Tortuga Music Festival Grounds Lit with Chauvet Professional COLORado Fixtures
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – Beach Park in Florida’s famous spring break city is 893 miles from Ryman Auditorium, birthplace of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. But for three days this April, the eyes of the country music world were on Fort Lauderdale, as the Tortuga Music Festival welcomed Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Joe Nichols and Dierks Bentley and a host of other hot country artists to its main stage.
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The country superstars performed under an appropriately full festival lightshow designed by Paul “Arlo” Guthrie of Toss Fad Film + Design (Minneapolis). Guthrie flanked the giant center stage video wall with high-output LED panels on either side to expand its visual impression. To engage the crowd, he flew an array of beam, wash and blinder effects on horizontal and vertical truss. Additional fixtures were positioned on the downstage deck.
“I designed a rig that filled the space using curved trusses and vertical elements,” said Guthrie. “All three headliners were coming in without production, so I wanted to give their LDs something interesting to work with while making sure their individual requests were honored.”
Of course, being on the ocean, Tortuga treated 90,000 fans (from 47 states and 16 countries, according to organizers) to a tropical escape as well as music. Contributing to the mood of the festival grounds was a collection of Caribbean-inspired lounges and meeting places bathed in appropriately lush evocative colors by a collection of COLORado fixtures from CHAUVET Professional.
Abbas Ritscher of The Design Oasis positioned over 200 COLORado fixtures throughout the festival grounds, relying on their color rendering capabilities to accent a variety of scenes. “The COLORados were our workhorse,” he said. “We used them everywhere for artistic and functional purposes. They illuminated everything, including a pool that was brought in for the festival and sponsor VIP buildings, as well as large art projects like a massive wave and a full-size pirate ship replica. The colored lighting made all of these objects look more genuine, more evocative and less like props.”
The majority of fixtures illuminating scenic elements at Tortuga were IP66-rated COLORado 1-Tri IP RGB LEDs, which were attached to trees as well as the exterior of structures and used for both up and down lighting. Other COLORados featured in the rig included the 1-Tri Tour and the compact RGBW 1-Quad IP for lighting tight places, as well as the COLORado Ridge IP single panel RGBWA wash and the COLORado Range IP double panel wash.
Guthrie’s main stage rig included a collection of GLP X4s, VL3000 Spots, Clay Paky B-Eyes,
VL3500 Wash FX. SGM XC5 Strobes, KR-25 Blinders, 8 Lite DWE Blinders, ROBE BMFLs as truss spots and VL3500 Spots as well as LED pars. The rig was controlled by a grandMA2 Full Size.
“Due to scheduling conflicts I couldn’t be there for the weekend so I had to try to make sure everyone had the correct information. Jean-Francois Mallette, Antoine Malette and everyone at Solotech did a great job helping make sure all the band’s LDs were taken care of,” said Guthrie. “Brent Silberstein from Huka, Daniel Richter, who coordinated all the video, and Dean Roney at Solotech also deserve a lot of credit for making this go smoothly.”
For his part, Ritscher credits the color rendering capabilities of his Chauvet fixtures with helping the scenic design go smoothly. “The most important thing on this gig was the color temperature on the site, because of the sea turtles,” he said. “There was always the possibility that these turtles would be drawn to the light. So, we had to keep the light spectrum to amber and red in those areas where the light might affect the turtles’ behavior.
“It was very easy to dial in the appropriate colors,” continued Ritscher. “We created programs inside the fixtures that would go between amber and red. This created dynamic movement without having to use a console and data across the sand and without worrying that the fixtures would go to white by accident and cause compliance issues.”
In the end, there were no instances reported of turtles wandering up to the brilliantly illuminated scenic elements. However, there were plenty of fans who flocked to Tortuga to enjoy great music, a brilliantly illuminated stage and beautifully colorized festival grounds.