Germany - The annual DPWK Deutscher Preis für Wirtschaftskommunikation (German Prize for Business Communication) gala award presentation took place recently in the casual surroundings of Berlin’s Columbiahalle rock venue (replacing the usual formal ‘black tie’ event).
Known as Der Goldene Funke, the event was expertly lit by locally based lighting designer, Björn Hermann, working in conjunction with phase7 performing.arts, with whom he shares a studio. German lighting manufacturer GLP provided many of the creative tools, including 24 x GT1, 14 x impression X4 and 16 x impression X4 L.
Hermann says he believes it is important to support the City’s institutions, particularly at student level, and GLP were also happy to lend their sponsorship.
Explaining his conceptual mission, the designer states, “It was important to create an ‘Oscar’ type feeling for the students, nominated companies as well as guests, and therefore I attempted to create a dynamic intro for the winners with moving lights that drive through space and other effective scenarios, which then explode with the announcement of the winners.”
The GLP fixtures were used principally as effect and show lighting, and to create a spatial atmosphere for the judging and prize-giving. “All the lights worked flawlessly,” he confirmed.
Working together with the students of HTW Berlin (University of Applied Sciences and Technology) and phase7 performing arts, who designed the stage show, he was given a free hand in the lighting design.
Hermann also undertook the l
Hungary - July saw the FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation) World Championships for aquatic sports take place at the Danube Arena in the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Hungarian sales and rental company Chromasound was tasked with providing a complete audio system for the games and its subsequent events, with a DiGiCo SD10 chosen to provide audio control.
“FINA was responsible for the entire AV installation for the event and they wanted a redundant, reliable, high-end system that could also be used for various events after the games,” explains Imre Makkay, Chromasound’s sales director, who was in charge of system design. “As well as DiGiCo, we are also suppliers of Meyer Sound loudspeaker systems, so it was obvious that we could provide them with the correct overall solution.”
For the main venue, Imre chose the SD10 because he wanted to supply a console that did not compromise on capacity and had the added benefit of the ability to connect it to an SD-RE redundant engine.
“This was a major selling point,” he says. “In the unlikely, worst case scenario of multiple faults in the main mixer, still having control over audio via the SD-RE is a brilliant feature. Because this was such a sophisticated system, the only right decision for the stage racks was the SD-Rack. We supplied four of them, each with 40 analogue inputs, 24 analogue outs and eight ins and outs, via both AES/EBU and (HD-)SDI. The latter was used as a convenient connection from and to the OB van. We also had an Orange Box for Dante integration.”
Belgium - Tomorrowland is one of the world’s highest profile electronic music festivals, gathering over 400.000 people at the main site in Belgium, and connecting an additional 70.000 people at multiple remote venues through the UNITE event. UNITE are events organised in different countries and connected via a live satellite broadcast with Tomorrowland Belgium.
This year UNITE shared three hours of live HD video broadcast feeds featuring performances from the main stage in Belgium, with remote live parties in Germany, Malta, Dubai, Israel, South Korea and Lebanon. At each location grandMA2 consoles were in control. In Belgium 13 x grandMA2 full-size, eight grandMA2 light, one grandMA2 ultra-light, two grandMA2 fader wing, two MA onPC command wing and one MA onPC fader wing were used.
Up until 9pm Belgium time, every party had their own DJ performances. Starting at 9pm the live video from Tomorrowland Belgium was sent to the different locations for the audiences to watch. In parallel the local lighting rigs - that were smaller than the main stage - were used to reproduce in the best possible way the same colours and strobe effects as were happening in Belgium. All other parts of the lighting were controlled by the local operator at each venue.
Technical designer Mario Hofman evaluated the live images taken from the different venues during last year’s edition of the festival, and wanted to increase the ‘united experience’ for this year. The idea arose of having a virtual operator assisting the worldwide local operators. For the 2017 edition of
Brazil - Rental company LPL supplied over 150 Robe moving lights including BMFL WashBeams to the 2017 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitationals (MSI) competition staged in the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janiero. (formally the Rio Olympic Arena)
Produced by LoL developers Riot Games, professional regional champions from Asia, North America and Europe met in Brazil and battled ‘live’ to win large numbers of points counting towards the 2017 World Championship title for this popular e-sport phenomena.
