UK – Cardiff-based events specialist 11th Hour will bring down the curtain on 2017 in some style when it delivers a firework spectacular for the Welsh capital. Commissioned by Sayers Amusements, with whom 11th Hour work closely to deliver Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland, the six minute extravaganza will be a fitting flourish to end a highly successful 11th year for this multi-faceted operation. Winter Wonderland itself is the site of 11th Hour’s flagship ice rink, one of a number that its teams construct and operate during the festive season and which have proved immensely popular amongst the public and businesses alike.
For the 11th Hour team, though, ice and fireworks, whilst a growing sector of the business, are only part of the story. During 2017 demand for the company’s wide-ranging services continued to increase and a recruitment drive was essential to ensure that demand could be met as efficiently as ever. Highly experienced project managers, technical specialists and warehouse staff joined the 11th Hour team and hit the ground running on some very high profile jobs. As well as new team members, significant investment was made in equipment, particularly in adding to 11th Hour’s fleet of generators, enabling an increased number of simultaneous events to be catered for. Attention to environmental concerns was also reflected in the desire to use the most up to date, efficient equipment available.
The Principality Stadium in Cardiff is considered by most to be the finest rugby stadium in the world and 11th Hour is a regular provider at the venue, notably during the Six Nations and Autumn International Series when the company supplies power and distribution for the players tunnel, pitch-side entrance and for the famous leaping flames that signal the beginning of the drama. Outside Wales, in other rugby matters, 11th Hour was on hand to light the trophy presentation to Six Nations winners England at the Aviva stadium in Dublin and later in the year installed an on-pitch lighting spectacular at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh before Scotland hosted New Zealand.
One of the largest and most watched sporting events in the world is the UEFA Champions League Final and in 2017 this football circus came to Cardiff, the game between Real Madrid and Juventus attracting 300,000 extra visitors to the city over the weekend. 11th Hour was heavily involved in providing a range of services including power and lighting to fan zones, hospitality areas, a floating football pitch, various TV broadcasters and the Champions Festival four-day music event. At various locations, including the vicinity of the stadium itself, 11th Hour supplied and installed more than 5km of fencing and barriers. The weekend was a high pressure period set against intensive security but 11th Hour came through with flying colours, in no small part aided by the exceptional relationships that have been forged with partners such as hauliers and suppliers over years of overcoming difficult challenges. The Champions League Final lasted a little over 90 minutes, for 11th Hour it lasted a month but proved an unqualified success, setting down another marker of excellence.
Other sporting firsts for 11th Hour were working on the inaugural international Golf Sixes Tournament at the Centurion Club in St Albans (power and distribution for broadcast media) and the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley (lighting for presentation podium) whilst back in Cardiff a team spent three weeks on the site of the RHS’s Cardiff Flower Show, installing more than 5 miles of cabling for the marquees, stages and catering facilities.
Away from the sporting arena, 11th Hour was present at a number of music festivals during the year, supplying power, distribution, staging, site and production lighting and structures at a variety of locations. From the mountain mud of the Steelhouse Festival (Britain’s highest) to the urban surroundings of Bristol’s Tokyo World dance music event and Cardiff’s own Elrow electronic celebration, 11th Hour teams made sure that everything ran smoothly, sometimes in the face of very testing conditions.
Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend is Wales’s biggest celebration of equality and diversity and 11th Hour provided what was essentially a turnkey solution for the entire event, delivering a host of services following close consultation with the organisers from the outset of the planning stage. The know-how and experience contained within the 11th Hour ranks, coupled with its extensive range of equipment makes ‘whole-event’ solutions a very practical possibility for organisers, placing the responsibility for every aspect of an event in the hands of seasoned experts. Pride’s Big Weekend proved just such an excellent example of a seamless, smooth-running event, enjoyed by thousands.
It is clear from 11th Hour’s progress that the company, a truly home-grown Welsh business, is set to further expand its horizons in the coming year. As well as returning to deliver services to its established clients in its home city, the company will be heavily involved when a number of new and exciting, high profile, large scale events visit Cardiff in 2018. Outside Wales, 11th Hour will continue to build on its impressive record across the sports and entertainment markets, with existing clients demanding more services and new client enquiries promising a packed programme.
Like its New Year’s Eve fireworks 11th Hour will continue on its upward trajectory in 2018 but unlike those short lived flashes across the sky, this Cardiff success story will keep burning brighter and flying higher.