CPL provided lighting and video equipment for the TEDxBristol event, UK, one of the ongoing series of locally organised TEDx (Technology, Entertainment Design) global conferences underpinned by the not-for-profit Sapling Foundation. The "ideas worth spreading" programme has an emphasis on technology, design and various other scientific, cultural and academic topics, and is designed to inspire and encourage action and initiative.
TEDxBristol’s thought-provoking and fun-filled day of action, motivational speeches and presentations was themed 'Great Expectations' and staged in Colston Hall, pulling a completely sold-out live audience of 1,800 and reaching an impressive estimated 2.7 million following online on the day! One of the objectives was to highlight the optimism, energy and can-do approach that are native to the vibrant city of Bristol.
Production manager Nick Diacre approached CPL to supply key technical elements of the event, together with set and scenic builders Flat Earth who are also locally based. Although Nick has lived in the Bristol area for around 20 years, this was the first time he'd worked at the well-known Colston Hall, a regular venue on the live music and touring circuit.
Challenges included dealing with the tight load-in and maximising the limited stage and wing space. The clean, elegant TV styled set and production design – a combination of ideas from Nick, Flat Earth and the TEDxBristol organizing committee – was designed to be practical to get-in and set up quickly, live event style … as well as looking good.
This required a multi-disciplinary approach embracing several different presentation genres. Time was also short! Two long days included the get-in, rigging, tech and full rehearsals fitted into the first one, followed by the full TEDxBristol event day including 8 hours of speeches.
“With the huge potential reach of the webcast, ensuring that everything worked visually on camera was right at the essence of the production,” commented Nick, who asked CPL on-board because “They were ideally suited as a partner for the project with all the right kit plus a very positive and enthusiastic attitude”.
Lighting, specified by Nick, was a hybrid package to deal with the demands of both broadcast and live event. The stage was lit with four Clay Paky Mythos – used for effects like some subtle gobo work - and nine Martin MAC Auras for general stage washing and adding colour and illumination to the audience, which looked great on camera.
Sixteen ARRI fresnels also washed the set and stage and additional key lighting for speakers was provided by eight ETC Source Fours Profiles on a front truss, all run off an Avolites Quartz console operated by Luke Watley.
For video projection, two of CPLs 20K Panasonic projectors were rigged on the front of the balcony, beaming onto a 20ft wide upstage screen.
Video sources included a selection of laptops running PowerPoint, Keynote and Playback Pro for the VTs, selected via a standard conference switching system.
The video TX – including camera feeds - was also fed to a small LED wall in the reception area, and content was also routed to a series of comfort monitors dotted around the venue.
The house PA system was utilised, with an additional mics-and-stands package from CPL together with a wireless talk-back comms systems for the technical team.
The event was a massive success. The planning, detail and thought dedicated to the technical production made sure it stood out as a piece of live visual presentation and delivered a premium impact TEDxBristol, which was the biggest TEDx event in the UK to date and trended 7th on Twitter.