Zac Brown Band’s ‘JEKYLL + HYDE’ North American Stadium Tour presented by Bai
is the band’s largest tour to date and features a production design created by James
Scott and Louis Oliver, of UK-based creative specialist Okulus, which involves
several moving elements with a Kinesys control system at its core.
The Kinesys control system was specified by the tour’s rigging contractors Atlanta
Rigging Systems (ARS) and is running 39 axes of movement facilitated by 38
Lodestar 1 tonne chain hoists and a custom screen element. Ten of the axes run
with Kinesys variable speed Elevation 1+ controllers while 28 run with encoded
fixed-speed hoists. The system also features eight pile-wind winches, which were
custom-fabricated by ARS to control a gauze screen in front of the stage to be used
as a projection surface at integral moments throughout the show.
Okulus were contracted for the tour based on the success of their 2014 production
design for the band and developed the ‘JEKYLL + HYDE’ design based on the band’s
desire to better utilise the vertical space between the custom set piece and the
lighting grid above.
“Zac really understands the power and drama of movement,’ explained James,
adding that Okulus was really pleased when they heard ARS was proposing Kinesys
to take care of all the automation, as “it was essential to have ultimate flexibility
and adaptable control’.
The current ‘JEKYLL + HYDE’ tour features nine stadium dates in addition to stops at
arenas and amphitheatres across the country, necessitating a versatile rig that
allows the band to deliver the same experience regardless of the actual physical
To ensure the entire set is visually fluid 19 sections of truss on the rig are designed
to move – primarily providing lighting positions – and are suspended on the 38
Lodestars, including a fan of five “spine’ trusses mid-stage centre. These moving
elements are absolutely fundamental to the design, as they enable the architecture
of the stage space to be varied and take on additional dynamics.
The Kinesys control system and Vector software is being operated on the road by
Michael Shields AKA “The Lord of Automation.’
ARS’s Vice President Dave Gittens praised the system noting, “We invested in
Kinesys because we think it’s the only control system on the market that gives us
the ability to run both variable-speed and fixed-speed hoists simultaneously, as well
as introducing other and alternative machinery, which can be constructed by us in-
house, like winches and trolleys’.