Spain - National state-owned public-service television broadcaster RTVE recently teamed up with Antonio Banderas’ television production company, Teatro Soho Televisión (TST), to produce the 10-episode series of Las Tres Puertas, a new arts and culture show for its flagship TVE La 1 channel.
Presented by María Casado, a distinguished journalist and news presenter, and a key member of Banderas’ production team, the show featured guest interviews with luminaries from the worlds of culture, science, politics, business and sport, together with live performances by artists from Spain and around the world.
The weekly programme was produced live in RTVE’s Studio 6 in Sant Cugat, just north of Barcelona. A striking feature of the production was the stark visually arresting set, the appearance of which changed every week. In keeping with the set design, the sound stage required an especially low-profile, high performance PA system.
Sound designer Roc Mateu and Amate Audio’s industrial designer Guiu Llusà worked together, specifying a fully self-powered, self-processing system comprising latest compact, point-source models from the Amate Audio Xcellence series.
“For the main PA, two of the new X102FD dual 10” systems are pole mounted on X18T subs,” says Llusà. “They were chosen for their small size in relation to their quality and power.”
Additionally, five of the latest X14FD low profile, single 14” coaxial models are deployed in floor-monitor mode. A dual-purpose design, the X14FD is both a highly effective FoH cab
USA - After two years of waiting, fans of the Hangout Festival returned to the Gulf Shores beachfront for a weekend of live music. Headliners included Post Malone, Fallout Boy, Halsey, Tame Impala and Megan Thee Stallion. More than 40,000 fans turned out for the sold-out, three-day event, and Bandit Lites provided the festival lighting system for the main Hangout Stage and the Surf Stage.
Bandit’s vice president of production, Dizzy Gosnell, has designed the festival lighting rig for many seasons, and he meticulously works to ensure the headliners on each stage have a plethora of lighting to work with from washes, spots, beams, strips/strobes and blinders/safety lights spanning across both rigs.
“The first thing I try to get is to layer the lamps on each truss,” explains Gosnell. “For example, having lamps perched from the top chord, outrigged down from the top chord, mounted hung down from the top chord, perched up on the bottom chord and then hung under the bottom chord. On one truss this gives you five layers for the audience from just one truss. You do that with four cross stage trusses and step them, you now have twenty layers or more of big, repeated arrays, without choking the roof for visiting acts bringing in their own elements if they want to.”
LED blinders function both for the show and as ‘house lights’ for safe exits if needed during weather evacuations.
“We’ve used that a few times for weather evacs, and they work really well compared to the good ‘ol DWE heads that needed massive amounts of genny power to k
UK - Located in the heart of Newcastle’s vibrant city centre, The Lofts, which opened in August last year, has already earned a reputation for being a new ‘super club’, welcoming high-profile artists and delivering some of the liveliest nights out in the city.
The 1,500-capacity venue was co-founded by directors Rob Seaman, John Dance, and Marty Smith, whose extensive nightlife experiences in the Balearics and beyond drive the ethic at The Lofts. And that ethic extends to the L-Acoustics K3, which is a key part of the overall experience, designed and installed by Adlib to deliver excellent coverage and crystal-clear audio throughout the venue.
“The club’s owners approached Adlib after we’d been recommended to them by a mutual acquaintance,” recalls Nick Whitehead, Adlib’s project manager and project lead on The Lofts. “They came to us with an ambitious but very clear brief. They wanted the best club in the Northeast and knew they wanted to use L-Acoustics because of their previous experience with the brand and, as a company, are always at the cutting-edge of audio technology. We were thrilled to support them on this journey and implement an L-Acoustics system, tailor-made for the venue.”
The first conversations and initial site visits all took place at the start of last summer, but with the official opening planned for the August bank holiday weekend and with BBC Radio 1 DJ Pete Tong set to perform on The Lofts' opening night, the Adlib team had just four weeks on-site to complete the installation.
