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Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009
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 Light Jockey

Designing the Nightclub Look for Orangeburg Distributors Bartenders Ball in Orangeburg SC

Nightclub Style Event Design
Lighting and Video for Orangeburg's Bartenders Ball
Design Dialogue by Jack Kelly | Photography by Jack Kelly
March 2009 | Cinema Room | Orangeburg SC

Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009

Lighting Equipment
11 Chauvet Colorado 1
4 Martin Krypton 250
4 Elation Vision Scan 575
1 Martin Light Jockey
4 American DJ H20 250 EX
4 ETC Source 4 Leko
4 Rosco Custom Gobo

Truss & Video Equipment
Le Maitre Neutron XS Hazer
9 Global Truss 2.5m x 12" Box
2 Global Truss 2m x 12" Box
11 Global Truss 2'x2' Base Plate
2 Viewsonic 2000 Lumen Projectors
Edirol V-4 Mixer
Rapco Cabling

Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009

Big empty plain rooms give a lot of room for creating unique parties. By using a simple design, many hotels and event spaces are able to easily transform into new and unique styles for the event designer. For the lighting designer, it is easier to work with stylized architecture, accenting features in the space. For my 4th year as the lighting designer for the Orangeburg Bartenders Ball, I needed something fresh. Murray Baroody relies on me to create a unique experience without the aid of an event designer asking for the Nightclub feel.

The nightclub feel is a type of atmosphere. Typically in nightclubs the walls are dark with only highlighted features such as lighting on pictures or fabric. The room should look infinite. The primary focus is not on the décor but in the air. Beam effects sweep through the space, large color changing walls, mid room video screens, cryo-jets, multiple levels, and fog all help create 360 degrees of entertainment. In an art gallery the guests come to see the art. In a nightclub the art is the clientele. “Who’s here?” is more important than anything in the space. Providing a dark atmosphere, the “Who’s here?” question requires a search, creating an active crowd looking for familiar faces. 360 degrees of atmospheric breakups provides additional distraction both exciting and distracting the guest. Engaging them with effects can both cause them to lose balance and bump into new and exciting possibilities as well as increase the time it takes to wander the venue. With nightclub design, the lighting should be kept above the heads of the guest, getting the longest beam effects possible. By not irritating the guest with blinding lights and keeping their heads in the air, they are more easily recognizable and eye contact is encouraged. The guests focus in towards the center not the walls.

Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009

To create the look we mounted moving lights atop of 12” box truss throughout the room. The moving lights sitting 8.2’ in the area cut through the air with large sweeping movements. Filling the air with beam effects the room expands, bringing the heads of the guest upward. Color changing lights illuminated the truss creating eye-level mid-room excitement. The color changing truss also provided a more picturesque backdrop as friends reunite. Finally, creating obstacles within the room creates a natural circular movement. When combining these effects, the social flow of the space is heighted with conversation topics about the lighting and effective excuses for guest wander.

The ultimate party killer to a social event is when guests stare at a wall. Intelligent design in nightclub design only use TVs at bars persuading drinkers to camp out and spend money. In order to use wall space effectively in the social spaces of a nightclub and discourage the wall flower phenomena, wall imaging must be too large to comprehend at short distances. Using large images push guests back into the middle of the room so they can make out the video or logo. Human desire to connect with others and their desire to see everything, give them the justification to overcome their insecurity and join the event. Good social design never allows someone to see the entire party except from the primary social area. With everybody gathering in the middle, we now have a party.

Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009

For the walls, we used the Orangeburg Distributors logo with a water effect for the back drop. The lights were mounted on the color changing truss. Typically I keep the exit wall dark so the guests are always looking towards the party thinking about dancing or meeting new people. Never directing their attention towards home, thinking about how late it is or what they have to do tomorrow. On both side walls next to the DJ, seemingly custom videos played throughout the event. The logo was keyed onto 4 different dynamic visual DVDs designed specifically for nightclubs by DVJ Vision. In order to key in the logo, it was designed with a black background. The video mixer was set to make the back background transparent allowing a video to be played behind the logo. The oversized wall stimulation surrounded the guest and pushed them into the center.

The center embodies importance. Many times the most important government buildings, artwork, or monuments are in the center of cities. For the event, four truss towers armed with moving lights encircled the Orangeburg Distributors ice sculpture, set in the middle of the room. At the beginning all of the movers met on the ice, creating a shimmering beacon for the event. As the night progressed and the party intensified, the lights began to swirl in the air. Taking turns, the lights danced in the air then settled on the ice. At least one light was always lighting the sculpture signifying its importance to the event.

Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009
With the air full of life and the walls in constant motion, the nightclub atmosphere is achieved. The foremost party for the city of Orangeburg, the Orangeburg Distributors Bartenders Ball features a VIP list consisting of all the owners and staff of the leading restaurants and bars in the area. Every year boasting the success of Orangeburg Distributors, the Bartenders Ball lets everyone know that Orangeburg knows how to party.
Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009
Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009
Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009
Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009
Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009Orangeburg Bartenders Ball 2009