Well, it is outdoor stage season again and here we are at Santa Pod Raceway to build our Milos MR1 8x6M stage structure for the first time in 2019!
We start off by laying out the main roof structure, building the side roof support trusses which ride up the 4 main towers first
The curved roof trusses and the tower trusses with their header blocks are also built at this point, ready to join to the main bearer trusses
Once the roof arches are connected, we attach the tower trusses to the bases with hinges, and once the lifting hoist chains have been run over the header blocks, taking care to ensure the chain is not twisted, it’s time to push the towers up into position and lock them in place with the second two hinge pieces.
Roof bracing bars are now attached between the 4 arches making the roof structure considerably stiffer. Once the stage’s position has been fine tuned, using the wheels on the tower bases it’s time to get the outriggers fitted and the feet wound down. Off course on soft ground we would use plywood packers to spread the load of the tower feet, but on hard standing the rubber pads of the feet get greater grip without this.
Next step is to get the one piece roof sheet on and attached front and rear, and the structure raised up to working height for the next stage:
It’s at this stage we can attach the side and rear sheets, and also do any interior work such as fitting rigging points for auxiliary trusses, banners, backdrops or any lighting that is going to ride up with the roof. We are also now ready to build and join on the two PA wings, with the towers that support them.
Once everything is attached, such as tower safeties, bracing wire ropes etc. and has been double checked, it time to lift and secure the structure. The ballast is brought in and secured (8 tonnes of it!) to the top and bottom of the 4 main towers. On soft ground, where there are no buried services present, we would use Spirafrix ground anchors which attach directly to the tower bases to give a low profile and very safe ballast to the stage. Please also note the use of Yale 360 manual chain blocks as there is no convenient 3 phase mains supply for motors at this location.
These manual hoists are unusual having rotating drive chain guides allowing for inverted use, keeping the hoist at a convenient height and avoiding the loss of clearance at the top of the mast.
With everything at the correct trim height, tower safeties, cross bracing etc are all attached and tensioned. Poles are used to pull the side and rear sheets down to the lower tower spreader trusses and off course the internal stage platform can be built inside the structure once everything has been cross checked. Stage skirts etc. are normally attached on the morning of the event once everyone has put everything they want under the stage for storage during the event!
So, that how we build our stage in just 6 hours with 4 people in a calm and safe manner. Off course we have years of experience building structures like this, and people are often amazed how quick and relaxed our builds are! If you need a safe, smart and practical structure for your event now you know who to talk to!