Image: Ralph Larmann for Carrie Underwood: REFLECTION: The Las Vegas Residency Designer and Producers - Fireplay 2
We create moments that move people. From a timeless rock ‘n’ roll show, to a music, art & culture festival. From an automation feat in Vegas, to a spectacular West End musical. We are TAIT, and these are the moments that moved us in 2021. 3
4 6. Back to Live with James ‘Winky’ Fairorth 8. Looking Ahead with Adam Davis 10. We are TAIT 12. From Concept to Opening Night and Beyond 16. The TAIT group 18. Welcome, ITEC Entertainment 20. Together Again: a Celebration of Live Experiences 24. A Brilliant History 2021 Year Book
5 30. Introduction to 2021 Projects 32. Eric Church: Gather Again Tour 2021 36. Resorts World Theatre 38. Carnival Cruise Line Mardi Gras 40. MTV VMAs 42. The Constant Gardeners 46. Usher: Colosseum, Caesars Palace 50. Gotëborgs Stadsteater 52. The Governors Ball 56. Creature by Akram Khan 58. VALORANT Champions Tour 62. Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Concerts 64. Moulin Rouge! The Musical 68. Gary Barlow: All The Hits Live 2021 70. Nissan Jewel Dubai 72. Sunac Guangzhou Grand Theatre 74. UAE Pavilion 76. Black Crowes: Shake Your Money Maker Summer Tour 80. MDLBEAST: SOUNDSTORM 84. Moments That Moved Us 88. We are the TAIT group 94. Unlimit Your Ideas 98. Contact us
6 B A C K T O L I V E James ‘Winky’ Fairorth, CEO, TAIT on his approach to creating live shows and the opportunities of 2021’s entertainment landscape.
Top right image: Black Crowes. Shake Your Money Maker Summer Tour 7 In any live event, you have the usual things that change and evolve as you’re trying to get the show together, but in 2021 we had the added complication of trying to adapt to situations where we weren’t certain the shows were even going to happen. We were always just trying to get ahead of the game with everything in the world changing almost minute-byminute. We just had to make sure we were ready for whatever was going to happen next. With The Black Crowes [TAIT’s first show after the pandemic began], we didn’t know if we were going to be able to make it work, so the opening night was a big celebratory moment. It felt like the world was waiting – there were no other tours out there. When the lights went down, and we got to hear applause again, it was a real moment – I think it’s fair to say we all missed the interaction with the fans the most. When you’re putting on a show, you have to be mindful of the fact that the most important thing is that you’re putting an environment together for the artists to perform within. They need to be able to communicate. Actors need to be able to play off each other, musicians need to be able to relate to each other on stage and make music. So there are a lot of little nuances – how far the bass player is from the drummer, how far downstage the singer is – we’ve got to put the artist in an environment where they feel comfortable. Bruce Springsteen is a perfect example. Designing a stage for a Springsteen show is as much of a challenge as a giant Taylor Swift spectacle. The challenge there is that ten musicians need to be serviced by technicians while simultaneously feeling comfortable in their own environment to make live music sound great. So we're trying to create an environment that feels as if they were in their living room jamming. That’s always the test: how do we merge the artists with our art? I know that if somebody comes to us with even the smallest seed of an idea, we can design it and execute it better than anybody else in the world, but I think what’s often more important than the actual result is the process. When you streamline that process, when you’re efficient and you’re not wasting money, then you’re giving the client real value. It’s not that hard to have a good-looking show, but it is hard to have a good-looking show that’s logistically efficient. That’s way more of a challenge and we strive for efficiency in every department along the way. That’s our ultimate goal. “The Black Crowes opening night was a big celebratory moment. The world was waiting. When the lights went down, and we got to hear applause again, it was a real moment.”
A H E A D → 8 L O O K I N G Adam Davis on TAIT’s unique culture and looking forward to 2022 Adam Davis, CEO, TAIT group
9 In the history of this business, the past two years have been the most challenging. What I’m most proud of is how our team just showed unbelievable resilience and adaptability to accomplish projects when we’ve had every obstacle thrown at us, from closed borders to complete lockdowns. That landscape made some of the smallest projects some of the hardest to accomplish, but we also managed to create some of the epic, large-scale experiences we’re known for, including a nighttime spectacular for a major theme park, and automation and scenic for multiple artists at this year’s MTV VMAs, alongside many others. I pinch myself at how lucky we are to have the caliber of teammates that we have, and the passion of our team to fight the good fight on behalf of our customers every day. What we do isn’t easy, because our deadlines are real, and the challenges that we face often seem insurmountable. But the resilience of the team to knock down every barrier on behalf of the customer and our company to create success is just remarkable to watch. One of the things that makes this company truly unique is that, in a typical business, you might have one or two people that have an entrepreneurial mindset. If you look around this company, you’ll find the percentage of team members with that mindset is extraordinary. We have an entrepreneurial approach throughout every one of our teams. Looking forward to 2022, we’ve really used the pandemic to focus on continued growth in the experiential world, where we can take our skills and technology to individuals in public spaces. The ITEC partnership is really key to our strategy, because they’re domain experts in what they do. And, as a team, we want to surround ourselves with the best talent in the world. ITEC fits that mold perfectly. ITEC also gives us a significant presence in Orlando, which we believe is the epicenter of global theme parks going forward. And then there’s the Middle East. In 2021, we had many team members living and working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix F1 Race and MDLBEAST’s SOUNDSTORM, and also in Dubai for Expo 2020. The Arabian Peninsula is already a huge part of what we’re doing, and the next decade is going to be a real story of growth for us, much like Europe, the Americas, and Asia have been in the past. This year, it really struck me how much I missed watching the joy that audiences get when they come together. How lucky are we that we’re able to be part of those moments? And how lucky are we that we’re able to entertain audiences around the world? I’m definitely more aware today than ever of how entertainment is the one thing that crosses all boundaries. And with that, I believe we have such a unique responsibility, because we create these groundbreaking events that bridge those gaps between people; that bring people closer together. Images Top right: SOUNDSTORM Bottom right: Oceans of the World, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
