With the Barasti Superdome structure complete, the next stage was to equip it with technology that would enhance the experience for the fans and help to build the atmosphere. For this, Barasti called in eclipse Staging Services for the audio, video and lighting alongside its sister companies, Laser FX and Stage FX, for some added extras.
With the main purpose of the Superdome being to show live matches, the video element was the most important factor. The eclipse team installed a pair of ROE 9mm LED screens to show the matches, a 12m x 4.8m screen inside the dome and a smaller 3.6m x 2.4m screen serving the beach area. ‘We used a Green Hippo Taiga V4 as our media server for any playback and advertisement,’ adds Alex Menor, head of video at eclipse Staging Services. ‘We also used our Analog Way Saphyr Switcher to switch from the live game broadcast to any media advertisement or playback. A fibre line was used to connect the signal coming from the dome screen display to the relay screen outside on the beach. We secured a patch to the Barasti upstage LED 6mm screen to display the same signal using a fibre line.'
According to Mr Menor, the visual side of the project was relatively straightforward. ‘With proper planning and previous experience putting up the screen, the team had an easy time setting up the dome screen in one day, and the programming and the set up of the relay screen for the beach area on the following day.’
With the visuals ready, the next element to get right was the audio system. For this, eclipse turned to its inventory of d&b audiotechnik speakers. L-R hangs of three T10 cabinets in line mode on cluster brackets formed the main system, while two positions of two Y-Subs and a Y10P as well as a further two positions of a single Y-Sub and one Y10P formed the delays. Power for the system is from four of the manufacturer’s D20 amplifiers.
‘The Barasti dome was kitted out with a subtle PA system where the dome structure provided obvious acoustical challenges of echo and reﬂections,’ explains John Parkhouse, head of audio at eclipse Staging Services. ‘The d&b T-Series and Y-Series speakers, while small, are well up to the task of providing a very clean install. Their refined directivity, which d&b is famous for, is a real benefit in less than ideal acoustical conditions.’
Away from the speakers, the control for the system was via a DiGiCo S21 console with a D-Rack. Playback was via an Apple Mac Mini and audio interface for background music and stings, while a DJ setup with L-Acoustics 108P self-powered coaxial speakers as DJ monitors completed the audio setup.
‘Our senior techs, Tim Cook and Ronald Eugenio, preplanned and designed the system in such a way as to minimise reﬂections as much as possible with careful positioning, aiming and alignment,’ notes Mr Parkhouse. ‘The system was also zoned so that for the smaller, less attended times, we could switch off components to provide more background ambience and less SPL. However, when the dome filled for the big matches, we could step it up with the whole system to keep up with crowd noise, maintain the atmosphere and achieve good, clear speech intelligibility for the all-important commentary.’
For the special effects, the teams from Stage FX and Laser FX initially supplied lasers and CO2 jets for goal celebrations. These were added to with further confetti blasters and streamer shots for the final match of the World Cup. ‘Stage FX and Laser FX were on hand to enhance the drama of the 169 total goals scored with multiple special effects,’ recalls Arran Hopkins, Laser FX and Stage FX general manager. ‘With the Superdome’s ﬂoor space at a premium, the CO2 jets’ cylinder storage had to be outdoors; therefore, we had to carefully regulate the delivery of the jets over the month of the World Cup to avoid high temperatures.’
Marrying into this effects system, while also providing an element of control, was the final layer of the Superdome’s technical setup: the lighting solution. For this, eclipse supplied 10 Martin Mac Vipers, the same number of Claypaky Stormys, 20 SGM P-5s, 40 LED PAR cans and 12 4-Lite Molefays to light the interior of the structure. Outside, meanwhile, 16 Claypaky Supersharpy moving head lights covered the beach area.
Control for the lighting system was via an MA Lighting grandMA2 console with different cues pre-programmed for regular match scenarios. ‘We did three cues to be used throughout the football matches,’ recalls Junder Luzon, senior lighting technician at eclipse Staging Services. ‘The first cue was for a penalty and involved video and lighting, the second cue was for a foul and again used the video and lighting. Finally, the third cue was for when a goal was scored and this brought in the video and lighting, as well as the laser and CO2 equipment from Stage FX and Laser FX.’
While the cues made the live mix easier for the lighting operator, it did also provide the biggest challenge for the project. ‘The setup was done smoothly, though I encountered a bit of difficulty because this was my first time connecting the laser show to the grandMA2,’ explained Mr Luzon.
‘With the kick-off of the summer season of football, we are proud to support our long-standing client, providing the ultimate A/V setup needed to celebrate the FIFA World Cup at the Barasti Superdome. Our A/V equipment enabled fans to watch and hear all the football action at Barasti Beach and get the best-possible interactive experience with an enormous screen and special effects. We provided all the technical support to transform the venue for the perfect football experience,' concluded Martin Lubach, general manager at eclipse Staging Services.