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Abba voyage concerts Solotech

Solotech contributes to ABBA Voyage concerts 

London, United Kingdom, June 6, 2022 – Possibly the most eagerly anticipated live music event of the decade, ABBA Voyage brings the 70s supergroup back to the stage in a seamless blend of the virtual and physical worlds.  

Several years in the making, the show opened on May 26 in a purpose-built arena designed by Stufish Entertainment Architects at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. Early reviews confirm that it is like nothing seen before, as it adds a new element to the live music experience by blurring the lines between computer-generated imagery (CGI) and reality that can only be seen in person to fully understand, with The Guardian calling it a “jaw-dropping avatar act that’s destined to be copied.”  

As a global leader in AV and entertainment technology, Solotech worked under the direction of director Baillie Walsh, working alongside Aniara’s Technical Producer Nick Levitt and Technical Director Joe Frisina, and collaborating with concert producers Svana Gisla and Ludvig Andersson, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM,) and TETRO and Greenwall’s Fredrik Stormby to provide audio, lighting, and video solutions capable of pushing the boundaries for live productions. Scott Willsallen from Auditoria supervised the audio elements of the show, with VYV Photon servers specified and programmed by Anthony “Bez” Bezencon. 

The project is Solotech UK’s foray as a high-end 360-equipment supplier, as it delivered audio, video and lighting technology and expertise to the show. Solotech drew on its experience as live production specialists to aid in the process from the design stages to installation and opening night to help deliver the incredible event. 

Working in close collaboration with ABBA’s production team, Ian “Woody” Woodall, Solotech UK’s Director of Special Projects, led the project, with Paul “Macca” McCauley overseeing the installation of the rental equipment in the venue, and serving as the host to technical demos of the system in the many months leading up to the show. Solotech’s Robin Conway oversaw audio, Oli James handled lighting and Alex Mulrenan managed video and cameras.  

The members of ABBA spent five weeks being filmed by 160 cameras for motion capture as they performed the songs that make up the show’s 95-minute runtime. This footage was then used to realise the band in extreme detail, as they look entirely realistic when they appear on stage alongside a 10-piece live band. 

Solotech was chosen to help the team realize this transformation from the video performance footage to the physical space due to its multi-disciplinary approach to live production gained from experience working on the world’s biggest festivals and concerts. The result is an unprecedented immersive venue environment that adds another dimension to the show via a unique workflow that breaks new ground by its use of technical innovation.  

State-of-the-art equipment was chosen from leading manufacturers, including ROE, VYV, Robe, L-Acoustics, DiGiCo and others to augment the filmed performance footage with technology used throughout the venue. The show features one of the largest installations of ROE Black Pearl v2 LED screens, driven by Brompton 4K Tessera SX40 LED processors. It is one of the tallest installations of Black Pearl screens, standing 19 tiles high. Solotech also coordinated the supply of Solotech’s Service+ real-time, managed services software platform. 

Woody says: “This project has been special as we’ve spent two years of our lives working on it. It is the most technically complicated and challenging project I have ever been involved in. This is proven by the fact that everyone who has been there cannot find the words to describe it. The technical elements of the show have been virtually flawless from the rehearsals through to opening night on a show that is breaking new ground. These are accomplishments that we are extremely proud of.” 

https://abbavoyage.com/ 

 

Contact
Andrew Low
Director, Marketing & Communications (UK)
andrew.low@solotech.com 

New Solotech location in Nashville

Solotech goes big in Nashville

Nashville, TN, May 17, 2022 – Earmarking the extraordinary growth that Solotech has experienced in recent years, the company has announced the opening of its massive new facility in Nashville, Tennessee.

Covering more than 120,000 square feet of space, Solotech’s new Nashville facility is a powerful picture of what the company has become, and a clear indication of where it’s headed. The global leader in AV and entertainment technology has been expanding, not only in its long-time role as a powerhouse in live production, but also as a Top 10 AV system integrator in North America across the Corporate, Worship, and Transportation sectors.

Recent notable projects in the region include the expansion of Nashville International Airport, as well as new sound, lighting, and video in several of the city’s iconic Broadway honky tonks, several major corporate headquarters, and a number of large houses of worship. And of course, Solotech continues to be a major player in the touring circuit, including current sojourns with Kenny Chesney and Carrie Underwood.

