ADJ Lighting Creates The Backdrop For Concert To Celebrate Dutch Duo Spik & Span’s 11th Anniversary

2020 has been the toughest year in living memory for the live entertainment industry, with almost all festivals, tours and concerts canceled since the beginning of March. However, innovative promotors were able to organize a few shows over the summer using outdoor spaces to create COVID-safe environments. One such event took in the grounds of Landgoed Kasteel Limbricht and featured popular Dutch duo Spik & Span who performed two special anniversary concerts. With the historic castle – lit beautifully by ADJ IP65-rated wash fixtures – providing an incredible backdrop, the concerts proved to be unforgettable evenings both for the performers and the audience members lucky enough to attend.

 

Singers Niek Drikx and Jo Huijnen – better known as the duo Spik & Span – have built up a huge fanbase in the province of Limburg in the Netherlands. Together they have reached the finals of Limburg’s Vastelaovesleedjes Konkoer (Carnival Song Contest) for 11 consecutive years and have won the competition multiple times, including the most recent edition which took place in February this year. The annual carnival is a hugely significant event in the local culture, which brings together the whole community for a series of events and celebrations. The LVK competition is a big part of the carnival experience, which means that Spik & Span’s success in it has made them household names in the region.

The duo had many shows planned for the summer of 2020 to celebrate their 11th anniversary, which has particular significance as 11 is an important number in the culture of Limburg. However, due to COVID-19, all of their original plans had to be canceled. Fortunately, the duo were able to work with Igor Stel, manager of the historic Landgoed Kasteel Limbricht, to organize two concerts in the castle’s grounds to allow them to celebrate their anniversary with live performances that adhered to the COVID-19 regulations in place at the time.

A truly unique venue, the centuries old castle is surrounded by a moat and features a U-shaped outer bailey flanking a large courtyard on three sides. The fourth side is open and looks out on the main castle, which is built on an artificial hill in the moat. For Spik & Span’s ‘Jubileumconcert XXL’ concerts, a floating stage was erected in the moat in front of the castle, with a catwalk leading to the courtyard. This meant that the main castle provided a backdrop to the stage while the 333-strong audience could be seated in the courtyard at socially-distanced tables as well as VIP platforms arranged along the edge of the moat.

This unique arrangement provided both distinctive challenges and opportunities for production manager Ruud Pellemans who owns production company TEC Audio. Ruud has a long-established relationship with Spik & Span and TEC Audio is brought in by the band to provide production for all of their largescale shows. Not only did Ruud need to provide the audio and lighting for the floating stage, he was required to provide ambient lighting for the courtyard and also had the opportunity to illuminate the main castle and incorporate it into the lighting design of the show.

To achieve this would not only require a significant quantity of lighting fixtures, but also a large amount of organization and manpower. Ruud therefore invited fellow event professional Jan Cremers, and his company JC Delight, to partner on the event and also brought in Bart Sevenich (Shadow Shapers Lighting) to design, program and run the lighting.

The largest quantity of a single fixture type used for the event was ADJ’s 12P HEX IP LED par. A total of 56 of these units were used to illuminate the main castle façade, the hill on which the castle stands, the bailey building and the courtyard. Each of these fixtures utilize 12 x 12-Watt  6-in-1 hex LEDs to offer both huge color mixing flexibility and incredibly potent output. With a robust all-metal construction and an IP65 ‘weatherproof’ rating, they are extremely popular with event production companies who need both versatility and reliability.

“I love the colors created by the 12P HEX IP – the blue is really blue!” enthuses Ruud. “They are very bright fixtures and I like the 30-degree beam angle. Of course they are also IP-rated – and really are weatherproof – we had two days of rain during the setup of this event and the fixtures continued to work without any problems.”

