SPOTLIGHT ON GLASTONBURY 2015
SGM LEAVES WORTHY IMPRINT ACROSS GLASTONBURY 2015
SGM’s groundbreaking IP65-rated LED solutions featured right across this year’s vast Glastonbury Festival site. Starting at the iconic Pyramid Stage, a wide range of powerful washes, LED strobes and dynamic 3D effects cascaded down to a number of smaller stages where they performed long duty cycles flawlessly over the four days.
While 14 of the G-Spots, provided by HSL, graced the main stage (seven on each PA wing) elsewhere the scramble was on to secure inventory, in particular, for the popular and award-winning P-5 washlight.
Main stage lighting was supplied by Neg Earth, and with The Who headlining, their LD Tom Kenny, had nothing but positives to say about G-Spot. “I was impressed with its power, and the way it fought through everything else. I also loved the colour and they matched the other fixtures well.”
Enlightened Lighting’s Simon Marcus was one who drew on the P-5s to light the iconic Ribbon Tower — a beacon that can be seen right across the site. He praised the saturated colours produced by the ultra-efficient washlight, having developed Patrick Woodroffe’s original theme (to Misty Buckley’s design) and moved it from the discharge world, with 24 P-5 RGBW and 8 x TW (Tunable White) washes, subbed in from Vortex Lighting by Neg Earth, on the Minaret style top. “I wanted a tungsten look for the top and so I took the TW’s colour temperature down to 2700K,” he explained. “These were run mostly static but every 10 minutes there would be a brief on/off to create the surprise factor.”
He equipped the 24 on the ground, set in pairs with the 21° medium lens. “The structure measured 29m from the top to the bottom and the diameter of the ribbons was 7.2m,” he said. “The P-5s are sufficiently powerful to fire all the way up to the top and we could change the whole tower and snap the colours instantly from warm saturated reds to cold blues with a spin chase.
“This is an observation tower — visible right across from the farm — and people use it to navigate from. It was important it was lit through 360° but this required a careful focus so as not to blind people.”
In conclusion he said the show ran effortlessly from just before dusk to dawn (9pm-5am). “The P-5 is far superior to the old discharge lights used previously,” he observed. “The colour saturation is better and the low power consumption is a factor. In terms of usability it’s a lot less intrusive — and there’s more space in the truck.
“The SGM products were brilliant in every respect, and lovely to work with.”
Over at the John Peel Stage Imax Lighting’s Gary Churchill brought in a further nine P-5 RGBW washes — part of the floor package for La Roux’s set to meet the rider from their lighting designer, Andy Liddle. These were used both for lighting their backdrop and as floor cans on the edges of the risers.
Another company from the region that has been associated with Glastonbury since 2007 is Alister Pook’s SWG Events.
This year, their lighting manager Ben Perrin specified eight SGM X-5 strobes and four P-2 washlights for the Park Stage, with the P-2 units used to uplight the Park’s new pillars. “As this was a very important feature, the design team wanted to see them illuminated with soft fading colours which would frame the stage during the evenings,” he explained. “They were ecstatic with the results.”
And for BBC Introducing Perrin specified 12 x SGM Q-2W white fixtures and six SGM P-2 fixtures, adding: “I wanted a versatile strobe / eye candy light with a small footprint which would complement the sleek lighting design. At the same time I also wanted as much colour as possible from a small compact fixture which the P-2 could deliver.
“In fact everyone was amazed at the amount of output the P-2 fixture produced, with incredible smooth even colours.”
As a result SWG Events now own all three SGM products. “They left such a good impression that we had to buy them,” was Perrin’s rationale.
The fixture also met the BBC’s requirements for a flicker-free LED solution. “The Q-2W, with the 12 individual cells per unit, I knew would produce some unique effects, and the fact I could put so many units into a venue without affecting the overall power consumption was a major bonus.”
