As part of a larger event that we managed, Premier provided the AV for a festival themed event at Manchester Central back in January.
The planning required to produce the end result was extensive, and required liaising with a huge amount of staff and suppliers in the months building up to the event. This event had multiple components that needed to come together including video walls, custom scenic elements, bespoke lighting frames and a huge 6m tall chicken.
We used the Central Foyer to host the main drinks reception. A stage was installed for an acoustic duo to perform on. We provided an L-Acoustics PA system to cater for the band, this consisted of 8x 12XT speakers. Atmospheric lighting was provided using battery powered uplighting to tone the walls of the venue.
To cater for last minute changes to the table plan we provided both 65” and 98” screens to act as digital plans which we find always works especially well.
At the entrance to the venue we provided chrome posts with black velvet ropes and a 2.5m tall metal chicken which we had custom fabricated for the event.
VIP Drinks Reception
The VIP drinks reception held inside Central Hall had a truss running the width of the space to incorporate effective lighting such as Robe 600 spots and washes, generic lighting such as 6-way IWB’s and the ETC Source 4 15-30 all ensured warm even lighting within this area. Additionally, within this truss run of fixtures were 2 bespoke filament frames which have 50 lamp strings varying in length and consist of G80 lamps that give added impact when entering the venue.
Running almost the entire length of the room was 2 audience trusses. These trusses ran parallel to each other and gave the lighting designer capability to effectively light and add effect to the main event space. The Lighting used on these trusses was almost all generic washes and profiles as the colour temperature available was most suitable to this setting. Accompanying these were Robe Robin 600 washes and spots giving capability to the entire room in terms of lighting and LED effect.
Stage Lighting + Arch + LX LED Drops
Multiple trusses were proposed and installed for this event, once a plot is agreed with the venue & rigging team, deadhangs and bridles are utilised to ensure even load across the arches found in the top of Manchester centrals roof. Various lighting techniques and ideas came together for this event and allowed the use of an arch truss and 2 main front trusses. These include the use of LED downlight via the Chroma Q Colour Force, the effect of pixel mappable LED battens running the span of the truss, flown dropbars with additional Showtec Sunstrips and 3 rows stage left & right of Clay Paky Sharpy’s which formed the main effect lighting the LD envisaged. All of this considers the actual context of the event, when designing it was crucial to incorporate the requirements for awards, live music and a presenter.
Scenic & Props
Premier always want to give their clients the opportunity to get creative with the look and feel of an event. As part of the design, we included custom set panels, flown scenic props and a huge chicken we look at how best it can be implemented safely. For this event specifically, we designed and built neon panels, a KFC lightbox and Louvres panels. The main aspect of this show was a huge 6m chicken which was flown from a truss. It was constructed by scenic specialists incorporating a rolled steel frame and hand-cut and painted timber cladding to form the feathers. The chicken itself required lighting that could be focused and changed remotely to give the ‘flame’ effect the client wanted to go for so 2x Robe BMFL Blades were used solely for lighting the chicken.
Creating an audio system that could accommodate the entire venue space and ensure quality audio coverage for all guests is always crucial and it first begins with a Soundvision plot. For the main hangs we utilised 12x KARA either side with 2x SB18 subs flown. These flown subs were accompanied by 8x SB28 subs ground stacked and offered an increased frequency response of the system overall to 25Hz – 20KHz. The main hangs also included a centre hang of 4 KARA which effectively provided even audio across the first 40m of the room.
Following the room layout and the audience truss runs were delayed KARA hangs which consisted of 6x KARA either side. The backbone of this system was LA8 and LA12X amplifiers which make installations simple and reliable, with stored presets it makes for an easy install with the addition of network control.
With the speakers and amplifiers brining the system to life, the protocol DANTE was implemented due to its reliability and flexibility. The interfacing component of this L’Acoustics system was the Yamaha CL5 both at FOH and Monitors. With 64 in / 64 out it was the desk for the job thus making use of the RIO stage boxes to incorporate an effective system.
Along with the 126x round tables and 1,350 black chair covers, our team also installed a 54ft x 24ft black starlit dance floor.
To make the tables visible, illuminated table numbers made of acrylic were placed in the middle of every table. We used the Astera AX3 battery powered uplighter in the base of each table centre to illuminate the table numbers. Each of these was individually addressed allowing complex control from the lighting console.
Effects & Pyrotechnics
With events of this size with year-long anticipated awards it’s key that when awards this crucial are handed out, award winners arriving on stage should be greeted by bright and powerful pyrotechnics that emphasize their importance. Furthermore, our very own Showven Sparkulars made another appearance on main stage, 6 were evenly spread across the stage to emphasize stings & awards. The Sparkulars were accompanied by pyrotechnics such as gas flame jets and confetti blasters, all of which were situated along the front of the 29m wide stage.
I wanted to thank you – now the dust is settling on what was an INCREDIBLE event- ‘the Best Fest’ [as I now like to call it!].
Thank you for making it as exceptional as it was. It was truly WORLD class and I don’t say that lightly. I think that chicken with the flames on the screen will stay with me forever. Breath-taking.
I know how you give these events your all- quietly and understatedly making everything happen as it should. It doesn’t go unnoticed.
General Manager KFC UK & Ireland
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