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Unit 8, Reynolds Industrial Park
Tel: 01733 554950
Fax: 01733 892807
Pearce Hire provides full technical production services for outdoor events around the UK, regularly supplying over 2,000 events per year on Greenfield sites, at festivals, for tours, exhibitions, architectural installations, sporting and entertainment productions. And so the demand for easy-to-construct, versatile staging structures are something Pearce Hire are frequently asked to specify.
To address this growing demand, Pearce Hire’s latest addition to their extensive hire stock has been a Prolyte Arc Roof staging system, supplied by Stage Electrics.
Stage Electrics are the premier UK stockist of Prolyte products, distributing Prolyte for over 15 years. With an in-depth understanding of the product, Pearce Hire had no hesitation in approaching Stage Electrics to deliver on this investment.
“Our relationship with Pearce Hire goes back at least 10 years and we were delighted to be working with them again to fulfil their requirements, and to provide an after-sales service which included training for the Pearce Hire team. It was a speedy turnaround of ten days from point of order to delivery, including the training day, but we were happy to meet this expectation,” explains James Cookson, Stage Electrics.
“We’ve got a significant amount of Prolyte kit already – trusses, towers, rigging towers and accessories. So we were already familiar with the quality of Prolyte products and ease of handling,” continues Jim Brown, General Manager, Pearce Hire. “We were particularly attracted to the Arc Roof system because of its well-considered assembly process which is critical to the challenging set-up times our client projects often involve,” he explains.
The Prolyte Arc Roof System is a fixed construction, based on three inward-curving trusses which are mounted to side masts. It offers different configurations with optional side sheets and is an effective, small/medium sized roof system, incorporating non-climbing towers, an arched truss roof, ground ring for reduced ballast requirements and PA/branding wings – all of which are appealing features for many users. As Jim continues. “It is perfect for a broad range of installations, and with the diversity of our clients and their production requirements for a stage roof of this nature, an investment in this type of structure makes a lot of sense. In fact, I would go as far as saying it was an easy decision to make. It is ideal for live production, product launches, awards ceremonies and more besides. Prolyte’s innovative design allows a significant loading capacity on the 8m x 6m Arc Roof structure which we have invested in – providing just under 2 tonnes of UDL (Uniform Distributed Load). We were also attracted by the updated system which incorporates box corners to enable PA wings to be added more easily than before.”
Pearce Hire encourages a consultative partnership with their clients, and this is the same with their suppliers. “We chose to work with Stage Electrics on this purchase, and the product training mainly because they took on board our short delivery time and they were prepared to work with us to guarantee delivery and provide training for our team within the timescales we had. The sales process, the delivery and the subsequent training day provided by Stage Electrics, supported by Paul Hadfield from Prolyte was seamless and went without a hitch. We were delighted.”
Paul Hadfield, Distribution Manager for Prolyte Products was pleased to help. “Prolyte take pride in our association with Pearce Hire – who have been a loyal customer over many years with a notable inventory of Prolyte and LiteDeck staging products. We are very happy to now include an Arc Roof System within their range and look forward to a continuing relationship with them. I was impressed with the knowledge demonstrated by all the Pearce Hire team and the facilities at Pearce Hire HQ were perfect for training the whole team on this latest addition to their stock.”
Jim adds, “Following a thorough and informative training day delivered by Paul at Prolyte, our team are fully conversant with the structure. Installing the stage system is very smooth and the training gave hands on experience to all our crew before the structure left the warehouse for the first time. It also generated plenty of ideas from the team on what other events the structure could serve. Our new Arc Roof system promises to be in high-demand!”
Since its delivery, the Arc Roof has already been active for a recent festival, and an urban running event. As the Autumn and Christmas season gets underway, it has also been specified for several Christmas Light ‘switch ons’ and outdoor Winter festivals in the coming weeks.
The first weekend in September saw the culmination of a hugely successful summer series of Classic Ibiza concerts, presented by Revival Productions Ltd in partnership with dance music pioneers Ministry of Sound, and performed by world class orchestral act Urban Soul Orchestra.
Lisa Ward, Director of Revival Productions Ltd explains the rationale behind the Classic Ibiza concerts. “We had been looking for an alternative to a traditional classical prom to appeal to a younger audience, but still with picture perfect picnic settings. Our English stately homes are stunning locations and just perfect for a posh rave!”
