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  •   Academy Music Group invests in £100,000 6mm LED screen at O2 Academy Leeds

Academy Music Group invests in £100,000 6mm LED screen at O2 Academy Leeds

14th November 2013

As Academy Music Group (AMG) explores new technology to complement existing in-house production across its venue estate, O2 Academy Leeds welcomes investment from the Group, with brand new, state of the art LED panels. 

With numerous configurations, angles, shapes and sizes, the ready-to-use LED screen at O2 Academy Leeds is the perfect addition to the existing high technical specification. The 42 LedGo EQ HR Silan 6mm lightweight LED Black Face panels (each 488mm x 732mm) are seamless and easy to build and dramatically transform the stage, in horizontal or vertical designs, in high definition.

We have seen more in the way of LED video coming through our venues with touring productions over the last year, so it’s important we remain at the forefront of new technology, ensuring we are offering promoters the most attractive production facilities. We are the only venue in Leeds to now offer a full stage LED screen in house as part of the existing rental package. A video wall can provide the most exciting backdrop as well as video-based elements such as set pieces (DJ), and is often an integral part of live shows and club and dance events.” says Andy Mackenzie, O2 Academy Leeds General Manager.

The LedGo panels were purchased by R&M Productions through A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) Ltd’s specialist Video sales division. “We chose the LedGo system from AC-ET for its versatility, high resolution pixel pitch and great product support. It’s very lightweight which makes for a variety of practical rigging options. The black faced LED’s improve the contrast and the richness of colour, which was unrivalled by other products we looked at; it’s ideally suited for the indoor environments we are using it in” adds Robbie Baxter, Director, R&M Productions.

The entire system weighs under 500kg and has a unique rigging system, designed by the in-house Technical team at O2 Academy Leeds, Greg McKay and Peter Shorten. The system utilises chain-gear beam trolleys and RSJ beams, sub-hung from the existing James Thomas mother-grid. This enables the video truss to move so the screen can be rigged or stored anywhere from the up-stage edge, to mid-stage behind a DJ booth, without affecting any of the existing house rigging and trusses.

We’ve tested no less than eight LED screen configurations over the last month to see how the product can be best used at our in-house clubs, visiting one-off dance events and touring environments, from a full grid measuring 5m x 3m to column strips and arrangements as bespoke DJ sets, so the set design has incredible potential” says Assistant Technical Manager, Peter Shorten. “Naturally, content is key and we are working with animators and Creatives for multi-dimensional layers and content packages for the perfect backdrops and stage sets. We want touring productions and VJs to be able to plug straight in, or for more modest budgets, use appropriate content and live images from our in-house bank of footage for a visually exciting show.

The investment has also seen upgrades to the venue’s video control and distribution system, as well as the club lighting package. The recent upgrade to Green Hippo’s Hippotizer V3.2 media server control software has given the team the ability to create complex mapping for the range of configurations. The media server is controlled via Art-Net and programmed with the existing Avolites Pearl Expert lighting console.