The Silverstar venue officially opened with an in-house staff event
South Africa - A new dome has been erected on Krugersdorp hill, forming part of Tsogo Sun's Silverstar Casino, based in Muldersdrift. The attractive structure, designed and built by Otto Wijnberger of In2Structures, has been equipped with a basic lighting rig, stage and PA System making it a suitable self-sustained venue for smaller gigs hosted by Silverstar. At the same time, a similar structure, though not as large, was erected at Tsogo Sun's The Ridge in Emalahleni (Witbank), Mpumalanga.

In2Structures, a member of the Gearhouse Group of Companies, created the portable structures - there is a SupaDome, 71m x 35m x 17m high, at Silverstar and a Maxi Dome, 49m x 28m x 13m high, at The Ridge. Unlike other conventional aluminium framed assemblies such as marquees, they have the ability to withstand large imposed loads such as suspended equipment and high wind pressure and importantly include exceptional safety factors.

Project co-ordinator Djalita von Mollendorf from Mtshali Moss Projects, better known as Molly, and Tsogo Sun's audio visual specialist, David Butcher, worked closely with Johnny Scholtz from DWR for the lighting requirements of both venues. "Our brief was comedian Trevor Noah on stage or a small awards ceremony," said Johnny. For anything bigger, Tsogo Sun would hire in from rental companies.

"David knew what he wanted and so it was easy giving him what he needed," commented Johnny Scholtz. Having worked in similar Dome structures in the past as a lighting designer and technician, Johnny also had a good idea of what gear would do the job."

"From a technical perspective the biggest challenge of the project was was keeping the budget down whilst allowing for the greatest flexibility," commented David Butcher. "We now have a core system that can be used longways and as a thrust stage along the side of the room. The sound, lighting and rigging all allow us to make that decision at minimal cost, thus enabling event producers to have more options available to them."

The project had a very short time line. "We had six weeks from budget approval till we moved into the first Dome at The Ridge," said Molly. "In this period we had to go out on RFQ, evaluate the different products, order and deliver all the equipment on time.

"We also had to deal with the challenges of working on a construction site. Setting up our equipment in a dusty and noisy construction environment is not ideal. We were fortunate to work with some amazing project managers on both projects."

The Silverstar venue officially opened with an in-house staff event near the end of October. "We were relieved we met our deadline and it feels great seeing happy and satisfied clients," said Molly. "I am extremely happy with the end product. The companies we worked with on both Dome projects were excellent. "

DWR installed a custom FOH in both venues. With the aim to create a nice look and feel, Robin 600 LEDWash fixtures and Robin 300 LEDWashes formed part of the spec. Control is with an Avolites Tiger Touch 2, with the DMX system running wireless on Lumen Radio. Each self-contained venue has a stage made up from Prolyte Stage decks. DWR also supplied personal protection equipment like harnesses, ropes and rigging.

"This was a good idea," said Johnny. "Tsogo have a complete system that will work for many types of smaller events."

Duncan Riley of DWR agrees. "There are a lack of venues in Johannesburg that can cater for events," he said. "With the addition of the In2Structure Domes, Tsogo Sun now fills this gap and hopefully there will be more to come. It was an honour to be involved in this project as DWR Distribution."

(Jim Evans)

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