STAGECO NEWS Winter 2019

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SOLUTION STRATEGY

How Stageco built three shows in a day for Vliegende Vrienden van Amstel LIVE WINTER 2019

plus... L’Usine Extraordinaire Metallica Conquer Dreamforce Peace To The World From Ypres Zürich OpenAir... and much more

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A Hive Of Activity

WINTER 2019 3 • MESSAGE OF PEACE Commemmorating the end of the Great War

6 • THREE SHOWS IN A DAY Stageco builds a trio of identical shows for Amstel Live

12 • UNVEILING THE ‘8G’ 911 A new take on the Porsche legend

14 • PALACE OF INVENTION Creating a real-world factory environment

16 • ZÜRICH OPENAIR Festival excess... city access

18 • NETWORKING IN A FLASH! VodafoneZiggo announces Gigabit service

20 • BEATING TIME ON THE TRACKS Discovery days will never be the same again

22 • METALLICA Conquering Dreamforce in San Francisco

Cover photograph: Bart Heemskerk

24 • LA MAGIE DE NOËL Carcassonne gets in the festive spirit

26 • FRANKFURT FLASHBACK Unwind in Stageco’s expo café

A very Happy New Year to all our friends and colleagues around the world! I’m pleased to report that Stageco enjoyed an exceptionally busy autumn and early winter in 2018, and a few examples of those projects are included in this edition. As well as continuing to tour with Taylor Swift’s incredible Reputation show in Australasia and Japan through November, and work on the MTV Europe Music Awards in Spain, we took on some interesting projects in the Middle East such as a major WWE wrestling event. We have much to look forward to in the coming weeks and months – the awards season is fast approaching along with a raft of fashion shows. It won’t be long until we are heading into a heavily concentrated period of concert touring and our diary is already filling up with some amazing projects. Lastly, we would all like to extend a warm welcome to Dennis de Graaf who joined Stageco Nederland on January 2nd as its new general manager. We hope to feature him in a forthcoming edition of this newsletter. Hedwig De Meyer, Stageco President

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and healing, through the power of dance, theatre, music and the spoken word. Free to attend, the event was conceived as a symbolic ‘occupation’ of the square, under the direction of Belgian actor and curator Wim Opbrouck who invited a wide range of performers and formed a one-off band alongside the likes of Donovan, Jan De Smet, Einstürzende Neubauten, Gabriel Rios, Roland Van Campenhout, Stijn Meuris and others. SMOOTH This ambitious line-up was a huge undertaking, requiring around 100 risers to enable

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Photography: Gone West

In the First World War, the lives of 600,000 soldiers were claimed in five historic and bloody battles fought across the West Flanders landscape of the famous Ypres Salient. One hundred years later, the cultural and remembrace programme Gone West was held to commemorate the centenary of the end of the Great War, culminating in a grand finale concert in Ypres’ Grote Markt (market square) in late August. A 12-hour marathon, Stageco was honoured to be involved in this final event. Titled Peace To The World, it was a closing statement designed to celebrate the future, hope

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MESSAGE OF PEACE

Ypres marks a historic milestone and inspires hope for the future


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the smoothest possible changeovers. To accommodate them, an equally large stage was necessary, namely Stageco’s 3-Tower roof, accompanied by a 6m x 4m FOH structure with an added third floor and a disabled access platform. Extra stage flooring was added all around the main structure, providing some much needed production space. The total amount of decking amounted to 685 square metres. CREATIVITY Taking note of the many peculiarities of the square, as well as the Lakenhallen (Ypres’ famous medieval Cloth Hall) and the available space in between, the stage had to be adjusted for a perfect fit. With projects of this type, much depends on the skills and creativity

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of the R&D team; in this case it was Luc Dardenne who designed, redesigned, shuffled and turned the stage until it neatly fit within the bounders of the buildings, trees, containers and other obstacles. Stageco Belgium’s project manager was Lies Rombouts, who enjoyed a pleasant and successful collaboration with Raf Winten, the appointed production manager.

