Unseen, but not unheard

Staging a stadium concert is an enormous undertaking. We break down the numbers, and track the extra effort that goes into one extraordinary live show.


Before 60,000 fans can lose themselves at an extraordinary live performance in Manchester, a not-so-ordinary stage needs to be built.

At 60 metres wide and 30 metres tall, it takes 447 stage crew to put together. But before they’ve even arrived at the stadium, the road crew needs to compartmentalise the thousands of pieces of equipment, including 22 tonnes of electrical cabling, with Tetris-like efficiency.And it still takes a convoy of 104 lorries to transport everything.

Like the road crew behind a stadium concert, discover how Vistra take care of the ordinary side of business so you can make the extraordinary possible.

Extraordinary gig

Putting in the extra hours

Packing the instruments alone requires hours of careful attention to detail. There are countless wires, power strips, effects pedals, amplifiers, guitars, microphones, turntables, mixers, computers, speakers, in-ear monitors, and dozens of other instruments that need to be secured to avoid damage during the move.

The tour arrives 48 hours ahead of show time; a typical live concert can take up to 15 hours to set up, but it will take three times that to build this mammoth stage, rig it and test it.

The headliners are not the only consideration; equipment for supporting acts needs to be loaded onto the stage in layers according to a strict schedule — ready to be stripped away after each band finishes their performance.

Extraordinary stage

Testing and fine tuning

Once the stage is ready, it’s time for the most important part of the preparations, the sound system. Audio technicians set up the venue’s monitoring system to ensure that the sound levels coming from the stage aren’t too loud, soft, or unbalanced during the performance. This is complicated by the scale of the venue, since every audience member, wherever they’re standing, expects the same extraordinary sound experience.


The chief sound engineer, supported by his or her team, runs through a series of individual checks with each act, making sure that drums, guitar, bass, and vocals can each be heard through the Public Address monitors (PA system). With so much equipment to be tested and tuned, the soundcheck alone takes the team several hours.

With only hours remaining before the concert goes live, the production team prepare the LED lighting and visual effects. From projections to pyrotechnics, this awesome array of show-stoppers has to be synchronised with the show’s backing music.

Finally, long after the fans have left and the records have been written, the road crew spend another 19 hours dismantling and packing up without fuss, before their convoy rolls on to the next venue. Their performance might go unseen, but without it, an extraordinary concert would never be heard.

We call that adding extra to the ordinary.

Extraordinary testing and tuning

Achieve extraordinary with our extra level of service

Like the heroic road crew that made this extraordinary concert possible, our 5,000+ corporate and fund service specialists always go the extra mile; taking care of the ordinary side of business to help our clients reduce their risk and grow more efficiently.

Their ambition is to help businesses perform the extraordinary – whether developing new technology, investing impactfully, or growing sustainably.

Discover how our specialist sector teams in corporate, private equity, real estate, capital markets, and private wealth, can add an extra level of expertise and support for you or your business.


Click here to explore more stories of ordinary people adding extra.


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