Balloon Drops on a large scale.

BIG drops for a BIG venue

So what is the average size balloon drop, is it 100 balloons, 250, 500 or 1000. Well on Friday 20th and Sunday 22nd December I have been contracted to install 2 balloon drops. One at the LG Arena ,NEC, Birmingham and the other at the NIA , Birmingham Central. Yeah Yeah big deal I hear you say!

The stock for these drops has been ordered and looks something like this. 6 Large Pro-nets, 2 rolls of N10 kite line, 6 rolls of 150lb Dacron line, 3000 x 16″ balloons and 400 x 36″ balloons. (GULP!)

The enquiry came in on Monday 16th December with a request for a 1000 balloon drop but they wanted 36″ balloons (Some client have BIG ideas), so rather than commit myself to something that big I did a bit of research, checked out the stock availability and it was a good job I did because I could only get my hands on 400 of the 3ft balloon in the clients colours so a plan was etched and I offered the client giant tubed filled with a mixture of 36″ and 16″ latex. I gave them a price, they like it and the idea was sold.

Now at this stage I had no idea who the end client was but it had the be someone big as the LG and the NIA are big venues and a site survey was required….

Thursday 19th December

The client had arranged to meet me at the LG, 12 Noon prompt

View from stage area

View looking at stage with gantry above. 20 metre from floor to gantry level

Friday 20th December

Now with less that 11 hours to go the job went live at 9am on the 20th December

Net filled and ready to go
Once filled with 36″ and 16″ latex balloon the net measures 15 meters long x 6 meters high

Prior to rigging we had a lighting and sound check.

Check 1
Check 2
Check 3

I was issued with 2 back stage passed so I took my daughter Harriet (Harribo)

Harribo. A complete Rock Chick at 15
Back Stage prior to show time
Our view from the gantry above the arena. Harribo loved it. She also filmed the drop for me and the crowd went wild

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Once the gig was over the net was removed. A message was received from the show manager that at representative from Quantum FXs (that’s my client) could kindly report to the show manager office, so off he trotted and returned sometime later with a message fro me…..Sharon Osbourne (thats Ozzy’s wife just incase you were wondering) was so delighted with the drop that she has requested 3 for the gig on Sunday at the NIA in the centre of Birmingham. Not a problem I said, hugged my daughter and did a happy dance. I looked at my daughter and said ” do you want to go again” and the look on her face said it all. ( Got a funny feeling I may be the best dad in the world at the moment)

Saturday 21st December

Arrived in the office and sorted out stock for the next gig which was the very next day then did some phone calls to book in crew. No one was available so panic started to set in as I need 3 crew at a minimum. I had already asked Mark Drury from Pioneer to help so just needed a few more bodies. I put an SOS on Face Book with the following message…..SOS…..2 professional balloon crew required for tomorrow morning at the N.I.A. in Birmingham. 9am to 5pm. Good rates of pay and tickets to the gig if you want. Must be reliable. Message me if you can help. Matt

With in 10 minutes I has a message from Mike and Julie of  Hugg and Puffs in Basingstoke offering there services, a fee was agreed and a crew had been found.

Sunday 22nd December

We all arrived at the venue for 9am prompt, set up a work station and stared to fill the 3 nets required with 3ft and 16″ balloons, so rather than ramble on I will let the pictures do the talking.

Ready to Rock N Roll. Mike, Julie and Mark. What an awesome team.
The nest fill very quickly using 3ft balloons
Drop 1 done and ready to rig
All 3 drops are completed in 3 hours and ready to be hoisted 30 meters into the ceiling and yes before you all ask we did rig them our selves and yes 30 meters in a long way down
All rigged and ready. Time for lunch

Joanne Power from “Make Me Smile Balloons & Events” also attended the gig but was unable to help due to work commitments but did arrive with a couple of friends and I was able to get her back stage passes.

Ozzy and Sharon by Joanne Power
We all stayed and watched to gig

Great view of the stage from above

 Once again the drops were to be activated on the final song. We had a slight technical issue with mine but in the end all the balloons found there way to the 15000 strong crowd below.

Many thanks to all crew on this job, I could not of done it without you guys and to my client Quantum FXs for trusting me with this mammoth task and if you have not guessed by now the group was the legendary rock band….


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Merry Christmas everyboby