Customer service is a core value for any lighting designer visiting the 17,000
capacity Arena Stage at Roskilde Festival, one of Europe’s leading music events,
and this year production lighting designer Sune Verdier used 40 x Robe BMFL Spots
at the heart of the rig, which he co-ordinated for the fifth year.
These were supplied – together with other lighting including 24 x Robe Pointes – by
leading Danish rental company, Comtech, based in Copenhagen which has invested
heavily in Robe over the last year.
The Arena accommodated a wide vari
ety of bands over the four day
festival – from breaking talent to established headliners like Slayer, PJ Harvey,
New Order and James Blake, with a total of 21 acts, many bringing their own floor
Verdier and his team have put a serious effort into refining the rig and the options
over the last 4 years, each year asking guest LDs what they can do to improve for
the next one, and taking this feedback on-board.
The main rig is designed to be generic and offer all performers the best options.
This year it was based on 10 individual trusses, all on an automation system which
could move them into different positions, so visiting LDs were offered – in advance
– the choice of 8 different trussing configurations to be the backbone of their rigs.
Thirty-four of the 40 BMFLs were in the air on the trusses and the other six on the
deck. Upstage there were 12 x 6 metre sections of LED screen and the Pointes were
on the side trusses, where they were perfectly placed for when the tent turned into
club mode and became a big party venue!
The Arena stage operates in daylight as well as darkness so the extra fixture power
was also useful there, and there are also lots of dust issues generally across the
site, so he needed units that were tough and robust.
Verdier and his operating team of Christian Olsson, Morten Elkjær and Frederik
Heitmann were the perfect FOH hosts and ensured that all the LDs and operators
had everything they needed, including a calm and relaxed atmosphere in which to
get their shows set-up and prepped – either accommodating their own consoles or
using the house control desks.
Anders Svendsen assisted with all the advancing, and during the festival headed the
lighting team onstage making sure that everything that end worked as smoothly and
efficiently as it did at FOH.
Of the 21 bands in 2016, 17 brought their own LDs and lighting directors /
operators, so the other four were lit by Verdier and the team.
“I won’t hesitate to spec the BMFL again when possible and I intend for them to be
back in the Arena at Roskilde again in 2017′.