Martin Professional delivers at Eurovision Song Contest 2001

May 15, 2001

Martin Danmark A/S, Danish-based Martin Professional’s local subsidiary, and Eurovision 2001 producers TV station Danmarks Radio (DR) promised a Eurovision that was bigger and better than ever. Quite a promise for an event whose computer-controlled lighting rigs are already among the largest in the entertainment industry.

That promise was fulfilled Saturday evening for the 46th Eurovision at Denmark’s national stadium, Parken, with one of the largest automated lighting rigs ever assembled for a single show anywhere in the world.

Danish lighting rental company SeeLite A/S, who recently took over Martin Danmark’s rental division, supplied all lighting for Eurovision 2001 (subhired through rental company ProCon of Germany). The package included nearly 900 automated, computer-controlled fixtures including over 700 of Martin’s most successful and popular lights, MAC luminaries. The massive rig also included over 1000 conventional luminaries. (4.2 million watts of electricity were needed to operate all the lights.)

The Eurovision Song Contest has featured Martin lighting the past several years, including in Israel in 1999 and Sweden in 2000. In comparison, last year’s Eurovision show in Stockholm incorporated over 300 computer-controlled fixtures.

Set-up began a full two weeks before the event, a hectic yet well-organized conclusion to a full year of planning. DR Executive Producer Jorgen Ramskov stated, "Martin was an obvious partner for us, and Martin and Seelite have been working absolutely great together. Lars Nissen has done a great job with the lighting design and had some great ideas for the show."

Ramskov’s vision was to reinvent and modernize the show, a trend he says that started at last year’s show in Stockholm. "We wanted to produce the energy that you find in a rock show while keeping in mind that it is a TV production. We basically wanted to move away from the VIP atmosphere and turn it into more of a party where everyone can participate."

Mission accomplished.

An energized audience of 38,000 (easily the largest ever for a Eurovision show) nearly blew the stadium’s new 140-meter long roof off as home country favorites Rollo & King came on stage as the show’s final act followed by world famous pop band Aqua. The contest was won by Estonia in a tight race with the Danish performers.

The lighting designer responsible for orchestrating all the equipment and energy for the 23 acts was SeeLite’s Lars Nissen.

"I find it interesting to mix the rock ‘n roll aspect with TV and theater," he stated. "In the show, with the lighting and using a moving truss, we can have a different look for every number; every act has a different feel. It’s been hard but it’s been a lot of fun as well," he said. With a mandate to produce a show that was bigger than last years, and with a large 38,000 seat stadium to fill with atmospheric effects, Lars incorporated a massive amount of Martin automated lighting into the designs.

The Eurovision stage itself is enormous; a large and open platform surrounded by several video and projection screens with back light image and pattern projection provided by MAC 2000s. Lars placed 78 Martin Atomic 3000 strobes on the projection and video screen truss in back of the stage for powerful and explosive white flash effects that fill the entire stadium. In order to fill the abundance of space above the audience, as well as to add depth to the space, truss arms hang straight down from the ceiling with pods of MAC 600s mounted at the ends. MAC 600s were also placed under the stage, projecting upwards, to create the effect of a lighter almost floating stage.

Above the stage hangs a moveable truss of various sized semi-circles, repositioned for each act and culminating in the shape of the Eurovision logo. MAC 2000s, MAC 600s and MAC 500s line the truss in abundance, providing the various color and image projection sweeps for each song. MAC 2000s were also positioned on each side of the stage to pan the stadium.

Martin Danmark and SeeLite also delivered a mass of lighting accessories including followspots, smoke machines and other equipment, which equates to the largest number of lighting fixtures and support equipment ever supplied for a single show in Denmark.

Nearly 900 automated lights on a single show is a feat that is unique in the lighting industry. As the competition ended and Estonia walked away with the trophy, you had a sense that something historic had taken place.

Equipment List

399 MAC 600
194 MAC 2000
82 MAC 500 (48 for Aqua)
48 MAC 300
78 Atomic Strobes
26 Exterior 200
20 Exterior 600