Audio Visual

EU threat to stage lighting challenged by Robe Lighting CEO

Robe Lighting CEO Josef Valchar

Josef Valchar, CEO of Robe Lighting s.r.o is petitioning the Czech government and Czech Euro MPs to request that they exempt all stage lighting equipment (EN 60598-2-17, IEC 60598-2-17:2017) from proposed legislation that will prohibit its manufacture and sale immediately across Europe in 2020.

“I cannot stress the importance of this enough.” stated Josef.

“Every manufacturer, rental company, venue, LD, technician and other individual or organisation involved in any aspect of entertainment lighting or in producing events and performances should have a vested interest in opening a sensible and measured discussion about how it affects stage luminaires producing less than 85 lumens per Watt”.

“It is URGENT!!! We have only until the 7th May – that’s just 10 days – to get objections registered in Brussels! If we do this, then there will have to be a debate before the laws is passed.” underlines Josef.

He continues, “It is a vitally important time for the industry to unite and object to these proposals … to preserve tools at the very essence of our vibrant, diverse and creative industry!”

The proposed legislation – the Energy Directorate’s Eco-design Working Plan 2016-2019 – will affect the entire industry, from lighting designer’s right through to manufacturers, rental companies and venues, technicians and everyone at all levels involved in the fabric and infrastructure of entertainment lighting.

Tungsten arc lamps will immediately become unavailable … so most lighting fixtures in most theatres Europe wide … will become obsolete.

Many more recent high quality LED lighting units will also be banned under the proposals which will bring the vast majority of quality theatre lights under the same rules that govern domestic, office and industrial lighting.

The impact of the proposals as they currently stand will be immediate and overwhelming.

The legislation relates to the amount of lumens output rather than the quality, and does not take into account lights utilising sophisticated optical systems which are geared to performance and entertainment lighting.

The entertainment industry will be left with virtually no tools with which to light concerts, festivals, events plays, musicals, dance events, television shows!

Many venues and production will go dark, others wanting to continue will have to be lit with equipment which is not appropriate or designed for the application.

It is as simple – and as stark – as that!

Josef is quick to point out that the Robe Company is among the greatest supporters of sustainable and energy efficient lighting. As a manufacturer, Robe has been committed to this philosophy and integrated it into its development process for well over a decade.

Josef’s statement concludes, “The technical production industry, and lighting and visuals in particular, has produced so many stunning and multi-award winning works worldwide and enabled numerous highly talented and skilled individuals to collaborate and has made important and invaluable contribution to our culture.

“It is imperative that EU industry leaders petition lawmakers in their own countries and urge them to start a dialogue on these proposals which will affect the industry so dramatically”

Other action that you can take includes signing online petitions.

In the UK the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) is running an online petition which contains over 14,000 signatures to date …

Please find the link to the ALD petition here – click on “sign and share the petition here” .. it takes only a couple of seconds!

“I strongly encourage everyone to get behind the campaign to change these proposals” urges Josef,

“Performance in all its forms is an expression at the heart of our numerous European cultures. Without moving, dramatic and spectacular lighting and visual effects, the experience will lack character and emotional engagement!”

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ICC Sydney supports next generation with world class Audio Visual Graduate Program

International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) is supporting the next generation of technical professionals with the launch of its paid Audio Visual Graduate Program, designed to provide unparalleled vocational training and development opportunities.

As part of the initiative, five exceptional graduates are gaining exposure to a year-round calendar of events, exhibitions and conventions, working across all areas of ICC Sydney’s leading AV and production services including rigging, audio, lighting and vision.

New AV graduates

ICC Sydney CEO, Geoff Donaghy, said that the venue is committed to fostering young talent, embedding new starters into the culture of ICC Sydney and seeing them play their part in delivering extraordinary events for clients.

“We believe in creating careers not simply jobs. The AV Graduate Program is the embodiment of this approach and builds on our vision to become a true employer of choice and a leader in providing outstanding professional development for our greatest asset – our people. I look forward to seeing our new graduates thrive.”

Delivering training to the highest industry standards, participants will work alongside ICC Sydney’s expert team of technical directors, project managers and operators to learn how to meet the needs of every event type today, and into the future.

Brian Nash

ICC Sydney’s Director of Audio Visual Services, Brian Nash, said the annual program will have a new intake each year and be delivered as part of ICC Sydney’s Academy of Extraordinary, which sees the venue partner with education providers and department representatives to integrate learning and accredited training into work practice for its 1,700-person workforce.

