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Ayrton Perseos Withstand the Weather and Fill Numerous Roles at 2021 ESPY Awards Show’s Rooftop Venue

An outdoor event in New York City in July has to be prepared for all weather contingencies.  So when Lighting Designer Bob Barnhart of 22 Degrees was hired by BTW Productions to light the 2021 ESPY Awards show on the The Rooftop at Pier 17 at the Seaport he chose Ayrton Perseos to comprise the bulk of the lighting rig.

The Perseo is an LED moving head profile whose IP65 enclosure rating makes it the ideal choice for outdoor use.  ACT Entertainment is the exclusive distributor of Ayrton lighting fixtures in North America.

The 2021 ESPYS presented by Capitol One celebrated the best players, moments, coaches and games in sports.  Actor Anthony Mackie hosted the 29th annual ceremony, which was broadcast live on ABC and aired later on ESPN and ESPN2.  The in-person show followed last year’s virtual taped event during one of the peaks of the coronavirus pandemic.

Barnhart coped with unseasonable rain and lightning all week leading up to Saturday’s rooftop ceremony.  The weather was clear for the 8 pm start of the three-hour show, but rain started about an hour later.

Barnhart tested the versatility of the Perseos for the ESPYS where they performed in a variety of roles.  A large portion of the rig was mounted in a roof structure over the top of the main stage where some Perseos were exposed to the elements.  These fixtures provided backlight, audience key light and eye candy.  Additional Perseos were fully exposed in the lighting tower supplying front light to the stage and backlight to the audience and serving as followspots.  The fixtures were obtained from PRG.

“The Perseos big function was as key light – the first time I was using them in this capacity,” says Barnhart.  “I was able to color correct them properly, get very clean edges and blend the lights together very well.”


He notes that, “Perseo’s LED engine creates a very flat field, which is really critical in TV which is pickier than the human eye to intensity changes.  I also like their shutters for control and, of course, their weatherproofing is a huge advantage – they held up very well to the weather we experienced all week and during the show.”

Earlier this summer Barnhart utilized Perseos in Arlington National Cemetery for a segment of the PBS “National Memorial Day Concert.”  The segment was recorded at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial where the Perseos acted as architectural lighting then transitioned to theatrical lighting for the talent.  The fixtures were hidden behind the large fountain and reflecting pool in front of the memorial where they illuminated the 400-foot curved façade; subtle gobos and a color change from natural to blue highlighted the memorial and accented the tribute and performances.

About ACT Entertainment

ACT Entertainment, headquartered in Jackson Missouri, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of industry leading brands of audio, video, and lighting products, services, and education. ACT Entertainment is the choice of industry professionals reaching across six distinct markets; Concert Touring and Live Experiences, Retail Music and e-Commerce, ProA/V – Installation – Broadcast, House of Worship, Film and Television, and Industrial Wire and OEM.

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