Robe Helps Light 2010 World Cup Closing Ceremony

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Robe ColorSpot and ColorWash 2500E ATs and REDWash 3●192s were a major feature of the spectacular lighting design by Tim Dunn and Hugh Turner that caught the eye of a global TV audience and the 95,000 excited vuvuzela blowing football fans who packed into Soccer City Stadium, Soweto, Johannesburg ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final.

Dunn and Turner collaborated closely on the design and specification of the equipment, all of which was provided by Gearhouse South Africa, the main technical suppliers for the Closing Ceremony event produced by The VWV Group.

The lighting had to be big, bold and memorable to fill the stadium with awesome effects and WOW factors for the 30 action-packed minute show, which has been acclaimed as among the best and most visual World Cup ceremonies to date, a challenge to which Dunn and Turner rose with characteristic zeal!

They needed the most powerful lightsources available to make maximum impact in the space, and that's why a large number of Robes were selected. With a relatively expedient rig in terms of fixture numbers, each one needed to be as flexible and multi-functional as possible.

The 44 REDWash 3●192s were positioned around the perimeter of the field of play. They were used for throwing colour washes across the pitch cloth for the big dance numbers, and looked very cool with their big blocks of light, specially on the aerial camera shots. The colour mixing produces a fabulously rich and very bright quality of light which, being LED, is completely different, and this worked perfectly for diffusing the edge of the pitch cloth (a light coloured cover was down for the show and removed for the game), the centre of which had to be left clear for fabulous large format video projections.

From the top of the stadium, lights were installed on 4 descending rings with ring 4 being the highest and ring 1 the lowest.

The 48 ColorWash 2500E ATs were hung around ring 1, attached via special brackets to the stadium walls. They had throw distances of up to 50 metres to contend with on maximum reach, and so their high light output came into its own. They were utilised for streaking the lower seating levels all around the stadium and to light the performers on the pitch - a cast of 740 including 40 elephant operators - and 35 main artists. They were also used to swing up and light the roof skins on the far upper level, and to texture these same surfaces with gobos.

The ColorSpot 2500E ATs were on ring 2. These played a vital role in lighting the edges of the projection area. They were fitted with four different custom gobos, including a rectangular 'framing gobo' that was designed to produce the exact mask required to apply light precisely to the projection border area.

Preventing light encroachment on the projection area was really important, and took lots of diligent programming, and Robe's framing gobo was a real godsend in helping this process.

The other custom gobos supplied to Gearhouse by Robe were a starfield, a sponge effect and a block gobo that emulated the blocky architectural appearance of the exterior of Soccer City.

The ColorSpots were also used as a multi-tasking fixture. In addition to lighting the projection surround, they also lit the edge of the pitch cloth, as well as being used as gobo projection units and key lights for performers in specific numbers.

Gearhouse has a large stock of Robes, and Dunn and Turner have both used them on many previous shows and projects. They like the versatility, power and reliability of the lights, and the thought and time that Robe puts in to developing new technologies and listening to what end users really want. This has resulted in the most dynamic range of moving and digital lighting currently available, with fixtures that are really practical across multiple applications.

The Closing Ceremony show was programmed and run by Tim Dunn on a grandMA full size console. Hugh Turner called the 8 follow spots, and the fibre data network used for distributing lighting control was designed by Chris Grandin from Gearhouse Media.

Dunn's vast experience of lighting stadium shows and Turner's extensive theatrical background produced the perfect combination of epic spectacle, pizzazz and drama which brought one of the best organised and most enjoyed World Cups ever to a dramatic and successful conclusion.

The Closing Ceremony show included a show-stopping rendition of the Waka Waka World Cup theme song by Shakira, and a lively colourful mega-mix of contemporary and classic African song, dance and theatre.

For more press info. on Robe Lighting, please contact Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679/+44 (0)7831 329888 or Email ‘louise@loosplat.com'. For more product and general info, check www.robe.cz or call + 420 (0)571 751 510.

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