Behind the scenes at the TPi Awards 2024

With the industry gathering to celebrate another successful 12 months of the live touring industry, TPi spotlights those responsible for making this memorable event possible.

A show doesn’t just happen – it requires building blocks that fit together to create something amazing. It was this thought that was bounced around the heads of TPi Commercial Director, Fran Begaj and Marketing and Events Manager, Alice Clarke when speaking to the longstanding production duo – Ryan Esson and Jess Webb of Go-To Live. Fast-forward to February 2024 and the result was one of the most complex stage designs ever seen at the TPi Awards with projection mapping, integrated scenic elements, and striking content on LED screens all wrapped up with a striking lighting design. With brand new host Emmanuel Sonubi holding down MC duties for the evening, some of the biggest names within the live events sector descended on Battersea London – formulating the crucial building blocks that make this industry what it is. 

Along with pushing the production values, the TPi Awards 2024 will go down in history for several other reasons. With more female winners than ever before [see p120] through to the event being the selected destination for the pilot run of the first-ever transatlantic electronic ATA Carnet [p34] and, Roadies in Recovery hosted the event’s first-ever sober table [p124].

“There was so much happening under the surface and in the background to improve overall experience of the TPi Awards,” reflected Begaj.  “From changing the voting process to strengthen the validity of the awards and open the categories up to shine a light on individuals and companies that might not normally get a look in through to working with Roadies in Recovery to make the event more accessible for all the attendees – the feedback of which has been amazing.”


However, before a single guest crossed over the threshold of the venue, a team of hard-working technical and creative suppliers worked for two days to put together the production. This year some returning faces included video suppliers 80six with the support of Epson, INFiLED, PSCo and Disguise. Providing content was Observatory. Meanwhile, lighting was once again overseen by Robe with the support of the in-house Encore team who helped install the lighting systems while also providing venue support services for all those on-site. Meanwhile, scenic was provided by ATOMIC Design. Holding down audio was Sound Of Music with the support of NEXO.

Also on site was Blackout providing draping with Spartan Crew and not forgetting TRUCKINGBY Brian Yeardley for event transport. Lastly, adding some sparkle and fire to proceedings was BPM SFX.

“The production was fantastic,” reflected Begaj. “Coming up with new themes and ways of engaging the audience is a difficult task. We are lucky to have such strong production partners who work seamlessly together to realise our vision. When coming up with these ideas and suggestions for the set and stage design, we try to include all the key stakeholders. It is their products and solutions which we showcase so it must be a collaborative effort.”

Begaj praised the support of the suppliers and wider production team. “It is such a difficult job to put on THE Awards event for the live events industry and our suppliers truly give it their all. Headed up by our Production Manager, Ryan Esson and Event Coordinator, Jess Webb – the mutual respect all of our technical and creative suppliers have for each other and their commitment to the awards is nothing short of incredible.”


The underlying theme this year of the ‘building blocks’ and the icons representing each of the categories and areas of the industry led to some truly eye-catching content, referencing classic videogames like Tetris.

The Observatory team, led by Simon Harris and Ben Sheppee, once again toiled away crafting these looks to be used on the show. “The goal was to develop the branding and stage in a way that contrasted previous ceremonies,” commented Sheppee.

“We identified core elements that make the show feel like an industry event and selected iconic objects to highlight the heart of the Award show. From there we looked at several concepts around ‘puzzle’ systems to illustrate how different parts of the industry fit together to deliver on large shows,” he noted.

“What set this year apart was our involvement from the early stages of the process, participating in the initial creative discussions,” commented Harris. “Working closely with Fran and Alice to establish a distinct narrative, imperative for the most effective result, allowed Observatory to contribute both our creative insights and technical expertise to the project. Fran initially introduced her concept of industry building blocks, which we then collaboratively developed into a visual style applicable not only to the awards show’s visual content but also to the entire campaign, including the website, social media elements, email footers, and more.”

