dbn Co-operates In Gala Event

dbn CRTG Gala dinner CRTG14 7533Manchester, UK based lighting specialist dbn was once again involved in the ambitious production at the heart of the Co-Operative Retail Trading Group (CRTG)’s annual Supporters Awards and gala dinner event, staged at the city’s Manchester Central venue.

Project managed by Pete Robinson, dbn supplied rigging, lighting equipment and design. The company has been involved in the event for the last seven years  and collaborates closely with both overall technical production management providers A To V and the client to interpret their brief and bring the venue alive as an exciting and invigorating entertainment space for the evening.

This year’s theme took some popular elements of last year’s ‘circus’ in terms of the physical layout and developed a special ‘carnival’ vibe for this year. The venue was divided into two areas – with a fully operational fairground in one half and the dinner for 1000 people in the other.dbn CRTG Gala dinner CRTG14 8033

The dinner room was created by draping off a large (55 x 40 metre) perimeter in white with the trusses trimmed at 8 metres high. The idea was that this could be lit and textured beautifully with a variety of mood-changing colours that shifted throughout the evening. The side of this soft-wall that faced into the fairground area was also finished in white draping.

Around 350 x Chroma-Q ColorBlock units were rigged on the perimeter trusses pointing downwards and focused to skim the white drapes very effectively.

Central to the dinner and Awards action was an in-the-round stage – an integral part of the overall set designed by dbn’s Pete Robinson and A to V’s Production Manager, Mark Whitehead.

In the ceiling, a series of concentric trusses were installed, starting with an 8 metre box truss above the stage, from which was hung a cube structure with 8 metre wide by 4.5 metre high screens stretched across all four of its sides.

Inside the screen cube was an internal truss flown so the fixtures rigged on it were neatly concealed with only their noses visible.

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On this were 12 x Clay Paky Sharpies, 16 x Sharpy Washes and 16 x 2K fresnels.

On the stage floor were another eight Sharpies and eight CP A.Leda B-Eye K10s utilized for creating attractive beams across the stage in all directions shooting out into the room.

A box truss was flown further out in the room and used for positioning all the table and general lighting. An impressive 64 ft long, complete with extensions to maximize lamp throw and general coverage – on this were 16 x Clay Paky QWO 800 washes and 16 x Alpha Wash 575s, the latter specifically used to light a series of large scenic carnival masks attached to the truss.

Twenty-four SGM P5 LED floods were spread out and used for the audience / room washes, while 32 x ETC Source Four profiles, fitted with a variety of lenses, were the stage washes and specials. Robinson said of the P5s, ‘This was my first use of SGM’s powerful LED wash light and I was impressed by the vibrant colours and evenness of the wash. By using them I was able to drop 96 sour ce4 pars and associated dimming, as well as reducing the power spec by 100 amps per phase, not to mention the saving in cable, labour and focusing time!’

Also on this truss were 24 glitter cartridges that created a great surprise effect when fired at the end of the Awards, energizing the carnival vibes!

All lighting in this area was controlled via Jands Vista S3 and S1 consoles programmed and operated by Mark Jones.

In the fairground, dbn flew two 50 metre trusses, each of which was rigged with nine bars-of-six Source Four PARs and another nine Source Four profiles for adding breakup effects across the floor and surroundings.

A temporary performance stage was lit with eight CP Alpha Wash 700s and  the white soft-wall area was enhanced with 20 x Chroma-Q ColorForce 72 LED battens spread out on the trusses above with some ColorSplits filling in the smaller gaps … resulting in a nice smooth, even wash.dbn CRTG Gala dinner CRTG14 7858

The entertainment lighting in the fairground was run by Stephen Walker Jones using an Avolites Pearl Expert.

Robinson oversaw a dbn crew that peaked at 14, and the major on-site challenge was the timescale which due to various venue curfews meant the majority of the work had to be completed during two intense overnight sessions.

The proximity of the final confirmation and the actual event also entailed some nifty logistical juggling, an efficient workflow being activated in a short space of time, and late requests – like the installation of a ground support system for one of the fairground artists – were also accommodated by dbn with their usual slick operational flair and style.

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