Robe connects with live entertainment industry people, personalities, influencers and trend-setters from around the world … talking about projects, opinions, experiences, inspirations and topics of interest from a cool location somewhere on our crazy planet …
A beautiful, bright & crispy summer morning set the scene in Brighton on the south coast of the UK for our interview with production manager Jake Vernum. Born an “industry baby”, Jake’s father who runs a well-known UK lighting, AV, and power rental company, was a massive influence on his career choice, but Jake has independently forged a very successful career as a young and enthusiastic production manager. His current clients include George Ezra and Fatboy Slim, both of whom have been highly active over the last year.
Creative visual director “Spider” - as he is known industry wide - is based in Warsaw, Poland and works internationally on a range of cool projects. He loves technology, innovation, being creative and learning every day whilst engaging with interesting and challenging works which often involve multiple visual disciplines. We chat about his ‘accidental’ start in the industry via the techno party scene as a lighting operator and designer, and his more recent work in the R-fields - XR, AR, VR, MR – and contributing to his first feature film.
Quintessentially English in so many ways, lighting designer Rob Sinclair is known worldwide for his innovative, interesting and intelligent approach to lighting and visual design across multiple disciplines. He has recently permanently relocated to the hustle and buzz of Los Angeles and California which he loves, and the OnLocation team caught up with him in a couple of more off-beat LA locations to chat about what has made lighting so central to his life!
Zhenya Kostyra is from Kyiv in Ukraine and currently working for MA Lighting Technology in Germany. Before the war started, he worked with Ukraine’s largest rental and production company, Alight. We talked about his passion for music and how it drove his interest in lighting, his work on major Ukrainian television productions, for the extensive 30th anniversary show celebrating Ukrainian independence in 2021, and most recently as part of Tim Routledge’s FOH team for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool UK.
Nkululeko Mazibuko is a lighting designer and senior technician at the Soweto Theatre in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa. He joined the team there in 2012 years ago as a lighting technician when the venue was first opened. He shares his energy, joie de vivre and positive outlook on life as we discover his pathway to becoming a lighting professional, discuss his love of lighting and storytelling and working at this lively creative hub right at the heart of Soweto’s thriving and diverse community.
Lighting designer & systems architect David Eversfield from OPTICSHOCK, LD for the recent Opening Ceremony of the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, give the OnLocation team a whistlestop tour around Auckland, New Zealand’s lively largest city! Visiting key locations, we discovered some of his massive and diverse body of international work which embraces theatre productions, corporate shows, large scale spectacular events and architainment lighting. It all started inauspiciously when he was 5 years old in a community theatre group.
We caught busy lighting designer John Featherstone from design studio LIGHTSWITCH during lunch break on a show at Anaheim Convention Center in California! With characteristic dry wit, John relates his early years and career start in the UK, his lucky break falling in with The Smiths when they were still a pub band … and how he arrived and fell in love with Chicago, now his home for more than 30 years.
Tartu, Estonia’s fabulous second city, hosts the country’s oldest theatre - Vanemuine – a hotbed of creative expression both nationally and internationally, known for its high production values and commitment to excellence. Andres Sarv heads the lighting department there, so we talked about his work and life in this vibrant environment as Tartu looks forward to its year as European Capital of Culture in 2024.
With the stunning backdrop of the Hollywood Reservoir, Los Angeles - a quiet and less well known green area bursting with wildlife, nature and undulating hills – as a location, we met up with lighting designer and programmer Tess Falcone. We learned how her busy, successful and fun-filled creative career kick started in Denver 10 years ago, as she shared her experiences and enthusiasm for the industry in this lively and vibrant interview.
“The Rocks” in Sydney Harbour is one of the most stunning and iconic locations in the world, so we were hugely lucky to use it as a backdrop to this great interview with lighting designer Matt Marshall whose talents embrace the worlds of contemporary dance, theatre and opera. Matt gives us the low down on the early years of his career, his work with Sydney Dance Company and other brilliant arts organisations, what inspires him and what he loves about the industry and his work.
George Ivanenko is a lighting designer from Kharkiv in Ukraine, currently living and working in the USA. After touring internationally with Ukrainian superstar Max Barskih, he was exploring his options for working abroad when the brutal war erupted last year. This accelerated his plans, and he was lucky enough to be able to travel. We met George in Los Angeles and chatted about his design studio, Corporation of Light, their educational activities, his work with Max and his creation of a special visualised lightshow, “Light History of Ukraine”.
