The stage and set design for the main plenary session of the major two day conference was originated by MGGs Denzil Smith (photo: Louise Stickland)
South Africa - Rental company MGG supplied over 200 Robe moving lights for a recent indaba at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg for a high profile financial industry client.

LD Kevin Rieck made the bold move of using front and back rigged Robe LEDWash 600s for all his key lighting, following a great success with this methodology during a press conference by US President Barak Obama in Soweto last year, which he also lit. He also seized the occasion to use four of Robe's new BMFL Spots for the first time.

The stage and set design for the main plenary session of the major two day conference was originated by MGGs Denzil Smith - who also project managed and co-ordinated all things technical. The overall room aesthetic was based around an 80m widescreen projection that brought a dramatic filmic ambience to the setting, staged 'side-on' across the room.

Kevin Rieck has lit the indaba's main rooms for the last three years, and his initial concept this time was to base the trussing configuration on the original theme of 'technology' which involved a network of metalwork hung in the roof mimicking the tracks of a PCB. The idea was to have lighting chases flickering and pulsing through this for the changeovers, introductions and dramatic moments, emulating the energy of the electrics whizzing around.

"It was a fun design" explains Kevin, "and also complex because absolutely nothing is symmetrical." The installation needed 72 points of rigging and some considerable bridling to get everything in the right places.

After that brain-teaser, the next big challenge was to ensure that the lighting had a good harmonious balance with the projection.

Traditionally a great believer in using generics for key lighting, this time again he decided on an LED approach, which worked beautifully, due to a combination of good lamp positioning and the superior colour temperature characteristics of Robe's LEDWash series.

Eighteen LEDWash 600s provided the front keys, with six for back key light. They had the additional luminosity created by white light bouncing up off the white high gloss stage to deal with, and once again found the subtle tunability ability of the LEDWash whites a real asset in achieving a great look for the cameras doing the IMAG relay.

Twenty-four LEDWash 1200s and another 48 x LEDWash 600s were positioned all over the trussing and used for audience washes, warming up the room and generating an overall ambience.

Forty-eight LEDBeam 100s along the top of the screen formed a border around it, together with some other beam lights.

"Like most conferences, it really wasn't about a lightshow," commented Kevin. "It was about creating a vibey and interesting looking presentation space for the speakers and the delegates," says Kevin, "Together with razzamatazz moments for entrances and speaker introductions. The most important thing was for the lighting to be appropriate."

Kevin programmed the show onto a grandMA2 full size, with a light running as backup. The projection was fed via eight Christie 20K projectors also supplied by MGG together with the VTX 20 PA system.

(Jim Evans)

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