UK - Event sound monitoring and health and safety expert, Symphotech, was brought in to help Scarborough Borough Council expand their successful Open Air Theatre summer concerts.
Working with promoter Cuffe & Taylor, the council wanted to more than double the number of shows held in the town centre venue and turned to Symphotech to help them meet new licensing conditions relating to noise levels.
Previously, the Open Air Theatre had only held 12 shows a year and Scarborough Borough Council, which owns the site, wanted to expand that to 30 shows a year as part of a long-term plan to raise the town’s profile as a premiere UK resort.
One of the conditions set by the licensing authority was the requirement to carry out more noise monitoring to help minimise disruption to local residents. Symphotech worked closely with the council’s licensing team, particularly the environmental health officers, and put in place extensive measures to monitor noise levels at the concerts, which featured performances by The Kaiser Chiefs, The Jacksons and Michael Ball and Alfie Boe.
To improve the service offered, Symphotech trialled a new system in partnership with NTi Audio UK, which allowed noise levels to be monitored in real time by anyone with access to the system, including the event organisers, promoters and the sound team. In addition to remote monitoring, the team set up a fixed noise meter at a sensitive location to continuously record sound levels – both ambient background and noise from the concerts – which was fed back via a data server to
Germany - Silent concerts are an interesting alternative at open air concerts in residential areas, allowing bands and DJs to play throughout the night without a loud, intrusive PA.
One of the biggest silent concerts ever staged in Germany took place at Marienplatzfest in Stuttgart recently, where an enthusiastic crowd donned more than 1000 headphones to listen and dance to the sound of German band Adulescens.
Responsible for the 3D listening experience is tour manager and FOH engineer Tobias Raunigk, who adapted the concept of silent concerts for the band.
“With the 3D listening experience we want to deliver something special for the audience and the organiser alike,” explains Raunigk. “Sometimes the audience is a bit hesitant at first but when they put on the headphones you can see them dive into the ocean of sound.
“I’ve been using the GLD-80 for five years now. At the time, I was looking for a compact but flexible console which I could set up fast and easily myself at festivals. Our fastest change over just took four minutes,” Raunigk laughs. “Working with a GLD-80 was extremely smooth from the beginning since I was used to mixing on analogue desks from Allen & Heath. To me, the GLD-80 is simply one of the most intuitive and musical digital desks out there.
“I’m using the full range of effects processors in the GLD-80 and got rid of all the outboard sideracks,” says Raunigk. “I think the choice of EQs and compressors is excellent and I love fattening kicks and bass with the Hypabass subharmonic synthesizer.
Europe - When Berlin-based Tim Bendzko was gearing up for his latest tour, the singer-songwriter’s FOH engineer Stefan Lohr wanted to be sure that Martin Audio’s MLA PA would be on the truck as his primary PA system.
Lohr is a long-time user of the award-winning system, and production company Complete Audio, who were the first global adopters of MLA when it was launched seven years ago, were delighted to respond to the specification.
The full-size MLA system was preferred over the MLA Compact as Complete Audio proprietor, André Rauhut explained. “Although we sometimes use MLA Compact as the main PA in smaller venues, Stefan Lohr likes the tonal balance and the character of the full-size MLA - and won´t alter his mix to squeeze it in a smaller box.”
Complete Audio has supported all Bendzko’s tours dating back to 2011, mostly with MLA as first choice, and once again provided a scalable system to accommodate the different venue sizes, ranging from 2,500 up to 17,000. “It was a tour where you had to bring the appropriate gear to fit every venue size,” confirmed André.
Thanks to MLA Stefan Lohr, assisted by head of sound (and system tech) Julian Hoffmann and second line array technician Niko Fuchs, were able to deliver the full range of dynamics to Bendzko and his backing band, which included a horn section.
“As usual there was no need for any delay lines, even in the larger venues, thanks to the unmatched throw of MLA,” he continued.
Typically in the smaller club venues, production rigged between six and nine MLA
Europe - With fewer artists taking to the road for long multinational tours, the 1997/8 Comeback Tour by Belgian tenor Helmut Lotti stands out on the continental live music scene. Revolution Event Support has invested in Nexo’s Geo S12 and Geo M6 line arrays, as preferred by Lotti’s FOH engineer Bart Faut, who is on the Revolution team.
