For spectators who gathered last week to witness the stunning show that bathed the new Queensferry Crossing in a spectacular array of light – heralding the first of a series of opening events for the new bridge across the Forth – few would have appreciated the work that went on behind the scenes to create the experience.
Tasked with overseeing the creative delivery of the show, Perth-based events firm Speakeasy set to work on a challenging brief that would turn the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world into a colourful visual display.
The award-winning events firm oversaw work that tapped the skill of fellow contractors JMP Productions and Double Take Projections to bathe the structure in a carefully, digitally controlled array of projections; the resulting pictures have made headlines around the world.
For the lover of tech and events, it is worth noting that more than 80 large lighting fixtures were used to create the lighting effects on the bridge, powered by 4.5k of mains cabling with 2.5km of fibre and 2km of DMX (digital control systems) for control.
Jon Pugh, Director of JMP Productions, said: “Because we were in such a public spot the vast majority of the programming had to be done virtually; even when we were allowed to test everything onsite it could only be done in small sections. When the lights were switched on by the First Minister, we, along with everyone else were seeing the bridge lit up completely for the first time.”
Jonathan Young, Managing Director of Speakeasy, added: “We were delighted to be commissioned by the Big Partnership to manage and coordinate the overall event as well as film and record the activities. It was an extremely high-profile and important event to clients, Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government, with the many complexities of navigating a busy construction environment that required creative event design and meticulous planning and logistics. The end result was a fantastic celebration of the completion of such a worldwide, iconic structure and delivered in every way on the objectives of the event.
He added: “Fellow contractors JMP Productions and Double Take Projections were also incredibly honoured to be brought in to design, install and run the lighting and projections for the event. The beautiful nature of the bridge’s design and the challenges of the unique location helped to create a truly once in a lifetime project. Seeing images projected around the globe of this extraordinary engineering feat lit up to celebrate the bridge in all its glory made us all very proud of the job we do.”