IF YOU CAN IMAGINE IT, WE CAN BUILD IT.

CONCERT STAGES IN ALL SIZES. TEMPORARY STRUCTURES FOR EVERY EVENT. Stageco Belgium N.V. • Kapelleweg 6, 3150 Tildonk • Tel: +32 16 60 84 71 • Fax: +32 16 60 10 61 • info@stageco.com • www.stageco.com

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Photography © Floris Heuer, Ali Mousavi, Nathan Reinds & Bart Heemskerk

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THREE SHOWS IN A DAY

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Stageco Nederland pulls out the stops to guarantee identical staging for Vliegende Vrienden van Amstel LIVE! in Amsterdam, Zwolle and Eindhoven... STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

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Saturday 15th September saw the Dutch cities of Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Zwolle join together for a frenzied day of live music and partying at De Vliegende Vrienden van Amstel LIVE! (The Flying Friends of Amstel LIVE!), a synchronised event between the three locations, organised by The Flying Dutch, Tribe Company and Amstel, with significant input from Stageco Nederland. Attracting around 120,000 visitors in total, the event boasted a diverse bill of 24 acts – from BLØF, Chef’special, Anouk and Douwe Bob, to Guus Meeuwis, Rowwen Hèze, Coen & Sander

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and Fedde Le Grand – all of whom were able to perform at each site, thanks to regular helicopter ferries and duplicated backline equipment. A few months before leaving Stageco NL after 22 years with the company, Eddie Slotboom drove the project as account manager from his Lochem office. He recalled: “Just after the project was launched in January, Backbone International, the event production consultancy, invited us to a brainstorming session where we discussed the client’s ambitions and the options we could provide. Black steel and a standard

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“One of the big challenges was to have the right trailers in the right place… and at the right time.”

roof were the solutions, and when we were asked if we wanted to put in a formal offer for one location, our response was to suggest that we supply all three locations, to ensure that there was a consistent identity across all of the stages. “The person on the other side of the table almost fell off his seat. ‘Is that possible?’ he asked. We assured him that it was and so the work began.

“It is usual for us to assemble a project team for jobs of this size and we involved the crew early so they were aware of each oncoming challenge mainly during the construction planning and and the actual build. “There was almost no flexibility with physical dimensions and the construction had to be built in a particular order, and so the crew on the ground were of great importance in the preparation.”

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UNIQUE For the construction of the set, a number of custom elements were made in order to form a unique design. These parts were developed by Stageco Nederland’s R&D department and manufactured in the workshops in both Lochem and the Belgian headquarters in Tildonk. While Bart Gooding produced the drawings, Paul Schijfsma looked after all of the engineering aspects with input from their Belgian colleagues.

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At each site, 18 trailers were required to deliver 800m2 of black steel to create the arched roofs, along with approximately 2300m² of floor system materials and 116 ballast blocks, and the build attracted much attention from the local public. Said Eddie: “Each location had its own Stageco crew boss – Arjan Bettink in Amsterdam, Remco Hakkert in Zwolle and in Eindhoven we had Reinier Dieperink. Complemented by our permanent crew offices and

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11 freelancers, they formed a good mix of people who did a fantastic job together. One of the big challenges for us was to have the right trailers in the right place… and at the right time. “There were also some environmental factors to consider. Zwolle’s site had space limitations; it was very windy in Amsterdam and Eersel [near Eindhoven] was a new location for us. However, we overcame these issues without any fuss and that was possible due to great communication. “It’s in situations like this that the size and quality of the Stageco Group plays an important role, with the internal co-operation of crew, materials management and R&D ensuring that the customer really gets what they ask for. As

we always say, if you can imagine it, we can build it!” The event was described as “a monster” by Tribe Company’s creative director Machiel Hofman, who went on to praise everyone involved for staging “a mega military operation”. vliegendevriendenvanamstel.nl

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UNVEILING THE ‘8G’ PORSCHE 911 WINTER 2019

