Scene Change Sydney has boosted its inventory with the addition of Prolights Astra19 IP, Prolights EclProfile CT+, Ayrton Diablo, Look Solutions Unique 2.1 Hazers and an MA Lighting MA3 Compact XT.
Towards the end of May, the new gear was deployed to the Hunter Valley for a massive corporate event along with ShowPRO EX 36, ShowPRO Hex Strips, Prolights EclFresnel 2k TW, Martin MAC Aura XB and MAC Quantum Wash.
The event was PwC Australia’s Signature Experience Program, ‘The Outside’, an immersive, learning experience designed to future-proof the firm’s Senior Associates and Managers with the insights, perspectives and unique skills they require to become the next generation of leaders.
This annual event, in its second year, was held at Oaks Cypress Lakes, in Pokolbin. It’s a multi-week programme, with each group on site for three nights. The Outside offers an extensive “choose your own adventure” list of experiences, including ice baths, keynote speakers, gut health seminars, deep dives into AI and future tech, a music trivia night, intimate tabletop theatre, a curated cabaret theatre evening, fireside chats, and much more.
The brief this year was a collaborative experience. There is a wealth of talented event professionals both full-time and contracted to PwC, nearly all of whom have returned for this year’s event. They invited key stakeholders to bring their ideas to the design, so all involved parties could share in the vision.
The event was set on the driving range, which had some extensive earthworks to support the event. The main plenary and party space was a 50m x 20m Sperry Tent, supported by a 50m x 20m stretch tent for meals, and 9 x 13m Tipis and a 14m Sperry Tent for breakouts and immersions. There were also two shipping containers for theatrical installations. Scene Change provided audio, video, lighting, networking, technical support, site planning and power distribution for the entire site.
The main Sperry Tent was lit with 12 x Martin MAC Aura XB, 8 x MAC Quantum Wash, 12 x Ayrton Diablo, 8 x ShowPRO Hex Strip and 4 x Prolights EclFresnel 2k TW with two 3w lasers, two Look Solutions Unique 2.1 Hazers, two bubble machines and four CO² cannons for effects. Control was via an MA Lighting MA3 compact XT, running sACN and MA networking to an 8 port node, as well as several sACN nodes.
“We supplemented the intelligent lighting with QI floods for emergency lighting, LED sconce lighting for an activation board and client-supplied LED neon lighting for a stage backdrop,” added Eliot Simpson, Project Manager at Scene Change. “Site lighting included 1km of LED festoon, 64 x battery LED pars and 12 x Prolights Astra 19 IP on truss uprights.”
The breakout areas were lit internally with fairy lights from Sami Kata Tipis and more of the LED festoon, as well as more battery LED pars, four ShowPRO EX 36 floods, gelled LED QIs, and Prolights EclProfile CT+ fixtures, with gobos designed by the local Wonnarua People projected on the roof of the Wattaka First Nations Space.
“I’m happy to say a few of my ideas made the final design cut, like the Prolights Astra 19s for outdoor lighting that took the vibe of the site to the next level,” said Eliot. “The proposed site layout somewhat resembled last year’s event, though a lot of feedback from all stakeholders was taken into account, making for easier crowd flow, less noise bleed between immersions, as well as greater accessibility for those with mobility challenges. There was a great focus on accessibility this year – we were asked to include a hearing loop, live subtitling for all main tent sessions, as well as a 14:1 access ramp to the main stage.”
Infrastructure was also a key topic of discussion in the planning stages. Scene Change added additional power distribution, including load-sharing synchronised generators for the site, as well as permanent resort power, to allow for the event of emergencies. Site offices were added for management and green rooms, and a distributed network was added for announcements and distributed video, audio and lighting networks, as well as local Wi-Fi for the attendees.
Scene Change also deployed several security cameras and viewing stations, as well as weather monitoring systems to keep an eye on the wind and precipitation, particularly.
Eliot remarks that the Prolights Astra 19 IPs are a shining star in their new inventory adding that their ability to directly network, or use CRMX and WDMX protocols made such a large site simple to cover with data.
“I have previously used these onsite as a point source effect, but they excel in covering a large site just as well,” he said. “We tailored the colouring for each night on the Prolights Astra 19s, echoing the effect along the 300m entry pathway with battery uplights. We made separate use of the Prolights Astra 19 rings to continue these effects.”
The Ayrton Diablos provided an amazing amount of texture in the main Sperry Tent, creating a wealth of dramatic lighting for the evening entertainment.
“The animation wheels were also used to great effect, making the first nations performance feel quite dynamic,” Eliot relayed. “Evening lighting operator Robert Charles was absolutely in his element, pulling out some huge looks for such an intimate tent.”
As the morning lighting operator, Eliot made personal use of the onboard Martin MAC Quantum Wash effects, which added a great deal to the “morning rave” on Wednesday morning.
“A big shout out to the MAC Aura XBs as well!” Eliot added. “They are still a great workhorse, especially where weight can be a challenge. I look forward to taking our new Astra 7s along next year though, if only to get some more effects on board.
“The ShowPRO EX 36s, though older still hold up as an effective area light, and were more than effective in the F&B area.”
Eliot reports that the event was a great success and says that he found himself stopping on his way out each evening at the end of the driveway to admire how amazing the site looked. “We (all suppliers) were given an attendee rating out of 100 each week, and I’m delighted to say that the scores were 99, 100, 100 and 100. I was assured that the one lost point on week 1 had nothing to do with the technical production! I cannot thank my crew enough for the 110% they put in each week.”
Cass de Gooyer – Assistant Project Manager & Evening AX Operator
Nathan Salt – Morning AX Operator
Nathan Flood – Morning AX Operator & Covering VX Operator
Dave Serisier – Morning VX Operator
Luke Boyd – Evening VX Operator
Robert Charles – Evening LX Operator