“There was a lot of hy
Norway - Det Norske Teatret (the Norwegian Theatre) in Oslo houses three stages in its main building in downtown Oslo, plus one more in another venue in the city run by the same team, all of which work on a busy repertory schedule. Together at least 25 original productions are created annually, in the Norwegian language of Nynorsk, and some guest works are hosted.
Also known for high production values, the theatre has recently invested in 15 Robe Esprite moving lights for its 250-capacity Scene 2.
The theatre’s resident lighting designer Torkel Skjærven, explained that they previously had Robe ColorWash 750AT Tungsten moving lights in the black box Scene 2 space, and these have worked hard and reliably for over 10 years. However, the time arrived to replace them with a more modern LED light source.
The drive to convert the theatre’s lighting to LED has been ongoing since 2013, but apart from that, replacement lamps were no longer available for those original Robe tungstens. In fact, they purchased the last five in the world three years ago, so this also prompted the upgrade.
Scene 2 offers a programme that embraces contemporary dramas and new works, from the experimental to the classics, so they need an adaptable lighting rig.
“The Esprites are primarily used as part of Scene 2’s permanent back lighting rig,” explains Torkel, “but as some of the principal lights used for several tasks, they needed to have multiple features.”
It was a team effort in choosing the replacement lights, comprising Torkel, head of light
Europe - Gary Numan took to the road in April with a moody and ethereal lighting design created by award winning LA-based designer Dustin Snyder.
An essential objective of the design was to ensure that the fans could see Numan and his band’s expressive faces from all parts of the room and also on camera. For that reason, Snyder sought out the precise framing capability and familiar CMY colour palette of the VL2600 Wash from Vari-Lite.
Atmospheric and moody, the design is inspired by Numan’s three red stripes of facial war paint, from his portrait on the cover of the Intruder album, and centres around a heavily backlit, multi-layered, video and lighting design.
The main scenic element on stage is a huge video wall that oozes ominous, cinematic insights into a broken planet, destroyed by humanity, as Numan manifests as the planet’s own lamenting voice. Numan’s signature industrial synth and electronic sound is full of rage, desolation, and treachery, while Snyder’s beautiful and precisely programmed, oft-menacing lighting design, complements this with disturbing, dystopian atmospherics.
In addition to showcasing Numan’s Intruder album, the tour also includes songs that span Numan’s 45-year career, so Snyder was keen to give each album its own aesthetic. Using stark, desaturated colours on the more industrial songs, Snyder reinforces the apocalyptic world of the video content as requested by Numan himself: “Gary wanted a video wall that felt asymmetrically fractured, with pulsing light radiating from the cracks betwe
USA - The NAMM Show finally made its much-anticipated return to Southern California last week with international delegates from the music production and pro sound industries coming together at the Anaheim Convention Centre.
Alongside all the booths and exhibits, visitors enjoyed a series of outdoor shows from a variety of bands and musicians on the Grand Plaza Stage, located directly outside the main convention centre entrance, with sound provided by a Nexo STM modular line array system supplied and deployed by Minnesota-based events services company Reach Communications.
Side by side hangs of 12 each STM M46 main and B112 bass extension modules with two M28 down-fills were used on either side of the stage, while six pairs of Nexo Geo M10 cabinets were used as front-fills. With other buildings in close proximity, a controlled low frequency dispersion was a particular requirement of the event.
Matt Dellwo, event project lead at Reach Communications, takes up the story. “The Hilton and Marriott hotels are on either side of the Plaza, and the Hilton has a long concrete overhang leading up to the entrance, creating a highly reverberant space in a high traffic area. So, we used a total of 20 Nexo RS18 subs in cardioid pairs in front of the stage which was very effective in tightening the LF coverage.”
The main system was also required to cover a raised VIP podium located more than 200 feet from the stage. “The STM M46 is capable of an incredibly long throw, with the HF going just where it’s required” explains Matt. “So, we were able to
UK - The new 3,500-capacity Swansea Arena forms a central part of the new £135m Copr Bay regeneration programme in the Welsh city.
