Renowned trance music festival Transmission transposed to the Gelredome in Arnhem in The Netherlands for the first time, presenting its newest “Elysium” show concept at the end of 2023 and keeping the winning international production and supply teams that have helped make the event such a success in its native Czech Republic and globally.

Organisers United Music turned to their long-term lighting, audio and LED screen supplier, Ministry Rentals to supply the production kit – every bit of the kit came from Banska Bystrica in Slovakia – and lighting designer Bas Kempers to create an eye-catching visual environment to work in conjunction with their spectacular scenic design.

Bas’s lighting scheme included over 250 Robe moving lights, a dynamic combination of FORTES, MegaPointes, Pointes and BMFL WashBeams, together with a shedload of strobes and LED washes.

Being the first Transmission NL and the final event of a busy year for the brand which also staged sold out events in Australia, Poland and Thailand, the pressure was ON to present something spectacular.

Bas started with United Music’s creative team’s vision of 400 square metres or so of LED screen – masked into a giant spherical shape upstage evoking a large modern pros arch. As well as complementing this with lighting, he also considered the vast environs of the venue which required filling with ambience and energy.

“I needed fixtures that could make those big, bold, bright and huge multi-faceted looks and scenes … and of course they had to be super-fast for the music, so I was very happy to utilise Ministry’s stock of these excellent Robe fixtures,” he stated.

The numbers were 66 x FORTES, 96 x Mega Pointes, 96 x Pointes and six‐BMFL WashBeams.

To complement the stage set up and LED and give the design a bit extra, Bas added 6 vertical trussing towers positioned along the arena floor which were scenically clad. In addition to injecting some structural form into the space, they created prime lighting positions in the middle of the action.

MegaPointes rigged to the towers offered a contrasting perspective to lights on the ceiling flown trusses and enabled beams to be layered and crisscrossed to fill the entire space with density and texture, immersing the audience in light.

Each column comprised two 6-metre-high sections – top and bottom – with 1.25 diameter circles on both the end sections that met in the middle. The top halves of the towers were on an automation system and lifted higher into the ceiling. Eight MegaPointes were rigged to the top circle and eight to the bottom, giving 16 fixtures per tower, totalling 96.

MegaPointes were “perfect” for these positions, explained Bas. They had the power to throw all around the space and an infinite number of combinations that his regular Transmission programmers – Zis Ankone and Martijn Deenen – could use to create the myriad of looks and fast changes required for enhancing superlative trance.

The 66 x FORTES were rigged on the over-stage and audience trusses and used to highlight the arch and for all the big signature beamy looks filling the space, with 24 luminaires on additional audience trusses. Bright and highly effective, Bas has been using them throughout 2023 and loves the impact, richness, and quality of the output.

A mixture of FORTES and iFORTES featured, and while the IP rated iFORTE wasn’t needed as it was an indoor show, Bas thinks it is “the cool thing” is to be able to mix both types of FORTES in the same design as they are identical both physically and in features.

“For a big hall you need big lights – so they were a no-brainer,” he elucidated! “Simple as that!”

Forty-eight of the Pointes were positioned on the arch, with the rest on the over-stage trusses with 24 on the floor and 24 on side trusses. They shot beams all over the place and worked slickly with the MegaPointes for all those fabulous beamy trancey drops, accents and punctuative moments.

Bas still likes Pointes, especially for electronic music shows, noting that it’s a testament to their quality engineering and thoughtful design that they are still relevant today, a decade after being launched! “Pointes can still do a great job for a design.”

The 6 x BMFL WashBeams were used as front light for the DJs – Driftmoon, Super8 & Tab2, Xijaro & Pitch, Daxson, Markus Schulz, Above & Beyond, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Vini Vici and Marlo, a sizzling lineup who kept the energy and excitement ramped throughout the night treating everyone to some great music!

Transmission is known for its impressive technical setups, however in terms of lighting fixtures this one was an expedient fixture count for the size of the venue, proving the validity of the less-is-more scenario … when lighting is well thought out and intelligently applied.

Rudo Tucek, owner of Ministry Rentals stated that having mostly their own crew on site ensured everything went “smoothly and with no glitches,” and crafting the audio to be both atmospheric and within the strict environmental levels all around the space was one of the challenges for that department! Ministry has now well established itself as an international production player, especially for delivering unique and complex show designs.

The Transmission team has also worked together for some time, which Bas notes is another great asset in producing these large-scale shows, which are always peppered with unknowns. There were many challenges for this one, but the end results were great and had massive impact.

For the Netherlands show, United Music together with High Energy events, Ministry Rentals and the Transmission technical crew worked alongside local production company Axiom to ensure that this first and very special Netherlands show gave fans a night to remember.

Transmission’s “Elysium” will play Prague’s O2 Arena on 15th June 2024 and before then, is set to thrill in Melbourne, Australia on 10th March.

Photos: PALCI.


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