Co-Mission Revive 2016 – Christian Conference

Big Top Main Venue

Hosted on the University of Kent’s Cricket ground, Co-Mission Revive is the joint effort of a group of London Churches. The weekend is an opportunity for delegates to sit in on talks, be part of services and strengthen their bond between other churches across London...

Co-Mission Revive is always an exciting event for DPS. It gives us the chance to flex our artistic lighting muscle and turn some relatively dull venues into something quite special for the weekend’s conferences.

The main venue for 2016 was within a 36m round Big Top structure with nothing but a wooden floor for comfort. Working with a totally empty venue allowed our thoughts to run away with themselves. We needed a setup that wasn’t going to cost the earth in labour or components, but would still give a warm friendly atmosphere and maintained the large scale impressive look. At the time there was a common trend appearing amongst the local restaurants and bars, something that lighting manufactures have tried to steer us away from -Tungsten was back in fashion.

The theme was set, the budget was agreed and the crew were booked. Time to set things in motion. The main venues Big Top structure is quite an impressive thing in itself. Four huge steel truss uprights supported a truss grid at the very top of the cover. These Steel uprights had a workable weight capacity even after supporting the weight of the hefty PVC canvas roof. We had 750kg per tower to play with.

After completing measurements on CAD drawings, we built a truss grid that would sit perfectly between the 4 uprights, this gave us a grid from which we flew all manner of equipment. Eight lots of “bars of 6” Par 64 Parcans to light the roof and venue (total 48 Par 64s on the grid alone). Fourteen Source 4 Zooms, 10 Parnells, two 15,000 Lumen Panasonic Projectors and two d&b Q7 Speakers coving the centre seats, were all flown on this 9x9m H30V Truss grid with a central spine.

Sitting at the back of the rear tier were two truss stands that supported a box truss section running the entire length of the stage - and a little more. 20x20' black wool serge drapes were hung from the rear chord, leaving the front and top chords available to rig lighting and balance the truss. ShowTec Sunstrip DMX Blinders, Martin Mac 250 Entores and DTS Nick NRGs created the fluid looks that accompanied the bands seamless performances. Keeping with the tungsten theme we hung at random heights large Edison style filament lamps that twinkled and softened the look.

We didn’t stop there. On stage we had a few special fixtures normally reserved for TV productions in the 90s. Two 2000w Fresnel’s and two Monster 10,000w Fresnel’s on stands creating a truly special focus point on either side of the stage. With their barn doors wide open they emitted a warm yellow sun-like glow only achievable from these vintage tungsten fixtures.

To extend the stage around the venue we took advantage of additional truss stands and tri truss to create a wide screen effect. More drapes were utilised along with thin white fabric hung in strips either side of two large projector screens. Prolights RGBW COB Par LED Parcans were over rigged on the top of the truss, firing light down the white tabs to create these brilliant glowing pillar like spectacles that finished off the stages look.

In total, in the main venue alone 128 lighting fixtures were used. Twenty Vintage Edison style light bulbs and 42 ways of dimming powered this impressive feature. But that’s just the lighting! Two 15,000 Lumen Projectors, two 12x10ft Projector screens and four 50” LED Displays relayed video images, presentations and camera feeds around the venue, ensuring every seated delegate had a great view – after all, we wouldn’t want them to miss our lighting!

Youth Venue

The second largest Big Top onsite was home to the youth venue. Housing entertainment and activities aimed at the younger audience. As well as a place for the adults to relax, enjoy the evening entertainment and utilise the Bar! For this space a much more simplistic approach was needed to achieve the desired look of a modern venue. A 24x12ft staging platform was the centre piece in this space, home to a small worship band and talk show style set up. Rather than using black wool serge drapes to create the backdrop, the youth venue used a 12x6m start cloth producing a truly fantastic effect when a little haze was introduced.

Tight – high output Beam moving head lights, LED RGB Battens and more DTS NRG wash lights were deployed in this hip venue. Coupled with haze, the beam lights gave impressive arrow straight lines of light putting visual senses on edge. Lighting the stage were even more Par 64 tungsten fixtures and Parnells ensuring the acts were visible for all to see. On the final evening the space became alive, heaving with punters ready for a party!

Children & Toddler Venues

The two venues were for daytime use only. The children’s space made use of a small 12x8ft staging platform and two 50” LED displays and the toddler’s area had another 50” LED display, along with a DVD player to watch some movies!


Like all the other venues, the café made use of the impressive 260kVA large scale power distribution on site to run its many water earns, coffee grinders and coffee machines. Tucked away in the corner was yet another 50” LED display and a small PA system relaying images from the Big Top venue as an overflow area.

It looked great, it sounded great, but most importantly it was great fun because we love what we do.