The 15-day Group / Knockout games and their Finals in Rio was one of two LoL MSI events hosted in Brazil that featured five team players per game and an eye-catching production including giant LED screens, dramatic lighting and lots of audience interaction, together with colourful and vibrant opening and closing ceremonies, explained LPL’s Caio Bertti, who project managed the lighting elements for Riot Games.
The production lighting was designed by Arnold Serame of LA-based Serame Design and directed on site by Mathew Stovall.
LPL is one of the top rental companies in Brazil. Their relationship with LoL includes previous national events for which they were initially hired by a local agency. Erich Bertti (Caio’s brother) co-ordinated all the lighting requirements for these, and suitably impressed the Riot Games team, resulting in LPL handling much of their subsequent work in the region.
LPL has invested steadily in Robe over the last 10 years and now has a large stock of nearly 600 fixtures, some of which were supplied for the event to me
USA - Earlier this month, the Lollapalooza Festival rocked Chicago at Grant Park with four days of music and fun. Supplied through LD Systems, High End Systems SolaSpot 1000s helped augment the visuals on the Pepsi Grove and Lakeshore Stages.
LD Systems’ Nathan Brittain served as lead programmer on the Pepsi Stage, joined by Pepsi Grove lead tech Wade Henry, while the Lakeshore Stage was manned by lead programmer Lance Williamson and lead tech William Diven.
Brittain commented: “We recently purchased SolaSpot 1000’s to fill a need in our inventory for a bright midrange hard edge fixture. Being that the stages we were providing for were medium size roofs, the SolaSpot 1000 was a perfect match. Their size, weight, and power consumption fit with our needs for this show.
“We provided two identical rigs for the two stages, and the SolaSpots were placed on the up and mid-stage trusses, six on each truss. They really held their own amongst the other fixtures in the system; it’s often difficult to get a spot fixture to punch around so many bright wash and beam fixtures, but these showed up, even with gobos in use.”
Brittain says his favourite feature of the SolaSpot 1000 is its clean, flat and bright output. “The colour temperature is great, and being an LED source, they all look the same when you turn a group of them on. It’s very pleasing to the eye and easy to look at. I also like the colour mixing; its smooth and I feel like I can produce any colour I’m looking for with the mixing system. A fun addition is the LED source zone con
Poland - Nexo systems, in the hands of rental company POGO Art, have played a central role at the World Games in Poland, bringing sound reinforcement to 24 venues in the city of Wroclaw.
Officially called the X World Games, this massive event is the largest competitive sporting festival after the Olympics. Nearly ¼ million people gathered in Wroclaw to watch 3200 athletes from 111 countries in 31 sports which are not contested in the Olympic Games. Featuring powerlifting, karate, squash, water skiing, billiards, to name a few, the 2017 programme encompassed more than 200 events.
Wroclaw-based rental company POGO Art was responsible for providing sound reinforcement to all 24 host venues, which was, according to owner Sławek Pogorzała, “a logistical and technical challenge, requiring a tremendous amount of equipment”.
With the support of Lauda-Audio, the Nexo distributor for Poland, POGO Art implemented a comprehensive SR uniform of Nexo loudspeakers, teamed with Yamaha consoles. More than 340 cabinets were deployed, including line array systems of STM Series, Geo D and Geo S8 designs, as well as a large number of pole-mounted PS Series, the benchmark product for such PA applications It took 50x NXAMP controller/amplifiers to power all the systems, along with 25x Yamaha CL and QL Series mixers, and 18x Yamaha RIO3224 stageboxes.
