__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

U2

REINVENTING THE JOSHUA TREE

Out Of This World: Jeff Lynne’s ELO Depeche Mode • Guns N’Roses • Robbie Williams Formula One Live • Matapaloz with the Onkelz Life Ball • Middlelands • Vasco Rossi Passchendaele 100... and more SUMMER 2017

W W W. S TAG E C O. C O M


2

The Season For New Blood INTERNATIONAL NEWS

IN THIS ISSUE SUMMER 2017

3 FORMULA ONE LIVE 4 JEFF LYNNE’S ELO: OUT OF THIS WORLD! 9 EDC’S RETURN TO VEGAS 10 ROCKIN’ THE HOME OF THE HAMMERS Depeche Mode, Guns N’Roses & Robbie Williams land in London

18 VASCO ROSSI IN MODENA 19 MATAPALOZ & THE ONKELZ

It’s pretty clear that we are in the middle of yet another extremely busy summer for Stageco. We all thought that

20 LIFE BALL IN VIENNA 22 U2: SILVER AND GOLD The Joshua Tree Tour 2017

29 ALL BACK TO PAROOKAVILLE 30 WRESTLEMANIA XXXIII 32 PASSCHENDAELE 100 Photography: Mark Cunningham

34 CLASSICS IN PAPHOS 35 MIDDLELANDS Cover image © U2 by Kevin Mazur

a new benchmark was set in 2016 in terms of the extent of our activity but this year has turned out to be at least on the same scale. The great thing is the range of projects – from rock’n’roll to dance and all manner of festivities – and the need for many interesting custom-built structures, which is something upon which we have always thrived. As a result of the amount of work we have taken on, there has been an opportunity for new crews to come together and meet the demand. So we have been welcoming some fresh, young faces to our team who have responded very well to our training programmes and risen to the challenge of working on projects for the first time. Our older, experienced crew chiefs tend to hire familiar faces that they trust and, of course, that makes a lot of sense, but a busy year like this is the perfect time to introduce newcomers and give them the space in which to prove themselves. I’m delighted with how well that has been working because an established company such as ours always needs new blood, and I hope this pattern will continue. Hedwig De Meyer, Stageco President

SUMMER 2017

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS


3

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

Staging F1 Live in London Dirk De Decker, who managed the project for Stageco, commented: “We were first consulted at the beginning of June but the public were given just 48 hours’ notice, so there was a tremendous wave of immediate interest. On site, we had two teams led by Bart Dewolf and René Lunenburg who ran day and night shifts, starting on June 9th to enable production load-in the next afternoon. “It was certainly one of the most interesting projects we have been involved with in a while, and hopefully it will become a regular fixture in the annual event calendar.”

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Photography © Tom Bignell; Getty Images

Just days before the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, parts of central London shut down in order to host the Formula One Live event around Whitehall and Trafalgar Square. For the first time in motor racing history, all 10 F1 teams gathered outside of a race weekend to roar around the capital’s streets, as thousands of excited sports fans looked on. Organised with the aim of making F1 more accessible to the fans, the July 12th event was crowned by a special show at the foot of Nelson’s Column that featured the work of Stageco. While the focus of the show was on legends of the sport including David Coulthard, Damon Hill, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, along with London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan, there were a number of musical performances by the Kaiser Chiefs and top girl group Little Mix, the latter making headlines with their ‘chequered flag’ outfits. The client, Velocity Experience (part of the TBA Group), engaged Chris Vaughan as production manager of the show in Trafalgar Square and, conveniently, it was agreed that key elements from the ELO show would be ‘borrowed’, notably the transparent canopy roof and two side structures for the video screens and PA hangs.

SUMMER 2017


Show photography: Kris Goodman (The Flying Lampie)

4

OUT OF THIS WORLD! SUMMER 2017

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS


5

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

Stageco builds a spaceship tower and resurrects classic technology for Jeff Lynne’s stadium spectacular… the Children In Need Rocks show that we were producing for Gary Barlow and the BBC,” he said. “Jeff really enjoyed performing with Take That’s session musicians [including Mike Stevens and Milton McDonald] who were the house band and the reaction was so incredible that BBC Radio 2’s Chris Evans coaxed him into playing Hyde Park the following year, again with the Take That band who have been there for him ever since.” Vaughan continued: “Jeff was so blown away that he released his first new ELO album in 14 years [Alone In The Universe] and we followed it with a very successful arena tour with him as well as last year’s Glastonbury Festival. Then this came up. It was presented to us originally with a regular Stageco four-poster festival stage but this was going to be such an iconic moment in Jeff’s career that we wanted to take it a step further. “Our aim was to be more imaginative but without the expense of having a massive, bespoke stage because this was effectively a one-off, and Stageco have been outstanding in working with us to realise our ideas.”

