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!
The summer season is in full swing and the first big festivals have already closed its doors. PRG not only delivers audiovisual equipment to festivals this summer. We also support some Belgian artists during their summer tours, like Oscar and the Wolf! The band is well known for its impressive live gigs with a lot of bells and whistles on stage. Logically, expectations for this years’ technical concept were high.
At the start of the show, the singer of the band Max Colombie appears on an elevated platform, covered with LED elements. Minutes later, the set piece gets more depth when we discover the band is playing underneath, inside a box, behind a see-trough LED wall. Ludovic Beun (Creative Director), Cate Carter (Light Designer) and Jan De Keyser (Production Manager) designed this remarkable construction. PRG Production Manager & Crew Chief Jo Vaes is responsible for a smooth course on site.
The LED construction is entirely custom made and developed by PRG. It’s based on a structure of custom made frames with a total of 288 integrated MiTRIX panels. These LED features are chosen for their see-through aspect which makes the band members partly or completely visible at particular moments in the show. The LED screens are controlled by DX700 processors. These processors had to be integrated at the top of the structure, for the boxes to be completely hidden for the public. Inside of the LED box, we installed 3 cameras to make close-ups of the band members. These close-ups are projected on the front screen of the box. Simon Harris controls the LED panels with a Green Hippo Karst media server, delivered by Bryte Design. The video content was created by Milc and Cookies. PRG video technicians Bram Verboom and Jan Reyntjens complete the video team.
On the top of the LED box, PRG installed 10 Stormy Strobes and 10 Sharpy Washes. Some Impression X4 Bar 20 LED Strips are installed above and underneath the ceiling of the box as backlight for the singer and his band. Inside the box, we use 6 X4S Led Washes to highlight the musicians, combined with 3 SGM Q7 on the floor behind the band members to create extra backlight.
The set up is completed by side lighting on the stage. On both sides, we use 2 ETC LED S2 Lustr profile spots. The fixtures are installed on poles, covered with an Impression X4 Bar 20 LED Strip. The pole itself is fixed onto a baseplate on wheels to assure a smooth change over. The profile spots are combined with one rolling riser on each side of the stage that carry 6 Sharpy Washes. The whole lighting set up is controlled by a Grand MA2 full size with NPU. Anne-Sophie De Pickere and Ruben Simons are the PRG lighting technicians for this project.
The LED box is 9,2 meters large and is constructed in 3 parts for the load-in and load-out to go as fast as possible. The change over times on festivals are usually very tight. The three parts are brought on stage separately and then connected to each other. This allows PRG to build the whole set in less than one hour.
One of the challenges our team encountered during construction was to reassure the stability of this custom made set piece, for the singer to walk on top of the LED box. We added extra steel cables at the sides of the box to strengthen the structure. The result fits perfectly into the visually appealing show with confetti cannons, pyro machines and smokescreens. Accordingly, the first reactions regarding the new set up of the tour are extremely enthusiastic!
This successful outcome was only possible thanks to the great collaboration between Bryte Design, Tour Manager Stijn Smet, Production Manager Jan De Keyser, Creative Director Ludovic Beun, Pyro & Special Effects partner Dewico and the entire PRG crew!
The LED box was used for the first time at the Holland festival Down The Rabbit Hole. One week later, Oscar and the Wolf played in the Barn at Rock Werchter. Next up are the two weekends of Tomorrowland and finally, they will end the summer at the Lokerse Feesten.
On Saturday July 1st, a massive crowd travelled to the little Italian town of Modena. No less than 225.000 fans attended the Vasco Rossi concert in Modena Park last weekend. Never before, a one time concert has sold as many tickets!
The event of an unprecedented scale was coproduced by Big Bang and Live Nation Italy. Danilo Zuffi (Live Nation) contacted PRG Account Manager Wim Despiegelaere to develop the whole video production for the 120 meter large stage.
