Robe backs #RedAlertRESTART campaign
Friday, 11 September 2020
robe-red-alert-restart-usa-kauffman-center-chiefs946070735945-photo-jillian-shoptawThe Kauffman Centre in Kansas City (photo: Jillian Shoptaw)
USA - Around 2,000 venues, places, landmarks, and monuments all over the US were lit in red for the #RedAlertRESTART campaign on 1 September to highlight the critical situation facing the live events and entertainment industry and the need for lawmaker’s support of the Restart Act (S.3814) to offer some sort of relief to the industry.
This latest red day of action was part of a wider industry campaign being led by the #WeMakeEvents movement, a collective of trade organisations including PLASA (the Professional Lighting & Sound Association).
The idea of lighting buildings in ‘emergency red’ started in Germany with #NightofLight in June, and the concept caught on with red days of action organised in many European countries and the UK (initiated by #LightiItInRed on 6th July, followed up by PLASA’s #WeMakeEvents action on 11 August) as well as South Africa (#LightSARed on 5 August) and others.
As the colour red has become synonymous with assisting the vast technical production infrastructure and all those talented individuals working in it who effectively facilitate live performance and the arts, Robe has been involved with all of these various ‘LightItInRed’ campaigns in some capacity.
For this one in the USA, signature Robe installations lit in red included the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco; the Video West HQ, the Hubbard Radio building and the Shrine Auditorium in Phoenix and several landmarks around Reno including the famous Reno Arch, the Believe sculpture and the fascia of the Bruka Theatre.
In Kansas City, the Moshe Safdie designed Kauffman Centre for the Performing Arts was also transformed into red for the evening via its permanent Anolis exterior LED lighting installation.
“It was truly inspiring to see everyone in the business coming together to light it up red,” said Craig Burross, Robe Lighting North America’s sales director. “Such an amazing spectacle spanning the country, and we are proud to be a part of the message.”
Inside the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, built in 1915 as part of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, the balcony of the 8,500 capacity multipurpose venue, a favorite for concerts and music events was bathed in deep red by 20 x Robe ColorStrobe Lites supplied by Felix Lighting who are a ‘priority vendor’.
Another Planet Entertainment – the largest independent promoter in the US which operates this, other venues and the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival staged annually at Golden Gate Park – joined the California Events Coalition and other organizations in supporting the nationwide #RedAlertRESTART campaign.
Other key Bay Area venues and events of theirs turning red for the night included The Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley, Oakland’s Fox Theatre and The Independent in SF.
Live events are a cornerstone of the California economy, before Covid-19 contributing around $90bn to the California state economy and employing 1.4m people in smaller businesses, but it is now expected to lose up to 80% of overall revenue.
Gary Guberman, head of technical services and his team from the Peppermill Hotel & Casino – including LD John Priebe, head LX Bruce Olguin, production manager Shane Williams and electricians Adam Weishshaar, Troy Garcia and John White lit three local landmarks, utilizing lights from the resorts house lighting system.
For #RedAlertRESTART, the Reno Arch was lit in red with eight Robe Spiiders and eight LEDBeam 150s.
The 12ft high letters of the Believe sculpture by Jeff Schomberg and Laura Klimpton – initially a Burning Man festival creation – is now another Reno inner-city centerpiece standing prominently in the ReTrac Plaza on Virginia Street.
Made from steel and featuring thousands of bird cut-outs, this was tastefully lit red with 7 x LEDBeam 150's – one fixture for each letter – and looked fantastic. The Peppermill team did the photoshoot with a dancer in front of the letters, and the LEDBeam 150s were so bright in red that they didn’t need any additional front light for the video camera!
The front of the popular – and usually super busy – Bruka Theatre on Reno’s main strip was washed with four LEDBeam 150s rigged on a stand located across the street, and a gobo was also projected onto the building.
In Phoenix, rental and technical production company Video West illuminated their own HQ on 52nd Street using 14 x Robe ColorStrobes and six BMFL WashBeams, as well as the Hubbard Radio building and the Shrine Auditorium & Event Center, both lit with ColorStrobes augmenting the existing building lighting schemes which were switched to red for the event.
Video West’s director of national lighting and senior account executive Donny LoDico explained how important it was being part of this campaign. “Millions of us are struggling to keep food on the tables and roofs over our heads. We really need to set our sights on getting through the first quarter of 2021 with little or no income, and the Restart Act – or as we like to call it now, the #RedAlertRESTART – will do just that and more as we gain momentum again.”
(Jim Evans)

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