SJ Lighting created lighting production designs for four stages and the main stage VIP area at Miami Rolling Loud Festival which took place over three days at Miami Gardens’ Hard Rock Stadium, in Florida, offering 75,000 hip hop fans their first chance to see A$AP Rocky, Post Malone, Travis Scott, and more perform live for the first time since March 2020. Robe moving lights were integral to the lighting design.
A total of 92 MegaPointes graced the main stage, while the Audiomack stage featured 66 MegaPointes and 36 BMFL Blades, supplied by 4Wall’s Miami office. An additional 22 Spiiders for the DRYP Stage were supplied by New York and Miami-based event technology specialist, Technical Arts Group (TAG).
SJ Lighting Principal, Stephen Lieberman, was handed an open brief from the client to design as appropriate, following some basic brand guidelines. He ensured that each stage had the requisite production requirements for each artist, with sufficient breadth and enough creative elements to provide each set a bespoke look.
MegaPointes were chosen for their high impact as a ‘festival favourite’ with brightness and an array of features to throw looks and energy from the stage out into the crowds. BMFL Blades were selected for their intensity and shuttering capabilities. While Spiiders were selected as an all-round LED wash beam light for bathing the DRYP stage and each set in a vibrant array of colours.
The lighting rigs were designed with the demands and feedback of visiting lighting designers in mind. “Whether it was our ‘house’ LDs or a raft of guest LDs, all of them could focus fixtures efficiently and produce, big, bold, clean looks,” Lieberman explained.
He commented that Robe had “many choices for high-powered stadium-style fixtures”, which are “reliable” and “effective” with a host of “great features”. He praised the lighting manufacturers’ the commitment and passion of the “people behind Robe” developing the brand’s products. “Their attitude is paramount to us,” he remarked.
Certain headliner acts brought their own special rigs ‘underneath’ the house systems on each stage, performers without their own LD had their show looked after by Lieberman and his team of lighting programmers and operators.
The biggest challenge for lighting the Ciroc main stage this year was accommodating and engineering the additional kit added to the lighting rig. While the structures had high load capacities, with guest riders added, plenty of nimble and practical logistical calculations were needed.
Production also had to remain fully flexible as some of the information came “right down to the wire” as the event was one of the first major music festivals in the sunshine state following the ‘post’ pandemic re-opening of large-scale public gatherings.
The Audiomack Stage also featured Savage, Lil Dirk, and Gucci Mane, etc., so Lieberman’s goal was to make sure each performer felt like they were “playing on a monster!” while performing on a Stageline SAM750 structure, something Lieberman alluded to as “a great performance box”. The lighting design was considered “ethereal” by Lieberman, without many artist extras. A circular truss with a downstage and upstage inside video border created a horizon for the audience.
The DRYP stage was set in a circus-style tent with king poles with upstage video detail and lighting on all the tent poles to create an immersive environment with Robe Spiiders.
MA Lighting grandMA consoles were used for house lighting control, operated by Lieberman’s team including Marcus Jessup on the Ciroc main stage, Maxwell Robin on the Audiomack stage, and SJ Lighting Event Project Manager, David Hauss on the Monster Energy stage with David Gonzalez on the DRYP Stage.
Lieberman’s highlight was “seeing all our event industry colleagues back at work, hustling and making things happen on a large live event in the way that only event production people can do to deliver shows like this,” he added. “After a lengthy shut down, everyone returned with huge energy, enthusiasm and the end result illustrates the hard work and determination required.”
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