PLSN June 2012 : Cover

Road Test: Robe ROBIN DLX Spot, page 34 PROJECTION Starts CONNECTION on page 45 Vol. 13.5 JUNE 2 0 12 50 Years of Good Vibrations Indiana Officials Now Requiring Stage Structure Inspections, Emergency Plans INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission unanimously approved new regulations on temporary staging May 2 that went into efect May 3. The regulations, which fol-lowed the April 12 release of two state-commissioned reports on the deadly staging collapse at the Indi-ana State Fair last summer, mandate engineer-approved rigging plans and detailed emergency plans. Although the new rules let smaller event organizers bypass the regulations by keeping fans away from the stage — the distance for this “bufer zone” would be the Craig Hopkins Dueling Deities continued on page 8 Two Messianic musicals have re-turned to Broadway in a big way: Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell . The latest incarnations feature visual innovations ranging from Superstar’s pipe wall pro-jections to Godspell’s transformation of a baptismal pool into an ethereal Last Supper table with the addition of some strategic lighting and dry ice. For more, turn to page 30 Jeremy Daniel LD Robert W. “Bob” Peterson and lighting director Chris Stuba are shining the lights on the 50th anniver-sary world tour of The Beach Boys — more than four decades after the founding members of the band last performed together. Any anxieties about how the band would fare after so much time apart soon faded, Peterson reports. “It is a joyful show, the crowd sings along throughout, and it is an absolute honor to be a part of such an historical touring event.” For more, check out Debi Moen’s column, “Designer Watch,” on page 57. Crowd in Buffalo Grows Unruly after Weather Forces Cancellation BUFFALO, NY — Folding chairs were damaged and thrown on the stage, along with bottles and cans, after headliner Eric Church’s per-formance was cancelled June 1 at Coca-Cola Field due to weather concerns. There were no reports of serious injuries. Organizers of the WYRK Taste of Country concert had delayed Church’s appearance on the stage, then cancelled the event amid concerns that the high winds might destabilize the stage struc-ture. “After intense consideration, it was decided it was in the best inter-est for the safety of everybody at Coca Cola Field that Eric Church not continued on page 5 38 Company 411 Upstage Video is expanding its facilities on the East Coast, in the Rockies and at its new location in downtown Los Angeles. Joe Branam to Receive Parnelli Visionary Award By Kevin M. Mitchell LAS VEGAS — The Parnelli Board of Advi-sors has announced that Joe Branam, owner of Branam Enterprises, will receive the Par-nelli Visionary Award at the annual gala din-ner and award ceremony in Las Vegas. The event is set for Oct. 20, 2012 at the Mirage Resort and Casino. “I think it’s quite an honor,” Branam said, noting that Parnelli Awards executive direc-tor Patrick Stansfeld called to tell him, “I got a little choked up. When I think of all I’ve got-ten to do and all the great people I’ve gotten to work with, I have to say it’s nice to be ac-knowledged this way.” “Joe is a rigger extraordinaire, who start-ed as a fying trapeze performer in a circus and went on to create one of the largest, most respected rigging companies in the business,” said Terry Lowe, PLSN/FOH publish-er and Parnelli Awards executive producer. “Previously, this award has gone to lighting and staging designers, but no one will deny continued on page 5 41 PLSN Interview Japan’s L’Arc-en-Ciel marked 20 years with a debut at MSG in NYC. Tom Hudak and PRG helped make it happen. Bamboo Club Romania’s Bamboo Group created a R 42 f frst-class nightclub in Miami Beach using second-hand gear from Solaris. PRO LIGHTING SP ACE Joe Branam www.ProLightingSpace.com/ join

Joe Branam to Receive Parnelli Visionary Award

Kevin M. Mitchell


LAS VEGAS — The Parnelli Board of Advisors has announced that Joe Branam, owner of Branam Enterprises, will receive the Parnelli Visionary Award at the annual gala dinner and award ceremony in Las Vegas. The event is set for Oct. 20, 2012 at the Mirage Resort and Casino.

“I think it’s quite an honor,” Branam said, noting that Parnelli Awards executive director Patrick Stansfield called to tell him, “I got a little choked up. When I think of all I’ve gotten to do and all the great people I’ve gotten to work with, I have to say it’s nice to be acknowledged this way.”

“Joe is a rigger extraordinaire, who started as a flying trapeze performer in a circus and went on to create one of the largest, most respected rigging companies in the business,” said Terry Lowe, PLSN/FOH publisher and Parnelli Awards executive producer. “Previously, this award has gone to lighting and staging designers, but no one will deny that whether he’s flying tons of gear or Mick Jagger, Joe is a visionary. To this day, he and his company are creating memorable moments for live events that are dazzling, and we look forward to honoring him at the 2012 Parnellis in October.”

Branam was born September 7, 1947, in Mobile, AL, and grew up in Tampa, FL. By the time he was 13, was a trapeze artist for the circus. “When you’re in the circus, you do a lot of your own rigging,” he said. “And then you make extra money doing rigging for others.”

