d3 Helped Create 360º Immersive Environment at Glastonbury 2017

With the theme ‘re-cycle,re-use, re-sist’, the Shangri La field at Glastonbury Festival 2017 drew eager crowds to its rubbish-as-refuge model. A Gas Tower, symbolising a bygone industrial era, loomed over the site and served as the epicentre of the digital revolution with support from d3 Technologies.

The Gas Tower was the focus of what the festival called “360 degrees of awe-inspiring audio visual action.” The eight-sided immersive video installation showcased artwork, AV performances, VJs and other musical artists.

“A scaffolding tower was designed to resemble a Victorian gas tower with projections mapped to each of the eight faces creating a 360-degree immersive environment,” said Nick Diacre, head of systems and engineering for Gas Tower.

He chose d3 for it’s versatility for playback and capture, utilising two d3 2x4pro media servers and one 2x2plus media server for the installation. “We needed the ability to rapidly create multiple mappings across the canvas and quickly switch between cues,” Diacre explained. “Excellent and reliable captures and remapping with minimal latency to ensure we could integrate guest VJs and performers. We were also looking for outstanding interoperability and show control, ensuring we could build control systems that integrated with other hardware on stage, including video matrices, projection and lighting.”

The d3 media servers were also selected for their stability. “That was key – the system needed to run 24/7 for five days with no glitches,” he added.

In pre-pro the system enabled Diacre and his team to have “quick and easy preview of 360-degree content and visuals to illustrate how any immersive effects would be interpreted from the audience perspective. d3 support both in pre-production and while on site was amazing. It was a pleasure working with the d3 technicians.”

During the show Diacre found the media servers very user-friendly. “It was incredibly easy for us to integrate and switch up mappings and layouts with minimal delay,” he reported. “Some turnarounds were literally minutes, and d3 gave us the speed and flexibility to jump from one setup to another with no delay.

“Overall, the d3 media servers proved to be 100 percent reliable”

Kaye Dunnings was artistic director for Shangri La, Simon Vaughan head of visual art and Seain Laughlin – technical director. For the Gas Tower: Robin Collings was production manager and Ela Brunel Hawes curated and programmed the visual artists and performances.