Blackburn, UK based lighting rental company HSL has again supplied site-wide lighting equipment for the high profile Global Gathering dance festival, staged at Long Marsden Airfield in Warwickshire.
For the third year running HSL was working for Electric Fly Productions, whose Philip Winward and Nick Jevons created the production lighting, video and show designs for the main stage, 4 indoor arenas, 2 terrace lounges and the VIP zone, working for promoters Angel Music.
HSL's Tim Fawkes managed the project , which involved 5 x 45ft trailer loads of kit, including trussing and rigging, which he also co-ordinated on site, in close collaboration with Electric Fly's hand-picked crew of lighting technicians/operators and riggers.
"HSL as always have provided brilliant service, great value and immaculate equipment," comments Jevons, "We could not do a production of this scale without this level of excellence". Also supporting the event with equipment were key manufacturers including Avolites, i-Pix, Green Hippo, Martin Professional and Robe.
The different area's designs were all based around moving lights - primarily Robe - and a combination of PIXLED F30 or Martin Professional LC video screens - supplied by XL Video. The idea was that each tent had a different appearance and aesthetic with a strong sense of architectural form yet also a congruous style linking the sum of its parts to the event as a whole.
Electric Flys' dynamic main stage design was based on a matrix of 36 PIXLED F30 screen panels, hung on the mid and rear trusses, each with two sub-hung trusses below. Moving lights and strobes were dotted in the gaps between the screens, and this configuration added considerable depth and perceived volume to the space. It also worked equally well in terms of visual enhancement during daylight and twilight hours which covered the majority of performances.
Both headline acts (Faithless on Friday & Dizzy Rascall on Saturday) brought in their touring festival rigs which were used in conjunction with the house rig, so the house screens were simply flown up and concertinaed into the roof, allowing the guest productions to shimmy in below. Faithless also hooked the F30 screens into content being run on their own upstage LC screen.
For this stage, HSL supplied 14 Robe ColorWash 2500E ATs, 16 Vari*Lite 3000s, 16 Atomic strobes, 22 x 4-lites, 8 x 8-lites and 6 Source Fours.
Jevons used an Avolites Diamond 4 Elite desk to control everything, and ran the screens from a Martin Maxedia media server, with an input from the sound desk for specific artists.
Big, bold and high octane were the buzz words here, with 24 of the new Robe ColorBeam 2500E ATs in action on the lighting rig, about which Fawkes comments - referring to their brightness, "They should come with a health warning!".
The stage space was defined by 12 striking columns of LC screen, all of varying lengths hung off pre-rigged truss and 12 matching floor mounted columns that came up to meet the flown ones, plus a large rectangular screen in the middle. This brought a real widescreen feel to the massive tent which saw stonking performances by the likes of - among others - Chase & Status, 2manydjs and the legendary Carl Cox who took the headline slot on Saturday night when the space became his own Revolutions Arena.
In additional to the immense power of the ColorBeam 2500E ATs, operator Nathan Wan had 16 Robe ColorSpot 2500E ATs, 36 Atomic strobes and 16 4-lite Moles at his disposal, all carefully positioned in the gaps between the screen columns and on 2 audience trusses running the length of the tent. The lights were run off an Avolites D4 Vision.
A Maxedia system ran the video, linked to the lighting console via a merge box, so CMY data from the video could be input into the lights to match them to the video for specific effects and moments.
The famous GODSKITCHEN 'boom box' projection cube returned to their arena for both nights of the event.
Headliners included a rocking set by Armin van Buuren and Above & Beyond and the Boom Box visuals show - which fired up at midnight each night - was another very cool fusion of lighting and video. It's constructed from Layher scaffolding with a DJ window in the centre, flanked by dance podiums left and right, all clad with white projection material.
Framing this were 22 Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs. Twenty-six Atomic strobes and 16 linear 4-lites were incorporated into the Boom Box, and the DJs and dancers were illuminated with 7 x i-Pix Satellite LED brick lights.
Audience lighting featured 16 Robe ColorSpot 1200E ATs and 4 ColorWashes, rigged on trusses running down the tent.
HSL supplied Simon Barrington with a Chamsys MagicQ 100 console - his desk of choice.
