ADJ Fixtures Illuminate Royalty at the Official King’s Day Celebration in the Netherlands

A variety of ADJ luminaires – including the new multifunctional IP65-rated Jolt Panel FXIP and flagship Focus Spot 7Z moving head spot – were utilized by local production company PLDS Showtechniek for the official King’s Day celebration in Emmen, the Netherlands. Throughout the day of celebrations, the ADJ-illuminated main stage featured a variety of musical performances from live bands, DJs and an orchestra, as well as an official appearance by king Willem-Alexander, much of which was broadcast on national TV.

Every year, the Netherlands celebrates ‘Koningsdag’ (King’s Day’) on the birthday of their reigning monarch, which has been April 27th since 2014 after the coronation of Willem-Alexander. The day is marked throughout the country with flea markets, concerts, parties and other expressions of ‘oranjegekte’ (orange madness), which is a unique form of patriotism linked to the national color of orange. However, the focus of the celebrations each year is on the one town or city at which the king attends the festivities in person. In 2024, the town of Emmen in the northeastern province of Drenthe was selected and used the opportunity to host a huge free festival. The king and his family visited nine plazas throughout the town, each featuring stages or exhibits, before arriving at the main stage in Raadhuisplein plaza. Here the king addressed a crowd of thousands of residents who were also entertained by a variety of famous Dutch artistes.

The organizers of the Koningsdag Emmen Festival prioritized the use of local vendors to deliver the event and PLDS Showtechniek, a rental company based in the town, was given the honor and challenge of delivering all the technical production for the main stage. Knowing that the eyes of his country would all be on this event, the company’s Director, Bernard Boumans, and his experienced team pulled out all the stops to deliver an impressive stage and flawless technical support, despite the performance schedule only being finalized less than a month before the big day.

PLDS Showtechniek has been using ADJ equipment for approximately three years and has recently invested in a variety of different product lines. The company uses ADJ lighting to deliver a wide variety of one-off and touring events, including supplying production for the biggest Dutch radio station’s national roadshow tours. Having been impressed by both the quality of ADJ fixtures and the service provided by the company, PLDS has expanded its rental stock to the point that 60-70% of all the productions it undertakes use ADJ lighting.

“ADJ equipment utilizes modern technology – for example: LED engines, RDM, integrated wireless, and IP65-rated casings – but also offers very good prices,” comments Bernard. “The build quality and performance of fixtures is impressive, and products are well matched, so that things like dimming curves and colors are consistent across different models. The company also offers great service. Although it doesn’t happen often, when we have a problem with a fixture, within a week it has usually been serviced and returned to us.”

For Emmen’s King’s Day celebrations, a large stage was constructed in Raadhuisplein plaza, which featured a huge custom-designed curved façade decorated in the colors of the Dutch flag and trimmed in orange. This was illuminated by the PLDS team using ADJ’s IP65-rated and LED-powered Encore LP7 IP LED par fixtures. Additional units were also rigged to each side of a pair of delay towers and used to wash the crowd in a variety of vibrant colors synchronized with the stage lighting rig.
“We have used the Encore LP7 IP for almost two years now and they have proved to be very reliable,” states Bernard. “They produce plenty of output and offer good color mixing with the lime chip. We have approximately 100 in our rental stock and use them for everything from lighting trees at outdoor events to illuminating stages, as was the case for the Koningsdag event. The frost filter, which you can easily click in or out, adds to the versatility of this fixture, which is very compact, especially considering its high output. The fact that is shares the same LEDs as the Encore LP32IP is also very useful, as we can use the two fixtures together and achieve perfect color matching.”

For the King’s Day event, Bernard’s team deployed the Encore LP32 IP fixtures as foot lights to illuminate performers on a catwalk that extended out in front of the stage. Meanwhile, ADJ’s LED-powered warm white Encore FR150Z Fresnel fixtures were rigged to the main downstage truss to provide an even wash across the main body of the stage. For the TV broadcast, it was essential that performers were clearly lit with a good quality of light – even during the daylight portion of the event – and the Encore Series fixtures achieved this admirably.

“The Encore FR150Z is good lamp, that has a good color temperature, and produces a good output with a good CRI,” comments Bernard. “Also, the barn doors work very well – in the past we’ve used LED Fresnels from other companies but have found the barn doors to be very poor. It’s a very reliable product, that we use for all our shows, from live performances to TV shoots. Whatever we use it to light always looks great!”

