Barclays banks on Flying Squad
Tuesday, 9 April 2002
Barclays banks on Flying Squad
Production rigging experts, Flying Squad Aerial Rigging, were appointed by London-based brand experience agency, LIVE, to assist in the realisation of Robin Thompson’s set design for Barclays Human Resources event at London’s Excel Centre. As the largest single Human Resources event ever staged by Barclays, it stretched across four halls of the Excel centre, covering more than 8000sq.m and was attended by over 1,000 employees.

Working closely with Stage One and Robin Thompson, Flying Squad supplied and installed a staggering 1.2kms of trussing and 126 motors. With Rory Mckeown as project manager and Bryan Wilson as crew chief, Flying Squad accurately configured the structure underpinning Robin Thompson’s design into three sections: auditorium, reception and workshops. Ten individual workshop areas were constructed around the perimeter of the vast semi-circular auditorium. To give the auditorium a more intimate feel, Flying Squad blacked out the entire area and rigged over 1km of black serge drape, behind which another 370 metres of white fabric was suspended. The black drapes were flown out using a total of 18 motors for a dramatic reveal effect - the audience’s surroundings changing from black into brilliant white as the presentation ended and the workshops began.

Stage One realised Robin Thompson’s set design for the stylish main stage. It consisted of two 5m x 3m rear-projection screens with surround flattage, presenter staging and applied graphics to offer an impressive effect. The lighting rig, designed by Martin Locket of Essential Lighting, reflected the enormous scale of the project and was essential to the creative treatment. 800 lights were used, including 30 high impact City Colors from Studio Due which were used to project onto the brilliant white canvas and to colour-code the auditorium into 10 different zones. The sound system, supplied by Delta Sound, used 60 enclosures which were flown throughout the auditorium, workshop and reception areas. Two d&b audiotechnik clusters, comprising four d&b C7s, were suspended either side of the stage. These were further complemented by a distributed system of 20 d&b C6s also flown from the truss in the auditorium. In the workshop and reception areas another large distributed system was suspended from the truss and consisted of Martin CX2s and EV200s.

(Ruth Rossington)

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