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MDG’s ATMe adds atmosphere to Week 53, The Lowry’s first Arts Festival

MDG’s ATMe adds atmosphere to Week 53, The Lowry’s first Arts Festival
MDG’s ATMe adds atmosphere to Week 53, The Lowry’s first Arts Festival

UK – Performance and visual arts venue, The Lowry, in Greater Manchester’s Salford Quays launched its first festival of arts, Week 53, earlier this year. The 11-day festival, which brought together contemporary dance, visual arts, music and theatre in interactive installations, exhibitions and performances, featured more than 200 international artists, and will be held annually for the next three years with a view to extend into the future. The occasion was marked by the procurement of a new ATMe haze generator to complement The Lowry’s 15-year-old MDG Atmosphere.

MDG’s ATMe is an evolution of the Atmosphere which is a long-term industry standard. ATMe has an added degree of controllability which attracted the attention of The Lowry’s head of technical services, Dave Woodward, and was supplied by MDG UK complete with a portability kit. The kit is industry bar-raiser that sets a new standard in portability as it enables the gas canister to be stored securely underneath the generator and operated horizontally without the gas line freezing. In turn, these features allowed Woodward and his team to change the location of haze generation quickly and easily throughout Week 53 according to needs.

The ATMe was brought into use for the first time on the opening night launch party, where it helped complete the transition of the main stage into a night club, and the truck loading bay into a chill-out zone and bar. Dave Woodward, at The Lowry, explains: “We were able to fill the space with good quality haze, then simply control the levels from the console throughout the night.”

For the remainder of Week 53, the ATMe was positioned in the theatre’s scene dock, which had been turned into a fourth theatre for the course of the festival. The dock was filled with haze every day before opening the doors so, Woodward revealed: “The public were able to observe the space as an installation piece of art with a moody feel.” The operator was then able to run the machine directly from the console to create varying levels of haze throughout the day as different shows and event took place.

Commenting on the low cost of operation, Woodward continued: “The ATMe typically ran all day and used just one fill of CO2 with very low levels of fluid, making for very good value running costs.”

Indeed, the MDG ATMe represents the highest quality and most cost effective operation on the market, offering both the lowest fluid consumption (only 55ml /1.64oz of fluid per hour to give a total running time of 46 hours from its 2.5l /0.66 US gallon reservoir) and the longest hanging time available on the market.

Their original MDG Atmosphere has been retained by The Lowry, despite its age, which it great testament to its longevity. Its functionality has been increased with the addition of a new DMX controller, acquired as part of the new deal, and it continues to provide additional support as necessary. With three theatres and a number of ancillary spaces in almost constant use, Woodward explains that the versatility that two machines offer is a necessity. “We often need haze machines in several spaces at the same time. In the main house we sometimes get requests for two MDG hazers, particularly on international large-scale riders such as the Chinese National Ballet and Alvin Alley Dance.”

Since Week 53, MDG’s ATMe has been kept busy, deployed on a number of live band events and, most recently, creating atmosphere for the National U Dance Festival weekend. This large-scale dance festival is an important event for young people, including The Lowry’s resident Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) dancers, and drew a mixed bill of dance companies to the venue’s Lyric Theatre. This year, lighting design was provided by one of The Lowry’s own technical managers. “Our TM wanted a good quality, controllable level of haze and used both MDG haze generators together,” says Woodward. “The main work was carried out by the ATMe with the original Atmosphere supplementing extra volume when very high levels were required. We were then able to transfer the whole set up to our smaller venue, The Quays, for a stand-alone run last weekend. The versatility of these machines is proving a real advantage already and we are very happy with them.”

In picture: MDG’s new ATMe haze generator helps transform The Lowry main stage into an after show nightclub.

28th July 2016

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