In collaboration with Tom Bilsen from StageCo, we developed custom made porches with video screens according the design of Show designer Claudio Santucci. PRG installed 4 automated porches each connected to a video screen of 15 meters height by 9 meters width. Between these, we built a large central screen on the stage of 18 meters width and 15 meters height. In addition to these we also provided 3 delay screens of 80 sqm each. All the screens were built out of see-trough 8mm pixel pitch LED. The porches were connected to 2 rails of 120 meters length to cover the whole of the stage. The proches - including the LED screens, the power generators that ran alongside and the lighting fixtures - weighed about 25 tonnes.
Watch the video-slider of the Vasco Rossi Concert 2017!
Vincent Ex (Project Coordinator PRG & StageCo) collaborated with Yves Winand (Production Manager video PRG) in order to guarantee a flawless functioning of the whole set. A d3 was used as media server , controlled by Nicholas di Fonzo and Marco Piva. The system was a 4x4 pro machine sending out not less than 14 feeds to the LED screens and a second 4x4 pro as understudy for full redundancy. Notch was used intensively to manipulate the 4 live feeds for realizing impressive real time effects.
Account Manager Wim Despiegelaere would like to thank Live Nation Italy for their trust in PRG and the opportunity they gave us to be a part of this gigantic project. Wim travelled to the show in Modena on the 1st of July. Take a look at the pictures he made!
The Tiziano Ferro Tour 2017 started in Lignano Sabbiadoro on the 11th of June and will end on the 15th of July in Florence, with a total of 13 stadium gigs all over Italy.
PRG Belgium was commissioned by Live Nation Italy and the show designer Claudio Santucci for the video and motion technology of the tour. In collaboration with video content designer Romain Sabella, PRG Belgium & PRG Projects created an exceptional performance, enhancing the emotionally intensive atmosphere of the stage, for which our customized contribution of a video ceiling in motion, including the catwalk on top and the video floor of the stage are the highlights of this magnificent stage.
In terms of video technology, PRG Belgium provides 2 ROE MC-18 LED screens (18m width x 9m height), 2 ROE MC-7HB LED screens (3,6m x 13,2m), including a motion system to open and close the video passage at the back of the stage.
For the flooring of the stage, PRG Projects created custom-made frames to integrate PLED207D video tiles (7m width x 18m length). The revolutionary aspect of the show remains with the moving LED ceiling (7,2m width, 19,2m height, in Pixled F12), also engineered and customized by PRG Projects.
In terms of automation, PRG Belgium worked with subcontractor Wi-Creations. The motion of the video ceiling consists of 18 EVO moving hoists, with a total weight of approximately 11 tonnes. There is also a 21m long track to open and close the back video wall, of which each screen weighs approximately 3 tonnes. On top of that, 13 EVO 500kg and 2 EVO 800kg moving hoists were supplied for the lighting trusses, water curtain and the laser pod. The whole of the motion was piloted via a Kynesys K2 control system.
Watch the vidéo of the Tiziano Ferro Tour 2017!
Considering the challenging build-up times which are knowingly very short in the touring industry, the PRG Crew consists of 13 people (10 video technicians and 3 for motion), in order to set up and dismantle the whole installation as fast as possible.
Frederic Opsomer, General Manager PRG Projects, comments: “The building of the video ceiling had to be easy and quick, so we created a customized system in which the video panels could lock in quickly. The main challenge was to reduce the weight of the suspended structure and motion system for which we used as much aluminium trussing structure as possible.”
Wim Despiegelaere, PRG Account Manager, adds: “We would like to thank Roberto de Luca, Antonella Lodi and Alberto Muller from Live Nation Italy, for trusting us with this beautiful challenge and great collaboration! Once again this was a fruitful collaboration with our colleagues from PRG Projects, who made this special set possible with their engineering and customization know-how.
A special thanks to the whole of the crew and their admirable dedication to this project!”
When 8000 participants join forces to eradicate poverty worldwide during the 11th edition of the European Development Days (EDD) in Brussels, this can only mean professionalism and flexibility are needed!
Commissioned by Media Consulta Event GmbH, PRG Belgium is proud to have been official technical provider in terms of lighting, video, sound and electrical distribution for the EDD 2017, which took place at Tour & Taxis this 7th & 8th of June.
