GREENDALE, WI – There’s a reason Greendale Village Days festival has been around and thriving for sixty-one years. The three-day family-friendly event offers something for everyone: from fireworks, face-painting, and an outdoor family movie night, to a beer tent, delicious food options, and fun, inflatable attractions attendees can play on all day long.
A big part of Greendale Village Days appeal is the evening entertainment, which this year featured Milwaukee-based cover bands Clove, Almighty Vinyls, and The Differentials, sharing the stage with national touring groups: The Rush Tribute Project and Project 3:13, an REO Speedwagon tribute quintet. Supporting this diverse entertainment mix was a Glenn Ottenbacher designed lighting rig that featured CHAUVET Professional Rogue and COLORdash fixtures.
Tapped by the festival’s entertainment director Tony Novinska and Trevor Powers of AG Entertainment to build the festival rig, Ottenbacher knew flexibility was key to keeping pace with the performances on stage. “Every tribute band wants a distinct look so they can reflect the artists they’re paying tribute to,” he said. “So, as a designer, you really want to come up with very dramatic changes from one group to the next.”
Compounding Ottenbacher’s challenge were the one-day festival’s hours. Many acts came on during daylight hours, when lighting options are more limited. “I selected the Chauvet fixtures, because, not only are they colorful and flexible, they’re also bright enough to give me daytime looks,” he said. “I also had to design around an upstage video screen that was brought in for the Saturday evening performances, so I needed fixtures that could light the entirety of the stage without having to be placed front and center.”
Ottenbacher chose six Rogue R2 Wash fixtures, six Rogue R1 FX-B units and eight COLORdash Par-Quad 18 lights for the rig. Setting up the truss to keep the center of the stage open for the video screen, he ran the Rogue R2 Wash units in full 33 channel mode to maximize their FX capabilities, creating lush color fills, and specials on band members and for solos.
Taking advantage of the Rogue R1 FX-B fixture’s five independently controlled moving heads, he positioned these units across the top of the trussing to create high profile eye-candy effects as well as audience blinders and aerials. “The R1 FX-B’s are such unique fixtures,” said Ottenbacher. “They pack a lot of punch in a little package. I used them for everything from simple cross rays and slow swipes, to full on multi-head rotations to really let things rip.”
Placing four COLORdash Par-Quad 18 fixtures on each side of the stage to highlight drums and keyboards, Ottenbacher built a rich, saturated palette of bold, gem-like colors to add depth, and create a kaleidoscope of colors that transformed the white tent backdrop.
The event organizers praised Ottenbacher rig for the way that it enhanced every performance, from acoustic-heavy jams like “Hotel California” to hard-driving classics like ‘Tom Sawyer”, to softer ballads like “Keep on Loving You.”
“What I really like about lighting cover and tribute bands is that you really have to stretch your chops as a designer to cover all the looks they want,” said Ottenbacher. “It’s a challenge.”
At this venerable festival, he succeeded in meeting that challenge with flying colors.”