Clay Paky flies the flag for Queen's Jubilee
8 June 2012
UK - Clay Paky Sharpys, sporting Union Jack coverings, shone brightly alongside some of the world's most famous pop royalty to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.
The patriotic Sharpys, dressed up in custom made Union Jack jackets, were a welcome sight amongst the pageantry of the day as they delivered a dazzling display of laser-like lighting at the evening celebrations that marked the 60th anniversary of Queen's reign.
Lighting designer Durham Marenghi employed more than 240 Clay Paky fixtures, hired from London based rental house Neg Earth, to deliver a stunning, varied and dynamic lighting design for superstar acts that included Kylie Minogue, Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney, Grace Jones plus a host of pop glitterati.
Broadcast worldwide, and locally to a series of video screens rigged along the full length of the Mall and surrounding Royal parks, Marenghi had his work cut out. Not only did he have to provide exciting lighting for some of the world's biggest pop stars but he also had to deliver something that would prove equally gripping for the live and TV audience at home. By carefully combining energetic panoramic looks with tightly focused on stage scenes Marenghi managed to strike exactly the right balance for both the wide angle and close up shots the TV cameras required.
With a rig packed to the gunnels with Clay Paky beams, washes, Sharpys along with the new QWO 800 spots Marenghi discusses his approach: "My role was to ensure that the various types of music and video output were perfectly complemented by a dynamic and crowd rousing lighting design. It was a long day for the crowd. We had to take them on a journey. Lighting had to be varied and enhance the musical content, sometimes lively and busy, sometimes quiet and calming."
Marenghi utilised 32 Alpha Beam 700s and four Alpha Beam 1500s as FOH key lights with a further 60 Alpha Beam 1500s in a circle of light around the stage. Sixty Sharpys ('60' being the magic number here) ringed the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace. The stage was lit with 32 Alpha Wash 700 and 42 Alpha Spot QWO 800, chosen, says Marenghi, "for their compact size and fantastic optical depth of field". The columns of the Palace were lit with Alpha Wash 1500s and Madness on the roof had a further 4 QWO 800s.
Much comment has since been made about the Cool Britannia Union Jack Sharpys, which were donated to the concert by Clay Paky, with the company stating that it 'wanted to give our own contribution to this historical event in a country which is giving so much to our brand.'
Each customised Sharpy had to undergo a special heat test to ensure they would continue to operate despite the addition of the new coverings. "We also had the challenge of working in both daylight and at night," explains Marenghi. "It took 14 days of programming with my associate LD Tim Routledge and programmers Alex Passmore and Dave Hill. We worked in all weathers so it was crucial that not only were the lighting fixtures capable of packing a punch and delivering a multitude of effects and colours but that they were also robust enough to cope with anything the changeable weather could throw at them. Every day we had a debate about whether to uncover the exposed lights, which was most of them."
Marenghi's original design had called for 60 weatherproof searchlights around the stage however the budget could not encompass them. "The Alpha Beam 1500s performed extremely well in their stead in weather that at one point was like being in the deep end of a swimming pool," he adds.
"The choice of equipment for my designs is always determined by what comes out of the front of a fixture rather than what is written on the side," says Marenghi. "Over the last five years, as Clay Paky has established the Alpha range and innovated with industry changing products such as the beams and Sharpys, many of the world's leading lighting designers, programmers and technicians have come to see Clay Paky products in a new light."
Pio Nahum, chief commercial officer for Clay Paky is delighted: "It is great to see the Clay Paky luminaires doing such an exemplary job on such a prestigious project. The Sharpys seem to feature in the forefront of many of the official photographs of the event. We were proud and delighted to see Durham really push the creative capability of the fixtures to the extreme. It was wonderful to see the full scope of these creative tools used on such a memorable and important day in UK history."
Clay Paky UK Union Jack coverings world pop Sharpys made day lighting Queen Lighting fixtures deliver varied dynamic design video along full Marenghi TV stage both beams QWO 800 ensure crowd sometimes Alpha Beam 1500s lights further light around 60 front lit event programmers weather Alpha products delighted Durham creative
Related Stories from LSi Online
9 May 2013
UK - Olly Murs is dancing his way around Britain's biggest arenas in the sharp focus of four shape-shifting Clay Paky Sharpys. Multimillion-selling artist Olly Murs is benefitting from the high output Sharpys in a ... More >>
8 May 2013
7 May 2013
UK - UK - Peter Barnes has designed a fresh and diverse pure-beam show for the current X Factor Live tour, using 54 powerful Clay Paky Sharpys. Barnes - who has designed lighting for some of the world's ... More >>
UK - Opened with a glittering black-tie reception on Thursday 2 May 2013, the new extension to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) showcases a range of the services that Northern Light supplies to ... More >>
South Africa - Celebrating the best South African companies, their products and services as well as the people behind them, the South African Premier Business Awards was hosted in The Pavilion venue at the Sandton ... More >>
The 10th LED Systems & LED Lighting Exhibition (25-28 September 2014)
Page 12: Pushing the Boundaries award for its work on the Queens Jubilee Concert earlier in the year Midas
Page 30: to the Queens Jubilee and a concert to coincide with the closing of the Olympic Games on 12 August featuring
Page 68: with providing a festival at Battersea Park for HRH the Queens Jubilee celebrations which on the evidence of his
Page 36: on the roof of Buckingham Palace the Queens Jubilee Pichel spun off a separate company SkyTracker of America
Page 43: in illuminating Buckingham Palace for the Queens Jubilee has wowed Guernsey with a series of stunning 40minute
Page 154: lauded for his outstanding monitor work on the Queens Jubilee concerts he also has noteworthy credits
Page 60: promotional efforts at the real Queens Jubilee celebrations suggest that the producers of We Will Rock You