PRG has already proven its expertise and know-how for the smooth logistics and set-up of COVID-related major projects in a very short time, with the provision of the technical infrastructure for the temporary COVID-
19 treatment centre, in two halls on the Berlin exhibition grounds. Following this, PRG Germany has also been entrusted with the set-up of a similar technical framework for the temporary vaccination centres at Tempelhof Airport and the Arena Berlin Treptow.
PRG is supplying the complete infrastructure for this, including:
IT and power cables
Floor plan & AV/IT planning
Special software solution: Management system for inoculation booth assignment
Digital signage (route guidance system via LED displays)
The rigging, which consists of a total of approx. 1.4 km of truss for both locations, is used to attach the fixtures for the comprehensive lighting, to lay and provide the IT and power set-up for the vaccination booths and the reception and care areas, as well as for the distribution of audio and video signals. As a special software solution, PRG supplied an automated vaccination booth management system, so that the booths are efficiently utilised during operation, minimising waiting times for patients and providing medical staff with an overview of occupancy at all times. PRG also developed a digital signage system using LED screens to help visitors find their way around. An area-wide public address system ensures that announcements can be made.
These temporary installations are carried out in close cooperation with the Berlin Senate Administration for Health, Care and Equality (GPG) and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), which ensures that the vaccination centres (also in accordance with the Covid protection rules) are ready for operation as efficiently as possible and within a short time. The challenge for all parties involved, but especially for PRG as the technical service provider, is to ensure planning permission is in place, plan the movement and disposal of large quantities of equipment and also personnel, and ensure the installation is managed on site within a very tight time frame. The two temporary vaccination centres are expected to be completed on schedule by mid-December. PRG Germany will then support the vaccination centres with technical staff on site for the entire duration of the vaccination process.
Faced with the magnitude of the global health crisis linked to the spread of COVID-19, Production Resource Group, LLC (PRG) is putting its skills to work to make a difference in the fight against the virus in Europe and The United States. Known for live event, entertainment and scenic production PRG is leveraging its know-how to help patients and health workers in Berlin and New York by crafting face shields and building a temporary hospital.
“We are responding to the rapidly changing needs of our customers during this emergency, and, with projects like these taking shape around the globe, we are actively at work in the fight against the coronavirus. PRG has resources with direct applicability to this important cause, and we take great pride in playing a role,” said Jere Harris, PRG’s Chairman and CEO.
New York Personal Protection Equipment Production
PRG Scenic Technologies in New Windsor, New York, alongside two other local sub-contracting companies, is working in partnership with NYU Langone Health to manufacture face shields for health workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis in New York City. The project aims to produce close to 300,000 pieces in just under two weeks.
“We’re proud to be a part of this initiative and hope to continue to help those who are aiding in this crisis,” said Mark Peterson, General Manager who is leading this effort. “By utilizing versatile production methods and intelligent design and in working with Local 311 stagehand labor, we’re going to be able to turn out these shields in record time.”
The team has reworked traditional production line assembly to adhere to guidelines for social distancing to ensure worker health.
Temporary Overflow Hospital in Berlin
PRG Germany has been assigned by the Senate Administration for Health, Nursing and Equality, to fully equip a temporary hospital in Hall 26 at the Berlin Expo Center. The ‘Corona - Jafféstraße Treatment Centre’ will serve as an overflow hospital receiving respiratory patients who can no longer find a place in Berlin’s clinics.
Construction started on March 30th and the hospital is targeted to become operational in approximately 20- 25 days and it will operate for as long as necessary. In cooperation with the engineering office Genius, PRG will deliver and install lighting, truss and hoists for the suspension of the lighting fixtures, gas and water pipes. Furthermore PRG also delivers the IT infrastructure and approximately 25 tons of cabling for the basic supply of electricity to the different beds, including the medical equipment.
“PRG is taking its significant resources directly to the battle against COVID-19. We are proud to support this temporary hospital and hope to help bring the global pandemic to an end,” says Stephan Paridaen, President and COO.
For well over a decade PRGdeltasound have been leading the way for specialist Event Communications in the Middle East.
Our technical experts have helped bring ‘Show Communications’ to the forefront of live events industry. We have worked hand-in-hand with the relevant authority (TRA in the UAE) to provide a full service of two-way radios and communications equipment to suit any scale events.
But integrated communications is more than just radios. With the complexity of event production forever changing, large-scale events are now often running across multiple venues simultaneously and combining multiple teams with one common system. Producers and show-callers are demanding more reliable and intricate configurations with enhanced intelligent networks for greater functionality and adaptability.
PRG do this by offering technical solutions across three main service types.
