Tracking: From followspots to full-scale integration

With tracking becoming an increasingly important aspect within live events, TPi gathers several manufacturers to find out about the latest developments in the field and why tracking is a practice that every events department now takes an interest in.

Very early on in my time at TPi – around 2016 – I was invited to The O2 arena for a special demonisation by PRG showing off its then brand-new GroundControl product, which looked to revolutionise the way productions used followspots. The company’s remote station removed the need for operators to climb ladders into the rafters to work a manual spotlight. Nearly a decade on, the remote followspot, in numerous guises, is now ubiquitous, and this solution has also created a discourse around the term ‘tracking’.

As of 2024, tracking has gone far further than just a solution for followspots, being utilised in multiple technical departments on a live production. From video to audio, lighting to automation, tracking is becoming the common language spoken among production crew and as such, we at TPi thought we’d gather a few leading voices in this field – PRG, Robert Juliat, Robe lighting, 7thSense, zactrack, Blacktrax, Naostage and Follow-Me – to get their thoughts on the burgeoning solution.

Words: Stew Hume

Photos: Robert Juliat, Robe, Follow-Me, BlackTrax, zactrack and Naostage