Colour Sound lights V and T dance stages

Photo credit: Sam Akinwale

UK: Colour Sound Experiment provided lighting and LED screens to the dance tents at two major UK festivals for the first time this summer: T in the Park at Strathallan Castle in Perthshire, Scotland, and the double sited V Festival, for which it serviced both Weston Park in Staffordshire and the Hylands Park site in Chelmsford, Essex.

For the Slam Tent at T In The Park, the Colour Sound team worked with regular Slam Tent LD Scott McDonald to provide the kit to his specification, while for V, two very different and dynamic designs were developed by Colour Sound’s Fletch.

The V North stage was crew chiefed for Colour Sound by Alex McCoy and V South by Frankie McDade, while Sam Campbell led the team of six at T.

V North and South

The visual design for V North was based around a Y shaped Kayam style tented venue with a large stage in the middle of the Y section, complete with a flat floor. Lighting and video were combined to provide set architecture as well as atmosphere and effects in an ingenious design that started with the installation of a seven legged ground support system supporting a trussing grid and a 10-metre truss semicircle at the front combined with two eighth-of-a-circle pieces at the ends. This created an exaggerated horseshoe shape for the set, touted as a perfect solution for the DJ-centric stage.

Hung from the horseshoe were 18 individual panels of Colour Sound’s proprietary BT-7 LED screen, with 12 x Clay Paky Sharpie moving lights in the gaps and either side of the stage, two IMAG video screens were built that also utilised the BT-7 product.

Lighting the stage were eight Robe LEDWash 1200s, six Martin Atomic strobes and 17 x ProLights Diamond7 Beams.

Two high powered Novalight Nova-flower effects were positioned slightly to the sides for a special moment during Craig David’s set.

Out on the room, five trusses were configured as an arc of three butted up at 18 metres high in the middle, with two more 14 metre long ‘wing’ trusses a few metres away either side – on the same angle as the sides of the arc. Another truss was rigged in line with the downstage edge of the stage.

This downstage truss was loaded with four Robe BMFL Spots and six LEDWash 1200s used for illuminating both stage and audienceOn the three central arc trusses were 14 x BMFL Spots, six Atomics, 12 x LEDWash 1200s and one 4-lite Mole on each truss section.

The wing trusses were each rigged with six sharpies and three Atomics.

Also on the room trusses was an inverted pyramid of LED screen made up of 154 panels of BT-20 mesh arranged on drop steels in an exact mirror image of the BT-7 panels onstage, introducing depth and multi-dimensionality to the space.

Visuals were supplied by Digital Insanity who used a Hippotizer v4 media server to run all the video components. Colour Sound’s Ed Blackwell took care of all the lighting and video pixel-mapped elements and was systems tech for the video, working with Sam Campbell.

Lighting was run via a ChamSys MQ80 with two extra wings operated primarily by Kester McClure and Sam Akinwale working with LX techs Chris Brown and Aamir Riaz. They also provided a floor package for Australian act Flight Facilities, which to Alex’s delight reunited him with some industry friends from home.

The V South scheme was also designed by Fletch and again used the venue – a massive 8-pole big top – as a starting point, coupled with his fund of knowledge and experience of lighting dance and EDM gigs.

“I wanted a big ravey, old-skool vibe in there with lights and visual matter all around the place in every direction,” he said.

A four legged semicircular ground support was built on the stage to lift a load of BT-7 screen, with towers either side of stage rigged with more lights, then PA wings offstage of these and then further offstage still, another pair of towers to hold large IMAG screens in place, all helping to create an epic 18 metre span wide-stage look.

More LED screen was rigged on the front truss, along with the lights and an LED screen was also attached to the two tent king poles closest to the sides of the stage resembling a pros arch which defined the space nicely.

Out above the audience they flew two three-metre and two five-metre diameter circular trusses, and at the back of the room was a front / advanced truss slung between two king poles.

Onstage 20 x BMFL Spots were rigged over the ground support and on the circular trusses above the crowds. 27 Robe Pointes were dotted around and 30 x LEDBeam 600s were dotted around anywhere they could be fitted. These multi-purpose fixtures were chosen because of their versatility and numerous possible applications.

At the back of the stage, 16 x Diamond7 Beams added some extra jazz behind the DJs and – naturally – 23 Atomics were dotted all over the place for the festival’s strobe needs.

A Chamsys MQ300 with an MQ80 for backup ran the lights. Digital Insanity once again looked after the visuals with Richard Bagshaw, working closely with the Colour Sound team on the video content and operation. Joining Frankie were lighting programmer Toby Lovegrove, John Lahiffe on dimmers, lighting techs Jon Rickets and Stu Barr and video techs Jani Fodor and Fergus Noble.

Slamming It at T in the Park

Colour Sound was asked by Festival Republic to supply lighting, LED screen and a large ground support system to the Slam Tent at T in the Park 2016.

The six-legged ground support system was built over the stage, 24 metres wide at the front to facilitate the over-stage lighting positions, and four circular trusses were flown from the tent king poles above the auditorium to provide more rigging for lights.

100 square metres of Colour Sound’s BT-7 HD LED screen was hung in three areas: upstage centre off the ground support and as left and right side screens. The front of the DJ booth was also clad with the same screen surface for continuity. The video control and content was all co-ordinated by LD Scott.

Lighting wise, 24 x Robe BMFL Spots, 20 x Pointes, 20 x LEDWash 600s and 20 x CycFX8s were at the core of the rig, and all of these combined gave the high impact and high energy look that Scott wanted.

They were augmented with 24 x ProLights Diamond7 Beams, 32 x Atomic strobes and a shed load of Moles dotted around the venue.

All these fixtures were distributed between the ground support and the four circle trusses, and Scott hooked in his own ChamSys lighting desk for control.

Colour Sound’s crew of six comprised Sam Campbell, Afghan John, Mel Cornish, Simon Robertson, Ed Blackwell and rigger Simon Ambrose.

Additionally, Colour Sound supplied floor packages for three major artists appearing over the weekend.

Swedish superstar DJ and music producer Alesso headlined the Radio 1 Summer of Dance Tent on Friday night, with lighting designed and operated by Dan Robinson. His Colour Sound package included 48 x Clay Paky Sharpies, 40 x Atomics and some CP Alpha Spot 1500s.

Frightened Rabbit played a set in King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent on Friday with LD David McIntyre and their specials included Robe BMFLs, Pointes and LEDWash 600s, Chroma-Q ColorForce LED battens, SGM XC-5 LED strobes, which featured prominently.

Singer songwriter Tom Odell took the same slot in the same tent on Saturday, complete with lighting designed and operated by the ever-busy Johnny Gaskell who asked Colour Sound to supply his specials, which included Martin Sceptrons, Robe Pointes and LEDWash 600s, Moles, Clay Paky Stormy LED strobes and an array of ProLights AIR6PIX moving LED battens.

The front of Strathallan Castle – which dates back to the 13th century – was lit by Colour Sound for the duration of the festival, a highly attractive result achieved using 24 of their proprietary Dragon 220 6-colour LED floods.

The three events were part of a full-on festival season for Colour Sound, which saw the company involved in supplying lighting, LED screens, rigging and crew to around 60 festivals and events nationwide.

Colour Sound
V Festival
T in the Park