Xenon Lighting for Song Contest


The 56th Eurovision Song Contest recently held at ESPRIT arena was the first Song Contest show hosted in Germany since 1983. A&O provided lighting technology for the ESC whose shows are known for their creativity with regards to lighting equipment and live audience.

Internationally known German Lighting Designer Jerry Appelt specified masses of lighting to deliver unique effects for the 43 countries, three interval acts and opening act of the final broadcast. Over 2,100 moving lights were incorporated into the design, with the majority hung overhead, spanning the entire space of Düsseldorf Arena. According to Appelt, this needed a powerful balance from the floor.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2011 took place at Düsseldorf, Germany
The Eurovision Song Contest 2011 took place at Düsseldorf, Germany

“24 FALCON FLOWER 3000W made an impact at floor level with four placed on each side of the stage at its widest position and another twelve lined along the back LED stage wall. four more were placed on the catwalks in front of the stage.16 FALCON FLOWER 7000W were placed in the ceiling, with eight hung on moving truss directly behind the stage. Lighting control was delivered via grandMA2 full-size consoles, triggered via timecode”,A&O explained the application of their lighting.

The FALCON FLOWER is a xenon multi-beam effect-light with colour changer, pan-and-tilt movement, electronic and mechanical dimmer, douser, electronic strobe and integrated electronic power supply. An infinitely variable, rotating reflector produces up to 30 individual beams. The fixture delivered an exciting punch to many of the songs on Eurovision with multibeam effects in the shape of stars or flowers or just a simple yet powerful beam.

FALCON FLOWER provided lighting for Eurovision Song Contest
FALCON FLOWER provided lighting for Eurovision Song Contest

Concert and Stage Producer Ola Melzig, who participated in nine Eurovision productions, worked closely with the delegations and artists regarding the details of each performance including lighting, video, pyro, sound and camera angles. “The FALCONs rock – there was no doubt when those things were fired, the effects were awesome. Jerry used them for very special looks and I can tell you, those countries were thrilled”, Melzig explained elated.

Appelt said of the FALCON: “I use the 3K all the time. It’s very powerful and when I need that look, it’s the only one I go to. Düsseldorf Arena is huge and I wanted beams to reach to every corner. This was actually the first time I used the 7K and the results were fantastic. Really great light and nice beam effects – I’ll definitely use them again.”

Impression from the ESC final in the ESPRIT arena
Impression from the ESC final in the ESPRIT arena

Cape Cross of Cologne, Germany provided all lighting and rigging for the show, sending 130 trucks, each with 40 tonnes of equipment. Thomas Brügge, Managing Director of Cape Cross said: “We use FALCONs in almost every show we do – they’re incredibly strong. Not many lights can do what they do. The Xenon is a very special form of light. I’ve seen many companies try to copy it but none have succeeded like the FALCON. It’s really brilliant.”

The company behind the creative production of Eurovision 2011 was Brainpool TV GmbH, led by Producer Jörg Grabosch. Brainpool managed all creative aspects including staging, lighting, pyro, hosts, viewing room, technical crew and the companies in charge of these areas: Cape Cross (lighting & rigging), Creative Technology (video), Stage Kinetic (moving LED screen), MCI (set construction) and LunatX (pyro).

In the end, Azerbaijan was crowned winner with the song “Running Scared”, earning 221 points. Eurovision 2012 will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Stadionwelt, 26.05.2011)

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