RICHARDS BAY, SOUTH AFRICA – With balmy temperatures (28˚ Celsius) and clear skies, the weather in this seaside town located a two-hour drive from Durban isn’t what comes to mind when people in the Northern Hemisphere think of New Year’s Eve. That is undeniably part of its charm, since the Uthungulu Last Dance festival includes picnicking and partying on the beach on January 1, after enjoying a sizzling series of concerts to ring in the New Year the night before. This year, in addition to enjoying the South African summer sun, visitors to the festival got to bask in the warm white light of STRIKE 4 fixtures from CHAUVET Professional.
Lighting designer Shaniel Laloo of Sounds Ideal (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa) used the STRIKE 4s and a collection of Legend 230SR Beam moving fixtures to engage the massive crowd at the celebration. The high output of both fixtures was essential to the designer achieving this goal, given the large size of the outdoor uMhlathuze Multi-Purpose Sports Complex, where the festival performances took place — and the size of the crowd, estimated at 40 000.
“The STRIKEs are nice for eye candy effects,” said Laloo. “At Richards Bay I used them to light up the artists from the back, while blinding the audience at the same time. I appreciated being able to have 10 STRIKEs on one 16a power source.”
Laloo positioned the 10 STRIKE 4 fixtures in his rig on the internal truss grid of the sport center’s outdoor stage roof. The STRIKE 4s were divided into groups of four and six, with the smaller group flying on truss at mid-stage and the larger arranged on the upstage overhead truss. Mixed in on the rig with the STRIKE 4 units was a collection of moving washes and beams. The 16-bit dimming control of the STRIKE 4s allowed incandescent style fades, which, together with the warm white LED fixture’s strobe effects, provided attention-grabbing eye candy, especially when worked with the moving effects on the rig.
The eight Legend 230SR Beams in Laloo’s New Year’s Eve rig were arranged on the downstage deck. Positioned four each on either side of the stage, the high-output fixtures (96,000 lux at 15 meters) provided eye-popping aerial looks in a rainbow of colors. They were also used for overhead audience lighting.
Laloo praised the zooming capabilities of the Legend 230SR Beam’s 8-facet prism and 2.25° beam angle with helping him rev up the audience without distracting them. “The zoom function on the Legends and tight beams meant that I could use them right over the audience without hurting their eyes,” said the LD. “The overhead light from our rig really involved people in the celebration. New Year’s Eve in Richards Bay was quite amazing. I lost a lot of sleep, but the end result was worth it!”