(BLACKPOOL, UK) -- The splendid and ornate surroundings of the Blackpool Tower Ballroom were recently home to the Lancaster University Student’s Union 2016 graduation ball, an evening marked by celebration and reflection. Lighting designer Oliver Wilkinson contributed to the festive mood, creating a memorable and colourful lightshow that was anchored by 10 Rogue R1 Spot and 22 Q-Wash 560Z-LED moving fixtures from CHAUVET Professional, as well as six MotionOrbs and 12 PiXPar 24 par fixtures from its sister company CHAUVET DJ.
Having designed the LUSU grad ball twice previously, Wilkinson – who is a fulltime designer and chief LX for local production company Arranpaul – understands the expectations of the students all too well. “From previous years, I know that these students want to go out with a bang,” commented Wilkinson. “For this reason I needed to create the most impressive lighting design possible with the resources at hand. Needless to say, the CHAUVET Professional and DJ fixtures were the perfect tools for the job.”
Wilkinson placed the Rogue R1 Spots on above stage truss to provide even coverage over the entire stage. “The Rogue R1 Spot is a fixture I keep utilising for several reasons,” commented Wilkinson. “Not only is the fixture extremely bright, the colours are very rich and the various gobos look fantastic over the crowd and on stage.”
The Rogues also provided aerial effects, which were employed throughout the evening to give the students flashes of the 19th century elaborate roof construction of the ballroom.
“As the Blackpool Tower Ballroom’s architecture is simply spectacular, I decided to utilise the bright and far reaching spotlight and three-facet prism of the Rogue to show off some of the elaborate Victorian-era ceiling decorations,” commented Wilkinson. “Not only did this have the effect of making the whole production seem more grand, it gave the graduating students an opportunity to reflect upon the magnificent surroundings.”
Wilkinson also employed his PiXPar 24 and Q-Wash 560Z-LED fixtures to paint the stage with deliciously saturated wash lighting. “The combination of the PiXPar and the 560Z fixtures provided a sumptuous glow over the stage,” continued Wilkinson. “Both fixtures are able to produce intense and saturated wash lighting, with the 560Z moving head having the added benefit of full tilt and rotation. This gave me many possibilities for different wash looks, which filled in the gaps and acted as a great counterpoint to the Rogue Spots.” “I also utilised the CHAUVET DJ Funfetti confetti cannons to add that extra WOW factor.”
Wilkinson’s piece de resistance, however, came in the form of 6 x CHAUVET DJ MotionOrbs, hung from truss at the sides of the stage. “The MotionOrbs provided a fantastic visual element to the overall look of the stage,” enthused Wilkinson.
Measuring two meters in lengths, each Motion Orb fixture features rows of hanging orbs. The fixtures succeeded in providing a completely different look and feel to the higher spec moving lights performing above. “The LED baubles gave an extra sense of depth and dimension to the sides of the stages,” continued Wilkinson. “Whether on constantly or being pixel mapped by the Avolites Expert Pro console, the fixtures create an entirely different kind of atmosphere and aesthetic on stage. It just goes to show that it’s not always the biggest and brightest fixtures which are the showstoppers!”
With the entire evening’s programme a huge success, it’s fair to say that the University of Lancaster’s students received a fantastic farewell, aided in part by Wilkinson’s intelligent use of lighting combinations. “It was a great party. The Blackpool Tower Ballroom is an absolutely memorable location, and I felt I was able to put on the best show I could for the students in the impressive venue,” he concluded. “I couldn’t have created such a special atmosphere without my amazing crew and my production LX Technician Anastasiya Tsyntaryuk, who worked tirelessly during one of the most difficult venues in the UK to load into. I loved the versatility and quality of the CHAUVET fixtures, without which I couldn't have created the design I envisaged.”
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