Infrastructure for the event included 1230m of Cat 5/6, 1100m of fibre optics, 1570m of speaker cable and well over 2000m of power cable! Sixty sound engineers and technicians were needed to operate the different
Austria - Gracing the beautiful and imposing open-air stage of Austria’s St. Margarethen Quarry this summer is one of Verdi's most popular operas, Rigoletto. The scope and scale of the production was readily matched by two TiMax SoundHub spatial audio processors specified by sound designer, Volker Werner, to meet some interesting and unique challenges.
St Margarethen Quarry is Europe’s largest natural stage: 65m wide and 25m deep, it is set in 7,000sq.m, with an audience capacity of 4,700. For Werner, the choice of TiMax was essential: “One reason is to have the possibility to achieve accurate localisation of the singers for as many listeners as possible. Another reason; the stage is a huge 100-ton steel structure, the whole of which is 3D-mapped and projected on with 16 high-power projectors. Due to this open design there are very few possibilities to hide large speaker systems.”
Adding a further level of complexity and challenge to the spatial reinforcement system’s design is the movement of the loudspeakers on stage. Speaker cabinets are integrated into the scenic structures which adorn the stage and as these scenery elements are moved at scene changes – and in some cases during the performance, the audio mapping must change accordingly. Explaining the ease with which TiMax object-based dynamic spatial control readily handles such a challenge, Werner states, “With TiMax, we blend the delay/ level settings for those speakers while they are moving to keep the acoustic experience for the listeners consistent.”
UK - The Batley and Spen Youth Theatre Company was recently set up to celebrate and pay tribute to the life of the late Jo Cox, MP for the constituency. Its aim was to create a lasting legacy in the town which will benefit young people for many years to come. Its inaugural project was a three-week event led by a West End creative team which included a performance of Jo’s favourite musical Les Misérables</>, using an entire local cast. In support of the project, White Light provided the lighting equipment.
The project was entitled Hear the People Sing and celebrated the values that Jo stood for: togetherness, collaboration, comradeship and equality. The performances of Les Misérables were made possible by Cameron Mackintosh generously granting the rights for free. The creative team included renowned director Nick Evans, producer Donna Munday, musical director Steve Moss and choreographer Julie Hobday. The lighting designer was Tim van ’t Hof, who comments: “I was asked in March to come on board and I didn’t think twice about saying yes! It sounded like a really exciting project, one that I was honoured to be part of, and all for a brilliant cause.”
Tim flew over from New York in April where he attended a week’s worth of workshops as the local cast were selected and put through their paces. Tim adds: “I had never actually seen a live performance of Les Misérables (something I probably shouldn’t admit!). However, it meant that I could approach the show from a completely fresh perspective; something that was id
South Korea - Located in the city of Gangneung on the east coast of South Korea, Gangneung Ice Arena is a new indoor venue which has been built for world figure skating and short track speed skating events in 2018 and as a permanent legacy facility for local recreational use.
The Gangneung Ice Arena has a seating capacity of 12,000 and houses two 60m x 30m ice rinks, for competition and training respectively. With four floors above ground and two underground, the arena has been designed using an environmentally-friendly ice cooling system.
The sound system for the Gangneung Ice Arena was designed and supplied by Inter-M Corporation, assisted by Desco Coon for the installation. The Inter-M design was accurately calculated for the required intelligibility, sound levels and coverage and was based around Community R Series loudspeakers.
For the main competition rink, Inter-M used 40 R2-694Z high power, full-range, three-way loudspeakers to achieve the required sound levels and coverage. These are supplemented by four R2SUBDF subwoofers, which add low frequency extension and impact for wide bandwidth, high quality music. The system is controlled from a Midas PRO2/IP console, with Symetrix Edge DSP. Lab.gruppen C 28:4 amplifiers power the Community loudspeakers.
The training rink uses a less powerful but similar system, to give skaters consistency of audio quality for training and competition. In the training rink, Desco used 14 R.25-94Z and eight R.5-94Z. The training system also uses a Midas PRO2/IP console, Symetrix Edge DSP and Lab.gruppen C 28:
UK - VME provided full production (including their flagship Martin Audio MLA Compact PA) for the first ever Cotton Clouds, Saddleworth’s pioneering boutique music festival.
