Rigging specialists Summit Steel constructed and flew a huge grid built from over a kilometre of trussing, in London’s ExCeL Centre for show producers PCI:Live, for the spectacular launch of the Toyota Avensis.
The grid – which spanned three of the ExCeL’s halls – used a combination of Thomas 52 cm and 30.5 cm Supertruss and Superlite trussing, and was suspended with 125 Lodestar hoists; a further 15 Lodestar’s were used for sound points. The area covered by the grid included a large exhibition area to the rear of the stage housing 44 cars – which was revealed at the end of the show.
The launch was also the first outing for Summit’s new rack-mounted 6-way hoist controllers. Constructed by Ibex to Summit’s specification, they are fully compliant with all safety standards including Category 4 E-stop.
The project was managed for Summit by Chris Walker, who worked with a team of 15 riggers for the in and the out, and 5 to run the shows. PCI:Live’s production manager was Mark Brattle, designer was Martin Sutherland and lighting designer Jon Pope.
Summit rigged the three car reveals in the main auditorium, for the colourful, action-packed second half of the show, which included stunning aerial performances and cars flying dramatically out of the ceiling to land on revolves below.
Three cars, each weighing approximately 1000 Kgs, were revealed by Summit, utilising twelve QMotion SC7 winches, all controlled by a NextQ system operated by Dave Weatherhead. NextQ was also used to control the revolves.
For the decent, the vehicles were rigged on customised H-frames built for Summit by Stage One. As soon as they touched down on the revolves, the winch wires were released by Summit’s special quick release mechanism and were flown back out – this move was so smooth that it was almost imperceptible to the audience.
For the aerial performers, Summit rigged platforms, tracking systems and fixing points in the roof. The rest of this specialist area was dealt with by a team from Flying Squad Aerial Rigging, led by Bryan Wilson. At the show’s climax the aerial performers, silhouetted against white gauzes, swooshed back the drapes – whilst in full flight – to expose the 44 gleaming cars parked behind.
The shows took place over three days, each with audiences from different areas of the Toyota empire. The final show was for 250 Fleet Managers, after which 120 Toyota Avensis’s were driven out of the building and across to Le Touquet in France for an evening out.
Photos issued with this press release are © Louise Stickland.