Stockholm International Fairs and Congress Centre (Stockholmsmässan) is a large and modern expo and conference facility in Älvsjö a southern suburb of Stockholm, with four huge halls, the longest of which stretches 365 metres, and a frenetic schedule of events. They own a substantial amount of rigging and production technology and have a full time staff of 25 Riggers, overseen – together with crew from all the other technical departments – by head of production, Fredrik Zetterberg.
Over the last two years Stockholmsmässan has invested in 48 Robe moving lights – 36 x VIVAs and 12 x DL4S profiles – which were specified by Fredrik. When he took up the post six years ago, his predecessor had identified the need for and had made the first steps towards purchasing their own moving lights to give them a fully flexible in-house lighting rig to support the diversity of shows and events being staged. Fredrik followed through on this, and specified that these should be Robe. His choice of brand was based on his many years’ experience of touring.
The first thing he actually did once appointed at the venue was to buy a substantial amount of trussing and ensure that a comprehensive rigging infrastructure was in place, after which they started looking at the best options for lighting. Fredrik and his team used the 2016 LLB expo (a trade show for audio, video and lighting), as an opportunity to light the main bar area with a selection of different Robe fixtures, giving the chance to see and try out a few options in situ. From this, a more refined moving light wish-list emerged which had an LED source requirement right at the top. “Fixtures are on 10 hours a day or more for shows and we needed economical and green to run lighting,” stated Fredrik, adding that, given the pressure and quick turnover of their workload in getting exhibitions in and out, it made sense to have fixtures with as few mechanical parts as possible needing cleaning and maintenance.
Robe’s original VIVAs without any CMY flags … were therefore a perfect choice! The same was true for the DL4S profiles. The excellent RGB white made a good quality front light with framing shutters but minus CMY flags and therefore three less motors to clean! “A small, straightforward, lightweight fixture with a good punch was the criteria,” he commented, and whilst they were having these initial discussions about the choice of lightsource, Robe developed and launched the first generation VIVA product. ”It is as bright as a 700 series fixture and the price is excellent,” commented Fredrik. Although budget was considered, it was not a crucial issue – they were in a fortunate position of having the leeway to purchase the fixtures they wanted rather than what would fit the budget!
The lights needed to have a good zoom as they often have to cover large areas of hall with a small amount of fixtures, and it needed to be bright and with a good gobo selection. As well as numerous expositions which include The Furniture Fair that utilizes around 3000 metres of trussing and 3000 lights and an annual car / motorcycle show that consumes 3000 plus points and keeps a rigging crew of 70-80 working around the clock … Stockholmsmässan services a host of gala dinners, awards shows, bands and sometimes music TV shows.
For all these extracurricular type of events, they need to be able to pattern and texture different fabric dressing making up the bar and cafe areas and soft goods with lighting effects. “VIVA is a really impressive choice and great for these special tasks,” states Fredrik.
He also underlines the value of the relationship with distributor Bellalite, who did their BMFL and recent MegaPointe launch shows at Stockholmsmässan, taking advantage of the super long throw distances along the halls.
In recent years Stockholmsmässan has experienced 20 % annual growth, and having the Robe fixtures onboard – buying into an internationally recognized brand that is popular and perceived as a market leader – also gives potential for external rentals. It also means there are plenty of cross-hire opportunities when additional fixtures are needed for shows staged at Stockholmsmässan.
Fredrik has brought his touring and lighting design experience to the venue and many of the full time crew have come from rock ‘n’ roll backgrounds where the specific set of acquired skills have proved best suited to the structure and show / event production workflows. “We need people who can think on their feet, work quickly and come up with lateral and practical solutions,”