MÜPA’s venues include the 1,700-capacity Bartok National Concert Hall (photo: Louise Stickland)
Hungary - Művészetek Palotája (MÜPA) – Palace of the Arts – enjoys a commanding position on the shores of the Danube in Budapest and is a powerhouse for high quality arts productions. Its prestigious venues include the 1,700-capacity Bartok National Concert Hall and the festival theatre which accommodates 450 people.
The lighting department – comprising 12 people – has recently invested in more Robe moving lights, with 30 x Tarrantulas and 13 x Fortes joining the inventory and now in use, mostly in the Festival Theatre.
During the pandemic lockdowns, all MÜPA’s technical staff including the lighting department was kept busy staging streamed shows and they also ran drive-in performances in the car park outside.
MÜPA also seized the opportunity of ‘dark’ time during the lockdown to upgrade some of the technology – some of which had been in the building since it opened in 2005 – with more contemporary options.
The audio team were concerned about quietness in relation to some of the noise-sensitive performances. They had frequently voiced an opinion on this with the older lights in use, while the video and broadcast teams wanted to ensure that any new lighting technology was camera-friendly, especially with the rising popularity of streamed and ‘hybrid’ events.
The main objective was to replace most of the old conventional lighting with modern, flexible, and of course more sustainable fixtures, so most of the old wash lights were switched for Tarrantulas, which also replaced the previous generation of LED wash lights in the roof which had arrived about 6 years ago. In turn these were moved to the optional floor packages for the Festival Theatre.
The first 10 Robe Tarrantulas arrived in 2020 and before them the first Robe products in MÜPA were MMX Spots specified for the Concert Hall 8 years ago. Even though 2020 saw primarily streamed events happening that year, everyone did get enough hands-on practice with the Tarrantulas to rate them creatively.
The new Fortes and Tarrantulas have been in daily use in the Festival Theatre since full live performance and rehearsal schedules were resumed in the Spring. A wide variety of shows are presented there, from ballet and classical concerts to jazz, pop, rock, and some corporate events and even car launches.

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