Robe moving lights and an Avolites D4 control console took center stage as the Spice Girls hit the button with Richard Branson recently to launch the new Virgin Atlantic check-in at Terminal 3 of London’s Heathrow Airport.

Lighting equipment was supplied by Southampton-based GLS who were working for event producers Watermark Event Management. GLS brought Peter Canning and Nic Ayres of Anglo-Irish design practice High Resolution Lighting onboard to produce the creative elements needed to really make the really presentation fly. “They were an obvious choice as Virgin Atlantic like a rock ‘n’ roll edge to their shows,” explains GLS’s Ian Turner.

Challenges included the back wall of the venue being an 80m (262ft) wide by 20m (65ft) high glass wall, which effectively meant that the show, which took place on a 12m (39ft) deep stage built in front of this, was in daylight. No available flying points dictated that they had to use a six-leg ground supported box truss for most of the lighting rig and video elements, the latter of which were also supplied by GLS.

Canning specified 24 of Robe’s powerful ColorWash and ColorSpot 2500E AT fixtures—12 of each type—because he wanted to create some very distinct washes in the roof and also project the Virgin Atlantic logo around the roof and walls.

Six of the ColorWash 2500E ATs were positioned on the floor to get good roof projection positions. It was the first time Ayres had used the 2500s, and he mentions that he was “Very impressed with the tight beams.” Ian Turner adds, “They are the best wash lights I have seen to date!”

Along the back of the box truss were 8 Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs, with another 2 on each side run. Ayres used Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs on the last Levellers tour, so he already knew how bright they were for a 700 class fixture and that they would be ideal for this application. GLS has purchased over 50 Robe 700 Series fixtures in the last 12 months.

Behind the stage they hung 12 twenty meter-high columns of Element Labs VersaTube LED tubes—over 200 in total—which were attached to the roof girders on special brackets, following the contours of the glass, rigged by Craig Trotter.

Onstage key lighting was provided by 18 ETC Source Fours. The lighting picture was completed with 6 floor cans for additional low level cross beams and PAR 64 truss toners to illuminate the highly polished metal surfaces.

All lighting fixtures were controlled by the Avolites Diamond 4 Elite console run by Peter Canning. The control set up included a Catalyst digital media server feeding the VersaTubes with special content created for the show.

The Avolites Diamond 4 is Canning’s choice of desk and has been for some time, He likes it’s flexibility, power and user-friendliness along with all the instant access functionality. He also finds Fixture Exchange facility invaluable when swapping his own console between different rigs.

The Catalyst also supplied holding logos and background animation content created by GLS and high-resolution that was sent to the three video walls (a 10 mm Technorainbow center screen and two 15mm Technorainbow side strips) which were also supplied by GLS. Three playback videos (Terminal 3, Spice Girls VTs, and the Spice Girls naming the plane) were run via a Fonix system. As the video wall aspect ratio matched the set rather than the 16:9 videos, Catalyst also provided the surrounds to fill the screen.