Into The Devilís Arse for Jack Daniels
Post Date : 25 Oct , 2012


Colour Sound Goes into The Devil’s Arse for Jack Daniels
Haydn Cruickshank of London based lighting and visuals rental company Colour Sound Experiment (CSE) has worked on some choice gigs in his time, however designing and supplying lighting for a showcase celebrating the birthday of iconic Tennessee whiskey Jack Daniels’ took him to the previously uncharted territory of ….. the Devils’ Arse in the Peak District, UK.
The Peak Cavern earned its memorable epithet from the flatulent sounding emissions made by draining floodwater –of which there has been plenty lately! It is one of four ‘show’ caves in Castleton Derbyshire.
This unique and atmospheric location was chosen by brand experience agency Red Lodge to stage a special show for Jack Daniels Birthday competition winners and amassed press – the line-up featured The Vaccines, Mystery Jets and Tribes.
One of numerous challenges facing the production team was the 600 metre push from the truck drop through the treacherous terrain of the Castleton Village pathways and up the hill to the entrance of the Cavern and into the venue in the first cave..
Inside, Cruickshank created a production lighting design that would work for all the bands. This utilised Clay Paky Sharpies, GLP Impression and Chauvet Q-Wash 260 moving lights – all picked for their low power consumption as the gig ran off generators. These were stationed outside the mouth of the cave – an operation that also took some serious manoeuvring in itself.
The stage lights were rigged on upright trussing sections, and Source Four profiles were used for beaming projected branding around the cave.
Along the floor were 10 GLP Spot One LED profile moving lights, skimming up the walls of the cave and highlighting sections of the roof.
Cruickshank and his crew of Dan Williams, Stu Barr and James Hind worked alongside five members of the local potholing club, who’s encyclopaedic knowledge of the caves and labyrinthine environment was a real asset. They also had 24 local crew to help with the gruelling task of moving the kit into place.
Three Pothole Club members worked as manual follow spot operators for the show - anchored into the rocks about 30ft up the walls of the cave, each equipped with a follow PAR – and with a rescue climber to hand!
Says Cruickshank, “I have used follow PAR technology many times – it’s a softer and more subtle way to pick out performers – but never with them hanging off a cliff face!”.
The stage lights were operated by Dan Williams using a Chamsys MagicQ MQ200.
Approximately 50 waterproof LED fixtures were deployed deeper into the cave system to light the more distant caverns, together with some classic Optikinetics Solar 250 and K4 effects projectors, additional Source Fours and more GLP Spot Ones, the latter with branding gobos shooting along the tunnels.
A lone harmonica player was distantly ensconced in the bowels of the caves with an ethereal stream of music wafting from the earth’.
Access to the second cavern entailed the lighting crew crawling on their bellies along a passage less than a metre high with all the kit, negotiating rocks, walls and dripping water and dank interesting odours.
 It was a “Galvanising” three day get in but everyone was in excellent spirits and enjoyed a real sense of achievement as everything came together, creating a magical environment for the event. .
At the mouth of the cave, more waterproof LED lights were used by CSE to emphasise the entrance, and the trees and foliage were also tastefully lit. A Clay Paky Alpha Spot with a Jack Daniels gobo beamed brightly onto the rock-face above the entrance
CSE also supplied power distribution for all the production elements in the Devil’s Arse
In spite of the intense and physically demanding nature of getting everything rigged and ready on time, Cruickshank reports, “We all really enjoyed the challenges, together with working in such a totally cool place and being part of a great event team”.
Apart from that, everyone back at the Colour Sound warehouse took great delight in being able to say to anyone who asked, “Haydn is – as we speak – quite genuinely right up the Devil’s Arse with Jack Daniels!”.



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