As summer beckons, music fans across the country will be looking to flock to their festival of choice, and they will be expecting the show of a lifetime. While the musicians take centre stage, one aspect of a music festival often flies under the radar — yet has essential importance. A festival lighting plan is a large-scale project which needs to be developed with meticulous attention to detail. There are a lot of things to consider when planning lighting for a music festival, and we’re looking at those in this article.
The size of the show
The size of the festival dictates the practicality of different lighting solutions. This isn’t simply the number of tickets sold, but rather the physical size of the site itself. Different parts of the festival site may require different lighting solutions, so nailing down the boundaries of each area early on is essential. You might need to use a separate lighting solution for each area, or you might be just fine using one type of lighting throughout the entire area. It all comes down to how much space you have to work with and where the audience is likely to be.
There’s so much balance that goes into getting the right level of visibility throughout a music festival. First, there’s the difference between the camping areas and the rest of the festival space. This alone introduces questions regarding safety, security and comfort. How much visibility is needed around camping sites? With so many people in close proximity to each other, less lighting and worse visibility at night could lead to a larger amount of security issues or injuries. But too much lighting could be too disturbing, damaging the experience for many.
During performances, if the audience has lights constantly in their face, distracting them from the show or, worse, causing physical discomfort, then prepare to hear a lot of vocal complaints. Issues like this will tarnish the reputation of an event, so proper preparation and consulting with experts is a definite necessity.
Types of lighting
You will be faced with a lot of choice when it comes to the specific types of lighting available. Let’s look at a couple to see how they could be used in a festival setting:
Tower lights: These come with a few benefits built in — namely, they have their own generator, and can extend to light up large areas. Strategic use of tower lights across a festival setting can cover much of your lighting demands, especially for smaller to medium festivals. But even large shows can see a significant benefit from tower lights, so it’s definitely worth testing these against your festival plan.
Additionally, tower lights are able to stand securely on uneven ground, thanks to built-in adjustable stabilisers. For festivals with fragile, unsteady or uneven geography, tower lights are a safe and practical solution.
Link lights: These convenient lighting products can be a lifesaver for big sites, and may be of particular use around camping sites thanks to their ease of installation and spotlight capabilities. You might not rely on link lights for a huge-scale festival space, but they can be of great use in certain areas across big or medium-sized festivals.
Putting together a festival requires a lot of manual labour, and your chosen lighting rigs will need to be erected, disassembled and, potentially, operated during the festival itself.
When choosing your lighting type, you’ll need to consider the manpower at your disposal, and how much time it will take to have each lighting rig up and running. Should something go wrong with a power source, or the lights become damaged at some point, then you will need to factor in how well staff on site are prepared to handle the situation. Overestimating yourself will lead to issues further down the line, so tailor the equipment you hire to the logistics of your operation — or make sure you adapt as required.
Triptex provide site lighting equipment hire across the UK, including tower lights and link lights at competitive rates. All the equipment we hire out to clients are maintained to the strictest standards and delivered promptly within 48-hours of your order. If you need advice on whether our lighting products would suit your music festival site, contact the Triptex team today.