As soon as Nashville-based Premier Global Production took delivery of 26 GHIBLI fixtures, Ayrton’s first LED spot luminaire with a factory-equipped framing system, they quickly sent them on tour with country music singer/songwriter Brett Eldredge. ACT Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of Ayrton lighting in North America.
“The Long Way Tour” is Eldredge’s first headlining tour. Supporting his latest single of the same name, the first leg of the tour kicked off in April; it resumed in June and will play dates in the US and Canada through October. Premier Global Production provides lighting and staging equipment to some of the biggest musical acts in the world. The company had 60 Ayrton Magicblade fixtures in its inventory prior to purchasing Ayrton GHIBLIs.
GHIBLI delivers a light output of 23,000 lumens in a highly compact format. Its proprietary optical system produces an extremely uniform fat beam with no hot spot. GHIBLI’s selection of gobos and colors was made in collaboration with lighting designers to meet the needs of the entertainment industry.
Lighting Designer Nick Whitehouse, one of seven partners in Fireplay, explains the storytelling scenario of the show. “Another of our partners, Kelly Sticksel, was Production and Show Designer for the tour. He took the lead in creating the different seasons of Brett, each showing a different side of Brett’s personality. The narrative is fun and engaging for the audience, and the videowall backgrounds and the props placed in front of them help define the various moods and environments.” The props include a piano frame with 7mm LEDs behind the keyboard; a bar with video panels on it and behind it; and an old-fashioned red English pillar box phone booth.
The goal was to design “theatrical-style lighting that would highlight the video set and props then take you into an almost pop music show,” Whitehouse says. He also had to consider the tour’s budget, size and the long-term efficiency and servicing of the equipment.
“One of the production manager’s stipulations for lighting gear was reliability and easy servicing,” he reports. “He insisted we find LEDS that would do the job. But I wasn’t happy with the LED profiles I’d used, so I asked ACT Lighting if they had anything new. They showed me the GHIBLI and put it up against other lights, and I was really impressed. I really like Ayrton products and quality. GHIBLI was a nice size and weight; it was an LED source that kept up with the brightness of a 1200W fixture, and the beam looked great too.”
Twenty-three of the GHIBLIs on tour are active fixtures and three are back ups. “They act as spot fixtures for theatrical lighting on the set, Brett and the band, and they deliver effects – including aerial big-beam looks – and textures on the stage. They’re real workhorses,” says Whitehouse.
According to Mike Marcario, a Lighting Designer and Programmer who serves as the Board Operator for the tour, six GHIBLIs hang in the upstage truss and seven in the midstage truss. Six T-bars hanging off the upstage truss at different lengths have a GHIBLI at the bottom of each pipe. Downstage left and right are floor-mounted stick truss each with two GHBLIs inside.
“We’re quite pleased with the GHIBLIs,” says Dominic Smith, Lighting Designer and Programmer for the tour and also Creative Director at London’s Neon Black. “GHIBLI is a perfect fit for theaters and small arenas. It stands up well against discharge sources. Its flat field is beautiful, it renders color very well, it doesn’t want for brightness and it focuses well. It also has nice sharp gobos and a good selection of break ups. It offers all the tools you need in a moving spot.”
“I’m very impressed by the fact that for the first leg of the tour we left with 23 fixtures and came back with the same 23,” says Marcario. “We had no need of the spares. That’s a testament to the reliability of Ayrton. I hope to use GHIBLI in future lighting designs that I’m part of.”
“The end results have been fantastic – I’m really happy with the GHIBLIs,” says Whitehouse. “I’ll absolutely use them again.”
“The Long Way Tour” was programmed on a full-size grandMA2 and uses a full-size console on the road to control lighting and video. A grandMA2 onPC is on hand for back up. ACT Lighting is also the exclusive distributor of MA Lighting products in North America.
“grandMA2 is the console of choice for me and Dom,” notes Whitehouse. “All the usual superlatives apply,” quips Smith. “grandMA2 is the only choice from my perspective. It doesn’t get in the way of what I’m trying to create. It’s the most transparent surface I’ve ever used.”
About ACT Lighting
A leading importer and distributor of lighting products, ACT Lighting, Inc. strives to identify future trends and cutting-edge products, and stock, sell and support their inventory. The company provides superior customer service and value for money to all of its clients.
For more information, visit www.actlighting.com.