Since the acid house days of the early 1990s, Sankeys has been a long-standing bastion of rave and dance music on the UK club circuit. The legendary venue has been home to some of the UK’s most famous club nights, in addition to hosting artists from Moby to Daft Punk. Today the iconic club is bringing its unique brand of edgy excitement to Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse, aided by a plethora of fixtures from Chauvet Professional.
The new addition to the Sankeys portfolio is part of an overall expansion strategy that has seen the club extend its charismatic brand across the globe with new facility openings from Ibiza to New York. In Manchester, Victoria Warehouse will be holding a series of special Sankeys club nights in its 3000 sq m Industrial Revolution-era building, a distinctive edifice that reveals its age through its exposed brick walls and steel girders.
To inject a new lease of life into this post-industrial setting, Dublin, Ireland-based Justlite Productions installed a dynamic lighting and multimedia solution for the venue’s three stages. The new system is anchored by 28 Legend 230SR Beams, 14 Nexus 2×2 panels and a barrage of PVP S7 LED panels, all of which work together to create a stunning and immersive environment.
As the Manchester Victoria Warehouse consists of three large industrial rooms, the Justlite team were given a blank canvas upon which to design a fitting lighting concept to give emphasis to the unique mix of electronic dance music throughout the venue. The ultimate tool to transform this cavernous venue into the perfect rave was, according to LD John McGuinness, the Chauvet Professional Legend 230SR Beams.
“We used a total of 28 Legends on this event, spread across the three rooms,” said John. “We had eight units over the audience in the main room as a centre piece, we had 14 units in the second room mainly in the roof and again four units in the third room. The Legends are extremely bright, and their sharp beams were ideal to award the venue with true rave pedigree, which looked amazing in the old industrial space.”
While the fixtures look may look the part, the Legends also provided practicality for the rental company. “The Legends are lightweight units, which allowed us to hang them from the ceiling very easily.” He continued. “Thanks to their compact footprint, they also take up less room in a truck, which is a big saving when space becomes an issue.”
John also specified Chauvet Professional’s Nexus 2×2 fixtures, of which eight were placed on the second stage and a further six pieces were placed on the third stage.
“I find the Nexus panels – whether in 2×2 or 4×4 formation – fantastic for backdrops. In Sankeys, we used them as eye candy behind the DJs. They are very bright and easily programmable to give a wide range of effects, from strobing, color mixing to pixel mapping. It allowed us to create eye catching looks.”
To provide a modern multimedia twist to the early 20 Century setting, John and his team opted to incorporate vibrant graphics on banks of Chauvet Professional PVP S7 panels, positioned in three large staggered strips around the DJ booth. The 7mm pixel pitch PVP S7 panels offered both pin sharp resolution and exceptional color for the mix of video graphics. “I wanted to break up the large surface behind the DJ booth, so I decided to design the LED columns to manoeuvre around a central circular truss feature to give depth to the stage,” he said.
The lightweight and interlocking modular system of the PVP series ensured that the desired formation could be achieved. “We just find the PVPs so practical and easy to set up,” continued John. “We have had these panels for over two years now and they have performed flawlessly.”
Thanks to Justlite’s incorporation of the ChauvetProfessional fixtures, Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse was transformed from an empty post-industrial shell to an epicenter of modern rave and dance culture – in a city with an astonishing musical pedigree. “It was an absolute pleasure to transform the Victoria Warehouse into this unique event for Sankeys,” said John “It felt good to complete a project that supported Sankeys’ heritage as the best club night in town.”