Splendit deploys CHAUVET Professional for Happy Belgium

There were over 230 CHAUVET Professional fixtures at the Happy Belgium concert in the Cinquantenaire Arcade, but it’s doubtful that any of the 60,000 people who were there to celebrate the National Day of Belgium on 21 July, noticed many of them. Lighting Designer, Jordi Vandekerkhof of the More To Show design studio would have it no other way.

For him, the purpose of the majority IP65 lighting fixtures at this exquisitely orchestrated evening event, was to be “seen”, without being noticed because of their protective domes. “We wanted to light the stage, audience and surroundings without drawing attention to the fixtures,” he explained.

Splendit supplied the fixtures for the event, and helped put together a rig that was low profile, while still being powerful enough to create an impression. Vandekerkhof noted that accomplishing this goal was especially challenging, given that the production team had to conform to exacting restrictions when working at a protected, historical site.

Allowing the beauty of the Cinquantenaire Arcade to be front-and-centre was not only important for the crowd in attendance, it also enhanced the viewing experience of the millions watching on television. Happy Belgium, organised by DDMC Event Design and Alice Events, was televised on five networks. 

Vandekerkhof relied on 28 Maverick MK3 Profile CX fixtures to provide key lighting for the TV cameras, while maintaining a discrete physical presence. At the same time, the rest of his fixtures were harmonising with their surroundings. As an example, he points to one of his favourite looks of evening, which resulted from 18 Color STRIKE M fixtures, whose motorised strobes created crowd lighting and special effects, lighting the columns flanking the iconic arches of the Cinquantenaire Arcade.

Key to helping Vandekerkhof realise his goal of maintaining discrete lighting placement at Happy Belgium, were the IP65 rating and multi-functional capabilities of his CHAUVET Professional fixtures. Since these fixtures were outdoor rated, he was able to position them without conspicuous protective domes. Having so many diverse fixtures at his disposal made it easier for him to reduce the number of units used, without sacrificing the output or capabilities of his rig.

This diversity was evident in the rig’s 48 Maverick Strom 1 Hybrids. “For me, this was the first time using this fixture,” Vandekerkhof said of the 440W (7700K source) Beam/Wash/Spot. “It was the logical choice, not just because of its IP65 rating, but also because of its power. We were able to use if for tight beams, big zooms, big gobos and much more. It was excellent for creating those energetic looks.”

Given the nature of the event, lighting the crowd was critically important for Happy Belgium, contributing to this audience lighting were rig’s 56 Maverick Storm 2 BeamWashes. True to Vandekerkhof’s emphasis on multi-functionality, the high output units did double duty by also providing side and top stage lighting. 

Adding to the overall atmosphere of the evening were 48 COLORado Panel Q40 and 12 Ovation CYC 1 FC units that deepened the beauty of the concert setting with vivid and richly textured colour washing; and 24 STRIKE Array 4 fixtures, all helping to engage the audience in their surroundings.

“The architecture of this site is our scenery, our backdrop,” concluded Vandekerkhof. “We wanted it to be visible.” On this evening in July, he and the production team achieved that in a balanced fashion.