The beautiful grounds of Navarra University in Pamplona, Spain, was where OnLocation caught up with multi-award winning lighting designer Nicolas Fischtel AAI, who made time for us in between rehearsals for a new work he was creating at the theatre there with famous Spanish dance company, Metamorphosis! We chatted about his passion and dedication to the art he has been crafting all his life, his early international training, his enduring love of music and the challenges of lighting the fluid and ephemeral world of dance.
At a secret and tranquil location just outside Aarhus, Denmark’s second city, we caught up with lighting designer Theis Wermuth of design studio Create This. We chatted about Theis’s early career as a DJ through to working with some of Denmark’s most popular music artists like Nephew. We heard about how he dealt with designing lights for 9 summer tours in 2022, even managing to go out and operating most of them himself!
Priidu Adlas from the Estonian Drama Theatre in Tallinn, the beautiful and lively capital city of Estonia, took time out of his busy schedule to chat to Robe’s OnLocation team about his career and work. Born third generation into the theatre, we learned how he took a more technical route whilst learning about the key production and BTS elements to a show as a child and youth, right through to the venue when he currently works full time as Head of Lighting.
Louise Stickland presents a special 2022 year-end edition of Robe’s OnLocation project, rounding up some highlights from these exclusive interviews with an array of lighting and production professionals from around the world.
We enjoyed the vibrance and energy of lighting designer and light artist Rachel Marlow in and around some of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand’s most iconic theatres and performing arts venues. Rachel explained how her career as a lighting practitioner started and talked about some of the diverse and innovative projects on which she has worked with her visual design company, Filament Eleven 11, capturing the vibey mood of this culturally rich and diverse country.
Sunset on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea was one of two fabulous locations visited to interview Israeli lighting designer Eran Klein, with the other being a penthouse apartment with panoramic views across downtown Tel Aviv. Eran shared his energy and passion for lighting across multiple sectors, together with some of the people and events inspiring him to learn the art. We also discussed his work with Grammy award winning electronic artist, Black Coffee...
Birthdays on the road and working around the world with renowned music producer Fatboy Slim (Norman Cook) were hot topics for our OnLocation interview with UK lighting designer Stephen Abbiss. We travelled to the dramatic and windswept hills of Titterstone Clee in Shropshire, to catch up with him and hear some great insights on life and the industry he is completely passionate about.
The whole industry has been talking about Ed Sheeran’s acclaimed “Mathematics” stadium tour which kicked off this summer … so long-term lighting and visuals designer, Mark Cunniffe made time in his busy schedule to meet us at his office in Poole Harbour, UK, to explain how the incredible and highly innovative stage design evolved. He also shared a few details from his early years in the industry, running a large school theatre and his fantastic ‘apprenticeship’ working BTS in London’s West End.
The impressive waterways and great vibes of Stockholm, Sweden, provided the backdrop for this OnLocation with lighting designer Fredrik Jonsson of Eyebrow Designs! One of Sweden’s top lighting professionals, we chatted about Fredrik’s childhood creativity, his 13 years working at Swedish Television, the 609 potential Eurovision songs he designed during his 20 year residency as LD for Melodifestivalen (Mello), the Swedish Eurovision selection event, as well as the three Eurovision Song Contests that he has lit. And celebrating Tina Turner’s birthday with the superstar in the studio!
In May we visited beautiful Norway and met Joakim Faxvaag, lighting designer for Norwegian public broadcaster, NRK. The interview took place on a hike, amidst the stunning scenery of the Isdammen nature park just outside capital city Oslo. We heard about the start of Joakim’s career, his decade of touring and some of his experiences and projects at NRK as well as what’s great about living and working in Norway!
Late in 2021, the OnLocation team visited the vibrant former industrial Strijp-S area, now the cool part of Eindhoven in the Netherlands where we met lighting designer Andre Beekmans from the Art of Light. Andre told us how he got going in the industry, about his successful design company, Art of Light, and his work with major international EDM artists like Armin van Buuren, Afrojack, Hardwell and others, as we enjoyed the great Strijp-S vibes and the semi industrial surroundings.
