What: Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium opening ceremony
Where: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
When: 3 April
Agency: Gary Beestone
Client and reporting: Tottenham Hotspur directly, Tony Stephens head of PR – with the project being overseen by Donna Cullen, executive director
CLIENT AND REPORTING
Tottenham Hotspur directly, Tony Stephens Head of PR – with the project being overseen by Donna Cullen, Executive Director.
We first met with the client in August 2018, after a recommendation by our good friend and long term industry collaborator Sara Donaldson.
To deliver an impactful opening ceremony with the fans at it’s heart and to create a pre-show energy and opening that excited and energised the crowd and celebrated the amazing journey to the club’s new home
On the 3 April 2019, Gary Beestone Events & Theatre produced and delivered the Opening of Tottenham Hotspur’s stunning new 62,062 capacity stadium – a fitting ‘Welcome Home’ to Spurs ever loyal fans. Twenty two months after the farewell celebration at the original White Hart Lane site, fans, supporters and the local community came together ,to celebrate this prestigious moment in the club’s history.
The ceremony was all about the local community. Gladesmore Community School Choir, conducted by Ty Lowe, were joined by 2018 X Factor contestant and Tottenham local, Lanya Matthews, in a stirring rendition of Everybody Dreams. This song was written by pupils of Gladesmore, as an anthem of pride and hope for the community after the town’s riots of 2011.
Following an emotional players entrance, Wynne Evans saw a triumphant return to the pitch, dueting with Lanya on the club’s rousing anthem Glory Glory, culminating in a spectacular rooftop pyro display.
All performances were supported by the Tottenham Hotspur marching band, conducted by the Grammy award winning musical director, Steve Sidwell.
The ceremony was taken live by Sky Sports and NBC and streamed live via Spurs TV on social media.
Without question the short notice of the final green light and also working with a completely new building with untested (in a live show environment) technical infrastructure to deliver a very short unforgiving ceremony that had to be “faultless!”
The stadium has just come out of it’s second test event (two days prior) so there were many challenges around venue access, accreditation and site operations. We also had tight restrictions around pitch watering and preparations and shutting down the bowl to ensure the content of the ceremony was kept confidential until show night.
We also only had a limited amount of time on the pitch due to players warm up time and strict pre Kick-off protocols as stated by the Premier League.
We worked really closely with the team at Spurs to support them as they transitioned into a live venue and also to ensure that we were integrated across all the stadium departments.
We had a fantastic team onsite. Our brilliant showcaller Claire and stage managers worked with us to ensure a seamless ceremony; even though we had huge problems with comms. The mobile repeaters placed inside the venue for fans to use caused havoc with our wireless system, so we ran the show from one set of hard wired comms and with the experience of our team on the ground.
We had a fantastic team of suppliers who worked closely with us to deliver the ceremony. Stadium FX deigned and delivered the lighting, Event FX on pyro, Brit Row on sound, Sygma on Health and Safety and Orange Jackets on stage management. Steve Sidwell was our musical director and led on the arrangements, studio recordings and musician recruitment.
WHAT STOOD OUT
What it meant to the fans. We were incredibly proud to work on this event and through every meeting we had, the club always kept the focus on the fans and the players coming home. We had an overwhelming response to the fact that we kept the content focussed by the local community.
Pyro stats: 54 positions, 811 products and we launched 811 pyrotechnics at a rate of 125 bursts per second, creating some of the hero shots of the night!
Stage managers: 5
Number in choir: 47
Guard of Honour: 20 (Youth academy)
Number of musicians in the marching band: 30
Days to show after green light of final date: 14 days
And a shower of April snow, 20 minutes before the ceremony!