When it came to specifying lighting for the brand new 3,000 capacity auditorium at Rivers Church’s Sandton Campus in Johannesburg, South Africa, technical manager Ed Helliwell decided that Robe moving lights were the way to go!
Eighteen LEDWash 1200s, 10 x Pointes, 8 x DL4S Profiles and 8 x miniPointes later … together with 26 x LEDBeam 100s purchased a few months earlier from Robe’s South African distributor, DWR … they have a dynamic and flexible lighting rig in place which is making a real difference to how they can light their popular worship session and other events.
The new technology is also a great fit with the tasteful and eye-catching proto-industrial design of the new building, complete with coffee shop, large atrium and a collection of bespoke designer artworks made from recycled engineering waste, all created by Senior Pastor Andre Olivier for the ministry’s “Life By Design” platform.
Ed chose Robe for several reasons.
They had enjoyed a great experience with some of the previous generation fixtures – ColorSpot and Wash 575, 1200 and 2500E ATs in their previous 1000 seater auditorium, which now provides a second venue at the site.
In addition to this, he emphasised the “good price and great value for money”.
They also needed lights with plenty of power and intensity to make an impact with a massive moving LED wall onstage which is also a major part of the new production design.
Ed and his technical crew collectively evolved the lighting design for the stage and room which includes circular trussing matching the contours of the space.
Regular lighting operator Francisa Gomes is one of those enjoying working with the new luminaires and design, “They are very easy to set up and use, the colours are well matched between the fixtures and the smooth movement is great”.
In addition to the three Sunday worship services, the Rivers venue is used for a variety of other events including the monthly Sisters Meetings plus assorted conferences, so they are active every week of the year.
“Reliability is a key for any lighting,” states Ed. “We didn’t have any issues at all with the previous Robe installation, so that in itself was a big reason to stay with the brand. Added to that, the new fixtures offer huge scope for us to be creative”.
He appreciates the nice dimming curve on the DL4S and its fast, accurate framing shutters which are handy for key lighting as well as other general lighting tasks.
Lighting plays a major role in creating the right atmosphere for the worship services. They had rented Pointes for specific occasions in the previous venue, so knew first-hand how flexible they were and what could be achieved.
Rivers Church hosts multiple services each week and various conferences throughout the year that cater for our diverse congregation. The lighting allows us to have the flexibility to create a unique atmosphere dependent on the meeting type.
Every service is also recorded for broadcast on Etv, FBN, Flow TV & Ghana Live TV – reaching many viewers across Africa & Europe – so this was also a big consideration from the outset.
The Robes are rigged on five over-stage trusses, the curved side trusses, on four upright truss sections upstage and on the floor, all controlled via a grandMA2 light console, and the system is designed to be up or downscaled as required.
Ed also concludes the interview praising the “fantastic” service from both DWR and Robe themselves.
Photos by Duncan Riley (inside church) and Louise Stickland (outside church and group photo)
L-R Paulette Parker, Worship Pastor, Ed Heliwell – Rivers Head of Technical, Dave Whitehouse (DWR Theatrical Specialist), Francisa Gomes (Rivers Lighting Operator) and Andrew Illgner (Rivers Audio Engineer)