The latest of Ambassador Theatre Group’s (ATG) 58 operator run venues, the venue has been equipped with a JBL VTX A8 line array, installed by Glantre Engineering following a competitive tender issued by main contractors, Buckingham Group Contracting. Consultant on the project was Neill Woodger Acoustics and Theatre Design. Glantre’s contract as system integrator was a turnkey, covering rigging, drapes, full AV (including IPTV) and lighting, as well as the audio component - not only in the main event rooms but also the meeting rooms.
However, the recommendation for JBL’s compact line array had come from ATG’s head of technical operations, Stuart Graham, who had been involved in the project from the outset. “We were able to have some influence on the design and I was able to shape the technical requirement.”
He noted the transition to JBL after another premium system had originally been specified. “What had been proposed was a ‘safe’, medium-sized system typically found in a theatre,” says Graham. “But I wanted to challenge it [with this installation], I just didn’t want to keep going down the same route. This was our first UK arena and I thought we should reach and test new products. There was a more ample budget available for the system’s design and implementation, and we wanted to focus on the scalability of the system and that it would work within every conceivable application. With that in m
USA - Over 16,000 athletes representing 800 teams from 40 countries participated in the 2022 Allstar World Championship in Orlando this spring.
Craig Huddleston, the designer and show director, comments: “This is a competition, but it needs to be fun. We wanted to highlight the athletes and make them feel like rockstars when they ran out on stage.”
Huddleston and his team at AVOS agency succeeded in doing this in spectacular fashion. Athletes competing in 50 different divisions were greeted with a walk-on light and video display reminiscent of a NBA championship game, complete with flurries of strobing and aerial effects, as well as dynamic neon-like video wall patterns heralding their arrival.
Helping them accomplish this on the event’s main stage was a 4Wall Entertainment Nashville supplied rig that featured over 300 Chauvet Professional F 5IP LED panels. “We couldn't be happier to have Craig and AVOS' Agency be the first to have a go with 4Wall Nashville's new Chauvet F5IP video tiles,” comments account executive Tyler Bevel. “The F5IP tiles are already proving to be a valuable addition to our rental inventory and a great creative tool for our clients.”
The AVOS team arranged the video panels in three distinct walls. This configuration made it easier to create distinct entrance and exit paths for the teams at the beginning of the competition.
“In designing this event, we carefully considered the reveal of the athletes running on stage; and how it looks and makes them feel,” says Huddleston. “We typically do a cent
UAE - Lighting designers Travis Hagenbuch and Bob Dickinson lit the Expo 2020 Dubai Closing Ceremony and turned to Elation Professional’s powerful Proteus Excalibur beam moving head to create a spectacular finale look that brought to a close the six-month Expo journey.
The Emmy-award winning designers - who also lit Expo’s Opening Ceremony back in September - sought a compact, IP-rated beam light with power to project an impactful ring of light out of the Al Wasl Dome. “We were tasked with how to make it happen within the constraints we had,” comments Travis Hagenbuch, who notes that the brief came from Expo 2020 director-general Reem Al-Hashimi. “It was a beautiful poetic moment, simple and elegant, and a fitting way to end the Expo.”
The Expo story began during the Opening Ceremony when a young Emirate girl was given a ring, which unlocked a world of discovery and connection. The ring - a gold ring found years ago on an archaeological dig outside of Dubai - came to symbolize connection, unity and strength, and inspired both the logo and theme of Expo 2020 ‘Connecting Minds and Creating the Future’.
For the 31 March closing ceremony, the same girl, who had just spent six months at the Expo gathering information about the world, reunites with the ring, which had transformed into a large scenic piece that was lowered from the top of Al Wasl Dome and returned to the desert. The energy that the ring had absorbed during the Expo then emanated out from the earth and out through the centre of the Al Wasl Dome as a huge shaft of light.
