Events news

dbn adds lighting magic for Wales Millennium Centre Celebrations

dbn Ar Waith Ar Daith Cardiff 50a

dbn Lighting from Manchester collaborated in another exciting, innovative and off-the-wall production with producers Walk The Plank to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the landmark Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay, Wales. dbn’s Stephen Page was asked to design lighting for the spectacle, staged outside along the main concourse approach to the Centre.

Staged on Saturday September 12, the show, “Ar Waith Ar Daith” was a year in the planning and making and with over 600 participants, the largest outdoor theatre production in Wales to date. The show attracted crowds exceeding 12,000 who were enrapt as the age old tale of Welsh history, myth, allegory and magic unfolded via a series of promenade choreography, large format projections onto the side of the building, gravity-defying aerial stunts, lantern processions, choral singing, dance numbers and a truly exhilarating pyrotechnic finale.

The show was directed by Walk The Plank’s Liz Pugh, with fellow co-founder John Wasell as creative producer.  The work featured a specially-composed soundtrack by BAFTA award winner composer John Rea.

“It was a fantastic project in which to be involved, energising all the ingenuity of the Walk The Plank team, and requiring a truly lateral approach to lighting. I enjoyed the many challenges and being part of another great creative team delivering a show that was shared and appreciated by so many people,” stated Stephen.Epic outdoor spectacle Ar Waith Ar Daith is performed outside the Wales Millennium Centre, to celebrate the centre's 10th Anniversary in Cardiff tonight. A visual journey of Welsh myth and magic created by outdoor arts experts Walk the Plank has brought together over 600 participants from across the country.  Kiran Ridley/Ethos

Ar Waith Ar Daith was designed to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Wales and in doing so placed the Wales Millennium Centre as a focal point for a broad spectrum of creative inspiration. The 200 metre performance space stretched from the Millennium Centre right down to the waterfront in Cardiff Bay and features a series of large concrete pillars – which could not be touched – and also included the Welsh National Assembly and the Pierhead buildings at the further end of the site.

Eleven custom combined lighting / sound towers were built and distributed around the site rigged with assorted fixtures, supported by a massive quantity of lights spread out along the floor.

A row of SGM P5 LED floods – one of Stephen’s favourite fixtures for this type of outdoor application –  were used as ‘foot lights’ running the length of the site.

The towers were loaded with a selection of fixtures including 21 x Clay Paky Mythos, 16 x Sharpy Washes, 16 x Alpha Beam 700s and 12 x Sharpies, more P5s and Studio Due City Colors – dbn has just invested in the latest 2.5K RGBW versions of these … which really rock! There were also four Alpha Beam 300s on each of the towers and around 40 x PAR cans distributed between them.2015-09-08 09.59.05

Eight of the original version City Colors were positioned on the floor adjacent to the Millennium Centre building and used to back light the performance space.

The conundrums of lighting the show – even for someone as experienced as Stephen with weaving luminescent enchantment into epic outdoor events – were many!

The columns positioned all the way down the performance space restricted the placement and focusing of equipment which had to be factored in at every juncture. As there were so many community members in the cast, the first absolutely full run through with everyone involved … was the show itself!

The main protagonist travelled up and down the full length and width of the site in a motorised scenic tree.

dbn Ar Waith Ar Daith Cardiff IMG_2741

Ar Waith Ar Daith was also broadcast live on S4C just to ramp up the pressure that bit more for everyone on the technical and creative production teams!

From a lighting perspective, having to light for television as well as the live audience required special attention to detail. A lot of the more subtle ‘live’ techniques had to be adapted to also work on TV, whist not losing any of their dramatic resonance … and as always Stephen and the dbn team rose to the occasion, producing some beautiful, vivid and theatrical results with resourceful lighting.

Working alongside Stephen from dbn were Nick Buckley who co-ordinated a lot of the prep work on site and operated lights for the show, plus Moss Everhard and Pete Isherwood. They were very ably assisted by Becky Heslop and Josh Kroon, students from the Royal Welsh College of Speech & Drama.

The dbn get-in commenced on the Tuesday ahead of Saturday’s show, described by Ken Skates, the Welsh Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport & Tourism as, “the best show I have ever seen outdoors in Wales.”*

*http://arwaithardaith.com

 

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Dbn Lights Parklife 2015

Rudimental / Parklife 2015

dbn Lighting returned to Heaton Park in Manchester to supply lighting to five out of the eight stages and video to two of those – for the popular Parklife Weekender music festival with which they have been involved since its inception in 2010.

