Robe at Amsterdam Music Festival 2016

Photo: Jorrit Lousberg

André Beekmans from creative lighting design practice The Art of Light, based in the Netherlands, produced three lighting schemes and supplied programming/operating crews for the three major live venues at the 2016 Amsterdam Music Festival.

AMF is an integral element of the wider Amsterdam Dance Event conference, a five day EDM extravaganza staged in the spiritual hub of electronic music and culture. It is a collaboration between organisers Alda Events and ID&T showcasing some of the best EDM talent on the planet.

The Art of Light specified over 500 Robe fixtures across the Amsterdam ArenA, the Ziggo Dome and the Heineken Music Hall, the majority of which were deployed in the Amsterdam ArenA.

The Amsterdam ArenA operated on Saturday and Sunday nights of the AMF with a festival style set up, and lighting, visuals and set designed to be as flexible as possible. It is the largest stadium in the Netherlands and has a transparent retractable roof which can be opened in the summer, so with the AMF action running from 1 p.m. to midnight, nearly half the performances were during daylight hours.

A hard-hitting high impact rig was needed through day and night, and Robe was chosen as the main moving light brand, with 80 x Robe BMFL Spots, 11 x BMFL Blades, 152 Pointes, 128 x LEDBeam 100’s and four LEDWash 600’s.

To help combat the daylight, the set designed by 250K included a custom 55m wide by 22m matrix frame covered with pixels which were applied via a special LED strip product. Flown just in front of three upstage video sculptures made from LED screen, this provided a visual focus and an additional layer on top of the moving lights.

The matrix was built by Invent Design, and its pixels were mapped by The Art of Light team using a Green Hippo media server.

Also part of the set were four upstage/downstage orientated LED hoops which curved around 270 degrees, with a small opening at the downstage edge.

The BMFL’s were his main spots on AMF, rigged in a series of trusses above the stage and audience. Eleven BMFL Blades were used for front key lighting. Again, he needed a bright source to throw from the 27m height, and shutters were needed for fine-focusing.

22 Pointes were positioned above and around each of the four video hoop arches firing out into the crowd, utilising 88 units in total. They also outlined some smaller offstage video arches for continuity, with the balance on the floor and in the over-stage trusses.

The 128 LEDBeam 100’s were scattered across the LED matrix at the junctions of the connecting pieces creating their own geometry. “They were ideal for filling gaps, and can generally make a big contribution to any show for a small amount of budget,” commented Beekmans.

Finally, there were four LEDWash 600’s lighting the DJ booth from the sides.

The lighting operators in Amsterdam ArenA were Michael Seeverens and Bas Scheij from The Art of Light, lighting equipment was provided by Phlippo Showlight with video visuals from Eye Supply. Lighting production was by Virtue Projects.

65 Pointes were also an important part of the rig supplied by Flashlight at Ziggo Dome, which was operated by The Art of Light’s Marco de Klerck.

At the Heineken Music Hall, 45 Pointes joined other lights operated by The Art of Light’s Jaap Kamps, with kit supplied by Rentall.

Overall production for all three of these flagship venues was co-ordinated by Alda with Backbone responsible for delivery of the technical production elements.