Global brand experience agency Jack Morton Worldwide once again organised London’s New Year’s Eve firework display – an event which it has produced for 14 consecutive years. Contributing to this year’s event was a ChamSys MagicQ MQ500 Stadium console, which was used by lighting programmer Paul Cook to control the 18-universe lightshow that supported the firework display.
The display, which took place over the River Thames and the Coca-Cola London Eye, is a global showcase for the city, reflecting its dynamism, creativity and openness. The show was seen by millions of people on BBC One and live by over 100,000 people in viewing areas on the banks of the River Thames.
Synchronised and triggered by GPS to Big Ben’s chimes, the 12-minute show lit up the River Thames with 2,000 lighting cues and 12,000 fireworks producing 50,000 projectiles. The FOH station, with its MagicQ MQ500 Stadium desk and MagicQ MQ80 backup, was situated on the river bank directly opposite the London Eye. From this position, the console controlled the 640 RGB panel lights permanently installed on the London Eye, as well as 32 profile fixtures, 32 blinders, 30 LED hybrid units and 16 batten washes that were brought in for the spectacular New Year’s Eve event.
“We were extremely happy with the MQ500 console,” said Cook, who worked the console with Durham Marenghi. “It operated superbly controlling lights in sync with the music to support the fireworks. The advanced power of the onboard processing was quite impressive, allowing us to output a large number of universes directly from the console without external processing nodes.
“The built-in visualiser system was also used to great effect to demo the show to the creative team from Jack Morton and their end client from the Greater London Authority,” continued Cook. “We found that during the build-up to the show the response speed of the visualiser was about five times faster than those of competing systems. We used it as a real-world reference to double check the pre-programming. This was critical, since we only had about one hour of real-time testing with the actual rig in advance of the show.”
MOnce again, this year London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks earned universal praise. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The spectacular London New Year’s Eve fireworks would not be possible without the incredible hard work of Jack Morton Worldwide. This year’s display was the best and most exciting yet – kick-starting 2018 in style. Thank you to all of those working tirelessly behind the scenes – showing, yet again, that London leads the world in major events.”