Now in its 26th year, The Mercury Prize is awarded to the best British or Irish Album of the Year. From the hundreds of applications the judges choose a shortlist of 12 Albums each of whom are invited to perform at the awards ceremony, held at the iconic Eventim Apollo London.
The event, hosted by Lauren Laverne, is broadcast live across both BBC television and radio.
LRI has been involved with The Mercury Prize since it began in 1992 and this year we had the exciting challenge of raising the bar once more!
The biggest challenge in producing The Hyundai Mercury Prize is staging up to 12 acts on one stage. Using the venue’s flat floor system to allow two tiers of table guests meant that we needed to build our own stage. We did this and then put a recessed revolve into the stage which gave us two performance areas. We then added two more areas by extending the stage with two round sections on the left and right. These were used as the presenter’s area and a third performance area. This format enabled us to seamlessly bring artists on and off stage to ensure the audience in the room saw a faultless show.
As a theme this year we focussed on the twelve album covers. We flew twelve square LED screens above the stage and for each artist we first displayed their album artwork on them and then used the screens as a canvas for graphics created specifically for the track being performed. This was supplemented with dynamic lighting all programmed to work together to deliver a spectacular showcase for each artist.
This year’s twelve artists were – J Hus, Glass Animals, Blossoms, Stormzy, Dinosaur, Sampha, The Big Moon, The XX, Alt-J, Lyle Carner, Kate Tempest and Ed Sheeran… with the eventual winner being Sampha!
The audience was an eclectic mix of music business executives and artists plus over 1000 public guests – it was one heck of a celebration!
The culture secretary Karen Bradley said the Mercury prize reinforced the UK’s claim “to be the most exciting place for music in the world”.
Guardian Online 14 September 2017.