Major USA live sound co opens up shop
UPDATED: See end.
The spin machine at Australia’s audio rental firms will be reaching terminal velocity as you read this. Eighth Day Sound & Elite Sound & Lighting have decided to work together in Australia.
Eighth Day Sound battle against Clair Brothers across the Northern Hemisphere, and of late seem to win more major accounts. A system of d&b audiotechnik J Line was located in a Sydney store, activated by touring crew.
Now Eighth Day Sound have a permanent arrangement with Canberra based Elite Sound and Lighting. Elite just joined the d&b community with an opening order for one arena sized system. That system is now joined by 200 more Eighth Day Sound J line boxes, which suddenly catapults Elite into the major touring front line, a place where good men and women face collateral injury. Where no prisoners are taken, and the secrets are buried deep.
Stepping into this ego riddled field of hair triggered land mines is Darren Russell, innocuous CEO of Elite – a family firm located in Canberra. We profiled them HERE.
The strategy at Elite was to remain under the radar, and seek cross hires for their new and large investment in d&b. That strategy changed as soon as the story went live, because Darren and his wife Keri met Tom Arko, boss at Eighth Day, at a d&b partner event in Frankfurt. Tom Arko knows a deal and saw potential.
“He asked if we were interested in doing something”, Darren told CX.
“We have the right personalities, our way of doing business, and mantra is uncannily similar. We were completely on the same page from day one, on how we think we should service customers. I didn’t think I’d find someone with as much OCD as I have!”
This kind of deal offers reputational hits – Elite are now non persona gratis with the big players – JPJ Audio and Norwest, who both have J line and who both have affiliations outside of Eighth Day.
So how does a regional firm without front-line international touring experience fare when faced with battle hardened international crew, who’ve seen it all?
“We’ve devised a model of how we would deal with that”, Darren said.
“We have plenty of staff with lots of experience and backgrounds. They have a few different scenarios of how their customers need to be serviced.”
“A lot of their level of touring is like that – their crew on the road. Next level down they have some key crew on the road and need some systems people from us. We have a bunch of key freelancers that already work with other local firms, and there will be some training from some of their people. We’ll spend quite a bit of time getting people up to speed.”
So expect some fireworks. Elite now have enough PA to do anything twice, along with some topline consoles. They also have their ‘one stop shop’ package of lights, staging and some video.
(Pictured: Darren and Keri Russell)
UPDATED on July 2nd – in the excitement the writer originally declared Eighth Day as the largest audio firm on the planet. They didn’t claim that, it was just an error by Julius, thus amended here. We’ve fixed a few typos as well.
UPDATED: This is the release issued by Eighth Day and Elite:
Eighth Day Sound & Elite Sound & Lighting have decided to work together in Australia
We are excited to begin working together to provide even better service to customers of both Eighth Day Sound and Elite Sound & Lighting in Australia.
This venture will provide Elite Sound & Lighting with additional capacity to enable servicing more and larger events simultaneously.
It will provide Eighth Day Sound local Australian service and support and provide a valuable and experienced knowledge of the Australian audio landscape.
Both companies have been built to what they are today by providing the highest level of customer service, quality well maintained equipment and efficient packaging. This combined with well trained, experienced and friendly, customer focused staff provides excellent results and will continue through this new collaboration.
Eighth Day Sound’s and Elite Sound and Lighting’s current audio inventory, together, will supply customers with a great equipment resource. Elite’s Lighting, Video, Rigging and Staging inventory, will provide customers with an excellent full service solution.
Date of issue: 1st July 2014
For more information, please contact:
Elite Sound and Lighting – Managing Director
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