Bristol based lighting and visuals rental specialists Fineline supplied lighting, LED screen, rigging and crew to the 2014 Eden Sessions, a diverse series of music performances staged at the Eden Project in Cornwall, UK, one of the most atmospheric and magical settings in the country.
For the second year, Fineline worked closely with Andy Cotton of TAO Productions, who production managed the events and co-ordinated all technical aspects. The Sessions ran over 5 weeks and featured a star-studded line up including Skrillex, Dizzee Rascal, Katy B, Ellie Goulding, Elbow, The Pixies and others.
Fineline’s Rob Sangwell explains that they designed a highly flexible and practical ‘house’ lighting rig, designed so all the touring bands could come in ‘underneath’ with their respective touring packages. Lighting for each gig – although based around the fixtures available in the house rig – also emulated the artist’s touring lighting schemes as far as possible.
The stage at Eden is beneath an elegant, distinctive crescent shaped tensile roof, and so all rigging has to be integrated with this. A hybrid design has been evolved to facilitate the 17 metre wide by 14 metre deep super-truss mother grid that is part ground-supported and part-flown. This in turn provides all the required lighting and video rigging positions.
“It took a bit of working out initially,” explains Sangwell, “But now the concept exists it is proving an ideal and very adaptable solution”.
Once the mother grid was in place, they sub-hung their three x 15 metre lighting and one 15 metre wide video trusses below, plus a drapes truss at the back, with allowances made for accommodating additional artist ‘specials’.
For lighting, the house rig lighting comprised 18 x Robe 600E Spots, 18 x Robe LEDWash 600s and 12 x Robe Pointe multi-purpose luminaires, together with a healthy splattering of 2, 4 and 8-lite blinders, 16 x Martin Atomic strobes and 16 x ETC Source Four Profiles at the front for essential key lighting. There were also around 72 PAR cans on the rig for general washes and stage cover, as well as for support acts, etc.
The house control was Avolites dimming and ChamSys SnakeSys R8 ArtNet nodes and Avo DMX buffers for data, with an Avo Tiger Touch as the house desk. All the visiting LDs brought in their own grandMA2 consoles, all of which were integrated into the ArtNet control network.
For video, Fineline supplied 48 panels of Lighthouse R7 LED screen, which was reconfigured for different acts, with the ‘standard’ house configuration being one 16:9 upstage block of screen.
For Elbow – designed by Cate Carter – they needed more screen, so 44 square metres was installed for this show, set up as a 14.5 metres wide and 3 metres high surface at the back to dovetailed with their touring video package.
The LED screen was hooked into the touring media servers / control systems in each case again integrated via Fineline’s ArtNet data system. This aspect of the project and all associated geekery was co-ordinated for Fineline by Stuart England.
Cate Carter also created the lighting and visual design for Ellie Goulding, which was out with Robin Haddow as Lighting Director. Says Sangwell, “We all enjoyed working with Cate again, who we’ve known for some time as she comes from the area. She’s always been a talented designer and it’s great to see her career rocketing to where it is now … especially with her local connections”. Fineline’s other crew were Wingnut, Tim Williams and Sam Kenyon all on lighting, Martin Jacobs looking after the video and riggers Steve Armstrong, Peran Odgers and Ruben Pinkney.
They also lit three of the famous Eden Biomes for the shows, which made a beautiful and eye-catching backdrop to the whole scene, adding a fantastic visual flourish to the excellent vibes and music.
“It was fabulous to be part of the TAO Productions team again and working on an event that’s a bit different from a standard music festival. Everything was well organised and based on high production values which is always good. We were lucky with the weather, Eden is a genuinely amazing place to work … and we all love it” concludes Sangwell.
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