MJK & Outback at the MOBO Awards

Thursday, 9 October 2003
MJK & Outback at the MOBO Awards
UK - MJK Productions staged a spectacular production for the Mastercard MOBO (Music Of Black Origin) Awards 2003 at London's Royal Albert Hall on 25 September. The awards were dominated by 50 Cent, who picked up the honours for Best Hip Hop Act, Best Album and Best Single, while Justin Timberlake won Best R&B Act and Big Brovaz scored Best Newcomer.

Featuring many of the production team from the Mastercard BRIT awards, the MOBOs was directed for television by Julia Knowles and produced by Sharon Ali. MJK, for the eighth year since the event's début, were in charge of the live production and a team that included Britannia Row (audience sound), 021 (broadcast sound), VLPS (lighting), XL Video (video), Outback (rigging), Steel Monkey (set) and Eat Your Hearts Out (catering).

The show featured MJK's trademark five-minute changeovers between live performances, a substantial lighting rig covering both stage and audience, an EV X-Line line array PA with left and right hangs and two side hangs for the 270° wide audience, and a letterbox-format LED video backdrop to the stage.

Outback Rigging's specialist team was brought in by MJK Productions to rig the sound and lighting systems. Outback's crew, under crew chief Dave Morrel, teamed up with the Royal Albert Hall's in-house riggers to fly the VLPS lighting system, designed by LD Al Gurdon, an Electro-Voice X-Line PA system from Britannia Row Productions, and a stage set created by Bristol-based Steel Monkey. The rig consisted of two circular lighting trusses over the audience and house lighting trusses covering the stage and set area, using the house points 130 feet up in the corona. Outback has provided production rigging for MJK on various projects at the venue including the Classical BRITs, which followed a similar rigging design, and the annual National Television Awards for Indigo Television.

MJK founder Mick Kluczynski commented: "As the MOBOs have grown in success and popularity over the years the audiences, both live and on TV, have come to expect higher and higher production standards, which keeps us all on our toes. It's a great experience to do the show and the Royal Albert Hall team are wonderful to work with."

(Lee Baldock)

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