ACP produces Oxford Street Christmas lights switch on with Robbie Williams

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New West End Company contracted Andy Cheeseman Productions (ACP) to produce the Marmite Oxford Street Christmas Lights switch on event last night, which saw Robbie Williams switch on the festive lighting in front of thousands of adoring fans and shoppers.

For the first time, the Christmas light switch on was ticketed and allowed 3,500 golden ticket holding fans to get up close and personal with the music star on the same day that he launched his hotly-anticipated new album Take the Crown.

Williams performed on an eight-metre Orbit stage complete with six-metre thrust, which was raised on a 5.5-metre high platform within London’s Oxford Street. The raised stage allowed Williams to be seen by thousands of shoppers, who also enjoyed performances from Lawson, the cast of Scrooge and Leona Lewis.

ACP brought in NoNonsense Group, which delivered the tricky staging solution that was sandwiched between Oxford Street’s House of Fraser and John Lewis stores.

“The street had to remain open to pedestrians,” explained Andy Cheeseman, the event’s production director. “And so we had to build a walkway underneath the stage to allow access, and also build the stage over an ice cream concession as we were not able to move it.”

NoNonsense Group’s director, Steve Richards oversaw the stage build with a crew of 12, and successfully delivered the project, winning the contract as a result of NoNonsense’s extensive knowledge of staging.

ACP had two months to work on the event, which took place almost two weeks earlier than normal. ACP contracted Lightmedia Displays, SFM Security, Utopium South West, Capital Sound, Affinity Crew, Eve, Powerline, Sola Consulting, AD Health and Safety and CW Plant to work on the Oxford Street Christmas lights switch on event that had an estimated 12,500 people watching.

Two screens, hung on either side of the thrust stage, allowed fans to see more of Williams’ performance before he was joined by Heart FM’s Emma Bunton and Jamie Theakston to turn on the lights.

Cheeseman continued: “We did the Christmas light switch on in 2008 and were asked to do it again. It’s a hard gig to do because you have to keep the streets open and there are lots of stakeholders and sponsors.

“We have changed the event to keep it fresh. The stage has moved position this year and we’ve raised it so that more people can view Robbie.

“We had a number of planning meetings when it was announced that Robbie would be switching on the lights and people were concerned about the potential crowds and crowd management but we’re used to big stars, and there have been no issues. The event went really well.”