audio & AV Theatre - situated on Olympia’s Gallery floor, along with the Lighting, Staging and Rigging and Fast Track Theatres - include one of the UK’s premier installation companies for church audio-visual projects, SFL Group, hosting Designing audio systems for churches; why is it so difficult?; sound designers Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin talking about their incredible work to build a shifting world of sound on The Encounter, Simon McBurney’s solo performance at The Barbican, which traces National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre's journey into the depths of the Amazon rainforest.
For those with a bent towards Lighting, Staging and Rigging, Rockart Design’s Nicoline Refsing, celebrated for her personal work on Eurovision, hosts Bringing the Rock n Roll experience to live events, where she explores how high-end brands want to adopt more dramatic and immersive story telling techniques into their events; in Playing with the Edge of the Light: Bringing puppetry to life at Little Angel Theatre David Duffy, head of production at Polka Theatre, discusses the challenges and rewards of lighting puppetry, creating rich and complex theatre; and 40 Years of Lighting Design, with Theatre Projects’ Richard Pilbrow, Kelli Zezulka from the ALD and lighting designer David Hersey, looks back over the last forty years of lighting design in the UK.
Today’s new Fast Track Theatre bite-sized sessions include SiPA next steps - building a smart contract platform on the Blockchain for the live production industry, Getting a Foot in the Door with Soulsound’s Darryn de la Soul, the Production Managers Forum Reboot Meeting at PLASA show 2017 and Technical Standards for Places of Entertainment hosted by the ABTT.