Manchester, UK based lighting rental company dbn provided lighting and LED screens for the official switch on of the city’s festive lights, for which 20,000 enthusiastic revellers packed into Albert Square outside the Town Hall to watch recording artist Tinchy Stryder hit the button.
A six metre wide temporary stage was set up beneath a giant Father Christmas structure which is staying in place for the whole festive period. Above this, the dbn crew installed a sloping box truss, which facilitated positions for all their overhead lighting, and was covered with a stretched fabric canopy for weather protection.
Lighting fixtures on the truss included ARRI 2K fresnels, a selection of Molefey blinders to highlight the audience and four Clay Paky Alpha Wash 700 moving lights. Four CP Alpha Spot luminaires were attached on baby-arm drops at different heights from one of the horizontal cross bracing sections of the box truss.
On the deck, either side of the front edges of the stage were four Alpha Beam 700s encased in custom dbn weather domes. These were used for bright searchlight style effects.
dbn also supplied 18 panels of 18mm pitch Hartwell Media LED screen, configured as four vertical columns, placed upstage, attached to the front of four 12 inch truss towers. On the top of each of the towers was an Alpha Spot 700 for strong back-lighting effects.
The lighting rig was completed with two 1.2K follow spots at the front of house position, and Buckley operated the show using a Jands Vista S3 console. A Hippo Critter media server was used to feed content to the screen columns, triggered via the desk.
Others artists performing included Nicola Roberts from Girls Aloud, plus a selection of actors/singers from current Manchester based theatre shows.
The main challenge was designing the canopy to fit over the stage and within the Father Christmas structure, and rigging all the lights in an expedient space, but the results were excellent, with local media reporting the event as among the ‘best ever’ switch on shows.