Robe Pointes to DW Stadium

Event production specialist Leisuretec UK, headed by Phil Jameson, has utilised imagination and resources to light up Wigan’s DW Stadium in a variety of vibrant colour combinations  … showing support for the National Health Service (NHS), essential workers and various community initiatives as everyone pulls together to beat the coronavirus pandemic.

The venue is used by both Wigan Athletic football club and Wigan Warriors rugby league club, and Leisuretec UK is the preferred event technical supplier, which entails providing kit, services and crew for numerous corporate activities happening there – around 2 to 3 a week for most of the year.

With all that and other work on hold, the idea of firing up some lights started at the Leisuretec UK warehouse in support the UK’s weekly Thursday night ‘Clap For Carers’ action which Phil illuminated with their 12 x Robe Pointes.

It is located in a mixed industrial / residential area … and, to his surprise, a bunch of the neighbours noticed the lighting and started coming out into their back gardens to get a better look, cheering him on!

Worldwide during the Covid-19 crisis, light and luminescence have become a sign of hope, resilience, and unity as everyone battles to flatten their curves and control infection rates.

That positive reaction made Phil think about taking the Pointes down to the stadium – which is a local landmark and a great source of pride in the area. Initially, he proposed a pilot session to venue manager Andy Birch to see how it would look.

The first week, the 12 Pointes were positioned on the roof of the stadium’s retail area and blasted beams into the sky which looked spectacular.

The second week they took the lights inside the stadium and shot beams in the air and also projected a rainbow and other colouring onto the roof gantry of the East stand … which also looked stunning. Phil says he is still “always impressed” by the sheer power and resonance of the Pointe beams no matter how much he sees the lights in action!

The following week, Phil suggested leaving the lights in and also doing a lighting scheme for the 75th anniversary of VE Day (end of the Second World War in Europe), so devised a striking red, white and blue colour scheme.

He and programmer Gareth Whittle also created some other variants including gobos and prisms in swirling geometric shapes and effects covering the pitch which jazzed up and brought a totally new dimension to the large flat surface.

Leisuretec UK’s Pointes were purchased around 6 years ago – they came highly recommended by several other people Phil knew and whose opinions he respected … and have been in constant use on Leisuretec UK’s normally busy work schedule ever since. They also supply concerts and music shows with audio, staging, rigging and power distribution as well as lighting.

“They have been an absolutely excellent multi-purpose fixture and a great investment,” he enthused, and in addition to being extremely reliable, “even now after 6 years I’m not running out of things to do with them!”

While his lighting and production business has been halted during the pandemic, Phil has not been sitting around!

He soon offered himself up for Wigan Council’s volunteer list and for the last few weeks has been utilising the company van and delivering medicines and prescriptions two days a week to those who are unable to get out and collect their own. The task involving around 75 drops a day in one area of the city and he has also completed some runs for the local food banks.

He has enjoyed vastly expanding his knowledge of the local streets, discovering some neat shortcuts for when the traffic is back to normal!

Photos: Bernard Platt.