Sam Fender comes home with Martin MAC Ultra
Wednesday, 23 August 2023
sam-fenderNext up for Sam Fender is his headline Reading and Leeds shows (photo: Adlib/Steve Sroka)
UK - Over two nights in June, Adlib’s sizeable inventory of Martin MAC Ultra fixtures were deployed for Sam Fender’s homecoming gigs at Newcastle’s St. James’ Park.
Specified by lighting designer Sam Tozer, with lighting director Luke Avery, and design associate Harry Williams, a combination of Martin’s MAC Ultra Performance and MAC Ultra Wash fixtures delivered huge impact for the 100,000 strong audience.
Explaining his initial design concept Sam Tozer said: “We wanted to create a show that felt heavy and dynamic. Something visually impactful but with the capability to create unique spaces with visuals and light. It needed to be able to match the energy of the music.”
And in terms of fixtures, the LD already knew the MAC Ultra family would deliver the necessary impact.
“I‘ve been using the MAC Ultra Performance in most of my larger scale shows so it’s become one of my go-to workhorses.” he confirmed. “I wanted a big bright spot/wash pair with a large single source aperture to punch through the LED screens. Luckily Adlib have these already, so it was a no brainer.”
Adlib’s Jordan Willis confirmed Adlib have worked with Sam Tozer on Sam Fender's two arena tours before these stadium shows. In total 45 MAC Ultra Wash were supplied in 15 pods overhead, whilst 30 MAC Ultra Performance were firing from behind the set pieces with three ladders of 10 fixtures, which Willis himself said "looked amazing".
As Sam Tozer explained: “The MAC Ultra Performance was used to push defined light through the scenic cut outs that spanned vertically the length of the stage openings. The set acted as our own custom gobo. The MAC Ultra Wash were the show’s main lighting feature which together with automation created the slanted roof that finished the Asymmetrical stage off.”
With 650m2 worth of LED used on the show, Tozer praises the output in competing with the ever-increasing contrast of LED. “The Ultra worked as the ‘wack’ in your face fixture when needed, but also sat very nicely in cohesion with the screens when needed”, he said.
He also praised the colour rendition of both Performance and Wash, and the physical appearance of the fixtures. “Colour is key and it was very helpful for [operator] Luke [Avery] and myself to have engines that created the same colour and behaved the same visually. And because we had large cluster of them overhead, I loved the simple aesthetic that the large aperture lenses make.”
Next up for Sam Fender is his headline Reading and Leeds shows which Sam Tozer confirms will feature the identical MAC Ultra rig.

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