The Liverpool Culture Company held an event to switch on the Liverpool’s festive holiday lights, the hour-long program that preceded the Switch On saw many local acts perform onstage.
The Switch On was staged on the steps at St. George’s Hall. “We wanted to use the stunning natural architecture of the location as a natural stage set,” explains event manager Eddy Grant, who led the Culture Company Events team, working closely with production manager Stu Stalker and his company Event Design Logistics. The stage was custom built and integrated into the steps of St. George’s Hall by Prism Lighting from Chester, who also supplied the FOH tower and accessible viewing platforms.
Several British celebrities performed the “lighting” by collectively pressing a large scenic button, which triggered the lighting of over four miles of illuminations and the ignition of a 120’-high Christmas tree pyro sculpture designed by Steve Boothman of Fantastic Fireworks.
Lights & Sounds of Christmas
Regular LCC supplier Manchester-based Audile, provided sound and lighting for the show. Lighting illuminated the architecture of the front of the Hall, as 12 High End Systems PC Beams lit up the columns, and eight Studio Due CityColors washed the wall behind.
Stage Lighting included four ARRI floods attached to the FOH tower for key lighting of the performers, and four vertical bars of PAR64s onstage for a general stage color wash. Four Martin Professional MAC 550s were used to project LCC’s Partners’ logos onto the fascia of the Hall. All lighting was controlled by Matthew Ransfield running an Avolites Pearl 2000.
Sound consisted of a Funktion One Resolution 5 system – eight elements a side, with two Res 4 infills, Turbo 450 wedges for monitors, and a Midas Venice FOH console run by Francoise Lemoignan. Audile used their new Sennheiser 935 radio mikes in an 8-way system.
Going Green For Xmas
The event was powered by new green generators sourced from Pyramid Electrical Services. The new Bio-Fuel generators (one 140 KVA and one 60 KVA set) are 100 percent naturally powered. The Bio fuel that runs these generators is made from reprocessed vegetable waste. It gives off no nasty emissions or exhaust fumes and is environmentally friendly. They consume about the same volume of fuel than diesel machines. Together with some hard power from St George’s Hall, this supplied all site and production power, allowing Pyramid to deal with all electrical requirements, electricity distribution, and cabling.
During a Sinatra tribute band set, two Snow Zone machines from SnowStars provided snow on cue. They are designed to produce a high volume effect with no slippery by-products or mess. The machines were operated by hand-wired remote by Alastair Savermutto, and they also have a DMX option.
Possibly the largest pyro sculpture in the UK was ignited at the climax, travelling up the city’s 140’-high Wellington Column, which was shaped into a giant fir tree. Using over a kilometer of bell wire, the breathtaking finale to the event started with a series of red flares and 25 Bengal Blinkers stroboscopic effects, creating the initial impression that it was a lighting effect. Then the five-sided tree kicked in, created from over 400 shimmering waterfall effects, complete with a shooting star at the top.