Finally, Pussy Parlure, overseen by SWG Events’ Alister Pook, featured further P-2 washes and SGM’s LS3.75 video screen. “We had a very difficult brief from the venue designer (Rocket) who wanted lots of coloured light but hidden fixtures,” said Perrin. “The purpose of the venue was to be very atmospheric so we put four P-2 units in the king poles to illuminate their logo, along with eight washing the room and four to create a glow behind the slatted walls.”
It had been a thoroughly satisfying outing for SWG, concluded Perrin. “This year we had many new briefs to fill with regards to the BBC and venue designers — and the feedback was really positive, with many venues requesting the same products and designs again for the future,” he said.
And much of the success was due to the SGM products. “They were fantastic and exceeded every expectation we had,” he admits. “Many touring lighting designers were blown away by them. In particular they loved the little Q2-W fixtures in just a strobe function — and once we showed them the flexibility of the eye candy effects it was incorporated into every show.
“The house engineers also loved the ease of rigging the fixtures with great little features such as the retractable safety bond point. The build quality is solid and you can feel that the product is well made straight away — everything was 100% reliable. In fact SGM provided us with the tools to have the most successful Glastonbury Festival yet.”
Also putting a highly creative spin on events using SGM tools was Ben Bailes at Oculux, who is the long-term lighting designer for Greenpeace at Glastonbury.
This year’s theme was sustainable fishing quotas and the centrepiece was a monster trawler called the Cornelis Vrolijk. Like a themed attraction it took visitors through a real life experience, showing what happens to tuna fished over quota and thrown back — and this also included a ‘Crawl / Wiggle / Slide’ area which was lit separately (‘Crawl’ formed the first phase of a scary experience (taken by the visitor in a boiler suit and a ‘fish head’ hat).
Bailes was tasked with enhancing the shock by creating total 3D immersion, both sonically and via illumination, and accomplished this with tools from SGM Lighting.
While P-5s, sourced from White Light, washed the monster ship over the nets, 195 x LB-100 strings (with 12 x ILD controllers) from Blueprint Events served the Crawl space. Blueprint also supplied Artnet switches and Madrix software.
Explaining his choice, Ben Bailes said, “I had seen the P-5s at PLASA and been very impressed — and White Light mentioned that they had them. I looked at the optics and they were so bright I thought I would need to dim them but in the end I used a 21° medium lens at full brightness, and they produced excellent colour.”
As for the LB-100 Bailes used five strings in each of the 31 bays in the Crawl section. “I was looking for a pixel product that could be hung across four or five metres. I had seen these high resolution festoons that would change colour before and knew it would be ideal so I contacted Ian [Kirby of SGM UK) and realised it was a hirable product.”
By using movement sensors his aim was to create “clear 3D waves of lighting to match the swell of the ship.” The LB-100s were Madrix triggered by a Raspberry Pi, while ‘The Engine Room’ (the Greenpeace stage area) was on a Vista M1 wing, with SGM X-5s among the effects. The field lighting was run from Showcad Artist.
“We like to use the best tools for the job and in this instance SGM was the obvious choice,” he summarised, at the same time praising the support given by White Light and Blueprint.
And with further P-5s featured in the Circus area (and elsewhere on the site) there is no question that SGM left a powerful imprint over the Worthy Farm festival site in 2015.
XL Video Creates Live Mapped Projection for Shangri-La Heaven at Glastonbury 2015
Following a successful event at last year’s festival, XL Video, working with Technical Producer, Nick Diacre, has once again produced a significant achievement in 180˚ live mapping for Shangri-La’s Heaven Stage at the Glastonbury festival 2015.
The Heaven structure was built organically by Andrew Cross and his team, onsite at the festival, only a few days before the event, and the construction is different every year.
The wide, wooden structure consists of 419 tessellated triangles, which were mapped using photogrammetry and stitched into two composites – one a 2D map and a second 3D model.
