Elrow XXL brought its renowned carnivalesque show to Dubai in mid-February, and Protec took great pride in supporting its valued client, Shiraz Baziko of The BE SO group, and elrow for this vibrant, two-day EDM festival. With prior experience in delivering major EDM festivals as well as smaller-scale elrow events, Protec eagerly embraced the opportunity to be part of the first, expanded XXL edition to grace Dubai. Engaging local suppliers during the planning phase is always a savvy move to tap into their regional insights and know-how. While our team was primarily tasked with providing comprehensive technical solutions, we were also invited to join the early discussions and offer input on location and site overlay. Protec strongly advocates involving our team from the outset to leverage our expertise right from the conceptual stages.
Shiraz Baziko praised the efforts of the Protec team post-event,
“elrowXXL Dubai was a great success! Matt, Neil & team delivered as promised. Their team were creative, knowledgeable, and professional on-site and at every step of the planning and delivery process. Their guidance on the venue, the layout and their invaluable insights made this inaugural event run smoothly. They delivered exactly what we had hoped for. The technical production was excellent, and the atmosphere was electric! Trusted suppliers like Protec make an enormous difference when planning a new event in this region, I would recommend them with confidence and look forward to planning our next event together. Thank you!”
Protec provided comprehensive technical solutions including audio, video, and lighting as well as SFX.
Video & SFX Solutions
For video, Protec supplied three 31k Panasonic laser projectors to deliver an impressive video mapping solution across the scenic set. The content and media servers were handled by elrow. SFX are a big part of elrow’s multisensory show with Protec placing confetti cannons directly in front of the stage and at various points in the audience. These were complemented by elrow’s inflatable props and performers to provide the authentic elrow experience in Dubai.
Evgenii Shparenkov, our Head of Audio, walked us through his audio solutions.
“We had a primary audience area measuring 60 meters in width and 40 meters in depth. To ensure excellent coverage for the audience while minimising any disruption at the DJ booth, we opted for a wide cardioid subarray. Since we didn’t need to project sound over an extremely long distance, we chose to use 4 K1-SB and 12 K2 speakers on each side. This configuration not only aligned well with the scenic design but also provided ample low mid frequencies, which are crucial for this genre of music.”
Protec exclusively utilised L-Acoustics equipment from our in-house inventory for the PA system. We set up 4 K1-SB speakers with 12 K2 speakers on each side as the main hangs, along with 12 Kara speakers as front fills and 30 SB28 subwoofers. For the VIP section and outfills, we deployed 8 K2 speakers on each side. Additionally, we ensured precise alignment for each hang using our new L-Acoustics P1 AVB processor and measurement platform. To maintain a reliable network, we employed AVB distribution for all PA signals through LA12x, with Luminex Gigacore switches and an analogue backup system to prevent any network dropouts. At the FOH (Front of House), we operated the sound with a DiGiCo S21 console with a D-rack, overseen by Shparenkov for both nights.
Protec also provided a DJ package, which included 6 CDJ3000 units, 2 DJM900 NXS2 mixers, 1 DJM V10 mixer, and 2 RMX1000 units, comprising two separate setups. Shparenkov added,
“For the DJ booth monitors, we used 2 SB18 speakers with 3 KARA speakers on each side to ensure ample SPL for the DJs. Additionally, we employed a 4-channel Axient Digital system with handheld microphones for the artists.”
According to Shparenkov, “the main challenge on this event was a tight load-in schedule. As the PA towers were built first, and are positioned inside the stage area, there was the scenic set to consider of the elrow ship. It was important that the PA did not get in the way of the set build and went up promptly. We were involved early and had a lot of time to visualise the solutions. We worked closely with the elrow team to be sure that we met all necessary heights, coverage for the audience and dimensions for the PA system.”
The primary focus of the lighting brief was to enhance the video projection while avoiding any interference with the video mapping area. This directive was set forth by Protec’s lighting designer, Gintas Valuntonis, who was responsible for both the lighting design and its execution at the elrowXXL event. With guidance provided in the brief regarding the positioning of the lighting and the stage design, Valuntonis had the freedom to select the most suitable fixtures and programming for the event. Beyond the stage, Protec was also tasked with providing comprehensive area lighting solutions for the venue and bars.
The solution comprised an array of lighting equipment, including 18 Clay Paky Xtylos, 12 Robe Spikie units, 4 SGM Q-7 fixtures, 14 SGM P-5 lights, 20 Clay Paky Super Sharpy units, 32 SGM P-10 fixtures, 32 Nurilites LED PAR RGB lights, and 10 Clay Paky Mythos 2 fixtures. Control was managed through a GrandMA3 full-size console with a GrandMA3 Lite serving as a backup. The MA Lighting NPU system was employed for networking purposes.
In terms of challenges, Valuntonis repeated the advantages of early involvement in the project.
“We didn’t encounter any significant challenges; we were immensely satisfied with the show, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The production was visually stunning, the video mapping was exceptional, and the music was fantastic—everything that aligns with our passion! Utilising Protec’s previsualisation studio allowed me to fine-tune my lighting design before arriving on-site, which greatly contributed to the event’s overall efficiency. Being part of the planning process from an early stage made a substantial difference in how smoothly the entire event unfolded.”
Neil McCarthy, Protec’s project manager for elrowXXL praised the team and the event.
“elrowXXL was a visually stunning, and fun event to be involved in. Everything went smoothly and the event was run very professionally by our client. We were happy to be trusted from the beginning and involved in the planning process including the site overlay. Our close contact with Jesus from elrow meant the planning was accurate and there were no surprises on site. Our team delivered exactly what they had planned, and promptly. Spirits were high as it was an enjoyable show to deliver. We look forward to working with the elrow team and Shiraz again on future projects!”
Our General Manager, Matt Allen, added these closing remarks, “At Protec, we pride ourselves on offering our clients comprehensive support and consultation at every stage of their event planning journey. It was indeed a pleasure to collaborate on selecting a suitable venue for elrowXXL, where we not only optimised the site overlay but also provided a range of comprehensive technical solutions. With our in-house expertise spanning technical, scenic, staging, and fabrication, we’re committed to guiding our clients right from the inception of their event planning, ensuring a seamless and budget-optimised experience.”
To learn more about elrow and their upcoming events visit https://elrow.com/en