The Client

Bupa Great North Run

The Opportunity

To transform the iconic Sage building in Gateshead into a digital backdrop to celebrate the fact that 2014 would see the Bupa Great North Run’s one millionth finisher cross the line, a world first for an event of this kind.

The Solution

The spectacular opening ceremony featured live performances from Dire Straits legend and local hero Mark Knopfler as well as Sting, the Unthanks and Chase and Status.

The event was a multi-media spectacular, with fireworks, animations, and giant sculptures but, to pull all the elements together, the organisers needed to transform the building’s glass façade into an image receptive screen and Contra Vision® Performance™ provided the solution.

As events on this scale take days to prepare, the unique one-way capabilities of Contra Vision® ensured that, on the run up to the event, the material could be applied to the outside of the building well in advance without compromising the view out or the daylight inside the building.

The installation was particularly challenging as the windows of The Sage are not rectangular, each one differs in size and aspect and planning was also essential due to extremely tight deadlines. AAA Signs Ltd of Gateshead project managed all elements of the application including site-survey, production and delivery of the pre-packed kits for each individual window. Fortunately, Contra Vision® products feature a patented clear adhesive that ensured the material was easy to work with during application, as well as removing quickly and cleanly when the event was over.

On the 4th September 2014, The Gateshead Quayside came to life with spectacular set pieces designed by Jon Bausor, a specially commissioned film and animation by BAFTA award-winning artist Tal Rosner, music composed by Ivor Novello-winning Dan Jones and performed by Northern Sinfonia, and performances by hundreds of volunteer performers choreographed by Nathan Curry; all combining to tell the spectacular story of the North East.