Jeff Lynne's ELO

The golden renaissance of Jeff Lynne and his Electric Light Orchestra continues to move ever forward in popularity and – with assistance from Stageco – sheer physical size, as witnessed by 70,000 ecstatic fans at Wembley Stadium on June 24th. The big talking point of the night was the breathtaking, 16.5-tonne spaceship hovering above the band. At the helm of all things technical, production manager Chris Vaughan, was instrumental in getting Lynne and the ELO brand back in front of audience after a protracted absence. It was presented to him originally with a regular Stageco four-poster festival stage but this was going to be such an iconic moment in Jeff’s career that he wanted to take it a step further. The aim was to be more imaginative but without the expense of having a massive, bespoke stage because this was effectively a one-off. Whilst at the drawing board stage, Vaughan asked technical designer Malcolm Birkett to add the curved back wall from another of his projects, Muse’s 2006 Black Holes & Revelations tour of 2006, and then add the transparent band roof from the 2007 Genesis reunion, both of which originated from Stageco. What we’ve effectively got is a Mark Fisher-designed stage, stolen by Malcolm and Chris, and adapted for ELO by Tim Routledge and Misty Buckley, the creative designers. Created by Total Fabrications, the spaceship was installed by Stageco’s team halfway up a 27.5m high tower that was anchored to a concrete base and formed from a number of different Stageco tower formats, decreasing in width from the 5.6m section of XXL tower at the bottom, and linked by special adaptor brackets. The spaceship doesn’t move or fly although with all the effects, it does give the impression that it’ll take off at any moment! Behind the spaceship was the rear, curved wall of eight towers providing support for the main upstage video displays as well as lighting. The towers were connected by a mix of straight and swivel truss sections, and topped by shaved beams that enabled cable to pass through via a pulley and hoist system. Stageco built a video screen portal at each side of the 53.5m wide stage using 750 tower material, the front of house riser and numerous additional platforms.