Entec’s recent investment in TMB’s new, versatile Solaris Flare Q+ LED fixture was one of the big highlights of Clean Bandit’s production on the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury in June. Designed by Rob Sinclair, the stunning performance by the classically trained electronic music act was part of a European festival run for which Entec has provided a comprehensive lighting package, with LD and programmer Liam Griffiths at the helm of a grandMA2 light console.

The west London production rental company, which has supplied 19 of the Flares for the tour, added the fixtures to its inventory after their increasing worldwide popularity prompted discussions with TMB’s Paul Hartley. “There’s no doubt that Solaris Flares are now a standard worldwide and the Flare Q+ is a real step forward,” said Will Wright, the Entec lighting department’s senior service technician who shares crewing duties on the tour with colleague Lee Stennett. “So many projects coming through Entec are now specifying the Flares and client choice is always a catalyst for investment.”

Wright continued: “The Flare Q+ operates as both a strobe that combines extreme brightness [so bright that Griffiths runs them at a maximum of 70% power] with very good colours, and as a wash light that looks great on camera. With other strobe models, we’ve noticed that as soon as you try to introduce colour, it affects intensity output. That’s not an issue with the Flare, whose performance also doesn’t suffer when you transition between wash and strobe functions. It really does both of these things very well without any notable sacrifice.”

Positioned upstage and at both sides of the performance area, the Flare Q+s are fitted with TMB’s Kasmer diffusers that are key to the flavour of Liam Griffiths’ overall approach to the lighting. Wright observed: “Liam was keen to hide the LED sources, especially at Glastonbury where it’s important to be camera-friendly, and with the diffusion added, the result is a very bright, almost ethereal glow – you just don’t notice the fixture itself.”

In addition, Entec’s package includes seven Martin Aura XB washes for key light on the risers, and three Tomcat towers either side of the stage, each of which is rigged with a pair of Martin MAC Axiom hybrid fixtures providing beams and spots.

Travelling with production manager Tec Beint and tour manager Andrew ‘Wilkie’ Wilkinson, the production also features a set of seven upstage rotator pods, custom-designed and built by Specialz with co-operation from Entec, who supplied 70 Martin VDO Sceptron 10 1000mm linear LED battens for integration. Capable of rotating 360°, each pod consists of a panel of 10 Sceptrons with a laser-etched mirrorball finish on the reverse side.

Will Wright said: “When these pods spin around and the lights on the side towers hit them, all the beams reflect off to produce a brilliant, dazzling effect.”

Following rehearsals at Cato Music in London, Clean Bandit’s European summer festival tour kicked off in May with Radio One’s Big Weekend, and went on to include the Isle Of Wight Festival, Wild Life in Brighton and Forest Live in Thetford Forest. The tour continues until September 3rd with appearances at Y Not, Standon Calling, Sziget, Pukkelpop, V and MTV’s Gibraltar Calling, after which the band head to America.

Photography © Liam Griffiths www.stagetechniques.com