For the fourth consecutive year, eclipse has supported one of the highlights of the UAE events calendar.
Now in its 47th year, the Dubai Rugby Sevens has grown enormously from nothing but a sand pitch to a three-day long festival with a stadium capacity of more than 50,000 and it was eclipse’s job to supply the event with audio, lighting and rigging, with special effect support from Stage FX.
As this year marks the fourth year in which eclipse has supported the Rugby Sevens, the team are well versed in the venue’s setup and its requirements. eclipse went with the same tried and tested long-standing formula, “the event from rig to de-rig was remarkably smooth,” commented eclipse freelance Audio Engineer, Mark Ross. The rate in which the whole rig went up was thanks to the team’s substantial knowledge of the event, including eclipse Audio Technician Darryl Jay Violeta, whom has been supporting the Sevens’ build and show for over seven years as one of the project leads.
Mark Ross controlled the audio within the main stadium using the DiGiCo S21 desk, quite a responsibility as the main stadium is attended by around 40,000 to 50,000 people each day. “With its customizable user interface and macros, it made control of all inputs and sub-mixes really easy and very quick,” recalled Mark. He went on, “Sending audio across a site is often a challenge, but using Xirium we were able to send an audio mix from the main stadium to other areas wirelessly.” Pitch two was covered using a combination of both KH4 and KS4 K-array subs.
The unique format of the Rugby Sevens delivers a weekend full of sport and entertainment for the family, such as live music from the Rugby Rocks stage which called into action a tall order of eclipse’s d&b kit. The audio requirements for the Rugby Rocks concerts included 12 J8s and four J12s for the main PA, ten J subs for low-end reinforcement, two V8s for fills and 18 D12 amps, with everything mixed on a SD8. In monitor world, the crew deployed a combination of a DiGiCo SD8, a DiGiCo SD Rack, a DiGiCo Madi Rack and eight L’Acoustics 12xts. “We pushed the system hard intentionally to match the high atmosphere from earlier in the day.” Commented Senior Audio Engineer, Wissam Shaheen
The lighting for the Rugby Rocks stage was a neat setup with a variety of Martin and Clay Paky moving heads. The setup, operated by eclipse’s Lighting Technician Vinod Raveendran, consisted of over 120 fixtures, which added great atmosphere to the stage and Rugby Rocks feel.
With so many different elements required to keep the festival atmosphere going, Stage FX was called in to provide the closing special effects for the awards ceremony, which saw the winning team lift the trophy amongst a cascade of red and white confetti. “There was an amazing pulsating atmosphere in the stadium for the final. When we fired the confetti blasters the crowd went berserk, it was great to be there and experience it,” comments Stage FX Operations Manager Rory Inker.
“With the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens falling on the same weekend as the UAE’s 45th National Day, and other celebrations taking place all over the Emirates, we had our work cut out for us. However, with the crew’s constant hard work, and team effort, it was a spectacular show, as always. We’re counting down the days until the next one.” Concluded eclipse General Manager, Martin Lubach.