Talk about over-hyped. After a spectacular artist’s impression of the Shard’s ‘inauguration laser show’ whipped Londoners up into a frenzy of anticipation (us included), thousands of spectators (us also included) were left feeling distinctly underwhelmed after a rather dismal display.
An ambitious map from the organisers had suggested vantage points from across London, from Muswell Hill to Brockwell Park. But the crowds that gathered there discovered that the show was far too faint to enjoy from afar, while in south London there was nothing to see but a green dot flashing on the dome of St Paul’s. (Contrary to expectations, the entire light show was situated on the north side of the building.)
Grumpy Shardgazers took to social media to vent their disappointment, bombarding the Shard’s official Facebook page with derisory comments and generally having a good old moan. A few choice comments:
Sonia Waszkowiak said this is how she felt after the show:
Absolutely no one is still watching the #shard lightshow. They should turn it off now.
— T (@boscombehilife) July 5, 2012
suspect #shard show was organised by Danny Boyle as an expectation management exercise.
— tomas_roope (@tomas_roope) July 5, 2012
#shard – biggest disappointment ever. Couldn’t see anything from Hampstead Heath.
— Liam (@NWmackem) July 5, 2012
Frankly, I could’ve seen a better laser show if I smashed up a Sainsbury’s self-service check-out. #shard
— Alex Wilson (@adjwilson) July 5, 2012
It must be horrendous building up an event, having all London watching and fail #shard
— Narcis Sauleda (@sir_narcis) July 5, 2012
Spectators in the immediate area enjoyed a somewhat better view, but were still left cold:
Even in the official video, the lone clapper and laughter at the end reveals the true story:
But amidst the unimpressed masses, one man [UPDATE: since identified as digital genius James Bridle] became a hero:
— Stuart Clarke (@sclarkeuk) July 5, 2012
And some people just refuse to have a bad time. As Liz Waldy told us on Facebook: ‘Being part of a large disappointed and bemused crowd was fun.’ This is perhaps the most Londonery thing we’ve heard all year.
The verdict? Should’ve stuck with fireworks. ★☆☆☆☆
Even if the laser show didn’t have the wow factor, the View From the Shard will. Head to timeout.com to buy your tickets now.