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Cody Lisle and Chauvet Professional Reflect Spirit of Gem and Jam Festival in Vivid Colour

Cody Lisle and Chauvet Professional Reflect Spirit of Gem and Jam Festival in Vivid Colour
Cody Lisle and Chauvet Professional Reflect Spirit of Gem and Jam Festival in Vivid Colour

USA – Reviewing a Shpongle performance, one critic proclaimed that their “music opens up your mind to a point where you are free to develop your own ideas, images and meanings.”

The portrayal aptly describes not only the transcendental chill sound of this pioneering psybient British trio, it also sums up the vibe of the entire Gem and Jam Festival where they were one of the headliners.

Taking place over three days at the Pima County Fairgrounds, the event served up a rich smorgasbord of sounds from an international roster of artists like Lotus, Lab Group and Hallucinogen, all in a peaceful setting that included campsites and beautifully rendered art displays.

Part of the renowned Tucson Gem Mineral and Fossil Showcase, the festival also mesmerised with some glittering displays of gemstone artwork. Reinforcing this theme its stages had names like Emerald, Onyx and Quartz.

One would expect stages bearing such monikers to be bursting with colour, and this festival didn’t disappoint, thanks to the inspired work of Cody Lisle, who designed the sets and did the programming for the main stage, while also supporting guest LDs like Tiberius Benson, who came with STS9, and Chandler Thomann, working for Sunsquabi.

While Lisle took care of things on the Emerald main stage, the LIT Lighting team helped to ensure that the same mellow, expansive mood permeated the entire festival. Rodger Pugh worked the Onyx Stage indoors, supported by imagination-stimulating visuals from Dakota Gidley, while Jack Watson ran the Quartz Stage, enlivening it with vivid colours and immersive gobo patterns.

Helping to work this magic throughout the festival site was a collection of more than150 Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by LIT Lighting. These included 18 Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures and six Strike 1 units, along with 24 Rogue R2 Washes, and 16 Rogue R3 Beams on the Emerald Stage, four Rogue R2 Washes on the Onyx Stage, and 18 ÉPIX Strip Tours as well as 18 Rogue Outcast 1 Beams, four Rouge R2 Spots and four Rogue R2 Washes on the Quartz Stage

The team also used 15 WELL Pad battery powered units, 24 COLORdash Par Hex 12 IP fixtures for site lighting. Splashing mesmerising colours throughout the festival grounds created a wonderland atmosphere that extended the spirit of Gem and Jam beyond the stages.

“Pretty much our entire inventory of Chauvet Professional gear was out that weekend,” said Chris Brodman of LIT, noting that his company also had fixtures at the Cali Vibes Festival in Long Beach, CA at the same time.

On the festival’s main stage, Lisle used a good share of these fixtures to conjure up intense power looks made all the more vibrant by his rainbow of colours. Flown on three rows of overhead truss and positioned on vertical structures that flanked the centre-stage video wall, his Maverick and Rogue fixtures were used to create bold crossing patterns, aerial effects and richly textured gobos.

“The R3 Beams are my favourite new fixture to come out of Chauvet,” said Lisle. “They are fast and the pack a powerful punch. We had some high winds at times during the festival, which made it hard to control the haze on stage, but the beams from the Rogues powered through and kept the atmospherics looking good. Another thing that helped was the prism on this fixture, we used it to create a lot of different looks, which was important in helping us give each artist a unique light show.”

Arranged in a straight row across downstage truss on the main stage, the Strike 1 units lit the crowd, their warm white light enhancing the communal mood of the festival.

As for that mood, it embraced not just fans, but the acts on stage too. One of them, electronic mixing artists Maddy O’Neal summed it up this way: “Gem and Jam is definitely one of those festivals that feels like home.”

How sweet that home is too, thanks to some chill music and the warm, embracive lighting design that wrapped around those sounds so well.

photos: Press Pause Films | Silky Shots | Dark Matter Photographs | TnestaPhotography | John Verwey

Cody Lisle and Chauvet Professional Reflect Spirit of Gem and Jam Festival in Vivid ColourCody Lisle and Chauvet Professional Reflect Spirit of Gem and Jam Festival in Vivid Colour

4th March 2022

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