Podium de Vorstin is a purpose built live music venue right in the heart of ‘media city’ Hilversum in the Netherlands. Its interesting modern neo-ecclesiastical steel architecture was created by Architekten Cie, and ensures that it stands out as an aesthetic landmark as well as a popular entertainment venue.
Production assistant Robin von Zijl and technical manager Michael Sakkers were part of the team who chose Robe Spiider LED wash beams and DL4S Profile luminaires – 16 of each – in a recent technical upgrade. This replaced their previous moving lights, which were from a competitor brand and dated back to 2010 when the venue opened, built on the site of the former De Tagrijn youth centre which burned to the ground.
Vorstin’s action-packed production schedule includes at least 3 or 4 live gigs every weekend utilizing its two performance spaces – of 850 and 300 respectively – which can be set up in a number of different configurations to stage a mix of bands, dance shows, stand-up comedy and cabaret and also includes regular radio and TV broadcasts.
There were two main reasons Robe was selected following a shoot-out just to underline that they were making the correct decision. The first was that Robe is now is on numerous band / artist lighting riders as the moving light preference, and the second is their excellent working relationship with Benelux distributor Controllux.
The majority of the 16 x Spiiders and 16 x DL4S Profiles are in the main room’s overhead rig, with four of each type reserved for floor specials. Vorstin’s smaller hall - from which Radio 2’s Saturday afternoon Music Café’ is broadcast - has some LEDBeam 100s that were installed in 2015. These are used 5 days a week and in all that time … there has only been an issue with one unit!
For the vast majority of incoming bands and artists Vorstin’s in-house team will design and operate lights explained Robin, so they are using the Robe’s extensively. “They are great lights with an excellent output,” he comments.
The Spiiders are run in extended mode giving individual pixel control which is great for eye and camera candy. “The zoom is fantastic and so fast,” stated Robin, adding that with these installed, they don’t really need to rely on PAR cans anymore when lighting a show!
The DL4S profiles he thinks are “quick, responsive and quiet” and all the technical crew are extremely pleased with them. The DL4Ss are used constantly for face and key lighting for which they are an efficient and highly flexible solution, and the new fixtures generally are making a big difference to how they can light all types of shows.
Robin first worked with Robe products when he was freelancing for leading Dutch rental company Ampco Flashlight, so he knows their reliability and quality-engineering from his experiences there.
Apart from the huge increase in flexibility at Vorstin, the crew also receives many positive comments from bands and artists about the new lighting. “They really notice the improvement,” confirms Robin.
The ‘standard’ house rig is redesigned and completely re-rigged each year to ensure that shows can get plenty of variety in the look and feel and the most out of the various fixtures.
L-R: Jeroen van Aalst (Controllux) with Vorstin Production Assistant Robin von Zijl
Photos by Louise Stickland