W E A R E
Founded in 1978 by Michael Tait, TAIT made its name in rock ‘n’ roll as one of the most innovative suppliers of touring staging, scenic, and automation in the business. We’ve delivered a host of groundbreaking live events, including U2’s 360° tour beamed from outer space and Metallica’s Freeze 'Em All show in Antarctica. Over the years, we’ve created entertainment experiences for music venues, theaters, cruise ships, theme parks, and everything in between, delivering projects around the world thanks to our global reach in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. In 2012, with the acquisition of FTSI, we began to build our proprietary TAIT Navigator Automation Platform™️, a system of hardware and software solutions that provide complex show control for entertainment environments. The following year, we announced the acquisition of both Delstar Engineering and Stage Technologies, strengthening our permanent install and tech capabilities, and giving us additional global reach. In 2014, our one-of-a-kind production community Rock Lititz was born: a one-stop shop for live experience collaboration, with design, manufacturing, engineering, and rehearsal spaces all under one roof. TAIT is a cornerstone Rock Lititz community member. We’ve been scaling globally since 2012, welcoming the best in the business into the TAIT Group. Most recently, we’ve brought on four new companies. In 2016, productionglue, an award-winning, US-based experiential agency joined our family. Then in 2019, Brilliant Stages, a market-leading staging design and production company, and Kinesys, a global provider of motion control technology products for the entertainment industry, were welcomed into the fold. In 2021, ITEC, a global leader in innovative, themed entertainment solutions joined the TAIT group. Today, we are the market leader in entertainment experience design and production. As one global team working from almost twenty locations, we continue to drive innovation across the industry, challenging the impossible for our customers every day. Images Top far left: Black Crowes Bottom far left: Usher Residency at The Colosseum, Caesars Palace. Photo: Paul Tate dePoo III Top left: VALORANT Champions Tour. Photo: Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games Inc Bottom left: MTV VMAs Top right: Carrie Underwood. Photo: Ralph Larman Bottom far right: Eric Church. Photo: Jeff Vinnick Above: The Constant Gardeners. Photo: Jimmy Cohrssen 11
12 Image: SOUNDSTORM to Opening Night From Concept and Beyond
Our teams have been creating iconic scenic and staging, incredible structures, and breathtaking feats of automation throughout 2021. From large-scale theater productions such as Moulin Rouge! The Musical, to automation extravaganzas like Eric Church’s Gather Again Tour. Rental Assets Drawing on a global library of thousands of show-building essentials 13 Design & Engineering Taking a napkin sketch to a fully engineered design Ideation Creating a clear narrative for your project
14 Integration Delivering on-site testing and commissioning Scenic Producing creative scenic in workshops around the globe Manufacturing Turning complex digital designs into real-world elements Automation Engineering and programming bespoke, precision motion From Concept to Opening Night and Beyond
Production Creating everything from intimate events to live-streamed, global spectaculars 15 Show Service & Support Providing 24/7 best-in-class service and support Staging Constructing stages quickly and efficiently Performer Flying Designing spectacular, safe, repeatable performer flying
BOULDER TOKYO HONG KONG SHENZHEN OSAKA MACAU DUBAI RIYADH LONDON HAVERHILL WAKEFIELD UTRECHT LITITZ ORLANDO LAS VEGAS LOS ANGELES NEW YORK 16 The TAIT group is a roster of innovators who set the standard for the live entertainment industry, delivering world-class solutions for live experiences in locations around the world.
17 We’re a global team of creative engineers, fabricators, producers, and technologists for live entertainment environments. We bring extraordinary ideas to life, collaborating on design concepts and delivering precision engineering, technical innovation, and manufacturing. We engineer complex movement for artists, brands, performing arts spaces, and venues around the world with our industry leading show control and automation technology. With over 950 employees across 17 office locations, we’ve delivered projects in over 30 countries, on all seven continents, and even in outer space. Kinesys is a global provider of automation systems to the entertainment industry, with a client list that includes iconic venues and world-renowned touring artists. Kinesys offers hardware and software products that allow designers to realize their creative visions, and venues to support outstanding shows and events. Kinesys prides itself on its vibrant community of users, service-driven approach, and proactive attitude to customer feedback. For over 15 years, productionglue has been collaborating with innovative global brands including Nike, the NBA, and Princeton University to create some of the most-talked-about events of our time. In 2016, productionglue became part of the TAIT group, leveraging TAIT’s global footprint and depth of technical expertise to produce out-of-this-world immersive activations, and helping A-list celebrities, global CEOs, world leaders, and dignitaries shine from center stage. ITEC Entertainment is a global leader of themed entertainment design, technology, and project development solutions for the leisure, hospitality, and entertainment industries. ITEC Technologies is the technical design and production division of ITEC Entertainment. Founded in 1985, ITEC has delivered over 300 guest experiences that ignite the dreams of people all over the world, spanning theme parks; real estate development and mixed use; resorts; entertainment centers; rides and shows; cultural attractions; and themed retail. Founded in 1983, Brilliant Stages has grown from a two-man operation in a shared warehouse to a global player that’s helped the likes of U2, Beyoncé, The Rolling Stones, Cirque De Soleil, and the Olympic Games create epic structures, advanced stages, and spectacular motion. In 2019, the Wakefield, UK-based team was acquired and formally became part of the TAIT group.
