The second edition of the Fun Radio Ibiza Experience, organised in association with Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel, took place on 2017 at the Accor Hotels Arena in Paris. Around 17,000 people gathered at this huge EDM event which transformed the venue into a massive dance floor to the sounds of top DJs Robin Schultz, Nervo, Sam Feldt, W&W and headliners, Afrojack and Hardwell.
“The Paris show is a little taste of resistance,” says show director, and founder of High Scream, Romain Pissenem. “To stand up and dance and have fun is the only response we can show to the threats to which our city has been subjected.”
Romain Pissenem bring the spirit of Ibiza and the unique Ushuaïa vibe to Paris with over 200 Ayrton lighting fixtures, including over 100 MagicBlade-FX, 50 MagicPanel-FX and 50 MagicDot-XT. The fixtures were supplied by Ayrton as part of a collaboration between the Parisian manufacturer and these masters of spectacular party nights to bring one hell of a party to Paris.
“The Paris event is important because it is a big show and everyone’s expectations are high,” says Pissenem, “plus it is my home town and I want to give it something special. At Ushuaïa we have seven different shows – a separate one for each DJ – with a new show every day of the week; and every year we create seven new productions which get bigger and better each year. In Paris, we have just one chance, once a year, to give people the best party possible. So when people walked into that massive arena this year, even those who came to the first Paris edition in 2016, I still wanted to blow their minds with a huge new show.”
This year’s design incorporated an enormous stage, a linear arrangement of newly introduced LED screens and a long line of lighting fixtures framing a representation of the curved stage at Ushuaïa. “We can’t replicate all the productions from Ibiza,” says Pissenem, “but we can bring the same energy, the same attraction of an international DJ line up, and the same crazy effects show, condensed into one mad, dance-filled party night.” A night that culminated in twelve aerial acrobats descending on bungee cords from the roof to perform a spectacular show 30m above the heads of the audience as the final denouement and consolidation of Ushuaïa’s signature ‘Wow’ effect.
With only one day of fit up, and little time to run any rigging from the roof, Pissenem decided his Parisian Ibiza stage should be based on a frontal design which would fill the enormous space and throw all its light forwards into the crowd. “The idea was to give the impression of throwing all the energy from the stage out front – like an extension of the music – as strongly as possible in the face of the crowd. I decided to create a massive wall of light, into which we integrated the curve of the Ushuaïa stage, all of which was formed out of a big and powerful lighting structure.”
Pissenem delineated the top of the stage with a long line of alternating MagicPanel-FX and MagicDot-XT fixtures, and added more down the sides, interspersed between the strips of LED screen, to create the massive wall of light. Inside of this he placed fifteen angled trusses to replicate the arch of the Ushuaïa stage, each of which was alternately loaded with four MagicBlade-FX and a MagicPanel-FX unit. Six truss towers located far upstage each carried half a dozen more MagicBlade-FX, while a long, stage-wide row of MagicDot-XT was located in front of the DJ booth.
“Our challenge was to make each of the six DJ’s sets different from each other and special to themselves, all in the space of one evening. I therefore chose to hide the truss a little and to conceal the fixtures until I was ready to use them. We then added a different product/feature to each DJ set and gradually built them up over the six acts until, by the time the headliners, Afrojack and Hardwell, were playing, the whole rig was in full use and the crowd were going wild.
“The MagicPanel-FX were really good for this as they are unobtrusive in appearance but have the versatility to do so much within each fixture. I could conceal them until the moment I needed them and play with their appearance so they never looked the same way twice. Each time I moved the MagicPanel-FX it really changed the appearance of the design, and the design itself took on a different appearance with a real three-dimensional depth when viewed from different angles across the arena.”
Pissenem used the MagicPanel-FX to create incredible aerial effects including broad beams of coloured light with slow, sweeping movements as well as fast and furious activity, and utilized the graphic patterns, shape and orientation of the MagicPanel-FX and MagicBlade-FX to add more visual interest and eye-candy, which reached out into the audience and drew them into the party. The MagicDot-XT was utilized to full effect in undulating waves in front of the DJ booth.
“I needed something really powerful to deliver that overwhelming ‘wow’ factor and hold its own amongst the LED screens,” he says. “The Ayrton fixtures were amazing in this process as they were strong, powerful, versatile fixtures that allowed us to form the arch shape and to create so much more light. Not only are they extremely powerful, but the way they move, and the way you can use them as decoration is really, really helpful.
“We kept the same Ushuaïa recipe for Paris, but created a different show with same ingredients. The most essential of those ingredients was using the same team: Bertrand de Saint Pern, my technical director who is brilliant and the one who makes everything happen; production manager, Caroline Harrington; Ian Woodall, technical manager and, Leon Van Empel from S Group which has been our rental supplier at Ushuaïa for the last six years and who, as ever, came with everything I asked him to bring…it’s good to be surrounded by these crazy people!
“And for this reason the partnership with Ayrton was also essential: Yvan Péard is as passionate about what he does as I am, and I really love working with him for that reason. What is important for me is to keep the human touch. Yvan is passionate, creative and a genius, so I am very happy to shake his hand and find a way to create something big together. If you put two chefs in a kitchen there is bound to be an explosion of creativity. Paris is a personal passion project for us both and it has to be fun. You dedicate all your life to this work so it has to be with people you like and respect, both in your own team and the people you work with.
“I love the Ayrton brand and have been used to working with them for years. When I want to create new effects or ideas with the light, I know Ayrton works in a way that will produce something amazing.”
More information on all Ayrton’s LED lighting products can be found at Ayrton
Text: Ayrton - Photo: © Roberto Castano