Sono Centrum in Brno, the Czech Republic’s bustling second city, is the brainchild of local entrepreneur Jiŕĭ Ŝtopl and is a vibrant live music club, a cool hotel and a cutting-edge restaurant all on the same site, bringing a brand new concept in entertainment and style to the city, the Czech Republic and indeed, central Europe.
Ŝtopl, who also owns the Sono Music Studio in Prague, is a big music aficionado and wanted to bring a fresh new venue onto the gig circuit. He decided the easiest way to do this was to build his own …
Once the decision was made, he wanted it to offer only the very best production values … so Robe moving lights and L-Acoustics audio were specified for the main stage.
The eye-catching modernist building was designed by forward-thinking architect Frantĭsek Šmédek and resembles a PA speaker cone from the outside – a large white globe pinched between two large black curving structures. The spherical theme permeates right through the entire venue which has an impressive 1400 capacity.
It also has some unique live recording facilities and three floors with two large balconies, four bars, a generous stage around 13 metres wide by 7 deep, with 7 metres of headroom and a series of trusses flown in the roof to provide the lighting positions. For all this, it still retains an innate quality of intimacy and closeness between performers and audience.
Ŝtopl didn’t just choose to have Robe products installed because it’s a Czech brand – although that is a bonus of course – he wanted Robe because he thought it was the best.
The lighting supply was co-ordinated for Robe by Petr Kolmačka and the spec was finalised by him, Ŝtopl and the Music Club’s Technical Manager, Daniel Giač.
Robe makes up 90% of the lighting with eight Pointes, six LEDWash 1200s, eight LEDWash 800s, four ROBIN DLS Spots, eight MMX Spots and eight MMX WashBeams. All these fixtures are fitted with the Lumen Radio wireless DMX card.
These were chosen to provide as much flexibility and options as possible for the house and guest LDs, as the club will host a wide variety of artists and musical genres.
Says Kolmačka, “The space is incredible – the architecture, the acoustics and the aesthetics are all very special and it’s completely different from anything else we have here in the Czech Republic. Apart from that it’s been a real honour working with Jiŕĭ Ŝtopl, who together with Daniel Kachlíř from Marka AT, have been closely involved at every stage of the process. It was a full team effort and very satisfying”.
He explains that they needed an abundance of beams, washes and spots and this drove the choice of fixtures. The rig was spec’d to give the ability to light full on rock bands to jazz performers, orchestras and anything in-between including regular club nights.
The proximity to Robe’s HQ in Valašské Meziříčí was also a real bonus when deciding on the moving light supplier, although so far they have needed little in the way of technical support!!!
A grandMA2 light was specified for control and MDG hazers for atmospherics.
With such a funky and different exterior and with the globe also being white, it was always going to be lit – and for this Kolmačka proposed two Anolis ArcSource Outdoor 48 Integrals, fitted with wireless cards and run via Robe’s VTX wireless system.
The first lucky lighting operator at Sono Centrum to have this great collection of the latest Robe technology at his fingertips is Martin Nakladal, who has previously worked in other clubs and in rental companies.
He is delighted that Robes are installed. Having had some experience using LEDWashes before, he was also very keen to get his hands on some Pointes and be able to give them a good workout!. “They are great for the diversity of music we get here” he said.
Photos by Louise Stickland