World - Following on from the inaugural Virtual Showlight event, which took place on 25 May 2021, the Showlight Committee have announced that all papers and video shorts are now available to view online on the Showlight website.
Speakers Hamish Jenkinson, Mike Bauman, Ken Billington, Aaron Porter, Rob Halliday, Isabel Nielen, Floriaan Ganzevoort and Mike Evers, and David Bishop spoke on topics that included the illumination of a lighthouse on an island in the Bahamas, lighting a comic book movie, the remote lighting of a stage musical from half way around the globe, transforming a shipyard into an art gallery, and taking a spin on the Strictly Come Dancing dance floor.
Also viewable online is the panel discussion on the subject of diversity in the industry, chaired by Paule Constable, which gave voice to young people with inspiring insights into their journeys into lighting, their plans to raise awareness going forward and the importance of free communication between colleagues to aid mutual understanding.
The papers are augmented by a series of video shorts that tantalised the lighting tastebuds between papers on the day, with a few bonus presentations added for good measure. Contributors include Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer, Tony Simpson, Ryan Metcalfe and Elliot Smith, Marco Miglioli and Bill Klages.
All papers and video shorts are available to view free-of-charge, but Showlight would like to remind people that donations to industry charities Ba
Germany - LED lighting specialist Astera has added another dimension to its portfolio of lighting products with the PixelBrick.
This flexible luminaire is billed as ‘a multi-functional light source with the power and finesse of Astera’s Titan LED engine coupled with the practicality of its popular AX3 LightDrop product, all in a completely new and fully adaptable housing’.
Suitable for concerts, events, filming, or broadcast scenarios, PixelBrick is compact, light (1.1kg) and handy as an up-lighter - like an AX3 - or it can be hung anywhere and become a universal light for accenting and texturing buildings or facades. For exterior use, it is IP65 rated and therefore resistant to rain and other elements.
The PixelBrick has 450 lumens and 1,200 lux at 2m - both at 3,200K and can also be used like a PAR as a general-purpose fixture complete with a bracket.
PixelBricks can be easily joined together and built into an impressive array of geometric shapes and clusters. With the help of adjustable connectors, shapes like circles, hearts, numbers, etc. plus other illuminated scenic pieces or signage can be created. These can be used in a plethora of contexts, like performance spaces, on live events, on location or in the studio for film projects and photo shoots.
PixelBricks are physically interconnected via a bespoke engineered track system on all four sides which gives maximum scope for creativity. These tracks can also be used to mount airline track accessories and brackets can be mounted to the PixelBrick using the same track system.<
UK - Jakarta-based Mola TV introduced Chill Fridays an interactive weekly livestream that features stars playing mellow music in an intimate setting and, every once in a while, taking questions from fans.
Many of the episodes are filmed at Mola’s London TV studio, where artists like Jacob Collier, Tom Misch and Bruno Major have performed in a set that evokes images of the kind of hotel bars where friends gathered for a pre-weekend happy hours back in the day.
Key to creating this ambience is a warm, inviting lighting design that works hand-in-hand with scenic elements like potted plants and table lamps to engender a homey feeling. Fold Sound owner Tristan Finn, who supplies lights, sound gear, recording equipment and cameras for the show called on Martin Dudley of Martin’s Lights to handle lighting duties, something he’s done skilfully with his ChamSys PC Wing and MagicQ software on a touch screen laptop.
“I have worked with Tristan for years and was very glad to hook up with him on this project,” says Dudley. “We have been supplying power distribution, cabling, DMX control, and technician services, to the shoots. Our goal is to make sure that the show has lighting for the shoot up and running as quickly as possible.”
Although the programme helps viewers chill at the start of their weekend, setting up the show is a somewhat pressured experience. Schedules are extremely tight, with set up starting at 9 am, and shooting at noon, whilst the show is expected to wrap up by 4pm.
