Robe Xbox Cam
Photo Credit: Cameron Becker

The Leonardo, the tallest building in Africa, 234-metre mixed-use property development in Sandton, Johannesburg – was lit up for the South African launch of the new Microsoft Xbox Series X console – standing out against the night sky highlighted in green by Robe BMFL moving lights, with the Xbox logo emblazoned onto the top floors of the tower. 

The lighting, crew and technical production were delivered by event technical specialists MSTARR working for event producers Penquin.

Amassed media, press and VIPs watched the spectacle unfold from the rooftop balcony of the nearby Radisson Blu Hotel on Rivonia Road, a vantage point offering the best views, with the event also clearly visible from all around the Sandton CBD and beyond. It brought plenty of positive energy and vibes to the city amidst a challenging year.

Robe Xbox Anriette Van 2 Cam
Photo Credit: Cameron Becker & Anriette Van Wyk
Robe Xbox 1 Anriette Van
Photo Credit: Anriette Van Wyk

The launch lighting scheme was designed, by Greg Angelo and MSTARR’s Gareth Chambers who chose Robe’s powerful BMFL fixture that could do the job and blast enough light across the 550-metre throw distance. In one of the most inspiring stories emerging from the SA lockdown, MSTARR Productions has recently been taken over, by Gareth and his business partners – sound enthusiast, Zweli Ngcobo and company CFO Landy Yeatman – and undergone complete restructuring ready for a new era of an enterprise. This was their first major high-profile brand experience event.

To illuminate The Leonardo thoroughly and spectacularly, 18 x Robe BMFLs – six BMFL WashBeams and 12 x BMFL Blades – were installed in three different locations. Gaining the required permissions to do this involved getting the agreement of three separate buildings and their management and security companies – the Benmore Shopping Centre roof parking, the Sandton Gautrain station parking lot, and the Radisson Hotel which also had fixtures positioned on its actual roof.

Robe Xbox X Launch Anriette Van
Photo Credit: Anriette Van Wyk
Robe Xbox Anriette Van
Photo Credit: Anriette Van Wyk

Two BMFL WashBeams and four BMFL Blades were deployed, in each location. Each set of luminaires was controlled locally by a grandMA Dot2 console. Three of the BMFL Blades were fitted, with custom Xbox gobos for projecting a crisp, clear image onto the building, with local power utilized at the Radisson and the fixtures in the two parking lots running off generators.

Leonardo’s permanent LED architectural lighting scheme was also turned, green for the event. Gareth enthusiastically said: “I was delighted with the BMFLs, they did exactly, what we wanted and needed, and they were the only lights in South Africa that could have done the job!” He has used BMFLs for similar long-throw applications before and to cover even longer distances up to 850 metres, so he was confident the lights were up to it!

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