XL’s technical team, led by Christian Dickens, collaborated closely with Nick Diacre, and together they selected XL Video’s Avolites Ai media servers for the project. Their plan was to explore Ai’s abilities and to test its live mapping skills on an organic structure. In addition, the Ai was used as a video playback engine as well as for generating live visuals.
The 2D map was supplied as a template to content producers from throughout the Shangri-La community to enable them to design their visuals. Contributors included Enjoy Kaos, Olly Robertson, and Jouna Landsman. The content ranged from organic forms to audio reactive patches created within Ai.
The system also used triple and dual head capture systems, remapped within Ai patches to cover the whole structure at the maximum resolution.
Will Young and Thomas Hogan also programmed generative patches within VVVV, which were mapped to a 3d model with audio reactive effects and shading and then remapped to the main model within Ai.
The entire system used full redundancy using two of XL Video’s S8 Ai servers, along with a Lightware DVI matrix switching between main and backup systems, as well as routing capture sources.
The capture sources were held by a bank of four Barco ImagePro HDs, as well as an additional ImagePro providing a source in the DJ booth.
The system was designed by Nick Diacre, who also managed engineering onsite working with XL Video’s Erica Frost and Matt Barlow.
Frost also programmed an elaborate projector and source control surface using Coolux’s Widget Designer interface. This allowed easy switching of multiple sources simultaneously, routing of main and backup signals as well as automated shuttering and powering down of the projection systems.
The projection canvas was 7680 pixels wide by 1080 pixels high, and was covered by four Barco FLM HD20 projectors. A second bank of FLM HD20s ran as hot backup, having been warped onto the elaborate surface using Barco’s on-board warping software. Projection was managed by XL Video’s Head of Projection, Warren Galt, with the assistance of Ella Galt.
Nick Diacre commented: “The rock solid system design, cutting edge technology and team of absolute professionals ensured this project was delivered flawlessly. The spectacle of Heaven was a huge improvement on previous years with the introduction of custom content based around the structure.
“Thanks go out to the team at Avolites Media for demonstrating the abilities of Ai in pre-production and helping us develop a workflow that worked for both mapping, capture and content delivery.
“Heaven never looked so good. Thanks again to Debs Armstrong and the Shangri-La team and Seain Loughlin of PF Events for getting us all involved.”
White Light Takes the Stage at Glastonbury Festival
Taking place annually in the last weekend of June, the Glastonbury Festival is one of the biggest music festivals in the world. Over the years it has attracted some of the largest names in music including Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Oasis and U2 to name but a few. It is also known for hosting a series of other types of performance, such as dance, circus, comedy and theatre. This year renowned dance group Michael Clark Company took to the stage and performed over two days at the festival. As this was their first time performing at the Glastonbury Festival, they called upon White Light, a company with which they have a long-standing relationship, to provide the production support at such an iconic event.
Founded in 1984 by Michael Clark CBE, Michael Clark Company are an innovative dance group whose experimental shows feature intense and fine-tuned choreography intersected with elements of punk, Dada, pop and rock. Their productions repeatedly break new ground, provoking and electrifying audiences across the globe, and they have performed in North America, Asia and Australia. This year they decided to showcase their work at the Glastonbury Festival. Richard Godin, Lighting Designer for Michael Clark Company, states: “The company performed an extract from an existing piece called Come Been and Gone. There were three performances in total during the festival: one on the Pyramid Stage and two more in the Astrolabe Tent”. Both spaces are renowned for their various performances, with the Pyramid Stage often regarded as the world’s most recognisable festival stage. Richard comments: “It is extremely rare for a dance group to perform on that stage and I can only think of one other time this has happened”.