Singer-songwriter Helmut Lotti has sold over 13m albums, going platinum 90 times and gold 70 times. Now primarily a classical music performer in several styles and languages, his Comeback Tour will visit Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Finland, Sweden and Norway by the end of February 2018.
Rental company Revolution Event Support has been working for Helmut Lotti for more than 20 years. Bart Faut has moved through many roles with the performer, starting as head of stage, then becoming tour manager, production manager, lighting supplier, and in 2016, the FOH engineer. In that same year, Revolution supplied its first Nexo system to Helmut Lotti’s live concerts.
“The Geo S12 is exactly the right system for this tour,” says Faut. “The combination of a 12”speaker in a cabinet that isn’t too big or heavy gives me the right amount of power.”
For Lotti, playing in venues with 1500-2500 capacity, the Nexo system is configured with 18x GEO S12 line array cabinets for the main PA, alongside 16x GEO M620 compact array modules for frontfills, infills and outfills as required. Additional M620s are used as monitors for the violinists. Bart Faut has chosen 6x RS18 subwoofers, because they can be run i
USA - Located in the geographical heart of Minnesota, Central Lakes College embodies the state’s long-standing tradition of supporting community involvement in the arts. This spirit is very evident in the college’s two theatres, which not only showcase the work of its own drama department, but also host community theatrical productions, as well as recitals, rock concerts and a wide range of other performances.
To support this diversified schedule, the theatre’s lighting designer Ben Kent recently upgraded its rig by adding flexible Chauvet Professional LED fixtures, supplied by Monkey Wrench Productions.
“Our theatre production programme began 48 years ago, and it’s always embraced a variety of shows,” said theatre director Patrick Spradlin. “The college produces five or six theatrical productions a year, which are performed in either our proscenium space (The Chalberg Theatre) or our black box space (The Dryden). Our productions range from small one-person shows to full-scale musicals, or anything in between. Then we have a wide range of community theatre events and concerts that take place here, so we wanted Ben to look for fixtures that could give us the most flexibility possible.”
This search led Kent to Monkey Wrench Productions. “I went over a lot of different options with Monkey Wrench,” he said. “They were particularly enthusiastic about the Chauvet fixtures, so I did some research. I was impressed by the amount of thought that had obviously gone into the design of these reasonably priced fixtures.”
USA - The mandate for a clean design drives all production decisions of the OneRepublic 2017 Honda Civic 2017 tour. VER is providing a turnkey solution by providing audio, video, lighting, and tying it together with automated rigging on OneRepublic’s North American run with Fitz & The Tantrums and acoustic artist James Arthur this summer.
Deploying VER’s automated rigging “came out of sheer necessity,” says production manager Zito.
Show designer Raj Kapoor and co-production designer/lighting designer Mark Butts of Preset Productions discussed their design dilemma with VER’s rigging project managers David Martin and Richard Cano. The solution: an automated rigging system of eight Kinesys Elevation +1 systems to safely and precisely move trusses with 70,000 pounds of lighting, audio and LED video panels.
“Safety is paramount, and this system gives you the ability to use automation to enhance your safety. It allows a greater level of precision to the exact location every single time. Automation is used to not only move trusses, but we can accelerate or decelerate speed to achieve the designer’s vision,” comments David Martin.
The system makes the job safer and the movements reliable for head rigger Bill Ringstl and automation operator Clay Hutson. “The Kinesys system is brilliant,” Hutson says. “The movements are repeatable and precise, it allows us to ‘thread the needle’ so to speak, as many our cues are timed now. The system executes perfectly.”
“Critical in reinforcing safety” are several Kinesys Lib
USA - Multi-platinum, Grammy-Award winning artists Zac Brown Band (ZBB) is on the road again with a new album Welcome Home and a brand-new production lighting and visuals design created by James Scott and Louis Oliver from UK-based creative design practice, Okulus.
James and Louis have included 32 x Robe Spiiders on the lighting rig, which are integral to creating the look, feel and lighting ambience of the show.
James has been working with Zac Brown Band since 2014 and since 2015 this has been in conjunction with Louis and Okulus - adding the dynamic and strategic advantage of now being able to offer two design ‘heads’ for each project.
While the previous two tours featured prominent structures and multi-layered set pieces, the aesthetic brief for Welcome Home was to strip things back, bring the band physically closer together and make the whole live concert experience more intimate and very connected to the audiences.
