The Great Outdoors: Insights For The Industry From Alfred Gonzales

As the world attempts to return to some form of normality following the disruption caused by the global Coronavirus pandemic, there is a general acceptance that we will be returning to a ‘new normal’. Almost every aspect of our lives, at least in the short-to-medium term, will be affected in some way. In the entertainment technology industry, we are clearly a long way from large indoor gatherings being permitted again, which means for the foreseeable future we will need to look to the great outdoors! In this article, ADJ’s US National Sales Manager, Alfred Gonzales, will share his thoughts on the potential opportunities that will be available to entertainment technology professionals this summer.

For as long as social distancing continues to be required, outdoor spaces will be the preferred location for small scale performances and parties as and when they are allowed to take place again. Not only do outdoor locations afford the space necessary to allow people to stay at a safe distance from each other, there is clear evidence that the virus is less likely to be transmitted in well-ventilated outdoor areas compared with confined indoor spaces. Therefore patrons concerned about contracting the virus are more likely to be comfortable attending an event outdoors versus an indoor gathering.

Over the past few weeks I have spoken to many of our customers in both the production/rental and installation businesses and there is an increasing sense of optimism that the entertainment and events industry may be very slowly beginning to restart with venues quickly expanding their outdoor areas. There is a definite consensus that events which will take place will be responsibly hosted outdoors. From small bands, solo artists, or DJs playing on the patios of bars and restaurants, to concerts and theatrical productions taking place in parks and amphitheatres, this summer will all be about outdoor events.

From an installation perspective, there is very real potential that bars, restaurants and other venues that historically have focussed their entertainment indoors, but also have outdoor space available, may soon be looking to invest in lighting and/or video systems for these expanding areas. As all lighting professionals know, the right illumination is essential to create atmosphere for everything from live acts performing on a patio deck or small stage, to a DJ spinning poolside (even if that pool must remain closed).

For rental and production companies, as inquiries begin to come in and jobs start to happen again, it is almost guaranteed that the percentage of these events taking place outdoors will be far higher than ever before. Already drive-in concerts and movie showings are becoming increasingly popular and, as restrictions continue to be relaxed over the summer, this could well extend to outdoor theatrical performances and even socially-distanced dance parties. ADJ’s AV4IP outdoor-rated video panels, as well as our full line of IP65 lighting fixtures, offers a great solution for outdoor events.

Both for permanent installations and temporary projects outdoors, it is essential to use the correct IP-rated ‘weatherproof’ fixtures. Not only is it dangerous to use non IP-rated fixtures outside, as they could dangerously malfunction if it rains, there is a very real risk the equipment will be damaged. And it’s important to remember that damage caused by using fixtures outdoors that are not designated as IP-rated will not be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.

As the world slowly begins to move past the Coronavirus pandemic there is a widespread desire to ‘get back to normal’. While, at least for the foreseeable future, this is likely to be a new kind of normal, it is sure to include increasing amounts of social interaction (albeit at a distance). After months of self-isolation many people want to get out of their homes and into the open air, which means that outdoor parties, events, performances and concerts are set to become a staple part of the events and entertainment industry as it slowly starts back up. For all of these reasons, now is the perfect time to embrace the great outdoors!

To see ADJ’s entire range of IP65-rated lighting fixtures for outdoor use, visit: 

Photo Credits

Wes Atkins, Gain Stages {Top Left}

Brian Dowdle {Top Right}

Julian Huke {Bottom Left}

Alfred Gonzales {Bottom Right}