The glitz and glamour of Hollywood has come to Singapore. The opening of AVALON has been hyped as the most highly anticipated nightclub event in the region and fittingly boasts the largest installation of Clay Paky Sharpy moving beam lights ever installed in a club.
Famously known for being a playground for celebrities, Avalon is the brainchild of nightclub impresario Steve Adelman, and a legend behind many of the most famous nightspots of the past two decades. The club occupies the top two levels of the floating South Crystal Pavilion – a multi-faceted glass edifice designed by world-renown architect Moshe Safdie – and which forms part of the Marina Bay Sands complex.
Setting the international standard for the “big” nightclub experience in Singapore and the surrounding region, Avalon, with its outwardly positive architecture, will undoubtedly be a unique addition to the nightclub circuit as it encapsulates the iconic essence of its original Hollywood nightclub experience while enhanced by a distinctly Singapore flavour.
The full experience of the club embraces three ambiances: the first level offers a vibrant club lounge, a high octane dance environment and a performance stage, while upstairs is the sophisticated VIP level where members will have an unobstructed view of the club’s many high profile events such as top concert artists and international DJs performing on the stage. The club’s international reputation, high profile clientele, a custom made sound system, state-of-the-art effects lighting, and an installed intelligent movable rig and hoist system – the first such system in a Singapore nightclub – have crowned Avalon as the club in which to be seen.
The interior of the club is surrounded by glass walls and a ceiling which is 15 meters high at the point. The enormous responsibility of overseeing the lighting, sound, and AV design was entrusted to Snipe Media, a Singapore-based design and consultancy company. Billy Magendran who helms Snipe Media, was called upon to come up with a solution for a multi-zone lighting scheme to be installed on the moving rig which is raised, lowered, and tilted throughout the night to generate the different lighting angles required of the lighting design.
The solution that Billy decided upon was to have a full moving head design infused with 24 Clay Paky Sharpy, 18 Clay Paky Alpha Spot HPE 700, 4 Clay Paky Alpha Spot 300, and 4 Clay Paky Alpha Beam 300 luminaires. LED washes were also installed in the rig to colour up the trusses. The programmed combination of the LED washes and the Clay Paky moving heads were choreographed to create a dynamic and “living” lighting rig that will not only provide full coverage of the dance floor but also from the sides and backstage areas.
The Clay Paky units was supplied by Acoustic & Lighting System, the regional distributor for Clay Paky. Eugene Yeo, the Assistant Sales Manager at Acoustic & Lighting System knew all to well of the trend of club owners tending to opt for lower price moving lights made in China. “It is fantastic to see Clay Paky lights installed in one of the most premier nightclubs in Singapore. It is becoming rare that people really appreciate high quality lighting effects especially in our region,” commented Eugene.
Aliff, the lighting engineer at Avalon superbly utilises the Spot HPE 700’s wide array of gobos and strobe effects for the dancefloor. The Spot HPE 700s are also the primary lighting for fashion shows and artists performing on the stage.
With twenty-four units installed, Avalon has the precedence of having the most number of Sharpy units installed in a club in the world. With its small footprint and lightweight frame, Sharpy is a groundbreaking 189W moving beam light which produces and unprecedented bright and perfectly parallel, laser-like beam with an incredible output of 59,760 lux at 20 meters (5,100 footcandles at 65 ft).
The Sharpy is undoubtedly Billy’s favourite light and he admits it: “I love the Sharpy. It is not just the output, but also for its colours and speed, and the beam is so very sharp. The Sharpy is built for one specific purpose, and it does it extremely well.”
Eugene initially had some concerns about the lighting request for the club: “When Billy came up with an idea to use the Sharpy in Avalon, we were worried that the intensity of the light output might be harmful if its placed too low. Luckily the ceiling is high enough and now everyone is amazed with the lighting effects. I really want to thank Billy and his team for their bold ideas and the effort in creating the best club lighting in Singapore.”
Response from the club’s guests only confirms the impression the Sharpy lights have made with visiting artists. Billy mentioned how artists and their managers who didn’t know about the Sharpy’s yet were blown away once they saw how the sharp beams moved in and immediately heightened the atmosphere. “Their request to us is always to ‘give me only those lights,'” said Aliff.
The fifty Clay Paky moving heads, dozens of LED colour changers and a multi-colour laser system is enough to light a major concert which explains why Aliff needs to work on a MA Lighting grandMA2 ultra-light console (with 26 units of MA 2Port Nodes) to handle the multiple DMX universes utilised in the overall lighting scheme.
With the first phase of the club’s AV completed, Billy has already started to plan out his ideas for the second phase for the lighting to possibly include the next line of Clay Paky luminaires. “Clay Paky is not like many other brands who just want to sell, sell, sell. They want us to know and to understand their product first before we buy it so that we can use it to the fullest potential,” concluded Billy.