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Another award season has passed and the Brits Awards at the O2 Arena in London is one of the shows which Blackout has been involved with for the past 22 years and this year was no different. The 2017 event was quite spectacular and we are very proud of being part of the whole set up. Along with working on the main infrastructure of the event with Production managers Kate Wright and Lisa Shenton providing the huge amount of drapes throughout the event and afterparty, we also worked with Band Production Manager Maggie Mouzakitis to provide some specific additional requirements on stage to enhance several artist’s performances.

The show saw moving tributes to stars like David Bowie lost to music in 2016, and one of the most emotional moments of the evening came when George Michael’s former Wham! partner Andrew Ridgeley paid tribute to his close friend and band member, who passed away in December. BPI marked the contribution to the music industry by this outstanding artist with a moving performance by Coldplay’s Chris Martin performed ‘Turn A Different Corner’ with archive footage on the large projection screen in the background culminating in a retrospective duet with the two artists using historical footage. We provided the 12m automated roller screen which was deployed at the opening of the performance utilising a black backed white matt front projection material to create a crisp projection surface with no ambient light bleed from behind. The roller screen is a modular system that attaches to any standard truss. Once the roller screen was up and running we could roll the screen down on the speed of 0.9m per second.

Another eye-catching BRITs moment came when Coldplay’s lead singer was dramatically revealed by a kabuki solenoid drop, supplied by us, during his performance with the Chain Smokers. Our kabuki solenoid system dropped a white polyline materialwhich provided the screen surface for the silhouette projection. Then during the song, the kabuki system was released to drop the cloth and then during the process of falling the cloth was ‘snatched’ back up into a fast winch in the grid supplied by All Access staging. This move appeared lightning quick on our TV screens in contrast to the careful planning process that was undertaken to make this effect look effortless, with the performers continuing the performance of their new collaboration ‘Something Just Like This’.

With the extensive experience of one our best – Kevin Monks, the whole process ran very smoothly and in his own word:

“High profile live TV shows always have their own unique challenges but nothing we haven’t had to deal with before. Coming in late in the load in with specific band effects mean that we must work around an infrastructure that is already in place but due to a long-established working relationship with co-suppliers this wasn’t a problem.”