To execute a special light art event at the Heysel Plateau in Brussel, Frank Anthierens from Alice Events and More To Show’s Jordi Vandekerhof and Camille Anthierens collaborated on the concept originally known as “City Lights”. The plan was to connect the city’s tallest buildings with lasers – in a laser web – reinforcing the strong bonds between districts and communities in Brussels, especially in these challenging times. Fundamental to the project was that, while being a streamed event, Laser Lights should contain some core human elements relating to real life and not just be in a virtual digital environment.

As the event’s planning advanced, Camille focused on the overall production, while Jordi started working on the technical production, simultaneously designing the light show at the stadium with Kristof Blancquaert and with input from creative lighting consultant Michiel de Clercq.  

A highly symbolic 165-meter-long 20-meter-high tightrope walk was then added to the visual mix, representing the spirit and heart of the city – its people – looking forward to a new and exciting year ahead with lots of positivity. 

Design Team : left to right Kristof Blancquaert, Jordi Vandekerkhof and Michiel De Clercq

The walk was staged between Palais 2 and Palais 10 on the Heysel Plateau and performed by Johanne Humblet from Les Filles du Renard Pale. Carefully choreographed to a special soundtrack, the accompanying light show worked as a spectacular on-camera backdrop and bokeh effects.

For this tightrope walk light show, the More To Show creative team specified 50 x Robe MegaPointes and 25 x Robe Spiider LED wash beams as a major part of the lighting rig. Thirty-eight of the 50 MegaPointes were arranged, in a straight line on the ground running parallel and in-line with the path of the rope, with two rows of 6 fixtures each framing the entrances to gates 2 and 10. The 25 x Spiiders were deployed in a similar U-shape to highlight the historical buildings around the stadium and provide a nice depth of focus for the cameras.

The MegaPointe beam created a fantastic mid-air backdrop for the tightrope walker, bringing the camera shots zinging into life and perspective and they also produced jaw-dropping effects for the midnight countdown sequence. MegaPointes were auditioned for the job and picked as a powerful and “super-bright” fixture that would be visible in the air and “amaze” people as they paint the night sky with beams, rich colors, and anticipation. 

All the Robe fixtures together with other lighting equipment were supplied, by leading Belgian rental company Splendit BVBA, together with “a crack team of top techs” to build and crew the whole event. Jordi and the More To Show team were delighted to be working alongside Splendit. All the lighting was controlled via grandMA2 full size and light consoles.

Lasers were supplied by Laser System Europe (LSE), and their kit included 12 custom-engineered 30W RGBY lasers. The Pangolin controller was programmed using a 3D visualizer working on an imported 3D model of the city. This enabled all the laser web effects to be pre-visualized, and the resulting stunning city-wide aerial effects looked awesome! 

Jordi comments: “2020 was a challenging year in every way, and this project was a great way to see off a ghastly year and kick-start an amazing new one! The timing was perfect for us to help boost the sprites and mood of this incredible and dynamic city by doing what we love best and excel at – producing a quality event!”

Photos: Frank Lambrechts. Picturesk

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