Chameleon supports Great Southern Nights
Monday, 14 December 2020
gsn3Great Southern Nights saw more than 2,500 artists perform at over 300 venues
Australia - More than 75,000 tickets were sold as part of the NSW Government’s recent Great Southern Nights performance series held throughout November which is Australian Music Month.
Great Southern Nights delivered 1,100 COVID-safe performances to live music venues in over 140 towns and suburbs throughout the state. The aim was to reinvigorate NSW’s live music scene, which took a significant hit at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Presented in partnership with ARIA, Great Southern Nights saw more than 2,500 artists perform at over 300 venues, with many high-profile names heading to regional venues to perform.
All music events were programmed in line with current NSW Government health advice regarding physical distancing and venue capacity of public gatherings.
Acts who performed as part of Great Southern Nights included Tash Sultana, Alex The Astronaut, Middle Kids, Thelma Plum, Jessica Mauboy, Jimmy Barnes, Ruel, and many lesser-known, emerging artists.
Towards the end of the month, two large gigs were announced for Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney’s premier entertainment venue and Chameleon Touring Systems supplied lighting and crew for the much-anticipated events.
Headling one of those gigs was Ocean Alley, a popular Australian alternative psychedelic rock band from Sydney and lighting designer Jake ‘Dutchy’ Bylsma who found himself behind a console for the first time since March.
“I was as rusty as they come and lighting the biggest room I've ever done,” he admitted. “Not to mention this was the first time working with the band's new album, so half the songs were brand new to me. I spent hours and hours at home for weeks leading up to this gig, practising and fine-tuning the show (and my execution of it). I did this on MA3D at the home office in Melbourne.”
“Our usual design approach involves lots of washes for buckets of saturated colour, lots of spots for breakup looks, specials and audience shoots, as well as plenty of tungsten blinders for percussive accents and big moments,” commented Jake. “This band also loves haze. They love to be able to 'disappear' into the smoke for some of the moodier sections of their set.”
The show at Qudos was a supplied 'house' rig from Chameleon which was shared by multiple artists over the two nights, with some minor changes here and there to cater for the artist on the day.
“Chameleon was really helpful fine-tuning the rig to suit our needs,” said Jake. “They added a bunch of extra Robe MegaPointes, MAC Aura XBs, MAC Vipers and hazers at no extra cost to us. I think we had five different haze machines in the end …. which was actually the perfect amount for the immense space we found ourselves in.”
The workhorses of the roof rig were the Megapointes and Aura XB washes, 32 of each. Also in the rig were 23 Quad Blinders and 14 Patts, which delivered old school tungsten glow aesthetic. The courtesy floor package from Chameleon consisted of an extra eight Aura XB washes and six Vipers, as well as extra hazers including the big boy MDG theONE.
“I use the Aura XB washes for filling out the stage with saturated colour, alternating between front wash and rear wash looks as the music demands, lots of colour FX and chases,” explained Jake. “The MegaPointes and Vipers filled a hybrid role, sometimes as a wide wash to boost the Auras, sometimes as a fast movement "beam" type fixture for fast movements over the audience, other times gobo breakup look over the band for intimacy and subtlety. The Megapointes also served as a tight spotlight for special moments where I might only have a single performer lit on stage.”
“I find that LED screen content can often be over-done and can sometimes become a distraction on stage,” added Jake. “I believe we've found the right balance here for Ocean Alley. I trigger these visuals and effects in Resolume Arena software on a laptop, triggered and controlled via DMX on the MA Lighting grandMA2 lighting console.”
The second Qudos Arena show was headlined by Bernard Fanning and lit by Jeff Pavey with a similar Chameleon rig.

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