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16/09/2016 PRG Lab

Virtual Montreux

(September Issue: LSi Online, page 44 & 45)

audioborn and PRG Lab create VR experience for the archives of the Montreux Jazz Festival . . .

Switzerland - Over the past 50 years, the Montreux Jazz Festival has seen some of the greatest acts in music history, including Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Prince and David Bowie - and many others. This year’s 50th anniversary festival was host to a brand new technical experiment developed by Cologne-based audioborn, a specialist in room acoustics simulation and 3D audio reproduction. audioborn has developed a project which is allowing the Montreux Jazz Festival to be captured through 360° / 3D video and sound recording technology for the first time. This content can later be rendered and used in virtual reality applications, permitting users to experience the selected acts “in real-life quality”. Commissioned by the Metamedia Center of the University École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) together with the Montreux Jazz Festival, project lead and official technology partner audioborn is partnering with PRG Lab for the video expertise. audioborn is responsible for capturing and reproducing all concerts in 3D audio, using its software real-time processor called Auratorium. The software system, designed for 3D audio and virtual reality applications, uses a ray-tracing approach to calculate physically correct and 100% natural sound, the company says.

PRG Lab, a division of PRG XL Video, also based in Germany, develops customised interactive and leading software solutions for the event and exhibition market. PRG Lab is supporting the project with a 360° / 3D Nokia OZO camera system to capture a 360° spherical video of chosen acts at the festival. The cooperation between audioborn and PRG Lab is one of the first commercial uses of the OZO system in a production of this size. In addition to the standard multitrack recordings, audioborn will capture the sound in the form of a 3D recording, using the Sennheiser VR microphone prototype, and will be able to reproduce highly realistic 3D audio for the recordings. “The methods we use to capture sound - which is the most important part of Montreux’s Jazz Festival - will be pioneering for 3D audio sound recording as well as reproduction. Using our 3D software audio processor Auratorium, we will be able to achieve the highest possible degree of immersion for the jazz archive,” says Dr. Dirk Schröder, CEO of audioborn. “We will have to determine how each instrument and sound will react depending on th position of the camera in the room. When sound and video are combined for VR playback, the virtual user should feel as if he or she is actually at the festival in person. Our goal is a total immersive playback experience in sound and vision. We are proud to work closely together with PRG Lab as our professional partner for 3D video capturing.”

“This project is outstanding in its dimensions. We recorded a huge amount of data during the 16 days of the festival with the OZO system. This is the most demanding challenge we have to face during the project,” commented Michael Ochs of PRG Lab. “This is very exciting, state-of-the-art technology being used at the Montreux Jazz Festival. It is the first project of its kind and we can’t draw from previous experiences.” As Ochs comments, dealing with the very large amount of data collected through 3D recording is a major challenge. For example, recording a three-hour-concert creates approximately 2TB of compressed data. Uncompressed it multiplies later in post-production by factor 12. PRG Lab is continuously expanding its 3D capabilities and will be using OZO production computers as well as the audioborn Auratorium software to create immersive experiences. The audio mixes can be rendered for multichannel 3D audio systems or binaural headphone reproduction.
Setting up the system is relatively straightforward, as the Nokia OZO is quite a low profile unit: including its mount, it measures 264 x 170 x 238mm and weighs just 4.2kg. The team simply has to find a safe and secure position from which to record the show, where it doesn’t disturb sight lines. The suitability of the systemalso depends to some extent on the type of act being recorded. Classical music is relatively easy, as long as no sightlines are blocked and the artists arehappy with the presence of the VR recording hardware. But with acts where there is a lot of movement around the stage or a lot of bass, or both, the recording can be disturbed by vibrations. But audioborn has many other applications in mind, including corporate events, nature filming, classical music productions in concert halls or churches, sport events, theatre shows and more. From the recordings made this summer, three titles will be produced for the Montreux Jazz Festival’s YouTube channel. “There will be definitely be a 2D 360˚ version with spatial audio, and we may also upload a 3D 360˚ video with spatial audio,” say audioborn.

(We thank LSi Online for the permission to share this article. Copyright September, 2016 by LSi Online - PLASA Media Ltd.. Please visit LSi Online for further information. You can read the whole LSi issue when registering for the LSi Digital Issue).

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audioborn and PRG Lab create VR experience for the archives of the Montreux Jazz Festival

The Swiss lakeside town of Montreux will once again host its famous Jazz festival. Over the past 50 years, the festival has seen some of the greatest acts in music history, including Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Prince and David Bowie, among others.

For this year’s festival, audioborn has developed a project allowing the festival to be captured through 360° / 3D video and sound recording technology for the first time. This content can later be rendered and used in virtual reality applications, permitting users to experience the selected acts in real-life quality.

Commissioned by the Metamedia Center of the University École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) together with the Montreux Jazz Festival, project lead and official technology partner audioborn is partnering with PRG Lab for the video expertise. audioborn is responsible for capturing and reproducing all concerts in 3D audio with its software real-time processor called Auratorium. The software system is designed for 3D audio and virtual reality applications. It uses a ray-tracing approach to calculate physically correct and 100% natural sound.

PRG Lab, a division of PRG XL Video, based in Germany, develops customized interactive and leading software solutions for the event and exhibition market. PRG Lab will be supporting the project with a 360° / 3D Nokia OZO camera system to capture a 360° spherical video of chosen acts at the festival.
The cooperation between audioborn and PRG Lab will be one of the first commercial uses of the OZO system in a production of this size. In addition to the standard multitrack recordings, audioborn will capture the sound in the form of a 3D recording, using the Sennheiser VR microphone prototype, and be able to reproduce highly realistic 3D audio for the recordings.


“The methods we use to capture sound – which is the most important part of Montreux’s Jazz Festival – will be pioneering for 3D audio sound recording as well as reproduction. Using our 3D software audio processor Auratorium, we will be able to achieve the highest possible degree of immersion for the jazz archive.” says Dr. Dirk Schröder, CEO of audioborn.
“We will have to determine how each instrument and sound will react depending on the position of the camera in the room. When sound and video are combined for VR playback, the virtual user should feel as if he or she is actually at the festival in person. Our goal is a total immersive playback experience in sound and vision. We are proud to work closely together with PRG Lab as our professional partner for 3D video capturing.”

