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The brief was to create a universe of its own,” explains Misty Buckley, production designer and co-creative director [with Phil Harvey], of Coldplay’s Music of the Spheres Tour. “We wanted to create a sustainably minded tour that would transport the audience to a place of pure joy, love, and otherworldliness.”
To create these qualities in a stadium production, Buckley says, “Our starting point was [the ancient Greek philosopher] Pythagoras’ Music of the Spheres philosophy: that the sun, moon, and planets create sounds and harmonies that are not audible to humans but can be heard by our souls. We then explored music in space and went into an amazing creative wormhole of time, space, music, and aliens, which led to the concept of alien music festivals in space, love, people, and togetherness. It was a mad and wonderful creative thread.”
Buckley’s process started with sketches that she “worked up into CAD drawings. We kept going until the geometry worked; then we added alien hieroglyphics and the different languages associated with the [map of the planets featured in] the album’s artwork. We created renders of this concept, which led to the building of a scale model so we could visualize the production design in the context of the stadium.”
The design features a 60m-by-27m stage with a thrust leading to an LED B stage and a separate C stage; all were fabricated by TAIT. The risers, Buckley says, “have been treated with fabric dyed in natural dyes, overstitched and overlaid with screen printing and various different creative processes. We have incorporated alien hieroglyphics and different alien languages into the mark-making and creation of the stage ambience.”
Screens director and video programmer Joshua Koffman says, “Our main IMAG screens are two 14m circles built from Roe [Carbon Series] CB8 with custom pieces to make them round. Upstage is an arched screen [aka the moonrise screen] built from CB8, with custom pieces to make the edge round. It’s just under 40m in width and 6m tall. The side screens primarily show IMAG, but IMAG and content are used on all surfaces interchangeably, often treated as one large canvas, sometimes showing different aspects of the same moment.”
“We make heavy use of Notch treatment on the IMAG throughout,” notes video designer Leo Flint. “There is never a time we put untreated cameras to screen; we are always looking to stylize the imagery Ant [Barrett] is directing, to enhance the world onstage, to immerse the audience and sometimes to have a little fun.” The video system, driven by disguise gx 2c media servers, is provided by PRG.
In keeping with the tour’s title and concept, a key production component is a set of four LED spheres. “We realized early on that trying to ship solid LED spheres was going to be an enormous challenge,” Buckley says. “The sheer volume of truck space and the weight meant it wasn’t looking particularly sustainable.”
Engineering and fabrication of the four spheres was handled by Frederic Opsomer, director at PRG Projects. “It was not very clear at the start of the tour how and from what the spheres would hang,” he says. “So it was important to make them as light as possible. Truck space—only one truck for four spheres—and installation time were obviously of equal importance.” The team at PRG Projects experimented with materials, deciding upon sailcloth. “On the north pole side,” he continues, “we installed a unit that contains all the power and data management, and acts as a lifting device. Engineering on the properties of the fabric, sew thread, internal air pressure, and central unit was crucial as the spheres obviously have to keep their shape, even under windy conditions.” Two spheres are 10' in diameter, weighing 900lb, and two spheres are 15' in diameter, weighing 1,200lb. “The LED is a custom made—PRG designed—LED strip; the strip pitch is 25mm,” Opsomer adds. “The center-to-center distance between the strip varies according to its position on the sphere, which is between 20mm and 30mm.”
For IMAG, says Barrett, “We are using ten Sony HDC-4300 studio cameras. Five of these are mounted on Blackcam rail systems and are remotely operated. These allow for a huge range of dynamic movement, including tracking and lifting in addition to the usual pan/tilt/zoom. We have a number of remote heads as well—Panasonic AW-UE150s—and some Blackmagic Micro Studio 4K mini cameras.”
Read the rest of the article on LSA’s print/digital edition.
For their 40th anniversary, the French band Indochine certainly didn’t do things by halves. Originally scheduled to take place in June 2021, the 45m high tower with a diameter of 30m has been in the works for 2 years. With 6 concerts on the agenda, the Indochine Central Tour performed in Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille and closed with two concerts in Lille for their fans from Belgium to be able to come and sing along.
Imagined and sketched by the singer and leader of the band Nicola Sirkis himself, the design of the system presented a particular challenge. The entire rigging construction and sound system had to be invisible whilst still providing the best audio experience for the audience in the stadium. This meant that all the speakers needed to be placed inside the tower, behind the massive 360° LED wall, a groundbreaking concept in event technology.
Based on Nicola’s design, PRG France & PRG Projects worked tirelessly to make his dream a technical reality. Built in conjunction with StageCo, the tower was composed of specially manufactured Titan-X LED and PRG’s latest innovation of the SoundBlast Solution definitely is one for the books! “Nicola wanted to offer an unforgettable experience to all the fans. Building a 360° tower in the middle of the stadium with the audio and lighting inside would allow everyone to see better and be immersed in the pure musical performance and the artistic presence,” says Stéphane Desch, Director of Production. He adds, “He sent me multiple sketches of what he had imagined about two years ago and we started from that. In fact, the end result is very close to his original concept.”
While part of the PRG team started drawing up technical plans and diagrams of the tower, PRG Projects started developing and manufacturing an LED product that would make this endeavor possible. In response to Nicola Sirkis' vision, the 360° tower would need to be fitted with a customized LED screen, specifically developed and manufactured for the Indochine Central Tour, providing a solution that integrated the entire sound system, lighting and all of the cabling within the tower behind the LED screen, to be as streamlined as imagined.
“When we saw Nicola's first drawings, we immediately saw that there were some challenges. Firstly, we had to find a solution to place the sound behind the video screen and there was no solution to that at the time. Secondly, it was the height of the screen. The height of the screen meant that we had to create a new, very light product that had all the features of the PRG SpaceframeTM, including wind bracing, built into it,” says Frederic Opsomer, General Manager of PRG Projects. “At the same time, we needed a product with a transparency of over 70% to allow the sound to penetrate from the back of the screen into the stadium. This meant that we needed to develop a new product.”
