The 2023 Lollapalooza Berlin event at Olympiapark in the heart of the city was notable for a sizzling artist lineup as well as being a major Robe moving light installation, with almost 500 Robe fixtures – over 75 on the Alternative Stage, over 125 on Main Stage North and over 250 on Main Stage South, plus some on Perry’s stage.
Lighting production was delivered to the Main Stage North by rental specialists TSE, Main Stage South by Media Resource Group (MRG), Alternative Stage by Sound Projekt (SPS) and Parry’s stage by Colour Sound Experiment.
Robe’s ‘On the Road’ show truck was also on site, located backstage left at Main Stage North, as for the first time at this event, TSE located their WYSIWYG pre-viz studio in the truck –offering all lighting designers access to the service. With all-day personal support by Thomas Heydthausen from Berlin-based pre-viz specialist prefocus, most LDs gladly accepted the offer and enjoyed the access to the hardware, hospitality and the cool vibe and yet quiet space
Apart from its role in the creative production process, the Robe truck top deck functioned as a cool networking area welcoming all crew and anyone from the technical production community on site, who could enjoy their ‘down’ time with a perfect view across almost the whole festival ground and extraordinarily good weather, which saw the mercury top 30 degrees.
Six of Robe’s new FOOTSIE2 footlight fixtures with wide diffusers and integral cable tray were made available on the thrust of Main Stage North – the first time the product has been used at a European festival!
The FOOTSIE2s were embraced by Imagine Dragons and their lighting designer Mitchell “Mitch” Schellenger, and tour lighting programmer Dennis Brasser, who could swiftly integrate them into their show.
Their show lighting production design typically had footlights along the thrust on podiums lower down from the stage – which was not possible at Lolla Berlin – so the FOOTSIE2s were welcomed, and Mitch loved everything about this innovative new product!
Apparently so did the band, and especially lead singer Dan Reynolds who could clearly see the audience with whom he has such a great connection without being blinded. He also loved the idea of the BluMark™ stage edge indication. Illumination from the FOOTSIE2’s also perfectly highlighted the artists at the front of the catwalk during the band’s dramatic and frequent confetti blasts!
Main Stage North
Thomas Stütz was TSE’s project manager for Main Stage North which utilised 12 x iFORTES and 8 x iSpiiders on the front truss – picked for their power, intensity and of course IP rating as this position was exposed. They were accompanied by thirty-four Spiider LED wash beams positioned on the main overhead trusses, together with 30 x FORTEs.
Alongside them were 36 x MegaPointes, also integral to the design, positioned on the side ladder trusses in a Matrix of 5×3 each side, and some on the deck. Robe’s MegaPointe ranks as one of the ‘must have’ all time festival favourite fixtures ever!
Robe products were also chosen because of their wide acceptance by international productions, their rider friendliness and the great creative design possibilities that using them offers to any performance environment.
Main Stage North production lighting design was created by Klaus Gräwert and Janine Lutz who commented that it was “ideal” to be able for the front IP rated fixtures to be twinned with identical standard FORTE and Spiider products on the rest of the rig, all with the same control parameters and characteristics.
Imagine Dragons brought their own touring RoboSpot systems including BMFL FollowSpots & BMFL FS LTs rigged on the back truss, plus two on the FOH towers. They have been touring Europe with this for the summer.
A total of 60 TSE crew and staff were on duty across all the shifts, headed by project leaders Thomas Stütz and Marty Lemke and working closely with Janine Lutz, who also took on the head of lighting role.
Main Stage South
Alternating in flip-flop style, the South Stage lighting technical production was supplied by another major German rental company, the Media Resource Group (MRG), and project managed by Kilian Körber.
Robe MegaPointes were a major part of the lighting scheme for this stage, with 120 on the rig, together with 30 x BMFL Blades, 70 x Spiider wash beams, 27 x Tetra2s and eight PATT 2013s.
The production lighting design started in classic festival style with a spot / wash base combination, augmented as additional rider information from individual artists became available.
