With the participation of more than 50 artists, once again the BW Bank jazzopen 2009 in Stuttgart was one of the most important international jazz festivals. More than 28,000 spectators in the event’s three venues – the Stuttgart Fair, Mercedes-Benz Museum and the BIX Jazzclub – enjoyed, to name a few, the concerts of Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Sonny Rollins, Solomon Burke, Katie Melua, Joss Stone, James Morrison and Pasadena Roof Orchestra. Six of the festival’s concerts were recorded for 3sat and SWR. Jerry Appelt was lighting, set & media designer for the duration of the festival’s eleven days.
For the design at the Stuttgart Fair, Appelt chose, amongst others, 36 Clay Paky Alpha Beam 300, 32 Alpha Spot HPE 1200, 8 Alpha Beam 1500, 4 Alpha Spot HPE 300.
“Clay Paky has an excellent reputation for performance, especially in terms of reliability,” Appelt said, explaining his choice of the Alpha Moving Lights. “Since the festival lasts two solid weeks, it is essential to be able to rely on foolproof projectors. I am also a diehard fan of the new Alpha Beam series, because it lets me abandon the beaten paths of the usual Spots and Washers. We had absolutely no problem with any of this equipment.”
Appelt explained his light design: “My idea was to have a mix of Light Beams and multimedia content on the LED surfaces that would offer the artists a wide variety of atmospheric lights and colors—from Lenny Kravitz’ throbbing Rock’n’Roll Show to the soft dazzle ambiance of the jazz artists, without ever changing the basic setup. The deeply-placed wing lights served as a cover for the side movements of the cameras. The lighting concept had to be adapted completely to the television taping, without creating a sterile studio atmosphere, as well as being accessible to the lighting designers of the bands that were playing.”
Mathias Hagel was Lighting Director, Sascha Matthes was operator and programmer of the lights, and Gunnar Johannsen was multimedia content operator. Matthias Kreiner technisches Atelier was in charge of production management. As a supplier of technical services, PROCON Event Engineering was head of media, lighting and sound, whereas the Überkopf company dealt with the equipment design. Opus GmbH of Stuttgart organized this 16th edition of the festival.