INFiLED and PRG worked together closely to develop the TITAN-X. From the first drawing to a 1850m2 setup for the Indochine Central Tour, the collaboration and the combination of the PRGs know-how and INFILEDs agile developing capability has played a major role. R&D teams from Belgium, the UK and China worked tirelessly during more than 9 months on this project and created the ultimate, robust, mesh rental & touring solution with the foldable X-frame structure for a new level of stability. We’re delighted to have collaborated with such a long-term and strong partner like PRG on this impressive project!”, stipulates Michael Hao, CEO at INFILED.
The next challenge was to install the complete sound system behind the LED wall. This would allow for the images on the tower, fitted with 360° LED, to be enjoyed to their fullest, without any audio stacks obstructing the video content. PRG Projects carried out numerous tests with several audio manufacturers and developed the SoundBlast Solution which uses the weight of the audio as a ballast behind the LED screen to support the weight and structure of the LED installation.
“The Titan-X and the PRG SoundBlast Solution will allow us to take a step forward in the development of large videos and video content design because being able to place the sound behind the video screen has been the dream of all designers!” adds Opsomer.
Standing at 45m tall, the Indochine Tower was fitted with 2500 m2 of Titan-X, creating a video wall that was 30m in diameter and 24m high. This gigantic construction in its whole takes about 3 days to assemble and weighs 260 tons. The LED setup weighs 65t and takes 16h to be installed. With its 26, 542, 080 pixels (9216 x 2880) the images on the Titan-X as well as on the central screen in ROE CB5 below, were processed by 7 disguise GX2 servers.
PRG's Technical Director, Romuald Beaufour, who drew up the plans and initial diagrams of the tower comments: "The installation of our Titan-X in stadiums was sometimes complex because the tower protruded from certain stadiums (in height) which posed problems for the municipalities. In order to comply with the relevant legislations, the tower had to withstand a 72km/h wind speed for 3 seconds.”
The lighting kit was made of 1360 lighting fixtures, including LED Striplights and Floods, MAC Viper Wash, Movinghead Impressions X4, LITECRAFT OutLED AT10.plus, ELATION Proteus Smarty Hybrid IP65, and last but not least, 8 PRG GroundControl Longthrow Followspots.
Lighting Designer Jean Christophe Aubrée describes: “There were a lot of challenges in terms of lighting, which is mainly due to the 360° configuration of the tower. The idea was to be able to create some volume in all of this and to use the surfaces, the seats, and the structures of the stadium a little differently. We positioned lighting all directions, from both inside and outside of the tower. We also had to carefully consider the size and weight of our fixtures, since they all had to fit into the tower. Working with a 3D model allowed us to visualise the project more effectively, since sometimes you tend to lose the feeling of distance and dimensions a little.”
In total, 250 technicians were mobilised for the entire Indochine tour and more than 950 shift workers were hired. The PRG touring crew represented 9 different nationalities. “Whether it was PRG Belgium, PRG Projects or PRG France: everyone got involved in this beautiful project. Everyone did a great job. We brought people together from all over the world to grow this team for the tour. It was wonderful to see the synergies and sharing of know-how. But the success of this adventure is also a choice of companies with whom we collaborated. Everyone contributed to this. Whether it's StageCo for the structure or MPM for the sound, this all is a big part of the success of the adventure!” finalizes Laurent Boillot, Production Director, PRG France.
During the concert on June 25, 2022 at the Groupama Stadium in Lyon, 22 digital cameras recorded the show, allowing Indochine to offer a retransmission of the concert from November 24th, 2022 in IMAX cinemas, the world's first live concert filmed in its entirety for IMAX.
After an impressive debut in 2019, EDM fans have waited with bated breath for the return of MDLBEAST Soundstorm – the world’s largest (and loudest) festival. The wait was certainly worthwhile, and Soundstorm 2021 roared back into the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh with an even grander and extraordinary second edition. The line-up across the four-day festival featured the biggest names in dance music, including: Martin Garrix, David Guetta, DJ Snake and Tiësto, as well as 11 of the Arab world’s biggest stars, from Nancy Ajram and Elissa to Tamer Hosny and Amr Diab. These performers and over 700,000 fans partied across eight stages, including the behemoth main stage “Big Beast” which stood at 250m wide and 42m tall – one of the world’s tallest and largest stages! PRG were on hand yet again to provide 360° technical support for Big Beast, as well as site-wide EVAC PA and lighting activations for one of the site’s “VIB” entrance gates and projection mapping of the MDL Town Sculpture.
This epic vision for the main stage was a huge undertaking for the PRG team. PRG supplied gear from its newly established Riyadh warehouse, and this was then supplemented by various European depots. Over the course of our 7 months of continuous prep and planning and almost 3 months of set up on site, we delivered nearly 600 tons of technology; including the stage’s entire video, lighting, audio, comms and rigging package.
The record-breaking, continuous screen comprised of over 4,000 sqm of LED, and around 70 million pixels. For the screen’s centre, PRG supplied 2,200sqm of its brand-new Titan-X panels which were developed by PRG and Infiled this was supplemented with ROE MC-7H for the mid wing sections, plus ROE CB5 for the DJ Riser. To cater to the mass of stock, weight, power and pixel considerations that come with such a large single screen project, PRG designed a comprehensive control system, delivering a large yet flexible sync network solution for all artists.
