Situated within the luxurious Pendry hotel in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp District, the new Oxford Social Club brings a touch of class to the city’s nightlife scene. With a theme heavily inspired by the roaring twenties, the creators of this unique venue – Clique Hospitality – wanted an impressive lightshow but one that would blend in with the décor and enhance the overall atmosphere. To achieve this over 100 of ADJ’s LED-powered lighting fixtures were deployed throughout the space to provide saturated color washes and eye-catching moving beam effects that immerse the whole venue.
In an area filled with sports bars and restaurants, the Oxford Social Club, which opened back in February, offers a sophisticated alternative to the ‘flip flops and tank tops’ vibe usually associated with San Diego’s Gaslamp District. It has quickly become known for its bottle service, finely dressed patrons and living room atmosphere. The Oxford has two full bars, fine art on the walls, wood floors, high-end furnishings and a large glass chandelier that is the character-piece of the venue.
At the Oxford there is no dancefloor. Patrons are encouraged to dance in the walkways, on the couches and, of course, on the tables. This has proved extremely popular with tourists and locals alike, and the club has quickly developed an enviable reputation and a loyal clientele. With the Major League Baseball park and convention center located nearby, the Oxford has also attracted a lot of out-of-town and corporate clients from the likes of Comic Con and the San Diego Film Festival.
“We knew there was a high-end nightclub missing in the Gaslamp District,” says Pearce Cleaveland, Marketing Director of Clique Hospitality. “When we set out designing the Oxford Social Club, we wanted something to match the theme of the Pendry Hotel and the legacy of the Gaslamp District. People come to the Oxford to party in a completely different way than anywhere else in the area. They get all dressed up, order bottle service, then dance on the tables all night long!”
Pearce and the rest of the Clique Hospitality management team knew that lighting is hugely important for creating the atmosphere in a late night venue and that a special lightshow would be essential for the Oxford. They needed the right lightshow to attract high-end clients and create a place for people to have fun without looking like a traditional nightclub.
“We were looking for something where the lighting could build up over the course of the night,” said Cleaveland. “We didn’t want a lot of lighting flashing in people’s eyes, but we wanted the room filled with colored light. Plus, the lighting had to be versatile. We needed to serve different venue solutions; from a nightclub, to live performances, to corporate meetings; the lighting needs to be changed on the fly.”
Clique Hospitality hired industry veterans John Lyons Systems to design and supply a custom lightshow for their unique space and needs. Because the Oxford has low ceilings and not a large support staff, John Lyons Systems chose physically small (but visually big) LED fixtures from the ADJ range.
“We choose ADJ’s compact LED moving heads because they had a small footprint, ideal brightness and color saturation, and features that worked perfectly in the club,” said Richie Worboys, Lighting Designer at John Lyons Systems.
Worboys used four of the ADJ Event Bar Pro fixtures down the middle of the large oval, double pane chandelier. Each fixture incorporates four mini, yet independent, moving heads that help highlight the high rising tables that act as dance catwalks beneath the chandelier. Then he mounted ADJ Inno Pocket Z4s evenly between the two layers of chandelier panes. The zooming feature of the Inno Pocket Z4 hitting the glass chandelier produces a breathtaking glow that is the focal point of the entire club, while all the lighting inside the chandelier is hidden from view.
So that the entire space in the long rectangular club could be filled with light, Worboys mounted four strategic clusters of ADJ moving heads and LED Pars in each of the corners. These clusters of ADJ Focus Spot Twos and Inno Pocket Z4s allow every corner of the club to be hit with light. “Just like the concept of sound, we evenly distributed light all around the room,” explained Worboys.
With their four 10W 4-in-1 quad color RGBW LEDs and a variable beam angle of between 10 and 60-degrees, the versatile Inno Pocket Z4 fixtures are the backbone of the entire system. During the early evening they can be used to generate static washes with a wide beam angle to immerse the space in richly-saturated colored light. Then, as the night progresses, movement can be introduced and the beam angle tightened to create energetic midair beam effects.
Spot projection is then provided by the Focus Spot Twos. Each of these fixtures is powered by a potent 75W white-light LED, which allows the beams to cut through the ambient color washes of the Inno Pocket Z4s.
Worboys chose to only use the “open” spot feature (no GOBOs) on the Focus Spot Two. Their potent 75W white-light LED source, as well as their vibrant colors, gave Worboys the creative tools he needed to create beautiful lighting looks that helped patrons at the Oxford Social Club stay in the partying mood all night long. With motorized focus, the Focus Spot Twos are also versatile units, which can be used for static projections and subtle movements at the start of the night and then dialed up to generate rapid movements and sharp mid-air pattern effects when the party gets into full swing.
In addition to their compact size and versatility, reliability was another factor that heavily influenced Warboys’ choice of lighting fixtures. “The ADJ lighting we chose are fixtures I’ve worked with in the past. Not only did I need fixtures that could perform in multiple scenarios, but I needed them to be reliable and nearly maintenance free since there is not a large backroom staff at the Oxford.”
It’s always good to see ADJ equipment used in new and creative ways, and that was certainly the case at the Oxford Social Club. By discretely deploying a large quantity of compact fixtures throughout the space, John Lyons Systems have successfully fulfilled their brief of creating a nightclub lighting rig – capable of filling the room with color and movement – without detracting from the elegant décor of the venue.
Oxford Social Club; Pendry Hotel, San Diego, CA 92101
John Lyons Systems
Richie Worboys & Reza Farahmand
64 x ADJ Inno Pocket Z4
32 x ADJ Focus Spot Two
4 x ADJ Event Bar Pro
4 x ADJ 5P Hex
2 x Antari F-380 Fazers
1 x Elation Professional eNode8 Pro