When Illinois eased its lockdown rules, and Chicago’s busy outdoor events schedule resumed, one person who was primed and prepped was Matthew Brotz, who runs locally based LEC Event Technology.
Knowing that Chicago is capable of experiencing four seasons in a day, he realised that not only his large inventory of GLP products would need weather protection, but also moving heads from other vendors. GLP had the solution.
“Thankfully Matt contacted us in plenty of time,” declared GLP US President, Mark Ravenhill. “After discussing the comprehensive range of options that we offer, he settled on a combination of our Rain Covers, with different cover lengths, and a large quantity of Air Domes. Despite the current problems with the global freight system, we made it in time for all of his festival dates.”
LEC’s festival season reopened with The Summer Smash at Chicago’s Douglass Park and was followed by ARC Music Festival, Riot Fest and, most recently, Spring Awakening: Autumn Equinox at Addams/Medill Park. This involved working often through torrential rain and high winds.
“We’ve [been fortunate enough] to have produced pretty much every large format festival in Chicago since Lollapalooza,” Brotz exclaimed. “We’ve had full festival production on four back-to-back events – it’s been a whirlwind.”
But what he noticed was how few service providers were paying attention to Chicago’s volatile meteorological changes. “It seemed crazy that so few people had put time into acquiring domes or some sort of weather protection for their fixtures,” he says. “They simply seemed to be bagging them. This year, we haven’t had a single fixture damaged by the weather, and we pride ourselves on that.” In the case of GLP fixtures that’s a lot of items, with the main stage at The Summer Smash alone featuring around 72 JDC1s.
Similarly, Spring Awakening was heavily populated with other brand fixtures encased in Air Domes and 80 JDC1s on stage two using Rain Covers where necessary.
Available in three sizes to fit all moving head footprints, GLP’s inflatable Air Domes provide a secure ‘bubble’-like rain cover in an IP54 package that is fast and easy to set up.
As for the GLP Rain Covers, they offer almost complete protection from the elements, without interfering with the light beam or fixture movement. Available in three sizes, these are in the form of truss mounted metal ‘bases’, which allow a ‘skirt’ to be attached, covering the bulk of the fixture.
“We’ve had weather protection from GLP since 2019,” Brotz continued. “However, we’ve now expanded to 96 of the 400 Series ‘hats’, which we use with many of our other moving heads as well as the JDCs, plus 40 of the Air Dome 600 kits. I hadn’t previously been aware they had an inflatable dome system.”
According to Brotz, it’s an investment he has never regretted. “I had witnessed so many shows with vendors just bringing their dead fixtures out where they had been rained on. It’s a service we love offering to our clients, and the ROI comes back almost immediately, let alone without the headache of damaged gear.”
Since its first contact with GLP in 2019, LEC has steadily been building inventory to service largely work in the EDM sector, in which Matt Brotz started out as a DJ. “Our first purchase was 24 JDC1, and six months later I bought 32 more. They are on every show. In fact, the two staples are X4 Bar 20 and JDC1 – I can’t get enough of them. With the 64 X4 Bars and a further 33 impression FR10 Bars, we are almost up to 100 battens, and with this inventory the benefit of EDM is our ability to design for the client.”
In conclusion, the LEC founder also commends GLP for its excellent customer service: “Mark [Ravenhill] will walk the kit to the FedEx offices himself if necessary to get stuff to us on time.”