is, of course, the trade show held in Rimini, Italy, every other year. Rimini, I must point out, is the birthplace of Federico Fellini and, in the past, SIB has seemed like an event straight out of one of his films. The show focuses on the club market, which means that the attendees have always included an army of DJs, club kids, models manqués, and other unidentifiable types. This year, in its brand-new convention center, SIB has become a tad more mature. The frantic carnival atmosphere has dissipated a bit, to be replaced by a rather more professional atmosphere. Gone are the bubble machines filled with naked people, laser strip shows, sexy models perched on auto hoods, and the notorious sex machine, an adults-only variation on the horse you used to ride outside the dime store. Still, things haven't calmed down totally--on the last day, there was a man dressed only in red bikini briefs, red body makeup, and an Indian bonnet.
Anyway, the buzz at the show, held March 24-27, was determinedly optimistic, with everyone swearing that business has picked up in 2002, with better times to come. In fact, people do seem to be gearing up for increased activity. Both Clay Paky and Martin Professional are building new facilities, while SGM, another Italian moving-light manufacturer, is adding on to its headquarters. There are some new faces as well. Pearl River, the China-based lighting company, is making a bid to become an international player, with the addition of Paul Dodd, who performed the same services for the Italian company f.a.l., and Robe Show Lighting, a Czech company that has performed OEM services for several other well-known names, is now going to sell its own products as well.
Robe Show Lighting
Other interesting developments: Martin Professional launched a new lighting control console, the Maxxyz, which is meant to compete with the big boys such as the Wholehog, the GrandMA, the Obsession, and others. If that happens, it should increase Martin's already sizable market share. Martin also threw a spectacular dinner party in a sumptuous villa located several miles outside of town. SGM has three new consoles, the Regia Live, Regia Opera, and Regia Pro, which could help give this company, a big international player with a low US profile, more of a presence here. SGM also had a big party at Prince, a local disco; the festivities included the Italian freestyle bartending finals competition. Clay Paky's latest product lineup includes the Stage Profile Plus SV, which has a kicky framing device that allows you to do any number of things. Coemar is going through lots of changes, with Ian Kirby onboard to head up the new Coemar UK and Miami-based Tracoman renaming itself Coemar US.
Also, Programmi e Sistemi Luce, distributed in the US by OmniSistem, has a new followspot that will compete with such companies as Lycian. COEF has a new automated wash light, the MP700, which should be ready by the fall. Noted LD Luc La Fortune was on hand, speaking about his lighting techniques. His busy schedule includes a new production staged by Deborah Brown, the choreographer who works with Cirque du Soleil. Other projects getting talked about included the upcoming Paul McCartney tour, lit by Roy Bennett (Chain Master is heavily involved in this one, as is High End, with the Catalyst), as well as the Viña del Mar Music Festival in Chile, the work of Pat Henry, who also has another music festival in Acupulco in May.
Here's a selected look at who showed what:
It wouldn't be a club show without American DJ; the company displayed lots of new products, including the Luna 4™ and Saturn 4b™ effects units; the Trance Wheel™, which features a rotating oil wheel projected through a beveled piece of glass; the Topaz™, with a beveled glass wheel that slowly rotates and projects on a multicolored dichroic dish that moves to the music; the Whirl™, with one replaceable, rotating gobo and a rotating multi-dichroic-color dish; and the Titan™, among many others. Arri showed various products, including the Arrisun 5 event lighting system; the X Light, for lighting large areas with even daylight; the Ruby 7, which maximizes the full potential of seven PAR-64 lamps; the Junior series of tungsten fresnel spotlights; and the Pocket Par system, among others. Avolites had its new Diamond 4 console, designed for large-scale shows, festivals, concerts, events, and multipurpose venues, as well as the Art2000 digital dimmers, especially the Art2000-TV 32A dimmer for the film and TV industry.
Chain Master was on hand to show its Vario-Lift system. The company has many current projects, including the Paul McCartney tour. Clay Paky showed the latest SV versions of the Stage Line of automated units. Chief among them is the Stage Profile Plus SV, with its patented profile system composed of four blades that are controlled from the lighting desk and move separately to produce totally novel effects. Other new products included the Golden Spot and Golden Color 122 projectors; the CP color professional color changers, especially the CP Color 575; the Color Wave wash color changer; and the V.I.P. 1200, which is part of the Display line. In other developments, Clay Paky is moving into new headquarters later this year. COEF Lighting promoted its new MP700 Zoom, its latest contestant in the moving-head market. COEF is distributed in the US by Omnisistem.
Coemar had plenty of news to announce, including the establishment of Coemar UK under the direction of Ian Kirby and the renaming of Florida-based Tracoman as Coemar USA. The full lineup of products was on hand as well, including the iSpot 575, the ProSpot 575 LX, the Panorama Cyc 250 and 250C; the iCyc 250; and the ColourCyc 250 LX and the new ProWash 575 LX. Cosmolight showed its portable kit and portable torch, for location shooting, plus the Zero88 range of consoles. DHA Lighting Ltd. showed the YoYo+ double moving gobo effects unit, first used on the West End revival of My Fair Lady.