The crew – which peaked at 24 technicians, programmers and operators – was led by dbn’s Pete Robinson, and they started their various get-ins across the site on the Wednesday. There were a few logistical curved balls thrown into the mix for good measure, including a Friday night concert by the Courteeners which was slotted in by promoters SJM on Stage 4. While dbn were not lighting this … the licensing restricted access to other areas which therefore had to be ready ahead of time.

Stage 1

The main stage this year was up-scaled to a 24 metre Space roof from Serious three weeks before the event to accommodate the two headliners – Disclosure and Rudimental.

As both artists were bringing in substantial lighting and video packages, dbn’s ‘house’ lighting design was kept straightforward and based around accommodating this. Disclosure’s requirement was also that the entire house rig be gridded out so their complete show could be rigged ‘underneath’.

dbn installed three straight trusses which could be flown out into the roof for Disclosure, and then back in again to provide lighting for the rest of the two day line-up. These were accompanied by drapes, masking and a full cable management system, all designed to make the process, safe, smooth, sensible and streamlined.

For moving lights 12 of dbn’s brand new Clay Paky Mythos took centre stage – having been delivered just in time. Joining them were four CP Super Sharpies, 16 x Robe Pointes, 16 x Sharpy Washes and 12 brand new Stormy LED strobes from CP, plus the usual array of festival must haves like 2, 4 and 8 lite blinders and Atomic strobes.George Ezra / Parklife 2015

As soon as Disclosure’s set finished on Saturday, dbn and the Rudimental advance crew rigged as much as possible of their production, including three circular trusses and an upstage projection screen, with two projectors hung on the front truss which was also clad with a scenic London railway bridge covered in graffiti art and CCTV cams. The scenic elements all arrived from the new Wild Life sister festival in Brighton at 7 a.m. Sunday morning, so it was a gruelling session for all involved. Rudimental also used the house rig as part of their show.

 

dbn added their own daytime floor package for certain artists comprising 12 x ColorForce 72 LED battens horizontally rigged on upright trussing sections, together with six Patten 2013s which was really effective in plugging the black holes upstage!

The house lighting console was a Pearl Expert Pro with Touch Wing.

 Stage 2

Fatboy Slim // Parklife 2015

The stages were numbered clockwise from the main stage and this one wa
s a 54 x 74 metre 6 king pole big top primarily with a DJ line up, and headlined by Fatboy Slim.

dbn built a four legged ground support system cantilevered out from the stage at the front which provided all the lighting positions and rigging points for the two main PA hangs.

The design was inspired by Fatboy Slim’s lighting scheme, and the moving lights comprised another 8 x Mythos, four CP Alpha 1200 HPEs, 16 x Sharpies and 16 x Alpha Wash 575s.

The generics included 16 x Atomics and 24 x ColorForce 12s which were used as audience blinders, together with more 2 and 4-lite Moles.

Control was an Avo Pearl Expert run by Nick Buckley and Paul Sheard. Pete Robinson completed all the truss layout and fixture placement, with the overhead lights arranged across six ‘finger’ trusses.

dbn also supplied LED screen with 45 square metres of their standard 12.5 mm E-Star product configured in one big block.

 

Stage 3

James Blake

This was a slightly smaller big top, with dimensions of 48 x 70 metres and six king poles. All the production again stayed at the stage end, where dbn installed a six legged ground supported box truss structure over the stage and PA wings.

Three trusses were hung underneath each another at the back, and a grid of lights was rigged to these, spaced out according to a precise plan prepared by Stephen Barnett.

This involved 16 x Alpha Spot QWOs, 16 x Alpha Wash 700s, 12 x A.leda K10s fitted with B-eye lenses, 20 active Showtec Sunstrips, 8 x Atomics and 28 x Showtec Spectral Zoom PARs.

These were all mapped by Stephen onto an Avo Tiger Touch II with a playback wing. He spent several weeks pre-programming so he could get to know the console, and the results looked amazing! He was joined by dbn’s Chris Phillips on operating duties.

 

Stage 5Wilkinson // Parklife 2015

A tri-span structure was created by three saddlespan structures arranged in a little cluster with the three mouths facing one another, which on the site plan resembled a large set of genitalia.