Keeping his controls simple with the ChamSys
Europe - The inaugural Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) event - a European Union initiative to reform its policies and institutions - took place in May at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The hemicycle debating chamber sits inside the striking Louise Weiss Building designed by Parisian-based Architecture-Studio and opened in 1999. It includes a 60m high tower which is left looking deliberately unfinished and was inspired by Roman amphitheatres and the mythical Tower of Babel.
The event included a welcome speech by French President Emmanuel Macron and contributions by other high-ranking politicians and EU officials. As CoFoE was aimed primarily at a younger audience of under 40s, production company Nimblerr asked lighting designer Dimi Theuwissen of Belgium-based creative practice ID2Q to energise the distinctive hemicycle ensuring it looked dynamic and different on camera for this special broadcast.
Dimi decided to change up the look and mood completely with a fresh approach, lighting the room architecture in the background, and in doing so, bringing its presence right into the foreground and camera shots. Helping him to achieve this aesthetic were over 200 Robe moving lights - Spiiders, Tetra2s and LEDBeam 150s.
CoFoE was livestreamed and joined by 300 gen-public via zoom together with various ministers, dignitaries, and VIPs, all of whom appeared on seven large LED screens strategically deployed in a circular around 300 degrees of the hemicycle. Erasmus students from all EU member states were present in a socially distanced live a
UK – TSL Lighting has joined the events sustainability organisation isla, as it focuses on re-emerging from the challenges of the COVID pandemic with a positive, forward-thinking outlook.
TSL’s management team has for many years championed more sustainable practices, including sourcing renewable energy for its sites, working alongside youth groups and volunteer associations to donate ex-rental equipment and of course re-using its stock as a rental business. Director Loz Wilcox says that the downtime over the past twelve months has allowed them to reflect and further implement environmentally friendly initiatives. Becoming a member of isla marks the significant next sustainability step for the company.
TSL is the first technical equipment provider to join the isla collective, which has members from a range of events sectors including Jack Morton Worldwide, George P. Johnson, and Amplify.
“Joining isla really aligns with our core company values, so we’re thrilled,” says Wilcox. “isla offers resources, training and tools from across the events sector which will help fuel TSL’s goals to reduce waste and carbon emissions and support our industry to transition to more sustainable events.
“We’re also excited to be in a better position to share our knowledge and findings with our clients, freelancers and teams.”
isla, which was set up by 12 founding agencies in September 2020 as an action-focused peer-to-peer network, says it hopes to accelerate meaningful change through focus in three core areas: zero waste, 100% renewable,
USA - William Mooney, lighting designer for BYB Extreme Fighting, a bare-knuckles form of boxing, is using an IP-rated Elation Professional lighting rig to highlight the action inside the ring while supporting the atmosphere outside the ring.
With BYB’s three-sided triangle cage, known as the Trigon and the smallest ring in combat sports, there is plenty of that. “It’s the most exciting franchise I have ever been involved with,” states Mooney, a man who has worked on boxing and mixed martial arts projects such as ESPN’s Friday Night Fights (2008-2015) and Combat America MMA Fights. “I’ve worked on all the major networks but I feel more excited about this show than anything I’ve ever worked with in my life.”
Although the fights take place indoors, Mooney uses a multi-environmental IP65-rated rig as a peace-of-mind layer of protection. “To have most of the rig LED and then have the IP rating on top of it, it gives me a greater level of confidence and comfortability,” he says. “If it’s not going to fail outdoors in the rain, it’s not going to fail indoors.”
The latest BYB event - BYB Extreme 5 - took place at the Miami-Dade County Fair Expo Centre on 15 May with an in-person audience in attendance and bouts broadcast worldwide via pay-per-view. Mooney’s rig consisted of six Proteus Hybrid and six Proteus Rayzor 760 moving heads, 54 SixPar 200 IP and 10 SixPar 100 IP Par lights, four DTW Blinder 350 IP and two DTW Blinder 700 IP white light effects, and two TVL 2000 LED panel lights. He also incorporated 18 12PX HEX and
UK - Hologramica, specialists in the design and production of holograms, is celebrating the opening of its new demo studios on an historic Wandsworth site, thanks to music charity NEKO Trust.