In the late 1960s, he would become one of the five “Disney Riggers,” along with the other founding fathers of the business — Roy Bickel, Rocky Paulson, Jim Barnes and Mike Grassley.

The team was increasingly called upon to do visuals like flying a Volkswagen car. Their reputation grew quickly and they were soon well known in rock ‘n’ roll circles, which was then evolving into big arena shows.

Promoters realized that if they could fly all the PA gear, they could sell more seats. Jethro Tull was the first to call on Branam for that, and the calls never stopped — and soon others got more creative.

In 1975, for the Rolling Stones’ Tour of the Americas, Branam was asked to rig a lot of huge set pieces and also fly Jagger over the audience — a first. Then came a parade of big acts that continue to this day: Neil Diamond, John Denver, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Queen — and too many more to list.

Branam also continued to fly performers themselves, from Gene Simmons to Jon Bon Jovi. During the MTV era, his skills were in constant demand for the small screen, and soon also for feature films.

In 1978, Branam founded Branam Enterprises, which he now runs and operates with two of his three children, Kristy and Joey. The kids will take over when Joe retires in October. “I felt there was a need for a complete theatrical rigging company,” he said, also noting its emphasis on safety above all else.

“Joe is a gentle, decent soul who, when he looks you in the eye and said, ‘Yeah, I can do that,’ you have no doubt he can,” noted Stansfield, who worked with Branam several times over the years, most notably with Neil Diamond. “He’s always been trustworthy and credible, and a great team player. If it’s rigged by Branam, you know it’s winning.”

Read the full article at http://digitaleditiononline.com/article/Joe+Branam+to+Receive+Parnelli+Visionary+Award/1088869/115144/article.html.

Indiana Officials Now Requiring Stage Structure Inspections, Emergency Plans

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission unanimously approved new regulations on temporary staging May 2 that went into effect May 3. The regulations, which followed the April 12 release of two state-commissioned reports on the deadly staging collapse at the Indiana State Fair last summer, mandate engineer-approved rigging plans and detailed emergency plans.

Although the new rules let smaller event organizers bypass the regulations by keeping fans away from the stage — the distance for this “buffer zone” would be the height of the rigging, plus eight feet — larger operators are not taking any chances.

One of five stages set up to entertain racing fans at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) during the Indianapolis 500 in late May was quickly replaced on short notice after safety inspectors deemed it non-compliant. The privately-built stage lacked the required technical documentation showing how the structure would be able to support the weight of gear it was loaded with in high winds.

Indiana state fire marshal Jim Greenson commended the speedway’s management for their cooperation in replacing the stage. The privately-built stage was rejected May 24, just days before it was to be used for the 2012 edition of the Indianapolis 500 on May 27.

In addition to its willingness to replace the stage on short notice, speedway officials also met the new regulations for emergency planning with a policy of bringing down banners and screens in winds higher than 20 mph and lowering speakers and the canopy when winds exceed 40 mph.

Kevin Forbes, director of engineering at the speedway, was involved in the creation of the new state regulations. He noted that the engineering analysis needed to ascertain the mathematical limits of the stages used during the Indianapolis 500 represented an investment of “tens of thousands of dollars.”

So far there are no reports of events that have been forced to cancel, solely on the basis of the new regulations, although there are some reports noting that the new regulations make have been a contributing factor for the cancellation of a Fourth of July concert in Bloomington, IN of the Bloomington Pops, which had faced declining attendance in recent years.

Greeson also noted that there were a handful of smaller festivals where the new regulations, which require physical inspections along with inspections of the building plans and paperwork documenting the stage structure’s strength, were proving to be a significant burden — in some cases the staging elements are so old the current owners can’t even identify the staging manufacturer.

Read the full article at http://digitaleditiononline.com/article/Indiana+Officials+Now+Requiring+Stage+Structure+Inspections%2C+Emergency+Plans/1088872/115144/article.html.

Crowd in Buffalo Grows Unruly after Weather Forces Cancellation

BUFFALO, NY — Folding chairs were damaged and thrown on the stage, along with bottles and cans, after headliner Eric Church’s performance was cancelled June 1 at Coca-Cola Field due to weather concerns. There were no reports of serious injuries. Organizers of the WYRK Taste of Country concert had delayed Church’s appearance on the stage, then cancelled the event amid concerns that the high winds might destabilize the stage structure.

“After intense consideration, it was decided it was in the best interest for the safety of everybody at Coca Cola Field that Eric Church not perform,” WYRK noted on its website.

The wet, windy weather had worsened after Casey James, Dustin Lynch, the Eli Young Band and Joe Nichols had taken the stage, the country format radio station noted.

The station is working out the details of a make-up show featuring a performance by Church, which would be free to holders of the original tickets. The stadium is home to the Bufalo Bisons minor league baseball team.

Read the full article at http://digitaleditiononline.com/article/Crowd+in+Buffalo+Grows+Unruly+after+Weather+Forces+Cancellation/1088874/115144/article.html.

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