Colour Sound gets historic at Hampton Court Palace Festival


Lighting and video rental specialist, Colour Sound Experiment, supplied staging, architectural lighting and an LED screen to the 2019 Hampton Court Palace Festival, staged in the impressive Tudor Courtyard of Hampton Court Palace in Richmond, Surrey. The event ran over a three-week period in June.

Production manager, Jonny Gaskell, provided a production design for the stage and lights and selected architectural features around the surrounding courtyards and gardens. 

Commenting on the team at Colour Sound, Jonny said: “They are absolutely solid, great kit and attitude, excellent value, always smiling and offering solutions and never problems.”

In addition to the house rig, Colour Sound provided the artist specials packages as required.


The stage – approximately 60ft wide by 30ft deep – was a custom construction, fitted to the courtyard walls, providing all the accoutrements of a modern festival stage, complete with seating tribunes in front.

Jonny’s production design for 2019 was based on three lighting trusses – front, mid, and rear – sub-flown from the roof structure, and these provided the house ‘top’ rig which was available for all to use. Colour Sound also supplied a floor package that was available for anyone wanting some extras and not bringing their own.

Jonny chose Robe MMX Spots as the main moving lights for this project, picked for their compact size and light weight as the ideal fixture for this setup. 14 of these graced the front truss together with six Robe LEDWash 1200s which were used for general stage washes. To highlight the audience, there were four 2-lite blinders on the front rail of the truss.

The mid truss was rigged with six MMX Spots and six LEDWash 1200s, and the back truss had 10 x LEDWash 600s and six MMX Spots.

Available for the floor were six – each – of MMX Spots, LEDWash600s and 2-lite Moles on tank traps.

Onstage, 12 outdoor LED PARs were utilised for skimming up the wall at the back of the stage. This enabled artists not bringing in a backdrop or a video screen to have additional ambience to their stage look rather than leaving it as a black hole upstage!

Around 50 outdoor PARs and various sodium floods were deployed to highlight the grounds, including turrets, chimneys, crests and gargoyles, strategic plants and pathways. The main Clock Courtyard was lit with PAR 56s with 134 Golden Amber gels. The Tudor Crest and draping on the walls above the stage was picked out with some Source Four Zooms.

In addition to creating a dramatic feel, the environmental lighting acted as house lighting in the Tudor Courtyard and safety lighting between the venue and the car park. 

For lighting control, Colour Sound supplied a ChamSys MQ500 and a Wing for the stage and an MQ80 for the architecturals. Jonny lit all five headline artists who didn’t bring their own lighting designer or operator, utilising the full house rig and floor package.

Challenges included being mindful of the power! The lighting – both stage and environmental – plus any video elements ran off one 200A 3-phase supply, with a separate 63A single phase for audio.

Also, the courtyard was open to the public during the two-day build period, so the production build was scheduled with that in mind.

Colour Sound’s, Haydn Cruickshank, said, “It’s great to be involved in this event – it’s very much a festival on the up and with many unique elements. The line-up expands constantly along with the commitment to higher production values and keeping the expectation buzzing each year.”

Molly joined the editorial team in March 2019. She has several years’ experience working in broadcast and journalism, as well as marketing and PR. Past experience includes working for the BBC and independent publishing houses. If you have a story you think Molly might be interested in, please email: