CHAUVET Professional Shines with Eclipse in New Zealand

About 70 CHAUVET Professional fixtures lit the stage for a one-of-a-kind performance of Pink Floyd tribute band Eclipse, which gathered a crowd of 2,500 people at Stonehenge Aotearoa, a hilltop location overlooking the Wairarapa valley in New Zealand. CHAUVET Professional distributor MDR Sound & Lighting Limited supplied an extensive selection of products, like 24 Q-Wash™ 560Z-LED wash lights, 12 COLORado™ 2 Zoom Tour fixtures, eight Q-Spot™ 560-LED moving yokes, four Q-Spot™ 460-LEDs, six COLORado™ Zoom WW Tour washes, three SparkliteLED™ Drapes and more. Additional  gear comprised of CHAUVET DJ lights spiced up the stage, which was built of TRUSST trussing. Here are some cool shots:

Eclipse (Pink Floyd tribute band from Palmerston North) at Stonehenge Aotearoa

Eclipse (Pink Floyd tribute band from Palmerston North) at Stonehenge Aotearoa

Eclipse (Pink Floyd tribute band from Palmerston North) at Stonehenge Aotearoa

Eclipse (Pink Floyd tribute band from Palmerston North) at Stonehenge Aotearoa

Eclipse (Pink Floyd tribute band from Palmerston North) at Stonehenge Aotearoa

Eclipse (Pink Floyd tribute band from Palmerston North) at Stonehenge Aotearoa

Eclipse (Pink Floyd tribute band from Palmerston North) at Stonehenge Aotearoa



NZ trip: Day 8, Wellington – MDR dealer night

Written by Mike Graham, product manager for CHAUVET® Professional

Get up early and drive to work. It’s almost like being at home, except I am driving on the other side of the road through some of the most dangerous roads on the North Island.  There is a safer way, but apparently the GPS I am using hates Americans enough to send me over the mountain instead of around it. All in all, the drive up the mountain was easy. Just a matter of staying in my lane and taking it easy. No problem until I started going down the mountain and all I could see was huge cliffs and water that seemed like a mile below. Needless to say, I was sweating bullets and could not wait to get down from there, but wanted to make sure it was by road, not by air.

Brodie’s license plate. Yes, he can spell, but there is only space for 6 letters.

Once I finally got to MDR, it was time to get to work and help finish up the dealer night preparations.

The sign is self explanatory.

The lighting rig consisted of the following: (2) LEGEND™ 300E Spot, (2) Q-Spot™ 160-LED, (2) COLORband™ TRI, (7) COLORado™ 2 IP, (4) COLORado™ 1-Tri TOUR, (4) COLORado™ 1 Tour, (1) COLORado™ 1 VW, (8) LED PARr 64 TRI, (1) Cirrus™ and (1) Eclipse™. (The last three are members of our club/DJ line of fixtures.) There were also one each of the COLORdash™ Accent family members, an assortment of ILUMINARC® products, as well as the popular club/DJ wash lights 4PLAY™ and 4BAR™. It was all controlled by ShowXpress™ and an Obey™ 70.

Controlled by ShowXpress™ and Obey™ 70

The night was hosted by MDR and Audio Progress Ltd. We had a guest from Massey University, Professor of Sustainable Energy, Ralph Sims, who discussed the effects of CO2 emissions as they relate to global warming concerns. He described what can be done to help prevent further release of CO2 and how we can lower our carbon footprint by using more efficient methods of transportation, energy production in our everyday lifestyle. He touched on the lighting industry and offered comparisons between traditional incandescent lighting and compact fluorescent lighting (CFL).

Prof. Simms speaks about green and sustainable energy.

After his presentation, I was able to expand on his discussion by going into the energy savings of LED and also include the fact that LEDs are much more flexible and actually usable in the entertainment industry where CFL is not. I then touched on the fact that comparisons between LED and discharge lamps is difficult to do on paper and is something that has to be shown in person. The crowd was very receptive to this and I think Brodie is going to get swamped with demo requests.

The presentation from offstage. We waited until it got dark to start going over the fixtures themselves.

We took a short break between the technology portion and the fixture overview and then reviewed the entire professional catalogue fixture by fixture. After the presentation, both Brodie and I were mentally exhausted.

Brodie then wanted to give me a ride around Palmerston North to show me the two outdoor installations he has worked on. There are more in the works, but for now there is the Clock Tower and Regent on Broadway Theater. The Clock Tower is lit with a combination of COLORado™ Batten 72 Tours and COLORado™ 6p units. The Regent Theater is uplit with COLORado™ 6p units only.

The clock tower is lit with a combination of COLORado™ Batten 72 Tours and COLORado™ 6 IP units.

The Regent on Broadway Theater is lit with COLORado™ 6 IP units only.


NZ trip: Day 6, Christchurch

Written by Mike Graham, product manager for CHAUVET® Professional

I was back in Christchurch. Annie and Connor were in Sydney for another day and I have meetings to get to. My first was with New Zealand Rockshop. The Rockshop is one of three music store chains in NZ. This one is exclusively serviced by MDR in the lighting department and that means one thing for me, CHAUVET® Club and DJ gear sales.

