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Fineline Lights Snowboxx 2016

Fineline supplied lighting for two venues – Main Stage and Club XX - at the six day 2016 Snowboxx Festival staged in the spectacular French Alpine ski resort of Avoriaz. The event now in its fourth year, is a week of activities culminating in three days of music in an intimate 4000 capacity boutique festival for lovers of snow sports, dance music and great vibes.

It was the first year that Fineline has been involved as a technical supplier. Stu England designed the rigs for both areas, which were based on being flexible to give all the artists as many options as possible for their sets to look individual and interesting, delivering excellent ‘bang-for-buck’.

The Main Stage was outdoors on the slopes and comprised a 12 meter roof system beneath which Stu and the Fineline crew sub-hung four finger trusses running upstage / downstage.

With limited space and weight loadings, when it came to the choice of moving lights, the smallest, lightest and brightest fixtures able to produce the maximum amount of looks … were selected and rigged on the fingers.

This included 12 x Pointes, 12 x LEDWash 600s and 12 LEDBeam 100 moving lights – all Robe – plus six Martin Atomic strobes, 12 x 2-lite Moles and a string (of 8) ACLs in the air and another on the floor for a bit of retro beam technology.


There were also four 4-way bars of PARs for general stage washes.

“I went for a mathematical formula – everything was divisible by four … apart from the Atomics, but it’s always good to have a curved ball in the mix!” explained Stu.

The two sets of ACLs were diligently focused to replicate a light-beam version of the distinctive double-X Snowboxx branding, so this could be incorporated into the lighting.

Upstage was a truss on two motors that could be flown in and out to accommodate artist backdrops.

All lights were controlled via an Avolites Arena console, and only one band brought their own LD, so Fineline’s Will Dale operated for most of the rest, assisted by James Harrington on dimmers / general technical.

The idea in Club XX was to freshen up the resort’s own venue which had a basic house lighting rig, some of which was utilised.

Four of the five meters of stage width was usable … so they added six Chauvet Rogue R2 Beams, six R2 washes, 16 x Miltec LED battens, two Atomics and four 2-lite Moles, with an Avo Tiger Touch console for control.

The line-up here was all DJs so the lighting formula was to produce lots of straightforward exciting kinetic and colourful club-style lighting.

Fineline’s package also involved the design and fabrication of a set for Club XX.

A 6 meter high by 4 meter wide trussing goal post was the superstructure onto which was hung a set of inverted wooden flats cut in the shape of a mountain range with screen material in the middle. This allowed it to be lit from both front and behind giving a proper 3D impression created with the Miltec battens inserted into the gap between the two sets of flats.

The end results were highly effective in producing colour changing and other effects to make the space funky and fresh.

The front of the DJ booth was clad in a scenic XX logo, also cut out of a wooden flat and back-lit with Miltec LED PARs.

Looking after the club’s lighting from Fineline were Sam Kenyon and Jonnie Westell.

In addition to these, site wide architectural lighting strategically positioned around the extensive site included 30 x Chauvet SlimPAR 24s which are IP rated and ideal for this application, plus 20 x 400W MBI floods and six source Fours used for gobo art.

Fineline used their extensive experience of scenic festival site illumination, lighting the slopes behind the main stage with more LED PARs shooting up the piste – a surface that takes light particularly well.

“It was the architectural elements that were the real challenge both in design terms and the practicality of powering, running data and rigging them,” explained Stu. Carrying fixtures through serious snow is a lot harder work and more time-consuming than running around on a green-field site!

There was also a small sub-venue – Igloo – which ran just for one night, for which Stu and the team supplied four Robe Pointes, two fitted with custom gobos projecting the XX logo up the side of the mountain, plus four gas powered Flame jet machines ... all run from an Avo Quartz console.

Stu concludes, “It’s great to be involved with an up-and-coming event like this which is being organized by nice people with a genuine love of music and on a mission to deliver great production values to their fans”.

Fineline for BBC 6 Music Festival

This year the BBC’s 6 Music Festival landed in Bristol, with lighting for two stages at vibrant nightspot Motion - one of the main venues - supplied by locally based rental company Fineline to another stunning specification and design by the event’s LD Tim Routledge, whose current clients also include Take That and E.L.O.