The piece performed by Michael Clark Company was a physical exploration of the music of David Bowie and had already received rave reviews following runs in both London and Edinburgh. Rachel Gale, Moving Light Hire Manager at White Light, says: “It’s always a great experience working on any Michael Clark Company show. Not only do we have a strong working relationship with them but as their shows are so unique and ground-breaking, they get the most out of our staff and resources”. The performance at the Glastonbury Festival proved to be no exception. Rachel comments: “The brief for the Pyramid Stage performance was to supply a complete floor package which included the lighting, control desk and power. For the lighting, Richard used the i-Pix BB4 LED Washlights and Arri Fresnels 2K Junior which were rigged in dance towers and controlled by an ETC Ion Console”. As with most festivals, the set-up time was minimal, due to the various acts continuously playing after one another. Richard adds: “We literally had half an hour to roll everything out onto stage and set up before the performance started. Luckily for us, due to the superb facilities White Light has at its Wimbledon premises, we had enough time to prep and pre-rig to ensure that, when it came to performance time, we were as efficient as possible”.
This year was the first time that both White Light and Michael Clark Company had visited the Glastonbury Festival so it presented new challenges for the pair of them. Rachel states: “As both the Pyramid Stage and Astrolabe Tent are so different, Richard had to create various set-ups that would easily adapt to each. That’s why preparing at our warehouse was so important as it gave him the opportunity to try out different set-ups and ensure that we provided the equipment which not only fulfilled the brief but could then be taken to the Glastonbury Festival”. Richard comments: “The whole design was based on how best to support six dancers in both spaces. It was also important that the colour pallet created by Charles Atlas on the original production was still clear, even in the daylight. Through White Light’s support and diverse equipment list, I managed to achieve this”.
This year’s Glastonbury Festival was another sell-out, with the legendary event seemingly growing in prominence with each passing year. It was also another successful collaboration between White Light and Michael Clark Company. Richard comments: “I have used White Light for many years, purely due to its high level of detail and genuine care for its clients. As a company, it invests in the long-term success of a project by helping designers from the very start realise how their vision can be achieved”. Rachel adds: “This was an ideal event for us to work on. Not only did it see us working with a long-standing client, but on one of the biggest festivals in the world, with a unique project that pushed the boundaries of what could be achieved in those performance spaces”.
Picture: Richard Godin
Another Glorious Glasto for Robe
Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, the UK’s highest profile and best known festival event once again proves a massive hit for Robe moving lights – over 600 of which were deployed on a multiplicity of stages site-wide, including in major creative areas like Arcadia’s giant spider spectacular show and legendary underground dance destination, Block 9.
Lighting equipment for both these areas was delivered by Colour Sound Experiment, who joined several different rental companies involved in supplying Robe products, including the South West Group, which lit the trendy Park Stage and BBC Introducing showcasing lots of rising talent, and DPL who took care of lighting at the West Holts stage.
Locally based Enlightened Lighting from Bath, took care of lighting a number of areas all using a backbone of Robe kit including the moving and grooving Sonic Stage in the Silver Hayes dance area; the multi-dimensional Mavericks venue with poetry and the spoken word during the day and essential cabaret through the night; the vibey Glasto Latino hub for all things Latin and the eclectic Summer House.
Arcadia’s incredible new “Metamorphoses” Spectacular show continues to unite and push all the boundaries of technology and art, and this year featured a primarily Robe moving light rig, including six BMFLs on the perimeter towers and Pointes rigged on the legs and belly of the spider. The 30 minute show’s lighting has been evolved by the Arcadia creative crew and the supply is co-ordinated by Arcadia’s Technical Production Manager, Tim Smith.
Metamorphoses came to a tumultuous end each night which signalled the start of a spectacular DJ line up to take Arcadia fans through to dawn each day of the Festival.
Block 9 is another popular late night section of the festival to which devotees negotiate the long hike down the old railway track catching some clubbing craziness in London Underground, at Genosys and in NYC Downlow – three fantastic scenic environments pulsing with great music.
Lighting design for Block 9 is created and co-ordinated by Alan King and the imposing 50 ft high post-industrial power facility of Genosys this year was lit with 17 Robe Pointes and 16 LEDWash 600s among other lighting. The animated club dancefloor in NYC Downlow was illuminated by some club classics including Robe 575 Scans – still loved for their speed and reliability, while two BMFLs highlighted a container that looked dropped from a great height and embedded in the ground, signalling the start of the Block 9 adventure.
