Old school rig lights Arizona Bike Week
Friday, 15 July 2022
arizonaThe event drew some 70,000 bikers from throughout North America.
USA - Although he’s kept up with the latest in lighting technology, John Garberson readily admits that at heart, he really likes old school looks with their big ACL specials, deep colours and dimming curves. In other words, good down-home traditional rock and roll lighting.
The GM of Creative Backstage, Garberson got to see plenty of these big, in-your-face panoramas recently thanks to a rig he and his team created for Arizona Bike Week. Held this spring in West World of Scottsdale,AZ, the multi-attraction event drew some 70,000 bikers from throughout North America.
Highlighting the event were the nightly concerts held at The Rock Yard, an indoor venue on the festival grounds, where the Creative BackStage rig got to roll out its thunderous looks for a line-up of rockers that included Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rob Zombie, and Social Distortion. Key to igniting these intense visuals was a collection of over 65 Chauvet Professional fixtures from Creative BackStage’s own inventory.
Among these luminaires were 10 STRIKE 4 blinders, used throughout the festival to throw copious quantities of warm white light on the crowd. “Our visiting LDs really used these fixtures often to give the audience that rock show that is Bike Week,” said Garberson. “The crowd loved it, but more importantly, I think, is that the artist really enjoyed seeing these lights on too, so they could see the large-scale crowds that were very much enjoying a concert again after all this time living with COVID lockdowns.”
Also playing key roles in the rig were 16 Maverick MK2 Spots, 32 Rogue R2 Washes, and eight Rogue R3 Beams. The intense output of the 330-watt beams was instrumental in helping the designer cover the 60ft wide stage. “They really stood out because of their brightness,” Garberson said of the fixture. “I really enjoyed seeing this kind of intensity play out on the stage.”
While the beams and washes covered the stage with a fast-moving crossing patterns and deeply saturated colours, the 440-watt Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures were used to create some stunning aerial effects and bold crowd lighting looks.
“We had change overs every day,” said Garberson. “Our rig was built based on the individual band riders, so it fit the visiting LDs plans nicely. A lot of the credit for making this work so well has to go to our team: Elie Knight, Charles Jones, TJ Watson, Johnny Chilcher, Jackie Connor, and Michael Morse, as well as Maxine Kichler, our rigger for the past 10 years who is moving out of state to work on ever bigger events.”
Although the flexible rig was used in diverse ways by the different visiting LDs, a common thread ran through each show: every one of them was big, bold and intense, something that suited Garberson just fine.

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