The Asian Indoor and Marshall Arts Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies Ashgabat, Turkmenistan  4th July - 13th October 2017 

In 2017 Showstars were awarded the contract to supply specialist crew services for AIMAG by Balich Worldwide Shows.

The project was to take place in the new Olympic complex in the capital city of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat.

At this point nobody knew much about Turkmenistan and with help from BWS the Showstars logistics team were able to find out as much as they could to prepare the crew that were going there.

There were many physical and cultural factors to be considered when sending a large group to a country such as Turkmenistan. In particular the climate is very hot and the crew were issued with specific kit and PPE to help them cope in the challenging conditions.

At the start of July the first crew flew to Ashgabat and over the next few months they were joined by their colleagues until the total number reached 72.

The crew worked across all departments from stage building and production to stage management and administration of the local crew.

Both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies were a great success and the games certainly helped put Turkmenistan on the map.

As usual, the crew were fantastic and took all the challenges they faced with professionalism and good humour. Our thanks go them, the backup team in London and BWS for all their help. It is an experience we don’t think any of them will ever forget.

The Baku 2015 European  Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies

1st February – 19th July 2015

After the success of Sochi 2014 Five Currents awarded Showstars with the contract to supply crew services for the first European Games Ceremonies in Baku, Azerbaijan.

In February the first wave of crew travelled to Baku to assist with the installation of the aerial system. There were many challenges to overcome, working in a country and environment that was new to everyone. Not least the famous windy conditions and harsh weather at that time of the year.

Over the next few months more crew arrived until there was a total number of 95 on site. The crew covered all aspects of the production. This included site crew, plant operators, stage builders, carpenters, prop makers, rehearsal crew, backline crew and show crew. The crew turned their hands to many different tasks and many of them were involved in the operation of scenic elements on both ceremonies.

The crew worked, literally day and night to help deliver the two stunning ceremonies, which were hailed as a great success.

Under some very challenging conditions the crew always stayed positive and enthusiastic and were a credit to themselves and the company.

The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies  

1st June – 6th August 2014


Showstars were approached by Jack Morton Worldwide to tender for the contract to supply crew services for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

The two companies had worked together for many years on numerous memorable shows, including The Commonwealth Games ceremonies in Manchester in 2002 and  since the millennium, The London New Years Eve celebrations.

The company was awarded the contract to supply site crew, staging and scenic crew, show calls, changeovers and spotlight operators. The same core crew that had been in London and Sochi were involved in the build, rehearsals and running of both ceremonies. In total Showstars had over 140 crew, with a vast array of skills  and experience working within  Celtic Park. The site crew were a multi-tasked unit, capable of operating any kind of plant and machinery, who had regularly worked with Jack Morton Worldwide and on various other ceremonies. The staging and scenic teams had all worked regularly with the designated contractors and fitted seamlessly in to their teams.

For the Opening Ceremony 110 crew were required to move scenic elements on the field of play. The intricate show calls required a lot of rehearsing and on the night were carried out perfectly. Likewise the changeovers for the live acts and spotlight operations were completed without a hitch.

The Closing Ceremony was held at Hampden Park, which was still being used for sports events two days prior to the ceremony. Because of the very short load in time it was essential that everything went according to the very tight schedule. Whilst some of the crew were loading out the Opening Ceremony the staging and scenic crews were carrying out test builds of the Closing Ceremony at a rehearsal venue.

Everyone worked together to deliver the event successfully  and on the night the ceremony again went ahead with no problems. The regular show call, change over and spotlight crews performed to their usual high standard and everyone enjoyed a memorable night.

A few days later the load out was complete and another major project had been delivered without any problems and most importantly without any accidents or incidents.


Dear Stuart

Ref: Glasgow 2014 Ceremonies


I just wanted to thank you for the extraordinary efforts you and the Showstars team made in helping us deliver some truly spectacular Ceremonies for Glasgow 2014 this summer. You managed to overcome all of the frustrations to deliver something truly fantastic and unique.

The whole of Scotland and the UK were universal in praising our productions.

You took a huge amount of responsibility in delivering the various labour requirements for the Ceremonies. Your ability to remain good humoured, utterly professional and deliver under pressure was much appreciated by the team.

It has been a real pleasure working with you and I look forward to working with you again in the future.


Yours Sincerely

Glenn Bolton

Head of Technical

For and on behalf of Glasgow 2014

Jack Morton Worldwide                                                                                                                           

The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics & Paralympics Ceremonies

11th November 2013 – 7th April 2014

After Showstars involvement with the enormous success of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Ceremonies we were invited to tender for the supply of skilled technicians to work on the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Ceremonies in Sochi.

After a long and complicated process Showstars were awarded the contract to be the sole provider of Specialist Technicians on all four ceremonies.Initially contracted by Five Currents for The Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies and subsequently by Worldwide Shows on The Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

The project was a very large and challenging  undertaking and the Showstars team worked tirelessly to organize visas, travel, accommodation and accreditation. With a dedicated Project Manager and a Russian-speaking assistant a team of 78 crew travelled to Russia. The team left in early November 2013 and returned at the end of March 2014.

The crew consisted of multi-skilled Crew Chiefs, Specialist Technicians, Forklift and MEWP Operators.

There was extensive preparation for the Olympic Opening Ceremony and the crew worked alongside all departments to create a fantastic show. The Showstars team were also involved in the rehearsals and running of all the shows. The crew worked with teams of Russian local crew and had groups involved on stage, sub-stage, props and rigging scenic items.

