Happy Belgium was televised on five networks
Belgium - There were over 230 Chauvet Professional fixtures at the Happy Belgium concert in the Cinquantenaire Arcade, but it’s doubtful that any of the 60,000 people who were there to celebrate the National Day of Belgium on 21 July noticed many of them. Lighting designer Jordi Vandekerkhof of the More To Show design studio would have it no other way.
For him, the purpose of the majority IP65 lighting fixtures at this exquisitely orchestrated evening event, was to be “seen” (in terms of their effect), without being noticed because of their protective domes. “We wanted to light the stage, audience and surroundings without drawing attention to the fixtures,” he explained.
Jordi credits Splendit, which supplied the fixtures for the event, with helping to put together a rig that was low profile, while still being powerful enough to create a stunning impression. He notes that accomplishing this goal was especially challenging, given that the production team had to conform to exacting restrictions when working at a protected, historical site.
Allowing the beauty of the Cinquantenaire Arcade to be front-and-centre was not only important for the large crowd in attendance, it also enhanced the viewing experience of the millions watching on television. Happy Belgium, which was organized by DDMC Event Design and Alice Events, was televised on five networks.
Jordi relied on 28 Maverick MK3 Profile CX fixtures to provide key lighting for the TV cameras, while maintaining a discrete physical presence. At the same time, the rest of his fixtures were harmonizing with their surroundings. As an example, he points to one of his favourite looks of evening, which resulted from 18 Color STRIKE M fixtures, whose motorized strobes created crowd lighting and special effects, lighting the columns flanking the arches of the Cinquantenaire Arcade.
Key to helping Jordi realize his goal of maintaining discrete lighting placement at Happy Belgium, were the IP65 rating and multi-functional capabilities of his Chauvet Professional fixtures. Since these fixtures were outdoor rated, he was able to position them without conspicuous protective domes. And, having so many diverse fixtures at his disposal made it easier for him to reduce the number of units used, without sacrificing the output or capabilities of his rig.
This diversity was clearly evident in the rig’s 48 Maverick Strom 1 Hybrids. “For me, this was the first time using this fixture,” Vandekerkhof said of the 440W (7700K source) Beam/Wash/Spot. “It was the logical choice, not just because of its IP65 rating, but also because of its power. We were able to use if for tight beams, big zooms, big gobos and much more. It was excellent for creating those energetic looks.”
Lighting the crowd was critically important Happy Belgium, given the nature of the event. It also drew the audience closer to the natural treasures like Camille, Ozark Henry, Mentissa, Gustaph, Paul Michiels, Axelle Red, Daan and Loïc Nottet, who performed on stage over the course of the evening.
Contributing mightily to this audience lighting were the rig’s 56 Maverick Storm 2 BeamWashes. True to Vandekerkhof’s emphasis on multi-functionality, the high output units did double duty by also providing side and top stage lighting.
Adding to the overall atmosphere of the evening were 48 COLORado Panel Q40 and 12 Ovation CYC 1 FC units that deepened the beauty of the concert setting with vivid and richly textured colour washing; and 24 STRIKE Array 4 fixtures, all helping to engage the audience in their surroundings, a goal that was never far from Vandekerkhof’s mind.
“The architecture of this site is our scenery, our backdrop,” said Vandekerkhof. “We wanted it to be visible.”

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