First Night Boston

Products Involved


Robe iPointes helped welcome 2020 in Boston as part of the city’s spectacular annual “First Night Boston” event, for which locally-based Port Lighting lit several buildings and installations in the heart of one of Boston’s busiest public walkways, Copley Square.

Lighting Director Graham Edmondson aimed to bring the area alive with energy, excitement, dynamic movement and color-changing effects. He worked closely with programmer Kyle Stetson to create a consistent design using a variety of fixtures across Copley Square during the midnight countdown and subsequent fireworks show launched from the Fairmont Copley Hotel roof.

Port Lighting – which has lit the event for several years – traditionally deploys beam fixtures on the Fairmont roof to light the area below, and transform the location into a beacon of light, drawing people in.

In the past, these have been Robe MegaPointes in weather domes, but this year they decided to try iPointes for the application.

This proved a perfect solution for a number of reasons. The roof load-in involves two different passenger elevators and a long push through the hotel. Not having to use domes or other weather-proofing kit saved substantial time – around five hours – on the load-in and another five on the load-out as they just needed the six iPointe flightcases plus some distro and control.

The iPointes “were very bright” and worked “fantastically” as a means of drawing attention to the location, according to Graham.

They utilized three generations of moving lights on the site for the event, and the iPointes were easily the most impressive.

During programming, they could shoot from the roof of the Fairmont and hit the façade of the Boston Public Library with gobos that were brighter than other fixtures 150ft closer and specifically dedicated to lighting the building.

The biggest challenge of this show is working in the elements in a short timeframe. The whole setup – including a stage for live artists – has to be in and programmed in three days. While this year’s weather was better than in the past, they still had days of rain and high winds to contend with.

Port Lighting has a large stock of Robe products in its rental inventory including iPointes, MegaPointes, BMFL Spots, LEDBeam 1000s and RoboSpot systems.

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