ADJ lighting and effects equipment was used exclusively to create the party atmosphere in the Tiroler tent at this summer’s vast Zwarte Cross festival in the Netherlands. Vizi CMY300 moving heads, 12P HEX IP pars and Encore FR150Z Fresnels were all part of the package that illuminated the line-up of live acts performing in the tent across the four-day event.
The Zwarte Cross Festival, which takes place each year in the Dutch town of Lichtenvoorde, is the largest paid festival in the Netherlands. This unique event combines live music, theatre and stunt spectaculars with the biggest motocross event in the world. This year it attracted 220,000 visitors and featured more than 150 bands and 1000 theater artists performing across a variety of themed stages and tents. A popular regular fixture of the festival is the Tiroler tent, which is an Oktoberfest-themed area that features traditional folk musicians from across the Netherlands, Germany and Austria.
Ruud Pellemans, owner of Dutch production company TEC Audio, has worked on the Tiroler tent for a number of years. However, for the 2019 edition of the festival, his company took care of all the area’s technical requirements for the first time. Working on behalf of the festival’s overall technical supplier, Purple Group, TEC Audio were responsible for supplying, as well as operating, all of the audio and lighting equipment. ADJ fixtures were used exclusively for illumination, with over 50 units deployed to provide both a concert lightshow on the stage and atmospheric lighting throughout the tent.
The main moving light selected for the stage rig was ADJ’s Vizi CMY300, which is a versatile hybrid fixture that operates interchangeably as a beam, spot or wash. Harnessing the power of a specially-designed 300W LED engine paired with precision-engineered optics, it generates an impressive even output and boasts a wide variety of beam manipulation tools that deliver maximum creative potential to lighting designers. For the Tiroler tent, eight of the fixtures were positioned across a truss that wrapped around the back and sides of the performance area, which allowed projected beams to shoot out from behind the performers into the crowd.
“We were really happy with how the Vizi CMY300 performed,” enthused Ruud, “serving as our main beam fixture on the rig. The GOBOs are-well chosen, the colors are brilliant and the beams are really sharp. We were particularly impressed by the output, it was very, very good, especially for an LED fixture, punching through the front light to create very well-defined mid-air effects.”
This front light was also provided by ADJ LED-powered fixtures. Four of the popular Encore FR150Z units were mounted to a bar attached to one end of a central truss, which hung down the length of the tent and was rigged directly to its apex. Each Encore FR150Z is equipped with an 8-inch Fresnel lens and is powered by a potent 130W warm white (3000K) LED engine to deliver a wide, soft-edged beam ideal for stage illumination.
“We’ve been using the FR150Z for around a year and half now,” explains Ruud, “and find that it works very well for this kind of application. Because of the shape of the tent and the available rigging points, we weren’t able to put in a very long front lighting bar, which meant that all four fixtures were pointing out from the middle, which isn’t ideal. But they still did a good job of covering the stage evenly, producing a natural-looking wash all the way across. They are very flexible fixtures: compact and low-power with a nice wide zoom range and both 3 and 5-pin DMX sockets, which is often useful.”
Blinder duties in the sizeable tent were ably covered by four of ADJ’s Encore Burst 200 dual lens fixtures, with two mounted at the back of the stage and a further pair positioned at the end of the two stage-side trusses. These robust fixtures each feature a pair of 110W warm white (2700K) CREE C.O.B LEDs and also boast a useful Tungsten Mode effect, which replicated a halogen-like dimming profile.
“I really like the Encore Burst 200IP, it is really bright and I also like the flexibility – all of the different possibilities for coupling two or more together and they are also IP-rated, so can be used outdoors in the rain. The build quality is also very good, they are constructed from a strong material. It really is it a lamp with a lot of possibilities!”
The main wash fixture used for the tent was ADJ’s 12P HEX IP, which is a versatile IP65-rated par loaded with 12 x 12-Watt 6-in-1 RGBAW+UV LEDs. Eight of the fixtures were interspersed with the Vizi CMY300s on the stage truss, while sixteen additional units were mounted to the truss running down the center of the tent. These lights were rigged in pairs – facing in opposite directions – and used to provide ambient light for the main body of the tent.
