From the outset it was clear that this would be no ordinary show. Given the global status of Beyoncé and JAY-Z, the anticipation for the tour was huge, aptly matched by the magnitude of the set.
Designing the look of the tour were Stufish who worked closely with Beyoncé’s creative team and us to produce the end product.
The main thought-process behind the design was to tell a story of the artists, who arrived together before splitting into their separate worlds, represented by two 52m runways. Towards the end of the night, these worlds were brought back together – both figuratively and physically – by a giant automated floating stage, created by Brilliant Stages.
THE BUILD & SHOW
The twin runways each featured two travellators and a one man-mining cart which transported the performers to the end of the thrust without being seen. Attention to detail was not overlooked as each runway had integrated lighting troughs which were a stand-out feature for the eagle-eyed onlookers.
At the end of each runway there were pantograph staircases which allowed the artists easy access to the stage showpiece – the bridge. The giant bridge detached from the main stage, elevated up to 5 metres into the air and tracked over the audience for 50 metres to the end of the thrusts, connecting the thrusts as one. Not only that, it weighed a massive 25,000kg and measured 18m wide x 5m deep, providing plenty of space to carry the artists along with 16 dancers. Every bit of detail had to be considered to ensure the bridge was a fully-functioning, safe and practical, yet a fascinating piece of staging.
Ben Brooks, head of the Brilliant Stages team:
“The bridge was an exceptional piece that had never been done before.”
“Not only the design and manufacture of an enormous piece of engineering proved challenging, but also the way it packaged and travelled had to be considered and respected all the way through the process. It had to be air freight around the world and be in and out of venues in a matter of hours as the schedule was quite tight, so this was the bit that made such a difference on the road.”
Another big challenge for Brilliant was to fully understand the artists vision whilst still meeting the engineering challenges of the show. The team had to allow flexibility for creative change throughout.
Start date: June 6, 2018
End date: October 4, 2018
Legs: 2 (Europe and North America)
No. of shows: 48
Attendance: 2.170 million
Box office: $253.5 million
- The Main Stage (incorporating one scissor lift and three quick lifts)
- Two 52m Long Runways
- The 18m Wide Automated Bridge
- 4 Treadmills
- 2 Hydraulic Pantograph Stairs
- 2 Miner Carts