Absen Polaris takes centre stage at NWG Innovation Festival

Absen’s versatile, high-performance Polaris series of rental LED displays supplied visual flair for the recent NWG Innovation Festival, which returned to Newcastle Racecourse (UK) earlier this month after a two-year hiatus.

Organised by Northumbrian Water Group (NWG), the 2022 NWG Innovation Festival featured live music, comedy, tech demos and wellbeing events, as well as design sprints, hacks, workshops and activities aimed at solving difficult problems around topics such as climate change, cyber-security and water scarcity. The theme for this year’s festival, which took place from 12 to 15 July, was ‘Untapped Potential’ and focused on bringing together untapped talent from different sectors, backgrounds and locations.

For NWG Innovation Festival 2022, Sam Gordon, director of Big Purple Group (Big Purple Productions/Big Purple Events), specified the Polaris LED panels in two configurations: two PL4.8 displays were used on either side of the (indoor) main stage, while one PL3.9 was deployed outside and displayed rolling social-media coverage of the event.

Like the rest of the Polaris range, the PL4.8 and PL3.9, which were configured as 4 × 2m screens, offer high contrast, brightness and colour uniformity, supported by technologies such as HDR10 and UltraBlack, while the PL series’ integrated curve connection block system allows for high levels of alignment accuracy in both flat and curved (from -7.5° convex to +10° convex) configurations. With a panel weight of just 14kg – 10% lighter than conventional rental displays – and an automatic vertical locking system, Polaris screens can also be installed by a single person, and the rear maintenance module allows for quick and easy servicing.

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Big Purple Productions (BPP) has a long-standing relationship with Absen’s UK distributor, PSCo, and has used Absen’s LED products since it first started working together with PSCo in 2014, explains Gordon.


When PSCo started working with Absen, BPP visited PSCo for demonstrations of the product. I have also flown out to China to look at other LED brands. BPP have worked with Absen since the start and have continued to build our portfolio of LED with Absen products. We believe that it is the best on the market for our usage scenarios, he says.


The ease of use of the Absen products was appreciated by the busy Big Purple team – whose wide-ranging brief also included supplying tepees, creating an on-site beach and providing 30 digital hand sanitisers, 1,000 silent headsets and 3,000m of bunting – and the end user, with Northumbrian Water's head of innovation, Angela MacOscar, praising BPP for its success in creating “an environment where innovation can thrive”.


NWG Innovation Festival 2022 was attended by more than 2,000 people, including members of parliament, senior environmental and utility industry professionals, and international delegates from Australia, Belgium, South Africa, Spain, Nigeria, Poland and more.


Reflecting on a successful return for the event, Gordon adds that Big Purple plans to boost its Absen inventory following the displays’ strong showing in Newcastle. “We will be investing in more Absen LED to support the growing demand for LED for live events”, he concludes.

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