Stage Electrics transformed symbols of the industrial age as part of the World Heritage Site Festival and accompanying Cultural Olympiad 'open weekend' celebrations held in Ironbridge, Telford. Advantage West Midlands and The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust approached Stage Electrics to provide spectacular lighting for a variety of World Heritage Site icons across the gorge including the Iron Bridge, Bedlam Furnaces and Museum of The Gorge. Stage Electrics had the challenging job of setting up lighting at a historically fragile site and had to ensure their work wouldn't impact on the monuments, the location or the local community.
One of the biggest challenges set was recreating the famous 1801 painting 'Coalbrookdale by Night' by Philip de Loutherberg of Bedlam Furnaces in action. Their remains were brought to life with recreated industrial sounds, hammering metal and the sound of bellows played on a sound scape with accompanying smoke effects, transporting the furnaces back 250 years to their industrial heyday. Smoke effects were created using a combination of Martin Jem ZR33 smoke machines and unique hazers. In addition a combination of HMI and HQI fixtures were used. The orange and red flame effects for the burning furnace were created using Safex FlameJettts - a new product to Stage Electrics' hire portfolio. All atmospheric effects of the furnace in action were controlled by an Avolites Pearl 2008 lighting console.
The Ironbridge (built 1779) was illuminated to create a dynamic and constant cycle of colour and produce stunning reflections in the water below. The effect was created by using 4 x 8Kw space cannons (EMF Technology), 24 Varilite VL2000 Wash lights (12 either side of the bridge), 6 x City Colours and 16 x outdoor Par64s. An LED wall at the north end of the bridge displayed images of some of the lesser known local sites and public information messages. Subtle changes in colour were achieved using the full CMY colour mixing space cannons and Varilite VL2000's, all controlled by an Avolites Pearl lighting console.
Steve Miller, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust chief executive commented:
"The launch of the Cultural Olympiad in the West Midlands was a major regional event with a lot of pressure on all partners. Stage Electrics did an excellent job of creating spectacular lighting effects on a range of important historic buildings and monuments in the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site. The technical team clearly understood not only the constraints of working with protected buildings, but also how to create huge impact on a limited budget. The final results were truly magical; people will be talking about the night the Iron Bridge lit up for many years to come".