100% ADJ Rig Illuminates 33rd Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival

A lighting rig comprised exclusively of ADJ fixtures was used to light this year’s Long Beach Jazz festival. Hosted on an outdoor stage in a stunning waterfront setting, the event featured three days of performances from a stellar lineup of bands playing everything from classic R&B to hot summer night jazz. These were enhanced by a lighting system that incorporated ADJ’s Focus Profile and Focus Wash 400 automated luminaires alongside 18P HEX IP and 32 HEX Panel IP static LED wash fixtures, while a Vision Series LED video wall at the rear of the stage was utilized for IMAG.

Hosted each summer on a grassy knoll in the picturesque waterside location of Rainbow Lagoon park, the Long Beach Jazz Festival was founded by renowned recording artist Al Williams (Al Williams Jazz Society) and is organized by the company – Rainbow Promotions – which he manages together with his daughter, Kimberly Benoit. Following a two-year pandemic induced hiatus, the festival returned this summer with a strong lineup including Ledisi, Average White Band, Robert Glasper, Sergio Mendez, Gerald Albright, Avery Sunshine, Jonathan Butler, Damion Escobar, and Eric Darius.

Lighting and video equipment for the event was supplied by Audio Design, a full-service production company based in San Diego. The company’s principal, Larry Ashburn, served as Project Manager for the event, while Lighting Designer Carlos Martinez was brought in to program and run the show. Audio Design has supplied the festival for a number of years, having first worked with Rainbow Promotions on the San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival before also being brought on board to supply lighting and video to the Long Beach event.

At the heart of the lighting rig for this year’s festival were eight of ADJ’s Focus Profile automated luminaires, which are a recent addition to Audio Design’s rental inventory. The company invested in 24 units earlier in the year before adding an additional 8 prior to this event. The flagship model of ADJ’s popular Focus Series of LED-powered moving heads, the Focus Profile is a professional caliber profile fixture designed for theatrical, concert touring, and event production applications. It features a potent 400W LED engine, with a native color temperature of 6,700K and a CRI of over 70, coupled with an exhaustive collection of beam-shaping tools. These include four, independently controllable, rotating framing shutter blades, full CMY color mixing, variable CTO (2700K to 6700K), a color wheel, two GOBO wheels and two rotating prisms, as well as motorized focus, iris and zoom (7~45-degrees).

“We previously used the ADJ Vizi CMY300,” states Larry, “which was a really solid fixture for us, but the reason we upgraded to the Focus Profile was the extra punch the 400W LED engine delivers. We did a shootout in our shop between the CMY300, the Focus Profile and a fixture from a ‘premium’ brand with a similar feature set (but a much higher price tag). The CMY300 actually held its own on open white, but when we introduced the CMY that’s where the Focus Profile and the competing fixture really excelled as they were able to punch through the color flags. When comparing the Focus Profile with the high-end brand’s equivalent fixture we found very little in the way of difference, which made the Focus Profile – at a fraction of the price – a real no brainer. Our clients tend to trust us to bring what’s needed for the job and we’re not usually working with rider-driven productions, so the Focus Profile was a great investment for us. With its 20,000-lumen output, it competes with the brightness of an LED wall at night, has all the features an LD can want, and is affordable both for us to purchase and our clients to rent. Put simply, it kicks ass!”

For Long Beach Jazz Festival, six of the heads were rigged on an upstage truss, flanking the video wall, while the remaining pair of fixtures were positioned on road cases in front of the stage to the right and left sides. They were utilized both for generating aerial effects above the performers that shot out over the audience into the night sky, as well as to project GOBO patterns on the stage floor and the scrims covering the PA wings.

“It was my first proper use of the Focus Profile,” comments Carlos. “I did have them on a previous event but for that project we only used them shooting up into air to achieve a sky tracker effect. They did that very well, so I knew the output was impressive, but this show gave me the opportunity to try out all their features and I have to say that they are amazing fixtures. I was particularly impressed by the zoom; they don’t seem to lose intensity as the beam angle is expanded like some of the other fixtures I’ve used. They are great both for creating intense mid-air beam effects and for generating nice wide and crisp GOBO projections. The colors are also great, particularly the saturation of the yellow and cyan, and the framing shutters are very useful for things like corporate shows where we need to illuminate very specific things like a company logo. Overall, they are really nice fixtures that are a pleasure to use.”

