To help realise AEG Live’s vision to completely transform the look and feel of the Summer concert series in London’s Hyde Park, Colour Sound Experiment (CSE) were contracted to supply stage and architectural lighting, reporting into production company LarMac LIVE, who co-ordinated all technical and creative production for the North Stages at Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park.
This included three spectacular themed areas - The Village Green, Piazza and Carnival – all of which were hugely popular and a large part of the new look event staged by AEG. The event included Main Stage concert performances by The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Jennifer Lopez and Lionel Richie over 10 days.
The North Stages featured five intimate performance spaces – The Village Hall, The Bandstand, The Barclaycard Unwind Theatre, the Sony Music Unlimited stage and the Carnival ‘Float’ stage, complete with a programme of cool and emerging bands which could be enjoyed by music fans in 150 - 450 capacity venues, effectively extending their entire day and musical experience in the Park.
The scenic facades of the three areas were also tastefully architecturally lit, taking on another dimension after dark. Additionally, producing ‘ambient lighting’ across the whole audience area was also part of the brief from AEG Live.
The tented band stage in the Village Hall featured a variety of performers and had to be lit for daylight, which included fresnels, Showtec Sunstrips and Robe LEDWash 600 moving lights, with an Avolites Pearl Expert console for control, operated by CSE’s Sam Akinwale.
The architectural lighting elements here included The Old Vine and the Kings Head pubs and The Windmill Bar, where a selection of LED PARs were positioned behind the windows. The Hyde Park Saloon bar had colour changing LED tape attached around the windows.
The Barclaycard Unwind Theatre was an integral part of the Piazza area, located in a large Spiegel tent and featuring another line up of ‘hotly tipped’ acts.
The lighting rig included 12 Martin MAC 250 Entour and 12 Robe LEDWash 300 moving lights, chosen for their small size, 24 x LED PARs, two Atomic strobes and four 2-lites, all run from another Avo Pearl Expert operated by Jasper Johns.
The ‘secret’ Sony Music Unlimited stage behind the Whisky bar was lit with four GLP Spot One moving lights plus generics with another Avo Pearl for control.
The Left Bank Bar was dressed with LED tape to produce colour changing effects
The heat and the action was full on in this vibrant space, with a host of Latino bands getting the party started on the Carnival stage, lit with eight GLP Impression zoom LED wash lights in domes, with smoke machines providing some Latin steam as the temperatures rocketed on both weekends! Along the nearby balcony a bunch of high powered Lanta 48 Aura LED PARs were scattered to enhance the Cuban Brothers’ performances.
This was all programmed and run by Stuart Barr utilising yet another Avo Tiger Touch. The weather domes were happily not needed as all 10 days of events on the site basked in the glorious heat wave hitting the UK!
The Havana and Santa Clara bars received the very effective LED tape treatment – a team from Colour Sound visited the scenery workshops in Oxfordshire during the build, fitting the tape and practical lights to the various set flats as they were nearing completion. This concession was also lit with generic and LED PARs dotted around.
Above the Carnival stage and in front of the Havana Bar, several runs of Colour Sound’s bespoke high powered IMS LED Festoon was slung between the palm trees.
The entrance to the VIP area was enhanced with LED uplighters, with more LED fixtures strategically placed around the AEG Hospitality Bar, while the main site Hospitality area was augmented with Martin 400 Exterior LED units.
A second VIP Guest and the main Press Area entrance was highlighted with Robe MMX Spots in weather domes hung above the main arch entranceway and a further four MMX Spots and Studio Due CityColors lit the nearby trees, all controlled by an Avo Tiger desk.
The site itself was lit with lights rigged on 10 scaffolding towers clad in branded scrims. Each tower featured two MMX Spots in domes, one CityColor and several Chauvet Colorband Pix LED battens, which were skimming up the sides highlighting the Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time Hyde Park branding.
The tower lights were controlled by Sam Campbell from a Chamsys MQ300 console located at the Main Stage FOH position via an extensive wireless DMX network.
AEG’s concept was to be able to control all aspects of lighting across the site. The ambient lighting was to be part of the event so that the whole site could be lit to complement key moments of the main stage performances, thus drawing in the audience into the main stage performance wherever they were standing at the time. Nobody embraced this more than The Rolling Stones Lighting Designer Patrick Woodroofe who controlled the entire site lighting during the band’s 2 performances to dramatic effect.
As the audiences dispersed every night, the tower lighting also enabled the whole site to be bathed in pleasant colours and texturing, rather than everyone leaving the site under harsh lighting when the shows ended.
Also hooked in to this FOH console were six CityColors flooding trees between the guest enclosure and the main arena. The main public entrance was lit with another two CityColors.
“The challenge was the scale and size of the site,” explains CSE Project Manager Fletch, who worked alongside a lighting crew of 14 for the peak periods.
“Everyone involved in the North Stages worked really hard to ensure that the areas made a real impact and created something completely different to anything that had taken place in Hyde Park before,” he concludes.
Jim King from AEG Live explains, “CSE delivered our vision perfectly and it was precisely what we wanted. The lighting across the site was the best I’ve ever seen and both CSE and LarMac Live deserve praise for an excellent job.”