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PRG’s New Concert Touring Products on U2’s eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour
Pure10 and Rolling Video Floor Risers elevate the touring industry
LOS ANGELES – May 14, 2018 – Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, announces two product innovations - Pure10 and Rolling Video Floor Risers - which have been integrated into the design, production and operations for the U2 eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour. Both solutions demonstrate PRG’s dedication to innovating products that respond to the needs of artists, tour designers and managers seeking to push boundaries and deliver a more immersive concert experience.
“PRG has supported every U2 tour since 1992, and they always challenge us to be innovative with available technology or to create something new,” said Jeroen Hallaert, director of PRG Projects North America.
U2 eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour is a follow up to the 2015 Songs for Innocence Tour for which PRG provided the video cage on the moving catwalk between the video screens. However, for the 2018 tour, U2’s creative team required high-resolution, super transparent LED video screens and an independent automated kinetic catwalk between the video screens. The purpose of the transparent LED video screens is to allow band members to perform amidst the LED walls (as during the 2015 tour) without creating a visual divide in the arena. It also provided the ability to integrate Augmented Reality into the show.
Further, the design team wanted the catwalk to be accessible by a moving staircase, and therefore the catwalk should move independently from the video screens. This added automated catwalk required more motors and equipment, thus adding weight. This meant PRG Projects had to find a solution to make not only high-resolution, super transparent LED video screens but also make it super light-weight.
In response to U2’s challenge to create a transparent LED wall, PRG Projects revolutionized the way LED screens are built and created the patent-pending Pure10. Rather than mounting the printed circuit boards (PCB) holding the LED in standard clunky frames, PRG Projects sliced the PCB in strips and turned them 90 degrees with the LED mounted on the side. This resulted in 75 percent transparency.
The added specially curated Augmented Reality scene-setter - triggered by the LED screen – required a transparent, high-resolution screen. The way PRG Projects chose to build the screen allowed for a 10mm pixel pitch. A pitch far superior than what PRG Projects initially imagined.
“The creative team and the band were looking for a LED screen that allowed them to use AR in the way they envisioned. Pure10 works so well thanks to the magic combination of the pixel pitch, the high transparency and the brightness,” said Hallaert. “The band now calls the screens and catwalk the barricage.”
Additionally, rather than metal fabrication to house or frame the Pure10, PRG Projects used knowledge gained from developing the SPACEFRAME® and engineered a fast-building system in carbon fiber. This resulted in the weight savings that the tour’s production team was looking for. It also gave free reign to the designers and the band to further use the automated catwalk creatively.
As with the innovative transport design for the SPACEFRAME, PRG Projects has advanced the way concert touring is taken on the road with Pure10 by maximizing space and volume in trucks, airplanes and sea containers. The number of trucks needed is cut in half compared to the 2015 tour. Further, when the equipment is used during the show, empty transport dollies fold, stack and roll away in the tiniest spaces. This allows for other departments to move around the venue more freely and makes for ergonomic and superior logistics for load-ins and load-outs.
Rolling Video Floor Riser
The Rolling Video Floor Riser is a revolutionary system in how it’s built and disassembled. Initially revealed last year, PRG Projects updated and upgraded it for U2 to be used as the round stage. Each riser is fitted with 2 LED modules offering a high resolution 4mm pixel pitch during performances. Each riser has integrated magnets to enable a speedy assembly - an LED Floor of up to 1,076 square feet can be set up in less than 20 minutes.
“The Rolling Video Floor Risers were developed to meet the short set-up and change-over times of LED flooring which is perfect for the concert touring and festival segment,” said Mark O’Herlihy, vice president of PRG Global Entertainment.
Not only do the Rolling Video Floor Risers dramatically reduce the set-up time for an LED floor on stage, they also are transported in especially fitted dollies, which contain six risers each. The dollies are 1.6 m in height, allowing shipment via airfreight on the lower deck, which drastically reduces the shipping costs.
Credits Pictures © Steve Jennings
The 90th Oscars dazzled with lighting design by Bob Dickinson and Travis Hagenbuch. The Academy Awards were broadcasted from The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 4. To celebrate the 90th Anniversary of The Oscars, set design by Tony Award-winning Derek McLane featured 45 million Swarovski crystals that delighted the audience.
PRG was proud to provide an array of 350 assorted Philips Vari-Lite fixtures, over 225 Philips Color Kinetics LED fixtures, TMB Solaris Flares, and PRG Icon Edges (see full gear list below). Lighting plots provided by Full Flood show what it takes to light the presenters, the winners, the stage, and the audience at this star-studded gala.
Lighting Design Firm: Full Flood, Inc.
