New Japan Pro Wrestling was founded in January 1972 by Antonio Inoki, the promotion was sold to Japanese video game developer Yuke’s, who later sold it to entertainment company Bushiroad in 2012. NJPW is the largest professional wrestling promotion in Japan and the second largest promotion in the world.
With such a prestigious event with a huge following, the 7000 capacity Copper Box Arena with tiered seating, originally built for the 2012 Olympics, and was filled almost to capacity for this show.
We worked extensively in pre-production to provide a solution that was both quick to install and provided the required results.
We made use of the venue’s existing Kinesys controlled grid system where possible – the central grid for support of all line array enclosures, and the downstage grid for stage wash and moving lights. Using Kinesys here allowed us to quickly trim the trusses and have them moved with precision.
We then made use of a further 8 points rigged for this show – 4 for our main lighting grid, and 4 for motors to pick the cable loom back to our racks area at stage right.
Our lighting rig consisted of a 13x13m Prolyte H30V grid which supported 72 PAR64s, 16 Beam 5R Extremes, 6 Elation Sixbar 1000s and 6 Source Four Zooms. A further 8 Beam 5Rs and 6 R3 Washes completed the fixtures. All beams were perfectly highlighted by the superb Pea Soup PS48 hazers, these produce an extremely fine haze which doesn’t interfere with camera shots – essential for events to be broadcast!
All dimming was taken care of by a 48 way Avolites ART2000, whilst control was via a Quartz with an external touchscreen. All lighting data was routed from FOH to backstage over ethernet to our ArtNET to DMX rack. This a great piece of kit that contains a gigabit switch, an 8 universe node, and 4 DMX buffers.
Wherever possible we involve the technicians working the show with design and pre-production work to ensure the easiest transition from plan to reality. On this show the lighting and sound technicians produced all designs, plots, and calculations, before going on to build and operate on-site.
Our audio system was designed in L-Acoustics Soundvision software, from a full 3D model of the venue created by our in-house designer in Sketchup. It consisted of 36 KARA as 6 hangs of 5 elements, plus 5 hangs of a single element and a few X8s for nearfield fill. Low-end reinforcement was provided by 8 SB18s, and all enclosures were powered by 9 LA8 amplified controllers. The show was mixed on a Yamaha QL1 and we made use of RIO1608D Dante stage boxes for all remote IO – this allowed us to easily provide direct pre-fade outputs for broadcast. The whole system was tuned utilising Smaart for time alignment, frequency response, and phase.
We were also tasked with looking after Pyro and effects, for Pyro we opted for 4 of our own Showven Sparkulars cold fallout units along with 2 Powershots gold streamers, situated on the stage for wrestler walk-outs.
We had some constraints to work around at the venue – due to the flooring it is not possible to use standard powered access equipment, and the install and derig windows were quite tight as the venue is used as a leisure centre day-to-day. But we love a challenge and had no problem installing the show in 5 hours and removing in 3.
This show involved 750m of socapex, 50m of truss, 46 speakers, 114 lights, 6 technicians, 4 crew, 1 artic, 6 tonnes overall weight, and around 600A total power draw!
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