A ground supported circular truss was rigged in the middle to provide front lighting positions, together with a straight truss hung in each of the three stage mouths, plus a selection of loose fixtures made available for the stage. The kit included 16 x CP Alpha HPE 300s, 8 x Alpha Beam 300s, 8 x Alpha Wash 300s – all picked for their compact sizes – along with 12 Atomics, and 10 x 5 way Chroma-Q db4 battens rigged vertically across the back of the stage for general eye candy.

A new Avolites Quartz controlled everything operated by Paul Crompton.

 

 

 

 

Stage 6Kaytranada / Parklife 2015

A custom Serious Stages structure was erected in front of Heaton Park’s famous Colonnade (once part of the old Manchester Town Hall) structure and was a small stage with just 4 metres of headroom, yielding an intimate 8 metre wide playing space with a small arched roof.

Another late change of spec here added a reasonable amount of production.

Onstage, the lighting comprised 12 x MAC 250s, eight Alpha Wash 575s and six Atomics.

A ground stacked 9mm LED video wall was put in at the back – supplied by dbn via YSLV – in one block, complete with a smaller section of the same screen used to face the front of the DJ booth.

On each of the two PA delay tower structures – also added – six Alpha Beam 700s were positioned, and another clutch of lights and effects were positioned behind the stage on the scaffolding structure built around the Colonnade to protect it. This amounted to 12 x Alpha Beam 700s, 30 x Chauvet Nexus 4×4 panels, 12 x active Sunstrips and six Atomic strobes.

Control was another Pearl Expert Pro – as with all these smaller Avolites consoles – an absolute favourite for festivals. The Nexus panels and the Sunstrips were mapped on the desk by operator Anthony Owen which allowed him to create some great funky and mesmeric effects to wow the crowds.

 

All the stages were equipped with a full atmospheric package – a mix of Jem smoke generators, DF 50 foggers and Look Solutions’ Unique hazers.

Richie Ahmed b2b Patrick Topping / Parklife 2015

Some of the boutique stages were also supplied with effects lighting, including The Smallest Club in the World which is in a garden shed, and the Africa Stage which was visually enhanced with an assortment of disco effects and LED PARs.

The main challenges were incorporating all the late changes. “We know from our past experience that being flexible and prepared to be adaptable is a key to this event running smoothly for lighting,” comments Pete, adding that this year they incorporated a full 40 ft. artic’s worth of extra gear which was loaded up at the warehouse and dispatched after they were all working on site. “You have to be really organised with your logistics, but once again, it was an excellent event that everyone enjoyed working on as well

as doing a great job in delivering to the characteristically enthusiastic audiences”.

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dbn solves another Rigging Puzzle in Istanbul

 

Mdbn Solves Rigging Puzzle Istanbul IMG_2244anchester based lighting and rigging specialist dbn was presented with another brain-teasing rigging challenge by production company WRG for a large corporate event staged in the Crystal Ballroom at the Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel & Conference Centre in Istanbul.

The design for the conference – hosted by a leading pharmaceutical brand – involved a fully immersive curved scenic set running around three sides of the room, featuring projection screens and a myriad of 3 mm LED video panels.

With no flying in the ballroom, a ground support structure was the obvious answer but the creative producers were adamant that no truss legs were allowed within the environment ensuring everyone would receive the full visual experience.

This meant that a 26m span needed to be bridged by a structure with the ability to support over three tonnes of equipment.

Further to these challenges, another conference was taking place in part of the room during the daytdbn Solves Rigging Puzzle Istanbul DSC_0029ime of the build period, which severely restricted the available rigging installation time and space for the dbn team led by Nick Todd!

Normally this alone would be enough to contend with … but there was more!

The room has five spectacular crystal chandeliers in the ceiling, the largest at 6 metres in diameter with elements dropping over three metres!

A massive Slick Super Beam truss was the answer, but installing the 26m long, 900mm deep front truss (usually seen spanning the king poles of large festival stages) in a hotel ballroom millimetres from the ceiling would be interesting!

The four legged Super Beam and Maxi Beam structure was easily capable of supporting all the requisite lighting, projection, AV and PA which was rigged from sub-hung Mini Beam trusses directly over the stage in the centre of the room.

The precision design left just 20mm of space between the top rail of the truss and the ceiling which ensured that all 6.5 metres of available headroom could be used as practical working space for the production.