The new Nashville facility is stocked with more gear than ever, offering a comprehensive array of brands and technologies to suit virtually every demand and rider. In addition, the building offers on-site rehearsal facilities and full stage setup, providing artists and production crew the opportunity to test out touring systems under real-world conditions. Solotech’s new facility also offers a new, state-of-the-art Pre-Production Visual Mapping, enabling clients to visually design and stage their new setup or facility. And the Nashville digs also house a complete fabrication department, making it easier than ever to fill all aspects of designing and creating systems for their ever-growing range of clients and projects.

As Lee Moro, Solotech’s VP of Operations, Live Productions, observes, versatility and a comprehensive offering are some of the company’s strengths. “We can be working on the Airport, and then go out on Tour with Michael Bublé. That shows the diversity of the company. That’s what we’re all about.”

Michael Casey, Solotech Business Development Representative, agrees. “On the integration side, we have the ability to build our projects in our own shop. On the live side, we can bring artists into the shop and have their rehearsals here, in our spaces, with the equipment they’re going to have out on tour.”

“We’re always pushing the limits,” Moro concludes, pointing to the Solotech team as an indispensable part of the company’s success. “If you ask people to go above and beyond, the only way they’re going to do that is if they’re happy. You have to like where you’re working. I think we’ve created something pretty special here with an incredible team of passionate and seasoned professionals. Moreover, if you want to be part of the big Solotech family, now is the time, we’re currently looking to expand our pool of talents!”

Take a quick tour of the brand-new Solotech office in Nashville: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdFMGPr6uNg

About Solotech

Founded over 45 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 Kon.

Find out more at www.solotech.com

Contact
Elizabeth Mclead
Director, Marketing and Communications
elizabeth.mclead@solotech.com

Solotech marks its 45th anniversary

An audiovisual expertise as spectacular as ever, and ready for the future!

Montreal, Canada, April 21, 2022 – Solotech is proud to blow out 45 candles this year! As a world leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology, it has brilliantly supported numerous well-known projects around the world since its creation: The Rolling Stones, Resorts World Las Vegas, Celine Dion, Bridgestone Arena, Taylor Swift, Burj Khalifa, Caesars Palace, Elton John, The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, Lady Gaga, Ascot Racecourse, Paul McCartney, Montreal International Jazz Festival and Ubisoft, to name a few! Over time, the company has evolved by continuously enriching its technological services and products offering. Now recognized worldwide as a partner of choice, Solotech has proven that it can meet all audiovisual and entertainment technology needs.   

Becoming the benchmark in the industry with audacity 
Founded in 1977 by Denis Lefrançois and André Riendeau, Solotech was initially dedicated solely to audio. Then, lighting, video, audiovisual expertise and collaboration tools were added. Forty-five years later, the company has 18 locations across the planet, 1,360 employees and an overflowing project portfolio! This success is based on significant milestones, including the arrival in 2013 of three major Canadian investors solidifying its foundation, ambitious organic expansion plans, and multiple acquisitions in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. And recently, the addition of an Online store and virtual technology expertise to an already extensive offering. Solotech was agile with its growth into new, state-of-the-art facilities to better manage its operations and immense equipment inventory.  The company also expanded its clientele far beyond entertainment to include, among others, corporate, transportation, government, houses of worship, and education.

Martin Tremblay, President and CEO of Solotech: “I am thrilled by this anniversary, its shows how seasoned Solotech is in the industry. For 45 years, customer needs have inspired us to consistently deliver the best of technology and the best of ourselves. The outstanding know-how of our employees is at the heart of our success, and I am very proud of it. We look to the future with enthusiasm as we have just added virtual productions, webcasting and augmented reality to our expertise; it will allow us to support even more clients in achieving avant-garde projects.”

The professionals at Solotech continue their mission to deliver on the highest quality of standards, from boardrooms to arenas and everything in between. Their work perfectly embodies the values of the company: passion, innovation, excellence, respect, and collaboration. After more than four decades, Solotech has always remained true to its mission to develop and implement innovative AV and entertainment technology solutions to create a unique experience every time, everywhere.

What really sets Solotech apart today? Its uniqueness: no other company has such a comprehensive and diversified offering under one roof. Solotech is proud of how far it has come and, above all, is looking forward to celebrating its future milestones with its valued employees, customers and partners.

Technology for the future of business and entertainment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSMqHUvNKgY 

About Solotech
Founded 45 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. The company owns many brands, including SSE Audio, Wigwam, Capital Sound, BCS Audio, Pro Sound & Video, SEAL, Miami StageCraft, Morris Light and Sound, PSSL, CBCI, in addition to its partners Waveform and XR Studios.

