London Football Awards in control with Vista by Chroma-Q

The London Football Awards, a spectacular evening of celebration for the city’s footballing heroes, was staged at London’s iconic Roundhouse in March. The popular event, now in its 8th year, enjoyed some well-controlled visual displays thanks to the Vista by Chroma-Q lighting control system provided by A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET).

Lighting designer Robert Price was called in by production company Spotlight Sound ( to look after the lighting, working closely with project manager Chris Wisbey. A Vista user for over 10 years, Price has used the control platform on projects ranging from theatre and opera to live music, television and corporate events.

In preparation for this event, he created a detailed Capture file, for both previsualisation and the generation of the lighting plans and paperwork. He says,

On the programming side, I spent about half a day setting up Vista with what I needed – patching, creating layouts and building the cues I would need. I then produced a ‘Lighting fly-though’ concept render video for the client, so we could sign off all the lighting states before the event, saving us a lot of time.

With the Vista, Price was in control of over 90 moving lights, plus LED strip-light and uplight fixtures, blinders, conventional fixtures and hazers. The lighting, which included the Roundhouse’s own rig, plus a floor package from Spotlight Sound, covered six universes in total.

Price cites speed, flexibility, customisation and reliability as the stand-out advantages of Vista.

It allows me to tailor my show file to the event, so I always have what I need at my fingertips,

he says.

I can build various workspace views that I can snapshot and recall instantly. So, I can quickly jump into my patch view, with my fixture chooser open, for checking the rig and adjusting any offsets as needed, then to my main programming view to update presets that feed into my various cue lists. Then, if I need to tweak or build FX, I have a custom layout for that, and then on to my playback view with my main cue list open and my console ready to go!

He adds,

Another great feature is the ability to set a custom background. I like to use my 3D Capture plan and overlay my fixture icons onto it, so I’m always working from the current plan and I don’t need to refer to any paperwork – it’s all in the desk. From this, I can also create a fixture type layout or individual group layouts very quickly. I love the freedom to view my rig in any way I want.

New features in the latest Vista software, version 4.0, further speed the workflow. Price explains,

For this event, I liked the new way a cue list behaves when open in edit mode. It’s a great improvement. Having my current cue always at centre, so I can see what’s next and previous, is very useful. And the new modifier functions to copy cues with an alias came in very handy in rehearsals when all I needed to do was build one cue for each part of the evening – Speaker, Dinner, Auction etc – then just alias them with a simple drag-and-drop into the correct order as we went through rehearsals. Then, any changes I make will apply to all cues aliased to it – so, for example, all my Dinner states look consistent without me having to update each one.

He concludes,

This was my first time at the Roundhouse and it was a great experience. It’s such a great space to light, and the in-house team were a lovely bunch of people and very helpful!

The event was hosted by the Willow Foundation, a charity founded in 1999 by former Arsenal goalkeeper and TV presenter, Bob Wilson and his wife, Megs, in memory of their daughter, Anna, who died of cancer aged 31. Presented by Roman Kemp and Alex Brooker and attended by some of London’s footballing greats, the event celebrated achievements from the current season. This year’s winners included Arsenal’s Martin Ødegaard and Bukayo Saka, Leyton Orient’s Paul Smyth and, representing women’s football, Chelsea’s Lauren James and Leah Williamson of Arsenal.

London Football Awards

London Football Awards

London Football Awards

London Football Awards

London Football Awards

London Football Awards

Images © LFA_Willow Foundation & Robert Price