The Good Life

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LUX5 Events, the Newport Beach-based event company, launched their 2008 Nationwide Deep Flight LUX5 Luxury Lifestyle Tour on May 10th at Santa Monica, CA's Barker Hangar.LUX5 Events, the Newport Beach-based event company, launched their 2008 Nationwide Deep Flight LUX5 Luxury Lifestyle Tour on May 10th at Santa Monica, CA's Barker Hangar. For one day the hangar was transformed into a luxurious atmosphere with some of the most high-class exhibitors in the world.

Michael Munar, executive producer for LUX5 Events, discussed the overall scope of the tour. "It's a luxury lifestyle event which has everything from cars, boats, planes, helicopters, and fashion shows. There are also a bunch of exhibitors in the middle of it. And other than a traditional convention, we had to integrate live entertainment. Part of the challenge is to get a venue that's so big, like the Santa Monica airport hangar, to feel very luxurious and lounge-like, but still give exhibitors the chance to discuss and sell their products."

Creating such an atmosphere was a challenge, as Munar explained. "Some of the challenges we had were how do you create a fashion stage but not be so distant from all the other action going on. Part of that challenge was how keep the sound from being overbearing. We did surround sound at a lower level in the entire venue, so whether you were in the front entrance or the main stage, you could hear and feel the action going on. The production didn't stop at the stage, it spanned out into all the exhibitors booths so they felt a part of it even though they were in their own section. When the fashion show went on, we had some of the intelligent lights in the booths change the same as the stage lights, creating kind of a uniform feel throughout the venue."

Munar also noted the lack of load in time his team had the day before the show. "The challenge for us was the time constraint. We only had one and maybe half a day of load in. With that we had twelve different vendors. Part of it was we were doing rigging into the ceiling of the hanger and exhibitors, cars, and a 12 million dollar submarine were all going in at the same time. So everyone was fighting for space, and it was a juggling act to get the floor laid out. While the riggers were trying to get the truss in the air some of the lift motors weren't working properly, which delayed the entire show. It became a traffic jam, and these are luxury clients. They expect to walk right into the show to their booth space. But they were sports about it."

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Four 52-inch Samsung LCDs we're mounted on a circle truss above the LUX5 Lounge. The client wanted the ability to create three different atmospheres in these areas in a large open hanger.
LUX5 brought in Stanco Productions to assist the contracted production designer Dylan Marer. Sam Wehrmeyer, general manager of Stanco, described the main production goals and how they were accomplished. "The show had three main objectives. A fashion stage, a bar/lounge area, and of course the convention space. The client wanted the ability to create three different atmospheres in these areas in a large open hanger. With almost 1000 feet of truss and 40 points, it proved to be a long day. It's not often you're working over a multi million dollar underwater jet. So safety, as always, was at the forefront of everyone's mind. With no power drops, all the booth were powered by drops we installed from one of the three house trusses off our power distro."

Wehrmeyer continued, "For audio, zoning was essential. The fashion stage needed more reinforcement then the rest of the space. The lounges needed a night club feel without bleeding into the convention space. Lighting was similar. The three different areas needed a distinct lighting scheme. Video needed to be fully integrated between the lounges and fashion stage. The Whole Hog Two with sidecar worked perfectly for this application. A Yamaha O1V worked well for the zoning and mix minus we needed to achieve."

The gear used was essential to the show, as Wehrmeyer noted. For the video systems, "Four 52-inch Samsung LCDs we're mounted on a circle truss above the LUX5 Lounge. Two 12x16 foot screens were used stage left and right. Two Sony FX 51's were double stacked on either screen, driven by Sony 1024HD and switched with a Panasonic MX-50."

For the audio systems, Wehrmeyer explained the setup, "The Turbosound Floodlight's were selected for their robust sound and ease of rigging for a trade show style event. Because of the acoustics of the venue (old airplane hangar) being very reverberant, we needed to create a heavily distributed sound system. We achieved this by hanging a total of 16 Floodlights and 12 TCS40's on the house left and right lighting truss. Due to the floodlight top boxes not operating below 150 Hz and being horn loaded, they exhibited great off axis control. This help reduced reverberant problems in the vocal range. For the main trade floor, the subs where handled by four TSW-721's. These where distributed evenly above the main section of the trade floor area. The bar/lounge areas where centered in the middle of the trade floor. These independently controlled systems where time aligned with the main room. This effectively centered the higher SPL areas in the middle of the room, allowing the rest of the trader floor to maintain lower SPL."

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The crew only had one day of load in and twelve different vendors. They were doing rigging into the ceiling of the hanger and exhibitors, cars, and a 12 million dollar submarine were all going in at the same time.
The lighting system was spread out throughout the venue as well, said Wehrmeyer. "The lighting was all on three separate 220 foot house trusses. 16 Highend Studio Colors and eight Martin Mac600 washed the hanger. Six Studio Spots, four Xspots, two Coemar CF7, six Technobeams, and eight Cyber Light Turbos provided the patterns and gobos for the hanger. 14 Colorblast 12s provided LED wash for the LUX5 Circle truss. 160 K of 1k par64 provided wash over the convention space. Over 60 Source Four Lekos provided the illumination for the cars, jets, and floor space."

The LUX5 tour will be making several more stops this summer, including Chicago, San Jose, and Las Vegas. As Munar noted, they're still working out the kinks of the show, "It's a newer event, we've only done one other show besides this one. We're trying to figure out the natural fit for this event, so each show is a learning curve for us, and we eventually want to go International with it. Part of the challenge we faced was on the outside of the venue. We couldn't run sound to the outside to the venue, or put lights out there, so the outside didn't match the inside. The lights and sound played a crucial mood setting element we were trying to create, you just miss that when you go outside and see a big hanger. So I think for us is finding a venue that can encompass the entire production as opposed to separate segments."

After such a complex setup in one day of load in, Wehrmeyer reflected on the show overall. "Our corporate clients have been coming to us asking for creative ideas to provide increasingly high end shows on decreasing budgets. This proves to be a challenge, but one we have consistently been happy to achieve. And, as for the load in, never say never. We were able to get in and up a lot in a day. With a great crew anything can happen."




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