Held at Saddleworth Cricket Club in Oldham, and surrounded by the picturesque Pennine hills, it sold out all 3,000 tickets well in advance, setting it on the road to an inevitable success. According to VME, there seemed no better time to introduce the Oldham faithful to the precision and accuracy of Martin Audio MLA.
“Being from the local area I knew that there would be issues with noise propagation,” stated Oliver Fallon, technical manager of Cotton Clouds and VME sound engineer. “During my time at VME I have worked with the Martin Audio MLA many times - therefore I knew there was no better system to do the job as it has got us out of some sticky situations in the past.”
Chris Pearce, FOH engineer for Cotton Clouds, as well as Blossoms and Inspiral Carpets, shared Oliver’s concern. “When planning for this event to take place, I was worried about the residual noise being a problem off site, due to the area being very residential. The fact that the off-site level were set at 65dB as a result added to my concerns.”
But MLA Compact helped him to achieve this while still achieving full coverage over the cricket pitch with even LF coverage. “I was hugely impressed with the MLA boxes and am looking forward to using them again and again.”
Flown left and right of the stage were eight MLA Compact, with a further four mounted on the MLX subwoofers, providin
USA - Artist- producer duo, The Chainsmokers, aka Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, embarked on their first arena tour earlier this year, visiting 36 cities across North America. The multi-faceted show was designed and produced by Miguel Risueño, aka Mike808, and Corey Johnson of Production Club, Los Angeles, with a stunning lighting design from Cory FitzGerald, and production management by Clancy Silver.
Signature to the show’s design were 126 MagicPanel fixtures from Ayrton, with 42 of the new MagicPanel-FX and 84 MagicPanel-R fixtures forming a dynamic, articulated ceiling of light above the duo, and 18 Ayrton MagicDot-R units fronting their DJ booth.
The tour was in support of Memories…Do Not Open, the duo’s first studio album which plays with the concept of a teenager’s ‘memory box’ in which a youngster might hide their precious objects – love letters, tickets, photos etc. The pretext gave the designers the perfect opportunity to explore the idea of using the box to create a stage and to ‘open’ that box of memories for the audience.
“Our vision was that the box would bring the band’s lyrics and stories to life,” explains Mike808, the show’s production designer and creative director. Our design reflected that concept, visualizing the stage as a box through which we unveiled the different memories, both those of The Chainsmokers and of the audience themselves.
“The box allowed us to be more ‘literal’ with the illustrated video content running on the V-Thru screen which wraps around the band; or, at other ti
The Netherlands - Each year, the GelreDome - home of Dutch football club Vitesse Arnhem - is transformed into a huge centre of Christian worship by the EO-Jongerendag (Evangelical Broadcasting Youth Day) event. With 25,000 young people enjoying a range of Christian music and sermons in a huge ‘in the round’ production, two Yamaha Rivage PM10 digital mixing systems ensured that the message was clearly heard.
Thanks to its retractable roof, retractable pitch and climate control system, GelreDome is readily transformed from a 35,000-capacity football stadium into a 41,000-capacity venue for live music and other events. It has hosted concerts by many of the world’s biggest performers, ranging from Madonna, Coldplay and Lady Gaga to Iron Maiden, AC/DC and Bon Jovi.
On 10 June, the 43rd annual EO-Jongerendag hosted a number of high profile Christian acts, including Lindz West, Capital Kings and Philippa Hanna, with the Beam Worship Band providing further music between the main performances and various speeches and sermons. The stage was situated in the middle of the stadium, a huge in-the-round technical production supplied by multi-disciplinary service provider Chain, a sister company of pan-European technical production business Rent-All.
