DALLAS, TX - July 28, 2008 - The Beijing National Stadium, believed to be the world’s largest enclosed space, will be the centerpiece for the historical Beijing Olympics opening and closing ceremonies, and the Paralympics. The Beijing National Stadium is known as “The Bird’s Nest,” because of its nest-like skeletal structure. The venue has a seating capacity of 91,000.
VARI*LITE luminaires will light the interior of The Bird’s Nest; a structure Time Magazine has called one of today’s most influential designs. Vari-Lite was chosen to be one of the preferred automated lighting manufacturers for the Beijing Olympics with an assortment of approximately 900 fixtures located in the bowl-shaped structure.
“We have enjoyed tremendous success in China over the past seven years and the amount of VARI*LITE luminaires that will be utilized at Beijing 2008 is a testament to our brand acceptance and market leading position,” said Bob Schacherl, Vice President of Sales for Vari-Lite. “We are incredibly proud to participate in arguably the most historical and culturally significant event for China in the modern era.”
VARI*LITE products were selected for their superior optics and colors. The VL3500™ Spot, VL3500 Wash, and VL3000™ Spot luminaires will illuminate the entire performing arena at the Bird’s Nest. “These fixtures are a perfect choice for the Olympic venue,” said Schacherl. “They have a proven track record and are known to perform exceptionally well in large stadiums and arenas.” The fixtures will be located near the rooftop of The Bird’s Nest and will project upon the field to create a multitude of spectacular visual effects.
The flexibility of the VARI*LITE luminaires met the stringent live performance and television requirements of the Beijing Olympic ceremonies. Zhang Yimou, an internationally acclaimed Chinese filmmaker, was selected by the Chinese Olympic Committee to produce the opening and the closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. Mr. Zhang and Chief Lighting Designer, Sha Xiaolan, were amazed by the intense light beam from the Vari-Lite VL3500 Wash luminaire. In justifying his overall selection of Vari-Lite products, Mr. Sha states, “I have the highest expectations for the performance of VARI*LITE luminaires.”
For Chinese the number eight is considered lucky so it is to no surprise that the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics will happen on 08.08.08. It is estimated that 10,500 athletes will participate in this 29th Olympiad, along with 550,000 international visitors and 2.4 million domestic spectators. As they all look on, they will see the stage sets shining and the dancers glittering as the Vari-Lite luminaires light the way.
“We look forward to our products contributing towards making the 2008 Beijing Olympics an enjoyable and memorable event for the citizens of China and the worldwide viewing audience,” added Schacherl.
All VARI*LITE luminaires were supplied to Chinese Central Television (CCTV) and Shanghai Television. CCTV is the contractor of lighting equipment to the Beijing Olympics. All VARI*LITE luminaires will be used throughout the Beijing Olympic Game months of August and September. The luminaires will also be used with other auxiliary events, such as official celebration parties, press conferences and other marketing activities.