Big Presence at 2022 Balaton Sound Festival

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The infectious beats of EDM music fused with the vibrance of festival culture returned to the picturesque shores of Lake Balaton at Zamárdi in Hungary (AKA The Hungarian Sea) with the 2022 Balaton Sound event which was completely sold out. The sun sizzled shooting the mercury to over 40 degrees and an impressive line-up included Martin Garrix, Alesso, Marshmello, Sven Väth and many more talented international artists performing across multiple stages.

Robe moving lights had a big presence on the main stage with over 200 fixtures in a high impact production design created by LD Mark Kontra and delivered by Budapest-based rental company, Colossal LTD..

Apart from the Main Stage, there was even more of a Robe buzz on site this year as the brand’s own Show Truck rocked up – fresh from a 4-date tour in Switzerland – and became an integral part of the backstage village. The Show Truck’s tent extension provided a hub for the media and press, while VIP guests of Robe’s Hungarian distributor AVL Trade could chill out in the lounge area or enjoy a unique view of the extensive festival site from the sun deck above.

Robe Show Lighting

The starting point of Mark’s Main Stage lighting design was to incorporate the general wishes of all the headliners and with that in mind, to be as flexible as possible to ensure that all appearing on the main stage looked spectacular.

While Colossal does have plenty of Robe in the inventory, he chose “the best lights for the job” and this included 42 x BMFL Spots, 52 x MegaPointes, 40 x ColorStrobe Lites, 12 x ColorStrobe IPs and 52 x Spiiders … plus some other luminaires.

These were all installed in trusses flown from the StageCo roof / stage system, having been picked for their “brightness, features and adaptability,” reported Mark. Only the headliners on the Main Stage enjoyed full darkness, so the most intense and highest impact lights were needed for effect. BMFLs and MegaPointes were a “festival no-brainer,” Mark confirmed, adding, “you know exactly what you are getting with these flagship fixtures!”

His mission was to give all the guest LDs / operators sufficient latitude and multiple options as well as ensure that Colossal’s operators – who lit any artists not touring with an LD / operator – could create great looking lighting.

“We know these Robe fixtures are robust and rock solid,” he commented. This is a major consideration for EDM events where the kit routinely gets a good hammering due to the lightning quick nature and style of the lighting.

The Spiiders and ColorStrobe Lites were rigged in three shrinking perspective arch shapes made up from overhead and side trusses, with the BMFL and MegaPointes also deployed overhead and along the side trusses.

The ColorStrobe IPs were along the front of the stage in more exposed positions, although rain was not an issue this year! ColorStrobes are a great choice for festival lighting rigs as they can do so much more than … well … strobe! Lots of bold and more subtle zoned effects used properly can provide unique signature looks and bring plenty of depth to a stage space.

Some fixtures were retained for use on the floor, and several artists also brought in their own floor packages that were used in conjunction with the ‘house’ top rig.

The production lighting control desks were two grandMA3s and a Network Processing Unit.

Joining Mark on the Colossal lighting team were Aron Kovacs and Attila Lenzser who shared most of the Main Stage operating duties, working alongside lighting technicians Gabor Balint, Gabor Fitos and David Kovacs.

Robe Show Truck

Balaton Sound was the first full music festival for Robe’s Show Truck, an inspiring new concept which will be steaming around Europe this summer following its reveal at Prolight+Sound in Frankfurt.

It offers up to 180 square metres of fully mobile space to showcase Robe’s current trend-setting fixtures wherever they are needed for events and demonstrations – bringing the show to wherever it is needed! The trailer has specially designed roller shutter doors that open to reveal a rig of up to 50 fixtures, which is fully configurable to suit the event / demo / location.

With the black box tent extension rigged on the side as at Balaton, it can be a slick and streamlined mobile showroom or versatile multi-use space as it was here for the press centre.

The body of the truck features an air-conditioned VIP zone with bar plus access to a roof terrace that can be utilised for anything from meetings and discussions to a high-level chill out space for enjoying the summer sunshine.

AVL Trade was delighted to be the first company to use the Show Truck at a full-on music festival where it provided a unique platform for their guests and customers to enjoy the festival over the four days.

The press enjoyed the convenience of being able to file reports, process and upload photos, videos and do interviews, etc. “The Show Truck proved to be very mutually beneficial,” commented AVL Trade’s Csaba Csanadi who thinks the idea is “imaginative, practical and fun.”

The positioning and facilities were also a great hit with the crew onsite who used it as a pop-up green room during the build days and somewhere to escape for brief respite from the sweltering heat … in addition to jumping into the waters of Europe’s largest freshwater lake!

Following this success, the AVL team and festival organisers are now discussing other potential events for the Show truck in 2023.

The truck is currently fully booked this year through October, with its next festival stop being the 2022 Colours of Ostrava in the Czech Republic at the old Dolní Vítkovice steelworks heritage site in Ostrava, another impressive and completely different space.

Balaton is the second major Hungarian festival this year for which Colossal supplied a Robe lighting package for the main stage. Volt in Sopron near the Austrian border was the first, presenting mainly Hungarian artists, and this will continue with Sziget in August in central Budapest, also back for the first time since 2019.

“It’s fantastic to be back working on real live events and seeing artists playing to real audiences who are enjoying the energy and community of live music,” commented Csaba. “After a couple of tough years, all of us can get back to engaging properly in our passion and commitment to the industry!”

Photo Credit: Louise Stickland

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