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

SUMMER 2017

Show photography: Kris Goodman (The Flying Lampie)

His aviator shades, curly mop and beard may appear to be cryogenically frozen in time but the golden renaissance of Jeff Lynne and his Electric Light Orchestra continues to move ever forward in popularity and – with assistance from Stageco – sheer physical size, as witnessed by 70,000 ecstatic fans at Wembley Stadium on June 24th. Supported by The Shires and Keane’s Tom Chaplin, Lynne led his latest ELO incarnation through a two-hour set rammed with highlights from his vast catalogue of self-penned hits, including ‘Mr. Blue Sky’, ‘Livin’ Thing’, ‘Evil Woman’ and ‘Shine A Little Love’, while ‘Handle With Care’ served as a reminder of his brief but perfect career as a Traveling Wilbury. The big talking point of the night, however, was the breathtaking, 16.5-tonne spaceship hovering above the band that evoked memories of ELO’s celebrated Out Of The Blue album and tour, nearly 40 years ago, bringing the living legend into present day orbit. At the helm of all things technical, production manager Chris Vaughan, whose name is inextricably linked to largescale touring explained how one of his long-time clients was instrumental in getting Lynne and the ELO brand back in front of audience after a protracted absence. “We became involved with Jeff in 2013 when he came to play at


6

“I’m very happy with what Stageco have done for us. They do exactly what they promise, on time, and the quality of their work is consistently second to none.” CHRIS VAUGHAN MASH-UP DESIGN Whilst at the drawing board stage, Vaughan asked technical designer Malcolm Birkett to add the curved back wall from another of his projects, Muse’s 2006 Black Holes & Revelations tour of 2006, and then add the transparent band roof from the 2007 Genesis reunion, both of which originated from Stageco. “I just wanted to satisfy my curiosity,” Vaughan smiled, “and, of course, it looked tremendous and there was a very good reason for that. What we’ve effectively got is a Mark Fisher-designed stage, stolen by Malcolm and I, and adapted for ELO by Tim Routledge and Misty Buckley, the creative designers. “We’ve tinkered around with the blend a little, such as changing the video screens, but we put those elements together because of how successful they had been,

SUMMER 2017

knowing they would work perfectly in this context. Also, a lot of the brainwork had already been done with those original drawings, so it helped to speed up the entire process.” As the Wembley concert was being filmed for future release, it was important from a design perspective for Stageco to build the stage from a set of all-new black steel, delivered in 14 trailers in time for construction to begin five days before the show. Created by Total Fabrications from Jeff Lynne’s Birmingham home town, the spaceship was installed by Stageco’s team halfway up a 27.5m high tower that was anchored to a concrete base and formed from a number of different Stageco tower formats, decreasing in width from the 5.6m section of XXL tower at the bottom, and linked by special adaptor brackets.

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS


7

CURVES Behind the spaceship was the rear, curved wall of eight towers providing support for the main upstage video displays from Video Design as well as Neg Earth’s lighting. The towers were connected by a mix of straight and swivel truss sections, and topped by shaved beams that enabled cable to pass through via a pulley and hoist system. “For the most part, this was a straightforward job although achieving the correct positions and angles of the bases of each tower, in order to create the curve, was the difficult part,” stated David Van Assche, who headed a freshly assembled Stageco crew of 13 Belgians, Dutch and Irishmen. “We marked out those positions with a theodolite, the most convenient tool for the job, and then assembled the towers with a few crane picks.”

L-R: ELO production manager Chris Vaughan, site co-ordinator Glenn Binley...

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

...stage manager Richard ‘Wez’ Wearing & Stageco crew chief David Van Assche.

SUMMER 2017

Show photography: Kris Goodman (The Flying Lampie). Crew & set-up photography: Mark Cunningham

“This was a massive undertaking that worked brilliantly,” commented Vaughan, who also worked closely with site co-ordinator Glenn Binley, Stageco’s project manager Tom Bilsen and the company’s R&D contact Patrick Martens. “Total Fabs did a great job of placing the ‘Big Man’ on top of Stageco’s towers for Take That’s Progress stadium tour and the spaceship was something they could do organically. Stageco sent us the central hub of the black steel for a test build and Total Fabs began to assemble an aluminium structure to support lights, video, LED, smoke machines and lasers, completing it with multi-coloured fibre glass cladding. “The spaceship doesn’t move or fly although with all the effects, it does give the impression that it’ll take off at any moment!”


8

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

Show photography: Kris Goodman (The Flying Lampie). Drawings: Patrick Martens/Stageco

The Toppers and co.

Meanwhile, the transparent, lightweight band roof, previously a focal point of Genesis’ Turn It On Again tour 10 years ago, consisted of six bowed steel beams and corresponding uprights. Said Van Assche: “This roof had remained idle in Stageco’s storage yard for some time but it was resurrected, cleaned up and given a fresh set of skins so that it looked pristine for the film cameras.” Stageco built a video screen portal at each side of the 53.5m wide stage using 750 tower material, the same steel used to construct the two towers carrying Skan’s PA delays. The company also supplied the front of house riser and numerous additional platforms.

SUMMER 2017

Clearly satisfied with the fruits of everyone’s labours, Chris Vaughan commented: “I have been really excited about this show because it’s been a long time coming. I’m also very happy with what Stageco have done for us, just as I have on other projects. They do exactly what they promise, on time, and the quality of their work is constantly second to none.” Jeff Lynne’s ELO followed the Wembley show with just one additional stadium date, at Hull’s KCOM Stadium on July 1st as part of this year’s City of Culture celebrations. “I would love it if this production could tour for longer,” said Vaughan. “It’s the perfect size for a stadium – big enough to be interesting but not so enormous that it kills you!”

