One of the largest worship conferences for teenagers, the Youth Specialties DCLA event, drew record numbers of high school and middle school students this year. Named after the two cities where it is held, the bicoastal event took place in Washington DC July 1-4 at the Washington Convention Center and in Los Angeles August 8-11 at the Anaheim Convention Center, with attendance upwards of 11,000 at each venue.
One reason DCLA keeps growing is that it’s geared totally to teenagers, combining worship and religious training with music, concerts, and theatre. “This multi-faceted program may be great for reaching young people, but it also provides a big challenge to production designers,” notes Dan Bashor of DB Production Services Inc., out of Loveland, CO, which handled the lighting, sound, video, set, and stage design.
The event utilized an 80’ stage divided into three main areas, says Bashor, one for the worship program, the second for the dramatic show, and the third for the musical performers. There was also an 80’ wide video screen up front, and a 60’ video screen halfway back in the house.
“The lighting was especially complicated and involved, because it had to encompass a lot of different types of productions,” explains Bashor. “Part of the stage was like a play with actors, another was a musical concert-type event, and then there was the worship service. To handle this diverse program, we needed lighting that was very versatile. We also had very limited height at the Anaheim venue, so this was another concern.”
With these considerations, DB Production’s LD MacKenzie Smith chose a gear package built around Power Spot 575IE automated fixtures from Elation Professional. A 575-watt moving head, the Power Spot 575IE features a powerful 575-watt discharge lamp in an extremely compact case the size of most 250-watt fixtures. It is also loaded with features and effects, including 11 colors, UV filter, 4.9mW red laser, 3-facet rotating prism, and 16 gobos on two wheels that can produce the popular Gobo Overlay effect.
“The Power Spot 575IEs are very versatile units that can produce a lot of different types of effects, which was what we needed to handle the many different events taking place on stage,” says Bashor. “They also give a lot of punch for their small size, so they were great for our spatial requirements.”
In addition to the products themselves, Bashor says that he was extremely pleased with the service he received from Elation. His company had been using another brand of lights, which had failed just prior to the July 1 Washington show. “I contacted Elation, and they were able to ship the quantity we needed right away. They came through that same day,” he recalls. Bashor was also impressed at how the Power Spot 575IEs worked right out of the box. “They arrived on June 30 and we were able to get them programmed the next afternoon, right in time for the July 1 show,” he says. “We were so pleased with the company and its products and service that we plan to change all of our automated fixtures exclusively to Elation.”