Staunton, Virginia is known for its vibrant and diverse arts communityand historic main street area. So it’s no surprise that they hold an annual Pride Festival in support of acceptance in the Shenandoah Valley.
The Lighting & Sound Co, being no strangers to street festival production services, was involved at the early stages of festival planning to assist event promoter LGBT Technology Partnership with a mobile stage and audio reinforcement services for the Pride Festival.
We provided a Stageline SL100 mobile stage, which at 24 ft wide by 20 ft deep was the perfect size to fit in a downtown street. Furthermore, we installed a full banner kit on the stage, increasing the visibility and impact of the stage. Due to restrictions on street closures, the 1 hour setup of the mobile stage was critical for this event. Stageline mobile stages, complete with engineering documentation, easily satisfied the fire marshal’s pre-event inspection.
An LSC audio engineer operates the sound system at Staunton Pride Festival
Hanging from the stage’s built-in speaker rigging points was a DB Technologies T12 line array. We paired this with S30N subs on the ground for suitable low-end. Stage lighting consisting of Chauvet Colordash H12IP (waterproof in case of rain) was also provided. This illuminated the stage during the evening headline performance by Virginia-native Catey Shaw. Event attendees could hear performances away from the stage with delay speakers placed at the end of the block.
We’re always happy to support the LGBTQIA community with quality event production services, and this Pride Festival was no different. We are looking forward to continuing our support of this annual event!
A guide for event planners, coordinators, and brides.
It almost goes without saying, but you’d be surprised how many folks don’t lead with the location of their event. Production companies need to know the location of the venue for multiple reasons. The primary reason is knowing what the layout of the venue is. This helps with costing services and knowing what will work in the space. Any kind of custom design needs exact dimensions, so being able to get a look at the venue is often crucial to the success of the design team.
Why your lighting company knowing the exact date is important
Lighting companies also need to know when your event is. It isn’t unusual for a lighting company to book events several months, or even a year in advance. While most lighting companies can service multiple events in a day, every company has its capacity. An exact date is the only way to determine for sure that equipment and labor resources will be available for your event. Try to make sure that this information is included in your initial request for services.
Why you need to get your lighting company an up-to-date schedule.
Lighting equipment can sometimes take longer than anything else to set up. Lighting companies have a pretty good idea of how long a service will take based on past experience. They use this information to get the most out of their equipment and crew during a somewhat lopsided work week. Corporate events and meetings often happen during the week. However, a large majority of events take place on the weekends. Lighting companies service all types of events year-round, but most event companies see a huge boost in activity during the fall season. This leaves them with a large amount of events, all happening at once. Because of this, event companies stick to pretty strict schedules that can get pretty tight. It is important to update all of your vendors with any schedule changes, to prevent any issues.
3. Event Type/Theme
After providing lighting services for thousands of events, we’ve learned a couple things. We like to handle different types of events differently, and with the care they deserve. Because of this, we’ve developed several departments that specialize in different event areas. It’s useful to know early on what type of event we’re dealing with so that we can get it in the hands of the right event expert. Chances are, we’ve dealt with a very similar event, and can call upon that knowledge when designing your event.
4. Total Attendance
Knowing total attendance is important for a few reasons. For a simple wedding in a hotel ballroom, your production company probably doesn’t need to know this information. But for larger events, especially where there’s sound involved, be sure to mention this number. More people not only create more background noise that the system needs to project over, they also obstruct the sound by physically being there. Knowing how many people will be there helps audio technicians bring the correct equipment. This ensures that your event audio will be heard loud and clear.
6. Power Requirements/Availability
Your lighting company needs to know more than just the power available at the venue; they also need to know what other vendors expect to use it. Caterers often require a large amount of power for heaters, and appliances such as coffee makers or food warmers. Many large-scale coffee makers require an entire circuit to themselves. In fact, everyone from the DJ to the photo booth could require power. Insufficient electrical availability could mean an important aspect of your event might go dark or without power.
7. Onsite AV or Lighting Technician
For many events, lighting is basically just a decor item. The lighting team will unload, set up the lighting, and take off. For events with simple uplighting, drape, or string lighting, this is the way to go. Although a technician is not always needed, some event coordinators prefer to have one standing by for the very rare chance that something goes wrong. However, if anything has to change during the event, you will need onsite staff. This includes everything from tying up drape pieces into gathers, to changing the color of the uplighting. The cost of this will depend on the length of time that the tech is needed, but work calls usually have 4 hour minimums.
