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Elation Lighting Flexibility for Unique Glowfair Festival in Ottawa
Canada – Since its inception in 2013, the Glowfair Festival in Ottawa has grown substantially with the two-day event attracting roughly 60,000 people this past June. The name itself is an indication that lighting is an integral part of the event hosted along ten full blocks of Bank St. in Ottawa.
As it has for the past five years, Ottawa Special Events (OSE) provided a substantial package of Elation lighting fixtures for Glowfair – some drawn from their own inventory and others rented from Christie Lights. In all, nearly 100 Elation fixtures were deployed, a combination of Platinum HFX hybrid moving heads, ZW19 LED moving head beam/wash effects, compact ACL 360i beam effects and SixPar 200 LED PAR lights.
This year the festival featured performances by EDM act Cash Cash, Virginia to Vegas, Iskwé, Ria Mae and others on the main stage, as well as DJs and street artists, and two entirely new ‘blocks’ – one hosting events by Capital Tease and Ottawa Capital Pride and another dedicated to Indigenous performers and artists. Bottom line, at Glowfair there’s a little bit of everything and then some, including a Silent Disco and Glow Yoga.
Not surprisingly, Glowfair requires a lot of infrastructure, much of it supplied by OSE. Beyond lights, the company also provides logistics support, audio, video, staging, tents, tables, chairs and more, says Production Manager, Joel DesLauriers, who specified and designed the Elation-heavy lighting package for Glowfair 2018.
“We have more time for the main stage, but only one day, from noon to 6pm, to set up the DJ stage, a ton of ‘glow’ areas and lighting along the whole street. It’s a big challenge logistically,” he explains. The work starts well before the festival, however. “The organisers trust our production choices and give us creative freedom, so the design is up to our discretion and we always do intricate designs, not just a generic festival package,” says DesLauriers. “Once we find out who’s playing we program multiple tempos, bumps and presets, with strobes, flashes and movement, so the rig looks like it’s designed for each band.”
In total, OSE specified eight Elation Platinum HFXs, 12 ZW19s, 24 ACL 360is and 60 SixPar 200s. ADJ Focus Spot Three Zs were also supplied for Glowfair’s DJ stage, as well as ADJ UV Cob Cannons and Ultra Hex Bar UV fixtures for deployment around the site.
OSE purchased the Platinum HFXs from SF Marketing in November 2017, the exclusive distributor for Elation Professional products in Canada. “We were constantly renting profile and beam fixtures for events that, typically, only need a few fixtures. So I thought if we bought the HFX we wouldn’t have to run around trying to find them,” DesLauriers says, citing the HFX’s wide-ranging feature set as a driver for the purchase.
Four HFX units were placed on each of the central main stage trusses and used for a variety of looks, including all spotlighting. “They were our only spots on the rig because a lot of the bands have electronic features, so there are a lot of beams, strobes and flashes and we didn’t need a ton of spots,” DesLauriers commented.
The remainder of the rig was rented from Christie Lights. The ZW19s were spaced evenly (six per truss) on the upstage and downstage pipes. DesLauriers continues: “They were a lot brighter than we thought. We’d never used them before. I could have used something else, but I was trying to stay all Elation because Elation is our go-to and I’ve always been a fan of them for price point and reliability. And the Z19s worked out great. We could wash the whole back of the stage, add colour saturation and they were fast, too. Using the HFX and Z19s in beam mode and all the ACL360is, we could get very tight, symmetrical beam patterns.”
DesLauriers had intended to use 12 Elation Platinum 5Rs, not ACL 360is, but Christie’s fixtures were rented so OSE doubled up with 24 ACLs. “We had more fixtures to play with. I was concerned about output at first, but they packed a solid punch. We used them a lot to do symmetrical chases and 360 effects. We had 6 dance towers,” he continues: “Two doubles and one single tower per side, so we placed four 360is on the far stage left tower, six on the middle one and four on the next.” The same placement was used on stage right, with the remaining ACLs mounted centrally on the rear truss above a video wall. “So the beams were separated like fingers shooting down.”
Sixteen Elation SixPar 200s were deployed on the DJ stage, and the rest placed throughout the site to provide UV light for ‘Glow Fit’, ‘Glow Yoga’ and other events. “They’re not a native UV fixture but they do provide UV light and with 144 Watts behind them it was bright enough to light up the whole block. They’re one of the brightest LED PARS I’ve ever used and, because of their form factor, they don’t take up much room. The 25-degree beam provides a nice, tight beam angle, and when you flash or dim them, the pattern of the LEDs provides a cool look. For eye candy, especially in smaller clubs where the room is tight, if you turn PARs up too much you’re going to give everyone a seizure. Being able to bump them at 10 to 20 percent is great. You just can’t do that effectively with a traditional PAR.”
DesLauriers preference for Elation is driven by a variety of factors beyond price point and functionality. He adds: “It seems that every six months Elation is coming out with something new so they’re succeeding and innovating. Also, we’ve built relationships with Elation and SF Marketing, so we’re often the first to get our hands on and demo new products. But the service we get with Elation is what really counts for us. If anything does go wrong, SF Marketing just says, ‘We’ll ship you the fixture. Let’s just get your show going.’ They’ve been great with us.”
The Glowfair Festival’s mission – beyond throwing a huge party – is to develop and empower the local community through music and the arts, provide opportunities for underserved youth, and support inclusion and diversity. As the event’s website says, 'What makes us #GLOW is UNITY!'
photos: Ghost Vapor Photography
31st August 2018
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