Located in Wembley Park, one of London’s newest and most exciting cultural neighbourhoods, Slideatron, the ultra-high, 20 metre, alternative LED Christmas tree slide, entertained thousands of visitors from November 2017 until January 2018. Designed and produced by event and place-making agency Produce UK, the thrilling attraction allowed visitors to reach another level of festivities by accelerating through the tube in just 18 seconds. Guiding the public to the huge structure was a perfectly aligned set of eight Airstar Crystal lighting balloons. The 160cm wide LED spheres were deployed around the structure in order to light up the area and enhance the spirit of Christmas.
Lana Guascone, project director for Slideatron and producer at Produce UK explained: “Our ambition was to create something impactful, creative and futuristic – but also fun. Every element of the project, including the lighting, needed to fit the evolving nature of Wembley Park as a place of innovation and excitement. We were lucky to have a client that was brave and willing to embrace the opportunity to do something different.”
The Airstar Crystal balloons were suspended on the 300m long Wembley Boulevard, a main walkway just outside London Designer Outlet and the world famous Wembley Stadium. Rigged on two points – dubbed the North and South Pole – using catenaries wire, the lighting balloons were hanging 4.5m above the ground, providing a non-glaring and diffused light for the public. The two-point rigging system was designed to minimise balloon movements in windy conditions, providing a secured anchorage at a time of the year when weather conditions heavily fluctuate.
In order to provide the best light for this event, Airstar UK fitted six Osram 21W LED lights in each balloon, making a total light output of 126W per lighting balloon. Each balloon deployed an IP65-rated fan ensuring a constant spherical shape.
“The integrated fans are usually fitted at the bottom of the lighting balloon, facing upwards”, commented Luke Baudouin, Airstar UK event lighting manager. “After eight days, the area suffered unusual storms with heavy wind and rain, putting a lot of stress on the lighting balloons which had operated flawlessly until then.” Each lighting balloon is fitted with a pressure sensor for maximum security, so it only light up when the sphere is fully inflated. “We decided to flip the balloons around to ensure a perfect seal and they performed flawlessly for another six weeks, despite the raging Storm Eleanor.”
By providing a unique solution that combined efficient lighting with an aesthetic look, Airstar proved again their ability to perform under the harshest conditions. The balloons provided an impactful and original decorative dimension, enhancing the Boulevard experience while naturally driving the public to the Slideatron.Baudouin enthused: “Having our Crystal lighting balloons used outdoors for a month and a half was a first for us in the UK. It was particularly satisfying to see them add some magic to the Christmas festivities at Wembley Park over such a long period.” “Luke and his team were incredibly helpful and always available to answer any questions we had. Airstar has a great range of products for events, and we look forward to continuing our working relationship with them” Guascone concluded.