Motion hosted two stages for the three days of exciting and eclectic live performances – headlined (in Motion) by Primal Scream, Suede and Foals, with action from the Main Stage broadcast live on 6 Music across the weekend, and highlights available to watch via the BBC’s red button and BBC iPlayer.

Motion’s second room, the Skate Park, featured some serious raw talent and rising stars like Yeasayer, Field Music, Beirut and The Invisible.

In keeping with the BBC’s desire to utilize local rental companies, Fineline was contacted by Tim Routledge to quote on the job, and once confirmed, he designed lighting for Motion’s Main Stage based on their stock. It’s the third year that Tim has designed lighting for the event and each year the idea is to create a distinctive and defining visual aesthetic.

"We were really excited to be involved in this high profile event" stated Fineline project manager Stuart England, "and very honoured to be contacted by someone of Tim's calibre and asked to work with him and the BBC. We really enjoyed the experience – the results looked fantastic!”

Fineline also happens to be the preferred lighting and visuals supplier for Motion, and so their regular crew are familiar with the venue – a charismatic former warehouse at the back of Bristol’s Templemeads Station - and its nuances.

A bespoke 30ft wide by 16 ft. deep ground support system was installed in the Main room. Due to the roof weight loading limitations, this was anchored to the ground via its back legs with the front points picked up by motors rigged directly to the industrial crane – dating back to its days as an active marble warehouse - that runs length ways down the building. The front truss was also flown directly off the crane.

The moving lights were all Robe, with 20 x Pointes, 18 X LED Beam 100s and 10 x LED Wash 600s, joined by 6 x Atomic strobes, 18 x Miltec LED PARS, 10 x Showtec active Sunstrips, 18 x ETC Source Fours with assorted lenses, 6 x 1.2K fresnels and 16 x 4 lite Moles for audience illumination.

Of these, eight of the Pointes, all the LED PARs, and the Sunstrips were on the floor.

The LED PARs were used to highlight assorted foliage set pieces decorating the stage – one of the event’s regular visual components. The Sunstrips were used more unusually as footlight strips along the front of the stage to introduce subtle key lighting for the low angle camera shots, a technique that was very effective.

To recreate the 6 Music Festival’s signature tungsten look, 12 x 50 meter runs of festoon were strung, canopy-style, above the audience ... Fitted with an impressive total of 1680 15W clear golf-ball festoon lamps.

Along with all the stage lighting, these were run from two grandMA2 light consoles programmed and operated by Tim’s design associate, Tom Young.

Tim Williams and Will Dale from Fineline looked after all the tech'ing, with James Harrington working as rigger on the in and the out, where his intimate knowledge of the venue – he ran the house lighting and visuals for many years - was invaluable, especially when maximising the roof weight capacity to ensure Tim was offered the highest production values to accommodate his design.

In the Skate Park area - a similar size to the Main room - the raw, grubby, urban feel of the surroundings added a resonance and a vibe for all audience and artists alike.

Lighting in here was designed by Stuart England, and the rig was spread over a front truss and four 8ft high vertical truss towers onstage.

Four 6-lamp bars of PARs provided the key lighting and 12 x 2-lite Moles on the front truss worked well for blasting the audience.

The moving lights comprised 12 x Chauvet Rogue R2 Beams and 12 x R2 Washes, combined with 14 x Miltec LED battens and four Atomics.

An Avolites Arena for control (with Quartz backup) was programmed and run by Fineline's James Box, with the multi-tasking James Harrington looking after dimmers.

Tim Routledge commented, “The easy route on this might be to speak with one of the bigger national rental companies that we use regularly, however I really enjoy reaching out of our comfort zone and working with local resources … and every year it's been great! This year was no exception. Turning to Fineline for one of the main stages, we were looked after really well and the result in this idiosyncratic site-specific venue was just perfect for the vibe of the festival, and the BBC were thrilled yet again.

“Stuart's team were keen, flexible and just cracked on with it! A result!"

Fineline Gets Cultural in Islington

Bristol based lighting and visuals rental specialist Fineline was commissioned by production company The Fair to add a fabulous lighting ambience to the Islington Square Festival of Culture, a four day event organized by the company at the heart of redeveloping the former site of the N1 post sorting office into a new and vibrant commercial and residential hub, due to launch in 2017.

