Crt Brisa utilises Robe to light Lado Bizovicar at Slovenska Muska Event

Photo: Jani Ugrin

Lado Bizovicar presented the 2024 “Slovenska Muska” event, staged at Ljubljana’s Stožice arena, where a 360-degree show was presented, which bumped up the capacity to 13,000, with every seat sold.

The production and lighting design was created by Crt Birsa of design studio Blackout and Greta Godnic and recorded for broadcast. Birsa utilised 355 Robe lighting fixtures in the 500+ luminaires on the rig, from the FORTE to the PATT 2013 plus seven other types of Robe product, all supplied by rental specialist Event Lighting from Ljubljana.

At the heart of this production design was a metal structure, the top part of which resembled a giant multi-level spider crawling through the roof area. This structure incorporated the venue’s video scoreboard with the surfaces used for production video during the show, and contesting it presented multiple rigging challenges.

It was the first time that Birsa had worked with this artist, originally asked onboard due to his experience in delivering high level arena and stadium shows. He and set designer Godnic devised a high impact look and style for the show to get the artists closer to fans and look as good live as it did for the multi-camera shoot directed by Nejc Levstik.

From above, the trussing resembles a complex kaleidoscopic pattern that fit together with millimetre accuracy. The giant trussing spider in the roof had eight right-angled legs stretching out into the roof void from a 10-metre square box truss which provided ideal positions for high level audience lighting. There were additional trusses at each side of the arena loaded with more ambient and the main key lighting fixtures.

The bottom part of the spider structure sat below the large arena video cube and featured a 7-metre square box truss connected to 8 vertical ‘fingers’ trusses running horizontally down, joined together in the centre above the stage.

Stožice’s winter snow loading meant that the already tight weight loadings were further restricted, so trussing was juggled with the points needed to facilitate the eight PA arrays. Some trusses were deaded off and motors removed to save weight and meet requirements without compromising the design. With no time available for a pre-rig and two special lifts in the venue that must be used for accessing the roof structural beams, it was imperative that all metalwork went straight into the roof as envisioned.

12 FORTES were used for the key lighting, with three fixtures each rigged on four trusses around the edge of the arena. The central FORTE on each of these was on one of two RoboSpot systems, so front / back and left / right key lights could be alternated.

80 Robe LEDBeam 150s were on the rig with 24 on the floor outlining each side of three stairways accessing the stage. The fourth side of the stage was occupied by an accompanying musician who was surrounded by eight Pointe luminaires.

Another 32 LEDBeam 150s on the eight vertical truss fingers and 24 on the ends of the 6 spider legs offered, 24 LEDBeam 350s were deployed on the left and right ambient trusses where they were ideal for washing the audience. Six MegaPointes on each of the spider legs were outrigged on pipes, part of 72 of these fixtures.

Forty-eight MegaPointes in total were used at the top of the eight spider legs. The balance of 32 Pointes were used on the four ambient / audience trusses, eight units on each truss, with 59 ParFect 100s for truss toners covering all the fingers and ‘spider’ legs.

16 Robe PAINTES were positioned on the floor around the stage. “I needed a good spot that could be close to the artists and the audience,” Birsa noted. “It was the first time he’d used PAINTES, which he thought were “very nice mid-range fixtures.”

A total of 63 Robe Spiider LED wash beams were utilised, running in three different modes, with 5 each around the sides of the smaller square truss, three covering the top section of each ‘spider’ leg, one as static back light for guest musicians, and 16 on the front and back ambient trusses for audience lighting. The final two were ensconced under the stage.

At the centre of the stage stage was a hydraulic lift, which started the show in the down position so the under-stage Spiiders lit the void that was filled with smoke for the entrance sequence.

The PATT 2013s were positioned on the end of the legs in the higher position, with some similar looking scenic fixtures at the bottom of the fingers. Birsa decided that he needed some “interesting and cool looking luminaires in these positions that would look good on camera.”

Tight timing necessitated an amount of pre-vizzing, although it’s a challenge to pre-programme a 360 degree show on a flat screen, so calculated adaptation was needed once on site, and as soon as he had the lighting rig, he worked extremely fast. Birsa used feeds from 4 cameras set up at the top of the lower tribunes on each side of the venue to help him see the stage from all perspectives.

He worked with his Blackout colleague Klemen Krajnc who took care of running all the show key together with the under-stage lights, guest artist back lighting and the battery of fog machines. Krajnc maximised the FORTES’ shuttering to contain light spillage and ensure the audience were not irritated or distracted.

“The team from Event Lighting were amazing,” declared Birsa, “they went all out to ensure that I had everything I needed and that it ran smoothly on site.”

“Nothing would have happened without some amazing people and companies involved,” he continued. “Rok Ložar from B-Projekt was the production manager co-ordinating the teams to make this event happen. Mitja Zupančič, who knows the arena inside out, created very precise rigging plots and minutely detailed rigging logistics so that the Prozvok riggers could build and install the rigging and trussing accurately.”

On top of this, Andrej Testen, a crew chief from Event Lighting, assembled a team to put the whole lighting system together. “We did not have a single fixture problem on the event,” concluded Birsa.