The BRIT Awards, 2001
Sunday, 8 April 2001
The UK’s annual pop music back-slapping gala event, The Brits, was recorded live, in spectacular style, on February 26th at Earls Court 2, London. The live production was managed by Brit regular MJK Productions.

Another regular, Vari-Lite Europe provided the complete lighting system - featuring more than 500 luminaires - as well as providing the rig for the After Show Party. Lighting designer for the event was Al Gurdon. With the ceremony designed to look spectacular both for the live audience and a massive worldwide broadcast audience, the lighting design encompassed the entire space within Earl’s Court 2, both on and around the huge stage and the specially-constructed auditorium.

The large-scale lighting rig included 40 VL2416s, 54 VL5 Arcs, 81 VL5Bs, 76 VL5s, 24 VL6 wash luminaires, 38 VL6Cs, six VL7s and 130 VL2C spot luminaires, with control from two Virtuoso consoles. VL also supplied a substantial conventional rig, with 16 4k Xenon Sky Art Searchlights, two 70k Lightning Strikes, four 40k Lightning Strikes, 160 Par 36s, 400 Par 64s and 44 Diversitronics Strobes. The rig also included 420 metres of truss, two 12 metre-diameter semi-circles of truss and 14 one-tonne hoist motors complete with cable, control and rigging accessories.

The After Show Party’s lighting was designed by Theo Cox who lit the four exclusive rooms - Air Lounge, Water Bar, Earth Garden and the Fire Club - using a rig that featured 56 VL5 wash luminaires, 16 VL6B spot luminaires, VL Moving Mirror Ball units and conventionals, all run from a pair of Wholehog 2s and an Avolites Pearl desk.

Derrick Zieba, was once again chief sound co-ordinator for the event, which included live vocal performances from a host of top talent including Robbie Williams, Craig David, Westlife, Destiny’s Child and U2. As has been the case for the past five years, Britannia Row Productions provided a Turbosound sound reinforcement system for the event. However, there was a slight departure from previous years in that a different speaker system set-up was utilised, to a final design by Brit Row’s Bob Lopez. The Turbosound Flashlight enclosures, which formed both the main PA and the delay system, were positioned with pinpoint accuracy into semi-circular arrays.

The main PA, flown at the front of the stage, comprised at the mid-point of the semi-circle, a hang of 10 Flashlight TFS-780L bass enclosures. Leading directly out to the left from this point was a hang of six Flashlight TFS-780Hs and Floodlight TFL-760Hs, which was mirrored on the right. Following on, a further two hangs of 10 bass units, with a hang of four-wide Flashlight TFS-780Hs and Floodlight TFL-760Hs - again mirrored - to finish the configuration at the ends.

The delay featured 12 of Turbosound’s new compact, trapezoidal Qlight TQ-440SP enclosures - again flown to form a perfect half circle. As the cabinets are self-powered they need significantly less cabling, thus saving a significant amount of time during the set-up. The accurate semi-circular arrangement of the loudspeaker enclosures is used so that, once time aligned, every delay point heads back to the same origin point at the centre of the stage - thus creating a perfect point source.

This loudspeaker positioning was further enabled due to a change this year in stage orientation. By placing the seating to face the long edge of the stage - rather than end-on - all the invited guests (including those from L&SI) were within 45m of the events on stage. This, combined with the circular speaker configuration, ensured a significantly more consistent sound performance.

Bob Lopez told L&SI: "The new arrangement of the system worked fantastically - and any extra time spent on the hanging of the main PA was certainly made up for by the simplified time alignment of the whole system and by the easy-hanging of the TQ-440SPs. Not only was the sound performance enhanced, but the flown nature of the whole system meant that the brief for the


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