ROBE ROCKS AT OXYGEN
22 July 2008
Leading Irish rental company Just Lite utilised over 160 Robe moving lights across six stages at Oxegen 2008, Ireland's largest and highest profile music festival. They also provided additional illumination for MTV, who recorded the event for broadcast.
The Dublin based company, run by the Smith Brothers has invested heavily in Robe over the last three years. They have a long history with the festival which is promoted by the dynamic Denis Desmond who heads MCD, the company that also runs T In The Park in Scotland … on the same weekend!
Oxegen 2008 was project managed for Just Lite by Ian Smith who comments, “The Robe range has proved ideal for our busy outdoor festival season – robust, reliable and they stand up exceptionally well in the unpredictable weather!” This is a big consideration in Ireland, which can be prone to excessive rain!
The three-day Oxegen Festival is staged at Punchestown Racecourse, Naas, County Kildare, and was enjoyed by 80,000 music fans. A diverse and exciting line-up included headliners Kings of Leon, REM, The Verve, Rage Against The Machine and the Kaiser Chiefs.
The stages serviced by Just Lite were : Main, Dance Shed, Green Room, Pet Sounds, New Bands and IMRO New Sounds (Irish Music Rights Organisation). They also illuminated all the camp site entrances and inflatable structures. They dispatched five artics of kit and 24 crew for a get-in commencing on the Wednesday morning for a Friday afternoon kick off.
This was looked after by Laim McCarthy, who designed a “house” festival lighting rig which was then supplemented by additionals for each of the headline acts, plus floor-based ‘specials’ packages for up to four bands per day.
The stage was an 80 x 60ft StageCo roof with approximately 40ft of headroom, under which Just Lite sub-hung 8 trusses. Rigged all over these were 23 Robe ColorSpot 1200E ATs, 24 Robe ColorWash 1200E ATs and 12 Robe ColorWash 575E ATs, spaced out to give even coverage. Other lighting included strobes, PixelLine LED battens, Source Four profiles, PARs and 2, 4 and 8-Lite Moles.
Hung around the PA wing structures stage left and right were 10 Robe ColorSpot 2500E ATs and 6 ColorWash 2500E ATs about which McCarthy comments, “They are bright as ****!” adding that this was exactly what the TV lighting required.
These were used by MTV’s lighting director Vince Foster for audience illumination and for creating dramatic wide-shot beamy effects. They were supported by a series of 2-lite Moles also on the PA wings, and three 5K fresnels a side on T-bars rigged off the side trusses, all operated using a WholeHog II. Foster was assisted by Darragh McAuliffe.
The onstage house/festival lighting was controlled from a Road Hog Full Boar console. McCarthy adds that he thinks the Robe 1200s are, ”Great workhorses for the daylight performances at festivals – also extremely bright, and they punch through to the stage really nicely”.
The main design criteria that this rig had to meet was high flexibility to cater for the different styles and aesthetic demands of a wide variety of artists and visiting LDs. McCarthy reports that all the visiting LDs which included Ali Bale (Kings of Leon), Suzanne Sasic (REM), Paddy Farr (The Verve), Sooner Routhier (Rage Against The Machine) and Richard Larkum (Kaiser Chiefs) were happy using the Robes in this context.
Nick Malbon was the LD who made it rock in here, working with 24 Robe ColorSpot 575E ATs at the core of the rig. He also used additional moving lights, PixelPARs, strobes and a selection of generics, all of which were attached to a rear truss and 5 trussing ‘fingers’ fanning out over the audience. This was controlled from a Hog iPC console.
The Dance Shed line up featured several live acts like Kosheen as well as top DJ’s including Annie Mac, Unkle, Calvin Harris, Mylo, etc., The upstage backdrop was a 12 by six metre hang of ColorWeb 250 fronted by a black gauze, fed with content from a Hippotizer and triggered from the Hog.
John Ryan was the designer in this tent which included hot new talent like the Ting Tings and British Sea Power, local heroes Aslan as well as maverick indie rockers like the Manic Street Preachers, Charlatans, etc.
Again the lighting brief was to create a diverse lighting environment to cover a huge variety of sounds and styles. Just Lite installed a 40 x 30ft ground support system over the stage, onto which was rigged 12 Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs and 8 Robe ColorWash 575E AT Zooms at the hub of the rig. These were supported by PARs, 4-lites, Source Four profiles and strobes, run off a WholeHog II and a wing.
Over in this dance-orientated arena run for Just Lite by Mark Hanna was another 40 x 30ft ground support structure which provided all the lighting positions. The moving lights were 12 Robe ColorSpot and eight ColorWash 575E ATs. The generics package consisted of PARs, 4-lites and Source Four profiles and the console was an Avolites Pearl Expert.
The line up included Cat Power, Aphex Twin, Seasick Steve, Hot Chip, Roisin Murphy and many more.
2FM New Bands Stage
A 40 ft back truss on Superlifts was used for the rear lighting positions, and at the front were two vertical downstage trusses. The moving lights were 12 Robe ColorWash 250E AT Zooms which were used highly effectively by Nicole Lattimore running an Avo Pearl 2008 console. She also had PARs, 4-lites and Source Four profiles at her imaginative disposal.
Hotly tipped talent appearing here included The Friendly Fires, White Denim, Alphabeat, Flogging Molly, The Rascals and many others.
Structural support on this intimately sized stage comprised a rear SuperLite truss on two Zenith stands, with two vertical runs of MiniBeam trussing for downstage hanging points. The moving lights were four Robe ColorSpot 250E ATs which – equally compact - offered more than enough features and functions for Aoife Hester to keep the creativity flowing throughout the weekend. He also utilised PARs, ACLs and Source Fours on the rig, run from an Avolites Pearl Expert console.
Just Lite is enjoying another busy summer season, and their Robe kit will be in action on many other major shows and events including the Electric Picnic in August.
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