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Stockholm conference facility invests in Robe

Stockholm International Fairs and Congress Centre has opted for 48 Robe moving lights as it moves to a fully flexible in-house rig to support the diversity of shows and events being staged.

Stockholm International Fairs and Congress Centre (Stockholmsmässan) is a large and modern expo and conference facility in Älvsjö – a southern suburb of Stockholm. Over the last two years the venue has invested in 48 Robe moving lights – 36x VIVAs and 12x DL4S profiles, as it moves to a fully flexible in-house rig to support the diversity of shows and events being staged.

Stockholmsmässan includes four huge halls, the longest of which stretches 365m, and a packed schedule of events. They own a substantial amount of rigging and production technology and have a full-time staff of 25 riggers, overseen by Fredrik Zetterberg, head of production.

When Zetterberg took up the post six years ago, his predecessor had identified the need for and had made the first steps towards purchasing their own moving lights.

Zetterberg followed through on this, and specified that these should be Robe. His choice of brand was based on his years of touring experience.

The first thing he actually did once appointed at the venue was to buy a substantial amount of trussing and ensure that a comprehensive rigging infrastructure was in place, after which they started looking at the best options for lighting.

Zetterberg and his team used the 2016 LLB expo (a trade show for audio, video and lighting), as an opportunity to light the main bar area with a selection of different Robe fixtures, giving the chance to see and try out a few options in situ.

From this, a more refined moving light wishlist emerged, which had an LED source requirement right at the top.

“Fixtures are on 10 hours a day or more for shows and we needed economical and green run lighting,” stated Zetterberg, adding that, given the pressure and quick turnover of their workload in getting exhibitions in and out, it made sense to have fixtures with as few mechanical parts as possible needing cleaning and maintenance.

Robe’s original VIVAs without any CMY flags were considered the ideal choice. The same was true for the DL4S profiles. The RGB white made a good quality front light with framing shutters but minus CMY flags and therefore three less motors to clean.

“A small, straightforward, lightweight fixture with a good punch was the criteria,” Zetterberg commented, and whilst they were having these initial discussions about the choice of lightsource, Robe developed and launched the first generation VIVA product.

”It is as bright as a 700 series fixture and the price is excellent,” added Zetterberg. Although budget was considered, it was not a crucial issue – they were in a fortunate position of having the leeway to purchase the fixtures they wanted rather than what would fit the budget.

The lights needed to have a good zoom as they often have to cover large areas of hall with a small amount of fixtures, and it needed to be bright and with a good gobo selection.

As well as numerous expositions, which include The Furniture Fair that utilises around 3,000m of trussing and 3,000 lights and an annual car/motorcycle show that consumes 3,000 plus points and keeps a rigging crew of 70-80 working around the clock, Stockholmsmässan services a host of gala dinners, awards shows, bands and music TV shows.

For all these extracurricular type of events, they need to be able to pattern and texture different fabric dressing making up the bar and cafe areas and soft goods with lighting effects. “VIVA is a really impressive choice and great for these special tasks,” said Zetterberg.