Events, Featured

The Difference Between Competition and Festival Light Shows

Hello Gloving Universe!

There is always a lot of talk among glovers about what a real light show is. In my opinion, there is no wrong way to throw a light show, and I credit [PM] Pro Heavy for pointing it out a few years ago. Gloving is a type of personal expression, and there is no way to tell someone how they can and cannot express themselves.

The two most common types of light shows are competition and festival light shows. With the passing of IGC and another festival season, let’s take a look at the difference between the two. Shall we?

Length of Show


At a festival, you can really elongate and expand on a concept. There are no time constraints, so you are able to create proper transitions and tell your full story to the audience. The audience is also in a different mindset and simply there to enjoy the show.


The first thing you will notice about competitive light shows is how full of concepts they are. The time limit in competitions adds a new aspect to the skill of crafting your show. Think of it this way, you’ve just told a great story and entertained an entire crowd. You fit it all onto a full sheet of paper, and now you must tell some of the best story tellers the same story on a sheet of paper half the size.

Watch how free flowing [4D] Motion is at TomorrowWorld. The dude is just having fun and working on his craft.


Song Choice


When gloving at a festival, you are at the mercy of the DJ. If they get caught talking on the mic in the middle of your show, go with it, or drop the mitts. If they decide to change songs out of nowhere, you better be quick on your feet… or knees… whichever. Conversely, you can wait for the right time to start before beginning your show, and your audience won’t mind.


In a competition, the song is timed out. It is tailored to start at a good point for the average glover. You do not have the option to wait or anticipate the song. You do not have time to plan anything out. You must go, and you must go now.

Check out [PM] Cypher’s battle with [PM] Gambit. Notice the time constraint. Listen to the difference in transitions and song choice!

Energy and Feel


The vibe at festivals is far different than that of a competition. At a festival, you feel complete freedom. You feel like you are part of the show, and you feel like a super hero rampaging across the city saving damsels in distress and thawing their frozen hearts with light show after light show.


At a competition, it is vastly different. As a competitor, you feel like Ash Ketchum or Yugi Freaking Moto about to embark on an epic journey with a light at the end of the tunnel. Both types of gloving are fun, but the two are vastly different and nourish different edges of your soul.

Want INTENSITY? Check out my most recent IGC Championship battle against Machine!


Quick Note on Audience

When giving a show at a festival, you are only worried about the person viewing your show and maybe security over your shoulder. In competition you have to center your show around your audience, while still impressing the judges over your shoulder.

This makes competitive light shows more difficult because everything must be able to be seen from all angles. Some amazing glovers have never been able to grasp this concept. Because of this, they do not place well in competition, even though they are capable of throwing an amazing show.

All in all, both are incredibly fun to perform, receive or just be a part of.

Now, stop reading this article and GO GIVE A LIGHT SHOW!



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