USA: Ultra Music Festival, the eminent EDM event staged along Bayfront Park in downtown Miami, attracted over 150,000 attendees for three days this March. Robe BMFL and Pointe moving lights were prominent on three major stages: the Main Stage, the Live Stage and the Carl Cox & Friends Arena – all helping to create visually compelling environments.
The production designs for Carl Cox & Friends and the Worldwide Stage were created by Steve Lieberman of SJ Lighting. Contracted directly by Ultra, Steve was also the Lighting Designer for the Main Stage, where he collaborated closely with Creative Director Richard Milstein and Production Manager Ray Steinman to develop a unique Ultra concept that also took into account the requirements and specs of all the headliners.
Pendulum, Hardwell, Avicii, David Guetta, Afrojack, Martin Garrix, Zedd and many more graced the Main Stage; Deadmau5, Nero, Mike Snow and Purity Ring were among the Live Stage performers; and Richie Hawtin and Carl Cox held court in the latter’s eponymous Arena, which was transformed – using the same rig overhead for Armin van Buuren’s A State of Trance on Sunday.
On the Main Stage – a 215-foot masterpiece of technical art built by Mountain Productions – came armed with 64 x Robe BMFL Spots that had massive impact juxtaposed against the famous Miami skyline. All lighting was supplied by Solotech, and the vast amount of video surfaces by Screenworks.
At the Main Stage, lighting at FOH was looked after by Patrick Dierson and Josh Spodick from SJ Lighting. Guest LDs included Andre Beekmans from Art of Light (Hardwell), Andy Hurst (Pendulum), Sam MacLaren for Leggy (David Guetta), JJ Rotte for Lightimage (Fedde Le Grande), Chris van Bokhorst (Avicii), Bas Scheij for Art of Light (Afrojack), and Aron Altmark (Tiesto).
Lighting for the Live Stage – built around the permanent Bayfront Amphitheater and extended with side PA / video wings that also created additional lighting positions – included 70 Robe Pointes from locally-based rental company, Paradigm Lighting. Running FOH here were Mike Smirka and Miguel Cortero, overseen by Jorge Valdez.
Over in the Carl Cox & Friends Arena, Steve Lieberman’s design featured 24 x BMFL Spots and 96 x Pointes. These powerful and flexible multi-purpose fixtures were used to the max over the three days and chosen for their multi-functionality.
A series of trussing lighting pods were positioned in the roof so they elegantly curved around the spacious structure, accentuating the architecture.
The moving lights were scattered across these pods, each of which was filled with LED panels in the centre, a combination of 8mm and 37mm pitch products, with the six most central pods flown on an automation system that moved them into different positions throughout the night; tilting, pitching and completely changing the spatiality of the venue.
The structure, video, lighting and rigging were supplied by AG Production Services from Las Vegas, headed by Andrew Gumper, with the Robes supplied by locally-based Zenith Lighting.
Joining Steve Lieberman at FOH on operating duties was Michael Seeverens from The Art of Light, who looked after A State of Trance.
Lieberman commented: “Optically, the Robe fixtures exceeded my expectations – when it came time to put the fixtures directly into the face of the audience, I was able to balance the looks with a very refined edge focus so it was visually pleasant to everyone. When needed, the raw power of these units made it feel like we ran them over with a truck.”