Photo by Louise Stickland. L-R: lighting technician, Kristijan Rajčvič with co-owners and founders Johnny Čučević (in the middle) and Iviča Bušić on the right.
Based in the beautiful, ancient, and famous city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, FiFi Sound is a technical production and rental company specialising in live events which has made a solid commitment to investing in the best brands across all disciplines … including Robe for moving lights.
Founded by Ivica Bušić and Johnny Čučević in 2001, both bringing a wealth of previous industry experience plus some serious enthusiasm to the equation, FiFi Sound was always on a mission to provide the very best production equipment and technical services to Croatia’s vibrant live events market. This is truly international commerce as brands and organisations from around the world bring their business events, incentives, experientials, conferences and activations to Croatia, enjoying its weather, friendliness and stunning landscapes, coastline, and natural beauty.
Being in the south of the country also gives FiFi Sound a great geographic advantage for servicing projects in the region, which is replete with numerous picturesque locations, some of which are tricky to access.
The company started as an audio specialist, but both Iviča and Johnny soon realised that they needed to offer the full technical production package to maintain both an edge and the high standards they have set for themselves! The lighting division was started in 2005 and the other disciplines covered are staging, LED screens and AV services. “Basically, we are the one-stop solution for the client,” says Iviča.
Lighting started modestly with various generics, dimmers, some LED and control, although as business grew rapidly, moving lights soon followed to ensure they could offer clients the most flexible options and most creative looking shows.
Robe was the choice of brand right from the start, and the initial purchases were four ColorSpot and four ColorWash 575 AT moving lights.
Robe was not so well known at the time, but several of their industry colleagues and friends at the time were tipping Robe as a rising star ‘brand to watch’, and they liked the fact the fixtures are fully and properly ‘manufactured in Europe’.
Those original 575 ATs are still in the warehouse and working, although they rarely go out on shows now, and since then FiFi Sound has invested steadily in more Robe technology as it has come to the market via Croatian distributor, LAV Studio.
They were the first rental company in Croatia to purchase Robe’s breakthrough LEDWash 600 product, launched in 2010, a move that prompted several others to follow
“We are very happy,” says Iviča, “As our business grew and became more international it was essential to have brands onboard that were recognised and trusted,” and Robe rising to real prominence in the world of moving lights over this time underlined their decision.
With so many spring and summer season Croatian venues operating outdoors and some being in very challenging-to-access places and spaces, the light weight and low power consumption of lighting fixtures is a big consideration for Iviča and the team. He feels that Robe has kept ahead of the game with these features and has continued to design versatile fixtures that are usable almost anywhere.
There are currently around 80 x Robe fixtures in rental stock including Actor 6s, 600E Spots, LEDWash 600s, LEDBeam 150s, and Pointes as well as a couple of Robe haze machines which Johnny is always using on his shows!
The LEDBeam 150s were the most recent purchase at the end of 2019, and they together with the LEDWash 600s and Pointes are out constantly when the season is full-on. Obviously, 2020-21 has been exceptional as the industry has grappled with Covid shutdowns and travel restrictions, but with the first green shoots of business revival on the horizon, Iviča and the team are positive that things will pick back up.
FiFi Sound is lucky enough to have secured some government support to get through the crisis, they have retained all five full-time staff and managed to keep a small trickle of income flowing through barren times for which they are all very grateful.
“We have great expectations for at least some of the show and event industry returning with great gusto across Europe in the autumn,” concluded Iviča, who, like everyone, is itching to get back to work and to doing what they love and do best.