Big Game ’14 is an annual Gallagher Premiership match hosted at the world-famous Twickenham Stadium. It is the biggest annual club rugby match in the world and this year saw the mighty Harlequins take on Bristol Bears. The day consists of a women’s match, followed by a men’s match and a variety of entertainment. Each year sees a live music performance, with Faithless being this year’s choice.
The Bigger the Better.
We have the honour of providing special effects for Big Game each year. Every year it is our task to make the event bigger and better than the previous. We spend months in advance innovating, planning and coming up with ways to enhance what we delivered the previous year.
Last year we provided flames and roof pyrotechnics. This year we chose to build on that and as well as flames, decided to increase our number of roof pyro positions from 20 to 34! These products were split across the East and West stands.
Twickenham stadium is the largest dedicated rugby stadium in the world with seating of up to 82,000. To rig pyrotechnics onto the roof, meticulous planning is required, it is a challenging and time-consuming job which needs to be carried out safely. In advance of the event two roof rigging teams are put together with specially selected members from our experienced crew. On the day each team takes on a roof with a designated crew leader.
The first challenge of the day was the fact that the access to the roof had changed from stairs to a ladder. This meant that the pyrotechnics were unable to be carried up by hand. Instead, they needed to be lifted through the roof hatch. Luckily, we had planned for this scenario and we were able to implement a pulley system to get the kit up.
The second challenge of the day came when it was time to de rig. During the day the original access point for the roof was changed to an alternative one. This meant all of the flight cases and kit for derigging were in a different location. Due to the size of the stadium moving things from a to b can be time consuming.
To add an additional layer of safety to the firing of the show two firers were used. One firer managed the communication with crew and fired the flames and the other fired the roof pyrotechnics. We were able to use two different firing frequencies which ensured there was no risk of misfires or signal interference.
The pictures speak for themselves! The additional positions of roof pyro gave a spectacular visual effect and added to the pre match entertainment so much so that Harlequins thrashed Exeter.