Colour Sound Experiment supplied lighting equipment to creative visual design specialist MIRRAD for three stages at the 2016 Barn on the Farm festival, staged in the pastoral gently rolling countryside of Over Farm just outside Gloucester.
In addition to being a truly unique boutique experience, Barn on The Farm is forging a serious reputation as THE UK festival event for showcasing new and emerging talent and the brightest ‘ones-to-watch’ after show-stopping performances by artists like Ed Sheeran, Ben Howard, Bastille, Hozier and others all headlining past Barn on the Farm’s just ahead of major career leaps.
Organisers Josh Sanger and Matt Keene have kept it intimate with 2000 tickets and three stages; cutting edge with the lively and energised band line ups; and friendly, encapsulating the true spirit of a festival community … with the bonus of there being plenty of space to move!
MIRRAD became involved for the first time last year via Bryan Leitch explained Jamie Thompson. They supplied lighting design services crew and asked Colour Sound to come on-board as the rental partner.
Colour Sound’s Haydn Cruickshank (H) comments, “We are always happy to collaborate with MIRRAD as their work is so varied and interesting. This event in particular is really special and we can all relate to its core values”.
The seventh Barn on the Farm was headlined by Oh Wonder and Jack Garrett and this year the Main Stage was ensconced in a brand new cattle shelter for the first time. This was built on the land in the intervening 12 months, providing a semi-permanent structure that can be utilized for the event with the bonus of proper weather protection.
There was also a commitment to up the production values this year.
Lighting challenges presented by the structure included the low weight loading of the circular roof and the restricted roof height, which they worked around in characteristic style, presenting inventive solutions to hang lighting over and around the sides of the stage.
The moving lights were 28 x ProLights Diamond 7 LED washes dotted around trussing at the back and sides and on floor stands onstage, together with 8 x Robe MMX Spots providing the hard edge fixtures.
Eight Robe CycFX 8s were positioned upstage at the back, skimming up some wooden slatting which formed a backdrop and took lighting extremely well, bringing a hint of 3D to the stage area. Jamie likes the CycFX because their lensing and movement makes them a lot more useful than a standard LED batten, and having lighting on the back wall made a difference to the look and feel of the stage, even for those artists who played in daylight.
Ten active Sunstrips were attached to the back truss pieces plus 2-lites, and a single truss section rigged to a structural pole at the front facilitated positions for the ETC Source Four key lights.
An Avolites Sapphire from MIRRAD ran the main stage lighting which was overseen by Jamie. He and the team also accommodated a couple of headliner guest LDs and their specials packages.
“Colour Sound helped enormously in providing a generous amount of kit for the available budget,” commented Jamie. “The event is gaining profile and as well as putting a lot of vision and thought into the artist booking, Josh and Matt are really keen to ensure their audiences and performers can benefit from the best production experiences”.
The event kicked off with ‘Intimate Friday’, opening just the smallest live space, The Wooden Barn Stage, which is exactly that with a small capacity and an amazing ambience.
Performers play on the mezzanine floor of the Wooden Barn for Saturday and Sunday nights, but for the opening night programme of 10 bands including secret headliners Bear’s Den - the stage was set up at ground level.
At the end of the night, the lighting rig – all six Chauvet Rogue R2 Spots, five 300W fresnels and 8 Sunstrips of it – was carried upstairs and set up for the next day. It wasn’t the longest or biggest overnight festival re-rig, but 11 cage / squirrel lights were added for the Saturday and Sunday sessions for additional quirkiness, all amounting to a small but perfectly proportioned rig for the space. It served another animated line up squeezed into the rafters and enjoyed with much enthusiasm.
This stage was looked after by MIRRAD’s Kieran Gilmour who operated using an Avo Quartz with a Titan Mobile wing. He followed a tungsten theme harmonious with the warmth of the wooden surroundings, emphasising the relaxed ambience.
In the next field next along - with ostriches on one side - was the Outdoor Stage, a compact space, which Jamie’s design ensured was filled meaningfully with six R2 Spots on truss towers at the back, 12 SGM XC-5 strobes which really kicked ass, six 6-lites and 6 x LED PARs, three per side on the downstage corners for front light.
Lighting was programmed and run by MIRRAD’s Cat Bryan using the same Avo Quartz / Titan wing set up as Kieran’s in the Wooden Barn.
The MIRRAD team was completed by Mel Cornish, and the site lighting was finished off with several hundred metres of Colour Sound’s LED festoon draped all around, twinkling long into the night.
Photo by Louise Stickland