Maestra Group lays the Smackdown!
UAE: As the superstars of WWE converged on Dubai for a couple of rare open-air shows, Maestra Group was called upon as a tag-team partner of sorts to supply the full technical solution and work alongside the WWE technical crew. The rental company was approached by sports producer Proactiv and provided the sound, video, lighting, rigging, staging and draping.
The events, dubbed WWE Dune Bash, took place across consecutive nights at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, including contests featuring Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles and the Intercontinental Champion, The Miz. Maestra Group called upon resources from both its Middle East and London operations to equip the events that required the setup of a workable backstage production area in addition to the performance area, and supplied the local crew and specialised event security.
With WWE events ordinarily taking place inside indoor arenas and the action occurring in the ring located in the centre of a venue, the rigging for these outdoor shows involved two grounds supports. A 12m x 12m self-climbing trussing system was installed above the ring from which the audio and lighting solutions were hung, while at the staging area, a 12m x 3m deep truss also held the video screens.
On the audio side, a solution comprising Nexo Geo line arrays was deployed and reportedly chosen for their aesthetics, as well as their power to cover the entire audience for entrance music and announcements. The arrays were flown two either side of the main ground support, focused for even coverage. A Yamaha LS9 console was used for mixing, with a Rio Rack for processing, while a combination of wired and wireless radio mics was employed by the crew.
Maestra had recently added to its inventory of Atomic strobes and put its new stock to use for the first time during these shows, creating special effects through the lighting to add to the entrances and overall audience experience. The main ground support was rigged with Martin Mac Auras and Clay Paky Sharpy moving lights to highlight the action in the ring, as well as providing suitable lighting for IMAG cameras in use at ringside.
Par cans were also deployed across the venue, serving as base washes and providing illumination. A pair of ChamSys MQ100 consoles controlled the lighting, while one of Maestra’s recently purchased 400A power distribution boxes was also utilised alongside a set of Avolites ART dimmers.
The main video screen setup on the stage, which relayed the in-ring action, was a 7.5m wide x 4m high 9mm pitch product, and below this were two 3m x 3m versions, with a gap between forming the wrestlers’ entrance. The playback video content displayed on the screen was administered by a Dataton Watchout control system.
‘Delivering a project of this size was a great challenge and one enabling us to illustrate the potential, synergy and talent of our Middle East and European teams working together to produce a high profile event for a world class brand,’ recalled Tom Clements, Maestra Dubai’s managing partner who served as Maestra Group’s project manager for these shows. ‘We have seen fast growth in our portfolio of work in the past year, and delivering a project of this size is true testament to that growth and shows our ability to be able to deliver big projects in the region.’