Once again, Novum AV were contracted to supply the sound and lighting for the British Gymnastics World Cup that took place on 23rd March 2019. After more than 10 years working with the sport’s governing body, Novum AV has established itself as the main production company used by British Gymnastics.

For Novum, plans for the event began a year in advance. Design ideas and proposals were bounced back and forth between Novum and the BG team before settling on a final decision for design, logistics and layout.

Different venues produce different challenges. Unlike Birmingham Arena (the venue that was used last year) Resorts World Arena, Birmingham, didn’t have its own sports lighting. This created extra challenges for the team at Novum AV to overcome to guarantee sufficient lighting for both the gymnasts and the audience. 

Commenting on the change in venue for this year, Joshua Catling, senior project manager at Novum AV, said: “The objective is always the same, but the challenges may be different. For this particular event, the sound was pretty straight forward but the lighting was a little more difficult.”

A team of 22 from Novum erected a lighting rig with more than 200 intelligent lights, using a dual power supply. “This way, only half the rig will go out if there is a power-outage.” Joshua commented. 

This rig also increased the level of lighting effects, such as, more moving heads for the light show and allowing the apparatuses to be lit individually, instead of having a complete wash across the arena.

“Another thing we had to consider was glare.” Joshua commented. “With gymnasts swinging from the bars, we needed to think about the health and safety aspect of our lighting.”

Joshua related the challenges he also encountered when working on the audio aspect: “We couldn’t have the PA blocking the audience sight-line to the gymnasts, stage or screens so we had to put it behind the band. We then put in special measures to ensure there was no feedback.”

Novum’s team worked its magic over the Wednesday and Thursday before the event so that everything would be up and running for rehearsals on the Friday. A trusted team of five remained to see out the full show on the Saturday, before the full team of 22 returned to derig. 

Ben Willcox, event technology manager for British Gymnastics, praised Novum AV for their vital role in making the World Cup “as spectacular as can be”.

Take a look behind the scenes at this year’s British Gymnastics World Cup here.

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Molly joined the editorial team in March 2019. She has several years’ experience working in broadcast and journalism, as well as marketing and PR. Past experience includes working for the BBC and independent publishing houses. If you have a story you think Molly might be interested in, please email: molly@eventindustrynews.com