A an elegant crown shaped set designed by stage architect Mark Fisher was installed in front of Buckingham Palace, London, to host a long line up of international artists in a free concert celebrating HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (QDJ).

Lighting was designed by Durham Marenghi and the show was enjoyed by around 250 000 people in and around The Mall and live broadcast worldwide by the BBC.

The stage formed a roof over the circular stage and via its supporting structure and horseshoe shaped trusses, provided the lighting positions, kept minimal to preserve the transparency of the roof.

Six grandMA lighting consoles and over 200 Clay Paky moving lights were utilised in programming, and Marenghi worked closely with Associate LD and Lead Programmer, Tim Routledge on lighting this part of the event.

Marenghi and his visual team also lit the huge crowds that amassed to catch the action, and were responsible for the stunning lighting and projections onto the front of Buckingham Palace which made such an impact.

To handle all the audience and TV key lighting, Programmer Alex Passmore used another grandMA2 full size and worked closely with Television Lighting Director Steve Nolan.

Programming lighting inside the Palace compound itself was LD Dave Hill, with another grandMA full size for control.
Lighting equipment for the QDJ celebrations in this area of central London was supplied by Neg Earth, together with a crew chiefed by Fraggle (Andy Porter).

The Palace lighting – 32 x Alpha Wash 1500s for the front facade, with four Alpha Spot QWO 800s to light the band Madness playing their set on the roof – augmented a projection system designed by Marenghi with Steve Greetham and Andy Joyes of XL Events.
The projections were a major highlight of the event and once darkness fell, featured the amazing animations created by Sam Pattinson, Trunk and UVA.

XL Events supplied the 36 Barco FLM HD 20K projectors arranged in 6 stacks of 6 to produce the projections, plus twelve Barco Image Pros and two Lightware DVI matrices.

XL Events also provided approximately 600 tiles of Pixled FX-11 LED which formed the large wraparound screen on the main crown-shaped concert stage, for which visuals were created by Miguel Ribeiro and Paul Clutterbuck.

The onstage screens were additionally fed with an IMAG mix of the array of superstars performing, who included Kylie Minogue, Will.i.am, Jessie J, JLS, Ed Sheeran, Stevie Wonder, Sir Tom Jones, Robbie Williams, Gary Barlow and many more, using XL’s Sony Z-series HDV cameras, Panasonic camcorders and monitoring.

Britannia Row supplied the PA, with FOH engineer Josh Lloyd specifying a substantial control network comprising two MIDAS PRO9 consoles and a MIDAS PRO2C for FOH and an XL8, another PRO9 and a PRO6 for monitor world.

With so many quick changeovers, it was important to be able to change settings on a scene-by-scene basis which was made fast and simple by utilising the MIDAS set up. Lloyd also mixed the house band on the PRO9.

The main system requirements were that the PA needed to be heard but not seen, so they chose an Outline Butterfly system for most of the coverage due to its compact size and weight, while still being able to provide a big sound from a small box.

The system comprised ten stacks of four high Butterflies on decks around the stage of the Queen Victoria Monument (QVM) to cover the audience area between the QVM and the seating blocks. The low end was produced by a large sub line around the QVM’s perimeter.

The main bleacher seating area was covered by eight stacks of six high Butterflies to cover the seating blocks and periphery areas above. These were stacked on decks with a single sub beneath each one. The bleachers also had a ring of 32 Turbosound Impacts to help fill in the first few rows and 16 x L-Acoustics 108s to cover the upper area.

Outfills and infills of L-Acoustics Arcs and Outline Butterfly covered the entrances and exits into the audience area, and L-Acoustics 108 lip-fills dealt with the downstage area.

Down The Mall, they used eight hangs of 8 deep L-Acoustics V-DOSC with three SB28 on each position. Two systems within St James’s Park featured main and delay stacks of V-Dosc positioned on the north and south sides.

All this was networked together via Britannia Row’s fibre returns system, entailing over 6.5km of fibre, using Audinates Dante for transport, with 48 Labgruppen LM Series processors and two Yamaha DME64s for matrixing and control.

Overall technical production for all these sections of the QDJ was co-ordinated by Kenny Underwood and Albert Lawrence for Robbie Williams Productions. with event design by Malcolm Birkett.

By Louise Stickland

ProSystems – magazine 2012