True show communications systems - analogue and digital wired and wireless, full duplex show comms systems, large scale digital matrix solutions.
Radio systems - Approx. 700 analogue and digital handheld radios, Repeaters and model units, TETRA (terrestrial trunked radios) systems, user accessories for all models, registered frequencies with the TRA. Ability to provide simple conventional systems, up to large scale wide area trunked systems.
Event networks and signal distribution - Show critical LAN deployment for all departments, Ring / Star / Mesh redundant audio / video distribution, SMPTE / FSK Timecode wired / wireless distribution / conversion, Lighting / laser networks.
On many projects the communications engineers are first on-site and the last out on a derig. They interact with every member of production from Producer to Stagehands, so the ability to collaborate and engage across all levels of crew during the lifecycle of an event is a high priority.
Ultimately the event communications experience our clients have is superior. We do this by offering full-scale service and networking solutions to local and international clients, as well as the dry hire stock to the wider industry. All of this is undertaken whilst maintaining the need to comply with local regulations in different markets.
The PRG team have played a crucial role in the region’s most impressive occasions, from the annual New Year’s Eve spectacular on the Burj Khalifa, the record-breaking fireworks extravaganza in Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah and many large-scale regional special events. The complex communications infrastructure and its capabilities that is installed to deliver these events is astonishing.
Last month, PRG were on-site for one of the European Tour’s premier events, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA, a Rolex Series Event. We were engaged to facilitate full event radio communications for the four-day event, held in the UAE capital.
The scope requested by IMG, the event organiser, was to provide dependable and intelligent event communications coverage for the two square kilometre site located in the centre of Abu Dhabi. The area is quite a challenging RF environment, and careful attention had to be made during frequency planning and system deployment.
Meeting the needs of our brief PRG deployed a spectrum efficient trunked Capacity Plus system to support 200 digital handsets. This allowed the tour management to execute the delivery of the event with seamless communication for their crew via 15 different talk groups. As well as the television broadcast teams to communicate across the site.
PRGdeltasound Technical Manager Liam McGrath explains, ‘Having a trunked system ensures total flexibility and constant clarity for the users. The system is classed as a ‘polite’ radio system, in that if any of the repeaters experience any interference, the repeater will momentarily exclude itself from the network to prevent any clash with the other system.
‘Once the interference has passed, the repeater will then re-instate itself back into the system, with no effect on the users. This process is automated, although each event requires setting up differently depending on other known systems, as well as the existing RF and ambient background RF levels in the area’, said Liam.
Being able to offer this type of reassurance to clients is the cornerstone for the event communications department and the integrity of the service we offer is well known throughout the region. The repeated encouraging and gratified feedback from clients regarding the event communications post event, is also a testament to the creative and pragmatic mindset of Liam and team to design and install these networks.
Liam adds, ‘one of the most exciting aspects of these technologies is that we can offer an almost unlimited configuration depending on the client’s requirements.
‘We can offer everything from a simple box of six radios with a few of channels, right up to city-wide trunked digital system, with hundreds of handsets, dispatch centres, call recording, emergency systems, plus links into our show communications systems.
‘Thankfully, as a business we have been given some of the most challenging briefs ever attempted to date, and this has allowed both the team and the technology to grow so that we can deliver, whatever the request!’ said Liam.
Contact the team of specialists at PRG to help plan premium communications for your next event. firstname.lastname@example.org
December 19th to 21st, 2019, are dates that EDM fans in Saudi Arabia will not easily forget! The very first edition of the MDL Beast Fest held in the capital, Riyadh, was an immediate hit. The stellar line-up included 28 International music acts, such as Tiesto, Steve Aoki, David Guetta, Martin Garrix, and 24 home-grown Saudi Arabian DJs including DJ Duo Dish Dash and EDM DJ Cosmicat. PRG is proud to have provided 360° technology support and production services to this.
From a creative dream to technical reality
The record-breaking festival took place at a purpose-built venue on the outskirts of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Entertainment offerings were split across five stages delivering a truly spectacular event. PRG was the proud provider of 360° technology and production services for this remarkable first of its kind and it proved a real showcase, demonstrating the collective capabilities of the PRG teams from Dubai, UK, Belgium, Germany and France and their ability to collaborate in making that creative dream a technical reality!
MDL Beast is a festival of superlatives. The PRG team set up a total of 480 tons of equipment on-site — audio, lighting, video and rigging for the five primary stages — but it’s not all about the gear!
For this world-class and amazing first in the region, PRG has come together as a global team to deliver production excellence across all disciplines. This is what PRG is all about…it’s all about our people!
