PILTON, UK – There’s a reason why Spotify has ranked The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts (or, Glastonbury, as it is commonly known) as the world’s most influential music festival. Over its 45-year history, the outdoor gathering has played host to a diverse pantheon of stars, from The Rolling Stones to Dolly Parton — not to mention Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, U2, Metallica and more. This year was no exception with the likes of Florence + The Machine, Pharrell Williams and The Who bringing it to the Pyramid Main Stage. Naturally all eyes were on these stars as they performed, but attention was also focused on an inspiring structure that towered over the iconic stage and glittered in the light from a collection of CHAUVET Professional and ILUMINARC LED fixtures.
Created by Joe Rush’s Mutoid Waste Company, the structure Peace Time Flies was a giant metallic winged clock that spanned the entire breadth of the Pyramid stage and captured the free, uninhibited and hopeful spirit that defines Glastonbury. This connection between stage sculpture and festival is not surprising. Rush, who achieved notoriety for groundbreaking works like “Carhenge” (a Stonehenge made from old vehicles), began showcasing his work at the Glastonbury 30 years ago. In 2015, the London artist demonstrated that his creative fires still burn with a fierce convention-defying intensity by creating a multitude of senses shuttering works of art, including Peace Time Flies, which symbolizes the hope that the time of peace at Glastonbury could be spread throughout the world.
A sweeping sculpture supporting a soaring and noble ambition required bold lighting. This is exactly what was provided by the Iluminarc Colorist Panel 36Qa, which is packed with 36 15-watt RGBA LEDs that radiate bright and vibrant color washes, and the CHAUVET Professional COLORado 1-Quad IP par-style RGBW fixture. A total of nine of the Colorist panels and six of the LED parts were used to direct colored light at the Peace Time Flies. The rich colors of this collection of fixtures animated the sculpture, amplifying the artist’s suggestion of flight, while the intensity of their output ensured that the sculpture would be visible throughout the sprawling grounds.
Another Rush sculpture stirred equally strong emotions at Glastonbury. Sitting on the top of the Other Stage, the second largest stage at the festival, his Pagan Crown depicted a multi-pointed pagan headdress intertwined with a ram, gazelle and stag horns surrounding a giant pearl. ILUMINARC fixtures were also called upon to accent this structure. This work was illuminated by two Iluminarc Colorist Panel 36Qa panels and eight Iluminarc Colorist Panel 8Qa 15-watt RGBW LED panels. In addition to giving the Pagan Crown an added sense of depth, the fixtures lend a mysterious air to the work with their darker blue and green colored washes.
Although Glastonbury will always be known and revered for its musical pedigree, it’s the seemingly endless supply of installations, art projects and theatre that really give the festival such broad scope and appeal to people of all ages and tastes. As one of the key non-musical staples to consistently grace Glastonbury, the work of Joe Rush’s Mutoid Waste Company is an essential guardian of this reputation. This year, CHAUVET Professional and ILUMINARC LED fixtures helped this breakthrough artist fulfill his mission in even more brilliant fashion.
Photos courtesy of Jason Bryant and Martin Audio.