The annual Hillsong Colour Conference was hosted at the Grand West Casino in Cape Town
South Africa - The annual Hillsong Colour Conference was hosted at the Grand West Casino in Cape Town from 15-19 April. Rental company C&S supplied and set up the custom built stage, lighting - which included over 160 Robe fixtures - rigging, trussing, LED Screens and the Backline. Bad Weather, for the third consecutive year, helped Hillsong South Africa redesign and primarily execute the lighting and video elements whilst assisting all areas of the technical production.

"As the conference was hosted over three countries, our equipment had to meet with international standards," commented Henning de Villiers, production manager at C&S. "We worked with the Hillsong team to achieve and surpass all expectations and were delighted that the event was a major success."

Jonathan Bandli, creative director at Bad Weather elaborates. "This process is very complex. The Colour Conference production is designed and creatively birthed each year in Sydney by Hillsong Australia and their team, where it is executed first on the series of stops around the world."

The full design package is sent to Hillsong South Africa where it is unpacked by their production and creative departments. The design is amended to fit local gear supplier kit lists, quantities and venue capabilities.

"This has to be done while maintaining the heart of the design and keeping the creative elements intact, as the focus on continuity is vital for a global experience. This is where Bad Weather begins its involvement in the project," said Jonathan. "We work hand in hand with Hillsong South Africa's production manager, Alan Leviton, with whom we have an incredible relationship, spanning over the last three years of this conference from when our involvement began. He proposes the redesigned concept and we advise on lighting and video elements from our long standing relationship with gear rental supplier C&S and with the understanding of the overall look and feel of the Colour Conference identity."

Bad Weather then handle the technical drawing packages and prepare all the paperwork required for a production of this international scale.

Jonathan believes a large quantity of fixtures is imperative to produce an immersive and dynamic experience in a venue such as the GrandWest Arena. "The conference itself was a diverse musical and theatrical journey and we needed not only variety, but flexibility when it came to lighting fixtures," he said.

Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs were used for primary key light and specials - and also moved into the audience and arena for special effects - alongside the Robin 600 LEDWash, used for overall front wash. It took some creative planning and programming to create the desired look.

"We also had a combination of Robin Pointes on the three downstage flown cubes as well as the upstage edge, just tucked off the stage to hide the ballast for a particularly clean looking stage. These of course handled all the beam work and with the upstage Robin Pointes, I often utilised the frost and zoom function to achieve some back wash style effects for that big backlit worship moment."

A substantial quantity of LED strips were incorporated into the large set that framed the stage. "These all had individual control which gave us incredible effects. We also had the main stage outlined in LED strip which created that final touch and made the stage look immaculate."

(Jim Evans)

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