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS


9 ST AG ECO U

S

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

EDC’s Return To Vegas

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Photography © ALive/Insomniac & Stageco US

The Electric Daisy Carnival’s showcase event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway keeps getting bigger and better with every passing year, and Stageco US is grateful to be a part of such an enormous occasion, working with such talents as Pasquale Rotella of Insomniac and production maestro Jake Berry. For the 2017 edition (June 16-18), Stageco US was called upon to provide four stages – an increase on last year. A huge amount of work came in to play on this – at load in, 45 trailers and 23 containers of steel arrived on-site – and Dirk De Decker was the project manager for the extra stage. Stageco crew chief Farley Gross and project manager Tom Frederickx, along with a team of 20 Stageco supervisors, spent nearly a month in the Las Vegas desert creating a truly wild destination for nearly a half million attendees. As has been the case since EDC began in the 1990s, the design process is a relentless process of refinement that produces some the grandest stages in the outdoor event world. Long may it continue!

SUMMER 2017


10

ROCKIN’ THE HOME OF THE HAMMERS

SUMMER 2017

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS


11

Three global acts, four stunning shows with Stageco at London Stadium

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

SUMMER 2017

Dave Gahan photo © Amanda Rose

A year after working on AC/DC’s incredible show at London Stadium, Stageco returned to the capital city’s former Olympic venue to provide staging and infrastructure services for a series of summer concerts by a trio of three of the world’s leading acts – Depeche Mode, Guns N’Roses and Robbie Williams – with audiences totalling nearly 250,000. Heading back to the road with their Global Spirit tour, Depeche Mode played 32 cities on the European leg. Throughout a large portion of this itinerary, in Germany, France, Switzerland, Poland, the Czech Republic and the UK, Stageco was proud to leapfrog three steel systems and helping the band to share staging resources with Guns N’Roses for a number of shows. With long-time collaborator Anton Corbijn at the helm of visual content, Global Spirit reinstates Depeche Mode’s reputation as a live act with the highest production values. Rehearsals initially began at LS-Live in Wakefield’s Production Park before continuing for four days at Stockholm’s Friends Arena, where the tour began on May 5th. Stageco project


12

The London Telegraph reported: “Depeche Mode played the kind of galvanising, uplifting, intense pop music that has made them one of the world’s most celebrated live acts. [Dave] Gahan... was like Basildon’s own Salvador Dalí, or a gothic Freddie Mercury.”

De Meyer, who said: “My crew colleagues and I arrived here on the previous Monday, and I was immediately impressed with the stadium. Our plan was to start building the next morning, however, one of the trucks containing tools and other crucial equipment for the stage foundation was held up at the Port of Calais and arrived late. “One of the most positive qualities of Stageco is that over the years we have learned to deal with pretty much

Depeche Mode show photography © Amanda Rose

managers Michael Herbst and Tom Bilsen organised an average of 12 trailers for each system in Europe, liaising with Live Nation site co-ordinator Steve McCalmont. On Saturday 3rd June, the band – Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, Andy Fletcher and touring musicians Peter Gordeno and Christian Eigner – made their début at London Stadium, the new Stratford base of West Ham United Football Club. It was also the first time for Stageco crew chief Kevin

SUMMER 2017

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS


13

Above: Depeche in set-up mode with Stageco crew Mathias Ancia, Kevin De Meyer (crew chief), Thomas Boulogne & Koen Van Nuenen. Below: The building of twin front of house risers and delay towers was also on Stageco’s ‘to do’ list.

every type of problem imaginable, and we always find a way to improvise around it. While we were waiting for the missing kit, I had some hammers in my car and one of our team was able to buy a new measuring laser so we could at least do some levelling and scaffolding. The driver eventually arrived at 3pm on our first build day and day three we had made up so much time that we had completed the job an hour ahead of schedule.” During the build – which included construction of the spot/delay towers, two front of house risers and VIP platforms – Stageco’s 11-person team was assisted by local crew. The team was reduced to six for show day. Developed by Bart Dekelver from Stageco’s R&D department, the stage itself was a four-tower format construction measuring 26m wide and 22m high with a 16.5m deep playing area.

To the sides of the stage, Stageco built canopy roofs for the PA and video wings, bringing the total width to 54m. As soon as the build commenced, everything went to plan although the venue’s architecture forced a minor change, as De Meyer explained: “Due to the extended junctions in the London Stadium roof, we needed to move the stage forward by two metres compared to the original drawing in order to avoid hitting our crane.” “Having Stageco on the tour gives us confidence,” commented Tony Gittins, the production manager who has been involved with Depeche Mode for 12 years. He has liaised with Stageco’s Tom Bilsen and Dirk Lauenstein throughout the project. “A few

Crew & set-up photographyPhotography © Mark Cunningham © Insomniac

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

SUMMER 2017


14

Above: Stageco’s crew on Guns N’Roses included (L-R) Giel Troubleyn, Toon Gielen, Jente De Puysseleyr, David Van Assche (crew chief), Hans Ruijten and Niels Alens. Inset: production manager Dale ‘Opie’ Skjerseth.

shows in the itinerary are less predictable,” he said, “but it’s always smooth when Stageco is onboard. Everything is in great shape and on time. It’s a great company and I couldn’t ask for more.”

Guns N’Roses crew photography © Mark Cunningham

TRANSITION After the show, the crew dismantled and loaded out all of Stageco’s pitch structures, leaving the stage in place to be reassembled and rebranded for Guns N’Roses’ concerts on June 16th and 17th – part of the fifth leg of the reunited band‘s 18-month Not In This Lifetime world tour, another project managed by Tom Bilsen.