In total this event represented 306 working days for our crew that managed 7 trailers (70t) of material - 480 lighting features – 60 loudspeakers, including wireless system, headsets and microphones – 50 plasma screens and 3 x big 16/9 front projections for the in total 40 convention and meeting rooms - and last but not least the power distribution for this event required no less than 650 x 16A channels!
The biggest challenge our team faced was the soundproofing of the 3 big convention rooms and 21 small meeting rooms at the same time, but we are proud to say that the 13 Sound Engineers made it happen flawlessly!
Our PRG crew once again has proven their professionalism and flexibility during the preparation, pre-production, set-up and the event itself for such a high security VVIP event.
Special thanks to Media Consulta Event GmbH, Phrenos and Frank Lombaers for this great collaboration! We are looking forward to the 12th edition and hope to be part of it again!
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.”
Last weekend, almost 110,000 people celebrated the 28th anniversary of the Brussels-Capital Region during the Iris Festival.
The public was able to attend a series of concerts on the 'Place des Palais', including the electro night on Saturday evening, which hosted international and national headlines, followed on Sunday by the show "La Belgique c'est nous" featuring the Belgian National Orchestra, a choir of 48 singers, a pop band of 4 musicians and 17 guest singers.
PRG Belgium provided lighting, sound and a specific stage of 120m2 with 6 levels for the orchestra.
The lighting plan was based on the light design of Jean Jacques Marotte, commissioned by Visit Brussels, and consisted of 40 Icon Beams, 20 VL3500, 10 B-eye K-20, 25 Rogues R1, 36 Laser Beam Leds and 14 SGMs Q7.
In terms of sound, PRG deployed an Adamson Energia E-15 system, powered by 2 Digico SD-7 core2 with 4 SD-Racks. The wireless set, undoubtedly the largest ever installed for an open-air concert in Brussels, was composed of 48 cordless headsets, 20 wireless handheld microphones for guest singers, 8 wireless in-ear and 8 wireless intercoms.
We are very proud of our PRG team, which met up to the high expectations of the production "La Belgique c'est nous", and carried out this project on time without any prior rehearsals.
The set-up took place the same morning, followed by the technical brief with the various artists. The show consisted in 33 acts that were flawlessly mixed together.
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
Production Resource Group, L.L.C., (PRG) organized its annual summit for the members of its global partner network program – PRG Alliance – during the Prolight + Sound 2017 trade fair at Messe Frankfurt.
Currently in its third year, the PRG Alliance has 15 members in 28 countries delivering high quality technical production services worldwide.
The theme for this meeting was “Building on Success”, and celebrated numerous collaboration projects among the members, including some from Italy, Poland, and Portugal. During the summit they shared success case studies and discussed future initiatives to promote greater business and information exchange.
“The PRG Alliance is praised by our clients and the market in general. What started with a recognition of PRG partners three years ago, today is a substantial network of remarkable companies – and the largest resource pool of knowledge, qualified professionals and inventory in the world,” said Tom Van Hemelryck, Director of PRG Alliance and PRG’s CEO Central Europe.
“We invited the lighting and video designers from The Voice Portugal, Marco Silva and Ricardo Maia, who shared their experience of using PRG’s proprietary products, Bad Boy moving lights and MBox media server, for the TV show,” continues Van Hemelryck.
The summit provided the ideal occasion to welcome the newest addition to the group, Gil Teichman - the largest audiovisual provider in Israel. The company has been active for over two decades, leading the field of concept creation, designing and executing audiovisual systems, power and electrical work for the industry of entertainment and live events.
During the event, a variety of activities for PRG Alliance were presented and these included training in project management; PRG’s Global Sales Officer Jens Zimmerman hosted a session on global account initiatives; opportunities for participation in international exhibitions were discussion; and the latest PRG proprietary equipment purchase options were delivered. The event ended with a demo of the new PRG exclusive Icon EDGE lighting fixture, and a lively networking dinner which gave the members further opportunity for networking and to discuss collaboration.
