Music of the Spheres is the first tour to feature PixMob’s 7-LED wristband
UK - There was much to celebrate when Coldplay performed the third of four shows at Etihad Stadium in early June as part of its eco-conscious Music of the Spheres world tour. The venue’s usual residents, Manchester City F.C. had just won the F.A. Cup at Wembley, ahead of one of the most visually enchanting live productions in recent memory providing the party of a lifetime for 60,000 ecstatic fans.
For PixMob, the Canadian technology developer behind the crowd’s “game-changing” LED wristbands, this leg is also the first since it announced its expansion into Europe with the opening of a new base in Brussels. “Having been involved in projects on the continent for the best part of a decade and seen increasing demand, we decided to get closer in order to better service the market,” commented Ysabel Vangrudenberg, managing director of PixMob Europe.
Successfully implemented on Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Bad Bunny and Ariana Grande, along with high-profile events including the Olympic Games, Eurovision and Super Bowl, PixMob’s products were a good fit for Music of the Spheres from the outset.
Although interactive wristbands had been introduced by Coldplay over 10 years ago, it took PixMob to deliver a level of sustainable technology that satisfied every aspect of the environmental and creative goals. As a result, Music of the Spheres is the first tour to feature the company’s latest generation 7-LED wristband, the world’s first compostable, plant-based plastic wristband, sourced from renewable sugarcane.
Hours before doors opened at Etihad Stadium, a backstage workforce of over 100 local freelancers, supervised by PixMob’s Samantha Torres and Matt Dumont, ensured that the wristbands used for the previous show were sanitised and refurbished for continued use, prior to redistributing them on point of entry that night and then collecting them again upon exit.
“They’re designed to last hundreds of shows,” informed Torres. “Then, after the tour, the plastic casings are removed and they are sent away to break down naturally in compost. The wristbands aren’t branded like band merchandise, which means that most fans are happy to hand them in to us after the show. We’ve been averaging around 90% with the returns.”
“This was my first tour with PixMob technology and the training I received gave me a huge advantage because I can programme the lighting and the wristband elements in a more streamlined manner,” said lighting director and programmer Shaheem Litchmore. “Every song has its own theme and I’m adding creative depth to the journey attached to it. We incorporate the wristbands just like any other lighting element, and it’s all about dynamics and balance. There are some songs that don’t require anything from them. At other times, they have a subtle effect where they shine and kind of bounce around the audience, or they do accents here and there.”
While Sooner Routhier (Bon Jovi, Rihanna, Mötley Crüe) designed the impressive lighting production, it is Litchmore who delivers the goods, night after night, as he pilots all of the lighting, including the 7-LED wrist devices and a total of 48 PixMob infrared washes and eight infrared moving heads, from his grandMA3 show console.
“Everything we do is pre-determined between Sooner and myself, but I’m also taking my lead from the band,” stated Litchmore. “They know the music better than anyone, so they’re perfect collaborators. All the band are very aware of the creative design but Chris is particularly outspoken about ideas and the use of certain colours. He is especially keen on the wristbands; he loves them. Chris specifically asked for an approach on ‘Clocks’ that involved a three-step group chase. He also came up with the hearts idea and asked if we could do that with that wristband effect in the crowd. Between PixMob and I we worked it out, and Chris was over the moon.”
Launched in March 2022, Music of the Spheres will have played to audiences well in excess of five million by the time it loads out for the final time. “This tour’s not ending anytime soon,” said Shaheem Litchmore. “That means I’ll be here for a while and I’m confident that with the constant development of PixMob technology, we will be making even more cool stuff happen that’s environmentally safe.”
Coldplay complete the latest European leg of Music of the Spheres in Amsterdam on 19 July 2023. For a full production report on the tour, see the September 2022 issue of LSi.

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