For lighting, the main stage rig included over 1,000 fixtures, with 130 Universes of DMX, 6 x 400A Supplies and 26 km of cable. Fixtures included GLP X Bars, JDC1’s, Robe Pointe, Hybrid fixtures, and LED Bars. For audio, PRG supplied and distributed L-Acoustics K1, K2 and KS28 systems across the main stage and the delay towers which ran using L-Acoustics LA12X controllers and were monitored using P1 processors. Carrying it all were PRGs master riggers with a truss 3.3km long, and 410 hoists.
“The great thing about working with the 360° from PRG is that each department can draw upon its own wealth of expertise and resources, and each team comes together to deliver one exceptional event. This is a bespoke project, and so PRG built a bespoke team. Such a vast production really needed the internal workings and conversations between all our expert technicians to flexibly develop solutions smoothly. From a production point of view, this certainly makes things a lot easier and has definitely been appreciated on this show.” Yvonne Donnelly Smith, UK Sales Director Music.
PRG Middle Beast Team 2021
To match and deliver the increased scale of the 2021 festival, PRG mobilised its global workforce. Working over 3000 man days, 130 members of PRG crew headed to the event site from our offices in Riyadh, UK, Dubai, Belgium, Germany, and Spain.
“What I see we are doing here is we're at the very forefront of the formation of the entertainment industry in Saudi Arabia. We've insisted that our vendors have a Saudi Arabian presence because we can't continue to support events unsustainably. We have to get going here and everyone has shown a willingness to do this and PRG have now moved into Saudi Arabia.” – Michael Jobson, Executive Director – Events, MDLBEAST.
In the spirit of the Saudi 2030 vision, this focus on supporting the region and its wealth of talent is certainly shared by PRG. Thanks to our newly launched Riyadh office and warehouse, PRG now has a pool of regional assets and resources for future events. After proudly supporting the Saudi Arabian F1 Grand Prix in Jeddah and Soundstorm 2021 for MDLBEAST, PRG has established a regional depot which already houses a great selection of assets, building a foothold for accessible equipment in Saudi Arabia to deliver exceptional events in the future.
“Part of our drive within Saudi Arabia will be to make sure that we are enabling and empowering and recruiting local Saudi resources and training them to ensure that they develop the skills to help deliver the events of scale that we put on. And that's one of the key drivers where we've been aiming our expansion within Saudi over the last three years.” Bruce MacLean, Manging Director PRG Middle East.
PRG would like to congratulate and thank MDL BEAST, Production Glue and Silent House for this outstanding second edition of the festival and give special thanks to our incomparable global PRG team for their incredible work.
Founder, Chairman & CEO Jere Harris to take on new role of Executive Chairman & Chief Creative Officer
NEW YORK – Nov. 17, 2021 – PRG, the world’s leading provider of production solutions for entertainment and live events, has named Stephan Paridaen as CEO, effective Jan. 3, 2022. Paridaen currently holds the role of President & COO at PRG, leading its operations in EMEA & APAC since 2010. Simultaneously, Jeremiah J. (Jere) Harris will become the company’s Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer.
“There’s no one better prepared and able to lead the company than Stephan Paridaen,” Harris said. “Since arriving at PRG 12 years ago, he has demonstrated an exceptional passion for our mission and has focused on the continual growth of our business in the EMEA and APAC regions, while improving our operations and expanding our offerings.”
As Executive Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, Harris will work with and support Paridaen and the leadership team on continued excellence in areas that established the company in the first place and define its legacy: customer experience, technology and the mentoring and development of the best industry talent.
Harris felt that the timing was right for the CEO transition. He said, “We are at an inflection point for the company, the industry and indeed the world. After leading the company through the most difficult period in our history, we are now on solid footing. There is still much work to do, and I am confident in Stephan’s ability to realize the tremendous opportunity ahead.”
Speaking on behalf of the PRG Board of Directors, Lauren Krueger, Managing Director, KKR, said, “We thank Jere for his exceptional leadership of PRG and look forward to his contributions as Executive Chairman & Chief Creative Officer. We are confident that Stephan brings the strategic vision and operational focus needed to accelerate growth and profitability at PRG.”
Paridaen has led PRG’s growth in the EMEA region, establishing the company as a major presence on the entertainment and event production landscape there. Recent achievements include the development of new markets, such as esports; a network of digital and virtual production facilities across EMEA and APAC; and a significant expansion in the Middle East, a region actively positioning itself as a destination for entertainment and sports.
Before arriving at PRG, Paridaen was President, Media & Entertainment at the leading visual technology & systems provider Barco. While there, he played a transformative role in the converging technologies of video and lighting, the digitization of cinema theatres and LED display innovation.
Paridaen said, “It is a true honor to lead a company as rich in legacy and innovation as PRG. Jere Harris was among the first to see the tremendous power of technology to transform how audiences engage with music, TV and film, theatre, corporate events and more, and his founding mission now has greater relevance than ever. PRG is uniquely positioned for growth with its industry-leading team of people and global resources.”
Harris is a legendary figure in entertainment and event production. He began his career on Broadway as a carpenter’s apprentice and has since earned a Parnelli Lifetime Achievement Award, four Tony Awards, multiple Drama Desk Awards, an Olivier Award, and an Emmy Award for engineering. PRG, the company he founded in 1995, has grown into a global presence with 62 offices in 28 countries and an unsurpassed diversity of technologies and skillsets. In addition, it holds over 250 patents and trademarks and is responsible for innovation that has reshaped production practice in theatre, concert touring, TV, and film and more.
Expo 2020 Dubai, the first World Expo to take place in the Middle East region, officially opened its doors to visitors on October 1st showcasing architectural wonders and technology innovations from more than 192 countries.
UK’s contribution to Expo 2020 Dubai is the mesmerizing cone-shaped UK Pavilion with a circular façade which was created by world-renowned designer Es Devlin.
