London, UK based production specialists LarMac LIVE co-ordinated all technical production aspects of the UK's premier dance festival, Creamfields 2011, staged at Daresbury, Cheshire, with a team led by production manager Ian 'Lar' Greenway, assisted by Anthony Norris.
It was the second year that LML has worked in this capacity for event producers Loudsound, for whom they also facilitate production on several other major UK festivals, including Rockness and Bestival.
The site featured 9 main Arenas and a substantial hospitality area including – for the first time – two outdoor stages – North and South, with an incredible line-up headlined by The Chemical Brothers, Armin van Buren, Tiesto and David Guetta.
Challenges included dealing with the erratic weather, which this year quickly turned the site into a mudfest, ensuring that the rigorous environmental noise levels were adhered to and overseeing some serious overnight changes in many of the arenas as well as both outdoor stages.
Says Greenway, “The emphasis on production values is always high at Creamfields, with a real commitment to deliver the very best for the 55,000 capacity audience, which was again completely sold out. We built on our experience of production managing last year's event and were able to introduce new elements and streamline existing ones to get the best results”.
On the outdoor stages, LML brought in Colour Sound Experiment for the first time to look after the lighting requirements, alongside other newcomers Britannia Row for the audio. XL Video looked after video, supplying over 1000 square metres of LED screen, deployed site-wide.
The technical set up was identical for both outdoor stages, with various aspects of the Chemical Brothers' touring production accommodated for their Saturday night performance.
LML followed their highly successful model of having one rental company supply integrated lighting/visuals and sound packages for most of the other arenas, and also using a proportion of locally based suppliers. Having a selection of different companies dedicated to the individual arenas helps the flow of logistics during the site build and de-rig and delivering the massive amount of equipment involved via a one-way Trackway circuit around the whole site.
The Cream/Evolution and Pryda/Cocoon Arenas and the Hospitality area lighting and sound was delivered by Liverpool based ADLIB.
Manchester based Audile – another regular LML supplier – provided lighting and sound to the Annie Mac/Super You&Me and Radio1 XTRA/Goodgreef Arenas, with HSL from Blackburn supplying lighting for the Size Matters/Swedish House Mafia Arena. Saturday night's screen and staging set up in here was de-rigged overnight to reveal the SHM's spectacular chevron based set architecture, complete with 200 square metres of Stealth screen supplied by XL Video, which was the backdrop to their Sunday hosting slot.
Site wide staging and decking was supplied by The Star Events Group, with 20 metre Vertech 3 bay roof structures for the North and South stages. All the local crews came from The Roe Street Runners, LS Live from Wakefield supplied the risers and DJ Rentals the backline/DJ set ups.
LML worked closely with Vanguardia to manage the environmental noise control, governed by a 68dB limit at the nearest offsite monitoring point, dropping to 45dB after 11 p.m. when the main stages closed. This task became more crucial with the temperature drop, but nothing that experience could not handle. The overall task was enhanced by the fact that all the tented spaces were carefully draped internally to help dampen and contain sound spillage.
To entertain the â€˜early bird' festival goers arriving on the Friday, LML oversaw three silent discos.
Another area that required detailed planning was liaising closely with the rental partners on crewing levels and ensuring that shifts were in place for the overnight production changeovers, so these were undertaken by fresh technicians. The Arenas closed at 4 a.m. on Sunday morning and had to be ready to rock by midday on Sunday with their completely new, unique brand presentations.
In conclusion, Ian Greenway comments, “The whole event market is getting more demanding and ambitious in wanting to offer different visual environments over the course of each festival, with dance leading the pack. This is definitely the case with the Creamfields promoters, and their passion for 'the show' is a great testament to the maturity of the market, â€˜upping the ante' in terms of collective responsibilities of all involved. It's a great challenge and something that we pride ourselves in delivering for our clients and their ultimate clients – the audience”.
For more press information on LarMac LIVE, please contact Louise Stickland on +44 7831 329888 or +44 1865 202679 or EMail : [email protected] To contact LarMac LIVE direct, please call +44 (0)203 142 6260 or check www.larmaclive.com