Designer LeRoy Bennett had to balance the impact of a giant scenic element for Lady Gaga’s Joanne tour with the artiste’s desire to remain close to her fans.
He says the singer wanted to recreate the intimate feel of her 2016 Dive Bar tour of smaller venues, in stadiums and arenas, including America’s Little Caesars Arena, (cap. 20,000) in Detroit, Canada’s Bell Centre (21,000) in Montreal and Germany’s Mercedes-Benz Arena, (17,000) in Berlin.
Bennett and lighting director Harry Foster designed a spectacle, which covered the auditorium beyond the main stage area, deploying three 45ft (13m) pods in the roof above the audience. Consequently, audiences could see Gaga move through the venue to a B stage adjacent to the front-of-house position and to two satellite stages, as she engaged different sections of the crowd throughout the set.
The designers used over 200 Robe lighting fixtures, supplied by Montreal-based Solotech, with 45 of Robe’s BMFL WashBeams in the rig, plus eight positioned in each of the pods.
Another eight BMFL WashBeams were sited on the stage trusses, with nine on the floor below the upstage light wall.
“BMFL WashBeams can do everything from delicate theatrical solo moments on the bridges and satellite stages to full on rock-out beam looks,” says Foster.