Ghana recently staged its own ‘behind closed doors’ Ghana Covid-19 Heroes Concert in order to raise funds for both UNHCR, to help protect refugees from the pandemic, and the National Covid-19 Trust Fund. It was also to say a very big thank you to all the Covid-19 frontline workers who have risked their lives in saving others.
Charterhouse Ghana, described as ‘a one-stop production house’, staged the event, in partnership with Ghana Music Awards Foundation, at The Grand Arena, located on the premises of the Accra International Conference Centre. It was transmitted to audiences through television (TV3) and through social media streaming.
WABlighting, run by Ernest Awuah, was brought in to handle the production design and drew heavily on fixtures from PR Lighting. “PR is rated number 1 brand in Ghana over all others due to its explicit features,” he explains. Both Wablighting and Charterhouse Ghana hold inventory, giving the possibility of a vast resource of moving lights from the Chinese company. For this production, the XR 350BWS (combining Beam, Wash, Spot in a single unit), XR 330 Beam, equipped with a Sirius HRI 330W lamp and three prisms, and XLED 1037 (containing 37 x 4-in-1 10W RGBW LEDs) were used in the production. These were suspended on a single goal post truss, placed both on overhead and upstage.
The challenge facing Awuah was lighting an empty auditorium but capturing the same dynamic as if the arena were filled with people. “The most paramount requirement was to obtain excellent visibility,” he said. “This meant working with design ideas through colour and positioning to develop a kind of hyper-reality, since there was no audience present. The LED fixtures provided the ambience and the moving heads delivered excellent beams.”
Benefitting from this was an all-star cast of artistes who had donated their services. These included Amandzeba, Cindy Thompson, MOG Music, Efya, Wiyaala, Celestine Donkor, Adina, Kwesi Arthur, Joe Mettle, Akwaboah, Medikal, Diana Hamilton and Kofi Kinaata,
All programming was handled by Ernest Awuah himself on an Avolites Tiger Touch II and the show was directed by John Boafo Duah.
In summary, the lighting designer said, “Through this concert, the hopes of many have been revived and to date this has been the most talked about virtual concert ever staged, due to the impact it has created.”
Confirmed Charterhouse CEO Iyiola Ayoade, “We organised the Ghana Covid-19 Heroes Concert, mainly to inspire hope, support the fundraising effort of the Covid 19 National Trust Fund in support of the front-line health workers, and to lend a voice to the ‘Wear A Mask’ Campaign.
“Music is a force for good and the most appropriate medium to rally a national applause for our frontline health workers. They are our heroes; we doff our hats to them.”