UK - The eyes of the world were on the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Concert to witness a host of big-name singers perform on a specially created stage in front of Buckingham Palace. As the royal family, politicians, dignitaries and the public looked on, a show fit for a queen unfolded, backed by LED screen content driven by Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2 media servers.
More than 200sq.m. of Roe Black Quartz LED screens, supplied by Creative Technology, were erected on the stage, which surrounded the famous Victoria Memorial statue in front of the Palace. These were split into one large LED screen upstage centre, and eight LED pillars edging out toward the audience.
Tasked with media server programming was Matthew Lee, who was approached by lighting designer for the event, Nigel Catmur. “We had two Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2 servers, one main and one backup,” says Lee. “LED screens were fed from two 4K canvases, with other outputs used for my own monitoring, and as confidence feeds to the OB trucks. The Boreal+ MK2 servers were chosen for the amount of outputs and inputs required, and their power.
“Having used Hippotizer for a long time, I'm always impressed with the ease of use, the power of the new systems, and that development is continuous. Also the support team are excellent when you need something.”
The team was presented with the challenge of tight programming and rehearsal time, with on-site get-in, set up and testing restricted due to the huge number of events and people involved in the wider event. “The dress rehearsal actually only ha
UK - Britannia Row Productions is providing equipment and personnel for Scottish rock royalty Simple Minds as they play an extensive world tour consisting of over 80 shows across more than 18 countries.
Simple Minds’ 40 Years of Hits Tour (see LSi June 2022 for an in-depth feature on the production), which included a homecoming show at Glasgow’s OVO Hydro, celebrates an impressive four decades in music for the genre-defying band and features a set spanning their back catalogue.
Britannia Row Productions - Simple Minds’ audio supplier of choice since 2012 - re-joined the band for this ambitious arena run to provide a full PA system, FOH and monitor consoles, and a hand-picked crew of sound specialists, all under the watch of production manager, Glen Thomson.
“I’ve used Brit Row for every tour I’ve done in the last 10 years,” he says. “On every level, from just supplying a control package for an opening artist, to the full arena system, they have always given the same first-class service and attention to detail.”
FOH engineer Olivier ‘GG’ Gerard, who joined the Simple Minds audio crew in 2008, chose a Solid State Logic SSL L200 to create the band’s live mix, striving to get as close as possible to the album version of each track, in spite of the vastly different production levels.
“If I can’t emulate th
UK - Great Britain marked the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's reign with thousands of events and street parties over a long weekend, including a large-scale live concert at Buckingham Palace. 22,000 spectators gathered in front of the three stages, where Queen & Adam Lambert, Rod Stewart, Alicia Keys and Ed Sheeran played, among many others, and another 13.4 million watched the BBC's mega-event live on TV. For the lighting of the main stages, Buckingham Palace and the Tree of Trees sculpture designed by Heatherwick Studio, Version 2 Lights supplied more than 600 cameo spotlights, including over 60 of the new hybrid outdoor all-rounder Otos H5.
The forecourt as well as the Palace itself was staged by 62 Otos H5, 156 Zenit W600, 392 Flat Pro 7 G2 and 72 Flat Pro 12 G2. The lighting design was done by Nigel Catmur, who used the Cameo spotlights for the numerous live performances of the biggest British pop stars as well as for the moving speeches of Prince Charles and Prince William.
In particular, the Otos H5 Beam-Spot-Wash Hybrid Moving Heads played a central role in the visual staging of the globally broadcast anniversary party. Prominently placed on high truss platforms, the Otos H5 framed the action wonderfully and sent impressive beams into the royal evening sky.
The Zenit W600 LED Outdoor Wash Lights also played an important role in the lighting design of the platinum party. With their massive luminous flux of 21,000lm, the wash lights ensured a strong and uniform illumination of the stage in daylight and in the evening. In addition, t
USA - In 2010, The Wonder Years released The Upsides, followed a year later by Suburbia, I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing.