“This project is outstanding in its dimensions. We are going to record a huge amount of data during the 16 festival days with the OZO system. This will be the most demanding challenge we have to face during the project.” commented Michael Ochs of PRG Lab. “This is very exciting, state-of-the-art technology being used at the Montreux Jazz Festival. It is the first project of its kind and we can’t draw from previous experiences. ”

One of the challenges of this project is the large amount of data collected through 3D recording. A concert of three hours would create approximately 2 TB of compressed data. Uncompressed it multiplies later in postproduction by factor 12.

PRG Lab is continuously expanding its 3D capabilities and will be using OZO production computers as well as the audioborn Auratorium software to create immersive experiences. The audio mixes can be rendered for multichannel 3D audio systems or binaural headphone reproduction.

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Vickie Claiborne Rock in Rio Visualization

Vickie visualizes - Interview Vickie Claiborne (PRG)

PRG was once again technical supplier at the Rock in Rio festival, which took place over two consecutive weekends in Lisbon, Portugal. The 30th anniversary of the festival saw acts like Bruce Springsteen as well as Queen+Adam Lambert return to the iconic stage.

We have met up with our very own Vickie Claiborne, who came over from Las Vegas to head up the Previz Suite in Lisbon and took the chance to ask her a bunch of questions. She gave us some great insight into the working life at a festival, how the lighting shows actually come together as well as trends in the industry.

Q: How long have you been with PRG and what have you done prior to PRG?

Vickie: I started with PRG in Las Vegas in 2008. My background is in lighting design, which I studied in college; after graduation I was drawn to lighting programming. I started working in country music in Nashville and Branson, Missouri. Back in the early/mid 90s, I travelled and learned how to program through the use of Intellabeams and similar products. I went on and worked for the company that makes those fixtures, High End Systems, for 14 years as a lighting programmer. I was part of the team called Sales Support Services, which covered everything from training and design consultation to programming shows, demos etc. In 2006 I left HES and free-lanced for a couple of years. Then in 2008, I reached out to PRG and was offered a position as a Product Support Specialist, which I happily accepted, and moved to Las Vegas.

Q: What is your role at PRG?

Vickie: I cover everything from training and programming to consultation with clients for a wide range of events, such as trade shows, local events in Vegas or festivals. Everything that has to do with lighting or video/digital media falls into my area; I’m what they call a product specialist for these two categories. So my role within the company is one with many different hats but is what I would consider a customer support role.

Q: What is your role at Rock in Rio?

Vickie: One of the services PRG offers in certain locations is a lighting visualization suite so that designers can preprogram a show without a physical lighting rig. So my familiarity with the products WYSIWYG and ESP Vision enables me to support this service offered by the PRG Las Vegas office. Due to my experience using the ESP Vision software, my involvement as the main stage programmer last year at Rock in Rio USA, and my relationships with the teams at Vectorworks and PRG that looks after this festival, I was recommended to head up the pre-vis suite here at Rock in Rio Lisbon, Portugal. This year my main responsibilities are to look after lighting designers that are coming to the festival and assist them with getting their show ready for their performances. Having a pre-viz suite available means that they can come in, program the show and get it as close as possible to what they want it to be before they go out on stage. So anything I can do to facilitate that in any way possible is my role.

Q: Do many of the lighting designers work with Vectorworks’ ESP Vision software?

Vickie: Lighting designers work with a variety of pre-vis programs. Here in Europe, ESP Vision is very new and a less common visualizer. In Europe, WYSIWYG has a much stronger foot hold so this is an opportunity for Vectorworks to show their software to a brand new audience. Being here and working with PRG is a great chance to create relationships and present the software to designers in a whole new part of the world. The majority of people and designers work or own WYSIWYG and are used to it being at festivals. In order to make visiting LDs feel comfortable with ESP Vision here, we had to make sure all of their questions were answered and that these designers felt like they were in good hands. In addition to myself, Vectorworks sent over a support team as well to further insure that these designers don’t have to focus on anything else other than showing up with their show file, programming and running their show.

Q: Do most lighting designers work in a similar way?

Vickie: Yes and no. Everyone has a work flow, meaning everyone does the same steps; patching the lights into the console, setting up your basic looks and those sorts of things. How they achieve what they have on stage can be very different. Some designers will program everything cue by cue with little variations, while other designers will program six looks and they will play those six looks in combinations throughout the whole show and it looks great. So, the basic work flow is the same but the end results can be very different. It depends on how much time they have. With only a little time, shows tend to be less structured and more – what we would call – a busking, on the fly-type show. On the other hand, someone who is travelling on a 6-month tour is probably using a very heavily cued and structured show file.

Q: Do touring artists tend to use their tour show at the festival or is it different?

Vickie: They sometimes do. Most headliners and support bands are given the opportunity to bring in the floor package. So they typically bring their touring rig, which is familiar to them and already programmed. With the fixtures in the air, they will do a function called cloning or morphing. For instance, in their own show they might have fixtures that are made by Martin and on our festival rig the fixtures are made by Vari*Lite. When the designers get here, they will clone or morph their Martin fixtures into Vari*Lite fixtures and then make any necessary adjustments to the presets used in the show. It is a lot more work for a lighting designer to come to a festival because they have to clone and clean up their entire show; and if they could use their own lighting package, most would because the bulk of the work has already been done.

Q: What are the challenges for you to prepare for the different requirements of all incoming lighting designers?

Vickie: The main challenge is to make sure that they have all relevant information before they arrive here. For instance, I need to find out if they are going to use the house console or if they are using their own console ahead of time. In case they are bringing their own consoles, I need to know which one it is so we know what the connections need to be in order to connect that system to ours in the pre-vis suite and at FOH. So I try to gather as much information as possible from the lighting designers ahead of their arrival and share those will the lighting team. I also need to find out which other requirements they might have, things like media servers, timecode, etc.

