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ETC delivers to outdoor shows across southern France

ETC delivers to outdoor shows across southern France

France - ETC’s Cobalt control desk is becoming increasingly popular in France, with ETC partner Avab Transtechnik France (ATF) supplying a Cobalt 20 desk to the Avignon Festival and a second sold for the EQI Cheval Libre equestrian show.

The Avignon Festival has invested in a Cobalt 20 desk for their main performance space with a Congo jr powered by Cobalt as online backup during the shows. Back in 1996, the event’s organisers bought the first Avab desk to use in the Cour d’Honneur (Court of Honour) of the Palais des Papes (the Pope’s Palace) and they also own 25 further Avab style desks that they use each year for their other spaces. So it was fitting that, when the Cobalt desk was released earlier this year, they were keen to try it out.

Says Jean Louis Pernette, commercial director for ATF: “The festival’s technical managers realised they needed to modernise their main control desk, which was approaching 20 years old, and wanted to get the admiral of the fleet! By investing in the latest generation of lighting desks, they will have a reliable, powerful and easy to use desk which will last them well into the future, and is perfect for handling the intelligent and conventional fixtures in use in the space.”

Performances at the Palais des Papes include theatre, music and dance, taking advantage of its high walls and splendid architecture to frame the stage, which stands at the bottom of a high raked seating area for up to 700 people. Across the festival, which takes over the southern French town for the whole of July, some 65 official shows are joined by hundreds of unofficial performances as thousands of people flock to the area.

Meanwhile, the EQI Cheval Libre, an equestrian festival which runs for two months throughout the summer in Vaucluse, southern France, uses mainly moving lights, supplemented with a few traditional fixtures, to highlight the horses and riders; the animals dance to music and the lighting, telling a story of the harmony between humans, animals and nature. The festival’s Cobalt 20 desk – plus a Cobalt Nomad on a laptop as backup – was supplied by Dushow, the first rental company in France to invest in Cobalt. The show is held outdoors, making lighting an interesting challenge, according to lighting designer Philippe Catalano.

“With the amount of multimedia, including special effects and video, some desks could have struggled to keep up, or been too slow to program,” he explains. “So I was eager to put the new Cobalt 20 desk through its paces. The touch screens and motorised masters seduced me immediately. Cobalt turned out to be the perfect desk for a live environment where not everything was predictable.”

With speed and simplicity of programming being key to the success of Cobalt, Catalano found that even when heavily loaded, the desk operated as smoothly as can be, with the audience – and EQI director Erick Villeneuve – delighted with the results. With the great lighting, the horses and their riders were shown better than ever before.

In picture: The EQI Cheval Libre festival used Cobalt 20 to light the performances

11th November 2014

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