Colour Sound also supplied lighting to The Glade stage – an area co-ordinated and designed for them by Jasper Johns of Fruit Salad Lights – complete with 24 x Pointes central to the lighting rig.
The Park stage lighting was co-ordinated and run by Ben Perrin and Mark Bott of the South West Group, and also featured BMFL Spots and Robe’s new LEDBeam 1000s plus Pointes and LEDWash 600s.
West Holts LD Adam Power’s production design included 24 x Pointes, 24 x LEDBeam 100s and 12 x LEDWash 1200s, crew chief was Darren Parker.
The Sonic stage buzzed with the energy and sounds of some superlative acts including Leftfield, Roni Size’s Reprazent and the iconic Grandmaster Flash who played a stonking set on Sunday. The lighting rig included 24 x LEDBeam 100s, 24 x Pointes and LEDWash 600 looked after for Enlightened by Paul de Villiers.
On Mavericks: Anthony van Sertima ran lights utilising 600E Spots, LEDWash 600s and LEDBeam 100s, Sam Walder lit the Summerhouse with Robe LEDWash 600s and ColorSpot 575E ATs and Mark Aitken ensured that everything salsa’d and sizzled in Glasto Latino with ColorSpot 575E ATs. Last but not least, one of the Silent Discos was lit by Jenny Howes using ColorSpot 250E ATs, LEDBeam 100s and 250 CT Club scanners.
Three of Robe’s ‘PLASA Students’ were also working on site, all proving that the student scheme, an initiative of Robe UK, is a great potential stepping stone into the industry!
Kirsty Stibburt worked for Bryte Design as student lighting and video technician over on the John Peel Stage; Beth Mae MacDonald was tech’ing lighting and audio on Summer House while Greg Westwood worked alongside Darren Parker and the DPL team on West Holts. Greg has a couple of weeks to recover and draw breath now … before joining Robe UK’s sales force.
CPL Returns to Glasto for Arcadia Spectacular and Hell
West Midlands based Central Presentations Ltd (CPL) returned to Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts as part of the incredible and unique Arcadia Spectacular, for which the west Midlands based company provided Panasonic projection onto the legs of the giant spider.
The massive construction lurked ominously on what is now a designated area of the site set aside for the Arcadia team’s incredible immersive show. This year the new Arcadia ‘Metamorphosis’ show – complete with awesome technical production, radical aerial stunts and the very best dance beats – was one of the most talked-about and enjoyed events of the Festival.
After working with Arcadia last year, MD Matthew Boyce commented, “We were delighted to be back at Glasto this year and working with Arcadia’s hugely ambitious new show and their wonderful team of people … all of whom ensured that the ‘spectacular’ concept thrilled and entertained record breaking crowds each night”.
The spider – a fusion of industrial art and innovation – is now one of the most recognisable creative elements of the four day Glasto Festival which attracts 135,000 people to Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset, and is a popular nucleus for the community’s late night activity.
Metamorphosis started at 11 p.m. and delivered 30 minutes of imaginative ‘shock & awe, followed by a sizzling hot DJ line up for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the event transporting everyone into the next day in a force-field of positive energy, great vibes and superlative visual experience.
CPL’s Richard Burrow was on site to help co-ordinate the show’s projection elements collaborating closely and tirelessly with Video Illusions, whose Dave Whiteoak first originated the idea of adding texturing and movement with video to the spider’s three legs, and with Tom Wall from blinkinLAB who created bespoke video footage and animations.
The projection system was designed by CPL and Video Illusions and comprised six Panasonic PT-DZ 21K projectors, each beaming onto the front and back of each spider leg.
The video footage was mapped precisely on to the legs using an AI media server, and the cues for the Metamorphosis show were all triggered by timecode generated by the overall show control system.
