Germany - Whether football at the Bundesliga level, corporate conferences, or cultural events: the Kia Metropol Arena in Nuremberg, opened in 2021, has impressed visitors with its flexibility, space, and unmatched visibility for over 4,000 spectators across four stands.
Thanks to cost-effective solutions planned and implemented by Bosch, the arena is highly secure – while at the same time providing crystal-clear sound for all its events. The building makes the most of IoT, connectivity and digital solutions: In addition to the latest IP technologies for video surveillance, intrusion and fire protection, the arena also hosts an integrated solution for public address and voice alarm, which completely dispenses with analogue transmission paths.
With its quality sound, quick voice alarming, and crystal-clear speech for emergencies, the easy-to-use sound system and voice alarm solution implemented in the Nuremberg arena meets all requirements for major events and sets a new standard for future projects.
The technological heart of the system is the IP-based Praesensa system from Bosch, a flexible solution with a built-in fail-safe due to its innovative multi-channel amplifier architecture. A digital mixing console and radio microphones are connected to the system, and a total of 56 certified full-range loudspeakers from Electro-Voice were installed in the interior of the Kia Metropol Arena.
The acoustics of sports halls are often considered particularly difficult to get right due to the reverberation caused by the spacious architecture. To address
France - The Théâtre du Châtelet, an arts and cultural landmark venue in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, designed by Jean-Antoine-Gabriel Davioud and completed in 1862, re-opened to the public in 2019 after several years of extensive renovation work. The theatre has recently re-opened again post pandemic.
Forty Robe T1 Profile moving lights are now part of the lighting rig at the 2500-capacity theatre which has regained its youthful appearance with a complete backstage electrical and scenographic re-fit that has seen ageing sound and lighting equipment replaced by modern technology meeting the venue’s contemporary requirements.
Initially, 36 x T1 Profiles were supplied to the venue by Robe France to replace the old non-automatic projectors in front of and above the stage. There was an urgent need for lighting that would improve the whole experience for audiences, artists, lighting designers and technicians explained Bernard Maby, Théâtre du Châtelet’s lighting manager for nearly 30 years.
For Bernard and the lighting team, the real strength of the T1 lies in three specific features starting with the patented framing shutters module with 4 individually positionable blades and + / - 60-degree rotation of the complete frame system.
Next, he mentions the CMY colour mixing and DataSwatch filters offering an infinite choice of pure and pastel colours and a full range of colour corrected whites with Robe’s new gen RCC (Robe Colour Calibration) algorithm giving wide ranging 2700K to 8000K CCT control. This expansive combination means
USA - To ensure wide coverage and balanced sound quality at the 2022 Global Citizen Festival, Firehouse Productions deployed JBL Professional VTX Series line array systems.
Founded in 2012 by Global Poverty Project’s Ryan Gall and Hugh Evans, Global Citizen Festival is an annual music festival with one humanitarian goal - to end poverty worldwide. Instead of selling tickets, the Global Citizen Festival’s model offers free tickets to the festival as a reward for “global citizens” who respond to calls for tangible actions in the fight against poverty. In the decade since its inception, global citizens have taken more than 30.4m actions resulting in $2.4bn being committed to help more than 1.15bn people living in poverty around the world.
The 2022 edition of Global Citizen Festival featured two events happening simultaneously on 24 September 24 in the United States and Ghana. The US edition took place in Manhattan at Central Park’s Great Lawn and featured performances by Metallica, Mariah Carey, Måneskin, Charlie Puth, The Jonas Brothers and more. Concert organizers once again hired Firehouse Productions to supply a sound system powerful enough not only for a major festival with thousands of attendees, but also one that could deliver the power needed for a Metallica concert.
To ensure wide coverage and balanced audio quality with clarity and impact, Firehouse Productions deployed a complete JBL VTX live sound solution, designed by Paul Bauman of PdB Sonic Design and featuring more than 100 VTX V25-II line array speakers.