“As an industry, we need to encourage more people to choose a career in AV Services and back them from the outset. We were pleased to receive 175 applications from as far as Scotland and have now recruited five stand out candidates who have a genuine interest in and affinity with AV Services – people who will grow with ICC Sydney.”

Donaghy noted that ICC Sydney’s innovative approach to training and skills development has already received strong industry recognition, and is set to be bolstered by this latest initiative.

“To date, we have invested significantly in blended learning to ensure our team is not only operating to the venue’s world class standards, but is provided with strong career progression opportunities.

“In 2017, more than 1,000 staff participated in close to 23,000 hours of training across 39 courses and already, this is undoubtedly enhancing our capabilities as a business to drive innovation, collaboration and engagement for our people, our clients and our visitors,” he said.

Staging Connections kicks off Brisbane Broncos 30-year celebrations and season launch

The Brisbane Broncos 30-year celebration and season launch event was awash with maroon and gold on Friday night as the NRL team announced their team line-up for 2018.

Among the 720 in attendance were state and local government representatives, esteemed sponsors, Broncos players past and present, and club members.

Staging Connections were entrusted with the launch for a third year, with just two weeks for the Sydney and Brisbane project teams to design and produce the set and bring all the custom event elements together.

The main event was the highly anticipated reveal of the 2018 Brisbane Broncos player line-up, with each welcomed to the stage through a stadium-like tunnel hidden by their silhouette and unveiled en route to the ‘grandstand’, amid dynamic ballyhoo lighting in Broncos team colours.

Evening formalities were overseen by MC and Fox Sports presenter, Yvonne Samson, and included an address from Minister for Sport, The Honourable Mick de Brenni, and Broncos CEO, Paul White. Guests were also privy to a sneak peek of the club’s pre-season preparations ahead of this week’s season opener against the Dragons.

Broncos legends, guests and players, were overwhelmed by the touching video showcase of the Broncos’ legendary 30-year history, beginning in the 1988 season, drawing together decades of club history and spectacular performances.

To elevate the special celebrations, the Staging Connections team custom-designed the set to include a large format custom aspect ‘blend’ screen with multiple surfaces for content to be displayed throughout the night. This was set around a projection-mapped Bronco head and a large ‘30’ produced by Ikonix which took centre-stage in the stunning venue.

An impressive 40-foot screen above the stage displayed the vision from cameras live-streaming a close-up of each player as they were announced to the stage, as well as showcasing the evening’s entertainment to the admiring crowd. Throughout the evening, video content was played on two sixteen-foot rear-projection screens, lit by high-quality projectors.

Staging Connections National Sales Director, Michael Magafa, commented on the team’s superb ability to create a memorable event within such a tight timeline,

“Having a team of event professionals with a vast array of technical and creative specialists in the AV industry gives Staging Connections the ability to deliver premium events such as the Broncos season launch with superior quality.”

Brisbane Broncos Events Manager, Katie Croll, thanked the Staging team,

“Thank you to the team for all of your efforts in executing the launch on Friday night, we’ve had fantastic feedback and we really appreciate the team’s investment in the success of the event.”

Norwest Productions named as Official Ceremonies Audio System provider for the Gold Coast 2018

Leading event audio company Norwest Productions, part of the NW Group, has been named Official Ceremonies Audio System provider for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018).

Norwest Productions will deliver stadium audio design and production for the capacity crowds and global audience of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies being held at Carrara Stadium, on the Gold Coast.

Norwest Productions has a strong history of delivering full audio services to large-scale events including the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, 2004 Athens Olympic Games, 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Cameron Murray, General Manager, Commercial, GOLDOC; Mario Valenti, Group Sales Director, NW Group and Andy Marsh, Special Projects Manager, NW Group.

Cameron Murray, General Manager, Commercial, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC), said the depth of experience and talent in large-scale event production of Norwest will be on show for the whole world during the Games.

“The Opening and Closing Ceremonies are key to the projection of the Gold Coast’s, Queensland’s and Australia’s image to the world. What people hear, see and feel will be critical to the Games’ success.

“We’re confident that with Norwest’s experience, team, equipment and processes, we will have a world-class experience for athletes, officials, spectators and viewers,” said Mr Murray.

Chris Kennedy, Director and Founder of Norwest Productions, said his team brings a wealth of experience in audio at large-scale events.

“We are absolutely focused on working in partnership with the Ceremonies team to deliver a sound experience that all visitors attending GC2018 will be in awe of.

