Martin and Show Technology make their mark at Marquee

Posted on Friday, June 22nd, 2012


Internationally acclaimed nightclub operator Tao Group has bought a monumental change to Sydney’s nightlife landscape with the opening of Marquee nightclub at The Star Sydney.

Marquee is located on the entire top tier of The Star’s new Pirrama Road harbourside?entrance, commanding expansive views of Sydney Harbour and the city skyline. With nearly 20,000 square feet of floor space, the venue houses three distinct spaces within the one venue to cater for different tastes and moods.

The Main Room features a 30-foot projection stage with an LED DJ booth and two dance floors. In contrast, a stylish Library style room offers an intimate lounge experience, accentuated by a working fireplace. Venturing further into the venue, club-goers will come across the Boombox, with a separate DJ, state-of-the-art sound system and outdoor patio. There is also a chill-out area with unparalleled views of the Sydney skyline and a unisex “bathroom lounge”.

The brand may sound familiar to some Sydneysiders, but to those who frequent the United States, the name “Marquee” signifies the best that nightlife has to offer in both Las Vegas and New York City.

Matthew Kline, managing director of Australia Venue Services, was contacted by The Star back in August 2010 to be part of the design team. Shortly afterwards he headed over to New York to look at the Marquee Club there in order to gain a better understanding of the desired outcome for Sydney. Upon his return, Matthew put together an audio visual design dream-team consisting of Mark McInnes from Show Technology and Tony Russo from Technical Audio Group and of course, himself!

“The standard was set high for us in the beginning,” commented Matthew, who had no hesitation in recommending Martin for the majority of the professional lighting. “I’ve used Martin branded products for a very long time in all types of applications all across the country. I find Martin products hold up well in a nightclub situation; a nightclub can be a very tough place for a moving light to live and whilst there are certainly cheaper products on the market, Martin pays you back in reliability and serviceability over the duration of the operation.”

Matthew remarks that he has installed Martin moving heads into many venues which are still running ten years later, something he is certain you wouldn’t see with many other brands.

“Also, the fantastic support we get from our local Martin distributor Show Technology really makes ownership of Martin a very easy decision for us,” he added.

The low roof of the venue dictated the use of the Martin MAC 250 Entour however a big look was created by using thirty-two of them. To support this look, a nice wash effect was required that would be fast and deliver the latest technology.

“The Martin MAC101 small, super light and easy-to-use LED moving head wash light was the obvious and also inexpensive solution,” said Matthew. “We’ve used fourteen and they provide a narrow beam effect, a wash light and a LED ‘pixelated’ effect all from the one little mover.”

Four powerful Martin Mania EFX 500 halogen effect lights kick out a dizzying array of razor sharp effects and patterns whilst six Martin Atomic Strobes add a blast of light.

A JEM Hydra fog system delivers a fog effect from multiple locations. The intelligent Hydra fog system eliminated the need to purchase multiple fog machines as it has eight individually controlled fog heads controlled from the desk all pumping special ‘steam juice’ from one conveniently located base unit. This is the first JEM Hydra system installation in Australia.

A JEM Magnum 2500 plug-and-play, easy-to-use hazer was also installed.

For control, the main room uses a Martin M1 console, a great console that is easy to use and quite affordable for what it can do, according to Matthew.

“Whilst it’s reasonably new to the market we weren’t worried about that as there are already a quite a few out there in use,” he said. “In the back room we originally were going to go with a Martin LightJockey system but once we got into the install we changed to the newer Martin MPC system. It sits more in line with the operating system on the console in the main room so the switch between the two rooms is less of an issue for the operators.”

There are also a number of LED rings mounted in the roof, which circulate outwards from the main bar and from the DJ box / dance floor area. These converge and cross over with each ring individually controlled so they can chase up and down the roof and to work in unison with the video installation.

“We custom made these using LED mounted inside the Barrisol supporting metal work,” explained Matthew. “Of all the effects that we worked on for this project, this one took quite a long time to get it just right. We must’ve looked at ten different options before we could all agree on what was going to work. These rings are all triggered from the M1 lighting console.”

The GLUX MOTN 12mm LED screen, again supplied through Show Technology, delivers the main visual element to the venue. It’s a semi-transparent screen made up of panels 1000mm x 500mm in size. The total screen size is 9meters wide and 2.5meters high as well as an additional 7.5meter curved LED Screen frontage to the DJ box.

“It looks great and is really one of the main focuses of the entire venue,” Matthew remarked. “As a bonus, it was really quite easy to install! For a special effect, the whole right hand side of the LED screen system can be moved mid show via a hydraulic ramp system. Basically the right hand side third of the screen moves forward and the middle section slips perfectly behind the right hand side leaving a nice gap of 3m in the centre of the screen. All this is done mechanically from a switch on the lighting operator’s desk. This means we can do ‘reveals’ or use Go Go dancers behind the DJ for example. We’ve installed MAC101’s in that area to provide lighting support – it looks great when it’s in operation.”

The screen control and engineering was done by HME. For vision control a Coolux Pandora’s Box Media Player with a Coolux Media Manager is used and controlled from the lighting operator’s position.

“This means we can trick up the video and the lighting to be in colour with each other,” added Matthew. “It’s a big look.”