Founded by ringleader and world class athlete Travis Pastrana, the Sydney based Nitro Circus Live tour features more than 40 of the world’s best action sports athletes performing daring and record-breaking tricks in freestyle motocross, BMX and skateboarding, aided by stunts and accessories involving water coolers, rocking horses, a lazy boy couch and more. The lighting has to be equal to the challenge of placing this into a rock ‘n’ roll, stadium context.
Brought in by production manager, Brendan Maher, with whom he had worked previously, Calvi was hardly fazed.
Although these events follow a typical rock concert model, with build-up day, and the infrastructure built and ready for rehearsals by 3pm-4pm the same day, safety becomes the prime concern. “These riders can and unfortunately do get hurt — so it’s important that they can see where they are going and where they land,” he says.
“Management also wants to give the whole show a theatrical edge so when the riders are doing their thing the ramps need to be static and bright. Landings and introductions get the movement and colored treatments — while the show also has an outdoor run where they use the stadium lights.”
Although Francesco Calvi can reflect on an international career spanning over 30 years, this was his first tour in the US and GLP partner Upstaging supplied the lighting inventory including 18 of the mighty GLP impression X4. These fulfilled the role of providing a discreet but powerful light beam from nineteen RGBW high powered LEDs (rated at 15W each), with the X4 family’s signature 7°-50° zoom optic.
He was delighted with the service he received. “Upstaging were amazing, he said. “They will always be my vendor of choice when we tour.”
He confirmed that he had been steered towards the X4 by Upstaging’s George Slejko. “When I told him what I was looking for, he immediately recommended this. “The big part of the show is all the aerial stuff coming off the jumps — these can get quite high and it’s a lot of area to cover just from the trusses.
“I needed a fixture that was punchy but with a small footprint, as with all the stuff we put in to the arenas space can be at a premium. Using 18 X4 on the floor to uplight the aerials and highlight the jumps was a great decision; they delivered plenty of output and a nice wide flood.
“They are also used in the introductions, landings and play offs when the rig has more movement and color.”
However, this wasn’t Francesco Calvi’s first encounter with the German manufacturer’s ground-breaking LED platform. He had also used the original impression 90’s on the successful TV franchise, So You Think You Can Dance Australia — the result of another recommendation from Vince Haddad at Show Technology. In fact, when not in all-action mode these days, Francesco can be generally found lighting television programs.
So having deployed the X4 successfully on the big stage, does the Australian see a place in his tool kit for these neat little fixtures going forward? “Absolutely,” he replies, without hesitation. “They were perfect for the job and I would certainly ask for them again — in fact they are already locked in for the October US tour.”