Lumiere 02 FogscapeIPS are proud to have supplied Structures, Power, Lighting and Sound equipment for this spectacular event

The Durham Lumiere is the UK’s largest light festival, and 2019 marks ten years since the first event, with IPS becoming more involved each year since 2015. Produced by large scale event specialists Artichoke, the 2019 Lumiere event featured 37 different art installations across Durham, including a mixture of previous favourites and some new designs. The event ran over four nights in November, featuring installations from local and international artists, and marked the millionth event visitor to this now established event.

Lumiere 01 Love Durham SnowglobeIPS worked with the festival production team from Artichoke to ensure that the requirements of each of the visiting artists could be accommodated, including providing power supplies, structures and rigging services, and sound and lighting equipment, along with other event infrastructure including additional lighting and public address systems across the city-wide site. The IPS team was led by MD James Mason, supported by Ben Coxon, and a large onsite team of up to 30 technicians working to make everything happen.

A series of Layher based control and projection structures were constructed in a variety of different shapes and sizes to contain production equipment for the event. The structures were mainly based around the Layher Protect panelling system, which meant smart structures with solid walls and lockable doors could provide secure weatherproof accommodation. Lumiere 04 Stones ControlThere were also some LiteDeck Stage platforms used, as well as truss structures to support or provide access to the art installations. The build locations presented some challenges for the team, with sites including bridges, a narrow gap next to a church, a building site amongst others, plus a mixture of cobblestones, grass and mud-based surfaces to deal with – and mostly near historical buildings. Ian from IPS looked after the structure elements, saying he was “pleased with how the structures managed to fit in – and it was always good when

Site-wide power supply and distribution was another large element of the IPS involvement onsite. As the event organisers were keen to make everything as sustainable as possible, existing power supplies were used wherever practical, supplemented by generator sets only where needed. Power systems were designed to use all supplies as efficiently as possible with distribution and cabling plans carefully planned – and all outlets featuring RCD protection. Lumiere 05 Electrical Sign offAll power usage was carefully managed to ensure that art installations and site lighting were only illuminated when necessary. Some installations featured simple but effective IP rated in line power switches were used for local control, while others were handled by the team of onsite electricians headed by Dan from IPS making sure that systems were powered up and down as required and generators were all refuelled between events. Dan also worked with the experienced electrical team to ensure that all installations were signed off to BS7909 requirements. In total, seventy-five IPS power distribution units were supplied, along with several thousand metres of cabling, and cable management solutions including catenary lines between scaffold uprights for overhead routes and around four hundred metres of cable ramp.

Lumiere 10 The Whale PAIPS also supplied sound equipment for various elements of the event, deploying a range of different systems to suit the various audio requirements. One of the newest members of the IPS team is experienced Project Manager Andy Murray who looked after the audio elements for Lumiere. Designing solutions featuring mainly d&b, RCF and L’Acoustics products, a selection of point source and line array systems were deployed for various installations, all adapted to suit the wide range of site and artist requirements throughout the event. Andy dealt with requirements for long throw systems in some areas such as Mysticète: The Whale that had audience viewing positions for some distance along the river to more intimate installation such as Harmonic Portal which required much more localised audio coverage provided via a series of local active speakers. As well as providing systems for the installations, IPS also provided a series of PA systems to enable safety announcements to be made at key entrance areas to the event.

Lumiere 12 Giant SlinkyLast but by no means least, IPS was involved with lighting for the Lumiere event, supplying a mixture of site and effects lighting, with LED and energy efficiency again being a key consideration. IP rating was also key as much of the lighting was installed outside in exposed locations. Working with the event producers and artists, IPS were able to provide a wide range of fixtures to supplement the installations – such as SGM P-5’s to light the giant snowdome, UV fixtures to bring a glow to Big Knitting and lots of LED Battens to add colour to many other areas. One of the larger and most popular installations was Fogscape by artists Fujiko Nakaya & Simon Corder, which included over a hundred PAR 64 fixtures and fifty SGM P-5 LED fixtures – and a huge amount of atmospheric fog. The lighting team was headed by Andy Russell who looked after the complicated installation including fixtures being located on steep riverside bank sections – plus some on the roof of Durham Cathedral. The IPS team also installed hundreds of metres of LED Festoon to illuminate walkway areas, and lots of strategically placed LED flood lights and tower lights to ensure visitors could navigate all areas without too much light spilling over into the art installations, especially where street lighting had been turned off to maintain the ambiance. 

Lumiere 09 University Mapping 02IPS were onsite for nearly three weeks in total and were very happy to have been involved again with this spectacular project. Onsite weather conditions were a constant challenge, and water levels rising in the lead up to the event meant the team had to keep revisiting plans to ensure everything. The project was a resounding success, and this is an ideal opportunity to again thank all the people involved for their work, including all the onsite staff and freelancers, as well as the support from the IPS logistics and warehouse teams for their contributions. Bring on the next ten years!

Lumiere 13 Next PageSome of the installations in Durham are now permanent and are well worth a look if you are in the area, or keep an eye on upcoming Lumiere Events in the future – definitely worth a visit. If you have an outdoor event coming up, and need structures, power, sound or lighting services, please get in touch to discuss the different options and services available from IPS. Alternatively, if you need to hire some of the technical hardware used on this event including power distribution, cabling, audio or an increasingly wide range of IP rated lighting equipment, check out our trade dry hire here, or get in touch for a quotation.