Lighting Designers: Bob Dickinson and Travis Hagenbuch
LD/Programmers: Andy O'Reilly and Patrick Boozer
Lighting Directors: Mike Berger, Ben Green, Madigan Stehly
Movie Theater LD: Dave Thibodeau
Movie Theater Remote Programmer: Patrick Brazil
Gaffer: Alen Sisul
Best Boy: Chris Lopez
PRG Techs: James Beaghan, Danny Villa, Janos Bode, Andrew Gonzales
Head Electric: Jason Seagrove
Head Electric/Panel Light: Chris Latsch
Floor Crew Assistants: Dennis Sisul, Chris Roseli, Orlando Gonzalez, Brian Marshall, Walter Elizalde, Brian Hoch
Floor Crew (non-assistants): Jeff Mcleod, Rick Thibideau, Kelly Kippen, Ted Way, Dean Kessler
Spotlights: Adam Hagin, Steve Leach, Scott Thorngate, Pamela Monroe, Kim Busse, Darrel Aranda, Joe Dominguez
PRG Account Manager: Tony Ward
PRG Production Coordinator: Jeff Javier
Lighting Gear List
200 Philips Vari-lite VL3500 Spot
150 Philips Vari-lite VL3500 Wash
70 Philips Vari-lite VL5
8 Philips Vari-lite VL6C
20 Philips Vari-lite VL2402
12 Philips Vari-lite VL6000 Beam
12 PRG Icon Edge
210 Philips Color Kinetics Color Blast TRX
12 Chroma-Q Color Block 2
12 TMB Solaris Flare
350 ETC Source Four
80 ETC Source Four PAR
20 MR11 20"
2 ARRI Skypanel
16 ARRI 650W Fresnel
100 ARRI 300W Fresnel
7 SuperTrouper Spot
Lots of RGBW LED Tape
Lots of LiteGear hybrid white LED tape
A technical symbiosis of light and video
It is the most visited ice show in the world - Holiday on Ice! This year, the production celebrates its 75th anniversary. "Atlantis" is one of two shows currently touring Germany and France, exciting its audiences with spectacular costumes, great choreography and impressive scenography.
Once again this year, PRG will return to Holiday on Ice’s frozen world and support the show in terms of event technology. In addition to rigging and audio technology, PRG also provides lighting and video technology.
Adam Bassett of Woodroffe Bassett Design is the lighting designer of the show. Among other things, he and his team have worked on the lighting for the Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga and the Olympic Games. Adam Bassett explains what aspects played a role in the implementation of the current tour:
"Whenever we develop projects, it's the interplay between the design and what we have available in terms of budget, equipment and technology to meet the specific design challenges. It was very helpful to work closely together with PRG from the start, trying to find technical solutions to the complexities, within our budget."
One of the technical highlights of this year’s tour are the ten automated Roll-up screens in the middle of the ice rink. For this, PRG uses six Panasonic PT-DZ21K projectors. The Roll-ups are controlled via DMX by the GrandMA2 console. The GrandMa2 console also controls the WO media server to track the different positions during the show. A completely redundant WO system is used as an output.
As a backdrop of the ice rink, we installed a large video projection. Two Barco HD projectors W f 26K project in different depths so that with the help of the WO system, the data is mapped and a 3D effect is created. The projections also emphasize the costumes of the figure skaters and thus create the magical atmosphere of the lost city of Atlantis.
Kjell Peersman, Technical Manager of Holiday on Ice, is delighted with the successful video-technical implementation of the show content:
"We had to find a tailor-made solution to deliver video content on the automated roll-ups. PRG developed a great solution for this, making all boards and media servers communicate with each other. The result is just great! "
In addition to video technology, the lighting has been carefully adapted to the scenario of the show. A total of 40 Icon Edges were used. This moving head is a fast beam, spot and wash luminaire; it contains a wide range of gobos and offers a lot of lighting effects, which benefits the tour.
Bob Walpot, Director of Operations and Asset Strategy PRG, is satisfied with the technical solutions the team has created for the show:
"The combination of these video and lighting elements in synergy with the sumptuous costumes creates a wonderful and immersive show."
Holiday on Ice's Anniversary Tour is also a great success! In total, over 90 shows are performed. Till the end of February, the ice skaters will still enchant the audiences before Atlantis sinks back into the sea.
Due to an increasing demand for projection mapping and large-scale content across corporate, special events and the concert touring market, PRG has added two disguise gx2 media servers (formerly D3) to its already impressive stock in Dubai.
The gx2 is the latest flagship offering from disguise and has been developed to support real-time, generative content and includes gold support for Notch and features a Notch playback license.
Dubbed as the future of live show entertainment, the GPU workstation on the gx2 is the most powerful yet, creating the most dynamic displays ever seen. With the ability to scale up to two 4k outputs or 8 HD outputs.
Matthew Holmes, PRG’s Head of Video for the region commented “There is a clear demand for faster and more dynamic media servers in the region and the gx2 will allow us to offer the right equipment solution for our clients. Thanks to the support of disguise, we will host a 2 day training session which will be held at our local office to ensure our operators are fully trained and show ready.”
Phil Smith, Director of Projects concluded “We are extremely excited about the arrival of these units as we are the only provider in the Middle East to offer complete main and back-up servers within this range. The system will supplement our existing investment in industry leading products such as Pandoras Box and WATCHOUT adding a further dimension to the company’s ability to deliver world class events.”
With 10 performance spaces, including 2 main stages, 4 tent arenas, the highly acclaimed Steel Yard, and the new-for-2017 Warehouse venue, Creamfields has once again cemented its place amongst Europe’s biggest music festivals. With audiences travelling from across the globe, and world-famous dance music superstars, the festival continues to go from strength to strength.
This year’s main stage performers included Martin Garrix, Axwell Ingrosso, Hardwell, Fatboy Slim, and deadmau5, alongside special arena performances from the likes of Richie Hawtin and Stormzy.
Creamfields’ Technical Producers LarMac LIVE once again chose to bring in PRG XL Video as a supplier of video, lighting and rigging technology across multiple stages. Amongst the technology and services provided, PRG XL’s team supplied rigging, indoor and outdoor video screens; a broad variety of lighting; LED signage; media servers and content manipulation technicians; and broadcast equipment and support.
