Robe lights mountains for Parrtjima Festival
Friday, 23 October 2020
robe-parrtjima-festival-of-light-2020-dsc3776-photo-mandylightsThe festival is staged on a section of the West MacDonnell mountain range (photo: Mandylights)
Australia - The 2020 Parrtjima Festival of Light at Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory provided a rare reminder of the community, camaraderie, magic and imagination evoked by lighting art.
Moved from its original April slot to September, the 10-day event organised by the Northern Territories Major Event Company (NTMEC), and produced and curated by AGB, went ahead due to the state’s successful Covid-19 management strategy.
Featuring a carefully picked collection of amazing and fun light artworks together with a spectacular nightly lightshow designed by Richard Neville from Mandylights delivered to a locally produced soundtrack, 80 x Robe MegaPointes were used to throw lighting and effects onto a section of the West MacDonnell mountain range.
The lighting equipment was supplied by Melbourne-based MPH Australia, who have been involved as event suppliers for moving lights, LED, and other specialist fixtures in conjunction with Mandylights, for the last four years.
The first year MPH was involved, their Robe BMFLs were utilised for the task of lighting the mountains. However, in 2018 these were all in Jakarta on the Asian Games, so MPH’s founder and MD Matt Hansen made a decisive investment in the MegaPointes.
When the new Parrtjima 2020 dates were confirmed as going ahead, Matt and his team re-prepped everything in their Melbourne HQ – it had been two days away from loading for the original dates when lockdown was imposed – and the kit journeyed from Victoria by rail, while Matt and MPH’s production manager Michael Parsons flew to Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory.
There they did the mandatory 14-days quarantine required for interstate travel from Victoria and New South Wales (or in fact currently any other Australian state).After quarantine, they flew from Darwin down to Alice Springs and started rigging for the Festival.
The MegaPointes were positioned on four scaffolding structures – 20 fixtures each – distanced 1 – 1.5km apart, and between 250 and 400m away from the base of the mountains. Width-wise their light covered an area of around 2.5 kilometres along the mountain range.
The nearby ground areas involved in the lightshow including the festival site are traditionally covered by projected images plus some additional lightsources which this year included 12 x BMFL Spots focussed on the park area and fairground.
MPH also supplied around 200 other luminaires for the event – including some Robe LEDWash 600s which were used inside a giant inflatable sphere projection surface.
Data to the fixtures site-wide was run via Art-Net and ACN. The MegaPointes used a Ubiquiti point-to-point wireless ethernet (Art-Net over Ethernet) network comprising a central omnidirectional antenna located in the main desert park site and smaller nanobeams at each MegaPointe scaffold tower.
Parrtjima’s 2020 lightshow was programmed and run on a grandMA 2 console operated by Mandylights’ Richard Neville.
On site everyone working ‘backstage’ followed the golden Covid rules of “hands, face & space” – wore masks, frequently washed hands, and practised social distancing.
“Events like this are a lifeline right now, apart from the much-needed cashflow, it’s the morale boost more than anything else. It will be interesting to see what the Australian Government has on their roadmap for the entertainment industry’s road out of all of this.” Matt concluded.

Latest Issue. . .

Tweets from our Friends