Essential Supplies & ADJ create spectacular lighting show at Illuminate Festival

Following on from our previous blog…

Illuminate Plymouth 2019 is a spectacular light-based festival based in Plymouth. As the event has powered down we reflect on our involvement.


  The festival connects all the cities worldwide involved in the 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower and the Pilgrims sailing off to The New World (America). The festival transformed Plymouth and the surrounding areas, showcasing projections and light art installations from local, national and international artists providing a vibrant, fun and inspiring experience for Plymouth’s citizens and visitors alike.


Essential Supplies were initially contacted by Lindsey Hall from Rio (Real Ideas Organistion) and asked to support the creation of a visually stunning ‘moment’ around the Royal William Yard Marina. (As well as running lighting shows throughout the festival.) About 10 days before the event we were told that the BBC wanted to film it live so timing became key to the success of this project as well as the look.

We bought in ADJ and together framed the marina with a huge amount of exterior lights!

We used an impresive:


Power systems supplied by Essential Supplies were manufactured by Titan Power.
We programmed and controlled our lighting on a Chamsys MQ40 Console.

We had our Technical Team Alex, Ewan and Simon working there alongside Tim from Media Workshop, Janette from Theatre Royal, John Hibdige from  JHAV and Clare Honey from RIO.

It was a true test of our equipment. Wet, windy November evenings, as well as being very cold, a harsh environment for lighting and cables.

It was also a great example of team work within ES and ADJ and the bigger team of we were working alongside for 4 evenings.

As a spectator the event was hugely impressive and appeared seamless, I hardly realised how many different elements there were to this magical and imaginative light show.  As said above the timing had to be spot on for the BBC and only when I went to visit the Technical boys did I realise what a huge challenge the timing and synchronising is …. I asked Alex who had been very involved in the programming the lighting desk how he felt ‘Elated !  very proud to be part of this team ….’ The BBC told us they had so rarely filmed such an event without a hitch and with the timing so spot on. 

Huge thank you to all we worked along side each element was so important and the coming together was executed brilliantly.  We are so lucky here in Plymouth to have such a back drop, and the history  but I still think the work that went into this part of the event was outstanding, and what a fantastic start to Mayflower 400 in 2020, be prepared to be amazed !!

“Dazzling light shows and cultural extravaganzas will wow crowds on both sides of the Atlantic”  quote taken from Illuminate 2019