Using Light Factory at the 2006 African Cup
By Martin Searancke

On 20th January the 2006 African Cup kicked off in Egypt with a one hour opening ceremony. Cairo International Stadium was illuminated with 170 intelligent fixtures controlled by LightFactory. The show was separated into 3 sections with LightFactory controlling the 13 minute light, laser and fireworks finale. The first section was team introductions using the stadium lights followed by a synchronized military display with lighting controlled by 2 Avolites and 1 SGM console.

While 3 lighting desks where used for the locally produced section of the show, LightFactory controlled all 10 universes of DMX for a spectacular finale. Output from LightFactory was achieved through 2 Enttec Datagate DME devices connected by a simple Cisco Ethernet switch (ESP Protocol). The datagate provides 8 bi-directional ports that can be configured as a DMX Hub / Splitter, DMX Merger, DMX -> Ethernet or Ethernet -> DMX.
Fixture list:

64 x MAC 2000 Profile
40 x MAC 2000 Wash
18x SGM 1200 Spot
24x 7K Space Cannon
12x 7K Synrolite
23x Kolorado 2.5K Wash

The newly renovated Cairo stadium consisted of two tiers of seating with a flat ring road around the very top level. This provided an easy location for 36 7KW Xenon moving heads that could be used for both sky effects and floor lighting. A third of the balcony on the second level was setup with truss to hold the 104 MAC 2K fixtures (This also contained a few 575W fixtures that were not used for the finale section of the show). On the floor of the stadium the 18 SGM 1200 fixtures provided a ground spot effect while the field itself was washed with 20 2.5K Kolorado colour changers. A replica Sphinx was erected at the main entrance to the field and was also illuminated with further Kororado wash fixtures.
Several important features of LightFactory were used to program the show over the two nights prior to the event. The compact view of the ‘channel display’ allowed easy viewing of all 170 fixtures on a 1200 x 1024 display while a second monitor was used for the programming windows (cue list and effects editor). Selection shortcuts provide the most convenient way to work with a large number of fixtures as one key press can grab hundreds of fixtures for immediate editing. Combined with the ‘auto fan’ option you can quickly create creative looks with hundreds of fixtures in seconds.

47 different effects where created for the show. These became the building blocks of the main cue list with each cue containing a number of effects combined with static scenes. The final cue list was automated from start to finish with 2 synchronization points to ensure the show kept the same timing as the fireworks.

The beauty of the product is its ease of use and versatility. Flexibility is important in situations where plans constantly change and on this show they changed often. The fast programming time and immediate updates resulted in an event that is audience rather than technically focused. Thanks to LightFactory’s reliability the event went as smoothly as all events should - the only fireworks being provided by the constant stream of rockets exploding overhead.

For more information about LightFactory, visit the Stage Research Online Store.