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Made in Germany meets “Made in America”

grandMA2 shines at major US festival

Numerous grandMA2 lighting consoles were on hand throughout Budweiser’s “Made in America Festival”, which entertained crowds on Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Labor Day Weekend. Jay-Z and Pearl Jam headlined main stage concerts on Saturday and Sunday, respectively; punk rockers, up-and-coming rappers and native Philadelphia artists packed the other stages across the venue.

Nick Whitehouse, the lighting designer for the main stage, was tasked with creating a rig “that pleased everyone and looked different for the two headline acts. It had to be efficient to meet both Jay-Z’s and Pearl Jam’s wishes for their shows and incorporate the needs of the other performers. The overall design fit the stage/set design based on a huge eagle formed from LED-panels that fitted the Americana theme,” and evoked the iconic Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser) eagle logo.

A grandMA2 full-size deployed for the main stage handled “everything we threw at it,” he reports. “It really showed how powerful a system it is.” Whitehouse extensively used the partial show read and clone feature to merge incoming acts into the festival show. He also divided the console into worlds so the incoming lighting designer could control the background of the rig and the TV gaffer (with a second online console and separate user) could run the broadcast key lights and ride inhibits of the whole rig without getting in the way. The free of charge visualiser grandMA 3D was also used extensively for daylight programming and fixes when required.

“A number of the lighting designers who were used to the grandMA ‘series 1’ became converts to grandMA2 after the festival because the grandMA2 showed how easy it was to pull such a large show together quickly and easily,” Whitehouse notes.

Besides a lot of other fixtures Whitehouse used 68 Clay Paky Sharpy, arrayed in groups of four, to mimic the look of PAR64 ACL bars. “They did that very successfully,” he reports. “A lot of the looks used the frost to help make this happen, and they very rarely moved while lit.”

“As always, the A.C.T guys made supporting their users their top priority. A.C.T is a really great company to deal with, and we thank them for their MA programming support,” Whitehouse adds.

John Duncan, Jr. of Pinpoint Lighting was the lighting designer and equipment supplier for Made in America’s B stage and electronic dance music pad. “Both stages had grandMA2 full-size unit and grandMA2 light,” he reports.  “The grandMA2 also performed great. We had them slaved together on the B stage and had two users since we were running TV lighting at the same time. They performed very well.”

A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of MA Lighting in North America.

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