Leaving London to work on one of Stageco’s regular festival accounts, Hellfest in Clisson, France, Kevin De Meyer handed the crew chief baton to David Van Assche, who led the brisk, one-day changeover. “We had a few extra hands and climbers, and our main job was to add three metres of downstage flooring and a thrust, while some rigging beam positions had to be moved to accommodate Guns N’Roses’ production design,” said Van Assche. “On the pitch, the front of house risers were reduced from two to one, and the delay/spot towers were positioned differently.”

IN THE WORDS OF ANDY O... “This is my second time at London Stadium. I came here last year with Opie and AC/DC, which was the first big rock’n’roll show after the Olympics, so I was already familiar with the logistics and structure of the venue. “I’ve been working with most of the same staff as I did last year and based on my very positive experiences, I would easily rate

SUMMER 2017

this as one of the top three best stadiums in the world I’ve worked in across my whole career, because its operational values are simply stunning. They took a lot of notes from us when we came with AC/DC and they executed a number of changes that have made life easier for live music production, so I look forward to coming back many more times in the future.”

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS


15

“‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ is so intense that thousands of us seem to simultaneously unite our former and current selves while singing along to it,” wrote Guardian reviewer Sophie Heawood.

Due to Stageco’s extensive workload around the world, it has been normal for Omilianowski to work with numerous Stageco employees on the Guns N’Roses tour, from supervisors to drivers. Throughout the tour, Stageco’s crews have also been led by Stef Angillis, Paul Vanbelle, Rene Lunenburg and Markus Olma, while smaller teams have worked on the shows in Copenhagen and Paris. “It’s rare that I travel with the same team for more than two or three shows,” Andy O

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

GN’R show photography © Tom Bilsen & Rod Coen • Crew & set-up photography © Mark Cunningham

Site co-ordinator Andy Omilianowski, known universally as ‘Andy O’, commented: “For me, the quick transition from Depeche Mode to Guns N’Roses wasn’t just about the stage and the stadium floor; I have the whole site to prepare including everything backstage but we proved it can be done! A lot of detail goes into a transition like this and sometimes it can be as demanding as a three-day steel build when you’re working with your own equipment and you know what’s going in.”

SUMMER 2017


16 12

POW! Roy Lichtenstein’s Pop Art is a feature of the Robbie Williams set design. Below left: RW production manager Steve Iredale.

Stade de France in Paris where Depeche Mode played on July 1st and Guns N’Roses followed six days later. “I love this stadium,” smiled production manager Dale ‘Opie’ Skjerseth. “I came here with AC/DC last year; the staff here are fantastic and, like always, it’s a perfect day with Stageco. We’ve been everywhere on this tour and apart from Australasia and Tel Aviv, we have Stageco all the way through the schedule. We are streamlined in the sense of making it work economically everywhere we need to go. “This goes back to the States for stadium shows with Stageco and when September comes around, Andy and

Robbie Williams photography © Jim Nicholls. Steve Iredale © Ian Tomey.

observed. “Achieving a level of continuity with those conditions is a unique situation for a site co-ordinator, but we always have a good advance plan and that really helps. I also reach out to the individual crew chiefs so that a lot of questions are answered before we meet, and I’ve been extremely happy with the consistency of their work. “I’ve no hesitation in saying that Stageco are the best in the world at what they do and I’ve been lucky to be provided with great staff to work with me, so I have to utmost respect for the company.” As ‘Paradise City’ faded into the darkened Stratford sky, the overnight load-out began. The destination was the

SUMMER 2017

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS


17 13

Above: The test build in Werchter. Stageco’s previous work for Williams has included the iconic Close Encounters and Take The Crown tours.

I jump off and start with the Rolling Stones [the No Filter tour of Europe]. The same happened when I was on AC/DC. It’s a seamless switch because everything is so tightly organised.”

in Werchter and sent to Brussels for rehearsals prior to the opening date of the tour at Manchester’s Ethiad Stadium on June 3rd. “It’s essentially a ‘re-tuned’ SuperRoof,” De Decker claimed, “but having worked on so many Robbie tours in the past, we can usually expect something a little different and always look forward to each new project.” Once again, Stageco has supplied and built the main FOH and delay tower structures on the field throughout the tour. Engineered by Wouter Declercq with drawings by Dirk Van Der Goor, two identical systems have been leapfrogging each other around Europe with Stageco crews headed by Stefaan Vandenbosch and Patrik Vonckx. Featuring support from Erasure, the 34-date tour is scheduled to end at Moscow’s Olympic Stadium on September 10th where, it is believed, Mr Williams intends to ‘Party Like A Russian’.