USA - Canacopia is a one-day festival sponsored by Forty8 Live!, dedicated to the appreciation of adult canned beverages. Taking place on 10 September, non-stop musical performances were held throughout the day, culminating in a headline performance from Grammy winner, Zedd. Creative BackStage worked with Zedd’s team to build a rig for the mainstage, which featured 112 Chauvet Professional fixtures.
The dynamic lightshow supporting the headliner’s performance was designed by Zedd’s LD Steven Hernandez. John Garberson of Creative BackStage spent months working with Forty8 Live! and the Zedd team to bring the event to life.
Garberson had a clear vision in mind when putting together the rig - it had to be bright enough to create bold looks during daylight hours for opening acts, which included Evening Elephants and The Brook & The Buff, and intense enough to stand up to the large bright video wall that was a critical part of the headliner’s show.
“Looking back at the show and evaluating it in terms of our goals for the design, I have to say I was really happy with the way this setup worked for Zedd’s lighting and video team,” commented Garberson. “They did great work syncing the show using timecode. The lighting and video flowed great together to create a single visual experience. The Chauvet fixtures were nice and bright while working alongside the bright LED screens.”
Featured in the rig were eight Maverick Force S Spot, 40 Rogue R2 Beam, 40 Rogue R2 Wash, and 24 STRIKE Array 2 fixtures. These luminaires were drawn from
USA - Since her first Grammy Awards performance, Lorde has entrusted FOH mixing engineer Philip J. Harvey for her live audio needs. Currently, Harvey is wrapping up his work for the singer’s Solar Power 2022 Tour across the US, where a high-quality, comfortable and accurate audio solution was of utmost importance.
Pulling from his experience as a self-taught audio tech working in clubs and on the road with bands such as Medeski Martin & Wood, Mumford and Sons and My Bloody Valentine, as well as Jack White’s The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and Dead Weather, Harvey knew what brand would check all the boxes. He worked with audio provider Clair Global to select a number of instrument and vocal mics from DPA Microphones.
“With the recent addition of the new 4055 Kick Drum Microphone, the entire drum set is DPA,” Harvey explains. “We also have a 2011C Twin Diaphragm Cardioid on the snare top and 4099 CORE Extreme SPL on snare bottom, hi-hats, toms and under heads. On the conga and quinto, we have the 4099 loud SPL. Lorde herself, Ella, is on a d:facto 4018VL Vocal Microphone in silver nickel, then we also have five backing vocalists, and they’re all using 4488 CORE Headset Microphones. We started with 4488s from DPA after experimenting with 4088 Directional Headsets through Clair Global. As soon as everybody put them on, we were blown away with how comfortable they were. You can also really get that articulated boom in the perfect place.”
DPA has been entrusted by Harvey for Lorde’s live performances since 2017. “I love how natura
South Africa - The Saturday Showdown is South Africa’s newest and hottest prime-time TV sports games show. Lighting designer Ryan Lombard was delighted to be asked onboard and he seized the opportunity to use Robe moving lights, including MegaPointes which were a new investment for rental specialist and lighting supplier, Blond Productions.
The show, recorded at Urban Brew Studio 10 in Johannesburg, and produced by Red Pepper Productions for broadcaster Mzansi Magic, is a hi-energy action-packed sport-themed entertainment game show with big prize money.
Ryan took Michael Gill’s set design as the show’s visual blueprint as he started to think about lighting. The two have worked collaboratively on several recent TV projects and enjoy a great synergy and creative language.
Ryan assessed the Showdown environment which included a ‘studio’ area where the contestants sat and the presenters did their bits, and an ‘arena’ space where many of the games were staged. He and his boss at Blonde Production, Christiaan Ballot, both thought of MegaPointes.
Robe’s South African distributor DWR had four of these fixtures in stock, so they bought these which almost immediately went on the show. They are the first MegaPointes for Blond, although the company has many other types of Robe moving lights in its lighting inventory.
Studio 10 is one of the biggest TV facilities in the Gauteng province and with throw distances of up to 7m in the arena part of the space, the beams had to be punchy and have real impact.
