Kensington Palace hosted its first concert on Tuesday night (28 June), with Coldplay headlining in front of a crowd of 3,000.
The concert was part of a benefit for Sentebale, Prince Harry’s HIV/AIDS charity.
Star Events fitted a 15m x 12m SAM platform – the largest single truck mobile stage in Europe – for the event. They also provided extended wings to accommodate Coldplay’s production, as well as a multi-level VIP viewing area with seats for 500.
“Historic Royal Palaces are open to the public year round, which puts an extra pressure on events like this one,” said Star’s special projects director Roger Barrett. “Time was the biggest hurdle at Kensington Palace, so the SAM stage was the obvious fit. It goes up in about five hours, has the best roof trim and wind resistance of any mobile stage, and comes with 18 tons rigging capacity across the roof and the wings. Perfect for the bells and whistles of a big act like Coldplay. And it meant we were gone before breakfast on Wednesday.”
Other performers included Nico & Vinz, Laura Mvula, George the Poet, Joss Stone and a choir of 12 children, supported through Sentebale’s work, who flew in specially from Lesotho, Africa.
It is the first time a public concert has taken place on Kensington Palace’s East Front lawns, and it was the biggest event held at the palace. The events team there worked closely with Sentebale, Loudsound, The Royal Parks, Royal Household and AEG, and also conducted scientific sound testing to ensure care of the fabric of the building.
Alex Donnelly-Palmer, events and operations manager at Kensington Palace, commented: “This was a fantastic event for us, and a first in the events history of Kensington Palace. Our whole team as well as our suppliers worked incredibly hard to ensure the concert’s success, and protect our Grade I-listed venue. We are delighted with the results, and proud of the fact that guests not only supported Sentebale, but played their part in contributing to the future of Kensington Palace.”