The 25-meter-high LED façade which is integrated into the wooden sculpture is designed to celebrate global cultural diversity and collaboration. The UK Pavilion uses an advanced AI learning algorithm developed in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture which allows visitors to add their word to a continuously changing Collective Message from humanity to the universe displayed on the LED modules.
PRG was appointed by Pico to deliver the engineering of the 2,000 customized LED tiles through our PRG Projects team, sourcing the bespoke LED technology via PRG China as well as the custom designed immersive audio system, designed by Polyphonia. The technology package was then installed by PRG in Dubai.
“This is one of the most remarkable projects that I have been involved with in my whole career,” says Frederic Opsomer, General Manager PRG Projects, “I have known Es for many years, and we have collaborated on several projects together. She is an amazing Designer, and I must say that this project reinforces her already stellar reputation. This breath-taking design of evermoving poetry, displayed digitally and integrated to illuminate the façade of the UK Pavilion was a beautiful challenge for us at PRG, and we are very proud to collaborate with her on this journey of innovation.”
This message of collaboration and international openness is reflected in the delivery of the project. The UK Pavilion is a truly global collaboration; designed in close partnership with Avantgarde, supported by structural engineer Atelier One and supported and executed by Pico International, delivered by our experts from across the PRG global network and finally executed on site by our dedicated PRG Dubai team.
Gavin Short, Senior Technical Project Manager for PRG in Dubai, said: “The UK Pavilion is an exceptional and unmissable part of the overall Expo experience, located in the Opportunity District and is clearly a space that will inspire visitors to the site.”
Expo 2020 is expected to attract 25 million visits, of which 70% are expected to be international visitors.
An inspiring event designed to bring together all our regions from around the world in one location, to share and develop our unique global offering.
PRG Unite has been devised with the specific intention of gathering all of our international teams together, to discuss our global offering for the future. PRG globally is the leading technical solution provider for the event industry and is constantly looking at how to best assist our clients across the world, helping them grow and develop exciting activations. The PRG Unite event enables us to discuss future challenges and strategies while combining our resources and expertise as one team.
The event will enable each of our regions (United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, France, Spain, Netherlands, Japan, China, UAE and United States) to showcase their very best corporate projects, detailing to our clients the processes from strategic planning to event delivery, allowing our clients the unique opportunity to share our knowledge and best practice which enable us to hold such a world-renowned standing within the industry.
This insider view is sure to be a unique and inspiring insight into the future of how PRG will work with its clients on a global scale. Speaking about the upcoming PRG Unite event Richard Williams - PRG UK Chief Executive Officer commented:
“We felt this would be a fantastic opportunity for our UK customers to meet and talk directly to all our global PRG colleagues in one place. Allowing them to understand how PRG can help support and work together to provide global solutions.”
End of press release.
About Production Resource Group:
Production Resource Group UK Ltd.
(PRG) is the world’s leading supplier of entertainment and event technology to a wide range
of markets, including corporate and automotive events, concerts, special events, theatre,
television and film, trade shows and installations, such as theme parks, museums, retail stores
and performing arts centres. PRG provides integrated services and equipment, including audio, video, lighting, rigging, staging and scenery and automation systems, for these markets from more than 40 offices in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.
This year it is in Tel Aviv that the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 will choose its’ winner. And – as in many previous years– PRG will be part of it again, delivering customized show solutions for rigging and video that will ensure an efficient roll-out of the show and offer the audience an unforgettable show.
"Florian Wieder, the set designer, created some unique elements for this year’s show", explains Ingo Rehnert (Head of Sales & Account Management Sport & Special Events PRG). On one hand there are the triangles in the ceiling of the main stage. On the other hand, we have the LED strips in the ceiling of the Green Room. The customized triangle structures, which were developed by our special construction department, integrate the VER Blades.
According to John van Look, Head Rigger Production PRG Germany, the weight distribution and static calculation, in function of the suspension capacities of the venue, was the biggest challenge, considering the amount of automation technology that needed to be integrated in the ceiling.
The main elements at the back of the stage are the rotating LED panels, which are composed of ROE CB5 and mounted on turntables with customized metal frames in which the LED panels are integrated.
Another great element for the show is the LED floor on the main stage, which consists of Black Marble 4 modules, which were integrated in the Domino developed by PRG for fast and time saving assembly.
Ola Melzig, Head of Production ESC 2019, resumes: "Our job is to highlight 41 songs and for them to be unique. There are not that many companies in the world that can deliver that amount of high-end products – and that is delivered by PRG!"
We would like to thank:
KAN – KAN Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation
Meytal Cohen (TV Producer)
Shay Bonder (Head of Video & Technologies)
Avishay Giladie (Technical Director Show)
Tarmo Krimm (Senior Technical Director)
Johannes Schau – (Head Rigger EBU)
M&M Production Management AB
Ola Melzig (Head of Production)
Tobias Aberg (Head of Production)
Florian Wieder – Wieder Design (Set Designer)
We would also like to thank all the parties and people involved whom we had the opportunity to work with on this great production and our PRG Alliance partner Sincopa.
PRG Tech Facts
450m2 ROE CB5
100m2 ROE Black Marble 4 with PRG Projects Domino LED Frames (LED Floor)
16 x Panasonic PT DZ-21 Projectors
2.200 VER Blades - 90cm
4 x Disguise d3 VX4 Media Server
4 x GrandMa2
triangle aluminum frames (250x250x250cm) for VER Blades in the main stage ceiling
triangle Pod for VER Blades for main stage kinetic section ceiling
3.800 m truss
650 hoists BGV D8 / D8+
300 m horizontal live line system
340 tons of material in total
Production period: 21st March – 03rd June (almost 11 weeks)
Crew: 35 Riggers + 18 Technicians
Number of Trailers: 32 x 40" Containers
EDM meets technology. For Etienne de Crécy’s new tour, Space Echo, PRG Projects integrated their unique highly transparent PURE10 screens within the SpinIt, a custom developed rotating frame solution to meet the design needs for this specific tour.
