Mackay Entertainment invests in Robe Fortes
Tuesday, 8 June 2021
robe-mecc-mec060122526MECC’s Dan Grace, Mark Blake and Allyssa Tonks (photo: Louise Stickland)
Australia - Mackay Entertainment and Conference Centre (MECC) is a busy and diverse complex of nine different venue and event spaces in Mackay, central Queensland, hosting a lively mix of corporate launches and conferences to opera, music, dance, and performance shows.
Head of lighting Dan Grace and his team are amongst the first in Australia to have Robe’s new high power Forte LED luminaires in the house, with a purchase of 12 of the fixtures plus 12 new Robe Spiider LED wash beams, with more of both types of moving light to follow once the season ramps up again.
The decision to buy Fortes was underlined by MECC’s previous experiences with Robe – with nearly 100 fixtures already, including 30 x DL7s, a mix of profiles and fresnels, which directly replaced 36 hot and power-hungry 2K fresnels in the main theatre in 2019.
The last batch of these DL7s arrived together with three RoboSpot systems and BMFL FollowSpots, a move that was driven by MECC’s head of AV, Mark Blake.
Mark and Dan are part of an MECC technical team of 18. They were both instrumental in persuading the local government officials who oversee MECC’s operation that the time was right to convert the theatre to a full LED stage lighting rig.
Moving forward, LED is now a prerequisite for any new lighting investments and “it made sense to keep brand consistency throughout the venue and we enjoy a great relationship with our supplier Kennedy Amplifier Hire Service and Australian distributor Jands,” confirmed Dan.
The new Fortes and Spiiders will mainly be utilised in the Convention Centre halls as part of the main production lighting rig. The other eight Fortes and six Spiiders on order are destined for the main auditorium, however all these newest fixtures will be interchangeable according to requirements in the different venues.
Dan’s ultimate goal was to have a lighting rig that could offer multiple possibilities from one standard design, which would suit all events from a conference one day to a concert for 1500 people the next.

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