Lighting designer Martin Holst wanted to make impact with a floor-based and cost-effective lighting / set package that was fully tour-able for Danish singer songwriter Rasmus Walter’s 2017 tour … and chose 24 x Robe picklePATTs and 6 x BMFL Blades to be at the heart of the design.
The floor package also included LED strips which outlined an upstage scaffolding structure on which the picklePATTs were rigged together with some side lights. It was augmented at each venue by a specified ‘top’ rig.
The equipment was a new investment for rental company Vigsø Dry Hire via Robe’s Danish distributor, Light Partner, and these were the first picklePATTs in Denmark!
Robe’s reporting team caught up with Martin and Rasmus during a gig at Vejle Musikteater which also happens to have a Robe house lighting rig, so Martin was able to integrate 12 x MMX Spots and 10 x LEDWash 600s into his scheme for the evening.
Martin explained the design evolution. They decided to tour a floor package as a practical option, and because the artist has a very personal connection with his fans. The brief was that the stage should have a warm and inviting look … which is when Martin hit upon the idea of the picklePATTs.
“I wanted something that would look good as an architectural / set piece – it didn’t have to be moving all the time, but it did need to look attractive … and picklePATTs are perfect with their retro styling, distinctive shape and brushed metal finish which also takes light beautifully so they can be coloured and textured,” he stated.
The picklePATTs were arranged in three rows of eight, on eight vertical trussing towers at the back of the stage, serving as a backdrop, a stage set and part of the lighting rig. Once the towers were set up at the venue, the LED battens were simply clipped into place and the majority of the rig was complete.
This easy set up brought a completely unique look to the stage and took Martin just three hours after being unloaded from the truck!
He’s used Robe Pointes before on other tours, but visited Light Partner before this one started to take a better look at the BMFL Blade.
He really likes these fixtures for their versatility and fun they bring to a show, particularly in the medium to large sized venues which start around 1400 capacity of which there were many on the itinerary.
He decided on the BMFL Blades – placed in an arc upstage on the floor – because of the shuttering and the fact you can move the light very slowly and subtly. He likes the solid beam and the way it utilizes the entire lens. “The quality of the light is amazing,” he declares.
The picklePATTs were primarily chosen for their eye-candy appeal and the tungsten ambience they bring to the stage. The BMFLs are also used to light the pixelPATTs at certain moments, accentuating their value as set elements.
Martin mentions that both types of fixture have been absolutely rock solid reliable so far.
The creative challenges have included getting a stylish and full lighting look that was also on budget, and would be scalable to fit into the smaller venues and stage spaces, but that would still look big and give continuity.
He uses a grandMA2 for control and this same design will be used for a summer tour by Rasmus Walter together with additional BMFLs.
Before Martin decided to concentrate on his LD’ing career, he worked as a project manager for one of Denmark’s leading rental companies, so he understands both the creative and practical / logistical parts of the design process. He’s now freelancing and based in Copenhagen, working mainly with music artists.
For Christian Vigsø owner of the growing rental company Vigsø Dry Hire, these picklePATTs and BMFL Blades, together with 12 x Spikies, were their first investment in Robe products.
The decision was simple, “We’re a dry hire company and so we constantly have an ‘ear-to-the-ground’ regarding what people are asking for … and a lot of people are talking about Robe right now and it’s appearing on a lot of riders for concerts and tours.”
Apart from the fact that Martin had spec’d them for this tour, Christian thinks the picklePATTs look really fantastic and will be a useful rental item and of course, he was delighted to be the first company in Denmark to own them!
He purchased the BMFLs because, “They are awesome fixtures” and their Spikies are out on a range of other tours and events.
Photos by Louise Stickland