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Avolites Arena console rocks for Dutch rock giants Kensington

31 July 2017

Netherlands - An Avolites Arena console was recently used as part of an extensive Avolites lighting control network for Dutch rock giants ‘Kensington’, at Pinkpop, the world’s longest-running pop festival, in Landgraaf, Netherlands.

The Arena console was supplied by Belgium-based rental company, Phlippo, to the band’s lighting designer Jop Kuipers. Fairlight supplied two Titan Network Processors (TNP), an Optical Titan Network Switch (TNS), whilst Kuipers brought in his personal Titan Mobile console as backup.

“I have been using Avolites for over a decade,” says Kuipers, Kensington’s lighting designer. “The Arena desk is great for large set-ups like Pinkpop, because it has a lot of on board connection options such as fibre and SMPTE Timecode.”

Kensington’s Pinkpop set came in the middle of the band’s 2017 festival tour this summer. For the show, Kuiper designed a high-impact floor package consisting of a range of moving lights and custom-made risers, complete with diamond-shaped LED screens.

Touring the show through the Netherlands, Hungary, Germany and Switzerland means that Kuipers is reliant on local suppliers to meet fixture specifications. As it is not always possible to match specification to local supply, occasionally other fixtures need to be swapped in.  

“One of my favourite features of the Avolites Titan software is the ‘Fixture Exchange’ feature,” says Kuipers. Fixture Exchange allows the LD to swap out a fixture whilst keeping its existing data including any group, palette and playback information, to transfer to a new fixture. This significantly reduces the need for manual updating, cutting down on Kuiper’s programming time. 



“For Kensington’s festival shows, I have created a single show file; I then use a combination of cue lists, timecode and live control on set for each show,” says Kuipers. “Avolites provides me with the tools I need for a quick and easy workflow.”

Kuipers identifies Titan’s ‘Set Halo Legend’ feature, which that allows the designer to add coloured borders around fixtures and groups and Freeform Workspaces, as key to his set-up. The feature ensures that groups and palettes are easily identifiable and workspaces are editable and dynamic.

“With the Arena desk I use the two on-board touch screens, splitting one screen for my timecode and the other for my cues and palettes,” says Kuipers.

To accommodate the Pinkpop house rig and Kensington’s incoming floor package, Kuipers needed to expand beyond the Arena’s existing 16 universes to 26 for the house rig and 2 universes for the band’s floor package. The designer networked in the two TNPs and an Optical TNS to connect front-of-house to stage.

“With Fixture Exchange, Exchange Mapping and the Mapper it is fairly easy to run a complex show on any Titan desk on a different rig almost daily,” says Menno Appelhof, Console Account Manager at Fairlight. “Avolites users are also helped as there the user interface remains the same across all Avolites Titan desks.”

Avolites’ Stephen Harris and Fairlights’ Rob Theune were available on-site at Pinkpop for technical support.

Pinkpop has been running since 1970, and is the oldest and longest-running annual dedicated pop and rock music festival in the world. The festival is a three-day event with a 60,000 people per day attending. Over the years, festival headliners have included The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, REM and Paul McCartney. The festival ran this year from 3-5 June.

Kensington is a top-selling Dutch rock band, selling out multiple dates at Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome nearly a year in advance. Formed in 2005, the band is from Utrecht, Netherlands. Their latest album, Control, was released on 28 October 2016 and is their fourth studio album to date.