I also communicate continually with the main stage programmer to gather the patch information; everyone tries to get it right the first time but there are always changes and I make sure those are sent to the designers as soon as I receive it. Some designers will preprogram their show off-site in their own pre-vis software. They might even – as it is the case with some of the artists here - be in rehearsals on the other side of town right now, programming their show with their own pre-vis software. So those designers will need the patch information in order to make those changes ahead of time. If the changes are made when they get here, it just eats up time. These are the two biggest challenges for me here. It is all about knowing when people arrive on site and scheduling them in so that there is a system available for when they get here. We have two systems in our Pre-vis Suite and that is working very well for us. Nobody has to worry about time slots. 

Vickie in the Previz Suite at Rock in Rio

Q: What trends have you recognised in the lighting industry? Where do you see it heading? 

Vickie: One of my observations of the lighting industry over the last 10 years is the trend towards LED fixtures, away from arc lamp type fixtures. As a result of that you see a lot more video integration into the lighting system than before LEDs became so popular. This pushes lighting consoles toward becoming more of a hybrid of lighting and media server control interface. I think our industry will continue on that path and lighting consoles will become even more sophisticated because of having to deal with incorporating lighting and video products together. The professional market for touring and large events constantly integrates video and lighting together in the system. While there are usually separate teams for lighting and video, it is not uncommon to see a grandMA2 lighting console running a media server like a D3 or Mbox right next to the main lighting console that is running of a rig full of Best Boys and Bad Boys. Both people are lighting console programmers but one is programming a video product and one programming a lighting product. You can definitely say that our industry is merging with the video industry. It is exciting because it opens up so many possibilities for creative projects. Lighting is not just lighting a surface or a person, it is visual entertainment. Look at electronic music; it is all about the visual experience. To create that you need more than just making a light on and off; it requires mapping video to surfaces that are integrated into the scene. I see that as the big trend in the lighting industry.

Q: What is your opinion on the GroundControl FollowSpot? What is the reaction in the industry towards it?

Vickie: The GroundControl system is hugely popular; it is in such demand that we cannot produce them fast enough. I think it is ground-breaking. In Las Vegas alone, we have many theatres and ballroom-type shows with very low - around 20 feet / 6 meters - ceilings so by the time you hang a truss or a follow spot in the air, you do not have much space left. In many of those situations you are not able to use a follow spot. So just in Las Vegas, the ability to take a fixture that is already hanging on a truss and then have someone on the ground control it, opens up a lot of possibilities. And the fixture can still be used as a lighting fixture because the Bad Boy can be controlled by the operator as well as the lighting console. The operator can use it for one song to follow the artist while during a different song, the fixture can be used in a cue. To me it is the next generation of follow spots; there is no reason why it cannot be used on cruise ships, conventions and so on. There are so many new opportunities to use it now. Not to forget about the safety factor: we do not have to send anyone up in the air, it keeps everyone safe. It is very clever and is definitely ground breaking.

PRG offers the lighting visualization suite service at various locations.

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15/06/2016 Festivals

Secret of Rock in Rio Lighting Design - Interview Terry Cook (WBD)

Terry Cook
Senior Lighting Designer at Woodroffe Bassett Design (WBD)

Festival lighting designer at Rock in Rio Lisbon 

Interview, Bela Vista Park, 17th May 2016
(More pictures and information can be found on our Rock in Rio page

Q: How did you start working with Rock in Rio and what is your role here?

Terry: WBD actually came to Rock in Rio Lisbon back in 2014 with the Rolling Stones. We thought the festival set up was incredible. It is very different to other festivals, not just the tidy and clean look and feel but the festival also prides itself on its straight edges, its environmental achievements and what it gives back to the community. During this time here at the festival, we started speaking to Roberto and Roberta Medina, the father and daughter pairing who run the Rock in Rio festivals in Lisbon, Las Vegas and Rio de Janeiro. Shortly after, we started working together and came up with the plan to make the whole festival ground with all its stages more coherent. We looked into areas that needed improvement and decided on three shows that we would support as a lighting design company. The first one was Rock in Rio Las Vegas. The last one is this Rock in Rio Lisbon. During this time, we focused on improving the VIP experience as well as the integration of all the smaller stages into the festival to give it one DNA.

One example being that every stage has a very similar holding look whenever the band is not on stage. If the festival is ever at a moment of pause, all stages have the same familiar look.

Here in Lisbon, WBD is the festival lighting designer company; we are responsible for delivering the lighting system, along with PRG, for the main stage as well as ten other areas on the festival grounds. The high amount of areas means a lot of work for PRG and for us. WBD is excited about the future with Rock in Rio and we have many creative and technically exciting elements in the pipeline.

Q: What is your main lighting design focus at Rock in Rio Lisbon?

Terry: WBD’S main lighting design focus is to make it as successful as possible for everyone involved. Meaning, my aim is to provide the best possible lighting set-up for all parties. For the festival operator I supply a multi-purpose rig that fits the budget and for the incoming lighting designers, I’d like to supply a lighting rig that has a thought behind it and caters for everyone. I determine the success of a rig after how often it has been used, i.e. how many bands do not chose to take it down and put their own lighting in. And to date, for the three festivals, we have not had a single band that took the trusses down. For me, this is success and that is what I focused on when I designed the lighting for Rock in Rio.

Q: Is there anything new at his year’s Rock in Rio festival?

Terry: We have a completely new design here in Lisbon: The Electronica stage. It is a big stage and for me, this is the main focus in terms of creative input. The VIP area is also new and exciting. The structure is huge, it holds over 2000 people, offers great views over the festival area and has some exclusive features. Corporate hospitality meets rock’n roll festival. It Is very funny to see the PRG crew, rock’n rollers by heart, to fit birdies and cut cables to length.

Q: What is your secret?

Terry: The secret behind it is that I have not tried to be too creative. I didn’t see it as my lighting rig but as OUR lighting rig. I’ve gone with how I would call it, a “standard festival set up”; I have straight trusses overhead and ladders and a versatile floor package. Instead of putting a diamond truss or any other advances style up that incoming artists have problems with when trying to adapt it for their show, I went for a very simple look.

Q: How is Rock in Rio celebrating the 30th anniversary?

