London, UK based lighting rental specialist Colour Sound Experiment (CSE) supplied lighting to the main stage and four other areas – Swamp Shack, Wishing Tree, Rizla and The Production Office – at the 2011 Bestival festival on the Isle of Wight.
Bestival is a truly eclectic and eccentric universe of entertainment, fun, sociality, music and live performance – from psyco-chic afternoon teas to Bollywood, wooded grottos, numerous fantasy worlds, banging dance environments and a diverse main stage live line up, this year headlined by Pendulum, The Cure and Bjork. There is something for everyone of all ages and tastes at one of the final events on the UK festival calendar, staged in the fabulous grounds of Robin Hill Country Park curated by BBC Radio 1′s Rob Da Bank.
For Colour Sound, it topped off a super-hyperactive festival season, with lighting, scenic LED screens and crew supplied to over 50 events throughout the summer.
It was the second year that CSE has supplied equipment to the main stage at Bestival, after being brought onboard in 2010 by the LarMac LIVE production management team led by Jo MacKay on behalf of festival organisers, Loudsound Events.
Colour Sound produced an overall production lighting design for the benefit of all artists, which as far as possible encompassed the requirements of all the headliners – Pendulum (LD Andy Hurst), The Cure (LD Angus Macphail) and Bjork (LD Paul Normandale) – all of whom brought in their own floor specials packages.
The Colour Sound crew flew five trusses below the main stage structure supplied by Star Events, and onto these were hung Clay Paky Alpha Spot 1500 HPE, Martin Professional MAC 250 Beam and Robe ColorWash 700E AT moving lights, 20 of each type, together with 40 x active SunStrips, Molefeys, strobes, PARs and Source Four profiles.
Two control options were provided – a Road Hog Full Boar and a Chamsys MagicQ 300 (with Pendulum & The Cure bringing in their own). Colour Sound’s Dave Kyle ensured that everything ran smoothly and beautifully throughout the festival at FOH, with Stuart Picton and Marc Callaghan looking after everything onstage.
This brand new highly visual scenic music and performance venue was created by Block 9 (Gideon Berger) – famous for the “London Underground” set at Glastonbury among other amazing architectural works. It was complete with wrecked cars, decaying buildings, vampires, fading ‘Southern Belles’ and all manner of other detritus sinking ignominiously into the swamp .. together with a line up of the best current vibey UK subterranean bands and DJs.
CSE’s Andy Melleney and Brian Kelly lit Swamp Shack area under Berger’s creative direction, which was interpreted with the help of GLP Impression LED wash and Spot One moving lights, Studio Due City Color floods, Source Fours, outdoor LED PARs, birdies and MBIs.
There were two stages, one inside and one on the veranda, with Avolites Pearls and Chamsys desks for control plus a plethora of fog and smoke machines that smouldered under the trashed cars and other scrap and abandoned objects being sucked into the ground. Lighting was also supplied for a third area – the popular Crew Bar.
Just adjacent to this was the Wishing Tree, designed by Chris from Spacial who also created all the illuminated artworks for the main stage. The Wishing Tree environment also included the Woodcutter Stage, complete with a giant circular saw blade rotating at the back, Canary Dwarf and a collection of other sheds and small ‘experience’ tents and scenic areas surrounding the Tree which included a brothel and an asylum.
These were lit with a mega-mix of PARs, i-Pix Satellites, digital festoons, fairy lights, birdies, etc. An Avo Pearl was used to run the Wishing Tree lighting.
Over on the Rizla Stage, CSE supplied GLP Impression moving lights, Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs, Martin MAC 250 Beams, 2-lite Moles and their new lightweight BT12 LED screen, configured as a solid black upstage with a strip across the front of the DJ booth. This area was crewed by Toby Lovegrove and Sam Campbell with lighting controlled via an Avo Pearl Expert.
Jo MacKay wanted the LarMac LIVE production office to stand out like a beacon across the undulating site, so everyone knew where it was and in which direction to head to find it. Her lighting design comprised a Spaceflower on the roof and the whole portacabin being clad in Chroma-Q ColorWeb 250, all supplied by CSE, together with a Hippotizer media server to run the ColorWeb content – the default clip being pink hearts.
Says Colour Sound’s Haydn Cruickshank, “Once again Bestival was hugely enjoyable for all of us to work on. It is a completely different vibe to other festivals, and has retained the friendly and accessible atmosphere that we all love, as well as expanding and being massively successful due to great management and organisation”.
This year the site build challenges were exacerbated by it having to be closed on the Tuesday due to high winds, entailing some intense shifts for the technical and other departments to make up the time and have all the public areas delivered and ready to rock for Friday’s opening.
For more information on Colour Sound Experiment, please call Louise Stickland on +44 7831 329888/+44 1865 202679 or Email [email protected] To contact Colour Sound direct, please call +44 208 965 9119.