8. Service Needs
The more you can let your lighting company know about your needs, the better. You can save a lot of time by preparing a list of the exact services you need, and the details of each service. Ultimately, many people don’t have this information in the early stages of even planning. If this is the case, save time by making this clear to all of your vendors, so you can avoid them fishing for the information.
9 . Load In Procedure
More often than not, your lighting company will already be familiar with the venue. But for unusual event spaces or private residences, it’s important that an information sheet with any relevant rules and procedures is generated not only for your lighting company, but for all of your other vendors as well. Ideally, your lighting company won’t be loading in at the same time as other vendors.
Parking is something that many people take for granted. Venues in urban areas can often have parking that is quite limited. Some event setups can take anywhere from four to eight hours, so it’s important to think about where your vendors are going to park during this time. Most lighting companies drive extended vans or box trucks, so keep in mind that there may need to be more room than usual for them to park.
11. Venue Rules
As an event planner, you are often the center of communication between other vendors. The venue is no exception. While many venues are proactive and reach out to all vendors to provide information, every experience varies. It’s important to pass any essential information down the line to your vendors. Often, the venues expect this, and rely on planners and coordinators to pass information along to vendors.
If you want to learn more about lighting, The Lighting & Sound Co. offers tons of resources for people of all knowledge levels. Reach out by phone or email to speak to a pro.
When you’re planning an outdoor show or concert, the last thing you want to worry about is staging issues. The common options these days are a stage built of small decks that can be carried by a person, and a mobile stage trailer which sets up mechanically. Mobile stages offer many advantages over a traditional riser or Bil-jax deck stage, and help to ensure a successful outcome for your event.
Mobile Stage Means Safety
An event that is safe for attendees and performers is everyone’s first concern. You can be assured the stage production is secure by using a mobile stage. Engineered to withstand up to 110 mph winds, a Stageline mobile stage will remain standing even in the event of a hurricane. Ballast or ground anchors are not required to achieve this level of wind resistance. Additionally, the roof is engineered to safely support heavy loads of production lighting and sound equipment.
In certain locations, such as street festivals, there isn’t much time to set up before the event begins and the area must be cleared rapidly after the attendees leave. Traditional deck stages and roof systems can take hours or days to setup and takedown. The smaller mobile stages can arrive at a site and set up in less than 45 minutes. This means your stagehand labor costs are kept to a minimum. And if the site or venue has time restrictions, a mobile stage is the only choice.
All mobile stages are designed to easily hang large printed banners. Promotional banners greatly increase the impact and memory of an event. In addition, they present an easy opportunity for you to sell event sponsorships. Compared to a traditional stage setup, you don’t need any additional structures for hanging banners. And, the mobile stage wind rating includes the use of banners! Every stage looks better when flanked by colorful banners.
Many stage roofs need space around them for ground anchoring or outrigger legs. A Stageline SL-100, with 24 by 20 ft stage size, requires no outriggers or guy lines on any side. Because of this, the audience can get right up to the front, with no sightline obstructions. You can pack the side areas with vendors or tourbuses since no ballast obstructs that space. Do you need to set up on a two-lane city street without blocking the sidewalk? This is not a problem for a mobile stage.
When you use a mobile stage at your event, you get a secure elevated platform, a roof covering, and optional rainproof windwalls. Your AV production company can easily hang sound and lighting equipment from the mobile stage with low effort, meaning less cost for these items. No need for separate stage, roof, and lighting supports, which reduces costs. The technical elements are installed before the stage raises up, avoiding costs of boom lift rental. All in all, if you are holding an outdoor performance, a mobile stage should be at the top of your list.
Most industries have events of one kind or another, and because of this, event lighting is in high demand. Most production companies serve a wide range of clients. One of the larger groups among those are churches. There are thousands of churches in the state of Virginia alone, and we provide production services to many of them.
Event production for a good cause
We are enjoying our third year working with Gayton Church in Henrico, Virginia. Each year, Gayton Church auditions members from their talented congregation to take part in their Christmas jazz show, Jazz Nativity. Jazz Nativity is in it’s 10th year, and features popular Christmas music, fused with both original and classic jazz pieces. The show benefits Feed My Starving Children, a charity devoted to providing meals to malnourished and impoverished children in 3rd world countries. To date, Jazz Nativity has funded more than 1.2 million meals, which are packed right in the gym of the church on Super Bowl Sunday.
Jazz Nativity 2016, our first year with Gayton Church. Picture by Katelyn James.
