Denmark Rocks at Roskilde and Zulu

September 01, 2004

‘Rain, rain, go away’ often goes the chant at summertime music festivals and this year at Denmark’s Roskilde Music Festival was no different. But the lack of sun didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of festivalgoers or bother the nearly 300 Martin automated fixtures in use.

Roskilde is Denmark’s and Scandinavia’s largest music event (July 1-4) and Martin lighting has been a festival staple for years. This year, Martin fixtures were present on all six stages – some 274 in total - a package that included MAC 2000 Profiles, MAC 250 and 500 profile spots, MAC 600 wash lights, RoboScan Pro 918 scanners, Atomic 3000 Strobes, and Martin Magnum Pro 2000 smoke machines. Seelite, Conpro A/S, Noisebusters and Nordic Rentals supplied the Martin lighting equipment through Martin Scandinavia.

Orange Stage
Seelite supplied design, project management, equipment and crew for Roskilde´s two largest stages, Orange Stage and Arena. The Orange Stage is Roskilde’s main stage where acts like the Pixies, Santana, Korn, Fatboy Slim, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Iggy Pop, and others dazzled the crowd.

As the Orange Stage is a relatively tight fit, bands aren’t at liberty to bring their own gear but the 44 MAC 2000 Profiles, 15 Atomic 3000 strobes, VariLite VL5s, Space Cannons and myriad of Par Cans proved more than adequate.

Some of the headliner bands travel with their own lighting designer, but most bands on the Orange Stage don’t, so Lars Nissen of Seelite created a number of cues that bands could choose from to create their visuals. He commented, “The desks are programmed so that everybody can come in and do a basking show right away. We try to have some standard looks from the Pars and looks from the moving lights so that they can come and ask for certain looks – a red stage with gobos or a red stage with movement for example. Some come in early and start doing their own show in the WYSIWYG room we have backstage.”

One of the memorable moments occurred at a special Saturday show with Fat Boy Slim where Lars made the entire area one huge disco. “We had the MACs on stage with Space Cannon in the field and VL5s in towers. The whole area was like one big disco and that was really gorgeous - the biggest disco in Denmark. Fat Boy Slim was moved out into the audience area on a catwalk with a video wall on stage. There were 50,000 people dancing, everybody was happy.”

Lighting design on the Arena stage was also by Lars Nissen with Peter Fisker of Seelite helping out. Seelite-supplied lighting consisted of 22 MAC 600s, 8 Atomic strobes, 18 Studio Spots and a smattering of Par Cans. On the Metropol stage Conpro supplied 10 MAC 2000 Profiles, 16 MAC 500s, 24 MAC 600s, 12 RoboScan Pro 918 scanners, and 12 Atomic strobes along with 8 Martin Magnum Pro 2000 smoke machines. Lighting design was by Michael Rahr.

In the Ballroom Noisebusters supplied and designed a rig of 6 MAC 600s, 24 MAC 500s and Par Cans while on the Odeon stage Nordic Rentals supplied 24 MAC 500s, 30 MAC 600s, 6 Atomic strobes, Studio Due LP1200s and Par Cans. In the Pavilion Conpro provided 16 MAC 250s, 16 MAC 600s, 6 MAC 500s, Par Cans and a pair of Magnum Pro 2000 smoke machines.

Zulu Rocks
Lars used the Martin Maxxyz lighting console and new Maxxyz Playback Wing for the first time on Zulu Rocks, a music event sponsored by Denmark’s TV Zulu.

The show, which featured Mary J. Blige, Black Eyed Peas, The Raveonettes, Burhan G. and many more, took place on Saturday June 19th and was taped for future broadcast on TV Zulu. Seelite supplied design, equipment, project management and crew for the show and the TV production with Martin equipment supplied through Martin’s local representative Martin Scandinavia.

Lars designed on a Maxxyz with Wing using MAC 2000 Performance, MAC 600s and Atomic strobes. He commented, “It was the same as Roskilde where we created a bunch of different loops and they could come in and do a basking show. With a one-day show, and a basking show, it’s simply much easier to have a layout where you can grab elements right away with intensity change and color change for example laying out on different faders. That’s always a problem; you want as many parameters as possible laying in front of you so it’s easy to get to.”

The event took place in the covered confines of Denmark’s national stadium, Parken, perhaps the only summer music festival with guaranteed dry weather.