Stage designer Alexandre Lebrun and artist Etienne de Crécy had a creative idea in mind where transparent screens would surround the artist in a moveable and transparent “cage-setting”. After successful collaborations in other concert tours (Maître GIMS ea.), Production Director Julien Bedane contacted PRG to turn this into a workable solution, overcoming restrictions imposed by a concert touring reality.
Ysabel Vangrudenberg, Global Business Development Director of PRG Projects explains how they translated the idea into a technical solution: “On the one hand, we have the PURE10, the screen with 70% transparency, which was initially developed by us for the U2 tour. On the other hand, we have today developed a custom solution, namely the SpinIt, for the specific needs of Etienne de Crécy's production.”
SpinIt consists of a + 180° and -180° rotating, DMX-controlled motorization, mounted on rolling carts. Whereas SpinIt is used here with PURE10, we can envision other lighting and video products being combined with the rotating base.
PRG France has ample experience in collaborating with PRG Projects. Thanks to their vast experience in concert touring, they know all the ins and outs this specific industry requires. The development of SpinIt is optimized for a concert touring reality, where set-up and load-out times are very limited, logistical and transportation constraints apply and durability is required. Some ingenious details, such as the foldable system on the high PURE10 panels, a spacing structure to maintain the exact distance between the screens, without the need of measurement in each set-up and the installation of the motorisation on rolling carts make it a state-of-the-art product for festivals and the concert touring sector.
Julien Bedane, production director, reflects on the collaboration: “I have given a requirement list with many constraints to PRG Projects to make this set-up possible. I had the guarantee that with PRG Projects, that would be well executed. Frederic Opsomer in particular has followed-up on this project and was available directly for the artist, who participated at all these meetings. What is interesting is that the PRG team is really an integral part of the development of the product, but also an integral part of the launch.”
Once again, the scale advantages of PRG Group are demonstrated. PRG France contacted their colleagues of PRG Projects and from the conceptualization to the full execution, close contact between the client, the artist, PRG France and PRG Projects were maintained to guarantee the desired result and a successful launch of the concert tour.
PRG wants to thank Lightlab, Alexandre Lebrun, Julien Bedane, Etienne de Crécy and the whole PRG France and PRG Projects teams and is looking forward to the further course of this magnificent concert tour.
EMEA – April 30, 2019 - Production Resource Group LLC (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology and solutions, announced today that it will integrate its global research and development efforts into a new operating group, PRG Innovation. PRG Innovation will encompass efforts in Belgium, China and the United States which include facilities in Dallas, New Windsor, New York and Los Angeles. By connecting its people, assets and innovation initiatives – including PRG Projects, PRG Research and Development, and VER product development initiatives – the company will maximize its technological impact on the industry.
PRG Innovation will be led by Chris Conti in his new role as the company’s Chief Innovation Officer. Conti has experience in concert tours, tradeshows, corporate events, TV shows and special events like the Olympics and Super Bowl Half-time shows. As Product Manager for PRG proprietary luminaires, he led the development of the highly successful Bad Boy® Spot and Best Boy® Spot fixtures, as well as PRG’s Emmy-award winning GroundControl™ Followspot System. Conti is listed as an inventor on 15 U.S. patents.
Additionally, Clay Powers will become Chief Operating Officer of Innovation, overseeing all financial and logistical aspects of both proprietary product development and custom show solutions. Gary Boyd, Chief Operating Officer of EMEA, will have ongoing responsibilities related to product-development operations in Europe and China. Frederic Opsomer will continue to lead the Belgian team in developing groundbreaking new technology in LED and video, and Simon Kayser will continue to lead operations in Shenzhen, China, which are instrumental in sourcing video and lighting technology. Anne Johnston, Vice President of Marketing and Product Strategy, will collaborate with PRG Innovation on all aspects of marketing, from product ideation to roll-out.
“PRG Innovation brings all of our talent focused on product development into a single, global team, allowing us to anticipate market trends, move with agility and align product development with our larger strategic objectives,” said Jere Harris, Chairman and CEO of PRG. “I believe that our investment and performance in market-driven innovation is one of the most powerful points of difference separating our brands from the competition. Now, that advantage will become even more significant.”
In every market PRG serves from music and theatre to television, film, broadcast and corporate events, it has defined itself as the innovator in technology, responding to a client request or an industry need. With more than 170 issued patents as well as 70 trademarks, the company’s legacy of proprietary technology has opened new creative possibilities, improved safety, created cost efficiencies and reduced environmental impact. Examples of PRG’s industry-changing technology include:
Ground Control™ Followspot System: A high output followspot that can be safely operated remotely from the ground from distances up to 2,000 feet. Gives designers creative freedom to put followspots in places that were either previously unusable or involved complex rigging.
PRG SpaceFrame®: A touring frame design that seamlessly integrates LED panels for operational efficiencies and creative possibility. The carbon fiber frame is lightweight, collapsible and fully wind braced, allowing for a free-form approach to stage designs.
Pure10: A revolutionary lightweight and highly transparent touring LED screen. Printed circuit boards (PCB) are sliced in strips and turned 90 degrees with the LED mounted on the side, resulting in 75 percent transparency and allowing artists to interact with video content in real time.
Mbox®: A family of media server products that are affordable and easy to use. Mbox software offers powerful and flexible control of video content by working seamlessly with media playback, composition, effects, and transitions. The user interface provides fast and intuitive setup for outputs and content positioning.
Front Row Cam: A robotic, periscope solution that provides a low camera shot of the sports playing field. At just 6 inches wide x 16 inches deep x 32 inches high, this custom designed system, developed with ESPN, is equipped with a telephoto lens for use in baseball or a wide version for use in tennis and other sports.
