It's March at Lighting Dimensions, which, of course, means club coverage. We often present a special report on club lighting in this issue because the SIB International trade show is held in Rimini, Italy, in March of every other year. This year's collection is a typically eclectic bunch of projects from all over, including a restaurant/bar/club in Montreal, a top nightspot in Copenhagen, the latest version of New York's ever-popular Sound Factory, plus a couple of English venues as well, beginning on page 20.
We think clubs are fun to visit and write about, but there's another reason to take a look at them as well: They are often on the forefront of new lighting technology. A couple of these projects feature extensive use of LED units, a technology that promises to be a prominent player in the next few years. Also, given the size constraints of these venues, lighting manufacturers are coming up with ever-more compact versions of their products, another trend in the making. Then again, club culture is one hardy perennial of our industry, which never seems to be too affected by economic downturns, geopolitical upheavals, or other developments that can affect the concert, live theatre, or film and television markets. At the end of the day, no matter what, people still want to go out in the evening and have a good time. It will be interesting to attend this year's SIB to see how the club lighting manufacturers, designers, and technicians have been affected by life after September 11. I promise you a full report.
Anyway, if not you're not that club-minded — or even if you are — check out the rest of the issue as well. Cathy McHugh reports on Natalie Merchant's tour (page 46), which is remarkable for achieving so many looks with a rather small rig. Jason Boyd, the LD, comes from Off Broadway theatre, so he knows plenty about creativity on a budget. Art Thomas fills you in on Jason Kantrowitz's experiences designing Disney Playhouse Live on Stage (page 52), down at the Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando. Kantrowitz is one of many theatre designers who are working on Disney attractions these days. Arnold Serame's first-person account of the Xbox product launch on page 56 is a timely reminder of some of the many changes that we now face post-9/11. And Ellen Lampert-Gréaux's interview with Robert Wierzel (page 36) is an up-close-and-personal look at how one designer keeps his creative edge while holding onto a personal life. All that and lots of news.
Once you've finished reading, why not go out to a club. I can even suggest a few.