DTS had three new units: the Rainbow DMX color changer, the PAR-64 Watertight, and the XR7 motorized rotating head. ETC showed its still-on-the-way new product, Emphasis™, the new lighting control system that gives a menu of options, including 500 to 5,000 channels, various face panels, and WYSIWYG functionality. The company also announced the appointment of David Gray as field project manager for the southern region of Europe. f.a.l. had plenty of products on show, including the Show Master 2002 lighting control software, the Three Sixty 1200 Pro moving-head unit; the Stage Yoke; the Stage Pro 2000; the Nocturno 2500 exterior lighting unit, the DayLight 1200 theatrical/TV unit; and the H1 hazer.
Geni Electronics showed the Oby moving-head series, plus the Pointer-5 followspot. Griven showed its newest line of architectural lighting products, the IP65 color-mixing product range; these include the Vesuvio CYM 250, the Vesuvio OS CYM 250, the Pantheon CYM 400, the Colosseo CYM 1000 and OS CYM 1000, and the Risalto 150. New from Lite-Puter is the DX-626 DMX six-channel dimming pack, the DX-401 and DX-402 DMX four-channel dimming packs, and the CX-802 DMX eight-channel dimmer console.
Martin showed the new Maxxyz lighting controller, perhaps the most talked-about product launch at the show. Also new on the stand was the Ego series of club effects lights, the Interphazer smoke machine from Jem, and the Freak club controllers. Martin also hosted a gala dealers' dinner at the Villa des Vergers, a spectacular chateau located just outside of Rimini. Mobil-Tech showed the new Hazetech 1200 DMX haze machine, the Hyrdatech 1200, 1800, 2000 DMX, 3500, and 4000 MX smoke machines. Novalight showed the Single®-Max 4,000W outdoor projector and the Booster® 4,000W outdoor effects unit, among others.
Nu-Light Systems showed the Airoamer, which can fill space with various scents. Osram Sylvania showed its range of lamps, including the HSR® and HSD® metal-halide units, along with the HMI® 12000 and 6000 W/SE models, along with the HTI® lamps with eXtreme Sea technology. China's Pearl River also made what was one of the show's most interesting announcements. The company, best known for its OEM development, is entering the international market in a big way, having obtained the services of Paul Dodd, who helped steer f.a.l. for many years. Look for new distributors and products to start being announced as early as this summer. Shown on the stand were the Navigator scanner, the Pilot 150 and Pilot 300 moving-head luminaires, plus a number of club and exterior lighting units.
Philips showed a number of its new lamps, including the MSR Hot Restrike, MSR SA (short-arc), and MasterColor Optics units, as well is its new Broadway lamps. The newest product from Programmi e Sistemi Luce is the Lancer 2500 followspot with color changer, which was unveiled at LDI. PSL products are distributed in the US by Omnisistem. Pulsar showed its entire ChromaRange of LED units, which have had a transformative effect on the company's product line. The latest is the ChromaPanel, a square color-mixing panel that uses 132 LEDs, intended for use in ceiling and wall displays.
Robe Show Lighting caused plenty of conversation at the show; a Czech company that has performed OEM services for many other moving light firms, Robe will now market its own line of moving-head wash and spot units, including the Spot 575XT, the Wash 575XT, MSZZoom 250XT, the Spot 160XT, moving-mirror units like the Scan 1200XT, the DJScan 250, and 150XT, and several others. Sagitter had a number of new products, including its FleXo range of moving-head units, the Moving Spot range, and the Supertracer 2500 HTI followspot.
SGM premiered a series of control consoles, the Regia 2048 in Opera, Live, and Pro editions. The consoles feature 2,048 DMX channels, four independent DMX lines, two built-in 8.4" TFT monitors (the latter on the Live version only), among other things. Also shown were the Giotto Profile 400 and 1800 moving-head fixtures, the new series of Powerlight digital dimmers, and Palco 2500 and Palco 150 wall-washing, color-changing projectors. SGM also sponsored a high-profile party at Prince, a hot local club. Show Magic is both a company and a product, the latter being billed as the ideal answer in control for exhibitions, product launches, architectural and environmental control, museums, theatre, and clubs. Sixtema showed its range of risers, including the Opera deck panel, the Dekx module, and the Ministage, among others.
The Smoke Company showed the Goblin, billed as the world's smallest self-contained portable fog machine, the Pro 1500H haze machine, the Pro 1500S smoke machine, the Aroma 100 fragrance machine, and the Aeromaster and Jazz fog machines. Space Cannon showed its product line and also publicized its central involvement in the Tribute in Light project in New York, which paid tribute to the memory of those lost in the events of 9/11. Studio Due showed the XS Excess moving head, which has been conceived for both live and television applications (US distributor Omnisistem). Technical Marketing Ltd. showed the IES Executive dimmer unit, which incorporates IGBT power devices to provide a compact, lightweight, low-noise, electronically protected dimming solution.
Transtechnik showed the E-Gate plus, E-Gate max, and E-Gate pro multifunctional gateways for exchanging data between DMX512 and ethernet. Vari-Lite made its first-ever SIB appearance, with its for-sale line, including the VL2402™ wash luminaire, the VL2202™ spot luminaire, the VL2416™ wash luminaire, and the Vari*Image™ system of stock gobos. Waagner Biro showed its Driving Axle compact winch program, a space-saving drive system for backcloth flies and point hoist.
Others on hand were AC Lighting; Darlington; E\T\C Audiovisuel; GLP German Lighting Products; Ianiro, with products from ADB, Compulite, and Spotlight; High End Systems; Lampo; LDR; Link; Selecon; Spotlight, Starway; Strand; Teclumen, and Vivid.