Total Production

Entec Collaborates with The Gig Company for Suggs & Friends Event

22 April 2015

The entertainment industry is well known for its enthusiastic support for fund and awareness raising for a wide variety of good causes, and north London based The Gig Company is a boutique specialist event organisation working in this very specific area.

The company optimises their excellent reputation and many connections with high profile musicians and entertainers to deliver simply amazing experiences.


Entec was proudly involved in a recent collaboration with The Gig Company as technical production partner for “An Evening With Suggs and Friends”, an intimate action-packed showcase staged in the Woolwich Suite at the Emirates Stadium, which raised over £130,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Hosted by Suggs and Stephen Kelly the gala dinner evening included an auction, which was presented by Charles Hanson plus incendiary performances from Rudimental and Madness together with a fabulous house band comprising top session musicians.

Entec took care of all aspects of the lighting, sound and staging design and realisation, which was project managed on site for them by Matt Arthur working closely with Noreen O’Riordan and Mark ‘Magic’ Ellis Cope in Entec’s west London base.

Jenny Johnson and Viva McPherson of The Gig Company commented: “It is wonderful working with Entec - as well as bringing a vast amount of event production experience and knowledge to the table, they are friendly and accessible. We trust them to deal with all aspects of the technical production and staging, and they come up with the most fantastic looking and sounding environments every time! Having Entec on-board leaves us free to focus on the many other areas of organising a smooth running and successful event.”

This year, in addition to the site co-ordination, Arthur designed the whole environment, which was based on satisfying all the various artist riders and requirements as well as producing something imaginative and memorable for the occasion. Arthur’s creative objective was also to produce a jazz club type vibe - moody, comfortable and personal - for the 400 guests.

The space is around 60 metres wide by 13 deep and gently curved to follow the architecture of the stadium, with a balcony / mezzanine level covering part of it, so the decision was made to build the stage shallow side on, with a dancefloor immediately in front and tables to the side and back of the room.

There were no flying facilities, so a four-legged ground support system was installed measuring six by six metres with six metres of headroom. The stage, which was also six by six metres, but with the addition of two upstage sections cut out to accommodate two of the stadiums’ structural pillars, which penetrated the room. Having to do this also helped create enough upstage space for dimmers, storage and an AV control position for those running the auction.

The ground support was constructed from 12 inch trussing with regular A-type truss box sections, and when built, cleared the concrete structural pillars by about 10cm… so the placement was somewhat crucial!

For lighting, Arthur chose primarily moving fixtures as power was limited. Moving lights also proved the most effective solution for lighting the band performances and creating a nice ambience for the dinner section of the evening. On the two side sections and along the back, 11 x Martin MAC 700 Washes were rigged four on each side truss and three on the back on outriggers off the top chord of the truss, so there were some definition between them and the spots hung on the lower chord. The side lights also helped fill the stage when there was no one onstage.

Four out of six Clay Paky Alpha Spot 300 HPEs were positioned along the rear truss and one on each upstage end of the truss grid.

Eleven MAC 250 Beams joined the party, with four on the front truss to illuminate the dancefloor in front, six on the floor upstage for back beams and the remaining three on the balcony above the FOH area also pointing towards the dancefloor.

Nineteen ETC Source Four profiles fitted with a mix of 26 and 36 °lenses provided the main key light, with the 26s highlighting the main band members and the 36s adding some general filler for artists as they moved around and for people making speeches and presentations.

Two with 36 lenses were rigged lower down on the front legs of the ground support where they were ideal for Rudimental’s vocalist and any others strutting along the downstage edge of the stage.

The ground support legs and box truss were toned with i-Pix Satellite LED ‘bricks’, turning the whole ground support structure into an architectural centrepiece, while a couple of pairs of 2-lite blinders each side brightened the room and helped boost the excitement levels during the auction.

The stage and wing areas were draped with an LED starcloth, and to create some technical areas back stage and extend the drapage outwards, two further six metre wide ‘wings’ of black Bolton drapes on pipe-and-stand were added each side where the starcloth ended.

The room itself was lit with fixtures placed on eight four metre high vertical 12 inch trussing towers on floor bases, each with an Alpha Spot 300 HPE on top and two MAC 250 Washes  on cross pipes lower down.

On the balcony / bar level in the corners of the room, two wind up stands rigged with more Mac 250s and Alpha Spot 300 HPEs were deployed to be able to fill out the room with light when needed, and two more similar stands / lights were located in the middle of the reception area.


No haze was permitted in the building, so it was all about big bold washes,” explained Matt adding that he beamed gobos onto any surface that looked effective - including the roof, dining tables and blinds!


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