For Live, Amersfoort (2023)
For Live is a focused, proactive and talented production design and rental company covering technical and scenic aspects for a diversity of live events – sound, lighting, video, rigging, décor and scenic – based in Amersfoort in the province of Utrecht, The Netherlands, with over 200 Robe moving lights in rental stock.
The company was founded in 2014 by Ruud Van Den Berg, who has been passionate about the industry since he started DJ’ing seriously aged 12. Spinning the dex still remains his hobby while For Live has become renowned for delivering dynamic multi-site sporting events and broadcasts and servicing a range of corporate and B2B clients and brand activations plus live televised and streamed events.
Starting with building up a ‘dream team’, For Live first invested in the human capital needed to work creatively and constantly, then started purchasing specialist technical equipment, a process that accompanied quick and steady growth and ensured that the best and most appropriate brands and kit were applied to the job.
This investment process started in 2016 with Pointes, and to date includes MegaPointes, BMFL WashBeams, LEDBeam 150s and, most recently, 60x LEDBeam 350s and 25x FORTES, currently – respectively – the most popular and most powerful Robe LED light sources, and 25x ESPRITES.
“From the start it was important to stick with a single moving light brand,” explained Ruud, elaborating that as they originally required a beam light, the Pointe was easily the best option, so that’s the direction it took! “We soon realised we’d made the right decision,” commented Ruud.
As For Live expanded, they needed more lights, so more Robe luminaires joined the inventory.
“LDs in the Netherlands were just constantly asking for Robe,” he explained, “the brand is very well liked and respected.” Next came the BMFL WashBeams as a lot of their work involves large sporting events which need the power and lumens.
The first BMFL project was for De Coolste Baan van Nederland organised by House of Sports in the old Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam, when a large ice rink (with 400m of track) was created to coincide with the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics for six weeks to help celebrate the event.
This venue also hosted the 3-day World Allround Ice Speed Skating Championships in 2018 for which another 60x BMFLs were cross rented to create a great atmos for the skaters and the tournament’s between-competition entertainment segments.
The 80x LEDBeam 150s were acquired to cover numerous events including at the Thialf Ice Arena in Heerenveen, where they made perfect key lighting for ceremonies, running in combination with 12 x BMFLs beaming gobo projections and texturing onto the ice.
Time for new innovations
Emerging from the pandemic, For Live again started to grow. They were looking for more lighting power tools, and decided the hugely popular LEDBeam 350 was exactly right, ordering 60 fixtures, which have been delivered.
The order for FORTES soon followed to facilitate sporting events which restarted strongly, and they needed lumens and output to combat the usual high levels of LED signage in arenas. “Only the most powerful lights can be effective here, and the FORTES look great even in the darker colours,” noted Ruud.
One of the first shows for the new FORTES was the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship, co-hosted by The Netherlands and Poland with key matches played at three major venues in the Netherlands, the GelreDome in Arnhem, Rotterdam AHOY and the final at Omnisport Apeldoorn (LD Costa Jouzy).
For Live supplied a full technical package – lighting, audio, LED screens, rigging and décor – to the Invictus Games last year staged at South Park in Den Haag.
“FORTE is a great fixture, especially for providing key lighting in stadiums during ceremonies and other shows, and as well as for audience key light during sporting matches. They work perfectly together with our touring version of the Philips Stadium LED Arena, a unique product of which we have large quantities in our rental fleet,” says Ruud.
The All-rounder: ESPRITE
Furthermore, For Live has invested in 25 x Robe ESPRITES, as a really “great all-rounder of a fixture” for a variety of sports and corporate events.
Robe offers an “excellent ROI” stated Ruud, adding that the products work well across their range of events, technicians like working with the brand and “the kit is well engineered with practicality and maintenance in mind.”
As a rental company, committing to Robe has been “a great move” he confirmed. They need products with decent lifespans and, naturally, going forward, they want to invest in only LED, where Robe is a clear market leader.
The distribution setup is another instrumental factor in choosing a brand, and For Live enjoys a great relationship with Benelux distributor Controllux and are very happy with the levels of support.
When Ruud first started in the industry, Robe was not well known, so he’s seen the star rise and rise, watching with interest, “It has always been a strong brand with good marketing tools and very nice product lines.”
Ready for summer!
The heart of For Live’s success is its desire and ability to create nice environments in which people can enjoy sports, entertainment, etc. for which Ruud has built an innovative and imaginative team to deliver all elements. The company is also part of a group with CreaPlan, a Belgian based expo stand and event streaming building specialist, and European expansion is on the horizon.
In August, For Live will provide a full technical package – lighting, audio, LED screens, rigging and automation for Gymnaestrada, the largest gymnastic event in the world with over 20,000 participants, organized by TIG Sports, held at the RAI Amsterdam. There will be over 300 Robe fixtures, including For Live’s new Robe FORTES, LEDBeam 350s and ESPRITES.
Photo credits: Louise Stickland, Jorrit Lousberg
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