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Warwick Summer Party

After knockin’ them dead in 2011, I was back at the Warwick University Summer party in 2012.

This event happens at the end of June before the students knock off for the summer.

Last year I was monitors engineer, this year it’s lighting.

As with the Wychwood festival a couple of weeks before, this event also had a saddle-span roof (it appears all the orbit stages are doing Olympic/Jubilee things). Load limits on a saddle span roof are very low, so most of the rig was ground-supported on stands and trusses.

Lots more love for the light-weight, low-power-consumption Robe Robin 600 LED wash lights, which make rigging a show like this sooo much easier!

I also spent a day in the rain building PA flying towers for the L’Acoustics PA.

Homebase Charity Dinner

Last night Homebase held a charity dinner for key staff and suppliers, in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust.

This was a relatively small affair with a simple set, a rear-projected 4:3 screen, 4 ways of radio mics and some lights on stands.

Christopher Biggins (of Celebrity Jungle fame) is an ambassador for the Teenage Cancer Trust, and was on site to host a charity auction, which he carried off with much aplomb – including selling 13 bog-standard plastic buckets for £100 a piece.

Lots of cash for a good cause.

Best Western Annual Conference 2012

The Lancaster Hotel, Hyde Park was the location for the Best Western Annual Members’ Conference this week.

Set across 3 days, the event features two day long conference sessions (with workshops and exhibitions) and two evening functions.

This was the second time working this event – last year was Spain, this year UK, next year currently tbc. I was responsible for lighting the main room – a rig which needed to serve for both conferences, keynote speakers, evening dining and a variety of dance and music acts.

Generic lighting was the usual mix of Source 4 and fresnels, and movers were by Martin. The back wall of the set was LED uplit.

Control was via a Pearl Expert running the Titan software, and the LED fixtures were pixel mapped within the desk.

Event management was provided by Outlook Events.

Movember launch party

Gents prepare your faces – Movember is coming soon!

If you’ve not met it before, a little introduction:

Movember is a charity organisation who rasie money for men’s health – predominantly prostate and testicular cancer research. Started in Australia a while back, it’s grown at a phenominal rate over the past few years and has raised £106m worldwide since 2003.

The UK launch party was held at the very trendy Village Underground in Shoreditch last Thursday. I was tasked with providing video projection in two areas – one to run some films illustrating the growth and passion of Movember, and another looping some cow footage.

The cow footage was projected onto a brick wall using a 15k lumen projector, and some basic projector mapping enabled us to fit the wooden window frame in the VT to the indents in the wall.

One of the guests caught some video footage of the event which illustrates the concept nicely:

Cheltenham Literature Festival

A couple of weeks of ladders and scaffold towers help ease the Cheltenham Literature Festival into life.

This annual festival is based in the centre of Cheltenham, and takes over the Imperial and Montpellier Gardens. A whole handful of temporary venues spring up – from the 1500 seat Forum to the 250 seat Inkpot – and these all need power supplies and lighting rigs.

To get an idea of the scale of the event, here’s a (very) quick walkthrough of the event a couple of days before opening.

Marquee rigging always involves a lot of scaffold towers, kader clamps and ladders. A whole day of rigging ends with sore legs!

New Dawn Conference, Walsingham

Last week was spent in rural Norfolk at Walsingham, the Christian pilgrimage site. Two large events were running simultaneously – the Roman Catholics were running the New Dawn conference near the Shrine of Our Lady, while the Anglicans staged their Youth Pilgrimage a little closer to the village itself.
While I’ve been working at the Anglican site for a while now, this was the first time providing technical services for New Dawn as well. A weekend of travel, rigging and cabling got both sites ready for Monday morning, and then I was responsible for the sound and lighting at New Dawn for the duration of the event.
Myself and Tim (also working on sound) provided PA reinforcement for 1800 worshippers in a 100m x 30m tent with live bands, pre-recorded sections, daily mass and guest speakers to juggle.
With a single Soundcraft MH3 to mix from we rapidly filled the desk, providing 4 outputs to the PA, 6 monitor mixes, a hard-of hearing induction loop, a separate English feed for a Czech translator, foldback to induction loop for the translation system, record outputs and centre fills.

A simple lighting system was rigged and remained largely static for the duration of the event. A combination of ruched drapes and LED batten uplighters helped create a stately feel to a temporary tent.

Sound system:

PA: 4 stacks of KF730 with 2x SB730 and 4x KF730 per stack. Lab Gruppen amplification and UX880 processing.
Control: Soundcraft MH3 with BSS EQs, Yamaha and TC Electronics effects.

Best Western Conference, Marbella

A few rainy days in Spain heralded the Best Western member’s conference in January – yep, it’s a conference about hotels, in a hotel…

This three-day show started with a flamenco evening, followed by two conferences in two venues, an exhibition and a gala dinner. We split the crew into day and night shifts to arrange both rigs, derigs and show operations.

I was variously working as AV switcher, lighting programmer and monitor engineer for the band – the variety keeps things interesting during a long event.

After an all nighter and a 6am load out in the rain we were up for 8am transfers to the airport – not quite the laid-back Med lifestyle!

Event management was provided by Outlook Events.

Jimmy Carr on tour

Jimmy Carr has a couple of dates at Cheltenham Town Hall over the next few months, and I’m in to light the show.

Comedy lighting is generally pretty simple – just a pretty colour preset state and then some white lighting to make sure everyone can see the standup.

Cheltenham Town Hall doesn’t have a huge range of lighting gear available, but it’s amazing how much can be done with a parcan if you’re creative!

The Golden Cone Awards

Balfour Beatty held their Golden Cone Awards (complete with golden cones) on Saturday. Unfortunately the cones were spray painted rather than genuine, but I guess that’s the age of austerity for you.

I was providing lighting – a handful of LED fixtures, some MAC  250s for the awards ceremony and Source 4s for frontlight. The cones were topped with orange beacon lights – the first time I’ve used these for a show!

Havana Rakatan, Warwick

Working in the newly-refitted Butterworth Hall at Warwick Arts Centre, last weekend saw a brief return to the world of theatre and dance.

Butterworth Hall now has a new backstage area, a hydraulic stage, moveable acoustic panels and a wired rigging grid in the roof.

The job was helping the in-house crew with electrics, rigging and setup.