As the 10th anniversary of these albums approached, the band intended to celebrate with successive tours. But with the pandemic lockdown putting a crimp on live music, The Wonder Years had to hold off until this spring to mark the anniversary of the LP releases with a coast-to-coast US and UK tour.
Supporting them every step of the way is a David Summers lightshow featuring Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by Squeek Lights.
True to the spirit of a tour that celebrates not one, but a pair of albums, Summers’ design has two distinct personalities. “Dan Campbell, the singer of The Wonder Years, told me he wanted to do a special set up for their double album anniversary tour,” explains Summers. “In essence, his idea was to have a split stage that would pay homage to each of the two albums the band was performing.”
The “first stage personality” is characterized by traditional rock tour looks with plenty of atmospherics, and audience washes as well as intense side lighting from Rogue R1X Spot fixtures positioned stage left and right. “I kept a prism in them to help them spread across the downstage,” Summers said of the 170W LED spot fixtures. “We created a lot of gobos with them too, which was great for the band’s melodic parts.”
During those intervals when the show was turned over to the music of Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing, the stage too
Indonesia - Leisure and entertainment brand, Holywings, has partnered with PT. Electro Audio Engineering to bring Funktion-One sound to its latest venues. The group, which has over 30 café, bar and club venues across the country, has set its sights on growing to 100 outlets and is in the process of creating ‘Asia’s largest beach club’.
The design concept of each Holywings venue is guided by the latest trends, taking inspiration from major cities around the world. “We bring ideas that we’ve picked up from other countries that are new to Indonesia,” explains Holywings Group’s Marvin Saputra. “Then we tailor them for our audiences and add a unique energy that can compete with other countries.”
This includes the Funktion-One sound systems that are helping to bring a new level of experience. Saputra reveals: “We think Funktion-One offers the best sound systems right now. Therefore, to be the best place, we also need the best sound system to provide the best ambience to our customers.”
Jakarta-based PT. Electro Audio Engineering installed the Funktion-One sound systems, which were supplied by distributor DMP Musik. Saputra comments: “Cooperating with PT. Electro Audio Engineering is very satisfying. We’re very grateful to be able work with them and appreciate the excellent service they provide.”
PT. Electro Audio Engineering’s Linson Sugianto says: “With Funktion-One, Holywings' sound quality and guest satisfaction have been taken to the next level. It shows that as Indonesia's largest lifestyle and entertainment cha
UK - Digital Stages, five dynamic digital events celebrating Chichester Festival Theatre (CFT) across the decades, will be released over CFT’s birthday week in July for audiences across the globe. The events range from VR tours and online performances to a new virtual game created by CFT’s community companies for adults with learning disabilities.
In Visionary Stages, actors Sir Derek Jacobi and John Simm, author and playwright Kate Mosse and designer Joanna Scotcher join CFT artistic director Daniel Evans and the artistic director of the Stratford Festival Theatre in Ontario Antoni Cimolino, for a virtual meet-up using modern technology to recreate Chichester’s 1962 stage.
During lockdown, the Festival Theatre auditorium was scanned by the specialist company Preevue with LiDAR technology, enabling them to recreate the 1962 stage using plans, photographs and archive records of the furniture and fittings. The event was filmed by technical solutions specialist White Light, using award-winning SmartStage.
For the first time, this technology enabled a historical design to be brought back to life - by placing real, precise scans of the physical theatre into an immersive video environment. The solution also allowed for Antoni Cimolino to be virtually ‘teleported’ from Ontario to join Daniel Evans on the SmartStage for the discussion. Visionary Stages will be streamed online from Sunday 3 July at 3pm and available on demand thereafter.