Terry: Two things. Firstly, a much bigger festival in Rio and secondly, the return of some of the biggest artists that have performed over the past 30 years on this stage. For example, Queen, which was one of the first bands to play Rock in Rio and now we’ve got Queen + Adam Lambert back on stage here in Lisbon. And of course Bruce Springsteen.

Rock in Rio also planned a show in the Amazonian jungle to celebrate its anniversary. This coincides with Rock in Rio planting 1 million new trees in the Amazon.

Q: How are all the different lighting requirements from incoming designers coming together?

Terry: WBD sent out a provisional lighting concept that goes out with the initial contract negotiation with the artist management. So they know that we are doing the lighting design but also what the kit list what will be like. At that stage very basic. We then get together with our vendor, in this case with PRG, and are able to send out a revised kit list and also the festival drawing package. I then start the early communication with the lighting designers and answer the basic questions. We then introduce the lighting designers to our visualization team and see if they bring their own lights, desk etc.

My job as festival lighting designer is to make sure the lighting rig is ready for the incoming artists and to welcome them when they get here; offer my support and make sure they are happy and have a great time.

Q: How do you work with Vickie Claiborne from PRG?

Terry: Vickie and I get together at a very early stage in the process. For this event, we actually created a work flow that we all fed into. The sharing of requirements and tasks is vital with so many locations to light and the amount of people involved. Vickie works very professional and knows the industry very well. I am also lucky that Vickie ran the FOH of RIR Las Vegas so know the festival and me well, this makes things a little simpler and speeds up the process.

Q: Do you remember your first job with PRG?

Terry: My first notable job with PRG from a design side of things was at a film festival in Doha, Qatar, called Doha Tribeca Film Festival. We started in 2009. It ended up being a huge show, where we had 6000 lights, nearly 100 crew member and two Antonov airplanes. We emptied PRG Birmingham, they actually used it to paint the floors.

Q: Since you started your career as a follow spot operator in your local theater, have you had a chance to test or work with the PRG GroundControl FollowSpot yet?

Terry: Yes, I had the chance to play with the GroundControl FollowSpot. In fact, I happened to be over in the US when PRG was still in the R&D phase and I got invited to have a look. So I actually saw it in the early stages. I think it is a fantastic product for our industry. For one, it gives designers the flexibility to put follow spots in positions that they were not able to utilize before. There are limits to where we can place follow spots and the beauty of the GroundControl is that if we can put a motor point and a light on the truss, we can use a follow spot. We do not have to worry about how we get the truss in to get the operator up and down, or the safety plan to rescue them, it just makes things more simple and more versatile. The only thing we have to do is to maintain the light like all the others.

Secondly, the invention of it is very bold and shows where the industry is heading technology-wise. To have a camera that bolts in the front of a light and allows the lighting operator to see what they are doing from the safe position on the ground is great. We can change the colour of the light and follow like we used to. Even though all of this is not new, it is the invention of putting it all together and having the operator on the floor where they are safe and easy to talk to. As a lighting designer you are the one sending the operator up on the trusses, this is a much safer option. There is a lot in and around this invention that makes it so exciting for the future.

Q: How did you became a lighting designer?

Terry: I can’t say that is was my plan to become a lighting designer. I actually started out as a child actor. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very talented. Honestly, I was rubbish at it. It impacted my confidence so my agent – yes, I actually had one of those – suggested I should operate a follow spot for one of the Saturday shows. I went and I really enjoyed myself. Operating the follow spot became a regular thing for me in my local theatre. When I realized I could actually go to college and study lighting and technical theatre, I knew it was what I wanted to do.

In college I specialized in sound design and stage management. Lighting was nice but it wasn’t my goal for life at the time. However, after I finished college, money was tight and it happened that lighting jobs were much easier to come by. So I did general crewing and lighting crewing.
In 1999 I went to work at the Millennium Dome in London and that was when I first encountered Patrick Woodroffe and Adam Bassett. Adam was Patrick’s assistant at the time, who worked as a lighting designer. I was just a member of the maintenance crew and didn’t have much interaction with them.
One of my jobs was it to go around every single light in the lighting dome with a spirit level; it took me days to get around. At the time I was told that Adam Bassett had requested it. Back then I hadn’t met him in person. Still to this day – so 16 years later - Adam has no knowledge of this and is adamant he never requested it. Anyway, Adam and I met, we became friends and because of my stage and production management work, I worked alongside Adam as a project manager.

So my background is production and my desire and future is lighting design. I like to think that I understand the worth of a light in terms of budget, I understand what the client goes through in terms of scheduling and costs and I know what the crew goes through because I have been one of them, putting those lights up on the trusses, climbing those ladders. And I am learning from two of the bests lighting designers in the world, which is why I am incredibly lucky. I don’t know what the future will bring but I love it at the moment. We are a creative bunch of people who are trying to achieve the best possible

Q: What makes you passionate about being a lighting designer?

Terry: When a show comes together and everything worked the way you planned it, that is a great feeling. When everything comes together and the music is in sync with the lights, it can be very impressive. A big drum hit and all the lights change for example from blue to red, it’s these little scenes that form an overall experience. And when you’ve got the client or people from the audience next to you and they are enjoying the show, it is a great acknowledgement of your creativity..

Being a lighting designer is quiet a lonely job when you’re doing a show. You are there late at night, working under a lot of pressure and you’ve got an expectation to deliver. Most lighting designer work on their own, the difference for me is that I’ve got a group of five people around me. They are definitely a motivation for me.

As a lighting designer, you can have all the budget and all the lights in the world but it is about the team of people that you work in the background and enable you to deliver a great job. I am very lucky here in Rock in Rio that we have a great PRG crew with us. They are working in the sun, in the rain, carrying the cables from A to B, digging additional trenches for the cable and doing everything in a professional way. Without their effort I couldn’t do what I am doing, so I am very grateful for that.

Q: Can you still enjoy a show when you go to see one in your private life or do you look at the lights?

