Event Production
By Thomas Benoy
Westonbirt Enchanted Christmas 2023


Westonbirt Enchanted Christmas is a magical journey, transforming the already stunning arboretum into a wonderland of light, colour, music and interactivity! As evening falls, the trees of Westonbirt come alive with a dazzling array of lights, guiding visitors along an enchanted trail. We've listed some of our favourite installations below!

Spectray Sky:

The 'Spectray Sky' is a breathtaking installation that forms a radiant overhead canopy. It features 474 festoon lights, utilising Chauvet Festoon 2 RGB and Minimads (programmed on Madmapper) and then sent via Artnet to create a dynamic, ever-changing skyscape. As visitors walk beneath this celestial array, they witness a mesmerizing dance of colors that seem to converse with the stars above, creating an illusion of walking under a vibrant, starlit sky. This is our biggest and most grand entrance piece yet.

Visual Designer: Thomas Benoy

Audio Designer: Penny Sandford-Hughes

Grandad Tree: A Storytelling Giant

The 'Grandad Tree' stands as a wise, ancient sentinel of the forest. Hes a stable installation for us at Westonbirt with this being his 5th year greeting the wonderful guests. Utilising our great PT-RZ570 Projector using Minimadsas playback, this installation gives voice to a large, majestic tree, creating the illusion of it speaking to the trail-goers. The tree shares tales and insights about the journey ahead, its deep, resonant voice adding a layer of mystique and wonder, as if the forest itself is narrating its story. Fun fact, the voice was actually recorded by our wonderful Project Handler; Dave Ashling

Visual Designer: Thomas Benoy

Audio Designer: Penny Sandford-Hughes

Flowmotion: A Canvas of Movement and Light

'Flowmotion' turns the human body into a paintbrush that draws with light. This interactive installation uses our ESDLumen - Dazzle P6 - Outdoor LED Screen , a Kinect, and the powerful Touch Designer to track and translate body movements into stunning visual displays. Each gesture and motion of the visitors creates ripples of light, allowing them to sculpt their luminous creations in real-time, making them active participants in this artistic spectacle. This installation was a hit in our first year so we decided to revive it (but with some massive improvents of course)

Visual Designer: Jake Giles-Phillips

Audio Designer: Jack Sheppard

Aria-Glow: An Orchestra of Light and Sound

Aria-Glow stands out in the Westonbirt Enchanted Christmas Light Trail as a testament to the seamless integration of nature, technology, and art. Utilizing contact microphones and the innovative MAXmsp software, this installation transforms the simple act of touching a podium into an enchanting display of synchronized lights and sounds. Each interaction triggers an array of lights, complemented by a symphony of natural and musical sounds, precisely controlled through mixing DMX protocols.

The meticulous attention to detail in Aria-Glow also addresses the challenge of latency, ensuring a real-time response that enhances the interactive experience. This immediate feedback between the visitor's touch and the resulting sensory display is crucial in creating an immersive and magical atmosphere.

Beyond the interactive elements, the installation is enriched with a continuous soundscape of woodland sounds. This background audio adds depth to the experience, creating a tranquil and immersive environment that resonates with the natural beauty of the arboretum. Aria-Glow is a captivating journey, inviting visitors to engage in a playful yet serene exploration of light, sound, and nature's own rhythms.

Visual Designer: Luke Boast

Audio Designer: Luke Boast

Lumaplay: A Technological Symphony of Light and Music

Lumaplay at the Westonbirt Enchanted Christmas Light Trail is a stunning example of how cutting-edge technology can be harnessed to create an interactive and immersive experience. This installation, an ingenious blend of music and light, is powered by an array of advanced lighting equipment, each contributing to a unique, multi-sensory spectacle.

Central to Lumaplay are the Chauvet Rogue Outcast 1 Beamwash and Chauvet Rogue RH1 Hybrid Moving Lights. These sophisticated fixtures provide dynamic, high-intensity beams and wash effects, creating a vivid and ever-changing canvas of light. The versatility of these lights, with their ability to shift shapes and colors, plays a crucial role in making Lumaplay an engaging and vibrant experience.

Adding depth and texture to the installation are the IP rated, out door fixture LEDJ Spectra Flood QX40 and the amazing (also IP rated fixture) LEDJ Spectra Flood Q15. These powerful LED floodlights bathe the area in rich, saturated colors, enhancing the ambiance and creating a visually stunning backdrop for the interactive musical elements. Their robust exterior design ensures that they perform flawlessly in the outdoor setting of the trail.

Each of these high-performance lighting fixtures is carefully integrated into the interactive experience of Lumaplay. As visitors engage with the installation, pressing buttons to create their own musical compositions, the lights respond in real-time, creating a dazzling array of visual effects that dance to the rhythm of the music.

