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Futuristic set makes history for Tinie

LS-Live developed and delivered a dynamic stage set to accommodate lively performances from mainstream hip hop’s man of the moment, Tinie Tempah.


Known for his energetic fusion of pop and hip hop, the rapper embarked upon his first UK arena tour in 2011 with a stage design that was both edgy and futuristic, blending elements of live performance with the intensity of a club show.


Tour manager JP Firmin brought his partner at The Tour Group, Antony Randall, on board as show producer and together they created a production team capable of elevating his career to new heights in the touring arena.


In turn Randall recruited designer Willow Perron into the mix to help shape a creative look for the show and produce video content for the screens. Together they collaborated with LD Andy Hurst, and stage and set suppliers LS-Live.


The latter’s journey with Tinie Tempah began in the early part of 2011, when its in-house team designed and built the artist’s touring stage set for his summer festival run and small gigs.


Said LS-Live designer Gareth Mallon: “Whilst we were designing and building Tinie’s summer stage set in the studio, the then production manager Tobi Oyerinde started discussions with us about requirements for the arena show and we began to pass several designs between us.


“They were pleased that we could create a stage set from off-the-shelf hire kit and build it on site in the studio, where they could tweak the design and do rehearsals. We built a multi-level set from our industry standard LiteDeck, incorporating staircases, handrails, drapes and a LiteConsole with a custom branded front panel. “


Tinie, who is always eager to be involved in the set design process, wanted to step things up for the arena tour and the team tasked LS-Live with designing a more sophisticated stage set for the show. Different designs passed between LS-Live and the show’s Anthony Randall, over the course of several months, but the pressure was on as the final drawings reached the LS-Live design desk just a week before the production was due to load in to the studio in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.


Gareth Mallon transformed the design sketch into a viable touring system providing detailed CAD drawings and 3D renders, before the design was brought to life in the studio.


Again the set utilised a lot of standard hire kit from LS-Live’s stock. It comprised a raised three-tier LiteDeck stage system with a rectangle base platform, three middle-tier platforms to support custom Versatube frames and two mirrored top-tier platforms downstage of the rear video screens. The set was supported by staircases, handrails and drapes between each level.


Continued Mallon: “We designed three bespoke cages, each using between 20 and 30 colour-changing Barco Versatube LED battens in 1m or 2m sections, which were designed to magnify and work with the effects on the video screens at the rear.”


Adam ‘Bullet’ Bettley, LS-Live project support, commented: “The cages acted as performance spaces for the drummer, keyboard player and DJ and they sat on 8ft x 8ft scissor lifts so they raised up during the show. We also built a 60ft x 8ft thrust at centre stage, which included a manlift for Tinie Tempah’s reveal, and a support for the video wall from our standard truss.”


The set was completed in time for the artist and crew’s arrival at the rehearsal studios. The production team checked in to the ‘LS-Live Hotel’ on the top floor of the studio’s recently expanded adjoining facilities, using all 14 en-suite bedrooms. They also booked the green room, all five dressing rooms, two production offices and catering area for the three days of rehearsals.


Added Bettley: “Their crew re-built the stage set during rehearsals and we offered support to them whilst they were on site answering their questions, and helping them to adjust the height and positioning of some of the staging. Other than these small changes they were very happy with the set, which packed neatly into less than one truck due to its modular format.”


The production crew made use of LS-Live’s collective of backline technicians, taking Andrew ‘Brigga’ Briggs on tour with them as drum technician, who said the stage set was a big success on tour.


Click here to watch a brief timelapse of the Tinie Tempah stage set being built in the LS-Live studio: