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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

DISNEY’S

LITTLE MERMAID AN ENCHANTING SUCCESS AT FLANDERS EXPO On Court with Bercy’s All Star Game Dressed for Action at Levi Strauss & Co Launch The BRIT Awards 2018 • Amsterdam Light Festival Focus on Stageco Deutschland • Les Enfoires: A Cause of the Heart SPRING 2018

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In Exceptional Company... INTERNATIONAL NEWS

IN THIS ISSUE SPRING 2018

3 PRAGUE HOSTS ‘SENSORIAL’ PARTY 4 RISING STARS ON COURT Delivering impact at the All Star Game 8 DIRK LAUENSTEIN & THE GERMAN STORY Stageco Deutschland’s 30-year journey 12 THE BRIT AWARDS 2018 14 LITTLE MERMAID STARS IN FLANDERS “A total spectacle” 16 LES ENFOIRES: CAUSE OF THE HEART 18 AMSTERDAM LIGHT FESTIVAL

Photograph: Graham Brown

20 LEVI STRAUSS & CO LAUNCH IS A GAS Cover image © Marmalade

There are not many better ways to start the year than to be recognised by one’s peers. In January, Stageco was delighted to receive the Staging Company award at the 2018 Top Dog Awards Show in Palm Springs, a highlight of the Tour Link Conference schedule. Hard on its heels, on February 8th, Stageco was the grateful recipient of the Staging/Equipment Company of the Year accolade in Los Angeles at the 29th Annual Pollstar Awards, as voted for by the magazine’s readership. We were in exceptional company: at both of these events, the prizewinners included our good friend and globally renowned production manager, Dale ‘Opie’ Skjerseth. As I have said on many occasions, this level of recognition is not only a huge thrill for all of us but also an indicator that we continue to do things right whilst helping our clients push the boundaries of show design. What this edition of our International News Bulletin hopefully demonstrates is that Stageco’s work is far from over when the summer season comes to an end. We are constantly finding new ways to apply our products, experience and skills to an expanding range of live events and projects throughout the autumn and winter months, and while the weather may be colder, we are always just as eager to rise to the challenge! Hedwig De Meyer, Stageco President

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The Electric Daisy Carnival’s flagship event in Las Vegas continues to evolve with the expertise of Stageco US.

Prague Hosts ‘Sensorial’ Party Neuland Infinium was the title given to an exclusive industrial customer event at Prague’s Expo Centre, where approximately 1,800 invited guests mingled at an EDM-style party featuring a show by a collective of performing artists. Stageco Deutschland was hired to build a range of temporary structures for the December 16th event which was moved to the Expo Centre after the roof of the original venue was destroyed by a winter storm and rescheduling was not possible. Tight co-ordination between Stageco, the client – Dreinull Agentur für Mediatainment – and other departments was necessary to meet the demanding time schedule. Loading in over three night-only shifts, Andreas Deubach and Markus Olma led a four-person

Stageco crew, and with local help from eight climbers and 12 steelhands, they built a number of scaffold-based constructions inside the venue, with stairs and different levels for DJs and lighting and sound technicians. In the external barbecue area, meanwhile, the team built a large structure measuring 50m long x 30m wide x 2.07m deep x 4m high, as well as several towers and the entrance gate. HOLOGRAPHIC Also working on Neuland Infinium for Stageco were project manager Michael Herbst and Marcus Dittrich, who developed the R&D drawings. Hara Katsiki, who DJ’d alongside Booka Shade, Claptone, Oliver Koletzki and Idiotape, reported that “guests entered the party space through a holographic

portal into impressive stages with spectacular music, dance and light performances. [It was] exciting to participate in a sensorial experiment, that elevates the senses to the limit and open the doors to a new dimension.”

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RISING STARS ON COURT Stageco France collaborates with Dutch and Belgian offices to deliver impact at annual sports event Between the Christmas and New Year festivities, Stageco France went into action at the 20,000-capacity AccorHotels Arena in Bercy, Paris to build and prepare a set of structures for the 2017 edition of the Ligue Nationale de Basket’s annual All Star Game, a highlight of the basketball calendar since 2002. Hired by Benjamin Garrot of event agency Sport Plus Conseil, Stageco was handed the two-day task of installing two 7m x 3m Serapid lifting platforms, each designed to support the ‘grand reveal’ of five basketball players and rise 0.85cm in three and a half minutes at the beginning of the December 29th event. Project managed for Stageco France by Thierry Nataf, with Belgium-based Tom Bilsen taking care of logistics, the job also called on assistance from Stageco Nederland. Thierry commented: “Marco Arendsen and Remco van den Bogaard joined us, along with Eddie Slotboom, who helped us complete the project, piloting the two Serapid lifts with success. “All of our equipment was loaded in Lochem and Tildonk to fill a single truck. Our team leader, Olivier Daulon worked with a pair of technicians to construct the steps of accesses and floors around the lifting platforms to ensure the safe passage of the other players and – in case of emergency – the public.

