Eaton Keeps Edinburgh Fringe Shining Bright

Photo: Jon Hole

Over 100 Eaton Zero 88 lighting consoles, including the new award-winning FLX range and a variety of legacy products, are working hard across the 300+ venues running in and around Edinburgh during the 2018 Fringe Festival.

At least 25 Eaton Zero 88 FLX S range consoles are involved, just 9 months after the desk, designed for quick and intuitive control of moving lights and LED fixtures for this size and style of shows, was launched.

Eaton Zero 88 consoles and control packages are featuring at some of the busiest and most popular venues, with Eaton FLX range products at Assembly, Underbelly, Gilded Balloon, Summerhall and Pleasance, all of which offer multiple performance spaces throughout the Festival, each staging approximately 8 to 10 different shows across the period!

There has been a big push for venues to switch to more LED lighting where possible, with all the extra creativity this offers LDs, plus additional powerful parameters like colour mixing that need to be easily controlled. All of this is perfect for the Eaton FLX S range being a control platform of choice.

Eaton’s Jon Hole and Edward Smith took to the technical front-line in the run-up to the festival opening, giving face-to-face training and support to an estimated 150 technicians and operators during rehearsal and tech periods, right up to the first round of press nights, a programme that included around 25 dedicated console training sessions across the city.

The in-situ training is something for which Eaton Zero 88 has become renowned. “We all love the Fringe Festival for many reasons including the lively atmosphere together with the ambition and excellence of so many of the works” stated Jon Hole, adding “it’s great to be a part of all that, as well as seeing the consoles pushed to new levels by multiple lighting designers, programmers and operators from all sectors of the industry, and with assorted levels of knowledge and experience”.

At least 2 major UK rental companies invested in new Eaton FLX S consoles to service their Edinburgh shows. Bristol-headquartered SLX, who purchased 9 Eaton FLX S consoles, and Hawthorn, who have bought a mixture of 6 Eaton FLX and EatonFLX S consoles. These will then go into rental stock.

For Martin McLachlan, head of lighting at Assembly, it is the “flexibility, ease of use and familiarity for incoming companies” that makes Eaton a go-to console choice for Edinburgh Fringe, coupled with being able to undertake “complex programming without confusing options for less advanced users”. Assembly also hosted a range of performances for the 2018 Edinburgh Jazz Festival immediately prior to the Fringe, for which a Eaton Zero FLX console was used in their Picolo venue, including by lighting designer Tarzan Wood for American blues singer Earl Thomas.

Brian Hutchison, Summerhall Production Manager stated Fringe events are “reliability, ease of use and the excellent Eaton customer training and support”. He thinks the Zero 88 consoles are “stable and user-friendly” and that the Eaton FLX S range has a “powerful feature set and a superior theatre cue stack compared to most others, but more importantly, it’s Eaton’s support and training which is vital for events like Edinburgh Fringe. We have numerous users of various abilities and very little room for error or downtime”.