Manchester, UK based DBN Lighting supplied lighting design, equipment and crew for the main stage and two other tented areas for the new 2-day Parklife music festival, the latest addition to the lively Manchester music party scene. It also celebrated the centenary of Platt Fields Park where it was staged.
DBN was asked to light the dance/indie/crossover by event organisers The Warehouse Project and Ear To The Ground - with whom they have worked on many other projects.
Ian Brown headlined the main stage on the Friday night and Friendly Fires on the Saturday, and the project was managed for DBN by Nick Walton.
Walton also did the production design for the main stage, which was largely based around the lighting spec and design for Ian Brown by LD Fletch from Colour Sound Experiment. The rig also incorporated the flexibility to be morphed into a completely different looking show for Friendly Fires on the Saturday.
They sub hung trusses from the 18 metre Orbit style stage. The back truss was then rigged with 14 Clay Paky Alpha Wash 300s and 12 Alpha Spot 1200 HPEs, along with a selection of 2 and 4-way Moles and Martin Atomic strobes on drop bars.
The front truss had practicality to the fore, with Alpha Wash 575s for good over-stage wash coverage and Alpha Spot 1200 HPEs for effects and texturing, more Atomics for zappy effects and 8-lite Moles facing into the audience for crowd illumination.
On the floor were 6 x 3 metre vertical trussing towers, each with a Martin MAC 250 on top, and 4 x 5-way ChromaQ dB4 LED battens. These were run through a Hippotizer digital media server, triggered from an Avolites Pearl Tiger console. The main stage lighting was run from an Avolites Pearl Expert.
On Saturday night, the rig mutated to produce a completely different environment to host the Friendly Fires, whose lighting was operated by Mark Video.
The orientation of the dB4 battens was flipped by 90 degrees making them vertical rather than horizontal, and they added more 2-lites and Atomics. Video was keen on having some cheese-tastic 1980s style retro disco effects onboard, so DBN came up with Griven Sky Roses which have a bright split beam effect and are a reasonable size that fitted well onto the stage, plus 4 Studio Due CS4 bars which were also strapped to the towers.
Also added for Friendly fires were 8 MAC 250s on the floor. The same consoles were used for control.
This was a 4 king pole tent, in which DBN rigged a 4 sided box truss between the 4 poles with a ground supported rear truss behind the stage end.
Lighting fixtures included 16 CP Alpha Spot 300 HPEs and 8 Alpha Spot 575 HPEs, 6 Atomics and 3 DV3000 strobes, plus generics in the form of PARs, Source Fours and 2-lite Moles. For LED, they used 2 iPix BB16 mega wash lights, 6 i-Pix BB4s and 3 x BB7 spot versions all of which were onstage for general eye-candy and for creating big bold blocks of colour.
The rear truss also contained 4 CP Alpha Spot 575s. The side of the box truss nearest the stage was used for front lighting positions, while the rest of the rig was used to work luminescent magic on the dancefloor and around the rest of the tent. On the stage floor were 8 Alpha Beam 300s.
A mix of DJs and live performers entertained the crowds. Vitalic presented their amazing V-Mirror Live show which involves a V-shaped 3 metre high mirrored LED screen - which was complimented perfectly by DBN's house lighting rig. Other artists included Simian Mobile Disco, Fake Blood, Andro and Mixhell.
The lighting desk was an Avo Pearl 2008, operated by a combination of Nick Walton and Ibs.
Hacienda/Now Wave Stage
Kele, Four Tet, Steve Mason, Errors and others got the party people moving and grooving in this intimate 2 poled tent - which was the Hacienda Tent on Friday night harking back to the heady days at the height of the Madchester dance explosion.
With this Old Skool theme in mind, Walton decided on a more generic rig with 8 bars of 6 PARs and DBN's carefully preserved High End Trackspots, 10 of which were dusted off, serviced and dotted around the stage. "They have a definite time and a place and are well worth keeping hold of - We love them," comments Walton. They also had 6 MAC 250s on the dancefloor, the lighting for which was on a truss hung between the 2 poles.
Lighting in here was controlled on an Avo Pearl Tiger run by Ed Marriot for both days.
Walton worked with 3 other DBN crew to rig lighting in all the 3 areas, and the challenge was making everything flexible and practical enough to be changed around when needed and cater for the needs of a wide variety of artists.
Parklife was a huge success, selling out both nights - pulling in 15,000 on the Friday and 20,000 on the Saturday - and looks set for a great future and to become a regular date in the festival diary.
In keeping with the organiser's desire to utilise local talent and resources, Audile supplied site wide sound to all areas.
For more press info on DBN Lighting, please contact louise Stickland on +44 7831 329888, +44 1865 202679 or EMail me :firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact DBN direct, please call +44 161 273 4297 or check www.dbn.co.uk.
Photos are of Ian Brown, by Sebastian Matthes /manox.net