Chauvet Professional Legend beam and moving lights create aura around Grateful Dead tribute band Dark Star

Aug. 28, 2014
BRIDGEPORT, CT -- "Rock and Roll is here to stay, it will never die," so sang the now almost-forgotten Danny and the Juniors in 1958. How right they were! Case in point is the Grateful Dead, which has a following that's as large and passionate as ever 49 years after the band's founding. This devotion was on full display at Gathering of the Vibes, an annual festival celebrating the iconic band, which this year featured performances by Widespread Panic, Umphrey's McGee and John Fogerty, among others, including the "Dead" tribute band Dark Star Orchestra, all performing on a stage illuminated with a rainbow of colors that would have done Jerry Garcia proud, courtesy of moving fixtures from CHAUVET Professional.

Perhaps the most famous, and certainly one of the most successful tribute bands in history, Dark Star Orchestra has been covering Grateful Dead concerts song for song, often joined by members of the original band, since 1995. Dark Star has performed well over 2,000 Dead Tribute concerts, each one as free flowing and colorful as the next, thanks to the quality of their music and some richly textured lightshows.

LD Derek Iorfida of JDI Productions in Johnston, Rhode Island upheld this tradition at the 2014 version of the annual Gathering of the Vibes, which was held at the 370-acre Seaside Park in Bridgeport, CT, about 50 miles from New York City. Iorfida used 24 Legend 230SR beams and 24 Legend 412 RGBW LED moving heads in his rig.

"We wanted intensity, brightness and color to match the energy level of this festival, which is really a celebration of the Grateful Dead’s free-spirited way of life and music, so color and vibrancy were important," he said. "I've used the Chauvet fixtures for outdoor concerts and know that they can deliver the necessary punch. Plus I knew they had the reliability needed for a four-day outdoor festival."

Iorfida positioned the Legend 230SR fixtures on mid-stage and upstage truss, as well as on the upstage floor. "The 230s have super bright and tightly focused beams," said the LD. "We want to fill the stage with beams coming at the performers from all directions so we could create an aura of light and color around the stage. Our client was especially impressed with the output of the 230s."

Producing an intense 96,000 lux at 15 meters with an ultra-tight 2.25° beam angle, the Legend 230SR easily contributed to the vividness that Iorfida sought. As for color, the fixtures, which feature 14 solid colors plus white and produce seamless split colors, delivered a psychedelic variety.

The Legend 412 fixtures were used as truss warmers as well as wash lights in Iorfida's design. "Given the size of this stage, our challenge was to make sure there was no empty space in the lighting rig," said the LD. "I think we accomplished that with the truss design and placement of the fixtures."

Iorfida, who's done many outdoor festivals at sites along the New England coast, was also especially impressed with the reliability of his lighting rig. "The fixtures performed flawlessly," he declared. "This was a four-day event and we did not swap out one fixture, nor did we change a single lamp. This festival was all about being carefree, and it's hard to feel that way when the lighting rig is unreliable, but these products were solid."

For more information on JDI Productions visit

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CHAUVET Professional offers innovative professional lighting fixtures for the production and touring market as well as permanent installation in theaters, hospitality venues, cruise ships, clubs, television and architainment applications. For more information, please visit

About Chauvet

Chauvet, headquartered in the USA, is a leading global manufacturer of professional luminaires, truss and related equipment, fulfilling the needs of various industry sectors. Chauvet has four main brands: CHAUVET® DJ, CHAUVET® Professional, ILUMINARC® and TRUSST®. They share Chauvet’s unified strategy to pursue every market segment where it has a competitive advantage in terms of value, innovation and performance, with an emphasis on LED technology. For more information, please visit


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