Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Elton's Tour Takes Global Warming Seriously

Glastonbury UK based Serious Stages shipped 10 containers with two of their new Solar Roofs to Australia for a busy summer festival season there. 

   The Solar Roofs were utilised for Elton John’s ‘Rocketman Number Ones Solo’ tour followed by Sydney’s Big Day Out event, where the 2008 line rocked with Rage Against The Machine, Bjork, Arcade Fire, Carl Cox and many others.
   Serious’s 22 metre wide 12 metre deep Solar Roof - as used on the Elton gigs - offers 12 metres of headroom and also featured a 2.4 metre thrust running its full length. This version of the Roof can support up to 24 tonnes of flown equipment. It was supplied complete with double out-rigged goal post towers standing 9.6 metres wide and 15 metres off the deck, facilitating two PA hangs and video screen supports each side.

   The tour visited assorted wineries and country houses and was Elton’s twelfth in the country. Serious worked with site co-ordinators Butlers Hire for tour logistics and local crewing with whom they have a longstanding relationship in Australia and New Zealand.

   Serious also supplied all the decking for the Elton stage, constructed from their Black Deck system and measuring 42m wide x 14.4m deep, plus various ramps and steps as per each individual site’s requirements. 
   A crew of 16 - eight from the UK and eight from Australia – all fully trained in how to rig the structure - were co-ordinated by Kenny Falconer for Serious. They leapfrogged the two identical Solar roofs. This was necessary because of the distances between gigs and the schedule, which involved two days of trucking between shows and weekend performances – leaving a tight timeframe for the stage/roof systems to be de-rigged, moved and re-rigged during the week.

   These same two Solar Roofs supplemented by additional kit were then erected side by side in the Sydney Showgrounds for their recent Big Day Out event. The two-stage formula was adopted by the festival to dramatically reduce changeover times.

   The BDO Solar Roofs were both built with one extra bay of depth and could fly an increased capacity of up to 30 tonnes of sound, lighting and video production.
   Four Serious 18 metre, four-bay Orbit stages were used at all the other Big Day Out events - in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Wellington, New Zealand.

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