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From Parklife to the Isle of Wight

After the pandemic, festivals were back in motion, Parklife being one of the largest. Over consecutive weekends with just a 24 hour turnaround Wigwam supplied two major festivals. Utilising a d&b audio Technik SL system this comprised of main hangs of d&b GSL cabinets. For more information, please click the link

Betania Church Dublin

d&b audiotechnik Y-Series system for new build Betania Church

Wigwam Acoustics, part of the Solotech UK Group, has installed a d&b audiotechnik Y-Series system as part of the audio package for Betania Church, a new build 1,483 seat house of worship in Dublin, Ireland.

With their previous building no longer fit for purpose, Betania Church took the decision to invest in land and construct a new  purpose built facility that would meet the church’s needs going forwards.

The result is one of the largest churches in Ireland with seating for 1483 and includes state of the art audio lighting and video systems.

Hard work, community spirit and financial generosity all played their part in creating Betania, which holds services in both English and Romanian to cater for the area’s large Romanian population. Apart from the steelwork, the church has been built entirely by volunteers offering their time skills and services to bring the building to fruition.

Audio Options

When seeking an audio supplier, Betania spoke to Hillsong Church who recommended Wigwam, with its wealth of expertise in this sector. Wigwam co-founder and now Brand Ambassador Mick Spratt explained, “We first spoke with Betania over three years ago to discuss the various audio options available to them. We had our visit to site just before Covid struck and immediately realised there was an issue with the acoustics of the building as it was just a concrete shell.”

Wigwam Project Manager Tim Mortimer added, “We said there would be no point selling them a microphone, let alone a PA system with the building as it was. Betania employed an Acoustic Consultant who fitted wood panelling to the walls. The treatment significantly reduced reverb time and removed reflections from the walls meaning the congregation would be hearing a direct source.”

d&b audiotechnik and DiGiCo

Wigwam offered the church various PA options with Betania settling for an array processed d&b audiotechnik system based around the Y-Series. Main left and right hangs contain six Yi12s per side, with three YiSUBs flown behind to “fatten up” the audio in the fan shaped auditorium. Yi10 out-fills and upper outfill delays cover the far corners of the balcony. XS10SD loudspeakers have been fitted under the balcony downstairs and six Bi6-SUB subwoofers are built into the stage. Seven 44S front-fills have also been integrated into the steps leading up to the stage. Three d&b M4 wedge monitors provide a monitor mix for visiting preachers.

A key benefit for Betania’s sound engineer Sam Biro is that the d&b hangs are array processed. Each element of the array is fed off a separate amplifier channel allowing smoother coverage of the arrays across the room. “It provides a more consistent setup,” explained Tim Mortimer. “Humidity and temperature can alter in the room but Sam has access to every element of the system via the d&b R1 software. Whether it’s the arrays or delays, he can get to every box.”

At front of house is a DiGiCo Quantum 225 digital console with a DiGiCo SD9 supplied as a broadcast console. For monitoring Wigwam has supplied 11 Allen & Heath ME1 Personal monitor mixers.

Integration

Despite all the equipment being ordered prior to the pandemic, lockdowns in Ireland delayed the construction process by around 12 months. However, working within the myriad of rules and regulations Wigwam were able to attend site in mid 2021, with the first church service taking place just before Christmas.

The auditorium also has the potential to host corporate work when not being used as a church. “Although it has been built as a church, it’s more like a conference facility and will be a useful extra income stream for Betania,” explained Tim Mortimer. “It was a key reason for choosing d&b audiotechnik. Not only does it provide superb audio performance, the system is rider friendly, with clients confident that they won’t have to ship in their own audio package.”

Technical Coordinator for Betania Daniel Cantana reflected on the installation: “It was a big challenge, a long procedure and we needed to make some hard decisions when choosing the right sound system for our worship space. The d&b sound experience, together with the DiGiCo consoles proved it was definitely the right way to go. The system provides great sound and awesome coverage. I’m delighted with the service we have received from Wigwam – a very professional company and a great team.”