PRG Stage Command® System: An automated, cue-based motion control system that gives operators the ability to execute the most complex motion control cues with accuracy, repeatability and unparalleled attention to safety. Provides seamless transitions of scenery in full view of the audience.
Bullet: A family of focusable, compact LED luminaires available in White Light, Daylight and UV versions. Offering high output with precise beam control, the adjustable focus mechanism requires no lens change, no tools, and is lockable for permanent installations.
Production Resource Group, L.L.C. (PRG), the world’s leading supplier of entertainment and event technology headquartered in New York, is acquiring the Middle East division of Delta Sound, Delta Sound L.L.C. UAE, a specialist provider of live audio and event communications technology based in Dubai and operating across the Middle East. Peter McCann, CEO for PRG in the Middle East and Andy Jackson, the Managing Director of Delta Sound, jointly announced the acquisition today.
Delta Sound LLC, founded in 2006, is the leading specialist audio and communication company in the Gulf Region and will join forces with PRG’s operation in Dubai, forming a welcomed union between the two companies who have collaborated successfully for many years across a broad range of corporate, government and large-scale special events. Like PRG, Delta Sound provides technical design and technology support to both local and international production houses who benefit from the high standard of service and delivery offered.
For PRG’s worldwide clients, this acquisition means that they will have access to additional expertise and technology when working with PRG in the Middle East and beyond. They can continue to be confident in the quality of product, experience, and professionalism whilst enjoying the addition of world-class event communications through the provision of fully scalable wired and wireless solutions.
“By acquiring Delta Sound LLC, we have bolstered our existing offering for our many customers who produce events and shows internationally”, said PRG’s McCann. “I’m also delighted that this acquisition integrates comprehensive event communications into our product offering thus ensuring that we can present a truly turnkey solution to our customers and partners. With events such as Expo 2020 on the horizon these are certainly exciting opportunities for a company that can operate at scale and this acquisition demonstrates both a significant level of commitment to the region and a continued appetite for growth.”
“As Delta Sound LLC, we have worked on some of the region’s largest and highest profile productions,” commented Andy Jackson. “We have established a loyal client base that has become more appreciative of the standard of audio production and event communications being delivered today by Delta. Having worked closely with PRG for several years across many of these events, our partnership has naturally evolved into a trading relationship and today we solidify this to the benefit of both our clients and teams.” It will be business as usual and Delta Sound will retain its existing operational format and be officially titled ‘PRG deltasound” during the transition process.
Stephan Paridaen, PRG’s Global President and Chief Operating Officer, concluded, “PRG and Delta Sound are extremely well positioned to provide a multi-disciplined, integrated solution. Making the UAE Delta Sound team part of the global PRG family will be extremely valuable to our clients and this has been our top priority from the start.”
Paul Keating, MD of Delta Sound UK commented, “Myself, Mark & Andy go back 40 years together and Andy has been involved with Delta since our humble beginnings back in 1988. He has done an amazing job in building and managing the business over the past 12 years. We have always had a very good working relationship with PRG both here in the UK and in the Middle East and this is a great fit for Delta UAE becoming part of the extended PRG family. We very much look forward to continuing this relationship together in the future.”
PRG Projects was visiting some highly innovative companies in China only 1.5 years ago, when they met NEXNOVO – specializing in ultra-thin advertising solutions. Frederic Opsomer stipulated to have been especially impressed by the high level of focus of NEXNOVO”. Barton Lin, COO of NEXNOVO was immediately intrigued by the challenges: “Our product was initially designed for fixed installations, PRG Projects brought the professionalism and knowhow to use the advantages of the technology and adapt it for a concert-touring reality”.
From there, it all went very fast: the design phase started in November and was ready in January. The production started immediately in China, where the electronic components were built. Everything was shipped to Belgium mid March for the assembly and the mechanical part: a full carbon fibre structure.
Jake Berry, Production Director U2, states that without the PURE10, this setting for U2’s eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour would not have been possible: “After the Joshua Tree Tour, we wanted to raise the bar even higher. We wanted a wider screen, in combination with a flying catwalk. At that moment, it simply seemed impossible. The weight limits of the tour’s stadiums would have been exceeded”.
The P10 was constructed especially to minimize weight, at an uttermost high resolution and transparency. Weighing only 10 kg/m2, the design dream became reality.
Frederic Opsomer adds “We think in solutions, for the PURE10, we pushed the technology to the limits of its abilities, doubled the regular width to limit the amount of pieces, and at the same time guaranteeing the highest possible transparency.”
It is fair to say that the PURE10, with its carbon fiber structure, reduced the suspension load of the screen by half in comparison to the technology that had been provided on the previous tour. This change of screen allowed to introduce more features on the catwalk, whilst even reducing the overall weight of the rigg.
Carbon Fiber had proven to be an excellent choice for the PRG SPACEFRAME™, and its strong, reliable and very light characteristics made it perfect for PURE10 as well.
In the future, the structural advantages of carbon fibre compared to aluminum or steel will further be explored. By investing and following up the continuous development, PRG will be able to create custom solutions in a much faster way.
The revolutionary low weight of PURE10, combined with the smart stacking in custom designed dollies, saves space. That leads to an optimization in transport and reduction of the green imprint.
“In every development we do, we try to solve a green issue. It is actually one of our top 3 questions, together with: ‘are we making a creative solution? ‘and ‘are we allowing designers to propose an innovation to their customers?” explains Opsomer.
Not only it has a positive impact on transport, but we’re also facing limited storage space in most venues.
Stuart Heaney, PRG Crew Chief, is particularly happy about the set-up of PURE10: “The time to set-up the screen, including the interdependencies with other teams involved is 8-9 hours. If we would be solely constructing the screen, everything would be built up even faster, in under 3 hours. Tearing down takes 2.5 hours, and that again is with all integrations being removed.”
