Colour Sound Dances, Rocks & Introduces at Reading Festival 2013

West London based lighting and visuals rental company Colour Sound Experiment continued its excellent working relationship with Festival Republic by supplying production lighting designs and equipment to the Dance, Lock Up / Rock and BBC Introducing Stages at the 2013 Reading and Leeds Festivals.

Colour Sound also provided LED screen to the Dance stage and lighting for two silent discos and the Action Aid tent… and replicated all of this in Leeds.

Additionally, two and half kilometres of Colour Sound’s amazing DMX controlled IMS LED Festoon was installed at Reading to enhance ambience and mood across the whole site. This element was nearly doubled from last year due to its massive popularity, particularly with the BBC, who recorded and broadcast the best of the event action!

Colour Sound Reading 2013 - Dance - Baauer

The festoon looked wonderful twinkling in the background shots on TV.

The August Bank Holiday Weekend was the culmination of a completely full on summer of festival work for Colour Sound!

As well as Reading and Leeds that same weekend, they supplied lighting for the North and South (open air) Stages at Creamfields near Warrington (see separate news release) and lighting for all four stages, along with video on stages two, three and four at the SW4 Festival on London’s Clapham Common.

Ten artics rammed with kit left the Colour Sound Warehouses in the preceding week!

Dancing Reading
Andy Melleney led Colour Sound’s team at Reading, where harking back to their dance music roots, they provided an awesome looking system for the Dance Stage – a 4 King pole 50 metre wide performance space, action and anticipation packed throughout the Festival.

The production lighting rig was designed around accommodating Sunday night headliners Knife Party who brought in their massive new house set – complete with first floor balcony / DJ booth.

Colour Sound Reading 2013 - Dance - Knife Party

Two ground supported ‘goal posts’ over the stage plus another at the front of stage provided lighting positions, together with an audience truss flown from the tent’s king poles.

The lighting fixtures included 24 Clay Paky Sharpies dotted around all the trusses, 12 GLP Spot Ones and 14 x GLP Impression LED washes and a healthy splattering of Atomic strobes – which no self-respecting Dance tent would be without!

Sixteen Active Showtec Sunstrips were used for audience lighting .. all controlled via a ChamSys MQ200 console operated by Sam Campbell and James Hind.

The idea was to produce lots of big, bold dancey classic Colour Sound looks – on which the company built its reputation for excellence and that help take the audience right to the heart of the dance experience with immersive visuals!

A 6 x 3 metre upstage screen of Colour Sound’s BT6 6 mm LED screen created an animated backdrop and the stage was very nicely framed in a surround of BT12 12mm LED screen, giving the stage a stylish finish.

Rocking Reading
The Lock Up / Rock stage featured a ground supported back truss and a flown front truss, populated with a minimalist mix of 12 Robe ColorSpot 575E ATs and PARs in open white to give a variety of edgy ‘vintage rock’ looks referencing the history of the festival.

Colour Sound Reading 2013 - Rock - Funeral For A Friend

Eight vertically hung Active Sunstrips on the front truss added some portrait format subtlety … and naturally, there were also a few Atomics!

This was looked after by Stuart “Woody” Wood and Martin Dudley using one of Colour Sound’s new MagicQ40 compact consoles

Introducing Reading
The BBC Introducing stage hosted a diverse and very exciting line up of emerging talent – currently unsigned – who played on the saddlespan structure, together with a few surprises as artists from other stages made impromptu appearances!

The lighting was designed for TV – the three headline acts each day were recorded for broadcast and streamed live on the internet – and also to maximise the low ceiling height and small amount of space available.

Eight Robe MMXs were used highly effectively to project gobos, patterns and texturing onto the roof of the structure. Other lights were 24 x PARs which together with hazers – and a big smile – were operated by Chris Wilkes using a ChamSys MQ Maxi Wing.

Colour Sound Reading 2013 - BBC Introducing - Dog Is Dead

Reading Silence
The two Silent Disco areas lit by Colour Sound were at opposite ends of the site.

The first one was looked after by Jason Tuffin, using a ChamSys Maxi Wing for control, with an eclectic mix of Robe LEDWash 300s, BB7s, MAC 250 Entours plus a bunch of disco effects that worked on sound-to-light triggers.

A collection of ArcLine LED strips scattered around – apparently randomly – were another Colour Sound tribute to rave lighting culture, together with a host of Pulsar ChromaStrips making an abstract arch around the stage.

The second silent dance area lighting was co-ordinated by Sarah Payne using a Chamsys MQ40 for control. A spine truss was flown down the centre of the tent and trussing towers provided the onstage positions.

Colour Sound Reading 2013 - Festoon

Lighting fixtures were Martin MAC 2Ks and Chauvet Q-Washes, BB7s, 2-lites, ArcLine and assorted disco effects.

For the Action Aid tent, one of the site’s late night DJ venues, Colour Sound supplied a selection of Mac 250 Washes and 250 Entours, Source Fours, Strobes and Atomics, all of which were tech’d, programmed and run by Steve Heywood on an Avolites Tiger.

Reading Festoon
Colour Sound invested in more IMS LED festoon this year following the great reception of last year! It was again sourced from TMB, this year built to Colour Sound’s own fully weatherised specifications.

It was installed by Jason Tuffin and Neal Murray to the design of Festival Republic’s Becky Gundry and programmed by Colour Sound’s project Manager Fletch the week before via two Avolites Tiger Touch consoles, each running 16 universes of DMX over ArtNet.

Colour Sound replicated the equipment exactly for the same stages on the Leeds site, enabling the great bonus of offering artists with guest LDs complete continuity by swapping their show files between sites.

All that had to be done by the local lighting crews was physically change over the lighting rigs – no shortcuts have yet been found for this process!


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