The 13 Showdow
USA - After 122 shows over four years, rock band Kansas wrapped up the Point of Know Return Anniversary Tour. With fans still clamouring for the show to carry on, the band embarked on a tour celebrating their classic hits with a lighting system designed by Scott Pearson and provided by Bandit Lites.
With nine gold albums, three multi-platinum albums and six decades of touring, Kansas is one of the more formidable rock bands consistently touring.
“During COVID-19, I personally have become very close to several members of the Kansas entourage, especially Phillip Ehart and JR Rees,” said Bandit Lites chair, Michael T. Strickland. “We bonded in the early days and have stayed in constant communication for over two years. There is not a finer, more talented organization that Kansas. Their involvement and work on COVID-19 relief was second to none and we all owe them a debt of gratitude.”
Bandit Lites supplied Pearson Martin MAC Viper Profiles, Chauvet Rogue R2 Washes and Elation CuePix Blinder WW2.
Using the Rogue R2 Washes to simulate the classic PAR look, those in the audience are transported back in time to a 1970s look with today’s technology. Forgoing video, the tour utilises backdrops while the stage set and truss towers are toned with Elation SixPar 100s. “The Rogue R2 Washes are a ton of fun and very punchy,” said Pearson. “I really like them as a front wash.”
As the long-time designer is well versed in the music and parameters of the band, Pearson is given the latitude to try new and different lighting for
South Africa - Jazz as Heritage was the theme of this year’s jazz festival held in Johannesburg in partnership with UJ Arts & Culture, The Wits School of Arts’ Cultural Policy and Management and The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts on 2 and 3 September. DWR Distribution was a sponsor of the event which was hosted at UJ and featured a line-up including old-school jazz and diga dancers to performances by Zoë Modiga, Abbey Cindi and Muneyi, workshops and a panel discussion.
“The jazz at UJ concert is a biennial event,” explains Thato Maroga, production manager at UJ Arts & Culture. “We are inspired by the reality that jazz music is a multi-generational cultural experience. Here people from all walks of life and cultural and racial backgrounds can gather in one space and enjoy it. This year’s programme was truly a representation of the vast jazz scene in South Africa from old-school Malombo to new-age jazz sounds, all on one stage. Having sponsors such as DWR and other partners validates the shared value of the arts and live performances.”
DWR assisted with lighting, audio and backline. Stuart Andrews, projects and operations manager at DWR explains, “We showcased DiGiCo, Audix microphones and Robe lighting and brought in one of our rental company clients, Remember Chaitezvi, to support us with backline equipment and technical back-up. DWR also supplied onsite professional support.”
The lighting equipment included Robe T1 Profiles, Robe LEDBeam 350 washes and Robe Tarrantula and UJ added their i
UK - The 2022 Commonwealth Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies, took place at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium in August, Celebrating the rich history, culture and identity of the city and the West Midlands, Unusual played a key role as the contracted rigging supplier.
Working for Gary Beestone, Unusual’s job was to provide all the rigging and install all the lighting for the spectacles. Sam Carter, Unusual’s lead rigger on the project explained: “It’s been a couple of months now since the opening ceremony and the feedback we’ve had ever since has been unreal! We had our work cut out – it was a mammoth event with a modest budget, but the result was two fantastic ceremonies.”
Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium is a relatively new venue, with the west stand just recently built and the north and south stands set up as temporary structures. Big towers were erected by ESG, with the Unusual team installing video screens, supports for lighting, and hanging all speakers on wires.
“We were essentially responsible for all the duties that you’d imagine production riggers could handle – all the lighting, PA and video – basically, we suspended everything that needed hanging and took on the role of problem solvers in that area too,” added Sam.
As can be expected with an event of this scale, the challenges were many – from tight schedules (“we had six weeks to get everything done,” said Sam), to making the venue suitable for the ceremonies.
“We took an initial couple of weeks to carry out some capital works to the venue.