A significant quantity of ADJ’s compact yet powerful Focus Flex LED wash-zoom moving heads were utilized for the event. These were deployed on trusses above the stage as well as in lines of six running down each of six angled vertical trusses that were positioned at the back of the stage. These fixtures were used for spotlighting DJs and solo performers as well as to create backwash and aerial effects behind the artistes. Additional mid-air effects, as well as surface GOBO projections, were created by Focus Spot 7Z automated luminaires which were positioned between each pair of Focus Flexes on the rear trusses. A potent and feature-rich spot fixture, the Focus Spot 7Z features an efficient 420W LED engine, focused through precision-engineered optics, to generate a bright, punchy and even output of up to 19,000 Lumens.

“We wanted a fixture with lots of output from an LED engine that wasn’t too big, with CMY color mixing and a good zoom range,” explains Bernard, “and there weren’t a lot of options on the market that met all our requirements, especially as competitively priced as the Focus Spot 7Z. We arranged to get in a couple of fixtures for testing and very quickly made the decision to go ahead and make the investment. This has proved to be a good decision, we have been very impressed by everything about the fixture, with the exception of the CMY mixing, which we initially found to be a little slow for color bumps. However, ADJ listened to our feedback and this issue was fixed through the latest software update, so at this moment we are very pleased with the 7Z. It is a very versatile fixture, you can zoom in to a tight beam or zoom out to a wide throw, making it suitable for all kinds of uses.”

While the Focus Spot 7Z fixtures were protected from the elements by the roof and walls of the stage, additional moving heads were positioned out in front of the stage to project beams up into the sky. In this case, the Hydro Beam X2 IP65-rated dedicated beam luminaire was utilized. One of the original fixtures to be released in ADJ’s extremely popular Hydro Series, it harnesses the power of a 370W LL Osram Sirius HRI discharge lamp to produce a razor sharp 3-degree beam.

“We used the Hydro Beam X2 to make the stage look even bigger than it was,” explains Bernard, “by shooting up searchlight style beams from the side wings. The X2 is a tried and tested fixture for us, that we know to be very reliable. We once used them on a four-month-long event where they were standing out on the grass in all weather conditions for that whole time, used every day to run time-coded shows, and we didn’t have a single problem with any of the fixtures. So, we can vouch for their IP rating from firsthand experience.”

Completing the collection of ADJ fixtures deployed on the stage was the brand-new Jolt Panel FXIP multifunctional strobe / blinder / wash. This new IP65-rated version of ADJ’s original Jolt Panel FX features a central strip of 48 extremely bright 5-Watt LEDs surrounded on both sides by a total of 800 x 0.5-Watt RGB color mixing LEDs (increased from 0.3-Watt on the original model). Both types of LED are grouped into independently controllable zones (6 white and 40 color), allowing for the creation of eye-catching animated chase patterns as well as impactful strobe and blinder effects.

“I like the product very much,” enthuses Bernard when asked about the Jolt Panel FXIP. “The eye candy has quite enough output. When we evaluated competing fixtures, we found most weren’t as bright as we would like, but the Jolt Panel FXIP doesn’t have that problem. The white strobe effect also has enough output. It has a good housing, which feels very strong, and, although we haven’t had the chance to test it yet, I’m confident it will work reliably outdoors in any weather, just like our other ADJ IP65-rated products. Overall, I think it’s a very good product that we will use a lot for outdoor stages and dance events.”

Utilizing a variety of ADJ fixtures to serve numerous functions, Bernard and his team – including Lighting Designer, Ruben Vaartjes, Lighting Operators William Horstink & Nick Unij, and System Engineer, Laurens Meppelink – flawlessly delivered production worthy of this royal celebration. Performers on stage were illuminated clearly, both for the live audience and TV viewers, from start to finish. After dark, the stage came to life with stunning aerial effects, the plaza was transformed with vibrant color washes, and the sky was pierced by intense beams, creating a memorable experience for the thousands of revelers who partied on late into the night.

Koningsdag 2024, Emmen

Production Company
PLDS Showtechniek

Bernard Boumans

Lighting Designer
Ruben Vaartjes

Lighting Operators
William Horstink & Nick Unij

System Engineer
Laurens Meppelink

ADJ Gear List
28 x Focus Flex
12 x Focus spot 7Z
8 x Hydro Beam X2
40 x Encore LP7IP
10 x Encore FR150Z
8 x Encore LP32IP
6 x Jolt Panel FXIP