18 Welcome, ITEC Entertainment
19 “ITEC’s tremendous success over the past 35 years is nothing short of remarkable. We have longadmired their innovation, continued growth and their contributions to live events and visitor experiences. I know that together we will continue to deliver on that promise to all of our customers around the globe.” 2021 saw us welcome ITEC Entertainment into the growing TAIT family of companies. The acquisition brings together our groundbreaking organizations with complementary expertise in live events and experiences. Founded in 1985, ITEC Entertainment is a world leader in live entertainment design, technology, and project development, with offices in Orlando, Los Angeles, and Osaka. Adam Davis CEO, the TAIT group ITEC has created iconic guest experiences for clients as diverse as Walt Disney, Universal Studios, Madison Square Garden Ventures, LEGO, Wanda Group, and Dubai Parks. With complementary cultural values and skill sets in engineering, technology, creative design, and client management, the partnership offers an opportunity for both companies to continue to grow. The acquisition also allows us to add capabilities to support clients locally in Orlando as we build a presence within ITEC’s existing Orlando headquarters. “We felt it was a natural progression to join TAIT’s long legacy of success in the live entertainment industry and rising growth in the theme park and attractions world. Our combined ingenuity and global resources will achieve bigger, better, and more awe-inspiring shows and experiences for our customers.” Bill Coan President & CEO, ITEC Entertainment ITEC’s leadership team, including President and CEO Bill Coan, Chief Technology Officer Marc Plogstedt, EVP, Project Development Team Jeff Jensen, and EVP, Entertainment Technology Steve Alkhoja, will continue building on the work that has seen the company not only maintain but expand its business throughout the global pandemic. Images Facing page: Ultimate Energy International Mech War Museum, Wuhan, China Top center: Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride, Singapore Bottom center: Commodore Barrington P. Osborne III “The Commodore” Port Oceana
20 of Live Experiences a Celebration Together Again:
Images Facing: Soundstorm Top and bottom center: The Governors Ball 21 Tom Bussey of productionglue, a TAIT company, on the joy of getting ‘back to live’. “We never stopped working during 2020 and 2021. I hear people talk about ‘pivoting’ a lot. The word pivot, to me, implies that we started doing X, and then we started doing Y. Well, we never stopped doing X – we just adapted what X meant. Our journey through this has been remarkable in terms of our ability to adapt as a business. “The first time I felt we’d reached a moment where the momentum shifted was in September at The Governors Ball here in New York City. It’s a three-day music festival with tens of thousands of people in attendance per day, and that was a momentous occasion. The energy that you felt from that audience was truly unique. And it was the same backstage – obviously we wore masks and we were still taking a lot of precautions – but it was this moment of coming together, not only for the audience, but for the production community. It really felt like, ‘Okay, we’re getting to the other side of this – we’re not through it yet – but we will continue forward as a team, and as a family’. That felt really great.” Turned up to 11 “Now, with live, in-person events, I think there’s a greater sense of appreciation for what we missed. I think the exuberance I’ve seen in live audiences and the excitement of being there is more universally shared, and it’s just been turned up to 11. The same applies backstage; there’s more appreciation for face-to-face interaction. So, I think those that venture out into the live environment are rewarded with a greater appreciation of human connection. “What I think is also fascinating is what memory tells us and what we remember. I recall at The Governors Ball in 2019, Florence + the Machine were playing, and Florence Welch told everybody to put their cell phones down and just be in the moment and experience it. At that exact moment it started to rain. Literally, on cue, the skies opened up. It was just this phenomenal moment and I know I’ll never forget it – I’ll never forget seeing an audience pulse with energy, and a performer encouraging the audience to be in the moment and experience it for themselves. Being there in person is still so much more rewarding than watching a stream or a recording.”
“I hear people talk about ‘pivoting’ during the pandemic – that implies that we started doing X, and then we started doing Y. Well, we never stopped doing X – we just adapted what X meant. Our journey through this has been remarkable in terms of our ability to adapt as a business.” Images: The Governors Ball 22 Moving People Across the Globe “At the end of 2021, we had our team leading the site and festival production for SOUNDSTORM. It’s one of the largest music festivals in the world, which runs for four days in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. That was directly after running the Fan Zone concert for Formula 1 in Jeddah. “There are so many exciting things happening within the business right now in terms of our unification and our coming together as a business. Over the last 18 months, we’ve really achieved a level of connectedness across the group. “We’re an integral part of a global entity that’s creating moments for audiences worldwide, and we’re excited to take those opportunities further in 2022. I think this period of focus and self-examination has really put us in a great spot to leverage our potential for the future. And we’re energized to advance what’s possible and to work together to unlimit our clients’ ideas.”
