Etihad Arena provides URE with its biggest rigging challenge to date...The 2023 IIFA Awards!

18th July 2023

As house riggers at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, Unusual Rigging & Engineering is used to handling the requirements of the array of different events that are hosted there. However The International Indian Film Academy?Awards 2023 presented URE with its biggest project at the venue to date.

URE’s Richard Hoare explained: “IIFA is a massive event – the Bollywood equivalent to the Oscars – held annually, it celebrates the best talent the Indian film industry has to offer. This year we were asked to supply our venue rigging services for the event. This involved more than 316 points to suspend more than 105 tonne of production equipment. This 100+ more points that we rigged for the 2022 event and three times the amount we’d expect to put in for a normal show.”

One of the big challenges this year was time. The venue was booked back to back with events, allowing for a limited build time for production. URE was engaged to come up with a solution to reduce the load-in for production rigging.

Richard continued: “With the support of the venue, a pre-rig window was made available two weeks prior to event, but with two shows in before IIFA this meant the only option was to utilise our  stock of rigging equipment for the house rigging as the venue equipment would be tied up with the other events.” 

Pre-rigging a show of this magnitude for a one-night-only event, two-weeks before the load- in, came with it’s own  set of challenges. “On this occasion we had just completed the 300+ point top steel installation, when there was a last-minute design change by the client which required us to re-rig 115 points to new locations,” explained Richard.

With only one more dark day available before the venue was occupied URE’s project co-ordinators and design team sprang into action, working late into that night, securing and arranging a new team of riggers for the next day and also creating all the required drawings, marks outs and calculations checks in preparation for the team’s 6am start.

Richard concluded: “After the last-minute changes were completed, the installation two weeks later went smoothly with the URE team bringing in a small team of riggers to pull the chains and be on standby by for any final tweaks required. The event was a huge success, the client was happy – all in all – a very satisfactory outcome.”

Click for larger view