Blackout, specialists in rigging and drapes, worked with MJK Productions to transform London’s Earls Court Exhibition Center into a stunning stage for the 2006 BRIT Awards, the UK’s annual music industry awards show. Working alongside Mark Fisher and Ray Winkler of Mark Fisher Studios, Blackout’s team was headed by project managers Chris Brain and Kevin Monks. The complete project included the design and supply of canopy ceilings, a proscenium arch, chandelier structures and fabrics for various sets including Prince and Kanye West as well as the after party and back stage artist hospitality area.
“For the BRIT Awards, Blackout have worked with us for over ten years and we find that they are able to come up with very creative solutions that work within our budget. This year, our design team wanted a Moroccan / Kasbah themed event and Blackout created a superb showcase of colourful fabrics,” comments Kate Wright, director at MJK Productions.
For the main stage area, Blackout provided 12 sweeping canopies of gold Treveria silk (6m x 10m) along with a red silk proscenium arch. A gold silk drape canopy with elaborately decorated and printed edges hung over the presenters main area .
Blackout also supplied and designed 128 individual silk strips for four chandelier structures on PRG Europe trusses, which were suspended from the main area ceiling. These were used throughout the evening with different colored lights projected on to the fabric.
Gold Liquid Lamé drapes were used for the act of International Male winner, Kanye West, and were positioned at the left and right of the main stage. The breathtaking stage spectacle included gold-painted dancers and was one of the most iconic BRIT moments of the last 26 shows.
Prince’s medley of classic hits included Purple Rain and Let’s Go Crazy and were performed from a white themed stage. Here, Blackout provided white silks behind the video screens and four white silk triangles on the edges of the stage.
For the “End of the Pier” themed after party for guests and artists, designed by Bruce French and production managed by Chuck Crampton, Blackout supplied a massive white muslin ceiling canopy over the main area and black ceilings over the four peripheral bar areas. Blackout also created the disco area out of pink and red material to represent a seaside circus big top lined with black fabric. Large quantities of black wool serge drapes were also used, masking and dividing the after-show space.
In addition to all this, in the exclusive Bruce French designed backstage hospitality area that included a restaurant and bar, Blackout created five different rooms with ceilings out of selection of stock black and red velour, black voil, and casement drapes.