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SOLOTECH EXPANDS UK OPERATION

London, 04 March 2020 – Solotech has expanded its global operation, extending its well established video department into the UK and has opened new offices in Central London.

Video from Solotech in the UK

Solotech is a global leader in audiovisual and entertainment technologies and acquired SSE Audio Group, the UK’s largest pro audio services provider in 2018. Now as part of Solotech’s expansion strategy in the UK they have appointed Ian Woodall as Director of Video and Paul McCauley as Video Business Development Manager in the UK and European markets.

Ian Woodall, or Woody as he prefers, has a CV that includes working at XL Video where he was Sales Director and in recent years has spent much of his time as a freelancer, designing and building AV systems in European venues and as a touring video engineer on projects including Nile Rodgers and Chic who have been with Cher for the past year.

Keeping up the preference for nicknames, Paul ‘Macca’ McCauley has extensive experience in the both the Live Events and integration industries. Macca moved from audio to video when he worked as Senior Project Manager with Woody at XL Video over 10 years ago.

Woody commented, “We decided that it was important to build on the huge reputation of Solotech for video in Canada and the US and therefore necessary to start organically, building it from a clean slate so that we can maintain the same Solotech service across the UK and Europe.”

“Initially there are three key facets to our business that require equal attention. Firstly leveraging the contacts and expanding the scope of the UK Sales and Integration divisions within SSE Audio and Wigwam. We will bring our new offering of video services to the project delivery teams and existing customer base, alongside the development of new business that Macca and myself can introduce under the banner of the new Solotech UK Video department.”

Macca continued, “Then there’s Solotech’s huge video touring business. As a global company we need to locally support our customers. As our clients visit us from the US and Canada, we can provide the necessary technical assistance to support each tour. Having this infrastructure within the same organisation on both sides of the Atlantic is a not only rare in today’s market, but a necessity. ”

“Finally, we have our own local touring clients. While this is no less of a priority, we are planning for structured growth as we want to ensure that we increase capacity at the right pace, providing every client with the same expected premium level of service. We have the worldwide backing of Solotech, which enables us to make significant capital investments on equipment so that no project is too big or too small.”

Mickey Curbishley, President Live Productions Division at Solotech is delighted about the company’s latest offering in the UK: “Projects across the board now increasingly call for a 360° service, where a single vendor supplies sound, lights and video. This is equally applicable in both live production touring and the sales and integration markets. Our ultimate aim is to become the preferred 360 vendor in the UK. Delivering the right equipment, with the right people at the right price will enable us to achieve that goal.”

 

Covent Garden Offices

The expansion of Solotech’s video department coincides with the opening of a new Central London office. Situated close to Covent Garden tube station, 100 yards down the road from the Royal Opera House, the new location comprises of open plan offices and meeting rooms.

Alongside several permanent staff, including the video team, there are a number of hot desks available to clients and visitors from other offices to use when in central London. The meeting rooms feature state of the art video conferencing facilities that can support virtually any video conference client such as Skype, Zoom, Facetime etc.

Manager Director, UK Sales and Systems Integration, Alex Penn explained, “The central location is perfect for meeting with clients, whether from the UK or further afield. There are four airports all with good links into the capital and Kings Cross International is three stops away on the tube.  We hope that making our team more accessible in the city will help us to develop our contacts and open new doors to us.”

“We’ve invested in the technology infrastructure providing exceptionally fast internet and custom built desks with built in wireless charging for mobile phones so everyone can work seamlessly here, when away from their regular office. Video conferencing means we can reduce unnecessary travel, increasing productivity, whilst remaining environmentally conscientious, and also provides a show case of what we can deliver to the corporate market as an integrator.”

Philip Giffard, President for Sales and Systems Integration at Solotech explained the company’s approach to the UK operation: “The new offices and the video department are key to us delivering the Solotech offering in the UK, alongside growing and developing the businesses of our UK brands.”

“Solotech first took a foothold in the UK pro audio market with the acquisition of SSE Audio Group including SSE Audio, Wigwam and Capital Sound in November 2018. Since then we have taken a measured approach in the UK, taking time to learn the synergies and differences of the businesses on each side of the Atlantic before making any alterations to the operation.”

“We added Hampshire based BCS Audio in September 2019 and then came the biggest change to date, that of restructuring the senior management of the UK Group in January 2020. This is testimony to Solotech’s desire to build on the UK business and expand into new markets.”