Terry: I would lie if I say I don’t look at the lighting but I have learned to enjoy the overall show. But as a lighting designer, I still appreciate the lights and of course I have learned from other people’s work. The lights are just one aspect of a show. The key is to bring the light, sound and the artist together. Here at Rock in Rio, we have a firework display before the headliners go on stage. The lighting should reflect the firework rather than being a big light show. The firework leads the lights. It is easy to put 300 moving lights on a rig and create a big show but that is not what this is all about. It is about drawing people in and create a symmetry between both.

(Thank you Event Elevator for this interview. Interview can be found in German on

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PRG ProShop To Hold a Used Equipment Sale in Utrecht

PRG ProShop will hold a used equipment sale from 15th to 17th June. The PRG ProShop ‘Garage Sale’ will open its doors to users, and customers at PRG in Utrecht (NL). The special sale will take place on all three days from 10:00 am to 06:00 pm. The sale is offering a huge selection of high-quality event technology from lighting, audio, video, rigging, LED, to broadcast technology and accessories.

The portfolio includes moving lights, lighting consoles, video consoles, daylight fixtures, speaker systems, microphones, video cameras, network technology, computers and trusses.

A detailed list of the equipment available for sale in can be accessed through the PRG XL Video website

All products are fully tested prior to being put up for sale, and are sold as seen without any warranty or option to exchange after the event.

Address: PRG Utrecht (NL), Ontariodreef 10, 3565 BD Utrecht/Niederlande. For enquiries please call +44 (0) 121-477-1239 or send an Email to

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PRG Alliance new members in Eastern Europe - Visual Europe Group and Aram.

PRG Alliance extends its reach to Eastern Europe

The new members in Poland, Hungary and Romania will support growing PRG Alliance demand for technical production services in the region.

The market is changing and major producers are bringing more projects to Eastern Europe. The region is hosting major international events in segments such as sports, music festivals and corporate events.

In order to keep up with this demand, PRG Alliance welcomes two new members to its international network: ARAM Multimedia in Poland; and Visual Europe, covering Hungary and Romania.

ARAM is one of the largest companies in Poland specializing in full production solutions with an emphasis on event design; creative video technology applications; and project management for large scale events, offering a wide range of services from concept to delivery.

Visual Europe is a new group in Hungary created by the merger of the companies DCN Rental and AV Control. The company today is owned by Garangold Venture Capital Fund, a private equity fund that is now investing in new technology, and soon in the acquisition of another company in the country. They will open a new office in Romania to follow its vision to be the largest technical event production company in the region.

The two companies explain the benefits in being members of PRG Alliance: “Now that we have invested in the creation of Visual Europe as one company, we need to have a strong partner in Europe to learn from them and to generate new business opportunities for both parties. We believe that our clients will be the ones to gain from the application of the technical knowledge we will get from the relationship with the other members”, says Szabolcs Botond, CEO of Visual Europe Group.

“ARAM has a similar strategy as PRG as we can support larger, more complex productions. We see a lot of synergy also with the other members of PRG Alliance and we believe this partnership will bring many benefits for both Polish and international markets”, comments Rafal Mrzyglocki, Managing Director of ARAM Multimedia.

“We are pleased to welcome these new partners in Eastern Europe,” said Tom van Hemelryck, PRG Alliance Director. “Our clients and Alliance partners are seeing a growing demand for events across the region, and the addition of these new rental suppliers to the PRG Alliance ensures we can expand our high quality of service into even more countries.”

The partnership has already started with the companies collaborating with the PRG Alliance members for support in productions in their regions and abroad across this busy summer season.

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PRG & Vectorworks support Rock in Rio with lighting
18/05/2016 Festivals

PRG and Vectorworks come together to provide lighting at Rock in Rio

Production Resource Group LLC (PRG) – leading supplier of entertainment and event technology solutions is working with global entertainment design software developer Vectorworks, Inc. to ensure a seamless Rock in Rio festival in Lisbon, Portugal. The Rock in Rio festival collaboration between PRG and Vectorworks will demonstrate the realization of workflows using ESP Vision software to previsualize each lighting designer's concept. As in previous years, PRG will be supplying lighting technology and all related rigging for the festival. The event technology specialist is now in its 13th year of working with Rock in Rio.

“We started working with Rock in Rio back in 2004; during this time, we were able to supply lighting and video technology at festivals in Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, Las Vegas and Lisbon,” said Christoph Hahnl, Senior Account Manager at PRG. “This year’s festival marks the 30th anniversary of Rock in Rio, and we are excited to be on board.”

Now owned by Vectorworks, Inc., Vision puts the power to previsualize and cue your show at your fingertips. The software enables entertainment designers to rehearse the look of a show before they arrive at the venue. Adaptations and changes can easily be made in advance, allowing for more efficient working.

"With the increasing need to simulate a lighting design before it's ever executed on a live stage, our collaboration with PRG at Rock in Rio Lisbon provides the perfect venue in which to demonstrate our commitment to empowering today's entertainment designers," said Stewart Rom, chief marketing officer for Vectorworks. "We look forward to showing the world how our two companies can contribute to the ultimate show experience in Lisbon this year and enable today's visionaries in lighting design to advance the way they work."

As part of their ongoing collaboration, PRG is working with Vectorworks' R&D department to create leading solutions and is among the first to use the companies latest software technologies. Vectorworks® Spotlight users are able to work with a catalog of PRG-owned gear in the software, making the design development and documentation process even faster for lighting, production and scenic designers. The close working proximity to designers allows PRG an active exchange of ideas to identify the latest requirements and be involved in leading the development of future technology. Spotlight is the industry-leading software for entertainment design that allows designers to work in 2D and 3D with integrated worksheet functionality and rendering capabilities.

“The collaboration with Vectorworks is well underway, and we have already identified ways to improve internal and external working processes,” said Götz Bauer, Special Operations Director at PRG. “By incorporating PRG’s gear into the Spotlight software library, users are able to work increasingly efficiently and improve working processes. Our close relationship with designers from around the world enables us to really make a difference by using their feedback, and our experience to create solutions from which the whole industry can gain.”

The festival will take place over two consecutive weekends starting on May 19, 2016. The lineup features acts like Queen + Adam Lambert, Maroon 5, Korn, Ariana Grande, Hollywood Vampires and Avicii. The lighting design for the festivals in Las Vegas, Rio de Janeiro and Lisbon was created by lighting designer Terry Cook for Woodroffe Bassett Design.

