Andre Beekmans, a Lighting Designer with The Art of Light, used Ayrton’s Ghibli LED spot fixtures to create a unique lightscape on and around the main stage at A State of Trance festival in The Netherlands this year in celebration of ASOT 900.
A State of Trance (ASOT) is the weekly radio show of award-winning ‘Trance Royalty’, DJ Armin van Buuren and the largest trance network in the world. Every year the 50th episode is celebrated with an enormous live concert in The Netherlands, with smaller satellite events in other countries around the world.
This spring marked the 900th show, which was celebrated in front of a 35,000 capacity audience at the Jaarbeurs Centre in van Buuren’s hometown of Utrecht, designed and operated by The Art of Light, and promoted by Alda Events.
Lighting designer Beekmans chose 65 Ayrton Ghibli, supplied by Ampco Flashlight, as the main spot fixture for the main stage at this huge celebration. The team at The Art of Light is very familiar with Ayrton having used MagicPanel fixtures many times in the past, but this was their first time using Ghibli.
“For A State of Trance we were looking for a great effects spot which could give us lots of scope for mid-air effects and big picture stuff,” said Beekmans. “Flashlight presented us with several options and we found that Ghibli had it all for us! We were really happy with what we found – Ghibli has a great gobo setup, and the light output was also superb and fitted the budget! It was just what we needed as the main spot for the main stage.”
The Art of Light team had a grand vision for the visual element of this special occasion: “Multiple beams are popular right now, but to create the right feel for a trance music show, we felt we needed a good strong spot with excellent gobos to create texture,” says Beekmans, “and, most importantly, a wide zoom, which is really important.”
“The output needed to be bright enough to cope with the large expanse of the main stage, but we also wanted to fill the whole room with light. We wanted there to be no differentiation between the lighting on stage and off.”
“We rigged the Ghibli units at all levels – on the floor, over the stage area, and also in the hall over the audience area – and used them to create wide spreads of light and texture from every angle. On stage, steps concealed a number of Ghibli which shot out beams from stage level to give depth to the design, while the Ghibli units in the grid were used for mid-air effects above the heads of the audience so we could involve them in the full experience.”
Expanding on The Art of Light’s ideas, Beekmans explains: “When I design for a show like this, we don’t like to create separate setups for the stage and venue but combine the two so the venue and the stage become one. Whatever we do on stage, we like to fill the room with the same look and make a smooth transition from stage to room. It must encompass everybody in the same atmosphere so that everybody feels like they are on the stage with the artist and very much part of the experience.
“Ghibli was very important in helping us to achieve this, using the gobos for mid-air effects and the zoom for the big looks, with enough power to draw everyone in.”
Michael Seeverens, who travels the world with the Armin van Buuren shows, and Koen van Elderen were The Art of Light operators responsible for the light show at the main stage during the performances. “The design obviously succeeded because we had to restrict access to the show during the main acts which were so popular, we quickly reached capacity!” confirms Beekmans. Read the full story on Ayrton’s website.