Quantum Special Effects are seasoned festival suppliers providing bespoke effects for major headline acts across Europe and the US. Their past clients include Biffy Clyro at Reading and Leeds, Calvin Harris at Coachella, and Foals, Muse and Adele on Glastonbury’s Pyramid stage last year. Having just won the Festival Supplier’s Award for ‘Best Visual Spectacular’ the Quantum team share some insight on what’s available when sourcing special effects for festivals and outdoor events.
The most exciting thing about creating special effects for a festival set is that they are often a one-off. A headline slot can be a triumphant moment for a band and a unique opportunity to create an iconic moment in celebration of their career. Add to this the element of being outside and free from the height restrictions of conventional venues, and you have the perfect recipe to create a truly spectacular experience for your audience.
Big pyrotechnic finale displays that stretch up to 350ft into the air are perfect for this. Their explosion of colour and percussion fill the audience’s senses and extend the experience across the entire crowd. Smaller 30-60ft pieces can also be incorporated on stage and bespoke displays that pay attention to the beat can really enhance the energy of a performance by highlighting a crescendo or emphasising a drop.
Flame effects are also a great way to punctuate an outdoor performance. There are many tailored options available ranging from smaller on-stage flames to larger products such as our Wireless Spitfires that reach up to 25ft and work best when stationed on delay towers or to the side of the stage. With enough lead-time, we are also able to create bespoke flame effects such as campfires and shaped flame bars that help to create a unique performance.
If you are really looking to make the most of the outdoor setting and achieve maximum impact then there is nothing better than the Harvey Wallbanger – our show-stopping fireball. Exceeding heights of 60ft, the Harvey is an adrenaline-inducing effect that leaves a lasting impression on any crowd.
For smaller budgets (or last minute needs) CO2 Jets are both a cost-effective and crowd-pleasing addition to a show. Lined along a stage edge they can have a powerful impact accentuating the beat of a track or pumping up the audience atmosphere. Similarly, incorporating either handheld or stationary Flares into a set can be a great way to heighten ambience or provide a theatrical moment of performer interaction.
Using Confetti and Streamers is another creative option for uplifting the crowd experience. They can be customised with different shapes, colours, and be printed with a logo or personalised message – we have even had clients create their own confetti money! With our different methods of deployment, it is possible to create a range of effects from fully immersive confetti storms to short, sharp stadium shots that provide a vibrant injection of colour. The pit of a festival stage is also ideal for launching streamers over a crowd, both Foals and Muse at Glastonbury last year are a really good example of how impressive this can be for your audience.
Festivals are also perfect for custom inflatables such as branded beach balls and balloons. Crowds love the interaction they bring and people carry them around with them all weekend like a badge of honour, getting your brand seen by the entire festival site.
Which brings us to a very important point – it’s not all about the main stage. If you are a brand, theatrical group, or any industry looking to have an experiential impact then we have an array of interactive effects that can be used to create mood and capture the imagination away from the stage.
How about delivering a taste sensation for your audience? With our range of Multisensory effects, we can recreate any flavour and disperse it in a variety of ways from smoke-filled bubbles to fine mists and vapour, all of which are perfect for bringing that extra level of engagement to an event.
At Quantum we utilise the latest wireless technology and custom build many of our effects so that they can fit seamlessly into any production. With our extensive industry experience and product knowledge, we aim to make our effects as mobile and flexible as possible. Our 360-degree service takes you from concept visualisation right through to deployment, so let your imagination run wild, give us a call, and we’ll do our best to create the ultimate immersive experience for you and your audience.