Laser Weekend makes a stellar comeback

The Youngstown State University Department of Physics and Astronomy will be hosting its second series of laser shows Sept. 21 and 22 in the Ward Beecher Planetarium.
The series will feature shows with music from artists such as Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and U2. There will also be a retro medley and a 90’s rock medley. Lasers projected onto the dome of the planetarium will accompany the different music with each show.
The Pink Floyd laser shows will be playing off the bands full albums, “The Wall” and “Darkside of the Moon.”
Laseropolis, one of the several features, will feature a mix of popular music from both eras.
Curt Spivey, YSU’s planetarium engineer, has put together a weekend filled with the best laser systems out there, and a large variety of classic rock.
“The shows are pre-programmed lasers made to dance to the songs,” Spivey said.
The Laser Weekend had its first show in February and was so successful that it was brought back this season. Larger crowds are expected, so it is advised to show up an hour prior to the shows.
“In February we put 1,400 people through the doors of a planetarium that only holds 150, in two days”, said Spivey.
Aaron Stiner, a sophomore computer student at YSU, has never attended the laser shows, but said  he is excited to attend his first show this semester.
“I’m really looking forward to attending; it sounds like a lot of fun,” Stiner said.
One change to the show this year, however, is that a different company will be supplying the laser system for the shows.
Audio Visual Imaginations will be bringing their full dome laser system to the Planetarium. It is the only full dome laser system in the industry.
“I know this system, and I think this will blow the socks off of people, even [those] who saw it last year,” Spivey said.
The draw to the shows come from the music selection chose to accompany the lasers.
“The shows are typically rock shows; it goes back to the ’70s when Pink Floyd was in their heyday. They started just as Pink Floyd’s shows and then branched out from there,” Spivey said.
The shows were so popular in February, that they are expected to bring larger crowds this season, Volunteers will be working outside of the planetarium to answer questions and to hand out tokens to the first 150 people These tokens will be the ticket to get inside the show.
The Laser Weekend is a free event. However, donations will be accepted at the door to fund future programs for the planetarium.
For more information and a schedule of the different shows, visit the planetarium’s website or call the YSU Physics and Astronomy Department Office at extension 3616.

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