On the main Arc (CF01) and Horizon (CF02) stages, PRG XL Video supplied festival technology including lighting, rigging and video across both structures. Head of rigging, Q Willis took care of the rigging on both stages, leading a team of expert riggers who created the backbone for the lighting, video, and audio technology.
For all the video elements PRG XL Senior Account Manager, Paul ‘Macca’ McCauley took care of the specifications, with Project Manager Ian Jones taking care of the technical delivery. For lighting, Account Manager, Gordon Torrington, and Event Services Coordinator, Chris Scott, took care of the design and implementation on site.
The Arc stage featured, as its name suggests, curved wings which created an immersive space for the audience. The wings were made up of vertical columns of 12mm ROE Visual LED, built into PRG’s custom touring frames. The spaces in the frames between the columns were used to rig a variety of lighting fixtures including Ayrton Magic Panels, 4 and 8 Lite Molefays, and Atomic Strobes. Icon Beams lined the front of the stage below the wings, creating beams of light which stretched into the sky as the sun set.
On stage a large upstage back wall was formed from ROE 7mm LED, with a DJ riser built from the same material. The flown lighting was designed to offer incoming artists with a versatile package of fixtures, and this included Icon Beams, PRG Best Boy spots, Solaris Flare Jnrs to either side of the stage, GLP X Bar 20s, and B-Eye K10s. Additional GLP X Bar 20 fixtures were brought in for Tiesto’s headline spot on Sunday evening. Lighting crew chief was Aiden McCabe, with Chris Scott operating using GrandMA2 consoles. Video crew chiefs on CF01 were Ollie James and Colin Mudd.
Above the stage, the LED header was made up of ROE MC-18 Hybrid LED, enabling content designers to use it for content matched to the rest of the screens, as well as prominently displaying the Creamfields branding for everyone to see across the site.
On Horizon, the 18mm ROE Visual LED panels were built into the structure with specific horizontal rows missing on the wings. The spaces in the frame structures were then used to rig a variety of lights including 2 Lite Molefays and SGM Q7 blinders. Below the wings dozens of the new high brightness Icon Edge moving lights were used as beam lights.
On stage, a back video wall and a front DJ riser were both formed from ROE Visual MC-7 LED, with a header of 18mm LED above the stage. Both the lighting floor package and flown rig included Atomic Strobes and Martin Mac Viper Profiles, with the stage flown lighting rig adding 4 and 8-Lite Molefays and PRG’s new Icon Edge moving lights. Cy Dodimead was lighting crew chief for CF02, with Adam Power operating, using GrandMA2 desks.
On Sunday evening, headliner Martin Garrix changed up the DJ riser for a giant LED + symbol which makes up part of his logo. Behind this, flown ladders held additional LED lighting fixtures, creating a multi-layered performance space on stage. Video crew chiefs for CF02 were Craig Saunders and Steven ‘Waffle’ Lemahieu.
Across the other arenas and venues on site, PRG XL Video supplied a variety of technology, creating a different look in each space.
In the Armada/Mega Arena space (CF03), a sectional, wide video screen formed from 15mm LED spanned the rear of the stage, and saw headline performances from Above & Beyond, Alesso, and Armin Van Buuren.
In Steel Yard (CF04) a large upstage ROE Visual MC-7 LED screen and matching DJ riser were augmented by PRG’s lighting flown above the stage. The lighting fixtures were arranged on a Kinesys system, as well as lining the sides and centre spine of the huge metal roof trusses. This created an immersive space, lighting the audience with colourful beams from over 100 fixtures including GS Beams, PRG Bad Boys, and SGM P-5. Creating a great team, Steve Major was lighting crew chief on CF04, with Tess Minor operating using a GrandMA2 desk.
Steel Yard saw exclusive performances on Friday and Saturday from deadmau5 & Eric Prydz, and Richie Hawtin. Steelyard has already been used for two standalone Creamfields events in Liverpool and London, and is returning to Liverpool’s waterfront for a further three shows this November.
Gordon Torrington commented: “We were very happy to supply lighting to LarMac LIVE for three stages at this year’s Creamfields. It’s a brilliantly organised festival, with a huge crew. Everyone works very hard, with a strong sense of collaboration, and the end result looked amazing!”
In the Pepsi Max arena – a circular tent arena, a 4.8m wide LED upstage wall and DJ riser at the rear of the tent were flanked by 54 square screens; 27 on either side arranged in rows three squares high. The wings wrapped around the audience creating a high-energy space which was extremely busy all throughout the festival.
The CF06 stage, featured a single wide ROE Visual 7mm LED screen, spanning right across the rear of the tent arena. The screen was gently curved, mimicking the curve of the tent. On Saturday night, it played host to a very special one-off performance from Stormzy which saw such high demand that audiences were waiting outside the arena to get inside.
Especially for this performance, PRG brought in one of their GroundControl™ Followspot Systems. The followspot was rigged at front of house with the controller backstage. Using GroundControl meant that the organisers could avoid having to build a followspot tower at front of house.
In CF07, which hosted Mad Decent, and MK Area10 over the weekend a large upstage flown 12mm LED screen was paired with an LED DJ booth. The arena saw headline performances from MK and Diplo over the weekend, and boasted a DJ set from superstar Idris Elba, and special guest slot from Gorgon City.
