Production Services Ireland (PSI) energised its Northern and Southern Irish facilities in a massive operation to provide lighting, rigging and technical services for the 2011 Arthur Guinness Day celebrations.
This featured multiple events worldwide and in Ireland, incorporating major live stages in Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Limerick - plus a myriad of organically flowing pub-based live music gigs and celebrations in all those towns and throughout the entire country.
The main venue for the whole event was the Guinness Hop Store at the St James's Gate Brewery, where PSI supplied a brand new 8 legged Litec ground support and trussing system that was purchased for this event. They also supplied all lighting, trussing and over 60 points of rigging.
The performance line up of the Stereophonics, Paolo Nutini, The Saturdays, Yasmin and more was recorded and the highlights broadcast on national TV channel, RTE.
The main Belfast event was in the Ulster Hall venue, kicking off at the now famous 17.59 "One minute to six" Arthur Guinness day toasting 'moment'.
Six popular bands each played a 30 minute set before decamping around the city to also perform at a variety of the 'secret' bar/pub locations, reaching an even greater audience.
Competition winners Mojo Gogo started the live music action in Ulster Hall, followed by Ash, Kelis, DJ Fresh, Cashier # 9, The Enemy and The Horslips.
PSI's Ciaran Tallon and Brian Reilly co-ordinated the southern end of the operation at the Guinness Hop Store at the St James's Gate Brewery, working for Kevin Saunders - lighting production manager for the Hop Store gig - and the event's overall production manager, Rob Allidine of MCI.
PSI took delivery of its new Litec ground support system which will also join the ever-expanding hire stock. It was built as an 18 metre wide by 8.5 metre deep configuration standard box with 11 metres of headroom, complete with 3 metre PA wings, two internal mid trusses and two integral side trusses with an Eventserv stage built around all eight legs.
Other flown trusses were a front truss, five for audience lighting, two for AV and a back truss, which was sub hung from the ground support to accommodate a MiSphere LED curtain. Two additional 4.5 metre trusses were flown to facilitate two more hangs of MiSphere LED curtain behind the stage left and right PA arrays.
The moving light fixture count across all areas – main stage, audience, walk-in, bar, VIP and Storehouse area - exceeded 100 fixtures.
On the main stage and audience trusses were 26 x Robe ColorSpot 1200E ATs, 18 x Robe ColorWash 2500E ATs, 22 x Robe ColorWash 700E ATs, 80 PARs, six ETC Source Four profiles and eight Clay Paky Alpha Beam 700s, which were out-rigged off the mid truss.
Onstage, there were eight vertical truss towers - four at 5 metres high and four at 4 metres. On to these and the front four legs of the ground support system were rigged a total of 40 x JTE PixelLine LED battens and 40 active Sun Strips.
Five Novaflowers were used to produce fabulous, high-impact flower effects on the main stage, three on the back truss and two on the floor.
Three FOH Lycian M2 2.5k follow spots and two 1.2k truss follow spots and chairs completed the main room lighting set up.
For control PSI supplied an Avolites Pearl Expert with wing for all the main stage/auditorium generics which was run by lighting designer Eugene O'Connor, with moving lights controlled via a Road Hog Full Boar console and full expansion wing, run by Johnny Mc (John McCullagh). Nick Malbon used a Chamsys MagicQ 100 and Catalyst to run the PixelLines, Sun Strips and the MiSphere LED curtains.
The walk in, bar and VIP area fixtures were a mix of PixelPARs, conventional PARs, bars of 6 PARs, ARRI 1K fresnels, floor PARs and Redheads, with Source Fours for gobo projections around the spaces.
The Storehouse - another venue on the Brewery premises - featured another lighting system from PSI, comprising Vari*Lite 2500 spots, GLP Impression LED washes, Sun Strips, i-Pix BB4s, Source Four profiles and PixelPAR 90s.
For the press and interview areas, PSI supplied a package of 2K blondes, Sun Guns, Redheads, ARRI 650W floods and floor Pars, which enabled artists from all the various Dublin venues to have their press photos taken grasping a pint of Guinness and interviewed in a separate area before and after their performances.
PSI also supplied lighting as part of the set design, designed by Cormac Jackson. 2K Mole Beams were supplied for the Hop Store set. Self-contained set lighting packages of 2K Sky Pans, stands, dimming and distro went to the Olympia Theatre, Vicar Street and the Academy in Dublin, Ulster Hall in Belfast, the Savoy in Cork and the Big Top tent in Limerick.
Comments Tallon, "It was a great event to be involved in and a big logistical challenge for us. It is always a great pleasure working with Kevin Saunders who was really on top of everything, and it all went so smoothly due to his great planning, management and co-operation. Eugene was brilliant to work with also and made it look awesome".
PSI's Sean Pagel took on the production management role here, bringing in Pete Dempsey (AKA the Fun Lovin' Criminals' tour manager) as stage manager. Pagel sourced the PA (from Production House), backline and local crew as well as supplying lighting and rigging, and project managing those latter aspects for PSI. He worked closely with the overall event producers, Out Of The Blue for end client Diageo.
A production lighting design for all Arthur's Day main live venues was created by Eugene O'Connor. As he was in Dublin running The Hop Store event, the Ulster Hall show was operated by PSI's Joe Byrne.
O'Connor wanted the Ulster Hall's Mulholland Pipe Organ (at the back of the stage) to become a visual feature of the show, so it was included in the lighting scheme. However, a low level drape was also needed at the back to mask off the choir stalls and enable that area to be used for backline storage - as the venue is extremely challenged for any spare space. The drape was hung from a stage-wide truss sub-hung from the house mother grid at 3.5 metres off the stage floor, skirting the choir stalls area yet revealing the top of the organ.
The PSI crew rigged everything the night before, installing four trusses over the stage, two straight and two at diagonals, all of which were behind the low masking drape, so lighting came from over the top of this to hit the stage positions.
The rear truss featured six Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs, six Martin MAC 2K XB Washes, four i-Pix BB4s, five 4-cell linear Moles and two Atomic strobes. On the mid truss were another four Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs on one metre drop arms, six MAC 2K XB Washes, six single PARs and two Atomics.
On the low drape truss itself were another six Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs, six GLP Impression LED washes and eight 2 cell Moles, all used for powerful and dramatic back light effects and for blasting dramatically into the audience.
The two diagonal trusses were each rigged with three Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs, two i-pix BB4 LED blinders, three 2-cell Moles and four single PARs.
Six of the house Source Four profiles on the front truss were utilised, augmented with another four from PSI.
The floor package consisted of four Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs, five JTE PixelLine LED battens, two Atomic strobes and two DF 50 hazers.
All of this was controlled via PSI's Avolites Diamond 4 Vision console.
The bar area was also illuminated - using 6-way bars of PARs and Source Four profiles complete with Arthur's Day gobos.
Says Pagel, "This was a great event to get our teeth into, and nice to production manage. It had all the fun of a festival, just a much quicker and busier timescale, given that each act only had 20 or 30 minutes to play! There was no â€˜down time' at all during the day, but everything went well and everyone was happy with the result”.
Note to Editors
In 1759, Arthur Guinness made history when he signed a 9,000-year lease on the famous St. James's Gate brewery in Dublin, Ireland. Thanks to Arthur, people everywhere have been enjoying the world's most famous beer for more than 250 years, and each year, the life and legacy of Arthur Guinness and his brewing tradition is celebrated with great enthusiasm.
For more press info on Production Services Ireland, please call Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679 or +44 (0)7831 329888 or Email [email protected]'. Call PSI direct on +44 (0)2890 814858 or check www.productionireland.com