Creative Technology (CT) took on the mammoth challenge of almost doubling the size of the main stage IMAGs at world-renowned Reading and Leeds Festival last month, after 25 dedicated years working on the event
Every year over the August bank holiday, festival goers flock to Reading and Leeds for two of the most popular festivals in the music calendar. Taking part simultaneously and sharing the same bill, Reading and Leeds Festival boasts an eclectic line-up with a diverse combination of musical genres with this year’s headliners including The 1975, Foo Fighters, Post Malone and Twenty one Pilots.
This year saw client Festival Republic transforming the Main Stage IMAG Screens at Reading and Leeds Festival, almost doubling them in size from 145sqm to 270sqm. Each of the huge screens which were made up of InfiLED 5.9 measured a monstrous 22.5m wide x 12m high. A custom double curve at each end allowed them to aesthetically wrap around the festival goalpost support structures, opening the stage area and giving the crowd close-up shots of their favourite artists.
CT supplied and operated Barco E2 switchers and 4K signal transfer to deliver video relay to the IMAGs (each of which were larger than 4K) with the additional provision of four cameras at Leeds, feeding images for the video relay to the IMAGs, all using Brompton processing. UK Rigging provided custom header blocks which neatly covered the overhead rigging, giving the IMAGs a clean finish to fit in with the rest of the stage design.
Dominic Hill, project manager at Creative Technology looking after Leeds Festival said: “Reading and Leeds Festival 2018 was a large set-up, but Festival Republic really upped their game for 2019! As soon as conversations started about the Main Stage LED, I knew we had an exciting challenge ahead! When comparing the festival year on year it is clear to see why the client chose to bring this vision to life and the feedback on the IMAGs from Artists and Crew has been phenomenal. As with any large event, they don’t happen without the odd hurdle to overcome along the way, but the entire on-site crew were attentive and hard working – they all deserve a huge pat on the back!”
The Upstage Screen measured 16.8m wide x 9.6m high and was made up of ROE CB5. The large screen was rebuilt and repurposed into different configurations each night by a full overnight LED crew, which was no mean feat. It provided a stunning backdrop for each of the Main Stage performances, and for the first time ever all artists performing on the main stage had the option to tie into the screen.
To add an extra dimension to the Main Stage and provide an unrestricted view for the large crowds that gathered there, a FOH Screen measuring 12.5m high x 7m wide was supplied, curving around the structure. In addition to the Main Stage LED and switching, CT supplied seven screens which were built in the Radio 1 area.
Jim Liddiard, project manager at Creative Technology looking after Reading Festival said: “Reading and Leeds 2019 undoubtedly offered an engineering challenge! We worked closely with UK Rigging to deliver the supersized IMAGs on the Main Stage and the result was incredible. None of this would have been possible without the crew who were second to none. Festival Republic have really pushed the boundaries on this event, and it is exciting to work for a client who continuously thinks outside the box and looks to make already popular events bigger and better than before!”
On top of the LED element, CT Audio were on site supplying sound to the BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage and The Pit / The Lock Up Stage. Avid Profile FOH desks were supplied to both stages, with the Dance Stage running a d&b V-series L & R system with V and J-INFRA subs / out-fills were d&b Y-series all running on D80 Amplifiers. The Pit / The Lock Up Stage was running a smaller d&b Y-series system, with B2-SUBs.
At the monitors end of the multicore CT supplied Yamaha PM5D-RH and run d&b M4 stage monitors with side-fills comprising of d&b J-SUBs with V7P tops for the Dance Stage and d&b B4-SUBs with V7P tops for The Pit / The Lock Up Stage, all running on D80 Amplifiers.