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World first Robe PAINTE installation at New Century Manchester

Fourteen fixtures from the first batch of Robe PAINTE moving lights off the production line are proudly installed as part of the house lighting rig at central Manchester’s New Century venue, a just renovated 1200 (standing) capacity, cool, multipurpose music, performance and event space in the city’s trendy NOMA business and entertainment district.

The 14 x PAINTES – Robe’s newest smaller, brighter, lighter TE LED technology moving light – were specified, together with LEDBeam 150s and 350s, by Neil Hunt from ZigZag Lighting in Leeds, who came onboard to consult, specify, supply, deliver and commission the house lighting production package.

Neil worked closely with Abby Moore, one of the venue’s directors, to establish what was needed in terms of stage lighting production and weigh up the options to bring as much “flexibility and value as possible to this fantastic space.”

Seeking a “truly adaptable, rider‐ friendly and bang up‐to‐date” lighting solution, Neil, who uses a lot of Robe in his various projects, immediately thought of Robe’s new PAINTE which has just been launched and arrived on the market at a perfect time.

He then added eight of the new and already hugely popular LEDBeam 350 to the list, which he knew would be ideal as a front wash. Its very useful 3.8‐to‐ 60‐degree zoom proved a complete winner to cover the 15‐metre‐wide stage and the small size enabled optimisation of the 5‐metre headroom. “These two fixtures ticked all the boxes,” stated Neil, adding, “PAINTE is very contemporary, small, punchy, super‐fast, it creates nice beams, has a good range of gobos, accurate framing shutters and iris control plus a great zoom,” he enthused.

The PAINTE’s light weight was another advantage that “maximised any spare load capacity in the system, also allowing greater latitude for what incoming shows can ultimately achieve with their lighting.”

“Robe is on most international rider specifications now, and even if it might not be, almost every LD and lighting director is happy to work with the brand,” Neil noted. The dancefloor is around 25 sqm and the LEDBeams on the front truss can also be used to illuminate this when needed. For additional tight beam effects and to contrast with the PAINTES, 14 of Robe’s little LEDBeam 150s were added, rigged on the three over‐stage trusses. There are also some conventional strobes and LED blinders in the rig, all controlled by an Avolites Tiger Touch II Pro console. Visiting productions / tours can also bring in their own consoles and floor packages and hook into the house ‘top’ lighting system.

New Century’s resident lighting designer is Emma Towers, who has worked at several venues around Manchester including Victoria Warehouse, Mayfield Depot and Manchester Academy, and lights any shows and events at New Century that don’t have their own LD, as well as generally overseeing all things lighting! She comments that working with the PAINTES is “effortless” and that the colour mixing and colour filters are “incredible”.

Production manager Mish Thompson also approved the lighting budget and was impressed by Neil’s specification, “It looked like a great choice of fixtures to cover the wide variety of shows we are staging here” she said, observing that the stage lighting also works brilliantly in conjunction with the venue’s bespoke LED ceiling feature lighting installation which covers much of the auditorium roof with full colour changing.

Theresa Gibson, Robe UK’s head of marketing added, “New Century is the most awesome venue and a very special home for both the first UK installation and the first globally of this powerful and punchy fixture!

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