A U-shaped riser set up was proposed from the outset, with a central screen to run some ambient playback video content, but primarily to carry a portrait camera shot of Zac Brown himself. After that, they had a free rein to produce ideas, from which James and Louis drew on their experience and knowledge of the music, the vibe and what they were confident would work well for the band in this context.
The eye-catching chevron shaped set, designed by Louis and James comprises a main tiered U-shaped section which accommodates the sizable keyboard and percussion rigs and leads to a central top tier platform,
USA - Founded in 1885, Second Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri has moved, built, and rebuilt numerous sanctuaries in the 130-plus years of service to the Springfield community. It completed its current 1,000-seat sanctuary in the mid-1990s.
When recent failures further exposed the shortcomings of what had been an unsatisfying sound reinforcement system from the start, Second Baptist turned to A/V integration firm Sandor Sound Services (Reeds Spring, Missouri). Sandor designed and installed a new complement of Danley Sound Labs SH-96 and SH-95 loudspeakers, whose precision pattern control and high fidelity (even at high SPLs) give the church everything it had been hoping for. Moreover, the Danley boxes’ small footprint and optional white finish effectively let them disappear visually.
“Second Baptist Church’s existing system was underpowered and left a lot of coverage holes,” said Ed Sandor, principal at Sandor Sound Services. “The challenge was to deliver the sizable output they needed without obscuring sight lines or creating an ugly mass of speakers – and to do it on a very tight budget. We were able to reuse their existing subwoofers and balcony speakers, giving us enough latitude to get the right Danley boxes for the main coverage, which was ultimately what was most important.”
He continued, “I really only had about five feet from the ceiling to the lip of the proscenium hang. Other companies were suggesting line arrays, which would have hung down too far. They would have looked like monstrosities! I showed them what Danle
The Netherlands - An Avolites Arena console was recently used as part of an extensive Avolites lighting control network for Dutch rock giants Kensington, at Pinkpop, the world's longest-running pop festival, in Landgraaf, Netherlands.
The Arena console was supplied by Belgium-based rental company, Phlippo, to the band's lighting designer Jop Kuipers. Fairlight supplied two Titan Network Processors (TNP) and an Optical Titan Network Switch (TNS), whilst Kuipers brought in his personal Titan Mobile console as backup.
"I have been using Avolites for over a decade," says Kuipers. "The Arena desk is great for large set-ups like Pinkpop, because it has a lot of on-board connection options such as fibre and SMPTE Timecode."
Kensington's Pinkpop set came in the middle of the band's 2017 summer festival tour. For the show, Kuipers designed a high-impact floor package consisting of a range of moving lights and custom-made risers, complete with diamond-shaped LED screens.
Touring the show through the Netherlands, Hungary, Germany and Switzerland means that Kuipers is reliant on local suppliers to meet fixture specifications. As it is not always possible to match specification to local supply, occasionally other fixtures need to be swapped in.
"One of my favourite features of the Avolites Titan software is the Fixture Exchange feature," says Kuipers. Fixture Exchange allows the LD to swap out a fixture whilst keeping its existing data including any group, palette and playback information, to transfer to a new fixture. This significantly reduces
UK - In keeping with Galileo’s lifetime preoccupation with circles, ellipses and their spatial movement, the Young Vic’s recent interpretation of Bertolt Brecht’s Life of Galileo was also staged in-the-round.
Central to the sound design by Tom Gibbons and associate sound designer Dan Balfour was a TiMax SoundHub processor, which provided a powerful platform for rendering immersive three-dimensional spatialisation of multi-layered sound effects and high-energy music beds, the latter specially-commissioned from one half of The Chemical Brothers, Tom Rowlands.
Balfour states, “TiMax is easy to get to grips with.” To illustrate the simplicity, he continues, “In tech we were able to add movement complementary to the action, responding to the important theme of circular movement. It liberated the sound design from simply playback and speakers.”
The action takes place as if within a planetarium. To support the powerful soundtrack, additional loudspeakers around the stage area bolster the Young Vic’s in-house sound system.
Above the central area, where actors play their parts amongst lounging members of the audience, a dome projected with lighting and video-mapping effects depicts areas of the solar system. A circular staged area surrounds the centre and further scaffolded staged areas, opposed across the central space, are brought into the action sporadically.
The dome is edged with twelve d&b Y7Ps whilst a further four are positioned around its centre. Eight Q7s are positioned around the rear of the stage area in a
The Netherlands - Superstar DJ Armin van Buuren played two solo shows at the Amsterdam ArenA and Dutch lighting creative Art of Light relied on a Hippotizer Karst Media Server to control a series of LED setups during the show.
