AB Goes Mega

The Ancienne Belgique – AB as it’s universally known – sits right in the bustling heart of old Brussels as part of a vibrant multicultural metropolis and a thriving music scene. It is one of Europe’s most iconic live music venues and a favourite on the gig circuit for artists and crews alike.

The venue has just purchased 24 x Robe MegaPointes which join the 50 x Spiiders that have graced the house lighting rig since 2017.

Together with some other lights, these ensure that the very best production values can be offered for all incoming shows – for those who might be using the full house rig and not carrying any of their own kit as well as those touring with specials packages and hooking into the house ‘top’ rigs each night.

Whatever the deal, the AB is fully equipped to help guests get their best possible show.

Head of AB’s lighting department, Renaat Van Hee, explained that they were extremely happy with the Spiiders and looked to Robe again to invest in new spot / beam fixtures.

“We have good contact and have enjoyed great service from both Controllux (Robe’s Benelux distributor) and Robe themselves, and we want to continue the positive relationship” he explained.

They were initially looking for an LED spotlight, but they could not find anything to meet all their criteria. It had to be a good FX light as 90% of the performances are music based and effects are important, and they had recently been repeatedly renting in beam lights, so it made sense to have their own.

“MegaPointe, with it’s excellent spot and beam functionality gives us both, and it is the best fixture on the market right now for this kind of work” he underlined, adding that they always like to be able to offer the best at the AB!

He’s confident they made the right decision on both fixtures as so many touring productions are now coming through with both on their riders. “Spiiders and MegaPointes are a great combination that delivers excellent performance for music shows where you really need the punch, power and versatility”.

He also remarks on the light weight of both which is important as they do overnight re-rigs most of the time! The crews all love them as they can rig them single handed and “we have received great feedback from everyone”.

They have also not yet had to do any cross-rentals since the MegaPointes arrived, so the ROI will be quick and efficient.

In peak months, the 2000 capacity AB will stage 28 to 30 shows per month, so there is plenty of demand to use their house technical facilities, so reliability was another factor in the decision.

Renaat had worked at the AB as a freelancer since 2002 and held his current full-time role running the lighting department for the last two years. They have four full time technicians working in lighting, another four in audio and three dealing with general production elements… and of course, a large pool of regular freelancers.

Their first investment into Robe fixtures was in 2012 when they purchased MMX Spots… and these ran happily – and extensively – for six years before bringing everything bang up-to-date with the MegaPointes and Spiiders.

Ancienne Belgique’s Head of lighting Renaat Van Hee is on the left with lighting designer Jan Van Lindt who also works at the venue.

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