Lighting Designer Robert Sondergaard of Electric Aura Projects and Solotech recently deployed Martin by HARMAN VDO Sceptron10 LED lighting fixtures to create a dynamic and innovative stage design for Toronto’s VELD Music Festival.
Now in its 7th year, the annual EDM and hip-hop music festival were held in Toronto’s Downsview Park. The eclectic lineup featured some of the biggest names in music, including Marshmello, Martin Garrix, DJ Snake, Benny Benassi, Lil Yachty and more.
Each year the festival strives to create an ambitious and eye-catching stage design, and this year they wanted to incorporate the VELD logo as a dynamic centrepiece. Festival organizers hired Production and Lighting Designer Robert Sondergaard, who collaborated with video and sound provider Solotech to create an ambitious design using Martin VDO Sceptron10 LED Fixtures and custom-fabricated set pieces.
“The big thing they wanted to do was make their stylized ‘V’ logo the focal point of the stage,” said Sondergaard. “Working with Solotech, we designed a perfect representation of their ‘V’ logo using Sceptron fixtures.
“We also rigged a series of seven truss claws that come out and wrap around the front edge of the roof. We lined those with Sceptrons as well, so at night it looks like it’s being held up by hands instead of a structure that everything is hanging from.
“On stage, we had a bunch of stacked cube structures featuring a mixture of Sceptrons, video screens and traditional lighting. Using lighting controls, we were able to have texture and movement effects move fluidly through the cubes, up into the claws, and into the ‘V’ overhead.”
Solotech deployed over 900 VDO Sceptron10 fixtures in 1,000 and 320-millimetre lengths to create the design. For the VELD logo, they built a custom plywood structure and had holes CNC drilled to mount six rows of Sceptron per side.
To create the claw structures, Solotech’s fabrication staff constructed over 60 aluminium frame pieces, which were pre-assembled and lined with Sceptron fixtures. They also outlined the 10×10’ video cubes on stage with Sceptrons using more than 600 low-profile Martin by Harman couplers to create clean, sharp lines. The lighting rig also included 26 Martin MAC III Profile fixtures, supplied by Christie Lites.
“Sceptron has a tremendous advantage for us as a rental company because it’s known throughout the industry as the standard linear LED product,” said Robert Kennedy, Account Rep. at Solotech.
“It’s rugged, weather-proof and has several different diffusion options that make it useful in various design applications. It also integrates well with other Martin products, like the P3 processor, which allows it to communicate with lighting consoles and video servers. And with Martin standing behind and supporting Sceptron, it’s easy to sell designers and clients on it.”
Solotech used four P3 System Controllers to accurately map video across the screens and Sceptron fixtures onstage. In order to coordinate the Sceptrons with the video elements, Solotech deployed 27 P3 PowerPort 1500 power and data processors to provide stable power delivery and high-speed video processing.
“What’s great about working with Solotech is that they’re very committed to helping us find solutions to implement things in a quick and easy way,” said Sondergaard. “They spent the time to build that logo piece in a way that is easy to recreate. I’m sure the stage design will be different next year, but VELD wanted the logo to become a recurring centerpiece. It was perfectly realized, looked fantastic and it’s on a scale that makes it quite obvious in photos which festival this is. I think Sceptron is a great tool.”