24 A Brilliant History
25 Wakefield MD Ben Brooks talks to one of the original Brilliant Stages founders, Tony Bowern, about how Brilliant started and how it has evolved over the years, and looks ahead to what the future holds. Founded in 1983, Brilliant Stages has grown from a two-man operation in a small workshop to a global player that’s helped the likes of U2, Beyoncé, The Rolling Stones, Cirque Du Soleil, and the Olympic Games create epic structures, advanced stages, and spectacular motion. “It all came about with a guy called Charlie Kail,” explains Tony. “He was working in his spare time for a company called Meteorlites who worked out of an old bakery in Baldock in the UK. They wanted to build an aluminum drum riser for Iron Maiden, but when the truck came to pick it up, they realized they couldn’t get it out of the door. That was a really good lesson to learn – it needs to be able to fit in the truck! “I was working for a PA hire company in Luton and knew Charlie quite well. He was looking for somewhere to set up his own business, so he rented a little bit of space in our warehouse. My background was in engineering, working as a precision fitter machinist, and I thought, ‘this might be an opportunity to get off the road,’ so I hooked up with Charlie and we rented a small unit in Letchworth, Hertfordshire. It was about 800 square feet, but there was little work around at that time. I’d recently built a studio for Herbie Flowers, the bass player for Sky, in West Hampstead, and Sky were about to go on the road. So our first project was building the risers for them out of aluminum – that was unusual because most risers were made out of steel or wood – we were probably the first to do aluminum in the UK.” Images: PopMart, U2, 1997
26 From those humble beginnings, the business took off. “As time went on, we made a bit of a name for ourselves, but there was no plan to rule the world at that point.” The Letchworth setup was basic; the team worked from sketch pads – they had no drawing boards and they had very little machinery. “We had one cut-off saw, one Marshall TIG plant. I would do the cutting and fitting, and Charlie would do the welding,” recalls Tony. Between Tony and Charlie and their black book of contacts, the work kept coming in. The concept was simple: please the crew and the message would filter back to the production managers and designers who would use you again and again, on bigger and better projects. And, as the projects grew in scale, the challenges were amplified, but Tony assures us he was never concerned that the fledgling business might be unable to deliver. “Once you’re into a project, you know you just have to get it done. We always had a philosophy that any man-made problem has a manmade solution. That’s the way we approached everything – with that never-say-die attitude. We’d always find a way, which generally meant just putting in more hours until we got the job out the door.” The relationship with TAIT began in the early '80s with a call from Michael Tait. He was looking for some help on a Diana Ross set that was being delivered into the UK. Tony and Charlie obliged and that was followed up with another TAIT job for Paul McCartney. The relationship was reciprocal, with Brilliant making use of TAIT’s Lititz team when they had a US-bound AC/DC set that needed assembly.
Images Far left: Lisa Green and Catherine Briggs Briliant Stages’ scenic team, 2019 Center left: Adam ‘Bullet’ Bettley, Ben Brooks and Tony Bowern Bottom left: ‘Voodoo Lounge Tour’, The Rolling Stones, 1994 Top right on facing page and above: ‘Bridges To Babylon’, The Rolling Stones, 1997 27
28 “I went out to help get it sorted using a couple of TAIT’s welders and I thought, ‘these guys are really good,’” says Tony. The two companies aligned perfectly from a cultural perspective and also had similar visions for evolving their product offerings. “We started out with folding gate risers, but you couldn’t really build the larger stage sets that way, so I designed a hook and channel decking system. It goes back to pleasing the crew if you can. We created systems that fitted in regular size dollies, on any trucks, on any containers, and could be put together quickly and easily with minimal tools. It was similar to what Michael was doing and has done with Mag Deck, with the idea that you could build as big a stage as you wanted to very quickly.” Throughout the '80s and '90s, Brilliant worked on some of the most iconic shows of the period, including what was possibly the world’s first ‘in the round’ show for Def Leppard, the epic ‘falling pylons’ from Metallica’s Load tour (with TAIT providing staging), and the technically and visually groundbreaking Rolling Stones Bridges to Babylon tour. “Bridges to Babylon was one of those moments in rock and roll history,” says Ben. “Before I was part of Brilliant, I always looked back at that and thought, ‘you guys are geniuses.’” During the 2000s, Brilliant collaborated on numerous projects with Litestructures, a company owned by the Brooks family. The family ultimately acquired Brilliant Stages in 2013 and Ben began to build the company we know today, creating spectacular shows for the likes of Take That, Shawn Mendes, Hugh Jackman, and Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Since that first collaboration in the '80s, Brilliant’s relationship with TAIT has remained as solid as ever and, in 2019, many years after those first pan-Atlantic projects took shape, the Wakefield team formally became part of the TAIT family. “Working at Brilliant has been a constant evolution. It’s been a team of people who are really willing to push the boundaries and to walk into completely uncharted territories totally unfazed, knowing that we will deliver something amazing at the end of it. That’s what our team in Wakefield is all about for me.”
