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What we’ve done in Foam and Snow

Snow, Aviva Stadium, Dec 2013

On 14th of December 2013 we were in The Aviva Stadium making it snow for the Leinster V Northampton rugby match in the Heineken Cup.

We got a call from Lucy in SULU Events in late November wondering about snow for this match in the Aviva. Pre-Cuckoo Mark had actually helped SULU out on some Christmas activity in the Aviva for Leinster Rugby a few years back.

When Lucy wanted snow, she went to Google, immediately found the Cuckoo site, checked out who was involved and recognised Mark. It's a small world, the events world. 

We talked through options with Lucy and we did an initial site visit. We looked at various options on how we could make this work for them and we decided on the best plan. 

We then went back the following week to do a full test, bringing in one of the snow cannons and making it snow so that the powers that be in the Aviva, Leinster Rugby etc. could see what they'd be getting. Everything went well and it was all booked in for the match. 

On the day of the game we were on site in the stadium at lunchtime and had everything set up in time for the rehearsal at 3.45pm. The rehearsal went well and we were ready to rock. 

Our cue to make it snow was when Santa began his abseil down from the ceiling of the Stadium. We did and it snowed solid for around 4 minutes while Santa descended and then went on a tour in his sled around the pitch before the game. 

We also provided a Tshirt gun and an elf (thanks Marian!) to travel with Santa Claus firing Leinster Rugby beanie hats high into the crowd as early Christmas gifts for some of the lucky spectators. 

It all went really well. The clients were delighted and we settled in to enjoy the game before loading all the gear out after the stadium was clear. 

We have to say, it was great working with SULU on this one. Lucy really knows her stuff and we're looking forward to hopefully working with her again. 

The general gist of it

  • 48,000 spectators
  • 2 trial runs
  • 5 Cuckoo staff
  • 2 snow machines
  • 1 Tshirt gun
  • 1 blonde elf
  • 30 trips in the service lift
  • 1 blue Santa

Why we loved this one

Eh, duh! This was in the Aviva Stadium in front of over 48,000 people for a huge Heineken Cup rugby match. What's NOT to love?

We loved the scale of this. We loved being part of the production of the pre-game entertainment and being an integral part of making so many kids and families happy on the day. 

We also enjoyed getting to watch the game from the Level 5 camera position, which is the best seat in the house. 

Some of the challenges

There was a small bit of heavy lifting on this one once we'd gotten to Level 5. The service lift got us very close but then we'd to get the gear down the steps and into position. That was challenging and we'd to be careful to get it done safely.

We were also very glad we always have safety straps with us on our shows as the wind was strong and swirling so we strapped the gear down, again to ensure the safety of ourselves as well as the spectators. Wind is often a challenge on events and we knew it'd be problematic on this one. We planned for it and we made it work. 

happy client says

“We at Sulu Management are very fussy who we work with and always carefully hand pick the team for the Leinster Christmas Heineken Fixture. 

This year we were delighted to work with Mark and his colleagues in Cuckoo. 

Making it snow within the Aviva stadium is challenging on several fronts and Mark and his team did a great job in delivering this for us, both in terms of operation and understanding and satisfying the Health and Safety limitations we have to work within.  I look forward to working with them again soon!”

Lucy Grant, SULU Events