Specialz has helped create an elaborate set and lighting design for Coldplay’s recent world tour.
The concept, based on the band’s song ‘A Sky Full of Stars’, used the Japanese origami tradition, with 500 paper stars created and individually folded by the tour’s art department.
When it came to lighting and rigging the stars, the production team turned to Specialz.
“We had about five days before the first show to make this work,” said Specialz managing director Dave Smith. “Clearly, the major issue was having such fragile objects in an environment where robust durability is usually a prerequisite for any piece of touring equipment.
“Each star was lit by LED and powered by a distro box (power and DMX data) that ran three cable strings with each string containing 9 stars. In a single installation environment, this would have been a perfect rigging solution but as the tour progressed it became clear that the units were becoming damaged during load out and that we needed an added layer of protection to prevent broken LEDs shorting out and damaging the PSUs.”
To protect the stars, Smith and his team built 36 inline polyfuse boxes that fit onto the control system and protected the delicate paper creations.
“Of course, this was all part of the service to the production,” Smith said. “One of the benefits of producing bespoke pieces for clients is our ability to adapt, alter and improve a design as circumstances dictate.”
Set designer Misty Buckley, who oversaw the creation of the stars, was pleased. “The stars are integral to the design creating a warmly lit and intimate space – it has been a really lovely campaign to work on,” she said.