Harris was also keen to share his thoughts on the importance of the Awards in the company’s calendar: “The TPi Awards holds a significant place in our calendar, and this year, more than ever, it resonated with my personal sentiments about the industry. Witnessing an abundance of amazing technology seamlessly orchestrated by talented and hardworking people reaffirmed the enduring ethos of ‘the show must go on’.”

Providing the video hardware to display these looks was 80six. Dan Hamill, Co-founder of 80six, commented on the company’s involvement: “The TPi Awards was a triple celebration for us – marking our fourth year of involvement in the production, our first double awards nomination and our ninth business anniversary. A winning night for us and for the international touring industry!”

80six handled all the video elements of the production, from the LED set-up to cameras, video control and projection mapping. The technology employed included INFiLED ER 3.9 LED panels for all the screens across the venue, Brompton Tessera SX40 LED processing, Disguise VX4+ media servers, and four Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K G2 systems. “We also integrated ten Epson projectors mapped to the set to transform it into a dynamic display,” added Hamill.

“With projection mapping taking centre stage at this year’s TPi Awards, PSCo was pleased to support the show by supplying eight Epson PU2220B 20,000lm 3LCD laser and two PU2010B 3LCD 10,000lm projectors and lenses for the main stage which were double stacked to map on to the extruded surfaces,” added Tom Allott, PSCo Rental Manager. “It was a spectacular use of projection creating a unique canvas for an unforgettable experience.”

The team from Observatory also commented on the introduction of projection mapping to the event: “Bringing mapping to the main stage was an exciting endeavour that naturally unfolded,” mused Harris. “Initially, we didn’t set out with the specific intention of implementing projection mapping; however, it organically emerged as the most suitable solution for enriching the visual narrative of the stage. Sheppee furthered: “Projection mapping sections of the stage allowed us the opportunity to break the super-wide stage down into several parts and bring it to life in a dynamic way. The projection mapping gave the illusion that the stage had more depth, which has previously been filled with giant flat banks of LED.”

Daniel Tomlinson, Project Manager at 80six, added: “Having recently joined the team at 80six and jumping straight into the deep end with the TPi Awards was an interesting and rewarding challenge. The production was complex given the narrow timeframe. We had to synchronise the set build and LED wall installation as much as we could. It was a collective effort with all the 45 suppliers going the extra mile to make it into a success. Our team really pulled out all the stops, a special shoutout goes to Rich Porter who stayed on site until the early hours before the show to align the projectors with the set surfaces.” In addition, AED provided the all-important video screens that displayed the table plan for the event.


ATOMIC Design provided all the scenic elements surrounding the main stage, notably the white cubes, which were utilised by Observatory and 80six for projection mapping. Additionally, ATOMIC contributed to the scenic decor in the auxiliary areas of Evolution London, including illuminated columns at the entrance and suspended decorations over the main bar area with content playback provided by Hive.

Felix Nuyten, Director of Modular Solutions Europe at ATOMIC, expressed satisfaction with the design outcome. “This was a home run from a design point of view for us,” Nuyten commented. “Whatever we built on stage served as the backdrop of our product, utilising different shapes, connectors, and panels in various configurations.”

Set design and custom fabrication are ATOMIC’s specialties, with a focus on modular systems that require no tools for assembly, allowing for efficient packaging and a striking visual impact. ‘Pack small, play big’ is the mantra for their flagship line, SuperLever, which features connectors with rubber levers for easy assembly of square panels into walls.

Additionally, they introduced the lectern, showcased at the TPi Awards – and scheduled for mass release in May – as a rentable solution that folds for convenient transportation. Reflecting on the TPi Awards experience, Nuyten remarked: “It’s been a super positive outcome; we’ve had a lot of good encounters at TPi Awards. It was a wonderful team with partners, suppliers, and professionals at the top of their game.”

