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Wychwood Festival

Wychwood is a live music festival held on Cheltenham racecourse in June every year. It’s been running for 6 years now and is regularly nominated as ‘Best family-friendly festival’.

My client was the event management company running the whole festival site. They required a technical manager to oversee, design and operate all the on-site stage lighting. This consisted of a 15m main stage, a 42m big-top and several smaller stages, including the BBC Introducing stage.

The client had access to some lighting equipment which they were keen to use to keep costs down, but additional equipment would also be needed to produce a show of the required quality.

During the planning stages I worked with the client to get a feel for the style of lighting each venue would require, and we drew up provisional equipment lists based on previous events. This was then modified to get maximum lighting impact for the lowest costs possible. I then helped get the best possible dry-hire rates for the equipment we needed to bring in.

In order to help illustrate the proposed lighting design, 3D models of the stage and rig were drawn up – this helped with stage layout and draping plans

For the show itself I put together a team of 5 engineers who designed, prepped, operated and de-rigged all the lighting required. A lot of the gear we used had not been tested recently, so we spent a couple of days testing and prepping in the warehouse before trucking onto site.

The 3-day show went very well, with great reactions from both the client and the public. We worked a shift-rotation pattern to keep staff fresh during the festival. At the end of the final day we started the de-rig at 11pm and were clear of the site by 5am.

After the gig, the feedback from the client was excellent:

“Just a quick note from me to say thanks for a great job at Wychwood & all your (very!!) hard work, please pass on to your respective crews, I for one was very pleased with the light show on both venues.

Also, you might be pleased to know that (name deleted for commercial purposes) was at Wychwood, he was so impressed with main stage lighting & the lighting and sound in the big top that he contacted the Wychwood board of directors to find out who had supplied them – with the end result that he rang us and wants to discuss us being involved with a major festival next year!”