The two-day festival style event was staged in the grounds of Chillington Hall
UK - CPL co-ordinated and delivered staging, sound, video, lighting and other associated BTS (behind the scenes) infrastructure to Tropic Fest, a two-day festival style event staged in the grounds of the historic Chillington Hall in Staffordshire.
CPL was working for production company Pandora Events and their end client, Tropic Skincare with a team led by Lee Gruszeckyj. They asked Star Events onboard to supply the 15m orbit stage on which all the performance action took place.
The sound, lighting and video production design was based on the requirements of several artist riders from a lively line-up that included acts like Rob da Bank, Our Girl G, Queenz, Mr Motivator, Air Guitar Band, Magic of Marley, Twinnie, the Strictly Come Dancing Band with headliners Gok Wan, Bjorn Again and the Ministry of Sound Disco. This mixed line up meant that flexibility was essential for all technical departments.
CPL’s experience of servicing festival events like Glastonbury, Hay on Wye, Camper Calling and many others was a massive asset in staging Tropic Fest, a small festival environment for approximately 1200 of Tropic’s ‘top ambassadors’.
A 5.4m wide by 3m-deep LED screen was hung at the back of the stage which features cantilevered PA supports for a neat, streamlined finish and clear sightlines.
The LED screen and a variety of lighting was rigged on four trusses sub-hung underneath the roof. Lighting comprised 40 moving lights - Claypaky Mythos2s for specials and effects, Martin MAC Auras for washes and Ayrton Perseos for beams and additional effects, plus 10 Philips Nitro strobes and four Portman P1s for eye candy.
Lighting was programmed and run on a ChamSys console and operated by Pete Sarson and Paul ‘Granville’ Smith, with the MoS Disco bringing their own lighting operator.
An L-Acoustics Kara II PA was spec’d and supplied. L-Acoustics SB18 subs were used as side fills and KS28s as the main bass at ground level in an arc around the front of the stage.
L-Acoustics wedges were utilised for monitors, and the consoles were a pair of DiGiCo Quantums – a 338 at FOH and a 225 for monitors. Louis Hodge was CPL’s FOH engineer while Callum Holmes took care of the patch and mixing monitors.
A comprehensive mics-and-stands package included Shure classics and IEMs, DPAs for the instruments and Shure Axients.
The video element was deliberately simple with the single Roe CB5 LED screen. No side screens were necessary as there was adequate space for all guests to get close to the stage. Stuart Dowdell, with whom CPL recently worked closely on the Hay literary festival, headed up the video department and used a Barco PDS4K switcher with a QLab machine running playback. A couple of Agile remote-controlled cameras onstage offered some straightforward IMAG inputs.
A collection of pyro and other effects were organized by CPL together with lasers, with Danny Mason at Reach Lasers delivering 10 x 32000 RGB units to enrich the visual picture.
CPL’s crew numbered around 25 including two stage managers to ensure that everything ran to time.
The current Grade I listed Chillington Hall Georgian country house is home to the Giffard family and was designed by Francis Smith in 1724 and John Soane in 1785 with a park and lake landscaped by Capability Brown. It’s the third building on the site, the first being a stone castle dating to the 12th century!
The impressive 50m wide front façade of the house was illuminated with a combination of IP rated SGM P6s and Ayrton Perseo Profiles with Avo control as part of the site lighting scheme. This provided an eye-catching backdrop and numerous Instagram moments for guests at the end of each evening as they made their way back to the camping areas.

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