Absen LED floor helps winegrowers celebrate
Wednesday, 9 October 2019
absenPreparing for The Fête des Vignerons, which is staged every 20 years
Switzerland - The Fête des Vignerons is held once every 20 years at a temporary stadium at the edge of Lake Geneva. The celebration, which features a vast troupe of performers donning elaborate costumes, as well as animals and vehicles, is held every day for a month to honour the winegrowers of the region, which stretches from Lavaux to Chablais in Switzerland.
Organised by the official Brotherhood of Winegrowers - la Confrérie des Vignerons - the show represents a year in the life of the vineyard through 21 action-packed scenes. This year’s event also received a technological boost in the form of a gargantuan LED floor from Absen subsidiary VISS Display, provided by rental house, Alabama.
As two decades have passed since the last Fête took place, the 200-strong technical team had to ensure that the 2019 edition lived up to expectations, as well as demonstrating the best of the last 20 years in live event technology.
With this in mind, a temporary 20,000-person arena was constructed in the Swiss town of Vevey to house more than 5,500 volunteer performers and 900 singers and musicians from the area.
“I grew up in the area and everybody around this region knows about the Fête des Vignerons because it is unique,” says the Fête des Vignerons technical director, Francois Mottier.
After the installation of the first technical elements in May 2019, the project evolved for budgetary reasons as well as from a creative perspective to guarantee it was in line with the vision of artistic director, Daniele Finzi Pasca - the designer behind the Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies in Turin and Sochi as well as some Cirque du Soleil productions. To allow the technical team to understand the key themes and narrative, workshops were carried out alongside event organiser, Confrérie des Vignerons.
As they requested both day and night-time shows, a more powerful visual solution than high-end video projection was required, which sparked Mottier’s suggestion to incorporate an LED floor.
“I was already in contact with French event specialist Alabama, so I asked for their product recommendations,” he says. “We pushed to move in the direction of LED because we wanted to use something different and believed it was capable of adding plenty of visual power to the show. Plus, at 800 sqm, it would become the biggest LED floor ever deployed for an event.”
With heavy vehicles such as tractors being driven on the surface while cows, horses and carts and goats were led around the arena, it was essential the 3,132-panel LED floor was robust. Extensive tests were carried out in extreme conditions such as high temperatures to ensure the floor would be hard-wearing and perform well in the sun before the team opted for LF7 Pro 4,500 nits LED floor panels from Absen subsidiary, VISS Display, weighting 66 tonnes with the frames.
The product was co-developed with Alabama, which supplied all video equipment for the arena. As well as covering almost the entire floor area with outdoor LED, the company supplied 150sq.m of Absen AT5 Pro outdoor LED screens in the form of columns at the top of four stages; provided a visual technical control system based around Barco’s E2 system and several Smode media servers; and installed a camera system and return monitoring to ensure a smooth running show was delivered to all screens.
Using a floor made up of 13m LEDs - supported by another 5m LEDs around the edge - the team could guarantee an impressive show, even during the day. When used as an effect in combination with lighting the floor could also backlight the performers.
“During our evening productions the LED is at 20% power whereas in the day it is operating at 100 per cent. It’s the beginning of an exciting new era where screens are visible during bright daylight,” says Vitalini.
Around the edge of the stadium, 200 panels of the Altair AT5 series - Absen’s 5.5mm, 4,500 nits ultra-lightweight touring LED - displayed content which complemented or mirrored the visuals on the floor or close-ups of performers. In the control tower the Smode media server offered advanced control and easy adjustment of the LED floor and bordering panels’ content brightness during the day and night shows.
Mottier concludes: “It’s now comparable to an opening or closing ceremony but even more extensive than some as this is taking place every day for almost a month. In the last 20 years the advances in fibre optic technology, LED and the capabilities with sound make working in a space such as this incredible.”
(Jim Evans)

Latest Issue. . .

Tweets from our Friends