BROOKLYN, NY – (For Immediate Release) — They say you can’t fight Mother Nature, and for his part, Jeff Burton wouldn’t want to, but there’s nothing wrong with using your lighting rig to channel natural elements to enhance your light show. Burton followed this strategy recently when lighting Gospël Tribe’s rooftop party at The William Vale hotel.
Located in the heart of the artsy Williamsburg neighborhood, the modern (opened 2016) 183-room hotel dazzles guests with an array of amenities like New York City’s largest outdoor hotel pool, an ice skating rink, and its own botanical garden. Among its most spectacular features is the breathtaking views it offers of the Manhattan skyline from its outdoor 23-story high lounge.
These vistas made the hotel an ideal site for Gospël Tribe’s two-day rooftop bash. The only issue was that ambient light from the setting sun over the East River made it difficult to generate much visual excitement with lights on the dancefloor at the start of the event. Burton met this challenge by dialing up the white light intensity on his six CHAUVET Professional Rogue RH1 Hybrid fixtures, which were supplied by Squeek Lights.
Instead of trying to fight the sun with color washes, he elected to create visuals using bright white light from his high output (111,000 lux at 15 meters) 330W hybrid fixtures. “You can’t outshine the sun, but the white light made it easier to reach the crowd,” said Burton. “An event like this is all about the experience and having light moving in support of the music is the way we contribute to that experience.”
Later, as evening approached, Burton enhanced that experience by changing his color palette from amber, to red, to magenta, so it complemented the setting sun, in essence making the day’s passing part of his show. When night fell, he moved into a different color pattern.
“When it got dark, the lights really started to come to life,” he said. “The whole energy of the dancefloor changed. That’s when I’ll follow the music with matching colors. For me it’s simple. I’ll use cooler colors, blues, cyans, greens for heavier, darker, and moodier bass lines. But when the music shifts to a more uplifting beat, with some vocals, I’ll switch to warmer colors, reds, ambers, magenta’s, and yellow.
“Sometimes, I’ll keep in all monochromatic, but when I get the chance to use color combinations, I will,” continued Burton. “I love mixing colors. It’s like painting the sky with light.”
Burton positioned his Rogue RH1 Hybrid units on top of six truss totems. “Being in a venue outdoors, with nothing to hang from, I try to simplify the design,” he said. “I do this a lot at outdoor electronic festivals when I can’t use truss. Using trees or bamboo, building totems is a simple way to hang the fixtures around the dancefloor.
The flexibility of the hybrid fixtures was critical in helping Burton achieve the variety of looks he wanted throughout the two-day event. “I like having a wash fixture and a spot or beam fixture,” he said. “Being a hybrid, the RH1s opens a lot of possibilities. The first night I used them more as a zoomed-out spot fixture, thinking a tight beam would be annoying to the crowd. But the second night I zoomed them in and used them as more of a beam fixture – and it looked really good. I was very happy with their performance. It’s nice to have the option of both spot and beam.”
Along with the Rogue RH1 Hybrid units, each of the six totems had two Rogue R1 Wash fixtures. “Squeek Lights was really helpful in helping me put together a rig for a tight space that could deliver a range of looks,” said Burton. “The R1s are compact; they have the punch to cover the crowd with nice washes. I layered the hybrids’ light on top of these colorful washes to give more energy to the elements of the music.”
Burton didn’t program looks for this event, as he would for a concert. It was, he says, more “about being intuitive and flowing with the crowd to create an experience.” With a sunset and Manhattan skyline in the background, that experience was very memorable for those lucky enough to be there.
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