Now in it’s 10th year, Jazz Nativity continues to grow
Jazz Nativity has come a long way. As it has grown, the need for production has expanded. When we began with Gayton Church, we set up for the show in the church’s sanctuary. After our first year running production, it became clear that there was need for a bigger space. We helped prepare the (much larger) gym for Jazz Nativity 2017. By moving to the gym, we were able to make the show a lot bigger. The gym is more than 4 times larger, which allows for more stage space and more capacity. Much needed for a show that sells out 5 dates every year.
After 8 years, Jazz Nativity moves to a larger space. Jazz Nativity 2017. Picture by Katelyn James.
Keeping with an intimate feel
One of the best parts of the show is the intimate feel, and with the move to the gym, we were sure to keep that in mind. It’s a little harder to keep things intimate with an audience of over 700. Bistro lighting works great for this. Mainly, it replaces the cold, harsh lights of the gym. It also helps to bring the focus in closer to the audience.
Jazz Nativity director David Esleck.
Jazz Nativity is directed by Dr. David Esleck, a Grammy Award nominee, and music faculty at University of Richmond. Esleck’s compositions, both jazz and classical, are heard in concerts, films, and television.
Jazz Nativity 2018. Picture by Katelyn James
Jazz Nativity now has more lighting and scenic elements than ever
For 2018, we stepped up our lighting and fabrication for the show. In addition to adding more moving lights, we changed the scenic elements as well. We used with Vacuform castle rock scenic pieces against black velour as a backdrop, which helped give the show a warm, intimate feel.
We offer concert lighting production for events all over the country. As with most of our events, we have the scope to cover any size, whether they are small, intimate affairs or large festivals.
Every concert is improved with a lighting system that does more than just light the performers. Why not liven up your event with lighting that accentuates the musical performance? A professionally operated concert lighting system will include many lighting effects that match the music, increasing audience engagement and entertainment. Additionally, the pictures turn out great, which ensures they will be looked at for years to come.
Concert lighting production for any size show
On the simple end, concert lighting might involve two towers that hold up fixtures for stage wash (face light) and some static LED units behind the performers.
Small to mid-size concert lighting production involving a few moving heads and static LED fixtures
Moving into a more involved rig, we use the same lighting but installed differently. We suspend the lights above the stage via two truss spans, one upstage and one downstage. The face light is more evenly distributed across the stage and there is also the opportunity to hang effect lights such as crowd blinders close to the audience. The rear truss might have some moving lights hanging on it and haze to allow the beams of light to show up is provided.
For a top-notch show, we place even more moving lights on the ground and on the upstage truss. Some movers would be beam units while others would be profiles. The downstage lights become LED wash units that can change to any color. We fly the lighting on chain motors rather than ground-support since the venue is likely capable of having significant loads hung from the roof.
Full Service Event Production
No matter the scale you need, we provide full service, turn-key production services to include all setup, operation, and takedown. Not enough power to allow all the lights to turn on? We will arrange a portable quiet-run generator to power the rig. We can supply sound reinforcement as well as giant video screens and concert stage barricade. We’ll handle all the details so you just have to sit back and enjoy the show!
LSC Technicians set up stage lighting for Punk in Drublic
So you’re planning an event and wondering if you should hire a lighting company? If you want your event to have a visual impact, chances are you should! If you already know you need lighting, hiring pros is the way to go. Professional lighting companies have experience and rugged equipment that will ensure your event runs smoothly. They also have the knowledge to handle unexpected issues. Lighting companies hire designers that can work with you to achieve your vision. If you can’t picture what you want, designers can help find the lighting that best suits your event. Lighting will affect every aspect of your event, so if you want to stand out, hire a pro.
Lighting companies like The Lighting & Sound Co. field trained and experienced crews for coordinated event setup.
What kind of events should I hire a lighting company for?
Every company is different. Some companies work exclusively on weddings. Some work exclusively on concerts. Companies like The Lighting & Sound Co. are made up of many different departments that service any type of event. This can include, but isn’t limited to: concerts, weddings, corporate events, sports events, conferences, meetings and galas.
Experienced crews like The Lighting & Sound Company can service any type of event.
An LSC tech sets up for a concert at VCU’s Siegel Center.
What should I look for when hiring a lighting company?
You should hire a lighting company the same way you buy anything else. That is to say: do your research. Don’t just believe what companies tell you- verify it. Since most professional production companies maintain social media accounts, be sure to check those out. Ensure that the company you hire has up-to-date pictures and reviews proving what they are capable of. You want a company that responds to you quickly. One of your vendors is taking a while to get back? That’s probably not the vendor you want on the day of your event.
Have your eye on few companies with great reviews and pictures and you like all of them? Hire the more affordable one.