The Backstage Virtual Tour is available from 5 July. An immersive VR backstage tour,
South Africa - Blue Array Productions, a professional rental and production company, has invested in two Fenix Stage Hercules 8 front-loading lifting towers supplied by DWR Distribution. The units were put to work for the first time at Liefde by die Dam, a festival attracting 8 000 revellers and held recently at Emmarentia Dam in Johannesburg, where Blue Array supplied the audio solution.
The Hercules 8, made from aluminium, is the tallest tower by Fenix at 8m high. The system lifts line array systems, trussing or LED screens with a maximum load of 300kg from the floor and is height adjustable.
“We initially tried out the smaller AT-906 Fenix towers, only to find that we had some weight limitations which forced us to go for the bigger towers,” explained Nathan Thiart, senior sound engineer at Blue Array. “It was a happy coincidence because we definitely had a need for something of this stature.”
Blue Array specialises in audio and always outsourced the structures and scaffolding needed for the PA or delay towers. Nathan had recently seen a few write-ups on the Fenix range and presented the solution to Kobus van Rensburg, owner of the company.
“Stacking a PA is fine when doing an event for a smaller audience, but when it comes to coverage, the audio does start thinning out towards the back and it’s here, when flying a PA, that you can address the problem and utilise the line array.”
The Fenix towers are less conspicuous when it comes to events. “Putting up the water ballasts and towers, often clad in black, are not attr
Chile - The city of Viña del Mar is renowned for its colonial architecture, vibrant nightlife, and the annual Festival Internacional de la Canción de Viña del Mar (Viña del Mar International Song Festival).
Coupled with a Mediterranean climate and beautiful, abundant greenery, the city, nicknamed Jardín Ciudad (Garden City), is one of the country’s most-visited spots. In 2010, a devastating 8.8 magnitude earthquake severely damaged some of the city’s best-known buildings, including the heritage site Teatro Municipal of Viña del Mar.
Today, the Teatro been fully restored and fitted with the most advanced L-Acoustics Kara sound system in the country, delivered by L-Acoustics certified provider distributor for Chile, VGL.
Built between 1925 and 1930 by famous architects Renato Schiavon and Aquiles Landoff, the Teatro Municipal de Viña del Mar features a façade decorated with friezes, cornices, and columns and an interior filled with sculptures and decorations of carved and moulded plaster. Following the earthquake damage, a painstaking restoration using the original designs was also the opportunity to install a modern technical infrastructure.
“Our team first became involved in the tender process for the entire technical installation in 2013 when the local municipality approved the renovation works,” recalls Cristian Osorio, live audio solutions and installations at VGL. “We worked with Alex Soto from L-Acoustics to create initial pre-designs for a new sound system for the theatre’s auditorium.”
Unfortunately, the eart
USA - Outline’s Newton FPGA processor played key operational roles at Coachella and Stagecoach Festivals. Both returning after two-year layoffs caused by Covid, the back-to-back festivals and their big crowds returned to the Californian desert in style this year.
With its roots going back to 1993 and still held at its original venue, the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, and now one of the world’s largest music festivals, The Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival was staged over two consecutive weekends in April, once again showcasing an array of established and emerging artists.
Presented the following weekend in the same location, its sister production The Stagecoach Festival is a leading event for folk, mainstream country, bluegrass, roots rock, Americana and alt. country.
As they have been for every Coachella since 2000, Camarillo-based Rat Sound Systems were the principal audio reinforcement provider for the 2022 event, providing complete live performance systems across the seven largest performance areas: the Coachella Stage, Outdoor Theatre, Gobi Tent, Sahara Tent, Mojave Tent, Yuma Tent, and the Sonora Tent, respectively handling around 180 acts in each of the two three-day weekends.
At the Stagecoach Festival, Rat Sound delivered multiple stages worth of audio including the Mane, Spotlight, Honkey Tonk, and Palamino Stages. The Mane stage alone included over 30 delay clusters.
