New Century

ProjectNew CenturyLocationManchester, UKLighting DesignerEmma Towers, New Century InstallerZigZag Lighting, UKSubmitted byRobe

Fourteen fixtures from the first batch of Robe PAINTE moving lights off the production line are proudly installed as part of the house lighting rig at central Manchester’s New Century venue, a just renovated 1,200 (standing) capacity, cool, multipurpose music, performance, and event space in the city’s trendy NOMA business and entertainment district.

The building has been completely refurbished and restored to its original 1960s glory when numerous music legends of the day graced the stage.

The 14 PAINTES – Robe’s newest smaller, brighter, lighter TE LED technology moving light – were specified, together with LEDBeam 150s and 350s, by Neil Hunt from ZigZag Lighting in Leeds, who came onboard to consult, specify, supply, deliver, and commission the house lighting production package.

New Century’s resident lighting designer is Emma Towers, who has worked at several venues around Manchester including Victoria Warehouse, Mayfield Depot and Manchester Academy, and lights any shows and events at New Century that don’t have their own LD, as well as generally overseeing all things lighting.

She commented that working with the PAINTES is “effortless” and that the colour mixing and colour filters are “incredible”. She also noted that several photographers and videographers have already commented that it is easy to film shows without lamp flickering thanks to Robe’s C-Pulse feature on the PAINTES and LEDBeam 350s.

She also appreciated the gobo range and the resulting beam effects as well as the lumen output which is “impressive” for an LED fixture.

Production manager Mish Thomson also approved the lighting budget and was impressed by Neil’s specification, “It looked like a great choice of fixtures to cover the wide variety of shows we are staging here” she said, observing that the stage lighting also works brilliantly in conjunction with the venue’s bespoke LED ceiling feature lighting installation which covers much of the auditorium roof with full colour changing.

After laying derelict for several years, great energies and creativity are once again emanating from New Century with the refurbishment that included reinstatement of the original sprung dance floor; the new light artwork in the ceiling and the installation of high-quality and value production lighting and audio systems to facilitate the touring circuit as well as a plethora of one-off shows.

The transformation of the building is part of the ongoing development of Manchester’s pulsating NOMA area. The three-storey New Century basement will house the Access Creative College, while the ground floor is already thriving with a bar and kitchen offering a delicious selection of alternative street foods.