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Claypaky dazzles at SAPOA Annual Convention
Lighting Designer
Francois van der Merwe
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  • Sharpy

SOUTH AFRICA – MGG were called upon to supply the full technical for the SAPOA Annual Convention, which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary at the Sandton Convention Centre’s Pavilion Venue in Johannesburg. For this top-notch occasion, MGG asked lighting designer Francois van der Merwe from Wizardry Group to design both the conference and banquet styled show.

The South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) is the representative body and official voice of the commercial and industrial property industry in South Africa. As they wanted something extraordinary for their golden celebration, MGG incorporated the largest VuePix configuration they had ever built comprising of some 200 x Q3 3.91mm panels. The show included Clay Paky Sharpys and Mythos and control on a grandMA2 full size.


The event kicked off in the conference room where a 28m x 4.5m VuePix L6 Series 6.67ml Blend screen was erected. “I designed this site but Rianda van Burick from MGG ran the actual show on a grandMA2 light,” said Francois. Francois used 11 Clay Paky Alpha Spots for front light and 16 Clay Paky Sharpys . “The Sharpys were awesome, I think I got quite a bit out of them, they’re fast with a nice aerial beam effect and that’s what I used them for.”


For the actual show, a themed event took the audience through a journey starting off in the 1960s with four singers presenting a medley for each decade. Francois adapted the lighting accordingly, from a touch of flair creating mood to a lively rock and roll look. “The big part of this show was that the client wanted us to focus on the dance floor, which is usually an afterthought for people,” he explained. “They wanted to highlight the after party dance floor so my idea was to come in with all my colours used for the production, with lighting coming straight from the top and then beams and gobos surrounding the dance floor, basically at 360 degrees.”

The lighting gear comprised of 5 Clay Paky Alpha Spots at FOH.

There were 30 Clay Paky Sharpies and further 12 Clay Paky Mythos for side angle beams.

The show was smooth sailing and looked world class. “I love working with MGG, they have a good crew and they know what they’re doing,” ended Francois. “They do things right. There is one way and that’s the right way. They don’t take shortcuts and that’s the only way to do it.”