Avolites consoles and servers light up Glastonbury

UK: Avolites’ lighting and video control solutions provided an integral part of this year’s Glastonbury Festival, with representation across the Pyramid Stage, Other Stage, John Peel Stage, Silver Hayes and Arcadia.

An Avolites team of fifteen was onsite to liaise, support and connect with the many talented industry professionals working on the festival, further strengthening Avolites’ association with the festival.

The Avolites equipment included consoles, dimmers and media servers being used across the festival site.

Saturday headliner Kanye West drew plenty of comment before the festival began, but after his appearance it was the lighting that garnered the most discussion. Powered by 16 Avolites ART2000 dimmers and two Powercubes, Kanye’s Pyramid Stage performance was lit by a simply massive 792 par cans. Supply and rigging came from ELP.

Also on the Pyramid Stage, John Barker brought along his trusted Tiger Touch Pro console, which he used to control the floor packages for the fantastic George Ezra.

Nearby, on the Other Stage, Shaun Moore of Nitelites utilised a Tiger Touch II to control the lights for Frank Turner’s hugely popular set that got the crowd dancing, before Ben Howard took to the stage with Andy Rowe at front of house, using an Expert Pro and Wing to illuminate the Other Stage as the evening sun set.

Moving to the former Jazz stage West Holts, two 48-way ART2000 dimmers powered the generics for the stage that featured artists such as George Clinton, Hot Chip, and Flying Lotus. The dimmers were supplied by DPL.

There was plenty of Avolites action in the John Peel tent, with Ben Vaughan operating the media for rising indie-electro stars Years & Years. Vaughan, of Light Initiative, designed a stunning pixel mapped show using their custom made LED flex screen, designed to take the form of the band’s logo.

Also on John Peel, Andy Liddle used a Tiger Touch II to control a dynamic light show for La Roux – while Francis Clegg used Avolites’ fully featured, compact console the Quartz to control the lights for energetic punk two-piece Slaves. Their set, one of the highlights of the festival, drew a boisterous crowd that the huge tent couldn’t contain. Clegg operated on behalf of MIRRAD.

2014 was a huge year for the team behind the Arcadia stage but this year they turned it up to another level with the incredible new ‘Metamorphosis’ show. The returning spider was this time accompanied by three web-walking mini-spiders, the Lords of Lightning, and some amazing new Ai-powered costumes and zorbing balls, created by Light Initiative – for an enthralling 30 minute show of fire-powered action, before the guest DJs kept the rave going well into the night.

Tim Smith of Smash Productions once again oversaw the visual proceedings, evolving the lighting for the spider in conjunction with Colour Sound Experiment. Rachel Moule took control as lighting designer for the spectacular stage with support from Dave Cohen of MIRRAD, both operating from Avolites flagship Sapphire Touch consoles.

The media content that was projected onto the body of the spider was created and controlled by Tom Wall of blinkinLAB from a Sapphire Media console, while the LED panels were provided and installed by Video Illusions. Avolites’ Selvin Cooper mapped and supported the video projection for Arcadia, with the six projectors he used provided by CPL.

Avolites products were selected by Alan King of Rockin’ Horse for a number of festival areas, including the three venues that make up The Common. Avolites’ Arran Rothwell-Eyre took charge of visuals at the Temple, as media server technician for the stage.

Controlling four Ai S8 media servers from a Quartz console, Temple featured amazing projection-mapped visuals across 16 outputs for a total surround, including the elaborate DJ booth.

Rothwell-Eyre also worked alongside Dan Shorten, a tutor from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, as well as a group of first and second year students also from the college. The students assisted in all aspects of the production, including mapping, operation, content creation, installation and rigging.

Also in the Common, The Cave – complete with crashing waterfalls – was controlled by Julian Weare who was using a Quartz console plus wing, with a Titan Mobile for backup. The Rum Shack also had a Quartz console, with a number of operators stepping up to operate at the lively bar.

Avolites control was also to be found at the ever-popular Block 9 nightspot London Underground, a run-down apartment block adorned with a crashed London tube train teetering out of its façade. The venue, reliably blasting an eclectic range of electronic music, was lit using an Avolites Tiger Touch II and Fader Wing, operated by Jonny Godsmark.

Fineline Lighting, which has been closely involved with Glastonbury over the last 24 years, supplied lighting equipment including a wealth of Avolites consoles and dimming racks for the Acoustic, Astrolabe Theatre, Cabaret and Circus venues, as well as Silver Hayes’ Wow Stage.

Designed by Rob Sangwell and Stuart England, the Acoustic stage featured performers such as The Proclaimers and the Moody Blues, with control coming from an Avolites Tiger Touch II plus wing, and ART2000 dimmers powering the generics.

The Astrolabe Theatre featured a line-up of performers spanning dance and physical theatre. Lighting was handled by Hal Himsworth, with a Pearl Expert Pro providing control, plus ART2000 dimming throughout. Dimmers were also used in the Cabaret tent with Wingnut controlling lighting.

The high-flying acrobatics of the Circus stage were operated by James Louden on a Sapphire Touch console with ART dimming.

Towards the Northern tip of the festival site, Paul De Villiers was in charge of the Silver Hayes dance area’s main stage, Sonic, where he operated a Tiger Touch II and wing. Also guesting on the stage was Stephen Abbiss, lighting designer for Idris Elba and Roni Size, who both performed on the stage.

Abbiss had a particularly busy Saturday, lighting for these two acts before heading over for Fatboy Slim’s raucous headline set on Brazilian favela-inspired stage The Blues.

Also in the dance area, an Expert, controlled by Matt Spencer, graced La Pussy Parlure, while A1 Events supplied a Tiger Touch II to The Gully, with Paul Wiltshire and Nick Szerencses taking control. Finally in Silver Hayes, the WOW stage, which was regularly spilling over thanks to the extent of DJ talent on show, was controlled by James Harrington, with ART dimming distributing the power.

LD for Public Service Broadcasting, Dom Adams used an Expert to control the lights on Glade stage, nestled amongst the trees, with James Dickson also running lights for pyro-circus performers Slamboree on the stage, after also performing on Shangri-La’s Hell Stage.

Also in Shangri La, the jagged, many-surfaced Heaven stage was this year expertly projection mapped by Nick Diacre, who accomplished the complex feat using two Ai S8 media servers provided by XL Video.

The art installations all over the site, designed by Joe Rush, who also designed the frontages of the Pyramid and Other stages, were lit by Nick Rominini and Christian Smith, using Titan Mobiles.

“It is wonderful to continue our close association with Glastonbury Festival,” said Avolites MD Steve Warren. “With so many areas and artists trusting their shows to Avolites’ fantastic products, we really wanted to be able to catch their performances and share in their excitement. Glastonbury provides the perfect opportunity to do this.

“The dedication and enthusiasm of the Avolites team was paramount to our successes this year, and we are proud of their efforts in servicing and supporting the companies and individuals that made this great festival happen.”

“It was particularly exciting to see the increased prominence of video at this year’s Glastonbury,” Warren continued. “The fantastic work of Nick at Heaven Stage, Arran at The Temple, Light Initiative, and the ever-impressive Arcadia team, proves the power of Ai. Next year we hope to show the world even more lighting and video integration!”