 

About Solotech

Founded over 40 years ago, Solotech is a world leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology with 15 strategic locations in Canada, the United States and in the United Kingdom. Thanks to an inventory encompassing over 300 renowned manufacturers, Solotech is the single source for audio, video, lighting, rigging, soft goods, control and collaboration solutions & services. The company is internationally recognized for its expertise in Live Productions and Systems Integration in various markets, namely music, sports, business, culture and education. Solotech employs 1,550 professionals in its offices located in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City and Saguenay.

 

Contact: Solotech PR (Canada)

Christine Latour

Vice President, Marketing and Communications

514-370-5225

[email protected]

 

Contact : Solotech PR (UK)

Lisa Santos-Hannan

07973 234194

[email protected]

 

Contact : Solotech Video (UK)

Ian ‘Woody’ Woodall

[email protected]

 

Paul ‘Macca’ McCauley

[email protected]

 

 

Photos: http://bit.ly/Solotech-UK-Video

 

For further information

www.solotech.com

www.sseaudio.com

www.wigwam.co.uk

www.capital-sound.co.uk

www.bcsaudio.com

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Rammstein’s Stadium Tour takes Solotech and SSE Audio throughout Europe

Montreal, December 12, 2019 – Embarking on their first ever all-stadium tour in 2019 the multiplatinum-selling industrial metal German band Rammstein, renowned for their epic stage shows, wanted the production values of their Europe Stadium Tour to fill the massive venues. So, who did they rely upon when adding video into their stage design for the first time ever? Solotech. And who did they trust for arguably the most important production element of any Rammstein tour, the audio package? SSE Audio, a Solotech company.

Coordinating with Stefan Mehnert of Rammstein’s management and Production Director Nicolai Sabottka, as well as the production’s design teams, Solotech and SSE Audio provided the needed audio and video gear and services to solve the challenges of touring to the many different stadiums in multiple countries. Solotech’s Holger Schader, Senior Consultant, Concert Touring and Special Events for the Live Productions division oversaw the account for Solotech and SSE Audio.

Rammstein’s Stadium Sound

The sold-out Europe Stadium Tour supported the release of the band’s seventh album, which is the first Rammstein studio album in a decade. Eager to hear the new tracks live for the first-time concertgoers were certainly not disappointed by Rammstein’s stunning show and the power, range, and clarity from the audio package delivered from SSE Audio.

The tour’s audio spec, put together by Rammstein´s longtime FOH Engineer Olsen Involtini and Systems Engineer Andreas Vater, called for L-Acoustics speakers and Avid VENUE control. Having both worked with Rammstein for such a long time, they knew exactly what was needed to make the band sound great in every stadium fully immersing the audience in the music.

Photo Credit : Jens Koch

SSE Audio being a well-stocked L-Acoustics house was well positioned to handle the large package. Assisting Vater was SSE Audio Crew Chief Nick Pain, and Audio Technician Nils Knecht, who oversaw the L-Acoustics’ Soundvision system and system alignment.

Solotech and SSE Audio were able to address the logistical challenges of putting together the stadium-sized audio system by thoroughly testing it prior to sending it to the tour for their prep and rehearsals. The tour had a warehouse in Berlin that afforded everyone the luxury of testing everything together before rehearsals.

The control system for FOH supplied by SSE consisted of two Avid VENUE S6L systems including two S6L-32D control surfaces; two Avid VENUE E6L-192 Engine for S6L; two Waves SoundGrid Server Extreme; and two Avid VENUE Stage 64 stage boxes. For the monitor system SSE Audio provided two S6L systems with matching components, which was similar to the FOH setup.

To accommodate the different sized stadiums, the audio rig could be expanded. In the bigger cities Production used up to four delay towers, and up to eight positions for roof delays with 12 L-Acoustics’ K2s to get rid of unwanted reflections.

Photo Credit : Jens Koch

The audio package’s full L-Acoustics speaker system delivered by Solotech and SSE Audio was comprised of 140 L-Acoustics K1 large format WST® (Wavefront Sculpture Technology) line source elements; 128 L-Acoustics K2 full range WST® line source elements; 40 L-Acoustics K1-SB flyable high-power subwoofers; 68 L-Acoustics KS28 high-power subwoofers; 16 L-Acoustics ARCS II constant curvature WST® line source elements; and 16 L-Acoustics KARA WST® system modular line source elements.

