Gary Barlow's UK arena tour sold out all 17 dates
UK - Relationships that have had a big influence on Gary Barlow's latest tour. Barlow is a master of his genre, as he has amply demonstrated by selling out all 17venues around the UK. His first solo outing onto the arena circuit, show director Kim Gavin along with designer Tim Routledge and production director Chris Vaughan, elected for a minimalist approach to staging, but with an emphatic widescreen approach to video.

Tim Routledge comments, "Gary wanted to keep as close to his audience as he had on last year's theatre outing. At the same time we needed a bigger show to suit the scale of venue. Kim is the show producer, he and Chris Vaughan set the guidelines; the resultant stage design has barely changed from my first renderings. The stage is a neatly defined smooth oval with the band wrapped around one step up behind Gary. An ├╝ber-wide 100 foot screen forms the back wall. That could have looked out of proportion, yet the main stage, despite the simple oval design, ends up wider than the normal sixty foot you see for most arenas; that brings physical balance to the visual aspect."

The choice of Chaos Visual as video system provider drew on Vaughan's lengthy relationship with the industry, as he explained. "Chaos and I go back quite a long way, especially at a personal level. Recently of course they provided the screens for the Muse stadium shows for me and did an excellent job, but I've known Alex Leinster (Chaos UK's director) for many years and in the end this business is about people. Alex was my video crew chief on several big tours years ago. Him, Andy Tonks, his crew chief for this tour; Richie Shipman the D3 operator - these are people I know can get the job done, and get it done well. Director Matt Askem couldn't be happier.

"This is Chaos' first arena tour for me and it's been fine. As well as people, the packaging is important; you'll see there are almost no flight cases anywhere, it's all big dollies and that makes all the difference. Even the three video racks of the PPU are set in one trolley; that saves an hour cabling up on the load-in. In many ways, with this crew, it's like the good old days in that Chaos is a company run by people who have been on the road, not a bunch of executives who've never pushed a case.

"So when I come to integrate all departments into a singular touring production they understand what is expected and respond with the right solutions. Touring at this level with an artist of the calibre of Gary Barlow is a specific bespoke market and it's essential you have those kinds of people who specialize in it."

(Jim Evans)


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