Rigging Works Sweden (RWS), Swedish-based rigging and automation specialist, has recently invested in Kinesys Apex technology; with the purchase of 8 new vari-speed Apex hoists, added to its extensive Kinesys inventory.
The company is run by John McDonough, AKA ‘Jonny Mac’. All 8 Kinesys motors were supplied to the 2018 Melodifestivalen tour, together with 4 of RWS’s existing Liftket motors running with Kinesys Elevation 1+ drives, a Kinesys Mentor 4 controller – offering SIL3 safety over Ethernet – at the hub of the system and one of RWS’s flexible Kinesys Vector control platforms. The 6 week event, known for its high production values, visited 6 cities to select the Swedish song and entrant for the annual Eurovision Song Contest (ESC).
Melodifestivalen 2018’s production was managed by Tobias Åberg and Cecilia Zollitsch. A set based around impressive structural and LED elements was designed by Victor Bratström bringing a sculptural feel to the stage. A vibrant lighting scheme was created by Fredrik Jönsson, and the event, broadcast live each week on Swedish national television, was directed by Robin Hofwander and Fredrik Bäcklund.
The 8 Kinesys Apex motors – operated by Petter Rimfors – were used to provide a series of flown props for different competitors – anything from a pyro truss flying in to a lighting pod positioned above the stage to change the shape of the performance area, all of which brought a different visual dynamic to each specific song.
A trio of Kinesys Liftkets with Elevation 1+’s were used to fly a central ‘transmitter’ prop, a section of pre-rigged trussing loaded with lights that flew in and out, and interacted with the contestants while their intro videos played. To accommodate this, Fredrik split his front lighting trusses into left and right sections.
Rimfors is a freelance motion control specialist who works on a variety of shows and events utilising Kinesys products amongst others. He thinks that the Vector control system is “perfect for an automation show like this, extremely solid and easy to use”.
Jonny Mac highlighted the daisy-chaining capabilities of the Apex system which is also a great advantage. He and Rimfors agreed that Kinesys’ support – both online and on the phone is “phenomenal” and always there when needed.
Kinesys Apex hoist range offers 500Kg and 1250Kg options with maximum speeds of 500mm and 200mm a second (100ft and 40ft a minute respectively). JonnyMac concluded: “solid, stable and extremely safe cutting-edge technology,” which enables a whole range of creative show solutions.