New for 2017, the Warehouse was a new structure designed to hark back to Cream’s roots in warehouse parties, and celebrate its 20th anniversary. Giving the new arena an edgy look, PRG XL supplied an upstage screen formed from semi-transparent ROE Vanish LED. With lighting arranged behind the screen, it gave performers a three-dimensional backdrop and a fresh creative look for the new space.
Outside Warehouse and Steel Yard small LED screens were placed which ran looped content with the venue branding. These stepped away from the traditional tent branding and were highly visible around the site.
Across all the stages PRG XL Video supplied Resolume media servers to serve content. Project Manager Ian Jones, and Video Content Expert, Erica Frost worked on supplying pixel maps of the various stages to all the incoming artists and DJs ahead of the festival weekend, so they could format their video to the varied screen layouts. For those who needed extra assistance, PRG XL had content technicians on hand to re-size and reformat performers content on-site.
With Creamfields being captured for broadcast on BBC iPlayer and live stream from 4 stages for Facebook Live, media company Corrino were brought in to manage the broadcast element of the festival. PRG XL Video were asked to supply equipment for Corrino, including four portable production units, sixteen front of house cameras, and four on-stage robo-cams for some performers. Video engineer, Alex Mulrenan was onsite to maintain the PPU system, and support Corrino’s requirements.
“We’re delighted to continue our working relationship with LarMac LIVE and Creamfields,” commented Macca. “Every year, the technical specification grows and is more impressive, and the audience love it. Massive thanks to every single member of our hardworking crew who worked long hours to make the festival look amazing. We can’t wait to see the designs for next year’s 21st Birthday event!”
Photo credit: PRG, except Warehouse image: ALIVE COVERAGE, and Armin van Buuren in the Mega Arena: Geoffrey Hubbel.
The 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIGAM) just closed its’ doors in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan for the first time is opening up to the international scene and therefore this was a historic moment. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies, involving 7631 performers, are being held at the recently renovated Olympic Complex.
Balich Worldwide Shows, in charge of this production, put on stage a huge Ceremony and placed their trust in PRG’s technical services to collaborate with them on this spectacular event.
The Opening Ceremony was held on September 17th, the closing ceremony on September 27th and was technically strongly focused on the use of video projection. PRG delivered 100 Panasonic 21K projectors for the floor projections, 18x Barco UDX 4K 32 projectors for the Center Cilinder and 8 Barco 26K projectors for the Yunta roof.
On top of that, we supplied 36km of fibers, 8 d3 4x4 mediaservers, an 80x80 lightware matrix, as well as a 33x33 lightware matrix.
Take a look at the SLIDESHOW of the opening & closing ceremony!
The flawless execution of the Opening & Closing Ceremonies has showed us again how the values of the production- and crew members are based on professionalism, determination and competence. PRG has 25 technicians working on-site making sure that the Closing Ceremony on the 27th of September will be just as astonishing.
Tom Van Hemelryck, CEO Central Europe adds “We are honoured that once again Balich Worldwide Shows chose to work with us on this historic and prestigious show. The show was really quite spectacular and I would like to thank the Balich team for involving us in this one of a kind event and all our PRG staff involved for their absolute commitment!”
Photo Credits: Luca Parisse for Balich Worldwide Shows
Show Credits: Creative & Executive Production Balich Worldwide Shows
International production team for lighting, video and rigging in the National Stadium of Malaysia
The 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2017 took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 19th to 30th August 2017. A total of eleven nations, including the host country Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, fought for medals in more than 38 sports in the largest sporting competition in the Southeast Asian region. For the opening ceremony in Bukit Jalil, the event management service provider Memories Entertainment had extensive support from PRG.
Production Resource Group (PRG) was responsible for the Rigging, Lighting and Video as part of the large event in Malaysia's national stadium. This was a joint effort between PRG Germany, PRG Belgium, PRG Projects, PRG Gearhouse and PRG Japan, with the support of the PRG Alliance partner "The Show Company”. PRG Germany supplied the complete rigging and lighting technology, PRG Belgium the Video Technology and PRG Projects around 40,000 Pixel Tablets, which were developed in 2012 especially for the opening ceremony of the 2012 Games in London. The team of PRG Gearhouse and PRG Japan supported the colleagues with event technology and manpower.
In addition to the 40,000 Pixel Tablets, the event technology package included 88 Panasonic video projectors, five D3 media servers, around 800 Moving Lights from PRG, Vari-Lite, Clay Paky and GLP, 250 SGM Q7 LED floodlights, as well as a grandMA2 system.
The international PRG team comprised 43 people from Germany, Belgium, France, England, Spain and Dubai. In addition, 12 event students from Singapore worked as followspot operators during the live broadcast on TV and Internet. Despite the hot temperatures, the extreme humidity in Kuala Lumpur as well as the tight production time window, including constantly revised directories, PRG, in cooperation with other service providers, ensured a flawless and smooth running of the opening ceremony of the SEA Games 2017.
PRG technical provider for the opening ceremony of the FINA World Swimming Championships in Budapest 2017
ECA2 produced a spectacular opening ceremony on the Danube in front of the Budapest Castle and the Chain Bridge in association with the Cultural center MÜPA Budapest for the Opening Ceremony of the World Swimming Championships on July 14th.
PRG France, contracted as lighting, sound, video projection, scenic LED displays, and power distribution (Aggreko), supported this technical and artistic production by transforming the historic centre and the Danube into a full-fledged massive show, entirely run by time-code.
PRG installed just over 600 projectors, including 350 ROBE projectors (BMFLs, Spiider, Pointe), 70 new PRG Icon Edges, SGM P5s and GLP X4 Bars, everything controlled by five GrandMA2 lighting consoles.
