30 Years of Innovation for Queen

21 June, 2016

We reflect on how CT has over the decades, delivered innovative screen solutions, whatever the demands of the touring stage have been.

Rock band Queen + Adam Lambert are using CT’s super lightweight LED technology on their 2016 Summer Festival Tour, 30 years after Freddie Mercury and the boys used CT screens in 1986. We reflect on how CT has over the decades, delivered innovative screen solutions, whatever the demands of the touring stage have been.

1986 – Breaking convention can be dangerous

Back in 1986 A Kind of Magic Tour was the final ever tour for rock band Queen and lead singer Freddie Mercury. CT was selected to supply and hang a ’first ever’ giant video screen above the stage.

The first major challenge was transferring the huge Star Vision container, weighing 20 tons and measuring 4.6 meters tall (on the trailer) through the sloping 4 meter high players tunnel at the original Wembley Stadium. It wouldn’t fit.

CT innovatively craned the screen box from its trailer and winched it through the tunnel on machinery skates (running on steel plates). However, once positioned on the purpose built cantilever structure, over the downstage edge, an even bigger headache emerged.

The screen couldn’t be unfolded. The stadium roof, extended after the 1966 World Cup and missing in the plans, was in the way. Again CT, working alongside crane suppliers and promoter Harvey Goldsmith, came up with a way of lifting the screen in one piece.

Dave Crump, CEO of CT Europe and the Middle East, commented, “We unfolded the screen at ground level and then lifted the (fundamentally unstable) 20 ton screen, 18 metres above the stage before clamping it firmly to the support structure. We were really pushing the boundaries. We did it and it worked, although I don’t think anybody got any sleep for the three days it took to build the show. The concerts were amazing and must be in the annals of all-time great performances.”

2016 – It’s all about weight, space and time

The present Queen tour has also selected CT’s market leading ultra-lightweight LED for their screen (GLUX Carbon 10). This neatly resolves the need for flexibility and limited weight loading when working across different sized festival stages.

Graham Miller, CT Music and Touring, comments “It’s so lightweight, quick and easy to rig, so there’s minimal weight loading for the festival stages. It doesn’t take much truck space so the tour saves money on the number of trucks compared to other products. You can fit 10 square meters into just one flight case.”

And, it’s not just Queen or screens. CT continue to work with many of the world’s biggest and best musicians and performers. In the past few months CT have built bespoke tour dollies to dramatically cut the rigging time for the large numbers of media servers and the camera system for the Adele world tour. Ariana Grande has also used CT’s cutting edge media servers to generate interactive and reactive content to transform her New York show.

Want to know how ultra-lightweight LED can transform your next live event? You can contact Graham on gmiller@ctlondon.com, or call 01293 582000 and speak to one of our CT account managers to discuss your plans.


“It’s so lightweight, quick and easy to rig, so there’s minimal weight loading for the festival stages. It doesn’t take much truck space so the tour saves money on the number of trucks compared to other products. You can fit 10 square meters into just one flight case.”