Robert Juliat’s Merlin Casts Its Spell On Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Photo: Blair McLaren

When the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (REMT) came to the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand in February 2016, production supplier, MJF Lighting, decided the scale of the production warranted new followspots and invested in four Robert Juliat Merlin 2500W HMI followspots specifically for the spectacular show.

“There were no quality 2kW HMI followspots available in New Zealand to match this event, with all previous shows of this scale and high production standards having relied on units out of Australia,” said MJF Lighting CEO, Michael Farrand. “It was time for a change.”

Having worked with Robert Juliat followspots on the AC/DC tour, Farrand was confident that they were fit for purpose. “I had the opportunity to talk to the touring tech, and find out first hand just how reliable the RJ product was,” he explained. “Feedback from actual users is always far more valuable than any pitch from a salesman or brochure, and my experience proved the RJ range of followspots actually deliver everything they purport to do, and more.” It was with this in mind that MJF chose the Robert Juliat Merlin to fulfil the remit for REMT.

“The Merlins are beautifully engineered,” Farrand continued. “The design has been thought about and the guys at Robert Juliat have obviously consulted thoroughly with the people who use the product. They’ve thought about everything: the balance of them, where the controls are located and how they go in and out of the road cases. Every little detail has been thought about.”

The four RJ Merlin followspots were positioned on the roof of the stadium, 26 metres above the field, in two purpose built huts that were craned up into position. The installation took a week to complete and included a life-sized replica of Edinburgh Castle as the backdrop to Paul Collison’s lighting design.

“The Merlins were amazing and an ideal fixture for the Military Tattoo,” said Collison. “Their size meant they could be effectively used in a tight position on the roof above the field, and the way they cut through the arena wash to help us pick out individual talent was incredible.”

“Merlin seems to have hit the spot in ruggedness, performance and operability that we had designed it for,” spoke Robert Juliat CEO François Juliat. “We are extremely happy to hear the comments from everyone involved in this production.”