Vari-Lites Get The Party Started At The 2009 Mardi Gras

Posted on Monday, April 27th, 2009

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In March 2009 Mandylights’ designer Richard Neville was once again charged with the task of designing the entire party site for the infamous Mardi Gras party – the largest gay and lesbian dance party in the world. Working with the “Nations United” theme of the festival, Richard’s designs for the five rooms reflected the international theme of the party and scenic items found around the site.

Richard chose to use a purely Vari*Lite moving light rig for the main venue – Royal Hall of Industries (RHI) – which looked spectacular for all ten hours of the party. The venue took on the theme of “It’s a gay world after all,” complete with elaborate set and giant rotating technicolour globe in the centre of the space. The RHI’s lighting design took a different turn this year, with Richard choosing to lower the trim height of all the trusses to create a less cavernous atmosphere and more intense space.

“I used 24 VL3000’s for the profiles, 24 VL2500 washes and 12 VL5’s on the stage,” explained Richard. “I really like the speed and the output of the VL2500 as well as the fact that they can zoom down to 18.5° so you can get a really strong beam of light out of them. I think they must be one of the fastest wash lights on the market especially when you get the colour bumps out of the colour wheel if you want really, really fast colour changes. The CMY system is also very good.

“With the VL3000, I still don’t think there’s a better spot fixture out there in terms of gobo selection and output. They work in any situation from theatre to dance parties. They have a good stock of gobos that work incredibly well and the irises are very fast.”

The VL5’s were located on the stage where a big, tungsten back light look was required. A dozen were placed at the back of the set which had holes cut into it so that the VL5’s could poke through. This was also made possible by mounting the VL5’s on custom made mounting brackets.

Richard used a further 6 VL3000 profiles in the Byron Kennedy Hall.

Images supplied by Petez Imagez