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The Knight of Illumination Awards Announces New Judges for 2013

UK – Three of the lighting industry’s brightest sparks have joined the Knight of Illumination panel as judges in the Concert Tour and Events category, previously the Rock Category.

Ryan Hopkins of UK lighting Rental Company HSL will be stepping up to the challenge, along with event technology supplier PRG’s senior account manager Scottie Sanderson and Julian Lavender, project director for Neg Earth.

All have strong connections with live events through their work. Ryan as technical director with HSL, Scottie who has been involved in the lighting industry since 1989 working with many high profile artists, and Julian who has worked as a highly valued project and freelance production manager with a number of respected acts. The trio will be tasked with reviewing a wide range of lighting designs by LDs nominated for a Knight of Illumination Award (KOI). All judges say they are thrilled to be involved.

“I feel privileged – KOI is a prestigious awards to be involved with,” says Ryan Hopkins. “Hopefully I can bring my enthusiasm and technical knowhow to the panel. Seeing live shows remains a great passion of mine, and I’m keen to see something different, something that pushes the boundaries in engineering and creativity and goes beyond the norm.”

“The fact that KOI recognises great talent of both established and emerging lighting designers sends out a very positive signal,” says Scottie Sanderson. “I do think it is harder to remain current and exciting with a smaller rig, maybe less fixtures, and with ever increasing budget restraints, and it will take something special to stand out from the crowd in 2013. I hope my background as a lighting engineer, stage manager and production manager – as well as my role at PRG – will allow me to see how the whole design of the show has been built and used by the nominees.”

“I’m delighted to have been asked to participate in the KOI Awards,” says Julian Lavender. “Having been involved in the Concert Touring and Live Events industry for over 30 years, I’m looking forward to making a positive contribution to the panel of judges. I think that the new Concert Touring and Events category will acknowledge and reward a very talented group of lighting professionals who work in an extremely demanding sector of the industry.”

The new judges’ arrival coincides with KOI’s decision to open up a new category across all three of its sectors this year: Video Graphic Display (for TV), Video Electronic Content (for Concert Touring And Events) and Projection Design (for Theatre). In addition a new category, Live Events, has been introduced in the Concert Touring And Events section.

The trio of new judges join stalwart KOI judges Coral Cooper, a respected lighting designer and trainer for Philips Vari-Lite; Steve Moles, recognised industry journalist and PR, and chair for the Concert Touring and Events section Sarah Rushton-Read of industry PR and content producers The Fifth Estate Ltd.

“It’s fantastic to be able to welcome such diverse and fresh perspective to the judging team,” comments Rushton-Read. “Every year as judges we have had the privilege of welcoming submissions from some of the best LDs working in the UK and as a result seen some fabulous lighting designs. With more judges on board and a broader spectrum of judging categories this years KOI promises to be very exciting indeed.”

In addition, and in light of the additional Awards Katie Strickland from HSL (pictured right) will join the team as assistant to Chairwoman Sarah Rushton-Read on the Concert Touring and Events category.

Nominations are already coming in and the judges have been to see a number of shows for the Concert Tour and Events Awards. Both these and the TV sectors are now open via the KOI website.

A panel of experts once again chooses the nominations for the Theatre sector. Nominations will close in July, with the announcement of the shortlist in August. The award ceremony itself will be on 6 October.