He noted the international presence at the event, highlighting encounters with clients from Germany, Dubai, and France. The ATOMIC team present at the event included Rob Barber, Chief Creative Officer (US); Ben Huder, European Account Manager; and Oliver Schulz, Installer. Beyond the US and Germany, ATOMIC is poised for further growth and the UK market is one of its main priorities. The TPi Awards show was an ideal platform to showcase their versatile collection of modular systems scenery. Nuyten says ATOMIC’s creativity is like its branding, “out-of-this world.”


Robe supplied an array of over 200 fixtures for the event, with Nathan Wan – Robe Lead Creative Designer – taking on the role of Lighting Director. Collaborating alongside Associate LD, Andy Webb; Programmer, Jordan Tinniswood, and Robe Exhibitions and Production Manager, Tomas Kohout, the team also included seven NRG (Next Robe Generation) students [p114] from various UK colleges.

At the entrance of Evolution London, nine of Robe’s new iBOLT fixtures showcased versatility as a modern alternative to traditional outdoor searchlights, forming a geometric pattern with eight iBOLTS surrounding a central fixture to infuse colour and texture into the venue’s façade. Control over these fixtures was executed by NRG’s Ben Oakey, utilising an Avolites Tiger Touch II console.

Upon entry, attendees were greeted by the renowned TPi Awards bar, illuminated by LEDBeam 350s and PAINTES. Operated by NRG’s Clara Sousa-Shaheed using an Avolites D9-215 console – the lighting design aimed to set the mood with an edgy yet unobtrusive ambiance, ensuring a conducive environment for socialising. “The key is for lighting to be mood setting and a bit edgy, but not distracting,” Wan remarked.

Webb curated the music in collaboration with TPi Magazine, using stings and sound effects reminiscent of 1980s and ‘90s video games. The visual aesthetic featured video projection onto ATOMIC panels, offering a refreshing departure from LED walls and aligning seamlessly with the retro theme. Precise lighting control was paramount to contain light spillage and enhance the projection experience.

Employing an all-Robe rig, Wan skilfully recreated iconic PAR can and ACL moments alongside contemporary production looks.

Four ‘light trees’ adorned the stage area, each constructed from raked four-metre trusses and rigged with a combination of LEDBeam 350s, TetraXs, and Tetra2s to provide dynamic lighting effects.

Strategically positioned across the set panels were 20 PAINTEs, contributing to aerial effects without cluttering the floor space. Additionally, 30 iFORTE LTXs illuminated the room and added ambiance to the black-tie dinner, with an additional eight fixtures deployed for specials and front coverage.

Audience trusses, adorned with Spiiders and iFORTE LTX FS fixtures, provided depth and visual interest, complemented by MDG theONE units for atmospheric enhancement.

Wan previsualised the lighting using Capture software and programmed on an Avolites D9 console, alongside Webb, facilitating seamless execution on the night, with Assistant LD, Harley Roebuck of NRG, overseeing the main show lighting operations.

Incorporating cutting-edge technology and expert craftsmanship, the lighting design transformed the event space into a captivating and immersive environment, enhancing the overall live experience.


BPM SFX set the event ablaze with eight G Flames set up at the entrance of Evolution London, energising proceedings for those in attendance. SFX Technicians, Phillip Mathew, and James Manning, ensured flawless execution and safety protocols throughout the setup and operation. A further 10 team members from BPM SFX were in attendance as the company scooped the Favourite SFX Company mantle for the fourth time consecutively, and fifth time in total. “We were proud to be onsite at the TPi Awards not only as attendees but as supplier sponsors,” Liam Haswell commented. “To be recognised by our industry peers is a phenomenal achievement, one which we are all very proud of. We look forward to continuing to push the boundaries of special effects and pyrotechnics for live events in 2024!”

The G Flames were set up alongside the parked TRUCKINGBY vehicles alongside the Phoenix Tour bus and Vans for Bands sprinter that transported the TPi team to and from Strawberry Studios in the north of England to Evolution London.


