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DBN Lights Commonwealth Youth Games Opening Ceremony

DBN Lights Commonwealth Youth Games Opening Ceremony


Manchester, UK based lighting rental company dbn supplied a lighting design and equipment for the Opening Ceremony of the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games stage in The Bowl Stadium, Douglas, Isle of Man.

dbn's Nick Buckley designed a lighting scheme for the show which was produced by Walk The Plank - a regular dbn arts based client renowned for their innovative and entertaining large scale shows. Says Buckley, "We are very proud to have been involved in this event. Working with Walk The Plank and their creative director Liz Pugh is always interesting, challenging and engaging, and this was no exception".

Walk The Plank's 30 minute theatrical element of the two hour long Opening Ceremony show - which also featured the Athletes Parade - was divided into three dance-orientated sections. An intro spectacular was followed by a tribute to the Isle of Man's culture including the Sea God Manannan and the Viking raids before an international dance finale, which featured a fusion of different styles from around the Commonwealth.

Buckley's initial ideas of how to light the show were originated from Pugh's storyline and narrative. “dbn's team rose to the challenge as usual, offering design solutions that enhanced the theatrical performance. Their team were hugely reassuring on site, and undaunted by the ambitious production which involved a cast of 250 young people from the island, including gymnasts, parkour runners and Viking re-enacters”, commented Liz Pugh.

In addition to lighting the theatrical performance area in the centre of the pitch, the entire stadium needed dynamic illumination to involve it in the action. So Buckley integrated the stadium floodlighting system with his to give a 'house Lighting' state featuring a pleasant ambient coverage of the whole track and surrounding areas.

These were turned off for the show, making a real impact with movement, colour and drama.

To get good long throw lighting positions for the field of play, the dbn crew rigged a series of 6ft high ali-deck staging platforms behind the back of the seating stands on all four sides of the pitch. On these they stood 24 x Studio Due 2.5K City Colors colour changing floods - two units of each platform, which blasted powerful beams onto the pitch. This proved a highly cost effective way of getting lots of lighting coverage around the periphery of the pitch.

In the centre of the field a platform was built underneath one of dbn's mini-beam 8 x 8 metre trussing ground support structures which offered 6 metres of headroom, and all the drama and action happened here.

Hung on the structure were four Clay Paky Alpha Spot 300 moving lights in customised weather domes - which are fan cooled and made from solid plastic so they are pyro-resistant.

Twelve PAR 64s were used for a white stage wash, and eight SGM PALCO outdoor LED floods were dotted around the structure to light the pitch.

In each of the four corners of the pitch, stands were rigged, each accommodating an Alpha Spot and an Alpha Wash 700 moving light. These became specials for blasting colour and gobo texturing/patterning into the centre.

Buckley ran the lighting via a Jands Vista S3 console, and his crew were Oliver Bracey from dbn who worked alongside two technicians from Walk the Plank.

The challenge, says Buckley, was to get it right using an expedient amount of lighting, and it was a real case of 'less is more', used well, efficiently and inventively with real skill and attention to detail.

"It was one of the largest shows I have lit to date," enthuses Buckley, who has worked with dbn as a project manager for the last six years or so. "I was very excited to get the opportunity to design it, and to have a creative input into such a high profile event".

For more press info on DBN Lighting, please contact louise Stickland on +44 7831 329888, +44 1865 202679 or EMail me : [email protected] To contact DBN direct, please call +44 161 273 4297 or check

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