The projectors were rigged in weather-proof hides on six platforms placed around the Arcadia arena approximately 40 meters away from the spider structure, so they had a serious throw distance. Much of the material was extremely subtle – if you can call a 12 metre tall spider … ‘subtle’!
Adding to the general craziness and fun, video material resembled mechanical and machinery movement bringing an additional layer of crisp definition and animation to the massive beast which dominated the skyline. It was also imaginatively lit, and physical movement via its hydraulic claws plucked performers out of the crowd and incarcerated them in giant cocoons and eggs as part of the show narrative.
Also at Glasto
In addition to Arcadia, CPL also supplied projection, screen and playback to production company TLF Worldwide for the tent in the Williams Green, the Festival’s own village green area ensconced on the road between the Pyramid and Acoustic stages.
This kicked off with the first ever public screening of “Amy”, Asif Kapadia’s new documentary on the life of singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse which aired on the Thursday afternoon.
Another Panasonic PT-DZ 21K machine and Coolux Pandora’s Box media player provided the HD projection, and the kit was in action again in the same tent on the Sunday for one of the Guardian’s debate / discussion and Q&A sessions, an essential and popular part of keeping the spirit of free discussion flowing in an ‘open’ environment.
Meanwhile, over in Shangri La, another colourful epicentre of late night action, CPL supplied lighting equipment to PF Events for the Hell Stage.
Fine Time for Fineline at Glastonbury 2015
Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts (Glasto to regulars), arguably the world’s best known and highest profile festival presented another fantastically diverse melting pot of music, performance, entertainment, culture and fun from around the globe descending on the massive Worthy Farm site at Pilton in Somerset.
Bristol based lighting and visuals specialist Fineline Lighting renewed their excellent and fertile long term working relationship with the event – at least 24 years to date – and supplied lighting for the Acoustic Stage, Astrolabe Theatre, Cabaret and Circus venues and also the WOW stage in the Silver Hays dance area featuring some of the best underground DJs.
Says MD Rob Sangwell, “We all love working on Glastonbury and imbibing the spirit of the festival, and are very proud of our history with the event. I have seen many changes over the years, all for the better. The excellent line-ups plus the clamour to perform and be part of the community makes it even more special”
The Acoustic Stage also yielded one of the most civilised and chilled backstage areas in a very convenient location right at the heart of the action!
Fineline has built up the décor element of this stage over the years and especially more recently to include lush red drapes, and masking around the stage and in the ceiling, which really enhances the theatricality of the space.
This year, the Fineline team designed and custom fabricated a special chandelier with 40 spiral filament lamps to complete these deco elements, which looked very cool
With an impressive line-up of both established and breaking artists keen to show their talent in an acoustic environment, stage lighting was designed by Rob and Fineline site crew chief Stu England based on three trusses spanning the 40 x 22 ft. ground support system also installed, trimmed at a decent 9.5 meters.
This was rigged with 10 bars of PAR 64s and some ACLs, together with Martin MAC Quantum Spots on drop bars on the back and mid trusses. Quantum Wash moving lights on the mid truss were used to create the general stage washes, while MAC 101s on the back truss served as effective tab ‘warmers’, highlighting the sumptuous red drapage.
On the mid truss MAC Aura XBs and XB Plus’s provided the beam work and rear key lighting, supported by Robe LEDBeam 100s for effects.
The overall lighting reinforced the desired theatrical style ambience, although all genres of music were embraced over the weekend, from rock to blues, jazz to soul, folk to funk!
Avolites dimming and a Sapphire Touch control completed the lighting package, and joining Stu and Rob on the crew were Callum Ostell and Sam Kenyon. They also accommodated guest LDs and caught up with a lot of industry friends who passed through this popular venue.
Lighting in the Astrolabe theatre tent was co-ordinated by Hal Himsworth, resident LD for several years, with a great line-up of eclectic artists – from dance to physical theatre. With numerous specific requirements for various acts, the pace was relentless and virtually non-stop for 12 hours between performances and rehearsals.
