Updated: Apr 24, 2020


Before the Gold Rush...


On the cusp of its 50th anniversary, Glastonbury Festival has morphed from ‘folk and pop’ event for some 1,500 people to core cultural ingredient in the calendar for 140 times that number. The production effort has taken similar strides, accelerated since the turn of the century.


Providing LED screens and Video equipment to Glastonbury for the last eight years, Transition Video was on the Other Stage for the first time in 2019 with 8.4m x 8.4m ROE CB5 iMAGs stage right and stage left and a 15m CB5 upstage LED screen, each with a 14m horizontal truss brace to counter the wind load. Transition also supplied Barco E2 image processors for artists using the screens and to allow different images on each through a performance.


Tame Impala, The Chemical Brothers and Christine and The Queens headlined the Other Stage with Two Door Cinema Club, Johnny Marr, Billie Eilish and Loyle Carner among the other acts.


The new IICON stage at Block 9 was another first for Transition. Inspired by French composer Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, the structure, a massive head on its side wearing a VR headset, required a 9m x 6m LED screen tilted forward on a 45° angle.


“It wasn’t the usual, ‘build it from the ground up and fly it off a truss’, we had to fix touring frames to this structure then hoist each panel up individually,” Transition Video Director, Rhodri Shaw, says.


In the south east corner of the site, at the Temple on The Common, which Transition has been providing for since 2016, the company mapped five Panasonic PTDZ 21k projectors on a Mayan temple-style structure.


“We have been working for the festival since Transition started, growing gradually across the map as new opportunities come up but this was the best Glastonbury for us,” Shaw says.


Glastonbury 2020 takes place from June 24 to 28. The 210,00 tickets went in 61 minutes.





Transition


Video have an ongoing association with the Autism Rocks series of charity shows. The company were approached by Entec to supply creative video displays and worked with frequent associates Carl Stage and Vortex Events for one of the highlights of the series, a rare appearance in the UK by multi-million selling Latino-pop artist Ricky Martin.


Supplying 4 Chevrons of LED to the unusual stage configuration was only part of Transition’s remit. The show needed considerable amounts of camera coverage so 4 hothead cameras were supplied to give comprehensive coverage whilst remaining discrete in what was a compact venue for the demands of the show.


Playback and mixing s


olutions were also dealt with by Transition Video. Due to the combination of live camera feeds, custom footage and the unusual layout of the LED screens, a Hippotizer Karst media server with HDSDI input modules was used as the key mixing and playback device. This allowed all media and cameras to be cut inside one device reducing rig times and minimising crew levels.


“This was a challenging gig for sure” says Rhodri Shaw, CEO of Transition Video. “Essentially the brief was ‘just put an arena gig into the Hammersmith Apollo and make it feel huge. That’s a big ask in a venue which, in today’s terms, isn’t that big and has the challenges that a compact venue close to London’s city centre always throws up. We sat down with the team and designed this one down to the last detail to keep it lean and efficient. We were very proud of the results and to be part of this great series of charity events.”


Demand for the event was so high that a second night was added to the dates and the entire gig was streamed live on social media via Facebook on 22nd August 2016.



Transition Video were approached by Dick Tee of Enteetainment to supply a creative LED screen solution to touring artists Imagine Dragons for their back to back appearances at the UK’s Reading and Leeds festivals in August.


Tee had a very specific but straightforward brief for these gigs. The LED setup needed to support creativity and flexibility for their touring LED to quickly program and configure the system on this mid-tour pair of dates. The system needed to be bright enough to be seen in daylight leading into dusk as the band were the penultimate act of the day. And finally the turnaround times between Imagine Dragons and the headline act was unusually short and hence the setup needed to rig and de-rig in record time.



“We fell back onto Stealth LED for this gig” says Rhodri Shaw of Transition Video. “Stealth still has one of the most innovative systems of storage with easy rigging out there and fortunately we have access to rather a lot of it!”


The stealth and associated rigging elements were pre-positioned along the rear of the stage ready to be hoisted straight of the cases seconds after the previous act vacated the stage. Pre-loomed rigging elements were tested in-house at Transition then real-world tested at 3am at each of the two shows.


“We really didn’t have any room for error on this show. We’d run through the rigging exercise like a military operation several times prior to hitting site. All cabling was designed to be truly plug and play and it all payed off. There was an element of satisfaction watching the LED fold back into its flight-case at Reading on Saturday evening and be on the truck heading to Leeds before headliners The Red Hot Chilli Peppers had even got into their stride.”