All posts by Matt Woodman

REM Wins Liverpool Music Contracts


Richmond Event Management (REM) has been appointed to supply event and production management services to Culture Liverpool following announcement of the city’s elevation to  Unesco City of Music status. 

 Culture Liverpool is set to announce a series of events throughout 2016 to mark the globally recognised honour, with REM entrusted to deliver the live events programme. REM managing director Mike Richmond commented:

“We are delighted to be extending our long and successful relationship with Culture Liverpool and be a part of the incredible music scene that continues to permeate this fantastic city. This was a very competitive tender process spanning skills from creativity to production logistics to health and safety. It is also recognises the depth of experience we have gained on events such as Liverpool International Music Festival, 3 Queens and T175”

Liverpool has been declared a City of Music by UNESCO and joins a select number of cities across the globe who foster international relations through cultural programmes.  The city was previously awarded ‘World Heritage Site’ status in 2004.

The City of Music status has been awarded in recognition of  music’s place at the heart of Liverpool’s contemporary culture, education and the economy; from the live music scene to tourism, music management courses and digital businesses. It was also given to the city based on its commitment to having a clearly defined music, education and skills strategy for young people so that Liverpool can continue to produce world class talent.


Green REM transform Colston Hall

REM transformed Bristol’s Colston Hall for the European Green Capital Closing Ceremony, as the city gathered to reflect on its momentous year.

Richmond Event Management (REM) has worked with Bristol 2015 Ltd from the very start, having delivered successive launch events, at the Victoria Rooms followed by Cirque Bijou’s ‘Bridging the Gap’ tightrope stunt at CREATE centre.

As the city prepared to hand over its title to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, REM was contracted to help celebrate the legacy of European Green Capital 2015 and hear exciting plans for the year ahead. For the Ceremony, REM contracted a range of local suppliers, including Utopium and Evans Audio Visual Staging, to help transform the iconic grade 2 listed building.

As well as overseeing the transformation, REM was also tasked with stage management and production of the event. Around 70 participants were walked on and off stage by REM’s Mike Richmond to ensure smooth running of the show. A bespoke 45ft x 14ft screen was purpose built for the event, with projection utilising low level output and consumption fitting in with the Green Capital ethos. Only two vehicles were used to transport the set and equipment and suppliers and crew worked within five miles of the venue. This ensured transport could be shared and many of the crew cycled to and from the venue. Equipment was reformed and reused from the opening ceremony to minimise waste and avoid filling skips with set and scenic debris.

The Closing Ceremony included presentations and exhibitions from Bristol Mayor George Ferguson, local community groups and Bristol 2015 ambassadors, as well as a procession from local children with featured the illuminated umbrellas first seen in the launch ceremony. To link the Opening and Closing Ceremonies together, guests were greeted in the atrium by the sight of Karine Maufffrey’s unique dress which had been rigged and illuminated by Utopium. The dress was worn during the Cirque Bijou ‘Bridging the Gap’ tightrope performance in January 2015. Utopium also provided lighting within the main auditorium, atrium and first floor bar, to ensure a spectacular visual display.

Evans Audio Visual supplied the PA facilities and projection which offered the audience the best possible AV experience

REM managing director Mike Richmond said: “We’re proud to have been involved with European Green Capital from the start, as being a Bristol based company this is something close to our hearts. REM has a strong ethos of sustainability and we have made huge commitments over the years towards sustainable event management systems, which has resulted in being awarded ISO 20121 accreditation.

“Colston Hall is an extremely busy local venue which meant we had just one day to load in and four hours to load out. We worked closely with other local suppliers to transform this iconic local venue, carefully managing the carbon budget, in line with the philosophy of this great year.”

Happy New Year!

There was a time when the REM winter schedule was quieter than the summer. Admittedly, it’s still not quite as hectic but this Christmas season has been the busiest on record for REM.

The team have been involved in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s Victorian Festival of Christmas for so many years that some people think they can actually remember when Charles Dickens really was a visitor. Festival visitors were magically transported ( by lots of hard work and creativity) into a bygone era of Dickensian-style snowy streets with seasonal carols, traditional Victorian Father Christmas, the ever raucous Fagin’s Tavern, local produce, catering and a larger than ever Christmas gift market.

Carrying on the theme of historic elegance, Bath Christmas Market continued to be one of the top – it’s certainly one of the busiest markets in the country. There is never really a quiet day for our site managers with over 170 chalets to maintain and a city centre site to keep running. The entire population of the Welsh valleys seems to shop at the market so there is always a lively atmosphere.

