For the fifth year running, Entec Lighting is supplying CMP Entertainment with full lighting production, foyer area and VIP tent illuminations and crew for the month long 2006 Liverpool Summer Pops event.

The hugely successful 2006 Pops season features a lively megamix of international talent – from James Brown to Pops regulars The Australian Pink Floyd, from Westlife to Whitesnake, from New Order to Simply Red - and numerous others. There’s something to sate virtually every flavour of popular music!

The event is again staged in its 4,500 capacity six-pole Big Top, centrally located along the Dock Road. As in previous years, the lighting was designed by Dave Hill. The rig maximises the available tent space and caters for a wide variety of band requirements and visiting LDs. For the get in, Entec supplied 8 crew including Phil White and Leigh Yeomans, who are now in technicians-in-residence, running the show day-to-day, working closely with production manager Andy Keightley.

The over-stage rig is a raked box truss – 21 ft at the rear and 28 ft headroom at the front - ensconced into one of the roof voids. It’s cross-braced with 6 upstage/downstage straight trusses, effectively creating an angled, highly dynamic, ceiling of lights above. This provides ideal coverage and versatile lamp focus right across the stage – every inch of the space can be hit by one instrument or another.

The box truss sits on a 5 leg self-climbing ground support system, also supplied by Entec. The front truss is constructed from customised Tomcat MegaTruss, allowing a span of 58 ft with a hefty weight loading taken on 2 legs. This was commissioned by Entec 2 years ago specifically for the Summer Pops shows. Event rigger is Sven Knight.

For moving lights this season, Entec is supplying 17 Vari*Lite 2202 Spots and 16 V*L 2402 Wash fixtures for the stage. There’s also 44 Martin Professional MAC 300s used as truss toners, both for the overstage trusses and around a massive box truss in the audience. The luminaires fit almost perfectly into the 21.5 inch square trussing framework.

The main stage rig features 33 6-lamp bars for multi-purpose use including providing a basic 6 colour stage wash that has remained one of the constants of the Pops rig since day one. There’s also 14 bars of ACLs, ten 10 degree Source Four profiles on the front truss, ground rows for the back, three 8-lite Moles and 3 Atomic strobes. Follow spots are four truss mounted Panis out above the audience, carefully positioned so the beams are neatly contained with minimal spillage onto the stage.

A generic floor rig is also available for those wanting some contrast to the roof lighting – consisting of four V*L 2402s, 6 groundrow/cycs and an assortment of floor cans that can be dotted around in the gaps.

Console wise this year, Entec offers a WholeHog II and a Wing and – for the first time - a GrandMA as the standard console set ups - with other brands available on request. Reflecting the growing popularity of the GrandMA, Entec has just invested in two of these consoles, one of which went straight onto the Pops.

Avolites ART 2000 series dimmers are used site wide this year – four 48 way racks in the main room and a 72-way for the reception area. Power distribution is via Entec custom units, with two 36-way units covering the main room.

They are running 8 universes of DMX as standard, with integral Ethernet capabilities running down the snake which will increase this up to 24 if needed. This year, the system has been set up so it can easily be split for programming across two different consoles.

Lighting power for the whole event runs on two synched 800 KVA gennies supplied by Golden Triangle.

The vast majority of bands brought their own LDs, and all were happy with the available spec. Those without LDs/operators were left in the very able hands of Phil White.

In the foyer, the Entec team flew a box truss infrastructure off the tent king poles onto which was clamped 16 bars of 6 PARs, 4 Source Fours and four MAC 500s for sponsors logos including the distinctive ‘Liverpool 08’ logo signalling the year the City becomes European Capital of Culture. The foyer lights were all controlled off an independent Jands 416 desk.

Entec also supplied all lighting for the VIP room, off to one side of the main tent. The ambience was subtle, with the space completely clad with a twinkling LED starcloth. The tables were individually highlighted with nine 4-lamp PAR 36 pin spot banks. Three Source Fours were used to project rotating ‘Liverpool 08’ logos on the walls, and eight ARRI 500 Watt floods illuminated the buffet, bar and ice sculpture area, all controlled from a Zero 88 Sirius desk.

Entec also sorted out the emergency lighting, all the exit signs in the foyer, main and VIP tents.

The main challenge for the first week of shows, report White and Yeomans, was the intense heat and soaring temperatures. The average temperature has so far been a sweltering 35 degrees inside the black-lined tent, topping out at a staggering 42 degrees in the roof It’s a testament to the lighting kit as much as anything that it has all kept working all day in spite of the extreme environment.