Audio Visual Events Invests in More Astera

Audio Visual Events (AVE) is a live, hybrid and virtual event production services specialist based in Sydney, Australia, working across all industry sectors including corporate, commercial and entertainment.

Since 2019, and throughout the pandemic period, the company has invested steadily in Astera’s range of battery powered wireless controlled LED lighting products.

In the last three months alone, this has included the purchase of 80 x Astera AX5 TriplePARs and 16 x Hyperion Tubes, which – together with the 100+ Astera AX1 Pixel Tubes and AX3 LiteDrops already in stock – have been delivered by Astera’s Australian distributor, ULA Group.

In 2020, work gradually started picking up after the initial few months of the pandemic when the event industry worldwide came to a halt. AVE also used this time to focus on being innovative and expanding its resources and horizons to attract potential new business. ON AIR is one of the results of this effort, an exciting new semi-permanent studio space, which is available for rental and co-productions. The project is a collaboration with the SMC Conference & Function Centre at Sydney Masonic Centre and digital event specialist Create Engage.

All entities were united by the goal of keeping as many staff and crew as possible employed during this extraordinary period and to provide clients with an inventive and effective platform to share their messages in a virtual, timely, cost-effective and safe way.

Paul Keating, who joined AVE four years ago as general manager explains that having several diverse revenue streams has assisted the company in keeping going and moving forwards through this tough and unpredictable time, minimising economic impact on their talented and hardworking team.

As the demand for alternative ways of delivering events, branding, messaging, and communication soared, set up of the first ON AIR studio accelerated, and this became so busy that a second studio is currently being built.

The initial 104 x Astera AX1 Pixel Tubes were purchased at the end of 2019 and became invaluable during the early months of the first ON AIR studio. “Everyone loves them, and visually the fixtures can provide that extra texturing and depth that really benefits AV-based recorded or streamed events,” commented Paul.

With the success of the first batch of Asteras plus the “excellent” support from the ULA team, it also made sense to acquire more fixtures to replace some of their older products.

Wireless control was a major selling point for Paul and the whole AV Event team.

“The convenience from a labour perspective is obvious,” he explained, “this in turn fuels creativity and enables us to deliver more complex and dynamic light shows especially on site in smaller or more challenging spaces.”

The National Rugby League has been a major client over the last year, with several events staged in their various stadiums around the country, often compact-sized rooms but always requiring a unique look and feel for the presentation and telecast.

Having the Asteras onboard and access to wireless operation has opened a whole universe of possibilities for AVE, especially where conventional trussing or rigging infrastructure is not available or possible. Being able to use Astera products in these and other improvised situations means they can still create the cool, slick corporate looks desired, even with little time and limited facilities.

Astera’s onboard LumenRadio CRMX has proved “flawless” for the AV Events team who often run up to 5 or 10 universes of wireless DMX.

They like the App control, as it is hugely convenient to use a smartphone or tablet, and of course, the “outstanding” quality of light.

“These fixtures have all been extremely well thought out,” says Paul, adding that the IP 65 rating is the icing on the cake as they can work equally well indoors or outdoors.

“With Astera you simply get everything all at once!” he declares.

Crews and technicians love the array of ingenious bracketry, spigots, etc., and the compatibility with standard rigging kit and popular setups they frequently encounter on site.

“Even the case layout is brilliant – so you can spot a missing item immediately,” declares Paul.

Their enthusiasm for the brand and products is boosted by the relationship with ULA Group, which Paul underlines, “is really imperative to investing in a brand”. The most recent purchase of the Hyperion Tubes was a great example.

They were acquired for the National Rugby League event at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville, just north of Brisbane which was rescheduled to this venue at the last minute.

More kit was needed very rapidly on site when the Queensland “Maroons” unexpectedly decided they would use a function room area adjacent to their dressing room as part of their televised run-on!

An urgent call to ULA asked them to send “Whatever Astera’s they had in stock” … and shortly after the Hyperions arrived on site! The crew set up the shot which featured light dramatically chasing and flickering through the tubes during the run on, adding excitement and depth to the footage as the players powered through, looking amazing both on camera and in reality.

Another six hospitality rooms at the same event were filled with AX1s.

When not in use on AV Events’ own shows, there is no shortage of dry hire demand for all their Astera products which also include AX5s which are regularly used for up-lighters for rooms and scenery.

“It’s obvious that Astera’s R ‘n’ D team is listening to those working on the ground in film, TV and live events sectors, and they just keep on improving and innovating the products. This is a manufacturer invested in a long-term future for its brand,” concludes Paul.

Photo: © AV Events