New Scientist Live – Case Study


Following the success of New Scientist Live’s launch in 2016 the show returned to ExCel even bigger and packed with more features. OneBigStar was called upon to increase production again this year to include an extra theatre on the show floor and design a super theatre adjacent to the exhibition halls rather than the Platinum suite as in 2016. Content in each theatre was as varied as ever and themed as such, presenters included Tim Peake, Margaret Atwood, Alice Roberts, Chris Packham and Heston Blumenthal amongst many other experts in their field.

Considerate design

Taking on board feedback from exhibitors, visitors and presenters OneBigStar helped design the layout of the show floor to accommodate five busy theatres in an already bustling show without sound issues from or into the show. We conquered this with a considered audio design using multiple point source loudspeakers both flown and ground supported. The look of each theatre remained simple and consistent with 2016, incorporating some 200 panels of OneBigStar’s 3.9mm Absen LED screen, tension fabric graphics and LED lighting solutions.

Main Stage

The Main Stage this year was located in an adjacent hall to the show and was designed to seat 1500 people comfortably, ensuring each could see the stage and hear the content without ambient noise from the show being an issue. OBS designed the PA to give an even coverage using their EV XLE flown line array system from five hangs, all independently controllable. This was coupled with the Netmax system control and Yamaha CL5 console, giving Chris Yeardsley (OBS Audio engineer) full control. The stage set incorporated a full colour tension fabric system, staging, full lighting rig and 3no. LED screens using Chauvet PVP7 for the IMAGs and Chauvet F4 for the centre detail screen.

Live video link with International Space Station

One of our biggest challenges this year was to carry out a live link-up to the International Space Station using the venues Fibre optic connection for video download and analogue phone lines for the audio uplink. The session included an interview with astronaut Paolo Nespoli on the space station by Craig Doyle and Libby Jackson, along with a Q&A session from a group of young competition winners. We displayed local video capture on the LED screens along with sponsor logos, custom content and the live link from the satellite link-up via a BT Outside Broadcast truck parked behind the hall in the lorry way. OBS provided all cabling infrastructure, video mixing, media servers, microphones, IEM systems and telephone hybrid interface. The conversation was also streamed and broadcast live as it happened on BT’s website.