Brown Note Productions and Elation Professional Proteus brave summer weather conditions

Photo: Steve Thrasher

Summer 2023 in the US has been extreme, when several outdoor festivals and events are on the program, this creates a challenge for any production company: “This is a very current issue,” stated Ryan Knutson, President of Brown Note Productions.  “We’ve seen some really intense changing weather patterns and IP fixtures have become critical in outdoor applications.”

Knutson credits Danny Wimmer Presents for initiating it’s move to weather-resistant lighting solutions: “DWP was really the first client we worked with who stressed that the dynamics of weather and shows had changed and therefore a change was needed in how we approached these events. Specifically, we needed to stop the behavior of plastic bagging fixtures whenever there was inclement weather, they trusted us to find a solution and that solution was IP-rated fixtures.” Knutson commented.

Brown Note began making the change in 2019 when they added Elation Professional’s Proteus Maximus, Proteus Rayzor 760, Protron Eclypse, and DTW Blinder 700 IP to its inventory, all IP65-rated luminaires. Since then, they have supplemented their stock with several IP-rated lights including the powerhouse Proteus Excalibur and Proteus Brutus. “Every year we’ve put more and more Proteus on shows and now every single piece we have on an outdoor show is IP rated,” Knutson commented.

Utilising its Proteus units at various DWP festivals this summer, including Welcome to Rockville in Daytona Beach, Florida. Add to that the 150 shows or so they work each year at Red Rocks Amphitheater, the iconic outdoor venue west of Denver that often sees torrential downpours, and it’s clear that Brown Note’s equipment have proven essential.

“When weather comes in, we think about being safe from the wind and from lightning, but we no longer have to worry about water damage to the fixtures. It takes an element of stress out of the jobs for our crews who already work long hours onsite and of course it has the benefit to the client that the show goes on.” Knutson continued. “We just don’t have weather created damage anymore.”

The transition to IP-rated fixtures has brought numerous benefits to Brown Note, however, Proteus goes beyond weather protection. “We didn’t want these lights to just be an outdoor thing for us,” Knutson said, explaining that they wanted feature rich, high quality lights that they could spec for any event. “This meant we were looking for features first, diving deep into the things that are important to our clients.”

Given the likelihood of continued severe weather in the foreseeable future, production companies would be wise to emulate Brown Note’s approach to event lighting in ensuring protection for their business and their clients, not to mention doing their part in helping protect our environment.