Safely On The Run with Beyoncé & Jay-Z
Entertainment engineering specialist WIcreations was asked to work on two specialist elements – a moving / tracking video wall and a ‘Star Lift’ – for Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s “On The Run II” (OTR II) stadium tour. In addition to all the hardware, software and bespoke engineering elements, on the administrative front, WIcreations delivered a full scenic motion risk assessment to the tour’s management, together with machinery technical files and full user manuals covering the entire system. “As automation gets increasingly important in entertainment applications, so safety is THE most important aspect to watch!” underlines WI’s owner and founder Hans Willems, who also project managed all the automation requirements. OTR II completed a European section before moving to the US for the rest of the summer and into the early fall. It also saw the touring debut of WI’s brand-new proprietary MCA automation control system used to control both the lift and a series of video panels which moved around an oval shaped track. This was operated and run on the tour by Sam Melotte, leading an automation crew of four. The video wall was made up of 12 different shaped and sized sections, running on a complete oval shaped WI track along the top, and a floor track embedded in the scaffolding floor. By these sections shifting into different positions along the track, the whole stage architecture changed. Utilizing variable speed hoists and the new WIcreations’ MCA-pad control, first the video crew build the screens, then the WI automation crew took over on the MCA desk … to make the safe transition from the screen space frames where the LED sections were assembled … to the tracking dollies. To make the whole system work and deliver in a short lead time, it was vital for WI, StageCo and PRG Projects to collaborate closely, and having access to WI’s large automation rental stock also helped everything meet the deadlines. Sam was joined on the road by a fabulous WI crew of Stefan “Xumi” Schumacher, Miroslav Kusik, Robert “Robo” Vrbjan and Kyle Smith.