Parni Valjak rocks Pula Arena with Robe
Tuesday, 23 August 2022
robe-valjak-i-prijatelji-pula-arena-par252124020Lighting equipment was supplied by Zagreb-based rental specialist Promo Logistika (photo: Louise Stickland)
Croatia - Valjak I Prijatelji (Valjak & friends) was a show staged in Pula, Croatia, in the city’s Arena Roman amphitheatre venue and dedicated to Aki Rahimovski, lead singer of Croatian rockers Parni Valjak. The enigmatic frontman died suddenly and unexpectedly in January aged 66, just ahead of a major tour.
Slovenian lighting designer Nikola ‘Niko’ Podlesnik was honoured to be lighting the emotionally charged gig. He chose Robe moving lights as the backbone of his rig to help deliver all the drama and sentiment of the evening, which saw the remaining members of the band perform with a series of famous Croatian singers taking on the vocals, including Rahimovski’s son, Kristijan.
Lighting equipment was supplied, together with the full technical production including audio and video, by Zagreb-based rental specialist Promo Logistika. The company has a large Robe inventory, all of which is out now as the demand for live shows and events skyrockets over the summer.
Previous to this show, Niko was booked to LD the 40-date Parni Valjak (Steam Roller) tour at the start of the year. After Aki’s passing, he lit another Valjak I Prijatelji gig at Zagreb Arena in March for which he used over 100 Robe movers. Very enthusiastic about the brand and his work, Robe is usually his first choice of moving lights.
Pula Arena has a permanent stage setup facilitated by the annual Pula Film Festival committee which is used extensively for that plus the other shows and events using the impressive space. Constructed between 27 BC and AD 68, it is among the world's six largest surviving Roman arenas and the only one to have its four side towers fully preserved.
The performance space is a lot smaller than Zagreb Arena, but Niko and everyone else on the crew were delighted to be working in Pula again as the venue is so unique and has an amazing atmosphere.
Taking the 16m-wide stage with 8m of headroom as a starting point, and working in conjunction with the video designer Kristina Bengez, Niko specified 40 x MegaPointes, eight MMX Spots, 24 x LEDBeam 150s and 12 x LEDWash 600s together with two manually operated Forte follow spots.
“MegaPointes are a perfect fixture for a show and venue / stage of this size,” he commented, “They have masses of power and offer so many creative options,” all of which were for the 30-song set comprising all Parni Valjak’s big hits and other favourites, from power ballads to folk rock and several genres in between.
Twenty-four of the MegaPointes were in the roof trusses, with another 12 filling the left and right back corner positions which were angled at 45 degrees either side of the square upstage LED screen showing playback video. Due to the wind factor and the way it blows through the Arena, it’s not possible to have side skins attached to the stage.
The final eight MegaPointes were on the deck along the downstage edge of the stage for low front lighting and for shooting forward into the audience.
“It was very important to draw the audience into the action, involve them and help feed all the energy coming offstage out into the arena,” explained Niko adding that this two-way communication drove the lighting and video design, with IMAG images being fed onto two side LED screens.

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