When electronic music producer Flume returned to Red Rocks in July, a large complement of Claypaky Sharpys and Sharpy Washes helped the Grammy winner light up the iconic Colorado amphitheater. Brown Note Productions provided the equipment.
Flume, the professional name of Harley Edward Streten, enjoyed a successful Red Rocks debut in 2016. This year he added the date to an already impressive American tour during which he headlined at Bonnaroo, CRSSD and Electric Forest. Flume, who won a Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic Album for his second LP, “Skin,” is regarded as the pioneer of future bass.
For Red Rocks, and for Flume’s ongoing tour, Lighting Designer Stu Dingley was charged with creating a design that reflected the musician’s new and unique musical sub-genre and helped deliver “an experience [for the audience] that left a lasting identity to associate with Flume and his brand,” he explains. “It had to be thoughtful and precise without falling into anything too cliché EDM.”
Production Designer Rob Sinclair crafted the scenic elements of neon-lit glass cubes and booth working alongside Creative Director Jonathan Zawada. Chris Ruppel was the Lighting Crew Chief. Joel Eriksson was the Production Manager.
Dingley used 46 Sharpys for Red Rocks, a light he calls “still one of the best beam fixtures out there. It’s exceptionally fast, it has a beam with an even continuity and it retains its position information well. The simple lens arrangement in the optical chain keeps it looking crisp, and the prism cleanly chops up a gobo without distorting the image. It also has the advantage of being in almost every festival rig around the world, so any subtle programming retains perfectly.”
Dingley positioned 16 Sharpys on the floor forming two horizontal lines at offset heights backing the artist. Thirty more were mounted overhead and kept in reserve for heavier electronic moments in the show.
He also used 36 Sharpy washes, a fixture that Dingley says “proves that discharge washes haven’t quite been replaced by LEDs yet. The Sharpy wash has beautiful color mixing and is a real breath of fresh air compared to the current saturated use of LED fixtures. It feels somewhat old school and familiar but with a modern twist.”
At Red Rocks he deployed four of them as side key lights and 32 overhead. While the floor package at Red Rocks was the same as that on Flume’s tour, the overhead fixtures are only used for headline shows.
At Red Rocks, “a large part of the design used spots and colored strobes. We wanted to avoid drawing too many parallels to the EDM world so we kept the overhead beams in our back pocket for the sporadic EDM-esque drops to pair with the vast shift in music and really attack the audience. Some of the musical drops were almost tongue in cheek to the other EDM acts out there, so we wanted to prove we could flex when asked to!”
Dingley says the Sharpys are “very consistent and bright.” During Flume’s American tour the fixtures travel on pre-rigged truss “with very few issues – it’s really important for the show to preserve as much time as possible for the scenic build, so being able to retain the fixtures’ position after being powered off from the previous night’s focus is invaluable. A lot of beam fixtures aren’t so good at that.”
A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of Claypaky products in North America.
Francesco Romagnoli, Claypaky Area Manager for North and Latin America, added, “It’s festival season and we’re happy to see our fixtures appear on so many stages. The Flume team are all great artists and we were glad to be a part of the show.”