Birmingham-based companies Outdoor Places and Unusual Spaces (OPUS), JA Productions and Production Resource Group (PRG) partnered with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) to deliver their first full 75-piece socially distanced orchestral performance since lockdown began, at PRG’s Live Space in Longbridge, reaching an international audience. 

The performance by the CBSO was staged to commemorate their 100th birthday celebrations and was streamed free of charge on YouTube and Facebook. So far it has had over 170,000 views and received global positive support. The performance, which is believed to be the largest gathering of musicians seen since lockdown, was conducted by former CBSO Music Director Sir Simon Rattle. 

The closure of the Birmingham Symphony Hall earlier this year meant that the CBSO’s centenary birthday celebrations were unable to take place. At a time when the Live Event industry has gone dark with a ban on mass gatherings, safety of all involved was paramount. John Adkins, Managing Director of JA Productions and long-time collaborator, visited the PRG Live Space facility back in June and immediately saw the potential for the Orchestra - it was the perfect place to shoot a Livestream with over 75 performers, all whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines. 

Richard Gorrod (Vice President of Event Services): “It was an honour to be part of this celebration. Everything went smoothly from start to finish and the Production team and Orchestra management were a pleasure to work with from day one back in July! An enormous amount of pre-production is required for a ground-breaking event like this. PRG provided solutions for everything from air handling to acoustic reflection!”

Birmingham-based independent arts producer and OPUS Managing Director Caroline Davis has a long-standing relationship with the CBSO. OPUS worked alongside the orchestra to develop the concept and delivery model leading the creative production team, including digital content creators Takt.

PRG supplied the studio set up including; a 40m2 3mm Black Onyx LED Video wall which showcased bespoke content that celebrates the CBSO’s centenary as an Orchestra of Firsts, over 150 automated lighting fixtures, PRG Ground Control™ Follow Spot units and full HD cameras. PRG also supplied the post-production edit suite and set up a fully backed-up livestream via LAN satellite and highspeed internet to ensure minimal disruption. 5 guest artists dressing rooms, a technical production office, personal space for guest artists to warm up in private and socially distanced break out areas for each of the 75 members of the orchestra. 

 Everyone involved in the CBSO Centenary was temperature checked on arrival with PRG’s proprietary “Smartxcan” Temperature scanners. To ensure additional safety for everyone in the building, PRG also brought in an air handling unit to regulate and circulate the air, in line with requirements. 

PRG Services delivered:

  • Lighting
  • Audio
  • Rigging
  • LED video wall
  • Cameras
  • Media servers
  • Broadcast system control
  • Streaming connections
  • Set construction
  • Smartxcan temperature scanning
  • All technical crew

Tech Facts:

  • Over 1000m2 of Black Drapes
  • Over 150 automated lightingfixtures
  • 2 PRG Ground Control ™ FollowSpot units
  • 8 full HD cameras including all Grip
  • A 40m2 3mm Black Onyx LED Video wall with all processing
  • A Full TV Gallery and Post production Edit suite
  • A Fully backed -up Live stream via LAN Satellite and our High Speed internet.
  • Air Handling to comply with The musicians union requirements.
  • Smartxcan temperature scanning technology