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Shakespeare Live! from the RSC with Technical Support from PRG XL Video

On Saturday 23rd April 2016 the world celebrated the life and work of William Shakespeare, on the 400th anniversary of his death. The commemorative events included Shakespeare Live! From the RSC – a live production including music, drama and comedy, which took place at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Hosted by David Tennant and Catherine Tate who, as well as appearing together in Doctor Who, shared the lead roles in a West End production of Much Ado About Nothing, the show took place in front of HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and a specially selected audience.

Shakespeare Live! was also broadcast live on BBC2 in the UK, and was recorded for later screenings on TV and in cinemas worldwide.

Working with RSC Production Manager, David Tanqueray; Production Designer; Robert Jones; Lighting Designer, Vince Herbert; Video Designer, Alex Uragallo; and BBC Television Lighting Director, Nigel Catmur, PRG XL Video provided some key elements of technology for Shakespeare Live! including their GroundControl™ Remote Followspot system, and LED for a flown back wall and proscenium arch.

The GroundControl™ Remote Followspot system allows a specially customised PRG Bad Boy spotlight to be rigged and flown above the audience, whilst the control unit is situated on the ground. The light fixture includes a camera, and the control unit includes a live feed from the camera, enabling the operator to have local control of lighting intensity, iris, zoom and edge.

Peter Marshall, Account Director for PRG XL Video, was contacted by Lighting Designers Vince Herbert and Nigel Catmur to discuss the best options for adding followspots for this one-off event, and Marshall recommended the innovative GroundControl system. Peter comments: “We were pleased to be able to contribute to this special event, and to demonstrate the difference that the GroundControl Remote Followspot can make in a theatre environment.

Peter continues: “We gave Vince, Nigel and David a demonstration at our warehouse in Longbridge, and they were sold on the concept.”

David Tanqueray explains, “The Royal Shakespeare Theatre does not usually have a requirement for roving high brightness followspots, but the nature of this unique production, including lighting it for television broadcast, meant that we needed to bring in spotlights, as they were a vital part of the show design.”

“We do not have traditional followspot positions in the auditorium, so this new GroundControl technology, enabled us to include bright spotlights in the production without having any seat-kill. It really helped us achieve the result we wanted without adversely affecting the production.”

Nigel Catmur agreed: “The GroundControl Followspot is a genius concept. We couldn’t have done the show without them.”

Production Designer, Rob Jones, whose credits include the RSC’s Hamlet with David Tennant, and The Vote at the Donmar Warehouse, both of which were filmed and broadcast on television, created a versatile layered environment for the performers. With the orchestra located upstage, during several performances it was masked by a flown LED screen, formed from PRG XL’s ROE MC-7 high resolution blackface LED.

The screen was raised and lowered as required, being used for segments including comedy from the Horrible Histories team; and scenes from Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’, and ‘Antony and Cleopatra’. The LED screen was also occasionally masked by a semi-transparent drape which created an extra layer of depth to the production.

Slightly downstage, Rob Jones’ design included a proscenium arch, which was also populated with the MC-7 LED both to the front face, and with an angled reveal on both sides and across the underside of the arch beam.

Video Designer, Alex Uragallo explains: “With the 3D planes of the arch, one the hardest things was mapping the video content across the LED panels. It took some extra consideration to make sure the content flowed seamlessly, wherever the camera moved.

“The arch worked really well, seemingly having the content move with the performers, and was clearly visible from multiple camera angles.

Alex continued: “I was surprised at how black the LED screen face is when off, and this created an almost glossy surface which matched well with the black formica floor. For the scenes where the moon was displayed on the rear LED screen, I was particularly pleased with the quality and subtlety of the moon reflection. The LED was a great way of achieving this effect without having a massive light source, and I would definitely consider using this again in other productions.”

Oliver Luff, Senior Account Manager at PRG XL Video commented: “We were delighted to help the Royal Shakespeare Company with this very special celebration event. Our MC-7 LED is a versatile product, and the combination of live theatre performance and television broadcast showed that it is ideal for many different uses. Alex Uragallo’s content looked fantastic, and we were happy to contribute to making this historic occasion a success.”

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PRG Projects

Production Resource Group Announces New Brand For Its Creative LED Solutions Team

Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, announced today a new brand for their creative LED special projects team, formerly a subsidiary of XL Video.

Now known as PRG Projects, the team, led by Frederic Opsomer and Kristof Soreyn, is renowned for creating and providing innovative custom video solutions. The teams are based at PRG’s location in Ostend, Belgium and in China. The new PRG Projects team will also incorporate, and work more closely with, the former XL Video research and development team based in Shenzhen, China. The combined expertise of the team has already been responsible for realizing some of the most technology-forward designs and custom installations in concert touring, large-scale spectacles, television, and sporting events, including ceremonies in Athens, London, and Sochi over the last several years.

In addition to working with the team in Ostend, PRG Projects in Shenzhen will continue to focus on sourcing LED products in China for PRG and for PRG Alliance partners.

“PRG Projects’ goals are now positioned to fit PRG’s overall vision to create bespoke creative LED products for all of the different market segments in which we are active,” explains Opsomer. “The designers and project managers that we have on our team, in both Ostend and Shenzhen, have decades of experience in creating and producing the world’s most innovative solutions.”

“PRG Projects leads the entertainment technology industry in advancing the creative application of LED technology and are an incredible asset for PRG and our clients,” says Stephan Paridaen, President & Chief Operating Officer, Production Resource Group. “The team, which consists of a range of creative and innovative experts in the field of custom video solutions, has a strong focus on innovation, product development, and system packaging. The team also works closely with strategic manufacturing partners to help develop and refine technology and options that meets the needs of producers and creatives in all of our markets.”