UK - The recent Boisdale Music Awards provided a prestigious showcase for the restaurant group’s Canary Wharf venue in London’s Docklands.
Hosted by Boisdale Patron of Music Jools Holland, this event saw gongs awarded in 14 categories including a Lifetime Achievement Award for Black Sabbath guitarist and founding member Tony Iommi.
Performers on the night enjoyed the use of a newly installed Nexo sound system, a further example of Boisdale’s commitment to excellence in its nightly staging of live music performances.
“We’ve had nothing but positive comments from visiting artists and sound engineers since installing the Nexo system” says Boisdale commercial and marketing director Adam Priestley. “It’s important that performers and audience alike experience the very best live sound, and that’s exactly what they get with Nexo.”
Nexo L15 subs are flown with the main clusters of four Nexo Geo M620s, ensuring that every seat in the house at Boisdale Canary Wharf gets a great view of the stage as well as perfect sound coverage.
Nexo ID and ePS Series speakers deliver further coverage throughout the two-storey venue, with power and processing provided by a rack of 11 Dante-networked Nexo NXAMP4X2MK2 powered processors.
Presenting the award for Best Reggae Artist to guitarist, songwriter and producer Dennis Bovell was none other than Nexo’s own Andy Simmons. “It’s a great honour to present an award to a legend as Dennis, and a real pleasure to be at an event which celebrates such an exciting and diverse range of mus
The Netherlands - Indie rock stalwarts Kensington have been widely praised by critics for bringing layers of added dimensions to their music without sacrificing any of its immediate power to engage emotionally. For six days this September, the quartet from Utrecht were supported by a light and video show that reflected the multi-faceted appeal of their songs.
The intricate and tightly coordinated show turned the 17,000-capacity Ziggo Dome into an immersive 3D galaxy of images that flowed in perfect harmony to the music being produced on stage. At the centre of it all was a massive 800m² ‘tree’ made of blow-through and solid LED panels that worked cohesively with intense, fast-moving displays of light.
Like the entire production, the mesmerizing video-and-light combination was the product of intense collaboration, as well as some seamless integration between two ChamSys MagicQ MQ500M Stadium consoles. (A third MQ500M was on site as a backup.)
“The thing that made this show much easier was that we did everything from the same show file,” said lighting director and programmer Leon Driessen. “I first made the cue stacks/cues on my MQ500M, and later we imported them into the video console using the Load Show Structure feature on the MQ500M used by our video director, Fabian Fisniku, who programmed on disguise servers. This worked out very well, as we only needed to make the show file once for all the cues and stacks, including timeline events.”
The 50-universe show (40 for light, 10 for video) was a tribute, not only to the skill of th
Denmark - Lighting designer Sune Verdier used Astera Titan Tubes and AX3 LightDrops as practical and imaginative tools and vital components of his striking lighting scheme for a revival of the popular Danish musical, Elsk Mig i Nat (Love Me Tonight), which was produced by the One and Only Musical Teater company.
The show features a full-tilt string of Danish chart-topping hits from the 1980s, and first premiered in 2009.
This completely new production of the show was directed by Tomas Agerholm with scenography by Benjamin La Cour. It launched at the Scandic Falconer venue in Copenhagen and then played at the Music Theatre Holstebro and at Vejle Music Theatre over three months. Sune – known for his design style and flair – has worked with Tomas and Benjamin on other projects, and they asked him onboard to light this show.
It was a fun show that needed a flexible approach and to encompass multiple moods and atmospheres, but most importantly, to go with the flow of the scenography, explained Sune, whose first challenge was finding a wireless solution for the mid to upstage key lighting.
The backdrop for the original production was a castle being run as a hotel where a group of friends who played in a band together were meeting up with their ex-lead singer who had left to pursue a successful solo career. To make it contemporary, the cast of this version were transposed to a glamping site, which happened to be a massive marquee ballroom built in the castle’s garden – while the hotel is being renovated. Most of the action too
Canada –With a seating capacity of 2,000, Light Presbyterian Church in the Canadian city of Mississauga is a Gospel-centred church that serves a multi-ethnic and multi-generational community.
