Asian Cup 2024

AFC Asian Cup

Doha’s Lusail Stadium

Lighting Designer: Roland Greil

Follow-Me Tech: Bianca Mastroianni

Follow-Me Tech: Ben Tinniswood

System Supplier: PRG Middle East

Product used: 4x Follow-Me 3D SIX

© Katara Studios

© Katara Studios

Date: May 7, 2024

Qatar – Lighting designer, Roland Greil’s thoughts on the importance of choosing a Follow-Me system leaves no room for doubt: “With over 400 lights calibrated to its control, using the Follow-Me system was nothing less than a lifesaving system.”

The last 20 years have seen the staging of opening ceremonies become part and parcel of the experience of attending high profile sporting events. The AFC Asian Cup at Doha’s Lusail Stadium on 12th January has taken this tradition to new heights. For the first time ever on a football tournament, the spectacle of the ceremony with a complex and heavy set was staged on the actual pitch – the hallowed turf itself – with the opening game directly following.

This immediately throws up a long list of challenges for production to overcome in terms of rehearsals, programming, marking cue points, choreographing clearing the pitch with an 80,000 strong audience; the list goes on.

Roland explains his reasons for choosing Follow-Me to support the challenges faced by the LX team. “I’ve been deploying Follow-Me systems for quite a few years now. From theatrical productions and broadcast projects to touring shows, they have proved to be the right choice. As soon as I engaged with this project for the Asian Cup, it was clear from the beginning to choose such proven partner as the system of choice.”

“Instead of being limited to, say, 24 defined followspot positions as you would with traditional followspots, we could instead always find the perfect lamp position for any given demand. Pick a target and instantly you can pull 30 lamps onto it. That single aspect completely overcame the limitations of what was an event without any traditional focus time.”

“Due to the massive scale of the event, we had a big Follow-Me tracking team to mark cue points; time was always a challenge: the dark time available had to be shared with many other departments. We basically had every fixture that made sense calibrated on the Follow-Me system, we ended up with an overall count of over 450 fixtures. Primarily though, we used Ayrton’s Huracán and Domino Profiles way up on Level 4 of the Stadium. It is not an understatement to describe the Follow-Me system as life-saving. The limited time we had to focus the entire rig – six hours a day for just five days – meant that we had no ‘play time’. Follow-Me gifted us a great ‘Get out of Jail’ card; we could just tell one of our Follow-Me operators to point their crosshair to a certain area of the stage and we could decide which lights to point the same way.”

“To sum up,” concludes Roland, “The Follow-Me choice added a great deal to the entire LX production. It gave us great flexibility in terms of the choice of fixtures to light and/or follow certain elements and cast of the show, as well as helping tremendously to beat the really significant time restraint challenges.”


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