West Midlands based Central Presentations Ltd (CPL) returned to Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts as part of the incredible and unique Arcadia Spectacular, for which the west Midlands based company provided Panasonic projection onto the legs of the giant spider.
The massive construction lurked ominously on what is now a designated area of the site set aside for the Arcadia team’s incredible immersive show. This year the new Arcadia ‘Metamorphosis’ show - complete with awesome technical production, radical aerial stunts and the very best dance beats - was one of the most talked-about and enjoyed events of the Festival.
After working with Arcadia last year, MD Matthew Boyce commented, “We were delighted to be back at Glasto this year and working with Arcadia’s hugely ambitious new show and their wonderful team of people … all of whom ensured that the ‘spectacular’ concept thrilled and entertained record breaking crowds each night”.
The spider – a fusion of industrial art and innovation – is now one of the most recognisable creative elements of the four day Glasto Festival which attracts 135,000 people to Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset, and is a popular nucleus for the community’s late night activity.
Metamorphosis started at 11 p.m. and delivered 30 minutes of imaginative ‘shock & awe, followed by a sizzling hot DJ line up for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the event transporting everyone into the next day in a force-field of positive energy, great vibes and superlative visual experience.
CPL’s Richard Burrow was on site to help co-ordinate the show’s projection elements collaborating closely and tirelessly with Video Illusions, whose Dave Whiteoak first originated the idea of adding texturing and movement with video to the spider’s three legs, and with Tom Wall from blinkinLAB who created bespoke video footage and animations.
The projection system was designed by CPL and Video Illusions and comprised six Panasonic PT-DZ 21K projectors, each beaming onto the front and back of each spider leg.
The video footage was mapped precisely on to the legs using an AI media server, and the cues for the Metamorphosis show were all triggered by timecode generated by the overall show control system.
The projectors were rigged in weather-proof hides on six platforms placed around the Arcadia arena approximately 40 meters away from the spider structure, so they had a serious throw distance. Much of the material was extremely subtle – if you can call a 12 metre tall spider … ‘subtle’!
Adding to the general craziness and fun, video material resembled mechanical and machinery movement bringing an additional layer of crisp definition and animation to the massive beast which dominated the skyline. It was also imaginatively lit, and physical movement via its hydraulic claws plucked performers out of the crowd and incarcerated them in giant cocoons and eggs as part of the show narrative.
Also at Glasto
In addition to Arcadia, CPL also supplied projection, screen and playback to production company TLF Worldwide for the tent in the Williams Green, the Festival’s own village green area ensconced on the road between the Pyramid and Acoustic stages.
This kicked off with the first ever public screening of “Amy”, Asif Kapadia’s new documentary on the life of singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse which aired on the Thursday afternoon.
Another Panasonic PT-DZ 21K machine and Coolux Pandora’s Box media player provided the HD projection, and the kit was in action again in the same tent on the Sunday for one of the Guardian’s debate / discussion and Q&A sessions, an essential and popular part of keeping the spirit of free discussion flowing in an ‘open’ environment.
Meanwhile, over in Shangri La, another colourful epicentre of late night action, CPL supplied lighting equipment to PF Events for the Hell Stage.
Photos by Louise Stickland