The audio environment in the wide, fan-shaped chapel is far from perfect. The stage is not the most acoustically friendly environment, suffering from plenty of reflections, and a second-floor glass balcony railing adds further acoustic energy back into the sanctuary. This combination meant that the congregation was finding it hard to hear and fully understand services.
To solve these challenges, Light Presbyterian Church turned to Abe Son from Benabe ProSound. Having worked with the church on various AV upgrades for a number of years, he knew the challenges the venue presented and had a solution to solve the problem – TW AUDiO’s VERA20i.
“We needed to design an L-R rather than L-C-R line array system for the wide, fan-shaped chapel,” recalls Son. “The ‘true’ 120° VERA20i line array speakers were perfect for delivering even sound coverage across the whole chapel.”
The installed solution sees L-R hangs of five VERA20i-120° cabinets and three VERA20i-80° enclosures. Four VERA S32i subs flown as a central cluster provide low frequency reinforcement, while a combination of C5, T20i, C5i, C12 and C15 cabinets serve as fills in various areas. Power and processing is courtesy of Powersoft amplifiers and DSP.
With the VERA20i line arrays solving the challenge of providing even coverage, Son turned to the reflection issues faced inside t
USA - Jon Pardi’s Ain’t Always The Cowboy tour features a towering lighting rig, industrial influenced riser, and scenic design.
Chris Reade, KYVA’s lighting designer, credits Jay Ballinger, the company’s set designer with turning their client’s vision into reality. “Jay and Jon really came together on this,” said Reade. “The idea was to project strength through masculine steel beams and rugged structural elements.”
Reade designed a potent Elite Multimedia supplied lighting rig that featured 190 Chauvet Professional fixtures to accentuate and enlarge the evocative set design. “The lighting architecture is boxy to be consistent with the set; and there are some angles that make it feel larger overall,” he said. “Jay's overall concept changed within our process, but we wanted to have a “wall of light” within the set. We have contrast between cold and warm light, kind of an old school verses new technology vibe. I'm a big fan of this style of lighting, and it works well with an artist such as Jon.”
Shooting light through the blow-through riser that runs across the stage, adds to the impact of the entire design, while a massive wall of light backdrop fills a lot of trim, yet at the same time, the stage seems intimate and deep. Reade credits production manager Jeff “Goofy” Greeninger and LD Jacob Mueller with helping the design team adapt this impressive rig for different venues on the 25-date tour.
“There's a reason why the articulation of the trusses is a certain way in this design,” he said “It looks
Columbia - German lighting designer Dennis Feichtner was delighted that the Robe moving lights specified on his production lighting plot were available at each show on a recent Latin American tour with black metal gurus, Emperor.
The band, spearheaded the Norwegian inspired second wave of the genre in the 1990s, and now reform occasionally for special performances and festivals playing hits from their three seminal albums of that era. These are always sold out. A loyal cult following of dedicated fans worldwide are renowned for their enthusiasm and nowhere was that more evident than in Latin America.
Dennis enjoys the theatrical and dramatic potential of black metal was very excited to land in the LD ‘hot seat’ for Emperor earlier in 2021.
The Latam shows were the first gigs of the year for the band, the first time Emperor had played the territory outside of Mexico City and also a first for Dennis’s touring experience.
The band gave him an impression of how they wanted to the lighting to look, basically maintaining a classic 1990s signature, a task much harder than it sounds, especially with music characterised by being extremely fast-and-furious with screeching vocals and loud distorted guitar riffs.
Apart from that, he was left to his own devices and imagination and wanted to build to build an atmosphere and a mysterious aura with copious haze and minimal front light.
He took the colours of the three albums’ artwork – red, blue, and green – and while some might find that limiting, he found it liberating in terms of
USA - Rapper and singer Jelly Roll is out on the road performing with a lighting system from Bandit Lites. The Southern hip hop country rock breakout artist recently hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Emerging Artists chart, leading as the top emerging act in the US for the first time thanks to his new album, Ballads of the Broken. The Son of a Sinner singer has been touring with Shinedown on their Planet Zero World Tour.
