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Ayrton Magic Takes to the Skies with Enter Shikari at UK Slam Dunk Festival

Ayrton Magic Takes to the Skies with Enter Shikari at UK Slam Dunk Festival
Ayrton Magic Takes to the Skies with Enter Shikari at UK Slam Dunk Festival

UK – Ayrton’s magic touched audiences once again at the UK’s 2017 Slam Dunk Festival tour, which was headlined by innovative and futuristic band, Enter Shikari, in celebration of the tenth anniversary of band’s debut album Take To The Skies.

Slam Dunk is an alternative music festival that tours the UK cities of Leeds and Birmingham and the town of Hatfield, preceded by warm up shows at The Dublin Academy and Belfast Limelight, and with Enter Shikari adding a further headline date in Barrowlands.

The magic this time was performed and achieved by lighting designer Steve Bewley using Ayrton’s incredible MagicBurst LED graphic strobe fixtures and MagicPanel-602 units, which proved a perfect combination for the dramatic, jaw-dropping effects needed for this event.

Bewley is an enthusiastic user of all that Ayrton’s Magic range has to offer: “For this show we designed four rotating towers which we wrapped in haphazardly-arranged LED strips, and used these to flank the drummer by deploying two towers either side of him. We then rigged three MagicBurst units vertically inside each tower towards the rear which, concealed within the towers, we use to shoot huge blasts of light out between the LED strips, much to the surprise and delight of the audience.

“Enter Shikari are a wild band and the wilder the strobing is, the better they like it, so we have two or three different types of strobe for these shows which enable us to change it about for the audience. We chose MagicBurst as one of the main strobes effects because of the graphic capability, and the sheer power of the units. When the towers rotated we are able to show the audience the full force of what the MagicBurst is capable of. I can spin the units around to add interest, often pointing not directly at the audience, but at the roof or tilted at angles, and can introduce interesting chases to the music. Because the MagicBurst has such a strong beam angle, you still get the strobe effect out towards the audience, and by not running them at full power all the time, the effect is always different.

“Not only does MagicBurst create interesting shapes of the stage architecture, but, because of the white LED source, we also get different shades of white coming off the beam into and through the smoke, with the thickness of the smoke helping to change the colour too.”

Bewley uses MagicBurst’s range of inbuild effects as well as the strobe to create fast paced graphics, at times synching the MagicBurst with the effects on the MagicPanel-602 fixtures. Thirty-six MagicPanel-602 units are rigged behind the towers and the band to create Bewley’s favourite linear effect, and are positioned on mid and back trusses overhead, and evenly spaced along trusses that follow the line of the dome style proscenium.

“I use the MagicPanel-602s to create big, ballsy looks and to fan out lights across the stage,” says Bewley. “I also use the onboard effects to create a lot of fast paced chases, but only moving the beams of light, not the fixture itself. I don’t tend to use fast movement of the actual unit and you hardly ever see any big circular movements in my designs, just subtle movements. I leave the speed to the rapid dimmer chases and strobing. I think it looks a lot better than the ‘disco’ effect you can get with flinging a light around.”

Enter Shikari will continue to tour UK and mainland Europe for the rest of this year before crossing the Atlantic to the USA and Canada in January/February 2018. The house rig for the Slam Dunk festival was supplied by ZigZag and the touring rig by LCR. Ayrton is distributed exclusively in the UK by Ambersphere Solutions.

photos: Tom Pullen

7th November 2017

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