Hawthorn Chooses Zero 88’s FLX

Hawthorn, an award-winning UK based creative technical event production specialist, has purchased multiple new Zero 88 consoles – both FLX and FLX S series – joining a growing number of top UK rental companies investing in the power and simplicity of the FLX ranges, which are manufactured exclusively in the UK by Eaton’s Zero 88.

This move was partly customer led, explained Adrian Searle, Hawthorn’s asset operations director, “and partly due to the fact that we can all clearly see the benefits of the FLX feature set and appreciate the fact that Zero 88 hardware and software has a history of making complex programming tasks exceptionally straightforward”.

Hawthorn have a long history with Zero 88 ‘legacy’ console products and continue to offer different types of Zero 88 dimmers, however they had switched to another console brand for a while to find a small to medium event console solution.

This all changed with the launch of the FLX three years ago!

They again looked at what Zero 88 was offering, liked what they saw, and discovered that when they compared features, “FLX had some definite innovations that made it the best choice”.

The new batch of FLX’s is replacing some of those older consoles which have served well for many years but are now not ideal for controlling the proliferation of LED based fixtures on the market.

FLX ‘hot’ features for Hawthorn include the intuitive and uncomplicated way that the console guides the user through set up which is perfect for users with little knowledge about patching.

Adrian also mentions that FLX is great for its corporate events work which involves a lot of LED light sources where the operator/designer needs to be creative, often with precious little time to programme and integrate them into a show.

“FLX is perfect for this scenario with its colour picker and the quick and easy set up!” declares Adrian.

The latest batch of Hawthorn FLX’s were purchased for some of their venues at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Festival – specifically Assembly and Summerhall – which was a great success.

They are in regular rental stock and in active service on all types of applications, from educational and am-dram shows to corporates and industrials.

More recently they have been out with an am-dram society production in Sheffield; lighting a philharmonic orchestra for another client and several conferences – illustrating their versatility.

Feedback from the festival was extremely positive and the onsite support there from Zero 88 was, as Adrian commented, “well received by all”.

With over 100 Zero 88 consoles in action at various venues over the course of the vibrant three-and-a-half-week theatre and performance art festival, Zero 88 product manager Jon Hole and his team were right there on the front lines, offering comprehensive onsite training and support.

Adrian continues, saying that it’s great to see Zero 88 back with a new and innovative generation of consoles building on their heritage and taking it forward. “They’ve designed a range of desks that work really well and hit that market sector spot on!”

He feels the brand generally is very user-focussed and knows the importance and relevance of excellent support to assist users in getting the best out of the products.

ABOVE: From left to right is Sam Burns, Gavin Kuzniar, Chris Ruddle, Matt Edgington, Becky Digby and John Ray from Hawthorn’s lighting department

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