Lighting designer Pete Hosier used an Avolites Diamond 4 console to control lighting for the fifth BBC 3 “Planet” World Music Awards, a premier event for world music, staged at London’s Brixton Academy.
The D4 is always Hosier’s desk of choice; he has used Avolites’ most powerful console extensively since a D4 was installed at Shepherds’ Bush Empire 16 months ago, where he works as a house programmer/designer. “It was ideal for a show like the Planets, with very limited programming and rehearsal time, multiple artists and a lot of lighting to control ‘on the fly’.”
This year’s show gathered musicians from all over the globe and included live performances by Nitin Sawney, Sain Zahoor, Souad Massi, Amadou & Mariam, Fanfare Ciocarlia and Konono No 1. It was presented by High Masekela and Late Junction’s Verity Sharp and Fiona Talkington, and was broadcast on Radio 3, with TV highlights shown twice on BBC 4. The entire concert is also available for download from the BBC’s website, as is a special behind-the-scenes documentary about staging it.
Luton was brought onboard by production company Serious Productions to take care of all the lighting requirements, for which he worked closely with the BBC’s designer, Oli Richards. With a stage and a presentation area to be lit, they used Pulsar LED Chroma strips to create a continuity in look between the two elements. Forty-eight of these were used in total, 12 in the presentation area and the rest for the performance area of the stage. The latter were bolted behind three upstage screens so they shone through the scrim material and disappeared when the projections were running.
The three screens at the back of the stage were stretched across trussing frames, each of which also had six Martin MAC 250 moving lights rigged onto them. Other moving lights included 12 High End x.Spots, located on the back rail of a box truss and on drop bars descending from the side trusses of the box, used for cross stage fillers, plus another four on the floor. The screen truss was hung upstage of the back rail of the box and flown in and out so artists and their kit could be easily moved on and offstage.
On the front edge of the box truss were four MAC 700s, used exclusively for screen projections, with Luton taking full advantage of their animation wheel facilities. Also on the front edge of the box were three HES Studio Beam PCs. TA further eight PC Beams were on a TV truss flown in the auditorium, primarily used for audience lighting. The same truss also contained 14 ETC Source Fours used for key lighting performers onstage on its upstage rail. Other lighting instruments–supplied by Neg Earth–included a few odd PARs dotted around, and some Lowell Omnis, used as floodlights along the font of stage.
All lighting was controlled by the D4. Originally, Luton was planning to run a digital media server with video off the console as well, but this was replaced with the animated projections. The 2006 Planet World Music Awards featured a series of big spectacular looks specific to each artist.
Luton loves the versatility of the Diamond 4 and the fact that you can configure and customize the front panel to have your fixtures, effects and functions exactly where you want them for easy access. His preference in this case was to organize all the movement chases and special effects along the top of the desk, with the basics including stage color washes along the bottom.