UK live music and club venue operator, Academy Music Group, has enhanced the O2 Academy Leeds’ visual offering by investing £100,000 (€120,000) in a LedGo EQ HR Blackface LED screen.
Academy Music Group took the decision to invest in the new technology after it noticed touring companies were increasingly using LED video at its venues. The move is intended to keep the company at the forefront of technology so it can offer promoters the most attractive production facilities.
Lighting production company R&M Productions, which supplied the screen, purchased the LedGo panels through international entertainment lighting supplier A.C. Entertainment Technologies’ (AC-ET) specialist video sales division.
The 42 LedGO EQ HR Blaqckface LED 6mm panels (each 488mm x 732mm) work as part of a full stage LED screen to provide backdrops for DJs and offer an integral part of live shows and dance events. The entire system weighs under 500kg and has a unique rigging system, designed by the in-house Technical team at O2 Academy Leeds, Greg McKay and Peter Shorten. This enables the video truss to move so the screen can be rigged or stored anywhere from the up-stage edge, to mid-stage behind a DJ booth, without affecting any of the existing house rigging and trusses.
“We’ve tested no fewer than eight LED screen configurations over the last month to see how the product can be best used at our in-house clubs, visiting one-off dance events and touring environments, from a full grid measuring 5m x 3m to column strips and arrangements as bespoke DJ sets, so the set design has incredible potential,” commented Shorten. “Naturally, content is key and we are working with animators and creatives for multi-dimensional layers and content packages for the perfect backdrops and stage sets. We want touring productions and VJs to be able to plug straight in, or for more modest budgets, use appropriate contentand live images from our in-house bank of footage for a visually exciting show.”
The investment has also seen upgrades to the venue’s video control and distribution system, as well as the club lighting package. The recent upgrade to Green Hippo’s Hippotizer V3.2 media server control software has given the team the ability to create complex mapping for the range of configurations. The media server is controlled via Art-Net and programmed with the existing Avolites Pearl Expert lighting console.