Downtown Johannesburg might be like the Wild West to some, but it has its own special energy, colour, hustle, and unique vibes, so no better place for meeting up with South Africa based theatre practitioner and lighting designer Michael Broderick! In and around the city’s legendary Market Theatre, he shared some of his fabulous thoughts, experiences, expectations, and insights … together with his insouciant passion for the industry!
Josef 'Pepa' Ženíšek runs Prague based SMART Production, one of the Czech Republic’s leading event technical providers and producers, which co-ordinates production solutions across all disciplines for music festivals, concerts sporting fixtures, corporates and industrials. Ahead of the 2022 Colours of Ostrava music and performing arts festival, we talked about this as one of his long-standing clients. Pepa also told us about SMART Production and his love for making the seemingly impossible happen!
Joshua Cutts is a leading South African lighting designer, known for his creativity and originality, who is working across multiple genres of entertainment – television, music and concerts, corporate & industrial presentations, via his design practice, Visual Frontier. It was a sunny and warm autumn day at Hartbeespoort Dam about an hour’s drive from Johannesburg, where we talked being born into the industry, his early formative years working backstage at Jozy’s famous Market Theatre, through to his 13th season of lighting Idols SA. We touched on how the South African market is adapting and starting to move forward after a challenging two years of the pandemic.
We travelled to Copenhagen in fabulous Denmark to meet LD Sune Verdier who is well known for his creativity in lighting for music shows, theatre productions and cool corporate events. He also works for busy rental Danish specialist, European Tour Productions (ETP), and for the last few years has designed and managed production lighting for the the Arena Stage at Roskilde, among Europe’s most popular festivals. Sune is a busy guy, but managed to squeeze some time for us to chat about how his industry career got started and some of his recent work.
Jarun Lake - an expansive green space in the middle of Croatian capital Zagreb - is where we caught up with Croatian lighting designer Miro Hrg on a hot day last summer, together with some very persistent bugs! The location is also the site of the country’s INMusic festival. We chatted to Miro about his industry work, career highlights, his new production design company 21 Productions … and how he counts himself lucky to have one of the best jobs in the world!
Lighting designer Nick Jevons shared his massive energy, enthusiasm and passion for the industry he loves with us late last summer when we visited his new studio at picturesque Royal William Yard, Plymouth, UK. ‘Industry baby’ Nick recalls his early career and impressions, gives up a couple of special touring moments and experiences from a hyperactive career embracing multiple performance genres from cool indie rock to slick corporate events!
On a windy day last summer, the OnLocation team met up with television lighting designer and director John Gallagher in Belfast’s vibrant Titanic Quarter. We talked about how John started in lighting, what attracted him to television, what he’s been doing since the pandemic and his love for Ireland, which matches his enthusiasm and passion for his work and his many industry colleagues and friends.
Experiencing the beauty and rawness of the Finnish winter, we caught up with lighting designer, director & programmer Mikki Kunttu in and around Porvoo. We chatted about the influence of contemporary dance in his spectacular career and in shaping his signature creative style which has been seen on numerous international productions, and touched on his ground-breaking work with Cirque du Soleil.
The OnLocation team returned to Berlin to hear about Christopher Bauder from White Void’s new light art exhibition, Dark Matter, which opened in 2021, showcasing a selection of his stunning lighting and visual works from over the last two decades. We talked about the motivations driving Dark Matter together with some of the installations, and also heard about the collaboration with different sound artists, all of which make Dark Matter a must-see for anyone who’s interested in light!
In summer 2021 we met lighting designer, director and programmer Roland Greil at the impressive Schleissheim Palace Complex near his home in Munich, Germany. We chatted about Roland’s rich and varied career and in particular his work with legendary rockers Rammstein known for their large-scale, high impact and visually spectacular shows. We also touched on his new international design venture, The Black Project.
Based in beautiful Slovenia, we met up with lighting designer Crt Birsa at Rojnik Ranch in the stunning countryside about 20 minutes’ drive from capital Ljubljana. We talked about the start of his career, his international work with 2CELLOS, how he’s stayed busy and focussed during the lockdowns and his creative design company Blackout … amongst other things.
