Skip to content
Clay Paky fixtures beam giant illuminated backdrop at the 12th Language and Culture Festival
Lighting Designer
Michał Mazurkiewicz
VES Venue & Event Support - Niclen
Related Products

Germany: Polish event engineering company VES Venue & Event Support specified a mix of Clay Paky Sharpys and Alpha Spot 1500 HPEs to beam aerial effects and colour washes over a 15,000-strong audience at Dusseldorf’s ISS Dome last month as part of a major international festival of culture. VES worked with Niclen ( to provide the event with all its lighting equipment.

VES’s Project Manager Piotr Tomaszewski oversaw production of the event, which marked the closing ceremony of the 12th Language and Culture Festival, and was broadcast around the world. The ceremony saw performances by more than 250 students hailing from the festival’s 145 participating countries.

“For this year’s event we wanted to create something extra special,” explains Tomaszewski. “We worked with Lighting Designer Michał Mazurkiewicz to design and construct a ‘live-lighting’ backdrop to create a scenic element that was both extremely versatile and able to change the mood and atmosphere of not only the stage but the whole stadium entirely.”

The ‘live-lighting’ backdrop that dazzled audiences consisted of eight curved pieces of truss rigged with 70 x Sharpys and 48 x Alpha Spot 1500 HPEs. The powerful, long throw beams of the Clay Paky fixtures shot out over the stadium’s audience and washed the stage and performers with colour.

“This was an incredibly significant event, bringing together different nationalities and faiths and celebrating that richness in diversity,” continues Tomaszewski. “We wanted a lighting design that was effective, unique and special in every way in order to excite audiences and create an atmosphere akin to that of Hollywood award galas. The Sharpy and Alpha Spot 1500 HPE are both entirely suited to working at great heights and longthrow distances. The Alpha Spot 1500 HPE did a fantastic job, making a big impact on the stage.”

The Alpha Spot 1500 HPE is one of Clay Paky’s premium effects lights. The fixture includes 20 gobos on three separate wheels, animation disc, rotating prism and a zoom range of 7º to 57º at a rapid 120bpm speed.

“Already at the design stage we had an idea of how we could take advantage of the possibilities offered to us by the Sharpy and Alpha Spot 1500 HPE,” continues Tomaszewski. “We reduced their impact on the projection to a minimum and as a result, we achieved amazing lighting effects and high-quality pictures that could be adjusted to the television broadcast requirements.”

Lighting designer Mazurkiewicz punctuated the lines of the Alpha Spot 1500 HPE with instances of the Clay Paky Sharpy to create a diverse, textured effect. Popular amongst lighting designers looking for a small beam fixture that can illuminate anything from small, intimate events to giant stadium productions the Sharpy weighs in at 19kg and produces a razor sharp beam whose brightness far belies the fixture’s size.

“The speed of the fixture combined with its bright output, zoom range and incredible animation disc were the factors that made us all unanimously specify the Sharpy for this project,” says Tomaszewski. “In fact that is why we chose to use Clay Paky overall – it’s the best tool for the job.”

VES has been developing its activity in foreign markets for several years. This year they were involved in the organisation of events in countries including Germany, Russia, Romania, Turkey, Spain, and France as well as their home country of Poland. During the 12th Language and Culture Festival in Düsseldorf VES was responsible for production of the concert, provision of equipment, as well as creation and production of the scenography.