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Glastonbury Festival - Smartylamps in the Theatre and Circus Fields

The Smart Deco team have been ‘out in the field’ creating décor with Smartylamps for the main stage tents in the Theatre and Circus Fields of Glastonbury Festival 2015 held in Somerset in South West England.

 

Smart Deco started business in 2004 with ‘SmartyLamps’ as its first interior décor product. An invitation to provide décor for the Circus Big Top in the Theatre and Circus Fields back in 2008 occurred after a selection of Smarty Lamps were installed in the Geneva Motor Show and were spotted by a lady working there who also managed the Circus Big Top at Glastonbury Festival.

 

Until 2010, Smart Deco provided the Circus Big Top with a larger selection of Smarty Lamps in large tube and diamond shapes, as well as the iconic Elektra design. The Circus Big Top management gradually purchased the lights made for the festival and were used annually to provide lighting between acts.

 

As seasoned festival veterans, we were delighted to be invited back this year to provide decor for another two main stages in T&C in 2015 Smarty Lamps created the installations for the Astrolabe Theatre (Glebeland), Cabaret (Bella’s Field) as well as the Circus Big Top.

 

The huge Smarty Lamps must be created on-site in a short timescale, to be hung before the festival starts. This is no mean feat! Over the years, the public have started showing up earlier and it is vital for the installations to be ready on deadline. Whatever happens, the show must go on – properly lit, and on time!

The Theatre and Circus Fields Glastonbury Festival 25-29th June ’14 3 fields, 7 stages, 4 risers, 100s of walkabouts, ground shows, installations and

“ hosts one of the largest gathering of Circus and Theatre performers ever assembled under canvas.”

Circus Big Top (Circus Field)

We have supplied the Circus tent with Smartylamps since 2009 and are a regular feature used again in 2015. With two king poles, the installation uses a total of six strings, three from each king pole, either side of the stage. Using pendant light fittings a row of SmartyLamp modular shades hang from each pendant, building in size. The lights increase in size towards the stage, leading festival goers in from the entrances to the huge marquee.

This huge, blue, traditional style circus big top has used Smarty Lamps on a dimmer switch that allows them to glow brightly or gently on and off inbetween performance throughout the day. With the stage lighting off the shapes hanging from the darkness of the marquee over the audience come back on, creating an ambient way to close and introduce the next act on stage.

Take a look at this video to see the full effect in action

The Astrolabe Theatre (Glebeland)

Ten of Smarty Lamps Extra Large Elektras were made for the #Astrolabetheatre tent at Glastonbury Festival (official) www.smartylamps.co.uk

Building the installations for Astrolabe

We actually ended up making these in The Green Room backstage of Theatre and Circus providing a pre-artists hospitality welcome to those arriving to set up. We met the Circus Big Top stage manager who took us to view the three marquees to assess the size and what we might be able to achieve in the timespan. Limited by a day to each stage.

The Elektras were suspended fairly low and above the audience.

Cabaret (Bella’s Field)

For Glastonbury Cabaret, the largest venue in T&C, also known as the comedy tent we were aiming for a cluster effect, with one cluster of lampshades suspended from a frame 3 x 4m frame around the central king pole of this 65 x 42 ft. marquee – one of the largest tents at the festival and a rectangular layout.

We made a selection of tube, circular and disc shape structures known as Spiral Tube, Cosmo, Elektra, Topingo and Astrid made up from mainly white modular Smartylamps kits and used as many recycled pieces as possible. The great thing about the design is that the Smartylamps team re-build their flatpacked lampshades into new installations making them recyclable.

We decided to experiment with splashes of colour and use some of the coloured pieces which are soon to be launched as a new collection in our Smart Deco store on Not on the High Street.

Bella’s Field Archway to Avalon Stage had three Elektra Smartylamps suspended from the archway that goes from the Green Fields and the Avalon Stage taking you into Bella’s Field which hosts the Cabaret, Theatre and Circus Fields.

We worked hard to make the lights on site and found it a pleasure to participate in the best show on earth – Glastonbury Festival – in a creative way again. The results were stunning and we look forward to coming back next year in 2016 to create some light installations equally spectacular.

Going to Glastonbury next year?

Make sure you take the time to experience and explore the Theatre & Circus Fields. The area offers an amazing array of entertainment, from the sublime to the ridiculous; a plethora of astounding, breathtaking and thought provoking acts.

T&C’s three fields host more than 1,500 shows each year.

Theatre and Circus has 8 main venues:

Circus Big Top (Circus Field)

Outside Circus Stage (Circus Field)

The Astrolabe Theatre (Glebeland)

A dedicated Theatre Tent has existed at Glastonbury since 1990, and with a few changes in its format, as well as changes of name, it has run ever since, now being called ‘The Astrolabe Theatre’.

It provides a continuous programme from 11am until 7pm, with a later schedule starting at 11pm running until 2am. There’s Mime, Dance, Comedy, Visual Theatre, Kids shows and Music too.

So The Astrolabe Theatre is definitely one of the many exciting venues to be found in the Theatre & Circus Fields – it’s the red & yellow swirly striped 1,000 capacity Big Top Tent in Glebeland, near Pedestrian Gate 3, in the mysterious & fabulous East side of the Festival

Summer House (Glebeland)

Sensation Seeker’s Stage (Bella’s Field)

Cabaret (Bella’s Field)

Glastonbury Cabaret, the largest venue in T&C, boasts around thirty non-stop acts each festival day, spanning all of the above. The entertainment will mostly be orientated towards an adult audience and indeed aims to extol laughter!

Some people call it The Comedy Tent, and some call it Glastonbury’s Best Kept Secret. Grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate from the Super Deluxe Coffee Company when you arrive, find your spot in Cabaret and get comfortable for some of the most amazing and eclectic comedic entertainment on site. We look forward to welcoming you!

Poetry&Words (Bella’s Field by day)

Mavericks (Bella’s Field by night)

4 riser stages:

The Pavement (The corner of Circus Field and Markets)

Circus Central (Circus Field)

The Gateway (Glebeland)

A Little More Sensation (Bella’s Field)

Plus 100s of walkabout performances, ground shows, installations, workshops and more……

Follow Theatre & Circus – and share your T&C experiences with us – on Twitter at @glastotandc. And check out the official T&C YouTube playlist.