Liz Berry, CEO of Hologramica, comments: “We were struggling to find a home when the NEKO Trust, headed up by Glen Rowe, came to our rescue. We now occupy a beautiful, secluded rehearsal facility, previously enjoyed by legendary bands including Metallica and The Rolling Stones.”
It is from here that Hologramica’s 3D Holonet gauze will continue its ongoing development, along with the company’s production-based activities, which provide holographic hardware, design, content and consultancy for shows worldwide.
“We’ve already installed a stunning 7m wide 3D Holonet rig, alongside one of our portable Holopops Ultra systems,” explains Berry. “Upstairs our filming room can live broadcast holographic people onto either screen as a fully interactive, life-size, hologram. For fully live and hybrid events, the ability to present beamed-in or pre-recorded holographic people is useful and can be spectacular.”
Hologramica is currently booking in-person and Zoom demos of both systems and say they have been extremely excited and relived to see a tangible escalation in interest.
Gibraltar - Pixel Artworks has created an immersive light and sound installation within St Michael’s Cave on the Rock of Gibraltar. The Gibraltar Government awarded the project to WrightTech Media, a local digital marketing solutions company with extensive knowledge of the site. Pixel Artworks collaborated with WrightTech Media on the pitch as well as the design and delivery of the complex show, which is scheduled to open to the public on 20 June 2021.
While the project sought to enhance the current Gibraltar Upper Rock Nature Reserve visitor experience, there was no specific site in mind. WrightTech Media and Pixel Artworks showed how St Michael’s Cave could be used in a unique way to take the audience on an unforgettable journey through Gibraltar’s natural history, using projection mapping technology, lighting design and immersive audio.
Christian Wright, director, WrightTech Media, said, “The aim of the project was to reinvigorate Gibraltar’s tourist industry, and I felt we needed something very visual and technology-based to engage audiences to a new level. I had seen some of Pixel Artworks’ immersive and experiential projects and immediately called them to see how they could flex their creative muscles at this unique site. My team knows the site very well, but it was great to get the fresh eyes of Pixel Artworks’ creative team who spotted opportunities we hadn’t thought about, and also helped us to home in on the story we wanted to tell.”
The show, entitled The Awakening, sympathetically showcases the beauty of the cav
USA - The Robson Performing Arts Centre in Claremore recently completed a stage lighting and control upgrade with over 300 LED luminaires and a networked control solution from Vari-Lite and Strand, Signify entertainment lighting brands.
“We wanted LED equipment that would give comparable functionality to our previous fixtures, along with some added ‘eye candy’ elements to enhance our performances,” explains technical director Pamela Neuok, who turned to theatre consultancy Schuler Shook, the original theatreconsultant for the building, to advise on the specification.
Schuler Shook prioritized high quality light output and technology that would be both accessible to students and powerful enough for a professional theatre programme. “The Strand products met our design criteria very well,” says Schuler Shook’s Jack Hagler.
The final design and installation, completed by Batts AVL, features 112 Full Colour and 84 Tunable Warm White Strand Leko LED Profiles, six Vari-Lite VLZ Profile fixtures, Vari-Lite SL BAR 660 and 640 fixtures for cycs and drops, plus a wide selection of 78 VL800 Series fixtures, including Eventpar, Propar and Eventwash models.
For control, the intuitive touchscreen interface, scalability and sophisticated LED control of Strand’s NEO Console were considered an appropriate fit for the needs of both an educational environment and a busy performing arts centre. The NEO system also integrates seamlessly with Strand’s Vision.net controls for house lighting management.