A beautiful – and rare – sunny Scottish summer day provided a perfect backdrop for our OnLocation interview with creative show producer Jo MacKay on the shores of Loch Lomond. Jo is a co-director of LarMac LIVE and known industry-wide for her imagination and flair as an event producer! She cut her industry teeth rock ‘n roll style during the 1990s, working with Oasis, arguably one of the highest profile bands of the era. Since then, Jo has enjoyed numerous memorable career moments around the world, some of which she shared with us in this interview.
Daan Oomen from Amsterdam headquartered Live Legends is a show designer and director working internationally, who is renowned for his style, flair, and narrative approach to designing entertainment environments. In this OnLocation interview, we talk extensively to Daan about his career beginnings and his work in China, including, most recently, a series of epic superclubs.
NDSM Wharf in Amsterdam Noord was the location for our interview with lighting designer and academic Yaron Abulafia. This vibrant former industrial area was a great backdrop to hear about some of Yaron’s work, his book, “The Art of Light On Stage”, his thoughts on the role of the lighting designer as an independent artist and most importantly, why we need light in our lives!
A sunny summer day along the gorgeous Maremma coastline in Tuscany, Italy, was where we caught up with Giovanni Pinna - one of Italy’s top lighting designers. We talked about how his industry career started as an English-speaking stagehand whilst at high school, and his long-term work with Italian megastar and showman Vasco Rossi, known for his truly spectacular productions. Effervescent and fun-loving Giovanni emphasised the importance of all the people who make this industry rock, the benefits of being a good communicator … and the essence of enjoying life!
Back in March – when it was still VERY cold – OnLocation visited Sam Jones in Edinburgh – at the wonderful and charismatic Leith Theatre, where we head about how he started off in the industry and his passion for being visually creative. His work encompasses lighting cool bands of the moment like The Ninth Wave and Half Formed Things, all the way to alternative art and performance shows at events like the Hidden Door Festival. We also touched on one of his lockdown projects, ‘Live in Leith’. Over to Sam …
We visited Cologne in Germany to make an OnLocation special with Veith Schmidt which touches on the advantages of GDTF. Veith is a lighting designer and programmer based in this famous cathedral city … so we chatted about his 30-year career, his pandemic project teaching activities, and specifically about the importance, relevance and future of lighting fixtures utilizing GDTF files.
Standby for some dry with and humour! We met lighting designer Andy Liddle at the former army base where he started his engineering apprenticeship as a teenager before running away to go on the road and forge a career in live music and concert touring! We heard about how he started off, some of the many people who mentored and influenced him … and his love of the UK’s very special Glastonbury Festival.
The OnLocation team was delighted to be back in the fabulous Scottish city of Glasgow – which seems to be emerging as a favourite UK location - to catch up with television lighting designer and director Roger Williams whist working on a new show for the BBC. He told us about his professional beginnings in the theatre, his 18 glorious years at the BBC and some highlights from his very successful freelance career since then, including lighting “The Jump”, a popular celebrity winter sports competition show broadcast on the UK’s Channel Four.
Patrick Woodroffe is our OnLocation guest this week … and he needs no introduction to the entertainment lighting industry. As one of the pioneers of contemporary stage and effects lighting design, Patrick has worked with massive stars like The Rolling Stones, AC / DC, Adele, Elton John, etc … as well as designed lighting for musicals, operas, spectaculars, and art projects.
Known for his imagination and painting beautiful pictures with light, Patrick is a global influencer.
In the interview, he highlights the importance of networking and connections as well as creative skills … and we talk specifically about a very recent architectural project, illuminating the Sakhir Tower at the Bahrain International Circuit / Formula 1 racetrack.
Romain Pissenem from High Scream was responsible for the show design of David Guetta’s stunning New Year’s Eve livestream from the Louvre in Paris. We caught up with him at High Scream’s London office in Soho to chat about that … how he became interested in the atmospheric engineering of shows, events and parties and the evolution of High Scream‘s unique and eloquent show design magic!
This week’s OnLocation checked out the offices of creative design collective MIRRAD in Park Royal, West London, UK. We met award-winning lighting designer Tom Campbell and heard what he’s been doing during the pandemic and lockdown periods – and things have not been quiet! Looking forward to the industry re-starting, Tom and his business partner have launched a practical and stylish new clothing brand - STNDBY TECHNICAL GEAR Co - tailored to production crew and technicians looking great and working smarter.
