Shining a light on City Hall
SOUTH AFRICA: Unfazed Productions’ lighting designer, Jean-Pierre Wilson, used Chauvet Professional’s Rogue fixtures to accent the architectural flourishes of the Cape Town City Hall concert venue for Africa Day eKapa! The fixtures were supplied by the manufacturer’s local partner, Audiosure.
The event is an annual Africa Day concert celebrating the anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity. For this year’s outing, Mr Wilson used two Rogue RH1 Hybrids, flown from the venue’s vaulted ceiling at a height of 25m and eight Rogue R2 Washes positioned four on each side of the stage. The rig also comprised 18 Chauvet DJ SlimPARs and a collection of other spot and profile fixtures.
‘City Hall is a famous and historic structure in Cape Town,’ noted Mr Wilson. ‘The building is filled with beautiful architectural details. My brief from my client, Steve Gordon and his team from Making Music Productions, which I wholeheartedly agreed with, was to let the beauty of the architectural space shine at this venue, and subtly light the performance area.
‘To me, lighting in a venue of this kind is all about layering and having the opportunity to light from the roof, stage, and upper balconies,’ he continued. ‘When I do this, it allows me to layer light and create dynamic looks. Then once I accomplish this goal, I can play with fades, pulses and subtle colour changes to suit the music. Also because of the height of the ceiling, the movements of light from the stage through the audience to the roof were spectacular.’
The RH1s were used to give top light movement throughout the room, and downlight onto the artist while the R2 Washes provided cross lighting as well as covering the entire roof of the venue in between changeovers. The SlimPARs were called in to upwash the venue’s 3,165-pipe organ and its surrounding area.
‘Rigging in the roof of a building that’s over a century old, and its heritage status as a protected national monument, requires some patience,’ recalled Mr Wilson. ‘We developed a rigging clamp that goes over the opening holes in the ceiling and allows the light to protrude through to illuminate the stage below. It takes a while.’
The end result reportedly saw Making Music Productions and Unfazed Productions win widespread praise for their sensitive treatment of a historic venue.