Water and electricity do not mix – yet when you are dealing with an outdoor event, rain is always a possibility. Puy du Fou is a French theme park with a difference. It has no roller coaster rides, just a series of stunning outdoor shows involving massive displays of light, colour, music, sound attracting over a million people each year. It requires intense skill and expertise on the part of their audio visual technicians to create the incredible effects.
Rain does not stop play even when the show involves a lake. Just imagine the scene – light and sound displays, varying fountain displays, an organ rising from the lake with a musician playing and then a massive thunderstorm occurred complete with torrential rain and lightening strikes amid the fountains almost in time to the music. Such was the skill of the technicians that the show continued without any problems, in total safety for performers and spectators. It reflected the sheer professionalism of performers and AV technicians and showed just how important the technical skills and expertise of audio visual personnel can be.
Puy du Fou is recognized as being at the forefront of AV innovation when it comes to presenting spectacles and shows of this kind. Yet this is only possible because of the continual practice and care taken by the AV technicians. Equipment is protected very carefully with constant testing and pre-production checks to ensure that the equipment can work safely in whatever weather conditions prevail.
The popularity of outdoor shows especially during the spring to autumn period shows no sign of decreasing. More and more organizations are taking this route. At Bishop Auckland, Durham the Kynren outdoor show has experienced a lot of heavy rain, but as with Puy du Fou, it continues regardless. Outdoor events can be spectacular, awe inspiring and stunning attracting large numbers of people.
Preparation is crucial – and ensuring AV staff have time to prepare, to test is essential. Working with them and seeking their advice and expertise from the very start will allow you to take advantage of their skills and knowledge. They can often make suggestions as to how to improve the AV presentation, or provide additional equipment that will have greater effect on the ultimate event. By constantly checking, testing and rehearsing they can ensure that the event goes smoothly and that every lighting and audio effect works perfectly, creating exactly the effect you had in mind no matter what the weather!