Serious Stages on Blackheath
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Serious Stages on BlackheathGrace Jones plays Blackheath
UK - Serious Stages closed a busy 2014 festival season supplying stages and site structures to the inaugural On Blackheath festival, 13-14 September, 2014.

On Blackheath announced its arrival on the UK festival map this September with a colourful weekend site combining musical headliners Massive Attack, Frank Turner and Grace Jones, with culinary delights including Gizzi Erskine's Chef's Club and a mixture of family entertainment.

Promoter Harvey Goldsmith steered the content and managed the launch, with long term production director Jim Baggott managing the technical elements of the festival.

Baggott stated, "We wanted a stage that was versatile, that could be built very quickly in the three day window available to us. So we went to Serious Stages and decided on their 19m Supernova roof as the main stage. We've gone deeper than you'd expect for an audience of 15,000, mainly to accommodate the Massive Attack and Grace Jones productions on the Saturday night, with additional bays giving a 24m performance and working area.

"Steven and his teams on site have been great to deal with throughout."

Flanking the stage, Serious installed goalpost PA and video wings either side of the performance stage, as well as providing the front of house tower, wheelchair user platform and a VIP viewing platform for artists' and sponsor John Lewis's guests.

Andrew Ridler was Serious Stages' project manager, with a team of 20 building the stage well inside the three day schedule. He worked with Baggott site manager and TLF director Tim Spear to incorporate the stage and site structures into the site layout and create a fantastic look for the new festival.

Paul Hanger, who was the Serious standby technician, commented, "Being a new site, the whole production team pulled together to ensure we made this work. The incoming production was extensive, in addition, one particular request was to adapt the stagedecks with a false floor used by Grace Jones, who used a scissor lift to extend her larger than life personality to open her show."

Serious Stages managing director Steven Corfield stated, "In addition to the depth, the covered area of the main stage was maximised with 17.3 sqm off stage covered side-wings to give the production teams the area they required. We were delighted to work with Harvey (Goldsmith), Jim (Baggott) and the TLF team to help them deliver the successful first On Blackheath Festival. I envisage this being a great finalé to the festival season in years to come."

(Jim Evans)

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