Robe enjoys glorious Glastonbury 2022 with Arcadia, The Park and BBC Introducing
The legendary Glastonbury Festival (Glasto) – one of the largest and most popular celebrations of contemporary music, art, and culture – returned with its glorious 50th anniversary edition oﬀering a diverse and spectacular array of WOW factors and creative craziness across multiple stages in the green and undulating fields of Pilton Farm Somerset in the UK.
Photo © Charlie Raven This followed two “enforced fallow years” due to the pandemic. Robe moving lights were used site wide on many stages and areas, including Arcadia – back with their iconic Spider – at The Park Stage, home of an eclectic and electric fusion of genres and independent entertainment, and on the BBC Introducing Stage, a hotbed of rising star talent and a prominent showcase for future sounds and styles.
Arcadia was founded by Pip Rush (creative director) and Bert Cole (technical director) in 2007 on a quest to produce and curate unique, mind‐ popping, imaginative and truly ‘out‐of‐ the‐box’ visual and sonic experiences for audiences to enjoy DJs, musicians, and live performance art.
Lighting was designed by Dave Cohen from MIRRAD, and co‐ordinated by Arcadia’s head of lighting, Katie Davies, who specified and facilitated all the lighting on the rig including all the Robe fixtures which were hired from Cambridge‐based rental company, CEG. The objective this year was to mix it up and do something diﬀerent, swapping out some of the older elements to keep the light show fresh and contemporary, which resulted in the addition of 18x Robe Pointes, 9 x Robe Spiider LED wash beams and 12 of Robe’s new iPointe 65s.
Robe has consistently featured on Arcadia shows over the years and iPointes were a key luminaire this year, picked for their robustness, versatility, and the fact they could stay exposed without needing any weather protection. Six iPointes were distributed on the six PA towers surrounding the Spider, with another three attached to the Spider itself. The lights on the Spider mimicked became dramatic sky‐scanning beacons of light, beckoning revellers from across the site to join the Arcadia vibes.
The Robe Spiiders in waterproof domes were rigged on three podiums built and installed to up‐light the MCs each night, with six Pointes on each of the Spider’s three legs for dancefloor lighting.
When Arcadia started touring the Spider after 2017, Pip specifically wanted its form and architecture illuminated and highlighted as a standalone feature.
There are also around 80 custom Anolis– A Robe business – fixtures inbuilt into the Spider’s metalwork located in the legs, face, eyes, eyebrows, body, inside the DJ booth, and in the belly, all run by remotely located Anolis ArcPower drivers. This allowed 48V low voltage cables to be run throughout the Spider structure, eliminating the need for additional mains cables – for a safer system – and also reduced the physical size of the Anolis fixtures.
Katie reiterates the great support they have received from both the Robe and Anolis UK teams over the years.
“It was a terrific experience to bring the Arcadia Spider back to Glastonbury 2022 with the support of Robe products which helped us bring the Spider to life, illuminate the dancefloor and boost the energy levels.”
“Using the IP rated iPointe 65s meant we could just install them and not worry all weekend which was fantastic, and it was generally brilliant to be back in the fields again with both old and new faces on the Arcadia crew.”
Dave Cohen collaborated with Pip Rush on the Spider’s overall show lighting aesthetic this year, and ran lighting fully live each night for the mega‐mix of DJ sets, which, as always, included extensive sounds and genres from around the world. The 2022 Arcadia lighting crew comprised technicians Jake ‘Sharkie’ Cawkwell, Charlie Knight and Rupert de Renzy‐Martin, Stu Barr who looked after dimmers, power / lighting tech Jack Coﬃn and lighting interns Sam Kenny and Nat Archer.
SWG Events have been lucky enough to have supplied the Park Stage with audio and lighting since its inception in 2007, founded in a natural amphitheatre on the ground rising up above the Spider, and famous for its ribbon tower which reveals panoramic views of the site and undulating countryside. The Park Stage has a high‐profile line up – anything from punk to funk and this year including Jessie Ware, Wet Leg, The Avalanches, Four Tet, Arlo Parks, and Dry Cleaning who delivered a string of jaw‐dropping performances and brilliant
The production lighting design is crafted to satisfy all riders and oﬀer a great show for artists lit with the house rig, all facilitated onsite by production manager Mark Bott and Alex Merrett who designed the set.
Twelve Robe Spiiders, 12 x MegaPointes 24 x LEDBeam 150s and 12 x LEDBeam 350s all chosen for their versatility, ensured that everyone could look great onstage.
The LEDBeam150s and 350s were rigged on the side trusses and LX1 with MegaPointes on LX1 and LX2 and Spiiders on LX2 and LX3.
The Spiiders – running in wide mode for full pixel control – were used as cool eye candy eﬀects lights; the MegaPointes added dramatically the beam work and general gobo eﬀects augmented with the LEDBeam. 150s from the side which were also used to stream wash light in from the sides and accentuate the depth. The LEDBeam 350s on LX1 were helpful as additional front light, while those on side trusses doubled up to boost the beams and extra colour eﬀects.
Four Tet’s LD Ed Warren, known for his cutti ng‐edge creative eye, made the most of all the MegaPointes – chosen for their signature beam, gobo, prism looks – together with 5 large mirror balls.
Lighting kit for the BBC Introducing stage was delivered by SWG Events with a production lighting design by Alex Merrett that was programmed and operated by Callam Thom and Will Owen. It is one of several stages around the site supplied by the Bristol‐based rental specialist.
Part of the rig this year were 8 x Robe LEDBeam 150s, 16 x LEDBeam 350s, four PATT 2013s and six Pointes, all of which made a big impact and added colour and movement to the various artists appearing on this popular stage.
Six of the LEDBeam 150s and 10 x LEDBeam 350s were deployed on six vertical trusses upstage, with two LEDBeam 150s on the floor downstage left and right for fill lighting. The remainder of the LEDBeam 350s were on a flown truss.
The four PATT 2013s were also on the vertical trusses, with the six Pointes on the deck at the base of each tower.
The LEDBeam 150s and 350’s on the truss uprights worked brilliantly as eye and camera candy and for aerial eﬀects and beams and were able to do some neat tricks when zoomed out and strobing for some of the heavier moments, like a surprise high energy performance from Idles!
The Pointes were utilised to deliver hard beam eﬀects and classic prisms and break‐ups to contrast with the softer LED Beams. The PATTs introduced a nice tungsten glow into the mix and were “beautifully scenic in their own right,” commented Callam, noting that this was “perfect” for the more intimate moments and for closing down the stage space.
Both types of LEDBeams were also used as front light, positioned on both the truss and the deck.
Callam and Will appreciated the LEDBeam350’s wide zoom which makes the fixtures a good, solid, adaptable choice for creating anything from fat beams to wide strobes to controlled front light and even a medium wash!
In addition to the Idles surprise set, the team enjoyed lighting Thursday night’s Radio 1 dance show. It attracted a large and enthusiastic crowd and “is always a highlight,” stated Callam.