Lighting, stage and sound for five stages for the tenth year of Somerset's most eclectic farming pursuit.
For the 10th anniversary of Farmfestival, hosted annually in the stunning Somerset countryside, the in-house production team drafted Neuron to provide sound and light for the main stage, the Big Blue tent and the Kitchen DJ stage plus two smaller theatre and comedy areas.
The intimate, 5000 capacity, two-day event prides itself on offering a diverse selection of music from both live bands and DJs from cult heroes & local gems to surprisingly big names, plus inspiring arts activities, and of course food and drink drawn from the great regional produce.
In 2015, with a bigger line-up than ever before, there was a keen focus in stepping up the production values across the site. The main stage hosted newcomers such as Warp Records' Lonelady, the hypnotic and somewhat psychedelic Thai band Bangkok Paradise, alongside firm festival favourites Lamb and Submotion Orchestra – a range of styles that, when combined with an audience area that sloped upwards away from the newly built barn staging structure, demanded the very best in audio and lighting effects.
After working closely with Joe and Simon to ensure that we would meet the terms of all of the artists' technical riders, we chose to deploy a 6-per-side L'Acoustics Kara system, supplemented by no less than six SB28 double-18" subwoofers – plenty of bottom end to meet the deep bass of Submotion Orchestra on the Sunday. Front-of-house and monitor world were covered by a combination of Soundcraft Vi6 and Vi1 linked by optical MADI.
An array of Sharpy beams, Robe 575XT spots and Futurelight PSC1200 scanners backed by strobe, generic PARs and of course plenty of fog and smoke supplied the immense visual impact required when darkness fell.
The Big Blue tent was adorned with a 4-per-side Void Acoustics Arcline system, with an extra pair of Stasys 218 double-18" subs located stage centre and aux-fed to provide extra weight when needed. A dual Behringer X32 and S16 digital stagebox system covered mixing duties for both FOH and monitors, offering an array of processing whilst keeping within the tighter budgets of this smaller stage. Lighting was covered by an array of LED based PARs and Showtec Phantom50 moving spot fixtures, plus a mirror ball mounted inside a large decorated eye on the stage rear.
Bristol's Shapes collective hosted the day and night fun of the dance tent, decorated as a full kitchen for a small spot of psychedelia in the corner of the festival site. The DJs performed atop a set of cabinets, flanked by an oven that billowed smoke, a microwave oven with a strobe mounted inside, and of course a bubble machine inside the washing machine! Two stacks of Void Acoustics Stasys, with a full complement of Pioneer Nexus series DJ equipment and a newly released Soundcraft Ui16 headless rack-mount mixing desk covering the front end.
As Crack Magazine state, "there's something magical about this place", but don't just take their word for it - you can watch the official winner of their 10x10 video competition below!