An Avolites Diamond 4 Elite lighting console has been specified and installed in the new Outback Spectacular venue at the Warner Brothers Studios’ theme park on Australia’s Gold Coast.

The main attraction at the park is the Outback Spectacular, a live show with performers and real animals based on the Australian outback and operating weekly Tuesdays through Saturdays for dinner and the show.

Outback Spectacular is a first for Australia, a unique show capturing the essence of the Australian outback, complete with spectacular visual effects. The giant arena thunders with the hooves of Australian horses as the performance starts, creating an electric atmosphere with state-of-the-art lighting, as leading stunt riders and stockmen play out the story of two rival cattle stations. Upon arrival, guests enter a traditional Outback pub for a cool beverage, receive their own Stockman’s hat that they wear while cheering for their cattle station. Alongside this, a traditional Australian BBQ is served as the action unfolds.

The Outback Spectacular show lighting was designed by John Rayment and is lit with over 300 assorted theatrical fixtures and 40 moving lights, and a PIGI large format projection system throws massive still images onto the backdrop. For lighting control, Warner Brothers selected the Avolites Diamond 4.

Tony Marshall, operations/production manager for the new venue, explains that the current production requires four DMX universes of lighting control, and that planning for future expansion was an all-important consideration. “Many of the consoles we initially looked at were limited to only four universes,” he says, “The D4 has eight, and is also expandable yet further.”

He adds that when they first considered the D4, they were also well aware of Avolites’ strong rock & roll heritage, into which the style and context of the Outback Spectacular show falls in many respects. “As we developed the production further, it became clear that the Diamond 4 was the ideal console,” he concludes.

The show opened last month. Marshall says “The D4 is has been a pleasure for our operators to program and operate. During the hectic pre-production period, time-saving features like updating cues made life a real breeze.” The Outback Spectacular’s senior lighting technician and chief programmer, Clint Dulieu, completed the majority of the programming.

The Diamond 4 Elite console is streamlined to offer maximum power and functionality in minimal space, recognizing the ever-growing need in all applications to use FOH and control spaces efficiently. It features 14 submasters and 96 assigned playbacks, with direct access to 96 fixtures via legend cells, which are re-assignable preset playbacks. Designed with the lighting programmer in mind, the D4 Elite’s ‘direct access’ control surface offers intuitive and fluid programming that can realize the full potential of the lighting design. Facilities like electronic legending also came into their own while Outback Spectacular was being programmed, speeding the entire process up and allowing the automatic configuration of a huge programming palette. Most importantly for an ongoing show like the Outback Spectacular, the massive processing power of the console ensures faster access and response times for all functions. Instant access features like the live recall of palettes during a show continue to be an enduringly popular Avolites feature with programmers and operators.