Ministry of Sound in London has made its first investment in SGM’s revolutionary XC-5 LED strobes as part of the club’s major annual upgrade.
Chris Thoms, production manager at the world famous venue, placed the order for ten units with SGM UK after seeing a dazzling demonstration at the 2012 PLASA Show in London. The strobes were installed in the venue’s two main club rooms, the Box and 103, during the three week closure for refurbishment in January.
This year Thoms and his team focused their attention largely on reconfiguring 103 (effectively Ministry of Sound’s second dance room), adjacent to the Box — deploying four strobes in the former space and six in the main club.
“We wanted to bring the clubbing experience in 103 in line with that of the main room and create a party atmosphere,” explained the production manager. “At the same time we needed an adaptable space that we could put a headline act in.”
If the XC-5’s had created a strong impression at PLASA, he was soon able to work with them in a real world environment — as a consultant with ZEROdB Live, who use these strobes regularly on their major club events. “Having come from a club background strobes are de rigueur,” he continued. “However, at Ministry of Sound, we are quite limited on power and only have three phases of 200A to run the whole club — and conventional moving heads and strobes draw a lot of power. These seemed an ideal solution.”
Evaluating the XC-5’s, Thoms says he was initially intrigued that so much brightness could be generated from an LED source. “I realised we could use them in multiples without having to worry about gels and colour filters as you would with conventionals. There is nothing else that competes with them — they are brilliant.”
His house technical team — comprising Jonathan Aloia, Tom Cull and freelance light engineer Dean — equally love the new strobes for the creative options they present. “With these RGBW strobes it means we can achieve looks we simply couldn't get before.”
The combination of weight, size and power advantages have enabled Chris Thoms to specify more than he would have thought possible. “These have been easy to install on flown motorized trusses — four facing towards the centre of the dancefloor and two rear facing in the Box, with the remaining four in 103.”
This year’s upgrade and injection of new technology is already paying dividends — and in addition to the strobes, Ministry of Sound has also reconfigured some of the spaces, including the VIP Room, beefed up the sound (including purchasing a new digital console) and installed CO2 cannons.
“This has been a substantial investment designed to keep us ahead of the game and the SGM strobes are an important part of the overall refit,” he confirmed. “The plan now is to try and incorporate the technology brands we have here in our touring concepts around the world.”