The Eurovision Song Contest 2019, globally one of the most widely-viewed entertainment extravaganzas, was hosted by Israel at the Expo Tel Aviv and boasted over 700 Ayrton fixtures in its massive lighting rig.
Ola Melzig, Head of Production for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019: “For the second year in a row, we’ve had a close cooperation with Ayrton (for Eurovision). Their fixtures are extremely reliable and innovative, and add fantastic – and very important – layers to the production.”
Set designer, Florian Wieder, and Tel Aviv-based lighting designers, Ronen Najar and Dakar Azulay created individual looks for each of the 41 competing countries.
Wieder’s iconic stage design was based on triangles and the number 12 – important symbols for Israel – while Najar and Azulay chose a large number and variety of lighting fixtures which allowed them to create enough unique looks to handle a show of this size and diversity. Key to their enormous and extremely adaptable design were over 700 LED lighting fixtures from Ayrton.
“Our main idea was to maintain the special stage design developed by Florian,” explains Najar. “We therefore chose to use a significant amount of Ayrton MagicBlades to create new geometric lines as a backdrop that enforced the triangular motif and allowed us to be innovative and create multi-dimensional art.”
330 MagicBlade-R and 206 MagicBlade-FX were rigged on ladders at regular intervals across the massive back wall and side walls, and interspersed with 100 Khamsin-TC profile fixtures.
“The MagicBlades took a major role,” continues Najar. “We used them for the dominant moments, as well as a background to support the LED screen.
When you have 500 pretty identical fixtures on the back wall, you definitely can create exciting looks and mixtures! One of the most significant moments was the opening number for the very first broadcast – the host nation’s song Toy by last year’s winner, Netta.”
Najar and Azulay also chose 46 Ayrton Ghibli profile fixtures to outline the downstage edges of both the main stage and the catwalk which looped out into the arena, from where they were used to create stunning, striking aerial effects.
44 Ayrton Bora-TC wash fixtures were chosen for the Green Room where they were used as the main key light fixtures for the delegations from each country.
“The Bora units definitely met the expectations we had for them, providing us with great colour and brightness for our purposes,” says Najar. “All of the Ayrton fixtures provided an impressive range of colours and intensities that were perfect for broadcasting conditions.” 48 MagicDot-R units completed the inventory from Ayrton and were used for the Israeli entry, Home by Kobi Marimi, to give it a unique look.
Ayrton’s LED sources also played an important factor, in terms of both size and cost savings. “The venue’s weight limits were much smaller than that of Eurovision 2018, so we preferred the smaller LED fixtures,” explains Ronen. “The fact that all the Ayrton fixtures are LED driven generated savings of over 100,000€ in diesel for the generators,” adds Melzig.
Ayrton fixtures have become a major part of the Eurovision experience over the last two years and proved themselves the ultimate in versatility, creativity and cost-effectiveness.
“I’m looking forward to the next opportunity to team up with this great company,” concludes Melzig, “and yet again pull something amazing out of the hat on the absolute highest level of performance within music entertainment.”
More information on Ayrton’s full portfolio of LED moving light products.
Text: Ayrton. Lighting design by Ronen Najar and Dakar Azulay. Photo by © Ralph Larmann.