Large open-plan public spaces in buildings need things to fill them.

They need energetic, engaging, dynamic and interesting content that makes people stop, think and feel something other than “I’m in a large hangar-type edifice and my goal is to reach the door on the other side.”  Even when you have an awe-inspiring piece of architecture and 1.2 million people coming through its doors; sometimes Millennium Point can feel this way.

As part of the developing engagement strategy, we felt that live performances and high impact content would work well and capitalise on the growing trend for activity in non-traditional spaces.  In June last year, following the culmination of months of work, such a piece of activity – working alongside Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG) – took place.

BCMG’s commission and its inaugural Millennium Point performance (later going to London and New York) of ‘Crowd Out’ brought together a range of individuals with varying levels of musical experience and capability (over a 1000 of them in fact!) to sing, yell, talk, shout and whisper their way through the piece.  Composed by Pulitzer Prize winning American Composer David Lang and directed by Simon Halsey, two performances on the afternoon of 8th June were seen by an audience of nearly 700 people.

At the time, it was my team’s responsibility to work with BCMG in order to plan the logistics of the piece and support the marketing campaign locally.

The piece which resonated around the building was later shortlisted for a Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award.

The scale of the piece and how it worked across the building can be seen in the youtube clip below.

AUTHOR: Neil Anderson, Director of Marketing, Communications and Events - Millennium Point
Follow Neil on Twitter: @neilpanderson