Find out more at www.solotech.com 

Contact
Héloïse Meunier
Corporate Communications Advisor
media@solotech.com 

Solotech aquires Waveform Entertainment

New focus on the esports entertainment industry and digitalization

Montreal, Canada, June 1, 2021 – Martin Tremblay, President and Chief Executive Officer of Groupe Solotech Inc., is pleased to announce that Solotech has acquired Waveform Entertainment, a highly regarded Canadian esports entertainment company specializing in full services esports solutions, including creative and design, technologies, event execution, brand solutions, digital marketing, talent management, sponsorships, and virtual and live production services. The company is well known in the gaming industry for its contribution to numerous high-profile programs, namely on Twitch, Rainbow6 Canada Nationals Year 2, Complexity’s WOW Race to World First, Get On My Level, EGLX Digital, Rising Stars. Thanks to Solotech’s international reach, this strategic partnership will enable Waveform to become a global esports entertainment company and connect with a bigger and ever-growing gaming audience.

Waveform is also a turnkey agency that provides comprehensive creation, production, and digital marketing services. With its proprietary event platform and production software, the company can produce impressive virtual events and reach an online audience of varied clients from the video game and entertainment industries and the corporate and government markets.

According to Martin Tremblay, “Customer demand for cutting-edge digital services continues to grow and the gaming industry is blooming more than ever. This acquisition enables us to roll out numerous live events, esports and virtual production broadcasts, including augmented and virtual reality. Gaming alone is a strong and growing 160 billion market. I see this acquisition as a perfect fit with our new Media and Entertainment Technologies Division and our diversification strategy, namely with online tournaments, fans engagement and sponsorships. Our goal remains to be recognized as the audiovisual partner and leader of choice for top content creators, including film, television, advertising and games. Waveform has worked with major industry players like Ubisoft, Dreamhack, Cineplex and major esports events, as well as teaming up with well-known brands and partners including NXNE, AMD and CSL.”

Simon Tremblay, Vice-President, Operations, Media and Entertainment Technologies Division at Solotech, adds: “This company is composed of genuine, exceptional people who are dedicated to the gaming and esports industry. Waveform’s business model is scalable and can fully adapt to the realities and demands of the industry, particularly with its outstanding virtual event platform and streaming solutions and services. The company’s spirit is based on ambition, innovation, passion and problem solving, which is totally in line with Solotech’s image! Together, we will become a strong industry benchmark.”

“This is a great fit for our two organizations since we already collaborate on several major virtual productions. It will allow Waveform to reach even more fans from the gaming world! We’ve developed a unique set of esports event services and earned credibility in the gaming industry as a result. We pride ourselves on our strong reputation and proven experience in esports and broadcasting on local and international stages. We will continue to grow into a company with a solid global impact and presence within the next few years by leveraging Solotech’s presence and resources in the USA and UK. We are embarking on a gratifying experience with Solotech,” says Tamir Kastiel, President of Waveform.

This acquisition will act as a trigger for global expansion that will benefit both Solotech’s clients and the teams of experts that have come together to support this broad, high-end service offering.

 

About Solotech

Founded over 40 years ago, Solotech is a world leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology with 16 strategic locations in Canada, the United States and 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, and is fully supported by three major shareholders: Claridge, Desjardins Capital and Investissement Québec. Solotech employs 1,550 professionals in its offices in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City and Saguenay. Find out more at www.solotech.com.

Find out more

 

Contact

Héloïse Meunier
Advisor, Corporate Communications
media@solotech.com

 

About Waveform

Waveform is a full-service agency established with the vision of providing clients with guidance and access to the gaming and esports industry. We aim to bring a torrent of creativity, interactivity and engagement to the projects we work on. From competitive tournaments to music festivals, we are committed to the rising tide of gaming and esports in mainstream culture. Established in 2018, Waveform has formed several strategic partnerships focused on enhancing service quality, from ideation to execution and products offered to new and existing clients. We have been on the leading edge of esports event production and broadcast for several years, servicing some of the world’s most prestigious esports tournaments and events, including Dreamhack, Cineplex Entertainment, and Enthusiast owned EGLX.

Find out more at https://waveform.gg/

Bryce Jewell Talks to TPi Magazine

Solotech UK’s new MD sat down with TPI magazine to discuss the challenges of his new role and his vision for the future.

Where were you prior to joining Solotech?
“I spent the past two decades in various roles in the IT and telecom sector. Most recently, I oversaw the US and UK enterprise businesses at Global Cloud Xchange, who own and operate one of the largest subsea networks, but I have always shared an interest in professional audio, and of course, music.”

