Total Production

Nearly 400 Robe fixtures at 2015 Amsterdam Music Festival

November 2015

André Beekmans of The Art of Light designed the lighting for the two day 2015 AMF which pulled thousands of music fans into the Amsterdam Arena.

The Netherlands based creative light design company who are working closely with scenic designers 250K for Alda events. Key to making the whole concept a success were nearly 400 Robe moving lights on Andre’s plot, including 101 BMFL Spots, 94 Pointes, 180 LEDBeam 100s and 7 BMFL Blades.

Beekmans has been involved since the first AMF. This third edition of the event was also recorded for future broadcasts and was live streamed over the internet which all needed to be taken into consideration when lighting the shows. A big challenge (and the main objective) for the lighting design was to make the vast barn-like arena packed with thousands of people feel like a small, intimate club space. This is also where the experience and imagination of Beekmans and his team kicked, integrating techniques from the world of theatre, dance and TV, and sharing them with EDM communities worldwide.

Multiple trusses were flown in the roof forming a loose grid infrastructure above the stage and audience with lights rigged along all sides and at intervals down the length of the auditorium. This set-up was designed so that the ravers would be caught up with the sweeping BMFL beams and pulled into the bass levels coming offstage. It was also vital to have strong lighting coming into the picture from the back of the stage behind the DJ, shooting down the length of the arena skimming people’s heads to ensure they were immersed in the action from all sides. 

The 101 BMFL Spots were the main effects and acted as the primary light source and as such were the workhorses of the show. They were positioned on various trusses above the stage and the arena and played across the entire space, involving the audience as well as registering really well on camera. Beekmans uses Robe a lot in his work (the reliability of the fixtures make them ideal for the harsh operating conditions of EDM events) due to the quality and finesse they can bring to any situation. They have used BMFLs on various shows throughout the year but this was the largest amount to date to feature on a project of The Art of Light.

It was also the first time they had used the BMFL Blade. These were deployed as key lights and front lights for the Awards section of the show. Beekmans was impressed by their power and the focus as they were throwing a good seventy-two metres to the stage.

The 94 Pointes (chosen for their versatility) were primarily distributed around the stage area with thirty-four of them on the floor outlining the space. The rest were on four moving circular trusses contained within two scenic cylinder shaped flying props, each made up of eight thin metal rings outlined with LED strips. They offered multiple looks and variations throughout several hours of performances. The main curved video screens (which also rotated) were in the centre of these two cylinders. The 180 LEDBeam 100s were mounted on the back of the LED panels so as the arcs of LED panels rotated around to face upstage they were revealed in a wall of light firing out beams as the video arcs moved forward on the upstage/downstage axis. 

All lighting kit (including approximately 450 more lights) was supplied by Flashlight and the automation system was designed and supplied by engineering specialists WIcreations. The challenge, as is often the case, was the tight get-in and technical time that could not commence until the Dutch soccer team finished their match on the Tuesday night. Knowing this Beekmans planned a week of pre-production at The Art of Light in Eindhoven with his lighting operators, Bas Scheij and Michael Seeverens, where they were able to visualize the building blocks of the show and pre-programme the MA Lighting grandMA 2 consoles and arrive onsite well prepared. They took their portable WYSIWYG setup to the Arena which enabled Beekmans to check that everything was as he was expecting during the load in and this was also made available to all the guest LDs so they make the most of the available rig. Several artists also brought their own LDs and The Art of Light looked after their own acts on the line-up that included Armin van Buuren, Hardwell and Afrojack.


Photos : Courtesy Alda Events
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