Chauvet meets Made in America expectations
Thursday, 27 October 2022
madeinamerica1The Made in America festival featured a star-studded line-up
USA - Patrick Dierson oversaw the production design at the Jay-Z curated Made in America festival in Philadelphia. “I love this event, because it never fails to surprise with unexpected challenges,” he said, looking back on the 2022 edition of the festival.
Made In America more than lived up to Dierson’s expectations this year, as just a few days before load-in he got a message that one of the headliners at the urban and Latin music festival, Lil Uzi Vert, wanted two Lamborghinis on the stage for his performance.
“This required a little more than your average production coordination,” said Dierson. “Let’s face it - this is Philly. The concept of handing two Lambos to a teamster in a forklift is enough to make an eyebrow raise. We didn’t want these things going back to the King of Prussia, PA exotic car dealership with two holes in the wing doors and covered in McRib sauce, so it became a full court press of production management to make sure that the appropriate delivery vehicles were used, and the cars specifically staged for delivery in a way that made sense. Diversified Productions Services, which produced the event with Roc Nation, were masters at making this happen.”
Another surprise at the downtown festival, though not quite as unique, also made life interesting for the production team when the organizers changed plans for the Rocky Stage. “We got word rather late in the process that they wanted to keep the bones of last year’s design in place,” said Dierson. “Thankfully, 4Wall Entertainment, the gear supplier for the event, was able to get us what we needed and helped to re-engineer the automation systems that were a part of that previous design, but not planned for this year. The result was clean, linear truss arrays with all the bells and whistles we needed to support great shows.”
Among those bells and whistles was a collection of recently introduced Chauvet Professional IP65 rated fixtures: 54 Color STRIKE M motorized strobe/washes, and 60 COLORado PXL Bar 16 RGBW linear washes.
Speaking of the Color STRIKE M fixtures, Dierson noted: “They are becoming one of our favourites, particularly for outdoor festival designs. Having that type of effect unit that is so wildly bright, has a broad beam, can do a lot of tricks, and can be placed out in the elements with its IP65 rating, is a phenomenal asset. We were able to use them not just for typical stage effect work, but also for full stage and audience washes. They’re just a workhorse of a solution.”
The Color STRIKE M and COLORado PXL Bar 16 were also featured on the festival’s Liberty Stage. Dierson and his team at The Activity spec’d 20 of STRIKE units and 40 of the bars for that stage, as well as 20 Maverick MK3 Wash and 18 Rogue R1 Beam fixtures. They endowed each stage with its own distinct personality, while still preserving a consistent Made in America vibe on both.
“We always try to make the two stages as different as possible, while still designing all the necessary elements that our guest LDs & VJs expect,” said Dierson. “The physical stage structures are very different in both size and weight load capacities, so all of that inevitably needs to be considered. We had gone for a linear feel on the Rocky stage so once we started to look at the Liberty stage, we decided to do multiple truss arches that could be both easily achieved, as well as load in quickly. The use of pre-rigged truss with multiple pick points ultimately helped us realise those goals.”
The Made in America festival featured a star-studded line-up headlined by the likes of Bad Bunny, Tyler The Creator, Don Toliver, Burna Boy, JID and Shoh Allegra. Some of the artists brought their own LDs and VJs, but others relied on David ‘Fuji’ Convertino on the Rocky Stage and Evan ‘Dazzle’ Bloom on Liberty to run their shows.

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