What was it that intrigued you about the role?
“Solotech has a great team in the UK and North America, and a clear vision. The knowledge, heritage, and experience of the people at Solotech is remarkable. Our teams have a passion for this industry and can bring our client’s dreams into reality. For them, this isn’t simply a job, it’s a lifestyle.

“We are proud to be world renowned for our audio expertise and honoured that the practices we have developed have become industry standards.

“In North America, we are known as leaders in lighting and video technology in the entertainment market. We are building on our legacy of audio expertise, which remains our core market, while adding lighting and video capabilities to offer 360 opportunities to existing clients and new markets. We have some huge projects underway that include audio, lighting, and video.

“Solotech is a diversified business that delivers premier audio-visual solutions to arenas, houses of worship and corporate markets through our systems integration teams. Likewise, the area that will be very exciting to see play out over the next few years is the work we are doing with our MET (Media and Entertainment Technology) Division, following the acquisition of XR Studios.”

How is 2022 shaping up for the UK operation?
“The demand we have seen from our live productions clients is extremely encouraging, and we have launched a large recruitment drive to enable us to deliver our impressive order book. Being part of a large group enables us to leverage our resources and assets to support that demand.

“It is great to see this sector really come back to life, and we are here to support it in any way we can, as business partners and fans. I see further consolidation in the UK entertainment market. We are in a great position with the resources and skills to supply the UK’s top festivals, tours, and events with the technology needed to create amazing experiences for the audience. These investments have advanced our industry and the things we can do.”

What steps are being taken to integrate the brands in the group?
“Solotech has acquired over 10 brands. Integration is something that we have become good at. We have offices all over the globe in 18 strategic locations, but we work as one company. We have landed in the video and lighting world in a big way and will continue to build on this success, while continuing to invest in our audio business and the support we offer our clients.

“The demand is there, and we are ready for any challenge.”

You think you know Solotech? Think again!

The past year has been a source of renewal for Solotech. In addition to making four acquisitions, the global leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology diversified and expanded its service offering by adding new technologies and solutions.

The year 2022 is very promising for Solotech with the return of Live Productions activities and the continued growth of its Sales and Systems Integration and Media and Entertainment Technology Divisions.

Discover Solotech’s rich services and solutions offering, provided, as always, with the same passion at the heart of Solotech’s success for now over 45 years.

See the video here:

 

Rich Rowley Joins Solotech as Redditch General Manager

Solotech has announced that Rich Rowley has joined their UK Team as General Manger of their Redditch operation.

Rich Rowley joins Solotech with 30 years’ experience in the Live Productions Industry including time as a Director at XL Video and as Chief Sales Officer for PRG in the UK. Most recently he has been General Manager at Adlib, where he helped oversee the company’s transition from an audio supplier to a full 360 audio, lighting and video service provider.

Rich is also no stranger to SSE Audio having been Hire Manager in Redditch between 2004 and 2006. During his time at SSE he worked on many projects and designs including Oasis, Metallica and the main stages for Download, Reading / Leeds and Glastonbury.

MD Bryce Jewell commented, “The General Manager role at our UK headquarters is pivotal in ensuring the delivery of all our business both in Live Productions and Sales and Systems Integration. We’re delighted to have secured someone with Rich’s knowledge and experience. We are confident he will be able to support what will be an incredibly busy time for our core business in the coming months while planning for the ongoing expansion of Solotech in the UK.”

Rich Rowley added, “The UK brands already have a fantastic reputation and with the support of Solotech globally we can take the business to the next level. I’m excited to have the opportunity to play my part in that journey at such an exciting time. It’s great to be returning to Redditch and I’m looking forward to working with some old friends and making some new ones too.”

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

Additions to Solotech’s U.S. Live Productions leadership team

Key talent to bring Solotech to new heights

 

Nashville, Tennessee, U.S., September 9, 2021  – As the dust starts to settle on one of the most challenging years of the Live Production industry, Solotech is more confident and better positioned than ever for the return of live events.

“With brand new facilities in Nashville and Las Vegas opening in December, a huge investment in new equipment and more than a dozen shows already on the road Solotech is really well-positioned for the return of live productions”, says Mickey Curbishley, President, Live Productions, U.S. and U.K. More importantly, Curbishley has made several high-level additions to the team to ensure the continued success of Solotech:

Lee Moro has been promoted to Vice-President, Operations, and will oversee all aspects of logistics from the warehouse to staffing, working closely with the Global Operations Team. He will also remain involved in the development of new business opportunities while continuing to support current clients. “I’m very excited and proud to be working with our dedicated and passionate global operations teams, while continuing to support new and existing clients. It’s exceptional to be part of this growing team of talented individuals. Looking forward to coming out of this pandemic stronger than ever”, mentions Lee.