Four Slick GS self-climbing tower systems were used to lift the top structure, fully rigged with all technical equipment which weighed close dbn Solves Rigging Puzzle Istanbul DSC_0045to 4 tonnes. Once at height, fixed Mini Beam legs were fitted and the GS towers removed and re-used at the other end of the room for surround sound speaker positions.

dbn also supplied the event’s lighting which included substantial quantities of Chroma-Q ColorForce 12, 48 and 72 LED battens and ADB F101 fresnels, together with Clay Paky Alpha Spot and Alpha Wash movindbn Solves Rigging Puzzle Istanbul DSC_0036g lights complete with a Jands Vista console for control.

In preparation for the event, Nick used WYSIWYG to combine the truss, technical and set design into a single fully detailed 3D model which helped avoid many issues on site.

Nick and six other dbn crew were in Istanbul for nine days – with the majority of the work completed in a series of intense spurts of activity. Nick comments, “I had an excellent crew, top quality equipment and we’d put in the pre-production time … but it’s always a relief, on a project like this, to actually see the end product in place!”

dbn Solves Rigging Puzzle Istanbul Pan2

 

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dbn Co-operates In Gala Event

dbn CRTG Gala dinner CRTG14 7533Manchester, UK based lighting specialist dbn was once again involved in the ambitious production at the heart of the Co-Operative Retail Trading Group (CRTG)’s annual Supporters Awards and gala dinner event, staged at the city’s Manchester Central venue.

Project managed by Pete Robinson, dbn supplied rigging, lighting equipment and design. The company has been involved in the event for the last seven years  and collaborates closely with both overall technical production management providers A To V and the client to interpret their brief and bring the venue alive as an exciting and invigorating entertainment space for the evening.

This year’s theme took some popular elements of last year’s ‘circus’ in terms of the physical layout and developed a special ‘carnival’ vibe for this year. The venue was divided into two areas – with a fully operational fairground in one half and the dinner for 1000 people in the other.dbn CRTG Gala dinner CRTG14 8033

The dinner room was created by draping off a large (55 x 40 metre) perimeter in white with the trusses trimmed at 8 metres high. The idea was that this could be lit and textured beautifully with a variety of mood-changing colours that shifted throughout the evening. The side of this soft-wall that faced into the fairground area was also finished in white draping.

Around 350 x Chroma-Q ColorBlock units were rigged on the perimeter trusses pointing downwards and focused to skim the white drapes very effectively.

Central to the dinner and Awards action was an in-the-round stage – an integral part of the overall set designed by dbn’s Pete Robinson and A to V’s Production Manager, Mark Whitehead.

In the ceiling, a series of concentric trusses were installed, starting with an 8 metre box truss above the stage, from which was hung a cube structure with 8 metre wide by 4.5 metre high screens stretched across all four of its sides.

Inside the screen cube was an internal truss flown so the fixtures rigged on it were neatly concealed with only their noses visible.

dbn CRTG Gala dinner CRTG14 7534

On this were 12 x Clay Paky Sharpies, 16 x Sharpy Washes and 16 x 2K fresnels.

On the stage floor were another eight Sharpies and eight CP A.Leda B-Eye K10s utilized for creating attractive beams across the stage in all directions shooting out into the room.

A box truss was flown further out in the room and used for positioning all the table and general lighting. An impressive 64 ft long, complete with extensions to maximize lamp throw and general coverage – on this were 16 x Clay Paky QWO 800 washes and 16 x Alpha Wash 575s, the latter specifically used to light a series of large scenic carnival masks attached to the truss.

Twenty-four SGM P5 LED floods were spread out and used for the audience / room washes, while 32 x ETC Source Four profiles, fitted with a variety of lenses, were the stage washes and specials. Robinson said of the P5s, ‘This was my first use of SGM’s powerful LED wash light and I was impressed by the vibrant colours and evenness of the wash. By using them I was able to drop 96 sour ce4 pars and associated dimming, as well as reducing the power spec by 100 amps per phase, not to mention the saving in cable, labour and focusing time!’

Also on this truss were 24 glitter cartridges that created a great surprise effect when fired at the end of the Awards, energizing the carnival vibes!

All lighting in this area was controlled via Jands Vista S3 and S1 consoles programmed and operated by Mark Jones.

In the fairground, dbn flew two 50 metre trusses, each of which was rigged with nine bars-of-six Source Four PARs and another nine Source Four profiles for adding breakup effects across the floor and surroundings.

