As the largest outdoor theater in Western Alabama with a capacity of 7,470 patrons, the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater is a premier location for arts and entertainment along the banks of the Black Warrior River. Originally constructed in 2010, the amphitheater recently underwent a renovation of their video displays to better overcome the challenges associated with an outdoor venue. Needing a brighter and more powerful solution, the technical team worked with The ESB Group to install a modular and completely outdoor-rated video system using FLEXTour 6.9mm LED from Nashville-based PixelFLEX.
“This was the first time that we have worked with the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater as they were wanting to replace their existing projectors,” began Patrick Sobers, The ESB Group Design Engineer. “During the summer in Alabama, it often doesn’t get dark until about 8:30 or 9pm so the projection system wasn’t able to perform that well, and they couldn’t show content or provide video support during the daylight hours. This was a big factor in their decision to look at LED video technology, and with the FLEXTour system they can easily provide that support during the middle of the day in full sunshine.”
FLEXTour from PixelFLEX is a robust, high-definition and curve-able LED video display designed specifically for the high demands of live entertainment production. With its unique rigging capabilities that allow for traditional and off-set configurations, each 500mmx1000mm tile is fully front-serviceable and its integrated climbing ladder allows for quick access to displays flown high overhead. Built with the highest standard in components including the new NovaStar A8s receiving card, FLEXTour is completely flicker-free making it one of the premier LED video design solutions available today.
Sobers continued, “I’ve personally known the leadership team at PixelFLEX for a while now, and during the bid process we were actually working with them on another project so we knew they would be our technology partner on this one too. We like how their technology has a great reputation in the touring market and as artists come through at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, their technical teams will be comfortable seeing FLEXTour on the rider.”
Getting started on the design, Sobers and the team at The ESB Group wanted to not only meet the expectations outlined by the amphitheater staff, but they also wanted to offer a deeper layer of creativity. Knowing the venue would have multiple design needs for the outdoor LED video system, it was the expansive design options of the FLEXTour that made the project complete.
“The design specs we were given for the project had a maximum of 7.9mm as the largest acceptable pixel pitch, so we started speaking with PixelFLEX about what they might have to best fit the design,” added Sobers. “When they came back and showed us the FLEXTour 6.9mm we really liked its modular flexibility, the curve-ability of the LED video tiles and the fact that it was completely IP-65 rated. With its design innovations, the venue wouldn’t have to think of this as the installation of two separate LED video walls, but instead a creative solution to deploy the ideal LED video design needed for any outdoor event.”
With the LED video solution in place, it was time to complete the installation at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater. Using the existing house steel structure fly bays, the amphitheater also purchased a complete rigging system from Stagemaker to accompany their new LED walls. Using the new rigging, the team was able to easily integrate the FLEXTour LED tiles into the production design, while also giving them the option to be reconfigured and flown onstage, or anywhere else needed.
“For the initial design, we installed the FLEXTour system as two 16x9 rectangular walls hanging house left and right beside the mainstage,” explained Sobers. “We used 30 tiles per wall, rigged on truss and motors, and the system is set up like a touring rig where they can reconfigure as needed and even take it offsite for another event if they wish. They really like the ability to think outside the box as to how they want to deploy the LED video design, and they love the expandability and creativity of the FLEXTour system.”
Now in the midst of a busy production schedule, the technical team at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater is able to create a myriad of LED environments for the outdoor live events. Needing a solution that offered both design creativity and technical functionality, Sobers is confident the FLEXTour LED video from PixelFLEX will stand the test of time.
“With their busy production schedule, the technicians at the amphitheater actually take down the LED video after each show, but they can have it all back up and running within an hour and a half,” concluded Sobers. “It’s really a fantastic system and when you add together all of the design characteristics, FLEXTour really starts to set itself apart. With its curving ability, ease of rigging, plus the full outdoor IP65-rated aspects with the IP65 PowerCon True1 connectors and IP65 CAT5 connectors, FLEXTour is by far the most advanced outdoor LED video technology available today.”
An American-based LED manufacturer, PixelFLEX offers creative solutions, reliable products, and dependable service for our industry-leading LED display technologies and solutions. Driven towards excellence to meet your standards, PixelFLEX offers a one-of-a-kind design for your tour, event or installation through our award-winning line of LED video walls and video screens. Working with architects, designers, engineers and consultants, PixelFLEX is proud to develop custom LED solutions for each and every customer while also providing top-tier customer support throughout the entire experience. For more information on the complete line of PixelFLEX LED video walls and video screens, visit PixelFLEX at pixelflexled.com, follow us on Twitter at @pixelflexled or find us on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.