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MA Lighting helps Idol come to spectacular end

Having run for seven years, the 'Idol' TV franchise in Sweden has just broadcast its last series - and MA Lighting helped give the show a good send-off.

There can be few people on the planet unaware of the “Idol” TV phenomenon. However, it appears to have reached the end of the road in Sweden, where it has been running since 2004: no further series are planned.

To make the last series as spectacular as possible, lighting designer Per Ax voted for a grandMA2 control system.

This comprised a grandMA2 full-size and a grandMA2 light console, four MA NPU (Network Processing Units) and three touchscreen computers, with grandMA2 onPC software running as backup. It controlled 450 LED fixtures and moving lights from Philips Vari*Lite, Color Kinetics, Clay Paky and Martin Professional as well as a large number of conventionals.

“I have worked on Swedish Idol for seven years,” said lighting designer’s assistant and head electrician Tobias Winerdal. “We started out with another console and used it for a few years. We moved on to the grandMA full-size ‘series 1’ in 2007 and there was no turning back. This year we used a grandMA2 system for the first time and it was a perfect choice.”

“Because we were working for a live TV show with millions of viewers there was really no room for glitches,” continued Winerdal. “The setup was designed with that in mind, and all the FOH electronics and dimmer signal distribution were on UPS-regulated power. At FOH we used a grandMA2 full-size for the moving lights and a grandMA2 light for the key lights. The consoles were running in the same session but separate worlds, each with its own grandMA2 onPC backup station consisting of a Mac Mini with a touchscreen.”

“The basic idea of the lighting design was to position lights around the stage and set to make the different venues look even more luxurious and big,” explained Per Ax. “I wanted also to have a design that was adaptable for the many different songs performed and the moods they encapsulated. Because this is a major TV show in Sweden, with cameras shooting in all directions it was also important that lights were visible 360 degrees around the arenas.”

Photo – Copyright: Daniel Ekstam