San Salvador, El Salvador – For a live-streamed show by celebrity pastor Dante Gebel, featuring both a live band and spoken voice, lighting designer Daniel Charif needed to provide everything expected of a live rock and roll show, plus quality lighting for the cameras. To find lighting fixtures with the qualities he needed for this large-scale, upbeat live experience, he looked to the Vari-Lite product range – including 48 of Vari-Lite’s latest, high-powered, feature-packed effects luminaire, the VL10 BEAMWASH.


    “The most important challenge was finding an equilibrium between lighting for television and for the crowd at the live show,” says Charif. “As this is an evangelical musical event, the live streaming was very important, but we didn’t want to sacrifice the quality of the live show for the audience. I wanted nice looks to accentuate the mood, but without distracting from the sermon. For this reason, the design was based mostly on backlighting for contrast.”


    Supplied by local company Electronica 2001, Charif’s lighting rig would have done justice to most rock and roll tours, with more than 140 Vari-Lite fixtures in total. Among them were popular, super-punchy workhorses like the VL4000 BEAMWASH and VL3500 WASH FX, and smaller fixtures from the VL2000 Series, as well as the very latest VL10 BEAMWASH fixture. These, Charif positioned on 10 overhead trusses, angled and cascading above stage left and right.


    The feature-laden VL10 fixtures gave Charif the flexibility he needed on all fronts. “I had been told that the VLFX animation wheel in the VL10 BEAMWASH created some excellent effects,” he says. “I used them in many different ways. My favorite moments were during the band’s performance. The speed of the strobes and color changes were excellent in these moments and created a lot of energy for the show. As with the VL4000, I relied on the VL10’s CMY colors, the variable zoom, and its high CRI which is fundamental for television.”


    The VL10s also provided backlight for the sermon, where its wide range of gobos, effects and colors helped Charif to deliver the ambience he needed, but with slower, subtler aesthetic looks. These, and indeed the whole show, was programmed and operated by Charif’s son, Khalil Charif, and his company, Koncept Lighting.


    Discussing his fixture preferences, Charif says, “I always look for a good output, a fast pan and tilt speed, and most of all, CMY color changing, as it is so important in the slower songs that the colors cross-fade without those sudden color changes you get from color wheels. I believe CMY features are the most important when designing and programming a dynamic show.”


    He adds, “We used the VL2000s and the VL3000 WASH on the downstage truss, because they have an excellent zoom and great output. The 24 VL4000 BEAMWASH were all used for contrast lighting upstage, thanks to the many options it offers.”


    Charif concludes, “The VL10 is an excellent fixture. It’s fast, bright, has excellent zoom, and is both low in consumption and light in weight. The VLFX wheel is great and the fixture’s ability to switch from wash to beam, each with a great quantity of options, makes it indispensable in any design nowadays. It is also a great fixture for television, which is the icing on the cake for me.”


    BBC PROMS 2019 4 – Photo credits: ©