The audio system consisted of a complete L Acoustics kit (K2/K1Sub/SB28/SB18/Kara2/Arcsll), with a DANTE broadcast network, two Yamaha CL1 & CL5 consoles and a Digital Performer station.
In terms of video technology, PRG installed around 300m2 of LED Absen X5 screens on the background display columns, 8 mapping zones on the stage by video projection with Panasonic PTDZ21k, a video projection on a water-screen (Barco’s HDQ-40K VPs) and 100 autonomous HEX Panels with built-in media servers for the artists performing the choreography. The control booth had 4x D3 4x5 and 2x D3 2.5 servers.
This vast technical production was a joint effort between ECA2 and the PRG subsidiaries in France, Belgium, and PRG Projects, with technicians from across the globe (Belgium, France, Qatar, Estonia, Italy, Spain, China, and England). 1,800 working days were needed for pre-production, installation, and operation during the ceremony by our 42 technicians, operators and on-site managers.
The highlights of the ceremony were PRG Projects’ Hex Panels, which in combination with the video mapping on the scene, the LED columns and the projection images on the water-screen and the illumination of the castle, the bridge and the quays, illuminated the city beautifully.
Magical laser effects and a magnificent firework also accompanied this spectacular ceremony.
Once again, ECA2 succeeded in producing an extraordinary show combining technologies, special effects, art and scenography.
We would like to extend our warmest thanks to our long-time customer ECA2 for the trust they have placed in our PRG teams for the last 18 years, resulting each time in high quality result and sublime performances, thanks to a flawless commercial, technical and logistical collaboration.
Everyone involved in this project demonstrated excellent teamwork to deliver a truly sublime show! Thank you!
© Show: ECA2 - Photos: Julien Panie
Premium business and analysis software company Tableau has a growing worldwide audience for their software. Supporting this audience, the organisation holds conference events for their clients in a variety of locations around the world. Combining product presentations, education sessions, software surgeries, networking, and social events, Tableau Conference On Tour has spanned North America, Asia Pacific, and Europe, with events in Tokyo, London, and Berlin taking place in 2017.
Supporting this program of events, PRG’s Director of Global Accounts, Nick Barton, is Tableau’s key contact for live event technology and services. He has worked with Tableau since early 2015 and has delivered 14 events for them to date.
For the events outside of North America, Nick leverages PRG’s global network, working with account managers in PRG’s locations worldwide to deliver Tableau Conference On Tour providing matched equipment and services across several countries. He travels to each event to oversee the production and ensure that the final delivery of the show meets the expected high standards.
Each of the larger events consists of a plenary keynote room, with smaller breakout rooms and social areas. To deliver their design, Tableau relies on Production Resource Group (PRG), who supply staging, lighting, rigging, and audio-visual technology and services for the events, as well as expert production staff and technicians.
For the most recent conference at London’s Tobacco Dock, Nick worked with UK Account Manager Rich Pow to provide all the show technology requirements locally in the UK. Tableau aim to keep the design of their events clean and modern, and PRG support this, providing technical drawings and renders in advance, which can be refined to the client’s requirements.
The design for the London show included custom-built stage set and lecterns, and the use of large video screens in the plenary and across the breakout education sessions. Two large high resolution LED screens, used in split screen format, were situated on each side of the presenter. These displayed playback content and IMAG footage from the live camera. The live mix and output to screens was delivered using a Barco e2 screen management system.
To light the show, PRG utilised a combination of Tobacco Dock’s in-house lighting rig supplemented with a range of their own fixtures, including scenic floor lighting across the main stage. Crew Chief for Lighting was Dana Read, with Nathan Avery overseeing the video elements. Sennheiser radio channels were supplied for the presenters and a combination of wired and wireless Telex comms system was used for the plenary.
Breakout rooms across the site varied from a four-screen wide set-up in the Little Gallery, using Barco projectors and individual screens across the width of the room, to single Panasonic laser projector and screen pairings in the multiple education rooms.
Each breakout room included a custom-built lectern with in-built onstage switching system for presenting from a variety of inputs. Sennheiser radio channels were also supplied in each of the breakouts. Ben Monk oversaw the technical setups for all of the breakout areas.
A ‘surgery’, with Tableau Doctors on hand to help attendees with specific software issues, contained more than 20 workstations, and PRG supplied a pair of matched monitors for each PC.
Multiple plasma screens were used around all the Blend and Beats social and networking areas, including a rigged circle of plasmas in a central walk-through area. All of these displayed information, sponsor logos, social media feeds, and were used for relays of the keynote sessions.
d&b audio speakers were spread across the site ensuring all attendees were fully informed at all times, and between sessions could enjoy some chilled tunes from the Tableau DJ.
To ensure clarity of signal, PRG used an audio fibre system to feed into the plasma circle-truss area, as it was a considerable distance from the plenary.
Tableau’s next event will take place in Berlin later this year, where Nick will work with PRG’s team in Germany to deliver the show.
Photo credit: PRG/Alison Barclay
The Islamic Solidarity Games is an event which involves elite athletes from countries who are part of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. Despite the names, non-Muslim citizens in the member countries are also allowed to compete. The first was held in Mecca, Saudi Arabia in 2005, with the most recent event taking place in Baku, Azerbaijan in May 2017.
