WAKEFIELD, UK – Unity Works is aptly named, because a grass roots initiative started by a community that came together with a shared goal in mind has given this historic building a new lease on live. This rebirth is reflected in the structure’s cutting edge fittings, including its lighting system, which features the new Rogue R2 Spot moving LED spot and an extensive collection of other technologically advanced fixtures from CHAUVET Professional.
Well known in an earlier time as Unity Hall, the stately building is a Grade II listed Victorian landmark with all the installation challenges to match. The community based Unity House (Wakefield) Ltd. venture managed to find private capital to begin getting the stately building back on its rocking feet. This was followed by renovation rewards, setting the building on its way to being fully restored.
In the past, as “Unity Hall,” the building had served as a cinema, ballroom and wrestling venue, but it is most fondly remembered as a rock music venue. For generations of music fans in Yorkshire, going to Unity Hall to see bands like The Specials, The Boomtown Rats, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and countless others was a rite of passage.
At the heart of today’s new Unity Works is a revitalized 600-seat hall, extensively outfitted with rigging, lighting and audio supplied by leading UK full service provider SSE Audio Group. According to Wakefield local and SSE Sales Manager Ryan Thomas, SSE won a bid that already specified CHAUVET Professional in its highly discerning list of requirements. “We were delighted to find that the new management of the venue knew their stuff,” he said, “and that included Chauvet for the lighting. In any tender proposal we would make recommendations based on technical or pricing merit if we thought there was a better solution. But in this case there was no need. We totally agreed that they’d arrived at by far the best solution for the project.”
Controlled by an Avolites Tiger Touch II LED lighting control desk, the new lighting arrangement features four of the Rogue R2 Spot LED fixtures; six Legend 412Z fixtures; 20 COLORdash Par-Quad 18 fixtures with barn door attachments that further enhance the color spectrum already available; four Ovation F-95WW Fresnel fixtures with gel frames; and two Ovation E-190WW ellipsoidals, also with gel frames.
With this collection of CHAUVET Professional fixtures, the lighting arrangement has the versatility to handle the wide array of performances, from rock to stand up to theatre that will take place at the revitalized Unity Works. For example, while the Rogue and Legend fixtures provide the movement and intensity called for by rock performances, the Ovation fixtures deliver a beautiful flat field for theatrical applications.
Mark Hatfield is SSE Audio’s Project Manager and worked on the installation very closely. “Due to the listed nature of the venue, a floor-standing truss system was required to accommodate the PA and effects lighting system,” he said. ”The decision to go with Chauvet was based on performance, versatility, budget and efficiency. Any of the numerous events hosted at Unity Works could potentially require a different lighting layout from the next, so it was important for the venue to have access to fittings that would work well together for anything from a live performance to a wedding.
“The Rogue R2 Spots, Legend 412Z moving heads, COLORdash Par-Quad 18 washes and Ovation lights provide high output and are packed with features to accommodate every eventuality,” continued Hatfield. “Another advantage with these fixtures is that they are LED, meaning they are low maintenance and have a low environmental impact.” .
Over the stage, SSE has installed a 10m by 5m by 5m box section truss for the extensive Chauvet payload, which also makes use of internally wired lighting bars both here and at the FOH position. Control panels throughout the venue address both lighting and audio, and provide access to a wiring infrastructure that will easily accommodate further additions to the technical inventory.
In addition to its performance venue, Unity Works has a smaller function room, some independent shops, an art gallery, a café bar and small business facilities. “This contributes to the strong community feel already present here,” said Thomas. “Everyone seemed to have an interest in this project. Indie band The Cribs, who remember coming to gigs at Unity Hall when they were just kids, were among the people with roots here who helped raise the money in the first place. They also headlined the opening night, to get things off to a great start. The initial capital came from selling shares in the venue – shares in the idea of Unity, if you like. Maybe that helped formulate such a knowledgeable tender.”
About CHAUVET Professional
CHAUVET Professional offers innovative professional lighting fixtures for the production and touring market as well as permanent installation in theaters, hospitality venues, cruise ships, clubs, television and architainment applications. For more information, please visit www.chauvetprofessional.com.
Chauvet, headquartered in the USA, is a leading global manufacturer of professional luminaires, truss and related equipment, fulfilling the needs of various industry sectors. Chauvet has four main brands: CHAUVET® DJ, CHAUVET® Professional, ILUMINARC® and TRUSST®. They share Chauvet’s unified strategy to pursue every market segment where it has a competitive advantage in terms of value, innovation and performance, with an emphasis on LED technology. For more information, please visit www.chauvetlighting.com