The line array rig included some rigging challenges which SSE Audio helped solve at the request of the production to improve the load-ins and -outs.  Production wanted SSE Audio to keep the hoists for the main hangs on the floor. Technical consultant Jeremy Lloyd of Wonder Works and WIcreations, came up with a cage solution holding four hoists on the floor. Each hoist was capable of lifting 2.5 tons.

The rigging solution streamlined the audio load-in to four to six hours, depending on the production schedule and most of the load-outs took just two hours. SSE Audio sent out with the tour a crew of 10 technicians, led by Crew Chief Nick Pain.

“Quite frankly Rammstein was an amazing show and one of the best sounding stadium tours out this summer,” notes Schader.

 

Video Joins the Show

The production having decided to use video as part of the tour’s design, a video system consisting of a massive five-meter by nine-meter (16.4-feet by 29.52-feet) LED video screen, control, and camera package was specified by Designers Patrick Woodroffe and Roland Greil of Woodroffe Bassett Design. For this stadium tour the design team opted for a main screen, which was automated to go up and down on the massive center tower of the set.

Solotech provided 600 tiles of their proprietary nine-millimeter Solotech/Saco S9 LED modules, with Solotech/Saco Nano processing to create the centerpiece HD LED video screen, which was able to move 27-meters up and down the center scenic tower travelling at speeds of up to 0.4 meters per second. The automation was handled by entertainment engineering specialists WIcreations. Being a stadium tour, the screen was wind braced and guided along a set of vertical rails to allow an in-use wind loading of 15 meters-per-second.

To feed the content to the screen, the Solotech video crew deployed two disguise GX2 Pro media servers driven from MA Lighting grandMA2 light consoles along with a Barco ImagePRO Dual multi-format image processor/scaler. Solotech also supplied an extensive camera package, which consisted of two front of house cameras, two pit cameras, a camera track system, as well as a wireless remote camera in the package. The camera gear included four Grass Valley LDX86 HD studio cameras, two with Fujinon 99x lenses and two with Fujinon 23x lenses; Sachtler tripods; two Panasonic PTZ HD cameras and three Panasonic POV cameras; a Blackcam B10 robotic camera and track system; and a Marshall remote camera.

Photo Credit : Jens Koch

The video package also included a Solotech Flypack system centered around a Grass Valley Korona switching system, a Ross Video 32×32 SDI router along with Ross Video terminal gear and video control products from Brainstorm Electronics, DirectOut, and Tektronix. The Solotech video team on the tour consisted of three technicians led by Video Crew Chief, Steve Tomanek.

Though it was the first time the band took a video system on tour it likely won’t be the last time as it was well-received by audiences and the band itself.

Everybody on the Solotech and SSE Audio teams look forward to continuing to work with Rammstein on the wildly successful stadium tour. “With the size of this 2019 tour and the fact that it will be touring Europe again in 2020; they already have sold-out most dates for next spring and summer,” comments Schader. “I believe the production knew they wanted an international partner. Solotech and SSE Audio are able to offer that partnership globally. I feel we are ideally suited to really support the band’s vision and the production’s needs throughout the entire tour.”

 

About Solotech

Founded over 40 years ago, Solotech is a world leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology with 12 strategic locations in Canada, the United States and Europe. Thanks to an inventory encompassing over 300 renowned manufacturers, Solotech is the single source for audio, video, lighting, rigging, soft goods, control and collaboration solutions & services. The company is internationally recognized for its expertise in Live Productions and Systems Integration in various markets, namely music, sports, business, culture and education. Solotech employs 1,400 professionals in its offices located in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, Chicago, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City and Saguenay.

Find out more at www.solotech.com

 

Contact

Emilie Gentes

Manager, Corporate Communications

514-526-7721

[email protected]

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Solotech announces new UK organizational structure and leadership

Montreal, November 26, 2019 – Solotech is pleased to announce a new unified UK organizational structure aligned with Solotech’ s global structure. As of January 1, 2020, SSE Audio, Wigwam, Capital Sound and BCS Audio, all owned by Solotech, will be collectively referred to as the Solotech UK group and operate under the joint leadership of Managing Directors Alex Penn and Spencer Beard.

Alex Penn, SSE Audio’s former Sales Director, and Spencer Beard, formerly Managing Director of Manchester-based Wigwam, will respectively lead the Sales and Systems Integration (Sales and Installations) and the Live Productions (Hire) operations for the Solotech UK group. Both Penn and Beard will thereby become part of Solotech’s global senior management team and will be working under the direction of Philip Giffard, President of the Sales and Systems Integration Division and Mickey Curbishley, President of the Live Productions Division USA & UK.

