Robe-heavy rig shines at Colours of Ostrava

Photo: Louise Stickland

Colours of Ostrava is staged against the imposing backdrop of old blast furnaces, cooling towers, ore cauldrons, casting shops and other enormous industrial relics from the Dolní Oblast Vitkovice (DOV) steelworks in Ostrava.

The 2023 edition had over 250 artists appearing across 20 stages over four days. Robe moving lights had a big presence, including on the two largest performance areas, the Ceska Sporitelna and the adjacent Liberty Stage.

Technical Director, Josef “Pepa” Ženíšek led a core production team of 35 from his Prague based company, SMART Production, who co-ordinated all aspects of the technical production.  At times, over 550 technical crew were working on assorted aspects of the project. SMART Production dealt with nine main rental companies for technical production, mostly from the Czech Republic, some from Slovakia.

Pepa is also instrumental in the production lighting designs for the six main music stages, and commented: “There’s always a lot of Robe products on site because there are such a wide range of fixtures to choose from and they are very reliable. Exactly what you need for a festival situation.”

Czech rental company T-Servis led by Jana Heřmánková supplied lighting and sound to the Liberty Stage for the first time.Heřmánková was “delighted” with winning the contract for this important stage together with her team including crew chief Ivo Cernohorsky

The company has invested steadily in Robe over the years and the brand is a “firm festival favourite,” commented Ivo, who designed and specified the lighting kit for the stage. 38 Robe ESPRITES were the backbone of the system, with eight fixtures each distributed across the three over-stage trusses, plus another 14 on the front truss. These were joined by 31 Spiiders, distributed between the front truss and drop-down ladders that were filling in the upstage corners.

An additional 20 Robe Tetra2 moving LED battens were rigged on the three over-stage trusses and used very effectively for pixel effects and other eye candy, and 12 Robe MegaPointes were available as part of the floor package on the deck.

While Six BMFL WashBeams on the front truss provided further front lighting. Other lights on the Liberty Stage included some beam-moving lights at the back on drop ladders, with strobes and 4-lite blinders scattered around for stage and audience illumination.

Two consoles resided at FOH, a High End Systems Hog 4 – which is Ivo’s console of choice – along with an MA Lighting grandMA2 as the second desk. Some LDs also brought in their own console, while others had their own complete floor packages.

“The fixtures are robust and just keep working whatever the weather, providing plenty of functionality and visiting LDs and operators are always happy to work with them,” Ivo commented.

Pepa and SMART Productions specified a RoboSpot system for the main stage, which this year comprised four of Robe’s FORTE LED profile fixtures running on four RoboSpot BaseStations located under the stage.

Also on the main stage in 2023 were 20 Robe MegaPointes and 18 iPointes. Lighting, audio, and LED screens for this stage were supplied by HighLite Touring and for the Main Stage this year were 30m-wide deco walls flanking the main stage. “We like to keep things evolving and developing each year,” commented Pepa.

Other Robe products in action around the site included 22 Tetra2s on the Drive Stage, also supplied by HighLite Touring, while T-Servis and AV Media supplied the Glo Stage with 10 Tetras and 20 LEDBeam 350s among other lights. Cross Audio delivered lighting including 16 LEDBeam 150s to the Cacao Stage.

For all these smaller stages, the production lighting designs were created and specified by SMART Productions. Eight Robe CitySkape Xtreme LED floods were part of the architectural lighting scheme illuminating the vast industrial structures dating to when DOV existed as a black coal and raw steel manufacturing plant.