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Liteup enters the arena with alt-J
UK – Technical supplier and co-ordinator Liteup Events recently supported Mercury Prize-winning music stars, alt-J at their first arena show of 2017 at London's The O2 Arena, as part of the venue's tenth year celebrations as one of the world's leading live music and event destinations. The arena show comes at the beginning of alt-J's current worldwide tour, which also saw them headline The Other Stage at Glastonbury this year.
Liteup began working with Knight of Illumination Award-nominated lighting and show design duo Jeremy Lechterman and Jackson Gallagher of FragmentNine on alt-J's last album cycle. Working alongside production manager Bennie Brongers and tour manager Maarten Cobbaut, Liteup is supplying all things visual, except for lasers, on their current EU tour. The company is also supplying the lighting and video control package worldwide.
For the festival shows, which make up the bulk of alt-J's touring this summer, Liteup is supplying 84 GLP X4 Bar 20, 18 Claypaky Mythos2, three Robe BMFL Wash Beam and 22 SGM P5 LED washlight. Demonstrating their problem-solving approach, Liteup collaborated with WonderWorks, Brilliant Stages and FragmentNine to devise a custom dolly solution to get nearly 250 fixtures and a 60' wrap-around video screen on stage in ten minutes.
"The detail of a show's production is integral to making the tour work smoothly and successfully, so going above and beyond makes a big difference," says Marc Callaghan, co-founder of the company alongside partner Kris Box. "For example, when alt-J played at Rock Werchter Festival, trying to get the production floor package in, with The Foo Fighters headlining after, needed a lot of thinking about. Hence, we helped to design the dollies and worked with everyone the whole way through from beginning to end, rather than just being an equipment rental company."
Video-wise, the floor package is rounded out by 42 ROE Vanish 25 and 150 Martin VDO Sceptron 10mm pixel pitch LED screen modules. "The Mythos2 units provided the core element of the show, along with the GLP X4 Bar 20 LED battens," says Callaghan. "For the floor package the X4 20 bars and Mythos2 are mounted behind the ROE Vanish 25mm LED screen, so required custom fixings to get the profile low enough to mount them."
Callaghan continues: "For The O2 Arena show, we expanded the rig and brought in a semi-automated lighting and video system. Liteup supplied the seven Kinesys towers and one Kinesys triangle suspended on 17 Kinesys motors, all controlled by lighting technician and Kinesys operator Russell Cobden." Included in the arena show's lighting package were an additional 84 GLP X4 Bar 20, 31 Claypaky Mythos2, 30 Ayrton MagicBlade, six Robe BMFL Wash Beam and 24 SGM P5 LED washlight.
The show is controlled via two grandMA Lite consoles, with DMX distribution over a Luminex fibre optic system via Art-Net and five grandMA NPUs. The content is handled by two d3 Technologies 2x4pro media servers, operated by Dan Bond, all supplied by Liteup.
About equipment choice, Callaghan says: "We want to invest in equipment that is reliable and effective to give the most to our clients. We work closely with the manufacturers to build good relationships, and to ensure our staff are fully trained in maintaining and operating the equipment, so we can be sure that every show gets equipment in its optimum working condition. All the equipment manufacturers have been outstanding throughout."
Liteup is based in Portsmouth and specialises in live music and event production. Over the years it has worked with clients such as Electric Fly Productions, Nickelodeon, NBC, Reef, The Levellers, FragmentNine and MTV.
"For alt-J we are an active part of the touring crew as well as the production hire specialist," says Callaghan. "Because of this, there is an extra level of care and connection to the shows we work on."
alt-J's latest tour follows the release earlier this year of their third studio album release, RELAXER, with The O2 arena show marking their first indoor gig of the season. The band have headlined festivals across the globe and sold out London's The O2 as well as New York's legendary Madison Square Garden on their last tour.
20th July 2017
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