5 stages, 1 big immersive experience
More than 400,000 visitors immersed themselves across the 5 performance arenas, each of them beyond spectacular in terms of scale and visual impact! This, together with a mix of art & cultural zones, fashion activations and food & beverage outlets created a fantastic festival setting.
“We delivered over 3000 square metres of high resolution LED Screens across the festival site, from the impressive and Guinness World Record winning main stage, reaching some 37 metres high, to the immersive 360 degree video performance zones, the scale of this event was truly mind-blowing ”, explains Niel Beelen.
PRG in the Middle East
The supply of state-of-the art equipment was simply one aspect of our scope of work for MDL Beast. Added to this technology was the supply of a diverse range of technical specialists from the across the PRG world.
“PRG is all about technical production services. In a short time-frame our teams across three continents were able to come together team to deliver a truly mega event. MDL Beast was a great festival and we are really proud to have played a part in making this a success!” says Stephan Paridaen, CEO of PRG Group, who was in Saudi Arabia for the occasion. Paridaen continues: “We are really proud to be supporting the vision of 2030, delivered by the Saudi Arabian Leadership, has a focus on culture and tourism, sports and entertainment and what better example than this amazing event, MDL Beast!”
PRG wants to thank and congratulate MDL Beast LLC and Sela for this incredible achievement and to our fantastic global PRG Team.
National Day celebrations don’t get any bigger than in the Middle East and this year’s 48th year of marking the foundation of the UAE honoured the legacy of our ancestors. The impressive event showcased a collection of patriotic performances created by renowned Artistic Director and Executive Producer Catherine Ugwu.
PRG audio and lighting teams were engaged by event producers Betty Productions for this year’s spectacle at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Having provided the audio services for the UAE National Day events since 2011, PRGdeltasound team are well versed in requirements of the venue and the expectations for special events of this calibre. This year we worked closely with Auditoria to produce a polished sound system consisting of L-Acoustics Kara hung from the stadium roof, K2 ground stack units, SB28s and 168 5XTs. Throughout the VIP area we also included our classic Syva subs for an immersive experience. Handling the playback was the Ovation System and two of our DiGiCo SD5 consoles.
The lighting was a collaboration with our colleagues from PRGUK with support from our team of locally based lighting experts and technicians and the design team at WoodfroffeBassetDesign. The comprehensive package included more than 700 lights, including PRG proprietary products - BestBoy, BadBoyband Icons as well as other fixtures like BMFL Blade and Washes, Ayrton Khamsins and Perseos.
PRGdeltasound were excited to be working with Dave Lee and the team at Imagination last week on the Jaguar Land Rover stand for the Dubai International Motor Show.
The initial press launch at the event was the main highlight, with sound design by Imagination configured through Soundvision for an L-Acoustics package. The suite consisted of MDT 108 flown fills and SB28’s fixed above the truss system. To support the visual elements of the stand separate systems of flown X15s, SB18s were installed to present separate content for each experience.
PRGdeltasound’s team said it is sometimes all too easy to simplify a short show like this, especially when it appears simple from the outside. Treating each loudspeaker with its own circuit and console output gave full control over timing and imaging which helped make Jaguar Land Rover stand out from the competitors particularly from an audio perspective.
Utilising a Shure Axient Show Link System, enabled secure technical control of the RF system, which is often difficult in tradeshow environments. By allowing the engineers to switch transmit and receive frequencies when possible interference is detected, enabled full control for the production team during the presentation period, predominantly for the crucial radio mic, in addition, supplying spare beltpacks on each presenter served as a second level of redundancy.
Following the wrap up the team said the show was really smooth and successful, another happy client and a happy crew. The Imagination team were a pleasure to work with.
PRGdeltasound has invested in 48 channels of Shure’s Axient Digital wireless quad receiver through NMK Electronics as part of a continual effort to increase its show inventory. The purchase is complemented with ADX1, AD1, ADX2/KSM9 and AD2/KSM8 TX bodypack and handheld transmitters in addition to three AXT600UK Axient Spectrum Manager systems.
‘We work on a lot of shows now that need high levels of redundancy, so the ADX1s and ADX2s dual frequency, along with the Showlink and Spectrum Manager, enable us to scan and have frequency backups for single artists on the same unit,’ commented PRGdeltasound’s director of projects, Al Woods. ‘Our clients are becoming more tech savvy and understand the implication of a single point of failure. RF is no exception and currently no other manufacturer really offers a system with such redundancy.
‘Now when we double pack people with ADX1, we not only have redundant hardware but the ability to frequency hop within each pack,’ he furthered. ‘The scanning system and the way that the Showlink works is also pretty cool, while the systems are never in the office which is also great from a business perspective.’