29 “When we entered the TAIT group, pre-pandemic in November 2019, we knew we wanted the businesses to become more closely aligned,” explains Ben. “We’d already established how we wanted to do this, and the pandemic gave us a moment while we were paused to change and align our processes. So many things have changed at our Wakefield site since becoming part of the TAIT group, despite the fact that you walk in and everything looks identical. But in the way we operate, so many elements have evolved over the last two years.” Looking forward to 2022 and beyond, Ben’s excited about the Wakefield site becoming a fully fledged part of TAIT and the prospect of sharing those decades of knowledge the team has built up. “The big thing for 2022 is to take all the things that we’ve learned over the years, and all the things that TAIT can teach us, and welcome that knowledge with open arms. We’re looking forward to moving ahead with the resurgence of concert touring and the return of the markets that we have been so productive in over the years, to make sure that we’re delivering on time, on budget, and we’re keeping our clients happy. Images Top left: Beyoncé & Jay-Z, OTR II Tour Bottom left: Escape From The Studio, Metallica, 1995 Top right: Take That, Greatest Hits Live tour Bottom right: Spice Girls, Spice World – 2019 Tour “It’s been such an amazing journey. I’ve been part of it for the past 10 years, and I’ve been around Brilliant in the 10 years prior to that. We’ve worked hard to evolve the reputation and the offer here in Wakefield, and as we’ve become part of the TAIT group over the last two years, it’s been wonderful to see the alignment and culture come together. “Working at Brilliant has been a constant evolution,” reflects Ben. “It’s been a team of people who are really willing to push the boundaries and to walk into completely uncharted territories totally unfazed, knowing that we will deliver something amazing at the end of it. That’s what our team in Wakefield is all about for me.”
30 2021 was the year we got back to live. It was our chance to show the world what we could achieve together with our clients, collaborators, and partners across the world. Here are just a few of the exhilarating, powerful, moving moments we created in 2021.
32 Eric Church Gather Again Tour 2021 Production Designer Butch Allen Tour Manager Todd Bunch Rehearsal Studios Rock Lititz Location USA & Canada
Dual custom winches were mounted to these trusses and each truss was equipped with a Navigator Camera System. The custom winches fed power to the system, which has builtin image stabilization, simplifying the setup, and reducing the need of additional cabling. Throughout the show, the Navigator Camera System flew the length of the arena, capturing a 360-degree view of the stage and the audience surrounding it, while also tracking the performers via Blacktrax interface. Powered by the TAIT Navigator Automation Platform™️, the Navigator Camera System provides live and recorded footage with 360 degree coverage of the stage. Typically, creating this footage requires static cameras positioned intrusively in the arena. TAIT Navigator Images: Jeff Vinnick 33 Eric Church’s 55-date Gather Again tour marked a return to touring for the Nashville singer-songwriter. One of the show’s unique elements was the flying Navigator Camera System which shot live IMAG footage for the overhead big screens. With the stage in the round, we installed two 165 ft trusses into the overhead rig that ran in parallel to both sides of the stage.
34 Image: Jeff Vinnick Eric Church, Gather Again Tour 2021
36 Concerts West / AEG Presents Resorts World Theatre Las Vegas Design Firm Scéno Plus Theatre Technical Director Bob Sandon Location Las Vegas, USA
Kinesys, a TAIT company, supplied DigiHoist controllers for the theatre’s fixed-speed hoists, in addition to 19 of its proprietary variable-speed chain hoists. The hoists can be reconfigured and moved around the theater to lift video walls, props, and other scenic elements, depending on the unique demands of each show. Kinesys Images Facing page: Ralph Larmann for Carrie Underwood: REFLECTION: The Las Vegas Residency. Designer and Producers - Fireplay Top & left: Resorts World Theatre 37 Resorts World Theatre in Las Vegas is a 5,000 capacity, multi-level live performance venue and a key element of the first new development on the Las Vegas strip for over a decade. The project brought together three key TAIT skill sets: automation, rigging, and staging. We built a complex automation system consisting of 12 line sets with 11 BT2-490 winches and a specially built, custom 170ft winch, with our proprietary Navigator Automation Platform™️ providing automation throughout the theater. To add flexibility to the 13,550 square feet of staging, our Mag Deck™️ risers, stage apron, and tech ledger system deliver extra performance space, alongside additional lighting and audio positions. Carrie Underwood’s REFLECTION: The Las Vegas Residency – a retrospective highlight reel of her 15-year performing career – was the first show through the door of the brand-new venue.
38 Carnival Cruise Line Mardi Gras VP Carnival Entertainment Chris Nelson Director Creative Development Kerry Stables Voodoo Moon Director Aaron Jackson Lighting Designer Brian Monahan Musical Director Nick Thorpe Scenic Designer Michael Barone Costume Designer Lucio Boliver Choreographer Jill Hillier Media/Video Producer Robb Wagner Location Nassau, Bahamas
Additionally, we supplied rigging control equipment in the Main Theater, with the epiQ console providing pinpoint automation in both venues. The epiQ console puts the power of automation in the hands of a larger number of operators and programmers, with a simple, intuitive interface that takes full advantage of our proprietary automation software: iQ powered by Navigator. epiQ™️ Console Images Left and top right: Jake Miller Bottom right: Visualisation 39 Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras is a floating entertainment oasis which was the perfect canvas for us to showcase our cruise ship capabilities. The ship has two venues – the Grand Central Atrium and Main Theater – and we were contracted to design, manufacture, install, and commission the state-of-the-art performer flying system and control system in the Grand Central Atrium. The performer flying system pushes the boundaries of theatrical performance, combining acrobatic winches and track winch systems that can be used in multiple configurations to create 3-point and 4-point 3D flights.
