Photos: courtesy of Louise Stickland.
A substantial Robe moving light rig – over 350 fixtures – was specified for the brand new 20,000 capacity MVM Dome in Budapest, Hungary.
The striking state-of-the-art sports facility designed by Hungarian architect Gyorgy Skardelli is Europe’s largest handball arena and will also be used for a diversity of concerts and entertainment shows.
The Robe lights were specified by Visual Europe Group (VEG), the building’s technical management and services specialists, working in close consultation with Budapest-based AVL Trade which supplied the fixtures. The first event staged in the spectacular looking venue was the 2022 European Men’s Handball Championship Final, won by Sweden.
Most of the Robe luminaires – including 64 x FORTES, 64 x Tarrantulas, 64 x MegaPointes, 120 x Tetra2 moving LED battens and four FORTE FollowSpots together with four RoboSpot remote follow systems – will be in use in the main arena space. They were used to great effect by lighting designer Attila Lenzser for the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the Men’s EHF Euro 2022 final.
Adam Nagy, project manager for AVL Trade, explained that the package also included 32 x Robe LEDBeam 350s and 16 x Robe ProMotion moving projectors which are destined for use in other parts of the building, like the extensive foyer spaces, conference suites and VIP lounges.
VEG approached AVL Trade already knowing that they wanted to use Robe for the show lighting elements following excellent experiences with BMFLs and other Robe products on numerous events including the acclaimed 2017 FINA Aquatics World Championships which were staged in the Hungarian capital.
Due to the high trim height of the trussing mothergrid in the MVM Dome’s roof, they needed the most powerful fixtures available, and chose FORTES, Robe’s massively bright, new gen LED TE technology luminaire, launched last year for stadium and large venue / event applications.
Unique to Robe, the TE (TRANSFERABLE ENGINE) is a powerful, intelligent, and eco-friendly lighting solution enabling different engines – high powered, high CRI, ‘tungsten’ etc., – to be used in the same fixtures. The engines can be changed quickly and easily in 5 – 7 minutes!
The MVM Dome lighting spec featured as much LED as possible for all the obvious reasons including to be as sustainable as possible and to minimise running costs … but an exception was made for MegaPointes, arguably the most popular multipurpose effects moving light worldwide.
“MegaPointes were an absolute ‘must have’,” explained Adam. “They were a non-negotiable part of the spec!”
The show rig is designed to be movable and adaptable within the arena, with enough dynamic units for all incoming concerts / music shows and other performance productions, so they can use the house rig as often as possible.
The lights were all delivered at the end of 2021 and installed ready for action at the Men’s Handball Championship in January.
Challenges included “meeting all the deadlines and working within pandemic rules and regulations,” commented Adam, adding that the timing of the decision to add a complete show lighting rig for the venue made the schedule super-tight. “We booked the fixtures immediately after we received the confirmation and collaborated closely with VEG and Robe’s sales and technical teams – who were amazing – to make it happen,” elucidated Adam.
Visual Europe Group has over 20 years’ experience in technical design and implementation of AV for high-volume and high-profile events.
Their CEO, Szabolcs Botond, commented, “To implement the lighting technology for the European Handball Championship 2022, our company found these Robes to be the best for our customer, and in cooperation with AVL Trade, we were able to provide the MVM Arena with a future-proof lighting solution and equipment.
“The successful European Handball Championship hugely satisfied everyone involved which proved we made the right choice and provided the best solution for our customer’s needs.”
Attila was delighted to be the first person to light a show in the new venue and use all the new Robe lights, having been asked onboard for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies after working with the organisers on several other events including those FINA opening and closing shows.
The FORTES proved fantastic for gobo’ing the entire arena floor and as the main lights; the Tarrantulas washed the audience areas plus the main arena, while the MegaPointes and Tetra2s were installed on the top trusses all around the ceiling of the arena, following its oval-shaped space. For the Opening Ceremony, some of Tetra2s were also used around the floor.
The biggest lighting challenge for both OC and CC events was the compressed timeframe available for the creative teams to work their magic, as all their rigging, programming, blocking, and rehearsing had to dovetail with games and the regular team practices as well as the protocol rehearsals, related to both covid and working in a brand-new venue! However, the results – broadcast live – were eye catching and spectacular, helping to ramp up the excitement and anticipation.
Attila has used Robe products in his work for many years, but this was the first time he had used FORTES. “It is a great fixture in every aspect – fast and strong – and I totally enjoyed working with them. I think I have a new favourite!”
Robe’s CEO Josef Valchar concluded, “It is fantastic to see a project specification like this come to fruition so quickly and positively in spite of all the challenges. We are extremely proud to have a Robe house rig in this very prestigious and beautifully designed new venue, and look forward to seeing many lighting professionals enjoy using some of our latest technologies for a busy schedule of spectacular concerts and sporting events.”