Some other new key roles to mention, which will support Solotech’s positioning as a global leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology:

 

John Flynn has been promoted to Director, Global Touring Projects.

Steve Washington has been promoted to Director Strategic R&D.

Jason McCarrick has been promoted to Director of Operations – Nashville.

Mike Smeaton has been added to the team as Director of Operations – Las Vegas.

Frank Snipes has been added to the team as Director of Operations – Orlando.

Scott Primm has been added to the team as Director of Video Engineering.

 

“I am confident that this team will help Solotech reach new heights – and I couldn’t be more thankful and proud to work with such a talented and passionate group of professionals”, concludes Mickey Curbishley.

 

About Solotech

Founded over 40 years ago, Solotech is a world leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology with 16 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, and is fully supported by three major shareholders: Claridge, Desjardins Capital and Investissement Québec. Solotech employs 1,550 professionals in its offices located in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City and Saguenay. Find out more at www.solotech.com.

Find out more at www.solotech.com

 

Contact

Héloïse Meunier

Advisor, Corporate Communications

media@solotech.com

La Presse Interview with Martin Tremblay

(FREE TRANSLATION)

In-depth interview with Solotech CEO Martin Tremblay

While waiting for Céline and The Rolling Stones, a beneficial tech shift.

 

Montreal, April 7, 2021 –  Groupe Solotech, which has handled sound and stage equipment for the tours of many artists, including the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga and Céline Dion, took a hard hit when the entire events sector worldwide was suspended. Despite this setback, the sound and stage equipment supplier has made the most of the hiatus by setting up two new divisions in broadcasting and e-commerce. CEO Martin Tremblay outlines the company’s journey and transformation.

Like all companies in the live performance and touring realm, you’ve had to stop your event-related activities for over a year now. How did you absorb the shock?

Solotech is a very resilient company. It’s true that the suspension of live shows meant that we had to repatriate all our teams that were on tour around the world. It also meant the suspension of all the event activities, such as conventions, trade shows and conferences, where we provided lighting, sound and stage dressing.

These activities accounted for 45% of our revenues, so we fell back on our most significant sector of activity: audiovisual system integration. We continued to work in stadiums, arenas, hospitals and anywhere audiovisual equipment is installed. This activity has started up again alongside new construction in Quebec but never stopped in the United States, where we are very active.

Our revenues, which were 450 million in 2019, fell to 250 million in 2020, but we managed to stabilize the company. Before the pandemic, we had 1,500 employees worldwide, including 600 in Montreal. Today, our numbers are back to 1,200 employees, with 530 in Montreal, where we are starting to hire again.

What’s next? Do you expect performances and touring to start up again soon?

Yes, there will be a recovery, which will be dependent on Public Health advisories. We can already see that things are starting up again in the United States, particularly in Nashville, where we just made a major acquisition, and in Florida, where we are also well established.

In Great Britain, public health authorities have announced that all show activity could resume as of June 21 and, according to what our industry partners tell us, be twice as strong as before. Even though we have four offices in England, we’ve had to ship equipment from Quebec to meet the demand.

Your roots are in the video game industry; you helped develop Ubisoft’s Montreal studio and Warner’s Games Division before joining Solotech in 2017. What was the exact nature of your mandate?

Solotech’s shareholders – the Claridge Investment Fund, Investissement Québec and Desjardins Capital – who acquired the company from its founders in 2013, wanted us to develop the American market. My mandate was to take our know-how and operations to the world stage. We made our first acquisition in 2018 and continued on the same track, up to and including our acquisition of Morris Light &Sound two weeks ago in the US. We now have 18 offices in Canada, the US and the UK, and in 2019 our US business accounted for 47% of our revenues, compared to 38% in Canada and 15% in the UK.

Will the Covid-19 crisis slow down your expansion plans, or do you still plan to continue this consolidation initiative?

In fact, the crisis has generated new activities. We’ve created two new divisions besides equipment supply and audiovisual systems integration services.

Solotech has over 350 million pieces of equipment in stock and sells and installs these new and used. When the crisis hit, we set up a new e-business division, which generated close to 20 million dollars in sales. We “professionalized” this activity and plan on expanding it to each of our 18 offices worldwide.

