Total Production

Robe’s BMFLs and Pointes Camp it Up For Summer

July 2015

Lighting designer Preston Hoffman created a dynamic and flexible production lighting design for the 2015 Summer Camp Festival staged at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, Illinois, U.S.A. His stage, the Moonshine Stage, was based primarily around 16x Robe BMFL Spots and 10x Robe Pointe lights.

It was the second time that Boston-based Hoffman, also LD for headlining jam band Moe, had worked at the four day event. The lighting equipment was supplied by Chicago based Performance Lighting, a recent investor in BMFLs and Pointes. Hoffman was absolutely delighted when he learned he would have access to both types of fixtures for this show. 

He was the first LD in the U.S. to ever use the new BMFL Spot to light a building exterior, in a groundbreaking installation at Boston City Hall for the 2014 Boston Calling Festival.

Summer Camp 2015 was actually another BMFL first for Hoffman. It was the first time he used Robe’s incredibly powerful fixture as the primary moving light on a concert stage. A major challenge for the Moonshine Stage lighting design was that all equipment (trussing, set, lighting, etc.) had to be rigged off two roof beams with limited weight loading that were part of the semi-permanent stage’s structure. Similar to the concept of the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, this encapsulates the spirit of the Festival, and has been utilised by the site for many years.

Hoffman designed a trussing infrastructure that formed two large V shapes, each 50 feet long, with stretched Lycra ‘sails’ in between to make an excellent video projection surface and adding a lightweight but eye-catching set element to the space. It also matched the ceiling décor of stretched reflective material. “I wanted to ensure the lighting didn’t become lost amongst the video and projections,” explained Hoffman, “and the BMFLs and Pointes have plenty of punch so they were ideal.”

The BMFLs were really maximised, especially for those awesome big aerial effects blasting through the night sky. Hoffman also employed plenty of tight BMFL beams and graphics slicing through the haze and both the BMFLs and Pointes enabled spectacular projection and texturing on the sails using their gobos and animation wheels. “The idea was simple, different and memorable,” he stated.

Pointes and BMFLs currently remain Hoffman’s favourite fixtures for the brightness, gobo selection and generally rich feature sets. “You really can get a huge amount out of these fixtures, you will never get bored and can guarantee, in a festival scenario like this, to keep bringing up new and fresh looks for every artist taking the stage.”

Hoffman used grandMA control for lighting at Summer Camp, and his personal crew chief from Performance Lighting was Autumn Venevia. He also has several other ongoing and upcoming projects, which will feature BMFLs and Pointes.


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