The current PRG Alliance members are:
Brazil: Alliance BR
Greece: Sound and Visual
Hungary and Romania: Visual Europe Group
India: DynaMix Media
Israel: Gil Teichman
Italy: STS Communication & New Light Group
Morocco: Touareg Prod’
Portugal: FX RoadLights
Qatar: Esme Entertainment Services
Singapore and Malaysia: The Show Company
South Korea: Ally&Co and Total Korea
Worldwide: DB Schenker and Production Resource Group
Mind-blowing, that’s the least you could say about what happened last weekend. Both Friday and Saturday evening, the dutch speaking band BAZART put up an amazing show at the Lotto Arena. The 16.000 spectators got more than value for their money. PRG supplied lighting, sound and Production Manager Jan De Keyser.
BAZART wanted to spoil its fans with an overall experience. The three video beams we previously saw during their show in the 'Ancienne Belgique', were now extended and floated over the heads of the audience. A 15 meter long catwalk ran beneath the video beams. In total, we used about 200 meters of trussing for the set up, more than 180 moving heads, 50 strobe lights and 150m2 of 10mm pixel pitch LED screens. Production Manager Jan De Keyser came up with the concept and elaborated the design with Cate Carter and Bryte Design.
PRG's Headrigger Stef De Raet collaborated on the technical drawings for the rigging, Production Managers Filip Van Broeckhoven and Jochen Kerkhofs took care of the lighting and Gunter Degueldre was responsible for sound technology, working with front of house mixer Frank Voet and Jan De Rycke, who did the PA design. The video elements were hired at Pixelscreen and Dewico provided the fireworks and confetti to complete the picture.
“During each step in both, the concept- and implementation phase, we were in close contact with the band members and Cate Carter. We could not have wished for better: the load in, the two shows and load out went smoothly and according to the plan we had set.”, says an enthusiastic Jan De Keyser. Along with Axel Torfs he handled the entire production.
The crew of BAZART and PRG have done a excellent job. A corollary is the many words of praise in Flemish newspapers:
"There was no time for boredom in the Lotto Arena. BAZART spoiled the audience with a great atmosphere, a beautiful light show with lots of colours and a shower of confetti.” (Gazet van Antwerpen)
“Constantly, fans were looking direction ridge of the concert hall, while a beam was drawing a stream of blue light or bright red streaks on their heads. At the end, during their biggest hit ‘Goud’, the same precious metal even seemed to sway over the room as if it was lava. "(De Morgen)
Production Resource Group LLC (PRG), the world’s largest supplier of technology and services for events and entertainment has appointed Tom Van Hemelryck as CEO of PRG Central Europe, the umbrella name for PRG Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Spain.
Van Hemelryck brings more than 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry and has been part of PRG since 13 years, during which he engaged various international positions within the last ten years.
He will mainly focus on harmonizing and optimizing the internal collaboration within the PRG Group for PRG Central Europe to effectively make use of the strong operational processes and teams of the group.
In his new role, Van Hemelryck will report directly to Stephan Paridaen, President and Chief Operating Officer of the PRG Group.
“I’m delighted to have Tom in this crucial leading position,” explains Paridaen. “He has proven his skills to identify growth opportunities and is able to apply the right commercial strategy in order to achieve those goals. These qualities are certainly beneficial to further support the team in Central Europe”.
“It’s a great honor to support the teams with whom I have been working for the past 13 years in terms of their future development and the optimization of the Central European organization.” says Van Hemelryck. “I highly value the cooperation within the group and I am convinced that we can continuously improve and strengthen the services and efficiency we have offered to our clients for more than 20 years.”
“About 20 years ago, I did my first freelance job for EML Productions and ended up working for ETF and PROCON in an international role. Today, working with Central Europe’s highly talented and motivated team feels like coming home. The circle is now complete.”
