Total Production

Robe Lights Innibos 2015 Festival

August 2015

The main stage for the 2015 Innibos arts festival, one of the largest Afrikaans events in South Africa drawing over 107,000 people over five days, was lit for the eighth year by Lighting Designer Johan Ferriera.


This year he chose to work with nearly 150 Robe moving lights, supplied to the event by Johannesburg based MGG, one of the country’s leading technical production specialists.


Ferriera was also responsible for the set and visual design, which allowed him to deliver a coherent and harmonious ‘bigger picture’ designed for a diversity of artists appearing over the four days and a large gospel show on the Sunday.


He worked alongside the festival’s creative team, with the starting point for the stage lighting design being the biggest night of the festival, Saturday. 


Central to the brief in 2015 was that the organisers didn’t want a large central slab of LED upstage, instead they wanted all the drama and impact of the performance to be reinforced by lighting. They also wanted a touch of vintage rock ‘n’ roll, reminiscent of Queen and AC/DC back in the 1980s with their outrageously large rigs of PAR cans.


Using the latest technologies, it’s now possible to recreate this hugely memorable effect far more practically and without the weight and electricity consumption issues of the past.


The 17 metre wide by 12 deep stage offered 12 metres of headroom from the ground to the grid, a substantial area that needed filling. Ferriera decided on six upstage/downstage truss ‘fingers’, all raked at different angles for maximum dynamics and to provide the primary lighting positions, as well as a front truss and three ‘totem’ trusses down the sides.


Ferriera said: “I use Robe because the lightsources are very bright and they just work. You never have to take them off the rig for repair, and that is essential for a show like this [that] is fast moving with very little ‘tech time’”.


The fingers were each loaded with four Pointes with 44 LEDWash 600s dotted around for reinforcing the back and mid-stage washes. Another six LEDWash 1200s were added to the upstage sections of each finger, specifically for band washes.


The side totems were rigged with 48 LEDBeam 100s, used for effects, accenting and punctuation. Another four LEDWash 1200s were rigged on the downstage four totems with two LEDWash 600s each on the back pair. 


He has a hybrid approach to the design uniting the styles and disciplines of theatre and rock ‘n’ roll lighting. The set also had a rock look to it, with lots of risers, walkways and a prominent thrust coming off into the audience at the front so performers could get close to the fans.


For control, he used a grandMA2 full size. It’s the first time that MGG has been involved in delivering the full technical production supply to the event, though Ferriera said it was “fantastic”. 



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