Illuminate logo projected onto uplit exterior wall


Production management and more

JHAV | Tailored Technical Solutions For All Your Event Needs
In 2017 JHAV began working with a team from Real Ideas Organisation (RIO), University of Plymouth, Plymouth College of Art, The Media Workshop and other organisations on bringing to life a festival of light for Plymouth.
The project obtained use of the site at Royal William Yard and the support of Urban Splash (the site owners).
Subsequently over the last 3 years the festival has grown to be one of the largest festivals of light in the South West.
Illuminate is recognised nationally and internationally, and attracts artists and visitors from all over the world. In 2019 and 2020 (currently being planned), Illuminate has also been incorporated into the Mayflower 400 celebrations.
JHAV | Tailored Technical Solutions For All Your Event Needs

JHAV supply a large team to support the event during the festival, but also support the planning, design and evaluation phases. We have extensive experience of working in and around heritage and listed buildings. We’re also used to working in conjunction with government partners like the Highways Agency and the HSE for access permissions and safety aspects of installations.

Site Planning and Evaluation

We start by identifying locations, permissions and designing the visitor journey, carefully crafting the audience experience. JHAV and Illuminate work with a broad mix of professional artists, students and emerging artists, assessing their submissions artistically and financially. We pair successful artist submissions with locations that are best suited to their pieces and the experience they want to create.

Artistic Site Design

One of the key pieces of work for JHAV is the site’s overall lighting design. This involves planning all the site safety lighting and architectural lighting of key buildings and audience areas. We also handle more mundane elements such as lighting for signage and emergency exits. Our technicians work hard to creatively activate spaces such as walk throughs, archways, tree lines and large buildings. This forces the audience to take a new, fresh look at familiar spaces.

Projection Mapping

In a corporate event, your AV projector would be pointed at a flat white screen. Not so at Illuminate – walls, floors, ceilings, staircases and towers are fair game for this project! JHAV work with the Illuminate team to plan all projection mapping elements of the installations. This work includes a full costing of all production elements, any specific artist requirements and the sourcing of technical and site infrastructure to support the artwork.

JHAV | Tailored Technical Solutions For All Your Event Needs


Once on site the JHAV team focus on delivering installations in a safe and efficient manner. We strive to minimise any impact to local residents, businesses and the public. While working in spaces that remain open for admission, as much of our focus is on maintaining a safe and pleasant environment for visitors as it is on delivering our projects.
The scope of our involvement with Illuminate is enormous. We provide and deploy equipment as required by each artwork: full range surround sound and projection systems in a disused assembly bay, data projection onto entire buildings, custom audio processing equipment for educational installations, video portals to link together two different parts of Plymouth, the list is as long as it is varied!
It isn’t all shiny projectors and high art though, Illuminate attracts a footfall measured in the tens of thousands. Managing the safety and flow of that many people is an art form in its own right. From additional barrier and traffic shaping systems through to illumination for custom signage, our attention to detail ensures that no element of the experience is neglected.
When the event is live, we provide the site management, health and safety oversight and dedicated technicians to make sure everything runs smoothly. Our technicians regularly check in with artists to make sure their installation is functioning as designed. Furthermore, we’re always on the lookout for any way we can improve what we supply to the festival.
JHAV | Tailored Technical Solutions For All Your Event Needs


Just as important as the delivery of Illuminate is an evaluation of each year’s show. Were all of the artists happy with their time at the festival? Were the budgets accurate? Did anything unexpected happen, and if so how was it dealt with? These questions are of critical importance to ensure Illuminate continues to grow and maintain its reputation as a week of high quality art and outreach. We account for every penny of budget within our control, whether that’s hundreds of pounds for additional infrastructure for an artwork, or a couple of new batteries for an artist’s remote control!

In addition to budgetary accountability, we liaise post-event with Plymouth’s Safety Advisory Group. We also debrief with national organisations such as the HSE and highways agency. Supplying feedback in both directions means that every visitor to the event has a safe and satisfying experience, while the residents of Plymouth who just want an early night remain undisturbed!

Illuminate Festival of Light 2019 Key Facts

  • More than 40,000 attendees over the 5 show days
  • The main site at Royal William Yard is a multi-use development of shops, residential, commercial and public space, which has the highest density of grade 1 listed buildings in Europe
  • In 2019, additional satellite sites were included at the Barbican and Mount Edgcumbe House – all still supported entirely by the core JHAV team
  • More than 30 specific artist installations were budgeted, designed, installed, operated, and then removed, in addition to all site infrastructure, signage, lighting, and management
  • Over 5 days, a team of 14 technicians installed more than 400 lighting fixtures, 100 loudspeakers, 30 projectors, and more than 7,000 metres of cabling

Create a light festival for Plymouth that will be talked about for years to come - JHAV have exceeded our expectations year upon year.


© JHAV 2023 | Tailored Technical Solutions For All Your Event Needs