SAN ANTONIO – Everything looks better in colorful light, even something as remarkably beautiful as a world-famous tourist attraction that draws some 34 million visitors a year. LD Systems demonstrated that recently when it transformed the city of San Antonio into a glittering field of brightness and color for the US Travel Association’s IPW 23 Visit San Antonio event.
Using large format video and lighting systems, the company worked its magic at 12 different locations throughout San Antonio from the Alamo Plaza to the city’s famed River Walk, which was recently named one of the five most beautiful sites in the USA.
From the diverse array of imaginative gobos that brought depth and life to familiar sites and walkways, to bold aerials that animated the sky overhead, to uplighting that colorized the sides of tall buildings, the LD Systems design added extra sparkle to the city for the 5,000 delegates from 60 nations who attended IPW.
Playing key roles in the design were CHAUVET Professional fixtures from LD Systems’ own inventory. These included 24 COLORado 3 Solo units that were positioned close to buildings for lighting columns and under balconies, as wells as six additional Solo Battens that were used on a balcony of one of the sponsor hotels leading up to the closing event.
Also adding atmosphere to the event were 14 Color STRIKE M motorized strobes that washed walls, while create up-and-down flows of light on them, and four Ovation Reve E3 fixtures that lit a river front stage.
“We wanted bright and vibrant colors with movement,” said Sean Sargeant, who along with Dave Jackson (both of LD Systems) spearheaded the project. “We gave them a little input about colors, and let the programmers run with it to choose what they saw fit.”
Like all beautiful creations, the Visit San Antonio design was result of inspired vision, along with an even greater portion of planning and hard work. LD Systems began discussing the lighting design for the late-May event with its client, The CE Group back in November. Load in for the four-day event took place in two phases. Structures for most of the sites went in on May17th, lighting fixtures were positioned the following two days, and programming was finished on the 20th, a day before the official opening.
“There was a lot of coordinating with several city entities and property managers/owners. Several departments of the City of San Antonio partnered up to help in so many ways and were crucial in making this happen.” Sargeant said. “It was a bit challenging setting up on sidewalks while watching out for traffic a few feet away. We also had to be mindful of pedestrians, as they walked through our work sites. The three storms that came through that week weren’t much help. But we prevailed thanks to the work of our talented team, which included three programmers working different areas. (Dave Jackson, Dan Barrett, Jacob Jordan), as well as three lighting techs (Brian Ladet, Ernie Guzman, and Martha Galvan), our assistant site coordinator Steve Scranton and video projection designer Travis Crane.”
Of course, visitors to San Antonio during the event didn’t spend much time thinking about the substantial effort went into the creation of the beautiful swirl of colors that covered their surroundings and captivating gobos that danced on the walls of buildings. They were too swept up in the visual magic of the moment as an inspired lighting and video design made one of America’s most beautiful cities even more enchanting.