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

SUMMER 2017

Robbie Williams photography © Jim Nicholls

HEAVY ENTERTAINMENT A week later, on June 23rd, Robbie Williams’ Heavy Entertainment Show European tour stopped at London Stadium to complete Stageco’s summer run in the home of the Hammers and give the star an opportunity to pay tribute to the victims of the recent tragedies in Manchester and London with his classic ‘Angels’. The first solo artist to headline at the venue, Williams made his entrance in typical tongue-in-cheek style, wearing a boxer’s robe as he emerged to the sound of the pre-recorded mock national anthem, ‘God Save Our Robbie’. Extending the pugilistic theme, the stunning 61m

wide x 20m high set designed by Es Devlin is built with a traditional Stageco SuperRoof that is framed by two giant Roy Lichtenstein Pop Art ‘pow’ cut outs and bookended left and right by Robbie’s boxer figures that reveal themselves as video screens from Faber Audiovisuals. “The boxers have a very irregular shape that required us to build a set of bespoke supporting structures,” said project manager Dirk De Decker. “The front ‘pow’, as we’ve referred to it, sticks out above the roof and slightly leans forward so we had to specially adapt the front of the roof.” With production manager Steve Iredale calling the shots on all things technical, the stage was test-built


18

Vasco! Vasco! No less than 225,000 people converged on Modena Park in Italy to witness the spectacle of Vasco Rossi’s one-off show on July 1st. Co-produced by Big Bang and Live Nation Italy, and designed by Claudio Santucci, the concert saw Stageco contributing to the stage, collaborating with PRG Belgium on the video elements of the production. Tom Bilsen and Vincent Ex, the project managers for Stageco and PRG respectively, came together to develop six custom made portals for the video screens. Each tower required for the portals measured 7m x 7m x 18m. Four of

SUMMER 2017

these portals were automated via a Wicreations controller – they each connected to a 15m x 9m screen and were positioned either side of the main central screen. Along with the screens, power generators and lighting fixtures, the portals – which were connected to two 52m long rails to cover the whole of the stage – weighed approximately 25 tonnes. A Stageco crew of eight, with local support, took five days to load in and set up for the show. This was boosted to 10 Stageco crew for the three-day load-out.

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS


19 S TA G E C

O

D E U TS C

HL

AND

Matapaloz & The Onkelz On a roll since their impressive comeback in 2014, German rockers the Böhse Onkelz invited their fans to the launch edition of their very own open-air festival – Matapaloz – at the Hockenheim Ring motor racing circuit on June 16-17. Over 50,000 fans came to see a line-up that included Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach and Slayer, while Stageco Deutschland was in action as a service provider for the Böhse Onkelz and promoter LiveGeist Entertainment GmbH for the third consecutive time. The new challenge was to deal with 54 tons of production in the stage roof alone, and securing the bespoke design to the stage. A crew from the Königsbrunn company also assembled the band’s stages back in in 2014 and 2015, notably in the form of several tower blocks to represent the skyline of Frankfurt – a reference to the band’s home town.

For Matapaloz ’17, the elaborate metal and wood stage set was designed exclusively by Argentinian Pablo Chichan who, drawing inspiration from the name of the event, incorporated the South American matapalo strangler fig in the set, with the mutant climbing plant winding its way around the stage. Stageco deployed a specially reinforced roof to bear the massive load of the technical equipment, and close collaboration at the planning stage with respect to all static calculations was vital in order to realise this exceptional stage design. The Stageco crew also built five single delay/spot towers within the event grounds. Around 260 tons of material were deployed in total, transported on 21 trailer trucks. Around 40 crew members assembled the stage in just four days, with dismantling taking two and a half days.

Photography © Adrian Sailer

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

SUMMER 2017


20

SUMMER 2017

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS


21 S TA G E C

O

A U S TR A

I

Life Ball 2017 on-site. The special feature of this year’s edition was the design by artist Amra Bergman, incorporating an elegant 25 metre high sculpture that towered above the stage. A resident emblem host of the Life Balls, the figure was ‘brought to life’ with 3D projections. In order to be able to secure the sculpture over the Micro Arch roundabout platform, the Stageco crew erected a freestanding portal, spanning 22 metres. The total width of the stage, including the left and right PA system hangs and LED walls, measured over 46 metres. Dirk Lauenstein, Stageco Deutschland’s managing director and project manager for the event, commented “We are proud to be a service provider for Lifeball and thank the people responsible for the close co-operation.”

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Photography © Stageco; The Vienna Blog

Since 1993, Vienna has hosted one of the world’s biggest charity events, the Life Ball, with the aim of ending the spread of HIV/AIDS. After a year’s break, the event returned on June 10th – bigger, crazier, more sparkling, colourful and diverse than ever before, whilst bearing the motto ‘Recognise The Danger’. For the last 17 years, Stageco Austria, a subsidiary of Stageco Deutschland GmbH, has been an active service provider for the charity event. In traditional style, the 2017 event – which featured Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst, ORF presenter Verena Scheitz and special guests Naomi Campbell, Joss Stone and Ute Lemper – began with a show in front of the Viennese town hall, this time in the style of the 1920s and 1930s. Stageco Austria built the Micro Arch stage as well as many other structures

SUMMER 2017


Photography © Mark Cunningham

22

Silver A

SUMMER 2017

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS


23

And Gold STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

SUMMER 2017


24

Photography © Danny North / courtesy of RMP

“We looked at the original Joshua Tree stadium stage and then allowed its bold, simple aesthetic to guide the design.” WILLIE WILLIAMS One of Ireland’s most successful exports since Arthur Guinness brewed his first pint, U2 have gone back into their past to inform their latest stadium tour: a 30th anniversary celebration of The Joshua Tree, the album that made them a global phenomenon. And Stageco is delighted to continue its relationship with the band that has consistently informed the evolution of modern concert design. Unthinkable as it may now seem, when U2 first toured The Joshua Tree in 1987, as documented in the road movie ‘Rattle And Hum’, it was without any form of visual support. The band soon made up for it with the eccentric video feast that was the Zoo TV tour and by the time Stageco came onboard for the staggering PopMart production, 20 years ago, U2 had earned a reputation for pioneering a raft of new technologies every time they hit the road. That spirit of innovation shows no sign of diminishing with the current tour, a 51-date trek through Europe, North America and Latin America that sees the band perform in front of what is believed to be the highest resolution screen ever deployed on a concert tour. SUMMER 2017

