Robe iPointes light GlasGLOW3 trail event
Friday, 15 January 2021
robe-glasglow3-109-1f7a9219The illuminated trail event was staged at Glasgow Botanic Gardens (photo: Carlo Paloni)
UK - GlasGLOW3 was an illuminated trail event conceived and produced by event specialist itison and staged at Glasgow Botanic Gardens. It ran for two and a half weeks in October and November featuring a fully COVID-compliant 1.5km socially distanced walking trail featuring numerous imaginative lighting works, installations, and adventures.
Lighting designer Grant Anderson was one of a core creative team comprising itison’s Oli Norman, set designer Kenneth Macleod and composer Kevin Murray who wrote and compiled the soundscape for this project.
With a superhero central narrative to the trail, Grant chose 60 Robe iPointes to be key ‘hero’ luminaires within his dynamic site-wide lighting design for GlasGLOW3. iPointes were chosen for their brightness and ability to create super-strength beams of light that would be visible from across Glasgow in the right weather conditions.
2020 was the third year of the event. Grant also lit last year’s GlasGLOW and this year it took on new significance and resonance for local communities as so many public events have been cancelled due to the pandemic.
The current Glasgow Botanic Gardens is in the vibrant West End area and has occupied this site since 1842. It features several impressive glasshouses, most notably the Kibble Palace which was moved there by barge in 1873 from Coulport on Loch Long, and now houses a forest of tree ferns.
GlasGLOW 2020 was the most advanced yet in terms of integrated guest experience. Every illuminated piece around the trail - which took about 60-90 minutes to complete via a one-way system - was related to The Power Within, a world of darkness from which heroes could rise up and discover the light. It offered the chance for every participant to rail against the gloom, become their own superhero and discover their ‘power within’, including meeting and defeating their nemesis.
The trail site was divided into five zones, with a central music theme running throughout, with stems from this used to create individual soundtracks for the different display / installation areas.
Grant designed lighting for the entire trail, which was slightly shorter in the previous year because it was not possible for guests to go inside the glasshouses due to Covid restrictions.
The principal area for iPointes was the ‘UFO crash site’, a staged area and key part of the story - even alluded to during the 2019 event - and the location where the audience could use their powers and inner strength to defeat their nemesis.
The lightshow here was designed around a complete two-and-a-half-minute looped audio sequence played out with full illumination lighting including a ‘call & response’ segment during which people realise the UFO is evil, engage in a fight, defeat the invader and assume ‘The Power’. It was the place where everything happened!
The iPointes were arranged in two concentric trussing circles - to mimic the shape of the elaborate UFO set piece - the inner circle measuring 10m diameter and rigged with 15 iPointes and the outer at 15m in diameter, loaded with 30 iPointes.
The iPointes and all the other lighting futures involved in the event were supplied by Hawthorn, project managed for the rental company by Stephen Reid.
The UFO was further lit with LED PARs and a field of custom LED pixel tubes surrounding it, all controlled via a grandMA2 light console in a central control cabin which was hooked into a fibre network running site-wide incorporating general lighting, CCTV and point-of-sale areas.
In addition, the UFO, four iPointes were positioned around the entranceway and used for sky-tracker searchlight effects, and five sat on the roof of the Kibble Palace with another five around the front of the structure.
Twelve Robe BMFL Spots were positioned inside the Kibble Palace which was closed to the public this year to ensure that people kept moving along the trail.
The final four iPointes were rigged on a run of truss at the ‘back’ of the gardens, and they were positioned so Grant could complete an animated network of beam effects emanating from all areas of the park shooting out across and above the city.
Hawthorn’s Stephen Reid comments: “We were delighted to be involved in this project which offered so many people an outlet and something to look forward to in the current environment! It also showed just what can be accomplished in the most challenging circumstances.”

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