“It’s great to be working in Australia again on these major events, the last time being Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. Our team, headed up by Andy Marsh, includes highly skilled and experienced technical directors who know and understand the pressures of designing and delivering audio for large scale events. We are thrilled and humbled to be working on the largest event ever held in Queensland,” said Mr Kennedy.

Norwest Productions will work in partnership with Jack Morton Worldwide for the Ceremonies.

Microhire appointed by W Brisbane to bring exclusive event technology to delegates

Microhire has been appointed by W Brisbane, the first new-build, five-star hotel to open in Brisbane’s CBD in twenty years, to offer its clients exclusive, first to market technology.

Microhire’s General Manager of Fiji & Queensland Jamie Hughes said the new partnership is proof that Microhire is the provider of choice for prestigious brands.

“The team at Microhire will deliver an unprecedented level of innovation that will complement the remarkable W brand. We have designed an impressive technology showcase that will differentiate W Brisbane in a highly competitive market,” he said.

“Our technology solutions will be a game changer, with Microhire helping to position W Brisbane as the only hotel ballroom in Queensland with a permanently installed multipurpose wide format LED wall. The three large high definition panels can be separated to accommodate several events at the same time.

“Our state of the art technology will also allow W Brisbane to undertake table mapping projections in-house, provide a permanently installed concert line array, and offer clients a spectacular centerpiece option that will bring science, art and technology together for a captivating table feature” he said.

Haldon Philp, General Manager, W Brisbane said the hotel is going to raise the calibre of Brisbane’s business event offerings to new heights, establishing Brisbane’s reputation as a leader in the field – not just in Australia, but more widely across the Asia Pacific region.

“As the closest, largest, five-star hotel to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, with 1,100 square metres of vibrant riverside meeting and event space and custom technology, we anticipate W Brisbane will quickly become the preferred event venue in the city,” he said.

“To reach such heights, we needed to align with a like-minded event staging provider who shares our passion for delivering next level events and are able to provide the very latest technologies. We’re confident Microhire’s impressive technology solutions will ensure W Brisbane continues to steal the scene when it comes to hosting events and meetings,” he added.

W Brisbane is the latest business win for Microhire on Australia’s east coast. In Brisbane, the company has a venue partnership with the Royal International Convention Centre and a new Preferred Supplier Agreement with Brisbane Powerhouse.

The partnership plays into Microhire’s expansion strategy, having delivered more than 8,500 events in the past 12 months and a successful expansion into Fiji.  Microhire exceeded its projections for the 2017 financial year to become the largest privately owned corporate audio visual event staging company in the country.

Laservision blends technology and art to create world-class customer experiences in Dubai

Following the 46th UAE National Day on the 2nd of December—a celebration of the UAE’s Union Day between the seven emirates with a plethora of world class entertainment options—it can be said that customer engagement in the region has flourished in recent years. The UAE’s entertainment sector is expected to boost tourism revenues to $44 billion by 2020, and consumer interaction and immersive technologies are at the forefront of the entertainment technology movement, as demonstrated by Laservision with Dubai Festival City’s IMAGINE.

IMAGINE is a prime example of the quality of immersive technology and entertainment in the region, celebrating its one-year anniversary on the 26th of December. A world record-setting spectacular conceptualised, designed and installed by Laservision, IMAGINE is undoubtedly one of Dubai’s most magnificent entertainment and tourism attractions, contributing to the spectacular redevelopment of Dubai Festival City Mall.

Used for National Day celebrations in 2016 and 2017, the launch of Game of Thrones Season 7, special events and more, IMAGINE has seen astronomical success with an increase of 40% footfall to the Mall within the opening 6 months. “IMAGINE signifies the endless opportunities and possibilities of viewers from Dubai and around the world to interact and be a part of the show and to connect with something truly unique,” said Steven Cleaver, Director Shopping Malls, Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate.

The possibilities are indeed endless, with a company that blends art, science, technology and customer experience to create unique and immersive experiences.

Mr. Shannon Brooks, CEO, Laservision commented that “Laservision prides itself in the ability to surprise and delight the audience at every moment in our productions and installations. Modern audiences around the world expect the very best in immersive entertainment and Laservision continues to deliver on their expectations; raising the bar for large-scale entertainment attractions”

Laservision’s installations have seen great success, being used for other world-renowned events such as New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore and The Venetian, Macau, and are the name behind the world’s most unforgettable spectaculars. This demonstrates the incredible flexibility of Laservision attractions, which are reprogrammable and designed to be used throughout the year, giving even greater return on investment for clients.

