CPL delivers large disco themed webcast
Friday, 27 March 2020
cpl-at-the-disco-photo-by-ben-daure-march-2020-17CPL at the disco (photo: Ben Daure)
UK - Technical production specialist CPL was poised to deliver an elaborate show environment to event organisers Pandora Events for a motivational event and sales conference occupying Hall 4 of the NEC Birmingham, UK, complete with in-the-round staging, live band, dancers and roller-skating artists and high-level presenters - for 2,500 guests, when, during the dress rehearsals, Covid-19 intervened.
The latest UK government advice - at that time, 10 days before the national lockdown came into force on 23 March - was announced, and organisers took the unanimous decision to stop guests journeying from all over the UK to be there.
Instead, with under 24 hours’ notice, the event was transformed into a four-hour webcast.
The band still played, the dancers and the skaters performed. All the routines were pre-recorded by CPL’s video / camera crew and inserted into the webcast - keeping the good energy flowing across the ether.
The most successful delegates were recognised for their achievements and sales and the new season’s products revealed, all in a near surreal setting for CPL’s project manager Mike Radford and their up to 70 crew (during peak times) who were working on the event’s combined technical aspects.
This included locals from Crewsaders who were “nothing short of amazing” stated Mike.
The get-in had originally commenced on the Wednesday for the Saturday showday. The design theme - initiated by producers Vanessa & Andrew Carter from Pandora Events was “Disco in a Starlight Express vibe”.
The stage was built in the centre of Hall four, an 18m diameter circle with an 8m revolve in the middle and runways coming off two sides.
A 12m diameter circular main truss in the roof above was clad with 3.6m deep Roe CB5 LED panels covering all 360° seamlessly, and in the centre of this - without which no self-respecting ‘disco’ set would be complete - was a 2.8m diameter mirror ball on motors.
Around 200 lighting fixtures installed on the circular truss and a collection of outer trusses rigged in the roof around the stage including 130 moving lights, part of a design by Mark Jones and Iain Wood, with a grandMA2 console for control in readiness for the full tilt all-action show.
The live camera director was Derek Gruszeckyj who had four Sony HXC-100 channels into CPL’s Panasonic HS410 PPU. Custom 360 content related to the band - Fully Funktional’s - production numbers compiled by the CPL video team were sequenced within disguise also sending click & track back to stage.
The circular video LED wall (cladding the truss) was all controlled via two Brompton Tessera SX40 processors with four Brompton Tessera XD data distributors running in a fully redundant system.
A large L-Acoustics sound system comprising of over 70 x Kara speakers plus KS28 & SB18 subs had been installed and ready to go for the main event.
Completing the visual picture were also several special disco effects rigged-and-ready to go, including Galaxis G-Flames and Sparkulars … And a showstopping confetti effect scheduled for the finale, firing through 40 devices in a flourishing left to right canon sweep of the massive room!
CPL supplied a Riedel Bolero wireless comms system with four separate rings which were needed for this set up to cover cameras, production, audio and stage management.
Mike commented, “Although we were already aware that the Covid-19 situation was volatile and could change at any minute, when the decision was taken to stop the audience for their own safety and well-being, everyone snapped into ‘save-the-event’ mode and also into being extra conscious about the safety of the working conditions.
“The change in circumstances entailed a lot of quick thinking on the feet – all instincts for which our resourceful industry is renowned – but all worked together and were united in their determination to deliver a highly memorable event for the client.”
(Jim Evans)

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