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Clay Paky at the 15th Durban ICC
Lighting Designer
Simon Hampton
Black Coffee
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Opened in 1997 by Nelson Mandela, the Multi –Award winning Durban ICC celebrated its 15th birthday anniversary with a Grand Banquet. With 33.000m2 of space available to clients, the Exhibition Centre is the largest flat floor, column-free exhibition/conference space in Africa.

This year the Durban ICC was named “Africa’s Number 1 meeting and conference centre” by the prestigious World travel Awards, for the 11th time in 12 years. The ICC has welcomed Kings, Queens, Presidents, actors, icons and entertainers and has hosted some of the biggest, most high profile conferences in the world.

The project’s objective required the event organizer to showcase the capacity, versatility and flexibility of the ICC to stage major international events . Makulu Events was awarded the tender to organize the event and with the ICC, invited a number of companies to propose designs and ideas. It was suggested by Makulu to use cutting edge technology incorporating LED Screens. Black Coffee proposed a stage, set, audio visual and lighting concept that went against this suggestion. Black Coffee proposed that a 20m wide by 8m High 3 dimensional set be made out of flats; this would be the background for Audio Visual mapping instead of LED Screens.

“Since the World Cup, there has been an overuse of LED screens in events of all budgets. This has become too common in large events and although still impressive, is no longer cutting edge”, says Brandon Bunyan of Black Coffee. The Technical tender was split into two sections – Audio Visual and Sound and Lighting, stage and Set and structures.

“We were thrilled that Selbys got the Audio Visual component of the function, Selbys is one of the most reputable sound companies in South Africa and we needed their new Audio Visual mapping expertise and gear to make our set proposal work. This was guaranteed to be a tight technical team”, said Production Manager Llewellyn Pieters.

After scaling down, lighting designer Simon Hampton’s wish list included 12 x Clay Paky Sharpys among others. “The Lights had to be hung high enough to clear the 8.6m high screen. With only 1.4m clearance it nail-bightingly just fitted in. The use of Sharpys ensured good effects without the beam work interfering with Selby’s HD projectors”, said Simon.

What was quite interesting is that Simon, Brandon and  Llewellyn from Black Coffee  and Roger Mc Fall from Selbys had all worked on the ICC opening in 1997, all for different companies.