Photos courtesy of The Grange.

White Light Supplies Fixed Lighting Rig to The Grange Festival

The Grange Festival is a summer opera festival that takes place at The Grange in Hampshire. Following its first season in 2017, the Festival has become renowned for showcasing world-class operas, all taking place within the stunning setting of a country estate. While the Festival normally hires lighting equipment for each season, they recently decided to invest in a permanent rig and approached White Light to provide this. 






The technical set-up at The Grange Festival is overseen by Chief Operations Officer Michael Moody, who comments: “Ever since we first started out over four years ago, we’ve approached WL to supply the lighting equipment for our summer season. It’s a hire package which consists of mainly moving lights, LED, dimming and control. We’ve always received great service from the team and have always been satisfied with the equipment used on our productions”. 






While the hire package meant that the Festival was fully equipped for those few weeks of the season, for the rest of the year, there was actually no technical infrastructure in place. While this is normally not an issue, the outbreak of Covid-19 meant that the Festival, like so many others, had to look at alternative ways of offering live performance and how it could achieve this. Michael explains: “We unfortunately had to cancel last year’s Festival, like so many across the country. That said, we still wanted to offer our audience some form of entertainment during what was such a difficult time and so decided that we would create some socially-distanced performances as well as online streams. We were going to approach WL once again to hire the equipment but realised that, particularly in a time of lockdown and mass restrictions, that it would be much easier if we actually had fixtures on site that we could use ourselves as and when we needed to. As such, we decided to invest in a permanent rig”.






Michael contacted WL’s Customer Service Team and worked specifically with Senior Account Handler Dan Last and Business Development Manager Jonathan Haynes in choosing the most suitable fixtures. Jonathan explains: “The Grange needed a lighting package that included everything from base infrastructure, including data and power distribution, lighting control as well as the luminaires themselves. The fixture spec needed to be current and be able to satisfy the needs of incoming designers. It also needed to be completely LED for energy-saving, as well as to adhere to the venue’s environmental policy. The rig and lighting system also needed to have the option of being supplemented for the Festival each year, should additional fixtures be required for certain shows”.






With WL knowing the venue so well, Jonathan and Dan put together a series of packages for Michael and his team, who then decided which one was best suited for the venue. Michael explains: “Based on the recommendations by Jonathan and Dan, we opted for a mix of ETC ColorSource Spots, Lustr 2s and ColorSource Pars to do most of the leg work. These fixtures are top of the designers’ wish lists, and come with proven reliability and performance. For lighting control, we have purchased an ETC Ion XE 20, with an Avolites Art2000 T4 rack to handle the power distribution, and ETC Response Gateways and Sundrax DMX splitters to look after the networking (alongside nearly 1km of cable!). Our key objective was to have a first-class rig with kit that you’d expect to see on any major regional production”.  






The investment took place last summer which meant that supplying the equipment had to be done whilst adhering to the various government guidelines. Jonathan explains: “To make the transition of the fixtures as safe as possible, we collated all the kit on site at our warehouse. This was then transported over to The Grange by one driver and dedicated truck and unloaded by the Grange team who were then able to install this on-site themselves. As always, we were on the other end of the phone (or in many cases now, Zoom!) should they need any advice or have any questions”.






The equipment was quickly installed and immediately used on The Grange socially-distanced season as well as their online live streams. Michael comments: “We were delighted once again with the service we received from WL and the fact that they were able to so promptly provide the equipment we needed in time for our socially-distanced season”. 






Jonathan concludes: “We have a long-standing relationship with The Grange Festival so we were delighted when they got in touch to ask for our advice and help guide them as they made this significant investment. As a company, we relish working closely with our customers and providing the technical infrastructure needed to achieve their specific aims – something we were able to do once again on this occasion”.