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Elation Lighting System Helps The District Stand Out in Scottsdale’s Busy Entertainment District
USA – Downtown Scottsdale is arguably one of the hottest spots for nightlife at the moment with several high profile venue openings of late, the most recent being The District, a lively entertainment venue in the city’s blossoming Entertainment District. The District combines an industrial-Americana atmosphere with high-end party culture, both aspects supported by a state-of-the-art Elation lighting and video system.
A project of Triyar Entertainment Group and owned by Shawn Yari, The District is a type of new-aged rock-and-roll bar that in the evening turns into more of a vibrant nightclub with DJs spinning a mix of music. Located next to Maya Day & Nightclub and just across the street from Livewire, a recently opened live music venue that also features a total solution Elation lighting package, competition for the entertainment dollar in Scottsdale is fierce.
Adrian de Pamphilis, owner of an audio, visual and lighting systems company, Fyxx Entertainment of Canoga Park, California, was contracted to custom-design a dynamic lighting and video system for The District and worked with Fyxx co-designer Gabriel de Pamphilis on the project. However, the team at Fyxx had to work expeditiously on the project. Adrian explains: “We were contacted just after New Year’s by the owner about his need for a complete lighting system. We were excited but then realised he wanted to be open prior to the Super Bowl, just four short weeks away!”
Although Fyxx had just finished outfitting Livewire with a large Elation lighting and video system in December, Adrian gathered his team and sent them to Scottsdale. “I called John Lopez at Elation and explained the situation to him,” he says. “John got us the products we needed and made it happen on very short notice. He really took care of us.”
Gabriel de Pamphilis comments on today’s competitive market, in which efficiency is a must and the speed at which a project can go from idea to opening is often astounding. “The venue was custom built from the ground up in three short months with the complete lighting system installed in a mere two weeks, including rigging, installation, wiring, and programming. Work was non-stop and co-ordination with the other trades involved in the build was exceptional. The District is based around high impact visuals and the lighting and video systems were given top priority.”
When time is short, an unambiguous lighting and design brief can be a big help and venue owner Shawn Yari had that. “He had a clear design vision of what the final product should be, which made it easier,” Adrian says. “He wanted to fill up any space in the venue with visuals and was very specific about where the lighting and video should be.”
Fyxx took that vision and instilling its own design freedom, hashed out a final detailed look. Fyxx served as lighting suppliers and installers on the project with lighting design a collaborative effort between Elation sales manager John Lopez and District’s LD Jason Jones, both of whom were involved in the lighting design at Livewire, alongside Gabriel. Adrian, who also had a hand in the lighting design, made the lighting equipment choice.
Because of the tough night-time dollar competition in the Entertainment District, outside visual attraction is a key component in attracting customers. The District sits on prime street side property with an outside façade and outdoor social area visible to passers-by.
Installed behind Plexiglas panels in the outside façade wall as a decorative eye-catcher are Elation Pixel Bar LED strip lights of varying lengths. The pixel-controllable LED luminaires are mounted in the wall in three lengths - 33cm, 50cm and 1m – and provide a colour-changing outdoor visual presence that mirrors the excitement happening inside.
The 4,500 sq. ft. venue is half indoors and half outdoors with a central bar separating the two. The outdoor area is visible street side, adjacent to the façade, and features a covered outdoor party area lit with Elation Platinum Wash ZFX Pro XL and Platinum Spot LED II moving heads, projecting colour wash and graphics onto the floor and ceiling. In a unique decorative touch, the outdoor canopies’ four main columns are outlined ground to roof with Elation Flex LED Tape with frosted acrylic lens. “The façade and the outdoor area makes for a can’t miss spot on the street,” Gabriel de Pamphilis comments. “It’s rare to have such an outdoor visual presence outside of Las Vegas and has revitalized this part of the street front.”
The District is a high-energy bar and the brief called for a high level of visual stimulation with no blank spaces. Inside are 20-25 foot ceilings – which make for a lot of space to fill – with aesthetic arches across the ceiling. Around the arches is a rectangular truss system on which the majority of the sound and lighting gear is mounted, including Platinum Wash ZFX Pro’s and Platinum Spot LED IIs. The fixtures fill the space in colour and mid-air dynamics while Protron LED strobes provide extra bursts of energy when needed.
The room’s visual centrepiece is a custom-made 21’ wide by 14’ tall American flag art piece made of metal and illuminated internally with LED lighting. Beneath its Plexiglas front, Elation Flex Pixel WP Tape lights the stripes of the flag while each star is lit using an Acclaim Lighting X-Dome. Located behind the DJ booth, the flag is typically lit in traditional red, white and blue but is capable of colour changing; for example, to green on St. Patrick’s Day.
Around the central bar are 24 large 46” televisions on top of which are mounted colour-changing Cuepix Strip Tri lights, which create a nice visual chase effect around the TVs. Beautiful to look at with their high-quality COB LEDs, the strip lights are more active later in the evening when the atmosphere turns more high intensity.
Inside, DJs mix music against a backdrop of four Elation EMAG4 LED video screens located in between the arches. Each screen, made up of 28 EMAG panels, is generally used as an advertising platform early in the evening then switches to club mode with visuals later on. The screens can also be utilised when The District hosts corporate and special events.
“Handling them was a breeze,” Gabriel says of the 4.8mm pixel pitch LED video panels with tool-less quick locks and magnetic module design. “They are really straight forward and it was by far the easiest video wall we’ve put together. The panels are super light but durable and the modular design really helps with trouble shooting.” The District’s in-house visual team custom makes content for the screens, which is delivered and scaled using Elation’s Arkaos Master. Video processing is from an Elation EPT VSC controller.
As far as lighting control, an Elation-distributed HedgeHog 4 lighting console ties everything together. A special lighting booth platform was built to house the lighting controller as well as the visuals computer for the EMAG4 panels, an example of the priority that the lighting system had on the install. “They allocated the space and built it in two days,” Gabriel says, “and then Elation provided us with their best programmer in Esteban De La Torre-Alva, who also trained the lighting personnel at the venue. It was really a cooperative effort. We are very happy with the way it all turned out and pleased that we could complete the install on time to satisfy our client.”
photos: Kevin Brost
8th June 2015
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