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What we’ve done in Event Safety

Fuerza Bruta, Limerick, March 2014

Fuerza Bruta was the 3rd show we'd worked on as part of the Limerick City of Culture program of events. Fuerza Bruta is an 'audience interaction aerial show' like nothing else touring the world. With the majority of the performance happening directly above the audience's heads this really is a one of a kind show.

We'd provided the Safety Officer for the NYE event and the Event Controller for the Riverdance shows in UL, both on behalf of City of Culture. When the opportunity came along to be involved in the Fuerza Bruta shows we were very excited. 

Fuerza Bruta has never been to Ireland before and it was a great coup for Limerick City of Culture to be the first one's to bring it to an Irish audience. 

Fuerza Bruta came to Limerick after a run of 100 shows in The Roundhouse in London which followed a previous run of shows in The Roundhouse earlier last year which was the fastest-selling show in the history of the venue. 

The venue in Limerick was the old Dell factory in Castletroy, which was renamed the Culture Factory. There was a huge amount of work done to get the venue ready for the show and the audience. It was months in the making. 

The run of shows in Limerick was actually extended from 13 shows to 15 due to demand. 

From the 1st show the reaction from the audience was phenomenal. Practically everyone struggled to describe what they'd seen, but they were all leaving to recommend it to anyone who would listen.

Within the venue were art installations from local artists which were very popular. There was also a large stage set up which saw performances from Leading Armies and Le Galaxie along the way. 

The whole thing was wicked. It was great being involved in bringing such a great production to Limerick in such a special venue. 

The general gist of it

  • 15 SOLD OUT shows
  • 15,000 attendees
  • 1 huge overhead swimming pool
  • 300,000 sq foot of brand new venue
  • 8 large student sculpture pieces
  • 1 custom designed heating system
  • 23 security staff 
  • 3 medical staff
  • 10 performers
  • 8 portakabins
  • 4 new showers
  • 11 show crew
  • Around 15 local crew
  • Around 20 volunteers
  • 3 large PA systems
  • 1 custom designed fire alarm system

Why we loved this one

Being honest, the main reason we loved this one was down to the challenges it presented. We're event nerds that way. The chance to run a show that's never been seen in Ireland before and to do it in a new venue was an amazing one. 

There's something really enjoyable about a run of shows on which you learn as you go and can make little tweaks and changes show after show to improve the audience experience.

We really enjoyed working on this one. You can probably tell that! 

Some of the challenges

The big challenges on this one were the venue and the nature of the show.

Turning a disused factory into a safe and manageable venue for a show like this was always going to be a challenge. Months and months of work and planning went into getting the venue ready. Everything from power to heating to structural safety to ground works had to be addressed. 

This was a very ambitious project. It would have been much easier for City of Culture and their team to use existing venues but the scale and calibre of the shows they want to bring to Limerick deserved something else. 

The other big challenge was the nature of the show. Anything that's described as an 'audience interaction aerial show' is going to be an interesting event from a management and safety point of view. Generally speaking the events that are an awesome spectacle for the audience are going to be a lot of work for those running it. That was very much the case on Fuerzabruta.

There were a lot of moving parts and they took a lot of coordination. 

We really enjoyed the challenge.