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The Art of Concert Touring Lighting: A Behind-the-Scenes Look

Concert touring lighting is an art form that requires precision, creativity, and attention to detail. When you’re watching your favorite artist perform live, you might not think about the intricate process that goes into creating the visual spectacle that accompanies the music. But behind the scenes, a team of experts is working tirelessly to ensure that the lighting design enhances the overall experience. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of concert touring lighting and explore the techniques, technologies, and challenges that come with bringing a show to life.

The Role of Lighting in Live Music

Lighting is an essential element of any live music performance. It sets the tone, creates atmosphere, and enhances the emotional impact of the music. A well-designed lighting system can elevate the energy of the crowd, create a sense of intimacy, or even transport the audience to a different time and place. When done correctly, lighting can become an integral part of the performance, rather than just a mere accompaniment.

Designing the Lighting Scheme

The process of designing a lighting scheme for a concert tour begins long before the first show. The lighting designer, often working in tandem with the production manager and the artist themselves, must consider the venue, the music, and the overall aesthetic the artist wants to achieve. This involves creating a detailed plan, including the placement of lights, the color palette, and the movement and intensity of the lights.

Lighting Technology

The technology used in concert touring lighting has come a long way in recent years. The advent of LED lights, for example, has revolutionized the industry, offering greater flexibility, energy efficiency, and a wider range of colors. Other technologies, such as moving heads and intelligent lights, have also become increasingly popular, allowing for greater precision and control over the lighting design.

Challenges of Touring

Touring is a grueling process, and the lighting team is no exception. They must contend with the physical demands of setting up and tearing down the lighting rig at each venue, often in challenging conditions. They must also adapt to the unique characteristics of each venue, from the size and shape of the stage to the type of lighting infrastructure available.

Logistics and Transportation

When it comes to transporting the lighting equipment, logistics become a major concern. The lighting team must carefully plan the transportation of the equipment, ensuring that it arrives at each venue in one piece and is set up efficiently. This often involves working closely with the production manager and the tour’s transportation team to ensure a smooth and timely arrival.

Setting Up the Lighting Rig

Once the equipment has arrived at the venue, the lighting team must set up the lighting rig. This involves carefully positioning the lights, connecting them to the power source, and testing the system to ensure that everything is functioning correctly. This process can be time-consuming and requires great attention to detail.


Finally, it’s showtime. The lighting team takes their positions, and the show begins. The lights come alive, casting a spell over the audience. The music pulses through the speakers, and the lighting design brings the performance to life. It’s a moment of pure magic, the culmination of weeks or even months of planning and preparation.

The Future of Concert Touring Lighting

As technology continues to evolve, the possibilities for concert touring lighting are endless. The use of virtual and augmented reality, for example, is already being explored, offering new and innovative ways to enhance the live music experience. The future of concert touring lighting is bright, and it will be exciting to see how the industry continues to evolve and adapt to new technologies and trends.


Concert touring lighting is a complex and multifaceted art form that requires great skill, creativity, and attention to detail. From the initial design process to the final show, the lighting team works tirelessly to create a visual spectacle that complements the music and enhances the overall experience. As the industry continues to evolve, it will be exciting to see how lighting designers and technicians continue to push the boundaries of what is possible, creating new and innovative ways to bring the music to life.

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