Chain’s audio technical production manager for the event was Ton Damen, who specified three Yamaha digital mixers. A pair of Rivage PM10 systems took care of the Front of House mixes - one mixing the sound for the main artists, the other for the speeches and the Beam Worship Band. In addition, a QL5 was locate
UK - Since the release of their debut album Speak & Spell in 1981, Depeche Mode have had 50 songs in the UK singles charts, 17 top 10 albums in the UK chart and have sold over 100m records worldwide. For their current Depeche Mode Global Spirit Tour, Front of House engineer Antony King has chosen an L-Acoustics K1 system, supplied by UK rental company Britannia Row Productions.
Depeche Mode have worked with Britannia Row for more than a quarter of a century and this longstanding relationship with the company and the pristine equipment it provides gives peace of mind to both the band and their engineers, who are certainly putting it through its paces, with the stadium tour starting this past May in Europe and concluding in March 2018 in South America.
With the tour playing over 90 dates in stadiums and large-scale venues around the world, a system that provides accuracy and reliability was needed. L-Acoustics K1 was the choice and Antony specified a main system that comprises 14 K1 per side with four K2 as down-fills. Side-hangs are a further 14 K1 plus six K2 down-fills, to account for the throw distance needed and the large amount of vertical coverage required. There is a total of 46 KS28, with 12 of them per side flown next to the K1, whilst four hangs of 12 K1 are used for delays, all mixed via an SSL L500 Plus.
Depeche Mode’s set design always includes a thrust that sits to one side of the stage. Because of its asymmetrical construction and the position of camera platforms, there are restrictions to where the ground stacked subs c
UK - Sir Elton John is one of a number of acts PRG has had the pleasure of working with for many years. Account director Jon Cadbury explains a little about PRG’s history with Sir Elton’s tours: “We have been working with Sir Elton and his touring team for many years, and we supply lights for most of his shows around the world. I look after them in Europe, together with a fairly consistent, and excellent lighting team, and my colleague Curry Grant takes care of all of the North American and rest of the world shows.”
As part of a wide-ranging tour, taking in numerous countries around the world, Elton played a number of dates around the UK this summer, including the First Direct Arena in Leeds.
Lighting crew chief Lars Kristiansen has worked with the touring production and LD Kevin ‘Stick’ Bye for 14 years, during which time there have been various designs which have been utilised in a variety of venues, from racecourses to rugby stadiums, and arenas to cabaret clubs. “There have been lots of subtle changes to the lighting rig over the years. I think that what we have now is a very good system, it’s multifunctional, bright and we can now get the whole rig in the air in two and a half hours. The main lighting fixtures used are Vari*Lite VL3000 spots, Vari*Lite 3500 washes, Claypaky Sharpy and Beams, and Martin Mac Viper AirFX moving lights.”
One recent change to the touring rig is the use of the PRG GroundControl Followspot System. Lars explained: “When I first saw them in action at an open day at The O2, London last year, I knew
USA - For over 30 years, DeHerrera Event Services has been working behind the scenes to make the performances, conferences, and celebrations in the area around Pueblo, Colorado come to life.
The company’s highest profile work includes concerts for up to 5,000 people (Foghat, Jimmy Eat World, War, etc.) and its regular gig running AVL for the three free stages of Colorado’s State Fair. But DeHerrera Event Services also has plenty of bread-and-butter work running modest AVL systems at weddings, graduation ceremonies, and the like.
Because its large-format consoles are overkill on those smaller jobs, company owner Wayne DeHerrera recently picked up two of Ashly Audio’s new digiMIX24 digital mixers, which pack all of the features of his larger consoles into a 14” x 20”, 17lb frame using a clever workflow that, in DeHerrera’s words, “has anyone I’ve shown it to up and running confidently after just five minutes”.
“We do a lot of meetings, small conferences, and celebrations,” DeHerrera explained. “We needed something that had all of the functionality, sound quality, and reliability of our larger consoles, but until the Ashly digiMIX24 came along, smaller consoles always came up short on at least one of those requirements. We’ve been using Ashly equalizers and processors for years, and they’ve always been reliable, high-quality pieces of equipment.”
Based on the frequency and overlap of those smaller-sized jobs and the mixer’s affordability, DeHerrera purchased two Ashly digiMIX24s.
