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Robe Stars at the Innibos Festival, South Africa

Robe moving lights -- including ROBIN 600 LEDWashes and ROBIN 600E Beams -- were the core fixtures of the main stage lighting design by Johan Ferreira for the 2011 Innibos Lowveld National Arts Festival, staged in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, South Africa.

The five-day event -- among the country's largest arts festivals -- attracted over 100,000 people; it was kicked off a performance by South Africa's The Parlotones and 2010 Idols South Africa winner Elvis Blue. The main stage action also included daily live entertainment, culminating in a gospel final, followed by the main Saturday night closing concert, with a series of storming sets by Steve Hofmeyer, Kurt Darren, Dozi, Nianell, and many more.

Pretoria-based Ferreira and his company, JSF Productions, has been involved with lighting the Innibos Festival -- which features over 14 different performance spaces -- for the last five years. Robe is his preferred moving light brand. "Every fixture is designed by those who know what is needed in the industry, and, in fact, if feels like every fixture was designed and built by an LD," he says.

The 2011 Innibos event however was his first chance to put both the ROBIN 600 LEDWashes and the 600 Beams through their paces. The eight ROBIN 600E Beams and some of the 24 ROBIN 600 LEDWashes utilized on the main stage rig were supplied by Sound Headquarters Africa from Johannesburg, with the rest of the Robe moving light count -- including ColorSpot 700E ATs, ColorSpot 575E ATs, CitySkape Xtremes and CitySkape 48s -- delivered by MGG Productions, also Johannesburg based.

The starting point of Ferreira's lighting design was to make it "dynamic and different'" enough to cater for the wide selection of artists. The lights were hung all over the roof of the main stage structure, with some strategically positioned on the floor.

He admits to being "blown away" by the ROBIN LEDWash 600s. "It's a wonderful fixture," he states, citing the light weight as one of many advantages for transportation, and making it much easier to rig. Also, having its own integral power supply means he can address the fixtures while the crew are busy hooking up the power, which can save time.

As a theatre-orientated designer, color mixing is a vital parameter, and this is also an area where the LEDWash 600s really excel and also impressed him greatly, ranging from the subtlest of pastels right through to super saturates and real whites, all of which "look fantastic," he says.

The zoom is "very effective," he says, and he was also surprised by the sheer speed of the unit and the incredible brightness, "You might not expect this from such a small light."

He used the LEDWash 600s for the primary stage washes, covering the 59' by 39.3' area. The fixtures' versatility was illustrated by the fact that he could also narrow them down and use them as specials, isolating performers in very small, dramatic pools of light, as well as washing large sections of the stage.

While he's used ColorBeam 700E ATs before, this was his first time using the new ROBIN 600E Beams, on which the output was "absolutely stunning". He adds, "They always impress crowds and clients alike -- and, on this show I had friends calling me from all over town saying they could see my beams." He operated the lighting via a grandMA full size console.


(22 November 2011)

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