Bleeker Group Transforms Warehouse Into Virtual Nightclub

As soon as COVID-19 hit the event and entertainment industry, companies had to adapt quickly to the widespread cancellation of concerts and events. Dutch lighting and sound rental company Bleeker Group decided not to wait around for events to start up again but instead transformed its warehouse into a studio for live streams of concerts, DJ sets and bingo shows. Featuring an impressive lighting system comprised predominantly of ADJ fixtures, it has proved to be a huge success.

''When the Dutch government decided to cancel all events we had to change our approach and strategy as setting up lighting equipment for concerts, shows and events is our core business," explains Jacco Bleeker, the young CEO of Bleeker Group. "I still do some installation work, but my employers quickly lost a lot of assignments. Luckily we used the extra time productively. Immediately after we found out that we wouldn't be having a lot of work we decided to continue with what we do best: providing spectacular shows where people can enjoy themselves, only this time in a bit of a different way. Recently I bought some extra warehouse space, it was supposed to be used to stock material, but due to the COVID-19 situation we decided to use this space for livestreams. Me and my men built the set-up from scratch and named it 'Club Bleeker'."

Jacco started his business in 2011 from his garage. At that time, it was his intention to provide small-scale rental of sound and lighting equipment. However, Bleeker Group quickly made a name for itself in the region and it became a lot more serious. The garage was exchanged for a dedicated building on an industrial park in Heerhugowaard and Jacco soon purchased the best equipment possible. In 2014 Bleeker Group moved again to a new building, which is its current home. This facility has a large warehouse, offices, and separate technical service and reception areas. Bleeker Group continues to grow and is very successful throughout the Dutch Region of North Holland and sometimes even beyond!

"I really like working with ADJ," states Jacco, "the company has been supporting me since the beginning. I really appreciate their support and not to forget, their customer service. Me and my contact person Steven [Samaan] have become great friends over the years. Another big plus is the quality of the products, they have a good price:quality ratio. My all-time favourite fixture is the Vizi Beam RXONE, a small but very powerful moving head. I use it at all kind of events, from small parties to huge concerts with big stars."

Unsurprisingly, the Vizi Beam RXONE features heavily in the setup for 'Club Bleeker'. Eight of the fixtures are hung from two curved trusses which sweep down from the ceiling at the back of the set. The piercing beams generated from the RXONEs are complemented by washes from eight Inno Color Beam Z19 moving heads as well as ten 32 HEX Panel IP LED static wash panels and six 15 HEX Bar IP linear LED wash bars. Front light is provided by a pair of Encore FR20 DTW warm white LED Fresnel fixtures, while the lighting setup is completed by eight Platinum Spot LED II moving heads and four Protron 3K LED Strobes from ADJ's sister brand Elation Professional. Finally, atmospherics for the studio are provided by an ADJ Entourage professional-grade touring faze machine alongside a pair of ADJ Fog Fury Jett Pro high velocity LED-lit fog machines.

"Every Friday and Saturday we organize livestreams," explains Jacco. "The theme and type of stream is always different. We invite DJs to play sets or let bands come over to perform a whole concert. Recently we even organized a bingo show. It was quite popular, we even had people participating from Dubai! From Monday to Friday we plan the shows, which gives us more than enough time to test products, build nice set-ups and experiment to ensure our livestreams are spectacular. It keeps my men busy and also enhances their knowledge. One of our biggest successes was the live stream of a concert by Disco-Train, one of the biggest Dutch disco bands. We had more than 6000 people tuning in to watch their concert. I'm always happy to hear people enjoyed watching our livestreams and to know that we are still helping to entertain people even when we can't do live events."

Despite the current situation, the team at Bleeker Group doesn't have to be bored. In the coming weeks a Dutch rapper has booked a video shoot in their warehouse and they still do some installation work, including fitting coronavirus-free talk units. And, of course, each weekend people are entertained virtually at Club Bleeker!

"This whole situation hit my industry very hard," concludes Jacco, "but it doesn't stop me from running my business and improving as much as I can. There is not much we can do about it. The best thing is to stay positive and make the best of it. Without COVID- 19 there wouldn't be Club Bleeker, so something positive has definitely come out of it, and we will continue with these shows as long as possible".

 

Gear List
10 x ADJ 32 HEX Panel IP
8 x ADJ Vizi Beam RXONE
8 x ADJ Inno Color Beam Z19
6 x ADJ 15 HEX Bar IP
2 x ADJ Fog Fury Jett Pro
2 x ADJ Encore FR20 DTW
1 x ADJ Entourage
8 x Elation Professional Platinum Spot LED II
4 x Elation Professional Protron 3K LED Strobe