In Lumaplay, technology is not just a tool but an integral part of the artistic expression, allowing visitors to not only see and hear their creations but to feel immersed in a world where light and sound are in perfect harmony. This installation stands as a beacon of innovation, showcasing how technology can transform a space into an enchanting realm of interactive art.

Lumaplay was born from my desire to create something truly interactive and accessible for all the guests. We wanted to transform light into an instrument that anyone could use. It's a reflection of my passion of lighting design, something that isn't the most accessible.

Visual Designer: Dan Giddings

Audio Designer: Dan Giddings

At Lumaplay, every visitor becomes a part of the art, composing their own symphony of lights. It's about making the magic of light accessible to everyone, inviting them to play, explore, and be amazed

Dan Giddings - Senior Lighting Designer

Flashdash: A Race of Light and Speed

Flashdash, an exhilarating feature of the Westonbirt Enchanted Christmas Light Trail, takes interactivity to a thrilling new level. This installation is a vibrant race that combines speed, light, and friendly competition, captivating visitors of all ages.

In Flashdash, participants engage in a dynamic competition where the objective is to illuminate a trail of pixel tape as rapidly as possible. Each contestant is stationed at a button, and the race begins with a burst of energy. As they rapidly press their buttons, the pixel tape lights up, creating a streak of glowing light that traces their progress. The intensity and speed of the light directly correspond to the participants' actions, turning their physical speed into a visual spectacle.

The installation's design is a technical marvel, incorporating advanced lighting technology to ensure responsive and vibrant displays. The pixel tape, a flexible and programmable lighting solution, is key to creating the vivid, racing light effects that mark the progress of each contestant.

As the race reaches its climax, the excitement peaks. Flashdash concludes with a spectacular victory light show, celebrating the winner with a dazzling display of lights and colors. This finale adds a sense of grandeur to the competition, making every participant feel like a champion

Visual Designer: Ryan Andrews

Audio Designer: Ryan Andrews

Chromawave: An Archway of Radiant Hues

The 'Chromawave' is an archway composed of pixel strips, creating a tunnel of ever-changing colors. As visitors walk through, they are enveloped in a cascade of hues, each step triggering a new wave of color, making for a visually stunning and immersive experience. We love thinking in creative way here at PYTCH, this was no exception. Chromawave is rigged using a polly tunnel structure, a cheap and safe alternative to custom fabricated metal!

Visual Designer: Dan Giddings

Audio Designer: Dave Ashling

Projection Mapped House: A Festive Tale Told in Light

The Projection Mapped House at the Westonbirt Enchanted Christmas Light Trail is a captivating visual story, brought to life with our PT-RZ570 Projector. This installation transforms a simple cottage into a canvas for a Christmas-themed light projection show.

Utilising the PT-RZ570 Projector](https://hire.pytch.co.uk/hire/video/projection/panasonic-pt-rz570-projector), known for its crisp image quality and reliability, the Projection Mapped House displays intricate and vivid images that wrap and contour perfectly to the architecture of the cottage. The projector's high luminosity ensures that every detail of the projection is clear and bright, even in the outdoor setting of the trail.

The content of the projection was crafted to celebrate the spirit of Christmas. Scenes of snowfall, twinkling stars, and festive decorations come alive on the walls of the house. The images are not just static; they tell a story, unfolding in a sequence that captivates the audience and draws them into the magic of the holiday season.

The mapping and sequencing of the projection are achieved using MadMapper software, a powerful tool for video and light mapping. This software allows for precise alignment of the projected images with the architectural features of the cottage, creating a seamless and immersive visual experience.

Once the content is perfected in MadMapper, it is uploaded to Minimads, a compact and robust media player designed for video mapping. The Minimads ensure that the projection runs smoothly, coordinating the display to match the envisioned sequence and timing, thereby bringing the festive tale to life with reliability and precision.

Visual Designer: Thomas Benoy

Audio Designer: Penny Sandford-Hughes

Weston Lights: A Glimpse of the Aurora

Concluding the trail is the 'Weston Lights,' a simulation of the Northern Lights created through laser projection. This grand finale paints the night sky with ethereal, shifting colors, mimicking the natural wonder of the aurora borealis, leaving visitors in awe of the beauty and majesty of nature. Using our powerful Laserworld PL20000, we recreated the ever beautiful Northen lights, but with a Westonbirt twist of course..

As the trail winds through the arboretum, each installation invites guests to interact, engage, and be part of the magic. Whether it's creating music with Lumaplay, racing lights in Flashdash, or walking through the color-shifting arch of Chromawave, visitors are not just spectators but active participants in this festive journey.

In conclusion, the Westonbirt Enchanted Christmas Light Trail is more than just a seasonal attraction; it's a vivid illustration of how art and technology can come together to celebrate and elevate the beauty of the natural world. It's an experience that stays with you, a memory of light and sound that continues to sparkle long after the trail ends.