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SMOOTH Save for a few brief moments of covert technical intervention during the show, everything went incredibly smoothly with the opening reveal sequence at each end of the basketball court delivering a perfect introduction to a captivating evening of indoor sport. Thierry concluded: “It was Stageco France’s first involve-

ment with the event and a real success that was appreciated by the audience present. “We are now excited to speculate on what might be the surprise element of the show when the All Star Game returns at the end of this year and hope to work once again with such a visionary client.” allstargame.fr

Photography © Stageco France

“It was also necessary to close this passage in order to create the effect of surprise for the audience when the players rose up, but also for safety reasons we had a large closed curtain hung on truss suspended by a 300mm Prolyte portal. We were supplied material for this important element of the scenography by Blackout, whose Olivier Chatelain offered assistance.”

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Dirk Lauenstein

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Stageco Deutschland’s managing director Dirk Lauenstein writes about the company’s 30-year journey. When I was asked to revisit the history of Stageco’s German company for this edition, I was astonished by not only how much has been achieved during its existence, but also the many twists and turns throughout its growth, from its early incarnation 30 years ago as Bleyer Bühnenvertriebs GmbH to becoming Stageco Deutschland GmbH, a significant member of the Stageco Staging Group. I am very proud to have been so close to the company for so long although, curiously, a career in staging could not have been further from my mind at the time I left school in the north of Germany and felt compelled to find some new challenges as far away from home as possible. But one should always expect the unexpected. My journey took me to Augsburg in Bavaria where I began studying economics. During my studies there, SPRING 2018

in 1994, a buddy of mine said that he could find some weekend work for us as stagehands at a festival site. Although it was fun, I discovered that pushing flight cases around wasn’t really for me but I was fascinated by the structures that had been built for the event. My curiosity got the better of me and I was soon in touch with a local company called Bühnenservice Augsburg, who offered me some regular freelance work that changed my life. Originally founded in 1988 as Bleyer Bühnenvertriebs GmbH to distribute open-air staging throughout Europe, the company rebranded as Bühnenservice (BSA) six years later. In between these dates, the Augsburg firm began a long-running co-operative partnership with Stageco’s Belgian office on the 1992 Jaja tour by top German artist Marius Müller-Westernhagen, leading to BSA taking over the representation STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS


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Above: The Berlin branch and, below, outdoors in Königsbrunn. Far right, from top: Sales & project manager Manfred Porschnitzer was a founder member of Bleyer Bühnenvertriebs GmbH in Augsburg and later a director at Bühnenservice Augsburg GmbH; currently responsible for material management and logistics, Armin Freier started as a crew chief in the Bleyer era; R&D manager Christoph Schulz was originally a crew member and carpenter in 1995; Sebastian Kraas was the first person to be employed at the Berlin office, where he works today as a sales and project manager.

of Stageco in Germany and helping to boost the development of new stage systems. In 1996, Pur went out on their Abenteuerland open-air tour, which was then their most ambitious project. The design incorporated two sets, each of them having a Stageco roof, a dedicated German crew and a site co-ordinator, and I was one of them. A year after I enjoyed this fantastic experience, I was thrilled when BSA hired me full-time. My goal was to implement a German R&D department because in those days, it just didn’t exist, so it was a great asset when we finally established this part of the operation.

Bühnenservice Augsburg GmbH was formally integrated into the newly-structured Stageco group of companies in 1999, the year that saw BSA supervise Westernhagen’s Radio Maria tour [still the largest open-air touring production by any German artist], as well as scoring formidable success with corporate events and larger-scale projects. POST-MILLENNIUM The start of the new millennium marked a period of significant growth for Stageco, particularly in Germany. Increased business activity in and around Berlin led to the opening of a branch in the city and, in January 2003, an extension

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Stageco Deutschland projects through the years... top row: Die Toten Hosen (1997); Marius Müller-Westernhagen’s Radio Maria tour (1999); Audi DTM event (2002). Middle: Rock Im Park (2002), the Gesundheitsbox touring scaffolding structure for Ratiopharm (2004); World Youth Day (2005). Bottom row: Berlin’s FIFA World Cup Fan Site (2006); Andre Rieu (2008); Wacken Open Air (2010).

