Blackout Ltd designed and supplied all production rigging infrastructure for the 12th MTV Europe Music Awards held in the Pavilhao Atlantico in Lisbon, Portugal in November.
Demonstrating attention to detail and the ability to work with tight deadlines, a variety of Blackout truss and track systems were supplied for individual artists. For Madonna's new hit single "Hung Up," Blackout arranged for a rigged 2 m mirror ball to be smoothly flown on to stage using a Liftket motor and Kinesys control system.
Framing the stage for a stunning visual performance by Gorillaz, Blackout supplied four track systems fitted with red velour to represent a secondary proscenium arch. Two 12m x 9m white filled cloth and red velour Kabuki drops added a projection surface. A "Pepper's Ghost" effect was created using two translucent panels and a projector truss and projector beams bounced images back on screen where they were combined with life size silhouettes of band members. Blackout's own Kinesys conventional motor control was used for the downstage drapes.
For Shakira's performance, silver shimmer gauzes painted by Mantaray were flown in on Blackout's Kinesys controlled motors, and after Green Day's explosive performance, Blackout designed 100 "surrender flags" which were given out to the crowd. Additionally a 60 x 3 m canvas banner and a variety of backdrop banners printed with the MTV Europe Music Awards logo, were created by Blackout for the press area and media interview rooms.
Working with MTV Europe Music Awards Producer, James O'Brien, the site was managed by Dominic Peissel, General Manager of Blackout France who is also the Head of Site Operations for MTV Europe Music Awards. The rigging team was project managed by Blackout's Kevin Monks and Oz Marsh.
"As a band production manager for the MTV Europe Music Awards, we required a lot of rigging points to make the show work. With the set design by Ray Winkler at Mark Fisher Studios, Blackout applies their experience to work with the technical design and to facilitate all rigging requirements. They have done a remarkable and complex job, if they were involved with knitting, my grandmother would have been proud of how well they can knit steel wire rope," adds Chris Organ, band production manager.
The main stage mother grid was extended, both left and right by 20 x 10 m and a gigantic grey proscenium measuring 52 x 14 m was supplied by Stage One. Five giant roller blinds were used as a downstage closedown screen and also acted as video projection surfaces. The grid also featured part of the LED video wall which was rigged by Blackout using 13 flying points at 850 kilograms each.
"In total, 80 tons of lighting, projection and sound equipment was suspended which included 1.2KM of truss and 200 motors. This show is large and continually evolving and our equipment needs to be adaptive to and give real value to our clients' needs" concludes Steve Tuck, director at Blackout Ltd.