PRG was selected as an official supplier for the opening and closing ceremonies, providing lighting for both large-scale events. The lighting design was created by Adam Bassett of Woodroffe Bassett Design, with associate designer, Terry Cook, who worked with PRG Account Director, Yvonne Donnelly Smith, and Head of Event Services, Richard Gorrod to specify the lighting requirements of the huge visual production.
The design in the Baku National Stadium made use of all levels of the stadium for lighting, as well as the stage built in the centre of the athletics track.
PRG used a combination of its own PRG Bad Boy, VariLite VL35kw, and SGM P5 15 fixtures around the roof trusses, of which there were 30 in total. At balcony-rail level high brightness Icon Edge and VL35k wash fixtures were added into the mix, creating maximum impact with beams reaching up into the sky and across the stadium.
Framing the colourful projections on the main shaped rear screen, brand new ultra-bright Icon Edge units were mounted on the edge of the screen on custom T bars. Icon Edge and Icon Beam units were also used to surround the stage floor. Philips iW Blast, and Color Blast TRX fixtures were used in the VIP Box as a quality front light, and coloured backlighting respectively. SGM P5s were used to backlight the audience on Levels 1 and 2.
Eight of PRG’s newest version of its revolutionary GroundControl™ Followspot System – the Long Throw - were used to as high level followspots mounted on separate trusses around the roof catwalk. These units are as bright as a 4k Gladiator followspot, and can be rigged on a truss, so improving safety and reducing weight by negating the need for operators in baskets. A combination of standard GroundControl Best Boy units, and M2 traditional followspots were used in the closer positions.
Two side light positions were populated with PRG Best Boy and Bad Boy units, and either side of the stage two architectural columns were lit up using a mixture of Floor Cans, 650kw Fresnels, and Birdies.
In total more than 1,100 lighting fixtures were used for both ceremonies. PRG Crew Chiefs Mark England and Luke Jackson led a team of highly expert technicians. Alex Passmore and Ben Hornshaw programmed the lighting on GrandMA consoles, and a WYSIWYG suite was used for pre-programming at PRG’s Longbridge location, and on-site during the build phase, and for pre-programming of the Closing Ceremony.
The control and networking was all managed using a S400 data distribution system with S400 fibre switches and a combination of Supernodes and Node+ units.
Richard Gorrod commented: “Our PRG Best Boys are still one of the best fixtures for a harsh stadium environment. The new Icon Edge performed brilliantly – it’s very reliable and a true work horse! The new GroundControl Long Throw followspots also performed well – they’re super bright and give you the advantage of hanging them in positions where you would not be able to site a conventional 4k followspot. The S400 system again performed brilliantly, as the glue for the whole system. Our crew were true stars – installing and maintaining the equipment on site under many different pressures.”
Adam Bassett commented: “Once again we were blessed with a great level of support, technical expertise and most importantly a brilliant crew. The PRG team in Baku, and behind the scenes back in the UK, were great and made a technically challenging production go very smoothly. The system lived up to every expectation and the ability to use the new GroundControl Long Throws massively changed how we were able to light the shows. By having the ability to place followspots in locations otherwise inaccessible with conventional spots, it enabled us to achieve the optimum angles and as a result protect the video projected surfaces which were so crucial.”
All photos: Natalia Tsoukala
Innovative Touring Frame and 4K Broadcast Camera System Elevate Operational Performance, Stage Design and Fan Experience
Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, announced today that a new product innovation along with the application of an industry-first technology solution – SPACEFRAMETM and a 4K Broadcast Camera System – have been integrated into the design, production and operations for the U2 The Joshua Tree Tour 2017. Both solutions demonstrate PRG’s dedication to innovating products that anticipate the needs of tour managers, designers and artists seeking to push boundaries and deliver a more immersive concert experience onsite or virtually.
“SPACEFRAME and the 4K Broadcast Camera System perfectly demonstrate how PRG excels at seeing an opportunity for innovation that will add operational, economic and creative value from a customer’s perspective, allowing artists to more freely tell their story,” said Steve Greenberg, PRG’s CEO of Global Music/TV/Film.
SPACEFRAME is a revolutionary touring frame design seamlessly integrating LED panels to provide industry-changing operational efficiencies and the opportunity for unlimited creative expression. The carbon fiber touring frame is ultra-lightweight, collapsible and fully wind braced creating an intensive built-in structural strength. This allows for a free-form approach to stage designs enabling artists and designers to think outside the conventional LED box. This latest patent-pending technology from PRG also dramatically reduces pre-tour engineering time, shipping footprint/weight, carbon emissions, load-in and load-out times, as well as labor required on tour and locally.
SPACEFRAME features and advantages:
- Carbon fiber fabrication and built-in wind bracing reduces overall weight increasing safety and savings
- 10 times stronger when compared to conventional fabrication
- 15 percent overall weight reduction
- 35 percent weight reduction including wind bracing
- Integrated wind bracing up to 72 kph
- Profile reduction and integrated wind bracing results in up-to 50 percent savings in shipping cost in some cases and a massive reduction in the tour’s carbon footprint
- Specifically for this U2 tour, truck loads are reduced from seven to three - or one less airplane - when compared to conventional LED frame load
- Compact, lightweight design offers up-to 30 percent reduction of installation/dismantle time and a 25 percent reduction in overall labor cost
“The quality and resolution of LED products have vastly improved over the last decade, but the frames have basically stayed the same. At PRG Projects, we saw an opportunity to innovate the way in which LED walls were assembled and transported, to rethink the construction of the frame and how it might impact the operational side of the business as well as the design experience,” stated Frederic Opsomer, PRG Projects' Managing Director and innovation leader.
