Each year, the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge® tours Australia from May to September, putting on a dance, drama, and design spectacular that draws crowds to Australia’s top venues.

The stars of this crowd-pleasing event: young students. That’s right, teams–from 10 to 140 students each–plan an eight-minute performance set to contemporary music and challenge each other on stage. In 2005, there are 48 events in 16 regions across Australia and more than 350 schools with 35,000 students taking part.

And each year, LD Paul Collison uses his familiar rig of Martin MACs and Pulsar ChromaBanks. This year, however, the MACs have a new spin: gobos from the new Patrick Woodroffe Gobo Collection.

Collison’s design has five curved snake like trusses hung under a mother truss along with a split front truss to allow the followspots a clear shot at the stage, all running off four data streams from a MA Lighting grandMA with 3D visualization.

Along with 11 MAC 2000 Wash, four MAC 2000 Performance, 16 MAC 600 Wash lights, and 16 Pulsar ChromaBanks, Collison used 15 MAC 2000 Profiles each housing the new Patrick Woodroffe Gobo Collection. A total of 18 Woodroffe Gobo collections were used. "The gobos are awesome! It’s like using a completely different light. We know the MAC 2000 is the industry-standard workhorse in Australia but the gobos needed updating," says Collison. "All the producers have seen them and everyone knows when a MAC 2000 is in use, as they’ve seen the gobo pattern so many times before."

Collison especially likes the ability to pull many different looks from one gobo or a combination of gobos. "The results are fantastic. Patrick Woodroffe has done an incredible job in not only picking the designs for the gobos but how they align with each other. Doubling the gobos together works really well," he says.

Collison believes that the new gobo collection will reinvent the MAC 2000. "The reality is that most shows can’t afford to get custom gobos cut so the standard set has to be relied upon. Martin was very smart in releasing this set of gobos…to rejuvenate what is considered to be an industry standard workhorse light."

Lots of Watts again supplied both the lighting and audio for the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge tour. As well as the aforementioned equipment, there are seven 4bar ACL, eight Selecon Aurora Cyc lights, 32 PAR64, two Romeo Juliet followspots, LSC EPro dimmers and distro, one LSC E24, 21 chain motors, 30m 300mm tri truss, 240’ Atype box truss, 150’ of curve snake like truss, nine 6m cord drapes, one 20-6M cyc and tab track, two Jem ZR33 Hi-Mass foggers, and two Unique hazers.

For more information, visit www.rockchallenge.com.au.