Jacob Dinesen’s tour covers 40 cities across Europe

Denmark - Lighting designer Niller Bjerregaard, of Happy Light Guy, who has achieved global acclaim for lighting metal arena tours, has found that his current work for singer-songwriter Jacob Dinesen’s 40-city 2024 tour of Europe has led him to reignite many ideas from his early work for King Diamond.

“I joined Jacob Dinesen Band in 2017 for a lengthy tour of Denmark as the new LD and production designer,” said Bjerregaard. “Now, I am with his current tour, and it’s been a great learning curve for me to get involved in that scene coming from metal music. This is a genre of music with a fan base that is absolutely dedicated to the genre and style, but believe it or not, there are many similarities between this and metal from a design point of view. The reason I find Jacob and his music so interesting is his openness to a theatrical approach for his productions. We made the different production elements tailored around the album’s lyrics and artwork, which gave me huge number of ideas.

“I must admit that lot of my experience from my King Diamond years came in play on this tour,” continued Bjerregaard. “Lots of the design elements revolve around the stage setup, with custom-made risers with integrated LED strips along with special custom printed drops with various logos and artwork. We make the stage look theatrical.”

Helping Bjerregaard accomplish this is his ChamSys MagicQ MQ500M Stadium, an indispensable tool for him, regardless of the musical genre he’s working in. “I switched two years ago from the MQ500 to the MQ500M, and am loving every minute on this desk,” he said.

Bjerregaard built his 178-fixture design around a theatrical look, dividing his stage into three zones to create depth. He lights drapes in vibrant colours and effects to add extra dramatic flair and dimensionality to the stage. All risers and backdrops are draped, and colour matched to the overall design.

The process of designing for the 19-song 75-minute show began at Bjerregaard’s home studio with Visualiser, using a rehearsal recording from the band to give him an actual show feeling. After spending four days building a show file using Capture 2024 and his MagicQ MQ500M, he spent three-days in rehearsal at Aarhus with light, risers and drapes.

“We spent 10-hours a day programming and building content for the Hippo Media Server before we were ready to receive the band for two days of full show rehearsals,” said Bjerregaard. “I stayed after hours to clean up my cue list and make the necessary adjustments for a nice fresh start in Copenhagen Concert Hall for a sold out show.”

Bjerregaard credits his ChamSys MagicQ MQ500M console with making every step in this process easier, beginning with its Motorised Faders. “They have been a big help,” he said. “I use Cue Stack Macros for Video Faders and specials. I find having the video content on a different fader than my Cue list is useful, not just because it’s easy to access, but also because it makes it easier to change content when needed.”

The Cloning/Morphing feature of his console makes it quicker and easier for Bjerregaard to adapt to different stage and venue configurations on tour. “We have to tie into a different rig every show on this tour,” he said. “So, anything that helps when I change the fixtures and the amount that I morph is very welcome. The MQ500M makes simple to update my palettes and show file.”.

In addition to being supported by a user-friendly console, Bjerregaard benefitted from the efforts of what he describes as “a really world-class team”, including vendors Victory Touring Production and Vigsø dry hire, Joe’s Production for set-build, Godsbannen Aarhus for rehearsals, and Morten Rygaard for photography, as well as PM Jonathan Koch, sound engineer Mads Nørgaard, light tech Martin Jepsen,  monitor tech Chris Kyriacou , and set designer Søren Faurholt. “This tour has been going very smoothly,” said Bjerregaard, “and you cannot get that without a great crew.”

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