As Jelly Roll’s sound crosses multiple music genres, his team called upon lighting director Nate Cromwell to program a show that wouldn’t resemble a traditional hip hop, country or rock show, but instead showcase a performance that is as unique and dynamic as he is.
“They also didn’t want him, or the message to get lost in all of the visual noise that can be achieved these days,” said Cromwell, “therefore my approach was to try to resonate and amplify the emotions and expression that was coming through, but in lyrics and music.”
Bandit Lites supplied a modular system that would provide a large amount of visual horsepower that would be able to move on and off the stage efficiently. The system is made up of 120 Ayrton Magic-Dots, Elation CuePix WW2, GLP X4 Bar 10, JDC1 LED Strobes, Robe BMFL Spots and Robe Patt 2017.
“When (tour manager) Ron Gardner first contacted me, he told me that they wanted a wall of light behind the band that was quick to deploy and remove after Jelly Roll’s set since they had to clear the decks swiftly for Shinedown to close the night,” said Bandit Lites vice president of p
Poland - Established for over 50 years, the renowned Musical Theatre in Poznań, west Poland, has premiered a remarkable number of hit shows across the decades, many of which were written especially for the theatre and proceeded to become celebrated productions performed across the country.
With an audience capacity of approximately 400, the specialist venue prides itself on production values, and with a new high-profile play coming to the theatre, the venue made the timely decision to upgrade its long-serving DiGiCo console from an SD5 to a dedicated theatre model, the SD7T.
Among recent productions was Irena, a newly authored play that explores the story of Polish woman, Irena Sendler, who saved over 2,000 Jewish children from the holocaust during World War II. The English-language libretto was written by Polish-born US-based journalist, Piotr Piwowarczyk, and American filmmaker, Mary Skinner. Directed by Brian Kite, Dean of School of Theater, Film and Television at the University of California in Los Angeles, the production also involves experienced Broadway choreographer, Dana Solimando. With a score composed by Grammy award winner, Włodek Pawlik, whilst Pulitzer and Grammy laureate, Mark Campbell, composed the songs.
“With such a prestigious premiere, it was essential we establish the right technical infrastructure, so we took the leap to invest in a new DiGiCO console,” explains the theatre’s sound engineer, Agata Dankowska. “The theatre has been using an SD5 and two SD Racks for years, and when I joined the team four years a
Romania - A large array of Claypaky fixtures illuminated the eighth edition of Flowers of the Soul: Remember Florian Pittis, a two-day tribute concert held in Bucharest last June honouring the Romanian stage and television actor, folk singer, writer and director who died in 2007.
“It can be tricky to create something for an already installed simple stage, but with the help of Claypaky fixtures we managed to design a friendly folk music festival in the heart of the city,” reports lighting designer Bogdan Gradisteanu from Marbo Trade, a Bucharest-based production and rental company and Claypaky distributor.
For the rig, he used a selection of Claypaky Sharpy, Mythos 2, HY B-EYE K15, Scenius Profile, Mini-B and Stormy CC fixtures. “We chose them for their versatility to accommodate all the different performances during the festival,” Gradisteanu explains. “Since the event was also recorded, we needed to add a touch of television artistry to the show.”
The lights were positioned upstage, along the sides of the stage, at the top of the stage and on the stage itself providing a full range of coverage for every artist. “The B-EYEs were perfect for background, covering the stage and offering rotating lenses and predefined shapes that were visible even during the daytime,” Gradisteanu points out. “The Mythos 2 gave us the long range beam output we were looking for, and the Scenius Profiles covered the top of the stage with gobos.
“We used the Stormys for the different colour palettes in the songs and also for its full strobe
World - Michael Bublé’s ongoing Higher Tour could best be described as an intimate party on a grand scale. It’s a full-tilt production in every respect, replete with a massive four-tier stage set to accommodate a full orchestra and backup singers – augmented on occasion by strings and a 10-piece choir – plus extensive lighting effects and four giant video screens.