Closing his latest Armin Only performance concept at the Amsterdam ArenA, with the biggest show that he has ever done, Armin van Buuren became the first DJ to stage a solo show at the famous venue – also home to AFC Ajax. The Armin Only show debuted in 2005 and the latest edition is bigger than ever, letting the Dutch DJ play longer sets while also exploring his artistic side.
So, while Armin Only enables the DJ to deliver a mammoth set, fans get more than just the Dutchman standing behind his decks. Armin was joined by an arsenal of musicians and singers that helped him bring his music to the ‘next level’, creating an immersive atmosphere of music and AV.
The Art of Light, the Netherlands-based creative, took care of lighting design, operating and controlling the two sold-out ArenA gigs. Responsible for the production of the event was ALDA Events, a global operating Dutch producer, concept developer and promoter of international DJ and event concepts. Creating a spectacular to wow 35,000 people, company founder André Beekmans and his team harnessed an epic gathering of lighting. The gear on show included 900 Robe moving lights, 450 luminaires, and 2.5 miles of DiGidot LED strip. The Dutch creative also used LEDWash 800s as stage down-lighters, with 48 Robe Pointes in centre stage.
Hungary - A spectacular opening ceremony in downtown Budapest marked the start of the 17th FINA World Aquatic Championships, with 14 days of world class aquatic sports following the elegant, eye-catching event directed by Olivier Feracci from French event production specialist ECA2 and Hungarian film director Csaba Kael, CEO of cultural hub Mupa Budapest.
WIcreations was contacted by Guillaume Duflot from EC2A, responsible for delivering full technical production for the event, and asked to provide rigging and structures involving a number of bespoke black-steel elements, together with their extensive expertise and knowledge of working in large scale outdoor environments. The WI project was led by Koen Peeters, and on-site crew chiefed by Stano Kusik.
The stunning panoramic setting for the FINA OC show included a massive custom-built floating stage, moored on the Danube, with Budapest’s landmark Chain Bridge on stage left. A second floating setup containing the curved tower structures and pyro was built at a nearby shipyard and finally tugged into place in two sections.
The whole scene was overlooked by the magnificent Baroque Buda Castle perched on the top of the hill opposite. The long, grandiose building was lit, video mapped and played an important part in the show which also featured some jaw-dropping water fountain artistry … accentuating the overall water theme. A cast of several hundred were onstage performing through the two hour show.
Getting lighting, sound, water and gas jets and other AV and technical elements – including m
USA - At iWeiss, ProPower means continuity in more ways than one. Their oldest ProPower Rack Power Distribution (RPD) rack has been in continuous service for 17 years, in the most challenging and hostile theatrical conditions. With over 1,500 ProPower racks in service across North America, the story of this reliable workhorse product is worth telling.
“After 17 years of continuous use in the construction and renovation of venues, amidst all the associated debris, dust and dirt, our oldest ProPower rack still functions flawlessly,” says Richard Parks, VP of rigging and installation at iWeiss. “I can’t praise this product enough. It always saves us time and money with a single tie that the crew can work without an electrician, and it always passes the OSHA and AHJ inspections.”
Parks adds, “This rack has supported dozens of crews, rigging, welding and hoisting, year after year. It’s been used to power everything from power tools to sophisticated motion control and stage machinery. We’ve gotten more than our money’s worth from our ‘Old Faithful’ ProPower distros.”
For 40 years, New Jersey’s iWeiss has provided quality drapery and rigging solutions to the entertainment industry. Offering a variety of products and services, including project management; draping; installation; steel fabrication; backdrops; rigging; automation; and more, iWeiss takes great pride in superior performance and personalized service.
Custom-configurable ProPower power distribution systems offer a comprehensive range of distro panels incorporatin
USA - Following last fall’s sold-out headline tour, Sabrina Carpenter’s ongoing The De-Tour is taking the American singer, songwriter, and actress to over 30 venues across the USA and Canada this summer. The tour utilizes venue-provided “racks and stacks” but carries a 32ft video wall and an audio package that includes an Allen & Heath dLive S5000 Surface and DM64 MixRack for FOH.
FOH engineer Jason Brandt created his dLive show file prior to rehearsals and made use of dLive’s Virtual Sound Check (VSC) feature and a recording made with Waves Tracks Live. Brandt says, “I continue to track every show because the tour has taken us to a variety of venues which are all very different sounding environments, and the VSC really helps with setups.”
