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Robe lights up 360-degree musical and dance show in Slovenia

Robe lighting fixtures were used for the visually spectacular recent 2024 “Slovenska Muska” extravaganza event, staged at Ljubljana’s Stožice arena

Robe lighting fixtures were used for the visually spectacular recent 2024 “Slovenska Muska” extravaganza event, staged at Ljubljana’s Stožice arena, in Slovenia. It was the first time in the venue’s history that a 360-degree show had been presented, which bumped up the capacity to 13,000. At the heart of the design was an elaborate metal structure, the top part of which resembled a giant multi-level spider crawling through the roof area.

The giant trussing spider in the roof had eight right-angled legs stretching out into the roof void from a 10-metre square box truss which provided ideal positions for the audience lighting. There were additional trusses at each side of the arena loaded with more ambient and the main key lighting fixtures. This structure incorporated the venue’s video scoreboard.

The production and lighting design was created by Crt Birsa, of design studio Blackout, and set designer Greta Godnic, and recorded for broadcast. Birsa utilised 355 Robe lighting fixtures in the 500+ luminaires on the rig, from the high-powered FORTE to the scenic PATT 2013, plus seven other types of Robe product, all supplied by rental specialist Event Lighting, from Ljubljana.

Stožice’s winter snow loading meant that the already tight weight loadings were further restricted, so trussing was juggled with the points needed to facilitate the eight PA arrays. Some trusses were ‘deaded off’ and motors removed to save weight and meet requirements without compromising the design. With no time available for a pre-rig and two special lifts in the venue that had to be used for accessing the roof structural beams, it was imperative that all metalwork went straight into the roof.

Some 12 FORTES were used for the key lighting, with three fixtures each rigged on four ‘ambient’ trusses around the edge of the arena. The central FORTE on each of these was on one of two RoboSpot systems, so front / back and left / right key lights could be alternated, and specials worked in unison to pick up the presenter, Slovenian TV personality Lado Bizovicar, and his guests.

Some 80 Robe LEDBeam 150s were on the rig, with 24 on the floor outlining each side of three stairways accessing the stage. The fourth side of the stage was occupied by an accompanying musician who was surrounded by eight Pointe luminaires.

Another 32 LEDBeam 150s on the eight vertical truss fingers, and 24 on the ends of the six spider legs, offered excellent high beams and other visual effects. Another 24  LEDBeam 350s were deployed on the left and right ambient trusses where they were ideal for ‘washing’ the audience.

Six MegaPointes on each of the spider legs were outrigged on pipes, part of 72 of these fixtures which constituted the next biggest group of Robe fixtures after the LEDBeam 150s. Meanwhile, 48 MegaPointes in total were used at the top of the eight spider legs – six per leg – and another 24 – six-a-side – on the four sides of the 10-metre box truss.

The balance of 32 Pointes were used on the four ambient / audience trusses, eight units on each truss, with 59 ParFect 100s for truss toners covering all the fingers and ‘spider’ legs.

Sixteen Robe PAINTES were positioned on the floor around the stage, chosen for their compact size and big punch. “I needed a good spot that could be close to the artists and the audience,” lighting designer Birsa said. It was the first time he’d used PAINTES, which he thought were “very nice mid-range fixtures”.

A total of 63 Robe Spiider LED wash beams were utilised, running in three different modes, with five each around the sides of the smaller square truss, three covering the top section of each ‘spider’ leg, one as static back light for guest musicians, and 16 on the front and back ambient trusses for audience lighting. The final two were ensconced under the stage.

At the centre of the stage stage was a hydraulic lift, which started the show in the down position (with Bizovicar standing on it to make his entrance) so the under-stage Spiiders lit the void that was filled with smoke for the entrance sequence.

The PATT 2013s were positioned on the end of the legs in the higher position, with some similar looking scenic fixtures at the bottom of the fingers. Birsa decided that he needed some “interesting and cool looking luminaires in these positions that would look good on camera.”

Bizovicar riffed through a light-hearted A to Z take on Slovenian musical talent, with each letter of the alphabet corresponding to a genre, or a related music artist, e.g. R for Rap, M for musical, A for artist (e.g. Avsenik) etc., as he cracked jokes, sang songs and welcomed a string of guests onstage, from a symphonic orchestra to dancers, musicians and singers all wrapped up in a fast paced all-action romp. From above, the trussing resembles a complex kaleidoscopic pattern.

“Nothing would have happened without some amazing people and companies involved,” Birsa said. “Rok Ložar from B-Projekt was the production manager co-ordinating the teams to make this event happen. Mitja Zupančič, who knows the arena inside out, created very precise rigging plots and minutely detailed rigging logistics so that the Prozvok riggers could build and install the rigging and trussing accurately.”