Eric Cunningham

Elation IP-rated lighting the choice for outdoor drive-in events

Pandemic or not, IP-rated lighting will always be the smart choice for outdoor events. This fall’s Drive-In Concert Series at the Westland Mall in Columbus, Ohio, proved that axiom well as an all-weather Elation rig braved the elements for eight straight weeks of live music shows.


The live music world was quick to pivot to the drive-in format for live events and Prime Social Group, based in Columbus, was a leader in the Midwest. The full-scale production and promotions company ran eight weeks of safe live music experiences in the now familiar car pod layout and brought in acts such as Major Lazer, NGHTMRE, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Chase Rice, Fitz and the Tantrums, and others.  


Lighting vendor for the Drive-In Concert Series at the Westland Mall was White Light AV, a full-service audiovisual company and Elation dealer based in Mundelein, Illinois. “Choosing to use Elation on this project was an easy one as I have already been stocking their fixtures for years, and have recently started to move into more IP products,” said White Light owner Nathan Klein, who served as production manager on the project. “Working with John Dunn and Erich Meitzner at Elation makes after-sales support super-efficient and easy.” 


Klein delivered a lighting rig that included Elation’s 50,000-lumen Proteus Maximus™ LED profile as well as Paladin™ hybrid strobe/blinder/wash lights, ZW37 II™ LED moving head beam/wash effects, and DTW Blinder 700 IPs™. “I might be slightly biased, but using a lot of Elation IP fixtures was the perfect choice for eight weekends of outdoor drive-in concerts,” stated Elation Sales Rep Erich Meitzner, who worked together with Klein and served as lighting director on the project. “The goal was to have the rig sit during the week and the IP fixtures allowed us to do that.” Throughout the course of the eight weeks of shows, Meitzner reports that not a single Elation fixture needed to be swapped out. “It worked great week after week which let us focus on the show at hand rather than fooling with the rig.”


The IP65-rated Paladin LED multi-effects delivered powerful strobe flashes but also served as color-matching washlights thanks to its high luminosity, chromatic performance and 6 to 32-degree zoom. The Proteus Maximus units with its abundance of power and comprehensive effects package provided backlight and blistering aerial looks. Meitzner comments, “It was my first time really getting to release the Maximus out into the wild, and it is an incredible fixture! It really packs that 50,000-lumen punch, plus the colors are stunning.”


The Drive-In Concert Series at the Westland Mall ran from September 10 to October 31 and was a big success, serving as a much-needed respite from the coronavirus pandemic while giving joy to dedicated live music fans of the area. “Being some of the first live events back has been slightly daunting, but we accomplished it as a team,” Meitzner says. “I definitely want to thank Nate, Scott, Zach and the entire team at Prime Social Group for putting these shows together.”