For audio support, Bublé is again carrying a ‘dual hybrid’ Meyer Sound reinforcement system, comprising both main stage arrays plus massive centre-hung arrays which function as an over-specified delay system when Bublé is on the main stage and as an in-the-round system when he occupies the B-stage. This time, however, the tour has slimmed down its audio footprint by replacing most former Leo Family and all M Series systems with 76 new Panther large-format linear line array loudspeakers.
“We are thrilled with the new Panther systems, not just sonically – we expect the best from Meyer in that regard – but also because these are much lighter and smaller boxes,” says Craig Finley, the tour’s veteran production manager. “No two-ton motors out here. And Panther packs very efficiently. We are essentially carrying two systems yet it all fits in one truck. And the power requirements are lower as well.”
Bublé’s long-time FOH engineer, Craig Doubet, notes that the advantages extend to load-in/out time. “Panther goes up and down very fast,” he says. “We have 13 arrays in the air, and we now can get them all down and ready to roll out in 75 minutes.”
USA - The metal bar structure that runs across the front of the stage on KoRn’s current tour suggests images of incarceration, and the loss of freedom it brings. This serves as a foil for the metal band from the instant they kick off their show and blow that suggestion out of the water with a ferocious rendition of Rotting In Vain.
Reflecting the spirit of KoRn and their music is a potent, rapid-fire 20-universe light and video show run by Thomas ‘Church’ Christmann on his ChamSys MagicQ MQ500, that features blinding back lighting, a blow-through video wall, bold color palettes, and big, often theatrical, looks.
“I’ve been told I have a very aggressive, but still theatrical, way to do my shows,” said Christmann, who has been working for KoRn since 2016. “This is a perfect way to work with KoRn. My goal is to support the show without distracting from the artists. I’m trying to set scenes for the songs parts & interact with the music.”
A ChamSys user for over 10 years, Christmann notes that the user-friendly intuitive layout and workflow of the MQ500 Stadium were critical to helping him create and run the big sweeping looks that characterize his KoRn show.
“I like to use big looks and scenes in my cues, then add hard attacks where needed,” he said. “The Group Effects and Group Cues features in my ChamSys are very useful in this regard, since we have quite a few looks where we have multiple fixtures acting together as a single effect. It’s also very simple for me to change Group Effects to fit different stage
The Netherlands - Held between 19-21 August 2022 at Evenemententerrein Walibi Holland in Biddinghuizen, Lowlands Festival is the largest and multi-day festival in The Netherlands. Themed as “A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise”, the festival is spread out over a natural area which includes its famous campsite and a variety of stages offering a wide variety of bands, DJs, speakers and theatre. Headliners for 2022 included the Arctic Monkeys, Stromae, Sam Fender, Amelie Lens and Tash Sultana, and attracted over 65,000 visitors.
The festival’s technical supplier, Ampco Flashlight Rental, catered for the audio and lighting for all stages with Ayrton taking a prominent place on each stage. “Every type of Ayrton fixture was present from Mistral to Huracán,” says Ampco Flashlight Rental’s account manager, Mathijs de Vries.
Of the main stages and venues, the Alpha stage was equipped with 45 Huracán Profile and 11 Ghibli fixtures, the Bravo stage with 27 Ghibli, and the Heineken stage with 20 Diablo S and 6 Ghibli units. The India stage sported eight Huracán Profile, the Lima stage 15 Mistral and the Prima stage another 15 Diablo S. Diablo S also featured on the Hacienda and Rode Muur stages with 22 and 40 units respectively.
Each stage had its own very different programming, from rock to techno, from lounge to spoken word, and the Ayrton equipment was ideally suited to each one.
