Astera AX1s get Orchestral

Elite Event Technology (EET) supplies 96 Astera AX1 PixelTubes for an eye-catching lighting design to illuminate a Ministry of Sound Orchestral concert staged at Stage 88. Photo: Darren Russell, courtesy EET

Canberra-based Elite Event Technology (EET) supplied 96 Astera AX1 PixelTubes for an eye-catching lighting design to illuminate a special Ministry of Sound Orchestral concert staged at Stage 88, a permanent venue ensconced in the leafy green environs of Commonwealth Park, Canberra, ACT.

EET’s client was promoter Zaccaria Concerts and Touring, and the lighting designer was Jayden Sutherland from design studio The Bakery Design Co.

The AX1s were used along the three over-stage trusses – front, mid and rear – and to define the edges of all the orchestra risers on the deck, creating elegant architectural looks as well as high impact effects.

EET’s Darren Russell explained that they suggested Sutherland use the AX1s as there was a very tight overnight changeover after a Crowded House gig the night before, also with lighting, video and sound production supplied by EET.

“We suggested Astera due to the wireless operation which basically made it seriously quicker and easier to complete the changeover over in the early hours of the morning and be ready on time delivering the rig for 10 a.m.” noted Russell, adding that both of these show days were long.

They also suggested AX1s because: “We love our Astera products and thought they were a perfect practical and creative solution!”

Sutherland had not used Astera products before, but took EET’s advice and agreed that they were a good option. Sutherland also commented after the show that he was initially mildly sceptical about the AX1’s potential performance, but was very pleasantly surprised with the result.

Running in full pixel mode, the AX1s helped him run a stunning, high-energy show keeping the pace and flow pumping with a succession of MOS bangerz and other music. They were used for producing solid blocks of colour to fluid kinetic effects to strobing and other flashy stuff.

The overnight changeover between the two shows was the biggest production challenge for Russell and his team. They had to be fully programmed and ready for sound checks and rehearsals by 10 a.m. on the day of the MOS show, with lighting also operated by Sutherland on a grandMA full size console.

EET is the largest production and rental company in ACT with a great reputation. It is also constantly busy and now has over 400 Astera fixtures – approximately 300 AX1s and 100 AX5 TriplePars – in its inventory. These were all supplied by Astera’s Australian and New Zealand distributor, ULA Group.

Russell thinks the lights are “great value” and they are in use perpetually on a wide range of shows and events.

EET started investing in Astera as soon as they became readily available on the Australian market. “The versatility of the products, their ease of use and deployment is what makes them work so well for us,” stated Russell.

“The products are well engineered and the R ‘n’ D is excellent,” he concluded, adding that a strong distributor is also paramount, and that they “enjoy great service from ULA Group team.”

Other recent EET Astera projects include the design and fabrication of a custom chandelier from 200 AX1’s for the 2022 Master Builders and Asset Construction Hire Building

Excellence Awards at Canberra’s National Convention Centre. A further 140 Astera AX1’s complete with custom 3D printed toppers with string beads hanging around each tube were used as the feature part of the table centrepieces.