He notes that The De-Tour includes two opening acts who use the dLive for both FOH and monitors. Brandt set up separate show files for each opening act to allow them full flexibility with their mixing needs while maintaining his dLive setup for Sabrina.
Brandt says, “Sabrina is very talented and her music is diverse. She really flips through the genres.” To help bring Sabrina’s music to her live audiences, Brandt uses a combination of Waves and other external effects along with the dLive’s internal harmonizer, hall reverbs and delays. “She uses a lot of lush reverb with long tails in her big songs,” he notes.
Brandt uses a dLive scene to set up these effects and balance the mix for each of Sabrina’s songs. He manages the tour’s 48 inputs, six recorded tracks, multiple
Europe - Danish musician and producer Anders Trentemøller will be taking a selection of DPA microphones on tour this summer when he delivers a live set at 20 European festivals.
Based in Copenhagen, Trentemøller is internationally acclaimed for his heart-wrenching melodies, exceptional production and a trademark sound somewhere between indie and electronic. His recent work is driven by a passion for experimentation and succeeds in transcending influences and genres to deliver a much more organic version of his signature sound.
To help translate this sound to the live stage, Trentemøller’s sound engineer and FOH mixer Sune Snellman Jakobsen has specified a wide range of DPA microphones for this summer’s festival tour. These include 10 d:dicate 2011C Twin Diaphragm Cardioid Compact Microphones, four d:vote 4099D Instrument Microphones, one d:vote 4099CM Instrument Microphone with Clamp Mount, two d:facto 4018VL Linear Vocal Microphones and two d:dicate 4017C Compact Shotgun Microphones.
“We are using d:dicate 2011C mics on the kick drum, snare drum, hi-hats, drumkit overhead and on the bass amp,” says Jakobsen. “The d:vote Instrument Microphones are being used under the snare drum, on toms and for some percussion.”
Jakobsen began using DPA microphones on acoustic instruments some years ago, but only recently tried them on drums when he was touring with the Danish band, Mew.
“I was impressed by the way these microphones, particularly the tiny d:vote capsules, handled loud sound sources,” says Jakobsen. “The mics we are
Hungary - The 17th FINA World Aquatic Championships took place in Budapest with 14 days of aquatic sports following a vibrant, colourful, elegant and epic opening ceremony directed by Olivier Feracci from French event production specialist ECA2 and Hungarian film director Csaba Kael, CEO of cultural hub Mupa Budapest.
Lighting designer Frédéric “Aldo” Fayard from Concept K in Paris specified over 400 moving lights for the event, 80 per cent of which were Robes.
He was brought on-board by French event production company ECA2 who co-ordinated all the technical production. The event included a host of other visual elements like large format projections, mapped buildings, water fountains and fireworks.
A cast of several hundred performed during the two-hour show, broadcast live on national TV, on the M4 Sport channel (Directed by Andras Kakatos) and streamed on CNN Create, from a special stage floating on the river Danube in the heart of downtown Budapest. The stunning location was beside the city’s iconic chain bridge and overlooked by the massive Baroque palace of Buda Castle.
It was a challenging brief for Aldo to light in every aspect. The stage was 40m wide and occupied around 1200sq.m of space and as well as filling that and covering the large cast, he also needed to be able to shoot light down the Chain Bridge on stage left / house right, which was over 150m long and throw a wash onto the left bank of the river 300m away, which included some substantial audience viewing areas.
That was not all, there were enormous dancing fo
UK - Romsey Abbey is a magnificent 12th century church – the largest parish church in Hampshire and home to a vibrant congregation. It has also been used as a performance venue by Music in Romsey (MIR) since the early 1970s. MIR hosts an extensive series of concerts there throughout the year. Musicians involved range from local choirs and bands to international soloists and orchestras. However, the group has always struggled to 'raise' their performers due to a lack of any special staging.
Bob Smith, stage manager for Music in Romsey said: "In the past we've had to use whatever we had to hand – literally – old beer crates with sheets of hardboard laid over the top come to mind. We then had some wooden platforms made which could be stacked and placed on trolleys and these were used at every concert when staging was needed until about four years ago. They were 1.3m square and 24, 12 and six inches high – and very heavy. So, we began to look for something new and lighter. I was given a budget and met representatives of a number of staging suppliers but it was Doughty Engineering who ticked all our boxes."