Rat Sound’s Outline Newton processors made their debut at the dual event in 2019, serving as multi-format digital hubs through which the
Zimbabwe - Napoleon Nyanhi knew what kind of look he wanted to project for the music video he was directing on 30 April for The Vine music collective in Harare. It had to be warm, intimate, and all-encompassing to reflect the familial spirit of the Grammy winning Soweto Gospel Choir and other artists in the ensemble.
What Nyanhi was less clear on was how he was going to create this image on a small music video stage that would hold as many as 78 performers at a time. That was when he reached out and called his friend Tatenta Gaylord Rushwaya of Events Evolution.
“Napoleon’s request was straightforward; he wanted a beautiful harmonious stage,” recalled Rushwaya. “But when he told me how many people would be on it, the request was suddenly not that simple.”
Taking the challenge, Rushwaya contacted his friend and colleague Blessing Bero and described some of his initial ideas. Bero set to work drafting a design and a day later came up with a layout. Using a mix of geometric patterns, such as a circular overhead truss flanked by two V-shaped bars, a two-tiered video wall, and three gently curved scenic pieces on either side of the stage, the layout would make the performance area seem balanced, graceful, and aesthetically fluid, with no hint of crowding.
With Rushwaya serving as assistant director/technical director, and Berro as set/lighting designer, the music video recording session at the Harare International Conference Centre exceeded Nyanhi’s most optimistic expectations.
Key to helping the inspired set design come to life
USA - Grammy Award winning, Puerto Rican mega-star Bad Bunny kicked off his 36-date sell out El Último Tour Del Mundo 2022 from the Ball Arena, Denver in February. Featuring a show design as stylishly unconventional as the artist himself, lighting designer Alain Corthout, chose to deploy a battery of VL10 Beamwash luminaires from Vari-Lite.
“Bad Bunny takes an alternative approach to his live performance, so the show design had to be as outspoken as he is,” explains Corthout. “I was looking for a lighting workhorse that would offer the ultimate in creative versatility, while delivering consistent, high output light, even at the more saturated end of the spectrum. I also needed a versatile palette of effects. The VL10 Beamwash fixtures gave me all of this and more.”
Challenging the conventions of traditional show design, Corthout had to accommodate the fact that the solo artist was playing to huge audiences yet was often on stage alone. The only design guidance Corthout was given from Bad Bunny’s management was that the design was going to include a large truck. The result is a diverse show, staged in-the-round and centered on the massive truck which morphs, transformer-style, into a three-runway, LED video screen stage floor.
“With a large amount of high energy songs and very few ballads, we had to create enough variety in scale, mood, texture and looks to keep the audience focused and emotionally in touch with Bad Bunny,” says Corthout. “Above the stage - running parallel with the truck length - are eight framed, portrait format, v
UK - The much-anticipated and publicised ABBA Voyage brings the 70s supergroup back to the stage in a blend of the virtual and physical worlds.
Several years in the making, the ABBA Voyage show opened on 26 May 26 in a purpose-built arena designed by Stufish Entertainment Architects at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. The production adds a new element to the live music experience by blurring the lines between CGI and reality, with The Guardian calling it a “jaw-dropping avatar act that’s destined to be copied”.
Solotech worked under the direction of director Baillie Walsh, working alongside Aniara’s technical producer Nick Levitt and technical director Joe Frisina, and collaborating with concert producers Svana Gisla and Ludvig Andersson, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) and TETRO and Greenwall’s Fredrik Stormby to provide audio, lighting, and video solutions capable of pushing the boundaries for live productions.
Scott Willsallen from Auditoria supervised the audio elements of the show, with VYV Photon servers specified and programmed by Anthony “Bez” Bezencon.
The project is Solotech UK’s foray as a high-end 360-equipment supplier, as it delivered audio, video and lighting technology and expertise to the show. Solotech drew on its experience as live production specialists to aid in the process from the design stages to installation and opening night to help deliver the incredible event.
