HSL Gets The Cream

HSL supplied lighting and rigging for all seven live arenas at Creamfields 2006, including the main outdoor stage and large hospitality area. This year saw the 45,000 capacity Creamfields event move to a new venue at Daresbury near Warrington, England.

HSL’s production team was led by Mike Oates, Howard Dean and Rupert Reynolds, who managed a crew of 12. LD Steven Abbiss designed generic site-wide lighting schemes created to work for all the artists appearing in the 15-hour non-stop dance extravaganza. The main stage lighting rig also had input from Ian MacEwan, LD for headliners Prodigy. Goldfrapp, The Zutons, and Gnarls Barclay also played live.

The main stage took up approximately half of the 60 motors that HSL supplied to the event. The moving lights were 20 Robe ColorSpot 1200 ATs and 20 ColorWash 1200 ATs, a mixture of Atomic and Hungaroflash strobes plus over 120 PARs and a selection of ACLs and Molefeys, all consuming over 200 channels of Avo dimming. Console was a WholeHog II, specified by Ian MacEwan.

The Cream & Goodgreef arena was the largest tented venue, with a line-up including Paul Van Dyke, Paul Oakenfold, Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren. Lighting was operated by Nathan Wan, using an Avolites Diamond 4 Elite console. The fixtures were rigged onto a trussing system criss-crossing the tent, and included 24 Robe ColorSpot 1200 ATs and 24 ColorWash 1200 ATs, 24 JTE PixeLines and 9 Martin Atomic strobes plus a mix of generics – PARs, ACLs and Moles.

Elsewhere across site, the different spaces were lit with virtually identical rigs, differentiated only by the fixture count variations according to the size of the tent. This policy allowed them the agility to easily swap things around if the specs changed at the last minute – which was not uncommon.

Over in the Chibuku tent, lighting was rigged onto two upright truss sections and a front truss, featuring 12 Martin MAC 500s and another 12 MAC b600s, ACLs and blinders. Like all the other smaller arenas, lighting control in all of them was Avolites Pearls. The Chibuku desk was run by Mark Wynne-Edwards.

The Beatdown arena featured a great live performance by DJ Shadow, complete with his visual set which required a 20ft wide screen to be squeezed into the space. Rear lighting was therefore a little tricky, so fixtures were rigged onto four upright trussing sections and a front truss, shaped to fit the room. The moving lights in here were 8 MAC 500s and eight 600s, operated by Ian Bintcliff.

Over in the Subliminal Sessions arena the lighting rig was also configured to fit onto four uprights and a front truss – limited by the low height behind the stage and also by the available infrastructure to which trussing could be attached. Fixtures in here were again MAC 500s and 600s - 12 of each – plus a miscellany of ACLs, PARs and Moles.

Circus & Cream Audio Deluxe had two trusses slung between rear of stage and the tent king poles, pointing at 45 degree angles outwards and upwards. Moving lights were 12 MAC 500s and twelve 600s plus some generics, operated by Mike “Snoopy” Cooper.

The Tidy arena production was coordinated for Tidy by Simon Barrington, with all lighting kit supplied by HSL. The lighting console was an Avolites Sapphire run by Tidy’s own operators and the lights were hung on a T-shaped box truss made from 12 inch trussing. Fixtures were Robe ColorSpot and ColorWash 575 ATs Spot – 12 of each type – and four High End Cyberlights.

Last but not least, HSL put considerable effort into lighting the Hospitality area. Fixtures were rigged to a truss running along the spine of the tent. Headroom was low, so Robe ColorSpot and ColorWash 250 ATs were chosen for their compact size, plus 20 JTE PixelPARs and Studio Due SpaceFlowers, operated by Ryan Hopkins.

Mike Oates comments, “Once again Creamfields has been a complete success for us. Moving on to a new site is always challenging, but fielding a strong crew made things very easy. We have honed Creamfields down to a streamlined operation over the years, but this year, for the first time ever, we had another seven major productions out that same weekend – making it our busiest one on record to date.”

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