Illuminate Design shines for Diamond Jubilee Pageant in Battersea Park

On Sunday 3 June, over 1,000 vessels participated in a flotilla on the Thames from Battersea to Tower Bridge in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. And while it may have been an awful day for the weather, live acts were the order of the day at Battersea Park, with everything from 1950s swing orchestras on the bandstand, to a host of exciting acts on the main stage.On hand was Illuminate Design, who set up and managed the lighting for all five stages, with an estimated audience of up to 90,000 – as well as a number of different craft areas with a small but functional lighting arrangement.

Project manager Robin Shephard-Blandy explains: “We have worked on the Mayor’s Thames Festival many times before, so knew the organisers of the Diamond Jubilee Pageant already. They asked us to help with a number of different stages, with a finishing time of 7pm – which meant everything was for aesthetic benefit, rather than provide any significant stage lighting. We provided production lighting for various stages and performance spaces along with support technicians.

“For simplicity, the smaller spaces were lit by six-lamp bars with local six-way dimming. The Diamond Geezer pub was hosting a pop up sing-a-long – and it was one of the more popular spaces, given the rain most of the day; there, we installed 12 Chauvet Colourdash Tri battens, specified for their colour mixing capability – they’re able to mix stage washes and achieve an alternating red-white-blue preset.

“The main stage required a full production rig, including approximately 60 fixtures including moving lights, generics and LED PARs and battens for the multiple live acts.”

Production manager for Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant Jon Dix adds: “We were keen to work with just one lighting team, and, because we’ve have worked with Illuminate Design before, we know how good they are. Illuminate provided a high quality creative angle – a professional, friendly crew, and the ability to bring in, oversee and manage transportation and equipment – without any fuss. We gave them free reign to work on design, within the limitations of budget and power available, and were impressed with the solutions they came up with.”

The park was open to the public throughout the build, so Dix had to manage thousands of vehicle movements negotiating the public during the build. The weather brought challenges even at that time – as they needed to ensure the safety of park visitors and staff, while minimising damage to the grass and turf. Dix comments: “The amount of rain during the build really slowed things down, but, on the other hand, it also meant fewer visitors to the park.

“I was really impressed with how well Illuminate Design worked with the other on-site contractors, including Power Logistics, who provided generators and support, and SFL Group, who worked on sound. I’ll certainly be working with Illuminate Design again – I've already approached Illuminate regarding another project later this year.”