Fifteen leading production and technical services companies – including Al Laith Event Services, Creative Technology, Delta Sound, EFM Event Logistics and Neumann & Müller Event Technology – supplied equipment, crew, skills, resources, expertise and substantial energy, free of charge, to create three days of concerts staged at Dubai’s Aviation Club.
The concerts were designed primarily to raise awareness of the Peace One Day project, but they also provided a showcase for the skills and abilities of the region’s rental/staging companies.
Al Laith was quick to take responsibility for staging, structures and production infrastructure); soon confirmed were Delta Sound (audio), CT (video) and Neumann & Müller (lighting). HQ Creative came on board to handle production management, plus nine other sponsors, who contributed backline (Musician’s Warehouse), furniture (Harlequin), draping, dressing and starcloths (Showtex), crewing (Gulf Crewing), site power and distribution (Gulf Show Power), and branding and printing (Prolab).
The Concert broke new ground in being the first ever such event in Dubai, and the largest show ever to be staged at The Aviation Club, with the biggest and most sophisticated array of production equipment. Its success is causing plans to be formulated to make it an annual landmark.
The biggest logistical challenge faced by Al Laith was that there was no spare space on site, so each truckload of equipment (up to six a day for a week) had to contain exactly the right kit for the next stage of the build process. Each stage had to be rigorously completed before the elements needed for the next could be parked up and offloaded.
The stage and dancefloor area immediately in front of it was constructed over an artificial pond and water feature, with a rocky edge, so all the decking – standard steel cup-lock – had to be customised to deal with the uneven topography and the kidney shape of the platform that maximised the space.
A 3-bay 20 metre wide Space Roof was installed, a tricky operation due to the restricted space, but achieved in 2 days with the help of a 160 tonne crane from Johnson’s. The long reach crane was necessary as it could not be positioned conveniently close to lift the roof over the stage due to the pond!
The Al Laith crew also erected a 3-storey FOH tower and a 7-metre high projection platform beside it, to house two Christie 20K projectors used to screen the pre-show Peace One Day video.
Neumann & Müller brought in Nick Jevons from the UK as ‘production visuals designer’. He had 55 moving lights at his disposal – a mix of Vari*Lite 3000 Spots, Martin MAC 700 Washes and Profiles and A&O 4K Falcon Beams. Also on the rig were 4-lites, Atomic Strobes and 16 bars of 6 PARs, all of which was arranged on three overhead straight trusses and two raked side trusses sub hung from the Space Roof.
For control, Jevons used an Avolites Pearl Expert with a touch wing. Utilising the wing to do all his palettes, patching, pre-set focuses and programming freed up the main console for all the memories, making the whole process quick and straightforward.
A Martin Maxedia media server – operated in stand-alone mode – was supplied by Neumann & Müller to play out content to the Stealth, featuring special clips and footage created for the event by Jevons. This enabled each song to have a distinct look, feel colouration and character of its own.
The LED animation starcloths supplied by Showtex filled the inside stage left and right sides, adding a stylish finishing touch that ensured there were no ‘black voids’ for the cameras. With 30 individually controllable LEDs per square metre, these can be pixel mapped and driven by any media server. In this case it was an Arkaos system operated by one of the Showtex crew.
Showtex also installed three 3.5 x 2.5 metre back lit Peace One Day internally lit branding cubes out in the audience area.
In addition to the onstage Stealth screen, CT supplied two side screens made up from Lighthouse R7 surface, each measuring six panels wide by five high, and these were used for a 3-camera IMAG mix, directed by Eduardo Ferrari, who used a GV Kayak mixer/switcher stationed in the stage left portable cabin.
CT also supplied the two Christie 20K HD projectors for FOH projection.
All things video were connected via a site-wide fibre system. A 103-inch plasma screen was installed in a central location on the adjacent Aviation Club pool deck where the EFM party was taking place.
Delta Sound supplied an L-Acoustics sound system which was designed by Rob Eatock. The main left and right hangs were flown just inside the Space Roof, comprising 8 V-DOSC elements each with 3 dv-DOSC downs. The front fills were two stacks of three dvs, with another two stacks of three dvs for outfills, complete with six SB218 subs per side.
The FOH desk was an Avid Profile, while a Yamaha PM 5D was used for monitors. The monitors supplied were 12 Audio Analysts FR12 wedges, together with L-Acoustics ARCS side fills.