Ocean Illumination: Glastonbury Festival 2015

Glastonbury Festival 2015 saw our biggest deployment of lighting fixtures to date as we took to the Greenpeace field to light an enormous ocean installation to promote sustainable oceans. We spent months planning before building a workshop at Worthy Farm (yes, we take a full lighting R&D workshop to Glastonbury) ready to turn the field into something that really got people talking.

A monster fishing trawler dominated the field, which we surrounded with floodlights and covered in rolling water effects projected from afar. That was joined by Tina the Tuna, clad with recycled oil barrels as scales which looked incredible lit up from all angles, bouncing photons in all directions. Our friends at Snow Business had built an extremely realistic coral garden in the tuna fish, and working with Hellicar & Lewis, we brought this to life with UV lighting and underwater effects inspired by the Coral Reefs exhibition at the Natural History Museum. Visitors were invited on a journey to learn about the coral’s plight in the face of extinction through an interactive adventure.

This is one of the largest deployments of SGM products at a single event and again demonstrated the fantastic impact that can be achieved when these groundbreaking fixtures are placed in the hands of creatives.- Ian Kirby, SGM

Our favourite part of the field was the Crawl / Wiggle / Slide feature. Visitors passing behind the rear of the monster-trawler got caught under the fishing nets, along with scores of beautifully illuminated fish lanterns. Their chilling journey began there, as they got swept up inside a 3D immersive adventure. They became the fish, trapped within the vessel and hoping to escape whilst experiencing a sensory experience both sonically and via illumination. Escape was only possible down a by-catch slide, an 8m tall terrifying drop slide. This feature demonstrated the dangers and waste associated with over-fishing.

Building on the success of 2014’s bar and venue, The Engine Room was built in the depths of the monster-trawler. An industrial space best described as somewhere the ship’s crew had built to relax and brew their moonshine, it formed the perfect location for our crew party. We rigged warm white pixel panels in such a way as to enhance the internal shape of the ship, and designed a rigging system to allow the stage to open out in two ways. The rest of The Engine Room was brought to life with birdies, bulkheads, glowing crates, and illuminated machine dials created by the hyper-talented delightful design duo Darling & Edge.


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