POPMART Leg 1: 1997, North America


The Quiet and Dark

13 June 2009
The Quiet and Dark
Barcelona. Production build.

The build continues to go well with most elements of the stage and structure now in place. The exceptions are the parts that needed modifying for which we are now waiting. The last 5% of the design and construction journey happens at such speed that it's inevitable that the occasional mistake gets made. So many people are involved that it becomes impossible to micromanage every element. Perhaps assumptions are made, perhaps corners are cut or instructions misinterpreted but sometimes the smallest wrong decision can have far greater ramifications. The hanging points were missing from one of the structure legs. Some of the lighting brackets were made backwards so have had to be remanufactured. The wrong type of hanging chains were sent with the sound system so we await the correct ones at which point they all have to be swapped out 30m in the air by our mercifully patient riggers. Little things in themselves, but all create hold ups.

In the bigger picture (and this is an extremely large picture) everything has gone exceptionally smoothly which has allowed me to start doing some lighting focussing and programming. Last night was the first time I had had the stadium to myself in the quiet and dark, with the braver members of my lighting team who were prepared to stay all night. I mainly concentrated on focussing the rig and took my time to get to know the structure, the whole system and feel how it's going to work.

Tonight's programming made some good progress and we looked at some video ideas too. All was going swimmingly until 4am when my lighting crew chief arrived looking rather startled saying that large men with guns had arrived at the stadium demanding that we desist immediately. They were Spanish police who had received complaints from the neighbours about noise from our generators and had come to shut us down. My crew managed to fend them off for almost an hour but didn't have quite such large firearms as the police, so we acquiesced and went home.(br>

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