Janet Jackson, 50 Cent and Liam Payne were just some of the artists to feature on the star-studded line up of Jeddah World Fest, the first international music festival to be held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), and staged by Roqu Media International.
The Manual, contracted by Roqu Media, drafted in the expertise of Mark Cunniffe, lighting designer, to illuminate the performers, and Cunniffe subsequently called upon John Adkins, managing director of World Class Events, to assist with the event’s technical production.
World Class Events, part of the Spendlove Group, specialises in the production and delivery of large-scale shows, and the Dubai-based company is no stranger to world “firsts”. For example, it provided technical production expertise to Dubai Parks and Resorts Grand Opening Ceremony, as well as event services to Dubai’s record-breaking New Year’s Eve fireworks display.
World Class Events appointed Jeddah World Fest’s suppliers, including Creative Technology (CT), Protec, Electra and Showforce, a fellow member of the Spendlove Group and event crewing specialist, to deliver the one-day event to 40,000 music fans, which was broadcast on MTV.
John Adkins, managing director of World Class Events explains: “World Class Events is completely at home working on large events that push the boundaries in terms of production, scale and profile. I was delighted to get a call from Mark, asking World Class Events to work alongside The Manual team to deliver an event that will be remembered in the region for a very long time.”
Adkins, in his role of production director, was assisted on site by Chris Woodford, event safety and security consultant, and supported by Showforce, which sent in two teams – site crew and production crew.
The site crew – one manager and four crew – arrived on site at King Abdullah Sports City before the rest of the crew, to unload trucks and prepare some of the extensive kit. The crew marked out the site, assembled the perimeter fence and erected the fence lines so that all internal areas, like toilets, concessions and service areas could operate smoothly. It also secured the fencing for the entrance lanes and egress system, ensuring the public could queue in a safe and orderly manner.
In addition, its production crew, featuring one manager and 20 crew, were again split into two teams between CT and Protec. The CT crew were responsible for building all of the LED screens, which were diamond in shape and suspended on the main stage structure. The Protec crew set up all audio and lighting on the main stage. Once the build was complete, 10 crew were involved in the backline changes for all the acts that performed throughout the live show.
Adkins concluded: “The reaction to Jeddah World Fest has been amazing. It was a great event for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a memorable event to be involved with. I am delighted that World Class Events, and Showforce, got to demonstrate their skills and expertise in a location that is full of event opportunities. I hope that Jeddah World Fest will be the first of many events and festivals to be staged in the region.”