Such flexibility has also been demonstrated with Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, where Laservision produced a light and water show to captivate audiences using music, theatrical lighting, water effects, pyrotechnics, fountains and choreographed special effects synchronised into a single spectacular nightly performance. The show has been used as a spectacular to further engage audiences at National Day celebrations, New Year’s Eve Countdowns, Earth Hour and the world’s only Formula 1 night race.

Mr. Brooks continued saying that “as Laservision considers a client’s brief for their next world-class attraction, we are always looking to the long-term benefits and longevity of the technology and attractions we produce. It’s important to us that our attractions can be used in in a variety of events throughout the year, increasing our client’s return on investment.”

The quest for improved, unforgettable and long-lasting customer experience is top of mind for all brands. Laservision’s unique sensory experiences are strategically planned and executed to provide flexibility and longevity.

AV1 and City Recital Hall offering live production traineeships to meet critical NSW skills shortage

AV1 and City Recital Hall are taking part in a pilot program for Live Production traineeships to streamline and expedite the hiring, training and certification of much needed technical workers for live events in NSW.

Officially launched in November 2017 and a first for the Live Production sector, a series of consultations was organised by the ACFIPS ITAB, whereby ArtsReady recruits applicants and TAFE NSW provides the traineeships for employers such as AV1 and City Recital Hall.

The pilot program will be offered in Sydney initially, then rolled out across NSW in 2018. Opportunities have already been posted on Seek

AV1 and City Recital Hall are working closely with TAFE NSW and ArtsReady to ensure that training package units match the needs of the workplace environment.

With the recent opening of the new International Convention Centre Sydney and an increase in technically demanding events, there has been a demonstrated shortage of skilled live production technicians. The growth in the use of technology in events and performance has exacerbated this shortage.

The Live Production sector now has the opportunity to meet current skills shortages and take steps to meet the future needs of this expanding industry sector.

Experienced in training initiatives and their processes and outcomes, under the program both AV1 and City Recital Hall will take on trainees for a 12 month period to maximise their learning opportunity.

Unlike other TAFE NSW supported traineeship programs that have recently launched, these new Live Production traineeships will specifically target individuals with a keen interest in the industry looking to gain an accelerated entry into the profession.

ACFIPS Chair Tim Cramsie said that the shortage situation should start to improve now that action was being taken.

‘Live production technicians often have to employ their knowledge and skills in front of hundreds or thousands of people in a performance environment. Prospective employers are looking to a workplace traineeship to provide the assurance that technical skills have been assessed as performance ready in a real-world setting.’

‘The trainee pilot program has been developed to provide on-the-job training, mentoring and support for the skilled live production technicians of the future.’

If you have had some experience in live events and are looking to start your career, this traineeship is your entry to a dynamic industry sector.

To find out more or apply for a Certificate III in Live Production and Services traineeship position contact:

Rog Chhabra, Program Manager NSW & ACT, ArtsReady

T: (02) 8333 8013   |   M: 0401 799 557   |   Email

Alyce Kelly AV1, Keith Wootton AV1, Max Wilson ACFIPS, Tim Cramsie AV1


Arts Communications Finance Industries and Property Services Industry Training Advisory Body (ACFIPS ITAB) is a not-for-profit organisation funded by Training Services NSW Department of Industry and specific grants from other government agencies.


TAFE NSW is Australia’s leading provider of vocational education and training with over 500,000 enrolments each year. In addition to live production, they offer training in event management, film and television, set design, audio engineering, music performance, music business and electronic music production.

About ArtsReady

ArtsReady Ltd is a national, not-for-profit Employment and Education program of AFL SportsReady, supported by the Australian Government. As a Group Training Organisation (GTO), they deliver support, training and education through traineeships, resulting in quality employment opportunities for young Australians.

About AV1

AV1 designs and produces events and experiences, offering services across production management, audio visual, digital media and event technology, and is a certified B Corporation.

About City Recital Hall

City Recital Hall produces, presents and hosts a rich and diverse program of concerts and events, embracing all genres and art forms from chamber orchestras to opera, contemporary ensembles to bands, talks and debates, to festival events.


A winning partnership between Staging Connections and Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Staging Connections has elevated its standing as leaders in the field by securing a brand new contract with the luxurious Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. A part of the acclaimed AccorHotels Group, this is the first time the five-star hotel has chosen to outsource its AV services to a dedicated supplier.

Staging Connections have been discussing opportunities with the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth for over two years, ultimately succeeding thanks to their clear culture fit and client understanding. The Staging Connections team convinced the hotel of its ability to offer value-adding advantages to the hotel’s current set-up, as well as their extensive client service experience.