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Stageco U.S. was invited to be play a part in the grand unveiling of the brand new, 8th Generation Porsche 911. This event, held at the Porsche Experience Center in Carson, California on November 28th, was a precursor to the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show and especially designed to highlight a lifetime of Porsche. A palpable sense of history was in the air as a parade of 911s drove by the crowd under the Stageco structure. Born in 1963 as a more expensive, higher-performing alternative to the Porsche 356, decades have marched by while the 911 has remained the sports car enthusiast’s standard. Aided by Hollywood superstar Armie Hammer, the Porsche presentation team took those present through 55 years of the 911. The look and the feel of this new edition draws its personality from every 911 but more especially from the iconic 930, the first turbo. The event saw Stageco build a modified 2320 roof system with special items of equip-

ment created to support the angled fascia at the entrances to the structure. This structure was used as a tunnel to showcase a drivable sharing of the generations of Porsche. IMMERSIVE Stageco worked hand in hand with live event production company 2XD and German construction firm Metron Eging to bring this immersive show to life. Working together over a week-long load in the Stageco team, headed by Farley Gross and Austin Brown, Gordon Hyndford (of 2XD) and Thomas Maier (Metron Eging) brought this train in to the station to get everything just right for the night time reveal. It was a true pleasure to work alongside this talented group and help the Porsche presentation team bring life to the history of the 911. Ultimately, Stageco U.S. was proud to be a part of the team that could help show the world what’s to come, in the future of icons.

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14 Over four days at the end of November 2018, the Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées in Paris opened its doors to host L’Usine Extraordinaire (Extraordinary Factory), a full-scale working factory exhibition, revealing to the public the inner machinations of industry through a series of connected production sites, immersive experiences, virtual reality, dialogue with technicians, engineers and workshop leaders, and inspirational conferences. This unique event, organised by the Foundation Extraordinary Factory with the support of the FACE foundation, also focused on cultivating the interest of school students through guided visits around the four areas named Invent, Build, Connect and Share. Stageco France was commissioned to make a significant contribution by creative event company Hopscotch and liaised with L’Usine Extraordinaire’s production manager Laurent

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PALACE OF INVENTION WINTER 2019

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Thouret to fulfil a number of structural requirements. Thierry Nataf, who managed the project for Stageco, reflected: “It was back in May that we started work on the project and produced our first drawings. Everything was finalised by October and we arranged for 36 tonnes of equipment to be sent in two trucks from Tildonk.� The Invent pavilion was notable for its 31m high central tower, built by Stageco from black steel to carry a large video wall, and surrounded by a scaffold-based cylinder. This area was finished with a 7.3m platform for technician access and crash barriers at the entrance.

While the Build pavilion required a scaffolding structure (16.9m x 3.4m x 8m) with a old factory roof shape, plus two video wall supports each measuring 4.66m x 2.6m x h 3.74m, Stageco constructed a 6.2m x 6.2m x 8.3m cube from scaffold material on which to hang a video wall and create a climbing wall set in the Connect pavilion. Thierry worked closely with R&D manager Dirk Van de Goor and crew chief Kevin De Meyer who led five Stageco supervisors and a team of 15 local scaffolders. The crew built the job in three days, completing the project with an extensive one-day load-out. usineextraordinaire.com

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SWISS PRECISION IN MOTION A successful eighth year for Zürich’s big summer event WINTER 2019

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NETWORKING IN A FLASH! Things are about to get very fast for Internet users in the Netherlands. In 2020, Utrecht will become the first Dutch city to enjoy Gigabit speed, enabling users to stream, download and upload five times faster than current internet connections allow, thanks to telecoms brand VodafoneZiggo’s new, super-fast network which was announced by CEO Jeroen Hoencamp during the opening ceremony of the company’s new central office, adjacent to Hoog Cataharijne retail centre and Utrecht Central rail station. Amsterdam-based event management company NEOC hired Stageco Nederland’s services for November’s well-attended ceremony, which featured a large mirrorball on top of Stageco ribbon lift.

