Pro Shop Air Bases save the day – Australia Day that is!

Posted on Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Darling Harbour’s Australia Day Spectacular is quite simply the biggest event on the NSW Australia Day calendar. It includes addresses from the NSW Premier and the Governor, boat parades, a live concert featuring the original music of Nigel Westlake played by the Sydney Youth Orchestra, a multimedia symphony of light, sound and music and a breathtaking finale of fireworks.

Unfortunately Sydney has been experiencing the wettest summer since the 1950’s and outdoor events have been hard hit by the cruel weather gods. And sure enough the days leading up to Australia Day and even the morning of the event saw bucket loads of rain lash the city.

So why was lighting designer Paul Collison not in the least bit concerned about using moving lights that had a negligible IP rating, outdoors on a barge in the middle of a harbour?

Fortunately Paul had several Pro Shop Air Bases which are strong, clear plastic covers that provide temporary weather protection for lighting fixtures and have proven to be this summer’s must have piece of gear for hire departments!

“The Air Bases meant that we could run the show in the rain using indoor fixtures in a completely inhospitable environment!” remarked Paul. “Really the Air Bases saved the day. It’s ridiculous that such a mundane piece of kit is so integral to a production! The Air Bases meant that the show could go on rain, hail or fire! Obviously it was important to us that the fixtures were protected but it was just as important that we could still do the show no matter what the weather threw at us. The Air Bases also saved us many man hours waterproofing fixtures before and after programming – we could just switch off and go home.”

Darren McLanders, Show Technology’s General Manager, put in a lot of R&D time into testing the transmission of the plastic to make sure that the moving lights would not burn holes into the plastic and therefore run the risk of them being damaged due to a collapsed dome.

“I would never place any fixture out in the rain again without an Air Base,” stated Paul. “They really make a huge difference.”

Photos copyright Mark Bedson

Executive Producer: Andrew Walsh
Production Designer: Paul Collison (lighting design and video content)
Technical Director: Nick Eltis
Production Managers: Ian Baldwin, Ian Anderson
Lighting supplier: Chameleon Touring Systems