Hi-Fi-Science Fiction Lights Open Mic Night With CHAUVET DJ

September 2020

OLDENBURG, GERMANY – COVID-19 has challenged creative minds to reimagine old ways of doing things. The results have often been transformative. This was the case recently when the backyard of an open-air cinema took on the air of an intimate club for the Craftwork Café.

An open stage show featuring independent artists, the “café” traditionally took place in a crowded, cozy bar not far from the shores of the Baltic. Of course, that was before the pandemic. With lockdown restrictions in place the popular event had to find a new home in more spacious quarters.

That’s when kreativ:LABOR, a local creative collective, and Christian Hansen, owner of Hi-Fi Science Fiction, stepped in. They arranged to have the show moved to a space on the grounds of the outdoor cinema Cine-K. To give the open-air venue a more intimate look, the team contacted Daniel Bremer from Heinrich Visual Design to create a stage that called forth images of a homey living room. As the technical director, Christian Hansen enhanced this intimate atmosphere, while supporting the performers on stage, by creating an engaging lighting design with help from CHAUVET DJ fixtures.



“We were very eager to do this,” said Hansen. “Within 48 hours of announcing the event, all artist-slots where fully booked. Everyone was so excited to finally perform again – especially with an open-air feeling this time.“

In the end, eight independent artists, singer-songwriters, poetry slammers and turntable maestros where able to perform 15 minutes each for a broad audience. Each performance was followed by a 15 minutes break to allow Hansen and his team to re-assemble the stage to reflect the personality of each performer and sanitize all surface areas and microphones.

“Even in normal times it is always a challenge to create a new look on stage, as every single artist or group is different in their music and gear needs,” Hansen explains. “Here, it was even a bigger challenge, as we had to make sure that everything was safe for everyone.“

In order to set up a flexible lighting system that could be readjusted easily between performers, Hansen relied on battery powered Freedom series fixtures. A group of four Freedom Q1N and 4 Freedom H1, wirelessly controlled by a FlareCON Air, were positioned differently for each artist.

“The Freedom products gave me the possibility to light up one person at one performance and create a lighting set-up for two artists at the next one in just seconds. All without any cable rearrangement, or without any need to charge in between,“ continued Hansen. “Thanks to the magnetic base, fixtures not in use on the stage were easily mounted to the back of the stage to create some blinding effects for the audience. With the lack of rigging points, the magnetic base was a great help. The Freedom H1 create a beautiful and vibrant light with its hex-color LED and Amber. I am a huge fan of these.“



Adding to the versatility of Hansen’s design were the two COLORband Pix-M USB units that he placed at the floor behind the artists. Controlling these fixtures wirelessly with FlareCON, he relied on their tilt option to create mid-air lighting effects one moment, then highlight the beautiful stage design the next.

As this special edition of the Craftwork Café started at daylight, where normally light has less effect, Hansen decided to add atmospherical effects to his rig. He used the Cumulus low-lying fog machine to create thick clouds on the bottom of the stage and the new Hurricane Bubble Haze X2 Q6 for some extra-wow-effect.

“Especially the Bubble Haze was a great tool to cheer up the audience. It was a fun surprise for the audience as they bursted the bubbles and haze flew out on them. Happy faces where everywhere“, Hansen recalls. “It was a great picture!”



Like all great pictures, this one too was a tribute to the power of the human imagination to see possibilities where none existed before. Challenges, like COVID-19 have a way of inspiring that.