Our drapes and rigging expertise played an integral role in the annual BMW LSO Open Air Classics concert in Trafalgar Square on Sunday 21st May.
Thousands of people packed into the famous square in glorious sunshine to hear the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Valery Gergiev, play three pieces by Rachmaninov. Once again generous sponsorship from BMW ensured the event was free to the public.
It was the fifth time we had worked on the event, providing rigging and drapes, installing four truss structures next to the main stage to support two large screens and two PA towers, with two smaller structures at the back of the square in front of the National Gallery, used for relay screens.
A combination of Thomas 52 Supertruss and Prolyte Truss was used, with extra Blackout truss forming the main entranceway. Prolyte was also used for the on-stage lighting rig, and Blackout supplied protective drapes to keep the sun off the musicians’ instruments.
Blackout director Kevin Monks headed up the team, who had a small time window to work in, with the need to minimise the closure of the historic landmark to the public.
The first equipment arrived in Trafalgar Square on Friday May 19th, two days before the concert, and the 15-strong crew worked fast to construct the support structures so the production load-in with lighting and video equipment could take place the following day.
Blackout’s crew then worked quickly and efficiently on Sunday evening to make sure the site was returned to normal in time for the new working week. Kevin Monks and his team then supplied production rigging for the LSO at another central London location, along with some White Voile drapes and temporary sun screen masking.
Somerset House event manager Jon Howes, who was contracted by the LSO as event production manager for the Trafalgar Square concert, said the ongoing relationship with Blackout was crucial for an event in such a well-used public space.
Jon explained: “The advantage of using Blackout is that they already have a really good understanding of what is required on this project and their levels of professionalism are excellent.
“If I had to find the same experience and reliability in another rigging company it would take a long time because Kevin and his team understand what is needed on an event like this and know the standards expected. They’ve been brilliant once again."