According to Jake Berry, who has steered U2’s productions for the last 17 years, the design was inspired by the band’s performance at Dreamfest last October for San Francisco industry giant Salesforce (see Stageco’s Winter 2017 news bulletin), for which long-time creative director Willie Williams devised a 30.5m x 13m screen. “We had PA hanging in front of it,” recalled Berry, “and then at Desert Trip there was this massive screen behind a bunch of black boxes, and it all looked a bit disjointed. So when Willie decided that he wanted to go 61m wide by 14m high with the screen for this tour, we needed to find another solution for the sound. “I asked [Stufish Entertainment Architects set designer] Ric Lipson how high we trimmed the PA for the 360° tour and he confirmed it was 16m. We were guided by this and ended up taking a couple of metres from the stage and trimmed at 13m, and decided that if we could hang the PA above the screen without a conventional tower, it would give everyone an unobstructed view of the stage. That was the big point of the exercise because if it weren’t for the issue of sightlines, this could easily have gone another way. STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS


25

“The Stageco guys have it very well sorted. If you have the right people, enough cranes and field cover, and good access, it’s not complicated.” JAKE BERRY

THE SCREEN Apart from its sheer scale and resolution, what distinguishes this screen above all others is the format in which it arrives on-site. PRG’s Spaceframe seamlessly integrates the 8mm pixel pitch LED panels to provide an ultra-light-

weight, collapsible product that dramatically reduces truck loads. “It’s the first touring screen to be manufactured from carbon fibre and we’ve got it first,” said an excited Jake Berry, adding “and at great expense we’ve had it painted gold, with the actual tree from the album painted in silver both on the screen and on the header above.” Verdeyen commented: “We’ve provided some rigging points for Tait for the header but our biggest collaboration was with PRG because this screen requires a different approach. “The Spaceframe makes the wind bracing quite simple for us because, although the overall load remains the same, the Spaceframe requires less in the way of rear supporting structure from Stageco. For previous screens, we had to provide support everywhere and add a lot of horizontal bracing. Now the Spaceframe takes care of much of that and has fewer connections to our steel. “What can you say about that screen?” he continued. “It’s incredible and although it’s not the most complex we’ve ever worked with, it crucially depends on accurate measuring, after which it’s pretty straightforward.”

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

SUMMER 2017

Photography © Danny North / courtesy of RMP

“Of course, my next conversation was with Stageco. I needed to know how far Clair’s PA [and some of the lighting fixtures] could be outrigged on a downstage edge and the answer was nine metres. That was our starting point.” The solution was to devise a cantilever system, engineered for Stageco by Tom Frederickx with Wim Dewolf creating the drawings in partnership with the U.S. office, where the tour began, while U2’s front of house sound engineer of nearly 40 years, Joe O’Herlihy was also consulted and Dirk De Decker led the project for Stageco. “The four 18m long cantilever devices above the screen are supported by a network of portal structures that are anchored with ballast to enable the long reach,” said Hendrik Verdeyen, one of the two Stageco crew chiefs – the other is Johan ‘Bellekes’ Van Espen.


26 The build at Houston’s NRG Stadium for the May 24th show.

Photography © Stageco US; Mark Cunningham

Sunday 9th July, 3.30pm. Twickenham Stadium, London.

SUMMER 2017

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS


27 Stageco crew chief Hendrik Verdeyen, third from left, with colleagues Atilla, Andy, Wim, Polleke and Denis.

SCHEDULE Five systems were built by Stageco, each requiring 11 trailer loads of black steel and rigging equipment while another five move the scaffolding. Two of the systems toured North America for the first leg

that began on May 12th, and three will be transported around Europe until the start of August with two steel teams of 14 splitting the duties between them. “From a construction and logistical perspective, this is much easier than the 360° tour but the schedule is much more of a push with less margin for delay,” said Verdeyen. “Our first site day is focused on scaffolding, the sub deck and the base out, and on the afternoon of day one we start building with the black steel. “On day two, we construct the same front of house risers used on the 360° tour,

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

SUMMER 2017

Photography © Mark Cunningham, Danny North*, Kevin Mazur* (*courtesy of RMP)

[A ‘shadow’ of the tree also extends out 23m on a B-stage thrust from where the band start the show before moving to the main stage to perform The Joshua Tree album as a whole piece, against a backdrop of visuals mostly created by Anton Corbijn.]


28

plus the three delay/spot towers and scaff platforms in the stands, and complete all the black steel work if it remains unfinished.” Jake Berry offered kudos. “The Stageco guys have got it very well sorted. If you have the right people, enough cranes and field cover, and access is good for load-in and loadout, it’s not too complicated even though it might look that way.”

THE SHOW In the hands of another band, designing a 2017 show around a classic album from 30 years ago might easily produce a result that’s as comfortable as one’s favourite armchair, but clearly this was not the intention. Far from it being a nostalgia fest, this show – with its regular bursts of socio-political commentary – is as current as it gets.

