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dbn lights boutique festival

With the demise of the CD and the rapidly increasing popularity of downloading, bands are now looking to the festival circuit to make money. dbn lit the Ramsbottom Festival.

Manchester, UK-based dbn Lighting supplied lighting design and equipment – including trussing and all necessary rigging – to the main stage at the 2011 Ramsbottom Festival staged at Ramsbottom Cricket Ground in Bury, a picturesque riverside location in Greater Manchester.

As in previous years, the boutique style festival was a partnership between The Met, Bury’s renowned live arts venue and dbn’s Nick Buckley was asked to create a production design to cover the three days of live music, headlined on the Friday by The Animals & Friends, followed by The Guillemots on Saturday, concluding on Sunday with The Waterboys.

His design had to be flexible enough to deal with the different sounds and styles of these and the other artists on the line up each day, and took the Waterboys spec (LD Craig McCleary) as a general starting point. Buckley wanted to give them as close to their desired system as possible whilst also having scope to keep everyone else happy and with their own visual looks.

The stage was a 12 metre wide by 10 metre deep Orbit, from which dbn sub hung five trusses – four 24 ft ‘fingers’ running in the upstage/downstage orientation, and a front truss.

Onto these were hung 12 bars of six Source Four PARS, four 4-way ACL bars and four Studio Due CS4 bars.

The moving light system comprised 24 Clay Paky Alpha Spot and Alpha Wash 575s – 12 of each type. “I needed to have a good solid overall stage coverage with plenty of headroom to create scenes and effects,” said Buckley.

Specials and key lights were added in the form of 15-30 degree Source Fours on the front truss, with blinders also positioned there for audience illumination – a mix of two, four and eight way Moles.

For control, Buckley chose an Avolites Pearl Expert console, running the latest Titan OS, complete with a touch wing. Apart from the Guillemots and The Waterboys, Buckley operated for all of the other acts, finding the variety really enjoyable.

One of the challenges for lighting was that the rig also needed to work in daylight. All acts were lit whatever their time slot, which made a big difference and avoided the “big black hole” syndrome of them disappearing into a void. He contacted all the other bands appearing in advance, and accommodated their requests if they came back with any specifics.

The event was a great success despite unpredictable weather. For Buckley, it was a great chance to light a wide array of bands and musical genres, “There was a great vibe and camaraderie on site, and the production values were definitely taken to a new level compared to other years,” he said