WI was asked to work on two specialist elements – a moving video wall and a star lift – for the current Jay-Z and Beyoncé “On The Run II” stadium tour, part of an epic and spectacular set design concept designed by Stufish. The tour is completing its European section before moving to the US for the rest of the summer and into the fall. This followed a successful collaboration working for the same production team on Beyoncé’s 2016 “Formation” world tour where WI’s engineering expertise was called on to move the massive ‘Monolith’ set piece.

OTR II sees the touring debut of WI’s brand new proprietary MCA automation control system which is in action controlling both the lift and a series of video panels which move around an oval shaped track. It is being operated and run on the tour by Sam Melotte, who is leading an automation crew of four.

Upstage a large structural ‘performer wall’ is a major part of the StageCo constructed stage set, and this offers a series of integrated boxed spaces - with various performers inside – that are revealed and concealed by a large 13 metre high video wall just downstage.

The video wall is made up of 12 different shaped and sized sections, running on a complete oval shaped WI track, and by these shifting into different positions along sections of the track, the whole stage architecture can be changed.

Some of the smaller video screen sections travel around the curved WI track while the two largest sections have a series of set positions. This curved WI Track is installed in the roof of each of three universal steel systems which are being leap-frogged on the tour.

The 12 different video screen pieces are built in different columns on standard video lifting truss, and as each one is completed it is transferred to the curved WI track and makes up the automation system.

Each column of screen runs on the standard WI tracking dolly system, however these are fitted with hydraulic pistons to even the screens out - to the eye - as they move along their tracks.

This ensures the movement and shaping can be infinitely varied, and the video screens can also be all run together as one complete continuous ‘flat’ video surface for certain parts of the show.

The artist lift – in which the two stars make their dramatic stage entrance, and also use several other times throughout the set - runs on an I-beam vertical tracking system which is attached to the performer wall as part of the structure.

Boogie wheel pulleys on steel wires are connected to the cradle of the lift and two double-chained 250Kg vari-speed hoists drive winches located the other side of the wall that move the cradle up and down safely and smoothly.

The lift is controlled by the same WI MCA system operated by Sam.

On get-ins and outs, for practicality, the automation is divided, with two automation desks and sets of WI racks stage left and right, which are then linked for the show.

Sam is joined on the road by a fabulous WI crew of Xumi, Miro, Robo and Matt.

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