Fineline’s Rob Sangwell created a lighting scheme to illuminate a series of indoor and outdoor spaces on the site including a pop-up cinema, a live music stage, a children’s theater, a community gardening demonstration zone and a markets area, with the overall brief of making it look attractive and special.

The Markets area and the bar were internal and illuminated with a series of well positioned LED PARs, around 40 in total, together with mirror balls adding some sparkle and 250 meters of LED festoon … to get visitors in the festive spirit. Other ‘environmental’ lights included Robe Pointes fitted with custom Islington Square logos which beamed around the walls and floor.

Main Stage lighting was a practical selection of small put pokey lights including four Robe Pointes, 8 x LEDBeam 100s, 8 x Chauvet R2 LED Washes and 4 R2 Beams and a sprinkling of PARs rigged on stands and controlled via an Avo Pearl Expert. The stage action featured a string of bands and comedy artists – including Miss Hope Springs, Joel Domett, Sam Brookes, Jake Isaac and many more.

In the Garden demo area, Fineline lifted the general space primarily with LED PARs and battens shooting up the walls and lighting shrubbery and foliage in complimentary colors, whilst also providing practical working light with halogen fixtures.

A large Boulevard runs down the middle of the site between the two main buildings with a video-mapped projection show on one side, for which Fineline designed supporting architectural lighting. “The goal here was to bring a carnivalesque feel to the Boulevard” which was achieved with the help of another 350 meters – over 1000 bulbs - of festoon lighting, zig-zagged along the space, juxtaposed with IP rated color-changing fixtures firing up the walls.

The areas adjacent to the video projection show were lit with IP rated Chauvet LED floods and four more Robe Pointes were installed, again fitted with custom gobos. The building running along the other side of the boulevard was covered in scaffolding, inventively made into a feature with more Chauvet IP rated LED floods – around 50 units in total.

These floods were all controlled via another Avo console – Fineline’s new Arena - so funky effects like color waves and subtle and highly effective undulating sequences could be created to enhance the atmospherics.

Over in the Pop Up Cinema, 8 x Robe 600E Spots were utilized to throw breakup patterns and texturing onto the ceiling, together with another two Pointes with more custom gobos.

The VIP event opening session featured the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra playing to a movie which also required additional lighting, delivered with a selection of carefully positioned fresnel and profile halogen sources and attention to details like ensuring the environment was not too hot and that the musicians had enough light to see their music and the conductor clearly.

House lighting for the cinema was also part of the package plus a couple of strobes used during late night movies like Pulp Fiction, for which they were synced with certain sound effects in the movie.

For general branding, Fineline built a trussing goal-post over the main event entrance, next to the development’s marketing suite, to which a large light-box sign – supplied by the organizers - was attached. There were also a couple of other branding structures built around the site.

The challenges, explained Rob, were the fragmented nature of all the different installations which made the get-in labour intensive, plus the fact that it was an active building site, so they had to be aware of all the applicable CDM rules and regulations during the fit-up and liaise with the site construction team as well as The Fair’s production manager, Alan Crofton.

The three week lead-in period was quite tight for the nature of the project, but short timescales are something Fineline is fully geared up to deal with. Being central London, there was no parking, so access was a galvanizing logistic to work through and the noise control restrictions on the build days were another curved ball with which the Fineline crew dealt efficiently and diplomatically!

“Overall it was a great project, the results looked fabulous, the client was happy and we were all very pleased to have been involved,” concluded Rob.

Fineline Gets the Avolites Arena Spirit

Bristol based lighting, rigging and video rental specialist Fineline is the first UK Company to purchase one of Avolites’ new Arena lighting consoles - serial number 001 - a cool and innovative product launched earlier in the year at the Prolight+Sound Expo in Frankfurt.

Fineline has been a big investor in Avolites control, particularly in the last two years explains MD Rob Sangwell, with a selection of Tiger Touch, Tiger Touch Pro, Quartz and Pearl Expert ranges in their hire stock which are constantly in use. “Avo has always been a powerful and simple to use control surface,” says Rob, “And apart from making some of the best ‘live’ consoles on the market, the service and backup has also been fantastic!”

