Lighting Designers utilise GLP at Radio 1’s Big Weekend

Photo: BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend 2024. BBC Public Service, Sarah Jeynes / Jamie Simonds

GLP’s latest generation products were out in force at BBC Radio 1’s recent Big Weekend in 2024 at Stockwood Park in Luton, UK.

GLP advocate Sam Tozer again custom-lit the stage for electronic duo Chase & Status, drawing on new generation impression X5 IP Bar 1000s, XDC1 IP Hybrid and JDC1 hybrid strobes. Over 160 fixtures were supplied by LCR (Lights Control Rigging).

Tozer has been with Chase & Status since their What Came Before album in 2022. “Since then,” he said, “I’ve watched the project grow dramatically to where they are today.” The LD had previously carried a quantity of GLP’s impression X4 Bars and JDC1s on an earlier arena run, “so it was a natural progression to bring them to the festival.” In addition to 16 JDC1, used as a floor package, he introduced 50 of the newer X5 IP Bar 1000s and 108 XDC1 IP.

He added: “There was obviously an existing house lighting package, but we wanted to ensure the stage felt different from other acts. Carrying the long linear line of impression X5 Bars on the DSE added a new key feature to the stage.” His choice had been based on the need for an IP65-rated linear fixture: “Impression X5 IP Bar was my go-to fixture – the upgrade helped considerably with output and colour quality for the TV cameras.”

“I needed fixtures that could compete with the mass of screens,” he explained. “The XDC1s gave us the intense energy needed to match the power of their music, while the X5 IP Bars helped frame the bottom of the stage with a wall of light.”

Tozer admitted he was fortunate that the XDC1 IP Hybrids had just come off the Ed Sheeran tour. “This meant that LCR had enough in stock for this show,” he said. “They provide great service and high-quality kit as well as excellent general support.”

The GLP fixtures were programmed in full mode: “Using MA3’s new software, it was easy to programme and scale, and also allowed us the capability to create dynamic looks with individual pixel control.”

The man responsible for this, and for directing the show, was Olly Walker. “His knowledge of MA3 helped speed up the process and unlock more programming capabilities,” praised Tozer. “This combination allowed us to create a dynamic show with a very obvious lighting change for each song. Being able to rely on the upgraded fixtures with a small run of arenas earlier in the year allowed us to balance the show better for both the audience and TV.”

Lightin Designer Tom Campbell also utilised GLP’s LED portfolio. He has been working with DJ/producer Joel Corry, who also featured at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, since spring 2023.

For the event he specified a wheel-on/wheel-off floor package to complement existing elements of the house design. This included 24 of the new JDC2 IP Hybrid strobes and eight of the JDC Line 1000. “As the show was in daylight it focused heavily on fixture brightness to ensure it translated well to the audience and cameras on the day,” emphasised Campbell.

The 24 JDC2 IP were integrated into the video screens using their NDI mode. “That said, we also tried to use all the functionality in the fixture, overlaying the video surface with pixel effects to accent the drops, switching in and out of NDI to allow the video moments to stand alone,” stated Co-Designer and Programmer, Louie Hodgson. “Using the JDC2 IP and JDC Line enabled us to hone the consistency across the stage, as their beam plates allowed for the same types of strobe effects across the fixture types.”

Fixtures were programmed in Mode 5 (127 DMX channels), each fixture patched in 10 parts. “This allowed each element of functionality to be controlled and programmed independently of the others, keeping the cues clean,” noted Hodgson. “Programming a fixture in 10 parts is inherently more complex than simply a moving light. But as I got further into the process, I could see that treating each element as its own sub fixture was definitely the right way to go – and it helped speed up the programming massively.”

Assessing the new JDC2 IP Hybrid Tom Campbell believed “it really raises the bar for video content integration onstage,” he explained, “The fact that JDC2 simply takes the NDI signal directly and plays the content across the plate is a very powerful idea.”

While the JDC2 IPs were sub-hired by Colour Sound Experiment from Dry Hire Lighting, the former supplied the remainder of the floor package. “Colour Sound did a fantastic job, ensuring that they were prepped correctly for the NDI control,” concluded Campbell.