It’s no secret that the global pandemic has had a transformative effect on the live events industry, forever changing the way we meet and communicate. When events began to cancel and postpone in 2020, Pixl Evolution, a leading global technology solutions and services provider, used their expertise to quickly pivot into virtual broadcasting, partnering with John Henry’s Ltd. in Central London to offer a wide array of virtual studio capabilities.
“We eagerly sought this strategic partnership with John Henry’s, an iconic musical landmark with a rich history, to help us bring the virtual studio to life,” says Lee Spencer, Pixl’s Managing Director. Established in 1976 by John Henry, the venue became the birthplace of a uniquely portable stage riser system for touring artists. This first location provided clients with a space as well as equipment to rehearse for performances through 1982.
Since the relocation of John Henry’s to Brewery Road in 1982, the team has developed the 60,000 sq. ft. site into an unrivalled one-stop shop for international touring and recording artists, theatre productions, record companies, television and recording studios, concert promoters, festival/event organisers, and more.
John Henry’s has been the rehearsal spot for the world’s biggest artists, including Paul Simon rehearsing for the Graceland Tour in the ’80s, the Rolling Stones, Harry Styles, Adele, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and many more.
“Having partnered with Pixl, who we consider to be the best people in the AV world, combined with our PRO MI experience, makes for a powerful team,” says Jamie Henry, Manager at John Henry’s. “We have created two new incredible virtual studios with access on-site to audio, backline, ProShop and staging, creating a one-stop shop for virtually any event or gig, for both corporate and entertainment clients.”
Now regarded as one of the UK’s leading specialists in Extended Reality (xR) environments, Pixl remains committed to investing in the latest technologies to take virtual broadcasts to a new level. With xR, green screen and more broadcast capabilities available, Pixl has produced global broadcasts in the John Henry’s virtual studio for many high-profile clients, including TikTok, Elton John, Samsung, EE, ABTA, and Universal Music.
“Along with high quality production, safety and COVID compliance are top priority for us,” says Guy Vellacott, Pixl’s Commercial Director. “We require anyone coming on site to consent to a rapid COVID test and only allow admittance when a negative result is produced.”
Pixl and John Henry’s have received Visit England’s “We’re Good to Go” badge, confirming that they uphold all government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and have a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid in social distancing.
As the industry begins to shape what safe live events look like in a current and post-pandemic world, virtual events, livestreams, and broadcasts are here to stay. While many AV companies are navigating virtual event technology for the first time, the Pixl team calls on more than 200 years of combined experience to emerge as a leader in this growing market.
Pixl is also a proud member of the global network Entertainment Technology Partners (ETP), a parent organization to like-minded companies in our industry that connects and combines valued resources while allowing each brand to retain their individual identity. With ETP, Pixl’s footprint is global and resources are unlimited. Through this partnership, Pixl provides their clients with the personal care of a small company while also enjoying the peace of mind knowing they have the support of a large AV network with decades of experience.