Mandylights at the Mardi Gras

Posted on Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Described as the party to end all parties, the Sydney Mardi Gras party attracts partygoers from all over the globe. It’s one of the biggest LGBTQI celebrations in the world and it is the only place to party after The Parade.

Lighting for the event this year was designed by Richard Neville of Mandylights, with Clint Dulieu, Mike MacDonald, Jean-Pierre Jammaers and Francesco Calvi operating, and gear supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems.

It was a massive Show Technology showcase with Martin MAC Vipers, MAC101’s, MAC Auras, LC Panels, Clay Paky Sharpys and Stormys, and even some ChromaBanks. Control was via an MA Lighting MA2 and a Martin M6 console.

“Every year Mardi Gras give us a creative brief and this year the idea was all linear and minimalistic,” said Richard Neville of Mandylights. “So I designed six huge pods that moved around the space with simple lines of lights and blocks of colour.”

The six pods housed Martin LC Panels that delivered geometric and big, bold colour looks. It was less about using them as video panels, but rather large block light sources framed by truss and MAC101’s.

“The MAC101 is Martin’s most under-rated light,” remarked Richard. “In raw mode they have an amazing output for their size plus they are so fast, the colours are instantaneous and they are super reliable.”

The Sharpys provided a cluster of beams effect, while the MAC Vipers were the overall workhorse providing a set of fast features.

Whilst most dance parties focus on the DJ, with the rig over the stage at the end of the room and all the lights pointing out into the house, Mardi Gras parties are all about lighting the party goers in the room. The focus is on an immersive room design with most of the firepower above the people’s heads.

“No matter where you stand on the dance floor you get this awesome experience of being surrounded by lights as opposed to looking at everything at the end of the room,” commented Richard.

An ArtNet merge in the Royal Hall of Industries from the Martin M6 console into the MA2 meant that both Francesco Calvi and Clint Dulieu could program at the same time. At the push of a button, consoles could be seamlessly switched.

Photos: Danyon McCue, Kineysis operator extraordinaire.