Bryce Jewell nommé directeur général Royaume-Uni appointed Managing Director UK

Bryce Jewell appointed Managing Director, UK

A major milestone towards a European expansion and diversification of activities

 

London, December 20, 2021 – Martin Tremblay, President and CEO of Group Solotech, is proud to announce the appointment of Bryce Jewell as Managing Director UK, as of December 15, 2021. Mr Jewell will be responsible for driving the overall business strategy for Solotech in the United Kingdom, both for the Live Productions and the Sales and Systems Integration Divisions.

“This appointment is the symbol of a new major milestone for Solotech’s expansion in the UK and Europe, and a true testimonial of our intention to continue investing in our people, our technology, our operational structure and our brand”, says Tremblay. “We are in it for the long run, and are definitely looking to build a strong, UK-based operation with–in addition to the audio heritage from SSE Audio, Wigwam Acoustics, Capital Sound and BCS Audio–other key services and technology that set Solotech apart and make it absolutely unique on the global market”, he adds.

He is a seasoned business leader with over 20 years of experience within the technology sector spanning the UK, US, Norway, and Australia. Previously, Mr Jewell successfully led the turnaround of the UK and US Enterprise businesses as Managing Director at Global Cloud Xchange who operates the world’s largest privately-owned subsea cable system. Prior to Global Cloud Xchange, he served as Director, Sales Europe at Pacnet, where he achieved President’s Club honours in his first year and continued to excel for 4 consecutive years. His broad experience in engineering, sourcing, product, sales, and management has set him apart in being able to articulate business strategies into concrete action plans that lead to revenue growth and client success and retention.

Supported by a strong, experienced, and passionate UK-based leadership Team in both Divisions, and corporate services (finance, HR, marketing, etc.), Bryce Jewell will pursue the amazing growth journey of Solotech UK and its UK Companies for the years to come. “We are absolutely thrilled and proud to welcome Bryce as part of our Leadership Team. His knowledge of business management and technology background will be a major game changer for the diversification of our business activities in the UK and in all of Europe for the years to come,” concludes Tremblay.

 

 

About Solotech

Founded over 40 years ago, Solotech is a world leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology with 18 strategic locations in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and China. 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 and 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. Clients can also benefit from its Service Center, Online Store and virtual technology know-how. Solotech is fully supported by three major shareholders: Claridge, Desjardins Capital and Investissement Québec. The company employs 1,360 professionals in its offices located in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Saguenay, Halifax, Macau and Hong Kong.

Find out more at: solotech.com

 

Contact – Solotech PR (Canada)

Heloise Meunier, Corporate Communications Advisor

media@solotech.com

 

Contact – Solotech PR (UK)

Andrew Low, Director of Marketing and Communications, UK

andrew.low@solotech.com

 

For further information about Solotech in the UK

https://www.solotech.com/united-kingdom

www.sseaudio.com

www.wigwam.co.uk

www.capital-sound.co.uk

www.bcsaudio.com

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

media@solotech.com

 

Contact : Solotech PR (UK)

Lisa Santos-Hannan

07973 234194

lisa.santos@solotech.co.uk

 

Contact : Solotech Video (UK)

Ian ‘Woody’ Woodall

Ian.woodall@solotech.com

 

Paul ‘Macca’ McCauley

paul.mccauley@solotech.com

 

 

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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Wigwam Acoustics Wins WFX Solomon Award

For the full article, visit: https://www.sseaudiogroup.com/wigwam-news/wigwam-acoustics-wins-wfx-solomon-award

Montreal, September 26, 2019 – The largest annual House of Worship Conference and Expo in the USA, WFX was held this year from September 17-19, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. A highlight of the three-day event, which gathers systems integrators showcasing innovative audiovisual solutions and services for the house of worship market, is the WFX Solomon Awards that recognize excellence in church facility design, renovation, construction and audio, video and lighting installation.

(York Minster – Photo Credit: d&b audiotechnik)

This year, Wigwam Acoustics received the WFX Solomon Award in Design and Installation of Audio System or Sound Reinforcement (2,001-plus seats) for the major audio upgrade carried out at York Minster Cathedral, England. As one of the UK’s most important cultural and religious landmarks, the 500-year-old Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York is rightfully considered a national treasure. In 2019, as part of an ongoing maintenance and refurbishment project, the church leaders relied upon Wigwam to install a comprehensive new audio system, in which audio quality and clarity was paramount, both for speech and music.

