Taking place from mid-February to early March, WorldPride is a global LGBTQIA+ festival that has been staged since 2000, with cities vying to be chosen as the host. Licensed by InterPride, this year’s WorldPride took place in Sydney, making it the first-ever host city in the Southern Hemisphere. The event showcased more than 200 celebrations of queerness and diversity on the world stage, which included the popular Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) events. A range of other festival events were also on offer including arts, sports, theatre, concerts, parties, and First Nations programming. Notable performers such as Kylie Minogue, Kelly Rowland, MUNA, and Charli XCX graced the stage to celebrate queer liberation. Novatech Creative Event Technology, one of Australia’s leading audio-visual production companies, supported the festival by providing a cutting-edge LED screen setup that was powered by industry ‘gold standard’ Brompton LED processing.
“We were elated to receive an invitation from SUBVRT to be involved with the production of three of WorldPride’s major events in Sydney,” says Novatech’s Tech Lead, Nik Carr. “Given the worldwide recognition of WorldPride as one of the largest LGBTQIA+ festivals, this was an extraordinary opportunity for us. Furthermore, the festival’s first-ever southern hemisphere iteration added to our excitement, making it an honour to support such significant event on our home turf.”
The Novatech team played a pivotal role in three flagship events held at the Domain in Sydney: the Sydney WorldPride Opening Concert; the Domain Dance Party; and the Closing Concert: Rainbow Republic. They were also responsible for providing LED screens, video production, lighting, and communication services throughout all three events. The cutting-edge LED configuration comprised a 16m x 8m upstage Vanish V8T screen LED wall, and a 10m x 1m Vanish V8T screen for surtitles above the stage.
The auto-cue at FOH was displayed on a 4m x 2m Vanish V8T screen, and the delay screen featured a 6m x 4m Vanish V8T configuration. In addition, the IMAG screens were ROE CB5 on Air Frame, measuring an impressive 9.6m x 7.2m per side.
“For the upstage, surtitle, and IMAG screens, we utilised Brompton’s Tessera SX40 LED processors, which were mapped across one 4k canvas,” explains Carr. “In addition, we employed two pairs of cat6-linked Tessera XD data distribution units on each IMAG screen to ensure redundancy and simplify cabling, with fibres running back to the video sheds. Tessera S4 processors were used for the autocue/prompt screen and IMAG delay screen.”
Carr notes that due to the presence of hosts and performers in front of the IMAG screens during the events, it was crucial to ensure that the visuals appeared pixel-perfect on camera. To achieve this, they relied heavily on the Tessera processor’s internal Test Patterns, particularly the LDM colouring on the panels. “This feature was incredibly useful for us, especially when we were replacing modules and masks,” adds Carr.
With approximately half a million attendees projected to attend the festival, Sydney WorldPride 2023 became Australia’s biggest summer event of the year, transforming the Harbour City and giving the Australian tourism industry a much-needed boost.
“We received incredible feedback from all parties involved,” Carr comments. “Brompton’s Tessera processors once again met our expectations and satisfied all stakeholders including the broadcasters, lighting, and vision teams. Having reliable equipment is essential for us to achieve consistent performance with all our projects, and we’re thrilled as always with our Brompton LED processors and how they perform on the world stage with international and national artists.” “Seeing our global network of partners trusting in our LED processors for events of all sizes is incredibly rewarding,” concludes Luke Hurford, Brompton’s Business Development Manager, APAC. “With Novatech’s deployment of Tessera SX40s at Sydney WorldPride, we are excited that exceptional visuals were brought to the Harbour City’s biggest event since the 2000 Olympics.”