Strikken Delivers COVID-19 Tests and Lights Estonian Skies

Strikken's Sandra and Taisto Raamat delivering samples.

Strikken has been doing its bit to support the nation’s fight against COVID-19 by voluntarily assisting the Synlab Eesti OU laboratory in collecting and transporting COVID-19 test samples gathered from all around the country. As well as illuminating Estonian skies with Robe fixtures, as part of its contribution to the #LightTheSky campaign.

The delivery of kits is tied into research conducted by the University of Tartu, including a three-month study on the prevalence of COVID-19 among both symptomatic and asymptomatic people. At least 16,000 residents – based on a random statistical sample – will be interviewed and invited to be tested for COVID-19.

The transportation programme to help collect the samples was initiated by Strikken’s long-time partner Rally Estonia, to get the materials quickly and safely to Synlab which is the main testing laboratory in Tallinn. Speedy test results and data from the study will assist the government in an effective response and relevant public health guidance.

Roadside test centres have been set up in Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu, Kuressaare, Viljandi, Narva and Kohtla-Järve and Rally Estonia event organiser Tarmo Hõbe encouraged volunteers to sign up and help. Strikken’s owner Taisto Raamat and his team were very happy to be part of this. Rally volunteers have been delivering about 35 per cent of the tests completed nationwide in March and April.

On the creative front, Strikken has also taken part the international lighting actions and artwork creations including #LightTheSky in support of essential workers during the Coronavirus pandemic. Founded by Taisto in 2000 – initially as a one-person operation with six PAR cans – Strikken has grown and developed into a leading full production company providing lighting, audio, video, staging, rigging and design services for a range of events. 

The 20th anniversary year would normally be one for celebration, but as for rental companies worldwide, it has been the toughest year to date due to COVID-19. Last year, they also made a substantial investment in Robe moving lights with the purchase of 12 MegaPointes and 48 LEDBeam 150, supplied by Robe’s Estonian distributor E&T Valgus.

Taisto first looked at Robe for its reliability – always a major consideration for any busy rental house for all the obvious reasons. “When you’re out on a gig, it’s great to know that Robe lights will always have your back!” commented Taisto.

He said the MegaPointes are “great multifunctional fixtures”. He loves the CMY colour mixing and the fact it transforms seamlessly from a spot to a beam “without any compromises”. He also likes to use MegaPointes for custom gobo projections with their “razor-sharp” optics.

The LEDBeam 150s are a perfect match for Strikken due to the compact design and easy setup with powerCON linking connectivity that eliminates the need for messy extension cabling. The zoom was a welcome upgrade to the original LEDBeam 100. He commented: “It’s made the fixture so much more versatile and means it can also be used as a key light, great for scenarios with limited space.”

Recent events using the new Robe kit have included the Centenary Gala for Estonian Volleyball at the Saku Suurhall Arena in Tallinn, with lighting designed by Raiko “Little Trouble” Saadjärv; New Year’s Eve 2019 / 2020 in Tallinn’s Freedom Square lit by Mihkel “Big Trouble” Västrik and the Denim Dream 25th Birthday Gala again at the Saku Suurhall Arena, once more lit by “Little Trouble”.

Since the lockdown, for the company’s contribution to the first #LightTheSky action, Strikken used 18 Pointes and 18 LEDBeam 150s which were arranged in a heart shape in the yard outside their warehouse. The design was spontaneous and created collectively by all their crew.

As they await further instructions from the government about how the event and entertainment industry can be restarted, Taisto and his team are all dreaming about the day when they can once again “push some buttons and flash some lights!”