Haitian Compas Festival at the Forefront with Newest Elation Gear

In May, some of Elation Professional’s newest, cutting-edge lighting gear was used by Lighting Designer Daniel Cortes of Everlast Productions on the Haitian Compas Festival in Miami, one of the largest Caribbean festivals in the United States. The Haitian Compas Festival is a yearly celebration of the Haitian community that features popular musical acts along with traditional Haitian food and other facets of Haitian culture. After 18 years as a one-day event, this year’s festival was held over two days from 20-21st May at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami.

For Miami’s Haitian community, Compas was an opportunity to put the méringue sounds of konpa (compas) music in focus while partying beneath the bright lights of a truly contemporary rig. This year an all-Elation rig provided the visual dynamics with some of the company’s newest lighting products in action: IP-rated Proteus Beam moving heads, Paladin blinder/strobe/wash lights, Platinum 1200 Wash lights and DTW Blinder 700 IP variable white LED blinders, as well as Elation’s award-winning Platinum FLX hybrid moving head and the long-time industry workhorse beam light, the Platinum Beam 5R Extreme.

Everlast Productions of Dania Beach, Florida, has provided lighting services for the festival for several years with Everlast’s Daniel Cortes serving as lighting designer and programmer for this year’s event.

Proteus Beam                                                                                                           The Elation lighting filled a series of horizontal trusses with some lights working from the floor. The new IP65-rated Proteus Beam worked from a downstage position and was used for front wash and dynamic effects for the audience. “My game plan was to use the frost on the fixtures and front wash the band with the beams and it worked out just fine,” commented Cortes, who worked with the Proteus fixtures for the first time. “They have CMY mixing capability so changing colours while cues were being played was smooth. I was able to create audience looks and make it look great.”
Cortes also turned to the Proteus Beam’s selection of rotating and static-stamped gobos to project dynamic mid-air looks from a mid-downstage position, which he said “looked awesome,”.

“The Proteus Beams are definitely something I will use whenever I have the opportunity again. It was also important that these fixtures were weather protected as they were exposed on the downstage. Their IP65 rating meant there were no worries.” he added.

Mid-stage effects                                                                                                 Working from the mid-stage on three separate runs of 30-inch truss were Platinum 1200 Wash fixtures, Paladin units and Platinum Beam 5R Extremes. The Platinum 1200 Washes were used for backlight with their 19 individual pixel RGBW LEDs allowing Cortes to pixel map and create eye candy looks for camera. “They are crazy bright so I was also using them for solo band positions,” he said. “I am a big fan of zoom effects so using the 8 to 77-degree zoom as a chase effect looked great with haze.”

Cortes was one of the first in North America to get his hands on the IP65-rated Paladin, Elation’s new versatile hybrid LED luminaire with zoom that functions as a brilliantly bright blinder, powerful strobe and high output wash light. “The Paladin fixtures are just phenomenal all the way around,” he said. “I pixel-mapped them along with the Platinum 1200 Wash units and they gave a powerful creative look to the show.” Like the Proteus Beams, Cortes found creative ways to use the Platinum Beam 5R Extremes, a light he has been using since its first generation. “Since I used frost on the Proteus Beams for front light I really never thought about using them on beams since I really only use them for dynamic effects,” he said. “When a song ended I used the frost on the 5R Beams to sweep them to the audience and swipe from the upstage to the downstage with beams and then give it a bang with frost.”

Cortes used another of Elation’s newer lights, the variable-white DTW Blinder 700 IP, which were used as traditional audience blinder effects or warmed to enhance special moments. “The DTW Blinders were crazy bright as a blinder effect,” he said, “and their warm white and amber COB LEDs gave a nice ambient look as the music slowed down and a slow look came up.”

Platinum FLX
The innovative lighting technology continued upstage where Elation Platinum FLX hybrid units were placed on stage in front of an LED riser and flown in the air. “The FLX is a great spot fixture and also great for dynamic beam effects, great gobos and the zoom is awesome,” Cortes said of the award-winning multifunctional light. “What I really like about them, since we do a lot of corporate work, is the gobos, which are great. So is the focus and zoom. You can go from colour mixing to colour wheel and you can’t really notice the snap.” With so many versatile lights at his disposal, Cortes was able to create an endless stream of stunning looks throughout the two-day festival. “We used swipes, aerials, colours, all the fun stuff mixed in to make the show look great,” he concluded. “Combined with the different pixel cells and different layers it gave a lot of possibilities.”