of the Königsbrunn HQ coincided with BSA now becoming known as Stageco Deutschland GmbH. Now occupying 17,000m2, including offices, warehousing and open-air storage, the Königsbrunn branch runs the German accounting department and employs 20 full-time staff. The Berlin branch totals 13,000m2 in size and has a similar employee number, with 12 crew chiefs spread between both sites and the remaining staff divided into warehouse, office and R&D duties. Many within our team have now been with us for a long time. In addition, we hire freelancers on a very regular basis, especially during the summer. The Austrian subsidiary originally opened in 2007 with a warehouse SPRING 2018

and a sales team, and it remains an important part of our general business. Our involvement in the premiere at Vienna Opera House of ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’, the fifth installment of the American spy movie series, was a good example of our activities in Austria. In fact, last year, our Austrian business was surprisingly good, representing around 10% of our turnover. PROGRESSION Over the last 20 years or so, I moved from being R&D manager to project manager and then branch manager. Then, in May 2016, I was honoured to become managing director of Stageco Deutschland, following the retirement of Werner Herbst. Having had

a very good relationship with Werner, I like to think that my appointment as MD was a natural progression. It had been discussed several years in advance that when Werner retired, it would be a good idea if I stepped into his shoes and, fortunately, this met with Hedwig’s approval. Although a large percentage of our projects are based around live music, there have been some very notable exceptions, such as when, in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI visited World Youth Day in Cologne. We provided a structure that featured a huge, inflatable ‘cloud’, which weighed over 65 tons. The following summer was dominated in many ways by the FIFA World Cup 2006 being staged in Germany, where Stageco STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS


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D E U T S C H L A N D

Above, top row: Herbert Grönemeyer (2011); Böhse Onkelz (2014); ‘Mission: Impossible 5’ in Vienna (2015). Middle: Udo Lindenberg (2015); Lollapalooza Berlin (2016). Bottom: Autostadt (2016); Depeche Mode’s Global Spirit tour (2017).

business… at least not yet. Having started in Holland and Belgium, our branches there arrived on that scene very early. I just think there is a different culture in Germany with a greater emphasis on rock music. That said, the last two years have seen EDM increase in popularity and we have done some shows, so we will see how it grows, because we would love to become involved on a large scale. FIERCE Attracting new business is becoming tougher due to tighter budgets driving everything. Despite there being only a few staging companies in Germany, competition can be quite fierce. There are some promoters who will often go with the cheaper

quote and I think that the old saying is true: you always get what you pay for. Too many of the cheaper suppliers underestimate how much work is involved in providing a safe, reliable and comprehensive service. Being a German company, we have to apply to all the German TÜV standards, but if you are a company from outside the country it seems that you are able to circumvent those rules and not be prevented from doing business. Fortunately, Stageco’s brand is one that really stands for something people can trust and, hopefully, decision makers will see the sense of not cutting corners, particularly when safety is an issue… which, of course, should always be paramount.

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Photography © Daniel Blaser, Mike Auerbach, Ralph Larmann, Matthias Leitzke, Saskia Gaulke & Malcolm Birkett

Deutschland built structures for the official FIFA Fan Sites in 11 cities, and contributed to a number of other public events in co-operation with FIFA and its sponsors. This experience served as solid evidence that sports event projects are extremely important to our company and the entire Stageco group. The last 10 years have seen Stageco Deutschland become involved with such diverse projects as Andre Rieu’s open-air tour of Australia, Böhse Onkelz, Wacken Open-Air, the launch and further editions of Lollapalooza Berlin, Autostadt’s Summer Festival and Depeche Mode’s Global Spirit tour. While the dance market has boosted turnover for other areas of the Stageco group, it has not had much of an effect on our


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BACK TO THE BRITS

The BRIT Awards in association with Mastercard returned to London’s O2 Arena for its 2018 edition and saw Stageco in the supplier role it has successfully maintained since 1997.