Leveraging in-house talent and partnerships already in place, PRG was able to produce the carbon frames from prototype to final product in just 17 weeks, enabling U2 to be the first to take advantage of the innovation. SPACEFRAME has allowed U2’s designer to create a 200 foot wide screen¬, custom painted in silver and gold to mimic the original artwork of their 1987 album.
4K Broadcast Camera System
The U2 tour also marks the introduction of PRG’s 4K (UHD) Broadcast Camera System as a first for concert touring. The PRG broadcast system, developed and integrated over three months, is a combination of products that can operate in 4K (UHD) and 3G SMPTE Standards. This design philosophy allows concurrent production to operate at the highest level of broadcast standards. The system delivers 60 frames per second (fps) with a UHD resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. The concert touring system interconnects cameras and LED wall processors on fiber because of the enormous amounts of data and length of signal distances. The entire broadcast touring system can be set up within an hour and is designed to be operated by one video engineer, eliminating the need for four-to-five onsite engineering positions.
“PRG has been a part of every U2 tour since 1992 and the band always challenges us with pushing technology to its limits,” said Wolfgang Schram, PRG’s director of video engineering. “We have to be creative and that is the fun part.”
Production Resource Group (PRG) will be the official service provider for the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2017. This year’s edition of the ESC will take place in the Ukrainian Capital of Kiev from May 9th-13th. The International Exhibition Centre with its 11,000 seats will be the venue of the event. In cooperation with LITECOM, PRG will be providing video, lighting and rigging technology for the show.
Jerry Appelt is returning as Lighting Designer to work on his third ESC, after previously designing the show in 2011 and 2012: “I am very happy about PRG supplying this project because I need a well-practiced team, with experience of not only delivering shows of this size, but often doing so under challenging circumstances. When something unexpected happens, you need the right crew with the relevant experience and equipment resources. Using the PRG GroundControl System is an enormous advantage here: It saves time, space and weight.” Florian Wieder, who has worked on instantly recognisable projects such as MTV Europe Music Awards, The X Factor, and Britain’s Got Talent as well as three previous editions of Eurovision, is the stage designer, and worked closely with Jerry to define the overall look of the show.
PRG GroundControlTM Long Throw to celebrate its debut at ESC
PRG are excited to announce that the PRG GroundControlTM long throw followspot system will be used for the first time on a European show. The product has been specifically developed for long distances and is an addition to the already popular PRG GroundControL Followspot System. Just like its predecessors, the new product from the GroundControl family can be comfortably operated from the ground by remote control.
A total of eighteen GroundControl followspot systems will be used on Eurovision, four long throw and fourteen Bad Boy GroundControls, meaning that precious seating within the spectator areas will not be lost to place followspot, as the GroundControl will be suspended from truss. Furthermore, GLP JDC1 LED hybrid stroboscopes used by PRG will be used for the first time for a production of this scale.
71 Million Pixels of LED Video Screen
Other than lighting technology, PRG will also be supplying a 680 m2 12mm pitch LED rear wall by ROE as well as for the 160 m2 LED floor. In total, an area of 71 Million pixels will be covered for a mega production. Projection will be done by high-output Panasonic projectors.
About Production Resource Group — Production Resource Group, L.L.C., (PRG) is the world’s leading supplier of entertainment and event technology to a wide range of markets, including corporate and automotive events, concerts, special events, theatre, television and film, trade shows, and installations, such as theme parks, museums, retail stores and performing arts centres. PRG provides integrated services and equipment, including audio, video, lighting, rigging, staging, and scenery and automation systems, for these markets from more than 40 offices in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
PRG are excited to be an official service supplier for the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest, being held in Kiev’s International Exhibition Centre from May 9th-13th, as Ukraine hosts Eurovision for the second time. PRG are working in partnership with Litecom to support Lighting Designer Jerry Appelt and Stage Designer Florian Wieder by supplying lighting, video and rigging technology for the show.
Kiev is Jerry’s third time working on Eurovision, having also designed the shows for Dusseldorf in 2011 and Baku in 2012, as well as numerous other high-profile productions, such as the Commonwealth Games ceremonies for Delhi in 2010. Jerry said: “I’m very happy to work with PRG on this project, because aside from the enormous quantity of lighting fixtures and complex parameters, it’s essential to work with a company who has the resources to deal with all kinds of unexpected eventualities, who can deliver on the biggest occasions, in the most challenging environments. There are few companies who can provide this level of service, anywhere in the world. I know that whichever challenge I set PRG, they will deliver.”
Production management guru, Ola Melzig, has taken the reigns as Head of Production for the Kiev show, his 13th Eurovision. Ola said: “I’m returning to Kiev for my 4th Eurovision event in the city since 2005, and I am blissfully happy to be back. It’s a city I love, with great people, a lot of parks and green areas, a huge river running through the city centre and tons of yummy restaurants!” Ola gave an overview of the technology behind the show: “Eurovision is always a production of monumental proportions, we started the load in on March 27th, since then, we’ve emptied 200 trucks into the halls. It took four and a half weeks to do all the rigging, hang the lights and audio and then build the stage. After that, we went into rehearsals, which will get more and more intense as we approach the broadcast shows. This venue’s fantastic, there are few spaces around the world which can accommodate 212 tons in the roof, and only be at 70% capacity. Full credit to our Head Rigger, John Van Look, and his team of riggers from PRG for overseeing a complex rigging design, and a smooth load in and fit-up.”
