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Festivalbar promises a bit of everything: music, fashion, live entertainment and a TV show. As one of Italy’s most popular variety shows, it is not-to-be-missed entertainment for our summer evenings. As if to link the world of folklore pop with our history and traditions, the final has been held in the Arena’s splendid backdrop for over twenty years. Once again, the Arena really took the leading role on the 8th September, with a packed audience of 15,000 people.

These events always have hectic preparations behind the scenes. Yet Renato Neri, manager of Xenon, is used to these “tours de force”, as his company has been designing stage sets and providing the lighting and sound system for Festivalbar for over 15 years. But how does he manage to technically balance television lighting with all the requirements of a live show? Renato Neri tells us how he deals with such cases: “For the stage design, I need to study the overall image and effect, whilst the photographic aspect involves finding the best image possible for filming close-ups. Festivalbar needs a perfect balance of both these things.”

Neri’s words were clearly illustrated by the large and uniform lighting of the flight of steps behind the stage, using Clay Paky Stage Color 1200. The lighting provided a magnificent sight, both for a wide, sweeping field of view and for aerial filming. Opposite the illuminated steps, a tiered pyramid towered over the 26 x 18 metre stage. This theatrical piece, borrowed from Aida and used in the Arena of Verona, evoked the surrounding tiered architecture, whilst the clever combination of complementary colours made it stand out dramatically against the background.

The lighting system consisted of many Astroscans strewn along the sides of the stage.
They were used to “fill” large areas, so uniting the stage and the audience and creating imaginative and innovative movement throughout the whole scene. Stage Zooms 1200 were positioned on the ground and on the trusses for the graphic elements and lateral beams, whilst the Super Scan Zooms surrounded the whole ring of the Arena, each about 18 metres apart, in order to backlight the public.
Renato Neri added: “The Clay Paky projectors are very versatile, reliable and capable of diffusing light in a number of expressive ways, whilst guaranteeing unbeatable uniformity of light.
They work at their best in any application or environment. This is why I’ve always proposed and used Clay Paky for television productions, concerts and events”.
Renato Neri and the Photography Director Massimo Manzato generally used a lot of colour with strong and often complementary tones.

Clay Paky’s spectacular effects were completed with the conventional colour changers positioned on 4 vertical poles and the Golden Fog 2000 DMX smoke machines placed at the back of the stage. These exploited the backlighting effect and transformed the pyramid into a kind of giant “chimney” emitting smoke.

In short, Festivalbar didn’t show any signs of ageing even after thirty years. Every edition radiates with fresh vitality, in consecrating well-known artists as well as launching new talents. Thanks to the great professionalism of those involved in the organization and stage design, the show promises a brilliant future and a veritable landmark to brighten up our summers.

Organizer: Andrea Salvetti
Production Director: Duilio Celia
Executive Producer: Miride Bollesan
Sound and Lighting Service: Xenon
Lighting Designer: Renato Neri
Photography Director: Massimo Manzato
Music Coordination: Pippo AbbĂ 
Direction: Egidio Romio
Clay Paky Lighting: Stage Color 1200, Stage Zoom 1200, Super Scan Zoom and Astroscan
Sound system: EAW
Other Effects: 3 videowalls, 4 Golden Fog 2000 DMX Clay Paky