Tom will lead and work together with PRG’s Central European Management Team, Jan Van Malder - General Manager Entertainment Belgium, Alex Van Vlierberghe - Financial Director, Walter D’Haese - Production Director Entertainment Belgium, Bob Walpot - Head of Assets, Thierry Kra - General Manager PRG France, Laurent Boillot - Production Director and Account Manager PRG France and Xavier Thys - General Manager PRG Spain.
Currently one of the world’s biggest music artists, Drake is selling-out arenas around the globe. Following a hugely successful tour of North America, the show was brought to Europe.
Tour Director and Designer, Steve Kidd, and Lighting Director and Designer, Guy Pavelo, have both worked with Drake for more than five years, providing the designs for multiple tours, and use PRG to supply lighting and video technology for the tour worldwide, working with Curry Grant in North America, and Yvonne Donnelly Smith and Stefaan Michels for Europe.
The design incorporates multiple elements of lighting and video technology including a kinetic LED lighting system; a curved video wall; an array of lighting fixtures from high brightness beams to remote followspots; and video projection.
Guy Pavelo explains their approach to the design for the tour: “This was our fourth master rendition of the design. It was a conglomeration of different elements Drake liked. We spent five months on the design from the first plan. We would show Drake different elements and he would pick and choose what he liked most.
“One of his team found a stop-motion video of an art installation in Japan which was similar to our ball and winch set-up, and had little baseball-sized things which moved in one pattern over the course of about six hours, but since it was stop motion it looked like it took 20 seconds. They wanted us to recreate that.
“In order to accomplish this, we determined that we needed to make a gridwork for the spheres and not spread them out across the whole venue otherwise it wouldn’t make sense to anyone except in the last row.
The design started with a curved video wall built from 9mm LED. Guy explains: “We started with the curved wall, and then we created the set with the lifts and all of that stuff that Drake liked, and added the overhead structure which encompassed some of the house rig. With the kinetic addition, that’s what finally tied all the last pieces together and created the system over the deck.”
Steve Kidd continues: “That’s kind of our relationship with Drake. We come to him with our ideas, what we believe would be great concepts, he then takes those ideas and bends them a little, as all great artists do, and then we create a reality, knowing what our vendors are capable of, but we also have to be realistic about how we can actually tour it.”
Steve and Guy’s main consideration is making a design which can be easily toured around the world, packed into trucks and into venues quickly and easily. Guy explains: “A good part of that is how we worked with SGPS to build some of the elements, from the curved framework for the LED wall to the fact that every piece of truss up there which isn’t a cable bridge is custom made. We moved from 24 to 32 to 48-inch double-bay truss with a shorter leg set and cast assembly so that almost every lighting fixture on the show stays in the truss.
“The truss stacks three high in Europe in the trucks and four high in the States. It’s a time saver, personnel saver, and truck space saver. Yes, it’s big and consumes a little more floor space, but there are 700-800 winches up there that never need to be touched again.
“If we went with anything thinner to save on truck space, we would have a cart with pipes and poles, and we’d have to hang everything each day, which encompasses the potential for more failure, so this saves that.”
Steve agrees: “When building a new production, we’re always up against time. Time and space are the two things which we consider – particularly how much time we have to build the show and what it’s going to take space-wise to actually put it inside the venue.”
When planning shows, smaller venues or those with weight restrictions have to be taken into consideration. Guy Pavelo elaborates: “We’re up to the limit of the venue capacity in terms of what we can actually rig, but the guys aren’t killing themselves to load it in. We’re fortunate that a little extra money was able to be spent on custom truss so we could save the guys a little.”
A notable part of the show is the kinetic moving spheres which wow the audience at multiple points during Drake’s set. Guy explains how the system was developed: “The kinetic spheres are a collaborative project. Glow Motion Technologies gave us all the pieces - it’s actually two different components; the sphere, the physical plastic ball, and the LED chip inside all developed by Glow Motion Technologies. The winch itself is from Stage Kinetik, the hard-powered winch, data, and control, but Glow Motion handled acquiring all the necessary stuff to put it together.”