A temporary performance stage was lit with eight CP Alpha Wash 700s and  the white soft-wall area was enhanced with 20 x Chroma-Q ColorForce 72 LED battens spread out on the trusses above with some ColorSplits filling in the smaller gaps … resulting in a nice smooth, even wash.dbn CRTG Gala dinner CRTG14 7858

The entertainment lighting in the fairground was run by Stephen Walker Jones using an Avolites Pearl Expert.

Robinson oversaw a dbn crew that peaked at 14, and the major on-site challenge was the timescale which due to various venue curfews meant the majority of the work had to be completed during two intense overnight sessions.

The proximity of the final confirmation and the actual event also entailed some nifty logistical juggling, an efficient workflow being activated in a short space of time, and late requests – like the installation of a ground support system for one of the fairground artists – were also accommodated by dbn with their usual slick operational flair and style.

dbn CRTG Gala dinner CRTG14 7566

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Games Time for dbn

dbn Games Time photo Kevin Ryan A03C1036Manchester based lighting, rigging and visuals rental company dbn designed and supplied a large ground support system for the “Games Time” outdoor stage spectacular, which played its final performance at Derby last weekend.

The show, produced by Walk The Plank and Déda, was a mixed-media performance combining music, dance, video, lighting and pyrotechnics, directed by Lea Anderson and starring members of the local community. Four teams – Red, Blue, Green and Yellow – sporting fabulous carnival style costumes designed and made by Mahogany – competed to win the ‘Games Time’ Finale.

dbn’s Stephen Page was asked to design the truss and lighting for the event, which played four towns – Skegness, Loughborough, Northampton and Derby – celebrating the spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the East Midlands.

dbn invested in a new Slick ground support system for the series of shows, which for Games Time was built as an impressive three-sided  trapezoidal shape, supported by six 12 metre high legs. Below this was the large chequerboard stage which supported casts of up to 200 people in each location.dbn Games Time photo Kevin Ryan IMG_8381

At the same time, dbn invested in a Broadweigh wireless wind and load monitoring system, which has been invaluable in enabling accurate up-to-the-minute assessments of how the structure is being affected by local weather and environmental conditions.

This is an essential aid for the safe administration of outdoor structures.

Page’s brief for the lighting was to enhance the choreography and highlight the amazingly vibrant carnival costumes, bringing a zing and effervescence to the whole production.

He utilised 12 Clay Paky Alpha Wash 700 and 12 Alpha Beam 700 moving lights together with 60 PARs for the majority of the stage and performance washing.

“It was all about introducing colour and richness with the moving lights to compliment stage washes from the PARs,” explains Page, adding that he also had to ensure that the lighting cut through the pyro smoke so the cast had a clear view of the performance space!

He used the full extent of the 9-50 degree zoom on the Alpha Washes for achieving good stage and cast coverage, juxtaposed with powerful slices of thin concentrated light from the Alpha Beams, which cut through brilliantly, adding another layer of texture and depth to the visual picture.

Molefeys were used around the top of the ground support to illuminate the audience, while the front ‘footlight’ positions were covered by 24 single PAR cans and 24 SGM PALCO LED floods rigged in the ‘pit’ area. The lighting rig was completed with four Elation LED UV PARs.

Page ran all the lights from a Jands Vista S3 console – small, versatile and convenient – this offered all the flexibility needed. He worked alongside dbn technician Oliver Bracey and audio was delivered via a d&b Q-Series sound system from Tube UK.

Page sums up, “It was great to be working with the Walk The Plank team again and to be involved in a beautifully visual show that engaged the talents and interest of the local communities in each town”.dbn Games Time photo Kevin Ryan 786

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Passionate Rigging from dbn

 

dbn provided the rigging skills and equipment to erect three 9m high crucifixes live, as part of the BBC’s Easter ‘Preston Passion’ show.  Nick Todd and James Collingwood worked with Walk The Plank to bring the Crucifixion to life on the roof of a Preston Car Park.  They designed a system based on Slick Mini-Beam trussing and used our new Broadweigh wind & load monitoring equipment to ensure safety at all times and in all weathers.

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DBN Enjoys Arty Summer


DBN Arty Summer Zaha Hadid  ZHA_JSBach_Manchester_CP_LH_04

Manchester based lighting rental company DBN Lighting has enjoyed a summer of being involved in some of the top arts events of the region, including Manchester International Festival, Music & Art on the Waterfront in Liverpool, and rounding off with the Salford Proms in the Park.

