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Southbank Centre expands Ayrton investment with Mistral for the Royal Festival Hall’s Clore Ballroom

Sep 20, 2023

London’s Southbank Centre has expanded its inventory of Ayrton LED moving head fixtures with the addition of 12 Ayrton Mistral S spots to its permanent rig over the Royal Festival Hall’s Clore Ballroom.

The Clore Ballroom is an adaptable open space in the main foyer of the iconic 1950s building which turns its hand to many uses including musical performances, art installations, graduation ceremonies and other community events. This summer, as part of Christine and the Queens’ Meltdown, it played host to the immersive dance work of BitterSuite, while other events have ranged from club nights to a rehearsal space for youth music group, Kinetika Bloco, one of the Southbank Centre’s Creative Engagement Partners.

Mistral is Ayrton’s highly compact, lightweight, powerful 300W LED spot fixture designed for scenic applications. Mistral S delivers powerful metallic white light with a record-breaking output of 18,000 lumens and a colour temperature of 7000K. It has a 6.7 ° – 53° zoom range and a uniform flat beam that can render images perfectly in all conditions and at any beam angle. Mistral is also available as a TC version, devised for applications requiring perfect colour reproduction, which has a native CRI greater than 90, extremely high TM30 readings and a colour temperature of 6000K.

“We chose Mistral S as part of our ongoing transformation to LED lighting because we were so impressed with our Ayrton Diablo and Ghibli fixtures which have behaved perfectly since we installed them,” says the Southbank Centre’s technical manager of 13 years, Roger Hennigan. The Southbank Centre was an early adopter of Ayrton Ghibli with 10 purchased for the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2018, followed by 16 more in 2019 for the Royal Festival Hall, and further Ayrton investment with Diablo fixtures for the Purcell Room in 2020.  

“When we looked to replace the discharge fixtures in the Clore Ballroom, we knew we didn’t need all the features of Diablo so chose Mistral, which is very similar to Diablo but without framing shutters,” says Hennigan. “There’s very little out there that can match the attributes of Mistral.”

Last year, a further 6 Diablo were purchased for the Southbank Centre’s floating stock to augment the standard rigs across all venues and foyer events, and as the newest addition to its rock and roll floor packages for on stage gigs.

“It’s been an easy choice because the Ayrton fixtures’ performance has been so impressive and they’ve given us so few problems,” confirms Hennigan. “The Mistrals have continued this trend – they are reliable, they do everything we expect them to do and we have had no issues with them whatsoever since they were installed in January. Plus, there’s an element of continuity in having lights from the same manufacturer, both in maintenance and performance terms. They are our workhorse moving lights.

“Ayrton also aligns with our sustainability and environmental aims. We had the Mistrals delivered without SIPs, in cardboard packaging, and without the wireless technology which was superfluous to our needs on this occasion. Flight case inserts are very useful if you are touring, but ours went straight into the rig so we didn’t need them. Having those kinds of options is an excellent way of cutting down on packaging and disposal.”

The Ayrton Mistral S fixtures were supplied by Paul Fielder of Stage Electrics and are maintained annually by White Light.

Ayrton is distributed exclusively in the UK by Ambersphere Solutions www.ambersphere.com 

For more information on Ayrton Mistral and its full portfolio of LED and laser-sourced lighting fixtures, visit www.ayrton.eu

For more information on Southbank Centre visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk

Header Photo: Credit Joel Stanners

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