‘The existing RF wireless spectrum is becoming more challenging day-by-day and the most efficient way to combat this is by adding a Shure Axient Digital System; we are overwhelmed with the response that the Axient system has received across the Middle East,’ stated NMK’s Shure product manager, Shajahan K.K. ‘It is without question becoming the industry standard and clients are acknowledging the benefits that the Axient system brings to their shows and productions.’
The PRGdeltasound complete Axient system was recently deployed on some very successful high-profile large events. ‘We have a really good business relation with NMK Electronics and their support, which is integral in this region, is great,’ concluded Woods. ‘Unlike other regions, technical requirements can be very last minute and reactive, so flexibility and prompt reaction time is something we love about NMK.’
An inspiring event designed to bring together all our regions from around the world in one location, to share and develop our unique global offering.
PRG Unite has been devised with the specific intention of gathering all of our international teams together, to discuss our global offering for the future. PRG globally is the leading technical solution provider for the event industry and is constantly looking at how to best assist our clients across the world, helping them grow and develop exciting activations. The PRG Unite event enables us to discuss future challenges and strategies while combining our resources and expertise as one team.
The event will enable each of our regions (United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, France, Spain, Netherlands, Japan, China, UAE and United States) to showcase their very best corporate projects, detailing to our clients the processes from strategic planning to event delivery, allowing our clients the unique opportunity to share our knowledge and best practice which enable us to hold such a world-renowned standing within the industry.
This insider view is sure to be a unique and inspiring insight into the future of how PRG will work with its clients on a global scale. Speaking about the upcoming PRG Unite event Richard Williams - PRG UK Chief Executive Officer commented:
“We felt this would be a fantastic opportunity for our UK customers to meet and talk directly to all our global PRG colleagues in one place. Allowing them to understand how PRG can help support and work together to provide global solutions.”
End of press release.
About Production Resource Group:
Production Resource Group UK Ltd.
(PRG) is the world’s leading supplier of entertainment and event technology to a wide range
of markets, including corporate and automotive events, concerts, special events, theatre,
television and film, trade shows and installations, such as theme parks, museums, retail stores
and performing arts centres. PRG provides integrated services and equipment, including audio, video, lighting, rigging, staging and scenery and automation systems, for these markets from more than 40 offices in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.
Post Malone, who has captured the zeitgeist through his unique genre-blending musical style and introspective songwriting, is on a global tour. PRG is supporting the superstar worldwide by providing 360 concert touring services, including sound, video, lighting and rigging.
One PRG team
The initial contact and contract in the USA was taken care of by VER, which recently joined the PRG family. Their expertise with big productions in the USA has been indispensable for this tour. Thanks to its unique global presence and network, PRG is able to provide worldwide 360° touring services and apply the same high standards in all countries, across continents.
The crew comes from both the US and Europe and can count on local support and gear in any of the countries on the tour’s agenda.
Production Manager for Post Malone, Dennis Danneels, put it this way: “The PRG team, between Los Angeles, Vegas, Germany and the UK, were basically just taking the project and handing it off like an assembly line all the way down. We were taking advantage of all these different time zones to be able to complete this project in time. People were working right until the last minute of load-in.”
Global reach, local support
For the European part of the tour, our UK and German teams joined forces, working closely together, with UK providing video and light and Germany being responsible for the sound. Thanks to their ample experience in cross-national productions and great communication, this resulted in a seamless and smooth collaboration in which the client benefits from both the scale of PRG Group and the local presence and understanding of the market in each country the tour passes.
Stephan Paridaen, President and COO of PRG says: ‘from day one, this project has been about a collaboration to define the best, most fully integrated technical production solution that realizes the artist’s creative vision. We take that even further and service the tour globally on the ground with local, highly experienced crew and state of the art gear. It’s a service and a 360-degree solution.’
Video Crew Chief ‘Topher’ (Christopher Davidson) was delighted about the seamless support in the various countries. “One advantage of having a worldwide support system, like you have with PRG, is that I am confident that I can go anywhere on the globe and have the same caliber of people, gear, and the same support virtually 24/7 that is required in this industry.”
A new standard in large-scale concert touring
This cutting-edge approach to servicing large-scale concert tours on a global level is made possible by PRG’s unique ability to combine high standards of gear with specialists who work seamlessly together.
“There is incredible skill level with the PRG crew. The gear has been consistent day in and day out. We’ve had very, very few failures, and this is all the stuff that we ran for almost 24 hours a day for three weeks,” Danneels adds. “I’m really pleased with it from a financial stand point, it made a lot of sense, and it saved a lot of money.”
