Follow-Me Tracks the Action at Eurovision Song Contest 2021

Ampco Flashlight deploys a Follow-Me 3D SIX remote tracking system at Eurovision Song Contest 2021. Photo: Ralph Larmann

Eurovision Song Contest 2021 has been recognised as a pivotal moment in the return of large-scale entertainment events in a post-COVID world. Performed in front of a live audience of 3,500 plus delegates in the Greenroom on the arena floor, ESC captivated both the live audience and the 183 million watching on television from 234 countries worldwide, under the supervision of Head of Production, Erwin Rintjema.

At the heart of Lighting Designer, Henk-Jan van Beek’s dynamic design were the tools to guarantee that the Multi-camera directors received all the key lighting required to bring the performers to the small screen exactly as they would wish.

The Netherlands-based Follow-Me 3D SIX remote tracking system as part of the lighting specification delivered by the official technical supplier, Ampco Flashlight was used to keep the Eurovision performers in the spotlight, wherever they went on stage.

Eurovision Song Contest 2021

A total of 64 fixtures ran through Follow-Me 3D at Rotterdam Ahoy, while receiving fixture positional data from the motion control system over PosiStageNet (PSN). Follow-Me understands all fixture positions and orientations in 3D space and uses this information to keep any of those chosen fixtures on the performers. This unique tracking ability is achieved by a single Follow-Me system, following up to six performers, using one PoE-based Follow-Me Mouse console per operator.

58 Ayrton Huracán-X fixtures were calibrated to the tracking system and used as key lights and followspots on the artists. For the second semi-final interval act – The Power of Water by Davina Michele and Thekla Reuten. Here, the Huracáns were integrated in the Follow-Me system to follow the dancer in motion.

“This set-up allowed me to have a giant number of options per performance,” explained van Beek. “By connecting Follow-Me through PSN to the motion control system, we were able to ensure that the fixtures stayed on their targets perfectly while the trusses were in motion. In total there were sixty-four fixtures running through a single Follow-Me system: 58 x Ayrton Huracán-X and six Robe BMFL LTs. I would like to thank our brilliant Senior Follow Spot Systems Tech, Dennis Berkhout for making sure everything stayed on track and for making such an important contribution to the whole look of the show.”

Follow-Me Product Manager, Tim van Dijck commented: “We were really excited to be involved in this ground-breaking event. The whole industry has clearly struggled over the last year or so; to be one of the companies involved in Eurovision’21, a COVID Safe pilot event for the Netherlands, is an honour. This comes on top of Follow-Me’s expansion into new markets and gives us confidence that the industry is ready to bounce back with a bang.”