Protec delivers lighting and AV for HQ Worldwide’s Special Olympics

Protec  helped deliver the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics IX MENA Games 2018.

The event opened with a bang in Abu Dhabi and was watched by 2,000 spectators, who welcomed more than 1,000 Special Olympics athletes from 32 different countries.

HQ Worldwide called upon Protec to deliver an opening ceremony that set the scene for the week ahead and respected the athletes from the UAE and visiting countries.

Protec provided lighting, audio and video as well as some rigging for the show in ADNEC. HQ Worldwide provided its own lighting design and the video content.

Protects project manager, Simon Travis, explained: “Due to the openness of the venue, scaffold towers were erected around the grandstand area. For the three big ones on the open side, near the road, we used our total fabrications EHD truss to span across so we could hang our lights. Underneath the grandstand five little scaffold towers were placed so we could use our smaller truss and hang fixtures around the area.

“We had four follow spots towards the backend of the arena to pick up speakers and performances. We used 16 Super Sharpies on top of the set to create a nice beam effect up top. On the floor, on either side of the stage, we used four Super Sharpies, our new Robe Pointes and Robe Spikies. Underneath the set, which was used as the stage entrance, we used 12 more Robe Spikies for more beam effects. Along the edges of the stage we used 56 Clay Paky K10 B-Eyes with 30 SGM P2s and 24 Robe Pointes to create some interesting effects there and to wash along the stages for the performances.”

Dan Ivanovski, Protec’s lighting engineer, added: “Under the grandstand roof and front of house towers, we used Varilite Spots – 24 Varilite Washes and 24 Clay Paky Alpha Wash 1200 illuminated grandstands and the athletes seating area. Sixteen Clay Paky Scenius Profile rigged around the arena picked up the performance on stage as well as some key positions for speeches.”

The set-up took three days, followed by four days of rehearsals in preparation for the two-hour ceremony on the opening night.

Tim Jacobs, managing director of KTS Global/HQ Worldwide, commented on the ceremony: “With the determination shown by the competing athletes fuelling the production team to deliver the opening ceremony in an extremely short time frame and within very tight budgetary limits, Protec, Al Laith and VK furniture delivered one of the most rewarding projects to date.”

Florian Hoss, senior video technician at Protec, described the event’s video solutions. “We used three WATCHOUT Servers for Content Playback that involved the opening video, lower thirds for name-slides, timecode for other departments and audio tracks, whereas one production machine was controlling two display machines, one main and one backup. The WATCHOUT main, backup and the incoming camera signal was then switched by a Barco S3-4K to screen.

“The screen was powered by a quadruple stack of our 30K Barco HDF-W30 FLEX Projectors. We used two main and two backups with a seamless failover switch over Widget Designer.”

There were certain challenges faced due to the heavy wind and the heat, according to Hoss. The projection tower was shaking a lot and the metal changed over the hot temperatures of the day to the cold of the evening meaning the team had to make realignment adjustments every night.

Travis concluded: “Our client – HQ worldwide – pulled off an excellent show with a limited budget. Great show to be a part of. Were there challenges? Yes there were. Was it worth it – absolutely!” .