“We have been having a lot of fun lear
Germany - Cover band Lonely Hearts Club isn’t likely to achieve the fame of the British quartet that inspired their name. But the six musicians from Gescher were greeted with a level of enthusiasm worthy of the Beatles or any superstar when they appeared on the open-air stage at Freilichtbühne Coesfeld at 5pm on Saturday 15 May.
For the 160 entertainment-starved fans in attendance, the band’s show, represented a small, hopeful step back to enjoying live performances as COVID-19 lockdown rules begin to ease with safety protocols still in place. Part of a regional test to demonstrate how outdoor events could be conducted safely, the concert ended at 9 pm, so people could return home in time to comply with Germany’s 10pm curfew.
The early closing time made sense from a health and safety standpoint, but it nevertheless posed special challenges for André Entrup and his team when lighting the concert, given that the sun didn’t set at the concert site until 9:19pm, almost 20 minutes after the show concluded.
“We had to create an engaging lighting show during daylight,” said Entrup, the technical director of Freilichtbühne Coesfeld. “Aside from having to account for the COVID related protocols, our biggest challenge was lighting the open air stage with all the sunlight outside. The stage was under a truss roof. In addition to accounting for the ambient light, we had to deal with mixed weather, as we had a short but intense rain shower during the show.”
Helping Entrup meet these challenges was a collection of Chauvet Professional Maveric
The Netherlands - Heading the production lighting department for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest finals at The Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam, was LD Henk-Jan van Beek from Light-H-Art working closely with associate designers Bas de Vries and Martin Beekhuizen. In addition to creating an overall lighting style for the show, they liaised with all the delegations – many had their own consulting LDs and artists directors – creating 39 individual performances within the overall show design.
Henk-Jan specified 740 x Robe moving lights for the event, which made up over a third of the total lighting rig which came in at a count of 1,782 active fixtures.
These and all the event’s lighting equipment – plus audio and rigging – was delivered by ESC 2021’s official technical supplier for lighting, audio and rigging, leading Netherlands rental specialist, Ampco Flashlight.
Ampco Flashlight’s operational & commercial director Dennis van der Haagen explained that the company was chosen following an official European tender process to supply – uniquely – three areas of the production. “To realise everyone’s expectations, we combined our experience as the lighting and rigging supplier in Portugal 2018, with our extensive audio track record for live music and broadcast crossover events.”
The Robe fixture break-down was 396 x Spiiders, 220 x LEDBeam 150s, 92 x BMFL WashBeams, 25 x Tetra2 moving LED bars, with 12x BMFL Spots operated via 12 x Robe’s RoboSpot remote controlled follow spotting systems.
Florien Wieder’s impressive
Belgium - Kristof Van Mensel from lighting and visual design company TCF (The Creative Factory) uses Astera products extensively – particularly AX3 LightDrops – in his projects which range from live performance to festivals to television studio lighting work.
The tiny AX3s are particularly useful for ‘pop-up’ scenarios, he explains, or for shifting between mobile locations. “Two cases of eight AX3 LightDrops are always in the back of my car ‘just in case’ and are infinitely useful,” he states.
Kristof is long term lighting designer for the Scala & Kolacny Brothers women's choir, a highly visual act that has gained worldwide recognition. He regularly incorporates Astera fixtures into their live show designs and loves the fact that something as small as the AX3 can give the artist such a dynamic a tool to work with.
“I ensconce them in the set and have also used AX3s on occasions as hand-held lighting effects for the artists, which is really effective and dramatic to up-light faces,” Kristof comments. Artists like Scala & Kolacny Brothers are always up for experimentation and trying new dramatic treatments. “AX3s are simply a hugely versatile and compact light source.”
His association with Astera started about five years ago when Controllux became the Belgian distributor and contacted him to show the range of products. Now they are one of his key inexpensive and indispensable creative tools.
