Colour Sound at Hampton Court Palace
Wednesday, 24 July 2019
colour-sound-hampton-courtThe line-up included Kylie Minogue, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Tears for Fears and The Jacksons (photo: Lindsay Cave)
UK - Lighting and video rental specialist Colour Sound Experiment supplied stage and architectural lighting and LED screen to the 2019 Hampton Court Palace Festival, staged in the Tudor Courtyard of Hampton Court Palace in Richmond, Surrey.
A star-studded line-up for the 2019 season included Kylie Minogue, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Tears for Fears, The Jacksons, Jools Holland and many more.
The event was enjoyed by thousands who flocked to this unique venue to enjoy summer evenings picketing in the gardens and grounds before taking their seats for the evening concerts which ran over a three-week period in June.
Ensuring that everything ran like clockwork onstage was Jonny Gaskell, production manager and production lighting designer, who has worked for the festival for the last seven years. Jonny provides a production design for the stage and lights selected architectural features around the surrounding courtyards and gardens.
In addition to the house rig, Colour Sound provides the artist specials packages as required. The music ranges from Jools Holland to full orchestral to pop, rock and funk and soul, catering for a wide range of tastes, and the lighting design takes this as a starting point.
The stage is a custom construction fitted neatly and sympathetically to the Courtyard walls, providing all the accoutrements of a modern festival stage, complete with seating tribunes in front.
Jonny’s production design for 2019 was based on three lighting trusses – front, mid, and rear – sub-flown from the roof structure, and these provide the house ‘top’ rig which was available for all to use. Colour Sound also supplied a floor package that was available for anyone wanting some extras and not bringing their own.
Jonny chose Robe MMX Spots as the main moving lights for this project. Fourteen on these graced the front truss together with six Robe LEDWash 1200s which were used for general stage washes. To highlight the audience, there were four 2-lite blinders on the front rail of the truss.
The mid truss was rigged with six MMX Spots and six LEDWash 1200s, and the back truss had 10 x LEDWash 600s and six MMX Spots. Available for the floor were six - each - of MMX Spots, LEDWash600s and 2-lite Moles on tank traps.
Onstage, 12 outdoor LED PARs were utilised for skimming up the wall at the back of the stage, which is the back wall of an adjacent courtyard so also made from the distinctive pink bricks favoured by Cardinal Wolsey who oversaw its construction between 1514 and 1521.
Around 50 outdoor PARs and various sodium floods were deployed to highlight the grounds, including turrets, chimneys, crests and gargoyles, strategic plants and pathways. “The idea is to make it atmospheric and attractive as the dusk falls and then becomes darkness,” Jonny explained.
For lighting control, Colour Sound supplied a ChamSys MQ500 and a Wing for the stage and an MQ80 for the architecturals.
Colour Sound’s H (Haydn Cruickshank) says, “It’s great to be involved in this event – it’s very much a Festival on the up and with many unique elements. The line-up expands constantly along with the commitment to higher production values and keeping the expectation buzzing each year.”
(Jim Evans)

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