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Lighting Designer
Jo Campana
Photo Credits
Jarno Iotti and Federico Landini
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While awaiting the scheduled launch of his new album of unreleased songs at the end of September and consequent tour of sports arenas in October and November, Luciano Ligabue preferred to ‘limit himself’ this summer to only two concerts in the renowned Italian stadiums of San Siro in Milan and the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Both venues sold out yet again.

Jo Campana, who has been Ligabue’s lighting and show designer for fifteen years now, told us something about these two dates: “Summer 2023 turned out to be even more complicated and difficult to manage than last summer for reasons that were easily foreseeable, chiefly the enormous problems in finding staff and technical equipment owing to the huge seasonal demand. We have not yet got over the post-pandemic backlog, and what with postponed events from the last three years and new 2023 productions, there has been an over-abundance of concerts, and this has professionally strained all of us in the field. Having said that, we must also look at ‘the bright side of the moon’ and note with great pleasure that people still have an enormous appetite for live music.

This is positive for the whole system, including the artists, since – with the collapse of record sales – live is also the most profitable thing they can do in all respects.” “Speaking of crazy overlapping,” Jo continued, “the same lighting and video rig designed by me for Ligabue was then also used during the following days for two stadium concerts by Pooh and for the charity event Italia loves Romagna. In short, there was a real frenzy, but we apparently came out unscathed and victorious this time too. Precisely for this reason, I put together a simple, essential but none the less effective, functional lighting design.

I have always favoured the no-frills approach, which I consider more a necessity, especially in these situations. So, four sixty-foot-long trusses on the roof, another four side-lighting trusses (essential when you have a 65×30-foot LED screen, albeit with high transparency), and lots of lights on the floor.

Lastly, there were 150 lighting fixtures, including 72 Claypaky Mythos units, positioned behind the see-through LED screen, which could therefore either interact with the video clips, or sometimes just work as lights that pierced the screen creating an impressive wall of back-lighting, a true big bang!  I have worked with Mythos fixtures several times before and – again on this occasion – they were versatile with various high-quality effects.

On the other hand, this is the first time I have used the Claypaky HY B-Eye K25 in such large numbers. I must admit that I was literally thrilled with their luminous efficacy, colorimetry and reliability. Not really being a rookie, as a good old-school designer, I had always considered moving discharge-lamp heads as wash or key lights until last year, but having now seen the K25s at work even in such a large outdoor setting, I would say this is a point of no return for me: I’ll never go without them again! I will definitely also put numerous ClayPaky fixtures on my list for the upcoming arena tour. However, they are no longer new to me and are now a dead certainty in all of my lighting designs.”