DeHerrera’s team had its fi
UK - BBC One’s musical show Pitch Battle recently completed a successful opening season with five pre-recorded episodes, plus the live finals. Live broadcasts have zero tolerance for malfunctions (just ask Mariah Carey or Janet Jackson) and gear must be 100% reliable. For this reason, lighting designer Mark Kenyon insists on ProPlex Data Distribution Devices for all his show data networking.
In addition to Pitch Battle, British television credits for ProPlex include six seasons on the hit show Strictly Come Dancing, five seasons of Saturday Night Takeaway and the new game show Big Heads – all designed by Kenyon.
“ProPlex just keeps working,” says Mark Newell, lighting gaffer and Kenyon’s chief systems tech. “For Pitch Battle, we used 10 ProPlex Opto-Splitter 2x8 RDM units, plus a user-friendly, versatile ProPlex IQ Two 1616 node for output streaming. We love this unit’s ability to be easily changed on the fly. After many shows, over many years, we’ve had no performance issues with any of these units. They perform flawlessly and are an indispensable tool for our work. ProPlex devices are rock solid.”
UK - Funktion-One rental house and sound production company, Sound-Services Ltd., worked together with the loudspeaker company to produce the Funktion-One ‘Experimental Ambisonic Soundfield’ for The Glade Stage – the major electronic and dance music stage – at The Glastonbury Festival.
Sound-Services put in a Cadac CDC seven live sound console FOH, for its audio performance, allowing the audience to fully appreciate the ambisonic configuration of the Funktion-One Evo system.
Sound-Services installed a Funktion-One Evo Touring system, comprising a main-stage FOH system with four additional positions; the six loudspeaker positions arranged in a perfect hexagon, 36 meters in diameter, to create the sound-field. The ‘Experimental Ambisonic Sound-field’ was not a discreet configuration but a system design wherein all loudspeaker positions conjoined to generate a sound location within the sound-field, with various sounds emanating from particular loudspeaker positions.
The complete CDC seven mix system included a CDC I/O 6448 stagebox and CDC MC Dante Bridge. The 96 input, 56 buss CDC seven features a 36 fader, dual 23.5 inch high contrast HD touch screen hardware control surface. Combined with the CDC OS, this provides Cadac’s intuitive, “high-agility” swipeable graphical operator experience.
The other key performance feature is the proprietary MegaCOMMS HD audio protocol. With a total through-system propagation delay from on-stage inputs to outputs, including all console processing and A-D / D-A conversions, in 37 samples (@ 96
USA - Eggshell Light Company of Honolulu, which has handled professional lighting needs on the Hawaiian Islands for decades, continues their reputation for innovation by taking delivery of Elation Professional’s new IP65-rated Proteus Hybrid multi-functional moving head.
Bob Harmon, CEO and president of Eggshell Light Company, commented on the addition of the award-winning hybrid lights to Eggshell’s rental inventory. “We often put moving lights outside for a number of events, always with the caveat that if it rains we have to shut them down. On a few occasions that was indeed the case but now we don’t have to do that thanks to the new Proteus in our rental fleet."
Designed for outdoor production applications, Eggshell’s new weatherproof Proteus Hybrid units made their Hawaiian Islands debut at the infamous Waikiki Shell in Honolulu earlier this month for a pair of Jack Johnson performances. Harmon describes the challenges the iconic venue poses with regard to lighting. "One of the inherent challenges when doing shows at the Waikiki Shell is the lack of a front truss position,” he says. “Also, the in-house spot positions are low and dead-on, so artists complain about not being able to see their audience. With fixtures being off to the sides, the Proteus solution gives us a proper stage wash and solves that spot issue.”
Harmon also explains that at the base of the venue’s house poles are outlets that they had never used before because comparable lights in similar output required 220v. “Now I can plug the Proteus in directly to 12
UK - Celebrating some of the finest music and artists from the 80s, Rewind festival takes place over three weekends each summer.
