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Robe Ups the MPH in Australia
Australia – Leading Melbourne-based lighting rental and production company MPH Australia, headed by Matt Hansen (pictured), continues to invest in Robe products, with the latest additions being over 80 MegaPointes, 50 Spiiders and 50 BMFLs.
These join a constantly growing inventory of Robe moving lights currently in the region of 700 plus, including BMFL Spots and Blades, Pointes, LEDWash 600s and LEDBeam 100s. Matt made the commitment to Robe’s newest tech after having utilised the products on shows, including his own (he still designs and operates on the road) for several years.
He founded MPH (Matt’s Party Hire) in 2006 initially to stock some more esoteric LED products like SoftLED cloth and it grew from there into what is now an exceptionally large party!
Matt is well known and appreciated for his free spirit, character, sense of humour and ability to think out-the-of-box. All these skills and more have helped him build a very successful business.
MPH soon started incorporating lighting and rigging, with the first Robe investments being around nine years ago, a trend that continued rapidly resulting in a large inventory of Robe products that helped establish MPH as a serious force on the Australian lighting rental scene.
Knowing Robe’s reliability, Matt continued his commitment to the brand as a core moving light product to service his fast-expanding horizon of concerts, touring and festival projects, the sector in which he specialises.
It was shortly after this that Robe really started appearing frequently on touring rider specifications, a trend partly driven by designs emanating from the US and Europe. “There was definitely a point at which Robe started firstly being requested a lot, and secondly, it became readily accepted as a substitute for other fixtures on original specs. This really underlined our decision,” he explained.
All of these factors fuelled the decision to expand the inventory again last year with the 82 MegaPointes, 50Spiiders and 50 BMFLs, a decisive move that made a definite statement.
The reaction to having all the newest tech onboard has been “incredible” commented Matt. “They have been out constantly, and that’s set to continue; MegaPointes and Spiiders are both products ‘of the moment’.”
The Australian festival scene is notoriously environmentally tough, in terms of the weather and the location, another aspect where Matt thinks Robe has always done exceptionally well.
The very first gig for his newly delivered MegaPointes was the 2018 Parrtjima Festival of Light in Alice Springs where LD Richard Neville of Mandy Lights used 80 fixtures to illuminate the West MacDonnell Mountain Range – for a whole month – with custom gobos and spectacular effects
The fixtures were spread out over 1.5km and run via wireless Ethernet for control, where their incredible brightness and excellent build quality ensured a great installation.
They returned briefly to the warehouse afterwards, had a quick check and dust off, and have been out on projects ever since.
Recent events for the Spiiders and MegaPointes have included Czech-originated dance event Transmission, staged for the first time at the Sydney Showground (LD Bas Kemper) and the Download rock festival in Sydney and Melbourne, where MPH supplied lighting for the Avalanche and Dogstooth stages at both sites, production designed by Jeff Pavey, and working for main lighting contractor Creative Productions.
Recent tours have included Australian singer-songwriter Matt Corby, which has been designed by Matt who was also out with the tour, and electronic music duo The Presets.
While MPH definitely got the ball rolling with MegaPointes in Australia, others have also invested in these and Spiiders, and the already substantial availably of BMFLs in the country has been increased in the last two years.
Matt remarks that with this, the cross-rental potential has also risen. Now when a major tour or event comes through with lots on the spec, there is the capacity between a few major companies to meet their requirements.
Matt’s charm, personality and pragmatic approach to commerce see him enjoy good collaborative relationships with many other Australian rental and production companies including those who are also his potential rivals.
10th May 2019
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