SSE Audio’s founder, and previously SSE Audio Group Managing Director, John Penn remains within the new Solotech UK group structure as Strategic Advisor, helping to deliver Solotech’s global and local vision.

“To round out this unified approach, we have aligned all our UK brand identities to the Solotech brand image, with more integrated logos that incorporate features of each brand combined with the inclusion of “A Solotech Company” statement, fully establishing Solotech’s footprint in the UK”, notes Martin Tremblay, President and CEO of Solotech. “However, there is still a clear commitment to retain the brands of SSE Audio, Wigwam, Capital Sound and the recently acquired BCS Audio, in their various markets as we believe that our distinctive UK brands should continue to deliver to their respective client bases.”

The Solotech UK group will enable greater support to each of the UK brands, at a global level being fully integrated in the Solotech structure; at the national level by sharing resources and services between the UK brands; and at the local level by continuing to exceed the UK clients’ expectations daily.

“This structural evolution, while aligned with our strategic corporate goals, once again confirms that our clients are at the heart of our focus. I look forward to what’s to come for Solotech worldwide as we continue to evolve,” concludes Tremblay.

 New logos of the Solotech UK brands

 

About Solotech

Founded over 40 years ago, Solotech is a world leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology with 12 strategic locations in Canada, the United States and in the United Kingdom. Thanks to an inventory encompassing over 300 renowned manufacturers, Solotech is the single source for audio, video, lighting, rigging, soft goods, control and collaboration solutions & services. The company is internationally recognized for its expertise in Live Productions and Systems Integration in various markets, namely music, sports, business, culture and education. Solotech employs 1,400 professionals in its offices located in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, Chicago, London, Birmingham, Manchester,  Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City and Saguenay.

Find out more at www.solotech.com

 

 

Contact

Emilie Gentes

Manager, Corporate Communications

514-526-7721

[email protected]

BCS Audio Ltd Joins SSE Audio Group

Montreal, September 19, 2019 – SSE Audio Group is pleased to announce the acquisition of BCS Audio Ltd, the highly respected audio rental and flight case manufacturer based in Fareham near Southampton, UK. As part of the move, BCS Audio founder and managing director, Dave Shepherd joins the SSE Audio hire team, while continuing to run the BCS operation.

Dave Shepherd commented: “Joining SSE Audio Group, and  at the same time its parent company, Canadian-based Solotech, is an incredibly positive development for us and our existing client base, enabling us to access the resources and expertise of the largest audio services company in the UK, who as part of Solotech are also a global player. We are planning to integrate our rental inventory with SSE, while making the transition as smooth and seamless as possible for our clients.”

SSE Audio Group has grown rapidly in recent years, offering pro audio services including rentals, sales and installations and the group has acquired other leading UK audio companies including Canegreen, Wigwam and Capital Sound. Last year, SSE Audio Group was acquired by  Solotech, thereby joining one of the world’s largest audiovisual and entertainment technology companies.

SSE Audio Group MD John Penn commented: “This latest acquisition of BCS Audio continues our policy of strengthening the UK group and what it offers by adding like-minded companies. Over the past 25 years Dave Shepherd has grown the BCS rental business substantially through considerable investment in rental stock of L Acoustics and d&b audiotechnik speaker systems. His diverse range of clients across the touring and events sector are a natural fit with us.“

“In addition, the BCS manufacturing business, which builds flight cases, goes from strength to strength and this is something we plan to develop further. Together, our manufacturing businesses can learn from each other and share resources. This will help us to better manage the last minute deadlines that flight case clients demand.”

 

About BCS Audio

BCS Audio was founded in the 1990s by sound engineer David Shepherd, providing audio rentals to a growing roster of touring and event clients. The business has expanded over the past 25 years, with flight case manufacturing, primarily for the entertainment industry, added to the BCS portfolio about 12 years ago. The company now employs a full time staff of 23 people based in Fareham Hampshire.

 

About SSE Audio Group

Founded in 1976, SSE Audio is the largest supplier of professional audio services in the UK,
employing more than 150 people. SSE offers comprehensive audio solutions and services
including equipment hire for tours and concerts, sales and installations for a broad range
of entertainment venues, places of worship and other public spaces.

