ADI delivered multiple award-winning festival sites for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, working with a number of stakeholders and partners to design the live event experience from the ground up and turn the city into a multi-cultural hub of activity.
We had the pleasure of working with the organising committee at the brief stage, which enabled us to translate their initial ideas and brand values into vibrant, diverse entertainment and celebration.
Read the case study below to understand how our multi-disciplinary team managed to turn sketches on a piece of paper into an award-winning event.
Outdoor Digital Productions (ODP), a collaborative enterprise between ADI, JA Productions and Outdoor Places Unusual Spaces (OPUS) were selected by the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) to to design, build and manage 9 official Festival Sites across the city centre and surrounding West Midlands region.
Through this collaboration, the client would have access to a wealth of expertise in live production, innovative event technology and cultural programming to deliver the interactive live event experience they were striving for.
With a brief to create ‘Birmingham’s Front Room to the Games’, ODP would need to transform two of the most popular city-centre and civic spaces, Victoria Square and Smithfield, into accessible hubs for cultural placemaking, spectator entertainment and collective celebration – with the overarching goal being to showcase Birmingham’s creative talent and culture to the rest of the world.
What we delivered
Across Victoria Square and Smithfield, we were able to show that sport, culture and digital can successfully go hand in hand, delivering Festival Sites that were unique and multi-cultural – and brought to life with dazzling staging, vibrant content and inclusive site design.
Accessibility and collective celebration was a fundamental part of the OC’s vision, and therefore the Sites were completely free to attend, and had original programming running day and night throughout the Games.
What enabled this was ODP’s deep engagement with local artists, creatives, performers and community groups, which allowed us to recruit a team of dedicated Birmingham-based female producers to curate programming for the Festival Sites – and successfully incorporate over 1,500 local (86%) and commonwealth artists into a diverse and representative line-up of acts.
In total, we installed over 650sqm of LED, generated over 700 hours of creative content and delivered 324 live performances, culminating in over 1.7million people visiting the Festival Sites during the 11 days of competition.
This inner-city Festival Site was designed to enhance the existing space, with a striking floor mural by Anjuli Mckenna and the creation of the ‘Fountain Stage’ featuring three bold triangular arches. Our branded super-wide LED screen sat adjacent to the stage, with highlights, live feeds of competition action and digital art commissions broadcast side-by-side – made possible by the 32×9 aspect ratio.
Programming was varied and catered for all target audiences; including morning yoga, Perry’s Playtime Disco, short films and live music – and highlights included the Zoe Ball BBC breakfast show and Mr Motivator.
The site also incorporated a large LED gantry that doubled up as a welcome point and finish line for the marathon events.
A relative blank canvas, Smithfield was transformed with the installation of a giant 210m² LED cube and dramatic lighting design to create the ‘Beacon Stage’.
Enhancing the city skyline, this showpiece stage hosted live sport and B2022 messaging, along with a rich cultural programme which was curated alongside 10 local festivals and organisations, including special commissions from ACE Dance & Music and Break Mission & Eric Scutaro.
The site, which nestled inbetween the beach volleyball and basketball arenas, also featured ‘Blossom Together’ – a partnership with the National Trust to incorporate nature and tree-filled relaxation zones, alongside activities like badminton.
ODP’s efforts were rewarded at the Festival Supplier Awards 2023, where they won Best Production/Site Management and Event of the Year at the National Outdoor Events Association Awards 2023. National media outlets BBC and The Guardian also hailed the Festival Sites during and after the event.