The Higher Life World Conference accommodated a 60 000 strong audience in the Cape Town Stadium between the 16-18 March 2012. The Gearhouse SA Group of Companies pooled resources to provide Structures, Lighting, outdoor LED Screens, Power and Rigging for the three day spiritual meeting with Pastor Chris, who is known around the world for healing miracles, television programs and pastoring thousands of Churches under the Christ Embassy banner.

The event was co-ordinated on the Gearhouse side by Project Manager, Eyal Yehezkely, who explains that the Gearhouse brief from their client, Christ Embassy, was to provide a sizeable roofed structure positioned for maximum visibility, coupled with relay screens and lighting coverage on stage areas, pitch and stands.

Gearhouse provided a 25m wide Stageco roofed structure, positioned on the North side of the stadium. Just Sets provided all stage and set elements including the main stage with tiered access to the audience from centre stage and 10.8 m wide open offstage wings on either side, which offered further performance areas. The Gearhouse structures team headed up by Mark Gandy also supplied the delay towers, camera platforms and outdoor screen structures.

Two side IMAG Lighthouse R16 LED screens suspended on the PA towers either side of the main performance area were supplied by another of the Gearhouse companies, LEDVision, together with four additional 4x6 screens positioned to the sides and back of the stage to ensure 360 degree coverage. The event was recorded for DVD and relayed live to LED screens around the venue, which were operated by Richard Ngema. OB and cameras were provided by Alphacam.

Gearhouse Lighting designer, Hugh Turner, assisted by Bob Lacita and Herman Wessels, devised a rig which would create an ambience and atmosphere sympathetic to ministering, whilst retaining a variety of looks for the performances and accommodate camera requirements as well.

The brief was to create a cohesive environment between the stage performances, the ministering area at floor level and the congregation which needed to be lit throughout the event for camera pickups.

The performance areas encompassed the main stage and set, additional stage areas right and left, the band and choir stages, the carpeted floor area (68m x 8m), plus the stadium field and bleachers for the live congregation. With such a large area to cover and to achieve the required diversity, Turner chose to split lighting into two main categories for logistical and control purposes, namely stage lighting and stadium/audience lighting.

He used a comprehensive rig of 48 x Mac2000 Profiles, 57 x Mac2000 Washes and 18 Robe 2500 Spots together with 4 Clay Paky Sharpys and an assortment of LED Fixtures to light the main performance areas, choir and band from the roof trusses, delay towers and second tier seating balustrades either side of the stage.

Stadium/audience lighting was accomplished with 100 Panther 2K and 5K fixtures mounted on the front balustrades of the seating tiers all the way round the stadium as well as around the rear of the seating on three sides of the stadium to backlight the stadium and cover field seating. 24 x Robe 2500 Washes mounted on the delay towers and main structure trusses provided front fill for the seated congregation.

Acacio (Bob) Lacita crew-chiefed the Lighting team, handling the co-ordination of the load-in and setup of the lighting system as well as the team of eight JHB and seven CTN lighting crew.

Data distribution around the stadium and to the stage was through a fibre optic data distribution system and the entire system was run through MA Lighting’s Grand MA2 system, which is renowned for its superiority in large and multi scale events.

Power and distribution was provided by Gearhouse Power under the control of Ian Holmes. Three 500KVA generators were run in synchronisation to supply power to the main stage areas with an additional three 300KVA machines providing power for the 5K searchlights. In all, around 4800m of distribution cable was run for the power element of this event.

The Audio requirements were provided by Stage Audio Works.

Overall, a team of 40 Gearhouse technicians were onsite for this event. The build began just over a week before show day and ran smoothly and to schedule. " As always, the communication flow between the client, ourselves and the stadium was key throughout, to ensure that everyone was kept up to date and aware of any potential problems" says Eyal, " We have a long-standing relationship with Christ Embassy and believe we have created a good foundation of trust with our client."

Gearhouse JHB Branch Manager, John McDermott, concludes, "Once again Gearhouse South Africa is are honoured to be a technical supplier to Christ Embassy. They are always a pleasure to work with and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with the church."

Story Robyn D'Alessandro, photo Hugh Turner

May 17, 2012

The Gearhouse Group of Companies