Event lighting doesn’t just have to be a column or circle of light. The skilled designers and technicians at The Lighting & Sound Co can customize the output of some lighting fixtures to project a pattern of light. This element is often referred to as a “gobo,” though it’s also called a template, light pattern, or texture. Gobos can be created from nearly any design, and most flat surfaces are a great place to display a gobo.
Perhaps our most popular gobo service is a custom wedding gobo, often including a monogram. These designs can be chosen from our catalog of custom layouts and fonts, or provided from client artwork. A typical wedding gobo might have the bride and groom’s names in a stylized font, and the wedding date.
Custom Monogram Gobo
A common corporate event service, but also seen at many high-end weddings, is a pattern or design displayed on the walls or ceilings around the venue. The design might be a scenic element, or an abstract projection that creates texture on the wall.
Pattern Gobos projected on the ceiling of The Hotel John Marshall
Many events need to display the logo of the event sponsor(s) or the company holding the event. A custom logo gobo makes it easy to project the logo. Most corporate events need a logo flanking the stage, or at the building entrance.
Custom Logo Gobo Projected on Building
Most concert lighting will include a haze or other atmospheric effect, which allows the beams of light to show up in the air. We can slot a pattern into the light path, and consequently make fantastic aerial effects possible. Our powerful moving head fixtures have numerous pattern choices that, when combined with prisms and rotation available from the fixture, have the ability to take a show to the next level.
Aerial Gobos in use at a concert
Contact Us Today!
If you would like more information about any of our custom gobo services, feel free to get in touch with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (804) 893-5066.
We just wrapped up this year’s run of Jazz Nativity with Gayton Church. This is our second year providing production for this amazing performance that benefits Feed My Starving Children. Every year our team looks forward to working with this group of talented performers.
Some pictures below taken by Katelyn James. The full collection can be found on her blog.
We spent this Independence Day providing concert lighting & sound support for Fourth at the Fort. Fourth at the Fort is an annual concert event hosted at Fort Lee in Petersburg, VA. This year the event featured country artist’s Maddie & Tae, and a 20 minute fireworks show. Our event partners at Temp Power provided generators: a 45KVa, and two 125KVa generators. Main Stage Productions provided the Stageline SL320 Mobile stage. Despite the morning heat, and heavy thunderstorms in the afternoon, our crew had no issues. The show went up and came down without a hitch.
Our basic concert lighting rig is very efficient and operates on only a 45KVa three-phase generator. A separate 125KVa unit was used for sound, with another backup on an automatic transfer switch to ensure we would never lose power. Temp-Power provides highly reliable generators, so the transfer switch is mostly a formality to serve a special request by our client.
LSC Production Manager Jonathan Blake Coordinates with Temp-Power
Concert Lighting Package
We brought out a full array of LEDs and a few Beam Movers. Our LED crowd blinders kept the crowd well lit at crucial moments in the show. The simple rig consisted of 20 Chauvet Colorados, setup in what we call an “Eye-Candy” style. For moving lights, we utilized 8 Elation Platinum Beam 5Rs. On our down stage truss we had 8 ETC Source Four Lekos for face light, 16 IP65 Elation SixPAR 200 IPs for color. Rounding off this turn-key concert lighting rig were LED Elation CuePix WW4 blinders.
LSC Lighting Designer Dylan Adams operates the lighting console for Maddie & Tae.
Concert Sound Package
For sound we utilized a flown Vertec Line Array. The main system consisted of 16 JBL Vertec 4889 boxes, and four JBL VRX932LA-1 tops for center fills. 16 JBL SRX 4719 subs provided the low end for the show. We brought out Venue SC48s for FOH and monitor mix.
If your event needs to go off with a bang, we’ve got you covered (literally!) with our new Confetti Cannons! Streamers or confetti can be blasted from these compressed air cannons. Whether you need a concert confetti effect or bridal confetti for a wedding, we’ll ensure each money shot is right on target. The double-barrel Big Shots Cannon by Artistry In Motion is used at New Years events, Las Vegas nightclubs, and marathons across the country, and we are the first in the Richmond area to own this top-of-the-line confetti cannon.
Here are a couple clips of two cannons in use at a time:
We recommend streamers for the farthest distance shot or confetti for covering a smaller area such as a dance floor. If the ceiling is low, positioning the confetti cannons as high as possible will give the best hangtime.
Having a confetti effect for your event, combined with lighting and sound support is sure to provide maximum audience enjoyment and excellent pictures.
Club Effect,Wedding Sendoff, Concert Special Effect, Film and Video Production, Theatrical Shows, Sporting Events, New Year’s Eve Celebration