The designed solution was an installation featuring over 50 d&b audiotechnik xC column speakers running on a QSC Q-Sys digital audio platform with simple touch screen controls for operation.

(York Minster – Photo Credit: Wigwam Acoustics)

Wigwam Co-founder Mick Spratt commented, “We’re absolutely delighted to have received this award, as it recognizes the experience and outstanding talent the Wigwam team has in the church installation sector. The judges have recognized that the system absolutely met the brief – quality, low impact and ease of use.”

“It’s great that our work has been recognized in the US, a market where our installation work is relatively unknown. In association with our parent company Solotech, we exhibited at WFX for the first time this year. We’re looking forward to combining our experience in this market along with Solotech’s presence in North America to work on projects together.”

“The interest and feedback we’ve had from just this one three-day exhibition has been incredible.”

(York Minster – Photo Credit: Wigwam Acoustics)

Read the full case study with video here.

From left to right: Michael Palmer, Director of US Business Development Solotech US; Jason Spence, Director of Sales and Systems Integration Solotech US; Guillaume Gervais, Used Equipment Sales Specialist Solotech; Mick Spratt, Co-Founder Wigwam Acoustics; Aaron Beck, Business Development Sales Rep Solotech US.

 

About Wigwam

Wigwam Acoustics is one of the world’s leading companies for the rental, sales and installation of professional audio equipment. Established in 1979, Wigwam is based in Heywood, near Manchester, UK. In 2013, Wigwam became part of SSE Audio Group, acquired in 2018 by Solotech.

 

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 and 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, Ottawa, Quebec City, Saguenay, Toronto, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Birmingham, London and Manchester.

Find out more at www.solotech.com

 

Contact

Christine Latour

Vice-President, Marketing and Communications

514-370-5225

Christine.Latour@solotech.com

York Minster

New audio system for the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe

As one of the UK’s most important cultural and religious landmarks, the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York, commonly known as York Minster, is considered a national treasure. In 2019, as part of an ongoing maintenance and refurbishment project, the church leaders commissioned the installation of a new audio system, in which audio quality and clarity was paramount, both for speech and music.

Selected for this project was none other than Wigwam, a Solotech brand renowned worldwide for its acoustics expertise in churches and historic buildings. To ensure meeting the exact requirements of the church leadership and to respect the nature of the building’s acoustics, Wigwam Sales Manager Phil Goldsworthy specified d&b audiotechnik column speakers, placed throughout the Minster. The main installation features d&b xC 24C units with a d&b xC 24C-E passive extender on each column. In the end, a total of 60 column speakers were installed, powered by 16 d&b audiotechnik 10D amplifiers, making it one of the largest installations of the xC series ever undertaken.

Q-Sys control, a key feature

While the key element to any audio system is how it sounds, of equal importance in the church sector is the ease of use. To make the system easy to operate, Wigwam developed touch screen interfaces with custom graphics that allow users to access the various audio menus. As the system must be operated by staff, both technical and non-technical, Wigwam opted to have the entire system run using the QSC Q-Sys platform, which controls and distributes the audio over a digital network. “Q-Sys has become our go-to solution for audio installations,” explained Goldsworthy. “We’ve already successfully deployed it at Manchester Cathedral where the requirements were very similar to that of the Minster.”

Challenges met: Grade I system design and implementation

The York Minster is ranked as a Grade I building, that is a “building of exceptional interest” as per the definition of Historic England, the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England. Thus, designing an audio system suited for such a challenging environment was no easy task.

The installation includes a comprehensive cable infrastructure throughout. At the foot of each pillar is a metal plate which can be lifted to reveal ports for audio, video and data. Additional audio devices such as microphones can be patched in via XLR inputs. The video infrastructure is broadcast-compliant for when services are televised. TV companies can install their cameras throughout the York Minster without the need to run unsightly cables around the building.

Goldsworthy is delighted with how the project has turned out. “The sound quality is second to none in a building of this type and the installation is incredibly sympathetic to the Minster. The system provides huge flexibility for a wide range of uses and is simple to operate. It has been a pleasure to work on this project and we look forward to providing support for the system for many years to come.”

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
Christine.Latour@solotech.com

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