Revival Productions has been a client of Pearce Hire’s for several years with Pearce Hire providing production services year-on-year for their annual Great British Proms – an open air celebration of classical music. Classic Ibiza was conceived as an extra event two years ago and this year Revival Productions expanded the Classic Ibiza series to six venues across nine weeks. Pearce Hire was appointed by Revival Productions Ltd to provide a full technical production package (audio, lighting and staging) and temporary power for the shows.
Lisa explains: “Appointing Pearce Hire as our production company was not a difficult decision – we’ve had the pleasure of working with Pearce Hire on many corporate and other productions over the years so continuing our relationship with them for the Classic Ibiza events made perfect sense.”
Classic Ibiza offered a heady mixture of popular Ibiza tunes in spectacular surroundings, starting at Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire at the end of June, followed by Ragley Hall (Warwickshire), Harewood House (West Yorkshire), Bowood House (Wiltshire), the National Trust’s Blickling Estate in Norfolk and finally Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. There was even time for a guest show for the Summertime Live Promotion at Windsor Racecourse in July where Pearce Hire provided the Audio control package.
Throughout the whole series of events concert goers enjoyed spectacular performances from the Urban Soul Orchestra and world-renowned DJ Goldierocks which were complimented by stunning laser and lighting shows that lit up the summer skies.
Project managed by Steve Hicks, the Pearce Hire team addressed the key elements of Revival Production’s comprehensive brief which included the provision of smooth audio coverage for a maximum capacity 7,500 audience whilst being sensitive to strict noise limits at the unique country house settings.
Given the size of the orchestral performance for the Classic Ibiza gigs, Pearce Hire made considerable investments specifically to fulfil the audio requirements of this style of event. This included a significant inventory of DPA 4099 instrument mics to cover all the strings, brass and woodwind sections of the orchestra, Shure ULX-D digital wireless systems and a large investment in fibre optic multicores for audio and lighting. The PA system consisted of L-Acoustics K2, X8, Arcs Wide and SB28 subwoofers for the main system and KARA and SB18 subwoofers for the delay hangs. The desk package was a Yamaha CL5 on monitors and Allen & Heath dLive S7000 at front of house.
Ongoing investment by Pearce Hire in sustainable products included Fischer rack-mounted professional battery chargers to reduce the use of disposable batteries during the series of Classic Ibiza concerts. In addition to which the Pearce Hire team designed a bespoke festival patch and stagebox system which worked seamlessly across all the Classic Ibiza events saving untold time for the onsite crew, especially given the short timescales and number of gigs taking place across the season.
The lighting brief was to offer a spectacular light and laser show similar to that experienced by Ibiza club goers with an inclusive feel and real wow factor. The Revival Productions team asked Pearce Hire to create a lighting design which had great ‘eye candy’ impact. Specified by Steve Hicks, and designed by Paul Fairfield, the desired look for an immersive outdoor lighting effect was achieved using a host of SGM LT-100 LED pixel tubes, supported by Robe Pointes and LEDWash 1200s, and Clay Paky Stormys, all controlled by a Chamsys MQ100.
To provide the power to achieve the high production expectations for the Classic Ibiza concerts, just two 100 kVA synchronised generators were used for the main production sets as well as site-wide generators and power distribution for audience services, concessions, and backstage production requirements. The use of this low power required from the generator setup was made possible given the continual investment and use of LED fixtures and high spec power efficient PA systems by Pearce Hire. Power consumption was continually monitored at all sites to ensure the generators were not over-sized, upholding Pearce Hire’s status as a reputable sustainable temporary power provider.
Steve Hicks, Pearce Hire’s project manager has reflected on a great summer series “The Revival Productions team are an absolute joy to work with and we were excited to support them this summer as their events go from strength to strength. Added to which we had a great crew that worked tirelessly at every single venue to deliver an excellent production for our client.”
The Revival Production team couldn’t be happier with the outcome of the service provided by Pearce Hire as Lisa comments, “We wanted to create a chilled out Ibiza vibe which was inclusive for the audience and drew them into the performance. The weather this summer could not have complemented the Ibiza vibe and music of the White Island more perfectly. With exceptional artists performing and a stunning production package thanks to Pearce Hire it really did bring the feel of Ibiza directly to the UK.”
Concludes Lisa, “Pearce Hire’s methodical approach and attention to detail blends seamlessly with the way we work. They always give 100% to every event they provide services for and they have never let us down. Their service is quite simply faultless.”
