grandMA On High-Profile Events Sundance & Super Bowl XL

The annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT and the Super Bowl, this year in Detroit, are always hot tickets. But the grandMA gained easy entry to both venues when Dierson Design Group Inc. tapped the console for a series of Sundance-related parties and concerts as well as concerts leading up to the big game.

Known as a real operator’s console, the grandMA is the largest console in MA Lighting’s range. Its three-color touchscreen and up to two external monitors make for an extremely comfortable programming environment. Twenty motorized faders, a built-in keyboard, mouse, mouse pad, trackball, and four-parameter encoders provide a luxurious programming and playback surface. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of grandMA in North America.

Dierson Design Group Inc., which provides programming services, used a grandMA console from AG Lighting at two locations at Sundance.

The first was a temporary structure for the W Las Vegas Residences, which was promoting its loft-style apartments soon to be ready for purchase. For the party at this site, AG Lighting had the grandMA controlling 60 Color Kinetics ColorBlast® LED fixtures plus three Martin MAC 2000 profiles and 16 Martin MAC 300s.

The second location was Harry O’s nightclub. The spot was rented by the owners of the Tao restaurant chain who, with sponsors Blender Magazine, Budweiser and Absolut vodka, transformed it into a temporary nightclub catering to the film festival’s glitterati. The grandMA controlled 22 Martin MAC 2000 profiles, 16 Martin MAC 300s, six Color Kinetics ColorBlast LEDs and 150 assorted conventional fixtures at this venue.

When Tao wrapped after a week, Harry O’s owners approached AG Lighting with the request to keep the grandMA for a series of intimate concerts, the first of which was headlined by Metalica.

“During the course of a week the grandMA had to go from controlling very static lighting looks to highly-dramatic rock ‘n roll lighting to a television shoot,” notes lighting director Patrick Dierson. “One of my favorite things about the grandMA is that it can handle any application. It’s a testament to the console that it’s able to form fit a lounge disco party, rock concert and televised event and run perfectly for all of our needs. We’re able to change equipment on a whim and have the console convert existing cueing information across different fixture types.”

At Super Bowl XL Dierson employed two grandMA consoles, one supplied by Ed and Ted and the other by Christie Lites. At the State Theater and the Fox Theater, the Pepsi Smash concert series leading up to the game featured Joan Jett, The Bangles and the legendary Four Tops. The grandMAs and 3 NSP’s controlled, 52 Martin MAC 2000 profiles, 46 Martin MAC 2000 washes, 30 High End Systems’ StudioBeamPCs, and 16 Martin MAC 250+ fixtures.

One grandMA also controlled a concert headlining Train, the Goo Goo Dolls, and Nickelback which aired on VH1’s “Smash Bash” as part of the cablenet’s pre-Super Bowl coverage. Artfag served as the design team for the week-long series of events.

“Patrick is a grandMA veteran. I have seen him design and program a wide variety of shows on the console. In the hands of such a skilled practicioner, the grandMA can do anything. This is due to the flexibility built into the software and both the graphical and physical user-interfaces. No other console offers the sheer amount of play-back faders and button as the grandMA,” commented Bob Gordon, president and CEO of A.C.T Lighting.

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