Robe rocks Roskilde 2022
Roskilde – Denmark’s largest and highest profile international music festival and a glorious and diverse celebration of music, art, activism, and freedom – celebrated 50 years this year with a fantastic line‐up across multiple stages, with Robe moving lights playing a major role on the famous Orange Stage and in the expansive Arena Stage venue.
Lighting designer Sune Verdier and his team once again ran production lighting for this stage, ensuring that all visiting lighting designers, directors, and operators were well accommodated and that all artists on the stage – bringing their own LDs or not – looked great. Due to the substantial ground support at its core, the Arena Stage tent can accommodate the largest amount of flown production elements – and the greatest headroom – of all the performance areas on site.
The production lighting design featured 40 x Robe MegaPointes and 48 x Spiiders at the heart of the rig, positioned on 10 automated trusses plus front and back fixed trusses and left and right side‐ladders. This setup meant that even if a single performer was onstage – like a singer‐songwriter or a DJ – the space could be filled with lights and look very cool! Sune has been heading up the Arena Stage lighting team since 2013 and involved in the festival since 2005, and the main objective is to oﬀer “the smoothest and best festival lighting technical experience.”
In advance, guest LDs are presented with a lighting rig ‘Menu Card’ featuring 8 dynamic and diﬀerent trussing configurations created using 10 trusses on an automation system, so each performance can look unique. Once selected, the stage is set by Sune and his FOH team during the changeover. Some will bring in additional touring lighting and LED specials packages which are dovetailed with the house ‘top rig’.
Above and beyond the standard technical requirements, there is always a warm welcome waiting at FOH together with a supply of festival essentials – energy drinks, water, beer, sweets, chocolates, and other snacks for those needing a sugar boost whilst working there. And, naturally, the famous Arena Stage FOH sofa and coﬀee table zone, which is squeezed in each year despite an ever‐expanding production area!
He once again worked with his key regular team including Nicolai “Gubi” Schmidt, Fredrik Heitmann, Christian Olsson and – making his Roskilde debut– August Thede. New for lighting production this year were the two side ladders, each rigged with a 3x3 matrix of Robe Spiiders, which made a real diﬀerence in emphasising the depth of the stage and were also great for filling back‐of‐camera shots for the IMAG video mix.
Dust is a massive issue in the Arena Stage as that part of the site is normally an equestrian arena, so the ground is covered with a special fine mulch specifically for horses, which with all site activity and stage action results in clouds of super‐fine particles everywhere, including in the fixtures. Sometimes, haze is not even needed!
Sune is a big advocate of Robe fixtures and usually there will be some Robe products somewhere on whatever rig he is working on, and while the sealed optical chambers of Robe’s FORTE and ESPRITE would be ideal in this situation, he also has to work with the appointed rental company’s stock and to budget!
“I was very happy to have MegaPointes and Spiiders as the main lights,” he commented, “MegaPointe is a fantastic signature luminaire – powerful, versatile and providing so many choices.” He said the same is true for the Spiider as a ‘foundation’ product that is robust and reliable, “bright, and with a great range of colours.” Apart from not having any issues with the lights, Sune notes that all LDs and operators are happy to see Robe on a festival rigs pec!
Other lighting on the Arena stage this year included wash moving lights outlining the stage, 27 x 2‐lite Moles for blinders and 20 strobes, plus a load of 2K conventional fresnels for front general lighting and six profile moving lights for keys.
This year the Roskilde Orange Stage lighting production was also a Robe lighting rig with 82 x MegaPointes,
80 x Spiiders, 10 x BMFL Wash XFs, four BMFL LTs (Long Throws), two BMFL Spots and a 6‐way RoboSpot system which was supplied by Victory Tour Production.
Orange Stage lighting technician Mathias Jensen commented that everyone was super‐impressed by the RoboSpot system with the four BMFL LT fixtures shooting almost 75 meters to this stage.
Photos © Louise Stickland