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Clay Paky Makes a Splash at Wakestock
Lighting Designer
Andrew Strachan
Gearhouse Staging Connections
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A ceiling of Clay Paky Alpha fixtures recently shared the stage with an eclectic international music lineup during Wakestock in Abu Dhabi. Long considered one of the coolest mash-ups of wakeboarding and music in the world, the Wakestock model was exported to the Middle East for the first time this year to Abu Dhabi, March 4 through 6 at Al Sahil Beach, Abu Dhabi Corniche and seeing more than 110,000 spectators over the three-day weekend. The event marked the first stop on the World Wakeboard Association’s 2010 World Wakeboard Series.

Developed from a combination of waterskiing, snowboarding and surfing techniques, wakeboarding is a surface water sport which involves riding a wakeboard over water. The three-day Wakestock event mixed an array of riding, including pool gap, System 2.0 and boat comps, with performances from big-name music acts during the evenings.

The record crowd watched as the sport’s top 16 athletes competed against each other for a share of a $50,000 prize and the title of Wakestock Abu Dhabi Champion 2010. The three-day beachfront event was produced by Flash Entertainment and the City of Abu Dhabi.

Lighting Designer Andrew Strachan used 28 Alpha Spot HPE 1200 fixtures and 28 Alpha Wash 1200 fixtures in the main stage rig to compliment the diverse acts throughout the evenings. The open-air stage design featured a series of curved truss acting as a canopy over the artists and the fixtures were placed to allow maximum visibility to the thousands of spectators.

Strachan stated that the Clay Paky fixtures were chosen ”quite simply for the great looks! We wanted to keep the shape of the 18-metre orbit and attract as many people as possible. They definitely did that.” Lighting was controlled by Strachan with a grandMA full size with some pre-programming done in wysiwyg, also by Strachan. Lighting was supplied by Gearhouse Staging Connections in Dubai.

Night one featured home-grown talent The Brownies playing a blend of jazz, acoustic rock and funky groove, followed by international DJ extraordinaire, Goldierocks. Lebanese superstar Carole Samaha headlined the first evening, followed by local DJ Danny Neville. The second evening showcased local favorite Nikotin, followed by Arabic rock star Fadi Andraos, preppy punk rockers Sandwash, internationally renowned post-punk rockers Maximo Park, and local DJ Da Funkt Live. Following an exciting final day of wakeboard competitions, the lineup on the last night featured local hip hop heroes The Recipe and the grand finale, alternative hip hop legends De La Soul, bringing the festival to an exciting climax.

With a fine selection of awesome artists and the perfect setting on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche, Wakestock Abu Dhabi 2010 was an unforgettable way to launch the event and start the 2010 Wakeboard World Series,” said Mark Durston, Wakestock Founder and CEO.

The WWA Wakeboard World Series is a global contest series that brings together the top athletes in the sport of wakeboarding to battle it out for over $200,000 in total prize money throughout the year. In 2010, the series will incorporate 6 different events and will visit 6 countries on 4 continents. Being the first in the series, Wakestock Abu Dhabi set the bar high for the rest of world, with the next event scheduled for Brazil.