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USA: Travis Pagels Creates Varied Moods At World Club With CHAUVET DJ

It’s easy to see why the recently-opened World Club has quickly become so popular among visiting LDs for artists like Hardwell, Tiesto, Alan Walker and Armin Van Buuren. The spacious 21,000 sq. ft. venue at the south end of Charlotte’s famed Music Factory complex provides designers with a broad, color-neutral canvas to work on. And, with eight universes of lighting hung from its ceiling, they can let their creative impulses scream out in wild, eye-shattering explosions of patterns and color.

“The space really gives the LD creative freedom to set the mood,” said Eye Dialogue’s Travis Pagels, who used a collection of Intimidator fixtures from CHAUVET DJ to anchor his rig. “All the walls and furniture in the venue are black or metallic silver, so there really isn’t a color scheme restricting the lighting designer. Then with all those universes in the ceiling, it’s easy to turn the dancefloor into the face of the sun.”

Of course, during a typical evening the lighting starts off more slowly, according to Pagels. The club begins most nights lit in darker colors like blues and violets with slow movements from the 33 Intimidator Beam and Intimidator Wash fixtures in its rig. Then as the evening progresses, the lighting picks up along with the action on the dancefloor.

“It is easy to be sneaky with the way we tiered this design,” said Pagels. “When patrons walk into a color washed room at 9 o’clock and they see dark colors and some simple slow movements, it’s easy to blow their minds later when the main act starts by letting loose with 33 movers going all white and eight strobes going wild. At that point, if I had to use one word to describe the overall look of the club’s lighting, it would be ‘punishing.’ With this many lights in the air, it’s extremely easy to make the room jump and support the high-energy acts that the club brings in on a weekly basis.”

Pagels has 24 Intimidator Beam 140SR and nine Intimidator Wash Zoom 450 IRC moving fixtures flown from the club’s overhead truss. The Intimidator fixtures are arranged to conform to the original truss structure that Eye Dialogue founder Jack Kelly designed for the venue in 2012, when it was occupied by the nightclub Label.

“We ultimately decided to keep Jack’s original truss layout since it worked so well,” said Pagels. This layout has a 25’ truss above the DJ booth with six of the Intimidator Beam 140SR fixtures hung on it. There are also six rectangular truss structures angled at 45° above the dancefloor. Each of the rectangular structures holds three of the Intimidator Beam 140SR fixtures.

“The Intimidator Beams are really the focal point of the dancefloor,” said Pagels. “They are the first thing you see when you walk in and by far the most noticeable fixture in the plot. The frost and prism functions on the 140SRs also allow us to fill the space with rotating gobos or just color wash in case of special events, or we can use it as a ‘set it and leave it’ kind of fixture on some club nights.”

Pagels hung six of the Intimidator Wash Zoom 450 IRC fixtures above the middle of the dancefloor and has the three other wash units in his rig positioned above the DJ booth. “The Wash Zoom is probably our most versatile multi-purpose fixture,” he said. “They allow us to program specials on the DJ or other performers, as well as use the zoom feature to add to the beam-filled dancefloor.”

On the opposite side of the room from the DJ booth is a 30’ x 20’ raised VIP section that doubles as a stage when the club hosts bands and special events. A group of 20 CHAUVET Professional COLORado 1-Quad Zoom Tour fixtures is used to provide color accenting and stage washing for this area.

“We have eight of the COLORados positioned on a downstage truss, two on each rectangle above the raised area for side wash,” said Pagels. “The remaining units are on an upstage truss that sits above our 27’ x 7’ LED video wall. When it’s a normal club night and the stage is being used as VIP space, we typically fully zoom the COLORados and add static beams to that side of the room. On other nights, when it’s a performances stage, we use it as a wash on the artists.”

Additionally, there are 50 CHAUVET Professional COLORdash fixtures in the rig. These units are positioned roughly 5’ apart on every piece of overhead truss in the club. In addition to accenting the black truss in a range of colors, they are used to create some unique looks by lighting the areas above the moving fixtures.

“I’m very happy with how we put together a lighting system that really stands out in shows by top DJs, yet at the same time creates unique looks on other nights, and can also serve us very well when the club is used as an event space during the week,” said Pagels. “This could not have happened without a total effort on the part of our team. My project manager Jesse Poreca and the rest of our install crew worked their tails off to turn this club around in two months, and I couldn’t be prouder of the amount of precision and hard work they put into this project.”

Adding extra meaning to the World Club project for Pagels was its connection to his friend and mentor Alex Mjano, who died unexpectedly on December 30, 2016. “Alex was the lighting mastermind behind the Kandy Bar, the first club owned by (World Club owner) Gennaro Vitale. When Gennaro came to us for World Club, I knew we had big shoes to fill. On our opening night here at World Club we had Hardwell headlining. I thought of Alex the whole time, and when people congratulated us on the club’s lighting, I felt he must be smiling down on us. That meant more than I could ever express.”