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Clay Paky at the Ruhr Reggae Summer festival: Caribbean sounds on the Ruhr
Lighting Designer
Simon Sonnenschmidt
Sonic Art Veranstaltungstechnik
Photo Credits
Michael Schwettmann

Germany – For most people, reggae conjures up images of beaches, palm trees and Jamaica. The Ruhr district certainly does not have those features. Despite this, the Reggae Summer Festival, an annual music event devoted to the Jamaican music genre, has been held on the Ruhr since 2006. Besides reggae, dancehall and afrobeat can also be heard in the Revierpark Wischlingen in Dortmund.

Simon Sonnenschmidt, who was in charge of the show lighting design and programming in the Dancehall Soundsystem Arena, for U-Concert Veranstaltungsproduktionen GmbH & Co. KG, used 13 Clay Paky Sharpys, 4 Spheriscans and 4 Supersharpys, together with one dot2 core plus and 1 dot2 F-wing.

Sonnenschmidt explained: “The Supersharpy is the perfect light for illuminating the glass dome on the roof of the ice rink/Dancehall Soundsystem Arena. I created massive columns of light with the four moving lights in order to include both the dome and the surrounding forest in the set. The Spheriscans proved to be the ideal choice for the Dancehall owing to their incredible brightness and speed. Thanks to their position behind the stage, I could play with the silhouettes of the artists, but also with the extremely precise gobos. The continuous pan was equally interesting, with its guaranteed ‘wow’ effect.”

“Working with a dot2 was a totally new experience for me,” said Sonnenschmidt. “I’ve never seen such a small product offer so much power. Just a short time was enough, and I was ready to go with the show. Everything is very intuitive, quick, and within arm’s reach.”

“Each Ruhr Reggae Summer Festival is unique,” Sonnenschmidt added. “There are new challenges every year. The cooperation between professionals and the crew of helpers is, however, always great, and fun too. The crew has been the same for years, and work takes place in a friendly atmosphere, but with our eyes firmly on the ultimate shared goal.”

Sonic Art Veranstaltungstechnik provided the lighting and sound equipment.

Photo: © Michael Schwettmann