Protec returns to concerts
UAE: Following a year focused on corporate events, Dubai-based rental house, Protec, has returned to the concert market supplying three performances in the UAE. Protec was called in to provide equipment for Nicki Minaj and the Autism Rocks festival in Dubai as well as KCON a K-pop festival in Abu Dhabi.
The Nicki Minaj concert was organised by the newly formed 117Live and took place at temporary venue, the Autism Rocks Arena, next to Dubai Outlet Mall. Protec provided lighting, video and rigging for the show working closely with Nicki Minaj LD, Kathy Beer, and video engineer, Daunte Kenner. ‘Protec is a great company with great gear, lovely crew and everything went swimmingly,’ said Ms Beer. ‘As with anything we had to make a few changes because all the communication was done via email but the guys were quick to respond and the changes were made without fuss and with great speed. We were also able to end rehearsal early last night which I always love.’
One of the major challenges came from the video side. Protec needed to get the trim height for the main screen right, to avoid the risers cutting into the bottom of the screen, and the top of the screen getting in the way of the back LX fixtures. A total of 158 sq-m of 6mm and 154 sq-m of 9mm Mambo LED panels were used for the main stage. The IMAG screens for the main stage were set in portrait and the content started initially in 16:9 format using part of the screen, which then changed to full screen portrait to accept the live camera feed. ‘When I arrived everything was set up the way it needed to be and there were no issues,’ said Mr Kenner. ‘I literally plug it in and it works.’
‘The production for this gig worked out very well from a technical and logistical point of view,’ reflected Protec project manager Mark Battle. ‘The site was laid out very well, there was plenty of room in the backstage area for all vehicles from different aspects of the production and personnel to move around with ease without getting in each other’s way. The stage was large enough with big wings and a large enough area behind the backdrop of the stage to move a festival production around with ease. We had five days to build the entire rig which was ample time and made the build very relaxed.’
On the same night as the Nicki Minaj concert in Dubai, the rental house also supplied lighting and rigging for the Flash Entertainment organised KCON K-pop festival at Adu Dhabi’s du Arena. The K-pop artists who performed at the concert included BTS, TaeYeon from Girls Generation, Kyuhyun from Super Junior, Double S 301, Ailee, Monsta X and SPICA. Protec supplied around 350 fixtures made up of Clay Paky Mythos, Sharpy profiles and washes, Stormy, A-Leda K10 B-Eye, Molefrays and Gladiator spots that were run on Grand MA2 full size desks.
The third event saw a return to the Autism Rocks Arena for the 117Live organised Autism Rocks festival which featured performances from Flo Rida and Tyga. After the Nicki Minaj show Protec had to change the lighting plot to suit the festival plan but Arron Russ, Protec’s lighting designer and HOD also designed the lighting for Flo Rida and was able to utilise the same rigging plan that was used for Nicki Minaj.
The main challenge for the festival setup came from the weather. It rained on the night before the gig which meant that certain precautions had to be taken to keep all the electrical equipment dry. All the lights in the rig and the back videowall were fine as the stage was waterproof. The challenge was to keep the front truss and the lights on the ‘thrust’ dry. ‘We had to use plastic sheeting over all of this which worked, even though it was quite windy at times,’ explained Mr Battle. ‘When we arrived on the show day and everything was soaking wet, it turned out that we had only lost one light due to water damage. The other challenge was that it was also exposed to the wind and sand/dust. The large IMAG video screens that we had on either side of the downstage wings had to be monitored very closely. At the end of the day however, it was another perfectly executed gig, with no more rain to dampen anyone’s spirits.’