This Is SEFA: Over 120 ADJ fixtures draw focus to hybrid dance concert

ADJ lighting fixtures help bring a hybrid live concert and dance event to life.

On Halloween evening, a unique event took place in Germany that blurred the lines between dance event and concert. Dutch hard dance DJ and producer Sefa played a 90-minute set with a full live band, headlining an event aptly titled, This Is SEFA. Drawing focus to the stage, lighting production for the evening featured over 120 ADJ fixtures, including Vizi Beam RXONE and Focus Spot 4Z moving heads alongside Encore Burst 200 audience blinders and Jolt 300 multifunctional LED panels.

Hosted at the 3,000-capacity Warsteiner Music Hall, an old industrial building in the German city of Dortmund that has been revitalised as a performance venue, This Is Sefa featured a full supporting line-up of DJ sets.

However, the focus of the evening was undoubtably Sefa’s live performance, which meant that the production for the event had an unmistakable concert look. It featured a lighting, video, and effects rig which was anchored to the multilevel stage positioned at one end of the venue, rather than spread throughout the venue as is more common for a traditional dance event. This emphasis on the stage didn’t mean skimping on fixtures, as a huge rig was utilised to fill the space above, behind and around the performers with vibrant colours and piercing beam effects.

The person responsible for delivering the full technical production for the event was Project Manager, Patrick Hirt, who worked together with Yannick Richarz to design the stage set and lighting rig. Christian Sudhop was responsible for programming and operating the lighting, which was supplied by Hirt’s company, Creative Sounds Veranstaltungstechnik, working in partnership with another regular collaborator, Guido Schütz and his company LaserFrame.

Having partnered together on a series of innovative livestreaming studios during the pandemic, using predominantly equipment from ADJ and sister company Elation Professional, this event gave Hirt and Schütz the opportunity to utilise the fixtures that became their workhorses on those projects in a live setting.

A perfect example of this is the Jolt 300, which Creative Sounds and LaserFrame made an investment in during lockdown and utilised extensively in their livestream setups. Featuring a central strip of cool white LEDs surrounded on both sides by arrays of multi-coloured RGB LEDs, this versatile fixture provides lighting designers with a wealth of creative potential. It allows strikingly bright white strobe effects, vibrant colour washes and ‘eye candy’ chase effects all from one compact unit. The rig for This Is SEFA featured 35 of these fixtures, perfectly showcasing its suitability as a concert stage luminaire.

“The Jolt 300 is an incredibly good lamp, which offers an unbeatable price-performance ratio,” commented Schütz. “For the Sefa concert we had them positioned at the back of the stage facing out and also above the stage facing down. This allowed the fixtures to be used to their full potential; creating vibrant colour washes on stage, energetic chase patterns across the background and filling the whole hall with blinding strobe effects.”

A staple fixture at dance events all over the world, 52 ADJ Vizi Beam RXONE moving head fixtures were used to create aerial effects. Positioned on risers at the back of the stage as well as hung from angled trusses in the air above, these fixtures were capable of completely filling the whole hall with razor sharp beams of light. A fixture with a proven track record of reliability, the RXONE is popular with production companies and lighting designers alike due to its small footprint, big output, tight beam angle and useable feature set.

To complement the extremely narrow beam angle of the Vizi Beam RXONEs, the rig for This Is Sefa also utilised 18 ADJ Focus Spot 4Z moving heads. “Having the Focus Spot 4Zs rounded out the rig and allowed a greater variety of effects to be created,” explained Schütz. “These included GOBO projection on the floor of the stage, as well as wider beam effects using the rotating prisms. The output from the LED source is very impressive and allows the Focus Spot 4Z to hold its own alongside the intense RXONEs. It is also a similarly lightweight and compact fixture, which helps with rigging and allows a large quantity of units to be packed onto a truss. Another reason we like this fixture is that is has all the features we want, with no unnecessary extras, which makes it good value too.”

The lighting rig was rounded out by 22 ADJ Encore Burst 200 LED-powered warm white 2-cell audience blinder fixtures and 12 Elation Professional RAYZOR 360Z moving head washes. In addition, six ADJ Fog Fury Jett Pro atmospheric generators were lined across the front of the stage to shoot intense bursts of LED-illuminated quick-dissipating fog up into the air. Finally, a pair of Elation Professional Magmatic Therma Tour 800 oil-based haze machines were used to fill the venue with a thin mist of haze.