We are very excited to announce that Wight Fencing has been shortlisted for Best Crowd Barrier at the Event Production Awards. We have worked very hard over the last two years to build the business and are thrilled that this has been recognised by the awards team.
One of the major changes we have made recently is to take on some new aluminium front of stage barricade. The system includes special and curved elements which can follow unusual stage configurations with or without thrusts, access gates and cable runs. This allows us to accommodate special stage set ups and facilitate quicker changeovers between different days, making it ideal for touring purposes but also for festivals.
This year, we took on our biggest challenge yet with this kit when AEG, organisers of the British Summertime at Hyde Park, asked us to supply 850m to help manage crowds of up to 65,000 people each night around the Great Oak Stage. Each headline act required different thrust configurations, camera positions, and hospitality and premium ticket areas. It was the equivalent of a complete touring barricade system that never left the venue, and our crew relished the challenge.
In the weeks leading up to the build, as the AEG production team received stage plans from each of the headline artists, Anthony worked with them to advise on achievable configurations and changeover plans. Once the shows had begun, our team worked with the touring production crew for each headline act to build the correct configuration for that evening, and then to strip it out after the show, and re-install the following day’s set up once the crew for that artist had loaded in.
Front of stage barricade is always the last thing in during a build and the first thing to come out after a show, so time is of the essence. Doors opened each day at midday, so each changeover had to be completed and signed off well in advance of that. Our crew split into teams and worked around the clock in shifts to ensure that this always happened with time to spare. And when Elton John had to cancel his concert due to illness, we were on hand to amend the scheduled configuration as required to accommodate the new plans.
All of our team take pride in the skill and speed with which they are able to erect this system – there is even some healthy competition between them about who can get their section built the quickest. Anthony will tell you he always wins, but Ryan might dispute that…
All of us will be at the awards ceremony in February to hear whether or not we have won. We are up against some very big companies, but we think that Wight Fencing’s can-do attitude and the pride that every single member of the team takes in the work that we do means that in this case, bigger won’t always mean better. Fingers crossed!