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Stevie C’s Blog.

What I’ve been up to…

Roadie: lighting tech, stage crew, spot-op, sound engineer, DJ.

PITF 2013

September 2013

I knew about this gig early in the year, so by the time the client had confirmed the date of the event, I’d had a few ideas of how to implement some of my lighting ideas to achieve the client’s requirements - and some other surplus ideas that the client approved of.

Ambient Lighting

I used LED floodlights as color washes throughout the trees and bushes in the field, teamed with LED string lights wrapped around the tree trunks. The plan was to use a different color for each tree. I had carried out a site visit previously, during which I had dug a trench between the main stage and the clumps of bushes for cabling. I made sure to use the correct rating of flex, and the proper IP-rated fittings and junction boxes. As these were cheap LED floods, I also made sure they had proper earth continuity.

Stevie C setting up LED color wash floodlighting at a field for a private rave
Stevie C setting up LED color wash floodlighting at a field for a private rave
Stevie C setting up LED color wash floodlighting at a field for a private rave

Stage Lighting

After setting up a PA system for “Rock n Roll with DJ”, I used most of the remaining sets of LED strings to decorate the stage. Because the LEDs have a high output, it meant that they could be used to provide a reasonable amount of stage lighting as well. For more general light, I provided colourful festoon harnesses in addition to the halogen Vorma and G017r scanners. I even brought along a bubble machine for the kids.

Stevie C setting up a PA system, LED stage lighting and disco lighting for an outdoor party/rave
Stevie C setting up a PA system, LED stage lighting and disco lighting for an outdoor party/rave
Stevie C’s Stage & Disco lighting in action

Yurt Lighting

There were 2 yurts: a small one for the kids and a large one for the adults. I used LED strings for both, but with several orders of magnitude of size. The Adults also enjoyed the use of a mirror ball and HiFi system for playback.

Stevie C setting up an outdoor party/rave yurt with LED and Disco lighting

Power

We had some power problems. The first generator we started was (according to my plug-in energy meter) spitting out 340V @ 68Hz. I thought for a moment “340? That’s pretty much bang on UK mains - pity about the frequency…” - before realising what I had read at the last second.

Genset 2 wouldn’t start and run for more than 5 seconds and Genset 3 didn’t have nearly enough transient power handling (dropping to 170v when the drummer played his kik drum, at which point the desk PSU would lose power). Genset 4 started, but produced zero voltage (yes, we checked the breakers).

The day was saved by a Frenchman who turned up with a big beast of a hand-crank diesel gen-set, which stayed bang-on 220V at 50Hz, handling our unpredictable load very well I must say. Said Frenchman stayed to get drunk, naked and groovy.

Stevie C and Graham tending the flock of Generators

Closing Thoughts

I intended not to be still tinkering away with lights at 11pm (having been guilty of that many times before). I was in a decent state so was able to re-fuel the generator. Although it was a private party, I had been invited along as a guest as well, so if this sounds like something you’d like to do, give me a call. The organisers were very impressed with what I had achieved.

For those of you planning a field party of your own, you should probably check out Urban75.com

Music-wise I’ve been into 808 State, Beats International, Black Sabbath, Chase & Status and AC/DC.