Norwich, England-based Viking Stage Lighting has just purchased its 200th Robe fixture. The company, headed by Ian Leonard, passed the 200 mark with the acquisition of a batch of the all-new ColorWash 575AT Zooms.
Since having the fixtures in stock, Viking has demo'd them to many others and consequently sold several more CW 575AT Zooms to its clients.
Viking has steadily replaced their entire hire stock inventory with Robe moving lights over the last two years, now only leaving six non-Robe units. In terms of fixtures, they have everything from the Spot 150XT spot to the ColorSpot and ColorWash1200AT Series fixtures. They are now looking at the new 700 fixture which will be available after PLASA.
“Reliability is a major reason Viking has gone with Robe,” explains Leonard. He cites a typical example as the recent Return To the Forbidden Planet tour (LD Simon Hutchings), which was out on the road for six months with ColorWash 575AT Zooms and didn’t require a single service call. “This is exactly what we want in a hire scenario like ours, the best moving light is the one that you don’t have to think about once its left the building, " he states.
Viking made its first Robe purchase in 2002, shortly after Robe decided to market the brand directly. At this stage, they put a selection of Robe fixtures alongside the competition for a like-for-like comparison recalls Leonard, "Generally Robe won hands down,” he recalls. "The build quality was equal if not superior, the price significantly more competitive, and we immediately realized that Robe was designed with the practicalities of fast servicing in mind."
He adds that at that time Robe was also the only manufacturer offering the option of adjusting the fan speed, making its fixtures quiet enough for most theatrical environments, and even the smallest and most intimate studio spaces.
"Great all around products that do everything we need of them," he concludes.
As with any mechanical item, a moving light will need servicing, but Viking has been very impressed that this has been so minimal with Robe.
As for that lucky 200th fixture which has found a good home, its first gig was the Living Water Festival in Norwich as a dry hire to Synergy Audio. Viking also dry hired more Robe moving lights to Wavemakers, who lit another stage at the same festival.