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The lift was set on a large, round Stageco stage, specially designed above a pond that was made of natural stones. Some Layher tower constructions also came together to blend with the lift and round stage. The project was made a little more complex than usual owing to the crew’s inability to enter the event site with Stageco’s trucks. The only solution for all production suppliers was to load in the equipment via a 220 tonne crane, which was already resident for building works at Central Station. VodafoneZiggo’s announcement was accompanied by spectacular lighting and a short performance by locally-born DJ Fedde le Grand (opposite) underneath the iconic giant roof of the station square.

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19 The light show ‘Connections’ – developed by the creative team behind dance festivals Mysteryland and Tomorrowland, and staged on Stationsplein three times for five days – symbolised the brand’s “network of the future” and its ambition to turn Utrecht into “the fastest city in the Netherlands”. STABILITY The Docsis 3.1 technology behind the Gigabit delivery will be brought to homes through the existing cable network and will provide greater stability and improved security. The business world, public sector and health care institutions will also experience huge benefits – doctors will, for example, be able to plan virtual reality consultations with patients who are based at home. A widespread, huge growth in the use of the Internet is predicted in both the business and leisure sectors in the years to come. Each year, usage increases by approximately 40 to 50%. For this, additional network capacity is needed. The new network will reach internet speeds of 5 Gigabit per second for downloading and 1 Gigabit per second for uploading. In comparison, current speeds are between 150 and 200 Megabit per second. On behalf of Stageco, Michiel Makkink was the project manager who also conducted the advance site visit. He worked closely with Dave Roodink from the R&D department, who also took care of the technical drawings. Nic Zinnemers from NEOC expressed his satisfaction with his company’s partnership with Stageco on the project, stating: “Stageco’s comprehensive product range provided us with standard solutions for the round stage and ribbon lift. Despite the logistical difficulties, they worked fast, safe and communicated in a pleasant way. We look back on a successful collaboration.” vodafoneziggo.nl STAGECO INTERNATIONAL NEWS

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BEATING TIME Photography © Benjamin Brolet & Stageco

ON THE TRACKS When event agency VO Communication contracted Stageco to work on a special project for Belgian railway infrastructure management company Infrabel and the National Bank, it called for some challenging lateral thinking. The initial brief was to build a 380m long catwalk in one of Belgium’s busiest train tunnel – the Brussels ‘North-South connection’ – WINTER 2019

which would serve as a viewing platform and pathway for curious visitors Infrabel’s Company Discovery Days. The timeframe for this event was had to be strictly adhered to as it was not possible to disrupt the regular train schedule, and so it was clear from the outset that the task of building this catwalk in just one night would not be feasible.

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This forced Stageco project manager Wim Maes to get creative. The first idea was to bring in the material on a parallel train track, unloading it on to the correct track as soon as daytime service shut down. It quickly became apparent, however, that this also would not be possible as those tracks needed to stay clear for simultaneous maintenance work. Fortunately, an alternative approach proved to be more fruitful. It was decided that Stageco would pre-assemble the 380m long, 2.07m wide and 0.4m high catwalk in 18m long parts on top of 20 flatbed train carriages in the workstation outside the tunnel. These

were positioned on Friday night inside the tunnel. Once parked and secured, Stageco’s crew used the material provided on each carriage to connect the different parts and fill out the empty spaces as well as four additional viewing platforms along the track. On the Sunday night, the same process was repeated in reverse order. By assembling and preparing most of the structure outside the tunnel, Stageco created space and time to work comfortably, making it possible to control the most challenging factor in this whole operation: time!

