British Summer Time Stormz

As the heatwave sweeps across the UK some viewers have had a very cool time of it, not that they didn’t get overheated. “We started the summer run casually with a really successful tour for Rita Ora in May. Then mid June and production manager, Steve Voudouris asked us to support a quick sweep through the UK arenas plus a couple of shows on the continent for Lynyrd Skynyrd. Nice camera package, large rear screen full of lovely content – no dramas. It’s the sort of project we do regularly at Video Design; the key is not to get complacent.” So said the company boss, Alex Leinster. “Sure enough, things soon hotted up.”

British Summer Time Stormz

No one could have predicted the impact Stormzy’s performance at Glastonbury would have had on the festival or the UK music industry as a whole. “F*&king stunning”, was Leinster’s pungent assessment. “Power, grace and charm, I’ve never seen any artist bring that combination to the Pyramid stage. He commanded the stage supported by the outstanding vision of Creative Director, Chris ‘Bronkski’ Jablonski fused with LD Tim Routledge’s beautifully crafted lighting. Just brilliant. Production Manager, Joel Stanley pulled it all together at extremely short notice, and yes, we sweated some bullets assembling the diverse elements of LED screen that defined Bronski’s iconic set. Even so, working for a visionary like him was well worth it.”

As Glastonbury revelled in the music another Video Design team, led by Richard Corns was busy in Hyde Park with Barclaycard Presents Britsh Summer Time (BST). “The 950sq/m of WV8HD that we installed across the full panorama of the mainstage and wings was fed by a very carefully chosen HD camera and Disguise gx2 package,” he said. “Artists the stature of Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion, or Florence + the Machine have very distinct styles; these are not the sort of shows for an ever-hungry camera. It might sound counterintuitive, but through that huge panorama of LED the music is given space to speak for itself. To mangle a cliche, less is more, more or less.”

British Summer Time Stormz

BST screen might remain the largest contiguous installation of LED video at any event in Europe, but there is another 135sq/m spread throughout the BST site by Video Design for relay screens and the smaller Barclaycard Stage. “That’s an aspect of working Barclaycard’s BST we really enjoy,” added Leinster. “When the big acts have played their last note and everyone has gone home, all that hardware is put to good use for the people of the city through the weekdays between BST weekends – and frequently free of charge.”

As BST loaded out, another contingent from Video Design were already on their way across the Atlantic for a North American tour by Jeff Lynne’s ELO. “Production Manager, Chris Vaughan runs a really sharp production,” said Leinster. “We ship across our PPU control and camera system along with all our custom-built LED carts and associated packaging. We arrive ready, straight into the first show with a production team Chris already knows will load out in under two hours, and barely take two hours longer to load in. In a hot and busy summer, it’s the human dimension that brings proper definition to the world of HD.”

Info: www.video-design.co.uk

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