Arto Company is a rental and full technical production company – lighting, sound, video, rigging etc. – based in Wavre, the French-speaking region of Belgium – and working vigorously across the concert touring, festival, live event, and corporate sectors.

Their first Robe purchase was in 2019, and since then the inventory has expanded dramatically with the latest purchases being 16 iFORTES, 48 LEDBeam 350s and 18 Tetra2s, which join over 100 other Robe fixtures in the house, including 24 ESPRITES, 48 LEDBeam 150s, 18 T1 Profiles and two RoboSpot systems.

“We started observing that Robe was a clear market leader, and the products were increasingly appearing on artist riders,” explained Arto’s lighting team manager Alain Meys, “and so that constant demand for the products made us take notice and realise that we needed to invest in what people were requesting!”

He and the lighting team looked at all the various Robe products and ranges and chose the most flexible options for their client / show / event portfolio, finding that ESPRITE in particular was a wise choice to service their work, ideal for lighting virtually every production.

Alain noted that they specifically liked the ESPRITE’s intensity, framing shutters, colour mixing system and the zoom. “All these features are essential for the bulk of our ‘general’ work,” he confirmed.

The iFORTES were then purchased for the larger shows and events, when that extra boost of power and punch is needed. They specifically wanted the iFORTE variant for its IP65 rating which is great for all their exterior work.

ESPRITES and iFORTES are often used on the same projects, typically iFORTES would be deployed for the front lighting on a stage or in the ‘advanced’ position for keys and specials, while ESPRITES will be above the performance area mid-stage or at the rear. “These two fixture types are a great match,” commented Alain.

The latest purchase of 48 x LEDBeam 350s join Arto’s existing 48 x LEDBeam 150s. The decision was made to get a good quantity of them “because this is really useful for many stage and event setups and always looks spectacular,” says Alain, adding that the LEDBeam 350s with their excellent 3.8 – 60-degree zoom are also a great wash light and highly versatile.

Initially when they saw the LEDBeam 350, the thinking was to use it as a wash light, but the extra brightness and bigger beam make it ideal for front, rear and fill lighting and it is very interchangeable with the LEDBeam 150s.

The team was already very happy with these LEDBeam 150s which Alain describes as “Exceptionally well-priced, good quality and customers love them”. They are a super handy little light for anything from filling small areas or accessing tricky positions to creating impressive beam technology looks with large quantities on big stages.

The original T1 Profiles back in 2019 were the first moving lights with framing shutters to join the Arto lighting inventory.

They had searched long and hard for the right luminaire, and T1 ticked all their boxes for features, reliability and “best in class” functionality. The T1s have proved themselves repeatedly to be infinitely useful in so many different applications, for front, mid and back light, but particularly for key lighting with their high CRI giving those beautiful, natural looking flesh tones.

RoboSpots were another demand-driven purchase, and as the first company with two RoboSpot systems in Belgium, they also saw an opportunity to elevate Arto’s own operation. When these are not out on their own gigs, they are a valuable and popular cross rental item.

RoboSpots are quick and straightforward to set up, and massively more adaptable and creative for any show.

At the time of writing, Arto was eagerly awaiting delivery of their Tetra2s, and had a show for them immediately after that happened.

While there are many moving LED battens out there, Alain and the lighting team appreciate Tetra2s utilising the same LEDs as the LEDBeam 350s, 150s, Spiiders and others, with the same flower effect, etc., which is great for continuity on a stage or performance space. “Every Robe fixture mixes so smoothly and elegantly with the others,” Alain emphasises.

Arto will design lighting for some of the shows and events they are supplying themselves, and at other times work with a designer appointed by production or the client. While most concerts and tours tend to have their own, they often end up completing a production design for festivals and corporate shows, and Alain undertakes a lot of this design work himself.

“It’s been great to see Robe grow and develop as a brand over the last 5 to 10 years,” he enthuses, believing that their independence as a privately owned business has had a very positive influence on this phenomenon, noting that all Robe fixtures in this timeframe have been highly successful and proved themselves as creative tools “and that’s why they are constantly being specified.”

Service and after-sales support was another important factor for any busy rental operation investing in a brand, and for Alain, the tech support and backup from Benelux distributor Controllux is “Fantastic! They are very responsive, knowledgeable, and always there for you!”

Photo: Louise Stickland.

 

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June 2024 issue

2024 A1 Buyers Guide