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Roland Greil uses 450 Elation lights on epic Bavaria Sounds 2022 concerts in Munich

The largest open‐air concerts ever held in Munich, and the largest in Germany this year, took place at the Munich Exhibition Center in August with over 300,000 fans total attending shows by Andreas Gabalier, Helene Fischer and Robbie Williams. Roland Greil lit the epic shows and massive 150‐meter wide stage using a rig that included over 450 Elation Professional luminaires.

Produced by Leutgeb Entertainment Group and a clear sign that live events are undoubtedly back, the concerts were rare hometown gigs for Munich‐ based LD Roland Greil, a fact that made the shows even more special for the internationally respected lighting and production designer. With a huge 150‐ meter‐wide diamond‐shaped stage designed by Florian Wieder—the widest stage for a concert since Rock in Rio in 1994 according to Greil—the shows were truly extraordinary. “

Greil handled the overall show lighting design for the Andreas Gabalier and Helene Fischer shows and handed the setup over to LD Matt Pitman for the Robbie Williams show. “It was important that the design gave him everything he needed as well,” he added. The icing on the cake, he says, was that they weren’t only lighting for the live crowd, they had to take into consideration the 25 cameras that filmed Helene Fischers’s show for TV broadcast and a future DVD.

On top of that, because the stage design had no real roof and therefore no weather protection—Greil says that perhaps 80% of the fixtures were fully exposed to rain—fully weatherproof IP65 fixtures were a must. The rig featured a large number of Elation IP‐ rated lights, over 450 in total—171 Proteus Maximus™, 106 Proteus

Excalibur™, 76 Proteus Hybrid™ and 100 Arena Zoom Q7IP™. Lighting vendor for the project was Clair Bros with support from Christie Lites.

Greil has used the Maximus before ‐ “it’s a proven, high power, versatile hybrid light that gives you a lot”– and placed them across lengths of header truss, on the backwall, on diagonals that framed the stage, and on the floor. They provided everything from beams and traditional spot looks to softer washlighting. The Proteus Hybrid, another multifunctional fixture he has past experience with, “has a small form factor that worked well from floor positions and also worked from positions in the stage fascias.”

A new fixture for him however was the Proteus Excalibur, Elation’s super bright full‐featured beam fixture. “Without a roof, at this sheer scale, we wanted to create a lighting frame around the stage and also extend whatever look on stage into the audience as well as into the sky,” the designer explains. “We were looking for a substitute for the traditional outdoor beam searchlight but wanted something with a big front lens and the Excalibur has that. They have a good look and feel and really cut the deal for us on this project.”

Lighting extended into the audience in the form of 20 PA delay towers which were also used for lighting positions with each tower housing a pair of Excaliburs to immerse the audience in the overall look and feel of the show. Generally used for sky beam looks, the designer also had them cover the audience in breakup patterns and even focused them onto Helene Fischer’s C Stage to draw the focus there.

At the upstage end of the stage, behind the band and the performance area, was a massive backwall fully clad with black fabric. Here, Greil integrated Proteus Maximus and LED wash/ blinder/strobe lights, as well as Elation Arena Zoom Q7IP, outdoor‐rated RGBW PAR lights. “I wanted to have a different look there so I integrated 100 of the Arena Zooms which is also a really nice light, again because of the output and brightness. Although they were in the background and is just an LED PAR, it held up well against all those high brightness fixtures we used in the overall design.”

Greil says that even though there were fixture types in the rig that he hadn’t used before—although he had researched and demoed them—he felt he picked the right fixtures for these shows. “I was really positively surprised,” he said, adding that fixture choice also came down to what was available on the market and in sufficient quantities “but there too we succeeded quite well.”

Photos © Manfred H. Vogel


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