Fineline Lighting headed for some beautiful countryside and chilled vibes renewing its long term acquaintance with and commitment to the eco-conscious Shambala festival – a three-day family-friendly event staged at a secret location in Northamptonshire UK, featuring a diverse and eclectic mix of music, art, cuisine and culture.
The Bristol based lighting and visuals rental company’s association with the festival dates back 12 years, and it was the 9th year for project manager Stu England who led a large crew. Fineline also seized the occasion and the fantastic atmosphere of Shambala to celebrate a super-busy 2016 summer festival season.
Fineline supplied lighting for the main stage – a Wango’s tensile structure featuring a large central pole and a free-standing arch at the front; the 4-pole big top Kamikaze stage utilised for fun sports in the daytime and as the pumping dance tent at night; and The Playhouse, a theatre cabaret venue with a lively variety programme, which was crewed by students from Truro College on a work experience initiative.
A bit of ingenuity on the rigging front was required here, involving an 8 metre span of truss bridled off the saddle-span’s central pole, which supported two 16.5 metre runs of Supertruss also picked up off an 8 metre spreader truss at the front that doubled for front lighting positions. This effectively created a large ‘V’ shape and also a ‘rag’ truss at the back. A mid truss was added by resting an additional on top of the two V spans.
The basic trussing concept was originated by Fineline’s Wingnut and has been used for the last few years to optimise the non-linear space whilst respecting the elegant aesthetics of the saddle-span design.
In this configuration, it is also important to load the trusses evenly to keep the weight balanced, all adding to the challenges.
Lighting wise, the installation comprised 8 x SGM Giotto 400s, 6 x Robe 600E Spots and 12 x Robe LEDWash 1200s for the moving elements supported by eight bars-of-6 PARs, 8 x 4-lite linear Moles, four 8-lite Miles, six Source Fours and four Atomic strobes.
These were all run off an Avolites Tiger Touch II console with a fader wing.
Fineline also provided two 12 metre high V-Towers to fly the main stage PA.
Stu designed the rigging in this venue, based on a large ‘X’ truss – with the two spans of truss measuring 12.5 metres end-to-end - flown between the four tent king poles.
Over the stage, the Fineline crew rigged a 38 ft. wide by 12 ft. high goal post at the back to support a projection screen and provide lighting positions.
“We worked very closely with Anne Chapman and her company Totem-FX who designed the extensive eye-catching décor which worked hand-in-hand with the lighting towards the visual enrichment of the environment,” explained Stu.
This year they created five giant scenic ‘funnels’ which were hung from Fineline’s trussing.
The central one was hung apex up from centre X via a 1 metre diameter circle truss above and a 4.4 metre circular truss below, and each of the four tent poles had an apex-down funnel attached to a 3 metre diameter truss rigged about half way up the truss.
Sixteen Miltec LED PARS were used to internally light the funnels, rigged on the trussing circles and highly effective in boosting the visual ambience.
The stage and dancefloor lighting was designed to give a plethora of big old-skool ravey looks … utilizing eight Atomic strobes attached to the lower truss ring of the centre funnel, the main moving lights were all Chauvet - a mix of SR Beams, RH1 Hybrids and R2 washes - and these were augmented with eight 4-lamp PAR bars, eight 2-lite blinders, plus some Strand 500W codas for the daytime activities and 1K fresnels for key lighting on the stage and DJ booth.
The console was another Tiger Touch II with a wing, and two lasers supplied and operated by Martin King from X-Treme Lasers were also rigged onto the stage goal post truss.
Stevie J Brown, lighting designer and lecturer from the BTEC Production Arts Extended National Diploma in Production Arts course at Truro arranged for four of his students to work as Fineline crew in the Playhouse venue, giving them a taste of what it’s like to work in a real situation, dealing with a range of production challenges and finding solutions.
They worked hard throughout the festival weekend engaging in multiple jobs from rigging lighting to programming and operating shows for an assortment of artists.
The rig consisted of three 9 metre long trusses flown between the tent king poles covering the front and two sides of the stage area, and a ground supported 10 x 4 metre goal post built at the back of the stage with a projection screen hung in the middle and lighting all around.
The entertainment line-up ranged from aerial artists to magicians and comedians so they had to take a multi-purpose approach and devise a lighting scheme that would work for everything …. with a limited amount of kit and time.
“It was definitely a learning curve and they had to think on their feet” comments Stu, adding, “which will be a constant requirement if they decide to follow a production industry career, so it was a great opportunity”.
The lighting supplied included 20 x conventional PARs, 12 x LED PARs, 12 x ETC Source Four profiles, 24 x Harmony fresnels, ten 500W fresnels, with four High End Studio Spot 250s, six Chauvet R2 washes and six GLP Impressions for moving lights, together with a third Tiger Touch console and 48 ways of dimming for control.
Fineline’s crew chief was James Harrington, Wingnut designed lighting for the main stage and on the technical team were Rachael Mule, Shoki, Ian “Cookie” Brooks, Jan Osborne, James Box, Chris Lundburg, Kevin “Chippie” Beulet and Steve Walsh.
Sam Werrett, Ophelia Sollis-Price and Katie Meeson from Truro College crewed the Playhouse stage together with lighting designer Steve Brown and dimmer tech Alan Porter, who were joined by Greg Haynes from Avolites’ technical support team.
“It was a fantastic end-of-summer event” comments Fineline’s MD Rob Sangwell, “and in the opinion of many, the best Shambala yet! Many thanks to our core crew for all their work and commitment this summer and also a big thankyou to Shambala for having us back again this year, long may the adventures in utopia continue.”
Excellent weather made the secret location all the more magical for delivering another amazing Shambala.
Photo: Carolina Faruolo