Elation IP luminaires help Hungarian city of Veszprém celebrate European Capital of Culture

In 2023, the city of Veszprém in Western Hungary and the Bakony-Balaton region held a year-long program of events and celebrations as the European Capital of Culture. The Grand Opening of the festivities took place on 21-22 January under the title Come shine with us!, an event with lighting design by Balázs Varga. The LD illuminated the occasion using 120 IP-rated lighting products from Elation Professional.

January is the coldest and snowiest month of the year in the country: “The rehearsal days and programming days were freezing and there was snow on show day,” stated Varga, co-founder and managing director of Hybrid Production of Budapest. “It was extremely hard on the fixtures because the equipment was outside for seven straight days,” he commented.

Despite the harsh weather conditions and constant exposure, their performance exceeded his expectations. “In fact, we changed out just one spare, which is a great ratio.” Varga explained.

Some 120 Elation Proteus Excalibur, Proteus Maximus and SixBar 1000 IP were used for the event. The lighting gear, all IP65 rated, was supplied by Motion of Germany while Elation’s Hungarian distributor Luminis provided lighting support.

With three different stages at three different locations to coordinate, all about one kilometer from each other and all running parallel shows, there were challenges to overcome: “When I created the stage and lighting design I had to take into account the performances and the opportunities that each venue presented,” Varga commented.

“There were a lot of great surfaces around the stages, I managed three lighting operators and programmers who in parallel created the lighting content for the shows. We had to work closely because sometimes the scenes changed day by day. I can’t imagine the production without preprogramming in 3D software.”

In Veszprém’s Old Town Square stood a large multi-level stage and LED wall, backed by a shopping mall wall. The setup created a focal point for events and performances. With a directive to immerse the entire square in lighting and effect, Balázs’ design encompassed the surrounding area with lighting positions strategically placed not only on the stage and LED wall but also on adjacent building rooftops.

A second stage and LED wall was in the middle of another square that is surrounded by historic buildings and trees, which Varga integrated into the show. The third stage, located in a square in the castle district and built around a statue, was the Varga’s favourite.

Employing videomapping onto a church and other buildings, Varga emphasised that his lighting design needed to take consideration of illuminance reflection, making fixture positioning especially important.

Varga opted for the Proteus Maximus, which he noted was available in large quantities from Motion: “Both the IP rating and the framing system were important and the LED engine was preferred for television. The Maximus fully met all our expectations,” he affirmed. The fixtures were positioned as front lights on towers and ladders and served as backlight and side light sources.

Motion had in stock the powerful Proteus Excalibur sky beam, which Varga used for aerial effects and striking midair beams: “It was important to have a high-impact beam light for the wow effects for the crowd and the cameras. The brightness of the Excaliburs was convincing even without a projection canopy of smoke,” Varga stated. The SixBar 1000 IP battens worked as footlights around the stages and fulfilled the need for a large quantity of IP-rated LED bars with a colour index that, according to Varga, is preferred for television.

European Capital of Culture is an important project of the EU’s cultural policy and was founded in order to highlight the cultural richness of its member states and deepen the sense of a common culture among European citizens. Celebrations in Veszprém and the Bakony-Balaton region will continue throughout the year.