Solotech Invests in Robe BMFLs & MegaPointes
It continued with Chance the Rapper, whose LD Michael Apostolos specified BMFL Spots, BMFL WashBeams, LEDWash 1200s and CycFX 8s for Chance’s US tour in 2017.
Queen of Pop Lady Gaga’s ‘Joanne’ tour was also serviced worldwide by Solotech, with creative director and lighting designer LeRoy Bennett choosing to use over 200 Robe moving lights to great effect in his masterpiece of art, architecture and engineering … and the trend for Robe continued!
Solotech was also among the first to invest in Robe’s new MegaPointe fixture, just launched in September, the first batch of which are deployed on superstar Celine Dion’s blockbuster “Celine” Las Vegas show staged at the Colosseum, Caesar’s Palace. Long term LD Yves Aucoin has integrated 24 MegaPointes beautifully and seamlessly into the set.
The plan is to invest in more MegaPointes in early 2018 reveals Solotech Chief Technical Advisor, Frankie Desjardins, ramping up to around 200.
“The decision to go with Robe is based on meeting the demands and wishes of the various designers who are our clients” stated Frankie, “coupled with the fact that we see Robe as being a very strong brand right now and having extremely reliable fixtures. That’s a major long term consideration to any rental company making an investment”.
He adds that in addition to the current demand, Robe has an excellent range of products for various applications, and their reliability is a key factor. “We are very busy and definitely can’t afford to have lights out of commission for any length of time.”
Frankie states with confidence that as long as people are asking for Robe he’s happy to keep the purchases rolling.
General reliability and quality engineering is one thing, and the excellent relationship they enjoy with Robe North America via Canadian Sales Manager John Bilyk is also important. Frankie underlines that John understands the constantly shifting nature of Solotech’s business, their long-term strategies and how they are responding to shifts in the market.
Being a large corporate entity, in his role as Chief Technical Advisor, Frankie considers many things before recommending a purchase. Although it’s essentially a collective decision made with a core team plus the input and opinions of departmental specialists, he is responsible for it being a sensible, economically viable purchase for the company. “It’s really important to invest in the right products in all aspects of the company – audio, lighting, video, rigging, etc.”
Solotech was founded in 1977 by Denis Lefrançois and André Riendeau following the 1976 Montreal Olympics. The HQ is still in Montreal and there are now major facilities in Quebec City, Toronto and Las Vegas plus large offices in DeKalb, Illinois and Nashville, in total employing around 1100 full time staff … together with a dynamic pool of regular freelance engineers and technicians.
They supply technical production to tours, concerts, major events and corporate and industrial presentations, and Solotech equipment and crews are increasingly working internationally throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and the Pacific Rim.
Frankie has worked with the company for 25 years, ever since he started as Celine Dion’s sound systems engineer. He still designs and manages audio for all her live appearances, shows and tours.