A substantial amount of trussing was rigged in the roof to create a usable theatre grid and most of the base washes were created by static LED wash lights.
The rig incorporated all the performer specs, together with specials and extras as needed and featured about 80 fresnels, profiles, floods and PARs which were re-worked and often refocussed and re-gelled between acts – true theatrical style.
An Avo Pearl Expert with a Wing ran the lights, with Avolites dimming throughout.
Lighting designer James Loudon (Judge) is another Glasto regular who has weaved his magic in this space for close to 20 years. Another vibrant line up saw a host of aerial artists, pole, trapeze, hoop and silk acrobatics, balancing acts etc.
The idea was to make the venue almost in the round, so lighting had to fill 12 metres of headroom and a 3D space about 8 metres square.
The upstage truss was horizontally hinged at approx. 45 degrees along the sides to form an arc around the stage, supported from this truss, at the mid stage ends, and were vertical trusses for side lighting positions.
Additional lights were on the floor and rigged to the tent king poles and flown trusses suspended from the king poles and cupola. A mix of Robe 600E Spots and Chauvet Rogue R2 wash lights on the deck were combined with LED battens serving as knee kickers. These were joined by a good selection of generics – PARs, profiles and fresnels.
All the shows ware rehearsed, pre-programmed and cue-stacked on the console – in another gruelling schedule – so everything triggered at the right times, with an Avo Sapphire Touch console and Avolites dimming.
James was joined by techs Charlie Denny and Johnny Westall.
Just across the field in the single king pole square shaped Cabaret tent, Fineline’s Wingnut designed lighting and was joined by Alex Shenton, Ben Desousa and Croat.
Fixtures were rigged on a 4 x 2 mere box truss built around the king pole to give FOH and audience positions, and on two trusses over the stage, with two vertical trusses on the downstage edge for booms.
Fixtures compromised about 60 PARs, 20 Source Four profiles for gobo projections plus fresnels. The moving lights were 10 x Chauvet Rogue R2 Beams and eight Rogue R2 washes.
Wingnut also created some really cool custom paper globe lanterns internally lit with special LED rods which were strung up throughout the space adding depth and a bit of visual scenery to the otherwise black void above the audience. These look set to become a regular Glasto feature! He also produced a bespoke mirror ball installation at the rear of the stage.
The Wow Stage lighting was designed by James “Chimpy” Harrington one of the creative mainstays of Motion, Bristol’s most cutting-edge clubbing experience.
He used a variety of kit including 10 x Chauvet R2 beams, six Robe LEDBeam 100s, eight 2-lites, Atomic strobes and Chauvet Nexus 7×7 panels, PARs and ACLs and also lit the exterior of HMS Wow with PARs and MBIs and ensured the funnel billowed with smoke curtesy of Gem Roadie smoker below!
Florence + The Machine Headlines Glastonbury Festival with Jands Vista
UK – Renowned lighting designer, Rob Sinclair and programmer Louisa Smurthwaite used a Jands Vista L5 lighting console to deliver a memorable performance for Florence + The Machine’s triumphant Friday night headlining slot on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival.
One of the most famous and celebrated music festivals in the world, Glastonbury has provided a global stage for some of the world’s leading rock and popular music artists – with many giving career-defining performances on the iconic Pyramid Stage.
When Florence + The Machine were promoted to top of the bill just one week before the show, after an injury to Dave Grohl forced the Foo Fighters to pull out, Rob and Louisa were faced with the challenge of completely re-designing the show to incorporate the production values of a headliner slot – with only two extra days of production rehearsals available.
Willo Perron’s innovative overall show concept and set design for the band’s current How Big 2015 international tour, along with Rob’s elegant lighting design, formed the basis for the Glastonbury performance’s production values. The band’s brief was to come up with a timelessly classic look which wasn’t era-specific. Set pieces included rows of Par Cans custom painted in a metallic copper finish, providing side and back lighting for the band – as well as creating a visually appealing aesthetic look on stage.