40 MTV Video Music Awards 2021 For over two decades, TAIT’s Navigator Automation Platform™️ has provided the built-in mechanical and controls-based redundancy necessary for the VMA's live broadcast. In 2021, the show featured twin LED video walls facing each other from both sides of the main stage. During commercial breaks, the Navigatorcontrolled Nav Hoists installed in the overhead rigging raised and lowered the video walls for set changes and new performances. Our clients included: Gloria Lamb (Art Director) Matt Steinbrenner (Supervising Art Director) Gary Lanvy (Coordinating Producer) Julio Himede (Production Designer) Tom Sutherland (Lighting Designer)
42 Tokyo Tokyo Festival Special 13 The Constant Gardeners Production Partners Murayama Artist Jason Bruges Studio Special Support British Council Arts Council Tokyo Location Tokyo, Japan
43 Part of the UK’s contribution to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, The Constant Gardeners was a large-scale outdoor art installation based at Ueno Park in Tokyo for the Tokyo Tokyo Festival Special 13 art exhibition. Featuring four Cobot robotic arms creating Olympic-inspired art in a 74m2 pit of crushed black basalt, we were tasked with creating a 30x16m interlocking decking system with an unlimited lifespan that could handle the rigors of outside use, but that could be torn down and rebuilt in a new setting with minimal effort. COVID restrictions meant the staging had to be designed and built in the UK, before shipping to Japan for the festival’s month-long run which opened on July 28. Images: Jimmy Cohrssen
44 Images: Jimmy Cohrssen
Image: Paul Tate dePoo III 46 Usher Residency at The Colosseum, Caesars Palace Screens & Content Design FragmentNine Lighting Programmer Jason Baeri Set Designer Paul Tate dePoo III Production Manager Brian Southall Lighting Design John Torres Lighting Programmer Benny Kirkham Location Las Vegas, USA
When eight-time Grammy awardwinner Usher announced a residency at The Colosseum, Caesars Palace, the list of expertise required to get the show up and running included performer flying, LED integration, overhead rigging, and automation. The proprietary TAIT Navigator Automation Platform’s reputation for precision, reliability, and safety made it the perfect choice for show control. 47
With 12 custom-built, 32-feet high, 30-inch wide LED video columns, each with three axes of movement, a performer flying rig that was central to one of the most spectacular elements of the show, and the integration of multiple LED screens and light panels, the build would have been a challenge even without a three-week deadline… With video columns, performer flying, and other automation elements in Usher’s Vegas residency, our proprietary TAIT Navigator Automation Platform™️ was vital to ensuring pinpoint accuracy, reliability and, most importantly, performer safety night-after-night. TAIT Navigator Images: Paul Tate dePoo III 48
Image: Hans Wretling 50 Göteborgs Stadsteater Electrical Installation Services Dralco B.V. Mechanical Installation Services PS RIG Theater Consultant Torsten Nobling AIX Arkitekter AB Location Gothenburg, Sweden
Delivering a project of this complexity, constrained by a short manufacture and installation time-window, demanded our UK teams’ combined expertise. Teams in Haverhill and Neasden, alongside mainland-European colleagues, successfully delivered and commissioned within six months, despite COVID’s ever-changing restrictions and supply chain delays. The results were increased show production efficiency, reliability, and additional creative options for spectacular modern shows, ready for further enhancements with iQ. Image: Hans Wretling 51 The 1918 Gothenburg City Theatre is a longstanding client – we installed its first automation system: scenic winches and automation of historic sub-stage machinery. During the historically listed building’s renovation, TAIT upgraded controls with new safety features, enhancing performance capabilities. Rather than complete removal and replacement of old equipment – recognising many elements with plenty of remaining life – TAIT proposed a more sustainable scope: an upgrade to deploy networked safety technology, whilst provisioning a smooth future update path to iQ deployment, which the theater is adopting.
52 Location New York City, USA The Governors Ball Music Festival at Citi Field
53 After a yearlong pandemic hiatus, Founders Entertainment and Live Nation safely relaunched one of NYC’s most anticipated events: the Governors Ball Music Festival. We transformed asphalt into AstroTurf – revamping Citi Field in Queens into a venue fit for rock icons. This four-stage, three-day outdoor festival featured Billie Eilish, A$AP Rocky, Post Malone, and Megan the Stallion, alongside dishes from some of NYC’s best eateries, stunning art installations, an NFT Gallery, and an epic Staircase showcasing NYC art and culture. High-flying inflatables peppered the skyline with color, while Mr. Met was on hand for hugs as visitors wandered through OGX’s I Love My Hair Fest, were airbrushtattooed on the Road to the Honda Stage, and entered a travel-inspired fantasy land on the Babe Bus.
54 The Governors Ball Music Festival at Citi Field
56 English National Ballet production of Creature by Akram Khan Akram Khan’s third collaboration with English National Ballet, Creature, is a tale of isolation, and mental and physical hardship. The show is performed in front of our custommade scenic backdrop, comprising a magnetic timber system. At key points during the show individual timbers fall from the scenery on cue, bringing Khan’s dramatic vision to life. Image: Laurent Liotardo
58 Riot Games VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 2 Masters Senior Production Manager Marc Hilko Lighting Designer Ben Green VALORANT Executive Producer JB Blot ConCom Production Manager Randy Quick Production Designer Joe Kale VALORANT Production Manager Danny Wasby ConCom Production Manager Ant Lee Location Reykjavik, Iceland Images: Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games Inc.
59 The VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 2 Masters in Reykjavík, Iceland was an esports tournament with a difference in 2021. With no live audience due to COVID restrictions, we were determined to make the event a spectacle for the thousands of online fans. We created a 75ft x 75ft main stage with custom-printed flooring and inset video panels in the shape of the VALORANT logo. We provided ten modular gaming desks and built four 20ft x 20ft VALORANT logo LED signs with several hundred feet of pixel chase LED. We also supplied custom drivers and transformers for use anywhere in the world.
