1000 LED pieces light up Wonderland
More than 1000 LED light sources from SGM have brought the brand new 1800-capacity Wonderland nightclub to life in Maidstone, Kent — turning it into “a Madison Square Garden type atmosphere.”
From the moment clubbers walk up the escalators, edged with pixel-mapped LED’s they are immersed in a surreal escapist world of SGM paper lanterns in the foyer and walkways. Turning into the ‘Tomorrow’ nightclub the biggest of the three spaces, and designed like a rock ‘n’ roll arena their senses are immediately assaulted by flown arrays of eight SGM SP-6 Six Pack blinders and four banks of four SGM X-5 white strobes, which pulse onto the dancefloor, punctuating the beam action from 24 SGM Beam 300 moving heads.
But the main focus of attention is the largest SGM centrepiece ever produced — a massive overhang comprising 225 of SGM’s 1-metre length pixel tubes (LT-100), interspersed with 784 insanely bright Led Pix pixel cubes (LP-700) zipping along the ceiling between each row. This is a big production in every way.
When the former Liquid was taken over by leisure group No Saints, experienced general manager John Barnes wanted the former circular dome venue to be converted into a large square dancefloor — with a stage off to the side and VIP Room behind the DJ booth — so that boxing matches, fashion shows and live PA’s could all be staged under the 3D pixel tube display, in which each pixel can be individually controlled and mapped.
“I just love the pixel ceiling,” enthuses John. “We have already staged boxing matches and the crowds are as in awe of this pixel canopy as they are of the fight itself,” says Barnes. “The boxers emerge from the LED lighting on the stage, shrouded in smoke and make their way to the ring — it’s straight out of ‘Rocky’.”
“As for club nights, I didn't want to hold back; it’s been a long time since anything has created the same wow factor as this ceiling, with the SGM Led Pix flying along each row. These are our big guns — so we fire them as soon as the club gets going.”
He said No Saints had wanted to turn Wonderland into a completely new clubbing experience. “There is nowhere in Maidstone with a single club room as big as this so we wanted to create a festival type atmosphere — and SGM has helped us achieve this.”
Elsewhere, no fewer than 330 SGM LED Domes (LD-5) have been deployed by installers, Cosmic Electronics, 100 of them in the low-ceilinged VIP Room at the back and the remaining 230 in the paper lanterns. Project manager Mark Damon worked closely with Rob Kirby at LED Projects, SGM’s UK distributors (who co-designed the lighting), interior designer, Terri Naylor and architect Dan White of DSR Facilities Design.
John Barnes says he could immediately see the multi-purpose possibilities of Wonderland. “I am inspired by festivals and when I saw what we could achieve with SGM’s Six Pack blinders and banks of white strobes I knew the boxing promoter would love it. It’s as close to Madison Garden as you will get.”
LJ Rob Keates also agrees the reaction to the lighting from the crowds has been awesome. He operates different presets from a media server, making waveforms, spectrum analyser patterns and much more with the LT-100.
“The plan is to present the SGM pixel ceiling as a featured lightshow. The strobes knock the socks off single linear tubes and the LED’s are individually controllable and have greater output than conventional strobes,” he observed. “As for the Six Packs they are a better alternative than [the equivalents] I have used previously; the colours are intense (particularly amber), they are lighter weight, and in terms of longevity they are a lot better.
Mark Damon states: “This club was always going to be OTT and this is very much a showpiece due to the fact that all the SGM pixel effects can be individually mapped. The Six Pack colours are warm and the LP-700 focused and extremely intense.
“As for the LT-100, with 225 pixel sticks suspended from the ceiling this is the largest single SGM display — anywhere!”