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PSI Lights Up West Belfast Festival

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Belfast based Production Services Ireland (PSI) have supplied lighting for the two main venues for Ireland's biggest community festival.
The work at the West Belfast Festival followed on from PSI's work for organisers Feile an Phobail for their Spring Festival and Comedy Festivals earlier in the year.
PSI's Sean Pagel commented: "It was a great pleasure to work on this event and come onboard right at the start. This gave us the chance to demonstrate how investment in production values can really enhance the look and feel of an event".
PSI designed and supplied lighting for The Marquee in Bank Square in central Belfast and for all the action taking place in Andersonstown Leisure Centre as well as for a selection of other one off venues including schools, community centres, youth clubs and a monastery.
The physical challenges of installing the lighting rig here included a low ceiling height, no flying points and having to run off 3 phase 63 Amp power.
The production design was created by Sean Pagel and Joe Byrne and based around the specs of the different bands appearing - who included Damien Dempsey, Everlast, Michelle Shocked, Drunken Balordi and the Neville Staple Band.
The front truss was flown from the tent structure, but had really restricted weight loadings. Bars of 6 PARs were rigged on it giving front wash coverage of the stage, complete with one audience facing bar. The back truss - on wind up stands - was rigged with 4 Martin MAC 250 Kryptons and more 6-way PAR bars.
The stage was about 30 ft wide by 12 ft deep and therefore limited for space once bands were set up, so 4 Robe ColorWash 250s were squeezed into any available gaps.
PSI added a Chroma-Q ColorWeb 125 backdrop, which made a real difference in boosting the depth and perspective of the stage as well as looking funky and interesting, rather than having a black void at the end of the tent. "It was a real case of using the available space imaginatively and thoughtfully, rather than just rigging a set of lights that would do the job" explained Pagel.
Joe Byrne operated the Avolites Pearl Expert lighting desk, with a Hippo Express media server used to run video content for the ColorWeb.
This is a standard sports hall space with pre-determined rigging points that dictate where the trussing has to fly, so PSI put in a 12 metre wide by 10 metre deep box truss over the stage. A 12 metre audience truss was rigged in the auditorium, complete with 9 Cantata fresnels for house lighting.
An eclectic variety of artists appeared here including Lenny Henry, who headed up the Comedy Night, Celtic fusion band The Peatbog Faeries from the Isle of Skye, The Wonderstuff, Cornershop and a glam pop blast from the 1980s with ABC, so the lighting had to be very flexible.
On the back truss of the box were 8 Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs and 6 Robe ColorWash 700E ATs - used for powerful beam effects - and the backdrop of 12 x 6 metres of ColorWeb 250. Four PixelPAR 90s toned the truss, and there were also 4 Atomic strobes on the back.
The side trusses each supported a 6 by 1 metre wide leg of ColorWeb 250 upstage of the PA arrays which were also hung off the box truss. Together with the backdrop, this framed the stage in ColorWeb, bringing great visual dynamics to the picture.
On the front of the box were 6 Robe ColorWash 250E ATs, 4 x 4-cell moles, 4 x PixelPARs, 10 Source Four Profiles for key lighting and a single Robe ColorSpot 700E AT for projecting a custom glass gobo of the event logo.
Sean Pagel and Joe Byrne operated the lighting, using an Avo Diamond 4 console and a Hippo Stage to drive the ColorWeb.
A small piece of technical history was made by the PSI team in that it was the first time ever that anyone was allowed to use a haze machine in the council operated venue. To get approval for this to happen, Joe Byrne was required to take a Fire Awareness training course, which he found an invaluable experience to add to his raft of health & safety knowledge.

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