HSL supplies Arenacross tour
Friday, 22 February 2019
hsl-arenacross-tour-2019-genral-40-pHSL supplied lighting, video and rigging for the event (photo: Arena Sports Live)
UK - The heady mix of highly tuned bikes, screaming engines, screeching tyres and brakes and supernatural speed races meshed with the breath-taking daring of motorcycle stunt acrobatics… indoor Motocross racing and Freestyle MX all rolled into a single adrenaline fuelled night of seat-edge action complete with pumping soundscape . . . and you have the heartbeat of
Producers and organisers Arena Sports Live presented Arenacross (AX in three of the UK’s leading arena venues – Belfast, Birmingham and Sheffield – for their 2019 AX tour, with HSL supplying a full production package – lighting, video and rigging – plus sound in partnership with Nitelites.
Additional venue ‘sports lighting’ was also provided by HSL for the two Birmingham shows at the Resorts World Arena (NEC).
HSL’s project manager was Ben Perrin. He and the team were delighted to be back having supplied lighting for the 2018 tour, and lighting and video for the recent Liverpool International Horse Show, also an Arena Sports Live event. They worked closely with producer Matt Bates and production manager Tony Nash from Arena Sports Live.
Ben produced an outline production lighting design, then called on the huge experience of Nick Jevons as programmer, lighting director and operator on the road. He utilised a flexible package of beam, spot and wash moving lights to ensure appropriately hi-impact lighting to match the hi-velocity action, excitement and sounds.
Nick’s challenge was to make it powerful, dramatic and totally in the face . . . a task he relished and a style he’s embraced in the past, lighting dance festivals like GlobalGathering.
Other issues included ensuring that there was enough light in the correct places for the riders to see at all pints in their dynamic trajectories, but that it was also not at any point in their eyes – with intense, fast moving bike gags coming at you… this was not easy!
A series of lighting trusses were installed over the arena and a selection of moving lights – around 120 in total – were dotted all over these, including some of HSL’s new Chauvet Maverick MK3s together with Maverick MK2 Washes, Maverick MK2 Profiles, Vari*Lite 6000 Beams, Philips SL Hydrus 350 beam washes and Martin MAC III AirFX. These were joined by over 50 x SGM Q-7 LED strobe blinders.
On the floor, SGM LED Beams lined the ramp in the middle of the arena which the MX stunt display team used to get airborne! Nick used an Avolites Sapphire Touch console for control.
Lighting the stunt teams as we noted was tricky and required the most precision, and the audiences also needed to be able to see them. Having the Q-7s to hand enabled him to cast a nice even wash across the space that was also vital for this section of the show.
Nick was joined on the lighting crew by HSL’s Andy Whitt, Steve Foden and Tom Soltau. Looking after HSL’s video was Marcel Wijnberger.
They utilised over 400 panels of Martin EC10 and EC20 product – of which HSL has a substantial stock, with the main screen flown at one of the long ends of the arena, measuring 8m wide by 5m high, made up from EC10.
A Christie Spyder X20 video processor was at the core of the system, taking care of all the routing, with a Resolume media server system for playing back last laps, finishes and other highlights and some other graphics that specifically needed to be quick accessed.
Ben Perrin commented that it was “great to come back and collaborate with creative director Matt Bates and all the crew and staff involved at arena sports live”.
(Jim Evans)

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