Steve Kidd continues: “The winch from Stage Kinetik does all the work. Initially when Guy and I first started talking about this design it wasn’t a sphere, but by luck we got these spheres from a mutual friend of ours. They were used on an auto show in Germany, and were sitting in storage. The spheres are what they are, but without the winch it simply doesn’t work.”
Guy explains: “Without the winch, it’s similar to an art installation where the lights just go on and off, but after a few seconds, you’re done looking at it. With this people watch it, and then there’s another number and it looks different, and people don’t stop watching it.”
A major addition to the show design for the European leg was the projection globe. Drake was keen to give everyone in Europe a different show to the one which had been seen in North America.
The addition of a B-stage and the globe with projection meant some adjustments to the kinetic system. There had been a fly rail as Drake flew for one song, but with that removed, the winch system could be tightened up.
Guy explains the inspiration for the new projection globe: “That was from an art installation that happened in Toronto this past season. It was called Death of the Sun and it was a 45ft round sphere on top of a pedestal which was projection mapped. It was a 12-15 minute progression which had the different stages of the sun – from the birth of the star, through the nebula, until it finally burns out.
“The guys who created that had dealt with Drake in the past, so we were fortunate that with one phone call we were able to secure the ideas and the original and get the ball rolling. Two days later we had an object to start playing with here in Europe.
“We have eight Panasonic 30k laser projectors which are what’s driving the globe itself – four double-stacks in quadrant, and the guys are using d3 and Blacktrax to map and track the ball as its inflated during the show, so we can realign and hit it completely.”
The addition of the globe meant a quick change to the set up in Europe, for which PRG needed to add projectors and media servers to the setup. Guy explains the fast response to their request: “We called up Yvonne Donnelly Smith (Director of Music, PRG XL Video) and said, ‘we have a situation where we’re going to need a substantial amount of adjustment to the design’. They opened the shop back up at the weekend, and got personnel back in for loading the truck on a Sunday, which I know doesn’t usually happen, and we had the equipment on the Monday. It was a rush, but every single fixture worked and every one of them was clean, and they were sitting there Monday morning waiting for us to show up. It was fantastic. It was no problem, they said ‘just give us the list and we’ll figure out how to deliver it’.”
Another addition for Europe was the use of Barco projectors and their moving mirror system. Guy explains how they’re used: “They are a concept which High End came up with originally in lieu of lasers. They’re not laser projectors, but you can put content into them which makes them look like a regular laser. You can broadcast out over the audience with no regulations, or health and safety restrictions, and it gives a different look and colour. You don’t get the super-vivid green laser beam but, past that, you get its own type of effect which works really well towards the end of the show.”
The lighting for the tour was designed to complement the kinetic sphere system with many fixtures chosen for their compact size, energy consumption, and high brightness and impact.
Guy Pavelo explains the choice of the lighting fixtures: “We have a range of fixtures – PRG’s Best Boy Spot HP and Best Boy Washes, a small boat load of the Icon Beam; plus Clay Paky Sharpy and Stormy; SGM P5 and Q7 LED fixtures; a quantity of the new High End Solaspot 1500 and LED Solawash 37, with Martin Atomics and GLP XBar 20 fixtures.
“The spots and washes are used for overhead coverage – the trick being the size of the units. We had a very specific size range as we didn’t want to take the fixtures out of the truss every day, and if they were any bigger, they wouldn’t fit in order to stack it and fit in the truck. The overheads needed to fire through the winch and spheres to cover the deck.
“We went with the Icon Beam because the beam that comes out of it is a step forward. Drake wanted a different look and the beam is bigger than a Sharpy. Having the beam with some width, but coming out of a small compact head really worked out.
“For Europe we added the P5 and Q7 to give different mood coverage and house coverage elements as well. For followspots, the team chose the use of PRG’s GroundControl remote followspot system which situates the fixture on the truss, but with the control unit on the ground. They have two operators out at front of house and four backstage because the show is built in two halves – a forward U which includes the B-stage and then the main stage package.
Guy found several benefits in using GroundControl for this tour: “We have the GroundControl Bad Boy Followspot – six of those. We always usually have truss spots up top but with pyros and having people up there kicking their feet around, that’s a problem when mixed with the kinetic, so the GroundControl is a saving grace in that regard.