Manchester International Festival

DBN supplied lighting, rigging and lighting design services to six major events at the MIF, following on from their very successful work with the first MIF in 2007.   Jack Thompson, Technical Director of the Festival said “I try to use locally based companies for the Manchester International Festival and DBN were my first port of call for all lighting and power needs. They have an excellent range of top quality equipment and a highly skilled and efficient crew. They are always great to work with and have a proper can-do attitude which is vital for dealing with the constant changes and short notice requirements inherent in a major Festival like ours. DBN’s talented and innovative in-house design team are perfect for working with the various artists and architects involved with the MIF. I look forward to working with them again in 2011. ”

Festival Theatre & Bar

Lighting was supplied for the Festival Bar Pavilion and the adjacent Festival Theatre.

The Festival Bar was a large tepee erected in front of the Town Hall which acted as live music/DJ bar and a general social hub for art lovers and festival goers. The tepee was internally lit with a variety of ‘pretty’ and imaginative fixtures, with external illuminative beautification provided by lots of LED strings draped above the extensive picnic table areas.

The nearby Festival Theatre needed a basic stage lighting rig installed to cover anything from rock ‘n’ roll to comedy performance, so DBN’s Pete Robinson designed a rig based on a front and back truss. Fixtures included a range of ETC Source4 pars & profiles, ADB Fresnels, Chroma-Q LEDs, Clay Paky Alpha 300 HPE moving lights and a Jands Vista S1 control console.

Opening Event

MIF 2009’s opening event at the Velodrome featured a concert by Kraftwerk and Steve Reich, for which DBN’s Nick Todd was their project manager and designer.

Kraftwerk specified their own rig which was supplied and installed by DBN. They then designed and rigged a completely separate system on the same stage for Steve Reich. A large generic rig was provided to light the audience, and Clay Paky Alpha Wash 575 THs rigged from trusses running the length of the venue were utilised for lighting the cycle track for a team of cyclists appearing during Kraftwerk’s rendition of “Tour de France”, as well as general atmosphere and audience lighting.

Zaha HadidDBN Arty Summer Zaha Hadid ZHA_JSBach_Manchester_CP_LH_03

Lighting the Zaha Hadid installation at the City Art Gallery provided some interesting lighting conundrums for DBN’s Stephen Page. In an intriguing fusion of music and architecture, Hadid was commissioned to create a performance space in the art gallery for a series of chamber music concerts.

The result was a striking and complex curving white ribbon that wrapped around itself within a ‘black box’ room, creating a stage for the performers and a space for the audience. The ribbon was constructed from a translucent fabric membrane stretched over an internal steel structure suspended from the ceiling.

Page designed a rig of around 80 Source Four PARs to add depth and emphasize the shape & scale of the installation, all rigged from dead hung scaffolding pipe with cabling above the ceiling to keep the space as clean and uncluttered as possible.  Scenes were programmed to reflect the different uses of the space as a gallery installation and a performance space.

The brief was to add a new dimension to the structure for the evening concerts, whilst during the day, the lighting also had to enhance the structure in its gallery space context. “Using light to emphasise the sweeping beauty of the installation without cluttering the confined space with lots of equipment was one of the most challenging elements of the festival for us,” says Stephen Page .

Great Indoors

The Great Indoors was a weekend event of some 15 newly commissioned performances for 3 – 11 year olds in various rooms, nooks & crannies of Manchester’s Town Hall. DBN supplied all lighting and rigging services for the event with Pete Robinson liaising with the artists and interpreting their needs in advance and James Collingwood heading up the on-site team tasked with installing it all & making it work.

As part of the event Stephen Page was commissioned by producers Walk The Plank to design the lighting for “The Difference Engine” in the Town Hall Courtyard, featuring a giant spider puppet and the brain of mathematician/inventor/engineer Charles Babbage.

This involved nearly 100 lighting fixtures and plenty of ingenuity to rig them onto and around the internal courtyard of the grade one listed Town Hall – quite an achievement without damaging the building or denting the mayor’s limousine.  Page utilised everything from moving lights to LEDs, egg strobes, pars and festoons, plus overhead projectors  and a space flower.

Elbow Room

For Elbow’s performance with the Halle Orchestra at the Lowry Centre’s Bridgewater Hall, DBN supplied additional lighting to the band’s Cate Carter in the form of SGM PALCO LED wash lights and Molefeys.

