Live Design Blog Archive

Coldplay Shoots Hundreds of Pounds of Confetti Nightly

In what may be the largest confetti effect ever at a touring event, Coldplay is shooting hundreds pounds every night during its summer stadium tour – around 440 pounds, depending on the venue. This feat, fulfilling the vision of lead singer Chris Martin, would not be possible without the tech experts at Strictly FX, who invented a whole new way of distributing confetti just for the band. The new units were specifically designed by Mark Grega, a partner in the company, and Reid Nofsinger, Strictly FX special effects designer, to maximize throw with a patented process that makes use of both thrust and vacuum to create a perfect environment inside the unit to propel contents further and in larger amounts than other units on the market.

The effect is dramatic -- millions of oversized U/V butterflies floating over the audience during Lovers in Japan, from six Strictly FX CO2 truss-mounted Confetti Cobras â„¢ and 38 CO2 ground-based Strictly FX Confetti Cobras for the stadium configuration.

The confetti is just one highlight of a technologically sophisticated show. Continuing a relationship that has been in place throughout the Viva La Vida tour, Coldplay has also turned to Strictly FX to layer in more lasers for the band's summer stadium/festival tour. The extensive programming experience and animation design background of Strictly FX programmers are a great fit for the band, which had a strong vision for the show and wanted tight cues – sometimes note-for-note. David Kennedy, the programmer, has worked hand in hand with Paul Normadale, the tour Lighting Designer, in the various re-designs of this Viva La Vida tour since April 2008. The band is now using six High-Powered White Light Arctos Diode lasers, placed across the upstage ledge and controlled by a six-card Pangolin system, capable of a broad spectrum of colors. Each of the lasers is programmed independently, enabling them to use different colors to emphasize different parts of the song simultaneously.

About Strictly FX

Strictly FX is a full-service special effects company, offering a complete range of state-of-the-art pyrotechnics, flames, CO2, lasers and confetti and a wide variety of custom applications. In 2007, Strictly FX received the prestigious Parnelli Award for Pyro Company of the Year 2007 – the industry's highest honor for live event professionals. Visit them on line at

High-res images available upon request. For more information, contact Jeanne Coffey: [email protected]; 781/598-1667

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