Radio One’s Massive Weekend
July 16, 2008
It was on again, the colossal music weekend that kicks off the British festival season and features some of the world’s top performers over two packed days. Madonna, Usher, Raconteurs, Kooks and Editors are but a few of the brilliant acts that entertained the tens of thousands of visitors to this year’s Radio One Big Weekend festival in Maidstone, England from May 10-11.
With such an eclectic array of performers, the lighting rig needed to be equally diverse and able to adapt to each unique show.
Flexibility takes the day
Putting it all together again this year was lighting designer Paul Normandale, who laid out a spectacular rig on the main stages for the various guest LDs who came and lit individual shows. With so many artists and so many LDs in such a short period of time, once again flexibility was the order of the day(s). Paul explains the brief.
“The lighting had to be suitable for a live, multi-band event which has a constant BBC/TV broadcast element. So a balance between the live show of the artists and the needs of the BBC to gain usable footage was key. The event is a Radio 1 event so the branding and overall live appeal is also important.”
A plethora of newest Martin gear
Lighting-wise both stages featured Martin products; LC Series™ 2140 LED panels, Stagebar 54s™, Maxedia™ media servers, and a host of MAC fixtures including new MAC 2000 Wash XBs™, MAC 575 Kryptons™, MAC 700s™ and MAC 250s™ as well as the flexible MAC TW1™ tungsten wash.
“The acceptance of MAC products as industry standards means that the visiting LDs are happy to see and use their products,” Paul says. He went on to comment about some of the gear in use.
“The TW1 is ideal when band turnarounds are quick, allowing remote positioning as opposed to crew focusing.
“The LC screens were also a real advantage this year with a nine minute changeover when we removed the festival LED wall for the headline artist switch. This would be almost impossible without the 2 x 1 meter modular design and quick fix nature of the units.
“The Stagebars were used between the LC screen and front truss to mimic in some ways the properties of the screen in terms of color and movement. They took content from the Maxedia server along with the LED screen.
“The MAC 575 Kryptons carried corporate logos which covered the stage and tent roof of Stage Two admirably and all day long without issue.”
Providing ample amounts of atmospheric fog for Stage Three, the outdoor dance stage, as well as a haze particulate for the light beams to hold on to, was a Jem Roadie Compact™. Used on R1BW for the second year running, the Roadie Compact is an extremely powerful fog generator capable of casting a variety of effects from a controlled haze to a high-density fog.
The rig was supplied by Lite Alternative with XL Video supplying the LC Series panels.
Options are good
The key programmer on Stage Two this year was Tupac Martir who brought an edgy feel to the set. He comments, “I had some freedom to play a little more, but at the same time was very careful with the key light. At the end of the day, the show was being shown live in some instances, and if not, was being recorded for later use for broadcast.
“Since we were using a lot of products, it gave me some different options to approach the show while also allowing the visiting LDs to work and let their ideas flow. The TW1s were very helpful since they were my base for the key light. By having them in the front truss, I was able to light the artist while at the same time allowing the other fixtures to create the effects for the songs. This came in especially handy when we had visiting LDs. They only had to worry about their show, while I was on another console worrying about the TV lights.”
MAC 2000 Wash XB
Tupac had the opportunity to use Martin’s latest MAC arrival, the MAC 2000 Wash XB. “Another fixture that was great for the wide shots was the MAC 2000 Wash XB,” he said. “With two cameras by front of house and a crane on the side of the stage, we knew we would get a lot of open shots. By using the XBs we were able to magnify and especially create depth within the tent. Used above the crowd, they created a great effect.”
The MAC 2000 Wash XB is Martin’s new 1500 W moving head luminaire that kicks out over 60,000 lumens of power. The XB houses a host of new features including new fans, ballast and starter that combine with proven MAC 2000 modularity, optics and effects to produce an extremely advanced wash light.
“In regards to the 700 wash and spot, they are great fixtures. The CMY color mix allowed us to not lose key light when the light was spieled to the crowd, while at the same time create clean cut scenes.
“The lights held out perfectly, especially since they worked for almost 14 straight hours, they had little rest. Since we would have visiting LDs arriving early or in between shows to program, the lights didn't have much time to rest.”
And neither did the revelers or those who worked hard to make sure that the festival remains one of the year’s outdoor highlights.