This year, the leading specification came from David Guetta whose lighting design by the team at High Scream most influenced the Stage South.
Their specification focused on beam lamps with reliability and precision, in this case the MegaPointe, to help unlock the creativity and WOW factors of their aesthetic.
Kilian commented that the “essence” of festival designs is always to have this latitude to fit every artist in terms of fixture types and positioning. “As a service provider, this allows us to offer a ‘full spectrum’ that is easy for everyone to utilize. Robe is rider-suitable, and everyone gladly accepts the fixtures, so the lights are perfect for these scenarios.”
MRG also enjoys working with state-of-the-art technology, so having a range of IP rated fixtures now available from Robe was greatly perceived by MRG, and they already have a significant amount of Robe iSeries products ordered. Finally, rain domes – which often look bizarre and strange – will be a thing of the past!
Paris-based ambient electronic / dance duo The Blaze added another 24 of their own floor based MegaPointes to the 120 already in the rig on Main Stage South, while for American singer and rapper Macklemore, MRG provided an additional floor package comprising MegaPointes, strobes and Robe PATT 2013s.
Accommodating David Guetta’s precise set and lighting requirements was one of the challenges of this year’s event, and getting this right was relished by Kilian and his crew. “Seeing the results of all that work, detail and pre-preparation was very satisfying,” he commented on the spectacular results as the superstar DJ and producer fired up the festival with his indelible array of bangerz and trailblazing dancefloor hits.
grandMA3 fullsize consoles were used for lighting control and all apart from two visiting lighting operators used the house control desks.
For Kilian, having the visualization suite in the Robe show truck was a big plus. It provided a hub for LDs and operators to work and a place for them and others to relax prior or after their shows if they chose.
Up-to-date MVR files were supplied for the individual days and shows, and most operators both utilized – and were impressed by – the facility.
“Personally, I found it a great place to work and hang out! It would be great to do it again next year!” he enthused, clearly enjoying the vibes and atmos of another great Lolla Berlin. “It is simply an impressive festival with no expense or effort spared to make it an enjoyable and memorable experience for everyone,” he concluded.
MRG has been using Robe products for many years and has a large rental inventory spanning several product ranges. The company has been a supplier of the Lollapalooza Berlin event since 2022.
Main Stage South video features a large upstage video screen and two side IMAGs, and the action was streamed live via Telekom Magenta.
Lighting for the Alternative stage – with performances from Kiel-based Leoniden, known for their energy, attitude, and invention; indie rockers Lovejoy from Brighton in the UK; American indie pop band AJR from New York City featuring three multi-instrumentalist brothers that alt rocked the house – among many others – was supplied by Sound Projekt Veranstaltungstechnik from Stralsund (SPS).
It included 72 x Robe moving lights, a combination of iPointe 65s, MegaPointes, Spiiders and iSpiiders among which were rigged (with other fixtures) on the overhead rig and deployed on the floor, again all chosen as universally rider-acceptable.
Alternative Stage project manager Fabian Schwabe commented that working festival stages always requires the most flexible stage setups that can be used by multiple productions and artists. “That’s why we used MegaPointes and Spiiders both in the air and on the deck in consultation with the festival organisers,” he explained. These were supplemented by weather-proof iPointe 65s and iSpiiders in the front truss.
“It was perfect to have a front truss with identical IP-rated fixtures to those further back,” he elucidated, a practicality that Robe has spent a lot of time in developing.
Sound Projekt has also been working with Robe for many years and likes the overall usability, popularity, and reliability of the product ranges.
The Alternative Stage lighting operator – for those not bringing their own – was Max Struppe using grandMA control.
Lighting for Perry’s Stage – named after Perry Farrell from Jane’s Addiction, the event’s creator – was supplied by Colour Sound Experiment from the UK, who have also been a long-term supplier of the Berlin edition. Their rig this year included Robe Spiiders and two RoboSpot remote follow spot systems in combination with BMFL Spots.
Photos: Ole Meißner, Chris Bucanac