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The Summer Shows



 PLASA London England


Mike Moore - DJzone staff writer


Andy Williams

Gemini Girls



The Plasa Show




With PLASA coming to an end for another year, it's give's us time to sit down and ponder, "If only...;that would have been a nice effect to have".

For those of you who didn't quite manage the journey to Earls Court, London, I think it would be fair to say that with probably 25% or less of the show geared to the average mobile, you didn't miss much. However, if your interest covers stage, club and other bits and pieces, then it was a fantastic show.

From the mobile view, on the lighting side, NJD lead, by their intrepid MD, Kevin Hopcroft certainly packed a lot into a small area. The lighting demo was good, but could have been better if more space had been available, and I'm sure that the award winning Chaos & the new Chaos 2000 will be good sellers for the foreseeable future.

Ryger's MD Andrew Eastwood showed me the new Navigator DMX controller, which I think even I could use, and combined with four Tiny Scans, cabling etc. with a package price of £999.00 +VAT (US$1,500.00 + Tax), could make it very affordable for the larger mobile disco. And if that's to much for you, the show saw the launch of the new Tiny Colours, which is more suited to the smaller mobile disco. If you're interested in Ryger products, they have an outlet, Eurovision in Ontario, Canada. I personally have the Pro 403 light controller, which I've been using for just over two years with no problems what so ever.

If you were looking at buying a complete range of overhead lighting at a reasonable price, I would certainly look twice at the Ness lighting from Gemini. I first saw some of the range a couple of months back and to say the least I was impressed. Gemini's stand at Plasa, had the interesting conception of a zoned tunnel, each zone lasted a couple of minutes then moving on to the next, which meant you didn't have to wait long before the demo started, the down side, I don't think the whole range was on display. Rob Peck, Gemini's UK MD was confident that since it's launch the Ness lighting range was now out selling most other units on the market.

On the audio front everything looked almost the same as we have seen before, just a new front panel here and there to gloss up an exsisting product with the exception of some speakers that had an uncanny resemblance to toilet pans?

Andy Williams the Vestax MD, took great pleasure in showing me their latest offering for the ardent DJ, the VRX 2000 turn table that you can cut your own vinyl on (what's vinyl?) using specially formulated plastic developed by Vestax engineers. Joking aside, Andy did mention that they are currently selling about 800 turntables a week. Perhaps the new trend will be to buy CD's and copy them to vinyl!

It was nice to see the rep from Visiosonic, with the current 1200SL software, and although it was late in the day, and time was running out, I did spend about 20 minutes extolling the virtues of the product to inquisitive passers by.

Martin have taken the lead for the new millennium by introducing a credit card to buy Martin lighting and associated products such as the Mach speakers and Jem smoke machines, oh well, another piece of plastic to pad out the wallet.

After four hours of walking around the massive exhibition hall at Earls Court, feeling very hot and tired, I wondered how many stands I missed, amongst the sea of bodies, colour and glitz. And I think it's safe to say that once again a lot of money probably changed hands and the industry won't go broke this year. Going up on the last day it tends to be quieter, and you can see, in the faces of the exhibitors that they would rather be elsewhere, too much liquid refreshment the night(s) before?

On the drive home it crossed my mind that, as good as Plasa is, and, I'll be back there next year, perhaps it's time for smaller, regional exhibitions, more suited for the mobile discotheque market

On a closing note, if you are looking around for new speakers, I have just purchased a pair of Carlsbro, Beta 115 speakers (15" + Horn). Rated at 300w they are very punchy and lightweight, I can pick them up with one hand, they are new on the market over here so I don't have the full spec.


The winners of the PLASA Product Excellence Awards and the Best Stand Awards were announced today on the final day of this year’s show. Twelve PLASA Product Excellence Awards and three Stand Awards were presented. A special award was also given to one of the industry doyens, Freddy Lloyd, for his contribution to the industry, on his retirement.

During his speech announcing the winners, Matthew Griffiths, managing director for PLASA commented on the increased exhibitor and visitor numbers at this year’s show. As the number one leisure and entertainment technology show in the world, PLASA brings together the leading companies worldwide with the majority reporting a significant increase in the business taking place.

Matthew Griffiths said: "Only the very very brave would have dared predict the impact our niche industry would have on the leisure and entertainment world as we welcome in the next century. This success is largely down to the innovation and continuing desire for excellence that the exhibitors have shown in the new product developments that we have seen at this and previous PLASA shows. We are delighted that they invariably choose PLASA as the launch pad for their new generation products."

The £100 entry fee for each product entered into this year’s PLASA Product Excellence awards, totalling £5,400, was donated to four charities during the awards ceremony; The Royal National Institute for the Blind, The Beethoven Fund For Deaf Children, SENSE and the PSA Welfare and Benevolent Fund.

The PLASA Product Award winners for 1999 were:

  • Stage Technologies for the Solo Riggers Remote

  • MA Lighting Technology for the Grand MA
  • Tannoy Professional for their i6AW loudspeaker
  • PJ Lighting for the Admiral Multibar Round
  • ELX for the DiPline panel product
  • City Theatrical for the Auto Yoke
  • Allen and Heath for their I-CON DP1000
  • Autograph Sales for the Intellivox loudspeaker
  • Scandinavian Leisure for their DJ Pulse Musicbox DJ2010
  • LitePuter’s Junior DMX Console
  • Zero 88’s Illusion 120
  • Martin Professional for their Track POD

Best Stand Awards at this year’s PLASA show were:

  • Best stand was awarded to Pioneer

  • Best overall stand design was awarded to Vari-Lite
  • Most Imaginative Use of Stand Space was awarded to Color Kinetics

The judges gave a special mention to two other stands:

  • SCV London and Electrix

  • Also Pulsar/Clay Paky


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