PRG wants to thank our client PostyCo and PM Dennis Danneels. We would like to extend our appreciation for our own Burton Tenenbein, responsible for the overall AE and lighting kit, Brent Dannen, who took care of the tour’s sound, and Mike Drew, supporting the tour’s video package. Also, a big thank you to the whole
EMEA – April 30, 2019 - Production Resource Group LLC (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology and solutions, announced today that it will integrate its global research and development efforts into a new operating group, PRG Innovation. PRG Innovation will encompass efforts in Belgium, China and the United States which include facilities in Dallas, New Windsor, New York and Los Angeles. By connecting its people, assets and innovation initiatives – including PRG Projects, PRG Research and Development, and VER product development initiatives – the company will maximize its technological impact on the industry.
PRG Innovation will be led by Chris Conti in his new role as the company’s Chief Innovation Officer. Conti has experience in concert tours, tradeshows, corporate events, TV shows and special events like the Olympics and Super Bowl Half-time shows. As Product Manager for PRG proprietary luminaires, he led the development of the highly successful Bad Boy® Spot and Best Boy® Spot fixtures, as well as PRG’s Emmy-award winning GroundControl™ Followspot System. Conti is listed as an inventor on 15 U.S. patents.
Additionally, Clay Powers will become Chief Operating Officer of Innovation, overseeing all financial and logistical aspects of both proprietary product development and custom show solutions. Gary Boyd, Chief Operating Officer of EMEA, will have ongoing responsibilities related to product-development operations in Europe and China. Frederic Opsomer will continue to lead the Belgian team in developing groundbreaking new technology in LED and video, and Simon Kayser will continue to lead operations in Shenzhen, China, which are instrumental in sourcing video and lighting technology. Anne Johnston, Vice President of Marketing and Product Strategy, will collaborate with PRG Innovation on all aspects of marketing, from product ideation to roll-out.
“PRG Innovation brings all of our talent focused on product development into a single, global team, allowing us to anticipate market trends, move with agility and align product development with our larger strategic objectives,” said Jere Harris, Chairman and CEO of PRG. “I believe that our investment and performance in market-driven innovation is one of the most powerful points of difference separating our brands from the competition. Now, that advantage will become even more significant.”
In every market PRG serves from music and theatre to television, film, broadcast and corporate events, it has defined itself as the innovator in technology, responding to a client request or an industry need. With more than 170 issued patents as well as 70 trademarks, the company’s legacy of proprietary technology has opened new creative possibilities, improved safety, created cost efficiencies and reduced environmental impact. Examples of PRG’s industry-changing technology include:
Ground Control™ Followspot System: A high output followspot that can be safely operated remotely from the ground from distances up to 2,000 feet. Gives designers creative freedom to put followspots in places that were either previously unusable or involved complex rigging.
PRG SpaceFrame®: A touring frame design that seamlessly integrates LED panels for operational efficiencies and creative possibility. The carbon fiber frame is lightweight, collapsible and fully wind braced, allowing for a free-form approach to stage designs.
Pure10: A revolutionary lightweight and highly transparent touring LED screen. Printed circuit boards (PCB) are sliced in strips and turned 90 degrees with the LED mounted on the side, resulting in 75 percent transparency and allowing artists to interact with video content in real time.
Mbox®: A family of media server products that are affordable and easy to use. Mbox software offers powerful and flexible control of video content by working seamlessly with media playback, composition, effects, and transitions. The user interface provides fast and intuitive setup for outputs and content positioning.
Front Row Cam: A robotic, periscope solution that provides a low camera shot of the sports playing field. At just 6 inches wide x 16 inches deep x 32 inches high, this custom designed system, developed with ESPN, is equipped with a telephoto lens for use in baseball or a wide version for use in tennis and other sports.
PRG Stage Command® System: An automated, cue-based motion control system that gives operators the ability to execute the most complex motion control cues with accuracy, repeatability and unparalleled attention to safety. Provides seamless transitions of scenery in full view of the audience.
Bullet: A family of focusable, compact LED luminaires available in White Light, Daylight and UV versions. Offering high output with precise beam control, the adjustable focus mechanism requires no lens change, no tools, and is lockable for permanent installations.
Production Resource Group, L.L.C. (PRG), the world’s leading supplier of entertainment and event technology headquartered in New York, is acquiring the Middle East division of Delta Sound, Delta Sound L.L.C. UAE, a specialist provider of live audio and event communications technology based in Dubai and operating across the Middle East. Peter McCann, CEO for PRG in the Middle East and Andy Jackson, the Managing Director of Delta Sound, jointly announced the acquisition today.
