There was something for every music lover at the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, which WorldStage exclusively supported with lighting, LED video and rigging. One of New York City’s longest-running, free, outdoor performing arts festivals, Celebrate Brooklyn! attracts more than 200,000 attendees to the Prospect Park Bandshell each summer to see a wide array of artists. This year’s lineup included Lake Street Dive, jazz legend Pharaoh Sanders, Senegalese superstar Youssou N’Dour, soul singer Musiq Soulchild, funk act Quantic and indie rockers Whitney.
BRIC, the non-profit arts and media organization, produced the annual festival, which launched in 1979. Celebrate Brooklyn! was an anchor in the revitalization of Prospect Park after years of neglect, and the festival has grown into one of the city’s foremost summer cultural attractions.
“Celebrate Brooklyn! has become a staple on the New York summer concert festivals scene, and it’s thrilling to work with the fine professional team at BRIC to make every season better than the last,” says Alison May, Project Manager at WorldStage.
WorldStage has a long-standing partnership with BRIC providing a lighting rig and video gear versatile enough to adapt to rock and folk artists, world music stars, dancers and even movie nights. Brendon Boyd of Brooklyn’s Boyd Design, Inc. handled production management and design for the festival and served as its Lighting Designer. He has an 18-year history with Celebrate Brooklyn! and begins each new festival by compiling a wish list of fixtures he’d like to use.
“I ask WorldStage if fixtures we used last year are still available and what’s new and exciting that we might try,” says Boyd. “Our technical team is primarily college interns. So having a diverse range of gear is an asset for them, a great opportunity to see real-world equipment. Even our old-time crew chiefs like to see the new toys!”
New to the festival this year were Chauvet Maverick Mk2 spots, which served as template fixtures in the sky providing rotating texture during performances. They were coupled with Claypaky Alpha Spot 800 QWO STs for additional aerial effects. Also new were Elation Protron 3K LED Strobes. “We never had LED strobes before so using these gave us some really cool options!” Boyd declares. “We used them in almost every concert.”
WorldStage also furnished Chauvet Next NXT-1 LED panels with tilt and rotation capabilities. “We used them primarily as effects lights but they had enough punch for low side lights and were good wash fixtures on the band as well,” says Boyd.
GLP Impression X4s were “punchy and powerful” small moving head LEDs. “Their nice pin spot effects just zipped around the stage,” he notes.
Martin MAC Auras acted as “workhorses in the plot,” Boyd says. “We love them.” VARI*LITE 3500s uplit the historic 1939 bandshell. Color Kinetics Color Blast 12-inch fixtures and Color Blaze 6-foot units also served as architectural and effects lighting.
Elation EPARs were scattered throughout the park at entrance portals, in the friends’ tents and the kitchen tent. Numerous ETC Source Four fixtures and Par 64 ACLs rounded out the lighting complement.
LED video products made their debut at Celebrate Brooklyn! this year – and they had quite a presence on the 60-foot stage. “They were eye openers for everybody,” Boyd reports. “We went to the WorldStage warehouse for demos last spring so we could see the LED video products in their inventory, and everyone was blown away. We opted for ROE Hybrid Creative 18mm tiles, which we used in a 16×10-foot wall downstage. The look was awesome! During the walk in, changeovers and intermission the wall ran sponsored videos. During the shows we used them as lighting fixtures to match the color schemes on stage.”
Boyd also selected a Unilumin U6 V1 tile package, which comprised two 5×6-foot panels in the upstage corners. “They were so crisp and the resolution looked amazing,” he notes. “The panels were used exclusively for sponsorship branding between performances; they also displayed a countdown clock from sponsor Oris watches.”
“The support we get every year from WorldStage is epic. I can’t thank their great team enough – Terry Jackson, Ben De Fusco, Alison May and our friend and colleague Josh Weisberg who was instrumental in implementing the video element,” says Boyd. “I work with vendors year round, but when I call WorldStage we have a quick discussion and they’re all dialed in and ready to go.”
At BRIC Jack Walsh was the Executive Producer of Celebrate Brooklyn! At Boyd Design Miguel Valderrama was the Lighting Director and Bill Kennedy the Technical Director.
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