Colour Sound Provides Lighting And LED For V And T Dance Stages

Photo: Sam Akinwale

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 they 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 Experiment team worked with regular Slam Tent LD Scott McDonald to provide the kit to his specification, while for V Festival, two very different and dynamic designs were developed by Colour Sound Experiment Experiment’s Fletch.

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

The visual design for V Festival 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 a 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, from which were hung 18 individual panels of Colour Sound Experiment’s proprietary BT-7 LED screen, with 12 Clay Paky Sharpie moving lights in the gaps and either side of the stage, two IMAG video screens were built, also using the BT-7 product.

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

Out on the room five trusses were flown from the tent king poles which were around 18 metres high, configured as an arc of three trusses butted up on 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 1200’s used for illuminating both stage and audience. On the three central arc trusses were 14 BMFL Spots, six Atomics, 12 LEDWash 1200’s 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.

Visuals were supplied by Digital Insanity who used a Hippotizer v4 media server to run all the video components. Colour Sound Experiment’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.

The V Festival South scheme was also designed by Fletch. “I wanted a big ravey, old-school vibe in there with lights and visual matter all around the place in every direction,” he said.

A four legged semi-circular 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 18-metre span wide-stage look.

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 BMFL Spots were rigged over the ground support and on the circular trusses above the crowds. A total of 27 Robe Pointes were dotted around alongside 30 LEDBeam 600’s.

At the back of the stage were 16 Diamond7 Beams, as well as 23 Atomics. 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 Experiment team on the video content and operation. Joining Frankie were Lighting Programmer Toby Lovegrove, John Lahiffe on dimmers, Lighting Technicians Jon Rickets and Stu Barr and Video Technicians Jani Fodor and Fergus Noble.

For T in the Park’s Slam Tent, 100 sq metres of Colour Sound Experiment’s BT-7 HD LED screen was hung in three areas – upstage centre off the ground support and as left and right side screens. Video control and content was all co-ordinated by LD Scott.

Lighting wise, 24 Robe BMFL Spots, 20 Pointes, 20 LEDWash 600’s and 20 CycFX8’s were at the core of the rig, augmented with 24 ProLights Diamond7 Beams, 32 Atomic strobes and a number of Moles dotted around the venue. Colour Sound Experiment’s crew comprised Sam Campbell, Afghan John, Mel Cornish, Simon Robertson, Ed Blackwell and rigger Simon Ambrose.

The front of Strathallan Castle was lit by Colour Sound Experiment for the duration of the festival, using 24 of their proprietary Dragon 220 6-colour LED floods.