In addition, the upstage featured a huge 48ft by 28ft ‘kinetic wall’ animated by 22 DMX fans, which reflected front light and glistened at various points of the performance – creating amazing reflections.
With the band’s tour underway in Europe when the new Glastonbury headline slot was confirmed, Rob had to make the tour’s rig design, which consisted of 5 angled trusses to light the back wall, work for the Pyramid Stage’s rig of three straight trusses, which had already been specified for the Foo Fighters’ performance.
The process began with Rob and Louisa sitting down together and reviewing every technical aspect of the show, and how they could change it to make the very best of the rig that they had at their disposal. With the help of Neg Earth Lights, the lighting rig supplier for the Pyramid Stage, Rob was able to add an additional two front trusses containing 30 Martin Viper Air FXs, to light the back surface.
Although a considerable amount of work to reprogram the show, Louisa knew that Vista’s Generic Fixture Model and FX Engine would make light work of this task.
She commented: “There was plenty of fixture swapping required to reprogram the touring show for the Pyramid Stage. The thing that I love about Vista is that once you ask it to swap one fixture to become another, it simply works. I don’t have to go in and update additional elements or manually link features from one fixture to the next – I am instantly ready to continue my work.
In addition, I was really impressed with the FX Engine’s Matrix feature.
During the main tour pre-production, we had spent a lot of time making sure that all of the lighting effects that reflected off the backdrop moved in a linear way, to create this fluid, organic type of movement. We used the Matrix feature to achieve this.
As these 5 angled trusses were not in the Pyramid Stage’s design, instead we now had 2 straight, front trusses. All I had to do was visually re-arrange my fixtures in the Matrix, to reflect the new design. After doing this Vista automatically updated all of the pre-recorded cues, to maintain our intended looks.
These features allowed Rob and myself the time to meticulously concentrate on getting other show elements perfect. Examples of these elements would be restricting ourselves to a limited, yet precise colour palette which was in keeping with the timeless look and feel of the lighting design. Rob also spent a lot of time working out angles to light the back wall.”
During the performance, Louisa operated the main show lighting from the Vista L5 console, whilst Rob took charge of key lighting for TV via two Vista M1s.
Having only used the L5 on one previous tour, for Kylie Minogue, Louisa was further impressed with its overall ease of use and reliability.
She commented: “The L5 definitely makes a big difference – just having that wide screen to work on is invaluable, it seems to make your mind that extra bit cleaner. Plus having the extra faders at your disposal is great.
I have used all of the consoles within the Jands Vista family over the years and I find them to be incredibly reliable and robust, but I am always impressed on just how far you can push the L5, and it simply continues to deliver on performance.”
Rob and Louisa used their touring control system – a Vista S1 connected to an Apple Macbook running the same Vista v2 software – as the backup for the Glastonbury show.
Both Vista operators are used to regularly switching between the various hardware models within the Vista range on a tour, to suit different size venues and scale of shows, whilst maintaining all of Vista’s functionality.
Louisa commented: “The Vista range allows me to seamlessly transfer my programming or operation of a show from one size console to another, without any restrictions – the desks are totally interchangeable. This is ideal for programming a show offline before getting onsite for production rehearsals, and for switching between Vista systems for different legs or dates on a tour.”
The Florence + The Machine international tour resumes at the beginning of July in Europe, and is followed by dates in North America and Australia before a UK tour leg. The full tour lighting rig is supplied by Nashville-based Premier Global Productions.
Equally at home on tour or as a venue’s house console, Jands Vista is ideal for shows and special events, arena touring, lighting companies, AV companies, venues and rental, not to mention a fantastic investment for a designer.
Jands’ award-winning Vista lighting & media control system has been embraced by leading designers, companies and venues all over the world on a wide range of shows. Covering entertainment, education & drama, installations, corporate, events and worship, there’s a Vista system to suit all levels of user and almost any scale of show.
Photos : Louise Stickland