On September 30th 2019 Richard Thompson's 70th birthday was celebrated at Royal Albert Hall in London. The three and a half hour concert celebration hosted 27 guest artists who combined played thirty five songs. The guests were David Gilmour, Loudon Wainwright III, Harry Shearer (Derek Smalls), Judith Owen, Dave Mattacks, Linda Thompson, James Walbourn, Kami Thompson, Maddy Prior, Marc Ellington, Olivia Cheney, Christine Collister, Danny Thompson (no relation), Teddy Thompson, Alistair Anderson, Eliza Carthy, Mary Waterson, Martin Carthy, Kate Rusby, Bob Mould, Dave Pegg, Ashley Hutchings, Hugh Cornwell, Blare Denlup, Zara Phillips and Zac Hobbs.
The design process involved with the several varied acts performing in one evening presented a challenge. I wanted the light to be of similar quality throughout yet also wanting it to express contrast between the musical styles. In the end I chose to use a similar color palette the entire night, adding drama by the absence of color. Within this world of violets and lavenders I chose the compliment colors or absence of color based on the mood and tempo, with the "weight" of the light based on the gravity of the lyrics. For all the previz work in studio I had no idea what the best intensities, positions and movements should be once in the Royal Albert Hall. Having but 5 hours during soundcheck in the venue to update all the cues in the show presented yet another challenge but in the end it worked out fairly well.