Lighting designer Bryan Leitch and his company Siyan have invested in more new Avolites lighting control equipment to service the hugely successful Coldplay world tour, currently making its way through Europe. The tour follows the massive success of Coldplay's debut album Parachutes, and is scheduled to continue to September 2003.

The Avo gear on the tour includes two Sapphire consoles, plus two Avolites ART2000 dimming systems. One Sapphire is used to operate the four-way Radlite PC-based video system, designed and operated by video director Nick Whitehouse. The RADLite footage is fed from seven black-and-white cameras onstage and played back onto four upstage screens. Above that is another level of video, projected onto a 48’ wide x 10-‘ high semi-circular screen. This shows IMAG footage supplied by a four color camera/Barco G5 system provided to the tour by XL Video. The second Sapphire is operated by Leitch himself and runs all Coldplay's lighting.

Leitch comments, "Avolites was the only way to go" when it came to choosing his control system. With the expected longevity of the Coldplay tour and Siyan's hectic schedule of other ongoing projects, he decided to purchase the new Avo control equipment. This boosts Siyan's current stock of Avo consoles to 7 Pearls, 3 Sapphires and 3 Azures.

Lighting fixtures controlled by the Pearl include 22 SGM Giotto 400 spots, twelve Futurelight MH640s, 14 Movietech and ROBE 575 wash lights and eight Martin MAC 600s, plus conventionals. The latter are four Moles with color changers, ground rows and eight ETC Source Fours, used as band key-lighting for the video cameras.

The ART dimmers consist of four modules of power racks and four of dimming, which can all be patched as desired in this highly flexible system, plus three rack-mounting Avo DMX splitters. They are taking full advantage of Avo's DMX Merge facility to enable the Source Fours to run on both desks, allowing them to be used for the RADLite cameras as and when needed, independently of Leitch using them in the lightshow. This is achieved via an Ethernet multicore in addition to the DMX lines.

Dimmer-master Brian Mandeville states that the fewer connections and the more reliable the dimmer are, the easier it is to break the rig down into B and C options for smaller gigs, allowing them to compress the show without losing any of the aesthetic essence. "We couldn't do this so easily using any other type of dimmer" he states. "The ART has revolutionized this specific element of touring with a large moving light rig".

Leitch comments, "The ART dimmer is an excellent piece of kit. It's very helpful being able to mix-and-match between power and dimming channels, and utilising the DMX Merge so the RADlite desk can take over the key-lighting has been invaluable. It makes life very easy!".

The Sapphire was chosen to run the RADlight system because it offered plenty of preset focuses, which are utilized for the camera switching.

Sound for Coldplay is being supplied by Tour Tech, with Dan Green mixing FOH and Chris Wood on monitors. Production Manager is Derek Fudge.

You can see photos of the current Coldplay tour in the October issue of Lighting Dimensions