Sam Tozer combines Martin MAC Ultra Performance and Wash fixtures for Sam Fender

Photo: Adlib/Steve Sroka

Over two nights in June, Adlib’s sizeable inventory of Martin MAC Ultra fixtures was deployed for Sam Fender’s gigs at Newcastle’s St. James’ Park.

Specified by Lighting Designer Sam Tozer, with Lighting Director Luke Avery, and Design Associate, Harry Williams – a combination of MAC Ultra Performance and MAC Ultra Wash fixtures delivered impact for the 100,000 strong audience.

Explaining his initial design concept Sam Tozer commented: “We wanted to create a show that felt heavy and dynamic. Something visually impactful but with the capability to create unique spaces with visuals and light. It needed to be able to match the energy of the music.”

“I‘ve been using the MAC Ultra Performance in most of my larger scale shows so it’s become one of my go-to workhorses,” Tozer confirmed. “I wanted a big bright spot/wash pair with a large single source aperture to punch through the LED screens. Luckily Adlib have these already so it was a no brainer.”

Adlib’s Jordan Willis confirmed Adlib had worked with Sam Tozer on Sam Fender’s two arena tours before these stadium shows. In total 45 MAC Ultra Wash were supplied in 15 pods overhead, whilst 30 MAC Ultra Performance were firing from behind the set pieces with three ladders of 10 fixtures.

Tozer explained: “The MAC Ultra Performance was used to push defined light through the scenic cut outs that spanned vertically the length of the stage openings. The set acted as our own custom gobo. The MAC Ultra Wash were the show’s main lighting feature which together with automation created the slanted roof that finished the Asymmetrical stage off.”

With 650m² worth of LED used on the show, Tozer praises the output in competing with the ever-increasing contrast of LED. “The Ultra worked as the ‘wack’ in your face fixture when needed, but also sat very nicely in cohesion with the screens when needed.”

He also praised the colour rendition of both Performance and Wash, and the physical appearance of the fixtures. “Colour is key and it was very helpful for Operator, Luke Avery and myself to have engines that created the same colour and behaved the same visually. And because we had large cluster of them overhead, I loved the simple aesthetic that the large aperture lenses make.”

Next up for Sam Fender is his headline Reading and Leeds shows which Sam Tozer confirms will feature the identical MAC Ultra rig. Stay tuned for the full production profile in a forthcoming print edition of TPi Magazine.