Lighting Case Histories
Entec Parties Like There’s No Tomorrow
Photos by Valerio Berdini - valerioberdini.com
West London based technical production specialist Entec Sound & Light supplied lighting and sound equipment and crew to the All Tomorrow’s Parties three day alt festival at Alexandra Palace, London.
The event featured Slayer headlining in the venue’s Great Hall on the Friday night plus three nights of music and entertainment in the West Hall, Panorama Room and Cinema Room.
Entec brought in Andy Emmerson to co-ordinate all the lighting on site, while their Ed Hammond looked after sound.
The production lighting design for Slayer was created by Entec’s Ryan Brown, which referenced a festival plot sent in by the band’s LD Martin Mueller.
It was based on three overhead trusses with a selection of Vari*Lite 3000 spot and Martin Professional MAC 300 wash moving lights – totalling 46 – rigged on these, together with 15 Atomic strobes. At the front were 12 ETC Source Fours for key lighting and 12 x 8-lite Moles for audience blinding.
On the floor were 14 of Entec’s new Robe LEDWash 600s, which provided excellent punchy, bright stage washing and beam effects.
The console was a Hog 3 and a wing, specified by the LD, and Andy Mountain operated for Entec for the two opening acts.
Joining him on Entec’s lighting crew were Pete Schofield on dimmers, rigger Nick Burlace, who also looked after rigging on the West Hall, and Ewan Cameron.
West Hall Lighting
The West Hall stage ran for all three days of the festival and with eight bands a day, Ryan Brown designed a rig that was dynamic, flexible and fitted the budget.
Andy Emmerson’s serious fund of experience, particularly of lighting raves and dance events, and his expansive imagination enabled him to maximise the rig and ensure that each act had a different and individual look for their sets.
The two headliners – Mogway (Saturday) who curated the festival, and the Afghan Wigs (Sunday) also bought their own LDs which added another dimension to an eclectic mix of music and fun.
The two truss rig – front and back – contained eight Vari*Lite 2500s washes, eight Martin MAC 250 Spots and four Atomic strobes on the back, with eight V*L 2000 Washes on the front plus eight 2-lite Moles and six source Four profiles for specials.
The console was an Avolites Pearl 2008.
For the Slayer show, Entec supplied a total of 52 d&b J-Series speakers arrayed in a left-centre-right configuration, with 10 deep in the centre and six deep each side.
Delays of four Q1s a side were added in line with the FOH mixer position to ensure the back of the room received full impact!
The subs were 20 x J-SUBS ground stacked, with six B2s in the centre in a distributed bass array to ensure an uber-smooth bottom end delivery throughout the room. This was all driven through d&b D12 amplifiers.
The main PA configuration was based on a spec from All Tomorrow’s Parties that had been very successful the previous year – just this time with more sub bass!
The FOH desk was a Midas XL4, spec’d by Slayer’s FOH engineer Tim Quinby, complete with a selection of all-the-hits-and-more outboards including lots of dbx compressors, Drawmer gates, two x TC D2 delays and a TC M6000 reverb.
The system was processed using Dolby Lake with an 8-in-8-out matrix linking between the XL4 and the Avid Profile console utilised for the support bands.
For monitors, Entec supplied a Yamaha PM5D for Slayer and an M7 for the opening acts plus 14 x d&b M2 wedges. The side fills were made up of a B2 with two C7 subs and two C7 tops along with two C7 subs for drums.
A comprehensive old skool rock mics-and-stands package completed the audio for Slayer, which was crewed by Liam Halpin and Stef Serpagali (system techs), FOH tech John Haskett, monitor tech Simon Higgs and on the stage, Adam Draper and Mark Portlock.
The big challenge was getting the large amount of PA balanced, time-aligned and fine turned right so it gave the required SPLs without it turning into an uncontrollable sonic monster!
The main PA in this space was two hangs each of four d&b J8s and four J12s a side, with 10 J-SUBS in a distributed bass array. There were also two out-hangs of seven Q1s a side, and eight Q7s as infills along the front of stage.
The FOH console was a Midas Heritage H3000 chosen as a classic and firm favourite festival board that everyone knows and loves – and all the visiting engineers happily engaged with it!
Outboards included two Yamaha SPX 900 multi effects units, a TC D2 delay and a Lexicon PCM 91 reverb, with processing via eight Drawmer gates, 6 x dbx 1066 compressors and two Lake LM44s, the latter for all the time alignment and system EQ.
Again, it was D12 amps all around.
Onstage, the ‘house’ monitoring was used by everyone, and consisted of another Yamaha PM5D-RH driving 14 d&b M2 wedges, two C7 subs / one C7 top per side for side fills and two Q-SUBS for drums.
Crew wise, Ed Hammond looked after FOH and Kevin Smith monitors, working with James Kerridge on the patch and Rob Maynard and Adam Draper alternated on stage duties over the three days.
The Panorama Room ran for Saturday and Sunday nights and featured a smaller stage for bands and DJs which utilised a d&b T10 compact line array system, ideal for the space, with two Q-SUBS a side and six M4 wedges. The FOH desk was a Midas Verona, with a Crest XR20 for monitors.
For the Cinema Room a 5.1 surround system was installed comprising d&b E Series and B2 sub, chosen for the excellent surround sound qualities. There was a Yamaha LS9 for control with a Blu-Ray player and a Dolby 5.1 decoder.