As soon as the pandemic began, many of our clients needed help with online events. We set up a Media and Entertainment Technologies division to help clients host online events in virtual environments.

We put our production tools, like LED panels and recording studios, at our clients’ disposal. We understand that future events will be of a hybrid type, partly in-person, partly virtual. We also want to serve large online broadcasters such as Amazon, Netflix and film studios such as Mels, which will make greater use of virtual environments in their productions. Our online broadcasting and e-business activities will complement and strengthen our traditional activities.

How do you see Solotech evolving in the next five years?

With the resumption of shows and events activities, we expect our yearly revenues to reach the billion-dollar mark within three to five years. Our online broadcasting business is expected to yield $100 million in revenue; our e-business, $200 million; and our touring and systems integration business, $700 million.

We want to continue consolidating the industry in the United States, as well as in Europe, from our base of activities in the United Kingdom. Our business had been growing at a rate of 40% for the last three years. We want to get back on track, and the diversification of our activities means that we can eventually consider a stock market listing.

We were able to absorb the shock of the pandemic and stabilize the business through our systems integration activities and technology shift. Information technology now lies at the core of our operations.

 

Reference : Décarie, J.-P., (April 6, 2021). En attendant Céline et les Rolling Stones, un virage techno bénéfique [While waiting for Céline and The rolling Stones, A Beneficial tech shift]. La Presse.

Find out more at www.solotech.com

 

Contact

Héloïse Meunier

Advisor, Corporate Communications

media@solotech.com

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Solotech acquires Morris Light & Sound

A strategic initiative from the AV and entertainment company to expand its reach for a powerful presence and offering in the United States.

 

 

Nashville, TENN., March 22, 2021 – Following the February 23 release, Solotech announced today the completion of the acquisition of Nashville-based Morris Light & Sound. As expected, Solotech, expands its activities in the United States and solidifies its presence in the Nashville region by joining forces with the talented live production and systems integration team (InteRise) at Morris Light & Sound.

Martin Tremblay, President and CEO, Solotech, shares why this acquisition is highly strategic: “Our joint capabilities enable us to significantly strengthen our footprint in the US, and much more in Nashville, to the benefit of all our clients. It also provides assurance of our unrivaled readiness to our clients in the live productions industry, signals our enhanced ability to offer compelling innovative services and solutions when activities resume after the global crisis ends. We continue to grow based on long-term relationships and delivery excellence to propel our footprint locally, nationally and globally.”

Solotech will leverage its current systems integration experts and resources in the area and all over the United States, as they already design, develop and integrate some of the most advanced systems in a variety of venues, in numerous verticals.

Mickey Curbishley, President, Live Productions Division, US and UK, Solotech, and Philip Giffard, President, Global Sales and Systems Integration Division, Solotech, will oversee a strong leadership in place in Nashville to manage all operational aspects and ensure a smooth and efficient transition. “The Morris teams are dynamic, they hold an innovative vision and together we will successfully put forward our best practices, ideas and service offerings, namely with InteRise in the Houses of Worship market where they have extensive reach already”, mentions Rod Sintow, President, Sales and Systems Integration Division, US, Solotech.

Zack Morris, COO, Morris Enterprises adds: “Morris and InteRise have always focused on delivering quality service to our clients, and our team is excited to continue providing our expertise while growing as part of the Solotech family.”

Solotech is delighted to welcome the Morris and InteRise teams and looks forward to sharing common values toward commitment to employees and focus on clients. The acquired company will be operating under Solotech’s umbrella as “A Solotech Company” and continues to build on its excellent reputation with the industry-leading player.

 

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. Find out more at www.solotech.com.

Find out more at www.solotech.com

 

Contact

Héloïse Meunier

Advisor, Corporate Communications

media@solotech.com

 

 

About Morris Light & Sound

Morris’ approach is simple: every application is different, so the most effective lighting and sound solutions need to be customized to be truly impactful. From light and sound experiences for multi-stage festivals, conferences, sold-out stadiums, houses of worship and businesses, the Morris teams take the time to consult, strategize and thoroughly design audio-visual environments tailored to each client’s goals. With over 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry outfitting tours for world-renowned artists like Alabama, Kenny Chesney, and Old Dominion, as well as integration work in preeminent houses of worship and corporate campuses and healthcare facilities, Morris is a premier audio and lighting provider working with clients across the globe. For more information, visit www.experiencemorris.com.

 

Contact

Matt Zahn

Director of Marketing

mzahn@experiencemorris.com

 

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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

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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