Blackout brings Christmas to Covent Garden

Blackout helped turn Covent Garden Market into a Christmas wonderland with the installation of more than 42 giant hanging mistletoe chandeliers.

For the past five years, Blackout has rigged the bauble decorations, which are hung from the glass roofs of the markets of the two main isles within Covent Garden. The decorations, produced and managed by production company Sculptivate, were redesigned for Christmas 2015 and the traditional baubles were replaced with over 40 large stems of mistletoes. There are two sizes of mistletoe; the smaller is 2.5m and weighs 90kg, the larger is 3.5m and weighs 110kg, along with 60kg mirror balls. In addition, the mistletoes are decorated with nearly 700 glowing berries, which transform each sprig of mistletoe into an impressive hanging chandelier.

More than 320 metres of garlands unite the chandeliers and around 100,000 pea lights are suspended within the historic Market Building.

“We’ve been working on Covent Garden since 2010 and we’re always proud to get the chance to be part of such a brilliantly festive event,” said Blackout’s project manager Tom Lambert, who oversaw the team of riggers. “This year’s mistletoe design presented new challenges, in particular because the mistletoe doesn’t have an even shape, it was much more important to ensure they were all hanging correctly and facing in the same direction. This meant that each mistletoe had to be lifted as vertically as possible before being manoeuvred into its position.

The mistletoe was unveiled at The Covent Garden Christmas Light Switch On, where the new arrangement was illuminated for the first time in front of hundreds of visitors. This event also marked the launch of London’s first Mulled Wine Festival, which took place alongside musical performances, illuminations and festive cheer.

This new decoration scheme, ‘Meet Me Under the Mistletoe’, was created by production designer Michael Howells. The Mistletoe can be seen in Covent Garden until January 2016.