Describing UEP’s equipment inventory as both “quirky” and “eclectic”, Steve Butcher, founder of the technical event production company, can draw on many years’ experience providing top level support across premium lighting, sound and staging components.
He regularly reviews, and turns over his hire stock to ensure it remains at the cutting edge and this month invested substantially in SGM’s new generation of LED lighting effects, ordering substantial quantities of SP-6 SixPack pixel blinders, XC-5 RGB colour strobes and P-5 wash lights from SGM UK.
UEP had barely taken delivery of the low-profile strobes before they were requisitioned for The Brit Awards 2014 at the O2 Arena.
Having set up Universal Event Productions (UEP) back in 1998 and watched it rapidly develop, Steve Butcher can reflect on many high end corporate projects featuring not only leading multinational brands including Nike, Xbox (Microsoft), Garnier and Waitrose but also world-renowned artists, including Kaiser Chiefs, Scissor Sisters, Little Mix, Plan B, Dizzy Rascal, Chase & Status, Example, Calvin Harris, Tony Hadley, Midge Ure, Kelly Roland, Disclosure, Hazel O’Connor and many more.
“We’ve always been very lucky as music has been central to our activities,” he said. And as an extension of this, last year he set up the hugely successful two-day Chilfest in nearby Tring — an event set to grow this year.
“For me that opened up further possibilities with our inventory. I have always been strong on LED technology and when Matt Wiseman [from SGM UK] showed me the SGM products, I instantly loved the build quality and thought of Chilfest.
“I knew the LED strobes would be amazing while the P-5s I bought principally to light the trees behind the stage.
“At the same time we were looking at changing our LED battens for something brighter and went for 20 of the SP-6 SixPacks. In fact our principle LD for Chilfest, Simon Maddison, is already considering how he can design these new SGM fixtures into the set, and is looking at pixel mapping opportunities.”
Based on the popular blinder, by replacing the traditional halogen with an RGBA LED source the creative LD can achieve so much more, since the fixture combines six outputs of powerful 40W colour mixing with built-in electronics, and individual DMX control over each lamp.
UEP already have 16 of them earmarked for a red carpet corporate product launch at the Westfield Centre’s Vue Cinema in Shepherds Bush for major computer games company, Activision.
In a revenue-driven business Butcher immediately saw great potential for dry hire.
“One big advantage of all these SGM fixtures is the power draw — you can achieve so much more in a venue with a low power supply.
“In fact we’ve now replaced all our old power-hungry strobe inventory as a result of these XC-5s.”
Summing up, UEP’s MD said the decision to invest in SGM technology had been a “no brainer”. Qualifying this, he described SGM as “a high-end product with excellent build quality, offering creative opportunities at a price that is far from expensive. The strobes themselves are totally unique, and overall I am delighted with the purchase.”
And Matt Wiseman added, “SGM are proud to be part of Steve’s vision, and look forward to working with the Universal Event Productions team. It’s good to note the dry hire opportunities for a group of products that are already in strong demand within a number of market sectors.”