Stuart England, Fineline’s Operations co-ordinator said, “The Arena ticks all the boxes for us. It builds from the popular Tiger Touch operating architecture … with extra faders to retain that old skool buskability for which Avo desks are famously well loved, together with plenty of innovative new and updated features … so this will keep many LDs happy”.

He adds that the additional touch screen and four playback pots will work well with Key Frame Shapes, a new feature in V9 of Avo’s robust Titan OS.

From a technical standpoint, Stuart adds that the internal network switch and UPS reduce the amount of kit needed at FOH and simplifies the plug up – less clutter, more space and more room to work smart at FOH!

The built in optical CON makes it future proof in an era where more and more shows are using pixel mapped fixtures that are hungry on DMX universes!
Stuart also underlines Rob’s comments about the great support from Avo. “They are there for you any time of day or night and understand the pressures and challenges involved in any live situation plus the fact that … the show must go on whatever! This is as important as the product itself”.

Being designed for festivals, theatres and anywhere needing a larger control surface, the Arena is just the right size for Fineline’s current workload, and has plenty of headroom to allow LDs to create the most interesting shows!

It combines the popular Tiger Touch II interface with 30 additional Playback faders plus expanded live control options and features. A second touch screen alongside the main display provides an additional workspace window, and more labelling for the adjacent macro buttons and rotary pots. These fully assignable playback encoders allow intuitive control of channels and effects. The six LCD screens display electronic legends for 30 faders, for quick and easy access to all the playbacks, fixtures and palettes.

Rob is also impressed by the networking facilities, “Especially useful for festival scenarios” where they are running ‘house’ and production lighting systems, with artists bringing in floor and specials packages that can be accommodated really easily and effectively.

Fineline has also recently been using its Avolites AI servers to run video for a variety of shows. “It’s a great brand with a solid history, a great reputation … and some fabulous people,” concludes Rob.

The Avolites Arena is available to hire now from Fineline Lighting.

Fineline provides Video Screens & Lighting for Rugby World Cup

Bristol based lighting and visuals specialist Fineline Lighting is supplying LED screens and supports for the Rugby World Cup fan zone in picturesque Northernhay Gardens in Exeter city center.

The venue – which also includes food stalls - is being facilitated by Exeter City Council. It enables Rugby fans without a ticket to Sandy Park or other games to enjoy the buzz plus all the thrills and spills of the 2015 Rugby World Cup match days as they unfold on the big screen in this convenient location in an official Rugby World Cup host city.

There are two video screens, the main one comprising 63 panels of Lighthouse R7 screen totaling around 50 square meters, which is flown on a truss installed towards the back of a Serious Stages 16 meter Supernova stage. There’s capacity in front of this for up to 5000 sports fans.

Fineline’s crew also installed two general purpose lighting trusses over the stage which are used for presentations or entertainment taking place on the stage which has included bands, singers, choirs and orchestras who have performed in front of the screen during the breaks and either side of the match action. These are loaded with PARs, complete with an Avolites Quartz console for control.

The basic rig is expanded with additional lighting fixtures as required.
The second screen is located about half way down the park which can expand the capacity and accommodate additional audience.
This is 15 square meters and is made up of a new product – Desay M6, a 6 mm pitch HD surface optimized for outdoor use.
It is very bright and lightweight, offering a rich, high quality colour reproduction coupled with shallow depth and quick and easy rigging. “It’s an excellent all round multi-purpose solution for all types of LED screen applications,” comments Fineline’s Rob Sangwell, a man who is not easily impressed!

This screen is supported by one of Fineline’s smaller FLSS5x4 Screen Support packages comprising two towers specially designed for quick construction by two people without needing any plant or machinery.

Fineline has a range of standard size FLSS screen supports that can accommodate screens with sail areas of up to 48 square meters, available off-the-shelf with all the requisite wind and structural calculations and health & safety documentation.

The screens are being fed with footage from the rugby games coming direct from ITV via a Freesat dish. The signal comes in to the main screen and is relayed to the second one. Additional content from local film makers and community groups is also integrated into the days’ events.

“It’s great to be working in the sports event sector again supplying video screens, lighting and rigging to the Rugby World Cup fan park, and we are very pleased to have been asked to get involved. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with the team in Exeter,” adds Rob.