Lighting designer David Gavilan and Mario Ortega from ASL excite millions with VARI*LITE luminaires
Published Thursday, October 28, 2010
by Bryan Matthews

As the 2010 FIFA World Cup Championship team from Spain returned home, they had waiting for them one of the largest public celebrations ever to be held. A crowd of more than 2,000,000 ecstatic fans would gather to celebrate their first World Cup title with an evening filled with congratulatory speeches and a concert headlined by multi-platinum artist David Bisbal. Behind the event, lighting designer David Gavilan and Mario Ortega were ready to tackle all challenges with the assistance of 122 VARI*LITE luminaires.

“We first became involved with the World Cup celebration through the Spanish Royal Federation of Football who we had worked with previously on a few other events,” began Gavilan. “When we were putting the initial design together we had to take into consideration three main elements; with the number of members of the audience being around 2,000,000, we would have to overcome very long throw distances; we would need to make sure the lighting could reach every part of the stage so that the Spanish team and officials would be lit correctly; and then we also had to have enough professional lighting for the concert performance of David Bisbal during the finale. The lighting instruments chosen had to be powerful with a broad color range and a high reliability.”

During the design phase of the event, Gavilan and Ortega knew that the main obstacle facing them and crew would be the throw distances they would have to overcome. Since the Manzanares River crossed the grounds were the massive crowd would be gathered, they would have to place lighting locations approximately 100 yards from the actual stage. Because of this, when selecting their automated luminaires for the event, the fixtures would have be able to hold their intensity while still providing the wide color range.

Gavilan continued, “When selecting the automated fixtures to use in this design, we needed equipment with a high lighting intensity for long distances and a wide range of colors. We chose VARI*LITE luminaires because they have the best intensity and their color systems are unmatched. We also use them because of their reliability and the lens apertures. The VL3500 Wash and the VLX Wash were crucial in this design because their power and zoom capabilities helped us cover all the areas needed without sacrificing the color palette I wanted to use.”

For their design, Gavilan and Ortega from ASL chose 40 VL3500 Wash, 24 VLX Wash, 18 VL3500Q Spot, and 40 VL3000 Spot luminaires, provided by EES. From this combination, the design team was able to successfully overcome all the design challenges presented during the celebration.

“We are using the VL3500 Wash with clear lenses to trace strong beams of light in the sky with fantastic color. We use the VLX Wash for its broad zoom range to cast deep rich colors across the stage and the millions of fans gathered at the event. We are then using the VL3500Q Spot for their shutter capabilities on the defined the stage locations where the Spanish football team and officials would be located. And finally, we use the VL3000 Spot for its gobo projections and power in conjunction with all the other VARI*LITE fixtures to give the whole design a special touch during the concert. We are very happy with the lighting package chosen because the VARI*LITE fixtures brought a deeper quality and more reliability to the event over what we would have gotten from any other lighting fixtures.”

As the 2010 World Cup Championship event got underway, the crowd of millions was primed and ready to celebrate a nationwide victory. From the moment, the Spanish team took to the stage to the grand finale filled with fireworks and a spectacular lighting show, Gavilan, Ortega and the rest of the ASL team were proud of being able to bring together a wonderful evening that will not soon be forgotten.

“It was indeed an honor to be able to work on this project with the Royal Federation of Football, EES, and VARI*LITE luminaires. I love the intensity of all the fixtures, plus the capacity they have to suit the needs of every show, in terms of color range, zoom aperture and the variety of gobos is simply phenomenal. This event was the largest crowd I have ever seen assembled and to know that I had a hand in helping millions of Spanish soccer fans celebrate our first-ever World Cup title, I am humbled. The design would not have been the same without the VARI*LITE fixtures, and if I had to do it all over again, I would do it exactly the same.”

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