Driven by its dedication to excellence, investment in state-of-the-art technology and
bolstered by its many innovations and acquisitions, SSE Group has received numerous
awards. It is recognized in Europe as a leading supplier of integrated solutions.

For more information: www.sseaudiogroup.com.

About Solotech

Founded over 40 years ago, Solotech is a world leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology with 12 strategic locations in Canada, the United States and Europe. Thanks to an inventory encompassing over 300 renowned manufacturers, Solotech is the single source for audio, video, lighting, rigging, soft goods, control and collaboration solutions & services. The company is internationally recognized for its expertise in Live Productions and Systems Integration in various markets, namely music, sports, business, culture and education. Solotech employs over 1,300 professionals in its offices located in Montreal, Quebec City, Saguenay, Ottawa, Toronto, Las Vegas, Nashville, Chicago, Los Angeles, Birmingham, London and Manchester.

Find out more at www.solotech.com

Contact

Christine Latour
Vice-President, Marketing and Communications
514-370-5225
[email protected]

Solotech acquires UK-based SSE Audio Group and confirms its global leadership

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE

New opportunities in Europe for North American leader in audiovisual and entertainment technologies

Montreal , November 28, 2018— Martin Tremblay, president and CEO of Groupe Solotech Inc., is pleased to announce that Solotech has acquired SSE Audio Group, a British leader in audio services.

This is among the most important transactions in Solotech’s history. With the addition of SSE Audio, Solotech becomes one of the world’s largest audiovisual and entertainment technology companies. The acquisition will generate growth opportunities and operational synergies, in addition to expanding the services available to current and future clients.

“We are thrilled that SSE is joining the Solotech team, especially given their highly reputed expertise in audio services. The transaction will enable us to definitively pursue our expansion strategy in the European market and consolidate our unique position as a global player offering full-service (360°) sales, rentals and integration of audiovisual technologies,” said Mr. Tremblay.

SSE Audio’s founder, John Penn, will continue to head the group in the UK and the established brands of SSE Audio, Capital Sound, Wigwam and Sigma Products will be maintained. “Our clients will continue to benefit from the excellent reputation of our brands, but over time they will also eventually have access to a broader service offering on both sides of the Atlantic, as Solotech offers a complete range of Audio Visual and Entertainment Technology services,” added Mr. Penn.

There are obvious synergies between the North American and European teams. “Solotech and SSE have worked together for years. We share a passion for innovation, quality and people. I’m convinced that our association will benefit our clients. We will provide them with a broader range of even better services,” said Mr. Tremblay.

Solotech’s shareholders (Claridge, Desjardins Capital and Investissement Québec) are proud to reinvest in the company to enable this transaction that contributes to the achievement of its strategic objectives and its positioning as a global company.

Pierre Boivin, chairman of Solotech’s board, believes this acquisition opens the door to significant potential growth for Solotech on a global scale. “The audiovisual industry offers excellent prospects for growth, which should increase by 4.3% per year to $53.4 billion US in 2022, compared to $43.1 billion US in 2017. Music tours should generate growth of 10% per year by 2022.* This transaction will enable us to take full advantage of opportunities that open up to us,” he concluded.

* Source: InfoComm International, 2017-2022 forecast

 

About Solotech

Solotech is a global supplier of technology solutions in audio, video, lighting, rigging, soft
goods and control/collaboration systems. With some 1,200 employees at its 13 locations in
Canada, the United States and Europe, Solotech designs and executes innovative and
unique experiences using cutting-edge equipment and continually evolving expertise.

With more than 40 years of experience, Solotech enjoys a reputation for the expertise of
its Rental Division (solutions for tours, corporate and special events) and its Sales and
Integration Division (sales, installation and maintenance of tech solutions for sports, cultural
facilities, broadcasting, conference rooms and classrooms), in the context of a variety of
local and international projects.

For more information: https://www.solotech.com/en/.

About SSE Audio Group

Founded in 1976, SSE Audio is the largest supplier of professional audio services in the UK,
employing more than 150 people. SSE offers comprehensive audio solutions and services
including equipment hire for tours and concerts, sales and installations for a broad range
of entertainment venues, places of worship and other public spaces.

Driven by its dedication to excellence, investment in state-of-the-art technology and
bolstered by its many innovations and acquisitions, SSE Group has received numerous
awards. It is recognized in Europe as a leading supplier of integrated solutions.

For more information: www.sseaudiogroup.com.

Contact :

Christine Latour
Director, Marketing and Communications
514-370-5225
[email protected]

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