The biggest New Year’s Eve party in Finland takes place in the country’s capital, Helsinki. It features an outdoor concert showcasing some of the nation’s top performers during the build-up to a firework spectacular at midnight. For the 2019 celebration, 70 ADJ fixtures formed a significant part of the concert lightshow that was not only witnessed in person by a large crowd but also by a million viewers on state television channel, YLE.
Taking place in Helsinki’s Senate Square, and attracting a large crowd despite the harsh winter weather, the concert featured a largely female-driven line-up. The headline performer was popular Finnish singer-songwriter Vesala, who had released a new single and look just days before the event. Also performing was trend-setting pop singer, Vesta, who delivered a powerful performance as the climax to her break-through year on the pop scene. The show was opened by a spectacular display from the Maria Baric Company with their fire circus, featured a set from DJ Orion, and was hosted by Ernest Lawson from the popular Finnish TV comedy show Putous and local TV personality Sampo Marjomaa. Mayor Jan Vapaavuori also delivered the traditional New Year’s speech before the main firework display at midnight.\
The event is organized by Helsinki Marketing Ltd, which is a company owned by the City of Helsinki. It is responsible for Helsinki’s marketing and business partnerships, as well as producing events within the city. As when any public organization is undertaking a project, supply of the lighting production for the New Year Concert was put out to tender. The winning quote was from Broadway Finland Oy, a company with 25 years of experience in the event technology industry, which is based on the outskirts of the capital.
“Because there were different kinds of performers, we tried to create a very multipurpose rig that would serve everybody,” explains Broadway’s Kimmo Räsänen. “And the main thing was to create looks that blended very well with the LED screens that served as the backdrop. The whole show also had to look great on TV as well as for the audience who came out to watch the concert in really stormy conditions. We had heavy wind, snow and rain, with temperatures going into minus degrees, so that really tested all of the equipment used on the show to the absolute limit. When you are having an event outside in the Finnish winter, it is all about surviving in those conditions.”
The extensive lighting rig designed by Kimmo and his team relied heavily on ADJ’s range of professional moving head luminaires and wash fixtures. They used 27 Vizi Hybrid 16RX units distributed around the stage for piercing beam effects. Featuring revolutionary Philips® Platinum 16R discharge lamp technology, the fixture is a spot/beam/wash hybrid moving head designed to give maximum flexibility and creative potential to production companies and lighting designers.
“The Vizi Hybrid 16RXs were used as our main on-stage beam fixtures for this event. We put them on the floor on risers and hanging on the rig. They generate a really bright and sharp beam, which created really nice aerial effects, especially when there was snow in the air! The 16RX is a fast and compact fixture, which allowed us to create some very impressive looks.”
Also used on the show was ADJ’s flagship LED-powered moving head fixture, the Vizi CMY300. Boasting a specially-designed 300W LED engine, this potent luminaire also offers hybrid (beam/spot/wash) functionality as well as a host of impressive beam-shaping tools. Packed into this compact fixture are two GOBO wheels (one with 8 fixed metal patterns and one with 6 rotating and replaceable GOBO slots), two rotating prisms (3-facet circular and 6-facet linear), a frost effect, motorized zoom, focus and iris, as well as full CMY color mixing in addition to a 9 position color wheel (including CTO 3200K & UV). In total 15 of these versatile fixtures were used for the show, hung at various different heights across the roof of the stage.
“The Vizi CMY300 is an extremely powerful and versatile fixture with a compact size,” comments Kimmo. “We used them primarily as spots to create nice looks with GOBOs. With the CMY color mixing you can make really deep colors even when you are using GOBOS. The beam function works well too, and goes really great with Vizi Beam 16RXs, so we got the air full of beams when we needed! We made the video screen completely disappear during those moments!”
Other equipment used on the show included three of ADJ’s Entour Cyclone professional-grade DMX stage fans, four ADJ D6 Branch DMX splitters and 28 ADJ Mega Tri Bar wash fixtures. The latter are LED battens each loaded with 18 x 3W RGB LEDs, which can be controlled independently to allow for the creation of visual ‘eye candy’ effects.
“Mega Tri Bars were used on the sides of the stage, pointing inwards as sidelights,” explains Kimmo. “When they were taking side shots for the TV, they needed some eye candy in the background, so it wouldn’t just be black and empty. We expanded colors that were on the screens to the sides using the Mega Tri Bars, which proved to be very effective.”
Helsinki’s New Year’s Eve 2019 concert was definitely a resounding success. The substantial crowd and huge TV audience enjoyed a variety of exciting performances prior to the firework show at midnight. These were enhanced by an impressive lighting rig designed and operated by Kimmo and his team. Despite the challenging weather conditions, all 70 of the ADJ fixtures used on the show performed flawlessly and ADJ is proud to have contributed to this world-class production.
New Year’s Eve at the Senate Square in Helsinki 2019
Helsinki Marketing Ltd
Broadway Finland Oy
Lighting Designer & Operator
Visual Designer and Video Operator
27 x ADJ Vizi Hybrid 16RX
15 x ADJ VIZI CMY300
28 x ADJ Mega Tri Bar
3 x ADJ Entour Cyclone
4 x ADJ D6 Branch