Broadcast Week – Day 1

Today marked the final week leading up to the official Bristol Vibes broadcast. Throughout the week I will be spending most of my live in the studio for rehearsals along with the entire crew as everything will be pulled together into the official format, with all acts scheduled to come in simultaneously in order to achieve these styles of rehearsal.

The main purpose of today was rigging for lighting and sound, starting at 10am I managed to have everything rigged and programmed by 5pm, and in theory I shouldn’t have to do much else other than operate the desk during performances.

I started off the day by assembling my lighting desk area. Beth (Producer) and Jesse (Sound) had kindly cleared out the studio last week so it was the case of dragging out the appropriate kit from the store room. Having spoken to Steve I also changed the rigging of the DMX to secure it better by running over the lighting rig in the ceiling as the duct tape had previously failed after a long period of time (likely due to heat). Once assembled I then put the last CTB gels into the FluSofts for lighting the curtains before moving onto assembling the main rig.

Starting with the main stage I pulled down all of the fixtures so I could clearly go through each light individually before pushing it back into the ceiling. Personally I prefer this method despite cluttering the floor as I can clearly go through and check things off visually. Reference the original plan I found myself mostly swapping softboxes with fresnels and widening beam patterns. I moved the front set of pantographs back from the band members to avoid the overexpose by having lights too close. In addition I have introduced three softboxes next to the front fresnels as backup lamps purely for illumination in the event of a technical difficulty (I’m not sure if I’ll end up using them or not).


Having spent the majority of the morning on the main stage I was able to quickly set up the acoustic stage. Having used this so much in previous rehearsals the simply design was relatively quick to assemble. This time around I have taped down all of the floor lamp cables to reduce tripping hazards. The spare softboxes I scattered across the audience area purely for illumination purposes, I am still uncertain of the level of interaction with them.


With the entire rig assembled it allowed sound to fully set up all of their gear. By this point I went ahead and cut all of the coloured gels, slicing 16″x16″ segments to accommodate for all types of fresnel in the rig. Beth and Craig (camera) had picked up the last sheet of Twickenham Green so it meant all gels were ready for the entire venue. I went ahead and coloured the acoustic stage and the main stage Tokyo Blue/Magenta ready for Saona’s rehearsal in the evening.


Main Stage – Fresnel (green), Softbox (yellow).


Acoustic Stage – Fresnel (green), Practical (orange).


House Lights – Softbox (yellow), Fresnel 1K (blue), Flusoft (yellow arrow).


I finished up the rigging process by programming the lighting desk with all of the new fixtures. Having drawn a final plan of all the lamps it made this process much quicker. The bottom row has been assigned for the main stage, the top right for acoustic and top left for house and audience lights. Spacing each set apart will avoid any chance of knocking on the wrong fixtures as all surrounding channels are blank.


When Saona arrived the entire crew ran smoothly to pushed out six rehearsals before wrapping for the day. Having played both their tracks for the broadcast I was able to gage a feel for the music and come up with the following design ideas:

  • Relight My Fire (1st Track)
    • Start blue, pink jumps in on guitar drop
    • First verse drifting lights randomly
    • Chorus – start to flash subtly between colours, as the beat builds up the flash variance becomes more intense
    • Finish on blue lighting cutting away leaving magenta only
  • (2nd Track)
    • Fade up the blue
    • Static fixtures
    • Fade out both at the end


It was a really productive day, everything is rigged and ready for use. I can’t see myself making any more changes in the coming week. The boards still need to be placed into the set so this may cause some variation in design. I have advertised for a lighting assistant but judging by the running order of the show I could potentially go and change them myself whilst the DJ VTs are playing.

For Saona’s performance I played around with a combination of lighting the curtains with CTB. A final verdict wasn’t made upon viewing back, I’m tempting towards not using them but I can give Dan (Director) the choice when he returns for the next rehearsal. I was generally really happy with how the lighting looked for the performance and felt the dynamic movements fit the beat of the music well. Initially I was concerned about how dark Tokyo Blue looked as a key lamp, but upon playback it works nicely to envision a mellow tone to match Saona’s indie roots.


The week ahead should be relatively simple now, it’s mostly the case of rehearsing and getting a feel for dynamic lighting changes during other acts. I am also really intrigued how the lighting will work in relation to the presenter, this will become apparent in full run throughs. Tomorrow is the live event at the Exchange, this is something that has been relatively overlooked by my department. At the end of the day I am limited to the kit the venue has available so I will make the most of what is around. No matter what I’m sure it will fit nicely into the club stylings of the night.


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