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Robe catches the spirit of Glastonbury 2023

Robe moving lights were in action across multiple stages at the 2023 Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, including in three key ‘creative’ areas of the massive site at Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset in the UK. These were the spectacular fire‐ breathing Arcadia Spider 360‐degree arena, the eclectic, fabulous and funky Park Stage, one of the most popular Glasto zones, and the BBC Introducing stage which showcases some of the hottest rising music stars and some cool unique pop‐up performances.

Theresa Gibson, head of marketing at Robe UK commented, “The magic of Glastonbury Festival never fails to disappoint, and this year was no different! Fields of back‐to‐back live music, dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and contemporary art forms filled the sunny skies of Worthy Farm for miles on end! As one of the biggest events in the global festival calendar, we were excited once again to have a series of our latest fixtures deployed on key stages across the site, including Robe’s new IP rated iPointes and iSpiiders ‐ a first for the iconic Arcadia Spider, one of the most‐loved stages and Glasto landmarks!”

“It was brilliant to be back onsite working with the fantastic Arcadia team and the SWG Events crew – technical provider for the Park Stage – and catch some of the new talent at BBC Music Introducing, both of which featured a variety of Robe fixtures including the highly popular LEDBeam 350s and a Glasto debut for the TetraX for alt‐J’s set on the Park Stage!”

Arcadia Spider

Robe’s iSeries of IP rated moving lights were a big hit with Arcadia this year. The lighting rig was designed by Dave Cohen from design studio MIRRAD and co‐ordinated by Arcadia’s technical manager, Katie Davies. New this year were nine Robe iSpiiders and nine iPointes, used together with 12 additional standard Pointes ensconced in the giant arachnid’s legs and sixmore on its belly, all ideally placed for producing mind‐bending dancefloor effects in the space below.

The nine iSpiiders were rigged on three podiums and used to light up the sky, accentuate the geometry and dynamics of the spherical performance area radiating out from the centre, and to up‐light performers.

The 9 x iPointes were rigged on the six PA towers and three crane points. They created impressive sky‐scanning effects, blasting super‐sharp beams into the night sky that were clearly visible from across the site. In addition to these Robe luminaires, approximately 80 custom Anolis LED architectural fixtures are inbuilt into the Spider’s metalwork, all run by remotely located Anolis ArcPower drivers.

This allows 48V low voltage cables to be run throughout the Spider structure, eliminating the need for additional mains cables and reduces the physical size of the Anolis fixtures.

Dave Cohen worked alongside Louis Hodgson also from MIRRAD, and the two shared operating duties for Arcadia artists not bringing their own operators or lighting directors.

Robe NRG (Next Robe Generation) student Jack Barlow from Confetti in Notti ngham worked onsite supporting the Arcadia team, including during the build and break down periods, which offered excellent insight and great first‐ hand experience as he pitched in on a variety of tasks including running the lighting console, patching, and rigging. He also assisted in assorted other technical areas of the Spider.

The Park

Located at a prime altitude on one of the festival’s rolling hills offering panoramic views across the Worthy Farm site, The Park stage is one of the most interesting and creative performance areas that has always managed to retain its intimacy and friendliness since being launched in 2007. This is despite its massive growth in popularity and increasingly high‐ profile line up each year.

The Park stage production lighting spec included 32 x Robe LEDBeam 350s,12 x Spiider LED wash beams, and 12 x MegaPointes among other lights, designed by Mat Spencer who was also the lighting crew chief, with the kit delivered by SWG Events, long term technical provider to this lively environment.

This year the side trusses were upgraded with all LEDBeam 350s, a move based partly on the feedback from numerous touring LDs from 2022. Everyone was happy to have the additional power and punch of Robe’s still compact LEDBeam 350, which is one of the brand’s best‐selling luminaires. It was also a very easy substitution to make from the 150 to 350 versions as the fixtures have the same channel count.

BBC Music Introducing

Catching some of the best ‘ones‐to‐ watch’ and potential future stars, the BBC introducing stage has long been considered a hotbed of talent. This is another busy area for which SWG Events has supplied technical production for over 10 years. Mat Spencer again designed lighting this year, programmed by Callam Thom and operated by him and Peter Doyle. Joe Bailey project managed and co‐ ordinated all things SWG.

The production lighting design incorporated more Robe moving lights, with 12 x LEDBeam 150s, 12 x LEDBeam 350s – all chosen for their small size and powerful impact – plus six Pointes and four PATT2013s. The LEDBeams were a major part of the aesthetic, some rigged on vertical towers, with four LEDBeam 150s around the front of the stage in footlights positions, and four LEDBeam 350s on the advanced truss for front and key lighting. The six Pointes were on top of the towers which curved around the back and sides of the stage. The PATTs were handy as elegant scenic lighting props and ideal for enhancing more intimate acoustic moments and closing down the stage space when appropriate as well as looking cool in back‐of‐camera shots.

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