Robe lights Melodifestivalen 2021
Friday, 16 April 2021
robe-mello-2021-4-photo-by-fredrik-jonssonThis year the six rounds were staged in the Annexet arena in Stockholm (photo: Fredrik Jonsson)
Sweden - Melodifestivalen - ‘Mello’ for short - the annual competition to select the Swedish Eurovision entry is organised by Sveriges Television and is a phenomenon in itself. In recent years, it has been a touring show visiting six key cities, but due to COVID restrictions, this year the six rounds - four heats, the ‘second chance’ and the final - were staged in one place, the Annexet arena in Stockholm, part of the Globe complex, and broadcast live on STV1.
It was lit - for the 20th time - by Fredrik Jonsson who utilised 200 Robe moving lights and four RoboSpot systems among other fixtures on the rig.
Taking this fund of experience into account, Fredrik always relishes the challenge of making Mello look fresh, exciting and fun each year and 2021 was no exception,
offering the rare opportunity to work in what was effectively a very large studio space without an audience, which opened new doors for technical experimentation.
Fredrik once again worked closely with set designer Viktor Brattstrom, another long-term member of the Mello creative team. The two enjoy a great imaginative synergy, and usually start throwing ideas into the mix the previous summer and autumn.
Video content was supplied by Green Wall Designs, another regular collaborator, who had their content wranglers onsite together with a disguise operator.
With a trim height of around 10m - and without the limitations of having to tour the rig - the circumstances gave rise to an idea floating around for some time which involved integrating a roof into the set design.
This resulted in shiny black rectangular scenic roof sections being rigged in the upstage / downstage orientation, with lighting trusses filling the gaps in between.
With the 24m-wide by 28m-deep stage to achieve the desired catwalk / runway perspective, the whole roof system needed a lower trim, so this was set at 4.9m from the stage floor.
The low trim also meant that any big bulky lights were out, so Fredrik wanted as many compact powerful fixtures as possible on the rig and turned to Robe, choosing MegaPointes and LEDBeam 150s to be at the core of the main lighting system.
The 88 x MegaPointes and 82 x LEDBeam 150s were rigged in triangular-shaped trusses to maintain the linear perspective at the heart of the set concept.
For Fredrik, the choice of follow spot fixture was BMFL WashBeams. However, with this design, it was impossible to rig them on the back bars and keep the clean lines due to the larger size of the fixture compared to the LEDBeam 150! After some experimentation, Fredrik opted to use six MegaPointes as his rear follow spots which retained the aesthetic integrity of the rig. These six fixtures were hooked in to the RoboSpot system.
Some applied rigging magic from rental company - and lighting equipment suppliers - Creative Technology Northern Europe’s crew combined with short pipes and swivel couplers enabled the LED Beams to sit slightly lower from the trusses so their lenses aligned trim wise with the MegaPointes.
Also on the rig were 27 x Robe BMFL WashBeams utilised for key lights, four of which were the front follow spots, also running on the RoboSpot system.
MegaPointes were the main workhorses for creating all the effects in the stage area. Most of them were in the roof rig, with a few on the ‘flowerbox’ set pieces, two sets of lights on shelves running US / DS on both sides of the stage.
To ensure the whole event was delivered Covid safe, the production worked in ‘bubbles’ that didn’t mix.
Mello 2021 was won by Tusse with Voices, who will represent Sweden in the 2021 Eurovision Song Context Final in Rotterdam on 22 May.

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