60 Numerous parts were designed and fabricated at TAIT HQ in Lititz, before being sent to the integration team in Wakefield, UK, to be prepped for on-site installation.
61 Images: Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games Inc.
Images: Courtesy of MDLBEAST 62 Location Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Concerts
63 MDLBEAST was looking for a team to produce next-level entertainment experiences at the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, so we devised a supercharged experience that welcomed over 50,000 guests for three nights of spectacular performances. We built a futuristic concert arena that paired bold design with industrial grit, using shipping containers to make a powerful, yet sustainable statement. A prismatic stage lit up the night sky delivering brilliant light shows and bursts of pyrotechnics, and the projectionmapped stage featured spectacular shows by Justin Bieber, David Guetta, Hamaki, DJ Snake, Amir Diab, and Tiësto. This epic Grand Prix activation exuded Saudi Arabian style, with a custom VIP experience, including decks and viewing platforms, along with premium VVVIP Suites.
M R Production West End Moulin Rouge! The Musical Production Manager Matt Towell Set Design Derek McLane Associate Designer Ben Davies Production Global Creatures and Playful Productions Production Automation Richard Willcox Location London, UK 64
Our scenic teams worked tirelessly to provide multiple packages of soft goods and scenic elements for both the West End show and the Royal Variety Performance. We provided a variety of drapes, Austrian valances, and intricate scenic pieces to bring the show to life onstage. Scenic Images Left & Top Right: Matt Crockett Moulin Rouge! The Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre in London was our biggest West End show automation since Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with TAIT Wakefield taking on control and automation design, installation and commissioning, alongside custom electronics work, and iconic scenic elements for the show. We provided a total of 32 BigTow 2 winches and 29 custom axes to move scenic pieces, trucks, and lifts around the stage, alongside ornate scenic pieces to complete the distinctive look of the show. In addition, we provided scenic, staging, and LED integration for the Royal Variety Performance, a fundraising event for the Royal Variety Charity, which saw us reworking vast swathes of the show for the smaller Royal Albert Hall venue. 65
66 Image: Matt Crockett M R Productions West End, Moulin Rouge! The Musical
68 Gary Barlow All The Hits Live 2021 Production Manager Paddy Hocken Set Design Misty Buckley Lighting Design Tim Routledge Location UK & Ireland Images: Luke Dyson
Our modular, monolithic Mag Deck System™️ allows us to create stages and risers quickly and effectively for multiple venue types and, in the case of Gary Barlow’s show, multiple stages. Mag Deck is quick to assemble and, crucially, quick to disassemble at the end of each show. Mag Deck 69 For Gary Barlow’s end-of-year All The Hits Live 2021 tour, we provided staging, LED integration, and scenic pieces. We created staging for both the main stage and smaller B-stage, which housed an electric Type A scissor lift to raise Gary’s piano on and off stage. Alongside the Mag Deck™️ staging setup with stage apron and lighting shelf, we provided four band risers and a set of custom steps, fabricated from timber and polycarbonate with LED integration. Our scenic teams also created numerous Christmas-themed present props from plywood and soft goods, and we provided a 12ft scenic Christmas tree. Finally, we fabricated the flown ‘GB’ sign with a weathered gold scenic finish over an aluminum plate fascia. The sign had 192 Ayrton MagicDot-R LED lights integrated into it, all suspended from six Kinesys Apex chain hoists.
70 Spinifex Group & GPJ Nissan Jewel Dubai Collaborators Dandelion & Burdock Location Dubai, UAE
71 Al Wasl Plaza in Dubai was the venue for the Nissan Patrol’s 70th Anniversary event, and a celebration of the all-terrain vehicle’s spectacular heritage needed a similarly spectacular show to wow the gathered crowd. Our client Spinifex Group and George P. Johnson briefed us to create an aluminum ‘jewel’ centerpiece incorporating an internal sphere, with integrated cabling to allow the cube to be lit as it was flown or mounted on a pole during the 40-minute, live-streamed show. The TAIT Wakefield team set to work, and the jewel was mechanically designed, manufactured, fabricated, spray painted, gold leafed, lacquered, integrated, and test built twice, before being packed into a cart and shipped from the UK to the Middle East alongside its mounting pole and base structure.
72 Sunac Guangzhou Grand Theatre The Sunac Guangzhou Grand Theatre is a purpose-built, 2000-seat venue in the heart of southern China. We created a state-of-the-art rigging system that gives the theater’s production team the flexibility to program shows with central acrobatic flights, drop overs to the stage, and the ability to create both 2D and 3D flights over the audience. Image: Alex Herrington
74 UAE PAVILION, Expo 2020, Dubai Architects Santiago Calatrava Main Contractor ALEC Location Dubai, UAE
75 The UAE’s National Media Council asked us for help to create an engaging platform to tell the story of the UAE for the Dubai World Expo 2020. Using a custom-built lift, we raised the audience from basement level to the top of the UAE pavilion during the show – a distance of 6.5m. With a target of four million visitors over six months, the automation had to deliver faultless reliability, and a dash of ingenuity was needed to accommodate the pearlshaped design of the auditorium. Images: Ben Milward-Bason and Iyad Ahmad
Black Crowes Shake Your Money Maker Summer Tour Production Designer Steven Cohen Rehearsal Studios Rock Lititz Management Mark DiDia of Red Light Management Lighting/Video 4Wall Entertainment Trucking Upstaging, Inc. Production Manager Jason Danter Sound Clair Global Location USA 76
77 The Black Crowes’ Shake Your Money Maker 30th anniversary tour was set to kick-off on June 27, 2020, but world events had other ideas. Over a year later, the Black Crowes finally hit the road to delight fans with their 37-date, shape-shifting '70s juke joint show. We created a raised performance area with our proprietary, modular Mag Deck System . Stage right was a fully working bar with a custom vinyl finish. Left of stage was the ‘juke joint’ area for the backup singers, and two band risers were built center-stage, each with a concrete fascia. Upstage center was a vintage jukebox, rebuilt with custom LED lighting, while an abstract curtain backdrop depicted bricks, graffiti, and buildings to make it seem as if the audience were walking down an alley.
