UAE: The annual Dubai World Cup encompasses a series of some of the most prestigious events in the UAE’s calendar, and once again this year, eclipse Staging Services was called in to provide technical production services befitting of the world’s richest horse race. Taking place at the Meydan Racecourse, eclipse provided a variety of AV solutions to the Welcome Dinner and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
The series of events kicked off with the Welcome Reception and with just three days to go before rehearsals began and with much of the venue still in the very early stages of construction, the eclipse team began the process of loading in. The limited access around the site whilst it was still being built meant that all the suppliers needed to work well with each other to keep areas clear where possible. eclipse provided full primary and secondary power to the overall site which was spread over a 1.5km area, including all F&B areas. Laying powerlock was made difficult as only parts of the site were accessible by mules, meaning that much of it needed to be transported by foot. Extra generators had to be brought in to cater to the additional road and villa lighting. On inspection of the site, the Civil Defence praised the power crew on their quality, professionalism and their dedication to HSE best practices.
The main show lighting consisted of four stage platforms in the lake, each with four Sharpys, two Mac Auras and two Sharpy Washes. Small platforms to the left and right of the outer stages gave positions for a drummer on one side, and a DJ on another, each of these platforms had two Mac Auras and a single P5. Front light for the stages came from Alpha Profile 1500s rigged to the circular ‘skyliner’ truss from across the lagoon in the main seating block. Aerial beam effects came from the 48 Mythos rigged in pairs, on the upstage side of the lagoon firing back into the audience. Giving extra depth to the lighting rig, SGM P5s were positioned next to each bank of Mythos with their focus on the trees behind the lagoon. The main rig was controlled by a full-size GrandMA2 with a GrandMA2 Lite as backup. Fiber optic looms ran out to the main NPUs behind the lagoon which distributed the main bulk of the DMX. Further network processing was installed under the audience seating block to feed the Skyliner truss and seating structure fixtures.
Away from the main show element, the 1km entrance road had a total of 185 SGM P5s, 12 Sharpys and eight Mac 401s lining the route to the event. Out of this, 100 of the P5s ran a sequential chase for the final 500m of the road, building the excitement for the guests as they arrived into the welcome area.
Project Manager for the Welcome Reception, Tom Ralston comments, “We deployed nearly 170 Clay Paky fixtures on this rig, consisting of Glow Ups, Sharpys, Sharpy Washes, Alpha Profile 1500s, Alpha 1500 HPE and of course Mythos. By far, the standout fixture on the whole show were the Mythos. For such a small fixture for what you get out of them, they really do stand out against anything else in their class. For this show, their use of subtle breakup gobos in some cues, coupled with big aerial beam made them an extremely versatile fixture.”
Also under the eclipse umbrella of responsibilities for this project was the audio supply, Head of Audio John Parkhouse explains, “A large stage was being built in the lagoon which would house our speaker and signal distribution systems, that said we were able to concentrate on infrastructure by installing the wired and wireless comms system,” He goes on, “we utilised over 1.2 km of Cat5 for the antennae distribution as well as RF scanning. We had to ensure and plan for uninterrupted coverage of all RF and comms on the large site of 400m wide by 400m deep. We would have performers and techs across the entire site on either IEM or Comms. We also integrated our system in to CT’s tempest comms system giving us fully comprehensive ability to communicate in any direction. We even ran a 400m line to give the stage managers wired backup comms which functioned without any issue for the duration.”
The audio team’s artillery included a DiGiCo SD8, four stacks of J-Series with J-Sub out in the lagoon and 12 d&b E5’s as lip fills to cover the large audience area, as well as six flown d&b Y7/10P delays for the garden area. A further eight Y7/10P were placed in the entrance walk way fed via Neutrik Xirium from FOH to the roof of one of the villas. The SD rack was placed in FOH to handle the video feeds, IEM sends, RF inputs, SMPTE and FSK timecode distribution with an SD rack 200m away from FOH to distribute FSK to Pyro then two SD Mini Racks a further 200m away on the lagoon stage to handle signal distribution to the J-Series PA. All the DiGiCo Racks were connected via OpticalCon Fiber in a fully redundant loop to give maximum redundancy.
Mr. Parkhouse comments, “I am extremely pleased with how the audio team performed and delivered on this event in what were testing and ever changing circumstances. We met every deadline with time to spare for rehearsals and even though it seemed impossible or unrealistic at times there was no chance or hint that we would not deliver - what actually pleases me most of all is that we delivered in style.”
Moving on from the Reception, eclipse also supported the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the World Cup, the lighting alone constituted of over 100 lighting fixtures including Clay Paky Supersharpys, Clay Paky Mythos, Clay Paky B-Eyes, LED battens, Vari-Lite Moving heads and Lycian Follow Spots. Teaming up with A&O, the crew utilised the Meydan in-house infrastructure and provided a fully redundant fibre network system using Artnet and Lumix Boxes.
Read more about our support of the Dubai World Cup 2016 after race concert with Janet Jackson here