A & O FALCONs Shine on Eurovision

ukraine-dsc_1820sm.jpgThe FALCON® FLOWER made quite an impression at the 56th Eurovision Song Contest recently held at Düsseldorf Arena in Germany. The show is known for making technical leaps and bounds and this year marked the biggest Eurovision in history with regards to lighting equipment and live audience. Germany had not hosted the show since 1983 but when Lena Meyer-Landrut won Eurovision 2010 in Norway with her song “Satellite”, Germany was determined to show the world how a show should be done... big.

The show's name says it all. It's a song contest between member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The public votes for their favourite song and the winner hosts the contest the following year. 43 countries competed this year, tying for the most since Serbia 2008. Three live broadcasts were held – two Semi-finals on May 10th and 12th and the Finals on May 14th in front of the largest live viewing audience in Eurovision history with 36,000. Another 200 million estimated television and internet viewers make Eurovision the largest music television program in the world.

German Lighting Designer Jerry Appelt specified masses of lighting to deliver unique looks for the 43 countries, three interval acts and opening act for the Final broadcast. Over 2,100 moving lights were incorporated into the design, with the majority hung overhead, spanning the entire space of Düsseldorf Arena. Clearly, this needed a powerful balance from the floor.

finland-dsc_2507sm.jpg24 FALCON FLOWER 3000W made a massive impact at floor level with 4 placed on each side of the stage at its widest position and another 12 lined along the back LED stage wall. 4 more were placed on the catwalks in front of the stage.16 FALCON FLOWER 7000W were placed in the ceiling, with 8 hung on moving truss directly behind the stage. Lighting control was delivered via grandMA2 full-size consoles, triggered via timecode.

The FALCON FLOWER is a unique xenon multi-beam effect-light with colour changer, pan-and-tilt movement, electronic and mechanical dimmer, douser, electronic strobe and integrated electronic power supply. An infinitely variable, rotating reflector produces up to 30 individual beams. The fixture delivered an exciting punch to many of the songs on Eurovision with multibeam effects in the shape of stars or flowers or just a simple yet powerful beam.

slovenia-dsc_1877-sm.jpgConcert and Stage Producer Ola Melzig, who has worked on nine Eurovision productions, worked closely with the delegations and artists regarding the details of each performance including lighting, video, pyro, sound and camera angles. “The FALCONs ROCK – there was no doubt when those things were fired, the effects were awesome. Jerry used them for very special looks and I can tell you, those countries were thrilled.”

Appelt said of the FALCON: “I use the 3K all the time. It's very powerful and when I need that look, it's the only one I go to. Düsseldorf Arena is huge and I wanted beams to reach to every corner. This was actually the first time I used the 7K and the results were fantastic. Really great light and nice beam effects – I'll definitely use them again.”

Cape Cross of Cologne, Germany provided all lighting and rigging for the show, sending 130 trucks, each with 40 tonnes of equipment. Thomas Brügge, Managing Director of Cape Cross said, “We use Falcons in almost every show we do – they're incredibly strong. Not many lights can do what they do. The Xenon is a very special form of light. I've seen many companies try to copy it but none have succeeded like the Falcon. It's really brilliant.”

The company behind the creative production of Eurovision 2011 was Brainpool TV GmbH, led by Producer Jörg Grabosch. Brainpool managed all creative aspects including staging, lighting, pyro, hosts, viewing room, technical crew, etc. and managed the companies in charge of these areas: Cape Cross (lighting & rigging); Creative Technology (video); Stage Kinetic (moving LED screen); MCI (set construction); and LunatX (pyro).

In the end, Azerbaijan was crowned winner with the song “Running Scared”, earning 221 points. Eurovision 2012 will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan.

For more information about FALCON, visit www.ao-technology.com.

Eurovision Design Team:

Lighting Design: Jerry Appelt

Stage Design: Florian Wieder

FOH: Matthias Rau, Matthias Hagel, Wolfgang Nöhrer, Sascha Matthes, Michael Giegerich, Markus Ruhnke, “Matze” Meyert

Host broadcaster: NDR

Executive Producer: Thomas Schreiber

Executive Supervisor of EBU: Jon-Ola Sand

About A & O Technology:

A&O Technology GmbH, founded by Marco Niedermeier, has been engaged since 1995 in the distribution and rental of specialized lighting equipment to numerous internationally recognized architectural and entertainment projects. Its exclusive distribution portfolio includes the FALCON® range, which comprises a variety of architectural spotlights and searchlights manufactured by Alpha One Gmbh.

High-quality equipment, international cooperation and a creative team of employees have allowed A&O Technology to develop into an enterprise active worldwide in the distribution and rental of high-tech products for a wide range of applications — often to spectacular effect.

A&O is headquartered in Oyten, Germany, with subsidiaries or bureaus in Abu Dhabi, UAE; Los Angeles, USA; and Blackburn, UK and holds project partnerships worldwide.

Photos: Courtesy of M & M Production Mgmt.

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