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Keeping lights under control at the Avignon Festival

The Avignon Festival, which showcases French and foreign contemporary drama and dance, uses a variety of performance venues in and around Avignon, including cloisters, churches, an old stone quarry and school halls. The most prestigious performances of the Festival are staged in the Honor Courtyard of the Palace of the Popes, which is where Éric Lacascade directed Maxim Gorki’s ‘The Barbarians’.

Lighting director Philippe Berthomé used ETC’s automated luminaire, the Source Four Revolution, to provide the lighting in the ancient monument. The Source Four Revolution was the right size to allow pairs of them to be fixed on dollies inside the mediaeval windows high up on the courtyard wall. By positioning the Revolutions inside the windows, Berthomé enabled the wall to be left clear of all equipment, except when it was being used for the show. It also meant that the equipment could be worked on from inside the building.

Both the conventional and the Source Four Revolution moving lights were controlled by an ETC Congo control console, which the Festival purchased specifically for the 2006 season.

Berthomé says: “The motorised Source Four Revolution was the ideal solution, bearing in mind the constraints imposed by the courtyard and the need for a perfect mix with the traditional lights on the site. They provided great versatility and superb light quality over long throws, providing three-quarter lighting correction on the actors.

“The Congo lived up to my expectations and more importantly those of the directors: it provides excellent performance for what is a traditional theatrical production, but one that uses automation.”


This case study appears as part of Sharon Lock’s Business Focus article on entertainment lighting in the November issue of ‘Installation Europe’ magazine.