In a historic night of volleyball and music, Proteus Lucius profile moving heads and Proteus Rayzor 1960 wash effects from Elation Professional, supplied by TMS, illuminated the stage for a captivating post-match concert by country music artist Scotty McCreery.
The spectacular event took place on August 30th at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska, as part of the Volleyball Day in Nebraska celebration.
The University of Nebraska is known for its passionate support of its women’s volleyball team and the event drew an astounding crowd of 92,003 spectators. It marked a significant milestone for the world of women's sports and, according to the University, broke three records: Largest Volleyball Game Attendance Ever, Largest Attended Women's Sporting Event in the U.S., and Largest Attended Women's Sporting Event in the World.
Production company Theatrical Media Services (TMS), based in Omaha, has a long-standing relationship with the University of Nebraska that dates back to 2013 when the University’s basketball teams opened up Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln. TMS provided pre-game and in-game lighting for the games and later provided lighting for a volleyball season at Bob Devaney Sports Center.
TMS played a key role in illuminating the historic Volleyball Day concert by providing the lighting setup and Patrick Bressman of TMS played an integral part in crafting the layout. He explains that TMS also provided a truss structure for the occasion, which, under typical circumstances, would have featured a vinyl roof covering. However, due to sight line considerations at the stadium, it was intentionally left uncovered.
The Proteus Lucius and Proteus Rayzor 1960 lighting fixtures were chosen for their IP65 rating as the stage was uncovered and weather conditions can be unpredictable. But they were also chosen to deliver an impactful visual experience to the massive crowd, he said.
He emphasized that the goal of the lighting design was to ensure that every member of the massive crowd could share in the excitement of the event, regardless of their seating location. “I wanted the people who were sitting on the other end of the football field to be able to feel the same excitement that the people up close were feeling. We wanted to captivate attendees from all corners of the stadium and the Proteus fixtures delivered”.
The lighting setup featured 10 Proteus Lucius moving heads upstage, providing stunning beam effects and mid-air gobo displays. The 33,000-lumen fixtures garnered admiration from Patrick for their flat field and ability to create remarkable gobo projections, even rivaling video projections. “I even had some people ask me if I was projecting video when I had a color gobo up which is a huge complement to the Lucius”, he stated. Patrick has used the Lucius, as well as Elation’s Artiste Monet, on past projects and says he admires the striking beams they produce.
The downstage area was adorned with 18 Proteus Rayzor 1960 fixtures with 19 x 60W RGBW LEDs, used mostly for their beautiful wash capabilities. The fixture can zoom tight or spread wide for even stage coverage and designers can use its individual pixel control and SparkLED™ background effect to create a variety of unique eye candy looks. Patrick expressed his enthusiasm for the Elation fixtures:
Being outside in a stadium I wanted something that would look big, and both the Lucius and 1960 fixtures just killed it. The 1960s are a beautiful wash, and I love the effects you can get out of them. I liked the Lucius so much I have now speced 10 of them with custom gobos on a football project – a tunnel walk before football games at Lincoln.
Caught people’s attention
Even though the band wasn’t the centerpiece of the event, Patrick says they still wanted to make it feel and look like they were doing a stadium show with a far-reaching look that kept people attentive. “Before the event, some people didn’t necessarily think that many of the volleyball spectators would stay for the post show concert”, he says, but that didn’t prove to be the case. “With the Proteus fixtures we put up plus the floor package the band brought in, everyone knew something big was going on. It caught a lot of people’s attention and caught some people by surprise. When the band hit the stage, they took over the whole stadium. It worked out really well”.
Patrick commends Elation for its dedication to innovation and customer feedback and lauds former sales rep Red Walter along with current sales rep Kraig Knight as instrumental in maintaining a strong partnership. “We couldn't be happier with the Elation products we have or the relationship we have with the company".
The momentous evening not only celebrated volleyball but also showcased the power of state-of-the-art lighting to elevate live events. As the Nebraska Cornhuskers set new records and the stadium came alive with music and lights, it was a testament to the indomitable spirit of sports and entertainment.