Starmania 21, Austria

The Opportunity

Starmania is an Austrian televised musical competition that was originally broadcast from 2002 to 2009 on channel ORF 1. In 2021, ORF decided to bring the show back as Starmania 21, with a fresh cast of contestants and a new panel of judges. To give the revived show a fresh look, Starmania producers requested a state-of-the-art lighting rig for show-stopping visuals.

The Solution

Starmania 21’s producers hired lighting designer Roland Greil, who designed a dynamic lighting rig using a variety of Martin LED fixtures and creative video elements.

Greil’s lighting design included 48 Martin MAC Aura PXL wash lights, chosen for their high-intensity illumination, rich colors and silent tilt, pan and zoom capabilities. To supplement the MAC Aura PXLs, Greil added 35 MAC Viper Wash DX fixtures for additional wash illumination. To highlight the performers, Greil selected 68 MAC Viper Performance fixtures, taking advantage of an innovative “Follow Me” system, which automatically follows the performers’ movements like a traditional follow spot. Featuring 26,000-lumen intensity, fast 1:4 zoom with auto-linked focus and four versatile shutter blades for framing, the MAC Viper Performance is the ideal tool for illuminating the stars of Starmania 21.

To produce exciting synchronized effects, Florian Wieder, the production’s set designer, and Greil created a dynamic, illuminated background for the stage using 134 VDO Sceptron 20 and 132 VDO Sceptron 10 LED battens, accompanied by 264 Martin VC-Grid LED pixel tiles. For the more intense moments of the show, Greil incorporated Martin VDO Atomic Dot CLD hybrid fixtures, which combine a compact strobe, small blinder, video pixel and small spotlight into one versatile element. All Martin LED video fixtures feature precisely-calibrated pixels for extremely consistent performance, as well as a range of versatile diffuser options for achieving a wide variety of looks.

To control the show’s large and complex lighting rig, Greil used the Martin P3-300 System Controller. Capable of driving more than two million pixels, the P3-300 supports Martin’s proprietary P3 platform for sophisticated programming, as well as standard DMX and Art-Net protocols for seamless integration and compatibility with any system. A straightforward user interface makes it easy to design, program and orchestrate fixtures.

An estimated 530,000 people tuned into the semi-final of Starmania 21, thanks in part to the allure of Greil’s dynamic lighting design using Martin LED fixtures and creative video elements.

The Impact

“The young talents on Starmania performed all kinds of music, from early 20th-century Austrian folk music to the newest chart hits and everything in between,” said Roland Greil, Lighting Designer. “You want to give every song the right look and feel. Your fixtures need to be versatile enough to do this, because you’re still dealing with budget constraints. You can’t have 300 lights for rock and roll and 300 lights for modern hits.”

“For Starmania, we wanted something that offered a greater level of control,” said Greil. “The P3-300 enabled us to easily use the VDO Sceptron 20 and 10 as classic light fixtures, and instantly switch to a video mapping mode when needed. The video integration was really helpful for the whole show process.”