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Providing production services on a greenfield site can be tricky at the best of times. The annual ‘British Birdwatching Fair’ takes this to another level!
Never a company to shy away from such a challenge, the power, lighting and audio delivery for the Birdfair is something that Pearce Hire has been engaged in since well before 1995, demonstrating yet another longstanding customer-client relationship which has evolved over the years as the event has gone from strength to strength.
2013 saw the event celebrate its silver jubilee of offering a wide variety of activities for birders and naturalists. Known by some as the ‘Birdwatcher’s Glastonbury’ the event continues to grow, providing greater challenges for the production team year-on-year.
The Birdfair is run by Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust in partnership with the RSPB and takes place at Rutland Water Nature Reserve - a beautiful reservation that is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Protection Area (SPA). And so Pearce Hire has a unique task when the British Birdwatching Fair takes residence here.
Project Manager John Huson of Pearce Hire explains: ‘We have to be exceptionally careful how we distribute equipment round the site and the routes we take for cabling to avoid damaging the environment. This is of course something we are used to doing on all greenfield sites, but with Rutland Water we have to be even more conscientious because it is an SSSI.’
And this is no mean feat, when the quantity of cabling installed amounts to over 10kms, in order to supply power to over 200 exhibitors over 10 large exhibition marquees on a 12-acre site!
The site is right next to Rutland Water, and is, in some areas, lower than water level. When it’s a wet year (which fortunately it wasn’t this year), this creates additional logistical challenges, alongside the fact that there are protected hedgerows separating all the fields the event takes place on. Careful planning of cabling and distribution layout is required to reduce damage to the grasslands and as the show footprint increases this can alter each year. As in previous years, the entire site was fed from a single pair of synchronised generators, and because of the necessary location of them it meant the furthest distribution unit had over 450m of cabling between it, and the generator.
In addition to the power supply and cabling to serve the entire temporary infrastructure around the show, Pearce Hire also provides lighting and audio systems for the four on-site lecture marquees. Standard lighting rigs were installed in the lecture theatre tents, using all LED fixtures to reduce power consumption as well as to minimise the heat radiated from the lighting fixtures. The main events tent, featuring a mixture of lectures, quizzes and presentations was kitted out with a more complex conference style lighting rig. Standard conference audio packages were provided for the lecture marquees, and in the events tent an enhanced package including L-Acoustics speakers driven by L-Acoustics LA8 controller amplifiers. From an infrastructure point of view, Pearce Hire provided the site-wide 100v line PA system for event and visitor announcements inside and outside all marquees and across the site, and all site and emergency lighting (using low energy fittings to meet the sustainable credentials of the event).
Tim Appleton MBE is the Manager of the Rutland Water Reserve and Co-Organiser of the British Birdwatching Fair. He applauds the approach Pearce Hire take with this challenging project : ‘Pearce Hire has been our main contractor on Birdfair for many years, and they provide not only a continuity of service, but a first-class service. We trust them 100% on their delivery – they know the site like the back of their hand and come in every year and immediately get on with what is now a massive undertaking. They show respect for the unique environment they are working in, and go that extra mile to safeguard the reserve.’
Concludes Pearce Hire’s John Huson – ‘We love the challenge of the Birdfair and take great pride in ensuring that we do what we can with the production of the event to protect the fragile and important natural environment that we are working in. It’s a pleasure to see the show grow each year, and we enjoy being part of that success’.
Pearce Hire has barely stopped for breath over the busy summer festival season, supplying an impressive array of events for long-standing as well as new customers.
One of those new customers is Loudsound, who contracted Pearce Hire twice over the summer to supply generated power and site lighting on the Field Day Festival in London's Victoria Park, and power distro for the XX's self curated festival, Night & Day at Hatfield House.
Loudsound is one of the UK's leading independent festival production companies, providing event management across a number of large capacity festivals.
Dan Wilson, site manager for Loudsound at Field Day was impressed by Pearce Hire's detailed tender, competitive pricing and knowledge of how best to manage greenfield festival sites - a particular area of expertise for Pearce Hire.
'We needed to find a new provider for these important services at these events, and Pearce Hire ticked all the boxes from tender through to final delivery' remarks Wilson.
The Field Day London Festival has been running for 5 years and this year Pearce Hire provided power and site lighting across the entire event, which covered 8 stages, 8 bars, 7 food markets and all site infrastructure at Victoria Park in Bow, London.
The size of the event - covering approximately half of Victoria Park (20,000sqm), and 40,000 visitors over the weekend - required a sizeable inventory including 32 generators, ranging from 20kVA to 300kVA including several synchronised generators for the key areas including the main three stages. These were supported by an artic's worth of Pearce Hire's custom built distribution boxes (all fitted with individual RCBO protection) and ranging from 32amp single phase up to 400amp three phase, cable ranging from 16amp single phase cable to 120mm powerlock cables and site lighting including 25 Towerlights.
On the back of a successful delivery for this event, Loudsound went on to contract Pearce Hire again later in the summer at Hatfield House's Night & Day.
Dan Wilson has no hesitation when asked if he would work with Pearce Hire again ' Absolutely.... I see no reason why we won't be working with them on some bigger events towards the end of this year and going into 2014. I would have no reservation recommending Pearce Hire given the work they have successfully and professionally delivered for me this year.'
Pearce Hire will be exhibiting at The Showman's Show, 23rd and 24th October - see them on stand 37.
Images courtesy Loudsound Ltd, copyright C Faruolo.
Pearce Hire is looking forward to exhibiting at the Showman's Show on Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th October.
With over 25 years' experience providing power, lighting, audio, staging, project consultancy and production services to the outdoor and indoor event, festival, entertainment and corporate event industries, Pearce Hire are a regular exhibitor at this important exhibition, dedicated to outdoor and special events.
Pearce Hire have made a significant number of investments in equipment over recent months, with purchases ranging from Robe 1200 LED Wash Fixtures and an L'Acoustics Kara Line Array alongside a major investment in generators and power distribution.
The investment in power distribution and supply equipment includes Stephill 25 kVA silenced diesel generators ideal for small outdoor events and FG Wilson XD fuel-efficient diesel generator sets - 60 kVA and 100 kVA generators, all with full synchronisation and known for their durability and better-than-ever performance.
Simultaneously, the company has increased their cable capacity, adding over 20 km to their stock. They have manufactured additional distribution boxes to the highest standard, all fitted with individual RCBO protection and supported by full testing and documentation.
To complete the full power production package, Pearce Hire has also purchased some Western Environmental diesel tanks.
Shaun Pearce, Managing Director observes 'These recent investments in critical equipment for outdoor events means we are even better placed to offer an exceptional turnkey solution for on-site power distribution requirements. Our expertise includes understanding the services required from greenfield site venues. Our investments strengthen our offer alongside our project management and production abilities. We are looking forward to telling all the visitors at Showman's Show about these recent investments and our increased capacity.'
Pearce Hire's presence at the Showman's Show comes on the back of one of the company's busiest summers ever. Events they have been involved in range from the launch of P&O's Royal Princess Cruise Liner, to the British Birdwatching Fair, Field Day Festival, Global Gathering, Forest Live and the Warner's Motorhome Shows, demonstrating their breadth of services from dry hire to full installation and complete production and project management.
See Pearce Hire on stand 37 at the Showman's Show, 23rd and 24th October, Newbury Showground.