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AG Production Services Goes Big At Ultra Music Festival 2016
USA – Ultra Music Festival once again takes over Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami to celebrate the conclusion of the annual Winter Music Conference and kick off the summer electronic dance music festival scene with seven stages and some of the biggest DJ’s in the EDM circuit. For the fifth year running, AG Production Services has been called upon to provide its massive dome structure for not just one, but two of the stages at Ultra.
“For the past five years, we have provided what has become a staple at music festivals and larger outdoor events, our Mini-Mega Structure for the Carl Cox & Friends Stage at Ultra Music Festival,” says AG Production Services president Andrew Gumper. “A scaled down version of the Mini-Mega Structure, which was used on the Worldwide Stage has also become a staple. Both structures use the same trussing and rigging materials and are highly configurable while still providing immense structural loads and safety under high wind conditions.”
The larger structure used for the Carl Cox & Friends Stage at Ultra was enclosed on three sides and measured in at 155’ wide by 60’ high and 200’ long. The Worldwide stage was covered with the same roofing system with open-air sides and measuring in at 180’ wide at the base and 72’ high from the centre point.
“The locations and the overall design of the structures haven’t changed much in the past few years at Ultra, so setting up the structures has been a bit easier because we’ve done it so many times. Each year we aim to beat our previous year’s setup time while still putting safety first,” says Gumper.
In addition to the Mini-Mega Structures, AG Production Services provided all of the rigging, lighting and video panels used on both stages. The Carl Cox & Friends Stage uses 56 Cyberhoist to lift and move eight truss and video pods located over the house during performances. The movement of the pods provides additional visual dimension while bringing the audience closer to the surrounding elements. Each of the pods are loaded with 37mm video panels, Elation Opti Tri 30 pars for truss warms and a range of moving lights.
Upstage on the Carl Cox & Friends Stage featured additional 8mm video panels from AG, with all of the video signal being processed by an Analog Way Ascender 48. This provided consistent video signal and sizing due to the various media servers provided by the numerous DJs and their crew. The Worldwide Stage used 223 of AG’s 8mm video panels to provide custom content and graphics for each of the DJs.
“Video plays a large part in any EDM festival. Our panels comprise of 37mm and 8mm and have proven themselves time and time again with the rigours of being on the road constantly and the heavy usage they get,” says Gumper. “Combining video with lighting has a powerful impact on defining the setting and offers unlimited looks and effects for all of the DJs that play under our structures throughout the three-day festival.”
AG Production Services provided an impressive and wide range of lighting and control for both the Carl Cox & Friends and Worldwide stages. The Carol Cox & Friends Stage used MA Lighting’s grandMA2 controls at the hands of production and lighting designer Steve Lieberman from SJ Lighting.
“I have been using the grandMA ever since its launch and have never looked back. It offers fast programming and a level of control that thinks the way I do,” says Lieberman. “When you have a massive fixture count like we do in the Carl Cox Stage, the grandMA takes it all in and never misses a beat drop.”
“He [Lieberman] just flies on the grandMA,” adds Gumper. “He is like an orchestra conductor. He makes the lighting rig do almost anything he wants it to with just a few keystrokes. The effects and looks he creates are jaw dropping.”
The Carl Cox & Friends Stage included a wide selection of lighting fixtures from 24 Robe BMFLs, 52 Martin Mac Vipers, 111 Elation Color Chorus 72 and 236 Elation Opti Tri 30 LED pars. In total, there were over 31 universes of lighting parameters creating intense, eye-catching looks.
The Widewide Stage had just as impressive selection of fixtures that included 56 Martin Mac 101s, 52 Clay Paky Sharpys, 33 Elation Platinum Profile 35s and 34 Chauvet NXT-1 to name few. MA Lighting’s grandMA2 was used to control over 26 universes of lighting parameters.
From start to finish, both structures, rigging, lighting and video systems were loaded in and removed in under three weeks. The Mega Structure makes it way to Indo, California for two weekends of Coachella, starting in mid April.
photos: Adam Kaplan, ASK Media Productions
29th March 2016
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