Known as ‘the Tent Event’, the Zelt (or ‘tent’) Musik Festival (ZMF), took place in Freiburg this summer, for the 19th consecutive year, in the heart of a very hot and humid Black Forest. With more than 100 events spread over 19 days, ZMF has a diverse appeal, attracting around 150,000 people of all ages and musical tastes, from across Europe. It also has a strong family appeal, with a cosy beer garden atmosphere, and entertainments for children during the day.
Lightpower’s involvement, which is as old as ZMF itself, has always been closely linked with their long-term ‘partner’ company, Tent Event, who not only supply all of the tents for the Festival, but also provide an ‘all-inclusive’ service, taking care of the sub-hire of lighting, sound, projection and staging equipment.
The company was originally founded by Felix Thoma as ‘Lighthouse’. Andreas Gause joined Thoma as an equal partner in 1993, and the company officially became Tent Event in 1996. However, the ‘all-inclusive’ capability and the relationship with Lightpower has remained unchanged. This multi-discipline approach has seen Tent Event provide complete tent-based temporary theatres in both Freiburg and Erfurt, allowing the performance schedule to keep running for long periods - up to several years - while the theatres were extensively refurbished.
The ZMF ‘tents’ range from the 3,000-capacity big-top ‘zirkuszelt’, to the antique and beautifully ornate ‘spiegelzelts’ (mirror tents). MA Lighting control and dimming featured throughout - from the grandMA control desk (with grandMA replay unit for back-up) for the main stage in the zirkuszelt, to the Scancommander and Lightcommander consoles found in the other spaces. Clay Paky fixtures of all kinds dominated the lighting rigs, with six each of the Italian manufacturer’s Stage Zoom, Stage Color and Stage Scan fixtures in the main tent. Other Clay Paky luminaires, including Golden Scan III and HPE models, Shadow QS followspots, Mini Scan HPEs, Stagelights and VIP image projectors (projecting logos in the hospitality tent) all added to the wide range of lighting effects around the festival. Also in evidence, providing a touch of colour to the setting, was the new CP Color 150-E - a 150W exterior (IP65-rated) colour-changer for the display and architectural markets, which will be seen at the PLASA Show this month. Audio throughout ZMF is provided by Cologne-based audioworks, and features predominantly GAE loudspeaker systems driven by Chevin amplification. Front-of-house duties in the zirkuszelt were covered by a Midas Heritage 3000, while an XL3 looked after monitors. Yamaha 01V consoles were used for the smaller stages.
Lightpower and Tent Event have also enjoyed a long-term relationship with the supply of equipment and expertise to Europa-Park, in Rust-Baden. Europa-Park is owned and operated by the Mack family - of Mack truck fame - who began their manufacturing empire in the 18th century as coach-builders, later diversifying into carousels and ghost trains, before building their first rollercoaster early in the 20th century, and building trucks in the US from the 1950s onwards.
Europa-Park, it should be noted, is a first class leisure park, boasting more attractions (and a lower entrance fee) than the better-known Eurodisney. The park is a popular location for television production companies, with over 400 productions - both live and recorded - made each year, including 100 episodes of the music request show ‘WunschBox’. The park has a technical crew of 150 in total, working under technical manager Stephan Hercher, including 16 lightin