The simple fact is, compared to 1987’s outing, this is a vastly improved iteration of The Joshua Tree: more explosive, more confident and with wider meaning. Add 30 years of design and engineering invention and prowess, and you have a show that not even the band and Willie would have dreamed up back in those mullet-infested days. This is also the first U2 stadium production since the sad passing of their architectural muse, Mark Fisher. Berry offered his thoughts: “What would Mark have thought about this? I think he would certainly have been very proud of Ric Lipson and he would’ve liked it because a lot of innovative stuff went on, not least flying the PA the way we have and getting it past the engineers. “It’s all good… the whole team have pulled off yet another milestone.”

Photography © Danny North / courtesy of RMP Archive photography © Mark Fisher/Stufish

U2 & Stageco: Three Giants From The Past

SUMMER 2017

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS


29 STA G

E

C O NEDE

RL

AND

All Back To Parookaville Once a year, in mid-July, Airport Weeze in Germany – a former British RAF base – is transformed into Parookaville: an off-the-wall electronic music festival landscape exuding joy, love and madness, and one that is aiming to match the success of Tomorrowland. Founded in 2015, for the last two editions of Parookaville, Stageco Nederland has been very proud to service the event, working with the promoter, Parookaville GmbH and festival production manager Ron Langeweg. Selling out with ease and boasting the cream of the world’s DJs, including headliners Armin Van Burren, David Guetta, Steve Aoki and Tiësto, in just three years the

festival has grown from a one day event to three days, welcoming 60,000 dance fans to a location that presents 11 distinctive entertainment zones. The biggest project taken on so far by Stageco Nederland, it saw the crew work for 18 days, during which it built the 110m wide x 26m high main stage and numerous other structures, using over 1,000,000kg of steel. The company’s project manager was Eddie Slotboom; crew chief was Remco ‘Hakkie’ Hakkert and Paul Schrijfsma was responsible for engineering and construction calculations. Dave Roordink and his R&D colleagues made the technical drawings.

Photography © Jorrit van de Kolk

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

SUMMER 2017


30

Photography © E Reid & Stageco US

WrestleMania XXXIII Participating in the 33rd annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by WWE proved to be a spring season highlight for Stageco US. A total of 13 matches were contested at what is considered WWE’s flagship event, often described as the Super Bowl of wrestling. Broadcast live from Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida on April 2nd, the event drew an alleged 75,000-strong audience and saw Stageco US work through the creative process with client Duncan Leslie and his team headed by designer Jason Robinson and their lead on the ground, Jeremy Shand. Stageco sent a team of 17 supervisors led by Jim Ramacus and Mark Van Gorp to tackle this immense undertaking. This year, Stageco US built several enormous set pieces SUMMER 2017

and provided structural support to ARS, All Access, ScreenWorks and Clair Global to recreate some of the more memorable elements of Universal Studios’ amusement attractions and the most infamous elements of the WWE Empire. These included representations of the Tower of Terror, the Iconic World Wrestling Ring, the Athlete Entrance Ramp – one of many thrilling roller coasters – and the world famous Universal Studios Globe. The design process began in late 2016, while the installation for this massive project began in mid-March. Working with the client and fellow vendors, Stageco overcame obstacle after obstacle. A shoring company (and crew) was brought in to fortify the plaza level of the stadium in order to accommodate structures. Gear selection without forklift STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS


31 AG

ST

S

THE GLOBE Working together with ARS, All Access, ScreenWorks and WrestleMania’s design team on realising the globe structure was both complicated and rewarding. It was absolutely necessary for Stageco to work in unison with all of these vendors who all added their respective elements to the mix. Each layer of the globe consisted of Stageco substructure, the ARS circle truss and All Access’ dressing. All of these elements came together to create this beautiful structure filled with exciting opportunities for one of a kind features.

EC O U

access and the enormity of the plaza structure were just a couple of the items that the team overcame.

THE RING In the original Jason Robinson design, the ring was a cartoon-like version of a ring with very large proportions and angled towers. This vision inspired the gigantic angled towers, lit up ring ropes as well as the custom roof and roof skins designed with the WrestleMania logo. All these elements were designed to mimic an enormous representation of the squared circle. Every opportunity to work with such an amazing group is a welcome chance to create something truly astounding. This event used the expertise of a wide range of professionals, over 30 trucks of steel and countless behind the scene hurdles. Stageco US is humbled to be included amongst this group of extraordinary talents.

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

SUMMER 2017


32

Photography courtesy of HPower Group

Market Square

SUMMER 2017

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS


33 S TA

G

EC

O BEL G

IU

M

Passchendaele 100 For three treacherous months in 1917, the Allied Forces fought against the German Empire in the fields of West Flanders in the hope of bringing the First World War to a conclusion. The bleakest theatre of war was the Battle Of Passchendaele, the Third Battle of Ypres, where – between July 31st and November 10th – it has been estimated that up to half a million brave soldiers lost their lives. One hundred years on, commemmorations took place in Ypres with the support of Stageco Belgium, whose services were hired by event production organisers, HPower Group, for whom the project was managed by Chuck Crampton. On Sunday 30th July, the eve of the Centenary, the ‘Last Post’ ceremony took place in front of descendants of some of the soldiers named on the Menin Gate. Members of the public also watched the event live on a large video screen in nearby Market Square. That evening, Market Square was transformed into a multi-media site, featuring historical projections alongside a military orchestra and solo musicians, with performances by actors and public figures with links to Passchendaele. For Stageco’s build in Market Square, Paul Van Belle led a crew for the 10-day load-in, negotiating the tricky, narrow site as well as height issues. Matthias Waegemans’ smaller team assisted with the on-site stand-by during production load-in and show days, while decisions on camera positions and other aspects constantly changed up until the show. Waegemans’ team also contributed to the load-out by another crew led by René Lunenberg. The 20m x 18m main stage featured a curved transparent roof and thrust, front of stage ramps, a choir riser

