Another j2 event experience

UQ Dusk Spectacle

(Finale of The University of Queensland Centenary Celebration Day)

Portfolio Classification Events of significance
Location St Lucia Campus, The University of Queensland, Brisbane
Year 2010
Client The University of Queensland
Quick Facts


Finale event to the Centenary Celebration Day –
18 April 2010

45 minute multi-media 'spectacle'

Featured "deepblue orchestra"

Lighting on the iconic Forgan Smith Building choreographed into the performance

1,500 spectators watched the Dusk Spectacle


UQ was established in 1909 as the "Peoples' University" and founded officially on 16 April 1910 when the Queensland Government Gazette published a notice listing the 20 members of the first UQ Senate. Centenary Celebration Day on 18 April 2010 marked 100 years of achievements by students, graduates and staff. Geared to entertain and inform, the program was anchored to UQ's past, present and prospective contributions to scholarship, innovation, sport, culture and all aspects of society.

Free events were made available for a mix of students, staff, alumni and interested members of the community – including visitors who have never been to a UQ campus. The program was therefore designed for new-comers as well as the many thousands of people who are part of the University's lifeblood.

j2 was engaged to deliver the specific brief of a finale event for the Centenary Celebration Day – an event that was befitting the milestone and one which would complement the full day of Centenary Celebrations.

J2 Services and Solutions

Creative direction

Event management

Liaison with multiple stakeholders including the Centenary Celebration Day Event Manager, Production Manager and UQ Centenary Secretariat

Programming and scheduling

Entertainment selection, negotiation and management

Lighting and audiovisual design and management of contractors

Temporary infrastructure coordination and management of contractors

Production, stage management and oversight of event from bump in through bump out

Budget management and cost control

Risk mitigation and management


Level of Complexity

Budget constraints impacted on concept options, making designing a challenge to achieve a 'spectacle'. However, j2 took an approach that let the scale of the lighting on the Forgan Smith Building build the desired effect. The constrained budget also dictated that there would be only limited rehearsal and lighting programming time just the night before, to bring all components together.

Use of a Heritage-listed building (in the Forgan Smith Building) created complexities. There was a lack of adequate power supply and nothing could be attached to the building itself. This meant j2 had to bring in multiple generators to power the lighting and projection, which would span the building's exterior.

On the day, j2 had to consider the "Dusk Spectacle" team's impact on the UQ Centenary Celebrations Day live event delivery. When in final preparations, j2 had to schedule sound-checks and other essential testing around the Centenary Celebration Day program. The timing of the last daytime event also had implications for the Dusk Spectacle. If that aspect ran over time then j2 would need to delay the start of the Dusk Spectacle. Fortunately, all went to plan and the concert crowd moved smoothly from other event precincts to the Dusk Spectacle site.

Coordinating the finale to the Centenary Celebrations Day involved liaison with an extensive range of stakeholders including Centenary Celebrations Committee, UQ Centenary Secretariat, Office of Marketing and Communications Project Officer (Centenary Communications), organisational units across the university (impacted by the Dusk Spectacle) and an externally appointed event manager who oversaw the entire Centenary Celebrations Day project.

Key Achievements

The 45-minute event, concepted by j2 ideas & events, featured a performance by the renowned "deepblue orchestra", a 16 piece orchestral experience that combines electronic musicians with a fully mobile string section. Set against the magnificent illuminated sandstone façade of the iconic Forgan Smith Building, the performance was an unforgettable multi-media experience rich in lighting and projection elements. Throughout the event, the building was choreographed to change colour, reflecting the changing mood of the performance and providing dramatic accents and a sense of 'spectacle'.

Bang for buck! j2 ideas & events delivered a glorious vision and sound experience for spectators of all ages, within the constrained budget. The production was appropriate and respectful of the occasion, helping to achieve the vision of the The University of Queensland's Centenary Celebrations Committee.

Stakeholder Feedback

"Congratulations on the Dusk Spectacle – I really enjoyed it. deepblue were excellent… All FAB feedback here from entire event – well done. Thanks again for the easeful working relationship."

Verity Woodford – Event Manager, Centenary Celebration Day, UQ Centenary Secretariat