Lock Up & Dance for Colour Sound at 2104 Reading and Leeds Festivals

London UK based lighting and visuals rental company Colour Sound Experiment supplied lighting to Festival Republic for several stages at the 2014 Reading and Leeds festivals – Lock Up, Dance, BBC Introducing, Silent Disco 1 & 2, Piccadilly Party, the Action Aid and  Oxfam tents plus all of EBCs Bars – plus LED screen for the Dance arena.

Furthermore, 2.5 Km of LED festoon lighting was used to enhance the ambience around the main arena.

A team of ten Colour Sound techs were Crew Chiefed by the unfazable Andy Melleney at Reading and two artics worth of kit was dispatched from the company’s HQ in Park Royal, North West London.

The historically significant and ever-popular Berkshire festival signalled almost the end of another truly incredible summer season for Colour Sound, on which MD Haydn Cruickshank comments, “It’s been massively busy again and we have been lucky enough to be involved in some great events. It’s always good to be at Reading, in fact this is our 21st year at the festival! It is such a landmark event and great to see its continuing success”.


In the Dance arena Colour Sound revisited its rave culture roots and also created a fabulous base production design for lighting and visuals that took its creative starting point from last year’s design which everyone loved, prompting the remodelling into a new look and feel for 2014.

The lighting positions were located on a front truss, an advanced truss over the audience, a ground supported truss at the rear of stage and on the PA wings flanking the stage to extend the width of the performance space.

The moving light fixtures included Robe MMX Spots and LEDWash 300s together with  CSE Beam 200s – 12 of each, which were joined by 12 x Showtech Sunstrips and 12 x Martin Atomic strobes. “It was a classic EDM aesthetic,” comments Andy Melleney.

The stage was framed with a 12 metre wide video proscenium arch with 1 metre wide legs made up of Colour Sound’s proprietary BT12 LED screen product, and upstage of the DJ booth was a 9 x 4 back wall of their BT6 version of the screen.

Colour Sound asked Dave Whiteoak to run the control end of the visuals, which enabled all those DJs and VJs turning up with their own visual content to be played out on the screens.

For those who didn’t have their own content, Whiteoak wove his own digital magic into the mix!

Lighting FOH was looked after by Woody with ChamSys consoles and playback wings – along with today’s most essential piece of festival FOH kit – the Nespresso coffeemaker. Chris Wilks and Alex Ryan oversaw all the incoming floor packages and other specials.

Additional BT6 LED screen was supplied for Pendulum’s set to clad the front of their DJ riser, and Colour Sound also supplied extra lighting and video elements for LD Alan King for drum ’n’ bass act Wilkinson’s set.

Lock Up

The lively and loud rock oriented line-up on the Lock Up stage featured a stark minimalist look with lights rigged onto a low ground supported back truss – its height dictated by the tent roof – and a flown front truss.

The fixtures in here were eight Robe ColorSpot 575E ATs, eight 6-lamp bars of PARs, eight Sunstrips and eight Atomic strobes! Eight was definitely a lucky number!

Martin Dudley was the very enthusiastic operator – also a Reading boy – with another ChamSys console, assisted by Joe Beardsmore.

BBC Introducing

Featuring the best best up-and-coming and soon-to-be-breaking-through, acts lined up on the BBC Introducing stage attracted a lot of interest and impressed a few talent scouts! This year they went for a basic lighting look, with a PAR can rig providing great TV lighting, all programmed by Colour Sound’s Jason Tuffin.


Colour Sound invested in more specially weatherised IMS Festoon last year specifically for Reading, and once again this proved very popular, strung up between a series of telegraph poles dotted around the site.

The installation took nearly four days and was completed by Andy Melleney and Jason Tuffin, then programmed by Sarah Payne. The 2500 lightsources – one every metre – ran across 17 universes of DMX over ArtNet to two control zones!

The first was at the back of the BBC Introducing stage where 12 universes were fed into an Avo Tiger Touch, and the second zone was positioned over by the Festival Republic tent where five universes and another Tiger Touch were overlooked by Brian Mandeville who was co-ordinating lighting for that stage.

In addition to those three major areas, Colour Sound also lit two silent discos and the Action Aid late night venue as well as three bars – two cocktail bars, one in the arena and one just outside it – and a third bar in the White camping zone, which was across the river actually in the next-door county to Berkshire!

Exactly the same kit was also supplied for the corresponding mirrored stages at the Leeds site at Brahham Park for the same three stages.

This same August Bank Holiday weekend, Colour Sound additionally supplied around 550 moving lights and other fixtures for the two outdoor stages at the Creamfields EDM extravaganza at Daresbury, Warrington, and lighting and video for multiple stages at the SW4 Festival on London’s Clapham Common, bringing another hugely busy 2014 festival season almost to a close … in grand style!


Photo: Louise Stickland

Colour Sound Reading 2014 Annie Mac Dance Stage rea222152234


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