I met with Dave and showed him the COLORdash™ Accent family. He had not seen any of them and was blown away by them. So much so that he called Brodie for pricing and availability while I was still in the store.

Next was a meeting with one of the top lighting and sound installers on the South Island. Leon Burt runs a company called One Man Wiring Ltd. While I was waiting for him, I noticed that at the hotel we were staying at, they had a place called Below Zero Ice Bar. I stopped by to see what kind of lights they had inside. I had no idea at the time that it was a CHAUVET® installation and that Leon had done it. After Leon and I had lunch, he took me over to look at the bar.

Photos of the Below Zero Ice Bar's interior. The back bar area is lit with a COLORpalette™.

It was a very “cool” installation to say the least. We showed the people there the Accents as well because it looked like they need to add a few more lights to the job. For this installation, LEDs are the key as the low heat keeps the ice frozen a whole lot easier and more economically. They keep the room at a pretty steady -7 Celsius and with the fact that the temperature outside was about 24 C, air conditioning is a factor.

The Below Zero Ice Bar’s walls are lit with COLORstrip™ wash lights .

For the rest of the afternoon, I took a walk around the town square looking for job opportunities. I thought at the time that the cathedral would be an excellent lighting opportunity.

I thought at the time that the cathedral would be an excellent lighting opportunity. Too bad it has since been destroyed in the 2/22/11 earthquake.

Later on that evening, the plan was for Annie and Connor to get back at about 11:30. They got back at about 3:30 am. Did I mention that 3:30 is early? The fun part is that we are off to Wellington in the North Island later that day.


NZ trip: Day 5, Auckland

Written by Mike Graham, product manager for CHAUVET® Professional

Three thirty in the morning is early.  I don’t care what time zone you think your head is in, it’s early. We got to the airport and I dropped Annie and Connor off at the international terminal. I then went to the domestic terminal to catch my flight to Auckland. Did I mention that 3:30 am is early? Well so is every minute past that until you get back to sleep on the plane.

Once I landed in Auckland, I hooked up with Brodie Noon. Brodie is the director of MDR, our distributor for CHAUVET® in New Zealand and overall cool guy. We got a lift to our first meeting with Matt, one of Brodie’s sales guys. Our first meeting was with a company called Lamp Specialists, Ltd. The person we were to meet was Clifford Henshaw. Lamp Specialists is one of Brodie’s best customers and is also the Philips lamp distributor for NZ.  (Could you ask for a better combination?) Cliff gave me the lowdown on his vision of the future for CHAUVET® in NZ. I must say that I was really happy with what he had to say as he was very receptive to the idea of working more closely with CHAUVET® and the local production companies, as well as with the architectural market. Both of which he seems to be very aware of.  Cliff was also to be our driver and guide for the rest of the day.  I think he was driving the only Cadillac I have ever seen in NZ.

Due to not having any spare time to do any sight seeing, here are two pics of Auckland from the back seat of a speeding car. The first is a photo of the harbor bridge. There is a massive New Zealand flag on the top of it.

The second photo is of the downtown skyline of Auckland.

We started out with a company called Spotlight. Ben and Alex were all set to see us and wanted to know from the start more about what we were doing with LEDs in the future.  As they already have COLORado™ 3p units in their inventory, I suggested looking at expanding their existing LED inventory and taking advantage of the power savings along with having the CHAUVET® support. Since they do a lot of dry hire into schools and public events, I think that they thought that would be a good idea.

Our second meeting was with an architectural company called LDP, Lighting Design Partnership-Visual Planners. They design projects all over the world and are working on some very cool ones in NZ. It makes it so easy when you walk into a presentation, especially with an architectural firm, and are totally prepared. We showed them what is new with ILUMINARC®, sister company of CHAUVET® which focuses on architectural interior and exterior lighting solutions, and I think they were quite impressed. Adriana, Domenico and John were a great audience and very friendly. Their big thing is reliability, which with the environmental stresses in NZ (the combination of having a high content of salt and sulfur in the air, cold winters, hot summers, and in many areas, high winds), rugged housings on our outdoor items is really important. I told them about our success with projects in Quebec City and Paris along with cruise ships. I think that they we impressed with our existing projects considering the fact that ILUMINARC® is not even two years old yet.

Our last meeting of the day was with a hire company called Oceania. These guys are one of the largest hire companies in NZ. They have a shop that reminded me of my last tour with Upstaging without all of the red trucks. They do everything from fabrication to rentals. Simon of Oceania was good enough to sit down with us and give us a look at some of the projects they are working on over the next few months. Looks like they will be very busy with the upcoming Rugby World Cup 2011. It seems that the entire country is all about rugby even more than normal. Because of the nature of the business in NZ, shipping is a major concern with hire companies. They need durable fixtures that can survive constant shipping from the North Island to the South and back again. I assured them that the CHAUVET® COLORado™ series can cover that need.

All in all, the meetings went better than expected. CHAUVET® has a good name in NZ and the three of us–Brodie, Cliff, and I–felt we covered all of our bases and it was time for Brodie and I to get back to the airport. Matt came back to Cliff’s office to pick us up and take us to the airport, but not before a quick stop at a pub for a fish and chips meal along with a beer.