“It’s incredible what you can do with Astera AX3s or Titan Tubes for a band or a music artist wanting to tour on
UK - ETC fos/4 LED panels prove a complement to natural light for cinematographer Lily Grimes during shooting of art film Horsepolish, an artist’s response to de Sica’s neorealist 1946 release Shoeshine.
This recent art film project saw Lily re-acquainted in a professional capacity with a familiar London-based artist - her mother, Oona, who also lectures in art. It was shot in and around the The Ragged School Museum on the Regent’s Canal near Mile End in London.
Lily argued for and succeeded in her quest to film in black and white Super 16mm, feeling it was the best medium to capture the rough landscapes favoured by neorealists. Her approach to lighting combined the use of a lot of natural light with supplementary fos/4 LED panels from ETC, as she explains:
“The film was planned rather than written, leaving us many more creative decisions to take. As far as lighting was concerned, we used natural light on the canal towpath, and then as a result of a conversation with Barry Grubb at 3LR Lighting, decided to use two of ETC’s beautiful fos/4 LED panels. The fos/4 PD8 and PD16 use daylight HDR 6 chip LEDs with high output, and so could augment sunlight, provide subtle fill or act as strong directional key.
“In keeping with De Sica’s film, we wanted simple directional lighting, and often used the sun as our key back light with subtle fill from the fos/4s. When we lost December light at about 3pm, the PD16 stepped up as our ‘sun’ and the PD8 provided fill.
“The fos/4s boast a ‘deep red’ in the fixtures, al
USA - Last year, during the height of the pandemic, Martin Castañon, Victor Ortiz and the team at Darvik Productions stayed busy, while bringing music to the public by running Concerts in Your Car, a series of drive-in shows at the Ventura County Fairgrounds in San Diego.
In the process they learned quite a bit about teamwork, determination and self-reliance. They also sharpened their skills lighting an elevated 360ﹾ stage. All of these attributes came in handy over Memorial Day Weekend, when they handled the production of Ziggy Marley’s concert at Petco Park.
Although the socially-distant live audience at this show was seated in pods, rather than cars, the configuration of the performance area and the sprawl of the crowd, required the same kind of elevated open stage that the Darvik team had used for their drive-ins. Working closely with Joël Huxtable, Ziggy Marley’s programmer and operator, Castañon, Ortiz and lead light tech Miguel Ochoa delivered a warm, emotionally powerful show.
Despite having the stage situated in the middle of the field at a 42,000-seat baseball park with limited fans in attendance, their engaging blend of video, light and gobo patterns created a sense of intimacy the enveloped the entire stadium, as the eight-time Grammy winner paid tribute to his late, legendary father.
Helping them set this balanced mood was a collection of 57 Chauvet Professional Rogue fixtures from Darvik’s own inventory.
“The Concerts in Your Car design was the starting point for this show,” said Castañon when describing
USA - A new book about the techniques and issues of lighting design for live events and productions being shot for broadcast, webcast or IMAG, has been published by Routledge and their media technology division, Focal Press.
Lighting for Televised Live Events: Making Your Live Production Look Great for the Eye and the Camera unlocks the science, art, philosophies, and language of creating lighting for live entertainment and presentations that work for the television camera as well as for the live audience. The authors, Jeff Ravitz and James L. Moody, each have extensive lighting design credits in both live and televised production and have brought their experience and insights to the book in an attempt to explain the common denominators between live and televised presentation lighting.
Ravitz explains, “The television camera has become an ever-present part of most productions, whether for live streams, TV specials, music videos, or, just as importantly, the IMAG screens that so many shows use. Over the years, I learned that a few, but significant, adjustments can make a live show look so much better for the viewer who watches on their TV, computer, tablet, or phone. They can only see what’s being shown by the camera, and for what it’s worth, there are millions of those viewers out there. The twist is that these shows can also retain all the beauty and dynamics of the live show and still look great for the audience in the venue.”
The book explains the science, art, and aesthetics of the subject and includes production case studies co
Zimbabwe - Nyaradzo Group marked its 20th anniversary recently, with a livestream concert celebration that featured 21 of the region’s leading artists.
