Today is the 25th anniversary of one of Jean-Michel's finest and most memorable concerts: the first Destination Docklands concert!
Event: Destination Docklands
When: Saturday/Sunday, October 8/9, 1988
Where: Royal Victoria Dock, London Docklands, Newham, London, England
Destination Docklands was a concert held by musician Jean Michel Jarre on the Royal Victoria Docks, Docklands, London on Saturday October 8 and Sunday October 9, 1988, to coincide with the release of Jarre's new album Revolutions. The concerts were attended by 200,000 people (not including the people who watched the concert from the nearby streets and households) and the October 8 show was broadcast simultaneously on BBC Radio One, featuring concert commentary by DJ Simon Bates - including his trademark colourful descriptions of what was a night of horrendous weather, which threatened to severely hamper the performance.
Accompanied by heavy wind, rain and fireworks, the concert also featured The Shadows guitarist Hank Marvin who joined Jarre on the tracks "London Kid" and "Fourth Rendez-Vous". A live album and a VHS were released afterwards, however fans who attended the concerts have been quoted saying that the VHS release failed to capture the grandure and spirit of the event.
The stage area, viewed from the audience
The grandstands for the audience (surrounding a standing-room area) lined the North side of the dock. The warehouses on the South side of the dock, by then mostly empty, were painted white to provide enormous backdrops for projected images, along with a number of large scaffolding installations in between, matching the height of the warehouses. The stage floated in the middle of the dock and the concert was accompanied by the musician's trademark breathtaking firework and searchlight show. The original concept was to have the floating stage traverse up and down the Docks, providing a view of the stage to the audience on the North Bank - however, strong winds and prevailing rain prevented this from occurring and the stage stayed anchored for the duration of the concerts [although this is contested](indeed, wind almost caused one of the hung scaffolding backdrops to be torn from its mountings after the October 8 show with repairs having to be undertaken before the following night's performance).