Serious about Reading and Leeds

Monday, 5 September 2005
Serious about Reading and LeedsOne of Serious Stages' 25 metre Space Roofs in action at Leeds Bramham Park
UK - Serious Stages supplied two of its new 25m Space Roof structures for the main stages at both Leeds and Reading sites creating a new look for the Mean Fiddler's flagship Carling Weekend Festival event.

Serious also supplied decked staging for most of the tented stages at both festivals, including the Carling, NME/Radio 1 and Comedy stages, the Dance Arena, plus the Lee Sounds Live at Leeds.

The Space Roof is a new product, launched by Serious earlier in the year. Its first outing was as Glastonbury's Other Stage, and the 25m version is one of the largest complete temporary festival staging systems available in the UK.

The Space Roof features a substantial eight tonne distributed load bearing capacity, which will accommodate all types of production requirements for flying lighting, video, sets, etc.

The Leeds and Reading Space stages measured 25m wide by 26m deep and also featured a four metre cantilever at the front. With the widthways addition of custom video screen supports and 23m high goal post PA towers - another new Serious product - at both venues, the total structure width measured an impressive 58m.

Serious also supplied a 24m wide by 2.5m thrust stage extensions at both venues for Iron Maiden. This was removed once the band's set closed Friday night in Leeds, and replaced with two 7.2 by 2.4m wide camera runs stage left and right, and a 4.8 by 2.4m decked area centre stage for the remainder of the weekend.

In Leeds, the main stage is at the base of a natural amphitheatre type slope, which necessitates a scaffolding infrastructure be built up to 25ft high at the rear of the stage, just to level it up with the front, which is 8 ft high.

The Space Roofs were each stabilised by 80 tonnes of kinterledge driven into the ground using the Platypus anchorage system. This year the Leeds team was led by Leo Barcala and included up to 16 people, and the Reading Festival crew of 16 was headed by Aleksis Zarins. Serious's Dragan Kuzmanov dealt with all structural calculations and health and safety issues for both sites.

The three level FOH platforms at Leeds and Reading, also provided by Serious, both measured 7.2 by 7.2m with decks at 0.5, 3, 5.5 and 6m, accommodating sound, lighting and follow spots plus a delay screen hanging position at the rear. Constructed from scaffolding the structures also acted as wheelchair access platforms.

Serious Stages' Steven Corfield comments, "We have a large range of Space structures available, and they have been out on a wide range of projects throughout the summer. They've proved highly adaptable for all types of geographical location, and very quick to construct."

(Sarah Rushton-Read)

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