LANCASHIRE, UK – When Doc and Marty hop in their DeLorean time machine in the 1980s classic “Back To The Future” and journey to our own era, they find some strange and wonderous things waiting for them. But missing among all the flying cars, Hoverboards, and other wonders is LED lighting.
Pity, because had they returned home to their time with this impressive technology in hand, the two heroes would have been able to reflect the vibrant color schemes of the 1980s in bold and exciting new ways, just as Ollie Wilkinson did for the recent Music in the Park Festival.
Availing himself of lighting tools that would have been unimaginable in Doc and Marty’s day, Wilkinson, on behalf of Arranpaul Audio LTD, created a continuous flow of evocative and colorful looks reminiscent of the big hair neon era. “It was wonderful to be able to evoke ‘80s retro looks with modern LED technology,” he said. “We supported each band visually in a way that reflected the essence of their music.”
Helping Wilkinson create these looks were 22 Maverick MK2 Spot and 16 Rogue R2 Wash fixtures from CHAUVET Professional. Using various monochromatic palettes, he was able to award each band with their own distinctive ‘80s shimmer.
“Because I knew the music of each band so well, it was very enjoyable to come up with various unique looks for all of them on stage,” commented Wilkinson. “The combination of Maverick and Rogue allowed me to create volumes of eye candy during the shows, which ultimately succeeded in underlining the memorable songs and artists on stage.”
With the Mavericks and Rogues hung on three above-stage trussing structures, Wilkinson was able to create a juxtaposition between the front and back of the stage. While he used the majority of the Rogues at the back of the stage to provide a shower of colorful effects, he relied on the generous zoom range of the Mavericks positioned in the front to create a dazzling array of key lighting and aerial effects.
“When working on smaller festival stages I always try to create as much depth of field as possible,” commented Wilkinson. “The huge zoom range of the Mavericks allowed me to create a sense of visual dynamism, which added depth and grandeur to the performances with the full array of colors at my disposal.”
As some of acts took to the stage during daylight hours, Wilkinson’s selection of fixtures were tasked with conjuring up the desired 80’s vibrance in the light of day. Thanks to their output, the Maverick and Rogue fixtures could replicate 80s glitz despite the ambient light.
As daylight turned to dusk, Wilkinson increasingly incorporated the saturated colors of the R2 Wash fixtures into his design to underline the stage presence of the artists with a rich blanket of atmosphere. He relied upon the fixture as both a wide angle wash, as well as a hybrid effect to place emphasis on headline acts, which included former Spandau Ballet frontman Tony Hadley and his band.
“On a personal level, I’m grateful to Arranpaul for giving me this opportunity,” said Wilkinson. “I really enjoyed lighting Tony Hadley’s set, in particular when the band played ‘Gold.’ It was very fun to change all the lighting to a warm tint, which underlined the climax of the whole festival, in which gold confetti was sprayed into the crowd. I think it took people back to some of their fondest memories of the 80s.”
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