The musical extravaganza was a big hit for viewers, especially since the performances on stage were supported by dynamic displays of video and light, as LD Nicholas ‘Nicky’ Sintara served up a stream of colourful looks that flowed naturally on stage.
Sintara’s design may have looked effortless, but in reality it was anything but easy. Producing different looks for 21 different artists on a small livestream stage is a “fun challenge,” he says.
Helping Sintara solve this puzzle was a supportive group of people. “Divine Concert Sound (DCS), the Nyaradzo Group Zimbabwe, Epic Sets and my mentor Simbarashe Bapiro were all very helpful,” he said. “I am grateful to have such support.”
Also contributing to the magic worked by Sintara was a collection of Rogue and STRIKE fixtures from Chauvet Professional. As he explained: “There were things we did to give the stage a different personality for each artist, while also keeping things camera friendly. The eight Rogue R2 Beams in my rig helped me a great deal. I hung six of them on a V shaped truss, and had the other two on the floor. From these positions, they gave me a lot of options to create different shapes and gobo patterns.”
Working with the R2 Beam fixtures were four Rogue R1 Beam units. Arranged in different configurations on the stage deck, these 132-watt fixtures added extra punch to Sintara’s show with their bright
Germany - Dark Matter is a new permanent exhibition space for lighting, visual and sonic art, and technology in Berlin’s lively Lichtenberg district, currently comprising seven sculptural and kinetic visual works created by light artist Christopher Bauder of WHITEvoid.
This experience, which opened last week, is the long-term brainchild of Christopher and his quest to curate a “parallel cosmos of expansive lighting installations blurring the boundaries between real and digital worlds” capturing and stimulating emotional, spiritual, and imaginative journeys as guests embrace the artworks – some interactive, some reflective, all fascinating – engaging and experiencing a wide range of emotions.
Robe lighting is involved in this project, initially with the supply of Tetra2 and MegaPointe fixtures which will be used for special events lighting in one of the large exhibition spaces, Hall 2.
The seven pitch-black rooms making up Dark Matter – in three buildings on a one-way walkthrough route – are part of a former factory building acquired by Christopher in 2019 and extensively renovated and converted into this vibrant and thought-provoking presentation space over the last 13 months.
Achieving sufficient blackness was fundamental to encouraging guests to leave their real worlds and dive into a different dimension where abstract meets imagination in an intense and all-encapsulating psychological journey, triggered by light and sound, vision and hearing.
The art pieces range from The Tone Ladder, a playful concept original
USA - As a rule, Jimmy Davidson favours intense looks in his lighting designs. But sometimes rules are not made to be broken; they’re made to be doubled down on. Such was this case this Memorial Day Weekend, when the Texas designer lit a three-show concert series by chart-topping country artist Cody Johnson.
Employing a torrent of intense colour washes (mainly in red and blue) accented by sharp beams of white light and blinding blasts, he set a frenetic pace for his client’s 21-song set without repeating the same look twice. Helping him serve up this visual eruption was a beefy Texas Stage supplied rig that featured a collection of 54 Chauvet Professional Rogue, STRIKE, Ovation, and COLORdash fixtures.
“I absolutely wanted to put something extra in this show,” said Davidson. “It was nice to have a little time off to be at home during the pandemic, but now it was time to bring back shows and happiness. I wanted to celebrate this with the fans.
“There were a lot of fun moments in this show,” he continued. “My personal favourite was at the start of the song Long Haired Country Boy when I used an all-white palette with a random strobe look over the crowd. Then I had all of my eight STRIKE 4 fixtures highlight the hits.”
