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Robe for Melodifestivalen 2020

29/05/2020

Robe for Melodifestivalen 2020 posted: 29/05/2020

Top Swedish LD Fredrik Jonsson of Eyebrow Designs has lit Melodifestivalen since 2002, capturing all the glamour, glitz, unashamed kitsch drama and disco-tastic moments!

For the first time in its 64-year history, the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) due to be staged in May in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and all 41 qualifying countries have been invited back - same time and place - in 2021 with the same artists who will be singing different songs!

No-one takes Eurovision more seriously than Sweden, one of the countries which has done consistently well since its 1958 debut, winning six times, most famously with Abba's Waterloo and most recently in 2015! Since 1959, the Swedish entry each year has been chosen via an annual televised talent competition, known since 1967 as the Melodifestivalen', organised by public broadcasters Sveriges Television (SVT) and Sveriges Radio (SR).

In 2002, the Melodifestivalen upped the ante further in terms of a selection event and started touring to six key cities around Sweden with a final in Stockholm, this year at the 65,000-capacity Friends Arena. The finale broadcast is among the most popular programmes on Swedish television.

Top Swedish LD Fredrik Jonsson of Eyebrow Designs has lit Melodifestivalen since 2002, capturing all the glamour, glitz, unashamed kitsch drama and disco-tastic moments!

This year he enlisted the help of 168 x Robe moving lights (upped to over 300 for the final show) including MegaPointes, Spiiders, LEDBeam 150s and six BMFL WashBeam follow spots running on four RoboSpot remote BaseStations.

Each year he imagines a new and original lighting design. Keeping the show looking fresh and relevant is one of the main challenges and a task he enjoys.

This year, the producers wanted a large open stage look to set the scene, so they could use more and bigger props for the songs to give each an individual look.

Set designer Viktor Brattstr m opted for a huge projection surface as the backdrop, which was divided into three sections - in a geometric horseshoe shape, with content fed by eight laser projectors.

So, the first starting point for lighting was to take this into consideration as the main visual element onstage in addition to lighting

The backdrop was grey / white with a strong linear texture, and rather moody and dark without projection, so I had to be careful with levels so not to kill or over-shine the projections, he commented.

With the backdrop being so prominent, it could also become flat in close-ups shots with less depth-of-field for the cameras, so early on, he knew he needed lights in front that could move in and out providing more punch from the back when required, effectively adding a natural depth via lighting.

Hence several moving ladders rigged with MegaPointes!

Out of a total of 10 ladders, four could move sideways on a Gerriets Cargo Track system, supplied by Creative Technology Northern Europe together with the lighting.

This trick enabled the ladders to slide in and appear in front of the SR / SL backdrop upstage. Each ladder was rigged with two Heavy Duty Runner blocks (rollers) as rigging points on the top pipe. These Runner Blocks were then attached to the Cargo Track beam, a set up that facilitated moving the ladders into view and choosing the best configuration for any song.

When projection needed to cover the whole backdrop, the ladders were slid out of view and stored - two ladders each side of stage - behind the diagonal projection screens, in an area called the garage .

The Cargo Track beam reached well outside the horseshoe corners, creating the hidden storage position.

Sometimes the ladders were positioned on stage in conjunction with the projection, so masks in the projection were mapped in the disguise servers for the different ladder positions, keeping them dark and out of the projected image.

The ladders were slid in and out of position manually by the lighting crew during set changes and with five different positions for each ladder, there was plenty of versatility.

It was a neat, simple and effective solution.

Surrounding each section of backdrop was a tower / ladder filled with MegaPointes (64 in the touring system) plus a bunch of strobes.

Approximately 5 meters downstage was another arch in the same horseshoe shape, also with towers and lights arranged similarly to create a mid-stage performance area.

Scattered around all the towers and in the roof beams were numerous Roe LED strips arranged in geometric patterns.

Two enormous DS / US staircases at 45-degree angles to the downstage arches further dissected and defined the main performance area, and inside the stairs pointing outwards onto stage were a bunch of LEDBeam 150s.

The over-stage lighting rig followed the horseshoe shape of the stage, with 5 x US / DS trusses crammed as tightly as possible with spots, washes, and strobes, optimised to get the most coverage.

An extra upstage truss was dedicated to backlighting, including fixtures doing gobo-washes and the six BMFL WashBeams follow spots on the RoboSpot systems.

Robe's Spiider LED wash beams in the roof were the main wash fixtures, the first time Fredrik has used them in this way, which was a great success. It's a great fixture - love the zoom range, and the LED flower' effect is a nice bonus, he stated.

The diversity of the MegaPointes was ideal. They were all positioned on the 10 x towers and utilized for aerials and hi-impact effects as well as for some extra lighting props' in specific songs.

Fredrik first used LEDBeam 150s on a dinner show last year where he needed something small and potent and immediately fell in love with the tiny fixture!

For Melodifestivalen 2020, the 42 x LEDBeam 150s on the touring system w
LINK: https://www.live-production.tv/news/shows/robe-melodifestivalen-2020.h...
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