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Chauvet DJ Intimidators Brighten Up Uncle Kracker's Eclipse Concert

Uncle Kracker performing at the Solar Eclipse Festival in Bowman, South Carolina.

Everyday life came to a halt in the US for a few moments on August 21, as people stopped whatever they were doing and forgot about whatever cares were on their minds to marvel at the first solar eclipse to be visible across the entire lower 48 states in 99 years. Over half of the country's population (about 165 million people) witnessed the event, according to news reports. Few of these eclipse gazers had as much fun for as long a time as the 10,000 or so who turned out for Bowman, South Carolina's Solar Eclipse Festival.

Held at the city's new outdoor concert facility Yonder Field, the festival kicked off in the morning with an inflatable animal race and similar events, followed by some safe eclipse watching, and capped off with a concert headlined by former Kid Rock turntablist turned iconic rock star Uncle Kracker. Pumping up the action on stage and captivating the crowd with some intense non-solar looks was an intensely bright and colorful light show created by Matt Slater using Intimidator and SlimPAR fixtures from Chauvet DJ.

"Brightness was the key at this show," said Slater, a lighting designer at Luke Combs. "The festival is built around the eclipse, so the lighting on our stage had to be bold and bright. I specified four Intimidator Spot 355Z IRC fixtures for this concert and was stunned by the output and coverage I got from these fixtures."

Slater positioned two of the Intimidator Spot 355Z IRC units upstage on his SL320 stage and used the two other units in his ground package. He credits the fixtures three-facet rotating prism and split beams, along with the intense output from its 90W LED engine with helping him cover a wide area of the venue outside the stage. The fixture's motorized zoom made it easy for him to move between short and long-throw lighting.

"We didn't have a lot of fixtures, so what we used had to be not only bright, but versatile too," said Slater. "The gobos in the Intmidators also gave us a lot of options when it came to creating looks."

Being able to create a range of looks was critical to reflecting the different moods covered by Uncle Kracker's music. Beginning with his days DJing for childhood friend Kid Rock, this multi-platinum recording artist moves from rap to rock to country to pop with seeming ease. Slater's free flowing light show glided right along with him.

To accent Uncle Kracker and the supporting performers, Slater relied on top washing and back washing, from the eight Intimidator Wash Zoom 350 IRC 20W RGBW fixtures in his rig. Flying these units on upstage and mid-stage truss he often used them to bathe the stage in a variety of colors, giving it the look of a glowing box even when the sun was shining brightly again.

Also lending a glow to the stage were the eight SlimPAR Pro Q USB low profile RGBA wash lights and eight SlimPAR Pro W USB white wash lights in Slater's rig. The color washes were positioned mid-stage and downstage to coordinate with the Intimidator Wash Zoom 350 IRC units, while the white wash units were on the ground package and used for up lighting.

"We wanted the stage to stand out, because how many times are we going to do a concert against the backdrop of a solar eclipse?" said Slater. Well, the next total solar eclipse over the entire USA will be on April 8, 2024. The city of Bowman hasn't planned anything for that event yet, but it will be hard to top the power looks created on their festival stage this time around.

WWWwww.chauvetlighting.com


(13 September 2017)

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