The live events market is busy focusing on the summer ahead with that ‘major sporting event’ in London stealing many a headline.
2012 is shaping up to be a showcase for the whole industry and as ever we’re embracing change, turning challenges into opportunities, managing shifting priorities and taking on new projects while continuing to offer seamless service to those who we have worked with for years.
Here at Stageco we’re lucky to have a raft of new projects on our books, and with a growing number of corporate and sporting contracts, along with major artists about to embark on global tours, our expanded team is getting set for a busy summer on the road.
Back at Stageco HQ we’ve been doing what we do best – innovating and pushing boundaries to get the best results for our clients. The result of our most recent R&D investment is the ‘Arena Lift’, a brand new hydraulic lifting system which raises larger ground supports and grids into venues from the ground up (full story below).
With Stageco's engineering capabilities continuing to push boundaries and the new Arena Lift already proving a great success, we look forward to the future challenges encompassing our latest technologies.
Here’s to a great year for the live events industry.
Stageco’s new Arena Lift was developed for Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco shows, where a 21.8m x 24m x 20.4m tall mother grid was installed and raised in 12 hours into venues in Budapest, Rome and Casablanca.
The Arena Lift is a new hydraulic lifting system which raises larger ground supports with grids into venues to increase rigging capacities.
Pierre Guillotte, Cirque du Soleil Senior Production Manager for Arena Shows, explains:
"Our research and scouting has taken us into emerging markets from Eastern Europe to the Far East, where people are starving for new entertainment. They have buildings with plenty of height, but no engineering / rigging capacity to hang a 40 tonne show, The Arena Lift means we can now access these new markets. It’s a great product."
The Arena Lift is based around four hydraulic lifting units that form the anchors at the corners of the ground support towers. Its compact size is designed with user-friendly touring features for efficient packing to give cost-effective transport, (this whole mother grid is a four truck move) and makes loading in through small venue entrances possible.
Dirk De Decker, Stageco Project Director, says:
Stageco’s US office provided extensive beach-themed structures for WrestleMania XXVIII at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens Florida, 1 April 2012.
WrestleMania, which moves to a new venue each year, is organised by WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). The three day event attracts over 75,000 people plus a huge global pay-per-view TV audience.
Stageco worked closely with both the stadium and client Nike Corporate to install an 80ft x 80ft covered structure situated over the wrestling ring, incorporating four 107ft tall posts at each corner, topped with real palm leaves.
Other structures included a stage area for the wrestlers to perform prior to taking to the ring. The stage featured a 220ft long video wall and support structure for a 14ft high LED ‘WrestleMania’ sign. Thirteen 30ft palm trees were added behind the stage to create a stunning cabana-style focal point.
Jeremy Shand, Stageco US Project Manager, said:
"This was our tenth show and a primary aim each year is to ensure that the new set looks great for the live audience but that it also translates well onto TV. The client comes up with very unique designs each year which are always challenging yet very rewarding to implement."
Stageco Germany provided the main stage and a series of temporary structures for the opening ceremony of the first ever Youth Olympic Winter Games, 13-22 January 2012, in Austria.
Stageco Germany worked with organisers to deliver a complex curved stage for the opening ceremony, designed by the Innsbruck Institute for Experimental Architecture. The ambitious design saw over 160 tonnes of scaffolding and staging set up within the existing grandstand of the Bergisel Stadium in Innsbruck.
Ralph Goeckeler, Stageco Germany Project Manager, said:
"A further series of bespoke structures were created including an additional stage and several auxiliary constructions installed in Innsbruck's pedestrian zone. We deployed a specialist team of joiners and carpenters to complete the task on time and in challenging winter conditions."
The Games saw 1,000 14-18 year-old athletes from over 60 nations compete against each other in 63 sporting disciplines.
Stageco provided a range of structures for high-profile fashion shows held in Paris, including Chanel, Dior Homme, Miu Miu and Etam.
Stageco implemented a range of structures and platforms including a custom-made ground support for the intricately-designed catwalk at Chanel’s Fall/Winter 2012/13 ready-to-wear collection held at the Grand Palais.
Other projects included a 2,600m² floor protection system for the Dior Homme Fall/Winter 2012/13, two five tiered viewing structures and an additional photographers platform at Miu Miu's Fall/Winter 2012/13 ready-to-wear collection at Paris Fashion Week. Stageco also created an 18m x 18m staging catwalk, which embedded elongated glittering steps for a dramatic and dynamic catwalk at the Etam Spring/Summer lingerie collection.
Tom Bilsen, Stageco Project Manager, comments:
Stageco created a spectacular staging platform and arch structure to support the official launch of Manama, Capital of Arab Culture 2012 organized by the Bahrain Cultural Ministry,
The celebration was held at the sea front of the Bahrain National Museum where "Path of Pearls", a musical production representing Bahrain’s spectacular heritage was performed.
The Stageco engineers constructed the giant arch using a Layher scaffolding system. This arched over a bespoke 46m x 21m long x 1.90m tall, semi-circular staging platform which incorporated a custom designed orchestra pit. A hexa floor with 21mm anti-skid floor panels was also supplied along with two 16m tall PA towers and two follow spot towers.
Bert Kustermans, Stageco Project Manager, comments;
"The Stageco team ensured the stunning ocean backdrop was in view behind the stage by sheltering the back, sides and roof of the arch with a transparent cover. This also ensured the structure’s design delivered good sound acoustics for performances, which included the London Symphonic Orchestra and Andrea Boccelli."
The arch structure was designed with a 30 tonne rigging capacity for the extensive lighting and sound equipment.
The event celebrated the country’s rich pearl diving history and set out to encourage tourism in the area by promoting the biggest city, Manama, as 'capital of Arab culture' 2012.
Stageco supported organizers of the World Snowboarding Championships in Oslo, providing temporary events overlay to the winter sporting event 10-19 February 2012.
The Belgian team successfully worked through freezing temperatures to construct a half pipe starting structure and a 25m x 8m x 10m tall quarter pipe jump structure, where professional snowboarders from across the globe showcased their talents.
Custom-made camera constructions were also provided, enabling broadcasters to capture the live, split second sporting action. This included two broadcasting platforms and two 17m tall cable camera towers, one of which was built on the steep icy mountain slopes. Both camera towers were attached to a 1km long cable, which was mounted with a wire-cam to record the snowboarders ride from the top, down to the bottom of the valley for broadcasters.
The 2012 World Snowboarding Championships is the first championships run by snowboarders since 1999 where 240 riders from 35 countries competed in slopestyle and halfpipe disciplines.
Stageco was appointed by Dutch broadcasting company, Talpa Productions B.V. to supply a series of television studio structures for the popular talent show The Voice of Holland and The Voice Kids broadcast live earlier this year.
The Voice of Holland was first screened in 2010 and this year attracted over 3.75 million viewers for the finalé show. The programme has been sold to more than 25 countries and building on the success of the show, The Voice Kids, a singing competition for children, was created and broadcast live for the first time this year.
Stageco began The Voice of Holland project on 17 November 2011 where Stageco’s 30 strong crew built the striking 525m² performance stage, VIP decks and on-site structures including a camera jib platform and stairs.
For The Voice Kids, Stageco began the project on 19 March and provided two sets, one used for the 'battle' shows and the other for the final live shows. Each set consisted of a 176m² branded performance stage, a 500m² seating structure and a 30m² camera jib platform. Four truck loads of Stageco equipment were used, with 16 Stageco crew working on the build and 12 Stageco crew on the load out.
Eddie Slotboom, Stageco Project Manager, comments:
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