A Beautiful Thing For HSL

HSL is supplying full lighting production, digital media server, and crew for the latest leg of the Beautiful South tour, and again working with UK lighting designer Dave Byars. This follows on the work they did earlier this year, but this time playing larger venues.

HSL has just invested in six new Radical Lighting RADlite NG1 digital media servers, one of which is being used by Byars on this tour to control content for a large upstage soft-LED backdrop.

Byars has added a mid truss the rig, complete with red borders, grey legs, and additional Robe moving lights, continuing the opulent “classical” theatrical look he developed for the previous legs of the Superbi tour.

The summer UK tour was the first time he had worked with HSL as lighting suppliers. That worked out well, so they retuned to HSL project manager Mike Oates. “HSL has a great attitude, equipment, and people. Nothing is too much trouble,” states Byars. “You can’t ask for more than that from a rental company.”

The last leg of the tour was also the first time that Byars used Robe moving lights, which he likes enough to use over 50 this time around—some containing special gobos designed by leading TV LD Svend Pedersen and made up by HSL. This really increases the scope of the gobo function in the fixtures.

The back truss features 8 Robe ColorSpot 1200 ATs and 6 ColorWash 1200s used for really bright beam effects, plus 17 ChromaQ DB4s to illuminate the borders, and an additional 22 of these to lighting the rear grey tables (which open at strategic moments to reveal the soft-LED).

The mid-truss is loaded up with more ColorSpot and ColorWash 1200s and another 21 DB4s again lighting the border and 8 Source Fours for key and top lighting the band.

The front truss features 25 DB4s for the border and three Robert Juliat Ivanhoe 2.5Kw spotlights, positioned up here to give nice tight beams onto stage and avoid unnecessarily spillage.

Byars is a great lover of floor lights—he likes maximizing the rig in terms of producing a range of dynamic light from all angles and directions—and this one is no exception. There are 10 short-nosed floor PARS, 14 Robe ColorSpot 250 ATs, 8 ColorWash 1200 ATs, 22 DB4s lighting the grey upstage tabs from below, 8 shooting up the grey legs and another 40 picking out the risers which are trimmed in material matching the borders.

Byars is controlling all the lights from an Avolites Diamond 4 console, which he owns. He’s running the DB4s through a stand-alone laptop running his own PixelDrive software—each unit coming up as a single RGB channel, and the RADlite NG1 is triggered via the Diamond 4.

He’s using several of the RADlite’s onboard content clips and graphics. Pedersen supplied a couple of rain clips that are used during the song “Manchester.” In general, he uses the media server very sparingly for maximum impact, commenting, “I was very conscious of not over-using it.”

HSL has designed one of their special RADlite flightcases, which houses the RADlite system, complete with the monitor and slide out keyboard, with snake splitter and UPS at the bottom.

Mike Oates comments, “Of course it’s great to be working with Dave again. He’s a complete perfectionist and his designs always look amazing.”

Suggested Articles:

Join an important conversation about diversity and anti-racism in entertainment design.

The Afterlife series of worldwide electronic music festivals arrived in Dubai, UAE for the first time in February

Zero 88 and iLight have consolidated and streamlined the production facilities and processes at their shared factory in Cwmbran, Wales.