ADLIB Takes the Cream . . .

Liverpool, UK, based audio and lighting rental company ADLIB were well prepared in all ways for the Creamfields 2011 staged in Daresbury, Cheshire. They supplied three integrated sound and lighting/visual packages for the Paul van Dyk/Cream Arena, the Pryda/Cocoon Arena and a large Hospitality area at the 3 day camping festival, spawned from legendary Liverpool superclub, Cream.

Even periods of torrential rain didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits, as once again ADLIB was proud to be involved in the UK’s best known electronic music extravaganza, working for Loudsound Events and the production management team of LarMac LIVE led by Ian Greenway, assisted by Anthony Norris.

Getting The Cream

ADLIB’s Head of Lighting Peter Abraham project managed the supply of lighting to the three areas, for which Cream’s Saturday night was designed by Paul van Dyk’s team, and the Sunday by ADLIB’s own TPi award winning LD Ian Tomlinson.

The two very different styles and looks for the stage necessitated an intense overnight changeover.

A ground support system was erected at one end of the Arena (by Prism), and 2 x 15 metre long trusses were flown down either side of it between the tent poles to provide positions for the audience lighting. Each truss was loaded with 10 x Martin Professional MAC 700 Wash moving lights and three Atomic strobes. The delay speaker arrays were also flown on these trusses.

On the stage were 22 x MAC 700 Spots, 18 x MAC 301 LED washes, 14 x Atomics, 12 x Clay Paky Alpha Beam 700s and 6 x 4-cell moles. These were positioned all over four over-stage trusses on the first night and six on the second. In addition to the two extra overhead trusses going in for Sunday, two small ground support trusses were added either side of the stage to extend the entire width of the performance space.

Consoles were an Avolites Pearl Expert with a Touch Wing and a Road Hog Full Boar with two playback wings, the latter specified by Paul van Dyk’s designer Oli Metcalf and operated by Rik Schoutsen.

ADLIB’s crew were Andy Rowe, Mike Summerfield and Geoff Bond.

The challenge was to keep it looking fresh over long periods of time and to keep the vibes & atmosphere pumping, for which lighting is such an essential element. The overnight changeovers and complete redesigns help enormously in producing totally different visual environments, and all agreed that despite the additional pressure, the end results were well worth the extra effort.

In Pryda/Cocoon, Neil Holloway and Stu Wright ensured that all ran smoothly. The design again featured two audience trusses, and Ian Tomlinson produced a completely bespoke structural design for the stage, based on a variety of different towers and stands, which gave it a real 3D depth and definition plus a quirky appearance.

The two audience trusses were again rigged to the tent king poles, each loaded with 6 x MAC 700 washes, 2 x Atomics and 2 x 4-way Moles.

Over and around the stage were 12 x MAC 700 Spots, 8 x MAC 250 profiles, 6 x MAC 250 beams. For the WOW effect there was a “huge spikey, beamy rear look” created with 4 bars of ACLs a-side, offering a warm & a cold look.

ADLIB also supplied some of its new PIXLED F-30 screen. Thirty-five tiles were integrated into the visual design, rigged all over the structure to create a “random look”, enhancing the multi-layered 3D architectural feel of the space. The screen was fed with content from one of ADLIB’s Catalyst media servers, with both consoles  – another Avo Pearl Expert and a Hog 3 with a Mini Wing – optimised to drive it.

For the Saturday night, the Eric Prydz team installed their own video set up, complete with a series of grey scenic boxes on stage, and a projection system set up at FOH. Lighting and visuals were operated by Robert Zlotnicki and their tour manager was Mark Calvert.

Prydz’ set was removed at the end of the night leaving the PIXLED F-30 panels, and with ADLIB’s re-rig of the lighting & additional trussing installation – it effectively morphed into a completely different venue.

“The production values and everyone’s expectations of visual presentation have increased considerably in the last 5 years, especially for dance / electronic events – they have really become aware of how visuality can help make or break the atmosphere and feel of an event,” confirms Abraham.

To ensure that the overnighters ran like clockwork and their hard working site teams could get some sleep, ADLIB brought in fresh crews to work these shifts in both arenas,  under the direction of the respective crew chiefs.

The Sunday night Cocoon line up presented by MixMag was totally different from Pryda, but equally as exciting and energy pumping with Sven Vath, Marco Carola, Josh Wink and more …

The Hospitality area featured another – smaller – CODA system from ADLIB, with 2 x stacks of 3x SC8 subs each with 4 x LA12 tops .

Lighting went to town in this area, dealing with the challenging rigging logistics of the ‘tri-span’ (triple arch saddle-span) tent. At the front centre point of the tent, a 4 metre trussing circle was flown, rigged with MAC 250 Washes and MAC 350 Spots, together with Abraxus LED ‘snowflakes’ to add some sparkle!

The opposite side of the tent was highlighted with MAC 301s and 350 Spots hung directly off the tent superstructure. Onstage with the DJ were four upright sections of 8ft trussing, populated with PixelPARs and MAC300s.

The full glamour and glitz potential of the Hospitality area lighting was energised  via the programming skills of Charlie Rushton using an Avolites Pearl Expert, working with ADLIB team-mate, Chris Richardson.


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