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iHeartRadio Music Awards Make Strong Visual Statement with Big Claypaky Lighting Package
Lighting Designer
Jon Kusner
Photo Credits
Header pic: Andrew Swartz
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The 2017 edition of the iHeartRadio Music Awards celebrated the most popular artists and music of the past year according to listeners of iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and the iHeartRadio digital music platform.  Jon Kusner, lighting designer for 22 Degrees, used more than 500 Claypaky fixtures for the recent show.

The awards were telecast live on cable’s TBS, TNT and truTV networks from The Forum in Inglewood, California.  Kusner has been involved with three of the shows since the awards debuted in 2014, two as lighting designer and one as lighting director.

This year he decided to reduce the number of lighting instrument choices for his rig while increasing the density of those fixtures.  “That meant I was able to achieve stronger looks and make stronger visual statements,” says Kusner.

A new set design featuring lighting locations within the set pieces necessitated growing the rig by about one-third, he adds.

Thirty Sharpys alternated with 27 Sharpy washes mounted on booms around the perimeter of the space to “outline the venue and make an architectural statement around the room,” Kusner explains.  Another 161 Sharpys were on other concentric trusses circling the room from the perimeter position.  “Sharpys are small enough to put anywhere but pack a lot of horsepower, so they are a good tool to outline almost anything,” Kusner says.

One hundred fifteen Sharpy washes and 168 Mythos were upstage where they served as musical reactive tools.  Some were staggered on horizontal truss between three ribbons of stacked LED screens.  Others were on the floor at the base of one of the screens. “Screens were more prominent in the set this year,” says Kusner.  “Mythos helped carry the visuals when video was not displayed and acted as accent tools delivering tempo, excitement and illumination when the video was there.  Mythos’s footprint is a little smaller than its counterparts, so it fit well in the narrow space between the bands of screens.  And Mythos has a lot of horsepower, color mixing and gobos.”

Several Scenius spots also made their debut on the show.  They were utilized as floor lights for Chris Martin’s entrance.

supplied the Claypaky fixtures.  A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor for Claypaky in North America.

Lee Lodge
was the creative producer for the awards, and Madigan Stehly and Will Gossett were the lighting directors.

Francesco Romagnoli, Claypaky Area Manager for North and Latin America, added, “This is such a high profile show and we were so proud that so many of our fixtures were used for it.“