and PA towers. Other structures built by Stageco included an eight-sided B-stage, two spot towers, seven projector towers of varying sizes, a VIP deck with stairs, a BJ-roof for the Royal Box, the FOH riser and PRM deck, cable bridges, three additional PA towers and, for TV cameras, a 20m x 1m rail track and numerous decks. TYNE COT An event at the Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in the world, where 11,961 Commonwealth servicemen are buried, followed the next day with a remembrance ceremony attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, King Filip and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, British Prime Minister Theresa May and dignitaries from the 19 nations that fought on the Ypres Salient. Again, Stageco Belgium was responsible for the event’s structures. Gilles Bosque led a crew that built two 18.63m x 6.21m media stands, covered with crystal roofs and skins; the company also provided three camera decks, a loading dock and stairs over the cemetery wall. Stageco Belgium project manager Lies Rombouts commented: “Harry Guthrie, who handled the production for HPower Group, did a really great job of keeping everything on schedule and responding to all demands on both the production and supplier sides. Luc Dardenne, who did all the drawings, patiently made adjustments as each change was made, and Elise De Meyer smoothly managed the day-to-day crew and transport planning, even with all the last minute deliveries!” Photography courtesy of HPower Group

Tyne Cot

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

SUMMER 2017


34 S TA G E C

O

D E U TS C

HL

AND

Classics in Paphos

Photography © Monika Rittershaus

Supplied and constructed by Stageco Deutschland, Micro Arch roof system was used at the Berliner Philharmoniker Orchestra’s annual Europakonzert on May 1st in the Cypriot city of Paphos, the birthplace of Aphrodite and a 2017 European Capital of Culture, where works by Carl Maria

SUMMER 2017

von Weber and Antonín Dvorák were performed, and conducted by Mariss Jansons. Due to the provision of a variety of roof skins, the musicians were able to playing the shade when the sun was high at midday, and because the Micro Arch’s construction is less material-intensive than others, transport costs were kept within very reasonable limits, requiring just three containers to ship the roof. The transparency of the system allowed the audience to not only enjoy the orchestra on stage but view also the unique scenic backdrop of Paphos Castle (originally built as a Byzantine fort to protect the harbour), however, because the stage was built directly on the seafront, parts of the substructure had to be mounted underwater. Stageco Deutschland project manager Michael Herbst and Kai Eppinger, who looked after the technical implementation, worked alongside construction supervisor Andreas Deubach and his crew to plan and execute the project.

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS


35 AG

ST

EC O U

S

Raving The Medieval Way duo’s emotive and melodic music soothed the crowd and offered a momentary break from the heavy beats at Castle Northwoods throughout the weekend. With another four trailers of gear, Stageco’s team was also responsible for creating the stage in Middlelands Arena, regarded as the heart of the festival, whose schedule was packed with monster sets from Getter, Slander, Snails and more. The event also promised “mind-blowing feats of ingenuity, inspired by the elements of air, water and fire.”

INTERNATIONAL OFFICES 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 Heigerleinstraße 23/31 A-1160 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 Nederland b.v. Stageco Deutschland GmbH Aalsvoort 14 Herzbergstrasse 120  7241 MA Lochem 10365 Berlin  Tel: +31 573 25 63 02 Tel: +49 30 54 98 72 40 Fax: +31 573 25 60 62 Fax: +49 30 54 98 72 44 info.nederland@stageco.com info.berlin@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

STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

SUMMER 2017

Photography © Insomniac; Stageco US

In May, Stageco US provided two stages at a new Insomniac dance festival event, the three-day, medieval-themed Middlelands rave in Todd Mission, Texas, on the site of the Renaissance Festival Fair Grounds. Farley Gross led a crew of six Americans and Belgians to build the Castle Northwoods stage (top of page), using nine trailers of equipment. It was on this stage that Phantogram rose to the occasion with a soaring set that established the tone for the first night of the festival. The


IF YOU CAN IMAGINE IT, WE CAN BUILD IT.

Concert stages in all sizes. Stageco Belgium N.V. Kapelleweg 6 • 3150 Tildonk Tel : +32 16 60 84 71 Fax: +32 16 60 10 61 info@stageco.com

Temporary structures for every event.

www.stageco.com

BELGIUM FRANCE NETHERLANDS GERMANY AUSTRIA USA EDITED & DESIGNED BY MARK CUNNINGHAM / LIVECULTURE FOR AND ON BEHALF OF STAGECO STAGING GROUP

Profile for Stageco Group

STAGECO NEWS Summer 2017  

The official Stageco Staging Group news journal.

STAGECO NEWS Summer 2017  

The official Stageco Staging Group news journal.

Advertisement