Davidson used multiple hang positions and accessed different fixture groups throughout the 100-miunte plus concert to keep looks fresh and interesting. He relied on 12 COLORdash Batten Quad 12 units to provide a constant flow of background colors. Anchoring his rig were 12 Rogue R2 Wash, eight Rogue R2 Wash
USA - Specialist solutions supplier, Creative Technology Group, has increasingly turned to Elation Professional’s KL Panel LED soft light for use in their US-based LED studios and has added a number of the full-colour-spectrum fixtures to their rental inventory.
In the United States, Creative Technology (CT) operates virtual event LED studios in Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and Nashville. Each is equipped with xR and camera tracking technology that works with powerful graphics engines to create dynamic scenes that put a presenter or product virtually into any environment. The results are truly spectacular. In late spring of 2020, Creative Technology contacted Elation about a high-quality LED soft light for the studios and eventually purchased 75 of the units with snap grids and snap bags.
CT has used the KL Panels on many of their studio projects, including in their Las Vegas and Los Angeles locations. In their newest virtual event studio in Las Vegas, KL Panels and other lighting work with a large curved LED wall, LED floor and LED ceiling to create an ideal virtual event suite for television, film, corporate and automotive work.
“A lot of what we’re hanging these days tends to be a KL Panel and that is because of its flexibility,” stated CT’s vice president of digital production, Reed Erickson. As lead on CT’s studio systems, he has been hands on with the KL Panels since their acquisition. “The fact that the fixtures are smaller and lighter [than comparable units] gives us a lot more flexibility to put them where we ne
UK - amBX, has announced the details of the latest updates to its smart lighting control platform, SmartCore.
Users will now be able to add Smart Emergency Lighting Control to their SmartCore platform. The new amBX Emergency Lighting Monitoring Dashboard will allow users to input and manage test results, check scheduled fixture tests and record and monitor ongoing actions needed to achieve compliance. Results can be exported to provide a hard-copy records. This will aid with supporting regulatory compliance while simultaneously making the audit process easier.
The update has also introduced a number of new protocol support options to SmartCore, including publishing data to MQTT topics for IoT applications to access. This allows for connectivity to the cloud and provides lightweight, efficient and reliable data management.
Introducing the new features, David Eves from amBX said: “At amBX, we are very proud of what we have achieved with SmartCore, and we are always looking for innovative ways to offer even more from the platform.
“SmartCore is ever-evolving, and it is ready to meet the demands of the future, which is why we are excited to launch these new features to bolster the already impressive software. We see ourselves as an enabling technology; we work with our clients to solve their smart-tech challenges and strive towards a fully connected, digitised future.”
USA - The Shawnee Cave Amphitheatre, 100 miles southeast of St. Louis, bills itself as “a venue like no other.” Tucked into the base of a massive 100ft high sandstone rock formation sits in the middle of 60 rugged acres of craggy paths, creeks and waterfalls.
Kyle Curtis had a hand in creating just such memories Memorial Day weekend when he lit the site for an event featuring a line-up of jam bands that included The Infamous Stringdusters, Sam Bush, Leftover Salmon, Keller Williams, Kyle Tuttle Banjo, and Chicken Wire Empire. Enlivening the surroundings with vivid colours and making the cave wall come alive with gobo patterns, he enhanced the evocative effect of the setting without distracting from the artists on stage.
Helping him accomplish this feat was a collection of 54 Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by Chris Parton and his team at Midwest Music Supply. Curtis’ design, which was run on a ChamSys MQ500M, transformed the entire 300 by 100ft cave area.
“My favourite part of this project was getting to build such a huge lighting canvas,” said Curtis. “Usually, even the largest stages I work on are only 80ft wide. At this venue our ‘stage’ was only 40ft, but our overall canvas was many times larger.
“We ran about five universes in total, not because of channel counts, but for DMX routing to allow touring LDs to take some or all of the rig,” continued Curtis. “If they didn’t want to control the cave lighting, we could retain that control on the MQ500M and just give them the stage lighting. We used two NET-XII nod
Australia - Mackay Entertainment and Conference Centre (MECC) is a busy and diverse complex of nine different venue and event spaces in Mackay, central Queensland, hosting a lively mix of corporate launches and conferences to opera, music, dance, and performance shows.
