Ayrton’s magic touched audiences once again at the UK’s 2017 Slam Dunk Festival
tour, which was headlined by innovative and futuristic band, Enter Shikari, in
celebration of the 10th anniversary of band’s debut album Take To The Skies.
Slam Dunk is an alternative music festival that tours the UK cities of Leeds and
Birmingham and the town of Hatfield, preceded by warm-up shows at The Dublin
Academy and Belfast Limelight, and with Enter Shikari adding a further headline date
The magic this time was performed and achieved by lighting designer Steve Bewley
using Ayrton’s incredible MagicBurst™ LED graphic strobe fixtures and MagicPanel-
602™ units, which proved a perfect combination for the dramatic, jaw-dropping
effects needed for this event.
Bewley is an enthusiastic user of all that Ayrton’s Magic range has to offer: “For this
show we designed four rotating towers which we wrapped in haphazardly-arranged
LED strips, and used these to flank the drummer by deploying two towers either side
of him. We then rigged three MagicBurst™ units vertically inside each tower towards
the rear which, concealed within the towers, we use to shoot huge blasts of light out
between the LED strips – much to the surprise and delight of the audience.
“Enter Shikari are a wild band and the wilder the strobing is, the better they like it –
so we have two or three different types of strobe for these shows which enable us to
change it about for the audience. We chose MagicBurst as one of the main strobes
effects because of the graphic capability, and the sheer power of the units. When the
towers rotated, we are able to show the audience the full force of what the MagicBurst
is capable of. I can spin the units around to add interest, often pointing not directly at
the audience, but at the roof or tilted at angles, and can introduce interesting chases
to the music. Because the MagicBurst has such a strong beam angle, you still get the
strobe effect out towards the audience, and by not running them at full power all the
time, the effect is always different.
“Not only does MagicBurst create interesting shapes of the stage architecture, but,
because of the white LED source, we also get different shades of white coming off the
beam into and through the smoke, with the thickness of the smoke helping to change
the colour too.’
Bewley uses MagicBurst’s range of inbuild effects as well as the strobe to create fast-
paced graphics, at times synching the MagicBurst with the effects on the
MagicPanel™-602 fixtures. Thirty-six MagicPanel-602 units are rigged behind the
towers and the band to create Bewley’s favourite linear effect, and are positioned on
mid and back trusses overhead, and evenly spaced along trusses that follow the line
of the dome style proscenium.
“I use the MagicPanel-602s to create big, ballsy looks and to fan out lights across the
stage,’ says Bewley. “I also use the onboard effects to create a lot of fast-paced
chases, but only moving the beams of light, not the fixture itself. I don’t tend to use
the fast movement of the actual unit and you hardly ever see any big circular
movements in my designs – just subtle movements. I leave the speed to the rapid
dimmer chases and strobing. I think it looks a lot better than the “disco’ effect you
can get with flinging a light around.’
Enter Shikari will continue to tour the UK and mainland Europe for the rest of this year
before crossing the Atlantic to the USA and Canada in January/February 2018. The
house rig for the Slam Dunk festival was supplied by ZigZag and the touring rig by
LCR. Ayrton is distributed exclusively in the UK by Ambersphere Solutions.
More information on all Ayrton’s LED lighting products can be found at www.ayrton.eu