Ground Control at heart of Lollapalooza India
Wednesday, 3 May 2023
groundcontrol-A stand-out aspect of Lollapalooza India was the lighting design
India - What began in 1991 as a farewell tour by Perry Farrell (singer of the group Jane's Addiction) has today grown into one of the biggest and most loved multi-genre destination music festivals in the world – with its presence spread across numerous cities in multiple continents and its impact felt across cultures and generations. Lollapalooza. And in 2023 for the first time ever, this festival brand finally made its way to Asia, with the Indian city of Mumbai selected to host what would become one of the largest multi-genre music festivals to ever take place in Asia.
Brought to India by leading entertainment company, BookMyShow (who spearheaded the festival as promoter and co-producer). along with global producers, Perry Farrell, WME and C3 Presents; the maiden edition of Lollapalooza India was spread across two days and hosted world-class performers like Imagine Dragons, AP Dhillon, Diplo, Divine, Prateek Kuhad, The Wombats, and many more. The four performance stages that were set up at the Mahalakshmi Race Course Grounds.
Sound & Light Professionals was at the heart of it all at the BUDX stage, while Sound.Com, Audio Dimensionz and Electrocraft each exuded unparalleled prowess in commissioning the Walkers & Co stage, the Perry’s stage, and the NEXA stage respectively.
A stand-out aspect of Lollapalooza India was the lighting design. Two of India’s most prominent lighting service providers in Star Dimensions Inda Pvt Ltd and Stage Engage were brought on-board to commission the extensive lighting rig for the four stages; with each stage spotlighting an intricate lighting rig comprising an eclectic mix of hundreds of fixtures from industry leader brands like Claypaky, Elation, Martin, Acme, Showtech, and Smoke Factory.
The BUDX stage and Walkers & Co stage were adorned with close to 250 different lighting elements each, while the Perry’s stage and NEXA stage were outfitted with close to 200 fixtures and 150 fixtures respectively; as each stage was equipped with two units of the industry leading grandMA3 full-size lighting control console to deliver impeccable control and achieve flawless designs. (full list of the lighting rig at each stage is shared below).
With a clear vision of the kind of immersive experience that needed to be achieved, the festival organizers sought the expert guidance of one of India’s leading lighting designers – Naveen Deshpande and his team at Ground Control. Naveen came on board as the designated lighting director of Lollapalooza India.
“Considering Ground Control’s knowledge in working with various genres within the independent music space already, we were given a free hand on the design right from the get-go. And I remember Mr. Kenneth Lobo (BMS) and Vincent walking out of the room with me as they told me how Ground Control were the first partners to be roped in on this project. When I look back at it all, I am proud to say that it was one of the most professionally, tastefully and passionately done festivals in the country, and I think the key was all the meticulous pre-planning that happened many months prior to the show thanks to Vincent’s vision,” shares Naveen.
Naveen explains that the planning stages for the project began several months prior to the festival date itself, with the Ground Control team submitting the lighting plots almost four months in advance – once again a feat unheard of within the Indian live event scene. And the first step of it all involved locking in the right kind of festival inventory that would do justice to all the stages and the various genres being performed at each of the stages.
“In many ways, Lollapalooza India stands as a true trend-setter; and the festival has certainly kicked up expectations and standards several notches higher. Personally, we at Ground Control have already started implementing these working methodologies across all our shows. The suppliers who we work with on a regular basis have already got a hang of things and the process of rigging to programming has become much more efficient. At the same time, we’ve also been fortunate to work with forward thinking event companies and production heads who understand the kind of value we bring to the table. I
“In fact, many of the shows that we’ve been a part of in the past six months or so, exude a unique design identity – be it Lollapalooza, Prateek Kuhad’s The Way that Lover’s Do tour or the very recent Cinematic Orchestra Tour – they’re all at par with the very best in international standards,” Naveen states confidently.

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