Following its 2016 debut, the international light festival made its second appearance in 2018. It was delivered by event producer Artichoke and supported by the Mayor of London and brought more than 50 spectacular light installations to the streets of central London, including Fitzrovia, King’s Cross, Victoria and Mayfair.
Gallowglass’ London event crew began work on January 3, directed by technical director Gary White. Meanwhile, the sister company Gallowglass Health and Safety was also involved in the project, with five safety advisors liaising with the London boroughs of Camden, Westminster and Southwark to ensure continuity of safety across the entire site.
In the run-up to the event, Gallowglass crews worked alongside the artists and architects, with tasks ranging from blacking-out streetlights and windows to maximise the full effect of the display and ensuring that all wires were correctly stored out of the way of the public. Gallowglass crews also secured large electrical items to tall buildings to safeguard against the prevailing high winds.
Christopher Howarth, regional senior crew chief, commented: “We were handling heavy equipment high above the ground in bad weather, which was quite a challenge. We were also driving cherry-pickers and other construction plant equipment to every one of the 44 sites, from Waterloo Place to Kings Cross – navigating the heavy London traffic. But the fact that we had worked on Lumiere London in 2016 gave us some valuable background experience.”
Colin Pickavance, safety advisor at Gallowglass Health and Safety, added: “In spite of some really adverse weather conditions, all the systems were in place to enable a quick response and all previously-agreed contingency plans swung into action. Closing Oxford Circus down at 5pm in the afternoon was some challenge but we managed it.”
Gallowglass crews were on-hand during the four days of the event to trouble-shoot any structural issues and packed away the light displays at the end of the festival. In total, the crews worked 5,033 hours on the Lumiere event.