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Clay Paky at the 2011 Sanremo Music Festival, on Gaetano Castelli's set with lighting designed by Ivan Pierri
Lighting Designer
Ivan Pierri
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Clay Paky was a leading player in the 2011 edition of the Sanremo Music Festival, which has been the biggest music event on Italian television now for over sixty years.

A total of a hundred latest generation Clay Paky moving heads, including Alpha Profile 1500s, Alpha Profile 1200s, Alpha Beam 700s and Alpha Beam 300s, were installed around the whole huge theatre stage, to set off the artists’ performances, together with the imposing LED wall.

The sensational scenery, once again designed by the architect Gaetano Castelli, had a futuristic appearance. The classic staircase was replaced by a long spiral ramp that looked almost like the course of a video game. It conveyed the message that tradition and modernity merge at Sanremo and set trends.

Work on the set and fittings started back in November and entailed the services of specialized scenery technicians and riggers. The result was one of the largest sets for television in recent years. It had a typically theatrical feel: the traditional familiar TV studio features were done away with to immerse the performers in a spectacular carousel of bright scenic environments.

The Alpha Profile 1500s and 1200s were used for special effects on the stage, artists and orchestra, while the beam lights were used in particular for backlighting with some powerful and extremely bright “light tubes” that added value to each performance. This year, lights were also installed on the floor. This was not done in past editions because it did not fit in well with the type of flooring.

Blending the impressive videos displayed on the LED wall with the special lighting effects on the stage and the mid-air beam effects was definitely the biggest challenge the Director of Photography, Ivan Pierri, faced. He told us: “accepting the challenge of lighting a stage that was crowned by a spectacular scenographical LED spiral that almost completely obstructed the theatre ceiling was really exciting and formed the core of my undertaking at this year’s festival.

My lighting design was created around this innovative three dimensional shape, designed by Gaetano Castelli, which I tried to use to my advantage by mounting Clay Paky moving head beam shapers inside it. I believe Alpha Beam 700s, Alpha Profile 1500s and Alpha Profile 1200s are excellent tools, together with graphical effects and other technical equipment, for getting sensations across to the audience in tone with the artists’ stage performances.”

Gianmarco Mazzi was artistic director and Duccio Forzano, producer.