Lit in the Round

Florian Fritsch brings us another cool design from their Gospel Concert in December 2017.

From Florian:  In our main location, where our Gospel Concert 2017 took place, we normally have a 360° Stage, not the easiest concept to bring a lot of people on stage. But we decided to try it and had the idea to place the choir like our church family around the stage. To separate it from our normal Sunday look and make it feel more like Christmas we decided to randomly rig a lot of light bulbs over the stage. On the pictures you can see the final outcome.

The idea is pretty basic, but always works so well. But I think the more interesting part is probably how we set everything up and planned it.

The biggest problem we were facing was, that we only had about an half an hour slot to build everything up. That’s because our location is a night club and we have to build up every Sunday everything what’s on the ground (stage, chairs, subs, lighting etc.). We normally only have 2,5-3 hours time for everything (construction, soundcheck, rehearsals, etc.). We luckily almost got the full 3 hours on this Sunday.

We were not allowed to bring anything up before Sunday, because the nightclub wanted to keep the full height of the room for Saturday night, so you can see from the entrance of the hall directly on their led wall. So I thought about a construction we could bring up fast and had the idea to build a truss square and place it with 2 and 3 an 5 meter pipes (pdf plan). I planned everything and decided how long the cables of the light bulbs should be to hang down kind of randomly. I made all the cables myself with textile cable and of course a lamp socket and a power plug.

We had about 50+4 (rig + stage) light bulbs and I wanted to do some dim chase stuff with the lights, but it wasn’t realistic to have ~50 dim channels. So what I did was to combine 2 sometimes 3 lights per dim channel, which were placed somehow opposite each other, that way it wouldn’t stand out.

We got in the hall on Saturday morning to prepare everything. We rigged 4 chain hoists and installed the dim cables we needed, so we only had to bring them down on Sunday morning. We also build the whole construction for the cables and wired them up. We needed to store up the construction, so we separated it at all 4 corners and removed the 4x 5 meter pipes. That way it was possible to prepare everything before Sunday. It was very hard to get with a 5 meter long and 3 meter wide truss construction through all the doors in our storage, but we somehow managed to make it. Because we needed to separate the truss construction we had to to take care of where to plug in the cables. On the plan you can see that there are different colors for the four sections. Every section has it’s own plug box. (Oops, there are some mistakes in it.)

On Sunday morning our logistic team built up the stage, while my team put together the different parts of the truss construction. Then we placed it on the stage and pulled it up with the 4 chain hoists. Every now and then we stopped to install the light bulbs on the lamp sockets. This part went pretty fast, because all the musicians helped us to install them, which was so cool because it wasn’t evident. The next step was to plug in the 4 dim cables to the 4 plug boxes on the truss construction and on the other side to the dimmers. During the soundcheck we had enough time to install the few lamps on the stage.

What I personally took from that project was, that even if the circumstances make it seem to be not possible (to do new/different stuff on your stage design, or to add some things, etc.,), I think there are ways and possibilities to DO so. It probably won’t be the best and nicest solution and definitely will always be hard work. The easy path is somewhere else but I think projects like these (which were kind of impossible for us, in terms of time) make a huge difference. At least that’s the feedback I got from many many people on that day.

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