2019 - A Look Back: Part One
With 2019 behind us, we thought it would be the perfect time to look back on our busiest year ever. We'll follow up tomorrow with part 2. We also aim to publish a blog on how 2020 is shaping up - which will be interesting to look back on in 12 months time!
Hopefully this blog gives you an insight into how varied this industry can be - no two days are the same, and as much as the days can be long, we appreciate how lucky we are to be doing the work we do, so thank you to everyone involved!
We kicked off the year with a number of shows for DF Concerts, starting at the O2 Academy, where Architects brought their high energy brand of metal to Glasgow featuring flames, CO2, lasers and pyrotechnics. An amazing production and very touching tribute to Dan Searle onstage. Old touring pal, Paul, was behind the design for this show and he, as always, didn't disappoint.
The month continued with a trip to Edinburgh for Neil & Liam Finn (the former of Crowded House fame) at Queen's Hall. Having grown up listening to a lot of Crowded House, this was a great show to see.
In addition to these shows, we also kicked off our planning meetings for some of the major summer events and hosted the in a series of seminars at the University of West of Scotland.
Next stop was the famous Glasgow Barrowland (keep reading for an even more special event here!) for a show with Enter Shikari. These guys never disappoint and it was a joy to be part of their day. Really great crew and, as always, a brilliant show.
If you've never been to a show in the Barras, add it to your list now. It should be on every gig goers bucket list.
We rounded out the month with Death Cab for Cutie at the O2 Academy, who again were a pleasure to work with!
February is usually a quiet month, but we still managed to squeeze in a few events - including Example signalling his return to action with a show at SWG3, packed full of his biggest hits.
We also covered a special show with 90's act, Hanson. They had curated a special show with the String Theory Orchestra at Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall. The show used their music to take you on a journey, in an almost operatic fashion. A great show to see!
March is always a busy month in the events industry, and we added to our own workload this year by launching our own event - the I Love Clarkston Community Awards. The event was a huge success, selling out well in advance and recognising a lot of people who work so hard in the local community. With such a huge success behind us, the event will now become annual,
with the 2020 Awards taking place on Friday 28 February.
In addition to this event, we also had time to take care of Freya Ridings at the Old Fruitmarket, Foals at the Liquid Rooms, The Stranglers on a short Scottish tour, Mashrou Leila at Oran Mor, The Internet and Noname at SWG3 and Wattsky at the Garage as well as a couple of successful funding events and the second annual 'Lean On Me' walk, to support and spread awareness of mental health issues in young people.
The first third of 2019 came to a close with shows from Hot Chip, These New Puritans, Icarus and Ward Thomas at SWG3, Larkin Poe at Oran Mor (a great show!) and Bexey at the Garage. We also held 2 simultaneous Town Centre Easter egg hunts in Clarkston and Barrhead, both of which attracted hundreds of kids into the local area, searching for brightly coloured eggs which they then took to local businesses to exchange for prizes. A fairly simple event, but a very effective way of boosting footfall into both towns on a normally quiet weekend.
With Disturbed at the O2 Academy, Specialized at the Old Fruitmarket and Dido at the Royal Concert Hall, May was always destined to be more varied than most months! Add in a number of meetings for the Spice Girls show, including a visit to their live production rehearsals and their first show at the Ethiad Stadium in Manchester and there's not much room for anything else - but here at Big Hand Events we will always find a way to squeeze some more in!
Through our work with the All About Barrhead we found out about the 'Oor Wullie BIG Bucket Trail' in support of Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity and knew we had to get involved. All About Barrhead immediately sponsored two of the sculptures which would be placed in the town. In addition to this, the sculptures would also visit the All About Barrhead Awards (on 28 May) and the Rainbow Run in June.
Much like the I Love Clarkston Community Awards we managed in March, the Barrhead event was a celebration of everything positive about the town - and the sold out event was a great showcase of that, recognising those people who make the community so great.
As we mentioned above, we began working with the 'Oor Wullie BIG Bucket Trail' and we installed two sculptures in Barrhead in June. It immediately became apparent that these sculptures were going to very popular in the town, with people taking every opportunity to grab a selfie with them! We were lucky enough to be involved quite a bit in this project, and took the opportunity to shoot a short video when they were launched this month.
June is also when we hosted the Barrhead Rainbow Run, which returned for its THIRD successive sell out year. This year we had secured funding and support from Event Scotland for this event, which really helped us cement this event as a mainstay in the Scottish calendar. Over 2,000 participants tackled the course this year, our biggest ever - check out our highlights video from this event, from our friends, Nick Afchain Films.
You may think that has been enough for one month, but we somehow managed to squeeze in a few gigs too - Kate Nash at Glasgow Art School was a personal highlight! The Mavericks took over the SEC Armadillo for a night, but by far and away, our biggest event this month was the return of the Almighty Spice Girls at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh.
We were tasked with project managing this show from start to finish, which involved months of planning ad meetings with the stadium, Scottish Rugby, the local authority, Police and the artist representatives themselves. It all culminated in a spectacular return for the biggest girl band in history to the Scottish stage. It was a truly phenomenal show and we're very proud to have played a part in it!
July saw things quieten down for the team, but that's not to say we weren't kept busy. We started the month with a whistle-stop tour of smaller stadiums across Scotland in preparation for some events in summer of 2020 and then being called in to assist with the Gate management at TRNSMT festival.
In addition to the above, we also finalised our festive lighting campaigns in both Clarkston in Barrhead, securing almost £50,000 in funding to improve both towns schemes over the Christmas period.