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Photography © Dreamforce

METALLICA CONQUER DREAMFORCE

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On September 26th, Stageco was delighted to be involved in a very special event starring Metallica, that was held in Civic Center Plaza in downtown San Francisco for global CRM leader, Salesforce.com, Inc. This concert was the finale to Dreamforce 2018 – four days of innovation, inspiration and learning, and fun for the Salesforce community, attracting 170,000 international trailblazers and more than 10 million online viewers. Metallica asked that Stageco provide the touring stage that they had been using on their WorldWired tour in the summer of 2017, however, as Stageco began taking measurements of the site to determine the performance location, it was soon discovered that the touring stage, at nearly 200 feet across, was not going to fit anywhere in the Civic Center Plaza. The company then began working with John Zajonc and Dan Braun to create a Dreamforce version of the stage. This job offered challenges in many forms. The site was positioned in downtown San Francisco on the street in between the Asian

Art Museum and the San Francisco Public Library, and the crew worked while the city bustled around them. They gradually built the venue as the city cordoned off an increasingly larger area. The Stageco crew worked with the Dreamforce team alongside Joe Battle and San Francisco’s Live Nation entity. Patrick Martens and his crew flew over from Europe to run the construction of this stage. Patrick’s seven-person crew craned, hammered and forked over 300,000 pounds of material into position, and when the show was over – almost in the blink of an eye – they moved it all back on to trailers and shut the door on a great event blessed with great people. Stageco was incredibly pleased to work with the great people from Salesforce, the Live Nation staff from San Francisco, headed up by Joe Battle, Christie Ward and her team from George P. Johnson, and the incredible Metallica touring crew led by John Zajonc, with support and input from Theta Consulting and Kimley Horn.

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For more than 12 years, Stageco France has been building structures to help celebrate the Christmas and New Year holidays in Carcassonne with its eagerly awaited annual family event, La Magie de Noël. This year’s season, from December 6th until January 6th, saw event manager Pascal Dupont organise for the first time a 450m2 balcony extending over Place Général De Gaulle, providing visitors with incredible views of Carcassonne’s medieval city and castle.

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From the top of the platform, it was possible to view and photograph the ice karting track and skating rink in Carnot Square, each measuring over 900m², with lighting and sound handled by Sebastien Abatut. Following two months of planning, this year saw Stageco France come on-site with six semi-trailers and three forklift trucks, one of which had a telehandler with a 15m reach. Supervisors Olivier Daulon, Alexandre Brunel, Gabriel Brunel and Jean François Dervaux

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worked with nine scaffolders to build structures using 100 tons of material Layher scaffolding and 2,300m2 of Stageco flooring. Assisted by seven technicians from the City Hall’s services department, the assembly took one week to complete while breakdown and load-out was handled in four days. Everything was built The challenge will have been to make everything, in the space of the place(square), Charles de Gaulle hold by taking into account accesses for the security

of the public, the fire brigades, and urban traffics all around, but the result is there, as the large public who will contribute to the success of the event. Once again, Carcassonne’s event co-ordinator Christian Alibert executed the project with great skill and expertise, liaising with with the city’s technical services, Synerglace for the skating rinks, MPM for sound and lighting, and, of course, Stageco France. carcassonne.org

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FRANKFURT FLASHBACK

Photography: Jorrit Van de Kolk

Stageco builds an “oasis of calm” at Europe’s biggest production expo.

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One of the world’s most consistently successful trade shows to represent the live production technology industry, ProLight + Sound, held every spring at Frankfurt’s Messe, brings together manufacturers, service companies and professionals from all over the globe. Along with partner event, the Musikmesse (the associated musical instrument fair), it currently attracts around 100,000 visitors from 144 countries. When the expo was staged this year on April 10th-13th, Stageco took the opportunity of designing its own ‘booth’ in the form of a temporary, traditional Belgian beer café, built by creative agency Phixion within a 63m2 stand space. The project spanned two offices, being managed by Nicole Wooldrik at Stageco

Nederland and Timo Mathes at Stageco Deutschland, and the café offered sales staff from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany the chance to welcome many existing clients into this ‘oasis of calm’ whilst also meeting a number of potential new customers. “Our idea for the stand wasn’t to showcase our work like many other exhibitors,” said Timo Mathes, “but to create a unique gathering point so that people could relax with a coffee or a good glass of Belgian beer, served from our bar.” Stageco will be present once again at ProLight+Sound 2019, on April 2nd-5th. See us on stand E89 in Hall 12.0. phixion.be pls.messefrankfurt.com

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