DBN Lights the BBC Proms in Salford
The lightshow was designed by DBN's Nick Walton. It's the fourth year that the company has been involved with the north west region's prom event, staged for the second year in Buile Hill Park. DBN was working for production company Ear To The Ground for end clients, Salford City Council.
The line-up featured appearances by entertainer and musicals star John Barrowman, mezzo soprano Juliet Pochin and local opera sensation Jon Christos, alongside the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
Says Walton, "It's always a big challenge to design and light a large orchestra appropriately without being too distracting, providing just enough razzmatazz to highlight the soloists, plenty of and sufficient well balanced white light for the TV cameras. It's also a show we really enjoy doing each year".
The stage was installed by Star Events and measured approximately 20m wide by 16 deep, with about 10m of headroom, giving a decent 8m of trim height for lighting once DBN's trusses were installed.
Four trusses were sub-hung below the roof superstructure, with a starcloth running right around the perimeter of the space including the wings. Other 'soft' elements included three pairs of white scrim legs either side of stage. These were positioned in front of the starcloth, so they could be lit and textured from the front, whilst allowing the twinkling stars to also be seen through them.
This proved a good opportunity for DBN to utilize their new Chroma-Q ColorForce LED battens. Twelve were used in total, six ColorForce 48s and six ColorForce 72s, to light the starcloth and the three pairs of scrim legs. Walton observes that the fixtures are very bright and have a good enough throw to only need one row, either at the top or bottom of the area needing illumination. In this case they were on the floor.
For moving lights, it was an exclusively Clay Paky rig - with 42 of their Alpha units in total - a mix of Alpha Spot and Wash 300s, Alpha Wash 575s, Alpha Beam 700s and Alpha Spot 1200s.
"This gave me all the flexibility I needed and plenty of options," comments Walton. With no set, and most of the stage being occupied by the orchestra, the mission was on for lighting to introduce depth and definition to the space.
The moving lights were also used extensively for lighting the audience, bringing spectacular, vibrant big beamy looks for the wide camera shots and sweeps with colour and gobo effects. In addition to these, there was a selection of ETC source Four PARs and profiles and ARRI fresnels for white light.
For back lighting the audience, eight 4-cell Moles were rigged on the FOH tower along with 14 SGM Palco LED floods, which were also used to highlight the trees, foliage and natural beauty of the surroundings, all adding extra dimensionality to the big picture.
The lights were operated by Mark Jones using a Jands Vista T2 console. He and Walton worked with a crew of six for the get in and out, a combination of freelancers and DBN staff. It was another great popular success for the city and the community as well as another great event rounding off DBN's busy summer schedule of outdoor events.