Delta Sound LLC, founded in 2006, is the leading specialist audio and communication company in the Gulf Region and will join forces with PRG’s operation in Dubai, forming a welcomed union between the two companies who have collaborated successfully for many years across a broad range of corporate, government and large-scale special events. Like PRG, Delta Sound provides technical design and technology support to both local and international production houses who benefit from the high standard of service and delivery offered.
For PRG’s worldwide clients, this acquisition means that they will have access to additional expertise and technology when working with PRG in the Middle East and beyond. They can continue to be confident in the quality of product, experience, and professionalism whilst enjoying the addition of world-class event communications through the provision of fully scalable wired and wireless solutions.
“By acquiring Delta Sound LLC, we have bolstered our existing offering for our many customers who produce events and shows internationally”, said PRG’s McCann. “I’m also delighted that this acquisition integrates comprehensive event communications into our product offering thus ensuring that we can present a truly turnkey solution to our customers and partners. With events such as Expo 2020 on the horizon these are certainly exciting opportunities for a company that can operate at scale and this acquisition demonstrates both a significant level of commitment to the region and a continued appetite for growth.”
“As Delta Sound LLC, we have worked on some of the region’s largest and highest profile productions,” commented Andy Jackson. “We have established a loyal client base that has become more appreciative of the standard of audio production and event communications being delivered today by Delta. Having worked closely with PRG for several years across many of these events, our partnership has naturally evolved into a trading relationship and today we solidify this to the benefit of both our clients and teams.” It will be business as usual and Delta Sound will retain its existing operational format and be officially titled ‘PRG deltasound” during the transition process.
Stephan Paridaen, PRG’s Global President and Chief Operating Officer, concluded, “PRG and Delta Sound are extremely well positioned to provide a multi-disciplined, integrated solution. Making the UAE Delta Sound team part of the global PRG family will be extremely valuable to our clients and this has been our top priority from the start.”
Paul Keating, MD of Delta Sound UK commented, “Myself, Mark & Andy go back 40 years together and Andy has been involved with Delta since our humble beginnings back in 1988. He has done an amazing job in building and managing the business over the past 12 years. We have always had a very good working relationship with PRG both here in the UK and in the Middle East and this is a great fit for Delta UAE becoming part of the extended PRG family. We very much look forward to continuing this relationship together in the future.”
Fatboy Slim recently launched his hugely immersive “In the Round Show Tour”, where he scheduled to play 6 cities throughout the UK! Fatboy Slim’s aim was to create the biggest dance floors turning our favourite arenas into unique nightclub experiences full of rave ushers & a live smiley face experience. It’s been 20 years since ‘You’ve Come A Long Way’, 17 years in fact, since he played the infamous Big Beach Brighton. The man behind the alias, Norman Cook, rose to prominence as part of The House-martins in the 1980s before, forming Beat International, finally adopting the name “Fatboy Slim” for his solo work. His debut album, ‘Better Living Through Chemistry’, was released in 1996 and was followed rapidly by 1998's ‘You've Come A Long Way Baby’, which included the major smash hits 'The Rockefeller Skank', 'Praise You', 'Gangster Tripping' and 'Right Here, Right Now'. Slim, is well known for being at the centre of spectacular live shows, innovative music videos and huge report-to-the-dance floor tunes. As a solo act, Cook has won 10 MTV Video Music Awards & Brit Awards throughout his career to date!
Fatboy Slim’s 2019 ‘AT THE ROUNDHOUSE’ UK tour, kicked off in London on Thursday 21st Feb, at the SSE Arena in Wembley, and followed subsequently at Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow and Manchester before he concluded his final arena stops on the 1st March, at Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham & finishing up in Dublin.
Lighting Designer, Stephen Abbiss (who has worked alongside Fatboy Slim for nearly a decade) alongside Proper Productions, was keen to ensure the video on stage during the performances, became a prominent feature within the design. Since Norman mixed completely live on stage, the success of the show’s visual element relied on clear, direct communication between Steve and the tour’s digital content creator and video operator Bob Jaroc, which needed a lot of preparation in terms of knowing exactly which tracks Norman was going to play. A Robocam was used on stage next to the DJ set up, to allow a live feed of the upcoming tracks, so that the right video content could be shown on screen.
So what was provided to bring the rave to life?
PRG’s highly experienced and dedicated crew provided lighting, rigging & on-stage video, and 𠊊lso installed the revolutionary ‘MoveCat’ Motion control create such a high-quality live arena scale event. The following lighting equipment provided consisted of: 32x Icon Beam’s, 12x Strike 4’s, 30x Sunstrip Batten, 16x Viper AirFX, 24x Q7’S, 6x GLP X4’s and 44x Clay Paky K20’s. Also included were 18 x 10ft Tyler Pre-Rig Truss. The control was an Avolites Arena. For Video, a Win Air9, curved screen was used as the main focal point above Norman. The video content was played through a Resolume media server.