With the exceptional summer in the UK, festival season has been basking in a bumper year and happy images of crowds enjoying their outdoor experiences in glorious sunshine are being published on a weekly basis.
Parks and open spaces which are usually empty green grassy areas morph summer-in, summer-out, into temporary villages where tens of thousands of people gather to celebrate main stage performances and other activities on offer. The images have been sunny, dusty and with not a rain cloud in sight!
And for the first time, this year, Gunnersbury Park in West London has seen part of the festival action, hosting Lovebox and Citadel Festivals which took place in mid-July. Pearce Hire continued working with their client MAMA Festivals (a Live Nation company) as long term contractor at these festivals, supporting the festival re-location with their award winning temporary power infrastructure and site lighting services.
Jake Vernum, Project Manager for Pearce Hire, explains: “At Pearce Hire we relish a challenge, and know the team at MAMA Festivals incredibly well – this being our eighth year working with them on these festivals. With a well-established format for Lovebox and Citadel, we needed to ensure that we played our part in providing a seamless transition for these large events as they moved from Victoria Park, East London to West London. We’ve been focussed on ensuring we gave exceptional support to the MAMA team throughout the moving process and on-site at this new venue. We are keenly aware that our services were integral to ensuring Lovebox and Citadel offered as good, if not a better experience for the 40,000 festival goers attending each day across the three-day event.”
Gunnersbury Park was an unknown quantity in terms of hosting a major inner-city festival of this size, and so detailed planning for power and site lighting infrastructure was critical from the start of the process. The undertaking was not insignificant – with 7 stages, 15 bars and concession facilities, VIP areas, backstage working areas and production village, a small campsite for festival staff, and important brand sponsors (including Corona, Kopparberg and Smirnoff) to accommodate. Plus approx 2,500 crew and staff across the site (based on exit capacity) to ensure the 40,000 daily attendees were safe and well provided for. Pearce Hire sent in a core team of five, increased to a dozen crew for build and break and spent almost three weeks on site.
“Working across a new site was the biggest challenge this year” reflects Jake. “The site was really pleasant, and whilst it was smaller in footprint it was very spread out and safety and crowd management was at the top of the list – we needed to ensure our site lighting supported the ingress and egress points and we needed to be flexible in our approach to change things as required by health and safety. We provided x30 tower lights across site and 100% LED festoon to ensure all site areas were sufficiently lit”.
“From a power point of view, we had several generator locations with both standalone and full synchronised sets. In total there were forty generators across the site. We really scrutinise the spec from our client and make sure we keep the generator sizes and numbers down to improve efficiencies. And of course we do all the usual monitoring of power consumption in order to advise on ways to improve consumption and generator provision going forwards.”
An important aspect of working on festival sites for several weeks is crew welfare, something Pearce Hire as a company, places a great emphasis on. Jake explains, “as well as ensuring the site is safe and secure for the festival goers, we need to ensure our crew are safe and looked after. It’s long working hours, and in the exceptional weather this summer, crew welfare becomes even more of a priority. If you treat your crew well, then it makes for a happy work environment and reflects on the job and the service we provide. Our working space at Lovebox was bigger than usual, and this is better for the crew. There was even space in our boneyard for a sofa and a hammock for outdoor living! We have an excellent pool of freelance crew who Pearce Hire call upon to support the permanent team during busy times, some of them have been working with us for years as regulars – they are great crew and so we make sure we look after them and they repay us with their loyal service year-on-year.”
MAMA Festival’s Production Director Dave McCalmont comments “Pearce Hire’s professional approach to our brief is perfectly pitched. We’ve always considered them to be an integral part of our team, rather than an external contractor. We trust Jake and the team implicitly with the temporary power and site lighting for Lovebox, Citadel, and other events. You know that their attention to detail will ensure reliable service of the highest quality and they’ve been a big part of the planning in the venue change.”
“Moving to a new site this year was great – it was a new challenge and added a new dynamic to the festival,” concludes Jake. “Whilst Lovebox and Citadel will undoubtedly have regular year-on-year attendees, I’m sure the move meant these great festivals were introduced to a whole new West London audience as well! For us it keeps our regular festival commitments interesting…and let’s hope the sun shines in 2019 like it did this year!” laughs Jake, as he gathers his thoughts and turns his attention to the next event.