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This was the year that interest rates went past 20% while inflation was running hard at 12%. That sure stopped things! A very quiet start to the decade.
THE NINETIES TO THE PRESENT
In 1990, nothing much happened. Australia’s entertainment industry had its quietest year as recession bit with a vengeance. Electro-Voice (Aust) commissions designer Richard Priddle to build the ‘Mongoose’, a (2 x 15 with 2-inch throat horn) front-loaded cabinet with a trapezoidal shape.
In 1991 Jands buy back their Concert Production business from Samuelsons for less than half of what they were paid for it. Strand Electric pull out of Australia. Etone released the EHT (Electron Handling Technology) self-powered audio system.
Big things happened with Electro-Voice when new owners added Midas and Klark Teknik to the stable. The amazing Midas XL3 was released. Jands bought the first one in Australia as a monitor console for a ‘Simply Red’ tour. EV are now seriously in the ‘sound race’ with heavy artillery such as the Manifold concert system and the Klark Teknik electronics.
Lighting directors discovered moving lights with rotating gobos and a selection of colours and effects, and with the advent of the Clay Paky Golden Scan, LD’s quickly introduced them to the local band touring circuit and starting installing them into nightclubs. High End released the Intellabeam. Everyone was using these ‘waggly mirror’ fixtures, but Vari-Light were the owners of many patents for moving head fixtures and protected these patents vigorously.
In 1993 Chris Kennedy formed Norwest Productions from the ashes of A1 Audio, an earlier partnership with Lindsay Hall which had purchased much of the Star Capital equipment in 1989. Norwest boasted a huge inventory of EAW equipment. Kennedy quickly went on to win several contracts including the prestigious Sydney Olympics and is now a major audio provider in Australia.
Intelligent lighting has dominated most LD’s plots for the last ten years. In 1997 Martin released the Mac 600 later and Mac 500, which quickly became standards. Vari-Light moved quickly to assert patent rights and took action against Martin and High End systems for the Studio Color, these court cases ran for years.
In 1995 Sydney Lighting Designer Roger Barratt dies of leukaemia. Roger had mentored Tony Davies, and assisted in the creation of Chameleon Touring Systems, which today is one of the largest lighting production houses in Australia.
Jands sell-out entire lighting inventory to Bytecraft Lighting who now boast the largest ever lighting company in Australia with over 1000 moving lights.
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