At this year’s PLASA Show (3rd – 5th September 2023, London Olympia), LSi magazine’s popular column Classic Gear will be brought to life on the show floor via a new attraction called Classic Gear Live. In association with CH Vintage Audio, the display will enable visitors to experience for themselves a range of defining products from the last 50-plus years, and meet some of the people who made and used them.

Throughout its 38-year history, PLASA’s LSi magazine has looked forward, covering the never-ending stream of innovations in the live production industry, and the shows and people that create and use those innovations on spectacular new shows, events and installations. For 17 years of that history, LSi has also looked back, with Rob Halliday’s popular Classic Gear column taking a light-hearted, nostalgic look at the products that have shaped our industry from throughout its history. Now the column is hitting the show floor and linking up with the team behind last year’s popular vintage audio display.

Set to be showcased in Classic Gear Live are: The PA system from Pink Floyd’s 1973 Dark Side of the Moon tour – playing live at certain times during the show in celebration of the album’s 50th anniversary. Also with a strong Pink Floyd connection, the remarkable Vari-Lite Artisan control console, along with the VL2 and VL4 moving lights that defined the modern era of automated lighting.

Also celebrating the spirit of 1973, the Midas mixing console from Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells will show, alongside equipment from David Bowie’s famous 1973 Ziggy Stardust tour. The Altec monitor speakers from Studio 2 at Abbey Road, used to mix over 90 percent of tracks by The Beatles in the ‘60s, will also be presented. Meanwhile, kit used on tours by The Who, Uriah Heep, Neil Young and more can also be experienced, with vintage audio expert Chris Hewitt on-hand throughout to detail the compelling stories behind the collection.

From the world of theatre, Strand’s MMS memory lighting control, launched in 1973 is a pioneering memory control system – and the first to incorporate the now-familiar level wheel. Also from 1973, CCT’s pioneering Silhouette spotlight will show, alongside the still-unique Strand Patt 264 bi-focal spotlight which hails from the 1960s.

From 1983, the first theatre mixing desk created by Cadac, who would go on to dominate the field for more than two decades. Custom-produced to fit in a compact control space for one particular show, it went from sketched design to finished product in just four weeks! Joining these will be arguably the lighting world’s ‘classic of classics’, Strand’s Patt 23 baby spotlight, launched 70 years ago this year.

Each day of the show will feature a ‘Meet the Expert’ hour, an informal chance to come along and meet the people who designed, built, or put to use some of these remarkable, category-defining products.

PLASA Show will return to Olympia London from 3rd – 5th September 2023 to showcase all that is new, and all that is possible in Audio, AV, Lighting, Rigging and Staging.

To register to attend PLASA Show 2023 for free until 1st September and experience this heritage equipment first-hand, visit:

Share this story

May 2024 issue

2024 A1 Buyers Guide