“When we made the shift to Europe and having the B stage all we had to do was take two of the lights down, move them over 10 feet, plug them back in and we were done. It didn’t turn into a six hour process to move two truss spots with trees and flight lifelines.
“We’re already rigging close to max capacity in most of the venues. The fact that we would have to have six more guys up there with an extra 5000-6000lb overhead for safety was saved.”
Steve and Guy have worked with PRG globally for a number of years to supply tours they design. For them service and support is the key. Steve elaborates: “We find that PRG has been an excellent provider of every aspect of all our designs. What I love about them is that the support is there, not only from the sales side so that Guy can achieve his dream of what he’s trying to deliver to the artist, but also where I have to come in on a budget number. We can say ‘what do you have that nobody else has used yet or that has just come out and looks amazing’, and we also get the crew support which comes along with such a great product.
Steve continues: “PRG has been great for us both domestically in North America, and worldwide. PRG has been a great supporter of Drake, and now with them purchasing video companies, that has escalated our relationship because we can now get lighting and video all in one. One of the hardest things in touring is getting different vendors to blend together. They have a cohesive team which all works together.
“It was important for us to work with people who wanted to be partners, and I know with both Curry Grant and Yvonne Donnelly Smith that the partnership worldwide means a lot to them, but it means a huge amount to us because we can count on them.
“Our client is one of the biggest in music right now – selling more albums and selling-out more venues than any other artist currently, so his expectation is high, and as the designers, our expectation of our vendors is also high.”
PRG XL Video’s Yvonne Donnelly Smith comments: “We have worked with Steve and Guy for a while now and their designs always push the boundaries of creativity. We’re proud to be able to support them on a global basis, working with our colleagues in North America, across Europe and beyond. The current tour looks amazing and audiences are giving it a fantastic reaction wherever it goes!”
PRG XL Video, the UK operation of Production Resource Group (PRG), has been awarded Favourite Video Rental Company at the TPi Awards in London.
This is the thirteenth time the company has been awarded the prize, which is nominated and voted for by production industry peers and clients.
At the ceremony held at Battersea Evolution in South London, the award, which was sponsored and presented by media server manufacturer d3, was collected by PRG XL Account Director, Steve Greetham.
Steve comments: “It was great to win this award for our video work, which covers concert touring and festivals, theatre, television and corporate events. We had a busy year with a variety of different applications including massive screens at Creamfields and Isle of Wight festivals, through to a custom curved screen for Big The Musical, and video projection for a Royal Charity Gala, and it’s great to see video being used in such diverse ways.”
“We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who voted for us. It’s a really an honour to be recognised by our industry colleagues!”
PRG XL Video was also shortlisted in the Favourite Rigging Company and Favourite Lighting Rental Company categories.
PRG XL Video was also a sponsor at this year’s awards. The Live Production of the Year category at the awards was won by Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams World Tour.
It has been a year now since Karen, Kristel and Josje passed the torch to Marthe, Hanne and Klaasje to continue the successful girls-band named K3. The change didn’t affect the popularity of the group. K3 remains the most popular band for little girls and boys in Belgium and the Netherlands. This year’s tour includes more than 60 shows in 11 different venues in the two countries. The show premiered at Flanders Expo in Ghent and we can definitely state: K3 is brimming with confidence, the girls are more than ready to continue on their first tour. Studio 100 asked PRG Belgium to support the show with rigging, lighting, video and sound, just like we did for the previous K3 tours.
The set is built around a video screen of 16 by 7 meters that serves as a backdrop, completed with a proscenium arch made of LED panels to add extra depth to the stage. The backdrop and proscenium both have a 6mm pixel pitch and are supplied by Pixelscreen.