Head of lighting Dan Grace and his team are amongst the first in Australia to have Robe’s new high power Forte LED luminaires in the house, with a purchase of 12 of the fixtures plus 12 new Robe Spiider LED wash beams, with more of both types of moving light to follow once the season ramps up again.
The decision to buy Fortes was underlined by MECC’s previous experiences with Robe – with nearly 100 fixtures already, including 30 x DL7s, a mix of profiles and fresnels, which directly replaced 36 hot and power-hungry 2K fresnels in the main theatre in 2019.
The last batch of these DL7s arrived together with three RoboSpot systems and BMFL FollowSpots, a move that was driven by MECC’s head of AV, Mark Blake.
Mark and Dan are part of an MECC technical team of 18. They were both instrumental in persuading the local government officials who oversee MECC’s operation that the time was right to convert the theatre to a full LED stage lighting rig.
Moving forward, LED is now a prerequisite for any new lighting investments and “it made sense to keep brand consistency throughout the venue and we enjoy a great relationship with our supplier Kennedy Amplifier Hire Service and Australian distributor Jands,” confirmed Dan.
The new Fortes and Spiiders will mainly be
Russia - Aistenok Irkutsk Regional Puppet Theatre occupies a prominent place among Russian puppet theatres. The marionette masters in the Siberian city of Irkutsk recently worked with Light Power Design (LPD) to upgrade its stage lighting and chose low noise, low heat Elation Professional LED luminaires along with Magmatic atmospheric effects.
Despite its relative solitude, Irkutsk is a thriving seat of culture that embodies all the best of Russia’s storied theatre tradition. Puppetry applies the same lighting techniques as a regular stage. Despite the compact space, all types of lighting instruments are used and just like a regular theatre show, fixture choice depends on the effects desired and mood required.
Founded in 1935 as the first professional puppet theatre in Eastern Siberia, the Aistenok Puppet Theatre has operated from an elegant building in the heart of Irkutsk since 1986. The theatre creates performances for its audience that span a wide variety of genres and forms, shows performed on a nearly daily basis that can be extremely complex or very simple.
Continually searching for new forms of expression, theatre staff follow closely both the creative and technical trends of modern theatrical art. To that end, they sought replacement lights for its 750W profiles, arc-source fixtures that, although fine on functionality, generated an excessive amount of heat.
Lighting designer at Aistenok, Lev Sagaidak, visited Elation’s European facility in Kerkrade, The Netherlands, in early 2020 to look more closely at appropriate choices. Wo
Poland - Harman Professional Solutions recently collaborated with Stage Source and ATM System to deliver a dynamic lighting design for Polish reality television series The Voice of Poland with new Martin MAC Aura PXL fixtures.
Part of the internationally syndicated television franchise The Voice, The Voice of Poland is a televised reality competition that gives singers the opportunity to showcase their vocal talents in front of celebrity judges and coaches on live television. First aired in 2011, the series recently filmed its eleventh season, which was hosted by actor Maciej Musiał and filmed in Warsaw.
In order to ensure premium production quality for the nationally televised series, the show’s producers hired ATM System to supply a lighting design that would deliver dynamic lighting both on stage and on camera. ATM System collaborated with distributor Stage Source to provide a solution highlighted by the global television premiere of Martin MAC Aura PXL multi-source wash fixtures.
“We previously utilised Martin VC Dot fixtures for The Voice Of Poland, and that instantly created more demand from the producers for Martin fixtures with eye-candy Aura effects,” says Radosław Zacheja, CEO of StageSource. “We implemented the MAC Aura PXL fixtures because not only do they have powerful beams and washes that look beautiful on camera, these new fixtures are also great for pixel mapping and effects. The kinds of effects you can achieve with them are really interesting and look different from other wash luminaires. Thi