This year, there was a greater focus on the audio offering – mainly thanks the two standout Sennheiser microphones customised by Costume Designer, Perry Meeks, who has worked for the likes of Lady Gaga. These two microphones were part of a trial run on a new Electronic Carnet process overseen by headlining sponsors Rock-It Cargo [p34].

Looking after this precious cargo along with the NEXO PA was Sound of Music. The entire Sound of Music team were return visitors to the TPi Awards having worked on the event in different iterations.

FOH audio was mixed by Toby Chevis. System Technicians on the show were Mike Burwood, Ben Williamson, Joe Turton and Bailey Ward, while RF duties were overseen by Dan Speed. The main audio room audio system was delivered using NEXO GEO-M12 line array, deployed in five strategically positioned hangs. The main left and right comprised of five M1210 and on M1220 with a centre left and right hangs of two M1210 and a M1220.

Delay left and right hangs came in the form of three M1210. Low frequency was reinforced using 12 GEO-MSUB18 in a sub-array formation under the stage. The front-row tables were covered by NEXO eight P8 and four P12 from the P+ Series solutions. All loudspeakers were driven by NEXO NXAMP MK2 digital controllers. Audio was mixed on an Allen & Heath dLive S5000 console at FOH with the DM48 MixRack at the stage end of the multi fed into NXAMPs via a Dante network. “RF was entirely Sennheiser for the show,” commented Sound of Music Owner and Director, Sash Pochibko. “The new EW-DX systems worked extremely well while the rock-solid G4 IEMs handled presenter comms. Presenter audio from the lectern was captured using Audio Technica ES925ML18 microphones.”

The TPi bar area and Robe’s VIP areas had their own discrete audio which were also mixed and processed from the dLive console. “The bar audio reproduction was delivered effortlessly by four P+ Series P12 and four ID24 compact point-source loudspeakers flown above the bar, four GEO-MSUB15 added low frequency reinforcement for the after-party,” stated Pochibko.

P12 point source with L15 subwoofers relayed main room audio and after-show disco onto the mezzanine, while ID24 point source over IDS110 subs covered the VIP areas. Again, all were powered from NEXO proprietary amplification and processing.

Sound of Music also supplied a complete GreenGo digital communications system for the full production team across all departments. “The flexibility of having so many discrete communications channels while also providing access to sub-grouped user channels where necessary, makes fast-paced and high-profile events like the TPi Awards a breeze,” commented Pochibko.

“It was great to work with Ryan in the role of the Production Manager,” reflected Pochibko. “It’s great that he’s too proactive and invested in the Awards and always wanting to make it better each year.”  Pochibko was pleased to make several new introductions to those there on the night. He elaborated: “I had a great evening, an opportunity to meet some new people and made some new contacts including some from more obscure bits of the industry from insurance brokers and those working on apprenticeship schemes.”


With all the awards announced, the nearly 1,800-strong attendees made their way through the main room to the bar to continue the celebrations well into the early morning. “Something I take away from the TPi Awards each year is just how much people love the event. They love getting together and seeing people they may not have seen all year. It’s just such a beautiful representation of what a community the industry is. There is still so much space for growth within the awards and we hope that the changes we make are all for the better but of course, some things work and some need adapting,” closed Begaj.

“My message to the industry is that if you have any feedback on what you would like to see change with the awards, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are completely open to making changes and the event as it is now by no means the final format. As much as the industry changes over the years, the awards will change to reflect that, so we need the feedback – the good and the bad – to make sure the event is what you, as an industry want.”

The industry now has a solid year to recover from this year’s event but rest assured that the TPi Awards will be back again in 2025. Until then, we’ll be gathering this year’s new Academy and inviting the 2024 winners to put forward their picks for the industry’s most loved awards evening.

Words: TPi

Photos: Joe Okpako