Presented by The Hay Festival, Bernie Sanders’ event A Future To Believe In at the O2 Academy Brixton on June 2nd gave the sold-out audience a rare opportunity to see the US Senator talk about the radical policies he is championing for a new, progressive America.
Chaired by David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, the event – filmed for National Geographic and attended by a seated audience of more than 2,300 – promoted Sanders’ best-selling book ‘Our Revolution: A Future To Believe In’, and Entec was honoured to provide lighting and crew.
The event was lit by Elanor Higgins, a freelance lighting designer who has worked mainly in theatre and became a regular with the Hay Festival eight years ago. As well as inviting Sanders to appear at the festival’s home in Hay-on-Wye, the organisers also decided to host this special presentation in Brixton. At the request of Hay technical manager Joe Fletcher, Elanor was assigned to turn the O2 Academy’s “vast, cavernous space” into an intimate venue, as both lighting designer and stage manager.
“It was certainly a lively audience,” Elanor observed. “Many of the attendees were quite young and appreciative of the Senator’s views on the current state of American politics.”
In partnership with Joe Fletcher, who drew up the original plans, Elanor worked on the lighting spec and made some practical adjustments after making a site visit to Brixton. “As there were no rigging points at front of house for truss, I added a couple of boom lighting positions to help get some front coverage,” she said.
While the set amounted to just a lectern, two chairs, a table and a Hay Festival backdrop, her main fixtures were 18 Martin MAC Aura XB compact LED washes and six Clay Paky Alpha Spot QWO 800s.