‘Hello on Mars’, a creative community nestling in the beautiful undulating topography of Rhineland-Pfalz a wine producing region in west Germany, was the location for meeting musician, lighting designer and music producer Bertil Mark. In a fascinating interview, we discussed his musical beginnings, his lighting career, some philosophies and his ultimate love for work, life, and places like Japan.
Braving the cold and ice, the beautiful town of Forres in the Scottish Highlands was location to meet lighting and visual designer Jvan Morandi, and chat about being part of the talented production team on Jean-Michele Jarre’s incredible “Welcome to The Other Side” New Year’s Eve VR livestream concert from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris!
We met lighting designer and programmer Marc Lorenz in the leafy, beautiful, and peaceful English Gardens in Munich, sampling a perfect autumn day! We chatted about his career, his teaching activities, the VLLV – the new German association for lighting and media designers and programmers - and how he loves the crazy and creative people who make this industry so special and invigorating!
The warmth and vibrancy of Glasgow in Scotland pushed t the January chills and rain away as we met lighting designer Grant Anderson on a soggy day at the city’s famous Botanical Gardens! We talked about Grant’s career and work, and the specific challenges of lighting illuminated trails including the GlasGLOW3 event which was staged right there at the location …
Munich Olympic Park was the location for our night-time chat with German lighting designer, director, and programmer Michael Kuehbandner. We discussed his career and work, the massive emotional power of lighting and some of his activities during the pandemic including helping to establish the VLLV, a new German association for LDs, programmers, and operators.
We met multi-award winning lighting designer Tim Routledge on a frost morning at Bushy Park in the London Borough of Richmond, UK … and chatted about his career beginnings, his talented team of associates, a selection of lockdown projects and some memorable moments …
We met lighting designer and programmer Chris Moylan at one of Berlin’s fabulous industrial venues - Motorwerk - where he chatted about lighting, programming, creating light art and the importance of live entertainment and performance to well-being … as well as life in the dynamic metropolis of Berlin.
We caught up with the incredibly busy James Dacre – artistic director of the Northampton Royal & Derngate Theatre in the UK. He gives the low down on “Made in Northampton”; the importance of theatre in the community; and the technical and creative skills that are vital to keeping the sector fresh, dynamic, and evolving!
Christopher Bauder of WhiteVOID and Kinetic Lights is a world-renowned light artist and inventor, known for his ground-breaking creations like SKALAR and Apologue. We caught up with him in Lichtenberg, east Berlin and chatted about his work and “Dark Matter” and exciting new exhibition and light art gallery space which is opening early in 2021!
Vroom Vroom!!!! We chased British Pro Drift Championship racer Haydn “H” Cruickshank all the way to Teesside Autodrome in the UK … and chatted about the art of drifting and the science of his amazing drift supercar (H also owns one of the UK’s most successful lighting and visuals rental companies, Colour Sound Experiment).
We visited the remote, peaceful, and stunningly beautiful wilds of North Yorkshire - Gordale Scar in particular - to catch up with young lighting designer Elliot Banes of SpiralStageLighting and chat about lighting, vlogging and dreaming big!
We rocked up to the leafy green grounds of Cirencester Abbey in Gloucestershire, UK … to catch up with lighting designer and director Andy Webb from Tigz Creative, and chat about the crazy, surreal, trippy, and fun world of pantomime! A very English performance genre!
We travelled to Margate and Dreamland, a classic and popular theme / amusement park on the east coast of the UK to catch up with Gordon Torrington from rental company Liteup … and hear about some of the projects he’s been involved with this summer including #TechsOnTheDecks and #WeMakeEvents as well as the Hot Chip livestream he was working on at Dreamland.
For this week’s On Location, we visited the Peachy Playhouse in Guildford, Surrey, UK … a new and successful socially distanced live performance / entertainment concept that ran over the summer as a direct response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Philip French explains the ideas and challenges he and the team faced in staging this innovative event …
Robe caught up with Steven Haynes during a #WeMakeEvents / #LightItInRed event at Magazine London, a popular venue on the Greenwich Peninsula in London … to chat about some of the industry campaign work of the summer amongst other things …
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