ADJ fixtures were also used extensively to light the stage, with the popular Focus Spot 4Z serving as the main moving head spot on the rig. Offering both a compact design and powerful output, this workhorse fixture utilizes a 200W LED engine, paired with carefully-designed optics, to generate a striking beam of intense light. This is paired with an extensive collection of beam-shaping features to provide lighting designers with a huge amount of creative potential. These include motorized zoom (for a beam angle of between 11 and 22-degrees), motorized focus, 8 vibrant colors, 8 indexed rotating GOBOs that are replaceable, and two rotating prisms (5-facet linear and 6-facet circular).

A total of 12 of the units were incorporated into the lighting design, arranged into three groups of four fixtures. One group was rigged to the upstage truss behind the band and the other two were positioned across the moat at the foot of the castle, flanking the stage on either side. This arrangement was chosen by Bart to give a sense of depth to the lightshow and allowed for the creation of a diverse collection of effects that were used throughout the evening to complement Spik & Span’s performance.

“The Focus Spot 4Z is a magnificent fixture,” comments Ruud. “The output from the LED engine is incredible, the colors are great and the prisms are also very nice to use. For this show we used them to create beam effects behind the band as well as to project GOBO patterns onto the castle and also the water of the moat, which was very effective. There was a distance of 20m (65 feet) from the rear units to the front row of tables, but they were still bright enough to create the effects we wanted. I should also say that, of course these aren’t IP-rated fixtures, and when it started to rain we immediately covered them, but we had no problems using them outside on this event.”

A pair of truss towers were erected in the courtyard to allow rigging of the 12P HEX IP units that provided ambient lighting to that area. These also served as the rigging positions for a pair of ADJ’s Encore Burst 200 LED-powered twin-cell blinder fixtures. Designed to offer the power-saving and long-life benefits of LEDs while delivering the authentic look of traditional stage blinders, each of these fixtures incorporate a pair of 110W warm white (2700K) C.O.B. LEDs equipped with a ‘tungsten effect’ which reduces the color temperature at lower brightness levels to replicate a halogen lamp dimming profile.

“The Encore Burst 200 is a very effective LED replacement for a regular blinder fixture,” states Ruud. “It is not only really bright, but its dim-to-amber feature means that it creates a real ambiance. We used them on the truss towers in the square to bring the lightshow out into the audience, which was very effective.”

A pair of ADJ’s Encore FR150Z stage lighting fixtures were also rigged to the truss towers in the courtyard to provide illumination of the performers on the catwalk over the water as well as a small ‘B Stage’ positioned at the end of it. Each of these units is equipped with an 8-inch Fresnel lens and is powered by a 130W LED engine that delivers a high CRI of 95. The inventory of ADJ equipment used for the show was completed by an Entour Haze Pro, which provided beam-enhancing haze for the moving heads. This professional-caliber, oil-based haze machine offers an impressive output of 3,000 cubic ft. per minute from a compact unit that is built into a touring-grade flight case.

“Over the last few years I’ve been working with more and more ADJ products,” concludes Ruud, “and I am continually impressed by both the fixtures and service I receive from the guys in Kerkrade [ADJ’s European HQ]. The brand has really developed from in the past focusing on disco lights for clubs and bars to now offering professional products for events, tours and festivals. There is a reason most of the fixtures on this show were from ADJ: they are good value, they are reliable and they work really well!”

Having sold out both shows in less than 15 minutes, there was great expectation for Spik & Span’s anniversary concerts. Fortunately, thanks to the combination of a stunning venue, innovative staging and impressive lightshow, not to mention a fantastic performance from the artists themselves, no one was left disappointed! 


Concert

Spik en Span Jubileumconcert XXL
www.duospikenspan.nl

 

Venue

Landgoed Kasteel Limbricht
www.kasteel-limbricht.nl

 

Production Company

TEC Audio
www.tecaudio.nl

 

Associate Production Company

JC Delight
www.jcdelight.nl


Production Manager

Ruud Pellemans

 


Lighting Designer

Bart Sevenich (Shadow Shapers)

 

ADJ Gear List

56 x 12P HEX IP
12 x Focus Spot 4Z
2 x Encore Burst 200
2 x Encore FR150Z
1 x Entour Haze Pro