Leyard on board for Roger Waters’ ‘Farewell’ tour

Leyard on board for Roger Waters’ ‘Farewell’ tour
Regarded as his ‘first farewell tour’, Roger Waters, has embarked on a 4-month tour of North America, Canada and Mexico, with a 360deg immersive production based around a CarbonLight Series LED screen from manufacturer Leyard.

Building on Waters’ legacy of technically renowned visual productions, the ‘This is Not a Drill’ tour develops visual storytelling to create a truly immersive experience, staging the production for the first time in-the-round, with a lightweight 650 square metre, cross-shaped Leyard screen, suspended from the roof as the centrepiece, provided by video equipment suppliers, Universal Pixels (UP).  

"With the screen, audio and lighting all hung from the roof, this ‘heavy’ rig required a lot of advance planning. UP provided a screen for the last tour in 2018, so it was a pleasure to work with the team again to find a solution for this unique in-the-round show. The huge 650 square metre Leyard LED screen was chosen because it is lightweight enough to reduce the overall rigging load, whilst still staying true to the overall design concept." explains Jeremy Lloyd, co-director at London-based Wonder Works, a long-term partner, which was appointed to deliver production and technical design services for the tour.

The first task for the Wonder Works design team was to carry out a detailed weight study, as not only would the proposed LED screen be large but, as an in-the-round show, there is three times as much audio, lighting and video, compared to an end-on show. The team was faced with the challenge of designing a lightweight system, which would be logistically possible to install in every venue throughout the four-month tour.  

UP’s Phil Mercer has been personally involved in Roger’s tours since 2006, and via UP since 2018. UP chose Leyard’s CarbonLight CLM6 LED panels, its lightweight carbon fibre mesh construction bringing the screen in within the weight restrictions, whist delivering everything that was expected in terms of image quality. 

The resulting production design features a rectangular central stage with runways extending from each side, creating a cross. Above the stage, the Leyard LED screen mirrors the stage, also taking the form of a cross. Tait Towers was commissioned to build a structure for the screen to hang from, whereby it is separated into three sections, which can all move as one. This allows the screen to be raised during the show according to the artistic direction, yet transported and rigged in parts. The screen design is made up of 648m2 of Leyard CLM6 tiles in a 12-sided crisscross, enabling the audience to view video content wherever they are in the venue. The production design additionally features 16 lasers that form giant triangles surrounding the entire length of the LED screen above the stage, complemented with surround sound audio. 

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