Jack Sayer joined Hawthorn in January 2015 as Head of Lighting at our Cambridge site and since then has been involved with a whole host of exciting events. Jack was announced as our new Group Head of Lighting in July this year and now leads the way in ensuring we deliver an exceptional lighting service for our clients across the business.  

From dreaming up creative lighting designs for incredible live events, to overseeing Hawthorn’s investment in the best new equipment for hire, Jack is our go-to guy for all things lighting. We caught up with him over a cuppa during a rare quiet moment to ask him some burning questions…

What made you decide to work in the live events industry and specialise in lighting?

I started working at a local sound & lighting company whilst I was still at school. I gained vast amounts of experience there – everything from hoovering the shop to designing lighting rigs at festivals. After a couple of years, I realised lighting is what I wanted to be doing everyday so I decided to take the jump into freelancing. I had some amazing opportunities and experiences whilst working for many different clients and it definitely helped my professional development.

You’ve recently been promoted to Group Head of Lighting, that must have been an amazing achievement?

Yes it’s fantastic! We have a very strong lighting team here at Hawthorn so I’m very excited to be working alongside them to continue to push the department forward, delivering the best possible lighting solutions for our clients.

 So you’ve been at Hawthorn for over three years, what have been your highlights so far?

There are so many for so many different reasons! That said, Adobe Summit project is always great to be involved in. My main role is looking after the lighting for the party night, which normally features some crazy project – this year was an LED interactive slide, which was very unique and fun to test. Other highlights include working on the St John’s College ball every year. For the past couple of years we’ve projection mapped the college chapel which always looks incredible. We create the content in-house and it’s amazing to work on the creative right from the beginning of the project.

 What do you think the future holds for live event lighting?

That’s a difficult one to answer, especially for an industry as fast-paced as this one. Manufacturers are always pushing the boundaries of what they can get out of LED engines so I’m sure we’ll see further advancements in this field. I think it’s also important to look outside the world of live events to see what’s going to be the next big trend and how that might filter back to us. We’re currently living in the age of experience and that’s certainly something that has changed the way brands approach their events.

What’s your must have piece of kit on-site?

That’s an easy one, coffee and my MacBook.  

Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

It’s nice to be important but it’s important to be nice.