Starting in Scotland at Scone Palace, near Perth, then moving on to Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire, and with the final weekend at Henley, the festival includes performances from a variety of eighties superstars including Human League, Nik Kershaw, Go West, Level 42, Kim Wilde, the British Electric Foundation, and the Trevor Horn Band.
PRG provides support to production manager, Keith Morris, lighting designer, Martin Nicholas, and video content director, Miguel Riberio, supplying lighting and video technology, and experienced technical crew for all three weekends. Unlike many festivals which take place over a single weekend, sometimes in dual locations, Rewind is a ‘touring’ festival, taking the same production package to different sites over several weeks.
As well as the main stage, the site includes a silent disco, tribute band tent, funfair, and even an inflatable wedding chapel! For the production, PRG XL Video’s senior account manager, Paul McCauley, supplied three large LED screens, plus cameras and PPU system for IMAG. The rear upstage LED wall formed the backdrop to the stage, and two large portrait screens were flown one either side of the stage.
Ian Jones oversaw the video crew on site, which, for the Scottish show, consisted of Chris Johnson, Mark Eisen, Steve Wood, and Fabrizio DiLelio looking after LED, and Rod Williams on cameras. Mark, Steve, and Fabrizio also doubled as cameramen over the weekend.
USA - As Clean Bandit continue their touring progress towards a transatlantic sojourn in the USA in the fall, it seems an appropriate moment to consider the merits of Rob Sinclair’s production design. In particular, the constructions that inhabit the upstage area from left to right, manufactured by specialist show and event design house, Specialz Ltd. These pods are four metres high with eight VDO Sceptron 10 fixtures in each pod. Each one is rigged on a stand that enables the pod to be rotated 360° to be either facing downstage or at 45° degrees making them all but invisible to the audience.
Sinclair elaborates on the basics: “The idea was to have the mirrored pods located behind a black mirrored riser - lots of reflection – with neon edges. They needed to be able to turn so we could choose to see or obscure a video screen upstage. From that original concept we fired ideas back and forth between Specialz, myself, our lighting designer Liam Griffiths and our rather excellent PM, Tec Beint. The choice for the Sceptron LEDs strips – we opted for the 10s with a flat diffuser – was simple; it needed to be something reliable, easily rentable, not too expensive and above all, effective.”
“Rob and Liam had a very clear idea of what they wanted to achieve,” opens Specialz MD, Dave Smith. “We balanced the mirrored conceit with the more prosaic demands of weight and logistics by using laser cut mirrored acrylic to resemble a mirrorball, but much lighter. This was to be a festival package and had to move on and off stage quickly.
UK - “This was our first ever Claypaky purchase,” opens Kieran Marklew of Marklew Productions. “We had been looking to invest in some new fixtures and one of our clients had specified the K20 B-Eye so we thought it was time for us to investigate.”
Marklew Productions has been in business since 2007 and has built up a very healthy clientele, from local Birmingham businesses opting for dry hire to those looking for a full production service alongside an extensive number of college and university customers and requests for weddings or special event lighting.
“We contacted Ambersphere Solutions and spoke to Thor Andre from Ambersphere Sales. I was so impressed with the fixture it wasn’t a difficult choice to make. I especially like the added feature of the front lens rotation. It gives an amazing vortex effect which is totally unique to the B-Eye. The colour palettes are the best I’ve seen, making the fixture perfect as an open white fresnel if required; flexibility is always an important factor when deciding whether to invest. We had looked at a couple of other brands but the K20 was the number one choice, pure and simple.”
The first few jobs for the B-Eyes are a good example of how flexible they need to be. “The first show was a Strictly Come Dancing style event at the ICC Birmingham in Hall 3. We needed something that would be the centre piece of our light show. We used drop-down bars off the centre square truss which facilitated the perfect hanging position and gave a great eye candy effect towards the audience and also th
The Netherlands - In July, the Dutch port of Rotterdam hosted the 42nd North Sea Jazz Festival, attracting over 75,000 people to enjoy a rich variety of music. Headlining the Nile stage on the final night was Jamiroquai, where a Yamaha Rivage PM10 helped a capacity audience of 10,000 to get funky.
