HSL Goes Global Again

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Leading UK lighting rental company HSL supplied site wide equipment for the main stage, 5 indoor arenas and 2 outdoor terraces at the 2009 Global Gathering dance extravaganza, staged at Long Marsden Airfield in Warwickshire.

Once again, HSL was working for Electric Fly Productions, whose Nick Jevons and Phil Winward created the lighting and show design for all these areas, working for promoters Angel Music. Mike Oates managed the project - which utilised over 200 Robe moving lights and 130 strobes - with Tim Fawkes representing the Blackburn based company on site. He worked alongside Electric Fly's hand-picked crew of 14 lighting technicians/operators, and 8 riggers.

"The package and service from HSL was amazing as usual,” says Jevons, "All the kit was in great condition and they did everything possible in a great value deal that really enhanced our creative options".

Tim Fawkes says, "Everything went incredibly smoothly. It was a real pleasure working with Nick, Phil and their team, who are all hard working A-Team crew .... and keep smiling throughout".

All the designs were based on simplicity producing high impact lighting and effects, incorporating rigs developed for quickly and easily get ins and outs as the overall build time was reduced by 2 days from the 2008 event.

Unsurprisingly, given the current economic climate, fitting the budget was challenging. However this proved stimulating for the imagination, and an element that Electric Fly turned into a complete positive, producing some superlative and highly individual dance lighting concepts - from the classic and old skool to the very contemporary.

All areas featured a slick integration of lighting and video-driven visuals and part of their look and ambience which helped Global Gathering 2009 to be an enduringly popular event exuding great vibes.

Main Stage

Star Events provided the VerTech stage/roof, and the lighting rig was based on 3 straight trusses, raked at 7 and 9 metres in height, with a spectacular backdrop comprising 7 columns of the new Martin LC Plus LED screen panels, supplied direct from Martin Professional.

HSL made up 4 special custom pre-rigged truss pods, each loaded with lighting fixtures and flown at 3 metres, two each side of the stage for lower level cross stage illumination.

The moving lights were 24 Robe ColorSpot and 18 ColorWash 1200E ATs, the strobe count was 24 Atomics and the fixture-count was completed with 18 4 and 8-lite blinders.

Headliners Prodigy (LD Andy Hurst) and Orbital (LD Jonny Gaskell) each brought in their own floor-based specials packages, as did Steve Angello and Eric Prydz (see separate press release), who played before Orbital with two bespoke designed sets also supplied by HSL.

Production lighting for the main stage was run throughout the festival by Nick Jevons using an Avolites Diamond 4 Elite console fed via an ArtNet network, with 6 lines of DMX available for hooking guest consoles into the rig.

Global/Carl Cox Arena

This 10-poled tent was the largest arena, with a capacity of approximately 12,000 and lighting operated by Nathan Wan. HSL supplied 2 audience trusses loaded with Robe ColorWash and ColorSpot 1200E ATs and Atomic strobes.

The stage end featured 48 panels of Martin LC 2140 LED screen supplied by XL Video, configured as 12 columns of 4 panels, stretching 23 metres, introducing a real widescreen feel to the space.

In the air above this was a 22 metre run of Litec QL76 pre-rigged truss flown from 2 tonne motors off the last two tent poles. Lighting fixtures were a mix of i-Pix BB7s, 4-lite Moles, Robe ColorSpot and ColorWash 1200E ATs and Atomic strobes - all staggered between the LC columns, with some on drop bars to break up the gaps and fill the spaces.

Upstage on the deck was a mobile 'goalpost' constructed from 12 inch trussing, loaded up with 3 strobes and Robe ColorSpot 700s plus the lower panels of the centre LC columns. This was moved up and downstage as the DJs were wheeled on and off on rolling risers.

At the rear of stage were four 3K A&O FalconBeam searchlights for carnivalesque back effects and beamwork.

GODSKITCHEN

This was another large arena, with headliners including Armin van Buuren and David Guetta, and the production designed around the GODSKITCHEN 2009 world tour "Boom Box" projection cube structure. This is the hub of their stunning visuals show, another fabulous fusion of lighting and video. This tried-and-tested design and construction just needed building by the Electric Fly crew.

The Boom Box is constructed from Layher scaffolding with a DJ window in the centre, flanked by dance podiums left and right, all clad with white projection material.

Surrounding this, frame style, were 22 Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs. Twenty-six Atomic strobes and 4 linear 4-lites were incorporated into the Boom Box and the DJs and dancers were illuminated with 7 i-Pix Satellite LED brick lights.

Audience lighting featured 16 Robe ColorSpot 1200E ATs and 4 ColorWashes, rigged on trusses running down the tent.

Everything on the Boom Box and audience trusses was hooked into GOD's lighting operator Simon Barrington's Chamsys console.

For the Boom Box projections, XL Video supplied 4 Barco 20K projectors to Electric Fly. These were double-stacked and mounted on their own scaffolding platforms. The special show visuals were run by Ed Shaw of Ne1co using customised Mac-based software from Exyzt.

Electric Fly also supplied a 5-way remote camera system producing an IMAG mix for 2 side projection screens.

Tooling Up

The other 3 smaller arenas were MNUS/Bedrock, Tool Room Knight/Random Concept and Spectrum/Polysexual, and again, each contained their own individual lighting design.

It was back to Old Skool basics in the Tool Room Knight/Random Concept, with Jevons paying tribute to the roots of rave lighting and specifying a rig of 18 Cyberlights. "I had to have some moving mirrors in there somewhere," he says, "There is nothing to beat their speed in this context or their historical importance in dance lighting".

He created a wall of death idea at the back of the 2 level stage with upright QL76 trussing sections deployed in 3 clusters of 3, each rigged with 2 Cyberlights and Atomics. Four-lite Moles and i-Pix BB7s were positioned on the top deck blasting directly into the audience for complete retinal burn out moments.

The 4 pole tent's two audience trusses were raked in different directions to maximise the depth and height of the room, populated with Robe ColorSpot and ColorWash 700E ATs and more Atomics. Ben Hyman had a fun-tastic time operating - and HSL's Cyberlights proved that they can still move-to-the-groove after numerous years of active service!

On the Terrace

The two Terrace areas receiving Electric Fly's atmospheric engineering were the Tuborg Live saddlespan tent, and a triumvirate of adjacently pitched metal teepee structures - DJ in the middle, PA flown in the outer two - for Fantasia.

These were lit with an assortment of fixtures including Coemar SuperCys sweeping up the underside of the saddlespan roof and bouncing down onto the stage, while scatter strobes outlined the 3 teepees. Both areas became beacons of light during the night, attracting people and creating their own fabulous ambience.

Avolites consoles were used throughout all the Electric Fly controlled areas and i-Pix also supplied additional fixtures for the party. SSE provided site-wide sound for all the main arenas, while Star Events took care of all the structures.

Blessed with good weather, Global Gathering 2009 was another major event success of the UK summer.

Nick Jevons concludes, "Global Gathering has a strong sense of its own identity and everyone involved has a serious commitment to production values despite it being a tough time financially. I think it's made us all work harder at creating another memorable and unique overall look and feel this year. Hats off to all the suppliers who have helped us achieve that - and to our fantastic crew for making it all happen on site".

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