“I love the 12P HEX IPs, I have 64 of them already and am buying more and more. Before I bought the first ones last year we did an ABC comparison against two other competing fixtures. The 12P HEX IP was not only just as bright as another comparably-priced fixture with only RGB LEDs and a narrower beam angle, but it’s blue was superior, a true blue, and it’s UV output was noticeably better than the other RGBWA+UV fixture we compared it against. That’s why I chose to buy the 12P HEX IPs, and they have been very reliable ever since. I really like these lamps, their colors are vibrant, their beam angle is good, and they give a really nice even coverage with no hot spots. The IP protection is also good, meaning that we can use them both indoors and outdoors. I think ADJ really got everything right on this product!”
Ruud and his team also utilized six of ADJ’s 32 HEX Panel IP multi-function wash / blinder / strobe fixtures, which each feature 32 x 12-Watt RGBWA+UV LEDs. Three of these were used as static washes to illuminate the large bar area, while another pair served as strobes mounted at the back of the stage facing the crowd and the final unit was positioned above the Fresnel fixtures to provide a color wash of the stage. In addition, eight of ADJ’s Vizi Q Wash7 LED-powered moving head wash fixtures were spread along the length of the central flown truss. With their potent 280W output and motorized zoom function offering a punchy beam with an angle variable between 5 and 55-degrees, these injected energy into the crowd from above using movement, color chases and strobe effects.
ADJ equipment was also used to cover atmospheric enhancement for the tent, with Ruud and his team making use of an ADJ Entourage pro-grade ‘faze’ machine alongside an ADJ Entour Cyclone DMX-controlled fan. The Entourage is a ‘faze’ machine that generates a massive amount of lightshow-enhancing fog from water-based fluid, but spread out into a fine hazy effect rather than the intense blast created by a regular fog machine. Built in to a rugged road case, the machine features a powerful 1400W heater to generate an output of up to 15,000 cubic ft. per minute. The Entour Cyclone, meanwhile, is a professional stage fan with an adjustable floor-mount/hanging bracket that offers variable speed operation controlled via DMX.
“The front of the large tent was left open, to allow people easy access in and out of the area,” explains Ruud. “As I was worried that the haze would be constantly escaping, I look along an extra smoke machine as backup for if we felt like we needed extra atmosphere, but we didn’t have to use it. In fact we didn’t even need to run the Entourage at full output! It was set to 60% output or less throughout the event. Working together with the Entour Cyclone, it created a nice even haze throughout the space to enhance the beams from the lighting fixtures all the way to the back of the tent.”
The combined effect of these 50+ ADJ fixtures created an electric atmosphere on stage and throughout the whole of the Tiroler Tent. For most of the four-day festival the space was packed full of revelers with lines of 100+ people often forming just to get in. As beer was flowing from the traditional Oktoberfest bar and dust was blowing in from the dry fields outside, this made for a challenging environment for the lighting fixtures.
“The conditions in the Tiroler Tent were not kind to the equipment!” says Ruud. “There was a lot of dust in the air, the temperature was very high and there was a huge amount of beer flying through the air! But all of the ADJ fixtures worked without a problem throughout the whole event. Of course there was some cleaning necessary when we took the lights down, but we experienced no errors or failures with any of the units.”
This is testament to ADJ’s high standard of reliability, which is one of the company’s cornerstone principles. Another is providing exceptional customer service, both prior to and after a sale, which is something else Ruud has experienced firsthand.
“ADJ’s new range of products is really going after the pro event company market and they are very good fixtures. While they are generally also very reliable, with any manufacturer things can sometimes go wrong. On the very rare occasions that I have had a problem, I’ve found ADJ’s support department to be very helpful and quick to resolve issues. I don’t use it a lot, but it’s good to know that the support is there to keep my company up and running!”
The Tiroler tent at Zwarte Cross 2019 was not only a perfect showcase of how ADJ’s range of equipment can be used to cover all of the lighting and effects needs of a sizable festival tent, but also demonstrated the robust build quality of the brand’s professional fixtures. As more and more event production companies worldwide continue to invest in ADJ equipment, look out for more all-ADJ rigs on festival stages in 2020!
Zwarte Cross Festival 2019, Tiroler Tent
Wijbrand van der Sande
24 x ADJ 12P HEX IP
8 x ADJ Vizi CMY300
8 x ADJ Vizi Q Wash7
6 x ADJ 32 HEX Panel IP
4 x ADJ Encore Burst 200
4 x ADJ Encore FR150Z
1 x ADJ Entourage
1 x ADJ Entour Cyclone