Martin Garrix at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
Five years after his breakout hit “BFAM,” Dutch EDM DJ Martin Garrix is now ranked #1 on DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs list. His rapid growth is a testament to his big name collaborations with artist Tiesto, Dillon Francis, and Afrojack. Mega-hits in quick succession brought Garrix to the top of European music charts, and a must-see act at Ultra Music Festival 2014. He even toured Australia supporting Justin Bieber’s Purpose World tour. In 2017, Martin Garrix was given a dream opportunity to headline Coachella’s Sahara tent, and host his first-ever hard ticket event, spanning three sold-out shows at San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.
Martin Garrix was not the only person seeing a breakout in career. Up-and-coming Gabe Fraboni received the role of Show Director/Production Designer for Martin Garrix’s ground-breaking set. Working in close collaboration with Lorenzo Di Pascalis on the creative translation of Martin’s vision into a visual experience.
“Martin, Lorenzo, and I have been working on this for 18 months, giving us a great read of what he’ll like/dislike. It made the Bill Graham show easier, because we were really dialed into his taste.” Gabe expressed, “We saw that there was a current trend in EDM, creating massive video walls with expensive motion graphic content. We thought let’s do the exact opposite.”
Martin Garrix’s stage contained a modest plus-shaped LED cross, with cued video for each song. Behind and around the PLUS was an array of 138 Robe moving lights, provided by VER lighting, including 90 Spikies, 20 Pointe, and 28 BMFL spots. Behind the massive Robe moving light wall was another colossal BR7 LED backdrop. In addition to the lighting and video rig, there was a sizable laser, and SFX package.
“We have 48 tracks cue stacked, with just over 1,000 cues written for Lighting, Video, Lasers, Pyro, and Co2. We never use more then two visual elements at a time, ensuring that the entire rig was never used at once. This approach allowed us to layer and build the visual adventure. Each track is approached as its own moment, giving Martin the flexibility to play any song at anytime, it was very important to not restrict Martin musically.”
When it came to prepping for the show, Gabe worked with Rob Kurtz and Matt McCormick of VER Lighting. “My favorite part of VER is when I request crew members, I pretty much always get exactly who I want. Also, the attention to detail across the company is unreal. I don’t even bother bidding to other companies anymore.” Working with previous companies, Gabe noted he would have to worry about constant technical issues which delayed set up schedules. “With VER supporting the production, there are certain things I can stop worrying about completely because I know we’re in good hands. This allows me to focus on my job” Gabe concluded.
Video: Martin Garrix rehearsing at VER Pacoima ‘Light Lab’ facility
Production Design: Gabriel Fraboni
Lighting Design: Gabriel Fraboni
Lighting Programming: Gabriel Fraboni / Ben Dalgleish
Laser Design: Gabriel Fraboni
Laser Programming: Gabriel Fraboni / Jesse Parker
Content Creator: Comix LTD
Video Director: Lorenzo Depa
Lighting Equipment, VER
28 – BMFL
20 – Pointes
90 – Spikie
21 – Atomic
18 – 4 Lite Blinder
Video Equipment, VER
SFX Equipment, Pyrotechnico
8 – 3 Watt Crowd Scanners
4 – 30 Watt