HSL C's The Fringe

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HSL once again supplied lighting and power distribution to C venues' performance spaces at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. C venues is the home to the largest theatre and new writing programme at the event, featuring a lively schedule of innovative physical theatre, drama, comedy, dance, music, musicals, mime, opera, children's shows, visual arts and loads more.

HSL project manager Mike Oates worked closely with C venues' production manager Richard Williamson co-ordinating the requirements for their 16 different performance spaces spread across 5 buildings in central Edinburgh.

Says Williamson, "HSL have been great to work with as always - they are efficient, flexible, and extremely quick at sorting anything if the need arises. They are not the cheapest option, but we wanted a quality and level of service to suit our extremely busy and demanding production schedules".

The main C venue is in Chambers Street and this also incorporates Soco in the building next door, plus the C Soco Urban Gardens out the back.

Standard 'house' lighting systems to fit the various spaces were designed and installed into all the venues.

For C+3, an 170 seater space on the top floor of Chambers Street, HSL supplied 48 ways of dimming and generics including PARs, Selecon Acclaims and Source Four Juniors, along with 6 Robe ColorSpot and ColorWash 250 moving lights and an ETC Ion console.

Many of the Acclaims were lamped down to 300W lightsources which helped reduce the heat and power consumption.

In the intimate 96 seat C+2, lighting consisted of 36 dimmers and generics run on an ETC Expression 3 console, with a similar system in C+1. C-1 in the basement accommodated 190 audience and echoed the system in C+3, complete with 6 Robe moving lights

For the buzzing C Bar, one of the social hubs of the Fringe, HSL provided 4 Robe ClubSpot 170CTs - their compact size making them ideal units to create some fun effects. There was also a collection of Pulsar ChromaSpheres dotted around the bar, all controlled from an ETC SmartFade ML desk.

Soco featured 3 studio spaces, each with a 60 person capacity and 24 generic fixtures with dimming, run from 2 ARRI Mirage desks and a Zero 88 Jester.

Soco has been run by C venues for the last 3 years. It is a semi-derelict building so all power and services (fire alarms, voice evacuation, etc) have to be run in for the duration of the Festival.

Out the back is the C Soco Urban Garden, a space created when the original Gilded Balloon site was razed to the ground by fire in 2007. The Urban Garden has become one of the most popular cool hang outs to those "in the know" out of the entire Festival site, especially in the good weather. Attractions included a terrace bar open till 3 a.m. live performance stage, maze, beach and "The Pink Bus" a double decker vehicle full of surprises!

The Garden was lit with 4 Robe ColorSpot 1200E ATs in weather domes, fitted out with custom gobos for projecting onto the walls and floor. Twelve SGM Ribalta LED uplighters illuminated the walls and architecture, together with MBI floods and lots of runs of festoon. A bunch of ChromaSpheres were rigged off a spine-truss running along the apex of the bar, with all lighting in the vicinity controlled via a Zero 88 Fat Frog.

Moving over to Northbridge was C Central. This features The Blue Room, a 60 seat theatre, lit with 24 generics and a Zero 88 Jester desk, a rig duplicated in the Cabaret Bar, a nightclub space with a selection of generics and a Fat Frog for control.

C Too in Johnston Terrace had a lighting rig of 48 conventionals and 6 Robe 250 Series moving lights; C Cubed in Lawnmarket featured another 24 channel/Jester rig, and The Temple - a real Masonic lodge - had a mini-trussing system, 18 lights/dimmers and a Jester.

For power distribution, HSL supplied a miscellany of mains and final distro units to deal with the heterogeneity of requirements, which says Williamson, "Made life very easy".

Soco and the C Soco Urban garden are run off two synched 150KVA gennies, the electricity Powerlocked from there into the buildings and sub-distributed thereafter.

In total, HSL supplied about 150 metres of Powerlock, 150 metres of 32A 3 phase C-Form cable, 2 kilometres of 16 cable, 1 Km of Socapex and 200 metres of 32A single phase C-Form spread across all the sites. The festoon count was impressive - at about 600 metres and 6000 bulbs!

HSL sent Ellen Connolly to site to help the installation process and train some of C venues' 40 technical and operational staff who ran the rigs.

Mike Oates comments, "As always, it's a great pleasure to be working with Hartley Kemp and Richard Williamson of C venues, and to be part of an innovative and creative team committed to furthering the art of new live performance".

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