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Robe helps bring Oxegen to life

Oxegen is Ireland's highest profile festival. Renowned for being wet on at least one day, it places significant demands on the equipment. Robe provided the lighting.

Over 100 Robe moving lights were used on the main stage plus many more around the site at the 2011 Oxegen Festival in County Kildare, Ireland. The highest profile festival in Ireland is promoted by the country’s largest concert and live event organisation, MCD, and this year it featured the strongest line-up of many major European festivals.

Dublin-based rental company Just Lite’s relationship with MCD’s Denis Desmond stretches back over 20 years, and the company – headed by Paul and Alan Smith – has been involved with lighting the festival for the last 11 years, when it was originally launched as ‘Witness’ in 2000. Once again this year, MCD won the tender as the main lighting contractor on site for the three day Oxegen event, providing lighting for the main stage, The Heineken Green Spheres arena, the 2FM Hotpress Academy tent (for new talent), the Red Bull outdoor arena and the VIP bar.

Main stage headliners included the Black Eyed Peas, the Foo Fighters and Coldplay, and a number of other performances including a homecoming set by local heroes The Script.

Liam McCarthy was Just Lite’s crew chief on site, with the FOH domain at the main stage co-ordinated by Mark Hanna. They looked at all the various top-billing bands’ specs and from there designed a production that was rig flexible and diverse enough to accommodate everyone’s needs. All the headliners and some other artists also brought in their own floor specials packages.

Robe fixtures were chosen for many reasons – but primarily because of their robust construction and reliability in potentially tough weather situations.

Some of the fixtures were rigged on fully exposed places around the stage, like the PA wings and on the audience-side of the front truss. These were all fitted with Robe’s Rain Hats, which offer effective water protection for the main parts of the unit.

On the main stage were 40 x Robe ColorWash 1200E ATs, 36 x ColorSpot 1200E ATs, 16 x ColorWash 2500E ATs and 6 x ColorSpot 2500E ATs. These were also chosen for their high output .

The Robes were dotted all over four overhead straight trusses and two side trusses rigged at about seven metres height (half way between floor and roof trim). They were utilised for all the general lighting and stage washing, with the upstage Spot fixtures adding to the effects as it became darker with dramatic beam-work, gobos and so on.

There was also a large generic lighting rig comprising PARs, strobes, 4- and 8-lite blinders, eight FOH follow spots and four truss spots. Two Road Hog Full Boar consoles were supplied for control, and some visiting LDs also brought in their own desks.

In the Green Spheres Arena, the core of the lighting rig was 16 of Just Lite’s new Robe ROBIN 600 Spots, delivered just in time to go straight on to this event. Lighting was all hung on a 6-legged ground support system, and included PARs, egg strobes, Source Four profiles and PARs, complete with a Hog iPC console for control.

Showcasing some of the best up-and-coming talent was the 2FM Hotpress Academy (The Script played on this stage four years ago) for which Just Lite installed a 4-legged ground support system and lighting, including 12 Robe ColorSpot 575E ATs plus generics and an Avolites Pearl Expert desk.

In the VIP Bar, twelve ROBIN 300 Beams and 12 ROBIN 600 LEDWashes – also part of Just Lite’s recent purchases – helped ramp up the atmosphere.

The use of Robe’s newest smaller, brighter, lighter – and considerably greener – fixtures also helped towards Oxegen maintaining its claim to be Ireland’s greenest festival and 100% carbon neutral.