UK lighting and video rental specialist Colour Sound Experiment is enjoying another majorly busy festival season, supplying over 50 events up and down the country over the course of the summer.
One of the early highlights was Wildlife staged at Shoreham Airport (AKA Brighton City Airport) on the south coast, a musical adventure organised by SJM and curated by popular dance artists Rudimental and Disclosure, now in its third year. Colour Sound has also been involved from the start.
This year west London based Colour Sound supplied lighting for four stages and LED screens for one.
Wildlife 2017 radiated incredibly friendly vibes as everyone felt the love and enjoyed some fabulous weather, together with a dynamic and diverse musical line-up with outstanding performances by the likes of Fatboy Slim, Jess Glynn, Eric Prydz, Dizzee Rascal and many, many more.
James Hind, Colour Sound’s crew chief worked with a team of 14 lighting technicians, programmers, operators and shackle-counters.
For three of the arenas X1 (the WHP Presents Stage), X3 (Tropical / Sounds of the Future) and X4 (Elrow Presents Sambodromo do Brasil), lighting was designed by Simon Barrington of Sibar, well known for creating amazing visual dance / electronic environments.
Colour Sound’s new AquaBeam IP rated beam moving lights were perfect for this large outdoor stage which replicated the shape of the actual Brighton City Airport terminal building with large LED screens.
The 60 x AquaBeams framed the LED surface on all sides and were positioned on the floor along the PA wings, providing powerful beams and effects that worked in conjunction with a wide selection of video content played out onscreen.
Joining the AquaBeams were 12 x 4-lite Moles, also placed around the screen perimeter and 31 x Martin Atomic strobes, which were concealed behind the semi-transparent LED, adding depth and a different look for this stage, which was headlined by Fatboy Slim on the Friday and Eric Prydz on the Saturday.
An Avolites Arena console took care of the lighting control, together with Avo dimming and distro with guest LDs welcomed by Colour Sound’s Tim Meadowcroft, Stu Barr and Josie Sodund.
Four large lasers on this stage were supplied by ER, with Colour Sound also delivering a selection of high-output atmosphere machines, which were dotted around onstage and at FOH.
This Orbit style structure formed the main band stage at one end of the site complete with a production lighting rig designed by Dave Kyle for Colour Sound.
The main profile fixtures were 20 of Robe’s super-bright BMFL Spots, with 16 x Robe LEDWash 1200s for washes, 16 x Claypaky Sharpies for beam-technology and 21 x CP Stormy strobes for some serious retinal punch!
A nod towards old skool festival generics saw eight 2-lite and four 4-lite blinders – always a crowd pleaser - with a ChamSys MQ80 plus 2 x Wings controlling all things lighting.
Looking after this stage were Sam Campbell, Sarah Payne and Alex Ryan from Colour Sound who ensured that everything ran efficiently and all guest LDs – and their assorted specials packages – were dealt with quickly, efficiently and painlessly.
The screen was a 12 metre wide by 5 metre high upstage surface constructed from Colour Sound’s high quality BT7 product, which was tech’d by Frank Williams. Media servers and content were from Digital Insanity.
This was the smallest stage in physical size, presented as a wide format in a compact 4-poled tent, with an all-action line-up that flipped between bands and DJs. However the lighting design was substantial, amounting to nearly 250 fixtures!
The count was headed by 98 x Chauvet R2 Rogue Washes, 48 x Chauvet R2 Spots, 28 x Robe Pointes – used for all the main effects - and joined by 6 x Claypaky Alpha Spot 1500s, 22 x SGM X-5 LED strobes and 48 x Chauvet COLORBand Pix LED battens. All of these were attached to a comprehensive scaffolding structure.
The various LED sources were mapped in the Avolites Arena console, and the design concept was based on funky and fluid effects created using these and some clever programming … rather than a conventional LED or video approach. It made a refreshing change.
Colour Sound crew of Alex McKoy, John Richardson and Nick Waters put in some hours and imagination on the desk which really paid off when it came to showtime and presenting a different and original look.
Décor, inflatable and quirky scenic wizardry from Elrow defined the visual theme in this 8 poled big top tent – a cool and colourful mix of vibrancy, craziness and fun matched by some equally mad lighting!
Eight trusses were flown from the tent king poles and used in conjunction with 32 x scaffolding ‘perch posts’ around the perimeter of the tent.
Fifty Robe LEDWash 600s highlighted the various scenic elements and props, together with 28 x LED PARs and 66 of Colour Sound’s proprietary LED Dragon PARs.
Thirty-two Dragon Beam 200s – also a Colour Sound product - provided effects and eye-candy, together with 32 x Chauvet COLORBand Pix and 32 x Atomic strobes – the latter two products were attached one each to the 32 x perches.
This all-around design was developed to immerse and engage the audience in the atmosphere and action.
On site it rained after the get-in and a huge electrical storm hit on Thursday night, so programming was postponed and started later than anticipated. The high winds inherent on the site added another factor of unpredictability and affected the progress of rigging for certain stages – including X1.
James commented, “Naturally, everyone worked hard and very solidly to ensure that all our stages were ready when doors opened the following day. It was great to be part of this team effort that embraced all departments”.
Colour Sound’s Alex Ryan also commented, “This was definitely one of the festival highlights of the year so far. It was great to welcome and support all the incoming LDs and operators and make sure we accommodated their extras packages and looked after all their needs, and we all also really enjoyed the buzz and the incredibly warm vibes of the event.”
Photos by Louise Stickland