High Lights: A new open air music experience

Electronic dance music fans descend on London’s Barking Park for a unique, brutalist-inspired festival experience with creative engineering in abundance

High Lights drew in a crowd of 7,000 during its inauguration at London’s Barking Park. London-based promoters Percolate enlisted design studio Lucid Creates to design and construct a ground-breaking events space that measured 60m long by 18m wide by 8m high, and saw electronic dance music heavyweights performing in and among the trees, kitted out with a d&b audiotechnik sound system.

“I don’t think there’s another location in London like it,” began Chris Carr, Director of Lucid Creates. “Fred [Letts, of Percolate] was set on the design working within the trees, so our design process began by having to work out how to actually design something that would look great and meet the design brief, as well as the very real and practical considerations of the structure fitting between the incredibly tight tree clearing.”

Coined the ‘Installation Stage’, the structure extended 60m into the crowd and consisted of a concrete façade that had distinctive geometric shapes that spanned the space in considered dimensions, shapes and proportions which provided a sense of surrealism. The suspended concrete blocks ‘floated’ in mid-air above festival goers and weighed an impressive 15 tonnes, with weight distribution handled by the substructure, which was another 15 tonnes.

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Words: Alicia Pollitt