Early to Bed
Nic Ayres operated in the Bedrock tent, greatly enjoying the chance to play with 20 of HSL's new Robe ROBIN 300 Spots and 20 ROBIN 300 Washes, which he describes as "Incredibly bright".
The stage featured 6 floor mounted columns of PIXLED F30 at the back, and a long 'spine' truss running the full apex of the tent, rigged with alternating ROBIN 300 Spot and Wash fixtures.
There were another 6 ROBIN Washes and Spots onstage plus 16 Atomics distributed between the stage and audience truss, with 4-lite Moles also filling in the gaps between the screen strips.
An Avolites Pearl Expert was the console with a Hippotizer to run the video, which was installed with a beta version of the latest Video mapping application to give it a bit of a test run.
In the House/Random Arena's tasty stage design consisted of 2 ground supported concentric arches made up from Tomcat ground support trusses, with PIXLED F30 hung beneath in a centre section at the back, and Robe ColorSpot and ColorWash 1200E ATs positioned on the arches and stage floor.
There was a single audience truss with more ColorWash and Spot 1200s and a total of 16 Atomic strobes divided between stage and truss. Source Fours were used for key lights and 12 x 2-lite moles for a bit of punch along the front of the DJ booth.
HSL's Mike Docksey also managed a completely different project at the festival, co-ordinating the specials lighting supply for Steve Angello's set via his show producers, BPM Productions. Angello - known for his highly visual performances - brought in his own lighting production to boost his hi energy Friday headline slot.
This consisted of a wall of 32 Jarags split into 2 sections at the front and back of the DJ booth. HSL fitted the Jarags with mirrored front panels adding a touch of retro, and also enabling them to be used as bounce points for the lasers. All these visual elements added to the full-on atmospheric engineering that's become an Angello trademark. His lighting rig also included Robe ROBIN 300 Beams.
The house desk in here was a Pearl Expert operated by Ben Hyman, with a small Maxedia for the F30, and Steve Angello's rig was run by Ben Mansfield on a Hog 3, with the Jarags pixel mapped via a Hippotizer media server.
The Full Spectrum
This Spectrum Arena stage shape featured 2 concentric arches built out of HSL circular truss 4.5 and 6 metre diameter respectively with LC screen panels mounted on the front one, and an elegant 15 metre circular truss rigged off the tent poles for audience lighting.
Martin Professional kit took centre stage with 6 MAC 3 Profiles on the stage and floor and 8 x 301 LED wash lights underneath the arches, all pointing forwards into the room, together with 12 Atomics distributed between audience and stage.
The audience were further highlighted with Robe ColorSpot and ColorWash 2500E ATs, with Toby Hogarth in control using an Avo Pearl Expert and a Maxedia for the LC screen.
It was the first year that Electric Fly/HSL lit the VIP area as well as all the performance arenas. This year's VIP arena featured an intimate sized tent with a stage surrounded by an arched ground support system on the front of which they hung 6 of the new i-Pix BB 2x2s. The DJs were back and side lit with 4 x BB16s, and there were also 4 ROBIN 300 Spots, all run off a Pearl Expert.
Outside were a series of recycled wooden sculptures by Do Lab and some large scenic flowers, which were illuminated by PAR 56s in Lee 158 orange to give them a nice warm, ambient glow and Source Fours.
This area was looked after by Simon "Boff" Howarth, and was a relatively late addition to the Global lighting plan. Says Tim Fawkes, "Massive credit to the HSL warehouse crew, who were also simultaneously prepping a large amount of kit for several other large projects. They did a great job of getting Global prepped and ready for site on time whilst maintaining the highest standard of prep that our customers expect.”
i-Pix BB16s and JTE PixelLines were used to light the structures and sculptures on the Live Terrace, and the DJ Terrace was lit with 96 Pulsar 1200mm ChromaStrips, hung at different heights.
Everything ran very smoothly for HSL and Electric Fly, "Many of the crew were the same as last year and practicalities like knowing the site and how to negotiate it - as well as rigorous pre-planning - really make it rock!".
Audio for all the arenas and main stage was supplied by SSE.
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