Probably the most significant launch event this decade for Bristol was the launch of the impressive Cabot Circus Shopping Centre.
There was much anticipation around the launch of the centre as it was to be the hub of high-end and boutique shopping for the South West and feature leading designer stores.
Plug AV was chosen to be the primary technical production provider for the various launch events due to their diversity of services, strong reputation and locality.
This all led to excellent flexibility for last-minute requirements as well as a excellent value.
The launch project involved seven rehearsals and three major event areas.
The show for the launch was based around a procession. This was to start in the Podium area of the old Broardmead shopping centre.
Drumming was a major part of the performance, and it was decided that four drummers would be situated on the roofs of the four surrounding buildings.
Although an unusual method, the Plug AV decided a sound system “in the round” to eminate from a central riser. Signaling was done with the use of multiple multi-cores flown between the buildings.
Plug AV also provided the staging and drum risers for this area.
The VIP part had two elements. The first was in the main dining space. For this, Plug AV produced a large custom flat set to hide aspects of the building to allow for a massive branding graphic to be installed. In addition large plasma screens were discreetly rigged.
For the evening element a discreet lighting system was provided of city colour floods to wash the venue roof, and some moving head fixtures to create some movement in the venue.
An after-party was held in the “Cuttlers” space as well. In this space, Plug AV provided a lacquered black dancefloor, quality DJ system and an exciting lighting rig. The lighting rig consisted of around 30 LED fixtures for chasing venue effects and an additional 12 moving heads for dancefloor effects.
Plug AV also provide chillout seating, ambient sound and background video loops.
For the main arena of the new shopping centre, Plug AV were tasked with the challenge of getting good sound coverage for performances in the central mall, as well as coverage down the three legs of the centre.
This was a challenging task as the entire space was highly reverberant; thus achieving intelligible sound was difficult.
It was agreed that over-emphasis of less-reverberant sub-bass frequencies gives the impression of better clarity. As such the Plug AV team utilised a long-throw Thunder Ridge XP sound system.
This gave good coverage of the main space. In addition “time delayed” stacks were utilised for the three entrance legs to the centre. Using time-delay means that the audience receives the acoustic information of the main system and the infill equipment at the same time.
If this were not done, the sound would appear to have echo – which would be particularly bad in such a reverberant space.
For aesthetic reasons the original brief was to use no visible cabling. To achieve this, the Plug AV team using radio transmission throughout the site.
A central transmission was recie ved by delay stacks, stage infill, 2nd level in fill as well as audience foldback on the roof of the centre.