English grime artist, Stormzy, headlined the Saturday main stage in spectacular fashion at this year’s Wireless Festival in London’s Finsbury Park.
The London-born superstar performed in a full, bespoke production of mammoth proportions in 6 acts, created by Bronski and Amber Rimell of Tawbox.
It was clear that lighting designer, Tim Routledge, would need a giant-sized fog generator when lighting Stormzy’s iconic set, and specified two MDG Me8 fog generators to take on the job. The biggest of MDG’s Me Series of fog generators, Me8™ is an 8-output monster capable of pumping out a massive 800m3 of fog per minute.
“I’m very familiar with MDG’s TheONE™ dual fog/haze generator which I specify for most of the tours I light,” says Routledge, “but when Matt Wiseman brought the Me8 to my attention at the ABTT show last month and highlighted the sheer volume of controllable fog it can produce, we decided to try it out. Stormzy’s set design called for vast quantities of dense fog for a couple of numbers, which is always a challenge in an outdoor setting where environmental factors make it difficult to keep a decent level of fog for a protracted amount of time. It was an ideal opportunity to put Me8’s output and control to the test.”
Stormzy’s vision was to create a truly memorable festival show that pushed the boundaries and would be talked about for years to come. Everything was to be supersized in a huge production that was unprecedented in a festival, and which ultimately involved 48 crew, 75 performers and 6.5 trucks of equipment.
“We had an enormous thrust stage with inbuilt lifts, 200 strobe lights, a cage with 20 performers clinging to it, and a full orchestra for the final song,” says Routledge. “At one point a screen was flown in - which is really unusual at a festival - from behind which we wanted to produce fog to reveal the next scene. So we really needed a fog generator that could match the huge proportions of the production!”
Routledge sourced two Me8 generators from production supplier, PRG, which arrived direct from MDG’s Canadian headquarters a couple of days before the install, and were rigged upstage right and left at stage level: “The weather was good on the day of the show, but there is always a breeze which affects the density and direction of fog on stage,” says Routledge. “But the Me8 is such a beast that all we had to do was preset them and let them do their stuff. They gave us so much fog, we couldn’t ask for more!”
Like all members of the Me Series, Me8 benefits from a 1% - 100% variable fog output that can be controlled directly from a lighting console or via local control, a 100% duty cycle that guarantees high-quality, consistent fog at all levels of output, and MDG’s famous Automatic Purging System™ (APS™). Numerous control options are on-board as standard and include 3 standard USITT DMX512 channels, XLR-5 connectors, a 4-button LCD user interface and RDM compliancy.
Designed primarily for large-scale applications, both indoor and out, and destined for huge venues and stadia, Me8 is also perfect for fire fighter and military training, ventilation testing and special effects for movies.
“We were very happy with the results the Me8 units gave us and how they performed in the great outdoors!” concludes Routledge. “The output was phenomenal and we were able to show off the lighting to best advantage as well as conceal and reveal performers and activity during the scene changes. This was fog on a huge scale!”
Stormzy himself is reported in The Times as saying: “This is the biggest show of my life.”