Working in close collaboration with ABBA’s production team, Ian ‘Woody’ Woodall, Solotech UK’s director of specia
USA - Founded in 1940, the Church of St. John the Divine in Houston, Texas, today hosts 900 attendees on any given Sunday across its traditional, contemporary and family services.
While the church’s sanctuary is ideal for traditional hymns, providing amazingly long reverb times, there were notable challenges with an aging sound system. With such challenges, a new system was needed. Brightengale - formerly Houston Sound Service - was selected for the project through a recommendation from another area church.
“The prior installation leaned heavily on digital signal processing and beam steering to fill the room with intelligible sound,” said Adam Keho, system designer at Brightengale. “Acoustically, the room is fantastic for pipe organ or choral music but it’s very difficult for speech intelligibility. When the system was first installed, it was only designed to deliver speech reinforcement, not all of the music necessary for a modern church.”
“In the new installation, we had a number of requirements,” comments Dawayne Gaspard, director of audio-visual services at the Church of St. John the Divine. “We wanted to improve intelligibility in a live acoustic environment without losing the look of the space and adding some additional sonic capability. Over time, we’ve brought in other equipment for certain events which we no longer wanted to do. The capability of music playback and quality sound performance were paramount as well.”
The existing sound system featured aging powered column array loudspeakers that had been in place
Columbia - Latin Grammy winner Karol G blends a mix of genres in her rhythmic sound, treating fans to generous helpings of reggaeton, trap, sertaneja and a host of other influences.
Karol G concerts are intense with no lulls in the action. Reflecting this explosiveness in light requires a bold, fast-moving design, which is what the team at Línea Estratégica delivered for the star with help from a massive collection of the new IP65-rated Chauvet Professional Color Strike M.
Conrado Santamaría, CEO of the Línea Estratégica, added 120 of the versatile fixtures to his inventory soon after they became available in Colombia, purchasing them from distributor Yamaki. His vision was to use the motorised strobe/wash lights to add an extra level of impact to shows. He hasn’t been disappointed, as the fixtures have already worked their magic at concerts by the likes of Rubén Blades, Fito Páez, the Morat group, and Myley Cirus.
Andrés Felipe, LD for the Karol G show, provided vivid examples of the many looks that can be created with the Color Strike M, which features two bright white light tube elements surround by a bright pixel-mappable face of RGB LEDs.
Joining the white tube elements in animating the concert with vibrant looks were the new fixture’s colour mixing LED faces, which themselves feature 14 pixel mappable zones. Coordinating the bursts of vivid colour blasts with the relentless strobe effects, creating a panorama that could be felt as well as seen.
Germany - The Giovanni Zarrella Show is a quarterly highlight on ZDF, Germany’s second TV station, featuring Schlager (a style of European popular music) with established stars from pop and classical plus promising newcomers performing new arrangements, previously unreleased duets and exclusive live performances. DiGiCo SD consoles are at the heart of the audio system.
The show appears in a prime-time Saturday evening slot with its second edition attracting a TV audience of almost five million. The eponymous host, formerly a member of the pop group Bro’Sis, regularly duets with his guests and his February show (broadcast just before Valentine’s Day) took love as its theme throughout.
The show’s audio infrastructure is provided by Kürten-Herweg-based B&R Medientechnik, a full-service company with roots in recording mobiles but now delivering event technology solutions to a wide range of projects from their four divisions of Mobile, Events, Studio and Rental. Their Mobile division works extensively in broadcast sound and after the company won a large-scale tender to provide sound reinforcement, wireless requirements and broadcast music mix, the first live broadcast of The Giovanni Zarrella Show took place in September 2021.
A long-time DiGiCo owner, B&R Medientechnik’s first was an SD9 used for monitors with US metallers Manowar, followed by an SD11 for smaller applications and conferences. Due to their effective price / performance ratio two SD10s and an SD12 followed, paving the way for the next step using the Optoco