SXS support largest comedy tour in history
In 2016 Kevin Hart's What Now Tour comedy tour was to come to the UK as part of the largest comedy tour in history. Kevin Hart has been selling out arenas and stadiums all over the world with his energetic standby shows that feature high production values typically seen on music events.
For the Uk and Ireland leg the US-based production team chose the SXS team to provide technical production for shows at Wembley Arena, The O2 Arena, Barclaycard Arena Birmingham, Manchester Arena, and 3 Arena Dublin. SXS was chosen due to our ability to provide a completely turnkey solution within a fixed budget and work with a very short lead time.
We provided a complete technical production solution for this show which included:
- Audio - including a Martin Audio MLA sound system
- Fully automated lighting system including over fifty moving lights
- LED video wall backdrop
- Three huge HD IMag (image magnification screens) to show live camera feed and digital content
- Live cameras and operators
- Special effects
- Drapes and stage dressing
- Trucking and logistics
- Rigging and plots
- Tour busses and crew accommodation
- Technical production management
- The entire technical production team
- International logistics support
It took over 30 crew four hours to build the show. See it done here in around one minute:
With many of the shows on back to back dates our team had to ensure that the way equipment was prepped, transported, setup and derigged was very time efficient. While much of our work is for one-off shows and in venues with challenging access, these arena venues allow a different approach to production. In particular we were able to utilise more equipment dollies, large-format truss, pre-made cable looms, custom-made show-specific racks and extensive rigging. The use of tour buses was invaluable as crew were able to sleep while bring driven between venues.
All of these time efficiencies meant that we were able to setup, install and have working four truck loads of equipment in under four hours. The entire show was derigged and loaded back into the trucks in two hours. The ability to do major production at such a swift pace means our team has the equipment and skills to bring this approach and efficiency into the corporate, experiential and festival projects we do.
The show featured two distinctly different video systems. The first was the LED video wall backdrop. This featured over 200 panels of our high-resolution Lumio LED panels.Â The high resolution meant that this backdrop give a photo-like image quality. This was fed by a media server controlled from the GrandMA lighting desk.
In addition to the backdrop we also provided three large Imag (image magnification) screens. These showed the live camera feeds of Kevin. In arena venues some guests can be sitting so far away from the stage that it is hard to see what is happening. With the use of these large screens all guests can enjoy the show. We provide a three-camera setup which included one front-of-house and two pit cameras. Full CCU control was used to get perfect colour matching.
The main sound system was Martin Audio MLA with Martin W8LM, W8LMD, DD6, DD12 and WS218x speakers providing various fill and low-frequency support. Some of the venue had tricky acoustics so having such a sophisticated audio solution allowed us to achieve excellent coverage and clarity to all audience members.
The lighting system for this show was full automated meaning that no manual focussing was required. As per the client's rider we used the following:
- 24x Chauvet R2 washes
- 8x Chauvet R1 washes
- 16x HES XT1 profiles
- 8x Elation Vizibeam beam lights
- 4x molefays
- 4x FOH followspots
- 1x flown rear followspots