Since its inception in 2013, the Glowfair Festival in Ottawa has grown substantially with the two-day event attracting roughly 60,000 people this past June. The name itself is an indication that lighting is an integral part of the event hosted along 10 full blocks of Bank St. in Ottawa.
As it has for the past five years, Ottawa Special Events (OSE) provided a substantial package of Elation lighting fixtures for Glowfair – some drawn from their own inventory and others rented from Christie Lights. In all, nearly 100 Elation fixtures were deployed, a combination of Platinum HFX hybrid moving heads, ZW19 LED moving head beam/wash effects, compact ACL 360i beam effects and SixPar 200 LED Par lights.
This year the festival featured performances by EDM act Cash Cash, Virginia to Vegas, Iskwé, Ria Mae and others on the main stage, as well as DJs and street artists, and two entirely new ‘blocks’ – one hosting events by Capital Tease and Ottawa Capital Pride and another dedicated to Indigenous performers and artists. Bottom line, at Glowfair there’s a little bit of everything and then some, including a Silent Disco and Glow Yoga.
Not surprisingly, Glowfair requires a lot of infrastructure, much of it supplied by OSE. Beyond lights, the company also provides logistics support, audio, video, staging, tents, tables, chairs and more, says production manager, Joel DesLauriers, who specified and designed the Elation-heavy lighting package for Glowfair 2018.
“We have more time for the main stage, but only one day, from noon to 6pm, to set up the DJ stage, a ton of ‘glow’ areas and lighting along the whole street. It’s a big challenge logistically,” he explains. The work starts well before the festival, however. “The organisers trust our production choices and give us creative freedom, so the design is up to our discretion and we always do intricate designs – not just a generic festival package,” says DesLauriers. “Once we find out who’s playing we program multiple tempos, bumps and pre-sets, with strobes, flashes and movement, so the rig looks like it’s designed for each band.”
In total, OSE specified eight Elation Platinum HFXs, 12 ZW19s, 24 ACL 360is and 60 SixPar 200s. ADJ Focus Spot Three Zs were also supplied for Glowfair’s DJ stage, as well as ADJ UV Cob Cannons and Ultra Hex Bar UV fixtures for deployment around the site.
OSE purchased the Platinum HFXs from SF Marketing in November 2017, the exclusive Canadian distributor for Elation Professional products in Canada. “We were constantly renting profile and beam fixtures for events that, typically, only need a few fixtures. So I thought if we bought the HFX we wouldn’t have to run around trying to find them,” DesLauriers says, citing the HFX’s wide-ranging feature set as a driver for the purchase.