Robe at the heart of the Krakow sky
Friday, 31 July 2020
robe-lightthesky-poland-2All the lighting equipment for the heart was supplied by Lighting Techniques Studio (STO) (photo: Piotr Krochmal)
Poland - The Tauron Arena in Krakow is a popular venue among artists, promoters, working crews and music fans on the normally busy year-round European arena touring circuit, but like most venues, it lies shuttered and empty while the live entertainment industry is ‘on hold’.
Lighting designer Maciej Hofstede from design / creative direction specialist Of Course, based in Bochnia, who would usually be juggling a full schedule of tours festivals and band shows, decided to go large when it came to participating in the recent #LightTheSky Poland lighting action.
He was among several other companies and organisations from Krakow joining the event on 1 May, including the FOH Foundation, the Tauron Arena, Studio Techniki Oświetleniowej (STO), Mediam and TechnoStage - in a show of strength from the second largest cities in Poland.
Maciej and a crew of four - lighting crew chief Sebastian Szafrański plus Artur Szewczyk, Bartosz Syguła and Sławomir Broszkiewicz - created an impressive heart-shaped lighting installation in the Tauron Arena’s parking lot. The shape was inspired by the LightTheSkyPoland logo.
All the lighting equipment for the heart was supplied by Lighting Techniques Studio (STO), coordinated by Sławomir Broszkiewicz, and this included 20 Robe Pointes, 14 Spiiders and 20 LEDWash 800s which were arranged in the massive heart shape, while other parts of the building and the surrounding areas were illuminated with LED floods and Sunstrips, all programmed and run from a grandMA2 console.
“The goal was to make a light-work to thank all the various essential workers who have kept everything going during the pandemic,” stated Maciej.
He explained that while all the event and technical companies were closed and without the normal crazy workloads, they had plenty of opportunity to plan this action properly and express their gratitude. “At the same time, we were all absolutely desperate to be working on some sort of show and doing things like unloading and pushing flight cases and setting up lights - it was a great feeling.”
This was one of multiple installations taking place all over Poland and Europe that evening, and one of the most spectacular looking, with all the meticulous work and detail captured on video and in pictures by Piotr Krochmal.
Maciej completed the design and initial programming blocks using a visualiser at his company offices - during the programming he was inspired by the music of several different Polish artists.
Everything was prepared and planned thoroughly so it could be rigged outside the arena quickly and efficiently to maintain social distancing.
The installation gained plenty of attention on social media and the feedback was positive. “Most importantly, we expressed our solidarity with those on the front lines during the worst times of the crisis.”
(Jim Evans)

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