Four of ADJ’s versatile 32 HEX Panel IP LED wash fixtures were mounted to the downstage truss pointing out towards the audience, which served both as blinders and to light the audience for the IMAG cameras to pick out members of the crowd. Meanwhile, illumination of the stage itself was achieved using 18 of ADJ’s IP65-rated 18P HEX IP par fixtures, which each feature 18 potent 12-watt 6-in-1 (RGBAW+UV) color mixing LEDs. Eight of these were rigged to the downstage truss to front light the performers on stage, while the remaining ten fixtures were positioned above the LED video wall at the rear of the stage to generate backlight color washes. Lighting of the stage was completed by eight of ADJ’s Focus Wash 400 LED-powered fixtures, which were also rigged to the downstage truss. With a 10 to 41-degree motorized zoom, 400-watt 6-in-1 (RGBACL) LED engine and a large Fresnel lens, these versatile automated wash lights offer a huge spectrum of colors as well as a high CRI of 90+.

“This client particularly likes to see their lighting investment in use throughout the entire festival,” explains Larry, “so during the day the Focus Wash 400s were swung round to point out into the crowd and together with the 32 HEX Panel IPs made some nice visual effects. They also allowed Carlos to fill in any gaps that became apparent in the fixed wash on stage, which was especially important on a festival show like this where each band sets up in a different spot. He could also use them to highlight specific musicians, for example on a solo. The CTO is really nice, which makes them perfect for front wash. Another reason we chose to invest in these fixtures was their Virtual CMY mode. It’s so useful to allow LDs to use the CMY dial on their console to pick the colors in the same way they do for CMY profile fixtures.”

“The colors that the Focus Wash 400 generates are really nice,” adds Carlos, “it’s a very flexible fixture. The zoom range means that I can use it for a nice wide wash, or to zoom into a specific area of the stage, or to create an aerial beam effect. For this show I was using them both to illuminate the performers on stage and to shoot beams out into the crowd and, because the pan and tilt motors are so fast, I was able to switch very quickly from one to the other: hit the crowd with a quick blinder effect and then flip them straight back to the stage.”

Completing the lighting system, two of ADJ’s FS3000LED LED-powered follow spots were deployed to highlight the star performers, while a pair of Entour Haze Pro oil-based haze machines were used to enhance the beam effects. Finally, a total of 60 ADJ Vision Series VS3IP LED panels were used to construct the video wall which provided the backdrop to the musical performances, displaying a live video feed to ensure those seated further back felt fully connected to what was happening on stage.

Having discussed the lighting package and fixture placement with Larry during pre-production, Carlos carried out most of his programming work in advance, arriving on site on the opening day of the festival with just enough time to make the necessary minor updates to fixture positions before the first band hit the stage. For this reason, it was essential that Larry and his team not only had all the fixtures rigged and correctly patched but also fully tested. To achieve this Larry utilized ADJ’s 4 Stream DMX Bridge connected to his iPad running ADJ’s Airstream DMX Pro app.

“As a smaller owner-operated company,” explains Larry, “I often don’t have an LD on site when I’m setting up, so the 4 Stream DMX Bridge is an essential tool that always lives in my vehicle. It allows me to easily test and make sure everything is 100% ready for when the LD does arrive. I’ve also recently bought an ADJ LINK for smaller shows when we’re not bringing in an LD. On a comedy show, for example, I will often run both lights and audio. I really like the LINK; being able to take the iPad away from the console to run around addressing lights and troubleshooting is huge. It’s powerful enough to do all I need but also intuitive enough for an audio guy like me to use! We are, after all, primarily an audio company, however the lighting side of what we do is growing as more and more clients ask us to take care of lighting as well as audio. ADJ has really facilitated this growth with lighting products that are reliable and effective but also affordable.”

Having worked with ADJ lighting on the Long Beach Jazz Festival and numerous previous events, Carlos shares his enthusiasm for the brand: “I’ve found ADJ moving head fixtures – the Focus Profile and Focus Wash 400, but also the Vizi CMY300 – to be very reliable and consistent, which I can’t say is the case for all the lights I use. This allows me to be confident that, when I do pre-programming work, the fixtures on site are going to respond exactly how I expect. I think ADJ has done a really good job of achieving the same level of quality as the biggest brands in the industry while offering truly incredible value for money. When I first started working with Larry, I was skeptical of using ADJ fixtures at a concert level, as I was aware of the company’s past making DJ lighting, but I’ve been completely won over. I now often tell other LD colleagues to give ADJ fixtures a chance and, when they do, they are always equally impressed.”


Long Beach Jazz Festival 2022

Rainbow Promotions

Lighting and Video Vendor
Audio Design

Project Manager
Larry Ashburn

Lighting Designer
Carlos Martinez

Brian J. Dowdle

Gear List
8 x Focus Profile
8 x Focus Wash 400
18 x 18P HEX IP
4 x 32 HEX Panel IP
2 x FS3000LED
2 x Entour Haze Pro
60 x VS3IP
4 Stream DMX Bridge / Airstream DMX Pro