Marrageddon, the hugely successful first hip hop festival from King of Rap, Marracash, involved two massive concerts in the two cities that are symbolic of the rapper: Milan and Naples.

Marrageddon gathered no less than 84,000 people at the Hippodrome La Maura in Milan on 23 September and more than 55,000 at the Hippodrome di Agnano in Naples on 30 September, turning both into unprecedented shows. The festival hosted not only the big names of Italian rap – Fabri Fibra, Paky, Shiva, Salmo, Guè Pequeno, Lazza, Madame – but also dozens of emerging artists, integrating fireworks, lasers and 1,000 square metres of LED wall, as well as suspension cables to fly Marracash above the dance troupe.

Lighting designer Giorgio De Cassan of Ombra Design, who was entrusted by the rapper with the entire creative direction of his Italian tour, lit this revolutionary event. The LD opted for 40 Ayrton Cobra laser-sourced fixtures, supplied by Mister X Service.

“Ayrton was chosen for the quality and reliability of its lights. This is by no means the first time I have used Ayrton, and I take every opportunity I can to include fixtures from this brand in my designs.

“We chose to use Cobras for their highly collimated beam, which helped me to reach even the furthest sectors of the open race courses without losing the sharpness of the beam. Thanks to their IP65 protection rating, it was possible to position them on the stage wings outside the cover of the roof and they worked perfectly despite the storm that hit us in Milan.

« With Lorenzo De Pascalis, the project’s show designer, we opted for a classic festival design but with very aggressive trims on the main trusses, which also allowed the lights to play a leading role without being overpowered by the 1000sqm LED wall. In this way the LDs of the artists prior to the headliner could easily adapt their show to the rig, while for the main act we were able to make use of 18 variable speed motors to break up the design and achieve particular looks.

“The Cobras were instrumental in widening the lighting design beyond the confines of the roof space. In fact, it was necessary to adapt the width of the lighting design to the amount of people and the colossal size of the venues. Thanks to the high power of the Cobras’ laser source and their high degree of weather protection, it was possible to have motorised effect lights in those locations that were completely exposed to the elements.

“There is no moving head with which you can achieve a cleaner look than with Cobra. This was the eighth project where I had the opportunity to work with this unique machine and I will definitely use it again. One goal we have set ourselves for the next projects is to get enough Cobras to use it as the only beam fixture in the rig.

“A particularly critical scene for the show was during Marracash’s ‘no love songs’ number, where the lights had to be able to dialogue with the red laser beams without overpowering them. On this occasion, the Cobra’s laser source in combination with the red colour filter came in very handy. It was possible to focus a very narrow beam and at the same time be very bright, despite red being a notoriously difficult colour to bring out.

“As far as programming is concerned, they are extremely versatile and I find the fixture profiles really well made. Personally, I find this product very reliable and, from memory, don’t remember ever having to change one because of problems. In Milan, we even encountered a big thunderstorm with hail that did not disturb the Cobras in the slightest.”

Text: Courtesy of Molpass, translated by Julie Harper

Creative and Show Designer: Lorenzo De Pascalis
Project Manager: Giulia De Paoli
Art Director: Emanuele Bortoluzzi
Light Designer: Giorgio De Cassan
Creative Producer: Giovanni Greco
Technical Director: Giacomo Narduzzo
Video Programmer & Operator: Andrea Voglino

Photos: © Andrea Bianchera, © Giuseppe Romano,
© Nicola Braga Studio

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