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MECC invests in Robe FORTES

Photo © Louise Stickland

Mackay Entertainment and Conference Centre (MECC) is a busy and diverse complex of nine different venue and event spaces in Mackay, central Queensland, Australia, hosting a lively mix of corporate launches and conferences to opera, music, dance, and performance shows.

Head of lighting Dan Grace and his team are delighted to be amongst the first in Australia to have Robe new high power FORTE’s LED luminaires in the house, with a purchase of twelve of the fixtures plus twelve new Robe Spiider LED wash beams, with more of both types of moving light to follow once the season ramps up again!

The decision to buy FORTES was underlined by MECC’s previous experiences with Robe – with nearly 100 fixtures already, including 30 x DL7s, a mix of profiles and fresnels, which directly replaced 36 hot and power‐hungry 2K fresnels in the main theatre in 2019. The last batch of these DL7s arrived together with three RoboSpot systems and BMFL FollowSpots, a move driven by MECC’s head of AV, Mark Blake.

The new FORTES and Spiiders will mainly be utilised in the Convention Centre halls as part of the main production lighting rig. The other eight FORTES and six Spiiders on order are destined for the main auditorium, however all these newest fixtures will be interchangeable according to requirements in the different venues. Dan’s ultimate goal was to have a lighting rig that could offer multiple possibilities from one standard design, which would suit all events from a conference one day to a concert for 1500 people the next, etc. Features like framing shutters, the large zoom range, the deep saturated colours, and low noise all played a part in the decision to choose FORTE. The ability of the Spiider to be a wash or a beam due to the zoom, and its excellent array of colours made it an easy choice as a replacement for their LEDWash 600s. Dan received the FORTE spec sheet and was “super impressed”, especially by the two rotating gobo wheels, the shuttering system and the 1000W LED. “I knew without even seeing it… that this was the perfect luminaire for our venue, and one that would last us well into the future,” he enthused. The decision was made, and the PO signed!

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