78 Black Crowes, Shake Your Money Maker Summer Tour
80 MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM Designer Alex Reardon and Silent House Location Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
There were luxe lounges, custombuilt food and beverage kiosks, a 14000-person dance pavilion, graffiti art exhibit, and green plaza, along with 69 skyboxes and stunning VIP spaces. 81 MDLBEAST asked us to pull off the impossible: to transform a desert, 40 km outside Riyadh, into one of the biggest music festivals in the world. Stretching across 5.3 square kilometers, the SOUNDSTORM electronic dance music festival featured over 200 artists, across four days on seven stages. We developed the complex, semipermanent festival site plan, and our teams were on the ground for over four months, piecing together one of our most ambitious projects to date. Our US and UK offices collaborated to model and engineer SOUNDSTORM’s record-breaking ‘Big Beast’ stage and also fabricated approximately 600 aluminum scenic fascias to create the perfect aesthetic for this one-of-akind stage.
82 MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM
am Woodward chnical Author AIT Haverhill, UK 84 “Watching the long-awaited production of Creature by Akram Khan and English National Ballet perform in front of our custom-made scenic backdrop. It was brilliant to see our work, and London theater come to life.” Matt Brand Scenic Carpenter, TAIT, Wakefield, UK “Seeing the amazing work our team and the Rock Lititz community did to bring Shock the Block to life. So cool to see everyone come together to make an incredible experience for the community.” Owen Byrne Creative Services Manager, TAIT, Lititz, USA “For me, it’s thrilling to see our calendar filling up with brand activations, in-person conferences, and festivals. It’s what I’ve personally been missing – the electricity of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with friends and strangers for shared experiences. It’s also been great to meet up with team members, working face-to-face as we explore creative ways to pull off the impossible together.” Lauren Hall Director of Marketing, productionglue, New York, USA Moments that
85 “Our projects continually remind me that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts; experiencing our large bespoke machines meld software, electronics, and mechanics creating the astonishing illusion of a graceful living creature in its performance is an aweinspiring experience.” Sam Woodward Technical Author, TAIT Haverhill, UK “Seeing the return of colleagues to our offices and workshops, doing what they love, is always a special moment for me.” Kendal Young Senior Recruitment Manager, TAIT, Haverhill, UK “As we’ve built our global integration and TAIT Crew teams this year, we’ve hired a lot of new people and developed the senior integrator role. It’s been so good to see that mix of fresh excitement and deep experience all in one place, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the team can pull off as they grow.” Steve Farquhar VP Global Integration, TAIT, Lititz, USA Us Moved
86 “We’re incredibly passionate about the principles of continuous improvement at TAIT – and 2021 gave us more opportunities to share, showcase, and inspire colleagues to consider current processes, area organization, availability of information, and visual signals. Seeing colleagues embrace the approach and watching those improvements take shape is always a great moment for me.” Les Grills Head of Electrical Manufacturing, TAIT, Neasden, UK “Working on attractions all around the world is one of the best perks of working for ITEC. Recent projects that have come to life in Los Angeles, Osaka, Dubai, and Beijing, were all special moments for us.” Erica Fentress Control Systems Engineer, ITEC Entertainment, USA “I was moved this year when seeing the Lancaster medical community come together with Rock Lititz to bring one of the largest vaccination centers in the state to life. The positivity from all involved was inspiring and I was grateful for getting the opportunity to work at the facility.” Michael Troise Designer, TAIT, Lititz, USA that Moments
87 “There’s nothing that compares to being live and in-person. Gathering to collaborate with some of our long-time partners, generating energy through the exchange of ideas, producing creative ways to connect brands to consumers – it’s what I live for. The moment when you see that idea come to life, as people arrive for shared experiences, makes it all worth it.” Claudine Goin Head of Business Development, productionglue, USA “Watching colleagues embrace new opportunities across sustainable practices is an absolute joy for me. We’re seeing new ideas take shape and roll out across the business, from the way we recycle our wood in Haverhill, to working with local social enterprises.” Carol Scott, Principal Sustainability Advocate, TAIT, UK “Taking our unique approach to design and engineering and applying it to a whole new market - working with Bunda's fitness professionals to create a proprietary station for the Bunda workout experience.” Scott Levine Project Management, TAIT, Lititz, USA Moved Us
88 We are the TAIT group
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94 We know the power of ideas. An idea can launch David Blaine 25,000 feet into the air, clutching a handful of balloons. An idea can build a life-size, animated King Kong for a Broadway stage or put a rollercoaster on Mars. Image: Stephanie Berger - TAIT x The Shed Dragon Phoenix Rising 2019