The Brooklyn Mirage is an aptly named open-air live music venue located in the heart of New York City’s most populous borough. The unique sanctuary in the East Williamsburg area of Brooklyn recently reopened after a 15-month hiatus and now greets crowds of eager live music fans with a state-of-the-art IP-rated lighting package from Elation Professional.
The Brooklyn Mirage lies in the Avant Gardner complex, an 80,000 square foot site that occupies an entire city block. The vast complex includes an indoor space, The Great Hall, and an intimate club space called The King’s Hall, as well as the outdoor The Brooklyn Mirage. The outdoor music space in the midst of a large urban area is not only unique for New York City, it is a rarity along the entire U.S. East Coast.
Introduced in 2015 as a temporary party a few blocks away, Brooklyn Mirage opened in its permanent Avant Gardner location in 2017 and has been a success from the start. The large courtyard is surrounded by towering walls and is lined with palms and other foliage. The cloistered yet immersive space is extraordinary, the perfect place to hold a party for up to 6000 guests. Multi-tiered, it includes a balcony that encircles the courtyard, as well as a fourth level overlook called The Crown. The venue hosts all types of events – corporate or private – but thrives as a bastion for electronic music lovers.
Head of production at Avant Gardner is Stephen Wyker, who verifies what many had expected after an extended absence of live music. “Not only are people back, they are back at 150%! Artists were ready to get back on the road and demand for tickets has been sky high.”
Wyker handles lighting design at The Brooklyn Mirage and says lighting wise the overall need was fairly simple. “We wanted a creative lighting package we could use outside and the only way to do that was to use IP65-rated fixtures. When we were looking for IP fixtures in 2019 there was really no other competition to the Proteus Hybrid. We had used 16 of them in 2019 along with 24 Paladins and had really good luck with them so we decided to go with even more this year.”
The new Elation package, installed in May for their summer 3-month season, consists of 16 Proteus Hybrid moving heads, 18 Paladin LED wash/strobe/blinder, 60 Cuepix 16IP DTW matrix LED blinder and effect panels, 28 DTW Blinders, and 12 SixPar 300 IP six-color PAR lights. Wyker worked closely with Elation rep firm The Healy Group on fixture choice for the venue with all units supplied by Gateway Productions of Newburyport, Massachusetts. The in-house team at Avant Gardner handled installation of the products.
The Brooklyn Mirage stage is 48-feet wide with an upstage truss and number of projection towers scattered about for AV gear. Eight Proteus Hybrids work from the towers with the remainder occupying the upstage truss together with Paladin units and the 60 Cuepix 16IP DTW™. The rest of the Paladins are spread around the room as blinder/strobes.
“The Proteus are clearly reliable and we’ve not given up anything going with IP65 units,” Wyker comments. “They are punchy with great optics and have a great gobo package. They look great as well. We’ve really been happy with these fixtures.” Multifunctional as a spot, beam, or wash light and housing a host of design features, Wyker says it was the IP rating that was the major selling point. “We’re a rain or shine venue so the show goes on even if we get a downpour. For our opening weekend, we brought in an additional 20 Proteus Hybrids for a huge grid of Proteus right on the stage and sure enough, it rained. Being able to have something we could continue to use was huge.”
The 60 Cuepix DTW fixtures – 4×4 white-light matrix LED blinder and effect panels used for pixel mapping – create an eye-catching visual barrier on the upstage. “It’s a really cool piece that we designed as a focal point,” Wyker explains. “We’ve done some really nice eye candy looks and punchy blinder effects with those – it creates a lot of great dynamic looks and our operators love to create with them.”
The DTW 700 Blinders work from the projection towers to add additional warmth and dancefloor looks around the room. Wyker comments, “Our CEO, who is also our creative director, loves the warmth of analogue light so he was aching to have the Cuepix and the blinders to add some warmth to the space. We had seen them at LDI and knew we wanted them.” In what the lighting designer calls a type of audition, the 12 SixPar 300 IP lights are used for landscape lighting to highlight the courtyard’s plants and floral, a touch that reflects the venue’s theme of regenerate.
With a public hungry for live entertainment, The Brooklyn Mirage has been busy hosting four shows a week throughout the summer. Considering doors open at 4 pm and the party usually goes until 4 am, the lighting rig gets a workout. Wyker says that offering guest LDs a reliable package was important. “Part of our concern was how much push back we might get because we weren’t using one of the bigger manufacturers, but it never came. I think that really shows how much Elation has upped its game. The rig has been great not only because it works in a challenging environment but it offers what LDs want as well.”
Wyker sends kudos to The Healy Group, whose level of support he says has been key to a successful installation. “The support team at Healy Group has been amazing. They well exceeded my expectations. They’ve been able to meet any challenge and take care of any issues within days. That really sealed the deal for me, and our CEO, knowing that we could get a quick response when needed.”