The Sofitel Sydney Wentworth was the city’s first international five-star establishment, and with its ideal central city location and exceptional conference and meeting facilities, it’s the perfect option for a wide-array of corporate events.

The Staging Connections partnership will enable the Sofitel Sydney to offer a far wider range of services than they previously could provide. It also means greater access to resources to support the hotel in delivering larger and more technically-complex events.

Established in the 1800s, the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth features 11 elegant event spaces and a dedicated conference floor within the hotel. The impressive conference floor can accommodate up to 1200 delegates in a variety of specific configurations, from gala dinners and trade shows, to intimate boardroom meetings and teaching seminars.

The heritage-listed hotel offers 436 impeccable rooms, a health club, a stylish French-inspired restaurant and club lounge, all with personable service, in the heart of Sydney’s shopping and business district.

Tim Morgan, Staging Connections’ General Manager of Strategic Partnerships, commends the team for securing such a privileged contract in a highly competitive market.

“Staging Connections are thrilled with this new partnership at the Sofitel Wentworth Sydney and their expert team. We are looking forward to developing new opportunities and delivering our signature outstanding service at this iconic hotel.”

Staging Connections delivers cutting-edge AV support at 24th annual AVCAL conference

Staging Connections was chosen as the preferred AV service provider for the 24th annual AVCAL alpha conference®, the private equity and venture capital industry’s biggest networking event of the year.

The MCG was the iconic location chosen for this year’s conference, where delegates from more than 180 AVCAL member organisations gathered to network and hear world-class thought leaders share perspectives and ideas that will shape the industry.

The Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association Limited (AVCAL) developed this year’s theme ADAPT. CREATE. INSPIRE. to reflect the industry’s evolving ways of working; the value created in building better businesses; and the partnerships and stories which will strengthen and inspire the future.

The exceptional program for 2017 featured speeches by a host of aspirational local and international speakers from varied backgrounds across professional sports, finance, education, banking, healthcare and technology, covering a range of topics carefully selected to shine a spotlight on current issues and future challenges.

Highlights included Bill Evans of Westpac, futurist and inventor Mark Pesce, keynotes from Stephen Cassidy of the Fire Department of New York Pension and Investment Boards, and Commissioner and Chairman of the Investment Committee at New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF), David Ourlicht, as well as former Australian Wallabies star John Eales and WAFL Collingwood player Moana Hope.

Over 400 delegates enjoyed the two-day conference enjoying various plenaries, break-out sessions, a tour of the MCG, leader’s forum, cocktail function and more, culminating in the esteemed 24th Annual AVCAL Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner.

Staging Connections delivered an impressive 5m x 3m LED screen for the MCG’s Olympic Room for the awards dinner and suggested the Member’s Dining Room to be set with a multi-projection system to allow for presentations as well IMAG (image magnification). The AVCAL event backdrop was the centre piece (6m wide x 3m high) featured directly behind the stage.

AVCAL’s Nilanga Kotigala was thrilled with another wonderful event, “The alpha conference 2017 was a real success and we would like to pass on our sincere thanks to our AV Partners, Staging Connections for the fantastic support provided”.

AV1 honoured as Best for Workers, Creating Most Positive Impact for Employees

Audiovisual and media production company AV1 has been recognised for creating the most positive impact for its workers, scoring in the top 10 percent of all Certified B Corporations globally.

AV1 is honoured in the Workers category of the 2017 Best for the World list which is based on an independent, comprehensive assessment run by B Lab – the nonprofit organisation behind the B Corp movement.

The Workers section of the assessment looks at the company’s relationship with its workforce. It measures how the company treats its workers through compensation, benefits and training. It also focuses on the overall work environment within the company by assessing communication, job flexibility, corporate culture, and worker health and safety practices.

“Companies like AV1 are setting a new standard for creating positive impact for employees through their business,” says Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab.

“We’re proud to shine a light on their achievement. Best for the World is the only list of businesses making the greatest positive impact that uses comprehensive, comparable, third-party-validated data about a company’s social and environmental performance.”

Commenting on the recognition, AV1 Managing Director Keith Wootton said; “We’ve spent a lot of time building on and maintaining our culture, but there’s never been a way to independently measure it. It’s great to know we’re on the right track.”

Today there are more than 2,100 Certified B Corporations across more than 130 industries and 50 countries, unified by one common goal: to redefine success in business. Any company can measure and manage its social and environmental performance at

AV1 staff – hard at work