Bob worked closely with Laurence Dyer at Doughty to agree on the quantities and sizes of Stagedeck. Bob explained: "Each stage is different and the Abbey, being some 900 years old, is not metric so we had to ask for a number of 'bespoke' items, some of which, I understand have now made their way into the Doughty catalogue."
Bob and Laurence worked together to design various pieces of kit around the Abbey. Most of what has been supplied, howeve
USA - After announcing the Joanne World Tour six months ago, Lady Gaga stayed mum on the details of this major production. As the Rogers Arena doors opened on 1 August, 2017, the hashtag #JOANNEWorldTour interrupted social media threads and trended worldwide as followers raved about Mother Monster’s extravagant set and stage design.
The stunning aesthetics of the Joanne World Tour gave many attendees goosebumps as the set and stage, built by TAIT, took over the entire arena. The full layout consisted of a very dynamic and kinetic main stage, three flying bridge platforms which double as projection displays, two satellite stages and an LED integrated b-stage.
Lady Gaga opened the Joanne World Tour with a show-stopping performance of Diamond Heart on what looked like a typical TAIT stage platform until the stage went ‘Gaga’ and moved into different configurations. The jaw-dropping 85ft wide main stage is fashioned with three automated lifts used for scenic props and staging equipment, in addition to, five performer wave lifts surrounded with LED video panels. The lifts transform the stage into several intricate looks throughout the show.
For a number of her dance routines, Lady Gaga and her gang of dancers strut on LED performer wave lifts which USA Today refers to as ‘Tetris Stages’ due to their endless transformations. Three of the five performer wave lifts are 17ft wide and sit side by side upstage. Parallel to the upstage performer wave lifts are two 50 ft. wide performer wave lifts. When moving in unison, all of the wave l
USA - Kent State University chose three, side-by-side James Thomas Engineering PRT roof structures for their recent commencement ceremony.
PRT systems are James Thomas Engineering Pre-Rig Super Truss roof systems with 38.1mm (15 inch) towers. They measure 12.2 x 12.2m (40 x 40ft), with the centre roof having an additional mid-stage span. The structures are tied together with Pre-Rig SuperTruss, which forms the sound bays.
All structures were provided by KO Management.
USA - Following the completion of his From Here To Now To You tour in 2013-2014, Jack Johnson has only played a handful of shows over the past three years. However, with his new album, All The Light Above It Too, slated to drop in early September, the former professional surfer-turned-singer/songwriter, actor and activist recently returned to the road with his band - and Rat Sound’s L-Acoustics K1/K2 system - to preview his upcoming material.
Johnson has enjoyed a long history with the Camarillo-based sound company, which has reinforced all of his tours since 2000. Although the 2013-2014 trek carried a Kara-based loudspeaker system that was ideal for the more intimate theatres and performing arts venues on that run, this latest tour stopped at much larger spaces -including California’s 17,500-seat Hollywood Bowl and Washington’s 22,000-seat Gorge Amphitheater on its collective four-week journey - all of which were completely sold out, making K1/K2 the obvious choice.
“This system has been the perfect size for the tour,” says Rat Sound system tech and crew chief Bjarne Hemmingsen, who was tasked with designing the loudspeaker model in L-Acoustics’ Soundvision software each morning. “The show sits at around 94dbA with some very soft delicate parts, and K1/K2 is great at providing even coverage throughout each venue while still keeping a full sound at the very back.”
The tour’s standard loudspeaker array configuration consisted of a dozen K1 plus four Kara downs flown per side, flanked by far left and right hangs of up t
USA - Australian Pink Floyd has appeared before over four million fans in 35 countries. The band captivates fans by recreating Pink Floyd’s stage shows. This immersive multi-sensory experience is very much on display in Australian Pink Floyd’s current USA tour, thanks in no small part to a nine-universe lightshow that Tom Mumby designed and controls with the ChamSys MagicQ MQ500 Stadium console.
Mumby, owner of Vivid Lighting Design, is using over 150 fixtures in the show. A 5m ircle that holds 26 moving washes and frames a video wall serves as the centrepiece of his design. His main rig is also made up of six vertical ladders, hung at staggered heights from a 50’ truss. Complementing the lights on the ladder trussing is a collection of 26 washes, strobes and blinders that runs along the downstage edge. An additional eight washes are used as sidelights.
