Texas state fair’s nightly spectacular Illumination Sensation took place in Dallas from 29 September – 22 October and incorporated Elation Professional gear.
LD Nick Belley and show producers Interlaced Productions used the company’s IP65-rated Proteus series moving heads along with other Elation gear, with all production and lighting supply provided by local event solutions company Onstage Systems.
Set to music celebrating Texas heritage and American pride, Illumination Sensation was held nightly at the Fair Park Esplanade fountain and incorporated an array of lights, projection-mapped buildings and firework displays. This year’s show included lighting of the Hall of State building, expanding the length of the rig to 400 yards in total.
“The biggest challenge we have with this show is the fact that it is outdoors for almost a month,” said Scott Britt, producer and director of Interlaced Productions, who has produced shows at the fair for more than 20 years. “I saw a prototype of the Proteus Beam last January at the Elation headquarter office in Los Angeles and after seeing a demo we were convinced to use them on this project.”
Nick Belley, lighting designer and programmer for the show, adds: “We wanted to add the Hall of State into the show for 2017, and our producer and the fair approached me with a research image from the Texas Centennial Exposition in 1936 of these amazing beams of light from searchlights radiating out from the Hall of State in hopes of coming up with a modern recreation of that look.
“Because of the limited access to the roof, limited power available, and exposure to the elements through all 24 days of the fair, we looked to Elation and the Proteus Beam to help us achieve the look we were going for.”
Eleven Proteus Beam fixtures were spread out on the roof of the Hall of State building and used to shine an array of beams in a moving canopy of light.
Although everything associated with the show was run on timecode, control was a challenge as the control centre was 600 yards away from the Hall of State building with no way to run a cable between the control centre and the roof due to heavy foot and vehicle traffic on the fairgrounds. Britt says: “We came up with the solution to use an EnGenius long range outdoor wireless bridge to transmit Art-Net from our control center to the roof, creating a network with no latency across the Esplanade.”
Mounted atop buildings flanking the Esplanade fountain were four Proteus Hybrid moving heads. “The throw from the roof to the stage is around 135’, and even at that distance the output was unmatched,” Belley said. “The standard gobo load also included a great selection of patterns both for use on the stage and aerial effects.”
The Proteus fixtures were just one piece of a large effects package that also included Elation Platinum Beam 5R, Platinum Beam 5R Extreme and Satura Profile moving heads in weatherproof enclosures, as well as other effect lighting. Used for colour and beam effects, 12 Platinum Beam 5R and Extreme version fixtures were placed on the roofs of the Automobile and Centennial Hall buildings for aerial effects, with eight fixtures on each corner of the octagonal stage also for aerial effects. Eight Satura Profiles were placed around the stage to light the performers during the show and then repositioned after the show to light the trees around the fountain until the fair closed each night.