HSL supplied full lighting production, rigging and crew for the X-FM Main Stage and The Clash Arena at Rockness 2007.


The event’s second year saw it expand to a capacity of 35,000 over two days, set against the totally gorgeous backdrop of one of Scotland’s best known natural attractions – Loch Ness. The monster line-up included the Chemical Brothers, Groove Armada, The Manic Street Preachers and Daft Punk.


HSL’s crew chief Howard Dean led a team of 22, and they once again worked closely with event producerJimKing of Loud Sound Events and production manager Lee Charteris. HSL also sub-contracted ML Executives to supply audio to these two principal arenas.


Mike Oates, HSL’s overall project manager comments, “The first thing we did was get two world class lighting designers onboard to look after the two stages – Andy Liddle on the Main stage and Dave Byars in the Clash Arena”. They went through all the various band specs – starting with the headliners – and came up with designs and kit lists that as far as possible accommodated everyone’s requirements..


Main Stage


The main stage was a low profile 12 metre Orbit – chosen for it’s minimal impact of the natural beauty of the gently undulating environment.


Lighting was rigged around the roof shape to maximise each centimetre of available headroom, and Robe was the chosen moving light  – 36 fixtures in total, a mixture of Robe ColorSpot 1200 ATs and ColorWash 700 ATs.  Then there were 28 JTE PixelLines  and 12 Martin Professional Atomic Strobes with colour scrollers, eight 8-cell blinders and 12 i-Pix Satellites, the latter also used as specials for the Chemical Brothers (LD Ricardo Lorenzini). They also had four of the new mega-bright i-Pix BBWashLED fixtures on this stage.


Conventionals came in the form of assorted bars of 4 PARs and ACLs, plus some ARRI 1K baby fresnels for front key lighting.


Liddle ran the show off a WholeHog II console and a Wing. Dimming was twoAvolites72-way racks,  and power distribution was via one of HSL’s custom soca distros.


Culture Clash


The first task that HSL undertook in the large tented Clash Arena was building a 10 x 15 metre Litec ground support system with 8 metres of headroom, which was a real challenge as it was on a particularly uneven piece of ground. These dimensions really pushed what was possible to achieve in the tent – needed to accommodate Daft Punk’s famous pyramid set.


The lighting rig in here was 52 Martin MAC 2K profiles and 24 MAC 2K washes, along with 12 Atomic strobes and 10 PixelLine 10544s and an assortment of 2 and 4-cell binders.


There was an ART 48-way dimmer and the production rig was run off twoAvolitesDiamond 4 consoles which were linked so they could be used for simultaneous programming – for which the available time was extremely tight. The D4’s triggered two RADlite NG4 digital media servers which were running PixelDrive for Groove Armada’s Saturday night headline slot (LD Alan King). Daft punk (LD Martin Phillips) brought their own Hog iPC console.


HSL also supplied a small self-running lighting rig to the Bollywood Bar – a cozy tented arena away from the main stages featuring a raft of international DJs. This consisted of 8 Robe LED 136 Wash lights, 4 Martin Mini-MAC profiles and 24 sections of Pulsar ChromaStrip for that essential element of Bollywood Bling! All fixtures were ground supported on tank traps, built around the DJ booth and run from a Hog 2 console in stand-alone mode.


Main stage sound was supplied via an L-Acoustics VDOSC system with Midas consoles at both ends of the multicore, while the Clash Arena featured a Funktion One Res 5 system, again with Midas XL4 consoles.


Rockness is just one of many on HSL’s phenomenally busy 2007 summer festival run, which has also included The Full Ponty in Pontypridd, Wales, Leeds O2 Wireless and Knowsley Park in Liverpool, with Creamfields and Bestival (Isle of Wight) upcoming.




Date of issue : 9th July 2007.

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