Photography © JM Enternational Ltd

Reporting to event production manager Tony Wheeler, Stageco’s brief for this year’s BRITs celebration was, as usual, to build the foundations of the stage, along with the front of house control platform, numerous risers and platforms for spotlights, cameras, jib cranes, monitoring and video. Although the requirements have been similar in recent years, modifications are always expected, as Luc Dardenne, Stageco’s on-site project manager explains: “The front of the stage is usually a different design each year and it was a little more comSPRING 2018

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Above, clockwise from top left: Dua Lipa, Foo Fighters, Gorillaz and Kendrick Lemar. Opposite page: The scene at the O2 (top) and Stormzy (bottom). Below: Luc Dardenne.

plicated for 2018 because we had to build some bridges for presentations. Underneath them, we constructed tunnels for emergency exits, ensuring they were at a certain maximum height. “The job also included building a black steel video portal and integrating it within a pre-built set that had imagery projected on to it in 3D – this was a very impressive element of the show.” COMMUNICATIONS While Dirk De Decker maintained his long-time posi-

tion as Stageco’s account manager, Luc handled the design drawings, organised materials and managed the communications between the event team and the 14-person Stageco crew whose build time (over day and night shifts) increased by around five hours this year due to the sheer sophistication of Misty Buckley’s production design. Held on February 21st, the 2018 edition of The BRIT Awards was hosted by comedian Jack Whitehall of ‘Bad Education’ fame.

AND THE WINNERS WERE... Mastercard British Album Of The Year Stormzy: Gang Signs & Prayer British Male Solo Artist Stormzy British Female Solo Artist Dua Lipa British Group Gorillaz British Breakthrough Act Dua Lipa British Producer Of The Year Steve Mac British Single Rag’n’Bone Man: Human British Artist Video Of The Year Harry Styles: Sign Of The Times Critics’ Choice Award Jorja Smith International Male Solo Artist Kendrick Lamar International Female Solo Artist Lorde International Group Foo Fighters Global Success Award Ed Sheeran STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

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LITTLE MERMAID STARS IN FLANDERS Belgian production house Marmalade recently enjoyed a runaway success with its three-week run of Disney’s stage musical version of The Little Mermaid at Flanders Expo in Gent, starring the likes of Ianthe Tavernier, Juan Gerlo, Kobe van Herwegen and Anne Mie Gils, and directed by Frank Van Laecke. Staged for the first time in Flanders between December 13th and January 7th, it followed Marmalade’s outstanding presentation last winter of Beauty And The Beast and attracted no less than 35,000 visitors. Stageco Belgium was hired by Marmalade to provide a 1500m2 stage containing four integrated valves and an elevator, as well as two guiding rails for up to five tonnes of scenic elements that included a huge ship. Totalling six trailers’ worth of equipment – mostly scaffold and decking – the job also called for 42m of runways to be installed in the roof and on access stairs. DIZZYING A “total spectacle in an original setting with beautiful voices, surprising effects and dizzying acrobatics,” as described by Yoshi Aesaert, CEO and producer at Marmalade, the technically impressive production was also notable for its 400m2 video screen, combining over 10 million LEDs, 150 costumes, dazzling water fountains and rain curtains, and a lighting design by Painting With Light. Martin ‘Tinus’ Beckers led a Stageco crew of 25 who built the staging over two days, loading out in a single day in early January; Dirk Van de Goor created the working drawings and Tom Bilsen managed the project from Stageco’s Tildonk office. thelittlemermaid.be

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Photography courtesy of Marmalade

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CAUSE OF THE HEART Coluche’s legacy continues as performers raise funds for the needy

For more than five years, Stageco France has been proud to supply Mojo safety barriers for the annual Les Enfoirés event organised on behalf of Les Restos Du Coeur, the French charity that distributes food packages and hot meals to millions of underprivileged people. This year, however, national broadcaster TF1 and Laurent Poirier of Monie’s Prod asked Stageco to extend its involvement by providing the stage and turntable used for the set design at the Zenith in Strasbourg between January 16th and 21st 2018. An initiative started by the late comic actor Coluche (above inset) in the 1980s, Les Enfoirés is an ever-changing ensemble of well-known performers who come together each year to raise approximately one-seventh of the charity’s revenue by selling out SPRING 2018

each 12,000-capacity show and breaking audience records for the annual TV broadcasts. Honouring its original brief to construct the front crowd barricade from its Mojo Barriers stock, Stageco’s mission was also to build an 850m² stage on four levels and install an 8m diameter turntable, while providing rear-stage access for the performers. Aided by forklifts, three equipment trucks were tipped at the start of the two-day construction, with Olivier Daulon taking charge of a small crew from Stageco’s French and Dutch offices, and local support. The project was a great success from a technical perspective, as well as Stageco’s relationship with the production team and everyone connected with the cause. restosducoeur.org STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS


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Photography © Insomniac

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SHEDDING LIGHT ON THE CITY Stageco lends a hand to Amsterdam’s seasonal illuminations project This winter, Stageco Nederland was proud to be involved in the staging of two interesting projects organised as part of the fifth edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival, held between November 30th and January 21st. A graduate of Groningen Art Academy Minerva, artist Lynne Leegte’s installation ‘Windows’ was an extension of the window art of the 17th century Baptist Sin-

