Lighting Designer Paul Normandale used 120 square metres of Chroma-Q Color Web 250 to provide a low res visual effects backdrop for the Main Stage at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend event in Preston.
The two-day concert is the biggest free ticketed event in Europe and the first British music festival of the year, attracting a host of big-name UK and worldwide artists across three stages. The concert also received extensive nationwide coverage on BBC TV and radio.
Major artists featured on the Main Stage included Scissor Sisters, Razorlight, Kasabian, Kaiser Chiefs, Stereophonics, Natasha Bedingfield, The View, The Fratellis, The Fray, The Twang, Jamie T and Mika.
Lite Alternative’s Paul Normandale provided the Creative Direction for all three stages at this year’s event for SJM, assisted on the Main Stage by Lighting Director Glen Johnson.
The brief was to create a dynamic, encompassing visual range which as well as achieving a big look for the live stage audience, would translate well on camera for the TV audience.
Paul chose Chroma-Q® Color Web for the Main Stage because he knew its modular, semi-transparent design made it very easy and lightweight to rig, and it would provide a very strong visual effects backdrop against which to contrast with an array of other LED elements featuring in his lighting scheme.
The back wall of the stage featured a 19m wide by 6m high drop of Color Web 250, with further panels turning the stage corners to provide interest in the cross shots.
Control was provided by a Catalyst PixelMAD media server running on an Apple G5 system, with 5 Eytherlynx Art-Net nodes to distribute the DMX on 13 DMX lines. Luminex Ethernet 8 Giga-switches were also used throughout the system. The media server was triggered from a High End Systems Whole Hog 3 lighting console also providing control for the main key lighting and audience lighting.
The same video content was run across all LED fixtures to provide real diversity in the look on stage due to the surfaces’ different pixel resolutions. Content was a mixture of PixelMAD library images and custom content provided by the BBC, such as the Radio One logo.
Lite Alternative supplied the Color Web, media server and all associated equipment for the festival.
Lighting Director Glen Johnson commented: “I’ve worked with the Color Web before on other designs of Paul’s and it’s always been fantastic. We had 100% reliability for this weekend and it was very quick and easy to configure around the shape of the stage. It’s the ideal cross-over between lighting and video for filling in large areas, and provides a really effective end result for the cost. I wish I had thought of it!”
Aside from the heavy use of LEDs in Paul’s design, the Main Stage was also packed with Martin fixtures, including MAC 2000s, 700s and 250s, and the recently released MAC TW1 tungsten wash. Glen got a chance to work the TW1s for the first time. He commented: “The MAC TW1s were fantastic, I really enjoyed using them. I’ve waited a long time for a tungsten moving light. The colors were great, and I was able to match the TW1 with any color in the rig.”