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Tait Supplies Eurovision Song Contest

Eurovision 2013; photo Louise SticklandMALMO, Sweden - Tait’s European division supplied elements for the Eurovision Song Contest, which was televised to a worldwide audience with performances from 26 finalists last week in Malmo, Sweden. The design concept was to bring the audience and artists physically closer together and bring an intimate live experience to the next level.

More details from Tait (http://www.taittowers.com):

MALMO, Sweden - Working closely with Technical Director Ola Melzig, as well as Production Designers Frida Arvidsson and Viktor Brattstrom, Tait’s European division supplied elements for the Eurovision Song Contest, which was televised to a worldwide audience with performances from 26 finalists last week in Malmo, Sweden.

Won by Emmelie de Forest of Denmark, the design concept was to bring the audience and artists physically closer together and bring an intimate live experience to the next level. A 3-D environment was created on stage, with impressive depth and multiple layers creating interesting landscapes for the live audience and televised broadcast.

Tait provided a 450 square meter rolling main stage, including a downstage apron, pantograph stairway and four flaggapault lifts for a dynamic performer stage entrance and exit. A catwalk leading to a B-stage was also provided, integrated into the B-stage was a triple scissor lift that could move up to 6 meters above the arena floor.

A range of scenic elements were incorporated into the design, including an upstage ground supported projection wall, with two flown center sections. Two 14 meter high scenic arches were fabricated using a steel framework and support ballasts that was then clad with a scenic stress skin panel comprised of fiberglass, polystyrene and brushed aluminum paneling. The arches were integrated with lighting elements and positioned to frame each side of the stage.

To complete the design, a 45 meter wide ground-supported scenic landscape projection wall sits behind the arches. The rear projection wall was installed using a ground support structure created with rental truss. At its centre, an 18 meter wide portion of the wall was rigged with variable speed chain motors which allowed the designers to open and close the wall, creating alternate lighting and projection effects.

There were 62 kinetic sculptures hung from variable speed ‘Micro Winches’ throughout the Malmo Arena. There were 48 of the octahedron shaped units suspended over the audience, with the remaining 14 units hung over the mainstage. Each unit is controlled by 5 channel wireless DMX; 3 channels for the RGB LED inside the fixtures, and 2 channels for their speed and position. All of the units were controlled by the lighting operator via an Art-Net patch to Tait/FTSI’s Navigator control system. By making each unit individually controllable with regard to color, speed, and position, Tait provided one cohesive large sculpture that was constantly changing, which allowed the designers to create an endless variation of looks.

Tait designed, prototyped, manufactured and installed the 62 variable speed ‘Micro Winches’ in seven weeks. Designed as a dual line winch that uses an electromechanical lifting line with a low voltage line running through its core, it allows power and data to be integrated into the lifting lines, resolving cable management issues.

The ‘Micro Winches’ have a safe working load of 13 kg, and are capable of 18 meters of travel, with a maximum speed of 0.9 meters per second. The winches weigh 23 kg. Their detachable top mounting plate allows them to be configured to hang from any type of truss, or be installed to custom profiles or permanent building structures.

A 36 meter long flying bridge was also created for performer entrance over the audience to the B stage. The bridge consists of 22 variable chain motors (provided by others) and has integrated scenic fascia/handrail as well as integrated lighting positions. The 9980kg bridge begins at the second tier at the front of house stage left position and spans over the audience four meters above the ground, allowing 25 people to cross at a time. The B-Stage Triple Scissor lift raises up to meet the bridge and performers' access the catwalk that is connected to the mainstage via a removable set of scenic stairs.

Ola Melzig, Technical Director said, “It’s been a true pleasure working with Tait. Their innovations, their quality, precision and finish is just stunning. I’ve never seen anything even close to this level of performance. We are all amazed with what Tait  has been able to give us for Eurovision 2013.”

Demonstrating Tait’s depth of automation and show control expertise, the entire show contains 70 axes of motion controlled by its Navigator system.


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