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gel Church located just behind it. Her windows were lit with LED fixtures and designed to be part of the boat and walking route through the Amsterdam’s canals. The juxtaposition of the canals next to a church in a very narrow street was a special ingredient for the project. Due to Stageco’s concrete blocks being unable to fit through the gate, the contraweight needed to be unloaded

by a crane-truck. Stageco’s team built the supporting construction for the windows with black Layher which, at night, gave the appearance of the windows magically hovering above the gate. EXISTENTIALISM On the same day, ‘Light Matters’ – illustrating the existentialism of light, the festival’s theme this year

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– was also staged in the city’s historical centre. Design agency ACT Lighting Design created flowing light above the Jonas Daniel Meyerplein in Amsterdam, again next to a canal and part of the boating and walking route. Stageco supplied four black steel towers between which nets were suspended to create an aurora effect. In this location,

the practical challenge was the unloading of the truck because the towers needed to be placed in a park that was not accessible, therefore crane-trucks were once again deployed. In addition, as the trees on-site are protected and registered as monumental trees, this meant that working practice was restricted. Stageco’s steel cables from the towers to the contra-

weight were forced to go pass the trees at great height in order to not caused any damage. Dave Roodink and Bart Goodin worked with Paul Schijfsma on the R&D aspects of the project for Stageco, while Michiel Makkink and Nicole Wooldrik amazed the account, liaising with the ALF organisers. amsterdamlightfestival.com

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LEVI STRAUSS & CO LAUNCH IS A GAS Presented on December 5th at Amsterdam’s historic Gashouder Westergasfabriek, top clothing brand Levi Strauss & Co’s successful Fall/Winter 2018 sales launch event was managed by VO Event and assisted by Stageco Belgium. At the request of Brussels-based client VO Event,project manager Tom Bilsen and R&D engineer Bart Dekelver were behind the effort that saw Stagecobuild grandstands for an 880-seat audience SPRING 2018

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The Electric Daisy Carnival’s flagship event in Las Vegas continues to evolve with the expertise of Stageco US.

with integrated bar areas in a regular octagonal shape, creating an arena environment of approximately 45m in diameter. Drawing on four trailer loads of equipment including the essential black Layher scaffolding, a number of other structures were also constructed for workshops and demos at the event. Overseen by crew chief Gilles BosquĂŠ, the two-day build harnessed the skills of a team of 13 from Stageco Belgium who worked alongside local helpers. Originally opened in 1902 when it was the largest gasworks factory in Europe, the circular Gashouder is now a popular venue for exhibitions, live shows and corporate presentations. With its pillarless interior and impressive cast-iron ceiling, it offers a fascinating location for special events. STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

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IF YOU CAN IMAGINE IT, WE CAN BUILD IT.

Stageco Belgium N.V. Kapelleweg 6 3150 Tildonk Tel: +32 16 60 84 71 Fax: +32 16 60 10 61 info@stageco.com Stageco France sarl 158, Le Petit Palais 84800 L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue Tel: +33 4 90 20 90 90 Fax: +33 4 90 20 90 31 info.france@stageco.com

Stageco Deutschland GmbH Schäfflerstrasse 13 86343 Königsbrunn Tel: +49 821 440 22 0 Fax: +49 821 440 22 22 info.deutschland@stageco.com

Stageco Austria Gemeindeberggasse 45 A-1130 Wien Tel: +43 1 48 11 513 Fax: +43 1 48 11 513 20 info.austria@stageco.com

Stageco U.S. Inc 8755 Vollmer Road Colorado Springs CO 80908 Tel: +1 719 495 9497 Fax: +1 719 495 9098 info.us@stageco.com

Stageco Deutschland GmbH Stageco Nederland b.v. Herzbergstrasse 120  Aalsvoort 14 10365 Berlin  7241 MA Lochem Tel: +49 30 54 98 72 40 Tel: +31 573 25 63 02 Fax: +49 30 54 98 72 44 Fax: +31 573 25 60 62 info.berlin@stageco.com info.nederland@stageco.com

Stageco U.S. Inc Manheim 181 E. Stiegel St. Manheim, PA 17545 Tel: +1 866 782 4326  info.us@stageco.com

WWW.STAGECO.COM EDITED & DESIGNED BY MARK CUNNINGHAM / LIVECULTURE FOR AND ON BEHALF OF STAGECO STAGING GROUP

STAGECO NEWS Spring 2018  

The official Stageco Staging Group news journal.

STAGECO NEWS Spring 2018  

The official Stageco Staging Group news journal.

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