Rounding out the design is a 40’ front truss with spot fixtures that are used for key lighting and washes that are used to light signature Pink Floyd inflatables.
“The show aims to be a true likeness to Pink Floyd, not just in terms of the music, but also in production value,” said Mumby. “A lot of time and thought is put into how best to portray the show in a unique way, while trying to stay true to what it was in days gone by.”
Mumby credits his ChamSys MagicQ MQ500 Stadium with helping him realise this creative goal. Aside from saving him time when setting up his show and making changes to it, the new console has opened more creative options for him, thanks to its flexibilit
USA - When Tim Farquhar took his first look at the site of the Beanstalk Music and Arts Festival, he described it as “a lighting designer’s dream”. Not only was the setting breathtakingly beautiful with its panoramic view of the Rocky Mountains and the Upper Colorado River, but at 6,600’ above sea level and miles from the nearest city there was virtually no ambient light, save the stars in the summer sky, to distract from a lightshow.
Farquhar, owner of Farquhar Productions in Boulder, CO, recently made the most of this dream opportunity for himself and visiting band LDs by creating a powerful and flexible lighting rig for the four-day Beanstalk event. His flexible rig was anchored by a collection of Chauvet Professional Rogue R1 Spots and Chauvet DJ Intimidator fixtures supplied by Field View Productions.
“Every LD wants work in a beautiful setting, and you can’t get much more beautiful than this,” said Farquhar. “There was very little ‘light pollution’ at night, so our lights really stood out. Thanks to the output of the Rogue Spots, it was easy to light not only the stage, but the area around it as well.”
The lighting designer for Magic Beans, the popular jam band that started Beanstalk five years ago, Farquhar was a natural choice to work the festival, which featured a diverse range of artists this year headlined by its founders plus Disco Biscuits and Fruition.
Farquhar’s free flowing holistic approach to lighting design fits his client’s music as well as the spirit of their namesake festival. “I really try to
USA - The theme at the bar and cocktail lounge Campbell Apartment, located in Grand Central Terminal in New York City, centralized on the history of its landmark status. The space was once the office of American financier John W. Campbell, a member of the New York Central Railroad's board of directors.
Later used for office space, as a studio by CBS Radio and as a jail by Metro-North Railroad, the space was restored to its original opulence following renovations totalling nearly $2m in 1999 and 2007. The walls and ceiling were brought back to their former glory, a new bar was constructed using the same quatrefoil mahogany as the balcony and the original steel safe, once hidden behind a wall, now sits in the massive fireplace as a reminder of Campbell's wealth.
Temporarily closing its door for a year for leasing issues, Campbell Apartment reopened in June 2017 under the new ownership of hospitality vanguard, Gerber Group. One of the first orders from the company’s principal and CEO, Scott Gerber. To update the bar’s acoustics for a better distributed audio and one that it matches the prestige of the structure.
Global Audio Systems was tasked with this responsibility given that its owner, Jason Ojeda had previously worked with the Gerber Group at several of their properties and entrusted him with such an important project. Ojeda had first-hand experience using K-array in several projects prior and according to him, “it was simply the right fit for this job at Grand Central and would sound amazing.”
With help from distributors K-array Ame
UK - The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) staged the London premiere of Scuttlers in its city centre GBS Theatre, an intense drama about the struggles and power politics of 19th century Manchester street gangs set against a steaming, grinding industrial revolution backdrop bringing massive social change and great uncertainty. The work was written by Rona Munro in response to the UK’s unsettling spate of urban riots in 2011.
Directed by Hannah Eidinow, the production was lit by Declan Randall, a South African theatre lighting specialist living in the UK, who made use of a number of different Robe fixtures available at RADA.
Declan was asked to light this production by Matthew Leventhall, RADA’s head of production lighting, working alongside a team of RADA students.
The stark, raw industrial set – designed by Postgraduate Theatre Design (Set & Costume) student Christianna Mason – “was a real gem” for any lighting designer, he says. It provided a great starting point, offering many interesting angles and rigging points for lights and using different levels and numerous colours and textures, he re-created the edgy, dangerous and precarious world of the Scuttlers.
For general ambience, the call was to replicate the smog and grime of factories and mills shot through with impressions of gaslight and flames, the two most common lightsources of the time. They also needed enough latitude to use theatrical devices for some of the show’s more choreographed and stylised moments as well as presenting a few visual surprises! “In shor