The eye-catcher on stage, the girls not taken into consideration of course, were the stairs, entirely designed by PRG. Christophe Reusen, PRG’s technical drawer, designed 10 steps together with our productional team of which 8 horizontal and 2 tilted steps. The horizontal steps are made of 1.100 Barco Olite tiles with a 9mm pixel pitch. With some adjustments in content due to the difference in pixel pitch, the video content of the stairs completely blends into the content of the backdrop and proscenium. The spectators see one big image with depth which is created by the different video elements. The stairs were entirely produced in our own studio at the warehouse in Tildonk. The video content was designed by Painting With Light and mapped by Pandora Coolly mediaservers.
PRG also provides motion technology for the rigging part of the show. The central video screen can be split into two parts. During the show, the K3 girls travel from one planet to another in a UFO. We designed the vertical and horizontal movements of the UFO based on Wahlberg track runners. This technology, that we also applied during the Marco Mengoni tour in Italy, makes the UFO fly trough the galaxy, created by the LED screens.
Further, the rigging structure is built around a solid Interal P100 base grid. In most of the venues, the grid can be rigged onto the ceiling. For two venues, we have to build the structure from the ground up with a ground support.
Painting With Light was also in charge of the lighting design, according to which PRG compiled a set of moving lights with Martin Mac Viper Performance, Clay Paky B-Eye K20, GLP Impression X4 and PRG moving lights from the Icon series. The set is completed with the new Chauvet Strike 1 spotlights and 3 Robert Juliat Victor follow spots. All this we control with Grand MA consoles.
In terms of sound, we are counting on our Adamson speakers to deliver the best result according to the design by FinesSound.
PRG is very grateful for the trust Studio 100 places in our expertise and successful partnership. Our PRG crew is excited to continue the tour. Every year, the atmosphere on tour with K3 is unique and it seems like this tour will also be one to remember!
PRG Team: Chris Pellens, Lukas Van Broeck, Leen Frijters, Michiel Bosman, Ruben Simons, Quinten Deleersnyder, Tom Thomas, Timmy Devriese, Tom Wouters, Stefaan Vanbesien, Dieter Meeus, Koen Van Gorp, Bart De Cleene, Anne Sofie De Pickere, Lars Bautmans, Lennert Vandendries, Frank De Schutter, Dries Van Den Bruel, Stef De Raet, Jonas Castelijns, Joachim Dewulf, Simon Brants, Paul Taggert, Walter D’haese , Christophe Reusen, Bart Poels, Peter Roosendans
The year of 2017 started big for PRG with the representation of the prestigious ballet ‘The IX Symphony’ of Maurice Béjart at Forest National, from the 6th till the 8th of January. More than 200 artists: ballet dancers, singers and musicians interpreted the masterpiece of Beethoven, choreographed by Maurice Béjart, Today, 50 years later, Gil Roman, the successor to former Artistic Director of the Béjart Ballet Lausanne, Maurice Béjart, brings new life to this masterpiece.
PRG supported the show with sound and lighting technology. The clients, the Béjart Ballet Lausanne and Music Hall, wanted to recreate the lighting design of 1964. The PRG team installed mostly conventional lighting on a 600m long structure above the central stage. In terms of sound, 72 Adamson S10 speakers were installed, as well as multiple little sources in delay, out-fill, front-fill and returns.
PRG Account & Production Manager Laurent De La Haye & Mathieu Antoine
Choreography: Maurice Béjart interpreted by Gil Roman and Piotr Nardelli
Music: Ludwig Van Beethoven, Citypercussion – Thierry Hochstätter and jB Meier (prologue)
Scenery, lighting & costumes : Joëlle Roustand, Roger Bernard, Dominique Roman & Henri Davila
While innovation is the hallmark of PRG's award-winning GroundControl™ Followspot System, GroundControl also offers multiple cost saving benefits to event budgets. In this animation, go on a visual tour of GroundControl in a show setting and see side-by-side comparisons of how GroundControl measures up to a traditional followspot setup. Designers will be interested to hear how savings accumulate thanks to GroundControl's reduction in space, weight, fuel needs, and overall load-in times. In addition, GroundControl also uses the same power distribution as automated lighting fixtures, doesn't require any special cable, reduces seat kills (increasing ticket revenue), and reduces rigging costs.
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