New Year was welcomed in some considerable style at the Cotai Arena at the Venetia Resort in Macau … with a massive multi-artist live television extravaganza complete with a glittering array of Chinese entertainment stars, supported by an equally breath-taking production created by Chinese creative wizard Skywalker and Dutch Rigger BV.

Making the 48 metre long by 6 metre wide performance space – located right in the middle of the arena with audience all around - come alive with movement and drama was our work, we shipped 33 tonnes of specialist equipment to Macau for the occasion.

Our team, headed by Geert Stockmans was brought on-board by Martin Beverwijk of DutchRigger BV, who was acting as technical consultant to Chinese broadcaster Jiangsu TV.

We delivered a number of complex automation elements required to make this diverse and dynamic production really rock!

An impressive array of WI kit included 212 metres of WI-tracking beam, 32 x automated beam-trolleys, 32 x vari-speed 1 tonne hoists, a WI TP06 6 x 6 metre stage lift – with a load capacity of 9 tonnes and the ability to lift up to 8 metres, two WI TP03 6 x 6 metre stage lifts with 2.5 tonne capacity and two WI TP07 ‘toaster’ lifts.

The tracking system with the 32 wagons and hoists was the backbone of the overhead production lighting and video rig and it was used to fly, lift and move eight 6 metre by 4 metre trussing grids, each weighing 1.6 tonnes.

These grids were loaded with LED video panels on one side and a matrix of moving lights on the other and were designed by WI so all eight grids could be flipped - simultaneously if required - 180 degrees, allowing the show creative team, including lighting designers Arf & Yes, the option of having either a video or a moving light ceiling above the plethora of artists appearing below.

The largest stage lift – TP06 – was positioned beneath the centre section of the runway, the full length of which was covered in an LED video floor product. This 6 by 6 metre central section of the stage was lifted up and down throughout the show for selected performances.

The two Toaster lifts allowed presenters to pop up and down from the stage, while the two TP03 stage lifts were positioned at either end of the runway and used for artist access and also to assisting in maneuvering some large scenic props onstage.

All these automation elements were controlled from two consoles positioned FOH, one for the tracking and hoists on the overhead grids and the other controlling all the lifts.

The biggest challenges included achieving the 180 degree flip of the trussing grids. An on-site construction change to the grids and their payloads had a big influence on the centre of gravity ... and therefore their behavior!

The sheer scale and logistics of the operation were also impressive.

Twenty-one tonnes of kit was air-freighted from our base in Heist-op-den-Berg, Belgium, and the other 12 sent by sea – complete with all the paperwork and certification.

The short lead-time also ramped up the pressure, with just 6-days from the start of the get-in, set up and technical period to the first dress rehearsal.

The time frame and the ambition of some show elements made it necessary to source technology from Europe which was combined with custom fabricated components from Chinese companies, all adding to the mix in terms of timing and communications.

“WIcreations was extremely proud to be involved in this show,” stated Geert. “Apart from contributing to a truly stunning piece of entertainment, we gained invaluable experience and knowledge of how to work efficiently with multiple Chinese companies who all brought their own knowledge and expertise to the party!

“We are confident that the successful execution of a project like this will help position WIcreations well for future work in China and other parts of the Asian sub-continent”.

Geert started pre-production on the project in October, with just 4 days to spare after receiving confirmation from the client to get the first container out.

At the end of a long pre-production process, a top WI team joined Geert in Macau comprising Erik Gielen (crew chief & principal motion control operator), Joey Poortman (motion tech & second motion operator), Thomas Van Keymolen (motion tech & rigger), Koen Van Der Heyden (rigger) plus engineers Sam Melotte and Fons Van Egmond.


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Venetian Resort Hotel, Estrada da Baia de Nossa Senhora da Esperanca, Macau