Caravanserai is a festival within a festival, popping up with its old caravans and Victorian fairground rides at Bestival every year. We’ve been lighting it for years and watching it get bigger, drawing in crowds with its cocktail bar and vegetarian cafe, not to mention the antics of internationally renowned troupe Cirque Bijou and music from the likes of Immigrant Swing and the New York Brass Band.
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It’s always so much fun doing the lighting design for such an unusual event, working out how to make a hoopla cafe, a hearse DJ booth and a waltzer stage look incredible in the middle of a field. It also comes with its own challenges, mixing internal and external spaces with the use of many old – and, frankly, condemned – lighting fixtures. We strip them down to meet modern electrical safety standards, but making sure we maintain the authentic look and feel of the space that’s so important to the event. We also hide LED floodlights in dark corners and throw in some stage lighting for the circus, creating a bright, colourful and carnivalesque feel that we know is many people’s favourite venue on the circuit.