West Midlands, UK, based technical solutions provider Central Presentations Ltd (CPL) supplied a boom-tastic lighting and camera/visuals/projection package for the 2012 Boomtown Fair’s Lion’s Den Stage.
The event was staged at Matterley Bowl near Winchester – a location kept secret until the last possible minute – all part of the boutique style festival’s aura of anticipation and surprise.
The Lion’s Den was a large tented arena with a capacity of nearly 5300, supplied by A&J Big tops. Line up wise, it featured the very best of reggae, roots dancehall and dub music and culture all under one roof.
The eye-catching lighting for Lion’s Den was designed by Rob Barnaville together with CPL’s project managers Nick Diacre and Jimmy Smith. It was based around maximising all the available stage space and the variable headroom, providing eye-catching and ‘buskable’ lighting.
The look and style of lighting needed to be ultimately flexible to cover the wide array of bands and DJs performing, and to atmospherically enhance the different moods and ambiences as each day progressed.
Headliners included Tanya Stephens, Gappy Ranks, Alborosie, Jah Shaka, David Rodigan and many more movers and groovers.
The technical team spent considerable time pre-planning, including drawing and visualising the tent, the stage space and the lighting scheme. This paid off hugely when they arrived on site, allowing the build crew to make good progress quickly.
Lighting positions were provided by a ground support truss over the stage and an additional span of MaxiBeam flown from the king-poles.
The front truss was rigged with Martin MAC 700 and 250 Spots and MAC 350 Entour hard-edged LED moving lights, PixelLine LED battens and PixelPARs plus ETC Source Four Zooms for band and DJ key-lighting.
The ground support was loaded up with more Mac moving heads, as well as six PixelLines, rigged vertically at different heights to increase the perception of depth.
Two MAC Auras were carefully positioned to shine through two eyes of a massive foam scenic lion’s head at the back of the stage.
Lighting was operated by a CPL team of four working in alternating shifts. An Avolites Pearl 2008 was chosen for the task for its ease of use and because it is ideal for ‘on-the-fly’ operation, always an exciting and challenging way to operate.
IMAG projection screens were flown either side of the stage, fed by two Barco FLM HD 20K projectors located at FOH, with video sources fed via 300 metres of fibre-optic cable.
CPL also supplied cameras, including a Sony EX3 wireless onstage and another EX3 on track&dolly at the front-of-stage. The camera crew were able to get close to the action onstage, as well as capturing great shots of the crowd as they partied.
At FOH one locked off camera provided feeds for wide shots, while another EX3 with a Canon HJ40 lens covered the onstage close-ups. Finally, a Panasonic AW-HE100 hothead camera was flown above stage and utilised for specific audience and stage shots.
All these were fed into one of CPL’s new compact PPUs based around the Panasonic HS400 mixer / switcher before being output to screen.
A team of six freelance camera operators and two directors worked to create a live camera mix for the audience. The crew worked in 12 hour split-shifts to cover the three midday to midnight live action sessions.
The ground shaking PA consisted of a Funktion One system supplied by Production Audio and engineered by Audio Funktion’s team of FOH and stage engineers.
Nick Diacre comments, “It was a fantastic stage in which to be involved and something that’s been close to my heart for a number of years. Boomtown is really one of the best Britain has to offer in terms of festival fun; we’re all happy to be a part of it ….. and already looking forward to next year!”