Avolites Company Profile Series: Storm Lighting
Located just outside of London, one of the world’s busiest entertainment capitals, is Storm Ltd. Supplying expert lighting, rigging, audio, video equipment and staff services to the entertainment industry, Storm Ltd is a never-ending whirlwind of activity.
Founders Pete Kramer and Dave Knapp met 20 years ago whilst working as freelance technicians at their local theatre, the Woking Peacock Theatre. Soon after meeting, the pair discovered they shared a wealth of experience in providing technical support for London’s West End theatres, and on worldwide tours including Starlight Express, Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Barnum, Aspects of Love, Joseph & his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Showboat.
“Due to our combined experience in the theatre sector we had a huge amount of contacts when we decided to form Storm Lighting in 1996,” says Kramer. “Our big break as a company then came when we were chosen to supply the full lighting, sound, rigging, transport and crewing packages to Spirit of the Dance in 1998.
After this, our equipment supply to the theatre market snowballed and simultaneously our presence in the Corporate market began to grow.”
In 2015 Storm rebranded to Storm Ltd to reflect this expansion, widening its share in the corporate and theatre sectors. The company now employs a core team of 10 with approximately 40 regular freelance engineers.
Storm Ltd are now the official technical suppliers to key London arts venues such as; The Royal Botanic Kew Gardens, The Dulwich Picture Gallery, The Design Museum and the Photographers Gallery. This is an area of the business that continues to expand alongside the in-house expertise at Storm.
Investing in high-grade technology and expert staff is key to the Storm ethos, ensuring that they are well placed to surpass their clients’ expectations, not just meet them.
“We’ve always taken the approach of investing in the right products,” says Knapp. “We pride ourselves on our reputation for delivering equipment of the highest standard.”
From its very early days, Storm Ltd has invested in Avolites equipment, originally investing in Art2000 dimmer racks for touring theatre, and then adding the Pearl and later Titan range consoles to service the corporate work coming in from the business.
“We first started stocking Avolites in the late 90s because we knew the kit was tried and tested having used the FD72 racks on tours,” says Knapp. “Since then we have continued the investment as the company has a great reputation for reliability.”
Storm’s substantial Avolites inventory includes the Art 2000 Dimming racks, Titan range control consoles and Avolites’ classic consoles. The equipment is regularly in use for Storm’s own productions, most recently on Glamour Woman of the Year Awards, Red Bull Culture Clash, Dirty Dancing Theatre tour, and is also available for dry hire.
“The Avolites Art 2000 dimmer racks are the workhorse of our rental stock,” says Knapp, referring to Storm Ltd’s stock of ten dimmer racks. “We rarely have problems with these units and using them with a combination of Dimming and Hot-power modules makes them extremely versatile.”
This year Storm Ltd is about to embark on a 12-week tour of Stately Homes as we tour FriendsFest 2017 around the country. Storm Ltd have been asked to provide full Technical production management for this event. Other Projects include corporate events for M&S, Glamour Magazine, BMA, Nationwide & Genzyme.
We are proud of the team and our commitment to every job,” says Knapp. “It’s what’s helped us to grow over the years.”
10 x Art 2000 – with a selection of MCB modules as well as dimming
1 x Sapphire Touch
2x Tiger Touch II
2 x Tiger Touch Pro
3 x Pearl Tiger
20 x DMX Splitter