Bassline Stage,- courtesy espAfrika photographer Jeffrey Abrahams

A highlight on the Cape Town social calendar was the 13th Cape Town International Jazz Festival held at the ICC on 3rd and 4th April 2012. The event was kicked off with a Free Community Concert held a few days prior to the event.

Around 15 000 people per night attended the CTIJF, hosted at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, which comprised of markets, workshops, galleries and five stages on which both local and international artists performed. The five performance stages included Bassline (outdoor), Kippies (main stage), Mannenbergs (outdoor), Moses Molelekwa (outdoor) and Rosies (indoor theatre).

A number of rental companies worked on the event including Gearhouse, C & S Audio, Strike Alliance / Eastern Accoustics and Hellfire Productions.


Gearhouse provided the full technical for the Corporate Hospitality Village and the Bassline, Kippies and Mannenberg stages including large screens, power and the like. Project Manager Theo van As, Lighting Designers Phillip Chames and George Gilfillan, as well as the crew are to be commended. Congratulations also to Alan Muller, who Gearhouse appointed as the LD for the Mannenberg stage.

According to Phillip Chames, the design brief for all three stages was to take the branding and use it in a new way, which he believes was achieved with great success."I love the Robin 600s, they are great, and I wish now that I had used them for keylight instead of the 5ks. They have awesome colour correction functions and are incredibly versatile. I had fun with the lights this year from a live point of view," Phillip commented.

"Another important brief from our client, espAfrika, was to get good pictures for camera so this year we white balanced to daylight, and this got a more accurate colour out of the intelligent fixtures for camera. Lights and camera were definitely on the same page this year and it showed. I look forward to next year and for all of us to deliver an even more spectacular JAZZ."

Insight from Alan Muller

Lighting Designer for the Mannenberg stage, Alan Muller, said besides Cape Town being extremely busy with Sting, The Eagles, Cape Epic and K-Day (big KFM Family Concert), a very large and vicious cold front moved into Cape Town around midday on load day.

“Due to a storm on the first day of load in at the festival, fixtures had to stay covered until roughly an hour before the show commenced. Strong gale force winds saw set elements not being safe to install, nets and scrims being re arranged by nature. Focussing and rigging in rain usually leads to disaster, but with a determined well trained crew, focussing was completed,” said Alan.

“Thanks to Avolites Tiger Touch Consoles at the outside stages, we had colour and gobo palettes. The first Act was the ideal time to create positions and start programming. In fact, the console only met FOH with the audience already in.”

At the Mannenberg stage some of the Robin 600s were rigged at FOH during band change overs. “The change over between artists was also used to program,” he said. “Thanks to the Avo Titan training, I used Pixel mapping as my colour shapes on the Robin 600s and Robe Wash 700s for variety and versatility. A few other shortcuts and tricks meant I actually got sleep after the last act on night one …. The stages each had OB vans and multi camera setups for television – no pressure LOL.”

Robe featured on all 5 stages and for architectural lighting. There was extensive usage of the Ledforce 18 RGBWs, Robe 250 Spots, Robe 575s, Robe 700 Spots and Washes, Robin 600s, some Mac 2ks and Clay Paky Stage Zooms. Consoles included three Avolite Tiger Touches, a Saphire 2000, a Pearl 2004 and a Grand MA 2.

“The Robe 600s rock and I can’t wait for the rental companies here, and in Africa, to get some and.... hint hint, some 100s as well,” said Alan.”This was awesome entertainment, awesome gear, dedicated Lampies and a cool venue. It was a rocking festival and I can’t wait for 2013.”

Story courtesy DWR, Photos Terry February/Thania Petersen/Jeffrey Abrahams

Aug 13, 2012

The Gearhouse Group of Companies