For further information, please go to:

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Grimes - Brixton Academy - April 2016. Photo: Matt Rakowski

Grimes Tour Supported With Lighting From PRG XL Video in the UK and Germany

Canadian singer-songwriter Claire Boucher, who performs under the moniker of Grimes, recently made several appearances in the UK as part of her Ac!d Reigns tour. The production, in support of her critically acclaimed 2015 album Art Angels, used a versatile floor lighting and console package from PRG XL Video in Germany as they played venues across continental Europe before shows in Manchester, Dublin, Birmingham, Leeds, Bristol, Nottingham and Glasgow; but for the sell-out extravaganza at London’s iconic Brixton Academy, Lighting Designer Sarah Landau called on PRG XL Video’s UK Senior Account Manager Roy Hunt to help add a little additional razzmatazz to an already impressive light show with an overhead lighting rig.

Roy said “Sarah’s artistic and creative reputation is exceptional and the opportunity of working with her on any project is exciting, especially something like this.”

With the tour starting off in Berlin, it made sense for the main lighting system to be supplied by PRG XL Video’s facility in Hamburg, where Account Manager Marco Mahl took care of Sarah’s needs. Discussing her choice of lighting products, Sarah said “I needed versatile fixtures that could create a variety of looks with minimal fixture counts. I was excited to try Clay Paky Mythos for the first time; they are the best of a Sharpy and Pointe with colour mixing as well. I used Martin Mac Vipers for backlighting and projection through the camouflage netting—we needed a bright fixture with a wide zoom and interesting gobos, and they’re very reliable. The Robe Robin 300s were a bright, fast wash, perfect for backlighting and with a wide enough zoom for us to use as cyc lights too, I selected four Sharpy washes to provide sculptural side light from the downstage and midstage edges, they were very bright, even using UV filters!”

When asked how lighting the Brixton show differed from other dates on the Ac!d Reigns tour, Sarah explained “Because Brixton is an empty room, I was able to hire in an overhead plot. PRG XL Video supplied Best Boy HP and Robe Pointe moving lights, Solaris Flare LED strobes, Martin Mac Aura LED washes and an RGB star cloth. The star drop added depth and made the relatively small rig onstage look much bigger and added lots of ambience to the ‘pretty’ songs in the set list.”

Grimes’ stock has been steadily rising since her emergence with the albums Geidi Primes and Halfaxa in 2010. Her name has been included on numerous shortlists and has been marked as an artist with extraordinary potential. Boucher cites her musical influences as being drawn from video game music, k-pop, Japanese composers, and artists as varied as Christina Aguilera, Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails, Beyonce, Marilyn Manson, Enya, Dizzee Rascal, Aphex Twin, Mariah Carey and Outkast. Hermione Hoby of the Guardian described Grimes’ layered style as “sounding a little like everything you’ve ever heard, the whole sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard.”

NME magazine chose Grimes’ fourth album as their album of the year for 2015, writing “Art Angels is an album everyone should own, that everyone can take something from. It’s bold, angry and provocative—a statement of intent from an artist coming of age and imprinting her singular worldview on the mainstream.” Grimes’ idiosyncratic brand of electro-poppy sounds almost defy categorisation, Sarah Landau refers to her work as art-pop, “It’s catchy and beautiful, but also very weird and experimental. Her latest record combines many disparate musical, literary, cinematic, artistic influences, and ends up representing Grimes’ eclecticism perfectly.”

Claire Boucher’s a creative force to be reckoned with, in addition to her musical talents, Claire also directs some of her music videos and creates her own album artwork. Regarding the aesthetics of the Ac!d Reigns shows, Sarah commented “Claire and I collaborate on the set designs—it was her idea to incorporate the camo netting, but I chose the colour and shape of the structure. When we first started working together, Claire and I had general conversations about the aesthetics and vibe, realised we were on the same page, and she has trusted me since.”

Sarah has handed over to the brilliant lighting director Michelle Sarrat as Grimes tours North America, stopping off for two appearances at Coachella festival before the band returns to play a number of European dates in the summer, including a handful of UK shows and appearances at Glastonbury and Latitude festivals.

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PRG Alliance adds logistic services to its portfolio

DB Schenker brings event logistic capabilities to PRG Alliance knowledge base

PRG Alliance is well known for its select membership with solutions in technical production for events and entertainment globally. Today it announces its expansion to a wider offering of services with logistic company DB Schenker as its newest member.

DB Schenker is a global leader in production and event logistics – with over 1,000 staff in 50 countries handling specialized event logistic operations dedicated to customer service, quality and sustainability – values that go hand-to-hand with the purpose of PRG Alliance.
Besides its integrated door-to-door intermodal logistic solutions, managing and operating customers’ transportation chains through land, rail, air and ocean freight services; the company has a specialized division for the events industry. DB SCHENKERsportsevents has expertise in sports tournaments, corporate road shows, concert touring and a wide range of international events providing unique services. They provide support during the planning phase, consultation on the specific regulations for each country, special transport for fragile items, temporary import customs assistance - and additional supplies such as crowd barriers, forklifts and cranes.
“We are eager to begin our partnership under the Logistics Category with this prestigious platform. Our worldwide reach matches perfectly with PRG Alliance locations and its visibility in the production and event industry”, says Nick Kashiparekh, Director of DB SCHENKERsportsevents.

PRG Alliance reaches an important milestone with the addition of DB Schenker to its membership. “We understand that a smooth logistic service is a game-changer in our industry. We are often working with tight schedules and being able to count on DB Schenker’s unique event experience is a great benefit to us. Our goal is to have additional event production services in the Alliance in the future, adding even more value to our members and customers”, says Tom Van Hemelryck, Director of PRG Alliance.

PRG Alliance is present today in 25 countries in all continents. The complete list of participant companies and news are available on the PRG Alliance website:

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PRG Alliance Marks 2nd Year with Summit at Prolight + Sound Frankfurt 2016

Production Resource Group, L.L.C., (PRG) recently marked the two year anniversary of its global partner network program with the second PRG Alliance Summit. Under the theme ‘Gearing Up For Success’, the Summit took place during the Prolight + Sound 2016 trade fair at the Festhalle Messe Frankfurt.

Since its inception, the PRG Alliance has grown in both size and reputation, and now offers technology, services and support to event producers in a total of twenty five countries.

There are now fifteen member companies which make-up the PRG Alliance. The newest addition is DB Schenker – the first member supplying services other than audiovisual. DB Schenker supports the Alliance members with specialized logistics for events with a large worldwide presence and multi-modal transportation requirements.

