NEW PROVIDENCE, THE BAHAMAS – This year’s Hero World Challenge at the world-famous Albany Resort generated considerable media attention since it marked the return of Tiger Woods to competitive golf after a 15-month hiatus. All the buzz wasn’t limited to the greens, though. Glitzy dinners and parties associated with the tournament, which benefits Woods’ namesake foundation, also captured headlines. Contributing to the glamorous atmosphere of these A-list guest festivities was a lively and colorful lighting design by Paul Francis Aranha that featured Freedoms from CHAUVET DJ and a bevy of fixtures from sister company CHAUVET Professional.
The owner of Spectrum Light and Sound, Aranha used nearly 300 Freedom fixtures from CHAUVET DJ, as well as 60 COLORado color washes and 38 Rogue moving heads, Ovation, Nexus and STRIKE series fixtures from CHAUVET Professional to add unmistakable visual pop to the tournament’s opening and closing night parties, its Pro Am dinner and a special Indian-themed night. “Lighting and scenic elements were essential to creating a unique atmosphere at each event,” he said. “The overall look of the Hero Events was extremely diverse, including a traditional Indian stage, a wild and immersive Junkanoo and Carnival opening party, and a loud and energetic nightclub feel on the beach at the closing party. We had to have a very flexible rig to create four unique nights.”
Aside from demanding a flexible lighting rig, the multi-facet Hero Challenge celebrations also required a well-coordinated effort from a versatile and talented team. “It takes a special team to be able to handle the challenges presented by working in the Bahamas on the beach where anything can go wrong,” said Aranha. “This was especially true at an event like this one, which had so many different facets to it. Building a team with experience working in this kind of environment was critical. Shawn Siethel, our Lighting Designer, deserves a lot of credit for making this a success.”
The Spectrum Light and Sound team adjusted their rig to account for a variety of different “floor plans” during the four-day event. “For the opening party, we had to have an open floorplan, because guests needed to move freely between east and west tents on the Albany beach to allow them to experience the full Junkanoo and Carnival-themed entertainment,” said Aranha. “However, for the closing party, we closed off our ‘west tent’ from the beach to keep more energy on the dancefloor.”
Spandex sails flanking the dancefloor were used to close off the tent for the closing party, which featured a high octane performance by hip-hop legend and former Will Smith collaborator DJ Jazzy Jeff. Cut and stretched from rolls, the sails were secured to trees with fishing line and tie straps. This arrangement gave Aranha greater design flexibility by allowing him to adjust the sails to create the optimal shape and coverage.
Closing off one end of the tent from the beach made it necessary to create a visually exciting backdrop for the DJ Jazzy Jeff performance, while using non-intrusive lighting positions. Aranha and his crew accomplished this goal with help from 16 Nexus 4×4 panels. “With their flexible mounting options, the Nexus fixtures provided us with a great opportunity to create an exciting vibe between an iconic DJ and our guests,” he said. “At the same time, they enhanced the backdrop for guests dancing on the beach in the Bahamas.”
The evocative Bahamian breeze and beachfront setting of the opening and closing parties played off beautifully against the glittering lights that energized the dancefloor. Aranha created a pulsating nightclub atmosphere on the floor by sweeping it with richly colored light from 12 fast-moving Rogue R1 Spots and six Rogue RH1 Hybrids. For added eye candy, he hit the floor with four blinding STRIKE 882 LED strobes. A pair of Ovation E-190WW ellipsoidals was used to key light performers during the parties, and 117 Freedom Par Quad-4 RGBA wireless battery-powered fixtures from CHAUVET DJ bathed the entire area in color. Enhancing the mood on and off the dance floor were atmospheric effects provided by four Amhaze and four Vesuvio RGBA units.
“We used the same dancefloor rig for the opening and closing parties,” said Aranha. “Both parties were also beautifully colorized by the Freedom Pars. Being wireless and battery powered, the Freedom Pars gave us a great deal of flexibility. We could position them in places that otherwise would have been inaccessible. The net result was we got complete color coverage.”
At the Pro Am dinner, which was held on the Albany beach, Aranha relied on his lights to create a more subtle environment. Using Trusst trussing, he set the dinner area off from the rest of the beach and accented it with rich natural colors that changed to reflect various tones at different points during the evening. A collection of 24 COLORado 1 Solo, 45 Freedom Par Quad-4 RGBA and 108 Freedom Par Quad-4 IP fixtures provided this color backdrop. Ovation E-190WW LED ellipsoidals were used for key lighting.
The Indian-themed dance night in the middle of the tournament provided some of the most visually exciting moments during the Hero Challenge. Featuring a feast of curries, kebabs, naan and more, the evening was enlivened by a dazzling array of Indian live music, punctuated by some eye-popping lighting displays created with 16 Rogue R2 Washes, four Rogue R2 Spots, eight Nexus 4×4s and 36 COLORado 1 Solo fixtures.
“The Hero World Challenge was one project, but from a lighting perspective, we covered a very wide gamut of events,” said Aranha. “It was very gratifying for us because of the teamwork our crew displayed and also because it showed the power of light to adapt to different demands and transform any setting.”