One of the highlights was the new & in demand, MoveCat motion control automation system, which had 12 active 500kg hoists - controlled on an Expert-T III. It was deployed on the 6x lighting fingers (2 motors per finger) which were designed to go around the audience. All of the MoveCat components were optimised for particularly quiet operations, which was essential since they were going around the audience, thus creating, a much more physical immersive experience, not done in a live arena setting before.
PRG is a leading international full-service provider of technical expertise and equipment for corporate and special events, music touring and festivals, theatre and the arts, exhibitions, brand activations, and film and television productions. To find out more about what we could do for your next event, get in touch at prg.com/uk.
PRG Projects was visiting some highly innovative companies in China only 1.5 years ago, when they met NEXNOVO – specializing in ultra-thin advertising solutions. Frederic Opsomer stipulated to have been especially impressed by the high level of focus of NEXNOVO”. Barton Lin, COO of NEXNOVO was immediately intrigued by the challenges: “Our product was initially designed for fixed installations, PRG Projects brought the professionalism and knowhow to use the advantages of the technology and adapt it for a concert-touring reality”.
From there, it all went very fast: the design phase started in November and was ready in January. The production started immediately in China, where the electronic components were built. Everything was shipped to Belgium mid March for the assembly and the mechanical part: a full carbon fibre structure.
Jake Berry, Production Director U2, states that without the PURE10, this setting for U2’s eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour would not have been possible: “After the Joshua Tree Tour, we wanted to raise the bar even higher. We wanted a wider screen, in combination with a flying catwalk. At that moment, it simply seemed impossible. The weight limits of the tour’s stadiums would have been exceeded”.
The P10 was constructed especially to minimize weight, at an uttermost high resolution and transparency. Weighing only 10 kg/m2, the design dream became reality.
Frederic Opsomer adds “We think in solutions, for the PURE10, we pushed the technology to the limits of its abilities, doubled the regular width to limit the amount of pieces, and at the same time guaranteeing the highest possible transparency.”
It is fair to say that the PURE10, with its carbon fiber structure, reduced the suspension load of the screen by half in comparison to the technology that had been provided on the previous tour. This change of screen allowed to introduce more features on the catwalk, whilst even reducing the overall weight of the rigg.
Carbon Fiber had proven to be an excellent choice for the PRG SPACEFRAME™, and its strong, reliable and very light characteristics made it perfect for PURE10 as well.
In the future, the structural advantages of carbon fibre compared to aluminum or steel will further be explored. By investing and following up the continuous development, PRG will be able to create custom solutions in a much faster way.
The revolutionary low weight of PURE10, combined with the smart stacking in custom designed dollies, saves space. That leads to an optimization in transport and reduction of the green imprint.
“In every development we do, we try to solve a green issue. It is actually one of our top 3 questions, together with: ‘are we making a creative solution? ‘and ‘are we allowing designers to propose an innovation to their customers?” explains Opsomer.
Not only it has a positive impact on transport, but we’re also facing limited storage space in most venues.
Stuart Heaney, PRG Crew Chief, is particularly happy about the set-up of PURE10: “The time to set-up the screen, including the interdependencies with other teams involved is 8-9 hours. If we would be solely constructing the screen, everything would be built up even faster, in under 3 hours. Tearing down takes 2.5 hours, and that again is with all integrations being removed.”
Ric Lipson – partner at Stufish – has been in charge of design and architecture for multiple U2 shows. He reflects on the collaboration with PRG: “in this long-standing relationship with PRG, we love how they are always innovative. They come with weird and wonderful ideas and make them happen”.
The PRG SPACEFRAME™ allowed the enormous screens of last year’s tour Joshua Tree Tour to resist wind loads. For Beyoncé’s and Jay Z’s tour there was even a moving element added, allowing the screens to open and close, despite weather conditions. PRG SPACEFRAME™ is also used in this year’s design and PRG Projects is already looking at the future: With PRG SPACEFRAME™ we incorporated structural elements into the video screens. We are now experimenting to do the same with lighting, automation and other combinations. The PRG SPACEFRAME™ technology definitely has a lot of yet unveiled opportunities.
Live Design Magazine has named PRG Projects’ PURE10 as the best LED Screen for this year's 2018 Video and Projection Product awards!
It was chosen by a panel of prestigious video/projection designers and programmers, from amongst a field of our esteemed peers. PRG is so proud of the talented team that made this innovative technology a reality.