Ric Lipson – partner at Stufish – has been in charge of design and architecture for multiple U2 shows. He reflects on the collaboration with PRG: “in this long-standing relationship with PRG, we love how they are always innovative. They come with weird and wonderful ideas and make them happen”.
The PRG SPACEFRAME™ allowed the enormous screens of last year’s tour Joshua Tree Tour to resist wind loads. For Beyoncé’s and Jay Z’s tour there was even a moving element added, allowing the screens to open and close, despite weather conditions. PRG SPACEFRAME™ is also used in this year’s design and PRG Projects is already looking at the future: With PRG SPACEFRAME™ we incorporated structural elements into the video screens. We are now experimenting to do the same with lighting, automation and other combinations. The PRG SPACEFRAME™ technology definitely has a lot of yet unveiled opportunities.
Live Design Magazine has named PRG Projects’ PURE10 as the best LED Screen for this year's 2018 Video and Projection Product awards!
It was chosen by a panel of prestigious video/projection designers and programmers, from amongst a field of our esteemed peers. PRG is so proud of the talented team that made this innovative technology a reality.
PRG announced today that VER has merged into Production Resource Group in Europe and the Middle East.
The entities will be commonly controlled by The Jordan Company, GSO Capital Partners and PRG Management. Jere Harris will serve as Chairman and CEO of PRG and VER, and Stephan Paridaen will be President and COO. Both companies will offer the ability to share equipment, knowledge and personnel wherever doing so will benefit its customers and meet evolving client needs, offer solutions, resources and expertise in ways neither company could achieve independently.
“For more than 20 years PRG has been diligent in offering its clients the best production service and equipment in the entertainment industry. Growth across disciplines, markets and geographies has always been a key part of our strategy,” said Jere Harris, PRG’s chairman and CEO. “Now, our ability to support all types of entertainment productions globally will take on new meaning, raising an already high bar to an unprecedented level.”
PRG and VER are both well established in concert touring in lighting, video, media servers, and staging innovations. Combining PRG and VER’s strength will now offer a complete suite of services for tours, festivals, and events. Further, PRG can enhance its long history in television production and expand its work in the film industry as VER brings world-class expertise in the video camera market, lighting, display and a robust suite of cameras. VER customers will benefit from PRG’s staging and automation expertise, vast lighting inventory and its position as the exclusive rental house for PRG’s patented proprietary lighting and video products.
“We believe that this approach will bring about innovation, an exciting level of service, and even more transformative collaboration with our partners. It feels historic, not only for PRG and VER, but for entertainment industry,” said Harris.
Globally, VER and PRG will have approximately 70 locations across six continents. Clients will have improved access to an extraordinary array of equipment from all major manufacturers as well as specialized and proprietary equipment.
Updated PRG SPACEFRAME™ and new Ingest product on Beyonce and Jay-Z’s “On the Run II” Tour
LONDON and LOS ANGELES – July 9, 2018 - Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, announces two product innovations – Infinity SPACEFRAME™ and Ingest – which are supporting Beyonce and Jay-Z's "On the Run II" Tour. The new Infinity SPACEFRAME™ which serves as a kinetic backdrop on stage and Ingest, a new technology that archives camera images created on tour, are industry firsts.
PRG SPACEFRAME™ PRG SPACEFRAME™ is an innovative carbon fiber touring frame created by PRG Projects, a division of PRG which specializes in developing and integrating proprietary solutions to the rigors of the production and entertainment industry. It was launched on 2017’s U2’s “Joshua Tree” Tour and “On the Run II” is the second concert tour to feature the product. For this tour, Stufish (the designers of both “Joshua” Tree and “On the Run II” tours) wanted to have a clean look, visually eliminating all support structures and rigging. To do that, PRG Projects came up with a solution called “Infinity SPACEFRAME™” where the rigging and support structure are integrated on the back of the SPACEFRAME™, invisible from audience view. Video content on the screen is now edge-to-edge without visual barriers as a classic screen would have. It gives it a monumental look and creates a new type of immersive viewing experience. The Infinity SPACEFRAME™ makes the most of the PRG SPACEFRAME™ concept by utilizing the structural capabilities of the video screen as part of the automated tracking support. It ultimately saves truckloads of additional support structure.
“Designing custom LED and video solutions for live events is a core part of what PRG Projects does. Beyond what we develop for PRG, we work directly with designers to create unique staging solutions that allow them and performers to be as creative as possible,” said Frederic Opsomer, managing director, PRG Projects. “We are constantly thinking of what is next, how do we improve on what we’ve already done. The new Infinity SPACEFRAME™ allows for moveable LED screens in an operational effective set up which aids the dynamic energy Beyonce, Jay-Z and other performers create during the show.”
The stage design for “On the Run II” Tour includes two LED screens with SPACEFRAME™. The secondary – or upstage – screen is a 16,8-meter-wide and 10,8-meter-high screen (55 feet x 35.4 feet) with ROE’s CB8 LED. The bottom section of the upstage screen is automated with three SPACEFRAME™ panels that open like garage doors, enabling the musicians’ rolling risers to enter and exit the main stage. The upstage screen stands behind a four-tiered opera box style performer platform. The main - or downstage - screen is divided into 12 automated sections. This allows for different dramatic scenes and settings and provides Beyonce and Jay-Z different entry and exit scenarios. The new Infinity SPACEFRAME™ screen, with GALAXIA’s WV9 air transparent LED, measures 52,8-meter-wide and 13,2-meter-high (173.2 feet x 43.3 feet) when closed and hangs on motorized carts that move left and right on a track. The carbon fiber fabrication and built-in wind bracing provides the stability that structural engineers demand in order to have a screen of this size move around on a track.