John spoke briefly about the practicalities of the rigging design for the show: “The Eurovision rig uses 735 rigging points, spread over the stage, green room and audience areas. This is a complex design and a very heavy rig, one of the heaviest I’ve ever worked on. We have more than 20 points over four tons, including one centre point which is 12 tons—because the roof cannot support such a heavy single point, we split it into two separate six ton points. Because we were dealing with incredibly high loads we were unable to use conventions steels, and bought in products normally used for shipping and heavy duty cranes. To maximise the load bearing capacity of our trusses, we used Prolyte D75T in places, this is capable of carrying exceptionally heavy loads and normally used for towers, rather than as a straight truss; also being only 75cm high, meant we didn’t lose as much trim height as we could have done using bigger truss. The roof is quite low here, so we need as much height as possible. The mother grid is made up of X4K 100, again due to it’s high load carrying capacity. This grid is monitored by over 100 Load Cells, so we can keep an eye on how the weight is being distributed; something which is very important, considering we have a lot of movement in the rig, utilising 112 Cyber Hoists to make that happen. The rigging load in took two weeks, with a team of 52 riggers working day and night shifts.”
Jerry leads a comprehensive team in the front of house area, which spans the full width of the back of the arena, including individual operators for the main show lighting, audience lighting, key lights, spot calls and video content. The lighting and video control network is one of the largest ever uses of GrandMA consoles, with five active full size GrandMA2, three GrandMA Light, and a selection of additional faders and playback wings. The whole network has reached the maximum number of active participants in a single session, 31, and are controlling 89,000 channels of DMX over 9865 programmed fixtures. This is driven through 20 GrandMA Network Processing Units (NPUs) and 28 nodes. There is, of course, substantial back-up, should anything not perform as it should. The total number of lighting fixtures is an incredible 1816. Amongst others, these include: 68 PRG Best Boy HP2, 56 PRG Best Boy Wash Blade, 55 PRG Bad Boy Wash, 130 Icon Edge, and the new JDC1 LED strobe from GLP.
Haze is provided by 6 MDG ATMe DMX hazers, positioned around the stage.
Followspotting for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 is done exclusively with PRG GroundControl. The production in Kiev uses 14 PRG Bad Boy GroundControl Followspot systems and four of the new long throw version. Jerry commented: “GroundControl is a revolutionary product. It means we have all our operators on the floor, in two areas—with overall control taken by my spot caller on the GrandMA2. For this project it is perfect, because it saves time, space and weight.”
Ola Melzig added: “I first saw the GroundControl at LDI back in 2015, and I thought it was both really cool and incredibly practical. To have 18 of them on this show is amazing—and I’m very proud of it being the biggest deployment of GroundControls ever on a single show.”
In addition to the lighting technology supplied by PRG, we are also providing a comprehensive package of LED screens and projectors. The back screen is made up of ROE MC-12 and MC-18, with sections of MC-7 used at various other points around the rig. There are 56 high output projectors in use, which are used to map onto the stage surround, directly down onto the surface of the stage, onto two high transparency projection screens at the front of the stage, as well as various ‘standard’ screens in and around the arena.
On May 13th, the world will tune in and watch the Eurovision final, with an expected audience of over 200 million cheering on acts from the 26 countries who make it through to the final. After the winner has been announced and the party starts, the team of over 400, including around 100 technicians from PRG, will commence the load out. What took over a month to build will be pulled out of the venue in seven days, and planning for Eurovision 2018 will commence.
First impressions from Eurovision 2017
An insight into rigging at Eurovision Song Contest 2017
Tour of the Eurovision arena
PRG Gearhouse, the region’s provider of specialist event technologies today announced that it has expanded its extensive stock of video equipment with the addition of the award winning Barco E2 4K screen management system further increasing the company’s provision of 4K content and image management systems.
The fleet now includes the E2 full size, the S3-4K compact both supported by the EC-50 and EC200 controllers, and EX expansion unit. The addition of these units is a strategic expansion which brings the global inventory to over 50 full size units.
All systems are now available for immediate hire to support the increased demand for high-end screen control across multiple formats within our local events market.
Barco's presentation switchers are the most advanced video processing and presentation control systems on the planet providing source selection, advanced windowing features, seamless switching, video effects and integrated control for professional video presentations. The system supports native 4K input and output with up to 32 programmable layers available in HD and is the first and only screen management system on the market that can manage a 4K projector blend with refresh rates up to 60Hz. The system also offers eight mixable PGM outputs and four scaled Aux Outputs for full show control with a single box.
The system was put to use on the Sheikh Zayed Book Awards in support of HQ Worldwide Shows. ‘‘Given the prestige and high level attendance of this annual event we were keen to use a system that could seamlessly manage our requirements across our formats and the S3-4K compact did just that. It even allowed the video team the freedom to setup a hot button interface on an I-Pad creating a no-frills control surface which was pretty impressive’’, commented Andrew Stevens, Technical Director for HQ Worldwide Shows in Dubai
Bill Ainley, PRG’s Head of Video for the region added, ‘’ We are extremely excited about the arrival of these units as we are now the only provider in the Middle East that can provide a main and back-up solution across the full range of the Barco family’’. With significant investment across our global group in the first quarter of this year we are positioning ourselves to be a leading player across all our market segments from touring music and entertainment to corporate events.