Tasked with lighting dozens of different acts across the jungle, drum & bass, dubstep, and grime genres – none of which brought along visiting lighting designers – Elliot Baines of Spiralstagelighting devoted considerable time and energy into developing an advanced strategy. When he arrived at the stately Cholmondeley Castle to light the main stage at Outlook festival, however, he was in for quite a surprise.
“We were supposed to be working on a domed semi-circular stage, but when we got to the site, we encountered a square one,” said Baines. “This complicated things, especially since we had to change all of our rigging points in the original design by Wingnut. But the amazing team, as well as the people from Fineline Lighting, Wingnut Production Lighting and AF Live helped pull everything together.”
Faced with this unexpected challenge, Baines kept his eyes firmly on these two primary objectives for the festival, which was being held in the UK rather than on the Adriatic for the first time. First, he wanted to ensure that his design was versatile enough to create continuously fresh looks over the four day event; and second he wanted to reflect the intensely evocative music of acts like Ghetts, Skream, Ben UFO, Goldie and Children of Zeus. Reconfiguring hang points was secondary, he reasoned, as long as his fixtures were able to help achieve these goals.
“We drew on everything in our rig, while never using everything at once,” said Baines. “This allowed fresh, new dynamic looks to be created for every act, without anything falling into a dull, predictable rut.”
Key to helping Baines do this were the CHAUVET Professional Rogue R2X Wash fixtures in the ground package. Although the hang points at the festival were changed unexpectedly, he was still able to arrange these high output RGBW movers across the entire upstage deck as originally envisioned. This enabled him to carry on with the backlighting and silhouetting that were essential to the design vision.
“Silhouetting the DJs and acts was one of the main visions going into the festival, because it would create the kind of mood that best fit the personalities on stage and their music,” explained Baines. “Having the R2X Washes at the back was critical in helping us do this. It was also important to have the nice colour gradients on stage, especially as it played off the white festival sign.”
Drawing on the wide (7.3° to 64.3°) zoom range of the Rogue fixtures also helped Baines vary looks on stage, as did the unit’s five distinct zones of LED control for pixel mapping. “The pixel mapping gave us great eye candy throughout the festival,” said Baines. “But it was especially important during the day, when ambient light made it harder to see beams. That was when we counted on colour and pixel mapping to set the tone on stage.”