Now a familiar face among the Blackout rigging team, Bridie has had an insight into how some of the biggest events in the UK get put together.
She was involved with the exhibition rigging at a gaming exhibition held at ExCel, where Blackout worked to make sure their client’s stand stood out from the crowd, with a large truss structure from which 430 kinetic lights were hung as well as scenic elements to change the feel of the stand for each day of the show.
Over the course of a week, Bridie helped build the truss structure and then dress it with 135sqm of black sharkstooth gauze and relevant branding. “The highlight for me had to be the load out of ExCel and experiencing probably the busiest de-rig I have worked on so far,” she said.
From gaming she moved to music and The Brit Awards at London’s O2 Arena where Blackout’s team helped make the night as spectacular as ever, supplying a huge amount of event drapes for the awards and afterparty. Working with the organisers, Blackout provided some stunning touches during the live performances including large projection screens and roller screens on which touching tributes to George Michael were displayed.
Bridie was on site at the O2 Arena for the entire event including the load in and out and was part of one of the most stunning moments of the night when Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin was dramatically revealed by a kabuki solenoid drop supplied by Blackout during his performance with the Chain Smokers. “The highlight of this job was assisting with and being able to watch the Kabuki for the Coldplay performance,” said Bridie.
Then came a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the apprentice, working as part of the Blackout team who were part of a wider group of event specialists setting up the Pink Floyd ‘Their Mortal Remains’ exhibition at the V&A Museum. Featuring artefacts from the band’s illustrious, lengthy career and immersive experiences for ticket holders, the design and install has had quite the impact on Bridie.
“This has definitely been the most intricate and extensive event I have been on to date, with four separate rooms to set up throughout such a unique venue space.” she said. “It has been eye-opening to see the themed exhibit spaces transform completely over the course of the four weeks I have been working there.
“I have helped to rig some fascinating Pink Floyd memorabilia, and one of the highlights has been the people working on the project, who I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working alongside.”
Spending time on big projects and learning from the wider Blackout event rigging team is helping Bridie make visible progress in her career.
“Although there is still much to learn and expand on, I have learned a lot and I am trusted to work with some equipment, such as motors and controls, on my own.
“I am relishing the opportunity to move onto working with more challenging equipment and learning small tricks that can help me on the job. I have started being shown to operate Genie lifts, roller screens, super lifts and I will soon be trained in scaffolding tower building.”
Multiple skills that can be used at multiple events – it’s a great combination for our apprentice.