Proteus lights Eric Church in Nashville
Tuesday, 24 September 2019
eric-churchThe Double Down tour kicked off again in September with dates scheduled through November (photo: John Schearert)
USA - On 25 May, country music star Eric Church played a special show at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. The show was extraordinary in that it marked the first stadium headlining performance in Church's 15-year career and with 56,521 fans in attendance impressively broke Taylor Swift’s previous venue record.
The show was special for another reason as well. The last date of an extended spring run on the artist’s Double Down tour, lighting and production designer Butch Allen specified 135 Elation Professional IP65 Proteus Hybrids to fill the stadium in beams and effects. The multi-functional weatherproof lights were an addition to a large lighting package that also included some 420 Elation ACL 360i single beam moving heads.
“We chose the fixture as it was the last show of the spring leg, outdoors and a completely different show than we normally do,” says Allen of the Proteus. “Because we couldn’t predict what was going to go on weather wise, the search for an appropriately rated fixture to be in the unprotected part of the stadium was a pretty big task. Once we discovered the Proteus though, it solved all our problems.”
With the help of Robert Roth at Christie Lites, a large number of Proteus fixtures were sourced from a number of different sub suppliers. “The Christie team did a great job. Robert Roth beat the industry hard and found enough fixtures to cover our needs,” Allen says, adding that he finds it stunning that with so many festivals now on the calendar across the US that Proteus fixtures aren’t absolutely everywhere. “I really didn’t want 135 floor lights wrapped in those big, plastic balloon domes so I’m glad we found enough Proteus.”
Double Down is the fourth Eric Church tour in which the experienced lighting veteran has served as lighting designer. “Choosing to use Proteus was really about being responsible. If the weather turned, I didn’t want my client to absorb a huge claim for damaged gear. We’ve all done a tonne of outdoor shows and have had to fill out the insurance paperwork,” Allen explains, reminiscing about a show years ago in Fenway Park where 150 lights went down and were unrepairable after a downpour. “Both myself and Eric’s production team didn’t want to put anybody in that position. There’s no excuse now.”
The Double Down tour kicked off again in September with dates scheduled through November.
(Jim Evans)

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