After the Opening Ceremony there was a relatively short time to load out the show and prepare for the Closing Ceremony. During the transition period the crew worked around the clock to ensure that everything was in place for rehearsals and the equally impressive Closing Ceremony.

Once the Closing Ceremony had finished the crew moved straight on to preparing for the Paralympic Opening and Closing ceremonies. Again, the crew were involved with all departments preparing, building and running all aspects of the shows.

After the final Paralympic Closing Ceremony, work began on de-rigging the extensive infrastructure that had been put in place for all four shows. The crew never faltered and worked with enthusiasm and good spirit until the final day. It went so well that the crew returned home about ten days earlier than originally scheduled.

Throughout the project the Showstars onsite team remained resilient whilst working in a very challenging environment. Backed up throughout the whole period by a very efficient logistics team in the UK  the project was a great success. It is testament to the whole team that the crew helped deliver the project successfully and everyone returned home safe and well.


To whom it may concern


After an extended tender process in November 2013, Showstars (Wardlaw Ltd) was awarded the contract to provide Specialist Technicians for the ceremonies of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games.

Showstars mobilized 20 Technicians and 1 Project manager a week after the contract was signed to start on site at the Fisht Stadium, Sochi, Russia. This involved contracting technicians, applying for and then obtaining visas and booking flights. The total number of Technicians supplied by Showstars was over 70.

Throughout the project the administration and office team at Showstars have dealt with the various challenges of obtaining Russian work visas and professionally dealt with a changing schedule. This involved moving start and finish dates as well as the lengthy process of additional visa renewals.

The Showstars Management, Project management and Technicians have adapted to a challenging environment in Russia. The Technicians have been very professional and displayed a positive attitude in demanding situations.

On site the Showstars Technicians worked closely with the Local Russian crew. When working with international contractors Showstars led the local crew ensuring that tasks were completed adequately and set an example by always wearing PPE and enforcing safe work practices.

Showstars have played a very important part in the delivery of a critically acclaimed ceremonies.

The whole company has been dedicated and committed to the project and have met every request with enthusiasm. I would have no hesitation in recommending Showstars to provide crewing services for any project large or small.

Yours sincerely

Dave Wilkinson

Technical Manger – Crew Sochi  2014




You guys were great, and you were the glue that held things together.

I believe we’ll be working together again soon.  Lots of adventures ahead.

I copied our co-heads of production (Mark and Dave) too to help keep you in the loop when opportunities arise.

All the best,



Scott Givens | FIVECURRENT 

Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies London 2012

​The Olympics actually started for us in 2011 when we worked on the test builds for The Beach Volley Ball at Horse Guards Pde and The Triathlon in Hyde Park. We also started work in August  2011 on building the Archery and Shooting range at the Royal Artillery Barracks. We then went on to supply crew for the building of the Water Polo venue at the Olympic Park.

Showstars were also responsible for training the London 2012 Ceremonies staff, contractors and volunteers  in the Live Event Safety Passport



It was in Nov 2011 that Showstars were appointed by London 2012 Ceremonies to supply crew for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Because of our considerable experience in building stages and bespoke temporary structures, Showstars were selected to supply skilled personnel to build the main staging and automated elements of the show. We also supplied dedicated teams to the aerial department, technical staging, the Olympic flame cauldron, lighting and set construction. On top of all this Showstars were responsible for a great deal of plant operators, drivers and runners. The crew calls just kept growing and as you can see from the pictures below, many of the crew ended up in costume on show day.

As all the preparations were going on for the Opening Ceremony in the Stadium preparations for the Closing Ceremony were starting at various rehearsal venues. Showstars supplied the crew  for the staging, scenic and set elements for the Closing Ceremony as well as the show crew for the rehearsals and the show.

After a couple of week's rehearsal indoor at LH2 studios the project moved to a secret location at Dagenham where there was a full scale replica of the Olympic Stadium pitch on which the full Closing Ceremony was built, tested and rehearsed.

From day one Showstars had a dedicated team based in Dagenham and as the project progressed we supplied stage building teams, plant operators,runners,   catering  assistants and show crew.

The challenges faced by those involved in the build, rehearsals,show and strike were considerable with British weather not helping at all. Throughout the duration of the project, Showstars crew acted professionally and proficiently to produce a spectacle that they and the rest of the world will never forget.

​There was a very short time to load out the rehearsals after the games had finished and the load in  for the Closing Ceremony. This involved an immense number of crew and extensive planning. It was much the same for the de-rig as the stadium needed to be prepared for The  Paralympics.​​


Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies London 2012

Once again Showstars were appointed to supply crew to build the stages and scenic elements for the Paralympic Opening Ceremony and were extensively involved in the rehearsals and show calls. With very little time to build and rehearse and virtually no time off, the crew did a fantastic job especially after such long hours over the summer. 

​Many of the same crew from the Olympics were involved in The Opening and Closing Paralympic  Ceremonies which definately helped  continuity with management and crew and ensured that the show ran smoothly from start to finish.

There was a very tight time frame between the load in, the show and the load out of both these shows.  They were executed with precision and expertise and were a huge success.

Showstars are immensely  proud to have been involved in what was undoubtedly the greatest show on earth and it is without doubt something we will never forget.

You assembled a world class crew who worked day and night to support the Ceremonies whatever the weather.

It has been a real pleasure to work with you and we look forward to working with you again in the future.

Yours sincerely

Piers Sheppard

Technical Director