The stadium stage, all 60m x 30m of it, takes 447 people to build, and 22 tonnes of electrical cabling to connect; all to make one extraordinary night possible. But before they even arrive at the stadium, the road crew must compartmentalise thousands of pieces of equipment with Tetris-like focus to make the best use of their transport. And it still takes an extra ordinary convoy of 104 lorries to move everything.
Packing the instruments alone takes hours, and 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 (like keyboards), that need to be secured to avoid damage during transition.
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.
Once the stage is ready, it’s time for the most important part of the preparations, the audio. Sound 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 extra ordinary road crew spend another 19 hours dismantling and packing up without fuss, before their convoy rolls on to the next venue.
We call this an extra ordinary unseen performance, without which, an extraordinary show wouldn’t be possible. It’s the same ethos that drives our 5,000 accountancy, tax and legal specialists to help our clients reduce their risk and grow more efficiently.
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