The PRG Alliance Summit is already a key date on the calendar for members, allowing them to meet face to face, share knowledge and best practices, and increase their collaboration. The location of the Summit at Prolight + Sound also enables them to meet at an event where the newest and most exiting technology is on display.

This year’s Summit included a presentation of the PRG Alliance’s future plans from Alliance Director, Tom Van Hemelryck, and Account Manager, Luciana Rosa, which include expansion into new regions, opportunities for training, and the aim to include a wider variety of service companies. There are also confirmed regional summits around Infocomm in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and Palm Expo in Beijing, China.

After the introduction, members of the Alliance shared their experiences and knowledge acquired during the past year, including a custom-shaped large-scale LED floor and wall for concert touring; special lighting for fashion shows; and the logistical issues facing shows located in unusual or remote locations. 

Following this the PRG Projects team shared examples of their work with custom LED projects for major opening ceremonies including wireless hex panels and pixel tablets seen by millions around the world.

“Watching the presentations, we see the potential applications for these technologies in Italy – we are always eager to bring new services to our clients and we see the potential for customized LED solutions in our market,” commented Alessandro Rossani, CTO of STS Communications in Italy.

Members also enjoyed a presentation from Chris Reed of Restless Communications on the best ways for technical production companies to use social media to promote their brands; and this was followed by sessions from Minesh Pore, General Manager of Pico Europe on working with corporate clients and managing expectations, and Lee Charteris, VP Operations, Flash Entertainment on the challenges of producing concerts and events in emerging markets.

Alliance member Ally Yoon, CEO of Ally & Co. in Korea commented: “The content of the summit is very helpful to us in Korea. We are right now in the middle of a production with PRG for a corporate event in Seoul and getting the insight on client expectation helps us to improve our services.”

The Summit concluded with a dinner in the Festhalle which further enabled the members to network with each other.

“We see how the PRG Alliance is well established and continues growing through making personal connections between the members and with the market,” said Tom Van Hemelryck, Director of PRG Alliance. “We carefully select the members and I am happy to have such an unprecedented group of companies with high-quality technical production services working together on several events in the last year – success always comes from collaboration.”

The current PRG Alliance members are:
Brazil: Crialed Producoes Visuais, Loudness Sonorizacao, and LPL Lighting Productions
Greece: Sound and Visual
Italy: STS Communication & New Light Group
Malaysia: Orange Events
Morocco: Touareg Prod’
Portugal: FX RoadLights
Qatar: Esme Entertainment Services
Singapore: The Show Company
South Korea: Ally&Co, Total Korea, and Basictech
Sweden and Denmark: [Lite]com
Worldwide: DB Schenker and Production Resource Group.

Members at the 2nd PRG Alliance Summit

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PRG ProShop Will Hold a Used Equipment Mega Sale in Frankfurt 4-8th April 2016

PRG ProShop are hosting a mega sale of used equipment at the Prolight + Sound trade show in Frankfurt. We are operating pop-up warehouse close to the exhibition grounds for the five days Prolight + Sound is on. The sale will run from 4th to 8th April and will be open from 11:00 to 19:00. PRG XL Video are offering a huge selection of high-quality lighting, audio, video, rigging, LED and broadcast technology for sale, including moving lights, LED panels, audio consoles, overhead lights, speaker systems, lighting control consoles, microphones, conventional lighting, video cameras, network technology, followspots, trusses and much more.

A detailed list of the equipment available for sale in Frankfurt can be accessed through the PRG XL Video website. Further information with regards to the exact location will be provided on the site. All products are fully tested prior to being put up for sale, and are sold as seen without any warranty or option to exchange after the event. We will be accepting payment by debit or credit card as well as cash. For visitors to Prolight + Sound, PRG XL Video will have an information counter in the Festhalle where further details can be found, as well as information about the shuttle bus service we will be running from Prolight + Sound to the ProShop mega sale.

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21/03/2016 Show in “Festhalle“ accompanied by additional hall for used equipment sale

PRG XL Video presents innovations at Prolight + Sound 2016

PRG XL Video, event services and event technology specialist, will be present at this year’s Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt and will be showcasing a broad program as well as various innovations. As in previous years, PRG will be located in the “Festhalle“ hall, which also hosts the PRG Live Entertainment Award on 4th April 2016, the evening before the exhibition officially opens.

For the first time, this year’s award ceremony will include acts from the entire German-speaking DACH region, consisting of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The awards will be presented in front of 1300 guests during a “carbon neutral“ event.

For the duration of the Prolight + Sound the “Festhalle“ will be the exclusive presentation and showroom area for PRG XL Video and their cooperation partners. During this time, visitors can expect a show that will be even bigger then last year's event, including more than 1,000 light fixtures, video mapping, lasers, special effects, sound systems as well as kinetic solutions. The show will demonstrate the latest event technology in action. Visitors can also look forward to a backstage tour that includes a look at the equipment used for the PRG LEA award ceremony and also the 3D projections of the “Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis“ and a virtual warehouse tour, which is brought to live by ten projectors in the “Festhalle“.

At this year‘s Prolight + Sound PRG Video XL will also focus on presenting its wide service range. The division PRG Alliance will be present and inform visitors about the company’s global network. The PRG Subrental Portal division ( will also be attending. The portal aims to connect with suppliers, who would like to offer their equipment for rent to PRG. Also at the exhibition will be the newly launched PRG Crew Portal (, an online portal that makes connecting and working with PRG easier.

There will be demonstrations of PRG’s Ground Control System and a range of technology innovations by SGM and EAW. The development division of PRG, PRG Projects, will present the latest custom-build LED and control technology products.

One of the highlights of this year‘s PRG XL Video attendance will be a used equipment sale hosted in a 3,000 sqm hall outside the exhibition grounds. More information about this event can be obtained at the ProShop information counter located in the “Festhalle“. A shuttle service to and from the hall will be provided.

In addition to PRG XL Video‘s services and equipment, several sponsors and partners will also be present with stands in the “Festhalle“. Please refer to our Prolight + Sound website for up to date information on our program at the exhibition.

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