Ampco Flashlight Rental’s project manager, Maico van Rijnsoever, explains the numbers: “Since all stages had a multi-artist line-up, there was no single L
Finland - Rapper Pyhimys staged a three-hour performance at Helsinki’s Ice Hall in September, designed to celebrate his 20 years of industry success. Key to the show was categorised themes recalling milestone career moments, with cleverly created graphics taking the audience on a journey through time. At the core of the visuals was a Hippotizer Boreal+ Media Server, expertly programmed and operated by the team at Visual45.
A focus of the stage design was a large, semi-transparent upstage LED screen made up of ROE Vanish8 panels, with two samller IMAG screens stage left and right, consisting of ROE MC9. The back screen was raised to reveal Pyhimys and his musicians, before being lowered down into place to display graphics created by Visual45 and driven through the Boreal+. The IMAG screens were used mainly for live feed.
“We were asked to design Pyhimys’s concert last year, and it was supposed to happen in autumn 2021 to both mark his 20th anniversary and his 40th birthday,” says Visual45 operations manager, Varpu Sipilä. “COVID postponed it until September 2022, and the venue changed to the Ice Hall. This meant that we had to rethink the graphic design for the show, which mainly meant visual creation for six separate acts to reflect his back catalogue of songs, which were scheduled into categorised themes. The acts were narrated to script, with our carefully created visuals complementing the commentary.
“Having said that, some parts of the concert were more like free-ride of everything, and the Boreal+ was a good interface to busk with
USA - Chicago’s three-day Riot Fest, held annually in the city’s Douglass Park, again proved a triumph for Martin Audio’s MLA PA and the company’s long-serving rental partner, Technotrix.
With five stages set within a relatively small site, tight sound control to avoid spillage into the surrounding neighbourhood is paramount. Technotrix audio dept manager, Brent Bernhardt has long known that he can depend on the manufacturer’s proprietary ‘Hard Avoid’ and cardioid pre-set adjustments to ensure cancellation and rear rejection on the three stages populated by the Martin Audio systems, to prevent sound bleeding into areas where it’s not required.
As one of the largest independently owned music festivals the line-up this year included My Chemical Romance, The Original Misfits and Nine Inch Nails.
For Technotrix, who were originally tasked with equipping a single stage when they first arrived at the event five years ago, this was a particular triumph, as production manager Grant Simmon now entrusts them with all five. “It was a big win for us, and we were able to form a team that production could trust,” said Brent.
But such demands place pressure on their inventory and he adds that they are fortunate to be able to utilise the growing Martin Audio network when it comes to pulling in extra inventory. “Martin Audio also provides great support where we need it and has done a fantastic job staying involved. But as the user network has grown, we have managed to rely less on manufacturer support and more on partner support.”
USA - The 2022 MTV VMAs (Video Music Awards) was staged at the Prudential Centre in Newark, New York, and lit for the third year by Tom Sutherland of DX7 Design.
Tom, known for his fresh and innovative approach, utilised 229 Robe moving lights among others on a vast lighting rig that helped emcees Nikki Minaj, LL Cool J and Jack Harlow bring the onstage action – featuring 11 live performances – alive in a megamix of beams, colour, textures, and movement.
Tom worked closely with set designer Heather Shaw from Vita Motus, camera director Liz Clare, creative director Paul Caslin, screens producer Trevor Burke from Visual Noise Creative and executive producers Bruce Gillmer, Jesse Ignjatovic and Barb Bialkowski to help craft the hi-energy show. It featured two identical triangular-shaped stages built at the long ends of the arena, both with LED floors and each with large upstage triangular LED screens.
In the middle of one long side was the ‘MTV Entrance’ a large scenic graphic of the channel’s acronym, where artists entered the arena, stepping onto the chevron-shaped MTV Stage. A short tunnel at the back of the entrance revealed another LED screen, and the short runway also had an LED floor and sides. Much of the presenter action happened in this zone which was a popular celebrity ‘hot spot’.
While that was a lot of LED for Tom to consider, he was the first to note that “working with Heather is great as she always considers the role of lighting relative to her set design.” The two had also worked together on some previous proje