Taking place across 15 stages in the city’s Ahoy arena, the North Sea Jazz Festival is so popular that it sells out every year. This is partly due, no doubt, to the variety of music on offer. As well as classical, contemporary and futuristic jazz from across the globe, the festival features blues, pop, hiphop, dance, soul, world and funk.
Yamaha Music Europe supplied the pianos and drum kits for all stages at the festival and actively helped to provide a range of backline for many of the artists.
Funk / acid jazz specialists Jamiroquai brought the festival to a close on the Nile stage, with a Yamaha Rivage PM10 helping Front of House engineer Rick Pope to produce an exceptional mix in potentially difficult circumstances.
A Yamaha console user for around 20 years, Rick was very keen to adopt Rivage PM10 as soon as it was announced and is manning one throughout Jamiroquai’s current world tour.
Unfortunately, back problems for Jamiroquai lead singer Jay Kay meant that the first few dates of the tour had to be postponed, so North Sea Jazz was only Rick’s second show on the Rivage PM10. Added to that, the nature of a festival meant that Rick was unable to soundcheck.
“Festivals are always a challenge, because of the tight turnaroun
USA - Over two million visitors come to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History every year to view pieces of American culture, from the original Star Spangled Banner, to iconic McDonald’s signs, to a pair of Mohammed Ali’s boxing gloves. It is pure and simple, one of the most concentrated celebrations anywhere of the American spirit and creative innovation.
For one night in July, not all of that famed “Yankee Ingenuity” was on display in the museum’s exhibits. Eric Hertsch of John Farr Lighting Design also exhibited some impressive resourcefulness in the museum, as he overcame a limited power supply and tight schedule to transform sections of the building into a sparkling red, white and blue colour scape with a rig made up entirely of Chauvet Professional and Chauvet DJ fixtures.
As soon as visitors entered this private donor event, from the National Mall, they were greeted by a stunning visual of the Abstract Flag. An impressive sculpture made up of mirrored polycarbonate ribbons, the flag reflected brilliant blue hues created by the WELL Fit uplights. Hertsch positioned 36 of the battery powered RGBA fixtures around the flag and the surrounding wall.
Adding to the patriotic atmosphere were the five-point stars projected throughout the room that housed the flag sculpture. Hertsch created these images with 16 Ovation E-910FC colour mixing ellipsoidals that he positioned on truss towers in the mezzanine overlooking Flag Hall.
On the rooftop deck of the five-story building, the patriotic mood was set by red,
Australia - The Brolga Theatre in Queensland’s Maryborough is a typical regional venue – its 900-seat proscenium arch theatre hosts an international ballet troupe one night, Jimmy Barnes the next, and a local dance school the day after.
Though the venue is just 17-years-old, changes in technology mean replacement lamps are no longer available for their wash lights, leading the staff to assess how to upgrade for the future. The future, as they see it, is Elation’s Platinum Seven RGBWAC-UV LED wash light.
“We knew we had to move to LED and intelligent fixtures,” said Robert Haigh, operations technician at the Brolga. “We could afford to replace our wash, but not our profiles, so it was an easy decision to go to a moving fixture that could provide a wash, and in the case of Elation’s Platinum Seven, work as a profile in many senses.”
Twelve Elation Platinum Sevens have now replaced 48 Fresnels in the Brolga’s rig, leading to big changes in the crew’s workflow. “Since we’ve installed the Platinum Sevens, we haven’t had to focus a profile,” reported Robert. “We can focus the Platinum Sevens down to an 800mm circle on the floor from our wash position, so we can quite happily use them as a drum or lead singer profile. For a rock band, for example, we get all of the benefits of movers from the bling point of view, but when we turn off the wash, we can refocus as a profile.”
The Brolga Theatre was introduced to the Elation Platinum Seven by Graeme Hicks of Entertainment Production Supplies, whose regular visits to The