Client’s objectives: The aim was to create an afternoon and evening indoor event for the Vans shoe brand to engage skate, punk and rock fans at Alexandra Palace.
The campaign: The Vans Warped tour is a regular event in the US but returned to the UK in November after a 14-year absence from our shores. Its London date at Alexandra Palace marked the first time the tour had visited the capital and pulled in 10,000 people to a line up headlined by rock band Lostprophets.
The event was also the site of the UK Vert skateboarding championships, for which a huge ramp was set up in The West Hall. The Vans Vert Ramp was constructed by the Vans team and skateboard specialists overnight before the event. Skating legends Steve Caballero, Christian Hosoi and Alex Perelson flew in to oversee the event and put on a demonstration.
The event took over the entire venue. Build started three days beforehand, creating the total of five music stages and setting up fencing and barriers from Mojo.
Two stages were set up in the Great Hall with differing line ups, and an additional Kevin Says stage was set up in The Palace Suite – usually home to the VIP area for the venue. It hosted a secret gig from Charlie Simpson, a former member of Busted, and Taking Haley, winners of the tour’s long-running Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands competition which takes place in the US. The Panorama Room was converted into a merchandise and signing area.
Client says: "Ally Pally’s versatile space was perfect for Warped Tours multistage festival feel. We were able to utilise every space in the building to bring a mix of music, extreme sports and youth culture. There was a great atmosphere from load in to load out with friendly staff, security, crew and fans. I’m already looking forward to my next show at Alexandra Palace." Mark Walker, Kilimanjaro
Evaluation: The tour’s first London event got plenty of coverage – the UK Vert Championships are a major event on the skating calendar. Digital engagement was driven by tweeting warm-up shots before the event and posting picture galleries on Facebook throughout the night. The Alexandra Palace Facebook page was also used to reveal the secret gig from Charlie Simpson.
Attention was paid to the young audience and potential hazards of a large-scale event: Creative Events provided bar service at the venue and operated an over-18 wristband policy, while police worked with the venue to arrest pickpockets successfully.
Lucy Fenner, head of client sales at Alexandra Palace said: "Our production facilities and expertise enabled us to handle the multi-staging effectively and this was supported by a strong working partnership between us and Kilimanjaro. With our event space they could combine sport and music all under one roof."
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