ChamSys in the mix for Estonian Eurovision
Tuesday, 23 March 2021
estonian-eurovisionPowering his massive 47-universe lightshow were three ChamSys consoles
Estonia - Out of chaos and confusion, creativity often emerges. Such was the case last year, when René Jõhve and his team at CuuClub set out to design the stage for Estonia’s 2021 Eurovision pre-selection programme.
“We had a design ready, but there was a great deal of uncertainty in the air, because no one was clear about what would happen with the pandemic,” recalls Jõhve. “New issues kept emerging during our planning process. At one point, there was the possibility that the preselection semi-finals would have to fit into a TV studio with the finals being moved to an arena. So, we had to change our plans last minute to create a design that would work in both settings.”
Accounting for all these issues, Jõhve molded his ideas into an adaptable, all-encompassing stage design that created an array of different looks for artists competing in this year’s Estonian National Eurovision Preselection, which was held in March at Tallin’s Saku Suurhall arena.
With its multiple layers of angled floor-mounted LED video panels, massive triangular backdrop, and floating strips interspliced with brilliant aerial beams, his design projected an aura of majesty and expectation, providing an ideal setting for a contest highlighting aspiring talent.
Powering his massive 47-universe lightshow were three ChamSys consoles: one MagicQ MQ500M, which Jõhve used to run moving effects and blinders; and two MagicQ MQ 500 desks run by Erki Kukk, who took care of the key lights, and Črt Birsa for LED strips and special FX programming.
Jõhve notes, “Having the LED screens at the sides of the floor was my original idea. I wanted it to give some additional shape to the stage and to have visuals supporting the acts from more camera angles,” he explained. “Because of this, I really wanted to keep that idea. So, I started re-arranging the set design around these screens. The LED arc shape came first and the triangular background later just by trial and error. Finally, I was happy with it - all things considered.”
The triangular shape of Jõhve’s design endowed the entire set with a distinct visual quality. Although there was some programming, the CuuClub team did most of their timecoding during and after rehearsals. This meant long nights and little sleep during the event.
Jõhve says the ChamSys consoles made their task easier. “We like the MQ500 and MQ500M because they are fast with user-friendly screens and a lot of faders,” he said.
Relying on their three consoles, Jõhve and his colleagues ran their 281 fixtures, plus LED strips with precise control using 38 pages of playbacks, one for each artist.

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