Almost 3,000 square metres of LED screen, 624 rigging points, more than two kilometres of fibre, 1,800 lighting fixtures, six Barco E2 Screen Controllers, 18 Resolume Media Servers, four 30k laser projectors, two D3 Media Servers, 1,493 metres of truss and 144 Kinesys points (a world record). These are just some of the staggering statistics cited this month by PRG, the technical production specialist, as it supplied lighting, rigging and video services to the 21st edition of Creamfields, the electronic dance music festival.
A team of 120 – comprised of PRG event crew, freelance lighting and freelance video staff – worked round the clock to install a huge range of kit and event equipment that travelled to the Cheshire-based festival in 45 arctic trucks.
The four-day event, which saw more than 70,000 fans descend on the Daresbury site each day, celebrated its 21st anniversary by introducing a number of new arenas – Silo, Generator and Warehouse. Each raised the bar in festival production and were designed to envelop the audience with an all out assault on the senses.
Steel Yard. Photo Credit: Lorenzo Tnc
Ian Greenway, director of LarMac Live, who managed the festival’s production, engaged PRG to provide an incredible amount of technical infrastructure to the festival, including a range of ROE products – ROE CB5, ROE MC7 and ROE Vanish – that would enable large LED structures to be created and high resolution content to be displayed.
Attention to detail
PRG provided full lighting and video pre-vis suites, which allowed VJs and artist’s technical teams to check any lighting and visual mapping, and if necessary make tweaks, before getting to the stage.
Attention to detail was everything for all involved. For example, Silo, a new circular structure with a mezzanine, featured 150 German Light Product’s JDC1 strobes and Panasonic 3k laser projection, used in conjunction with Disguise Media Servers.
Steel Yard. Photo Credit: Anthony Mooney
PRG’s Adam Power looked after the Silo stage, operating both the lights and Disguise servers, whilst Paul McCauley, senior account manager at PRG XL Video, worked alongside Ian Jones, Erica Frost, Ben Mason, Rupert Barnes, Ben Gilbert and Sam Jeffs – each ensured that LarMac Live’s exact specifications were met.
“We have been working with Cream and LarMac Live for years and we continually help Creamfields to push the limits in terms of production values,” McCauley explained. “More LED and screens than ever before, higher resolution, better control equipment, two pre-vis studios and content management all played their part in making this year’s festival one to remember – festivalgoers will be talking about an epic experience for years to come.”
Generator. Photo Credit: Geoffrey Hubbel
Creamfields is widely known for pushing the boundaries in terms of technical production but this year’s edition of the dance music festival went one step further and deployed a record-breaking number of hoists for Eric Prydz; the Swedish DJ closed the festival on Sunday night (August 26) and headlined Creamfields’ renowned Steel Yard structure with a show that featured 144 Kinesys points, a world record according to Dave Weatherhead, director and co-founder of Kinesys.
Steel Yard, a 20-metre high super structure with capacity for 20,000, was one of nine arenas that PRG provided services to.
Richard Gorrod, head of event services at PRG project managed the lighting, rigging, automation and video elements within Steel Yard, and worked with LarMac Live for six months to ensure that Prydz boundary-pushing set made waves.
Q Willis, head of rigging services at PRG, oversaw all rigging elements and Nathan Avery, PRG crew chief, headed up video. The pair were joined on site by PRG’s Luke Jackson, who was site manager, and Pete MacDonald and Dave Evans, both Kinesys operators.
Steel Yard. Photo Credit: Geoffrey Hubbel
Steel Yard’s rig – designed by Ross Chapple, Prydz’s lighting designer – was installed by Nick Brown, who was assisted by Willis.
Gorrod commented: “PRG worked on nine stages at Creamfields, supplying rigging, lighting and video equipment and services. The show’s just keep getting bigger and better each year and the festival’s 21st outing certainly pushed the envelope. The sheer quantity of everything, from the amount of automation and the number of lighting fixtures, demonstrates Cream’s commitment to creating the best electronic dance music event for fans and naturally, PRG is hugely proud to be a part of that story. We are looking forward to pushing the boundaries even further next year.”
Yvonne Donnelly Smith, director of music (lighting) at PRG, added: “It’s all about the people – the fans that descend on the festival to have a good time and the people that work tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure that 70,000 people have an amazing experience.
“PRG has been involved with Creamfields for a number of years and we never cease to be amazed at how Scott Barton [Creamfields’ promoter] continues to come up with such creative ideas that push the festival forward.
“We love working with Creamfields and Ian Greenway and his team at LarMac Live to deliver a festival that is technically challenging but hugely rewarding and like Richard said, we can’t wait to see what Creamfields has in store for 2019.”