Immediately the MIF finished, the DBN team lit the Manchester Jazz Festival, which was staged in the large Pavilion tent.

Music On The waterfront, Liverpool

DBN Arty Summer Music on the Waterfront

Just after the MIF, DBN were in action down the road in Liverpool, supplying all lighting and rigging requirements to producers Walk The Plank for the 3 day Music on the Waterfront festival. This was staged by Liverpool City Council as part of their summer “On The Waterfront” events season at Liverpool’s famous Pier Head.

The action took place on a Star Events stage. The lighting design was completed by DBN’s Pete Robinson, operated by Pete Isherwood and included a series of hinged trusses that curved around the roof, enabling the space and available headroom to be maximised.

The over-stage rig included 32 Clay Paky Alpha range moving lights, Studio Due CS4s, 12 bars of 6 Source 4 PARs and a selection of profiles and fresnels. The audience was illuminated with i-Pix BB4 LED wash lights chosen for their powerful output and IP rating.  All lighting was controlled via an Avolites Pearl Expert desk.

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DBN Adds Colour To Liverpool Landmark

DBN LuminoCity Liverpool ISH_5753
Manchester based lighting company DBN Lighting supplied design services and equipment to illuminate the river facing façade of the magnificent Port of Liverpool building for “LuminoCity”, a 30 minute multimedia spectacular created and produced by Walk the Plank and featuring video projections, pyrotechnics, live performance, and a specially composed sound track.DBN LuminoCity Liverpool ISH_5725

The culmination of Liverpool’s 2009 “Art On The Waterfront” event also produced by Walk The Plank for Liverpool City Council, LuminoCity was produced in conjunction with Tate Liverpool, which ran a week of colourful summer events for all ages inspired by their exhibition “Colour Chart: Reinventing Colour, 1950 to Today”. This included an arty hang out space for 13-25 year olds run by Young Tate and a series of fun family-friendly activities throughout the weekend, along with a special late-night Saturday opening to coincide with the ‘Art on the Waterfront’ celebrations.

Stephen Page of DBN designed the light show which illuminated the 50 metre tall building.

Page used over 200 assorted LED fixtures, primarily Chroma-Q Colorblock mk2s, dotted all over the building, ensconced in troughs, ledges and on windowsills – pretty much anywhere they could be safely anchored.  With  16 i-Pix BB4s and 5 BB7s filling the larger long-throw sections, the picture was completed with a row of 16 SGM PALCO 3s up-lighting from the trench along the bottom of the building, which added the finishing touches to achieving a good even spread of light all over.

DBN LuminoCity Liverpool ISH_5751He added movement, texturing and additional drama to the building’s newly blasted stone canvass with 22 Clay Paky Alpha Spot HPEs, 10 Alpha Wash 575 THs and 8 Alpha Beam 300s.

Finally, Studio Due CityColor fixtures created a basic overall wash with 16 x 2.5K units positioned at the front of house area.

With elements of the LuminoCity show related and cross-referenced to some of the Colour Chart activities that had taken place at Tate Liverpool, there was plenty of scope for getting creative with the lighting.

Page produced spectrum effects across the building and pure single colour washes and wipes that worked with the video and soundtrack, which also featured vox pops of children and other visitors to the Tate as they engaged in arty stuff!

These interactive elements included a paint-by-numbers schematic of the Port of Liverpool – the first of the famous ‘Three Graces’ – buildings, which was filled in by visitors to the gallery.DBN LuminoCity Liverpool ISH_5755

In conjunction with projection, Page recreated giant renderings of these on the building as one section in the show – which is where all the LEDs came in. Their positioning was carefully calculated to highlight specific areas in well defined colour fields, a tricky task to get right, further complicated by the availability of safe rigging points for the fixtures – which were not necessarily in ideal places.

The LEDs on the building were all rigged off cherry pickers by the DBN crew of 6 during an overnight stint on the Wednesday to be ready for the first tech rehearsal the next night, ahead of Saturday’s show.

The show lighting was programmed and run live by Page using a Jands Vista T2 console.

Sound was supplied by Audile, video by Pod Bluman Associates, pyrotechnics by Walk the Plank and flame effects by Black Powder Monkeys with custom content produced by Digital Insanity.

LuminoCity follows DBN’s highly successful delivery of lighting for the transition event of the Closing Ceremony of Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture year in 2008.DBN LuminoCity Liverpool SH_5708

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