Sirkus Finlandia, established in 1976, is a family-run touring circus. Despite its original 2020 touring plans being delayed by the pandemic, the company remained determined to bring its uplifting show to people across Finland.
Scaling back from an original plan to perform 250 dates between April and November 2020, playing in 115 cities to audiences of up to 1,600 people, the company was able to begin its tour in June 2020. By the beginning of November 2020 it had performed 108 shows in 23 cities, playing to reduced audiences.
The tour was completed with a lighting rig composed almost entirely of Ayrton fixtures. The Ayrton products were supplied and supported by that company’s exclusive distributor for Finland, Oy Lafoy of Helsinki.
Sirkus Finlandia’s lighting designer, Eero Auvinen, incorporated Ayrton Perseo IP65-rated fixtures into his design for the first time – a design which already used six Ayrton NandoBeam S3 wash lights and eight Ayrton MagicDot-R. These were rigged over the main ring on trusses suspended from the big top’s supporting structures and used pre-show to light the audience and create eye-catching visuals.
Throughout the show, the NandoBeam S3 fixtures were used as front lighting, while the MagicDots and Perseo units created an array of effects, textures and colours.
Auvinen has chosen to use Ayrton lighting fixtures on Sirkus Finlandia tours for several years: “We started with MagicDots when we were in need of something light and small for the bandstand,” he said. “Oy Lafoy, which has supplied and supported our lighting equipment on tour for more than 10 years, recommended the MagicDots. Oy Lafoy are a very reliable company and we trust their opinion, so we were happy to try their suggestion. We were very impressed with the MagicDots, so the next year we replaced our front lights with NandoBeam S3s. For 2020, we added Perseo and the results are amazing. This is the first year I have been able to fully utilise gobo projections thanks to Perseo’s good optics and punch. Now we have seen how it performs under show conditions, we are well on our way to making our lighting rig Ayrton-only.”
Auvinen and his team (technical designer Tuomo Körkkö and AV technician Tero Juopperi) chose Perseo not only because of its design capacity and feature set, but because it is an IP65-rated, dust-proof fixture.
“A circus is a very demanding environment for lighting fixtures, especially with the horses running around the ring – the amount of dust they create is incredible,” said Auvinen. “The cleaning and service process for our equipment is very time-consuming, and it the ultimate reliability test for any fixture. We needed fixtures that can take this, along with 100+ load-ins each season, and occasional water leaks from the roof of the big top. Perseo was able to handle all of this easily and we have saved a lot in maintenance time. But what makes the Ayrton fixtures stand out most is their reliability in the harshest of conditions. We can trust completely that the rig will be fully operational in every city we visit.”
Photos: Sirkus Finlandia