“There is currently no other framing system that can do this, it’s a perfect example of designers really pushing the product to the limits and having free reign for their ideas. A symbiosis rarely seen in our industry,” said Opsomer.
INGEST “On the Run II” Tour is also implementing PRG Ingest. Ingest is a new technology that allows the capture of concert footage in real time from up to 24 isolated camera feeds. Each camera feed - or channel – will be ingested in the server, processed, and via the network pushed to an external storage drive.
Traditionally, footage from a single camera is captured on a single recorder, then after a show, each file on the drive is copied over to a separate hard drive. This is an intensive process that can take many hours as the transfer can take up to one hour per camera.
“With the Ingest system, we can create a show record on an external drive of all channels in nearly real-time and still have a back-up copy on the server should anything go wrong,” said Wolfgang Schram, director of video engineering, PRG. “The servers also get time coded, so all recordings have real time and can be used in an edit right away.”
In order to handle the 6.2 TB of data that “On the Run II” Tour generates per night, PRG uses six media servers which make copies of what is recorded, transcode it to a pro res 422 file and push it over a 10GigE network on an external NAS drive.
Our company realizes a large number of large as well as small events and is permanently looking for skilled manpower and specialists.
By inscribing yourself and creating your personal profile on this platform, you will assist us in finding the right people for the right jobs. Our PRG Project Managers and Crewbookers will be able to assess the applicants and service providers better.
In the medium term, this will create a large service provider pool and the processing of cooperation should become significantly more efficient.
During the registration process, we will ask about your “skills” – meaning your qualifications or your expertise. You can grade yourself for each of the skills you would like to offer us. We are often looking for professionals with a range of skills; the more you’ve got to offer, the more we will work with you on a more frequent basis!
Your registration on the Crew Portal will become the future requirement for cooperation with PRG.
Created profiles are visible to the other PRG affiliates, which also creates the possibility for you to be contacted by our colleagues within the PRG Group.
PRG’s New Concert Touring Products on U2’s eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour
Pure10 and Rolling Video Floor Risers elevate the touring industry
LOS ANGELES – May 14, 2018 – Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, announces two product innovations - Pure10 and Rolling Video Floor Risers - which have been integrated into the design, production and operations for the U2 eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour. Both solutions demonstrate PRG’s dedication to innovating products that respond to the needs of artists, tour designers and managers seeking to push boundaries and deliver a more immersive concert experience.
“PRG has supported every U2 tour since 1992, and they always challenge us to be innovative with available technology or to create something new,” said Jeroen Hallaert, director of PRG Projects North America.
U2 eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour is a follow up to the 2015 Songs for Innocence Tour for which PRG provided the video cage on the moving catwalk between the video screens. However, for the 2018 tour, U2’s creative team required high-resolution, super transparent LED video screens and an independent automated kinetic catwalk between the video screens. The purpose of the transparent LED video screens is to allow band members to perform amidst the LED walls (as during the 2015 tour) without creating a visual divide in the arena. It also provided the ability to integrate Augmented Reality into the show.
Further, the design team wanted the catwalk to be accessible by a moving staircase, and therefore the catwalk should move independently from the video screens. This added automated catwalk required more motors and equipment, thus adding weight. This meant PRG Projects had to find a solution to make not only high-resolution, super transparent LED video screens but also make it super light-weight.
In response to U2’s challenge to create a transparent LED wall, PRG Projects revolutionized the way LED screens are built and created the patent-pending Pure10. Rather than mounting the printed circuit boards (PCB) holding the LED in standard clunky frames, PRG Projects sliced the PCB in strips and turned them 90 degrees with the LED mounted on the side. This resulted in 75 percent transparency.
The added specially curated Augmented Reality scene-setter - triggered by the LED screen – required a transparent, high-resolution screen. The way PRG Projects chose to build the screen allowed for a 10mm pixel pitch. A pitch far superior than what PRG Projects initially imagined.
“The creative team and the band were looking for a LED screen that allowed them to use AR in the way they envisioned. Pure10 works so well thanks to the magic combination of the pixel pitch, the high transparency and the brightness,” said Hallaert. “The band now calls the screens and catwalk the barricage.”
Additionally, rather than metal fabrication to house or frame the Pure10, PRG Projects used knowledge gained from developing the SPACEFRAME® and engineered a fast-building system in carbon fiber. This resulted in the weight savings that the tour’s production team was looking for. It also gave free reign to the designers and the band to further use the automated catwalk creatively.
As with the innovative transport design for the SPACEFRAME, PRG Projects has advanced the way concert touring is taken on the road with Pure10 by maximizing space and volume in trucks, airplanes and sea containers. The number of trucks needed is cut in half compared to the 2015 tour. Further, when the equipment is used during the show, empty transport dollies fold, stack and roll away in the tiniest spaces. This allows for other departments to move around the venue more freely and makes for ergonomic and superior logistics for load-ins and load-outs.
Rolling Video Floor Riser
The Rolling Video Floor Riser is a revolutionary system in how it’s built and disassembled. Initially revealed last year, PRG Projects updated and upgraded it for U2 to be used as the round stage. Each riser is fitted with 2 LED modules offering a high resolution 4mm pixel pitch during performances. Each riser has integrated magnets to enable a speedy assembly - an LED Floor of up to 1,076 square feet can be set up in less than 20 minutes.
“The Rolling Video Floor Risers were developed to meet the short set-up and change-over times of LED flooring which is perfect for the concert touring and festival segment,” said Mark O’Herlihy, vice president of PRG Global Entertainment.
Not only do the Rolling Video Floor Risers dramatically reduce the set-up time for an LED floor on stage, they also are transported in especially fitted dollies, which contain six risers each. The dollies are 1.6 m in height, allowing shipment via airfreight on the lower deck, which drastically reduces the shipping costs.