Staging & Structures, Lighting, Video, Sound and Power supplied for the 2023 Ampthill Festival series.
We were delighted to be again working with the Ampthill Festival organising team who produce the AmpRocks, AmpProms and AmpGala shows that make up the festival weekend. The dates for 2023 coincided with some unseasonably dramatic weather which unfortunately led to the cancellation of the AmpProms element of the show, which was very disappointing for all. It was however unquestionably the correct decision, and a tough call that had to be made by the very professionally minded team of volunteers that organise the event. Despite the storm warnings, wind and rain however, two thirds of the event did still go ahead, including performances from Clean Bandit, Kula Shaker and Black Honey proving very popular with the exited crowds braving the weather.
IPS provided a full technical production package for the festival. This included Staging & Structures, Site and Show Power, Site and Show Lighting as well as sound and video on the main stage. IPS owner James Mason was the Key Account Director, ensuring everything was within budget, whilst Ian Brown looked after everything onsite and managed all the technical requirements – including producing a ‘house tech spec’ so all the visiting performers riders could be accommodated. This did range from DJ’s and high-profile bands to a full orchestra (which were sadly unable to perform in the end) so Ian had his work cut out meeting all the varied technical requirements within the show.
The Main Stage for the event was a Prolyte 12m x 10m MPT Structure. Installed on a Layher substructure to enable the significant sloping aspect of the site to be accommodated, this also incorporated side cowsheds, PA Wings and a rear loading ramp and dock area. A series of LiteDeck rolling risers were supplied to assist with band changeovers. A 6m x 4m Layher Front of House structure was installed to provide a weatherproof control position for the stage. For the audience, we supplied an Accessible Viewing Platform (AVP) with ramped access, and a 12m x 6m VIP platform with ramped access. Most of the event site is located on a slope, which is great for audience sightlines, but does provide more challenges for platform construction – which was elegantly overcome by our experienced onsite teams. IPS also provided a stage barrier system in front of the stage.
PA for the main stage was a d&b audiotechnik V-Series line array, with V-Subs reinforced with a pair of J-Infra cabinets. Onstage monitoring was via d&b M4 monitors, with everything driven by D80 and D20 amplifiers. Control was from Yamaha CL5 desks at FOH and montiors and Rio stage boxes, with an additional QL1 as a system desk. A full package of microphones, stands and cables was also supplied, including a 60-channel passive split system with satellite boxes to keep everything neat onstage.
Show lighting consisted of Chauvet Rouge Outcast 1 Beamwash and Strike M strobes, Ayrton Perseo S and Clay Paky Mythos2 fixtures. These were supplemented with Prolights StudioCOB LED pars and Elation LED Blinders, with Admiral vintage luminaries adding some character too. The lighting design allowed for the weather conditions, with fixtures towards the front of the stage all IP-Rated fixtures which proved more helpful then first thought, given the weather conditions for the event! Control was via a house Chamsys desk or Avolites Arena desk as requested by a visiting LD, with our Luminex artnet racks allowing easy system cabling, routing and control switching.
A 6m wide by 3.5m high Chauvet F4IP LED Screen was flown at the rear of the stage, forming a bright backdrop to display sponsors details, band logos and a range of themed visuals throughout the shows. The screen content was fed from front of house using a Purelink 4k SDVOE system between there and stage via cat 7 cabling.
HVO powered generators were used to provide Site Power, with a careful design applied to ensure the most efficient delivery. The main show power was from a backstage synchronised pair of generators with an external tank. A second synchronised pair of generators were deployed to provide catering and concession power. Set up in a load sharing configuration, this design meant that one set could be run when power requirements were lower, with the second set coming online for show and when power draw was higher whilst also providing contingency in the event of a set failure. Elsewhere onsite, additional generator sets were supplied with long range external fuel tanks for the VIP bar area, the security and first aid posts and staff welfare areas. LED floodlights were installed at key locations around the site, on putlog and pole supports with LED Festoon lighting also being supplied for more atmospherically lit areas. A series of LED uplighters were also deployed around the sides of the stage areas to provide some mood lighting during the darker parts of the event. LED Tubes were used for backstage areas. These were locally controlled with IP-Rated switches or dusk/dawn sensors to ensure they were only used when required. More remote locations onsite such as walking access routes and carpark areas were lit with HVO powered LED Towerlights. Careful cable management allowed most runs to be round the perimeter of the site, with cable ramp used where publicly accessible routes or roadway areas had to be crossed.
We are pleased to have been involved with this event for several years now, and the site layout and power generation and distribution designs have developed each year reducing overall fuel use, and with the shift to HVO fuels it is good to see a reduction in the overall site emissions. The enthusiastic organising team are constantly developing and improving things on the event, and we are already looking forward to planning for the next one. If you'd like to attend the event, keep an eye on their lastest updates on the Ampthill Festival website here.
If you have a technical production requirement, IPS can provide a full package of services including Staging & Structures, Power Generation and Distribution, Show and Site Lighting, Audio and Video services. Cost savings in terms of combined transportation and some crew roles can make this a great value option. It makes things easier for organisers too, as our knowledgeable and friendly team will ensure that everything works together onsite, meeting client, site, and rider requirements of any incoming acts, and helping solve any problems that may arise. Get in touch with our team now to discuss your upcoming event requirements, structures are already booking up now for the 2024 season.