April 17, 2016: The company, who until recently, has focussed mainly on corporate events having taken a sabbatical from rock and roll for a year, made a dramatic U-turn in March ’16 to support the Nicky Minaj concert – the first of the Autism Rocks Festival in Dubai.
The concert organised by the newly formed 117Live, headed by Thomas Oveson (who was previously with Done Events) was held on March 25th at Dubai’s latest entertainment venue – named Autism Rocks Arena. For an hour that Nicky Minaj was on stage, she was 100 percent present, although she admitted to toning down for Dubai. A contrast to her more flashy numbers, she was in a beige unitard with long, golden frills and small suede heels. Before ‘Anaconda’, she apologetically told the crowd she wouldn’t be doing her usual ‘freaky’ routine. “I don’t even know how to tone it down. But I love you”, she said to the adoring fans. In between telling her fans to never quit on their dreams, giving a young woman in the crowd the microphone to absolutely kill her verse in Trey Songz’s Bottoms Up, and reassuring everyone how much she loved them, she blew through all the big hits and collaborations.
Protec provided lighting, video and rigging for the show. Working closely with Nicky’s LD – Kathy Beer and Video Engineer Daunt’e Kenner, the production was as good as it gets. “I have been with her since last year and this is my third time in Dubai and my first time with Protec. Protec is a great company with great gear, lovely crew and everything went swimmingly. I would definitely work with Protec again!” said Kathy. She added, “As with anything we had to make a few changes because all the communication was done via email but the guys were quick to respond and the changes were made without fuss and with great speed. We were also able to end rehearsal early last night which I always love.” Kathy’s LX plot had a range of Clay Paky fixtures including Stormy, Sharpy, ALEDA K20 B-EYE, Mythos, Sharpy Profile and Show Batten as well as Varilite Spots and Washes, Jarag-5, Molefray, Pixel Smart LED Par and Gladiator spot lights.
Protec Video’s biggest challenge was getting the trim height for the main screen just right, to avoid the risers from cutting into the bottom of the screen, and the top of the screen getting in the way of the back LX fixtures. A total of 158 sq.m off Protec’s 6mm and 154 sq.m of Protec’s 9mm Mambo LED panels were used for the main stage. The Imag screens for the main stage were set in portrait and the content started initially in 16×9 format using part of the screen, which then changed to full screen portrait to accept the live camera feed. Nicky’s Video Engineer Kenner said, “This is my first tour with Nicky, about my tenth time in Dubai and my second time with Protec and you guys are great. When I arrived everything was set up the way it needed to be and there were no issues. I literally plug it in and it works”.
Protec’s Project Manager – Mark Battle summed it up for us when he said, “The production for this gig worked out very well from a technical and logistical point of view. The site was laid out very well, there was plenty of room in the backstage area for all vehicles from different aspects of the production and personnel to move around with ease without getting in each other’s way. The stage was large enough with big wings and a large enough area behind the backdrop of the stage to move a festival production around with ease. We had five days to build the entire rig which was ample time and made the build very relaxed.
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