The two new additions to the REM Christmas calendar prove that if you want a really atmospheric market, you really need a beautiful historic setting. Salisbury Christmas Market was built and managed in the 18th century Guildhall Square, right in the heart of the medieval, cathedral city. With the backdrop of the historic Guildhall and surrounded by dozens of other wonderful buildings this is a truly beautiful setting for the market and with over 100 chalets, a great shopping destination. We also produced a rather wonderful Christmas Lights Switch On ceremony involving lighting effects and pyro.

If we were playing Top Trumps then St Albans would have a very strong hand. The pretty 11th century Cathedral sits right at the centre of a triangle of St Albans ‘oldest’ treasures: the only working Medieval Clock Tower; the oldest Public School in the country; and, for visitors to the market who fancy a pint of real ale, the oldest pub in the UK, The Fighting Cocks.

The Holbourne Museum Lantern Procession has, over many years, grown from a small scale family celebration into a magical spectacle involving the whole community. The theme this year was The Enchanted Forest taking its inspiration from the museum’s displays, in particular the autumn show Gold: An Exhibition from the Royal Collection, and also the work of Japanese paper cut artist Nahoko Kojima. During the procession, birds, beasts, trees and mythical creatures travelled from the Holburne through the streets of Bath to Parade Gardens.

A huge thank you to all the clients, agencies, contractors, exhibitors and traders that we worked with in 2015. Let’s do it all again in 2016!


Ship shape and Bristol festival fashion

It’s hard to believe that 45 years ago, someone had the bright idea of filling in Bristol docks to build a city centre by pass. The port’s salty sea dogs organised a regatta to exercise their navigational rights and possibly the city’s worst idea was quashed.

In the ensuing years , the regatta has transformed into a full blown harbour festival which attracts over 250,000 people who enjoy 6 music stages , a dance village , an area entitled the state of happiness, four markets , a steam railway, visiting ships and boats as well as a host of festival surprises.

This year , Friday and Saturday evening finished with a projection mapping show on the Harbourside’s amphitheatre building which was designed to highlight Bristol’s year as European Green Capital as well as the richness of city life.

The real star of the show is the harbour itself, offering a 2 mile perimeter site with 250 visiting ships and boats. All set around a unique and very beautiful city centre event site.

Never without its challenges but most definitely worth the effort. 

Transatlantic 175 and high viz models

Not only did the REM team play a big part in the production and management of Liverpool’s T175 celebrations, they also had a walk on part in The Very Big Catwalk extravaganza. This was a successful Guinness World record attempt for the most models on a catwalk.

The record-breaking spectacle formed part of the city’s Transatlantic 175 celebrations to mark the 175th anniversary of the first transatlantic crossing. REM formed the high viz section and were an eye catching contribution to the total of  3,651 people who sashayed, strutted and preened  their way down the 40 metre-long catwalk, located at the city’s Pier Head..

Creative director for the two-day event, Wayne Hemingway, said: “Liverpool is pretty adept at taking its place on the world stage, so the fact we’ve smashed this Guinness World Record attempt comes as no surprise.

The successful Guinness World Records attempt formed just one part of the first day of the two-day Transatlantic 175 event, organised by Liverpool City Council and curated by iconic British designer Wayne Hemingway.

Other highlights included ‘Vintage on the Dock’.  A bespoke version of Wayne Hemingway’s highly acclaimed Vintage Festival, the Eat the Atlantic Food Festival, which tickled taste buds with its array of food demonstrations, street theatre, hands-on food art workshops, live music, children’s ‘fishy tales’ storytelling sessions and, of course, an abundance of delicious food. Saturday evening saw iconic Merseyside-born DJ Greg Wilson hit the decks and take a huge crowd at the Pier Head on a musical journey celebrating Liverpool’s history as an entry point for American music in the UK –

The day was topped off by the departure of the Queen Mary 2 cruise liner from the city, which set sail towards the bright lights of New York City in a recreation of the 1840s maiden voyage that originally sailed to Boston. This finale included a massive firework and light display as the city waved farewell in style to the majestic cruise liner.

The Transatlantic 175 weekend marked the end of a seven-week programme of spectacular events in Liverpool, all under the banner of ‘One Magnificent City. The celebrations were to honour the city’s internationally renowned maritime history and transatlantic links, and mark Cunard’s 175th anniversary.

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