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Clay Paky at MAYDAY, the most famous rave party in Europe
Lighting Designer
Thomas Gerdon
Schoko Pro GmbH
Photo Credits
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„Never Stop Raving“ was the motto of this year’s MAYDAY event in Dortmund. Thousands of ravers took the motto to heart and partied with their favourite music day and night. Like last year, the light design was once again assigned to Thomas Gerdon.

Together with Rando Lorenz (Lights Operator), Philipp Schauer (Video Operator), Wadim Wall (Media Server/System), Tim Franken (Laser Operator), Joachim Wippel (Project Manager) and Jens Diefenbach (Technical Director), Thomas Gerdon transformed the Westfalenhallen location into a world of light effects. To achieve this ambitious project he used 96 Sharpy and 12 Sharpy Wash 330 by Clay Paky mounted on the rig. The lights team managed the show with 3 grandMA2 full-size, 2 grandMA2 light and 2 grandMA2 fader wing.

Gerdon selected the Clay Paky Sharpy because “these mobile lights provide a truly exceptional beam and set new standards in terms of speed. We had already worked with the Sharpy Beam in the previous editions of Mayday, but this year we used the Sharpy Wash for the first time. These lights exceed the colour rendering capability of their “brothers”. The Sharpy light blended extraordinarily well and created amazing plays of light”.

“I have been using the grandMA2 console and the MA system for many years now”,
continued Gerdon, “but every time their outstanding network, reliability and system performance continue to surprise me.”

Commenting on his light design project, Gerdon explained that: “When designing the MAYDAY Arena, or other similar events, the key objective for both myself and my team is to create a completely new experience for each and every visitor, whilst meeting the requirements of the Client and state-of-the-art trends. This is why we not only give importance to ensuring visitors get to enjoy the classic “strobe light” , but also that the emotions of the music are transmitted via the visual components in the best possible manner. This is achieved thanks to the scenic merge of all the multimedia elements:  lighting, lasers and video.”

“On such occasions we create a club-like atmosphere during the dj-sets
“, continues Gerdon. “The lighting follows the beat of the music and supports the musical dramaturgy effect. This approach requires the operator to focus constantly on the music even in the introductory phase, as we use no Sound-to-Light.  In addition, we used close-up lighting during the performances, DJ vocal intros or entrance of the MAYDAY members, to create an almost dominating effect over the musical subject.  This created a huge perceptive contrast between the scenic part of the show and the respective DJ sets”.

Schoko Pro GmbH
of Wiesbaden provided all the technical equipment.

Clay Paky and MA Lighting are made available in Germany exclusively by Lightpower. In collaboration with the MA University, the company organises training courses for the grandMA2 consoles and MA onPC command wings, and also provides complete technical assistance and project planning support.